16 days Vietnam & Cambodia

Day 1: Pick up upon arrival at Hanoi airport / Transfer to the hotel

Upon arrival our driver meets you and then takes you to the hotel in the Old Quarter. Time permitting we take a stroll around the Old Quarter and its surroundings including the lake of Hoan Kiem. The night is spent in the hotel.

Day 2: Hanoi sightseeing / Spend the night in the same hotel

After breakfast we take a short drive to Ho Chi Minh Complex. From here we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his lush living quarter. Time is also spent strolling around the One Pillar Pagoda and its surroundings, before we drop into the serene Temple of Literature and Vietnam first University. Here, we take a delightful stroll around and learn about Vietnam education in the feudal time and also about Confucius.

Afternoon finds us in the Museum of Ethnology. A colourful and comprehensive museum and dedicated to Vietnam’s more than 50 ethnic minority people. We see its beautiful indoors and outdoor exhibits and learn more about the diverse heritage of Vietnam. Following that we wander through the most fascinating portions of Hanoi Old Quarter. We pass through some guilded streets and to the colourful local market of Dong Xuan where we can get a real glimpse into the locals’ daily life. There is the opportunity to sample delicious local food.

 

We offer an opportunity to try out many different dishes at local food stand as well as local family restaurants. A rotating menu from day-to-day to represent the variety of delicious options, but tastings might include, but are subject to change: rice noodle soup with beef, rice noodle with chicken, rice noodle with grilled pork, snail, or dry noodle, sticky rice, along with various kinds of donut, steamed pancake or Vietnamese sandwiches. Following that we enjoy a unique water-puppet performance. We stay overnight in the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 3: Hanoi / Halong Bay / Spend the night on the boat

Departing Hanoi between 8:15 to 8:30 we journey through the lush Red River Delta due north to Halong City. Upon arrival we embark on a beautiful boat which navigates among the spectacular limestone islands. We then find a particularly picturesque location for paddling our kayaks among the beautiful islands. There is the opportunity to swim in clear water. Late in the afternoon our boat moves to a peaceful and beautiful area for anchoring the boat. The night is spent on our boat. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 4: Halong Bay / Bai Tu Long Bay / Lan Ha Bay / Ninh Binh / Spend the night in a local family lodge

We eat an early breakfast and then board a small boat to continue our discovery of the extension of Halong Bay then onto Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay. We are rewarded by spectacular views over the bays. Next, we arrive in the floating village of Lan Ha. From here we enjoy a leisurely navigation among floating fishing houses and seeing the aquatic life. This is followed by a journey to Ninh Binh. Here we settle in with a friendly and comfortable family for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 5: Ninh Binh / Thung Nang / Trang An / Hoa Lu / Drop off at Ninh Binh railway station for boarding an overnight train to Dong Hoi

Early this morning we head to Ninh Binh. Upon arrival in Ninh Binh we explore Trang An, Hoa Lu, Thung Nang and Bich Dong, home to a maze of rivers and caves and the UNESCO World Centre defined by its craggy limestone facades and jade green water. The surrounding areas are now home to tiny villages, pretty paddy fields, temples and hiking trails.

We combine a wonderful rowing boat ride along peaceful backwaters and the enchanting Ngo Dong River, one of the most serene sights in Ninh Binh. During the boat trip we navigate through the Thung Nang cave system - a series of several water caverns, including the stalactite-studded Thung Nang caves - and incredible karst scenery all around. among towering limestone mountains.

Following that we enjoy hiking around lush rice fields and looking around at the amazing folds of the impressive rock formations before we descend to Trang An, home to beautiful villages and magnificent limestone mountains. Here, we take a leisurely hike through villages to villages and along tranquil waterways, past serene rice paddies and charming historic site, Hoa Lu, home to the ancient capital of Vietnam.

Time is spent seeing the temple of Dinh Bo Linh dedicated to the first founding father of Vietnam. Late in the evening we board an overnight train to Dong Hoi. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 6: Pick up upon arrival at Dong Hoi railway staion / Journey to Phong Nha and Ke Bang / See the Paradise Cave / Spend the night in a resort

Upon arrival at Dong Hoi railway station at 5am, we are picked up and transferred to our resort in Phong Nha and Ke Bang National Park, at 400 million years old, this World Heritage Site is the oldest karst mountain range in Asia. We check out the spectacular Paradise Cave. We also spend time hiking around its beautiful surroundings. The night is spent in a resort. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 7: Depart Phong Nha to Hue / Drop by the tunnels of Vinh Moc / Arrive in Hue / Hue sightseeing / Spend the night in a hotel

Departing Phong Nha we make our way to Quang Tri. En route we drop by the Hien Luong Bridge and Vinh Moc tunnels. Hien Luong Bridge separated the North from the South during the war. The tunnels at Vinh Moc are an expansive network of limestone tunnels that locals used as shelters from the bombing.

Arriving in Hue we take time off to see the pagoda of Thien Mu - considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of Hue. It's an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. Late in the afternoon we settle in with a hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 8: Hue sightseeing / Hoi An / Spend the night in a hotel

Hue is the former imperial capital of Vietnam, it holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past and is a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings. Our morning is spent seeing the Imperial Citadel – a sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, gates and walls. The Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace and the Ancestral Altars are still very impressive. Afternoon finds us driving to Hoi An for the night in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 9: Hoi An sightseeing / My Son Temples / Drop off at Danang airport for taking a flight to Ho Chi Minh City / Pick up and transfer to the hotel for the night

Recently declared a World Heritage-listed site, Hoi An is beautifully restored and preserved. Known as Faifo to early Western traders, it was one of South-East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did over a century ago.

Early in the morning we head out on a walking tour of the Old Town. Our afternoon is free to go exploring. Late in the afternoon we head to Danang airport for taking a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Here we are picked up and brought to our hotel for the night. (Breakfast is included)

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City sightseeing / Mekong Delta / Spend the night in a local family

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is quite the hub of markets, stalls and Vietnamese history, and much of city life happens on the streets. After breakfast we see the Independent Palace. This is followed by a drive to Ben Tre. When we arrive, we will board a boat and explore the intricate waterways.

Often referred to as ‘the rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile delta is where rice, tropical fruit and flowers are grown for the whole country. We have the opportunity to sample tropical fruit, see a honey farm and learn more about rural life.

Tonight's homestay, close to the delta and hosted by a Vietnamese family, will be one of the highlights of our trip, giving us a taste of community life as well as the chance to enjoy a traditional home-cooked meal. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 11: Mekong Delta / Chau Doc / Tra Su Bird Sancturary / Spend the night in a hotel

Early this morning we see a local market. This is followed by a drive through lush provinces in Mekong Delta then onto the lush greenery and vibrant biodiversity of Tra Su Cajuput Forest, a destination nestled in the heart of the Mekong Delta.

As a great example of Vietnam's diverse forests and stunning natural beauty, Tra Su offers a serene retreat for nature enthusiasts. Situated amidst the verdant countryside, this forest boasts an enchanting combination of dense cajuput trees, lush vegetation and peaceful waterways.

Upon arrival at the Tra Su we board a boat along the waterways of Tra Su Cajuput Forest. This is followed by a leisurely walk amidst the lush greenery, we can fully immerse ourself in the forest's enchanting atmosphere while observing the varied flora and fauna. Returning to Chau Doc we are free to see the little township before we spend the night in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 12: Chau Doc / Take an express boat to Phnom Penh / Pick up and transfer to the hotel / Phnom Penh sightseeing / Spend the night in a hotel

After breakfast we boat an express boat departing Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival in Phnom Penh boat station. We are welcomed by our friendly tour guide and then we are transferred to our hotel.

After lunch we start to visit the private quarters of the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda the most sacred shrine in the country. We visit the National Museum, dedicated exclusively to Khmer art and sculpture.

The majority of the exhibits are from the Angkor period (9th to 15th Century), but some date from as early as the 4th Century. We also call in the legendary temple of Wat Phnom which recites the history of Phnom Penh’s name. Tonight we stay overnight in a hotel (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 13: Phnom Penh / Siem Reap sightseeing / Spend the night in a hotel

This morning we depart Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. En route we see Spider Market at Skun. Following that we discover Kampong Kleang where located on the northern lake-edge about 55 km east of Siem Reap town, more remote and less conventional than Kampong Pluk. Arriving in Siem Reap we spend the night in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 14: Siem Reap / Angkor Wat / Spend the night in the same hotel

In the morning we drop by the "Great City" of Angkor Thom, visits include the famous Bayon Temple, Phimeanakas Temple within the Royal Palace enclosure, Baphoun Temple, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Our afternoon is spent visiting the most famous & magnificent Angkor Vat temple. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares.

With many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water, carved low-reliefs about Ramayana Story and day-to-day life at the time of Angkor's construction. At dinner at a local restaurant we have the opportunity to appreciate the Apsara dance show. The night is spent in the same hotel (Breakfast and dinner are included)

Day 15: Siem Reap / Angkor Wat / Spend the night in the same hotel

After breakfast we see the Royal City of Preah Khan with impressive sculptures, Neak Pean built on a small circular island, Ta Som, East Mébon and Pre Rup. In the afternoon we continue our visits by Thommanon temple, Ta Keo, one of Angkor's great temple mountains, Ta Prohm with a part of the jungle, Banteay Kdei, Srah Srang a Royal bathing place, Prasat Kravan with unique brick sculptures.
At the end of afternoon, following the season, since the Mountain Bakheng, the sunset on all the temples, with spectacular views over the Angkor Vat. (Breakfast and lunch are included)


Day 16: Departure

Free for our own time at leisure. Our driver will bring us to Siem Reap Airport at any time we prefer. (Breakfast is included)


The facts:

The trip cost:

- $1465USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people

- $1398USD per person for a group of 7 to 10 people

The trip cost is for all inclusive except for drinks and personal expenses

 

                                                                          Have a great trip!!!