18 days Vietnam & Cambodia Adventure

Day 1: Pick up upon your arrival

Upon arrival at Hanoi airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel for the night. If you arrive early, Hanoi has plenty of experiences to offer. You might explore the colorful Old Quarter, take a leisurely walk along the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake. You will spend the night at a hotel


Day 2: Hanoi sightseeing

Today, we will visit an early market in Hanoi and see several notable sights, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, and Hoa Lo Prison. In the late afternoon, we attend the water puppet show before returning to our hotel in Hanoi for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 3: Hanoi / Bai Tu Long Bay

Leaving Hanoi, we'll travel through the lush Red River Delta to the dock. Upon arrival, we'll board a beautiful boat that navigates through the stunning limestone islands. We'll then find a particularly picturesque spot to paddle our kayaks around the beautiful islands and enjoy some time swimming in the clear waters. In the late afternoon, our boat will move to Cong Dong and Cong Do, a peaceful and beautiful area where we' ll anchor for the night. Tonight, we'll have a BBQ dinner on the sundeck and participate in squid fishing activities. We'll spend the night on the boat. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 4: Bai Tu Long Bay / Halong Bay / Lan Ha Bay

Start your day with an early morning Tai Chi exercise session. Following this, we embark on a day boat journey that takes us through Halong Bay and onward to Lan Ha Bay. Disembarking from the boat, we paddle our kayaks to explore the Dark and Bright cave. In the late morning, we return to the boat for lunch as we cruise deeper into the Van Boi area. Here, we can indulge in swimming in the crystal blue waters of the lagoon. We then return to the overnight boat for the remainder of the day. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 5: November 29: Bai Tu Long Bay / Ninh Binh

Start your day early with a serene sunrise over the bay, followed by a light and peaceful breakfast as the boat cruises to the Vung Vieng area. Spend some time exploring the charming Vung Vieng fishing village, where we'll take a rowing bamboo boat to experience daily life. Afterward, we'll head back to the dock while enjoying a light lunch. Following this, we'll embark on a drive through the Red River Delta to Ninh Binh.

Our journey continues to the village of Xom 9 in Yen Mo district, where we settle in with a local family to learn the art of making authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Together, we prepare succulent Spring Rolls, fresh rice noodles, sticky rice, and zesty dipping sauce with fish sauce and chili paste, lime juice, and ginger. We then enjoy the family's gracious hospitality as they share dinner with us, showcasing their wonderful culinary skills. Tonight we retire for the night in a cosy lodge owned by host. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 6: Ninh Binh

Today 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 among towering limestone mountains. Following that we descend to Trang An, home to beautiful villages.

Here, we take a leisurely bicycling ride 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. Here we take an easy stroll to see one of the beautiful temples built in honour of King Dinh and King Le, among other temples, pagodas, monuments and lush grounds surrounded by mountains.

The rest of the day finds us in Thung Nang and Bich Dong. Here, we enjoy hiking around lush rice fields and looking around at the amazing folds of the impressive rock formations. Finally, we take a beautiful rowing boat trip along 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.

As the afternoon draws to a close, we climb up Mua Mountain and enjoy a panoramic view of the stunning surroundings, while witnessing the sunset cast its warm glow over the mystical limestone mountain range. Finally, we return to our family lodge where we spend the second night. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 7: Van Long / Cuc Phuong / Board an overnight train to Dong Hoi

After breakfast, we'll head to Van Long Nature Reserve, where we'll enjoy a tranquil boat ride along peaceful backwaters and amidst magnificent limestone mountains. This provides an opportunity to observe endangered primates in their natural habitat. Next, our journey takes us to Cuc Phuong National Park, spanning over 200 square kilometers in Ninh Binh Province.

This renowned park boasts a rich variety of flora and fauna. At Cuc Phuong National Park, we'll embark on a short and easy hike through the lush rainforest and karst formations. Following this, we'll visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and the Turtle Conservation Centre, gaining insight into the conservation efforts aimed at rescuing and safeguar
ding endangered primate species and freshwater turtles.

Afterwards, we'll return to our local family lodge for a refreshing shower and dinner before being transported to Ninh Binh railway station to board an overnight train departing at 22:00, arriving in Dong Hoi at 6:00 the following morning. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included)


Day 8: Dong Hoi / Phong Nha / Ke Bang

Upon arrival in Dong Hoi, transfer for a short trip to Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. This is followed by a boat trip along the Phong Nha River and then a hike to the Paradise Cave. This is one of the most beautiful caves in Vietnam. The rest of the afternoon is spent hiking and cycling to see the beautiful countryside of Phong Nha National Park. In the late afternoon we settle in with a family villar in Phong Nha Lake House. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 9: December 3: Phong Nha / Tu Lan

Departing from Phong Nha Lake House between 7:15 to 7:30, we embark on a journey to the Oxalis office, located 70 km from Phong Nha. At the office, our guide provides a short briefing about the trekking itinerary and safety regulations. We sign the release form and receive the necessary safety equipment. |

After the briefing, we begin hiking through the flat corn and peanut fields toward the Rao Nan River. Crossing the river, we ascend a small slope to reach the entrance of Rat Cave. Here, we are equipped with helmets, headlamps, and safety gear to explore Rat Cave, which stretches about 300 meters long. This cave features beautiful stalactites and a soaring dome with a unique heart-shaped structure.

Following our exploration of Rat Cave, we return to Rao Nan river and ascend the 60-meter high Baby Hill. Crossing the Hung Ton valley, we reach the dry passage of Hung Ton Cave. Guests descend a 15-meter ladder with safety harnesses in Hung Ton Cave to explore the remaining dry passage of the cave, where visitors have the opportunity to see a fossil of a million-year-old marine species.

Next, we proceed to the water passage of the cave. Equipped with life jackets, we swim in the underground river of the cave, crossing a small reef until we reach the picturesque To Mo Valley. Here, we enjoy lunch and swim in the emerald-green stream before swimming back through Hung Ton Cave.

The 1-day Tu Lan experience tour concludes with a trek through lush green valleys and fields back to Rao Nan River. We hike through the seasonal farmland to the waiting vehicle, which takes us to our hotel by 7 pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 10: December 4: Phong Nha / Ke Bang / Vinh Moc Tunnels - Hue

We depart from Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and travel south towards Hue. En route we see the tunnel of Vinh Moc and its surroundings. This is followed by a drop-off at the hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 11: Hue sightseeing


Hue is well-known for its beauty and seclusion. Situated on the banks of the Perfume River in Central Vietnam, Hue served as the capital during the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 until 1945. The city remains the historic and cultural heart of Vietnam, retaining its imperial feel with a collection of royal palaces, shrines, and theaters housed within the UNESCO-listed Complex of Hue Monuments. One of the top landmarks is the 19th-century Thien Mu Pagoda.

Let the royal past come to life among the ruins of the Imperial Citadel. In the morning, we will explore the Citadel, a fortress surrounded by a moat with a 10 km (6 mile) perimeter. The site encompasses eight villages and covers 6 km², providing enough space to house the Emperor, his family, courtiers, bodyguards, and servants. We will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, the tomb of Minh Mang, and, time permitting, the tomb of Tu Duc. Tonight, we will stay in the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 12: Hue / Hoi An

We begin with a drive through coastal rice paddies and then traverse the spectacular Hai Van Pass along the mountains en route to Hoi An (about a 4-hour journey). Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An was a major trading port with the West from the 15th to the 19th century. Hoi An's Old Town is brimming with handmade lanterns, rickshaws, graceful low-rise merchant houses, tailor shops, and fresh markets.


Today, Hoi An has been well restored to look exactly as it did more than a century ago, giving it an old-world charm full of nooks and crannies to explore. Upon arrival, we take a delightful stroll along the narrow streets and visit a local temple or some traditional Vietnamese houses.
 

We have some free time in Hoi An, a true shopping mecca. Browse the locally made paintings, woodwork, ceramics, and embroidery. The city is also famous for its talented tailors who work with beautiful fabrics at reasonable prices. We will spend the night in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)


Day 13: Hoi An / Danang / Take a flight to Phnom Penh

This morning our driver picks you up and then brings you to Da Nang airport for taking a Vietnam airline flight departing Da Nang at 10:15 to Ho Chi Minh City at 12pm then departing Ho Chi Minh City at 15:45 to Phnom Penh at 16:40. Upon arrival at Phnom Penh Airport, you will be welcomed by our friendly tour guide and transfer directly to Phnom Penh for the night in a hotel. (Breakfast is included)

Day 14: Phnom Penh

We begin our visit at the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, the most sacred shrine in the country. Next, we continue to the National Museum, which is dedicated exclusively to Khmer art and sculpture. Most of the exhibits are from the Angkor period (9th to 15th Century), but some date as far back as the 4th Century. We then explore the legendary temple of Wat Phnom, which recounts the history of Phnom Penh’s name.

In the afternoon, we visit the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum. In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot’s security forces and transformed into Security Prison 21 (S-21), which became the largest center of detention and torture in the country. S-21 has since been turned into the Tuol Sleng Museum, serving as a testament to the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Afterward, we visit the Choeung Ek Killing Fields.

Between 1975 and 1978, about 17,000 men, women, children, and infants who had been detained and tortured at S-21 were transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek. Visiting these sites provides a deep insight into the painful, bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge. We spend the night at the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 15: Phnom Penh / Siem Reap


Begin the scenic drive to Siem Reap, which takes approximately seven hours, including stops. Along the way, we’ll stop by a local village restaurant for a tasty lunch. We arrive in the small but rapidly expanding town of Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor and one of the most popular destinations for travelers in Cambodia, and perhaps even in Southeast Asia.

Upon arrival, we take a walk to enjoy the atmosphere. A visit to the old market is a must. Even if you're not looking for souvenirs, wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops, you'll find silks, cottons, sarongs, silver, and statues in a riot of color—a feast for the eyes. And if you're adventurous, try some of the cheap, delicious street food for a treat!

The region also has a long tradition of shadow puppetry. If we’re lucky, we might catch a show at one of the local restaurants in the evening, perhaps while enjoying Cambodia’s specialty cuisine—amok, a curry steam-cooked in banana leaves. We stay overnight in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)


Day 16: Siem Reap / Angkor Wat / Angkor Thom

Today, we will visit the "Great City" of Angkor Thom. The sights include the famous Bayon Temple, Phimeanakas Temple within the Royal Palace enclosure, Baphuon Temple, the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. Our next destination is Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since its discovery and retains much of its mystery.

In the afternoon, we will visit the most famous and magnificent Angkor Wat temple. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. Angkor Wat features many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards, and ponds full of water. The carved bas-reliefs depict the Ramayana story and day-to-day life during the time of Angkor's construction. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant, accompanied by an Apsara dance show. We will stay overnight in the same hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included)


Day 17: Siem Reap / Kbal Spean / Banteay Srei (including the Phare Circus)

In the morning, we will visit the enchanting Banteay Srei. This temple appears to have been designed with no space left undecorated, featuring fine carvings in unique pink sandstone. We will then continue by car to a small chain of hills. After about an hour, we will arrive near Kbal Spean and continue our journey on foot. After approximately a 40-minute walk, we will hear the sound of a waterfall.

We will discover that the riverbed and surrounding rocks are covered with carvings representing the gods of the Brahma religion, dating back as far as the 11th century. This area is known as the "Thousand Lingas River." The water flows over sculptures of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Rama, and many Lingas, which were carved in stone to sanctify the water and thank the gods for their gift. The sound of a small waterfall will tempt us to follow the river further through the small gorge.

In the evening, we will enjoy a performance at Phare, the Cambodian Circus. This circus uses theater, music, dance, and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories—historical, folk, and modern. We will stay overnight in the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)


Day 18: Departure

Today, we will be transferred to Ho Chi Minh City airport to catch our flight home. (Breakfast is included)

 

The facts:

The trip cost:

 

  • $2550USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people
  • $2265USD per person for a group of 7 to 10 people
     

The cost of the trip includes:
 

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Meals listed on the itinerary
  • Purified drinking water
  • Tour guide(s)
  • Entrance fees
     

The cost of the trip does not include: 
 

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (soft drinks, alcohol)
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Other personal expenses such as shopping, telephone, laundry and bar bills etc...


What to Bring: Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, small day pack for cycling, walking and hiking. We also recommend packing: insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat

Have a great journey!!!