Vietnam and Cambodia Cultural Explorer

Experience the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia with an 11 day custom itinerary enabling you to see as much as you can during your stay.

Begin by exploring Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi, the Paris of the Orient. Continue your journey to the magnificent Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise on a traditional junk. Ha Long Bay covers an area of 1,500 square km and with more than a thousand limestone peaks rising up from its crystalline emerald waters this area is rightly viewed as one of the natural wonders of Vietnam and is one of five UNESCO-designated World Heritage-listed sites. Your next stop in Ho Chi Minh City is one of enchantment, one that captivates the imagination, one with a sense of history, and with a sense of tradition.

After crossing the border into Cambodia, you will visit Siem Reap, ideally situated in the heart of the Old French Quarter on the Old Market's edge - currently the focus of the old town in the midst of all the modern restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. From there you'll continue your journey onto Angkor Wat. the Lost City of Angkor was to remain undiscovered by Western archaeologists until the late 19th century and ever since has continued to amaze all who see it for the first time: neither words nor pictures do it justice.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Hanoi

Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey. Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi.

Overnight: Hanoi Elegance Sapphire Hotel

Day 2 - Hanoi

You’ll have the whole day to explore Vietnam’s capital city. Your guide will take you to the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam dating back to the 11th century, and a popular attraction, as is Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, his simple stilt house where he lived and worked, and the museum dedicated to his memory. After lunch, you’ll call in at the serene Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest in Hanoi, on the banks of Hanoi’s Ho Tay (West) Lake. The bustling Old Quarter is a magnet for visitors. It’s a maze of shopping streets and restaurants with a hotchpotch of architecture - traditional tube houses, religious buildings, artisans’ workshops and cottages, colonial houses and modern concrete edifices. It’s noisy and hectic, but definitely a ‘must-see’ attraction.

In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and an interesting, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture).

Overnight: Hanoi Elegance Sapphire Hotel (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Day 3 - Hanoi to Ha Long

AAfter breakfast you’ll leave for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karst’ landscape. There you’ll board a wooden junk to take you to the busy World Heritage area and then to an island beach. Weather permitting,
you’ll be able to swim, fish, and climb a hill for an overview of the Bay’s remarkable seascape. From there, you’ll continue your cruise to visit a fishing village - you’ll also have an opportunity investigate one of the bay’s sea level caves in a small sampan or a kayak. The
route is designed to avoid the busy areas and includes a very quiet location for your overnight stay.

Overnight: Traditional Junk (Deluxe Cabin) (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 4 - Ha Long to Ho Chi Minh City

This morning you can either go for a swim or simply relax on the sun deck. After breakfast, you’ll continue your cruise and visit one of the less visited caves of the bay. Weather permitting, you’ll be able to swim. After that, you’ll then cruise back to dock around noon where upon you’ll be picked up to leave for Noi Bai airport in Hanoi for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. When you arrive, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Overnight: Vien Dong Hotel (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Day 5 - Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels

After breakfast, your guide will arrive to show you around Ho Chi Minh City. You’ll visit the History Museum where there is a special exhibition of the 5th century ‘Oc Eo’ civilization. You’ll also visit the temple of the Jade Emperor, one of the best Taoist temples in Vietnam, with superb effigies, remarkable carved panels, and somewhat incongruous terrapin and tortoise sanctuaries.

After lunch, you’ll leave for the famous Cu Chi tunnels, a Byzantine maze of underground passages, chambers, rooms and booby traps used by both the Vietminh and the Viet Cong to suddenly materialize as if from nowhere, launch a lightning ambush, and vanish equally rapidly. You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Overnight: Vien Dong Hotel (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Day 6 - Cai Be and Vinh Long Day Trip

After escaping from Ho Chi Minh City’s urban sprawl, you’ll travel to Cai Be. There, you’ll cruise on the Mekong River, visit Cai Be floating market thence to Vinh Long to visit fruit orchards, a traditional family-run brick kiln, and drop in to look at some traditional cottage industries - a workshop making the huge coffins unique to the Mekong is particularly interesting. In the afternoon, you’ll return to Ho Chi Minh City where you’ll spend the night.

Overnight: Vien Dong Hotel (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Day 7 - Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc

After a late breakfast you’ll take a noon flight to Phu Quoc Island. On arrival, you’ll be driven to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing on some of the best beaches in all of Vietnam.

Overnight: Mango Bay Guesthouse (Breakfast included)

Day 8 - Phu Quoc

Enjoy the day at your leisure.

Overnight: Mango Bay Guesthouse (Breakfast included)

Day 9 - Phu Quoc to Siem Reap

Your time will be your own until a car and driver arrives to transfer you to the airport for an afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh City (in good time to connect with your flight to Siem Reap). Upon arrival, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. The rest of the day will be your own.

Overnight: Apsara Holiday Hotel (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Day 10 - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat

Your day will be devoted to the Temple complex, of which Angkor Wat is a key element. You’ll begin with a visit to Angkor Thom, starting with the Bayon, a bizarre structure of several architectural changes reflecting a switch from Hinduism (the foundations) to Buddhism (the superstructure). Your next visit will be to the Elephant and Leper King Terraces followed by the Baphoun Temple, which is now nearing the end of an eight-year multi-million dollar restoration programme. In the afternoon, you’ll explore Angkor Wat itself, the largest, and for most people, the most impressive temple in the complex. As dusk nears, a walk to the summit of Phnom Bakheng Hill will afford a panorama of the whole complex lit by the rays of the setting sun, weather permitting of course.

Overnight: Apsara Holiday Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 11 - Siem Reap and Beyond

On your final day, your time will be your own until your driver arrives to take you to the airport for your international departure flight.

Accommodation Information

Hanoi Elegance Sapphire Hotel

The luxury Hanoi Elegance Sapphire is the perfect combination of our renowned hotel service, the finest architecture and the most luxurious facilities, which far exceeds all other hotels in Hanoi. Located at No. 106 in the main shopping area of Hang Bong Street, in the centre of the historic Old Quarter of Hanoi, the hotel stands out from the others with its grand façade, the superb pillar structure of the lobby lounge, finished in marble and granite.

Indochina Sails

For your two-day Ha Long excursion, you'll board the Indochina Sails, one of the best wooden boats on the Bay. It’s a wooden junk based on the model of the old Vietnamese court vessels with two barge sails, a wide transom and rectangular superstructure.

All cabins are air-conditioned and have windows overlooking the bay. Each cabin is furnished with two twin beds or a double queen size bed, wardrobe, desk, pillows, white cotton sheets, and an en-suite toilet and shower with a good selection of high-quality toiletries. All meals, usually based on fresh seafood, will be provided on board. Kayaking is available upon request and at surcharge.

Vien Dong Hotel

This hotel is conviently located near downtown Saigon. Guests can explore the exciting urban landscape while staying at the Vein Dong Hotel. Nearby attractions include the Ben Thanh Market and the Opera House.

Mango Bay Guesthouse

A lively activity based resort located on a picturesque beach along the Coral Coast, about a three minute drive off the main highway ensuring absolute privacy. With twelve acres of tropical gardens overlooking the secluded bay, this is the ideal retreat for budget travellers looking for clean and private accommodation with a vibrant atmosphere at night and lots of activities during the day.

Apsara Holiday Hotel

Apsara Holiday Hotel is located in a lush tropical setting within easy reach of the Siem Reap City Center, Siem Reap International Airport, and the magnificence of Angkor Wat Temple. The hotel combines traditional Khmer hospitality and style in a modern, comfortable environment.

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