Classic Vietnam and Cambodia 17 Days

Classic Vietnam and Cambodia
Highlights: Enjoy a cyclo ride of Hanoi's Old Quarter to learn about traditional Vietnamese architecture; Spend a night cruising Halong Bay aboard a traditional Junk; Visit the sights of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An on foot; Explore the engrossing underground network of Cu Chi Tunnels; Visit the Mekong Delta - Vietnam’s ‘rice basket’, cruise the watery through sleepy villages and green fields; Spend 3 nights in Siem Reap to explore the incredible Temples of Angkor Wat

Day 1: Welcome to Hanoi 
Day 2: A Day in Hanoi - Vietnam's Capital 
Day 3: Hanoi - Street Food & Market Tour 1/2 Day 
Day 4: Off to Halong Bay (Join with other travelers on the cruise)
Day 5: Halong Bay Cruising - Hanoi - Flight to Danang thence Hoi An 
Day 6: Hoi An - Guided Walking Tour 1/2 Day
Day 7: Hoi An – Free Day of Leisure
Day 8: Free Morning in Hoi An - Afternoon Drive to Hue
Day 9: Hue - Imperial Citadel & Royal Tomb 
Day 10: Flight to Ho Chi Minh City - Visit Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City Tour
Day 12: Introduction to the Mekong Delta
Day 13: Cai Rang Floating Market – Return to Ho Chi Minh City 
Day 14: Flight to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) & City Tour
Day 15: Phnom Penh – Flight to Siem Reap – Visit Angkor Wat
Day 16: Siem Reap – Visit Angkor Thom & Taprohm Monastery
Day 17: Visit the Tonle Sap Lake - Departure 

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Hanoi 

When you arrive at Noi Bai International airport in Hanoi, you'll be welcome by one of our representative and transferred to your hotel in the downtown. The remainder of the day will be your own. 

Meals: None
Overnight in Hanoi  

Day 2: A Day in Hanoi - Vietnam's Capital 

After a truly scrumptious breakfast, you'll jump head-first into Hanoi's sights and sounds on a tour that covers all the essentials. You'll visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes the Mausoleum, Uncle Ho's former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and the Temple of Literature, which, dating back to 1070, is Vietnam’s oldest university.

Your lunch today will be at a one-stop-shop for street food of every variety and region of Vietnam. Sit around the restaurant's giant central tree, and take your pick from the food stalls on all four sides busily cooking spectacularly lip-smacking delicacies to order.

In the afternoon, explore the enthralling Museum of Ethnology, which contains an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities. Next, enjoy an hour-long cyclo ride winding through the narrow, chaotic streets of the b - a must for any visitor to Hanoi! The day finishes with a traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets.

Note: the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed all day on Monday and Fridays, as well as from 1st October to 30th November (approx.) for annual conservation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi    

Day 3: Hanoi - Street Food & Market Tour 1/2 Day 

After a brief transfer from your hotel, you will start with a pleasant stroll to Truc Bach Lake for your first tasting - Pho Cuon with lots of opportunities to take photos. Next stop is Chau Long Market for a tour of the market highlighting the ‘wet’ / unusual fruits / livestock / frogs. Sample of market foods of your choice i.e tree tomatoes or green mango with chili, silkworms, pork with green rice. Continue with a short taxi ride to to a Shrimp restaurant to sample West Lake’s most famous dish. Continue with another taxi transfer to one of the best Bun Cha stalls in Ha Noi where you will enjoy Bun Cha - grilled pork patties and pork belly with sticky rice noodles. On our way back, you will stop at a traditional Ha Noi café, established in 1936 to enjoy specialties of the café, black sticky rice or green rice with yoghurt, coffee with yoghurt or great passion fruit with yoghurt. Return to your hotel, the remainder of the day is free at leisure. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi  

Day 4: Off to Halong Bay (Join with other travelers on the cruise)

After breakfast, you'll leave for Halong Bay with a refreshment break en route. Meet the crew upon boarding the traditional wooden junk, then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards the secluded islands. Visit ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming if the weather permits. Return to the junk refreshed and invigorated and relax on deck with a drink to watch the sunset. Enjoy a freshly prepared seafood dinner under the stars. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight on a wooden junk in Halong Bay 

Day 5: Halong Bay Cruising - Hanoi - Flight to Danang thence Hoi An 

Enjoy an early morning swim (if weather permits) followed by breakfast. The tour then visit one of the famous caves in the middle of the bay before cruising back to the main harbor for the 4 hour drive straight to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi for a late afternoon flight to Danang. On arrival, met and transferred to your selected hotel in Hoi An

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 6: Hoi An - Guided Walking Tour 1/2 Day

09:00 a.m., your guide will meet you at your hotel lobby and show you around the old town. You'll start a walking tour with numerous places of interest: the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls, a museum and the colorful local market. Following the narrow lanes, you walk along tiny streets with houses influenced by Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures.

After your walking tour, your time will be at leisure to wander around or go shopping. Your lunch will be at a local restaurant. The remainder of the day will be your own. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 7: Hoi An – Free Day of Leisure

A free day at leisure in Hoi An. 

Note: There are various optional activities for your free time in Hoi An such as joining a cooking class, visiting rural villages around Hoi An by bicycle, take a day trip to My Son Ruins. Those options can be added at additional cost.

Meals: Breakfast 
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 8: Free Morning in Hoi An - Afternoon Drive to Hue

A free morning at leisure in Hoi An. 

Afternoon drive north to the Royal City of Hue with en-route stop to visit either the Cham Museum in the city centre OR the famous Marble Mountain, which stands for the five essential elements that establish nature. Continue the scenic route to Hue, enjoy the view of the coast line and Danang from the top of the Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Clouds) makes your journey interesting and have your camera ready for some great photo opportunities

Note: There are various optional activities for your free time in Hoi An such as joining a cooking class, visiting rural villages around Hoi An by bicycle, take a day trip to My Son Ruins..Those option can be added at additional cost.

Meals: Breakfast 
Overnight in Hue

Day 9: Hue - Imperial Citadel & Royal Tomb 

After breakfast, you'll spend the full day for a city tour of Imperial City of Hue, firstly with the ancient walled Citadel including the former Imperial Palace. You'll then visit the Dong Ba market to learn about local produce and specialties of Hue. You might get some great deals done at the local Dong Ba Market. Have lunch in a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will cruise the Perfume River by a dragon boat to serene Thien Mu Pagoda and drive to visit the majestic Royal Tomb of King Ming Mang or King Khai Dinh. Return to your hotel by road just before sunset. 

Hue was the Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty 1802-1945 and ruins of the city's regal past can still be seen inside the Citadel and the Imperial City. Created in the 19th century, the Imperial City was modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing and holds many palaces and temples inside its giant walls. Many of the buildings were damaged by French aerial bombing and the Tet Offensive in 1968. Now it is slowly being restored thanks to generous funding by UNESCO. 

Please note: You might consider a candle-lit dinner set in a garden house which is a traditional feature of Hue's culture. Both the garden house and the cuisine are great introduction into Hue's culture.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hue

Day 10: Flight to Ho Chi Minh City - Visit Cu Chi Tunnels

After breakfast, drive to Phu Bai airport in Hue for an afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh City. When you arrive, you will be met by another local expert guide who will escort you for 1,5-hour drive to Cu Chi Tunnels. After lunch at a riverside restaurant, visit the amazing network of underground tunnels was used during the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong. This huge construction was a habitation for villagers in the war time. With 3 levels of depth, it was never discovered by the US during the Vietnam War despite its proximity to Saigon. Visit the fighting tunnel system with your local guide. Returns to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving at around 18.00. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 11: Explore Ho Chi Minh City Tour (Formerly Saigon)

Today, you'll embark on a guided city tour starting with the War Remnants Museum - a real eye-opening  part of Vietnam's proud history; followed by the Reunification Palace; the former South Vietnam Presidential Palace; the Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office to get your camera working overtime peeking into the past of Vietnam's biggest, most energetically progressive city.

In the afternoon, the sights of Chinatown beckon,  with a walking tour through its back-streets to become part of the local daily life. Stop off for a visit to Thien Hau temple, which was built in the early 19th Century in tribute to the goddess of seafarers. Delve deeper into Chinatown by visiting the amazing Cholon and Binh Tay Market (or Ben Thanh market) for an insight into where the locals actually shop. Then it's back to your hotel by around 17.00

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 12: Introduction to the Mekong Delta

This morning you'll head south to visit the colourful Cai Be floating market, cruising among local barges chock-full of a riot of fresh, exotic fruits and vegetables. Then, an optional stop can be made at local workshops where you can see how traditional rice paper, coconut candy, popcorn and pop-rice are made.Visit a handicraft village, where you can see how they make rice-net for spring-rolls; fish & soya sauce; cooking salt; and how coconut-leaves are sown for cottage roofs. Later, a rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to enjoy the Delta's mighty peacefulness. You'll see traditional houses made of wood and palm leaves, and catch an insight into the lives of the local farmers - learn how they catch fish or pick up fruits with methods passed down through long generations. A lunch so good that it's almost silly will be served at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, do some browsing and taste some High Definition fruits while listening to traditional music. The trip today also takes in some gentle cycling along village paths to see the local farms, houses,  and the real, ancestral ways the locals pick up this fruit. The cruise will end at Vinh Long city, from where you will be driven to Can Tho, right at the heart of the Mekong Delta.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Can Tho

Day 13: Cai Rang Floating Market – Return to Ho Chi Minh City 

Today an half hour boat cruise will take you to visit the vibrant Cai Rang floating market to experience a special type of market in which all purchasing activities take place on boats and ships. Then continue to small a canal to visit a fruit garden where your guide will show you around before having a plate of delicious fruits. Return to Can Tho and observing the rural life and the lush vegetation along the riverbanks. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City with lunch en-route, arriving in the late afternoon. 

Note: Cai Rang market is one of the three biggest markets (Cai Be, Phung Hiep, Cai Rang) in the Mekong Delta. You can visit the market at any time of the day but it is most crowded and busy from sunrise to 9:00 am.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 14: Flight to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) & City Tour

Morning you will be picked up to head to Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport for a morning flight to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival at Phnom Penh airport, you will be welcomed and driven to hotel.

You will be taken on a tour to the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh. Firstly, you will visit the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5,000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze. Continue to the National Museum, and then head along the riverside area of Phnom Penh, a pleasant French style promenade that is great for people viewing. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 15: Phnom Penh – Flight to Siem Reap – Visit Angkor Wat

You will be transferred to airport for your flight to Siem Reap. You will be welcomed upon your arrival and taken to explore Angkor Wat that is the most impressive Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. Breaking from the Shaivism tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors. 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 16: Siem Reap – Visit Angkor Thom & Taprohm Monastery

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. 

After lunch, you’ll see Ta Prohm monastery, strangled by massive tree roots and typical of the condition of the whole complex when it was discovered in 1860 by French naturalist Henri Mouhot. Your guide will then show you the Prasat Kravan (also known as the Cardomom Sanctuary) and Srah Srang lake and landing terrace. Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 17: Visit the Tonle Sap Lake - Departure 

After breakfast, travel about 15km to the fishing village of Chong Kneas, where you will board a traditional boat to discover the Tonle Sap Lake and see the daily activity of people living on floating houses. “The Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997.” The rest of the afternoon is free until you're picked up for your departure flight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Prices & Inclusions

Price is from~US$ 1413 per person
All prices are per person, valid till December 31, 2017
Prices Include:
- All pick-ups and transfers by private vehicles with experienced drivers.
- 15 night accommodation in chosen hotels - Twin/Double share basis and 1 night on a traditional junk in Halong Bay.
- Domestic flight tickets in Vietnam: Hanoi - Danang and Hue - Ho Chi Minh City (economy class by Vietnam Airlines) 
- Domestic flight tickets in Cambodia: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (economy class by Cambodia Angkor Air) 
- Regional flight tickets: Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh  (economy class by Vietnam Airlines) 
- Experienced English speaking local guides 
- Private boat cruise in Hue, the Mekong Delta and on the Tonle Sap Lake
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- All entrance fee as mentioned in the programme
- 1 hour cyclo ride & water puppet tickets
- All VAT and other government taxes
Prices Exclude:
- Entry visa to Vietnam & Cambodia
- Regional & International flights and airport taxes
- Travel Insurances
- Drinks, tips and other personal expenses or services not mentioned on the program
- Bank transfer fees
- Gala Dinner on Dec 24 & Dec 31, 2016
- Peak season surcharge between Dec 20, 2016 - Jan 10, 2017

travel-style||||||||travel-style