Your tour is fully guided with English Speaking guides. You will be well looked after by your guides as they are there to ensure you have a great holiday. Please feel free to ask questions or to request to stop for photo opportunities whilst on tour – your driver will make every endeavor to do so as long as it is convenient.
Experience Vietnam and Cambodia Tour
Tour Code: EXPE
Duration: 17 Days 16 Nights
Meals: as indicated
Day 01: Hanoi (B, D)
Arrive at Hanoi Airport. Your local English speaking guide will meet you as you exit the arrivals hall for the transfer to your hotel.
After checking-in and time to freshen up your guide will take you on an afternoon walking tour which takes you around the fascinating old quarter, a myriad of narrow streets once named after each ware (Silk Street, Tin Street, etc) and Hoan Kiem Lake, which is popular with locals for morning exercise and evening relaxation.
Tonight a chance to get to know your fellow tour guests with dinner at a popular local restaurant. Feel free to try something new and ask your guide to explain the dishes.
Day 02: Hanoi (B, L)
This morning continue with a city tour to visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (photo stop outside) and tour his Historic House to learn more about the great man himself – Ho Chi Minh. Then tour Hoa Lo, the infamous prison nick named the Hanoi Hilton. Afterwards visit the Women’s Museum, a fascinating insight into the Vietnamese culture and traditions including the women’s role in supporting the family and country.
Then visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 it was Vietnam’s first University and dedicated to Confucius. Your day concludes with lunch at KOTO a not-for-profit restaurant helping trouble youth learn life and culinary skills to bring them an education and a brighter future.
After lunch the afternoon is yours at leisure – you may wish explore one of the many other Museum’s in Hanoi, enjoy Hoan Kiem Lake – or simply shop! Your guide is available to assist you if you wish.
Optional Experiences: Tours can be pre-paid before departure, or booked with your tour guide the day prior.
Chocolate High Tea – The impressive and historic Hotel Metropole Hanoi built in offers an exquisite afternoon Chocolate High Tea. Your guide will transfer you to the hotel. Starts 3pm
Street Food Tour – Sample the special flavours of Vietnam on this walking tour of the street food of Vietnam. Guided, 4pm – 7pm.
Day 03: Halong Bay (B, L, D)
After a leisurely breakfast depart by road to the coast at Halong Bay. Halong Bay is a legendary world just waiting to be explored. Your Bhaya Cruise combines oriental style with contemporary luxury. Together they are the perfect recipe for an enchanting and relaxing holiday.
Arriving at Halong Bay, board your cruise vessel for a delicious lunch as the cruise departs. Spend the afternoon cruising amongst the limestone islands with an excursion to Van Gia Fishing Village. Onboard enjoy optional activities including sunbathing, traditional massage and cooking demonstrations. Anchorage is made around sunset where, if you wish, you can enjoy a Kayak around the islands (optional cost).
Day 04: Halong Bay – Hoi An (B)
For the early risers you can join in with Tai Chi on the sundeck or enjoy the early morning and watch the sun rising from behind the mountains. After a light breakfast stop to explore Surprise Cave, one of the biggest caves in Halong Bay then cruise back to port with a buffet Brunch at the end of your memorable trip.
On disembarking your guide greets you for the return drive to Hanoi with a visit to a local village popular for embroidery and textile products.
Late afternoon arrive Hanoi airport for the short flight to Danang in Central Vietnam.
Bonus: We have included access to the airport lounge for you to relax before your flight.
On arrival in Danang you will be met by your guide for the transfer to your resort.
Day 05: Hoi An (B)
After a leisurely breakfast, a later start this morning to allow you to relax and enjoy a leisurely breakfast or early morning swim, before visiting Hoi An historic town.
Begin with a walking tour inside and around the historic old buildings. Ancient shop houses line the streets, the Japanese covered bridge is a landmark and you’ll discover the history of this ancient trading port.
Bonus: Your visit concludes with your chance to witness how the beautiful lanterns are made – and give it a go yourself! The afternoon is yours at leisure.
Hoi An is one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam with its charming old town filled with art shops, home-wares, cafés and tailors. During the 17th and 18th centuries Hoi An was a major Asian trading centre, it is a wonderful town for getting clothes tailor-made or for buying souvenirs, Hoi An also boasts an excellent beach. Optional tours can be booked prior to your departure or with your guide days prior to arrival in Hoi An.
Optional Experience: Enjoy a special event with a BBQ dinner on a quiet beach, and what’s more you will travel there in a restored American Army Jeep. Travel from your hotel through the country to a quite beach, relax, explore or sit under the sala in a lounge chair while your butler prepares a light BBQ dinner.
Day 06: Hoi An (B)
This morning discover an insight into the ancient ruins of My Son Holy Land.
Between the 4th and 13th centuries a unique culture which owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism developed on the coast of contemporary Viet Nam. This is graphically illustrated by the My Son remains of impressive towers located in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence.
My Son is considered to be Vietnam’s counterpart to the grand cities of other Asian civilizations such as Angkor (Cambodia), Bagan (Myanmar), Ayutthaya (Thailand), and Borobudur (Java).
You’ll return to Hoi An by boat for a relaxing view of the surround area. Arriving into Hoi An town the afternoon and evening is yours at leisure to enjoy Hoi An or return to the Boutique Hoi An Resort and its beach side setting.
Day 07: Hoi An (B)
We have included a full day at leisure in Hoi an as it is the jewel in anyone’s visit to Hoi An. Relax, explore, swim or shop – the choice is yours. To discover more we offer optional tours you can book with your guide (additional cost)
Red Bridge Cooking class – optional
Red Bridge offers one of the most professional and fun cooking classes in Vietnam. Beginning with a market visit to purchase produce, followed by a boat trip to the school. Red Bridge will teach you how to create many of the popular Vietnamese dishes you will encounter on your holiday. Begins at 8.15am in Hoi An town.
Countryside Village by bike – optional
Using quality local bikes your guide will collect you from your hotel for a cycle through the countryside to a local village where the way of life remains as it has for generations. You’ll see pottery making and visit the Tra Que farming Village, the fresh vegetable gardens and many local farmers working at their fields using traditional methods. On the way see small handicrafts, such as rice paper making. A local style lunch is included before biking back to your hotel. Fitness level: Average. Grade: Easy
Ethnic Village by Jeep – optional
Travel by American Army Jeep for an exciting ride inland towards the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through stunning countryside to a traditional ethnic community still living the ways of their ancestors. Full Day Tour, Guided.
Full details will be made available for you to book with your guide. Alternatively you may simply relax beside the beach or enjoy shopping in the old town. Your guide is with you if you would like assistance.
Day 08: Hai Van Pass (B)
This morning travel to Hue via the spectacular Hai Van Pass.
After leaving Hoi An the first stop is Marble Mountain, a whole village devoted to carving beautiful sculptures, then stop briefly at the Cham Museum filled with artefacts from the ancient Cham Kingdom, before heading over the pass.
Once rated by National Geographic as one of the 50 ‘must-do’ journeys in the world. Stunning views await at the top of Lang Co Beach and out to the South China Sea. Continue on to arrive in Hue to check in at hotel in Hue and relax.
Day 09: Hue (B, L, D)
Today explore the historical significance on a city tour of the small city of Hue – the former Imperial City. Start the day with a boat trip along the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, built in 1601. Then continue by car to the Ancient Citadel, the capital of Vietnam from 1802-1945, where the last King of Vietnam – Bao Dai King – abdicated on 30 August, 1945.
After lunch at a popular local restaurant – visit Khai Dinh Tomb with its mix of Asian and Western architecture. On the return to the Imperial Hotel Hue a stop is made at a roadside village to observe how locals make incense and traditional conical hats.
Bonus: This evening you’ll be pampered like Royalty as you discover the cuisine the Emperor’s dined on at a special Imperial Banquet dinner.
Day 10: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
This morning transfer to Hue airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
On arrival in Saigon you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in and to freshen up, then tour the main sights in and around Saigon including a stop at the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral and Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office.
Continue to visit the War Museum – a stark reminder of the War. Then a special insight with a tour of a traditional medicine museum where you’ll discover the use of natural herbs in traditional medicines, used in Asia dating back to the Stone Age. Tonight you are welcome to explore the many restaurants and bars on offer in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. From French, Italian, Vegetarian, to traditional Vietnamese, Saigon offers great dining – and shopping!
TIP! We recommend enjoying a drink (not included) at the ‘Saigon Saigon’ Bar on the top floor of the Caravelle Hotel. Reminiscent of Raffles in Singapore with its wooden bar and open shutters giving nice views out to the city.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City (B, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the wharf for a magical speedboat trip up the River to visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Dug by hand the tunnels were home to the Viet Cong during the US war. A video shows their use and parts have been excavated for you to see inside.
Return to Saigon where the afternoon is yours at leisure. Shop or enjoy the cafés and bars. For shopping enjoy the luxury brand names around downtown Saigon or head to Ben Thanh market to test your bartering skills.
Tonight enjoy your tour with a farewell dinner on a stunning evening cruise.
Day 12: Mekong Delta – Can Tho (B, L)
This morning depart from your Hotel for the drive through beautiful agricultural areas known as the fruit bowl of Vietnam. A visit to the Mekong Delta is one of the best ways to experience rural life.
On arrival in the Mekong, a boat trip takes you across the River to explore the myriad of estuaries and islands. Visit orchards and bonsai gardens and sample the wonderful array of fruit. After a light lunch, continue by road to Can Tho to overnight at the colonial style Victoria Can Tho Hotel nestled on the banks of the Hau River.
Day 13: Mekong Delta – Chau Doc (B, L)
This morning a boat trip visits Cai Rang floating market where fresh produce is bought and sold between boats the surrounding areas. Then continue by road further into the Mekong arriving in the early afternoon at Chau Doc. Lunch enroute.
This afternoon visit Sam Mountain. With influence from Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer cultures, Sam Mountain is renowned for its traditional pagodas secluded in caves and is the site where devout local Buddhists make their annual pilgrimage.
During your tour you will visit the main sites of Lady Chua Xu built in 1820, Tay An Co Tu built in 1847 and Thoai Ngoc Hau Mausoleum dated from 1930. These key locations will be the base of your introduction to Buddhism, Hinduism and worship to Ancestors. Your guide will explain how these three religions were brought to Vietnam and how they impact the daily life of the Vietnamese.
Day 14: Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh (B)
After breakfast at the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel board the Victoria speed boat for your journey up river to Phnom Penh.
On board this unique means of transportation, explore one the most mysterious rivers of the world, the Great Mekong, and admire the natural beauty of its timeless scenery. From the comfort of your seat, watch life unfold in front of you: encounter tiny villages, bamboo-stilt houses, colourful floating markets, farmers at work and smiling children.
During border formalities, you’ll enjoy cool drinks offered by the onboard staff.
Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”. It was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s. In 1975 Phnom Penh was evacuated by the destructive Khmer Rouge, and now is regaining its place on the map of upcoming cities.
On arrival at Phnom Penh, your local Cambodian guide will meet you for the transfer to your hotel to check in and freshen up. Then in the afternoon visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda.
From here we’ll stop for a visit to the Daughters’ Visitor Centre a beautiful space, home to Daughters of Cambodia. Daughters of Cambodia reaches out to victims of sex trafficking. Their centre provides women with good-paying jobs at Sugar ‘n Spice Café, Hands ‘n Feet Spa and the entry-level boutique, which sells clothing and fashion accessories made by women in their program. Here you are free to browse the boutique, grab something to eat at the café or enjoy a foot spa.
For those who wish to stay on, you are welcome to make your own way back to your hotel and spend your evening enjoying the river-front restaurants and bars. Alternatively you can be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 15: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (B, D)
This morning visit the notorious Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields located just outside Phnom Penh.
NOTE: Some images may be disturbing for some people. We then transfer to the airport with time for lunch (own cost) before the short flight to Siem Reap.
On arrival at Siem Reap transfer for check-in at your hotel. The evening a special culturally experience with dinner (at Por Cuisine) and a traditional Apsara Show.
Day 16: Siem Reap – Angkor (B, L)
After breakfast enjoy a full day exploring the stunning Angkor Temples. Tours to Banteay Srey then visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom. The vast area of the Angkor Thom ruins, over a mile on one side, contains many stone temples and other features to explore. The city has five monumental gates (one in each wall plus an extra in the eastern wall), 20m high and decorated with stone elephant trunks and the king’s favorite motif, the four faces of Avalokiteshvara.
Continue to the ruins of Bayon, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure Phimeanakas and the Elephant terraces. The Bayon Temple (circa 1190) is a Buddhist temple but retains elements of Hindu cosmology and imagery. Standing in the exact center of the walled city, it represents the intersection of heaven and earth. It is known for its enigmatic smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara and its extraordinary bas-reliefs.
Then visit the jewel – Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture in Cambodia and is so grand in design that some rank it among the seven wonders of the world. It appears on the Cambodian national flag, a very rare instance of a flag incorporating an image of a building.The “lost city” of Angkor first attracted the interest of Europeans in the 1800s after Cambodia was colonized by the French.
The evening is yours at leisure, enjoy ‘Pub Street’ and the night markets if you wish.
Day 17: Siem Reap (B)
You will be picked up from your hotel by your guide.
Sadly today is the end of your tour. The day is yours at leisure until it is time for your transfer to Siem Reap airport for your departure flight.
TIP! In Asia, tipping is recognition of service, although a minimum is expected.
We do ask you to be generous to your guide – the size of your tip shows your appreciation.
We ask a minimum of US$4.00 per person per day for your guide and US$2.00 per person per day for your driver(s); however feel free to recognize the job he/she has done on tour.
Includes: Private transfers, English speaking guide in Vietnam & Cambodia, accommodations include breakfast daily, meals as indicated, domestic flight tickets in Vietnam & Cambodia, entrance fees, speed boat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh, wet towel and mineral water.
Excludes: International tickets, visa, insurance, drinks, personal expenses and gratuities.
Please contact us for more details.