We travel into the heart and soul of Indochina. Vietnam & Cambodia Vision Tour, starting off in Vietnam, cruise through dramatic karst scenery on a boat tour of Halong Bay, step back into the world of the country’s last emperors in Hue, soak up the old-world charm of Hoi An and be awed by the endless energy of Ho Chi Minh City. In Cambodia, discover the country’s fascinating history and culture in Phnom Penh’s heaving streets and in the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor. Combining highlights of both countries, the Best of Vietnam and Cambodia tour will open your eyes to the delights of Indochina and leave you awe-struck by these magical locations.
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D)
Welcome to the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a city of lakes, shaded streets and verdant public parks. Come to Hanoi, you will have a chance to explore the rich cultural heritage with the Old Quarter, prominent delicious Vietnamese cuisine as well as other interesting spots.
Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, our guide and driver will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. After check –in, you are free to stroll around the city and catch a first glimpse of this peaceful city. In the evening, a special dinner out at a stylic restaurant, where our guide will summarize the itinerary for coming days.
Spring in Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B)
Morning, our guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and begin the full day city tour with Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and “House on stilt” at the same area with the Presidential Palace and the famous One Pillar Pagoda. We also make a visit to the Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam, which is now dedicated to Confucian worship and “Hanoi Hilton” –a nick name given by US pilots during the war.
Enjoy lunch with authentic delicious Vietnamese cuisines, then we continue our day to the impressive Ethnologic Museum, dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. After that, the trip will be followed by one –hour cyclo tour through the busy Old Quarter where you can see peddlers are selling wares as if they have done that for centuries! In front of the peaceful Hoan Kiem Lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance at the end of the day.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Day 3: Hanoi – Mai Chau (B, L, D)
Departing at 8h30 am from Hanoi for three and half hour journey through Hoa Binh Town, then gradually climb the begining of the Truong Son Mountain Range to Man Duc Town, a town with spectacular karst scenery. Upon arrival in Lac Village, Mai Chau, we will be greeted by friendly White Thai family. You will have a chance to communicate with Thai monority poeple and enjoy a simple lunch with them – The Thai has their own language, dress, customs, usages and singular blend of belief, worship and myth.
After lunch, we will do a two and half hour trek to three White Thai villages of La Poon, La Thia and Poom Coong. In the afternoon, we get back to Lac Village for refreshment and overnight at Thai home.
Day 4: Mai Chau – Hoa Lu – Trang An grottoes (B, L)
After breakfast, we start a 2 hour trekking to Van Village, one of the most beautiful villages in Mai Chau area. There you can see spectacular scenery of mountain, forest, waterfall and rice paddies combined. Continue drive to visit Hoa Lu which was the capital city of Vietnam under the Dinh Dynasty between 968 and 980 AD and ancient sanctuaries and tombs can still be seen today. Apart from the historical importance, the area is naturally beautiful, referred to many as the “dry Halong Bay,” with limestone peaks and fertile green valleys. After lunch, take the amzing boat trip to visit Trang An grottoes which is a gathering of 31 valleys, 50 cross-water caves, and home to 600 kinds of flora and over 200 kinds of fauna, many of them in the Red Book of Vietnam. While rowing through Trang An grotto in the quiet, fresh air of the highlands, with only the sound of birds and the oars stirring the clear water and surrounded by magnificent forested mountains upon which graze white goats, visitors enjoy a heaven on earth. The end of the day, drive to Tam Coc and free at leisure to take a walking visit around Tam Coc or doing bike trip to visit the village and Bich Dong pagoda.
Overnight in The Long Hotel.
Day 5: Ninh Binh – Halong (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we leave “Halong Bay on Land” for Halong. During the way, we will see a lot of daily activities of the local Vietnamese who work on the rice fields with water buffaloes … Upon arrival, board your deluxe traditional wooden junk. Welcome drink on board. After a relaxing break, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch while cruising through the wonderful Ha Long bay visiting its amazing grottoes and caves. Opportunity to dive off the boat and have a pleasant swimming in the deep blue water of East Sea before relaxing on your sun deck to view a Halong sunset
Tam Coc – Ninh Binh
Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi – flight to Hue (B)
The breakfast will be continued by a cruise to explore more some 1,600 islets. Visiting floating village, swimming or kayaking is the highlights for this day. After having lunch onboard, you will head for the new route back to Ha Long Harbor, where the waiting vehicle will pick you up for a drive straight to Hanoi’ s Noi Bai Airport for a flight to Hue. Overnight in Hue.
Day 7: Hue city (B, L)
Hue with splendid tombs of the Nguyen emperors, notable pagodas and the remains of the Citadel becomes one of Vietnam’s attractions to tourists from all over the world, who like to explore the traditional cultural values of Vietnam.
We start our day with guided touring around the Imperial Citadel, visiting the Noon Gate and Forbidden City; then followed with the Antiquity Museum for some view. After that, we will drive out Hue outskirt to visit Khai Dinh Royal Tomb.
In the afternoon, after delicious lunch, we will be transferred to the boat quay for a boat trip along the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang Mausoleum.
If time allowed, we can pay a visit at Dong Ba Market.
Hue – Vietnam
Day 8: Hue – Hoi An (B, L)
After breakfast, we will be on 4 –hour journey to Hoi An. The winding road begins as we make our way up the Hai Van pass. The breath -taking view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes. We also make stop for relaxation at charming Lang Co Beach. Our next stop is Da Nang City, famous for the Cham Museum and the China Beach, a place called R and R (Rest and Rehabilitation) where thousands of American GIs came for a break during the war in Vietnam. Also, we have a short sightseeing at the Marble Mountain, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe.
Arriving in Hoi An in the early afternoon, we enjoy lunch, check in hotel and then start a walking tour through the Ancient Town. Here we can see the vestige of the mix combination of Chinese and Japanese architecture as well as traditional cultural values. In December, 1999 Hoi An is declared a Unesco World Heritage site. We will discover by ourselves interesting proper character. Overnight in Hoi An.
Chinese Meeting Hall
Day 9: Hoi An Cooking Class (B, L)
We start the day at 8.30 am with a drink at Hai Scout Café. Visit Hoi An’s colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and know about special herbs and vegetables in Vietnamese cuisines. A leisurely cruise along the Hoi An River brings us to the restaurant where we will enjoy one –hour cooking class. After practicing dishes, you can enjoy your products. It is your rewarding lunch today.
Say goodbye to the chef, we come to the centre. This is your free time for shopping. Skillful tailors are willing to make any piece of clothing in any design and in any fabric to fit you. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 10: Hoi An – Nha Trang (B)
A transfer to Danang Airport for a short flight to Nha Trang, the most famous seaside resort-town of Vietnam and home to one of the most beautiful beaches. After check –in at hotel, rest of the day is free to explore the beach. Overnight in Nha Trang
Nha Trang Beach
Day 11: Nha Trang free day (B)
You are free to enjoy the hotel facilities or lazing on the beach.
Optional: Diving course, boat trip to islands or city tour
Day 12: Nha Trang – flight to Saigon (B)
Free time until transfer to the airport for a short flight to Saigon. Saigon is a fast growing city, which is changing day by day and recognized by high buildings and big roads. The ongoing changes in economy have given the city a really cosmopolitan and dynamic character.
Today, we will visit the highlights of Saigon including the Central Post Office, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and the War Museum. After that, a visit to Haven Emperor Temple will be followed and you can immerse yourself in the religious atmosphere of the local people.
Rest of the time, you can have a look at bustling Ben Thanh Market for an appreciation of local life. Overnight in hotel in Saigon.
Day 13: Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple (B, L)
In the morning our guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and then depart for Tay Ninh to visit the famous Cao Dai Temple. There you witness a colorful service. After the service you have lunch at a local restaurant. Then you go to Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi Tunnels are an impressive network of tunnels with a length of over 250 km. This strategic place was used by 15,000 Viet Cong fighters during the war. In the afternoon you return to Saigon approximately at 5pm.
Cu chi Tunnel
Day 14: Saigon – Mekong Delta (B, L)
At 8 hours, you will be picked up at the hotel and transferred to My Tho. Around 9h30, arriving in My Tho, you will enjoy different type of boat trip (motorized boat trip, rowing boat trip) to islands where you can visit local houses, see how they make delicious coconut caramels and enjoy lunch. You will also stop over the Unicorn Island for a traditional music performance, “cai luong” by local people. Enjoy some tropical fruit here. Especially, you will have a chance to be on horse-drawn carriage or local transport “Xe loi” (nowadays, it is often seen on movies).
In the afternoon, you will take a drive to Can Tho City, across Vinh Long, My Thuan Suspension Bridge and cross the Hau River by ferry. Upon arrival, you check in the hotel and relax after a long journey. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 15: Can Tho – Saigon (B)
Today, you will get up very early for breakfast so that we will be on time to catch amazing scene of Cai Rang Floating Market. The guide will pick you up at 6:30 hours, check out and transfer you to the boat quay. Now you start a cruise to the floating markets. At 7:30 hours, arrive at Cai Rang floating market, you will take slow running for nice pictures. We will stop for a while and you can buy some fruit or contact with local people. Leaving the market, you will take another boat trip along the river bank and cannels to see how people there live, visit another orchard for relaxation. After that, you will boat to big river and have lunch at a floating restaurant docking at Can Tho River. In the afternoon, after lunch, you will have a transfer back to Saigon.
Day 16: Saigon – Siem Reap (B)
Today, we will take a morning flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, will be met and greeting by our guide then transferred to your hotel. Spend the full afternoon exploring the main Angkor Wat Temple and enjoy sunset at the temple top of Pre Rup.
Day 17: Siem Reap Angkor Wat (B)
Early this morning, enjoy a sunrise tour of Angkor Wat with great photographing opportunities. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Continue to explore Angkor Thom, the site of the ancient capital of the Khmer period. Visit the South Gate, Bayon, Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of Leper King. Continue to Ta Prohm, which many deemed the most charming of all the temples.
This afternoon, take a boat trip on the Tonle Sap Lake to observe the local’s life on water. Stop by at the Artisan D’Angkor and Old market for some shopping.
Day 18: Siem Reap Banteay Sei (B)
In the morning, drive through the lovely countryside to visit Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre, which many consider Bantaey Srei to be the prettiest temple was built with pink sand stone.
In the afternoon, visit Preah Khan, Neak Pean and Ta Som temples. Also, have some time for a re-visit of Angkor Wat and wander around on your own.
Day 19: Siem Reap departure (B)
Some last minute to do shopping or relax at hotel until transfer to the airport for your flight home.