Cultural Basecamp

Vietnam and Cambodia Cultural Explorer

Hanoi, Vietnam

We customize every trip

Prices From: $2,198 per person

A whirlwind tour through Vietnam's highlights and Cambodia's Angkor sites

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 Moment 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 Moment 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: Dragon Pearl Junk (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: Nhat Ha 3 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: Nhat Ha 3 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: Nhat Ha 3 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: Frangipani Villa Hotel - Siem Reap (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: Frangipani Villa Hotel - Siem Reap(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 Moment Hotel

The homely tasteful rooms are furnished and decorated to the highest standard. We have 30 en suite guest rooms spread over 8 floors. Our décor features black, charcoal and greys contrasting with white. Polished dark wooden floors, dark wood furniture, crisp white linens and towels interspersed with splashes of bright colour give a trendy modern look and feel. The atmosphere is enhanced by mood lighting and lighting that picks out the features of the room.

Dragon Pearl Junk

For your Ha Long Bay excursion, you'll board the Dragon's Pearl Junk, one of the newest wooden boats on the Bay. It’s based on the model of the old Chinese court vessels with two barge sails, a wide transom and a rectangular superstructure. The boat has eleven cabins, you'll have plenty space on board.

All cabins are air-conditioned and have windows overlooking the bay. The floor area of each cabin is about 9 m2. The cabins are furnished with two twin beds or a double queen size bed. The interior panelling, floor and furniture are made of hard wood. The cabin has a wardrobe, pillows, white cotton sheets, and an en-suite toilet and shower with a good selection of toiletries. All meals, usually based on fresh seafood, will be provided on board. Kayaking is available and included in the price.

Nhat Ha 3 Hotel

Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s vibrant business and entertainment District 1, Nhat Ha 3 Hotel is a haven of convenience, relaxation, safety and tranquility. The hotel is conveniently located near recreation areas and shopping centers.

Each of our 90 hotel rooms is designed to provide comfort and style with personalized service and convenient amenities including Cable and Satellite TV, air-conditioning, and complimentary coffee and tea.

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.

Frangipani Villa Hotel - Siem Reap

The hotel is in a quiet neighborhood one block east of the river and 8 minutes walk from the popular 'Pub Street' restaurant area. It’s an ideal base from which to explore the Angkor temples or visit Siem Reap’s environmental attractions.

All hotel rooms, interior spaces and landscaping are examples of some of the best contemporary Cambodian design making Frangipani Villa Hotel the boutique hotel of choice in Siem Reap. You’re guaranteed a warm welcome from the hotel staff who can advise you on how to make the most of your time in Siem Reap and assist with booking transport and other services.

Use one of the hotel’s guest bikes for an early morning ride around the town and then enjoy breakfast in our restaurant or on the terrace overlooking the pool. International and local cuisine and a selection of drinks are available throughout the day.

Location

Region: Asia - Southeast

Nearest Airport: HAN

Address:
Hanoi
Vietnam

Amenities/Activities

GBC Staffpick GBC Staffpick

Breakfast Breakfast

Day Tours Day Tours

Scuba Scuba

Hiking Trekking Hiking Trekking

Archeology Indigenous Archeology Indigenous

General Information

Price Includes:

  • Breakfast and accommodation in a single room.
  • Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (Please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)
  • Domestic flight tickets: Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City – Phu Quoc – Ho Chi Minh City, including domestic airport taxes.
  • Regional flight ticket: Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap, including airport taxes.
  • Boat cruises as specified in the programme. All Ha Long Bay boats will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
  • Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary.
  • Boat cruises as specified in the programme. All Ha Long Bay boats will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
  • Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary.
  • Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
  • Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, and full board on the boat in Ha Long Bay.

Price Excludes

  • International & Domestic flights
  • Airport taxes if any
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Entrance visas to Vietnam
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Expenses of a purely personal nature
  • Taxes and Fees