Explore, in depth, the landscapes and cultures of Cambodia before an exciting adventure through the Mekong Delta to Saigon, Vietnam. Traversing through Cambodia you'll get a bit off the beaten path including Kep, Kampot and Phnom Penh in addition the famous ruins of Angkor Wat. Cross overland through the Mekong Delta to explore the rich culture of Southern Vietnam before ending your adventure in Ho Chi Minh City.
Today, you will be picked up at the airport in Siem Reap and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Siem Reap is the best option for an international traveler's base from which to explore the Angkor temples. If not for the tourism boom brought on by the awesome sites around the city, Siem Reap might have been another sleepy Khmer village. Instead we find a bustling tourist town, complete with a well-named Pub Street, food vendors, luxury hotels, backpacking hostels, and the international travelers that drive it all. Sure, you'll probably want to spend most of your time outside the city, but don't underestimate the awesome opportunity to hit the town and mingle, bargain, eat, and drink your way through Siem Reap.
Early this morning you will be met by your private guide and transferred to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. Angkor Wat is the largest and most breathtaking monument at Angkor. Built as the funerary temple for Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1112 to 1152, Angkor never fails to reward the first time or repeat visitor with its grand scale, surreal bas-reliefs and unbelievable attention to detail. Here, you will spend the morning exploring one of man's most magnificent creations, before returning to the hotel for a late breakfast.
Following a colorful morning sight and well deserved breakfast, you will continue on to visit the fortified city of Angkor Thom. This site was built by Angkor's greatest king Jayavarman VII who ruled from 1181 to 1201. You will also have time to explore the temples of Preah Khan, Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King. From there, it's off to the South gate of Angkor Thom to the Bayon temple, before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant.
Later today, you will visit the majestic Ta Prohm. Built in 1186 and dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors. Unlike the other temples of Angkor, Ta Prohm has been left to the elements and looks very much like the other temples must have looked when "rediscovered" by Henri Mouhot in the 1860s. At the end of your angkor adventure, you will be returned to your hotel to spend the rest of the evening as you wish. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, you will be met by your guide and driven to the Kampong Khleang Floating Village, located about one hour outside of Siem Reap. This fascinating village boasts wooden houses on 10-meter-tall stilts, surrounded by water in the wet season, and set on the lake's floodplains during the dry season. A drive along a dirt road into the village, showcases the region's wooden houses, traditional fishing equipment and small children waving to say hello. Upon arrival, you will be introduced to a local family and welcomed into their traditional stilt home for tea and coffee. Afterward, you will walk around and explore more of the village, to learn about their unique life on the lake and the traditional fishing techniques employed here. After a delicious lunch, you will begin the special water filter installation. With the assistance of your guide, you will set up the water filter in the home of a recipient family, which will provide them with clean drinking water for the next five years!
This afternoon, visit Beng Mealea, a former Angkorian capital and one of the most remote temple sites currently accessible in Cambodia. Until the late 1990's Beng Melea was considered unsafe because of its remote location in a Khmer Rouge held area and could only be accessed by 4WD. However, a new road has now been completed, making the journey much more comfortable. Good hiking shoes are a must for your exploration though! Spend the afternoon exploring Beng Melea, before visiting one last temple on the way back to town. (This service is on a private basis.)
Enjoy this free day at your leisure. We'll reserve a late check-out from your hotel so you'll have use of your room.
In the evening, you will be picked up at your hotel in Siem Reap and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Phnom Penh, once lauded as the Pearl of Asia, is making its comeback known. Restaurants, businesses, and hotels are opening daily, and the buzz of excitement can be palpably felt. The unbelievable spirit of the Cambodian people lives here, short miles away from evidence of a 20th century marred by extreme violence. Orange robed monks seem to be everywhere, motorbikes won't stop brushing by you, the foreign aroma of spice markets will assault your senses, and it's all part of the beautiful experience.
This morning at 8:00am you will be met by your guide at your hotel to start this unique tour. First we will visit Pshar Kandal and enjoy some local delights such as Mi Char (fried noodle) Lort Char, Sach kor ang (BBQ beef) with papaya salad, noodle soup, Nom krok, small traditional snacks made from rice and coconut juice cooked in a clay pan. Afterwards we will move on towards Pshar Chas where we can try some Banh Srung, a small noodle dish with coconut milk and sring roll slices. We can also sample Chek Ktis - a sweet dessert.
After breakfast we will walk to Phnom Penh’s old French quarter – home to a selection of fine colonial era architecture. Here you will be able to see a number of Belle Epoque and Art Deco designs. You will start with the post office a grand building still in use today. Moving on to the old French administration building – although dilapidated it’s beauty can still be seen. Currently this building is abandoned and the back is used as a coal shed. Also included in the tour is Wat Phnom - an important Buddhist temple in the heart of the city, the National Library, and the central colonial era train station. Enjoy your lunch at Friends Restaurant.
This afternoon visit the Tuol Sleng Prison, housed in a high school, to glimpse the devastating horrors that prevailed during Cambodia's ultra-radical Marxist movement. This excursion may prove distressing for some; it is however an important piece of Cambodia’s recent past. From here continue to Royal Palace, built in 1866 under King Norodom, allows for a glimpse of Khmer architecture and includes a visit to the Silver Pagoda - named after its floor, which is covered with over 5000 silver tiles. Return to hotel in the late afternoon.
Following breakfast, meet your tour guide and driver; depart Phnom Penh for Kep. If interested, stop along the way to explore the seldom-visited temples of Yeay Peah, Ta Prohm (at Tonle Bati), and Phnom Chisor (a hilltop pagoda). Entrance fees not included.
Arriving in the forgotten seaside town of Kep, transfer to your hotel with the rest of the day free to relax. (This service is on a private basis.)
At 08:30am meet your private guide and driver, and transfer to Kampot. Upon arrival in Kampot you will be start your bike trip. This sleepy hamlet was once the administration center for the area during the French era and this town is dotted with buildings from the Colonial past. Your bicycles and your English speaking community guide will be waiting for you. Start your bike ride that will take you through rice fields, Durian and rambutan orchards against the scenic backdrop of the mysterious ‘Elephant Mountains’. Stop at local villages along the way to meet and speak with the local people. Your guide will help translate and if you are feeling adventurous try out a few words in Khmer! They are always delighted to hear you try. Our destination will be the rapids on the Kampot River.
This is where we will stop for a swim and enjoy a local picnic lunch. After a leisurely lunch, and a swim in the cool waters you will be picked up and transferred back to Kep in the evening.
(This service is on a private basis.)
Following breakfast, at 08:00 am meet your private driver and transfer to Phnom Den border to cross into Vietnam.
Welcome to Vietnam! Once you have crossed the border, your driver and guide will meet you and they will transfer you to your hotel. Check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Van Rau Pagoda, learning about Khmer Buddhism in the community. Chat with some local Khmer people, see their traditional crafts, and continue on to Tra Su forest. Enjoy a short boat ride and take in the sights and the sounds, before taking a coffee break and climbing the observation post for fantastic veiws over the mountain. After lunch, you'll go to Phnompi Khmer village and visit an ancient pagoda surrounded by beautiful banyan trees to learn more about monastery life. Later, you will head to Chau Doc Pier and transfer to your hotel for check in to enjoy the rest of the afternoon free at your leisure.
Today you will have an early departure for local boats to visit the Cai Rang Floating Market, the most famous floating market of the Mekong Delta. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the bustling activity of the market. You will further venture through small canals visiting a shop where rice noodles are being produced. Depart for Ben Tre after breakfast back at your hotel.
Upon arrival, enjoy a boat cruise along the river which is a branch of the Mekong. You will start the day taking a short walk through various local workplaces where you will be able to picture how local people work. You will also visit the brick kiln, the fruit orchards, a coconut candy workshop and other local cottage industries.
The boat will then stop at a quiet village where you may have a short walk and experience the village life, visit a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven by hand – you can even try weaving yourself. At noon, you will take a xe loi (a kind of motorized rickshaw) to a riverside local restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, it’s time to board a sampan for a relaxing trip along narrow canals observing local workplaces - a traditional brickwork factory, rice paper production, coconut workshop, a bee garden, a candy mill, and stop at a farmer's house to see how sleeping mats are made. Ride your bike through coconut groves and vegetable patches before a delicious local lunch is served. When the tour finishes, you will head back to Ho Chi Minh City and you will have free time at leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
While much of Vietnam is set in its traditions, and content to live life at a slower pace, HCMC is where the nation's urban warriors congregate to work hard and play harder. The city that some still call Saigon has been the driving force leading Vietnam into the 21st century, and the result is a whirlpool of activity that one cannot help but be swept into. Remnants of Vietnam's history pockmark the city, creating a charming contrast of old and new.
Your day will start when you driver picks you up and takes you to Tao Dan Park to watch the bird lovers club. Then, we will move onto the monument of Thich Quang Duc; representing the Vietnamese monk who so bravely and dramatically protested in 1963. Then take a quick stop at the colorful Ho Thi Ky flower and vibrant fabric market. Roll through Chinatown and back to District 1 by Vespa. On the way, stop at a traditional Chinese medicine shop for an introduction to Thuoc Bac (Chinese medicine). Via a tunnel we reach District 2 and continue to District 1’s City Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, the previous CIA Office, and Dong Khoi Street (it means "people's revolution"). We will also make a stop at the historic Opera House, where ‘The Quiet American’ was shot and where the Municipal Theater actually is.
Today, you will be picked up at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and transferred to the airport. (This service is on a private basis.)
The Shinta Mani Angkor is an upscale boutique property that showcases only 39 contemporary designed rooms. You will be pampered with all of the modern luxuries, perfect for your very own home away from home. The lovely public spaces throughout the property feature a beautiful Khmer inspired design. This exceptional Angkor hotel enjoys a tranquil garden setting within the French Quarter of Siem Reap. The soft lighting, fragrant scents and impressive touches of detail blend together harmoniously throughout the entire grounds of the sophisticated Shinta Mani Angkor.
La Rose Suites is a luxurious 5-star boutique hotel in the heart of Cambodia's bustling capital. Nestled on a quiet street near Independence Monument, the Royal Palace and National Museum, La Rose Suites is the perfect location for a walk in the local park or a stroll along the riverside promenade. Equally inspired by the charming architecture of French Indochina and the grandeur of Angkor Wat, La Rose Suites aims to please aesthetically while tempting your other senses.
Located in Kep, right on the southern east coastline of Cambodia, Knai Bang Chatt gives you a blend of privacy, serenity and exclusivity. Three renovated villas built in the 1970s are extraordinary historical landmarks you can now experience as your very own private home. The whole resort is made up of eleven rooms that are individually decorated with their own identity and taste. The villas are designed with large terraces open to breathtaking views of the sea and islands. The surrounding garden space is perfect for yoga and meditation.
Located right on Sam Mountain, Victoria Nui Sam Lodge is located about 7 km from Chau Doc Market and Chau Doc River, which offers accessibility to Cambodia’s Phnom Penh. Rooms feature canopy beds, cool tile floors and wooden furnishings. They are equipped with cable TV, a minibar and coffee/tea making amenities. Victoria Nui Sam Lodge houses an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by the spectacular natural landscape. It offers free wired internet access in rooms and free Wi-Fi access in its public areas.
The only luxury hotel in the center of the Mekong Delta, the Victoria Can Tho Resort blends colonial-style architecture with the natural beauty of the river. Close to Can Tho town, but a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, the resort lies on the banks of the Hau River, set amidst gardens with a plethora of exotic plants. The Victoria Can Tho Resort features 92 rooms, including 8 luxurious suites, all designed with wood flooring, authentic Vietnamese decoration and balconies offering spectacular views of the river, pool or of the garden. Each room combines the elegance of traditional artefacts and the comfort of an international standard hotel.
Villa Song Saigon is a lovely boutique hotel with 23 unique, luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, located along the banks of the Saigon River. No two rooms on property are the same. Suitable for romantic getaways, solo explorations and family adventures alike, the hotel has something to offer any traveler. Start your journey with complete relaxation in your comfortable guest room, or rejuvenate in the in house Spa with a variety of hotel and spa packages available. Later, enjoy eclectic food and beverage options with all day dining at Bistro Song Vie for your candlelit dinner, or sip on classic cocktails at the riverside bar and wine cellar, all coupled with a stunning view of the Saigon River!
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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