Experience the adventure of a lifetime on a 13-day custom exploration of Southeast Asia! Guided through the eyes of local experts, you will have the opportunity to discover the famous highlights and hidden treasures throughout Vietnam and Cambodia. Cruise the waters of Bai Tu Long Bay, visit rural villages, wander through temples hidden in the jungle, and excite your taste buds to no end with the various street foods and local delicacies. Your journey will guide you on an authentic cultural experience, revealing the day to day lives of local people and activities, that are usually never seen by visitors. Enjoy a handcrafted itinerary, matching your priorities and desires to each adventure and experience. So, pack your bags and come ready to make the most of every day!
Welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport, you will be greeted by a friendly local representative. From the airport, they will transfer you directly to your hotel, making for a smooth and comfortable start to your adventure. Check into your room, get settled and enjoy your first evening in Vietnam as you desire! (This service is on a private basis.)
Vietnam's capital is rich in a culture touched by French and Chinese influences over its 1,000-year-long history. One can spend days in the Old Quarter, where fashion houses, art galleries and coffee shops make up the city's most charismatic district. Hanoi features hundreds of serene lakes, great for people watching and strolling an afternoon away. Take an evening to dine at a modern, cosmopolitan restaurant and enjoy a night on the town, but don't forget to take an evening to enjoy the thriving street food scene, one of the city's primary attractions.
This morning meet your guide and driver early and head for Hoan Kiem Lake to join groups of local people practicing tai chi and aerobics – a regular morning routine! After visiting Ngoc Son temple in the middle of the lake, you head to a traditional café where you can try Vietnam’s local iced coffee, ca phe sua da, and if you’re feeling adventurous – the ‘egg coffee’.
You then continue to a street food stall for a delicious banh mi – a typical baguette sandwich filled in with a variety of ingredients. Afterwards head to Hanoi’s Old Quarter where you will see some of the French colonial architecture of former times, including St. Joseph’s Cathedral – a French gothic building constructed in 1886. Next, walk to the Hoa Lo Prison, where Vietnamese as well as American and French prisoners of war were once held. Then it’s on to the Huu Tiep Lake, better known as ‘B-52 lake’, where the wreckage of a US B-5 bomber can still be seen.
At noon, you stop to enjoy Hanoi’s traditional bun cha noodle dish, made with grilled pork and rice noodles. In the afternoon, you go to the Temple of Literature built in 1076, where Vietnam’s first university was established to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins, and members of the elite – a fascinating glimpse into the country’s past. Last but not least, head to a street where the tracks of Hanoi’s railway pass only meters from the entrance to homes. Together with your guide, you can walk along the tracks and take some beautiful photos of the city. The day finishes with a refreshing glass of draught beer at a local bia hoi spot – a chance to mingle with the locals.
Note: During the tour, you will be trying different street foods, so we recommend you forgot breakfast at your hotel.(This service is on a private basis.)
Meet our guide at your hotel in the morning and depart for Ninh Binh, a city about 2.5 hours south of Hanoi, where you will enter the stunning Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, also known as ‘Inland Ha Long Bay’.
Much of the topography consists of soaring karst mountains, which some consider to be even more spectacular than Ha Long Bay itself, hence the name. Here, you will visit the Tam Coc grottoes and enjoy the spectacular, peaceful scenery of Trang An while gliding along a river among the rice paddies and karst limestone mountains. After the boat ride, you stop off at Thai Vi temple, and then take a bike ride through the mountains and villages. You then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, before heading on visit Hoa Lu, the former capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries when Vietnam was under the Dinh and Le dynasties. If the weather is good you can hike up to the top of Ma Yen Mountain to enjoy the panoramic view of the Sao Khe River and Truong Yen village below. You then transfer back to Hanoi, arriving there in the early evening. (This service is on a private basis.)
After breakfast, our guide and driver will meet you at hotel and drive to Halong Bay, about a 3.5 hour drive northeast of Hanoi. Upon arrival, you will embark at Hon Gai International harbor, on board Indochina Dragon’s Legend. A refreshing welcome drink will be served and you can check into your cabin.
As you settle in, the boat will set sail to the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay. A set menu lunch will be served in the outdoor dining room (depending on the weather) while cruising into the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay and admiring the fascinating limestone karsts on the way.
Arrive at Mua Hoa area to enjoy swimming or kayaking through the mystery Karst Mountains. Head back to the boat to refreshing yourselves in the outdoor or indoor Mineral Seawater Pool, Fitness Room, or enjoy the spa and massage services while cruising to the Cap La area. (This service is on a group basis.)
Start a new day with Tai Chi on the sundeck & morning view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea
Have breakfast in the fresh air while cruising to Vung Vieng Fishing Village. You will then have an opportunity to visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat. Continue on to Thien Canh Son cave before enjoying a BBQ lunch on the beach. Return back to the boat and start cruising to the Hai Quan area. Hop on a kayak to explore the mystery Karst Mountain. Later, enjoy dinner on board.
This evening, you will have free time for evening activities (eg. squid fishing, spa, and more). (This service is on a group basis.)
Wake up to the refreshing morning air of the bay once more, as breakfast is served on board. Make the most of your time left on the cruise, with some free time to swim and relax. Enjoy a final buffet lunch on board.
After disembarking the cruise and saying goodbye to your new friends, your driver will be waiting for the journey to Noi Bai airport where you will take your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. (This service is on a group basis.)
Upon arrival Tan Son Nhat Airport, you will meet your driver and guide for transferring to resort, check-in and rest of the day is free 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.
Today, you will embark on a full day, eight hour private tour of the city with a local guide. This tour will be a fantastic introduction to Saigon and the chance to get a personal insight, not only into the classic sights, but also into some more unusual and unique features of the city. The day starts with an early morning walk through Tao Dan Park. As a relaxed, shaded location, it is a lovely way to start the day. The sounds of song birds, a local coffee to get you moving and locals starting their daily routine with yoga, tai chi, dancing and much more.
From there, it’s a short walk to The Burning Monk Monument, a dedication to the subject of ‘that’ iconic photograph from the Vietnam War. Here, you will stop for a bowl of breakfast soup before heading to Cho Lon, known as the Chinatown of Saigon. Cho Lon is a feast for the eyes. Your guide will lead you through the winding backstreets, describing the daily life of residents and the history of such an iconic area including two unseen buildings that were directly involved in the reunification movement.
From Cho Lon, you will head for lunch in a local restaurant where you are treated to some amazing food in a setting unlike anything else in Saigon. Lunch is followed by a walk through central Saigon. Between the modern buildings and high-end shopping malls, remnants of old Saigon are still evident. You will come across The Café Apartment, an old 9-story apartment building that residents have converted into funky, stylish coffee shops and boutiques. It’s fun to simply wander through the building and marvel at the creativity and ingenuity of the owners. Just when you need a bit of a rest, you will find the perfect place to relax for a traditional Vietnamese tea-tasting experience. You might not be a tea connoisseur, but you’ll find it fascinating all the same and probably learn more about the types, the history and methods of brewing than you would in a month of studying! After a long day of exploring, this tea-tasting experience is the perfect way to end the tour. Stay and relax with more tea on the beautiful balcony, take another stroll through the building, head back to your hotel or spend more time in the bustling modernity of central Saigon. (This service is on a private basis.)
Around 6:00 PM this evening, you will depart from your hotel and head to your first stop at Café Zoom. Here, you will be invited to "watch the world goes by", as you sip on a cocktail and enjoy an appetizer. From there, you will continue the adventure into a favorite local eating spot. Tonight, you will be experiencing the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter! Start with a ride to Chinatown, followed by District 4 through busy streets and alleys bustling with nightlife and street seafood. These hidden gems have remained untouched by foreign influence. From District 4, you will proceed to District 3, passing through downtown District 1 to admire the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, to savor the true specialties of Saigon alongside the locals. Your tour will then continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop, where you can enjoy a taste of Vietnamese music. Afterward, you will make your way to one final bar to sip on another refreshing beverage and listen to live music. (This service is on a private basis.)
After breakfast early this morning, you will head out for an exploration of the Mekong Delta by bicycle and motorboat.
Upon arrival to Ban Tre, enjoy a boat cruise along the river which is a branch of the Mekong. We will start the day taking a short walk through various local workplaces where you will be able to picture how local people work. We 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. Later, you will pick up your bike and start cycling through the orchards to Mr. Khanh’s house. Khanh is a passionate antiques collector and his house is full of fascinating artifacts from Vietnam and many other places in Asia. He also has some fascinating family albums dating back to French colonial time. You will then get on your bike and cycle back to the river to board your boat and return to the dock. When the tour finishes, you will head toward back to Ho Chi Minh city for overnight. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in Da Nang 3 hours before your international flight to Siem Reap.
Welcome to Cambodia! Upon arrival, obtain your Cambodian visa, if you haven't already. Clear Immigration and Customs and proceed to the arrival area. You will be met your private guide and driver for your transfer to Jaya House River Park. (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.
After breakfast today, your private guide will take you on an unforgettable visit to Angkor. Angkor is visual, architecturally and artistically breathtaking. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in South East Asia, if not the world. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple, with its famous faces and countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging program to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings. You could spend weeks exploring the ruins, but on this day tour, you will have a chance to see all the highlights.
Your adventure will start with a visit to the South Gate of Angkor Thom and the temples of Bayon, Baphoun, Terrace of Elephants and Leper King. Walking quietly through the jungle to hidden temples will be a magical experience. Once you have worked up an appetite, a delicious lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After lunch, you will visit the fabulous jungle temple of Ta Phrom and the whole late afternoon is set aside for a visit to the main temple, Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is one of mankinds greatest achievements, and the intricate carvings at the temple of Angkor Wat demonstrate the skill of the Khmer builders. It was constructed in the jungle in the early 12th century, and then - two centuries later - was mysteriously abandoned by the Khmer civilization. The jungle soon overwhelmed Angkor Wat, hiding it for several centuries with thick tropical foliage. There was nothing left to see except an occasional protruding building stone. In 1861, a French naturalist accidentally came across the jungle-veiled ruins. Now, Angkor Wat is the main reason tourists come to visit Cambodia. You will finish the tour with a stunning sunset on one of the many special places the Angkor Wat complex has to offer. (This service is on a private basis.)
Beyond the typical tourist trail lies a fiery town full of inspiring people, doing unique work with the goal of giving back to Cambodia. This tour gives you an insider look into the network of social enterprises and nonprofits in Siem Reap who are slowly but surely bringing new light and new skills into the bustling and ever-expanding tourist town.
This morning, you will drive to Kampong Kleang village. Imagine wooden houses on 10 meter tall stilts, surrounded by water in the wet season and on the flood plains of the lake in the dry season.
In the late afternoon, we will catch a wooden boat from Kampong Khleang to the Tonle Sap Lake. Both sides of the river are lined by floating houses that look amazing nestled on the great lake. From here you have a picturesque view of the floating house and local people’s way of life and take as many photos as you want. We include a few soft drinks and local beers on the boat so you can enjoy before heading back to Siem Reap. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant.
After lunch, depart to visit trained landmine detecting rats as nickname “HeroRats”, the bomb finding rats are out savings lives by using their super senses to sniff out the past and help create a safe future for rural areas.
This evening you will be transferred back to Siem Reap, where you will have the remainder of the day free to rest, relax and reminisce on your eventful and significant day. (This service is on a private basis.)
You'll be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Siem Reap Airport in ample time for your domestic flight to Phnom Penh.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation in Phnom Penh. (This service is on a private basis.)
Late in the afternoon you will head to Phnom Penh's riverfront where you start your sunset boat trip on Tonle Sap and Mekong River. Your English-speaking guide will be able to explain some of the interesting sights along the river. Once on board you can enjoy the views of Phnom Penh from the river. You can observe the past meeting with the present as Buddhist pagodas and tall commercial buildings are both visible from the River. Both sides of life are visible on one side of the river you have the bustle of Phnom Penh and on the other the traditional countryside.
Moreover, you will pass some villages nestled on the banks of the river you can observe the traditional floating houses, and markets. Along the way you can also see the locals fishing along the riverside and the small gardens they have maintained. There will be several opportunities for taking pictures along the way. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning at 08:00 am, you will meet your guide at your hotel. Together you will start a unique tour by walking and riding on a tuk-tuk. Your first stop will be the Pshar Kandal, Phnom Penh's oldest market to enjoy some local delights such as Mi Char (fried noodle) Lort Char, Sachkor, and (BBQ beef) with papaya salad, noodle soup, and Nom Krok. You can also enjoy small traditional snacks made from rice and coconut juice cooked in clay pots. Afterward, head to Pshar Chas, where you can try some Banh Sprung, a small noodle dish with coconut milk and spring roll slices. Try a taste of a Chek Ktis, a sweet dessert. After breakfast, walk to Phnom Penh's old French quarter – home to a selection of fine colonial-era architecture. Here you will be able to see several Belle Epoque and Art Deco designs. Start the journey with the post office; a beautiful grand building still used today. Next, go to the old French administration building to admire its beauty. Currently, this building is abandoned, and the back is used as a coal shed.
Continue to Wat Phnom, a Buddhist temple in Khmer' Mountain Pagoda' located in the heart of the city. Built in 1373, it is the tallest religious structure in the capital. Legend states that Daun Penh, a wealthy widow, found four bronze statues inside a koki tree in the Mekong and built the shrine to house these sacred relics. Wat Phnom is different in style from the French colonial quarter displaying Phnom Penh's fantastic variety of architecture.
Visit the national library, a beautiful building still with a French sign. You will also pass by the Raffles hotel, built in 1929 by the French. The hotel has hosted many famous people, such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Pol Pot. The hotel reopened as a Raffles in 1997.
Next, walk to the train station where you will see the large colonial built train station. The station has an uneasy feeling as it has not been used since the early 1990s (used only on the weekends). Continue your walk to Cambodia's largest market and a Phnom Penh landmark – Psah Thmey. Psah Thmey (meaning grand market) is a fantastic art deco building built in 1937 by French architect Louis Cauchon. When Psah Thmey opened, it was the biggest market in Asia. The four wings of this gigantic yellow dome are teeming with stalls that sell goods ranging from gold and silver, antique coins, money exchange, men's and women's apparel, clocks, books, flowers, food, fabrics, shoes, souvenirs, fish, seafood, dessert, luggage, and countless other products. In the market, you will have the chance to meet with a traditional Cambodian fortune teller (Optional: 5 USD) and have your fortune told. Try some of the local snacks available in the market and try a refreshing Teuk Ampil - a popular Khmer drink consisting of sugar cane juice poured over ice. After touring in the Central market, you will be transferred back to your hotel by tuk-tuk. (This service is on a private basis.)
Sadly, your adventure through the wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia must officially come to an end today; however, you will be leaving with unforgettable memories and the experience of a lifetime! After checking out of your hotel in Phnom Penh, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the airport in good time to board your international departure flight home. (This service is on a private basis.)
We hope you had a truly amazing trip and we wish you safe and pleasant travels onward!
A peaceful hotel with a cozy feel, The La Siesta Hotel & Spa embodies pure luxury. Promising a warm welcome and personal service superbly located on old Ma May Street, it is in easy reach of Hanoi’s evocative Hoan Kiem lake and major attractions. This latest gem is both modern in style, and embodies the hidden charm of Hanoi’s old quarter. The hotel has 50 spacious bedrooms, including Suites and Duplex rooms. The Suites have modern and comfortable facilities with a comfortable seating area. And the duplex rooms are particularly good for families and groups of friends. Other facilities include a spa, gym and movie room to help you relax even more during your stay. For food lovers, you can experience Vietnam’s authentic cuisine at the Red Bean Restaurant on the ground floor.
Exploring Halong Bay deserves a cruise that lives up to the beauty of the surrounding scenery. The Dragon Legend Cruise offers a luxurious sailing experience in the Bay, with a strong commitment to service quality and accommodation standards. Each of 24 spacious cabins feature a masterpiece of artwork, equipped modern facilities. The luxury accommodations have been artfully crafted by Vietnamese cultural symbols and traditional designs. All other public areas, including outdoor and indoor restaurants, a bar, hot sea water pool and spa, all offer the same top-grade tone, that will transform your stay into an extraordinary experience.
Embark with MGallery on a journey back in time to French colonial Vietnam, when a trip to Indochina was considered a privilege for society’s crème de la crème. Hôtel des Arts Saigon invites guests to relive the romance of this bygone era while luxuriating in all the comforts of the 21st century. Elegant rooms and stately suites reminiscent of days gone by, inviting guests to make themselves at home in sophistication and style. Enjoy luxurious amenities a vibrant restaurant, an art-café, a rooftop lounge bar, a state-of-the-art Fitness Center and a host of personalized services and amenities complete the MGallery experience.
Peacefully located alongside the Siem Reap River and surrounded by lush fully grown trees, is a true hidden gem. The Jaya House River Park is a small and intimate hotel property, with only 36 rooms, two swimming pools, a Spa and an all-day-dining restaurant. It is located only a 6 minute tuk-tuk ride from town, in the direction of the magnificent Angkor Temples. Each of the guest rooms feature either a balcony or direct garden & pool access. The rooms are spacious, clean, comfortable and offer the most luxurious and modern amenities.
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.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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