Journey to Angkor Wat
Vietnam - Cambodia
Discover the spectacular sights, delectable cuisine and rich history of Vietnam and Cambodia, on an unforgettable journey from Hanoi and the limestone peaks of Halong Bay, to Siem Reap and the magnificent temples of Angkor. Visiting enchanting Hoi An, imperial Hue, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong en route.
Frequent departures, contact us to get specific dates
- Hanoi – take a cyclo ride through the Ancient Quarter of the capital
- Mekong Delta – cruise the a maze of waterways on a sampan, visiting local cottage industries and Dong Hoa Hiep Island
- Phnom Penh – visit the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Toul Sleng (Security Prison – S21) and the Killing Fields
- Angkor Temple Complex – gaze in wonder at incredible Angkor Wat, visit the iconic Tra Prohm Temple and explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom, home to the famous Bayon Temple
- Hoi An – wander around this enchanting UNESCO Listed ancient town, famed for its beautifully preserved old city, tailors, handicrafts markets and nearby beaches
- Ho Chi Minh City – explore the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ on a walking tour and visit the sobering War Remnants Museum
- Cu Chi Tunnels – discover the incredible network of tunnels built by the Viet-Cong during the Vietnam War
- Tonle Sap Lake – take a boat trip on Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, visit the floating villages of Kampong Phluk
- 14 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinner
- 1 night deluxe junk boat, 1 overnight sleeper train (train standard basic, 4 berth cabin. Junk boat, private cabin)
- Guided sightseeing – Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor
- Bicycle ride to Tra Que village and cooking demonstration
- Boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake
- All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
- 12 nights 4 star and special class hotels
- Economy class flights from Danang – Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
- Halong Bay Junk boat cruise – opt to swim, kayak and explore caves
- Sampan boat trips in the Mekong Delta
- Airport arrival transfer day 1 and departure transfer day 15
- Escorted by an English speaking Vietnamese and Cambodian tour guides
Saturday. Welcome to Hanoi! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. Free time to explore.
Hanoi – Halong Bay. Take a moment to picture in your mind some two thousand rugged karst islands dappled with lush vegetation seeming to float on top of pristine emerald coloured waters and you have the natural wonder that is Halong Bay. This morning a scenic drive will take us to this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will enjoy a junk boat cruise.
Based on traditional designs, these wonderful vessels combine oriental style with modern luxury. Soak up the panoramic views from the sundeck as the boat gently plies its course, this afternoon we will visit the spectacular Tien Ong Cave which was recently opened to the public in 2010, with its stunning stalagmites and stalactites.
Later this evening back on board, watch a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before settling down for a sumptuous seafood dinner.
Overnight: Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue. Early birds can start the day with a relaxing Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage – the perfect way to start the day. Before heading back to port we’ll explore by kayak the Floating Village of Cua Van, which is home to generations of fishing families. Here we’ll see the traditional and colourful floating wooden houses and the locals going about their daily lives.
On our arrival back into Hanoi mid-afternoon we’ll explore the maze of streets known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’, named after the numerous guilds that once set up shop on a particular street from silk tailors to silversmiths. Travelling by cyclo (rickshaw), the quintessential mode of transport in Hanoi, we’ll see traditional narrow-front tube houses with the chance to sample some of the local delicacies sold on street stalls from ripe fruits to steaming noodle dishes.
Later this evening there’s a chance to freshen up before boarding the train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue. An option to fly from Hanoi to Hue is also available.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Upon arrival to Hue we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin.
After we drive into the countryside to see the elaborate mausoleums of the Nguyen kings. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River or enjoy some retail therapy at the ever lively Dong Ba Market, a minute’s walk from our hotel.
Overnight: Hue | Breakfast, Lunch
Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other, to Hoi An. En route we stop for a walk along My Khe beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline which was nicknamed ‘China Beach’ by the Americans during the war and famously featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’.Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south along the coast to Hoi An.
Compact Hoi An with its cobbled streets, tiny shop houses and laid back restaurants and bars is a perfect place to relax a while. On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
On a bicycle ride to the local village of Tra Que we discover age old farming practises and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Day 7 is free for you to independently explore Hoi An. Relax by the beach or pool, or take a day trip to the Cham Kingdom site at My Son or My Lai – where the massacre of civilians took place at the hands of Charlie Company during the Vietnam War.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Hoi An – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and drive to the Mekong Delta. The fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as its fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.
Overnight: Can Tho | Breakfast, Lunch
Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City. Early this morning we visit the lively Cai Rang floating market and drive to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon). On our walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City we see the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office before visiting the sobering War Remnants Museum.
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City | Breakfast
Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh. This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a sprawling underground network of tunnels and living quarters used by the Viet Cong during the war. Then we drive to the Cambodian border (crossing at Moc Bai/Bavet) and continue on to the capital of Phnom Penh. Today the nation’s capital offers a bustling mix of Asia’s past and present, a city quickly taking its place amongst the trendy capitals of the region with superb restaurants and a number of attractions.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we’ll enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh starting at the National Museum of Fine Arts, a graceful terracotta building of traditional design housing the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. We continue with the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, famed for its lavish decorations – the floors are paved with silver tiles and statues of Buddha are encrusted with thousands of diamonds.
We later come face to face with the horrors of the Pol Pot regime as we visit Toul Sleng (Security Prison – S21), a school that was gruesomely transformed into a torture chamber under the Khmer Rouge, and visit the Killing Fields where over 10,000 people were executed.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap. Hotel check out and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Siem Reap. After time to freshen up we visit the Angkor National Museum – a fascinating archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian artifacts and Khmer civilisation, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire’s Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century.
This afternoon we explore incredible and iconic Angkor Wat, easily the most famous and best-preserved of all the temples within the Angkor complex. It is a massive three-tiered structure crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. Believed to be the largest religious building in the world, Angkor Wat contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. Spend the evening at leisure. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants in the compact city centre which is easily navigated on foot.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
Early this morning opt to see Angkor Wat bathed in the spectacular golden light of sunrise. Later we drive out to see the well-preserved temples of Banteay Srei, stopping at an exotic butterfly sanctuary and the a village of Preak Dak along the way. At Preak Dak we’ll have the opportunity to plant mango or jack fruit saplings as part of our tree planting initiative, operated in conjunction with this community.
Arriving at Banteay Srei we’ll see some of the finest stone carvings in the world, dedicated to Shiva. The temples contains lavishly decorated libraries and stunning reliefs of divinities. This afternoon we return to the Angkor Temple Complex to explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom which was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire and is home to the fascinating Bayon Temple, the Baphuon royal enclosure and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King. The last temple we visit is Tra Prohm, swallowed by the jungle, vast muscular roots envelop the crumbling towers and walls of the temple whilst the trees’ foliage dapples it in shade.
This evening you’re guaranteed to be entertained watching the incredible Phare Cambodian Circus. The Phare NGO circus project trains street kids to become very talented circus artists and the popular show blends circus skills with interpretations of modern life and issues in Cambodian society.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
This morning we drive to Kampong Phluk, a cluster of three villages of stilt house built within the floodplain of Tonle Sap lake about 16 km southeast of Siem Reap. We’ll see houses built on soaring stilts which hover over the Tonle Sap Lake whilst nearby, the petrified trees of a flooded forest are revealed whenever the water level drops. After a boat trip on the lake and lunch, we return to Siem Reap where the afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure. Perhaps pick up some last minute souvenirs at the central market or head down to lively Pub Street.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast, Lunch
Saturday. Today marks the end of our memorable journey. Spend the morning at leisure before hotel check out and your departure transfer to the airport.
Photo by Remi Yuan on Unsplash