Vietnam and Cambodia
Day 1: Departure from USA to Hanoi.
Day 2: Arrival in Hanoi (D)
Meeting & greeting at the airport upon your arrival and transfer to hotel for check-in and tour briefing. If time permits we will take an orientation tour around central Hanoi. This evening you’ll be honored guests at the welcome dinner at one of the city’s finest Vietnamese restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi (B,)
Today’s full day tour includes Ho Chi Minh Memorial complex, taking in his mausoleum, the Presidential Palace and his idyllic wooden home built on stilts. Next we continue to the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature, and become acquainted with Vietnam’s two major religions, Buddhism and Confucianism.
In the afternoon we visit the fascinating museum of Ethnology, which includes full size replicas of amazing ethnic minority tribal buildings found across Vietnam. Later we explore downtown Hanoi including Ngoc Son Pagoda on Hoan Kiem lake and Ma May Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to see a classic example of late 19th-century architecture. Afterwards we proceed to the famed water puppet theatre, a traditional art form created by village farmers around the Red River Delta region.
Free time in the evening allows you to walk along the historic French colonial Old Quarter of Hanoi. The Old Quarter provides a wonderful shopping experience and has a choice of many excellent restaurants. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 4: Hanoi-Halong (B, L, D)
Today we journey east to Vietnam's greatest natural wonder, Halong Bay. We board our beautiful traditional wooden junk and spend a full day and night cruising the bay's 3000 magnificent limestone islets. We’ll be also visiting an amazing cave and a fishing village. For a great photo opportunity it is well worth walking up to the hill top pagoda which overlooks the entire bay. In the evening when the boat is anchored in the middle of the stunning lagoon, we enjoy a wonderful seafood meal and later there is opportunity for an evening swim from the side of the boat. Kayaks are also available if specified at time of booking. Overnight on luxurious boat.
Day 5: Halong Bay - Hanoi – Saigon
Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast. Afterwards we return for a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City. En route the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to mystical dragons! Disembark and return to Hanoi and board an evening flight to Saigon. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to hotel.
Day 6: Saigon (B)
Our tour today includes the legendary network of underground combat tunnels in Cu Chi, the opulent Holy See Temple in Tay Ninh as well as the noon service of Caodai Sect adherents. We also visit the Post Office, the Reunification Palace and the Notre Dame Cathedral – the best of Saigon’s architectural landmarks. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 7: Saigon-Mekong Delta (B, L)
Today we enjoy a day trip to My Tho to sample life on the Mekong River. My Tho is a prosperous town of 170,000 inhabitants, famous for its extensive orchards and immense rice fields. We’ll ride a local boat on the criss-crossing waters of the area to the Phoenix Island to see handicrafts and coconut sweetie worksops and exuberant orchards. Enjoy fresh fruits and live music by amateur artists and relax under garden canopy. Next we take a horse cart to a farm to taste homemade honey-tea and proceed by boat through the small canals and side arms of the river to learn more about the daily life along the river banks. Return to Saigon and explore the Chinatown, noted for its bustling market of Binh Tay and the ornate temple of Thien Hau. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 8: Saigon – Siem Reap (B, D)
We transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Meet up with our new guide at Siem Reap airport and transfer to hotel. This afternoon we start exploring the ancient city of Angkor Thom, from the South Gate of Angkor Thom, to the smiling Bayon, to Baphoun, to Phimeanakas, to Terraces of the Elephant and Leper King. Conclude the day atop Bakheng Hill, watching the sun set into the western baray of Angkor temples. Dinner with entertainment from Apsara dancers. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Siem Reap (B)
This morning we’ll tour Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Sras Srang, Takeo, Thommanon and Chau Say Thevoda.The whole afternoon will be dedicated to the ruins of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a vast rambling complex of diverse temple structures, dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries. Many are adorned with exquisite carvings and bas-reliefs; some are so entwined with trees and vines that they have almost returned to the jungle. Free in the evening to sample the vibrant nightlife in city centre. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 10: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh (B)
This morning we drive out of town to the rural village of Pour Krom and walk through this lovely village to see local life. We enjoy an Ox cart ride through the village before transfer to Chong Knies village to enjoy a boat trip on Tonle Sap great lake to see the fascinating floating village communities. We also visit the Les Artisans d’Angkor, the rebirth of Khmer Arts before a mid-afternoon flight to Phnom Penh. We’ll take a leisure walk along the Sisowath boulevard to round off the day. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 11: Phnom Penh (B)
A fullday tour to see the best and the worst of the city. Morning visit to the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, National Museum, and the Central Market, Wat Phnom, the Independence Monument. Afternoon time is for the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, the infamous Cheoung Ek Killing Fields. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 12: Departure from Phnom Penh (B)
Free until transfer to the airport for departure flight.
THIS PROGRAM MAY BE ALTERED TO FIT THE NEEDS OF YOUR GROUP.
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