We think you might enjoy...
- Tragic history of Khmer Rouge with a modest approach
- A scholar who's dedicated to the Angkor cultures leads your way at Angkor Wat
- Row a sampan in the Mekong Delta and feast on fresh tropical fruits
- Private cooking session at a riverside restaurant in Hoi An
- Free your mind and body on your patio and take in awesome views of Halong Bay
- Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
- Governmental taxes
Itinerary in detail
First-timers to Asia combine Cambodia and Vietnam for good reasons: majestic Angkor Wat and picturesque Vietnam. This is how a two-country journey goes but your own trip should be re-designed only for your interests.
Day 1 Phnom Penh Arrival, Cambodia
Sua s'dei. Welcome to Cambodia. Transfer to your hotel and free at leisure.
Among all the international transport hubs, we’d recommend Bangkok or Hong Kong for your entry,as there are better airfares and it is easier to get around.
Day 2 Phnom Penh | Heart-Breaking Past and Hopeful Present
Take a mind-provoking tour in Phnom Penh that covers the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum in the morning. After lunch, you will be taken to Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng Prison Museum. Stop at the Central Market when you are back to downtown in the afternoon.
The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison Museum are definitely not pleasant attractions, so be mentally prepared. The visit helps you see behind the curtains of history and understand why Cambodia is as it is.
You will be taken to where the prisoners were held, tortured and even executed. Most of them were well-educated intelligentsia elites and expelled out to urban areas, where tragically in a brutal pursue for extreme Communist ideology. It is confronting and disturbing, yet if you are keen to understand the country, it is all worthy.
Day 3 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap | Tomb Raider in Bayon and Ta Prhom
Take an afternoon flight to Siem Reap.
Afternoon is the perfect time to visit Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm as the shady trees set up a mysterious stage that you might have seen in the movie of Tomb Raider.
Wrap it up today with a delightful Apsara dinner show at a fine resort.
Day 4Siem Reap | Angkor Wat in Depth
Outside the first loop of the Angkor Wat Complex, there lies the sparkling pearl of Banteay Srei. This small temple complex is constructed by sandstone. This site is at its best in the early morning when the sun casts brightly.
Get back into the first loop and a schoolar will accompany you for a visit at Angkor Wat. Spend another hour at Angkor Thom, which used to be the palace grounds for the Angkor Kingdoms.
You will have a 2-hour walking tour at Angkor Wat with a local scholar who's dedicated to Angkorian cultures. He has worked with some local cultural academy and his rich knowledge will provide you detailed explanations for the Khmer civilization and Angkor Kingdoms.
Day 5Siem Reap - Ho Chi Minh City | Saigon at Dusk
Take a morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Most of Ho Chi Minh City's attractions are within easy reach and this afternoon you will have a glance at Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, Reunification Palace and An Dong Market.
Day 6Ho Chi Minh City | Mekong Impression
My Tho, the bustling twon of the Mekong Delta, is 2 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. On the way, your tour guide will brief about the life of this region. Upon arrival, hop on a sampan boat that is controled by an experienced local fisherman (or woman) who knows how to dodge away from stretching branches along the canals.
Visit some local workshops where you will learn fascinating manufactory of coconut candy, rice wine and rice papers (which you used to make spring rolls a couple of days ago). Sample some seasonal fruits that are picked right from an orchard. Talk with the garden host and learn about his philosophy of life.
A day trip to the Mekong Delta is possible for somebody who just wants a simple taste of local life. No need to arrange your own transportation or hire tour guide, this easy package suits to all travelers in general without making the trip too touristy.
Day 7Ho Chi Minh City - Danang - Hoi An
Morning fly to Danang and transfer to Hoi An, a lovely town with delights await.
Day 8Hoi An | Delicious Memories
Immerse yourself in the cultural ancient town of Hoi An, your tour guide will lead you to some key sites including Japanese Covered Bridge, Fujian Assembly Hall and Old House of Tan Ky. Have some simple lunch at a local restaurant and step into Chen Family Chapel where you learn about fascinating family history. Later, your private tour guide will take you to Hai Scout Café, where a staff from Red Bridge Restaurant waits for you and he/she will take you for an interesting cooking session outside of the ancient town.
Day 9Hoi An - Danang - Hanoi
Transfer to Danang and take a flight to Hanoi. Check in and free at leisure.
Day 10Hanoi | Hanoi from Different Angle
Hanoi might be one of the most fascinating cities that you've ever known. She is rich in cultures and history yet modest in lifestyles.
Take the chance to know about Vietnam's history and cultures with an interesting city tour that leads you to the Temple of Literature, Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and Hoan Kiem Lake.
In the afternoon, hop on a cyclo in the Old Quarter where you will find hidden gems under your tour guide's help: Hanoi's best egg coffee, weird-looking fruits and all-age-favorite ice creams.
Day 11Hanoi - Halong Bay | Relaxing Cruising in Halong Bay
Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning and have breakfast at a hotel. Later you will be picked up by a shuttle car to Halong Bay. Board the cruise and enjoy the relaxing journey.
Your Halong Bay cruise will take you to Cua Van Fishing Village, Vung Vieng Fishing Village, Me Cung Caves, Virgin Cave, and Surprise Cave, as well as some small islets, such as Flight Cock Islet, Human Head Islet, and Toad Islet etc (subject to different itineraries of different boats).
In the evening, the junk will harbor anchor in a less-crowded area for your sweet dreams under the stars.
Day 12Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hanoi Departure
After breakfast onboard, you will be transferred back to Hanoi. Meet up with your private tour guide again and get to the airport for homebound flight. Have a safe flight home, and we hope to see you again soon!
Asia Highlights handpicked hotels
Asia Highlights chooses hotels with a balanced mixture of traditional style and modern comfort, easy access to everything yet quiet enough for a good night's sleep.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence of TripAdvisor, ranked 20/267.
- Near the Russian Market, swimming pool and stylish rooms.
- Deluxe Room with Balcony, 35sqm, higher floor with balcony.
- TripAdvisor's winner of Certificate of Excellence.
- Colonial style with Cambodian influence, great breakfast and location.
- Superior Room of 30sqm, homey and soft beds.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, ranked 40/457.
- Near the Saigon River, pool and connecting rooms available.
- Premium Deluxe, 30sqm, allows family of 3, higher floor.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, ranked 6/119.
- 10 minutes to walk to ancient town, spa, pool and quiet rooms.
- Deluxe Room Balcony, 30sqm with balcony, extra bed allowed.
- 4.5/5 points by over 600 travelers on TripAdvisor.
- 10 minutes to walk to the Old Quarter, great service and breakfast.
- Deluxe City View Room, 35sqm, extra bed available and city view.
- Run by a time-honored cruise company with many fleets.
- Seamless services from transfer to onboard life.
- Deluxe Cabin, upper deck, new deco and soft beds.
- Seasonal information:No matter for first-timers or seasoned travelers, an adventure to Cambodia and Vietnam is ideally made during October to next February. If you would like to dodge from big crowds, leave Chirstmas and January.
Travelling for great value and experiences, we would suggest late September to October and February.
If the heat and occasional rainfalls are not much a problem for you, you are in for a great deal during the shoulder seasons, namely March to August. During this time, we will arrange a noon break and the pace will be much lossen as for you to restore.
- Visas: Cambodia visa: The easiest way to get visa for Cambodia is do it on arrival. Most nationalities are offered Visa-on-Arrival at international airports of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Fare is USD30 for all nationalities, for a maximum stay of 30 days and extensions are possible.
Vietnam visa: Most nationalities are required to obtain tourist visa for Vietnam ahead of the travel time. Holders of British, German, French, Spanish and Italian passports are exempt from visas for a stay of a maximum of 15 days for all purposes.
Instead of applying for visa on arrival, we would suggest you get your Vietnam visa at least one month ahead of your travel, which can be done either by application at your nearest embassy or online. For more information, please refer to How to Get a Vietnam Visa.
- Is this trip right for me? This tour is designed based on experiences and feedback gathered from our previous clients. They have some certain traits or interests which you can take for reference:
1. Active and open-minded: They are open to all different experiences ranging from walking on the grounds of Killing Fields to boating in the Mekong Delta.
2. Educating insights: Some of them are traveling with young teenagers (from 12 and up) and the perants take this trip as a valuable lesson for the younger generation to learn and grow. And it is also true for adults.
3. Interation with locals: Talking, dining and walking along with people from different cultures, the chance of being a part of the locals' daily life can be a real bliss. Besides, they would love to offer a hand in helping the local communities.
- Meals:Daily breakfast at hotels and a lunch for days with sightseeing are included, so are some dinners as mentioned in the itinerary. For meals that are not included, your tour guides will suggest where and what to eat.
Food in Cambodia and Vietnam is mainly rice-based and you will eat a lot of vegetables, fish, chicken and beef. If you would like to make special arrangements, such as Halal or Kosher food, or none-dairy, please inform your travel advisor at the time of inquiry. We will do our best to accommodate you.
- Transportation: You will have a private car in each destination; our cars are within 5 years of usage and your private drivers will be polite and drive with strong regard for safety. As for your Halong Bay cruise, a shuttle bus from the cruise company will take you to the certain port for boarding. Of course, private transfer between Hanoi and Halong Bay is also available upon request.
Internal flights are operated by Vietnam Airlines, a memeber of SkyTeam and flag carrier of Vietnam. Safe, punctual and good service, make it our go-to choice for your trip, although airfares might look slightly higher compared to other airlines such as JetStar and VietJet Air. All flights include 20kg of check-in luggage plus a 7kg carry-on for each adlut passenger.
- Arrangements Sightseeing, activities and accommodations that are mentioned in this tour you are looking at are just for your inspiration.
If you are concerned with the content at the Killing Fields, make other arrangements; if you would like to pump up to a suite cabin on Halong Bay cruise, you got it; it is always up to you to make the trip just the right way you want. If you are looking for experiences that are not done by others, Discovery your way, Asia Highlights' motto suites you the best.
- Responsible travel: Travel avails you with special experiences. Somehow its impact on the local community can be more beyond imagination and what Asia Highlights wishes to do is lead the impact onto a good path, a path that helps the local people (not only your tour guides) boarden their outlook and the local communities develop.
During your trip, you will visit a local orchard run by a family on the Mekong Delta, talk to the owner and learn how life's been treating them. Some lunches are served at local restaurants that are also training centers for former street kids. Taking baby steps one at a time, we highly appreciate you would like to be part of it (of course, we can make other arrangements if needed).
With that being said, detours to so-called factories or specialty workshops are strictly prohibited. We make sure your tour guides earn enough to support their families without squeezing commissions out of you.
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