22days Essential Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia

Vietnam, Cambodia

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Overview

Itinerary Summary

By Day Destinations Activities Meals
Day 1 Fly to Hanoi
Day 2 Hanoi City Tour - Night Train to Lao Cai Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 Lao Cai - Sapa - Trek to Lao Chai - Ta Van Breakfast
Day 4 Cat Cat - Sin Chai - Night Train to Hanoi Breakfast
Day 5 Hanoi - Halong Bay - Overnight on Cruise Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Halong Bay - Hanoi Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Hanoi - Fly to Da Nang - Hoi An Breakfast
Day 8 Hoi An - Walking Tour - Basket Boat Tour Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 Hoi An Breakfast
Day 10 Hoi An - Transfer to Hue - City Tour Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11 Hue - Fly to Ho Chi Minh Breakfast
Day 12 HCM City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnel Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 HCM - Cai Be - Sadec - Can Tho Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14 Can Tho - Transfer to Chau Doc - Overnight at hotel in Chau Doc Breakfast
Day 15 Chau Doc - Speedboat to Phnom Penh Breakfast
Day 16 Phnom Penh City Tour Breakfast
Day 17 Phnom Penh – Battambang 290KM, 4HRS Breakfast
Day 18 Battambang - Siem Reap 170KM, 3HRS Breakfast
Day 19 Siem Reap – Angkor Highlight Temples Breakfast
Day 20 Walking Village Tour – Tonle Sap Lake Breakfast
Day 21 Ankgor Outlying Temples Breakfast
Day 22 Siem Reap - Departure Breakfast

Full itinerary

Day 1

Fly to Hanoi

Fly to Hanoi, depend on your time arrival the rest of the day is yours to soaking up the local culture (Early check-in is NOT included and subject to hotel’s availability)

Meals:

Day 2

Hanoi City Tour - Night Train to Lao Cai

Morning, start a sightseeing today includes explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, start a Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and stilt house), the Presidential Palace, the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Temple of Literature; West Lake including the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda; and one of the city’s museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum or Hoa Lo Prison). End the day’s explorations, watch a traditional water puppet show. Then, free shopping at the Old Quarter until transfer station for night train to Lao Cai. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Lao Cai - Sapa - Trek to Lao Chai - Ta Van

The train arrives Lao Cai morning, our guide will pick you up at station and heading to sapa. Upon arrival the hill of Sapa,

Have a breakfast we leave the hotel and start trekking down the valley to the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H'mong village Lao Chai. Black H'mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. After this you continue to Ta Van village  to visit the Zay people. The Zay houses are built of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. Have pinic lunch on the way then keep going to the bottom of Sapa vallay. Jeep back to Sapa in the afternoon.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4

Cat Cat - Sin Chai - Night Train to Hanoi

After breakfast, trek around 10 km to visit two villages of the Black H'mong (Cat Cat and Sin Chai). Visit the waterfall and hydroelectric power station established by the French in Cat Cat village, nice landscapes of green forests and beautiful scenery along the way. Walk back to Sapa. free to visit sapa town, market, church and flower garden in HamRong mountain.

Balance of the day at leisure until transfer to train station for a Night train back to Hanoi. Overnight in a shared 4-berth cabin with A/C

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Overnight on Cruise

The train arrives Hanoi at 5.30AM, meet our driver and transfer to hotel (No check in and breakfast will be sorted out by yourself). 8.20AM, escape the city on a tranquil Overnight cruise through Halong Bay, Vietnam spectacular UNESCO world heritage site. Board a traditional wooden junk and set sail through a scenic panorama of over 2000 towering limestone cliffs draped in dense jungle foliage. Explore the hidden cover by kayak, kick back with a cocktail on board and enjoy fresh seafood delicacies.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Halong Bay - Hanoi

Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk for breakfast then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Halong. Have brunch on board the boat before returning to Halong pier to transfer back to Hanoi 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Hanoi - Fly to Da Nang - Hoi An

Free until transfer to airport for flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival, meet our driver and transfer to hotel in Hoi An for check in. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8

Hoi An - Walking Tour - Basket Boat Tour

After breakfast at hotel, 9.00 cycling to Cam Thanh fishing Village, where you are able to learn something about local fishing industry and its locally cultural life. You will take a rest at a local home with a cup of tea offered by a local host. Our guide will give you a brief about basket boat adventure. You will be told about the safety instruction how to get balanced on the round basket boat, how to paddle in it a proper way. Of course, life jacket will be provided to you and our local people will help you how to navigate it. We will you be confident until you can row it by yourself. Your tour is ended after a light snack at a local family while enjoying a great round basket performance on the river which is awesome that you can see only one time in your lifetime. Afternoon, take a walking tour of charming Hoi An to explore the city by yourself by visit a lovely old-style house, the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese temple, Tailor shops and the market. Overnight in Hoi An

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9

Hoi An

Today, it is time for you to explore art and handicraft galleries, try on clothes tailor-made, relax at the riverside restaurants or take the short journey to the nearby beach. Overnight in Hoi An. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10

Hoi An - Transfer to Hue - City Tour

After check out, take the scenic route to Hue from Hoi An over the Hai Van Pass. Upon arrival Hue, you will board on the boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River heading out for the countryside; stop to visit the charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda). Thien Mu Pagoda is considered the symbol of Hue, and of Buddhism in Vietnam. From here you will rejoin your car and visit King Minh Mang’s Tomb OR King Tu Duc’s Tomb. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to visit Hue Citadel at afternoon and Dong Ba Market before back to hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Hue.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11

Hue - Fly to Ho Chi Minh

Morning flight to Ho Chi Minh, Upon arrival transfer to hotel for check in. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 12

HCM City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnel

Breakfast at hotel, after picked up at 8.00AM, you will take a short sight-seeing: visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the War Remnants Museum.

Afternoon, take a half-day excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km, from Saigon to the Cambodian border, and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today, the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction, giving you a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S.-Vietnam War must have been like. Return Ho Chi Minh late afternoon and free leisure in your own way. 

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13

HCM - Cai Be - Sadec - Can Tho

Be picked up at your hotel at 8h00am and transfer to Cai Be by road. Begin cruising from Phu An Jetty at 10:00 am. From the sampan, observe life as it plays out on shore - people going about their daily activities against picturesque landscapes - while your attentive crew serves tea and seasonal fruit. Before arriving at Sa Dec, stop at various points along the river for a look into some of the cottage industries of the region including a brick factory where everything is made by hand, pass monkey bridges and tiny villages to visit a Cao Dai temple. Arrive in Sa Dec and stroll to the outdoor market. Visit one of the highlights of the charming town, the ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le, a real-life character in the celebrated novel and film “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras. Lunch is served on board while cruising towards Can Tho along a narrow canal teeming with life. Explore the countryside surroundings by local rowboat. Your last stopover before sunset is at an ancient house (a “Nha Co” in Vietnamese), dating back to the 19th century. The owner will welcome you and a candlelit dinner is served in this authentic countryside setting. After dinner return on board while the Song Xanh continues its cruise towards the Hau River. Overnight on board.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14

Can Tho - Transfer to Chau Doc - Overnight at hotel in Chau Doc

Wake up early at 6:00 am for a visit to the famous Cai Rang Floating Market which operates daily starting from 5:00 am. Breakfast is served on board while the Song Xanh navigates towards the market among local barges loaded down with fruits and vegetables from the Delta, making for some stunning photos. Continue cruising towards Victoria Can Tho and disembark at the hotel’s private jetty. After disembaking, get on a private car & heading to Chau Doc. Upon arrival, free visiting this area and overnight in Chau Doc. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 15

Chau Doc - Speedboat to Phnom Penh

Our driver will pick you up at hotel & transfer to Con Tien floating market - Tran Hung Dao Street for boarding a speedboat to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival, meet our tour guide with driver and then transfer to hotel for check-in. Free your own leisure time and stay overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 16

Phnom Penh City Tour

Set out on a city tour to visit the Royal Place built in 1866 by King Norodom; Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5,000 silver tiles and located within the Royal Palace compound, and visit Tuol Sleng Museum, a reminder of the Khmer Rouge regime. 

The peaceful stretch of green fields of Cheung Ek may not indicate what kinds of horrors have taken place there. Situated 17km from Phnom Penh town, Cheung Ek was made famous by the movie “The Killing Fields”. Nowadays, a large memorial has been built to commemorate the 17,000 victims who died here under the reign of Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot. The remnants inside the memorial and the mass graves that dot the area remind you of the suffering of the victims. This journey into Cambodia’s past will provide you with a background on the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime. It will also give you an appreciation of the struggle that Cambodian people have faced and their tremendous courage to move on and rebuild their nation.

Continue to visit the Russian market and end the trip with a visit of the Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh’s namesake, from where you can enjoy views over the tree-lined avenues of Phnom Penh during sunset.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 17

Phnom Penh – Battambang 290KM, 4HRS

Today we have nearly five hour drive to Battambang. Leave the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh behind as you head north to Kampong Luong which is a silversmith village. Observe silversmiths creating ornate and fashionable silver objects. Learn how the community makes pottery in the traditional way and observe how sugar is collected from the sugar palm trees. Let your guide assist you with translating if you are interested to learn more about village life. 

Transfer onwards to Battambang and check into your hotel upon arrival late afternoon. Lunch is at the hotel (own account). 

Enjoy the hotel facility and relax until taken to experience the best element of Battamang. Enjoy bamboo train ride viewing the real countryside landscape and observe the daily activities of the indigenous people. 

End of the day with a visit to Phnom Sampeau, which is a massive limestone outcrop that is dissected by a number of caves some of which are more accessible than others. Some caves contain unexpected reminders of Cambodia’s turbulent history. Every evening at nightfall, thousands of bats make their way out of caves in the hillside to feed before returning at dawn. This natural phenomenon really is a "must see" for the visitor.

Tonight you are recommended to visit Lotus Bar and Gallery or Bric-a-Brac for a glass of wine following by the dinner at Jaan Bai restaurant (own account). The menu was created by a Michelin Star chef who resides in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 18

Battambang - Siem Reap 170KM, 3HRS

Spend your day exploring the countryside around Battambang opt on a bicycle visiting Cambodian families who produce traditional products (such as fermented fish paste, rice paper, dried bananas, bamboo sticky rice, and rice wine), made in the same way they have been for generations. You will learn first-hand about everyday life in rural communities which make up over 70% of Cambodia’s population. Lunch is in town (own arrangement).

Continue after lunch with a transfer to Siem Reap, located about 2.5 hour drive away.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 19

Siem Reap – Angkor Highlight Temples

Beat the crowd early morning by 7 am; visit the picturesque Ta Prohm that had nearly disappeared into the jungle and remains overgrown, an oddly haunting and exotic scene. The magnificent roots of a tree, pushing between the huge stone blocks of the temple in a sort of embrace, evoke feelings that you may remember forever. And continue to visit the intricately carved Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat - one of the world’s most impressive ruins.  The temple still owns fine Apsara carvings in Angkorian era art. 

Lunch is on own account.

Afternoon, explore the mysterious Royal city Angkor Thom & Bayon. Its 54-tower temple is an awesome sight. At first glance it seems a shapeless mass of stone, but further scrutiny reveals a face, and then another and another one, until suddenly you are engulfed by the silent, heavy, enigmatic and silent gaze through half-closed eyes, staring out from a primitive and remote time. Further, visit the surroundings of the complex including the Baphuon, Elephant Terrace, Lepper King Terrace and Royal Place area.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 20

Walking Village Tour – Tonle Sap Lake

Morning transfer out of the Siem Reap town to a beautiful village in the countryside, you will start to walk through the village houses, witnessing very nice and different activities from the locals for their daily life. Just as some examples: how the locals wash vehicles, selling gasoline in whiskey bottles or the small shops where the locals sell food on the side of small streets. 

Enjoy a view of this wonderful area and interact with very kindly people in the village. Leisurely walk through the rice paddies and see how this family doing daily work such as making rice wine, handicraft works meanwhile a member of the family will offer you a fresh coconut and some homemade rice wine to taste. 

Hop in your van for driving onward to the next destination, a floating community, arrive at the quay for embarking on a motorized boat to visit floating houses village offering an incredible natural phenomenon of making their lives from the lake in a respectful and meaningful way. This is a great chance to witness one of Cambodia and the world’s most amazing natural wonders. Drive back to Siem Reap. (Note***floating community is recommended from September to February)

At your choice, Kayaking is available on request on Tonle Sap Lake at additional cost.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 21

Ankgor Outlying Temples

7am, drive to the rural outskirt 35km from Angkor area to visit the smallest, but magnificent, Banteay Srei built in the 10th Century and dedicated to Shiva. The temple was the birthplace of Khmer classical style architecture and the bas-relief work is the best example of Khmer classical art remaining. The pink sandstone structure bears a series of striking and beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. Khmers say the temple must have been carved by women for the details are too fine for the hands of a man. Drive on to Chau Srei Vibol which is a small charming temple on top of a hill which hardly sees any visitors - very few non-locals have heard of it, and it is set just far enough away from the main tourist routes. 

Lunch is hosted at the local family, a great chance to chat with the survivor former village chief during Khmer Rouge regime. 

Continue to the ancient Khmer civilization site of Hariharalaya which flourished in the late 9th and earlier 10th centuries. These are the earliest temples in the Angkor area and are referred to the Rolous group we visit the main one called Bakhong temple.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 22

Siem Reap - Departure

Breakfast at hotel, meet the driver and transfer to airport (without guide) for your departure flight. Tour ENDs!

Meals: Breakfast

Trip Notes

Inclusions

  • All transfer and quality air-conditioned vehicles
  • Accommodation at 3, 4, 5 star Hotel/ Cruise selected including daily breakfast with Double/twin room 
  • Tours with local English Speaking Guide/ Other language is available at your request 
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (Breakfast: B ; Lunch: L ; Dinner: D)
  • Airport transfer at destination
  • Cooking demonstration
  • Cycling, Kayaking
  • Charter cruise mekong delta 
  • Speedboat Phnom Penh
  • Sunset party/ welcome drink
  • Boat trip in Mekong delta
  • Entrance fee for all destinations as Tour Itinerary indicated
  • Bottle of water available on coach ( 2 bottle/pax/day)

Exclusions

  • Domestic & International airfare 
  • Visa Letter & Stamping Fee
  • Drinks and other meals do not indicate in the program
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses (telephone, shopping...)
  • Tipping/ Gratuities
  • Single Supplement

Accommodation

Destinations 3 star 4 star 5 star
Halong Bay

Swan Cruise

Huong Hai Sealife Cruise

Dragon Legend Cruise

Hoi An

Calla Villa

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort

Palm Garden Resort

Hue

Serene Palace Hotel

Eldora Hotel

La Residence Hue

Sapa

Sapa Unique Hotel

BB Hotel Sapa

Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa

Can Tho

Anh Dao Mekong 2 Hotel

West Hotel

Vicroria Can Tho Resort

Siem Reap

Sokha Roth Hotel

Tara Angkor Hotel

Sokha Angkor Resort

Battambang

Classy hotel

Battambang Resort

Battambang Resort

Hanoi

Gondola Hotel

Hanoi Pearl Hotel

Apricot Hotel

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