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Exploring Vietnam and Cambodia is the best way to step into the authentic Indochina with a kaleidoscopic fusion of cultures, cuisines, landscapes and religions in the mysterious destinations.
Day 1: Arrive Hanoi (-/-/-)
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B/-/-)
Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau (B/-/-)
Day 4: Mai Chau – Hanoi (B/-/-)
Day 5: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay (B/L/D)
Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Siem Reap (B/L/-)
Day 7: Siem Reap - Angkor - Siem Reap (B/-/-)
Day 8: Siem Reap – Battambang (B/-/-)
Day 9: Battambang (B/-/-)
Day 10: Battambang - Phnom Penh (B/-/-)
Day 11: Phnom Penh (B/-/-)
Day 12: Phnom Penh – Kampot (B/-/-)
Day 13: Kampot – Sihanoukville (B/-/-)
Day 14: Sihanoukville (B/-/-)
Day 15: Sihanoukville – Departure (B/-/-)
Upon arrival at Hanoi airport you will be welcomed to Vietnam by your private English speaking guide, and then transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, the trip will be followed by one – hour cyclo tour through the busy Old Quarter where you can see peddlers are selling wares as if they have done that for centuries! In front of the peaceful Hoan Kiem Lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance at the end of the day. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, our guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and begin the full day city tour with Ho Chi Minh‟s Mausoleum and “House on stilt” at the same area with the Presidential Palace and the famous One Pillar Pagoda. We also make a visit to the Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam, which is now dedicated to Confucian worship and “Hanoi Hilton” –a nick name given by US pilots during the war
Then continue to the tour with a visit to the 900 years old Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s principal Confucian sanctuary and its historical centre of learning. Made up of five courtyards, this is one of the few remnants of the original city.
Depart for Hanoi after breakfast for the scenic drive to Mai Chau taking around three hours passing fields of tapioca, sugar and rice paddies. Arrive in Mai Chau in time for lunch on the terrace of the Lodge overlooking the rice paddies. In the afternoon, take a stroll through local villages and evergreen rice paddies. This nature work out will allow you to experience all that is going on in the fields as you pass by – from buffaloes ploughing to locals planting or harvesting the latest rice crop and overnight in Mai Chau.
After breakfast take a cycling tour around the valley floor; an excellent workout in nature and a great way to explore the Mai Chau area. Return get back to enjoy hearty lunch before departure. After lunch, we will leave Mai Chau for Hanoi, a journey of approximately 3 hours and overnight in Hanoi.
This morning drive along the Red River delta to the coast and the Gulf of Tonkin, where the waters of Halong Bay are found. Board the cruise in time for lunch, and set sail across the bay. All activities arranged by the cruise are on a shared basis. After lunch take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay. There will also be the opportunity for swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck. In the late afternoon there will be an excursion to a local fishing village, and a water tunnel. Return to the boat in time for a pre-dinner drink as the sun is setting.
After morning activities in Halong Bay, the cruise disembarks and depart for Hanoi. En route you will stop off at the Phu Lang ‘ceramics village’ where the villagers have been practicing this traditional craft for generations. Continue to Hanoi airport in time to catch your onward flight to Cambodia. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Wake up early to enjoy the best time in Angkor Wat, when the light is good and it is relatively quiet. Angkor Wat is visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking. It is a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five beehive-like towers rising 65 metres from ground level.
Angkor Thom (Big Angkor) is a walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire. After Jayavarman VII recaptured the badly damaged Angkorian capital from the Cham invaders in 1181, he began a massive building campaign across the empire, constructing Angkor Thom as his new capital city.
Continue to the Temple of Ta Phrom. This fairly large temple is hugely atmospheric due to the fact that it has been left untouched rather than being restored. The jungle has reclaimed the temple, with huge tree trunks and vines snaking around the centuries-old stone work. Here you can get a feeling of how the first European explorers would have found the ruins.
This morning drive to the pier for the boat trip on the Tonle Sap to Battambang. Crossing the lake before travelling up river and enjoy views of the Cambodian landscape and the daily life along the river.
After checking in to your hotel transfer to a local village for a ride on the Bamboo Train. The train comprises of a simple bamboo platform on 4 wheels with a small motor, and was created by local villagers to facilitate the transportation of goods. Travel 8km on the train to the next village through beautiful landscape and rice paddies. On arrival at the village visit a workshop specializing in wooden sculpture.
After an early breakfast this morning you will be met by your guide and taken to the Kinyei Cafe in Battambang’s colonial quarter for a coffee and briefing from your cycling guide. Set off on a half day bicycle tour of Battambang and the surrounding countryside that will offer an insight into the traditional livelihoods of rural Cambodians.
After lunch travel to the hilltop temple of Wat Banan. The winding road follows the Sangker River and passes by many traditional wooden homes, offering an authentic glimpse of rural Cambodia. Arriving at the temple, we ascend to the summit and are rewarded with striking views of the surrounding plains. There are five towers here, leading some ambitious Battambang residents to claim it may have been the inspiration behind Angkor Wat.
Continue to Phnom Sampeau, a sacred mountain dotted with interesting pagodas and stupas. There is also a moving memorial to Khmer Rouge victims who were thrown into one of the many caves that pepper this holy mountain.
After hearty breakfast, leave Battambang to Phnom Penh. En route to Phnom Penh visit a village specializing in pottery near Kampong Chhnang. Nearer Phnom Penh visit Udong, capital of the Khmer kingdom between 1618 and 1866. Today Udong consists of a collection temples and stupas containing ashes of several kings, and precious Buddha relics.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
After breakfast at the hotel, our driver and tour guide will pick you up and start your tour of Cambodia’s capital at the stunning Royal Palace complex, home to the Cambodian royal family and a symbol of the nation. Continue to the Silver Pagoda, named after the 5000 silver tiles covering the floor.
Leave the Royal Palace and continue to the nearby National Museum, home to the world’s finest collection of sculpture from the Angkor period.
You will then have the option to learn of the Khmer Rouge’s horrific crimes at Tuol Sleng, a former high school that the Khmer Rouge turned into a central for interrogation, torture and death. Finish your tour at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and overnight in Phnom Penh.
This morning, depart the capital for the journey to the riverside town of Kampot with optional sightseeing en route. The first stop can be made at Tonle Bati, to visit a series of temples including Prasat Neag Khmao, dating from the 10th Century. Continue to Phnom Chisor for spectacular view over the surrounding plains from the 11th century brahmanic temple. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Takeo and take a speedboat to Phnom Da Hill to explore caves with shrines carved into the walls, a pre-Angkorian tower and an Indian-style sandstone temple like no other in Cambodia.
Depart for Kampot and travel further along the coast to the resort town of Sihanoukville, a journey of approximately 1-2 hours and overnight in Sihanoukville.
Days at leisure to relax on the beach. You may want to boo a day trip by boat to the idyllic nearby island of Koh Rong in the Ream National Park.
Depending on departure time, spend time for sightseeing or find clothes, souvenirs, jewelry, and food. Either you stay at your leisure in hotel until transfer to airport after any excursions for onward flights.
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