From its bustling cities to its ancient culture, Vietnam and Cambodia will thrill you! We start our trip in Cambodia, where we'll explore the largest religious complex in the world. Angkor Wat. Described as a "Hindu-Buddhist" series of temples, it is the setting for sunrise. We'll take a culinary tour of Siem Reap, weaving through the streets in tuk-tuks. We'll also head out to Angkor Thom, the 'Great City,' the most enduring capital city of the Khmer Empire. After Siem Reap, we will fly to Vietnam, where history is around every corner. From the museums to the architecture every turn is better than the last. We'll see the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of modern-day Vietnam. We'll cruise the streets in the back of a vintage Jeep to experience the real Hanoi. A visit to the Vietnamese markets will amaze you. We'll board a cruise ship for two days and one night in Halong Bay. Said to be one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, we'll experience it firsthand from in the water and on a boat. Arise and watch the sunrise over the bay from the privacy of your ship's balcony, a cuppa in hand. The trip will end on a high note in Hoi An, a shopper's paradise. Shop till you drop and find hand-tailored garments, hats, and beautiful home goods to take home.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Organize your flight to Siem Reap International Airport (REP). It's a long flight from most places, so consider arriving a day early to rest, relax, and adjust to the local time zone. (See more in the FAQ below - "Getting There").
We'll meet you at the airport after you clear customs and collect your luggage. Then, we'll whisk you to the hotel, The Treeline Urban Resort. Enjoy free time and settle in, relax at the pool, or book time at the spa. We'll meet for dinner at a local restaurant.
Temples and Street Food
We’ll head out of town after breakfast, making our way to the intricately carved and well-preserved temple of Banteay Srei. We'll stop at the Preah Dark village along the way. This is followed by a visit to the Banteay Samre Temple. It's adorned with impressive scenes from Vishnu and Krishna legends.
After lunch, we’ll head back to Angkor Wat, the largest temple complex in the world. The complex covers 200 hectares and is surrounded by a moat.
Onward to one of the city’s lively open markets, the “Old Market,” where anything and everything is for sale!
We'll take a tuk-tuk in the early evening to experience the local street food for which Siem Reap is known. You’ll sample authentic Khmer dishes in several off-the-beaten-tourist-path settings, from street-side food stalls to busy local markets. Taste street snacks and several of Cambodia's exotic tropical fruits. The market is often the best place to learn about local life and culture.
After breakfast, we'll visit Angkor Thom. This amazing city was built between the late 12th century and the early 13th century by King Jayavarman VII. It consists of 54 towers, the Royal Enclosure, the Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, and the Terrace of the Leper King.
We will also visit the Preah Khan Temple, built by King Jayavarman VII and dedicated to his father. It is a vast monastic complex that once served as a Buddhist monastery and school, training over a thousand monks.
After a relaxing lunch, we'll visit the jungle-covered temple of Ta Prohm, an incredible sight. Here, gigantic creepers embrace the stone foundations, overseen by ancient, enormous fig trees. Remember the setting in Laura Croft Tomb Raider? Later, we'll enjoy the sunset from the top of Phnom Bakeng.
You're on your own for dinner. Perhaps room service and a quiet night in after a busy day.
The morning is yours to enjoy. We'll pick you up in the early afternoon and take you to the airport for your flight to Hanoi.
A guide and driver will welcome you at the Hanoi Airport and take you to your hotel.
You'll have time to settle in at the 5-Star Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel before we revel in the thrill of a cyclo* ride through the Old Quarter, also known as 'Hanoi's 36 streets'. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to thousands of small businesses and shops. It's a great place to explore, with plenty of photo opportunities. Stop to taste a Hanoi special egg coffee in a 100-year-old traditional coffee house.
In the evening, we'll dine at a local restaurant specializing in "Pho."
*A cyclo in Hanoi is a seat for two in front of a bicycle, but don't worry, you won't be driving or the pedaling.
After a filling breakfast, we’ll drive to the nation’s capital mall and start our walking tour. We’ll tour Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the parliament building, the Presidential Palace, and the Communist Party headquarters. This is the place most Vietnamese visit, as Ho Chi Minh is the founder and father of the nation.
Lunch will be at “Bun Cha-Obama” - where Barrack Obama and Anthony Bourdain ate dinner in Hanoi on the late Bourdain’s CNN TV series.
After lunch, we'll return to the hotel to rest and change into comfortable clothes for a late afternoon Jeep tour. Rest up ladies - this will be a fun, late night!
In the afternoon, we’ll cruise the backstreets of Hanoi in our own jeeps. On the first leg of the trip, we'll pass by or stop at all the MUST-SEE sites in Hanoi. We will visit the enchanting French Quarter, the bustling Old Quarter, the romantic lakes, the Hanoi Opera House, and the famous Long Bien Bridge.
During the second part of the trip, you'll see the real Hanoi visiting undiscovered parts of the city with a peek into the backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, random markets, and the black market.
During the final stage, we'll stop at several authentic restaurants, eateries, and food stalls to savor the tastiest of Hanoi dishes, including family heirlooms and secret recipes.
Lastly, we'll make our final stop at Ba Dinh Square in front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum for the traditional end-of-day flag-lowering ceremony.
Halong Bay is said to be one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. The bay consists of thousands of limestone islands that soar from the emerald waters. Wind and water have pounded these islands for millions of years, creating their unusual shapes. With pristine beaches, floating villages, amazing natural caves, and fascinating scenes, Halong and its surroundings are a marvel for first-time travelers to Vietnam.
We'll eat lunch on board while we cruise to the core of the bay, amongst the limestone islands.
We'll kayak through the karsts in the afternoon, breathing the pristine air and wandering by beautiful beaches.
You'll have time to take a dip before we return to the ship.
Tonight, we'll have a sunset party on our cruise as we sail to our overnight anchorage. Dinner and the overnight stay will be on board amongst the islands and under the stars.
Note. The cruise itinerary may differ depending on the tides, boat requirements, and the assigned route.
Wake up early to catch the sunrise over the Bay’s spectacular landscape with a cup of tea or coffee on your balcony.
After breakfast, take a rowing boat tour to visit a natural tunnel and floating village.
Later, we will cruise to another part of the bay o dine alfresco on the boat before cruising back to the harbor.
It's time to leave the ship to make our way to the airport for a short flight to Danang.
After checking in at the 5-star La Siesta Hoi An, the afternoon is yours to explore the resort and refresh in the pool. We'll meet you for dinner at a local restaurant before we return to the resort.
Enjoy breakfast at your leisure. We're heading out for a walking tour to discover Hoi An's key sights. You're about to see the 400-year Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls, the Tan Ky Old House, the central market, and the Hoi An Museum.
Hoi An is a shopper's paradise, and this afternoon, indulge in a luxury shopping experience with clothes tailor-made just for you.
Along the walk, try local specialties, like Cao Lau, Quang noodles, white rose, VAC cake, fried wonton, chicken rice, and more.
Tonight's dinner will be at our hotel in Hoi An, La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa.
After a hearty breakfast, our day starts with an electric car tour of the Hoi An countryside.
You'll visit Tra Que village, famous for growing special herbs and vegetables using traditional techniques and organic fertilizers. Perhaps you'll want to join the locals in their daily farm work. You'll see people working on their farms and have the opportunity to visit homes and learn about local life.
For lunch, we'll have a cooking class and discover local specialties.
Later, we'll board a round bamboo boat and row through the coconut forest in Cam Thanh, a Viet Cong war hideout.
Dinner is at a local restaurant, followed by a relaxing night at the hotel.
Enjoy breakfast and free time before checking out.
The core trip officially ends in Hoi An, Vietnam. You're off to the airport for your flight home. Plan on flying out of Da Nang International Airport to connect to your entry city in Asia on your route home.
Situated along the Siem Reap River, the Treeline Urban Resort is the gateway to the temples and the bustling city of Siem Reap.
Situated in Hanoi Old Quarter, the Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel is in the center of the city bustle.
The sights and sounds
From the hustle and bustle of the big cities, Cambodia and Vietnam are not to be missed! Relax on the Halong Bay while kayaking in the clear waters. Experience the mystical Cambodian ruins covered in vines and tree roots, and let's not forget the food. Wander the streets, savoring local cuisine like Pho and green mango salad.
Single occupancy rooms
All food as indicated above
2 glasses of beer or wine with dinner
English speaking guides for tours and excursions except during leisure time
Private ensuite cabin on cruise in Halong Bay
Entrance fees for mentioned visits
International Airfare from Seim Reap to Hanoi
Visa and stamp fee
Personal expenses including souvenirs, spa tretmants
Other services and meals not indicated above
The trip begins in Siem Reap Cambodia so please fly into the Siem Reap Airport.
The trip officially ends in Hoi An Vietnam. Plan on flying out of Da Nang International Airport in Quang Nam Province. If you are staying for the beach extension in Phu Quoc, plan on flying out of Phu Quoc Airport. The major airports you can fly to from Phu Quoc are Hanoi, Ho Chi Min, Kuala Lumpur, Da Nag, Bangkok, Shanghai. Book yourself on a flight that coincides your return plans.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips. Don't forget your bathing suit or clothes for swimming.
In Vietnam, 70 and sunny! Rainfall is lowest in January but be prepared for sprinkles.
In Cambodia, mid 80's! So much better than the dreary weather we experience in January.