Vietnam and the Temples of Angkor

Siem Reap
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Journey from the beauty of Halong Bay to a spine-tingling encounter with the abandoned capital of Angkor Thom, left to ruin in the depths of the dense Cambodian jungle and revealing stories of a once-powerful Khmer empire whose ancient temples, tombs and shrines were left to rest for centuries.

Departure dates

From 11/05/2024 to 29/12/2024

What's included

Highlights.
3 Dinner (D)12 Breakfast (B)3 Lunch (L)1 Be My Guest (BMG)1 Farewell Dinner (FD)Hue: Enjoy lunch at one of the great remaining garden houses of Hue where you will gain insight into the lives of a local family and admire their fascinating collection of artifacts and mementos from the days of the former Royal Empire.
Hanoi: Visit Ho Chi Minh's house in Hanoi.
Hoi An: Visit the colourful market of Hoi An.
Hoi An: Join a Lantern Making Workshop or a Fishing Life Tour to learn about the lives of the local fishermen and have a go at casting your own fishing net.
Ho Chi Minh City: Visit the home of the former American Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s.
Hanoi: Travel past the colourful shopfronts and street food vendors of Hanoi's Old Quarter on a cyclo tour.
Hanoi: On a sightseeing tour of the city of Hanoi, see the imposing Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature.
Ha Long Bay: Start your day on beautiful Ha Long Bay with a yoga class lead by a Local Specialist.
Hoi An: Learn about the daily work routines of local farmers at Thanh Dong Organic Village.
: Travel by boat to the Red Bridge Cooking School to learn about the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food.
Hue: See Hue by land and water today.
Enjoy a cyclo tour past the Imperial Citadel and Thien Mu Pagoda before boarding a local dragon boat.
Ho Chi Minh City: Enjoy the sights of the French colonial-era buildings and even a former CIA residential block as you partake in a walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City.
My Tho: Cruise along the canals of My Tho in a small sampan boat during your visit to this market town.
My Tho: After a stroll through the streets of My Tho, meet a local family in their home.
Hear stories from your Local Specialist about surviving the Khmer Rouge and learn about the family's handicraft, making paper.
Ho Chi Minh City: Gain insight into a difficult period of Vietnam's history as you join a Vet Cong veteran for a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels, developped to protect Viet Cong guerillas.
Angkor Wat: Join your Local Specialist and immerse yourself in the stories of the celestial nymphs and mystical serpents.
Angkor Wat: Discover the Banteay Srei Temple, also known as the "Citadel of Women" where you can admire delicate 10th-century carvings.
Wat Damnak: Experience a private blessing with a Monk where a sacred thread is tied around your wrists to protect you against evil spirits.
Angkor Thom: Enjoy a visit to Angor Thom and admire the iconic sites of the Terrace of Elephants, the Royal Enclosure and the Temple of Bayon.
Ho Chi Minh City: Have lunch at KOTO restaurant, which supports those affected by poverty to provide opportunities and a vocational education in the hospitality sector.
Siem Reap: Visit Artisans d'Angkor, where our visit contributes to creating job opportunities for disadvantaged rural youths and at Peak Sneng village, meeting local villagers and discovering some traditional Cambodian crafts.
: Explore Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap: Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, the Imperial Citadel in Hue, the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels, Siem Reap Old Town Market, the temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Wat Damnak and Ta Prohm: View Ho Chi Minh's House in Hanoi and the Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City.
Halong Bay: Stay on a traditional style Vietnamese Junk boat for an overnight cruise in Halong Bay.
: An expert Travel Director and professional Driver: Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted: All porterage and restaurant gratuities: All hotel tips, charges and local taxes: Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals: Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras: Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing: Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys): Optional Experiences and free time: On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilised.
: Flights from Hanoi to Danang, Hue to Ho Chi Minh City and Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap.
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An expert Travel Director and professional DriverCherry-picked hotels, all tried and trustedAll porterage and restaurant gratuitiesAll hotel tips, charges and local taxesBreakfast daily and up to half of your evening mealsMust-see sightseeing and surprise extrasAudio headsets for flexible sightseeingLuxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)Optional Experiences and free timeOn occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilised.
Flights from Hanoi to Danang, Hue to Ho Chi Minh City and Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap.
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Itinerary / more information

  • Day 1 Relish the warm embrace of Vietnam and her welcoming people, who will touch you with their humility and entrepreneurial spirit throughout your journey across this intoxicating land. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Day 2 This morning is dedicated to the revolutionary leader who fanned the flames of Vietnam's independence. We begin our day with a visit to the final resting place of "Uncle Ho", the imposing Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. A short walk from here, we'll find Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, where we'll Dive Into Culture exploring the grounds surrounding the humble abode of Vietnam's most famous son. We'll continue to the Temple of Literature, the first university for the sons of Mandarins, to gain insights into Hanoian culture. We'll embark on a cyclo tour, weaving through the lively Old Quarter past colourful shopfronts and street food vendors. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or consider joining one of our recommended Optional Experiences to watch a show that uses the ancient art of water puppetry to story-tell the daily lives of Vietnamese people.
  • Day 3 We leave the busy streets of Hanoi behind, bound for the serenity of Halong Bay where we'll board a traditional-style Vietnamese Junk boat. The limestone karsts and tropical islets rising up from the emerald waters provide an ethereal backdrop for our leisurely cruise. Once welcomed aboard, enjoy lunch whilst cruising one of the New Seven Natural Wonders. Visit Trung Trang cave on Cat Ba Island, the cave is 300m long through the mountains, possessing a mysterious beauty due to the geological tectonics in million years along with many historical vestiges and stalactites. Followed, weather permitting, by a stop at the quiet Tra Bau beach in Lan Ha Bay with its smooth white sand. You may choose to relax or take a nice swim in the green, emerald waters. We return to our Junk boat for a cooking class with the chef and enjoy a mesmerising sunset on the top deck before dinner and a peaceful overnight stay in this UNESCO-listed natural wonder.
  • Day 4 It is a perfect time to refresh and indulge yourself in the peaceful beauty of the bay with a Tai Chi session. After breakfast discover the hidden charm of the Ao Ech area by kayak. There will be time to relax on the sundeck and take in the last views of the bays landscape, whilst cruising back to the Wharf before your drive to Hanoi Airport to catch your flight to Danang. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An where you have the evening at leisure.
  • Day 5 Dive Into Culture this morning, embarking on a walking tour around the ancient town of Hoi An. Embrace its charm of yesteryear - the narrow lanes, colourful marketplaces and ancient temples providing insights into the Vietnam of old. See the old merchant houses and 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, before visiting Thanh Dong Organic Village where you'll spend some time helping local farmers and learning about their daily working routines. Kick back and enjoy a relaxing foot massage that will set the pace for the rest of the day and evening at leisure.
  • Day 6 Enjoy some free time this morning to explore Hoi An further or simply relax at your hotel. Your choice of activities this afternoon could see you learn how to craft your own colourful lantern or gain insights into life as a local fisherman (subject to weather conditions). Create a work of art to bring your home luck and happiness, or cast your net wide for the catch of the day - the choice is yours.
  • Day 7 The healthy flavours of Vietnamese cuisine take centre stage as we travel by boat to the Red Bridge Cooking School to learn about the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. We'll have an opportunity to savour the dishes we've prepared for lunch before returning to Hoi An. This afternoon, our journey takes us over Hai Van Pass en route to Red Beach, where the American Marines first landed in Vietnam during the decades-long war. We continue to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, for our overnight stay.
  • Day 8 We'll navigate the busy streets of Hue on the back of a cyclo en route to the UNESCO-listed Imperial Citadel, once home to Nguyen emperors. From here, we drive to Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's best-preserved religious monument. Boarding a local dragon boat next, we cruise along the Perfume River to the house of the former Princess Ngoc Son where we'll Connect With Locals and meet a family member for a Be My Guest lunch to gain a glimpse of their life in this historic house. The afternoon is ours to enjoy at leisure or consider joining one of our Optional Experiences.
  • Day 9 A short flight this morning brings you to Ho Chi Minh City, where you'll enjoy a the iconic sights of Ho Chi Minh revealed on a walking tour of Dong Khoi Street. See the Opera House and the former Hotel de Ville. Then, wander up to Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, designed by the renowned Gustave Eiffel. Continue to the War Remnants Museum where you'll have a vivid glimpse of the war through the eyes of the locals. Your final stop is Ben Thanh market, one of the earliest surviving structures in old Saigon. Finish with dinner at KOTO restaurant. Your MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience visit supports those affected by poverty to provide opportunities and a vocational education in the hospitality sector.
  • Day 10 The mighty Mekong beckons today, as we take a day trip to Cai Be town, in the heart of the Mekong Delta. We'll transfer to a charming traditional boat and where we cruise and explore the bustling riverbanks. Visit a beautifully preserved ancient house dating back to the 19th century that has been passed down through many generations of the family. Enjoy a leisurely sampan ride through the narrow canals. topping for a home hosted lunch of delicious Mekong Delta specialities. Before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for an evening at leisure.
  • Day 11 We'll delve into Vietnam's turbulent history from the previous century with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels built to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. We'll explore the underground compounds with a VC veteran and gain an understanding of the history of the tunnel, which once served as living quarters and housed hospitals, food and weapons caches. Returning to Ho Chi Minh City by private speedboat, we'll enjoy some free time this afternoon. Later, we'll Dive Into Culture during a visit to the home of the former American Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s, Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, followed by a Farewell Dinner.
  • Day 12 Transfer to the airport for the short international flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia. On arrival you will meet your local Cambodian Travel Director, the rest of the day is at leisure.
  • Day 13 Today, we venture deep into the Cambodian jungle, through a pyramid-shaped gateway into an ancient world. Serene stone faces watch over us as we cross the causeway suspended over a moat into the spiritual heart of the ancient lost city of Angkor. A Local Specialist and renowned Khmer scholar brings to life the stories behind the intricate carvings and murals of celestial nymphs and mythical serpents along the abandoned hallways of Angkor Wat. Our next stop are the terracotta-hued walls of Banteay Srei Temple - the "Citadel of Women" dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. We'll have time to admire the 10th century carvings of women, said to have been too delicate to have been carved by a man, hence its name. We'll return to Siem Reap for some free time and this afternoon embark on a guided walking tour of the Old Town. We'll witness the revival of Khmer arts and crafts and help support the lives of rural youths during our visit to Artisans d'Angkor, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience. Later we'll visit Wat Damnak and participate in a private blessing ceremony during which a sacred thread will be tied around our wrists to protect against evil spirits. Our final stop today is to the labyrinthine Old Market, where the locals spend their early mornings shopping for fresh fruit, vegetables and spices. Wander past the busy stalls and smell freshly baked baguettes, a remnant of the country's French heritage.
  • Day 14 Our intimate encounter with a lost empire continues today, as we uncover other iconic sites of the ancient abandoned city of Angkor that have been devoured by the Cambodian jungle. We explore its ancient ruins in the company of saffron-clad monks and monkeys that clamber up and over the roots of centuries-old trees that have carved their way deep into the Great City's walls. Our first stop today is a visit to the fortified Angkor Thom, where we'll see such iconic sites as the Terrace of Elephants, the Royal Enclosure and the Temple of Bayon with its giant smiling faces of Buddha. We venture underneath the dense tree canopy to the crumbling, moss-covered ruins of the Buddhist temple of Ta Prohm, which featured as the location for the film 'Tomb Raider', exploring its towers courtyards and corridors to uncover the intricate stone reliefs that are shielded by the surrounding foliage. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience to learn the secrets of Khmer cuisine or our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) lunch experience at SPOONS Caf?.
  • Day 15 We begin the day in the company of local Khmer villagers with a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience walk through the village to see how they spend their day-to-day lives. We'll Dive Into Culture, gaining insights into their time-honored craft traditions, such as weaving Cambodia's national hats made from palm leaves, or folding Lotus flowers into delicate works of art. After the rest of the day at leisure, this evening to say farewell to those not continuing on to Phnom Penh tomorrow, we'll join our Travel Director and fellow expeditioners for a Farewell Dinner with Apsara dance show.
  • Day 16 Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
  • Prices quoted valid for sale until 27 April 2024 unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
  • Price is per person and subject to availability. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
  • Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
  • Local payments, "trip kittys" or food funds may apply and may be payable direct to the supplier on arrival or to your travel agent prior to your departure. Where applicable, these payments are included in the total price quoted.
  • Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
  • Additional conditions and travel restrictions may apply. Please enquire for further details.
  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies and government charges current at time of publication.
  • Additional levies, government charges and other applicable fees may apply and are beyond our control.
  • Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.
  • Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.
  • Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or Bpay.
  • These prices are a guide to the best price. Prices are correct as at 22 April 2024 and are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases. Please enquire for further details.

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