Siem Reap Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 769

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Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 1: Saigon

Welcome to Saigon! Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel where you have the rest of the day at leisure. Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City as it is officially known) is the vibrant, cosmopolitan hub of Vietnam and the original ‘Pearl of the Orient’. In this thriving metropolis, old and new collide. Gleaming sky scrapers, expensive restaurants, bars and designer shops, stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks, ramshackle markets and wandering monks. Saigon is a feast for the senses, fast paced, colourful, loud and utterly mesmerising. Whilst it hurtles head first into the 21st Century, Saigon is a city with a compelling and unforgettable history.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 2: Saigon

This morning you have the day at leisure. In the afternoon take time to explore Saigon city including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 3: Saigon - Can Tho

After breakfast you shall be picked up and transferred to the lush Mekong delta. Visit local orchards, rice noodle factory and you shall visit a local home where you shall learn how to make spring rolls. After that we head to Can Tho, the largest city in the Mekong delta.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 4: Can Tho - Hoi An

After breakfast, cruise some of the narrow and picturesque canals and waterways by small boat. Visit the Cai Rang floating market with its hordes of small vendor boats. Take in the sultry scenery and witness the daily activities of the locals who live along these Mekong canals. After lunch, drive back to Saigon for the short flight to Danang. Transfer to Hoi An for overnight.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 5: Hoi An

Enjoy a walking tour through the narrow lanes of the town, lined with century-old buildings and illuminated at night by hundreds of colourful lanterns. Discover the traditional shop-houses and temples, and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 6: Hoi An

Day at leisure.

A local man in front of an ancient building in Hoi An

Day 7: Hoi An - Hanoi

Today morning you have free at leisure. In the afternoon you shall be transferred to the airport for a flight to Hanoi.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 8: Hanoi

After breakfast we embark on an exciting city tour of Vietnam's capital. Kicking off with a visit to Uncle Ho himself (if open, closed Oct-Nov) before heading across the road to the beautiful Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's iconic House on Stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda. Later on we continue to the Ethnology Museum where we learn about Vietnam's many diverse ethnic groups. This afternoon we visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first 11th century university. Next we head to the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda before driving to the centre of Hanoi. We finish the day with a stroll across the red bridge over Sword Lake to the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 9: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Depart Hanoi in the morning for the scenic three-hour drive through the countryside to Ha Long Bay, a natural wonder with thousands of islands rising out of the water, creating a unique and beautiful landscape. On arrival, embark on one of the vessels for an overnight cruise through the 3,000 limestone islands, many punctuated by caves and grottoes. Savor a delicious Vietnamese buffet lunch as the cruise heads to Bai Tu Long Bay passing the towns of Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets. Take a row boat to visit the Vung Vieng fishing village. Enjoy a range of fantastic recreation or relaxation activities onboard: a cooking demonstration, traditional massage, swimming, kayaking etc. Finish the day with a sumptuous set-menu dinner.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 10: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Start the day with calming Tai Chi on the Sundeck while complimentary tea & coffee are served. Today you shall cruise by beautiful spots like Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet, etc. Explore the Surprise Cave (Sung Sot). A buffet brunch is served on-board. The vessel cruises leisurely back to Ha Long harbor. Transfer back to Hanoi.

The Huc Bridge

Day 11: Hanoi - Siem Reap

Transfer to the airport for a flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by our local guide and transferred to the hotel for check-in. Spend the rest of day free at leisure.

Day 12: Siem Reap

Today after breakfast we will enter the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple and marvel the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and terrace of Leper King. Next, visit Ta Prohm Templeunlike most of the other Angkor temples, Ta Prohm has been left just as it was found. the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. In the afternoon, we visit the famous Angkor Wat, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre—first Hindu, then Buddhist—since its foundation. Enjoy watching the superb view of sunset over Agnkor Wat then travel back to the hotel.

Day 13: Siem Reap

We drive out off Siem Reap for around 36 Km heading to Banteay Srei temple Built at a time when the Khmer Empire was gaining significant power and territory, the temple was constructed by a Brahmin counsellor under a powerful king, Rajendravarman and later under Jayavarman V. On the way back, visit Banteay Samre. In the afternoon, we continue our journey to visit The Roluos Group which is a collection of monuments representing the remains of Hariharalaya, the first major capital of the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire. It has become known as the ‘Roluos Group’ due to its proximity to the modern town of Roluos.

Day 14: Siem Reap

Today we bid you farewell and transfer you to the airport for your onward flight home.