Discover the spectacular sights, delectable cuisine and rich history of Vietnam and Cambodia, on an unforgettable journey from Hanoi and the limestone peaks of Halong Bay, to Siem Reap and the magnificent temples of Angkor. Visiting enchanting Hoi An, imperial Hue, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong en route.
Saturday. Welcome to Hanoi! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. Free time to explore.
For those able to arrive very early today or the day prior, why not get off the beaten track and explore Hanoi with us on our optional Back Streets of Hanoi add-on which explores the quaint districts of Cho Buoi, Hoang Hoa Tham and Vinh Phuc, and also includes an exhilarating local experience - riding pillion, on taxi-motorbikes through a maze of tiny streets and along the shore of beautiful Ho Tay Lake.
Hanoi – Halong Bay. Take a moment to picture in your mind some two thousand rugged karst islands dappled with lush vegetation seeming to float on top of pristine emerald coloured waters and you have the natural wonder that is Halong Bay. This morning a scenic drive will take us to this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will enjoy a junk boat cruise.
Based on traditional designs, these wonderful vessels combine oriental style with modern luxury. Soak up the panoramic views from the sundeck as the boat gently plies its course, this afternoon we will visit the spectacular Tien Ong Cave which was recently opened to the public in 2010, with its stunning stalagmites and stalactites.
Later this evening back on board, watch a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before settling down for a sumptuous seafood dinner.
Overnight: Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Floating villages and cyclo rides
Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Early birds can start the day with a relaxing Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage - the perfect way to start the day. Before heading back to port we'll explore by kayak the Floating Village of Cua Van, which is home to generations of fishing families. Here we’ll see the traditional and colourful floating wooden houses and the locals going about their daily lives.
On arrival back into Hanoi mid-afternoon we’ll explore the maze of streets in the French Quarter on our very only cyclo (rickshaws), taking in highlights such as the Opera house and Ly Thai To park. We then swap our wheels for a leisurely walk through ‘36 streets of the old quarter’, named after the numerous guilds that once set up shop on a particular street from silk tailors to traditional medicine shops.
Later this evening there's a chance to freshen up before boarding the train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue. An option to fly from Hanoi to Hue is also available.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Upon arrival to Hue we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin.
After we drive into the countryside to see the elaborate mausoleums of the Nguyen kings. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River or enjoy some retail therapy at the ever lively Dong Ba Market, a minute's walk from our hotel.
Overnight: Hue | Breakfast, Lunch
Road of the Ocean Clouds
Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other, to Hoi An. En route we stop for a walk along My Khe beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline which was nicknamed 'China Beach' by the Americans during the war and famously featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’.Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south along the coast to Hoi An.
Compact Hoi An with its cobbled streets, tiny shop houses and laid back restaurants and bars is a perfect place to relax a while. On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
During your stay in Hoi An, we offer a unique optional Hoi An Street Eats add-on, which explores the city’s most popular local haunts. Cruise the city the way the locals do, by vintage Vespa and enjoy lots of tasty Vietnamese Cuisine. Book early with your reservation consultant, as numbers are limited.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
Tra Que village & free time
On a bicycle ride to the local village of Tra Que we discover age old farming practises and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Day 7 is free for you to independently explore Hoi An. Relax by the beach or pool, or take a day trip to the Cham Kingdom site at My Son or My Lai - where the massacre of civilians took place at the hands of Charlie Company during the Vietnam War.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Hoi An - Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and drive to the Mekong Delta. The fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as its fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.
Overnight: Can Tho | Breakfast, Lunch
Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City. Early this morning we visit the lively Cai Rang floating market and drive to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon). On our walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City we see the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office before visiting the sobering War Remnants Museum.
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City | Breakfast
Chu Chi Tunnels, Phnom Penh
Ho Chi Minh City - Phnom Penh. This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a sprawling underground network of tunnels and living quarters used by the Viet Cong during the war. Then we drive to the Cambodian border (crossing at Moc Bai/Bavet) and continue on to the capital of Phnom Penh. Today the nation’s capital offers a bustling mix of Asia’s past and present, a city quickly taking its place amongst the trendy capitals of the region with superb restaurants and a number of attractions.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we’ll enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh starting at the National Museum of Fine Arts, a graceful terracotta building of traditional design housing the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. We continue with the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, famed for its lavish decorations – the floors are paved with silver tiles and statues of Buddha are encrusted with thousands of diamonds.
We later come face to face with the horrors of the Pol Pot regime as we visit Toul Sleng (Security Prison - S21), a school that was gruesomely transformed into a torture chamber under the Khmer Rouge, and visit the Killing Fields where over 10,000 people were executed.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast
Siem Reap & Angkor Wat
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap. Hotel check out and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Siem Reap. After time to freshen up we visit the Angkor National Museum - a fascinating archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian artifacts and Khmer civilisation, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire's Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century.
This afternoon we explore incredible and iconic Angkor Wat, easily the most famous and best-preserved of all the temples within the Angkor complex. It is a massive three-tiered structure crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. Believed to be the largest religious building in the world, Angkor Wat contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. Spend the evening at leisure. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants in the compact city centre which is easily navigated on foot.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
Angkor Thom & NGO circus project
Early this morning opt to see Angkor Wat bathed in the spectacular golden light of sunrise. Later we drive out to see the well-preserved temples of Banteay Srei, stopping at an exotic butterfly sanctuary and the a village of Preak Dak along the way. At Preak Dak we'll have the opportunity to plant mango or jack fruit saplings as part of our tree planting initiative, operated in conjunction with this community.
Arriving at Banteay Srei we'll see some of the finest stone carvings in the world, dedicated to Shiva. The temples contains lavishly decorated libraries and stunning reliefs of divinities. This afternoon we return to the Angkor Temple Complex to explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom which was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire and is home to the fascinating Bayon Temple, the Baphuon royal enclosure and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King. The last temple we visit is Tra Prohm, swallowed by the jungle, vast muscular roots envelop the crumbling towers and walls of the temple whilst the trees’ foliage dapples it in shade.
This evening you're guaranteed to be entertained watching the incredible Phare Cambodian Circus. The Phare NGO circus project trains street kids to become very talented circus artists and the popular show blends circus skills with interpretations of modern life and issues in Cambodian society.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
Tonle Sap Lake
This morning we drive to Kampong Phluk, a cluster of three villages of stilt house built within the floodplain of Tonle Sap lake about 16 km southeast of Siem Reap. We'll see houses built on soaring stilts which hover over the Tonle Sap Lake whilst nearby, the petrified trees of a flooded forest are revealed whenever the water level drops. After a boat trip on the lake and lunch, we return to Siem Reap where the afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure. Perhaps pick up some last minute souvenirs at the central market or head down to lively Pub Street.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast, Lunch
Saturday. Today marks the end of our memorable adventure. Spend the morning at leisure before hotel check out and your departure transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Bhaya Classic I Junk Boat, Halong Bay
This premier cruise boat offers 18 well appointed cabins with en suite amenities. Cabins are contemporary in design, whilst the finer touches have a distinct oriental influence. All cabins feature large windows creating a bright and airy atmosphere as well as scenic views. Facilities and services onboard include a dining room and bar, a sunbathing area on-deck, masseur and small library.
Syrena Junk Boat, Halong Bay
A tradition hand crafted boat, the Syrena Junk Boat offers superb en suite air conditioned cabins with comfortable interiors and balconies. The on board Lotus Restaurant serves up a delicious array of Vietnamese and International cuisine. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the public areas. Swimming, kayaking and tai chi are all offered on board and movie nights are also very popular.
Mondial Hotel, Hue
Just a 5 minute walk from the Ho Chi Minh museum, the Mondial Hotel is a contemporary hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms benefit from spacious interiors, comfortable beds and lots of mod-cons. There is complimentary Wi-Fi for guests, an outdoor pool and onsite spa - perfect for a re laxing massage. As well as the delicious Huong Xuan Restaurant there is also the Lobby Lounge - great for cocktails before dinner!
ÊMM Hotel, Hue
Situated in the heart of the former imperial capital, ÊMM Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore Hue’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed sights. Completely renovated in 2016, the guestrooms are generously-sized and complete with modern amenities. The imperial jade and royal purple colour scheme was inspired by ancient Hue itself and guests can take advantage of the mini-gym, pool-side bar and a spacious reading area. Enjoy delicious Vietnamese and international cuisine in the contemporary restaurant after a day of exploring.
Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An
Vinh Hung Riverside Resort offers luxury and gracious hospitality in a traditional Vietnamese environment right on the banks of the Thu Bon river with top notch facilities.
Thanh Binh Riverside hotel , Hoi An
Boasting a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, the Thanh Binh Riverside offers excellent accommodation in a great loacation. Guest rooms benefit from garden or river views and all come full air-conditioned, with stunning hardwood floors and all mod-cons. The onsite restaurant offers a great selection of Vietnamese and International dishes and the town centre is just a mere 200m walk away. Why not grab a cocktail and relax by the pool in the afternoon - a great way to refresh yourself from the Vietnam heat.
Iris Hotel, Can Tho
This elegant hotel is housed within a modern building in the city of Can Tho. Each guest room comes equipped with plush furnishings to ensure a good night's sleep and is decorated with a neutral palate and calming tones. Rooms look over the city and boast a range of modern amenities such as air conditioning and stylish ensuite facilities. Magnificent views of the city can be had from the hotel's skybar while a range of gourmet local and international dishes can be sampled at the onsite restaurant.
Victoria Hotel Can Tho, Can Tho
This attractive, colonial-style resort is tastefully decorated with well-appointed rooms and a wide range of facilities including a spa, tennis courts, open-air bar, restaurant and a gym. The hotel also offers sunrise and sunset cruises to the floating markets aboard the Lady Hau junk.
Muong Thanh Centre, Ho Chi Minh City
Centrally located, yet on a peaceful, tree-lined street, you will find the Muong Thanh Centre. Only a ten-minute walk from top attractions such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera House and Ben Thanh Market, this hotel is a great base for exploring the famous sights of the city. Its world-class rooms boast sophisticated designs and panoramic views. Warm and friendly, the Muong Thanh Centre also features a spa and swimming pool for you to relax and unwind after a long day of sight-seeing.
Northern Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City
Located in Saigon's central business district, the Northern Hotel offers comfortable and stylish accommodation. Guest rooms are contemporary in style and are decorated with warming tones and excellent en suite facilities. The onsite restaurant offers a variety of European and Asian dishes set on the mezzanine floor. The hotel also offers complimentary use of computers in the lobby and a fully equipped gym for those who wish keep fit whilst staying in the city.
Harmony Phnom Penh Hotel, Phnom Penh
Just 5 minutes from the Royal Palace, the Harmony Hotel in Phnom Penh is an elegant hotel with a great location. The spacious rooms feature plush furnishings with a smart decor of dark wood flooring and white walls with accents of colour. The hotel features a rooftop infinity pool and Jacuzzi with views across the river and the city, a perfect spot to relax after a busy day sightseeing. Guests can dine on a choice of Asian and Western dishes at the hotel's restaurant and enjoy a wide selection of beverages.
Kravan Hotel, Phnom Penh
The Kravan Hotel offers comfortable and spacious guest rooms in a quiet location close to the heart of Phnom Penh. This stylish hotel has an outdoor rooftop pool, in addition to a rooftop bar and a restaurant which offer fantastic panoramic views across the capital. Free wifi is offered throughout the property and there is fitness centre located on the top floor where guests can indulge in various spa treatments and massages.
Angkor Paradise Hotel , Siem Reap
Not far from Angkor Wat, the Angkor Paradise Hotel offers elegant accommodation in a world famous setting. Guest rooms are beautifully furnished with traditional wooden floors and all mod cons. All rooms have either fabulous views of the city or the hotel's outdoor pool. The hotel also boasts a great onsite restaurant, fitness centre and pool terrace. The Angkor Paradise Hotel is situated a short distance from Siem Reap international airport and the majestic Angkor Archaeological Park.
Sunway Hotel, Hanoi
This ambient, boutique hotel combines traditional appeal with modern pleasures. Rooms are furnished in a contemporary fashion with an array of amenities for added comfort. Its restaurant provides a great variety of Vietnamese cuisine and you are welcome to enjoy cocktails and live music in the Jazz Bar or relax in the hotel's health spa.
I had an excellent holiday which far exceeded my expectation. Fantastic tour which was well researched and managed.
Our tour guide was exceptional. Friendly, patient, caring and very knowledgeable. ”
We really enjoyed the tour and found it very interesting. Our guide Hung was fantastic. He was very informative and always made sure we knows what to do and when
Everything was on time and we were never waiting around. He always made sure we knew where to eat when we were in new places
His knowledge of the history of Vietnam is extraordinary and he delivered everything with a.sense of humour
Would definitely recommend this tour and Hung
The only negative was the long coach trip to the Mekong Delta, didn’t think it was worth it. An extra night at the Victoria would also have been good, we couldn’t make use of the lovely hotel in the short time we had tgete”
The trip was excellent. Enjoyed both Vietnam and Cambodia. Really got a flavour for both countries and it’s people. There is a lot of travelling so you need to be prepared for early starts. The train ride was certainly an experience! Crossing the roads in Vietnam is an art form and not for the faint hearted. Loved Hoi An, lovely mix of old and new. Bit disappointed with the Mekong Delta, it was a very long coach journey and probably not worth it.
The knowledge of all 3 guides was fantastic. They were so well organised and everything was meticulously planned. Big shout out to Hung, Pahnina and Tanna.
Our group was great and a wonderful mix of Brits, Australians, Canadians, South Africans and Americans. The most people at any one time on the tour was 21 and the least was 8.
On the whole the hotels were very good with the exception being the Harmony Hotel in Phnom Penh. Loved this tour and would definitely recommend On The Go tours ”
Once again On the Go tours provided a fantastic opportunity to explore a country easily and without any worries,enabling us to briefly meet their gentle people.We have been to China,India and now Vietnam and Cambodia with them. Each time you think it must be similar if it is still in the East, but each time it is a different experience.The tour guides need to be commended, they went out of their way each day going beyond the call of duty.They were so excited to show us their country, really valuing their tourists.
What was profound this time was visiting 4 sobering war sights,which have not left us,bringing to life all we have read about the war. The horror of these sights was mingled with the sights,smells and sounds of the streets in the cyclo ride .Cycling out to the paddy fields,dodging some of the 45 000 000 velos. for the farm experience(when would i cycle 14 kilometres only with On the Go tours), the overnight train ( hardly luxurious but a great experience) and having a Tai Chi lesson on the boat roof at sunrise in the exquisite Halong Bay.... unforgettable. Ankor Wat and temples were mind blowing, hotels all excellent.”
We have been on several group tours and I have to say Hung Do is the best tour guide we have ever had. Our tour group was well informed on the history of the country, the traditions and local culture. Hung ensured all tour participants needs were met and accommodated the group when he was able. On The Go tours should recognise Hung for his outstanding customer service. I would book again with On The Go due to Hung’s attention to detail and his personable demeanour”
Hung was very organised and knowledgeable, did a great job in keeping our group on schedule and informed. Went ‘above and beyond’ by explaining the language and giving anecdotes about his own family‘s experiences with the economic and political changes in Vietnam. Excellent English fluency. What really stood out was his attention to each guest’s needs - he instantly knew our names and was aware of our interests and preferences. Frequently checked on us and even escorted my wife, Shirley to the hospital when she had a diabetes issue; stayed with us for hours and translated with doctors, which was more than necessary but very helpful and appreciated”
The tour was great! Really enjoyed the time we spent in Hanoi (more time here, please), Hoi An and Ha Long Bay. Really liked kayaking in Ha Long Bay and cycling in Tra Que province. Did not love the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue. Cambodia part of the tour felt very rushed.
Hung, our guide in Vietnam, was amazing. Absolutely fabulous. He was had “everything under control” and really put our minds at ease about being in a completely different and foreign part of the world. We could not have asked for a better guide. He was friendly, organised, efficient and accommodating. His English was great! Really enjoyed his personal anecdotes and his witty sense of humour. A BIG thanks to Hung for going above and beyond and accompanying my family to the hospital and translating for us. Thank you.”
The tour was a great experience. Got to see and learn so much of Vietnam and Cambodia. All tour guides had great knowledge of history and each city visited. When meals were not provided suggestions of great local cuisine and restaurants. Local guides really gave us a sense of daily lives in the countries. Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone.”
This was our first time on an organised tour so we were not sure what to expect.
It turned out to be an excellent experience all round. Firstly Vietnam was beautiful and the people friendly. The tour was designed to give the maximum taste of Vietnam in the available time.
The hotels were excellent and the trips interesting.
All in all an excellent trip, excellent value with the extra bonus of an excellent Guide. ”
The Vietnam part of the tour was absolutely amazing. Our guide was phenomenal and made the tour both educational and entertaining. Nothing was too much to ask of Hung and he was always making sure everyone was happy and enjoying themselves. The group we had was a mixed bunch but it definitely didn't feel like we were strangers.
I honestly can not praise Hung highly enough. So knowledgeable, kind, caring and such a great character.
The tour itself was so much fun, with the bike ride definitely being a highlight. The hotels were great and so was a majority of the food.
We will definitely be recommending On the Go to our friends and family.”
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I had an excellent holiday which far exceeded my expectation. Fantastic tour which was well researched and managed.
Our tour guide was exceptional. Friendly, patient, caring and very knowledgeable. ”