Saturday. Welcome to Hanoi! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. Free time to explore.
Hanoi – Halong Bay - breakfast. Early this morning we drive to the strikingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, we board our traditional wooden junk boat and cruise the emerald waters studded with a thousand or so karst limestone islands. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the picturesque waterway known as 'Dark & Bright Lagoon'. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Overnight: Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hidden Grottoes, Halong Bay
Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Start the day with Tai Chi on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs we return to Hanoi.
Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon an hour or so is spent exploring the labyrinth of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. Each of the narrow lanes are named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. On a hair raising cyclo (rickshaw ride) we'll see the old quarter and the delightful Hoan Kiem Lake.
Tonight we board our overnight sleeper train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic stanard) operating on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
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.
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 - Saigon. Fly to Saigon 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 - Saigon. Early this morning we visit the lively Cai Rang floating market and drive to Saigon. On a walking tour of the city we’ll visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Saigon | Breakfast
Chu Chi Tunnels, Phnom Penh
Saigon - 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 along the way. Considered by many to be the art gallery of Angkor with some of the finest stone carvings in the world, Banteay Srei is dedicated to Shiva and 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
Ton Le 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 journey. Spend the morning at leisure before hotel check out and your departure transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
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.
The Ann Hotel, Hanoi
In the centre of Hanoi sits the contemporary and sophisticated The Ann hotel. Guest rooms are spacious and well appointed with delightful en suite facilities including bath and shower. The hotel boasts both a bar and restaurant. The swanky A lounge offers a wonderful selection of beverages and diners can enjoy the Onyx house for delicious local and international dishes on A la carte or buffet style. Our top tip is to head to the roof top pool for a refreshing dip and wonderful views across the city.
Bhaya Classic 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. This boat departs from the port of Halong City and plies its route through the karst peaks of Halong Bay during their journey and overnight stay on the water.
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!
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.
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.
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. The accommodation is just a few kilometres from the Cai Rang floating market.
Northern Hotel, Saigon
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.
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 firnished 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 boats 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.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Vietnam, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
Fantastic experience, so we'll organised, so much to see and do. I would recommend this trip and if your thinking of doing it the On The Go Tours is the company to book with”
I am very pleased with the quality of service everywhere - the guides, the hotels and the modes of transport. This itinerary gave an excellent feel of the the local culture and local food. I will definitely use your company again for my future tours. Well done!”
100% from start to finish. Hung Do was our guide through Vietnam and was the perfect guide to take us through his country. I have been travelling South East Asia for the last couple of months and had several on the go tour guides during my trip. Hung was my favourite by far. He is professional, fun, knowledgeable and passionate about his job.
While the tour itself was organised very well, it was Hung brought who brought the experience to life. He planned each day well, was clear and articulate in what we were doing each day, allowing for flexibility, while sticking to schedule. He offered a great amount of knowledge of his country, the culture, his personal experiences and useful tips as well as great food and shopping recommendations and assistance when we needed anything. For example, our train from Hanoi to Hue was delayed for six hours and he provided regular updates, liaised with train staff and rescheduled our itinerary to ensure we did not miss out on anything. He is a great guide and made the experience amazing from start to finish. I would rate him 10/10 and recommend him for anyone going to visit Vietnam. ”
I just wanted to express how lucky 'On the Go Tours' are to have Hung Do as a guide - Hung was fabulous - his English was excellent, he had a fantastic and relevant knowledge of all of the areas we visited, he took time out to get to know the group and very quickly learnt our names, a bit about ourselves and engaged fantastically with the group. Hung also shared personal details / family history and stories with us about how the past history of Vietnam had affected his family and where they where in their lives presently - this made the experience more 'real' and felt like we understood more about Vietnam, rather than just a guided history tour. I wish we could have taken him to Cambodia as he felt part of the group and we were very sad to lose him. The tour was excellent - I wouldn't change a thing, just more Hung !!! ”
We've had a fantastic holiday enjoyed it all so many experiences. The junk boat in halong bay was amazing, the train journey was good all clean bedding (toilets slightly smelly) bike ride in Hoi an to village and cooking lunch was such fun in the rain! Rode a buffalo for a dollar en route!
Found the killing fields very emotional in Cambodia. We loved Siem reap - Angor Wat was stunning went to see the sunrise!
Accommodations were all fantastic apart from phomn hotel lacked good service and advice don't use there atm machine! Market opposite hotel which made it smelly outside.
Thank you so much to all our guides especially Ci in Vietnam. They were all so good at telling us the history giving advice and all the restaurants they recommended were fantastic
A big thank you to Charlie for looking after our booking and putting up with all my correspondence you're a star. Even nicer to meet you and spend a lovely week with such a nice group of people.”
The tour was excellent. A good balance of activities and accommodation. Some hotels first class, some not so, but nothing that would spoil the holiday. Would have preferred more time in Ho Chi Minh but to enable this it would have been at the detriment of another activity, so not a negative comment on the tour.
Guides were all very efficient and knowledgeable. The guides in Cambodia (2 &3) were particularly good. They understood the group's needs and gave a balanced amount of information and time to wander and follow your own interest. ”
Thoroughly enjoyed both countries Vietnam and Cambodia on our tour. Tuan made it enjoyable and he had a great rapport with everyone even knowing the names of all of our group in the first hour.. We felt safe at all times. Tuan explained everything as we went even adding little games to play on the bus. Overall very pleased with the accommodation, organisation and the timing of each day.”
We had a fantastic tour especially in Vietnam. Our tour guide Hung Do was fantastic he looked after us extremely well he was always punctual. He was very kind and courteous and made sure that our vegan meals were provided. He knew his history very well and his explanations were excellent, which were fully understandable as he had an extremely good command of English.
He looked after my 75-year-old mother-in-law extremely well made sure that he was giving her a helping hand to get onto the coach and train and boat. He also helped us to cross the border between Vietnam and Cambodia he actually helped us with the luggage all the way to the Cambodian border which was not in his remit. We feel he was the best tour guide we have ever had.
I would strongly recommend him for the tour guide of the year if you feel any further information you require for this award then please do not hesitate to contact me”
This trip was fantastic and we were impressed by the beauty of Vietnam. Organisation was careful and well planned and we enjoyed every aspect of our tour. It was really interesting to visit such a variety of places using different modes of transport and we especially enjoyed sampling local culture by visiting Tra Que village. Cycling was such fun. The rich history of both Vietnam and Cambodia is fascinating as well as moving and we are so pleased to have learned so much during our tour. Our three tour guides were all wonderful and shared their extensive knowledge with us about the history and culture of their respective areas with skill and compassion. Ken Nguyen was an exceptional guide and we believe he should be considered for a Tour Guide of the Year award. Go Ken!!”
We have just returned home from our absolutely fabulous tour of Vietnam and Cambodia. All three of our Tour Guides were fantastic, but I would like to recommend that Ken be considered for your Tour Guide of the Year award. This young man never missed a beat, he was incredibly organised, hugely helpful with outstanding knowledge of the surrounding and history throughout all our travels. He was always available and gave more of his time than really could have been expected. He made the difference to the enjoyment and experience we had on this tour.”
Fantastic experience, so we'll organised, so much to see and do. I would recommend this trip and if your thinking of doing it the On The Go Tours is the company to book with”