Take in the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia, travelling from Hanoi to Angkor Wat, before ending with a tour of Thailand's captivating capital. Cruise Halong Bay and the Mekong, explore the Imperial City of Hue, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An, discover the incredible Angkor Complex and more on this 17 day tour.
Please note: Some sites are temporarily closed in Cambodia. See notes in the itinerary below.
Saturday. Arrival in Hanoi and transfer to hotel. Spend today independently exploring Vietnam’s charming capital before our welcome meeting at 5pm.
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 takes in 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. Today we take a scenic drive to breathtaking, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay. Upon arrival we board a deluxe Junk boat for an overnight cruise, then soak up panoramic views of this spectacular landscape, with its jungle-clad limestone peaks and emerald green waters.
Based on traditional designs, our junk boat combines oriental style with modern luxuries. This afternoon we visit Trinh Nu Cave, one of the finest caves in Halong Bay, covering an area of 2,000m² with a stunning array of stalactites and stalagmites. There's also the opportunity to go kayaking and enjoy a refreshing swim.
Back on board, we spend our evening watching a Vietnamese cooking demonstration on the sundeck before tucking into a delicious seafood dinner.
Overnight: Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hanoi cyclo ride
Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Early birds can start the day with a relaxing Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. Before heading back to port this morning we explore the beautiful Sung Sot cave (Surprise Grotto), which is 10,000m² and consists of two major chambers. These spectacular chambers are spacious enough to hold thousands of people.
On arrival back into Hanoi mid-afternoon we’ll explore the maze of streets in the French Quarter by cyclo (rickshaw), 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
This morning we arrive into Hue, the capital of the 19th-century Nguyen empire. On a tour of the city we visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city and the ancient citadel. Within the citadel we discover the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact replica of the Beijing’s famous Forbidden city, with its imperial palaces, formal moats and impressive ramparts.
From the city we drive into the countryside to visit the ornate mausoleum of the Emperor Tu Duc, one of the Nguyen kings. As the sun sets there's the opportunity to cruise along the Perfume River in a long boat (pay locally) or you can take a short stroll from our hotel to the bustling Dong Ba Market for some souvenir shopping.
Overnight: Hue | Breakfast, Lunch
Road of the Ocean Clouds
This morning we take the scenic Hai Van Pass, also known as the Road of the Ocean Clouds, to Hoi An. Along the way we enjoy magnificent views and stop for a walk along My Khe Beach. Nicknamed ‘China Beach’ by the Americans during the war, this beautiful stretch of coastline famously featured in wartime movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim before we continue our journey south down the coast.
Arriving into Hoi An, we enjoy a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town. Highlights include the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. With its cobbled streets, tiny shop houses and laid-back bars and restaurants, Hoi An is the perfect place to relax a while.
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
Today we enjoy a bicycle ride into the local village of Tra Que, where we learn about traditional medicine and discover age-old farming practices. A fun and hands-on experience, we assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Day 7 is free for you to explore charming Hoi An independently. Unwind by the pool or beach, or take a day trip. Alternatively you can opt to take an excursion to the UNESCO-listed My Son sanctuary or enjoy a day trip to the Ba Na Hills, where you can ride the second longest cable car in the world, explore the resort and walk along the striking Golden Bridge (book and pay locally).
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Hoi An - Saigon. Flight to Saigon and drive to the watery world of the Mekong Delta, famed for its abundant harvests of rice, flowers and tropical fruits. From Vinh Long, we cruise downstream on our sampan boat through the maze of waterways and canals, watching the hubbub of daily life on the water. We pass colourful trading boats and houseboats and stop off at some of the local cottage industries producing paper, popcorn and candies. We then enjoy lunch on Dong Hoa Hiep Island in a traditional wooden home.
Overnight: Can Tho | Breakfast, Lunch
Can Tho - Saigon. It’s an early start this morning to visit the lively Cai Rang Floating Market, the largest of its kind in the Mekong Delta. We then drive to Saigon and enjoy a walking tour of the city, visiting the Old Post Office, the Notre Dam Cathedral and sobering War Remnants Museum. This evening offers free time.
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City | Breakfast
Chu Chi Tunnels, Phnom Penh
Saigon - Phnom Penh. First stop today is the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground network of tunnels with a length of some 250 kilometres used by the Viet Cong during the war. Next we drive to the Cambodian border (crossing at Moc Bai/Bavet) and journey on to Phnom Penh. Offering a bustling mix of past and present, this city is fast becoming one of Asia’s trendiest capitals.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we enjoy a guided tour of Phnom Penh, with our first stop being the National Museum of Fine Arts - a magnificent red sandstone building housing the finest collection of Khmer artefacts in the world. If open, we will then visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, famed for its floor covered in 5,000 gleaming silver tiles and Buddha statues adorned with diamonds.
Later we gain a full understanding of the horrors of the Pol Pot regime, visiting the Killing Fields, where over 10,000 people were executed, and Tuol Sleng (Security Prison - S21), a school that was transformed under the Khmer Rouge into Cambodia’s most notorious prison.
Important Please Note: The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are currently closed, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The date these sites will reopen is still uncertain. If they remain closed there will be free time in Phnom Penh this afternoon.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast
Siem Reap & Angkor Wat
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap. Transfer to airport for included flight to Siem Reap. After freshening up, we explore the Angkor National Museum (if open). This fascinating museum offers us a useful insight into the story of Angkor and the Khmer Empire before we visit the famous temple complex.
This afternoon we explore the iconic Angkor Wat, believed to be the world’s largest religious building and the best preserved of all the temples within the Angkor complex. This massive structure rises 65-metres tall and is famous for its thousands of unique wall carvings. This evening offers free time, with plenty of great bars and restaurants within walking distance.
Important Please Note: The Angkor Museum in Siem Reap is currently closed and a reopening date has not yet been announced.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
Angkor Thom & NGO circus project
Early risers have the opportunity to return Angkor Wat this morning and see this spectacular complex at sunrise (optional - pay locally). We then drive to the temples of Banteay Srei, stopping enroute to visit an exotic butterfly sanctuary and the village of Preak Dak. At the village, we take part in our community tree planting initiative and help plant mango and jackfruit saplings.
Also known as the Pink City, Banteay Srei is home to some of the world’s finest stone carvings which have been cut from pink sandstone. After exploring the site’s temples and lavish libraries, we return to the Angkor Temple Complex to visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Here we spend some time exploring the Baphuon Royal Enclosure, the terraces of the Elephants and Leper King, and the fascinating Bayon Temple. Our last stop is Ta Prohm, the temple famed for its appearance in the Tomb Raider movie, which appears as though it has been swallowed by the jungle.
This evening we’re entertained by the acts of the incredible Phare Cambodian Circus, an NGO project transforming the lives of street kids by training them to become circus artists.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
Ton Le Sap Lake
Today we journey to Kampong Phluk, where three villages of stilt houses hover over the waters of Tonle Sap lake. When the water level drops, petrified trees of a flooded forest are also revealed close by. We enjoy a boat trip on the lake and lunch, before returning to Siem Reap for some free time. Perhaps shop for souvenirs at the bustling central market or check out the bars and restaurants on lively Pub Street.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast, Lunch
Siem Reap - Bangkok (Thailand). Today we say goodbye to Cambodia and transfer to Siem Reap Airport for a flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival we'll be met and transferred to our hotel in Bangkok city centre. Spend the rest of the day at leisure in Thailand's bustling capital.
Overnight: Bangkok | Breakfast
Today we explore Bangkok on a guided tour. Our day starts at the Bangkok Flower Market, the city’s largest flower market with hundreds of fresh roses, marigolds, orchids and more for sale. From here, we make our way to the stunning Grand Palace, the city’s most famous landmark and royal heart of the country. Then we take a tuk-tuk ride to Wat Pho, famed for its giant reclining Buddha, covered in gold leaf and measuring 46 metres in length.
After lunch, we explore some of the city’s many canals aboard a traditional longtail boat before ending out tour at the famous Khao San Road. A great spot to eat, drink and party, this road is brimming with street stalls, bars and restaurants. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Overnight: Bangkok | Breakfast, Lunch
Monday. Our tour ends today with a transfer to the airport. Alternatively, if you would like to extend your stay in Thailand we can arrange this for you.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All departure dates from 1 Apr 2023 are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. Prior to this date a departure is guaranteed with 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
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.
La Casa Hotel, Hanoi
Set in the tranquil French Quarter of Hanoi, La Casa Hotel offers a comfortable stay in Vietnam’s bustling capital. Each guestroom features free high-speed WiFi and individually controlled air conditioning, alongside the other amenities you’d expect of a modern hotel. Guests can enjoy Asian cuisine in the on-site restaurant as well as a range of beverages in the bar. The gym boasts fantastic views over the city, however, if you’re looking to unwind, you can take a dip in the fountain swimming pool or head to the hotel's spa center.
Sleeper train - 4 berth cabin, Hanoi
Cabins on board are comfortable though not comparable to European standards. Aboard each wagon are 9 compartments that comprise of 4 bunks per compartment shared by mixed sexes. A western-style toilet (with a varying degree of cleanliness) is located at either end of the wagon. Air-conditioning (not always operational in the summer) and lighting are controlled from inside the cabin, which is also lockable. Luggage can be stored in a compartment under the bottom bunk. Linen and a pillow are provided.
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
Situated right on the banks of the Thu Bon River, this upscale hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the ancient town of Hoi An. Combining Vietnamese tradition with modern facilities, its guestrooms are set in coconut tree-shaded gardens beside the water. They’re well-equipped, with free WiFi and air conditioning, as well as private balconies. The hotel also offers a riverside restaurant, serving local specialties and western dishes on the outdoor terrace. This hotel’s highlight, however, is its pool and fabulous swim up bar, which is the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail.
ÊMM Hotel, Hoi An
Ideally located less than 200 metres from Hoi An's Old Quarter, this beautiful hotel features a mix of French colonial and traditional Vietnamese architecture. There's an outdoor swimming pool and a serene private garden to unwind in. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast and other meals in the onsite restaurant and drinks at the bar. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Room are colourfully and tastefully decorated, with minibars, fridges, TV and ensuite bathrooms.
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.
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 guest 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 sightseeing.
Lotus Central Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City
Just footsteps from the Ben Thanh Market, the Lotus Central Hotel offers a great location in Ho Chi Minh City. Its guestrooms are well-equipped, with ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and free WiFi. On the 8th floor you’ll find the Moon Restaurant, where you can enjoy a range of Vietnamese, Asian and Western specialties. However this hotel’s highlight is the rooftop pool, where you can enjoy a cocktail or two alongside views over the city.
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.
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 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.
Tara Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap
This stylish and sophisticated hotel offers luxurious accommodation with elegant dining, fantastic facilities and a perfect location. The spacious rooms are wonderfully finished with smart wood flooring and ensuite bathrooms, plus there is free WiFi access. The hotel's bars and restaurants provide a diverse range of international and local cuisine, with a buffet breakfast served at Tong Tara Restaurant and cocktails served at Lily Lounge and the pool bar. The hotel also features a spa, outdoor swimming pool, complimentary bicycle rental, and for budding chefs - cooking classes in Thai and Khmer food! This hotel is just six kilometres from the Angkor temple complex.
Rembrandt Hotel & Suites Bangkok, Bangkok
The Rembrandt hotel is conveniently located in the lively Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, with its wealth of restaurants, shops and bars. Overlooking Bangkok’s stunning cityscape, guest rooms are spacious and modern, with floor-to-ceiling windows, 32-inch flat-screen cable TV and WiFi. The hotel serves a hearty buffet breakfast and a choice of Indian, Mexican and Italian cuisine is offered at the three renowned restaurants. Guests can enjoy views of the city skyline from the outdoor pool, indulge in treatments at the hotel's spa and watch the sunset from the rooftop bar, while sampling a creative selection of cocktails.
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and add-ons