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Vietnam and Cambodia tours
Essential Vietnam and Cambodia
  • Duration: 13 days
  • Highlights: Visit Hanoi - Halong Bay with an overnight stay on-board a traditional wooden junk - Hue - Hoi An Ancient Town - Ho Chi Minh City - Bustling floating market in Mekong Delta - Siem Reap - Phnom Penh.

    This tour can be reversed starting from Siem Reap, Cambodia and ending in Hanoi, Vietnam.





    Arriving in Hanoi (Noi Bai airport), you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel for check-in (hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in). The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the tree-lined boulevards, French Indochinese architecture and tranquil lakes of this unique city.
    Stay overnight in Hanoi.

    DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR (B, L, -)


    08h30 You will be picked up from your hotel lobby and depart for the city tour with visit to the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure is one of Vietnam's most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov) and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969, his former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary.
    Continue your visit to the Taoist Temple (Quan Thanh Temple) which is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism or visit Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda, was built in the sixth century (means “Stabilizing the Nation”). Lunch will be had in one of the city's finest restaurants.
    After lunch visit the Temple of Literature - Vietnam's first university, also referred to as Van Mieu, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam's past.

    Next we go to visit Hanoi Old Quarter also known as the '36 streets'. Take a walking tour around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore life-style of Hanoians, culture or architecture with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.
    Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
    Stay overnight in Hanoi.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.




    Following breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3hs 30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself.
    In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
    Stay overnight on board.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch and Dinner on board.




    Rising to the sound of lapping bay waters, we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water of the bay. On your return to Halong City enjoy a wholesome brunch as your boat wends through strange-shaped limestone rock formations. Upon disembarkation your driver will meet you for the transfer back to Hanoi.

    17h00 Arrive at your hotel.

    Your leisure time until transfer to Noi Bai airport for 1hr10min flight to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Its mesmerizing tombs and mausoleums of the last emperors of Vietnam reveal fascinating insights into the lives of the imperial families and their subjects. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern (the Royal Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war) but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today. 
    Arrive in Hue and check in your hotel.

    Stay overnight in Hue.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.


    DAY 5: HUE CITY TOUR (B, L, -)

    08h00 You will be picked up from your hotel for a full day Hue city tour with a visit to the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Then depart for Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River constructed in 1601, the 21-meter tower is the centerpiece of the pagoda and represents seven reincarnations of Buddha. On the pagoda grounds is the famous Austin car a resident monk drove to Saigon in 1963 to protest against the southern regime. The photo of his self immortalization is one of the most well known images of the war. Have lunch in local restaurant with Hue cuisine.

    In the afternoon see the tomb of the former emperor Minh Mang which is located in a tranquil setting of gardens and ponds. Journey on to Khai Dinh’s Tomb which is traditional Vietnamese in design with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue.

    Before heading back to your hotel take time to stroll around Dong Ba Market with your guide. The market is another of the must see sites in Hue, the stalls are teeming with color and a great place to catch a glimpse of everyday life.

    Return to your hotel where the full day explorer ends at about 17h30. 

    Stay overnight in Hue.

    Meals included
    Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.





    08h00 Pick up from your hotel for 3 hour road transfer to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co.  Arrive in Hoi An and check in your hotel. Lunch to be arranged in a local restaurant.

    After lunch we take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit former merchants’ houses, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese communal hall and the colorful market. Hoi An is a destination with two faces – the charming, old-world trading port of narrow streets and traditional houses, and the beach with its new resorts and long stretch of clean white sand. In keeping with Hoi An’s heritage as a trading port, the town’s tiny shop houses now host a range of craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors. Despite the passing of 200 years and the ravages of weather and war, the centre of Hoi An remains much the same as it was in its heyday.

    Around the town we can see a numerous art galleries and tailor shops, get some made-to-order clothes if you like. You spend two more hour boat trip on the Thu Bon River to enjoy the natural view and discover the normal life of local fishing people. Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
    Stay overnight in Hoi An.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.



    Tour guide meets you at your hotel lobby, then go by bicycle to Hoi An’s colorful central market. Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.  Make sure your camera is handy.

    10h00 Continue to Tra Que Herb Village. Take a rest with a special welcome drink then walk through the market gardens where local farmers work on their fields using traditional methods from 300 years ago.

    11h00 Learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. The chef will show you how to cook “Cao Lau”, “My Quang”, and “Tam Huu”.  After the lesson, enjoy what you have cooked.

    13h00 Return to your hotel.


    08h30 Tour guide meets you at your hotel lobby then depart for a short ride to Tra Que Herb Village by bicycle.Take a walk around the herb garden where you can join in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake; see how they are raking the ground, sowing, watering, picking vegetable …

    After a short rest and enjoy foot soaking it is time for preparing your lunch with many local delicacies.

    13h00 Return to your hotel.

    Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

    Stay overnight in Hoi An.

    Meals included
    : Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at Tra Que Herb Village.



    Transfer to Danang airport (30km from Hoi An) after breakfast for the short flight to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals (1.10 hour flight).
    A full day city tour takes in Cholon, the Chinatown district, to discover the area’s markets, shops and the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda - dedicated to the goddess of the Sea. Visit Vietnam's first traditional medicine museum, the FITO Museum, with an amazing collection of 3,000 items relevant to the development of traditional Vietnamese medicine. Implements used to prepare indigenous herbs and objects commonly found in traditional pharmacies can be seen in the galleries as well as ancient books and documents on traditional Vietnamese medicine.
    Head back to the city centre to visit Ben Thanh Market where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered. Simply stroll through the market exploring the variety of goods for sale.

    This afternoon visit the War Remnants where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and 'American' wars or History Museum (choose which one you would most like to see) and the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the former Presidential Palace it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese tanks seized on the morning of April 30 1975, as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many.

    Stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. At the end of the afternoon head back to your hotel.
    Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Meals included
    : Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.



    This morning, leave bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2 hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be. The local traditional wooden boats, vast emerald rice fields and lush back waterways; these are the things that make Cai Be such a desired destination.
    On arrival board your boat for a cruise of Cai Be floating market. Traders work the river and some have been living on these waters for generations. Produce at the market are hung on a pole in front of boats to attract customers and make it easier for people to see from afar what is on offer.  Immerse yourself in a world of lush vegetation from the Mekong Delta as you pick through the fascinating and lively market, watching buyers bargaining for produce.

    After visiting the market continue to a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Return to the boat for the cruise to Tan Phong Island. Next, take a rowing boat along the maze of shady canals. Head for a local orchard to enjoy the local tropical fruits, and visit artisan workshops to see the handicraft producers of the village at work.

    Break for lunch at an orchard garden. Lunch will be local Mekong style serving specialties of the area. Afterwards, you will ride bicycles to villages, sightseeing and soaking up the rural ambiance or enjoy cooking class. If you prefer to relax, you can laze in a hammock.

    Following your cruise drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at your hotel around 17h30.
    Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.




    Following breakfast transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for one hour flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Arrival and transfer to the hotel for check-in (hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in). After a relaxing break, we will visit the jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Your visit will also include Preah Khan, Kravan, Neak Pean, Krol Ko, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup Temples, where you will view the temples at sunset. Return to the hotel.
    Stay overnight in Siem Reap.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.


    DAY 11: SIEM REAP (B, L, D)

    Breakfast at hotel then start your tour with a visit to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8m high wall, with each side of the city being 4km long, drawing a perfect square. You will enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giants. On each side of the entrance path a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.
    From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. The particularity of this monument is the 54 towers with four faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
    Next, depart on a very special sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Meru, home of the gods. The divine residence of Vishnu, the King himself was to reside here after his death. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Moreover, Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. Return to the hotel.
    Stay overnight in Siem Reap.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch and Dinner at local restaurant.



    Following breakfast head out of the town and travel on a newly paved road to the intricately carved and well preserved temple of Banteay Srei with stopover at the Preah Dark village. Next, visit the Banteay Samre Temple adorned with impressive relief’s depicting scenes of Vishunu as well as Krishna legends. 

    This afternoon, enjoy Tuk Tuk ride (the locally common taxi in Cambodia) to visit the Chong Khneas village located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap then embark on a boat trip on the Tonle Sap Lake - the "Great Lake" of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia passing floating houses and flooded forests. Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Phnom Penh.

    On arrival in Phnom Penh, your local English speaking guide will greet you and accompany you to the hotel for check-in.

    Stay overnight in Phnom Penh.

    Meals included
    : Breakfast at hotel, Lunch and Dinner at local restaurant.



    Start your day with a visit to Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and was the last palace built during the French colonial period. The same complex houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
    Continue to the Toul Sleng museum (S-21) and the killing field of Choueng Ek, which is about 35km away from the city. 

    Finish the tour with transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meals included
    : Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.

    End of services.


    - Transportation by air conditioned vehicle as tour program indicated.
    - Entrance fees to indicated sights.
    - Boat trips as stated in above sights.
    - All excursion trips and activities as tour program indicated
    - Local English-speaking guides (for other languages supplements apply).
    - Meals as stated in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).
    - Tuk Tuk ride.
    - Accommodation in shared twin or double bedded room.
    - Flight from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh included airport tax.
    - Mineral water and chilled tissue served on trip.
    - The written approval letter for a Vietnamese visa on arrival (single entry).

    - Visa stamping fee on arrival (in Vietnam: 45 US$ per person; in Cambodia: 20 US$ per person). Vietnamese visa must be obtained in advance before arrival.
    - All air tickets not mentioned in the program and above quotation.
    - Optional tours.
    - Surcharges for other language guides.
    - Personal travel insurance.
    - Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc…
    - Meals and services other than mentioned in the program.
    - Drinks with meals.
    - Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program.


    - Prices may vary according to your travel time and are higher in the high season, e.g. Christmas period (Dec 24-26), New Year period (Dec 31-Jan 02).
    - For additional hotel night cost to the packages or higher accommodation standards, please contact us for the rates.
    - Flights of Hanoi - Hue, Danang - Ho Chi Minh and Ho Chi Minh - Siem Reap at extra cost US$ per person/ 3 routes on request (subject to availability at the time of final confirmation).
    - This tour package can be fully customizable to fit your travel plan. You can also disregard full package tours and choose whatever travel items you need or a mix of private and group tours to minimize the cost. We can quote the tours you really want. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.
    - Keep your luggage and money by yourself.
    - Inform in advance if you are vegetarian.
    - Take original passports, good and comfortable trekking shoes, insect repellent, sun scream and rain gear. All customers must obey the order of your guide for your safety.

    - Child definition: from age of 3 to 7 Years (usually enjoying 10%-20% discount. Contact us for the actual discount for your case). 8 Years old and above will be charged as Adult Price.
    - All tours & transfers are all based in English Speaking local guides. For other languages, please contact us for new quotations.
    - Itinerary Change to the confirmed itinerary may happen because of traffic, weather, or any other conditions not under our control such as war, strike, fire, acts of government, riot, etc. We will do our best to make sure that all the travel will be similar. Viet HighlightsTravel can substitute the itinerary upon your agreement.
    - Transportation and Restaurants: The cars, vans or coaches for the land transportation should be in good shape with air conditioner. All restaurants should be tidy and clean.


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