Day 1: Hanoi arrival
It’s your first day, and your plane has just landed in the city of Hanoi… The nerves await, the trip is ready to kick off, only, where do you go now? Fear not! You’ll receive a hearty welcome to the beautiful adventure that awaits by your personal tour guide who will induct you with a bang into downtown Hanoi. It’s a splash of the Asian culture, including fabulous, crystal clear blue lakes, with the sparkling glitter effect in the height of the Vietnamese sun. It’s lush, beautiful city parks fit for kings to walk in, and picturesque boulevards like those seen on the covers of magazines.
It’s also a stay at one of Hanoi’s fabulous prime hotels for the night, and the first stop of many for your adventurous itinerary…
Day 2: Hanoi full day City Tour (B, L)
You’ll need all that energy, as your second day is going to be as exciting as it is busy! A full tour of Hanoi awaits, including an enlightening trip to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature.
And with lunch quickly following, you’ll be given an insight into Vietnam’s fascinating, turbulent and enigmatic history with a trip to the Museum of Ethnology. Awaken your spirit right in the very heart of the great city; the Hoan Kiem Lake. In the beautiful sunshine, if you haven’t already built up that sun-kissed tan that holidays are famous for, this is the perfect chance! Soak it in and calm yourself on the tranquil shores of the lake…
Take a cyclo ride through the bustling Old Quarter. Lastly, enjoy a fantastic water puppet show which is unique in Vietnam.
Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
Every day in your trip is going to be brimming with culture and lifestyle from the area, and will induct you into the life and cities that mark this fabulous corner of the globe!
You’ll be driven to one of the more beautiful sights in the world, the enigma that is Halong Bay. Its featured in numerous movies, it’s brought to life on the silver screens of Hollywood, it’s visited by hundreds of thousands every year, and it’s absolutely majestic. It covers 577 square miles, and features more than 3,000 limestone peaks that pierce the surface of the beautiful water surface… And in the sunny, beautiful view, you’ll be able to see them for miles to come!
Imagine the beauty of the fabled bay, and cast the idea of the traditional hotel out of your mind… You’ll be dining and sleeping in style on this night. Atop the calm, majestic waters of the bay, you’ll be having a dish of some of the finest Vietnamese cuisine to the sparkling sunset, and be provided with breakfast by morning!
It might not be your typical city hotel, but you’ll be resting in style, in the authentic, hand-crafted wooden cabins on the seascape. Your comfortable little cabin will feature your own private little bath for you to soak in after a long, enlightening day, and air conditioning to give you a great sleep!
Day 4: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City (Brunch)
It’s time to travel! After a great sleep atop the gentle waves, you’ll be relaxing on the top deck of your ship as you cruise smoothly around the beautiful, breathtaking rocky islands. There’s a massive variety of formations, caves and bays, all to be seen while you enjoy a hearty brunch aboard the comfort of your fabulously built vessel! And for those of you who can’t get enough of the crisp, emerald seas and calm water, there’s even the chance to jump in and feel the cool on your skin, and immerse yourself in the mystique… An exploration like no other! And once you’ve fully unwound and feel as relaxed as possible atop the waves, you’ll be driven back to Hanoi. And you’ll get a chance to breathe on your flight and stay in Ho Chi Minh City that evening.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
It’s now your chance to see a beautiful blend of Franco-Vietnamese culture with influences stretching back many, many years! You’ll get to see first-hand the mix of fancy French architecture in the heart of the largest city in Vietnam. As a brimming Metropolis with over 300 years of amazing, timeless cultural traditions and a great blend of fascinating cultures, there’s no shortage of sights to see and senses to mingle with. Those with an eye for history will not find themselves wanting for anything, with huge collections of weapons and photographs that’ll blow the minds of anyone with a flare for the Indochina wars and the infamous war between the USA and Vietnam in the 60s. It’s your chance to look around the Cu Chi Tunnels and learn about the tactics employed by the Vietnamese during the conflict. It’s a unique opportunity to see all the genuine articles up close, hands on. An unforgettable experience all around!
You’ll find the perfect moment of your journey across these marvelous nations, and give you something concrete to treasure, whether you want something traditional, contemporary or modern. It’s a pure jewel of culture, and it’s yours to seize with open hands! It’s all available from the pleasant street markets, cultural sidewalk cafes and the beautiful bars for engaging in some of Vietnam’s atmospheric nightlife. It’s a wealth of timeless traditions, classics and a mix of many cultures. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral which is of neo- Romanesque architecture with two high square tower and iron spires. Next, stop at the City Hall, known as “Hotel de Ville”.
Visit the Central Post Office and see the amazing fusion of French and Vietnamese architecture, and see the turbulent history within the War Remnants Museum, and get the chance to be up close and personal with photographs and weapons that hail from the period.
Day 6: Mekong Delta full day tour - Siem Reap, Cambodia (B, L)
It’s one of the world’s very well-known geographical features, and it’s yours to explore after a great night rest, it’s the Mekong Delta! A whole day of cruising down the famous river 75 kilometres outside of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s one of the farming capitals of Vietnam, surrounded by peaceful, picturesque rice farms and lush orchards; a fantastic sight for any budding tourist. And it’s all to see from the comfort of the boat. You’ll get hands on experience on the islands in the middle of the Delta, and a chance to get a traditional piece of Vietnamese handicraft… And with plenty of sights to see on the water, you’ll be on your way to somewhere completely new…
Then you’ll be jetting off to Siem Reap in neighbouring Cambodia.
Day 7: Siem Reap full day tour (B, L)
A relic of both peace and war times, a visit to the highly fortified, militarised city of Angkor Thom will ensnare all the senses of any historian and cultural explorer! It’s a beautiful, popular sight adorned with some of the country’s most famous landmarks, including the Terrace of the Leper Kings, Terrace of the Elephants, and many statues of demons and gods from the ancient culture, all rounded off with a trip to the mystique surrounding the Bayon Temple. It’s the perfect way to induct you in style right into the heart of Cambodia and all it has to offer! It’s no surprise that the sunsets here are some of the most mesmerising sights to behold on the entire planet, and it’s here for you to see…
And why travel to Siem Reap without seeing all it has to offer?
Next, visit Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of the area. As beautiful as it is mysterious, it retains its aura around the revelation that it was once abandoned by its inhabitants, left at the mercy of mother nature and the surrounding jungle, completely against the typical structures in the area.
Don’t forget, it’s all across the city you’ll be seeing, from the national symbol of Angkor Wat; a must see for any visit to Cambodia, to the 1,700 celestial dancer carving of the Angkor temple walls, making up the longest continuous bas-relief in the whole world. It’s a testament to the deep, rich history of Hindu mythology, enough to inspire anyone! And it can only be added to by bearing witness to this mystical place as the sun is rising and setting…
Day 8: Siem Reap full day tour (B, L)
Breakfast at hotel.
Today we drive to visit Kbal Spean, 50km northeast of Siem Reap or 18km from Banteay Srei. The original “River of Thousand Lingas”, Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle. Visit Banteay Srei temple (10th century), regarded as the jewel in the crown of classical Khmer Art. Then continue your visit to Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern example remarkably well preserved.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Siem Reap departure (B)
It may feel unfortunate for anyone who’s elected to go on this marvellous trip and induction into the beauty of Asia, but all great things must eventually come to an end. And after another night in Siem Reap, it’ll be the final day of your journey. But think of all the fantastic memories you’ve got, and the undoubted photo album you’ve amassed over these insightful nine days! You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home. We’re sure you’ll be returning any time soon to take another taste of the amazing Vietnamese & Cambodian culture once again! It’s just a stone’s throw away, and we know you’ll want to return again and again!