TOUR 35: BEST of CAMBODIA & VIETNAM; Small group travel tour package
22 Days. From AUD $3,350

The best of both Cambodia & Vietnam is included on this 22-day journey.

As there are now numerous flight options from both cities we start in Bangkok and finish in Hanoi.

In between visit all the must-see big tick destinations while experiencing local food & culture. The latter is most likely what you will be raving about back home rather than Angkor Wat even.

Relaxing in charming Battambang or exploring amid the chaos of the Old Quarter in Hanoi are both eye-popping experiences for all visitors just to begin with, albeit in vastly different ways.

Stirring the pot further we add in  Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and an overnight train experience and “BEST OF” is the perfect description.

ACCOMMODATION; 3-star hotels x 16 nights,   2-star hotel x 3 nights, deluxe cabin on boat x 1 night, overnight soft class sleeper train x 1 night.

 

From AUD $3,350

Halong Bay
cambodia_1
Vietnamese Market

Group Size: Minimum 1, Maximum 8

Guaranteed to depart

English speaking tour coordinator

Visiting
Bangkok - Siem Reap, (Angkor Wat) - Battambang - Phnom Penh - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Halong Bay

Accommodation
 

  • Three-star hotels, (16 nights).
  •  Two-star hotels, (3 nights).
  • Deluxe cabin on boat, (1 night).
  •  Overnight sleeper train, (1 night).

Transport
Bus, Train, Boat, Taxi, Plane.

Day Trips

  • Angkor Wat, (two or three hours at sunset followed by a full day).
  • Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng (S21) Genocide Museum, (half day).
  • Halong Bay; Two days and one night. (All inclusive with a local operator as per itinerary)
  • All airport transfers.
  • Mekong Delta, (full day).
  • Guided tour of Citadel in Hue, (half day).
  • Hanoi dinner street food tour.

Entry Fees
All included when part of the itinerary.

Meals
26 meals included as per itinerary.
B = Breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner.

Itinerary

Day 1:

Tonight our best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group travel tour package will stay in; BANGKOK - Our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam  group tour officially starts when you check into your Bangkok accommodation. A welcoming dinner will be had in the evening. D.

If you arrive early enough your free time could be spent visiting the  Chatuchak weekend market and/or, Wat Phra Kaew & the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, MBK or Siam shopping centres or take a boat ride with the locals on the Chao Phraya express to some local markets in nearby Nonthaburi province.

A few of the dozens of other options may be Vimanmek Teak Mansion, Chinatown, Wat Traimit, Jim Thompsons House, Silom or Sukhumvit road shops.

OR? Maybe just lay back and have a traditional Thai Massage. A month in the capital wouldn't allow you enough time to see it all. D.

 

Day 2:

BANGKOK - A free day to relax by the Riverside pool if any jetlag recovery is required.   Squeeze in a traditional Thai Massage? 

Or get out and get the feel of the amazing Metropolis. 

Do this by going to the left for the tourist attractions on the Chao Praya express public transport boat to The Grand Palace, Wat Pho and/or Wat Arun.

Better still for a real local experience, go right to nearby Nonthaburi province to some locals only shops and markets. Time for both even.

So many choices that it's not possible to become bored. 

Jim Thompson's House?  B.

Day 3:

Tonight our  Cambodia & Laos adventure holiday will stay in; SIEM REAP - Our group tour will have a long but interesting days travel today.

Firstly by bus to the Thai border town of Aranya Prathet. After completing immigration duties in Poipet we will travel on the much-improved roads to Siem Reap.

Late afternoon we will head to Angkor Wat for the sunset views. B.

 

Day 4:

SIEM REAP - A full day by van or car with a local guide to explore the majestic and mysterious spectacle of Angkor Wat.

Apart from the main Angkor Wat complex, you will also visit the Bayon, Tha Prohm and Angkor Thom. B.

Day 5:

SIEM REAP - A free day to wander around  Siem Reap.

 
A few of the Siem Reap sights and/or activities may include:
The Angkor National Museum, War Museum, House of peace association or the Kmer ceramics centre. A number of temples include the oldest of Wat Bo.

Siem Reap has some great shopping opportunities these days also. Souvenir overload at times.
        For shoppers: 
Artisans d'Angkor has a shop selling various pieces relating to local culture. 
Shops set up to benefit the blind, disabled and other worthy causes include Krouser Thmey, Nyemo, Rajana Rehab Craft, Sentaurs d'Angkor and Tabitha Cambodia. These shops sell a variety of goods which include silk products, arts and craft, clothing, wallets, bags and the like.

As its name suggests, Pub street provides exactly that, especially in the evening. Local market food or upmarket restaurants just add to the appeal. B.

NOTE: If you want to spend further time visiting some of the more remote temples of Angkor we will be happy to arrange this for you as an optional extra at your expense.

 

Day 6:

  • Tonight our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group adventure travel tour will stay in; BATTAMBANG - A   shorter bus trip today will see us in Cambodia's second city of Battambang. 

  • What a wonderfully relaxed destination after mildly hectic Siem Reap and the even more so Phnom Penh to follow. A rose between two thorns for charm and relaxation.  This is the chill out capital of Cambodia. Less traffic chaos just, to begin with, makes it the perfect place to explore the old French architectural buildings. Some of the best coffee anywhere and more great food with the Eden Cafe just one worth a mention for dinner and a glass of red. 

    Or maybe the more atmospheric riverside market for dinner or a real local lunch experience in the local market beside our accommodation are other possibilities. No meals.

     

Day 7:

BATTAMBANG - A free day to explore, eat and/or relax by the pool. Some of the attractions include the historic train station minus any trains, the historical Governors Residence from the early 1900s or the Battambang Museum which houses some lintels from the Angkor period among other things. How can we not fall in love with Battambang? B.

 

Day 8:

Tonight our Cambodia small group adventure tour package will stay in; PHNOM PENH - Today by bus our small group tour heads to the hectic Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on another much-improved road. B.

 

Day 9:

PHNOM PENH - A day to try and fully comprehend the short but brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge.

A visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek where the Khmers have made fantastic efforts to come to terms with their recent history. Then to the just as infamous S21 which is now Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Here you can view 100's of black and white photos Pol Pot's regime took both before and sometimes after torturing his victims. This experience will stay with you forever. You will come away with far more compassion and concern for your fellow man. B.

 

Day 10:

Tonight our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group tour will stay in HO CHI MINH CITY  - Short in distance but still a full and interesting day by international bus will see us cross into Vietnam via the Bavet/Moc Bai border crossing and arrive mid-late afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City. B.

 

Day 11:

 HO CHI MINH CITY (SAIGON) - Hopefully, by now, you will have mastered how to cross the roads so seeing the attractions will not hold as much fear of the teeming traffic chaos. Not quite as dense as Hanoi to follow though.
There are lots to see and do.

The War Remnants Museum is a truly gruesome look at the utter futility and horrors of war or on a lighter note the History, Fine Arts or museum of Ho Chi Minh City will keep you fully occupied.


Other places of interest include the nearby Ben Thanh market or the Huynh Thuc Khang street market.

A taxi ride to Cholon will see you in either the Binh Tay or An Dong markets with the latter particularly good for clothing and cheap local eats. B.

Day 12:

HO CHI MINH CITY - MEKONG DELTA - A full day with a local operator by bus and boats to the Mekong Delta to get a close-up view of the lifestyles of the locals.

Firstly by bus to the town of My Tho, 70  kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. Then by boat, you will visit Dragon,  Unicorn, Phoenix and Tortoise islands. Sights along the way include a  fishing port and stilt houses. Lunch will be had riverside in an orchard. Later it will be by a small local rowing boat through some smaller jungle-shrouded channels to try some local fruits and honey as well as be entertained by some island villagers performing Southern Vietnamese folk music. B.  L.

 

Day 13:

Tonight our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group travel tour package will stay in; HOI AN - Today we will take a short flight to Danang from where we will transfer to UNESCO World Heritage Listed Hoi An.

If ever a Vietnamese town should be called charming or quaint then surely it must be Hoi An.

This extremely likeable and laid back town is the perfect place to stroll around and check out the local shops, markets and other sights amid a feeling of going back a century in time. B.

 

Day 14:

HOI AN - Hoi An is also the place to look out for that quality tailor-made suit you were thinking about at bargain prices or just relax with a coffee by the Thu Bon River. 

Hoi An is a favourite with all travellers.

For sightseeing, there are numerous attractions on an easy half day meander around town. Start at the Phac Hat Pagoda followed by the Truong family chapel, the assembly hall of the Fujian Chinese congregation, the Quan Cong Temple, the Quan Am Pagoda and history museum, the Museum of Sa Huynh Culture, the Hoi An Church, the Japanese covered bridge and finish with a local coffee a glass of beer Hoi ("fresh", draught beer),  Riverside. The above sights are only a few of the many. 

Most places are free to visit while a few charge a small entrance fee or seek a donation. B.

But it will be the overall aura of it all that will have you raving about it like all those before you.

 

Day 15:

 

HOI AN -  Another free day to again soak up the atmosphere of Charming Hoi An.

Checking out the local riverside markets on yet another souvenir hunt is also an option today. 

Hoi An also has many great restaurants with a number of its own regional foods.

A banana flower salad at The nearby Bamboo restaurant just one well worth a try. B.

 

Day 16:

Tonight our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam group travel tour will stay in; HUE - This morning we will transfer to the historical city of Hue.

After checking into our hotel we will join a local guide for a tour of the old Citadel. B.

Day 17:

Tonight our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group tour will stay on - OVERNIGHT SLEEPER TRAIN -  A free day to explore Hue before we transfer to Danang to board our overnight sleeper train for that real local travel experience.

Sleeping berths are in 4 bed compartments so you may be sharing with a local or two. A food and drink service is available on board but you may prefer to stock up your own snacks also. B.

 

Day 18:

Tonight our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group tour will stay in HANOI -We arrive early in the morning so after checking into our hotel we will have an almost full day to get out and explore Hanoi.

Once again beware of crossing the roads is the best advice as Hanoi's Old Quarter is even more chaotic, traffic-wise, than Ho Chi Minh City.

 Shops and local culture abound.

The Old Quarter is the best place to start to get a feel of the local way of life along with a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake. Pay your respects at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum as we continue our exploration of the many sights and attractions.

A few being the Ho Chi Minh Museum, One Pillar Pagoda, Dien Huu Pagoda, Tay Ho Pagoda among many other pagoda's and temples as well as St Joseph Cathedral. Another museum or three may include the History, Fine Arts, Woman's, Army, Airforce, Loa Lo Prison or Museum of Vietnamese Revolution. 

In the evening a local guide will make getting dinner easy with a roaming, all you can eat street food experience tour.  Have a light lunch is good advice.    D.

Day 19:

Tonight our best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group adventure holiday will stay on; HALONG BAY BOAT - After breakfast join a local operator for the drive to Halong City where you will board our deluxe boat to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay for an afternoon of cruising, cave visiting and swimming in spectacular Halong Bay.

Overnight will be on board our boat with a deluxe en-suite cabin. 

Optional activities will be available such as having a beer as total relaxation takes over amid the stunning scenery. B. L. D.

Day 20:

 

Tonight our best of Cambodia &  Vietnam  small group travel tour will stay in; HANOI - In the morning we will again cruise among the limestone karst scenery back to Halong City.

 Our group tour will then continue by bus back to Hanoi, arriving late afternoon. B. L.

 

Day 21:

 HANOI - A final full free day in this truly unique city. There is all of the aforementioned attractions or some shopping and dining to complete the day. 

A farewell dinner will be had in the evening. B. D.

 

Day 22:

Our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam small group travel tour package is officially over when we check out of our Hanoi accommodation. An airport transfer is included also. B.

You can head home after visiting some of the super highlights of both countries with only one long  travel day to begin with and you slept in comfort also.

And most important of all you experienced the local way of life in a slow and mellow way.

Tour Departure Dates

2019
01 Jun, 06 Jul, 03 Aug, 07 Sep, 05 Oct, 02 Nov

2020
01 Feb, 07 Mar, 04 Apr, 02 May, 06 Jun, 04 Jul, 01 Aug, 05 Sep, 03 Oct, 07 Nov

Any other date on application. (Minimum two people).

Price

P/P, T/S. Includes domestic flight from Ho Chi Minh city to Dannang
AUD $3,350
Single Suppliment: AUD $2,090