03 December 2016
You'll see all the highlights of these two fascinating countries on this two-week tour. Starting in Cambodia, you'll visit beautiful temples, bustling markets and the gorgeous Tonle Sap lake, before heading to Vietnam and travelling through this beautiful country, getting an insight into its history, culture and people.
Today you'll arrive in Phnom Penh, to be met and transferred to your hotel. After you've settled in, you'll meet your tour leader and the rest of your group for welcome drinks and a briefing.
Today begins with a visit to the Royal Palace and the famous Silver Pagoda, its floor tiled with silver, which houses an emerald Buddha, well as a golden Buddha encrusted with more than 9,000 diamonds. Afterwards, you'll visit the National Museum to learn about Khmer history and art. After lunch, you'll visit the chilling Tuol Sleng Museum to gain an insight into the Khmer Rouge regime, then visit Psar Thmei, the central market, to see its unique yellow dome, before climbing Wat Phnom temple. You have the rest of the day free for shopping or strolling around the old colonial buildings near Wat Phnom.
This morning you'll fly to Siem Reap, where you'll have some free time to relax by the hotel pool, wander through the old market or pick up some souvenirs in the boutique craft shops. In the afternoon you'll visit beautiful Tonle Sap, the world's second-largest freshwater lake, for a short boat tour taking in a floating fishing village, floating houses, floating schools and even a floating hospital.
Today's adventure begins before dawn, as you board a tuk-tuk to catch the sunrise at the magnificent temple complex of Angkor Wat. You'll admire the ancient library pools, then continue deep into the central chambers and up to the upper terraces of this spectacular temple. After breakfast, you'll head to the walled city of Angkor Thom to see the eerie stone heads of the Bayon temple and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King. After lunch and a short rest at the hotel, you'll head to the Banteay Srei Temple, whose delicately carved reliefs are regarded as the finest in Cambodia. You'll then visit the atmospheric ruined temple of Ta Prohm.
Today you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Saigon, Vietnam’s commercial capital. After a few hours at leisure to begin exploring, this evening you'll meet your tour leader and the rest of your group for welcome drinks and a tour briefing.
This morning you'll travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This amazing network of tunnels extends over 155 miles, and was developed as a means of waging guerrilla war against French and American forces. Back in Saigon, after a delicious lunch of Pho, Vietnamese noodle soup, you'll enjoy a walking tour, taking in landmarks including Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace (formerly the Presidential Palace) and the War Remnants Museum.
This morning you'll head south out of Saigon, to the Mekong Delta. This fertile area is known as Vietnam's "rice bowl". On the way, you'll stop at an unusual Cao Dai pagoda. At the Mekong River, you'll board a boat to begin a tour with the aim of gaining a real insight into the lives of local people. You'll visit a traditional brick factory, a coconut-processing factory and a local family home. After a lunch of local specialties, including elephant ear fish, you'll return to Saigon.
This morning you'll transfer to the airport for the flight to Hue, the former Vietnamese capital, on the banks of the Perfume River. Here you'll visit the magnificent Citadel, home of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors, and the tranquil Thien Mu Pagoda. The day ends with a visit to the Spiral Foundation, where the deaf and mute workers will help you make your own unique souvenir from recycled materials.
This morning you'll visit the impressive tomb of the fourth emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, Tu Duc, before driving south along the spectacular Hai Van Pass, taking in some of Vietnam's most beautiful rural and coastal scenery, to the World Heritage listed old town of Hoi An. Here you'll admire the architecture, a mixture of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French and British influences, and learn about local produce when you meet the students at Streets cafe. In the afternoon you'll visit an old merchant house, a Chinese assembly hall and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Today you're at leisure to explore the town. It's a chance to pick up some souvenirs, visit the colourful fish market, head to the beach or just relax by the pool at your hotel.
This morning you will transfer to the airport for your flight north to Hanoi, then head east to Halong Bay, famous as the location of the Catherine Deneuve movie Indochine. This spectacular bay has more than 3,000 islands that rise dramatically out of the sea. Here you'll board a boat and cruise out to the Bay, spending the afternoon visiting some of the beautiful caves and islets.
After breakfast this morning you'll visit more of Halong Bay's spectacular islets and caves before heading back to Halong City, enjoying a seafood lunch en route. In the afternoon you'll travel back to Hanoi, and in the evening you'll enjoy a performance of the city’s famous water puppets.
Today you'll begin your exploration of this vibrant city with a walking tour through the bustling markets of the Old Quarter, before heading to the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, starting at Ba Dinh Square, site of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and where Ho Chi Minh first declared independence from French rule in 1945. You'll also take in the Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Museum, before a drive across the city to Hanoi’s first university, the Temple of Literature, founded in 1070. Finally you will visit the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison. This evening you'll join the rest of your group for a farewell dinner.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
Gold fr £2704pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated