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Essential Vietnam and Cambodia

16 days from £2910 per person

A scenic journey from the Vietnamese capital Hanoi to the spectacular temples of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, this itinerary showcases the highlights of these two captivating countries. Beginning in Hanoi, spend ample time exploring the city then enjoy a memorable overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay. Continue south to historic Hoi An, experience the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City then explore the beautiful Mekong Delta including the floating market at Chau Doc and Tra Su Forest. From Chau Doc enter Cambodia and travel by speedboat on the Mekong River to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh before ending your journey at the extraordinary UNESCO protected temples of Angkor Wat.

Route: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Hoi An – Hanoi – Can Tho – Chau Doc – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap

Itinerary Highlights

Vietnam’s most iconic landscape, exploring the epic scenery of Ha Long Bay by junk boat is a special experience. Go swimming, visit a local fishing village and enter one of the many limestone caves.

The Mekong Delta is a low-lying region of thick jungle, palm trees, and quaint riverside towns. For a true flavour of the delta wake early to attend one of chaotic and colourful floating markets.

Capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh provides an opportunity to not only embrace modern Cambodian culture but also to reflect on the nation’s difficult recent history under the Khmer Rouge.

Itinerary: Essential Vietnam and Cambodia

Today depart the UK on the Vietnam Airlines flight to Hanoi. (N)
Arrive into Hanoi where you will be met and taken to your hotel for a two night stay. A handsome city of tree-lined boulevards, temples, lakes, parks and a frenetic, vibrant old colonial centre, Hanoi’s charm lies in the preservation of a distinct North Vietnamese culture and way of life distinct to that of the south of the country. (N)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Today explore Hanoi with your guide starting at Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum before continuing to his house, in the compound of the former Presidential Palace, and nearby One Pillar Pagoda which was originally built during the 11th century AD. From here continue on foot to the wonderful Temple of Literature – the largest temple complex in the city. Nearly 1,000 years old, the temple was dedicated to Confucius and the cult of literacy and education. End the day exploring the narrow lanes and historic buildings of the atmospheric old quarter. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
This morning leave Hanoi and travel through the countryside by road to Ha Long Bay where you will board your boat for an overnight cruise. There are a number of different junk boats that operate on Ha Long Bay and we can also organise a private charter cruise. At Ha Long Bay over 3,000 limestone-karst islands protrude from the sea to create a labyrinth of channels, secluded beaches and yawning caves. The scenery here is unlike anywhere else in the country and spend the remainder of the day cruising the bay. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Ha Long Bay: Dragon Pearl Junk Boat
Upgrade option: Jasmine Junk
Start the day with Tai Chi then explore beautiful Thien Canh Son Cave, one of hundreds in the bay. Arriving back in the harbour, leave the boat, return to Hanoi and fly on to Danang. On arrival in Danang you will be met and driven south along the coast to Hoi An where you will stay for the next two nights. The hotels we have suggested are located within the historic old town, however, there are also a number of excellent coastal resorts lining China Beach should you prefer to be beside the sea. These properties are a short drive from Hoi An. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Vin Hung Emerald Resort
Upgrade option: Anantara Hoi An Resort
This morning explore Hoi An – a quaint, picturesque town of winding cobbled streets, pretty wooden merchant houses, pagodas and silk merchants. Around two-hundred years ago Hoi An was a bustling little port home to Chinese traders and a strong commercial link to Japan which, over time, influenced the town’s architecture and design. Spending time in the town, spend the rest of the day relaxing on China Beach. Visits can also be made to one or two of the local fishing villages outside of Hoi An. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Vin Hung Emerald Resort
Upgrade option: Anantara Hoi An Resort
After breakfast transfer to Danang Airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City where you will stay for the next three nights. Renamed at the conclusion of the Vietnam War, the city is still known to many as Saigon. Growing from a small 15th century Khmer trading port, today Ho Chi Minh City is the modern face of Vietnam – a bustling dynamic metropolis of crumbling colonial buildings, chaotic streets, colourful markets and informal pavement cafes. (B)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
This morning explore Ho Chi Minh City with your guide. Places of interest include Tan Dinh church, the city’s Central Post Office which was designed by renowned architect Gustav Eiffel the Opera House. Continue on to the former Presidential Palace, now Reunification Hall, which was famously occupied by the army of North Vietnam in 1975 and where it is possible to see the war room, banquet hall and presidential office. In the afternoon visit the War Remnants Museum, then end the day in colourful Cholon, the city’s Chinatown, Thien Hau Pagoda and bustling Binh Tay market. (B)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
After breakfast leave the city behind and drive south to the town of Cai Be. Here board a small local boat and travel along narrow canals and winding waterways, gaining a glimpse into traditional delta life. Stop on the way in Dong Phu and An Binh, the location of small home-based factories producing oil, matting and sweets from coconut, and also visit an old French colonial home. Changing boats, continue to Vinh Long then disembark and drive to Can Tho, the heart of the Mekong Delta, where you will stay overnight. (B)
Accommodation in Can Tho: Victoria Can Tho Resort
Starting early, this morning attend the town’s colourful and bustling daily floating market. Tradesmen and vendors from the neighbouring towns and villages descend on Chau Doc by boat selling everything from fruit and vegetables to clothing and household goods. Later drive to Chau Doc, a sleepy riverside town close to the Cambodian border where you will stay overnight. In the afternoon enjoy a memorable visit to the eco reserve of Tra Su Forest and travel by private sampan through narrow waterways and mangrove forest. Tra Su is home to over 100 different species of water birds and is an important habitat for bats. (B)
Accommodation in Chau Doc: Victoria Chau Doc Hotel
This morning board the Victoria Speedboat for the five hour journey on the Mekong River to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. On arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel where you will stay for the next two nights. A vibrant bustling city, Phnom Penh is located at the confluence of the on the banks where the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. With plenty of provincial charm, the tree-lined boulevards, elaborate temples and attractive colonial buildings make Phnom Penh one of the region’s most atmospheric cities. (B)
Accommodation in Phnom Penh: White Mansion Boutique Hotel
Upgrade option: Raffles Hotel Le Royal
Today explore this riverside city with your guide. Places of interest include the National Museum which houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer archaeological, religious, and artistic artefacts, the French-built Royal Palace complex, the Silver Pagoda and the city's oldest shrine Wat Phnom with its mystics, faith healers and fortune tellers. In the afternoon travel out of the city to the Choeung Ek killing fields and Toul Sleng Museum which recounts the horrors of the notorious Khmer Rouge regime. (B)
Accommodation in Phnom Penh: White Mansion Boutique Hotel
Upgrade option: Raffles Hotel Le Royal
Leaving your hotel, this morning transfer to Phnom Penh Airport for the short flight to Siem Reap where you will stay for the next three nights. Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples of Angkor – some of the most spectacular religious monuments ever built. Capital of the ancient Khmer Empire, Angkor was abandoned in 1431 and reclaimed by the thick Cambodian jungle only to be rediscovered 400 years later by French naturalist Henri Mouhot. (B)
Accommodation in Siem Reap: Sokkhak Boutique Resort
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence d’Angkor
This morning visit Angkor Thom, the spacious walled capital of Jayavarman where highlights include the temple ruins of Bayon, Baphoun and Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and 12th century Terrace of the Leper King. Time will also be spent exploring the atmospheric remains of Ta Prohm which remain enveloped by thick jungle undergrowth and creepers. In the afternoon, visit the epic Angkor Wat. Explore its extraordinary architecture and enjoy the beautiful Khmer architecture and reliefs which adorn this ancient monument. (B)
Accommodation in Siem Reap: Sokkhak Boutique Resort
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence d’Angkor
After breakfast travel north to the 11th century temple of Banteay Srei. Smaller in size than many of the neighbouring complexes, the site is dedicated to Brahma and contains some of the region's best preserved sandstone decorations. Leaving Banteay Srei, visit Banteay Samre which was originally based on Angkor Wat, then drive to Tonle Sap Lake for a cruise around the lake’s floating villages. (B)
Accommodation in Siem Reap: Sokkhak Boutique Resort
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence d’Angkor
Today you will be transferred to Siem Reap Airport for your onward flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival connect onto the Vietnam Airlines flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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