Best of Vietnam & Cambodia
Wild & wonderful Hanoi, world-heritage Halong Bay, alluring Hue & historic Ho Chi Minh; plus Phnom Penh & the breathtaking temples of Angkor Wat; optional extension to Bangkok
|Style||Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||April – October 2023||Group Size||16 travelers max|
|Themes||History & Culture, Grand Tours|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.|
|Already booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.|
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Discover Vietnam and Cambodia, among the most fascinating and stunningly beautiful natural settings on earth, where ancient civilizations, welcoming people and dramatic history await. Our 16-day escorted tour of Vietnam and Cambodia includes the highlights of Vietnam from north to south: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as an overnight cruise on the picturesque Halong Bay. Then, continue to Cambodia and to the amazing Angkor temple complex and the lovely Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh. To maximize your visit to Southeast Asia, take advantage of your already-included airfare by joining our optional extension to Bangkok, Thailand.
- Round-trip flights from Los Angeles including taxes & fees
- All intra-Asia flights and ground transportation
- 14 nights at superior & deluxe hotels
- Overnight cruise on Halong Bay aboard the Boutique Indochina Sails
- 25 Meals: 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 5 dinners, including welcome and farewell dinners
- Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
- Professional English-speaking tour director and local guides
- Optional excursions in Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City
- Optional Bangkok post-tour extension
Why you'll love it
- For each traveler visiting, Friendly Planet contributes to a carbon-neutral program which supports reforestation, clean water, replenishing mangroves, and seeding coral reefs.
- Experience Hanoi’s must-see sights, including the “Hanoi Hilton” and the One Pillar Pagoda.
- Enjoy a delicious Vietnamese lunch at KOTO, a non-profit restaurant and vocational training program for young people in Vietnam.
- Cruise along serene Halong Bay aboard the Indochina Sails Boutique and attend a Vietnamese cooking class directed by the ship's chef.
- Stop by the Reaching Out workshop, a fair-trade organization where traditional handicrafts are made by disabled craftspeople.
- Explore Angkor Wat, a 900-year-old architectural masterpiece that impresses travelers with its beauty.
- Savor a special lunch at STREETS International, an institution that teaches disadvantaged youth about the culinary arts.
- Tour the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground passageways used during the Vietnam War.
- Visit Ho Chi Minh City’s Old Saigon Post Office, Reunification Hall and War Remnants Museum.
- Be inspired by the smiling faces of the workers at the L'irresistible jam factory in Phnom Penh.
Itinerary at a Glance
- 1 Depart USA
- 2 En route
- 3 Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
- 4 Hanoi
- Optional Excursion: Water Puppet Show (purchased locally), $23
- Optional Excursion: Hanoi Culinary Tour (purchased locally), $43
- 5 Hanoi, Halong Bay & Indochina Sails Boutique Cruise
- 6 Indochina Sails Boutique Cruise, Da Nang & Hoi An
- 7 Hoi An
- Optional Excursion: Ba Na Hills & Golden Bridge (purchased locally), $115
- Optional Excursion: Tra Que Village (purchased locally), $68
- 8 Hoi An & Hue
- 9 Hue
- 10 Hue & Ho Chi Minh City
- 11 Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi Tunnels
- Optional Excursion: Saigon Nightlife by Vespa (purchased locally), $125
- 12 Mekong Delta
- 13 Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap & Angkor
- 14 Siem Reap
- 15 Siem Reap & Phnom Penh
- Optional Excursion: Phnom Penh Nightlife by Remork (purchased locally), $66
- 16 Phnom Penh
- 17 Depart Phnom Penh/Arrive USA
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*, including Instant Savings discounts
Departs U.S.: Sun, Feb 26, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Mar 14, 2023
Feb 26 – Mar 14
Departs U.S.: Sun, Mar 19, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Apr 4, 2023
Mar 19 – Apr 4
Departs U.S.: Sun, Mar 26, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Apr 11, 2023
Mar 26 – Apr 11
Departs U.S.: Sun, Apr 16, 2023
Finishes: Tue, May 2, 2023
Book by Thu, Mar 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Apr 16 – May 2
Departs U.S.: Sun, Sep 3, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Sep 19, 2023
Book by Thu, Mar 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Sep 3 – Sep 19
Departs U.S.: Sun, Oct 15, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Oct 31, 2023
Book by Thu, Mar 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Oct 15 – Oct 31
Dates & Prices, tour only
per person, double occupancy*, including Instant Savings discounts
Starts: Tue, Feb 28, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Mar 14, 2023
Feb 28 – Mar 14
Starts: Tue, Mar 21, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Apr 4, 2023
Mar 21 – Apr 4
Starts: Tue, Mar 28, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Apr 11, 2023
Mar 28 – Apr 11
Starts: Tue, Apr 18, 2023
Finishes: Tue, May 2, 2023
Book by Thu, Mar 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Apr 18 – May 2
Starts: Tue, Sep 5, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Sep 19, 2023
Book by Thu, Mar 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Sep 5 – Sep 19
Starts: Tue, Oct 17, 2023
Finishes: Tue, Oct 31, 2023
Book by Thu, Mar 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Oct 17 – Oct 31
If you want a few extra days to explore on your own, we may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers, for an additional charge. Ask us about prices and availability when (or after) you book. More information Want to extend your trip?
Options & Fees
|Best of Vietnam & Cambodia1|
|Feb 26, 2023; Mar 19, 2023; Apr 16, 2023||$1099|
|Sep 3, 2023; Oct 15, 2023||$1199|
|All other dates||$999|
1. Reservations for triples are possible for this tour. On the cruise portion, passengers will stay in one double and one single cabin. Please contact us for price and availability.
|Separately Paid Fees|
|Vietnam Visa Fee1 (paid separately)||$45|
|Cambodia Visa Fee2 (paid separately)||$30|
|Cambodia Departure Tax3 (paid separately)||$25|
1. All visitors to Vietnam must obtain their own visa before departure. This price is approximate, based on a single-entry visa from Sherpa. Price includes $25 Government fee + $20.00 Convenience fee. Actual price varies depending on the type of service you request.
2. Paid locally.
3. Paid locally.
|Bangkok Post-Tour Extension1|
1. Requires a minimum of two passengers to operate. You will return to the US three days later than the package return date shown.
|Transfers for Passengers Booking Land Only|
|Optional Airport Transfers|
|Arrival Transfer: Hanoi airport to hotel1||$30|
|Departure Transfer: Phnom Penh hotel to airport2||$25|
1. Price based on a minimum of two passengers.
2. Includes English-speaking guide. Price based on a minimum of two passengers.
So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc. Why are single rooms more?
Flights & Departure Cities
|Los Angeles (LAX)||included|
|New York City (NYC)||$75|
|San Francisco (SFO)||$75|
This package offers round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Want to fly from another city? Unfortunately, we don't offer flights from other cities, but you can book your own.
Day 1 Depart USA
- Your exotic journey to Cambodia and Vietnam begins as you check in for your wide-body jet flight bound for Hanoi, Vietnam via Taipei, Taiwan
Day 2 En route
- Cross the International Dateline and lose a day. (You'll recover this day on your return trip.)
Day 3 Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
- Arrive today in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam
- Meet your guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in
- Time permitting, take an electric car ride around Hanoi's Old Quarter, also known as the "36 streets”
- This evening, join your fellow passengers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant
Meliá Hanoi or similar DinnerFull Day Itinerary
Arrive today in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Meet your guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in. This afternoon, time permitting, take an electric car ride around Hanoi's Old Quarter, also known as the "36 streets." This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore, with plenty of photo opportunities. Join your fellow passengers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant this evening.
Day 4 Hanoi
- Visit Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and his residence
- Continue to the One Pillar Pagoda, a prayer here is said to bring fertility and good health
- See the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university and Hoa Lo Prison (the "Hanoi Hilton")
- Have lunch at KOTO, a non-profit restaurant that trains young people
- Visit the Hidden Gem Café and try a traditional Vietnamese egg coffee
- Enjoy and afternoon at leisure or take part in an optional excursion
Meliá Hanoi or similar Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
This morning discover the highlights of Hanoi. First, enjoy a view of Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, then explore his "house on stilts," where he resided during the later years of his life, one of the most important and visited sites in Vietnam. Continue to the One Pillar Pagoda, built on stilts over a lake in 1049 by King Ly Thai Thong. A prayer here is said to bring fertility and good health.
Then, visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university constructed in 1070 by King Ly Thanh Tong to pay tribute to education and those of high academic achievement. Today, art students sit on the grass and try to reproduce the traditional Vietnamese architecture on paper while enjoying the beautiful and well-preserved gardens of this quiet retreat into Vietnamese educational history.
Continue to Hoa Lo Prison, formerly known as the "Hanoi Hilton." This notorious prison got its nickname during the Vietnam War—which the locals call the American War. Many Vietnamese fighting against the French were held here long before Americans were imprisoned. Afterward, have lunch at KOTO (Know One Teach One) restaurant, a non-profit restaurant and vocational training program for young people in Vietnam.
End the afternoon with a stop at the Hidden Gem Café, a unique coffee shop built around sustainability and reducing the use of plastics. Take notice of the unique décor as you meet the owner and learn more about how this idea came to fruition. Watch as he shows how a traditional Vietnamese egg coffee is made, and indulge in a tasting.
Later today, take some time to rest at the hotel, explore more of Hanoi or participate in an optional excursion.Optional Excursion: Water Puppet Show (purchased locally), $23Optional Excursion: Hanoi Culinary Tour (purchased locally), $43
This afternoon take advantage of an optional culinary excursion through the streets of Hanoi. Begin your exploration at a "wet market" where a wide variety of produce is sold, from fresh tropical fruits to live fish and frogs. Sample some different dishes as you stroll through the market. Next, walk through the backstreets where makeshift smaller markets line the road. Enjoy some excellent street food: choose between "pho gad" (chicken noodle soup and Vietnam's national dish) or "bun cha" (fresh rice noodles with grilled pork and herbs) in a local style specialty restaurant where only the dish mentioned is served. Continue south to the "thieves market," where motorbike spare parts and industrial machinery are sold. The labyrinth of stalls makes for excellent photos, and the chaos is captivating. Later, return to your hotel. Requires a minimum of 2 passengers. Tour overlaps with Water Puppet Show.
Day 5 Hanoi, Halong Bay & Indochina Sails Boutique Cruise
- After breakfast, drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay
- Board the Boutique Indochina Sails and enjoy a welcome drink and orientation
- During lunch you’ll cruise through Halong Bay, passing by the beautiful grottoes and islets
- Enjoy a cooking class held by the ship’s chef
- Join your fellow shipmates for happy hour before a sumptuous Vietnamese dinner
Indochina Sails Boutique or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This amazing bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is dotted with thousands of limestone karsts and isles.
Local legend states that long ago when the Vietnamese were fighting Chinese invaders, the gods sent dragons to help defend the land. The dragons spit out jewels and jade, which turned into the islands and islets of Halong, forming a great wall against the invaders.
Here you'll board the Boutique Indochina Sails. Upon boarding, you will be greeted with a welcome drink and gather in the dining room for a comprehensive safety and boat orientation briefing followed by itinerary details. Lunch is served on board at 1:00 PM. During lunch, cruise through the most beautiful and quiet areas around Halong Bay. Stop at Sung Sot Cave, or "Surprise Cave," one of the most spectacular grottoes of Halong Bay. Walk up approximately 60 steps to reach the mouth of the grotto. Afterward, enjoy a cooking class held by the ship's chef, who will show you how to prepare traditional Vietnamese food, and guests will taste the food after the course. Later, join your fellow shipmates for happy hour before your sumptuous Vietnamese dinner. After dinner, relax in the lounge or upper deck and enjoy the second happy hour. Board games and playing cards are available onboard, or take advantage of the cruise's massage services. Guests can even try their luck at squid fishing from the boat!
Day 6 Indochina Sails Boutique Cruise, Da Nang & Hoi An
- Wake up to fresh coffee, tea, and breakfast pastries
- An early morning Tai Chi lesson will be led by the ship’s Tai Chi master
- Then disembark for a walking tour of Titov Beach Island
- Once back on board, freshen up before enjoying breakfast
- Disembark, and transfer to the airport for your flight to Da Nang
- Continue to Hoi An by touring coach
Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
Wake up to fresh coffee, tea, and breakfast pastries. An early morning Tai Chi lesson will be led by the ship’s Tai Chi master before disembarking for a walking tour of Titov Beach Island. Climb the steps to the peak for a breathtaking 360-degree view of the bay, stopping at the expansive viewing deck halfway up. Once back on board, freshen up before enjoying breakfast. After breakfast, relax in the dining room and lounge or on the deck, enjoying the last views of the bay. After disembarkation, board your touring coach and drive to the airport for your short flight to the coastal city of Da Nang, one of Vietnam’s most important ports. During the Vietnam War, Da Nang was home to a vast U.S. Air Force base. Continue to Hoi An, on the banks of the Thu Bon River. The colorful market town of Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a major Southeast Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries, with ships arriving from all over the world to obtain silk and other fabrics, sugar, tea, and ceramics. Hoi An’s traditional Vietnamese architecture has been preserved, and there are many historic temples and pagodas in the area. Check in to your centrally located hotel and enjoy dinner.
Day 7 Hoi An
- Enjoy today at leisure in Hoi An to explore on your own
Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
Enjoy today at leisure to explore on your own. You might want to take advantage of Hoi An's world-famous tailors during your stay here. Anything you might want to wear can be made for you in Hoi An, all at bargain prices and with expert artistry.Optional Excursion: Ba Na Hills & Golden Bridge (purchased locally), $115
Depart this morning for Ba Na Hills, a mountainous theme park perched high among the mountains of a former French resort. First, ascend one of the world's longest and highest cable car rides while taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Once on top of the mountain, visit the Lin Ung Pagoda, Loc Uyen Garden, and the Quan Am Pavilion. Next, amid the misty hills of the mountains, bask in awe at the Golden Bridge, held by two hands that seemingly protrude out of the Earth to hold it up. Get your camera ready to take incredible pictures of the bridge, the neighboring hills, and the distant ocean. Spend the rest of the day leisurely before transferring back to Hoi An. Minimum 3 passengers to operate.Optional Excursion: Tra Que Village (purchased locally), $68
Take advantage of an optional bicycle excursion with lunch. Ride your bicycle to a local farm in Tra Que Village. Take a trip around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing and fertilizing the land with seaweed. Continue gardening activities such as raking, sowing, watering, and picking. After farming activities, see how to prepare tam huu, a local delicacy. Then sit down for a home-cooked meal, including banh xeo a specialty savory pancake wrapped in rice paper. Requires a minimum of 2 passengers. This visit takes place in the morning during the Ba Na Hills & Golden Bridge excursion.
Day 8 Hoi An & Hue
- This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An
- Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge and a beautiful Chinese Assembly Hall
- Conclude your tour at the Central Market with some time for souvenir shopping
- Afterwards, visit the Reaching Out workshop, a fair trade organization featuring handicrafts made by disabled craftspeople in Vietnam
- Enjoy lunch in Hoi An at STREETS International before continuing your journey by motor coach to Hue
- En route to Hue, stop at the Cham Museum
Senna Hue Hotel or similar Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An. Along the way, visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, featuring a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side, and the town's most famous landmark, a beautiful Chinese Assembly Hall built in 1740 as a meeting place for all Chinese residents of the town. The hall is lavishly decorated with murals and a replica of a Chinese ship, and Phuoc Kien Pagoda also called Kim Son Pagoda, built in 1697 by Chinese Phuoc Kien merchants at Hoi An. Conclude your tour at the Central Market, where you will find everything from fruit and flowers to tailor-made clothes and silk lanterns, whose flexible bamboo frames are designed to collapse so they're easily transported home as souvenirs.
Afterward, you will have the unique opportunity to visit the Reaching Out workshop. This fair trade organization features high-quality handicrafts made by disabled craftspeople in Vietnam.
Next, join your fellow travelers for a special lunch at a unique local restaurant. STREETS International is much more than your typical restaurant; it is an innovative vocational training program for underprivileged children to learn hospitality management, entrepreneurship skills, and the culinary arts. Support the program and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the students. Afterward, continue your journey by motor coach to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty that ruled Vietnam between 1802 and 1945. En route, stop at the Cham Museum, home of the world's finest collection of Cham sculptures.
Day 9 Hue
- Visit An Dinh Palace, the former residence of Vietnam Emperor Khai Dinh
- Make your way to the Tran Dinh Son Museum and the walled Citadel containing the Imperial City
- Explore Hue's best known religious site, the Thien Mu Pagoda
- End the day by boat with a visit to the popular Dong Ba Market
Senna Hue Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
Start your day with a visit to the magnificent An Dinh Palace, the private residence of Khai Dinh, Vietnam's penultimate emperor. Built in 1917 with French architectural styles in mind, the palace was seriously damaged during the war and recently restored as part of a German Government aid project. Get an overview of the life of this Royal family through the bedroom, entertainment rooms, and book room.
Next, hop on a cyclo for a short ride to Tran Dinh Son museum, the first private museum in Hue, once a residence of Emperor Minh Mang. Admire the now-preserved antique bowls, dishes, and teapots used by the kings. Then, go to the Imperial Citadel, where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers and the scars of many years of turmoil but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today.
Continue to Hue's best-known religious site, the Thien Mu Pagoda. According to legend, an elderly woman appeared on the hill where the pagoda now sits and predicted that a great leader would one day build a pagoda in that spot to bring peace to the country. Lord Nguyen Hoang visited the area in 1601, and upon hearing of the legend, he ordered the pagoda built, naming it Chua Thien Mu, the Heavenly Lady Pagoda.
End the day by boat with a visit to the famous Dong Ba Market, one of the must-see sites in Hue, where fruit, vegetables, fish, rice, and other staples of the traditional Vietnamese diet are sold along with foods made from these ingredients.
Day 10 Hue & Ho Chi Minh City
- Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
- Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant
- In the afternoon, depart for a half day tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City
- Visit the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Hall, the Saigon Post Office and more
- See the Jade Emperor Pagoda
Pullman Saigon Centre or similar Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.
Take a stroll around and admire 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. Next, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, depart for a half-day tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by many locals). Your program includes the War Remnants Museum, where exhibition halls display imagery of the French and American wars. Continue to the Reunification Hall. Formerly the Presidential Palace, it was towards this building that North Vietnamese tanks stormed on the morning of April 30, 1975, as Saigon fell.
Later, visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda located on the fringe of District 1. Dating from 1909 and built by Cantonese Buddhists, this quiet oasis was designed using feng shui principles showcasing ornate statues and effigies.
Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi Tunnels
- After breakfast, drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels
- Return to Ho Chi Minh City this afternoon for the balance of the day at leisure
Pullman Saigon Centre or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels, begun by the Viet Minh in the 1940s. The incredible network of tunnels once stretched for 210 miles and contained extensive Viet Cong infrastructure, including tactical quarters, storage rooms, kitchens, a school, and even an underground hospital. Most entrances were so well disguised that only a tiny portion of the system was discovered during the war, even though some 125 miles ran under a U.S. military base. Return to Ho Chi Minh City this afternoon for the balance of the day at leisure, or join an optional excursion this evening.Optional Excursion: Saigon Nightlife by Vespa (purchased locally), $125
Tonight offers a chance to experience the vibrant nightlife of Saigon from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. The city comes alive at sundown, and people congregate on sidewalks, parks, and all over the city. The first stop on your culinary exploration will be to sample some light evening snacks and refreshments at a rooftop bar. Continue through the city streets, seeking out bustling stalls serving authentic Vietnamese dishes. Conclude the evening at a hidden cafe, where you can enjoy a musical performance over a drink and ice cream, and see the new generation of Vietnamese unwind and flaunt their unique style.
Day 12 Mekong Delta
- Depart this morning for Cai Be, deep in the heart of the Mekong Delta
- Visit to a local home factory which produces rice paste, rice popcorn and coconut candies
- Transfer to smaller boats for a ride through beautiful canals
- Enjoy lunch at Ut Kiet Mandarin Home before slowly cruising back Cai Be
- On your return, stop at Cao Dai Temple then continue back to Ho Chi Minh City
Pullman Saigon Centre or similar Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
Depart this morning for Cai Be, deep in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Embark on a private cruise to the colorful Cai Be floating market. Your tour continues with a visit to a local home factory that produces rice paste, rice popcorn, and coconut candies. Transfer to smaller boats for a ride through the beautiful canals of Tan Phuong island (weather permitting). Then, enjoy lunch at Ut Kiet Mandarin Home before boarding the junk again and slowly cruise back to Cai Be as you take in the beautiful landscapes and observe typical rural life on the Mekong Delta. On your return, stop at Cao Dai Temple to witness a fascinating fusion of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, native Vietnamese spiritualism, Christianity & Islam. Return to Ho Chi Minh City later today.
Day 13 Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap & Angkor
- Transfer to the airport to board your flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in
- Set off for the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Begin your explorations at the mysterious royal walled city of Angkor Thom
- Other sites you'll visit include the Baphuon, Elephant Terrace, Leper King Terrace and Royal Palace
- Enjoy dinner at Spoons Cafe, a restaurant that aims to provide hospitality training to Cambodian youth
Treeline Urban Resort or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Set off for the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that contains the ruins of more than a thousand stone temples. The temples are the remnants of a grand religious, social, and administrative metropolis whose other buildings were built of wood and are long since decayed and gone. Built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD, the temples and the great city surrounding them are some of mankind's most astonishing architectural achievements.
Satellite photographs reveal Angkor to have been the largest preindustrial city in the world, with an urban sprawl of 3000 square kilometers and supporting a population of up to one million people. Mysteriously abandoned in the 15th century, the site remained largely cloaked by the forest until the late 19th century, when archaeologists began clearing the forest away and embarked on a lengthy restoration process.
Begin your explorations at the mysterious royal walled city of Angkor Thom. Its temple is an incredible and surreal sight that most visitors never forget. Atop each of its 50 towers, staring out in the directions of the four points of the compass, are four giant, barely-smiling faces depicting Khmer royal rulers as Buddhist deities. You are engulfed by the silent, heavy, enigmatic gaze of those faces, staring out through half-closed eyes from a remote time in history.
Other sites in this complex include the Baphuon, Elephant Terrace, Leper King Terrace, and Royal Palace area, from which the Khmer kings ruled over a vast domain from Vietnam to China to the Bay of Bengal. Tonight, enjoy dinner at Spoons Cafe, an extension of the Everything is Gonna Be Ok Foundation, where Cambodian students gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in future hospitality careers.
Day 14 Siem Reap
- After breakfast, depart for your exploration of the temples of the Small Circuit
- Next, visit Preah Khan, originally known as "the city of victorious royal fortune"
- This afternoon, depart by local Tuk-Tuk to visit the intricately carved ruins at Angkor Wat
- Continue to visit the Lake Tonle Sap where you will learn about life on the lake
- Board a boat and visit the floating village of Chong Kneah
Treeline Urban Resort or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, depart for your exploration of the temples of the Small Circuit. The most famous is the Ta Prohm temple. Shrouded in the jungle and left untouched among twisted banyan trees and stone pillars, it has the most mysterious atmosphere of the temples in the Angkor area. Visit Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the 12th century, and Srah Srang, also known as the "pool of ablutions," as well as the twin towers of Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon.
Next, visit Preah Khan, originally known as "the city of victorious royal fortune." Built in the late 12th century in honor of the great King Jayavarman VII's father, this massive temple complex originally had a population of 97,840 in its service. Less frequently visited than its counterpart Ta Prohm (which was built for the king's mother), Preah Khan is similar in design but is larger, more complex, and features numerous unique structures and carvings. Enjoy the sounds of exotic wildlife that now make the forested compound their home as you venture into the crumbling corridors of the labyrinthine complex in search of hidden features.
This afternoon, depart by local Tuk-Tuk to visit the intricately carved ruins at Angkor Wat, built by Suryavarman II during the early 12th century to honor the Hindu god Vishnu. Consisting of an enormous temple symbolizing the mythic Mt. Meru, its rectangular walls and moats represent chains of mountains and the cosmic ocean. Hundreds of delicate carvings and scenes from Hindu mythology can still be viewed here.
Continue to visit Lake Tonle Sap and have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonle Sap is Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake, whose size varies greatly depending on the season. Board a boat and visit the Chong Kneah village to see floating houses, farms, and even a floating hospital.
Day 15 Siem Reap & Phnom Penh
- After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Phnom Penh
- Meet with your guide and visit the National Museum containing over 5,000 statues and artifacts
- Continue to the Royal Palace complex and the Silver Pagoda
- Evening at leisure, or partake in an optional excursion
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Phnom Penh, the fascinating, bustling capital city of Cambodia on the banks of three rivers, the Mekong, the Tonle Sap, and the Tonle Bassac. Upon arrival, meet with your guide and check into your hotel.
This afternoon, visit the National Museum, built in 1917. Over 5,000 statues, lingas, and other artifacts are arranged according to pre-Angkor and post-Angkor periods of Cambodia's history. Next, continue to the Royal Palace complex, dating back to the French colonial period of the 1860s. The same complex houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5,000 silver tiles covering its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple, admire a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
Tonight, explore Phnom Penh further on your own or participate in an optional excursion.Optional Excursion: Phnom Penh Nightlife by Remork (purchased locally), $66
Tonight, discover the capital city of Cambodia in a Tuk-Tuk and visit a variety of nighttime venues, sampling Cambodia's nightlife and exotic cuisine, all of which feature an abundance of fresh and local ingredients. Khmer herbs and spices light up the flavors of striking Cambodian dishes, while the city's bright lights offer unique photo opportunities at some of Phnom Penh's most renowned landmarks. This remarkable city exploration provides a fun, exotic, and incredible unique Cambodian culinary experience.
Day 16 Phnom Penh
- Pay a respectful visit to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields
- Be inspired by the smiling faces of the workers at the L'irresistible jam factory
- Visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes
- Visit the hilltop site of Wat Phnom
- Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
This morning, pay a respectful visit to Choeung Ek Killing Fields. This rural compound was used as an execution site and burial ground for some of the millions killed during the Khmer Rouge regime. Here you will learn about the atrocities and brutal killings that occurred at this site through an informative audio-headset tour complemented by the information provided by your local guide.
The next stop is in one of Phnom Penh's most impoverished neighborhoods; however, there are seeds of hope producing fruitful results. L'irrestistible is more than just a factory producing fruit jams and flavored syrups; it is the living and working space for sixteen intellectually disabled Cambodians. These individuals have been given jobs and are taught life skills by a handful of caring Khmer and French staff and volunteers from the Action Cambodge Handicap Foundation. The all-natural jams and simple syrups, which are made from local ingredients such as pumpkin and coconut, are genuinely delectable, and the warm welcome you'll receive from the workers will be sure to brighten your day.
After lunch, pay a visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes, a Khmer Rouge prison and torture chamber from which only seven out of more than 30,000 inmates survived. Take a sobering tour of the site, learn about the prison's history, and hear the stories of the people held within its walls.
Later, visit the historical site of Wat Phnom and its Buddhist temple situated on the hilltop site. Named after Lady Penh, who discovered the five statues — one Vishnu statue and four Buddha statues — Wat Phnom is a total of 150 feet in height.
End the day with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant with your fellow travelers.
Day 17 Depart Phnom Penh/Arrive USA
- Today, transfer to the airport to check in for your return flight to the USA.
- Passengers returning to San Francisco (SFO) will have a 8-hour layover in Taipei before continuing to SFO, a day-use room will be provided
Bangkok Independent Optional Extension
Why not take advantage of your already included international airfare and add three days in exotic Bangkok, bustling capital of Thailand? Your extension includes airfare from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, three nights at a deluxe hotel, half day city tour, breakfast daily, and all group transfers!
Day 17 Depart Phnom Penh/Arrive Bangkok, Thailand
- Transfer to the airport to board your short flight to Bangkok, bustling capital of Thailand
- Upon arrival, you'll be escorted to your deluxe, centrally located hotel
COMO Metropolitan Bangkok or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
Day 18 Bangkok
- Enjoy an included half day sightseeing tour of Bangkok
COMO Metropolitan Bangkok or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, enjoy a half day sightseeing the major landmarks of Bangkok. Visit the Grand Palace, which for 150 years functioned as the home of the King and his court and the entire administrative seat of government. Within its grounds, see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), built to house a large Buddha image carved from a solid piece of green jadeite (jasper). Continue to Wat Pho, Bangkok's oldest temple regarded as Thailand's first University, which is home to the magnificent reclining Buddha and the first school of traditional medicine and Thai massage.
Day 19 Bangkok
- Full day at leisure in Bangkok
COMO Metropolitan Bangkok or similar Breakfast
Day 20 Depart Bangkok/Arrive USA
- Today, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA via Taipei, Taiwan
Hotels & Ship
The luxurious five-star Meliá Hanoi is located in the heart of Hanoi, inside the diplomatic and financial district and minutes from main tourist attractions and entertainment and shopping areas. From its 22 stories, guests can enjoy impressive views of the city and its various parks, rivers, and lakes. Offering excellent services and amenities and renowned Vietnamese hospitality, this award-winning hotel frequently hosts celebrities and dignitaries from around the world including Majesty Queen Sofia de Bourbon of Spain, British Princess Anne, Mr. John Prescott - Deputy Prime Minister of UK, Thai Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Philippines, Cambodia Princess Norodom Vacheahra, and Miss Universe 2002 Justine Pasek.
Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort is located in the heart of the ancient town of Hoi An. The Almanity’s architecture and philosophy reflects Hoi An’s cultural heritage with a modern twist. The hotel surrounds tropical gardens and inviting terrace pools.
Located in the heart of Hue, Senna Hue Hotel is near attractions such as the Imperial Citadel, Truong Tien Bridge, and Dong Ba Market. The hotel is inspired by historic French architecture with a modern touch, evoking its timeless design.
The 5-star Pullman Saigon Centre is located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, close to Ben Thanh market and other major tourist attractions. Pullman Saigon Centre offers multiple options to relax and recharge from a long day of sightseeing. There is a swimming pool as well as a fitness center that has state-of-the-art cardio and weight-lifting equipment. Pamper yourself with massages and beauty treatments at the spa.
Treeline Urban Resort, located on Siem Reap’s Riverside in Cambodia and designed and owned by Hok Kang, a pioneering Cambodian designer, offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Treeline was named and inspired by the majestic Angkorian trees that line the pathways and scatter across the last vestige of the Angkor Tree Line. Masterfully crafted spaces house a growing private collection of contemporary art.
Sofitel Phnom Penh is located in Old Quarter, featured in a 12-story colonial-style architecture hotel steps from Aeon shopping center and Riverside.
COMO Metropolitan Bangkok is a contemporary and stylish hotel located in the central district of Sathorn. The hotel is located 10 minutes away from Silom’s vibrant nightlife scene with close access to train stations, including the Skytrain Station. COMO Metropolitan is a mixture of relaxation and excitement, quietly removed from Bangkok’s traffic, yet steps away from the areas nightlife, shopping and restaurants.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
Indochina Sails Boutique is a leading cruise operator offering unparalleled service and hospitality. Their luxurious wooden junk is designed in a traditional style, but with contemporary, modern cabins and facilities. The Boutique boasts a rooftop sundeck, 2 decks, and 15 beautifully appointed cabins – the perfect way to experience the natural beauty and spectacular seascape of this UNESCO World Heritage site!
Reviews & Photos
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- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Travel visas are required for this package. Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about Cambodia? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Thailand? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Vietnam? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
More Common Questions
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