Classical Vietnam and Cambodia
Classical Vietnam & Cambodia – 19 Days
Day 1: Da Nang – Hoi An (L, D)
Meet at Da Nang Airport, your guide takes you to lunch before the 30-minute drive to Hoi An. Check in and free at leisure to stroll the quaint streets of this World Heritage Site, or sit at a riverfront cafe till sunset and dinner time.
Day 2: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An (L, D)
At sunrise, a 50km drive takes you to the ruins of the 4th century Kingdom of Champa at My Son, the World Heritage Site (It is possible to return by boat to Hoi An with lunch on board).
For the rest day, you can visit the Japanese bridge, Chinese temple and Vietnamese merchant house built between two to four hundred years ago. You will have at leisure by late afternoon.
Day 3: Hoi An – Kon Tum (L, D)
Today, the journey to Kon Tum takes you over mountain passes, with stops to view the misted peaks riverine valleys and visit a Cham temple en route. Arrival in late afternoon, you visit nearby Kon Kotu village of the indigenous Bahnar people. Sip rice wine by a bonfire, while the Bahnar dance to the music of pitched gongs and stringed bamboo instruments lilting into the night. Overnight in Kon Tum.
Day 4: Kon Tum – Pleiku (L, D)
Leaving Kon Tum for a 50km drive to Plieku, you will stop by the “Church of Wood”, French missionaries built this beautiful European styled edifice in 1913. We then visit the Bishop’s Court, Hill Tribe Museum, DacBla Bridge, Yaly Hydropower Plant and hill tribe villages at Gia Rai. Overnight in Pleiku.
Day 5: Pleiku – Buon Me Thuot – Lak Lake (L, D)
Traveling deeper into the central highlands to visit Ban Don Village by the Serepok River, you will see the traditions of elephant trapping, which is deeply rooted in the culture of its indigenous people. Visit a suspension bridge spanning 120 meters before we arrive at Lak Lake Resort for the night.
Day 6: Lak Lake – Nha Trang (L, D)
Dawn finds you gliding over the transparent waters of Lak Lake that spreads over 600 hectares in the rainy season. One of Emperor Bao Dai’s summer palaces overlooks the lake and on the southern shores, the indigenous Ede lives in thatched roof, longhouses on stilts. A 189km drive after lunch brings you to the coastal resort city of Nha Trang and free at leisure till dinner.
Day 7: Nha Trang – Mui Ne (L, D)
‘Mui Ne’ translates into ‘sheltered peninsula,’ strong winds pile the sand into migrating dunes of varying textures and hues of red, yellow and white. Depart from Nha Trang to Mui Ne by mid-day. You are at leisure till sunset and dinner.
Day 8: Mui Ne (L, D)
At leisure to spend an idyllic day, explore, swim, sunbathe or get to nearby fishing villages. The surrounding mountains are clad in forest and bamboo with waterfalls and streams flowing through red canyons while immense, rippled sand dunes front the sea.
Day 9: Mui Ne – Saigon (L, D)
At leisure till late morning, you may want to catch the sunrise. Check out by noon and have lunch, you begin the 175km journey to spend the night in Sai Gon, Vietnam’s largest city.
Day 10: SaiGon – Cu Chi – SaiGon (L, D)
Through the rubber forest to Cu Chi Tunnels to explore the maze of tunnels which display various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. Back to Sai Gon City at noon, you will visit The Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes. Moving to Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office then visit Ben Thanh Market, the bustling markets are very popular with tourists.
Day 11: Sai Gon – Con Dao (Flight VN 8055. 11:25–12:25)
At leisure until noon, we take a short flight to Con Son, the Main Island of the Con Dao Archipelago. From your coastline hotel, you can amble about town, the waterfront or beach until sunset.
Day 12: Con Dao Island
Your tour of Con Dao begins at 7.30am. Highlights include Con Dao Museum, Phu Hai Prison, Tiger Cages, where you can see many photographs documents and statue of prisoners that record the island’s history as a colonial and terrible prison in wartime. Move to Hai Duong Cemetery, in that teenage hero Vo Thi Sau was buried in peace. Dat Doc beach is a last stop for you to take a rest.
Day 13: Con Dao – Can Tho (Flight Vn 8071 11:10–12:05) – (L, D)
Board a late morning flight to Can Tho, The city by the Hau River in the Mekong Delta. On the ferry crossing to the city, you may be in time to see the sunset before dinner in Can Tho.
Day 14: Can Tho – Cai Rang – Chau Doc (L, D)
Morning boat cruise to visit Cai Rang, the biggest floating market in Mekong Delta. In the afternoon, drive to Chaudoc. Climb up Sam Mountain to visit Ba Chua Xu Pagoda, Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple & enjoy fantastic views through Cambodia
Day 15: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh (L, D)
Chau Doc is the riverine gateway into Cambodia. Board a speedboat at 7.30am, arriving at Phnom Penh for lunch. Settled into your hotel, the afternoon at leisure, you may want to check out the streets near Sisowath Quay with its bistros, galleries, and shops till dinner time.
Day 16: Phnom Penh (L, D)
Phnom Penh, at the confluence of the Mekong, Ton Le Sap and Bassac rivers, was once regarded as the “Pearl of Asia”. Although its beauty was ravaged by the Khmer Rouge, the broad boulevards and French architectural remnants bespeak its past glory. Your tour of Phnom Penh includes visits to Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, National Museum about Khmer Empire, Wat Phnom, the lotus shaped Independence Monument, Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Choeung Ek Killing field and Russian Market for leisure to shopping till dinner time.
Day 17: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (L,D)
The morning drive to Siem Reap gives glimpses of Cambodian rural life. Stop by a vendor of fried spiders that were first bred in times of starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime. Arrive at Siem Reap for lunch and at leisure till dinner time.
Day 18: Siem Reap (L, D)
Siem Reap today is an internationalized gateway town to the world famous heritage site of Angkor. The morning begins at the southern gate of Angkor Thom, the capital of Jayavarman VII (1181-1218). After lunch, we visit 12th century Angkor Wat, the state temple and capital city of king Suryavarman II. At dinner the bas relief carvings of Aspara, the female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology seen in the temples, come alive in a dance performance.
Day 19: Siem Reap Departure
Free at leisure until your transfer to Siem Reap International Airport.