Vietnam and Angkor Wat holiday

“A tour of history and fascinating local life, this trip allows you to explore Vietnam and Cambodia in comfort, swapping long road journeys for flights to maximise time.”

Highlights

Hanoi | Hanoi Old Quarter | Halong Bay cruise | Marble Mountain | Hoi An | Cookery class in Hoi An | Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) | Cu Chi Tunnels | Mekong Delta | Mekong River boat trip | Siem Reap | Angkor | Angkor Wat | Angkor Thom | The Bayon

Description of Vietnam and Angkor Wat holiday

This 16 day classic Vietnam and Angkor Wat holiday covers an amazing amount of ground travelling from north to south of Vietnam and then, briefly, into Cambodia using a variety of private minibus, three flights and boats. A trip of a lifetime through some of the cultural and natural highlights of these countries, you are fully guided and travel in a small group, following an itinerary that has been carefully crafted to ensure that you have a real, not rushed, experience.

In Vietnam, we travel between the busting, beautiful capital Hanoi, and work our way south after spending some time on Hanoi Bay, where we take a boat, kayak and even swim in this stunning marine karst landscape, where over thousands of limestone boulders emerge from the busy waters. As well as seeing the famous floating villages, there are remote bays to seek out and plenty of time to just chill on board.

After flying south to Danang, our next iconic stop is Hoi An which really still feels like an ancient city, with car free streets lit by lanterns, crumbling colonial architecture and tiny artisan studios poking out along alleys or bicycle filled streets. The street food here is also superb, and we get an opportunity to have a cooking lesson from local experts.

More flying takes us to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) where the whirr of life, be it in temples, markets, artisan workshops or restaurants never stops, and is ever exhilarating. It is also a city to ruminate on the past, as it was devastated by the Vietnam/American War. We visit the sobering Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum as well as the Cu Chi Tunnels, outside the city, where despite being packed with tourists, are now infamous reminders of the brutality of this war. Not a trip for everyone, this one especially when invited to go down the tunnels.

The Mekong Delta is a wonderful reminder of the country’s natural heritage, and we spend two days travelling by boat through the country’s water dwelling communities, with floating markets, fishing villages and flooded paddy fields. And then, for the final leg of this Far Eastern odyssey, and in complete contrast, we take a flight to Siem Riep in neighbouring Cambodia. Because it is a shame to travel this far and not get a chance to see the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient empire of Angkor Wat, now enveloped in jungle that covers 160km2. If ever there was a fine finale to a trip of a lifetime, this is it.

Travel Team

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Our top tip:
From chilly in north Vietnam to very hot in Cambodia, prepare for changes in weather.
Trip type:
Small group, 5-16 adults (min. age 16).
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
12 nights good hotels, 1 night boat cabins.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available at hotels only for a surcharge.
Meals:
13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, transfers, listed activities, guide.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Vietnam and Angkor Wat holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Accommodation & Meals:
We will spend most nights in comfortable hotels and one night aboard a houseboat. This combination of locally run hotels and accommodation providers contributes directly to the community as staff are from the area and food is grown and sold locally. Many of these places also have environmental policies which reduce waste, water usage and energy expenditure. Where meals are not provided, your guide will be able to point out several smaller restaurants, cafes and markets, like in Hanoi old quarter, Hoi An market or Ben Thanh. There are some weird and wonderful regional specialties to try with plenty of fresh produce available in most areas. We even have the opportunity to take a cooking class and learn the intricacies of Vietnamese cooking under the supervision of a local chef.

Local Craft & Culture:
We do a lot to celebrate the cottage industries on this tour, as this is not only a way to directly benefit the locals but it is also hugely fascinating and enjoyable for travellers. For example, in the Mekong Delta, we visit a lot of these small businesses and factories which sell handmade coconut sweets, rice paper, soya bean sauce, popped rice and popcorn amongst other things. In Hoi An, we also stop by a shop called ‘Reaching Out’, which sells gifts handmade by artisans with disabilities – helping them to develop their talent and independence. Our entrance fees to the Angkor complex in Cambodia goes towards preserving these fascinating cultural sites and creating employment opportunities for local people.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. Our leaders and guides have been trained in responsible travel and actively encourage our suppliers, drivers, and other members of our team to respect the environment, protect the culture and support the local economy. They have also completed Child Safe training which enables them to take positive action should they encounter children at risk as well as educating clients re child protection within tourism.

Charity:
In Hanoi, we encourage groups to have a communal meal at KOTO, which is an NGO that provides a two year course in hospitality, English and life skills training to groups of 16-22 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also receive accommodation, food, medical check-ups and treatment whilst they are being trained. Many of the 400+ graduates have gone on to continue developing their careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere with their training so this is a great initiative to support.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

1 Reviews of Vietnam and Angkor Wat holiday

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 30 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Cycling through villages and rice fields and seeing incredible temples.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Quite full on with early starts but worth it! Take small bag so you pack for overnight stays.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes we supported a training restaurant in Saigon. Also I 'Packed for a purpose' as suggested by the operator and donated items to local orphanage

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very enjoyable - exciting and well organised. Will definitely travel with this operator again

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