Cambodia and Vietnam holiday, Siem Reap to Hanoi
Description of Cambodia and Vietnam holiday, Siem Reap to Hanoi
Discover the ancient temple complex of Angkor in Cambodia, explore the major landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), visit the charming town of Hoi An, then enjoy a luxury cruise on the serene waters of Ha Long Bay.
This 13-day guided Cambodia and Vietnam itinerary begins in Siem Reap, where you'll discover the ancient temples of Angkor with a private guide, visit the tranquil Tonle Sap Lake and see the floating villages of Kompong Phluk.
Fly to Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh next and learn more about the country’s recent history, with visits to the opulent Royal Palace as well as the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the killing fields of Choeung Ek, both of which stand as a reminder of the tragic Khmer Rouge period.
From Phnom Penh, you'll fly to Ho Chi Minh City, where you can learn more about the Vietnam War at the War Remnants Museum and crawl through the famous tunnels of Cu Chi, dug and used by the Viet Cong. Head for the UNESCO World Heritage City of Hoi An before making your way to Ha Long Bay. Enjoy a luxury cruise around the limestone karsts and emerald green waters of the bay.
|Day 1:||Arrive in Siem Reap - Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your accommodation. Your tour guide will meet you at your hotel in the evening to brief you about your Cambodia and Vietnam tour itinerary.|
|Day 2:||Explore Angkor - Today you have a full day to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor, including the iconic temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Phrom. The complex consists of hundreds of temples and monuments which were built by the Khmer empire between 800AD to 1300AD. After the fall of the Khmer empire, they were abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle for centuries, but many of the temples have now been restored and more than two million tourists visit Angkor Wat each year. Your guide will provide detailed information on how these temples were built and what purpose each one had within the complex.|
|Day 3:||Explore Banteay Srei & Tonle Sap - Travel to Banteay Srei, a temple famed for its intricate carvings depicting battles, scenes of conquest and daily life during the Khmer era. Built in the 10th century and dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, this temple is one of Angkor’s highlights. Discover Tonle Sap Lake and the floating villages of Kompong Phluk next.|
|Day 4:||Transfer to Phnom Penh - Today you’ll transfer back to Siem Reap Airport for a short domestic flight to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.|
|Day 5:||Explore Phnom Penh - Enjoy a guided tour of Phnom Penh, which includes a visit to the Royal Palace, home of the current Cambodian Monarch, King Sihamoni. There’s also the option to visit Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S-21) where prisoners of the Khmer regime were held and killed, as well as the infamous killing fields of Choeung Ek located just outside the city - these can be difficult sites to visit, not suitable for children, but offer a poignant reminder of a dark period of Cambodia's history, still in living memory for many Cambodians.|
|Day 6:||Fly to Ho Chi Minh City - You have some time to explore Phnom Penh in the morning before you pack your bags and head for the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon).|
|Day 7:||Ho Chi Minh City Guided Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels - This morning you’ll visit the tunnels of Cu Chi, a huge system of connecting underground tunnels built by the Viet Cong in the 1940s. The tunnels offer visitors a poignant reminder of the hardships of war and an insight into the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in the day. You’ll also get the chance to crawl through a 100-metre section of the tunnels to experience what life would have been like for soldiers. Enjoy a private, guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City in the evening. See all the famous landmarks of the city, including the sobering War Remnants Museum, Presidential Palace and some colonial-era landmarks such as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office and the Continental Hotel, plus the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the statue of Thich Quang Duc.|
|Day 8:||Fly to Da Nang & Transfer to Hoi An - Catch your flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang and transfer by private car to the charming town of Hoi An.|
|Day 9:||Explore Hoi An - You’re free to explore Hoi An on your own today. With its cobblestone streets, narrow canals, French colonial buildings and Chinese-style houses, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful towns. This former trading port is famous for its historic and picturesque Old Town.|
|Day 10:||Fly to Hanoi - This morning you’ll fly to Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River in northern Vietnam. With Chinese, French and Vietnamese architecture, bustling markets, ancient Buddhist temples and pagodas, museums, war memorials and communist landmarks, there’s much to explore in this fascinating city. You are free to explore Hanoi at your leisure in the afternoon.|
|Day 11:||Ha Long Bay Cruise - Drive approximately four hours from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise journey. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay is famous for its serene, emerald waters and towering limestone islands topped by greenery. You can take in the stunning natural scenery as you cruise in the tranquil waters. See floating villages such as Cua Van, Vung Vieng, and Cong Dam. You’ll also get the opportunity to visit a secret grotto, enjoy a swim, and maybe even kayak on the calm waters. Once the crew have moored up in the bay for the night you’ll be served a delicious seafood dinner.|
|Day 12:||Return to Hanoi - Cruise back to the pier in the morning and disembark your boat, then transfer back to Hanoi. You are free for the rest of the day. You may wish to explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter, with its maze of narrow streets crammed with shops, art galleries, boutique shops, trendy cafes and restaurants alongside street stalls.|
|Day 13:||Depart from Hanoi - Your Cambodia and Vietnam adventure comes to an end today. We will drive you to the airport after you are done with your breakfast.|
1 Reviews of Cambodia and Vietnam holiday, Siem Reap to Hanoi
Reviewed on 12 Jan 2016 by Beverley Ashurst
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Back of bike tour Ho Chi Minh City
Halong Bay Cruise
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Travel light, mosquito spray
Obtain a map of the city and ask about the best places to eat
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Benefited local people only by contributing to tourism
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
PlanetAll our adventures are privately guided holidays and as such we retain a commitment to working with small group sizes. By travelling in small numbers and using expert local guides we can limit the potential for damaging ancient temples and trails.
You will visit several world heritage sites and national parks on this itinerary, including the Temples of Angkor and Choeung Ek in Cambodia, and Hoi An and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. In our detailed pre-departure travel pack we have included a note to remind you not leave any litter around these environments – everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to wildlife.
We aim to reduce transport emissions on this trip by exploring Ha Long Bay with kayaks, and you’ll cruise through secret grottos and floating villages on the calm waters. You’ll also enjoy fresh, locally caught seafood for dinner.
Our UK office takes a leading role in setting the standards for an environmentally friendly work environment. We work with local government to recycle our waste and continually look for new ways to be greener, including encouraging travellers to bring reusable water bottles on their holiday.
PeopleIn Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, we take you for lunch at Pour un Sourire d’Enfant to show our support for this fantastic community initiative.The project is centreed around a vocational training program that has rescued thousands of children from living on the streets around the city.
We employ local guides and support staff who we pay fair wages, often exceeding government standards which we still consider too low, and thereby remove the reliance on tipping from travellers for livelihoods.
Our accommodation choices make use of locally owned properties where possible and often include adventurous, authentic choices such as local homestays which therefore involve local people and their communities in the very fabric of our holidays.
We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture.
In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their children’s education in pursuit of this opportunity.
Talk to us about Packing for a Purpose and see if you can get involved by making a small material contribution to the communities you are visiting. We have developed partnerships with charities and accommodations throughout Cambodia and Vietnam and are constantly working to extend our reach with the help of our travellers.