Day 3: Siem Reap – Explore Rolous Group Temple & Tonle Sap Lake (B, L)
Begin the tour in the morning to Rolous Group, the temple that was the center of Khmer civilization, built in the 8th century. The group consists of three main temples, Lolei, Bakong, and Preah Ko. Visit the zone with our experienced tour guide, who will be with you every step of your journey.
We will have lunch at the temple complex before heading to the floating village. To reach the Tonle Sap Lake, you will go down dirt roads and take a boat to see the floating village life and the stilt houses where you will experience the livelihoods of Cambodian people living in the floating villages, offering you the opportunity to see how families adapt their life to living on the water. Back on dry land, transfer back to Siem Reap. (Hotel: Central Corner d’Angkor)
Day 4: Siem Reap – Kampong Thom – Phnom Penh (B, L)
Today, we depart early morning to Kampong Thom and visited the temple of Sambor Prei Kok, one of the most important pre-Angkorian sites in Cambodia and soon become the next UNESCO world heritage Site. The temple was built in the Chenla period between the 6th and 7th centuries.
After our guide will lead a tour through the temples, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. We then hop back into our van for a 4-hour transfer to Phnom Penh, the city is considered as one of the most beautiful cities as it still retains a colonial charm flat. Cambodia’s capital is the bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake. The city contains many colonial-era buildings that reflect the glorious days and add to the allure of the city where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way. (Hotel: Frangipani Palace Hotel)
Day 5: Phnom Penh City Tour (B, L)
Departure to visit this incredible city. The first stop of the day will be Choeung Ek, better known as the “Killing Fields”, where thousands of people were executed during the Khmer Rouge regime. The visits will continue with the genocide museum, “Tuol Sleng S21”, the testimony of the Cambodian genocide of that historical period.
After the visit to the national museum, where exhibits dating from the Angkorian and pre-Angkorian period of the glorious history of the ancient Khmer empire are displayed. The block adjacent to the museum is completely occupied by the royal palace complex, which is also the “Silver Pagoda”.
Finally, a stop in the rich and interesting “Russian Market” and its great variety of products. (Hotel: Frangipani Palace Hotel)
Day 6: Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh (B, L)
This morning, we crossed the border between Cambodia and Vietnam on the Giant Ibis bus to head towards Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by locals. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city and its famous night market.
The journey on the Giant Ibis bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Min is 280 km and will last approximately 6.5 hours. (Hotel: Orchids Saigon Hotel)
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B, L)
Today, depart the hotel for a full day Ho Chi Minh city tour to enjoy the rich tapestry of the history and culture of the city. We walked along Dong Khoi Street, which was formerly called Rue Catinat, home to many of the city’s most important places since the French colonial period when it became known as the “Paris of the East”. We see the restored Opera House and the Hotel de Ville formally renamed the Hall of the Popular Committee. We admire the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral and the impressive facade of the Central Post Office, designed by the architect Gustav Eiffel. On the western side of District 5, we visit bustling Chinatown Cholon and the iconic Thien Hau Temple, built in honor of the goddess of the sea. We end the day at the bustling Ben Thanh Market or Saigon Market, considered the symbol of the city and the ideal place to shop. Return to the hotel and accommodation. (Hotel: Orchids Saigon Hotel)
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta (B, L)
This morning, depart the hustle and bustle city for an excursion to discover the magical Mekong Delta. Board a private boat on the Ben Tre River, one of the tributaries of the Mekong River, and sail through the narrow canals, surrounded by dense mangroves, coconut trees, and orchards of tropical fruits.
We will also visit a traditional brick kiln, an artisan center for the production of coconut derivatives and we will taste the exotic fruits of the area. Eat lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the Delta, then we cross the shady trails and green rice fields to discover a completely different world where life unfolds around the river. We end the day traveling in the sampan going deeper into the mythical delta before returning to Ho Chi Minh. (Hotel: Orchids Saigon Hotel)
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh – Tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels – Fly to Hanoi (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, we take a half-day excursion to the Cu Chi tunnels. The Important base of the Vietcong during the War with the United States, the Cu Chi tunnels were never discovered by American forces. This incredible underground network that extends for 200 km, has been excavated by hand on the hard laterite stone and connects different rooms such as command posts, hospitals, houses, and weapons factories. Today, you can walk through this area and discover the day to day life of the VC, see the cleverly camouflaged entrances, learn about the traps they prepared and even venture into the tunnels, some of which have been modified so that they can access tourists.
In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to board the flight to Hanoi. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day free to start discovering the city. (Hotel: Trang Trang Premium Hotel)
Day 10: Explore Hanoi (B, L)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we enjoy an action-packed city tour. We make the first stop at Huu Tiep Lake, where the famous downed American B-52 bomber is located, and stroll through the lively local market. We then visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, built in honor of the one who was considered a historical figure and father of modern Vietnam (closed on Mondays and Fridays from September to December), and see the exteriors of the Presidential Palace, former residence of the Governor of Indochina from 1954 to 1969. In the same complex, we find the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly in 1049 and considered an important symbol for the inhabitants of Hanoi.
We continue to Van Mieu and Quoc Tu Giam streets to visit Temple of Literature, which was the first University of Vietnam and dates from the 11th century. We walk through the streets of the old town to see the local people trading and going about their daily lives. We sat down in a crazy coffee shop for a refreshing cup of coffee or green tea. Return to the hotel in the afternoon and the rest of the day free. (Hotel: Trang Trang Premium Hotel)
Day 11: Hanoi – Explore Ninh Binh by Rowboat (B, L)
Breakfast at the hotel. We enjoy a full-day excursion to Ninh Binh. We depart in the morning for the Ninh Binh region, famous for its karst mountains full of misty caves. We sail in a rowboat along the natural channels of the Thung Nham Valley and explore the mystical caves along the way. We make a stop at a local restaurant to enjoy lunch before continuing to Mua Cave or Hang Mua, considered to be the Great Wall of Vietnam, where a 20-minute climb and 486 stone steps to reach the top of the mountain, you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the Tam Coc landscape of stunning natural beauty. (Hotel: Trang Trang Premium Hotel)
Day 12: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise Tour (B, L)
Today, we transfer by road to Halong Bay, a natural wonder declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. We traverse the rich lands of the Red River delta as we observe the curious daily life of villagers working in the rice fields where there are water buffalo, cows, ducks, and other water birds. Arrival, boarding, welcome drink, and cabin assignment. The best way to get to know this unique enclave is to spend a night aboard a charming traditional sailing boat, slowly ploughing through the waters to admire its breathtaking mystical landscape, where thousands of bizarrely sculpted limestone islands jut out into a sparkling emerald sea and are surrounded by colorful floating villages.
Lunch on board. We sail through the bay and see several rock formations such as the well-known Dinh Huang or “incense pot”. We stop to see some limestone caves and local fishing villages. We enjoy a magnificent dinner on board while we watch the sunset. Accommodation on board. (Hotel: Santa Maria Cruise Halong)
Day 13: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B, L)
Brunch on board as the traditional junk continues sailing through the idyllic landscapes of Halong Bay. We bid farewell to this natural beauty before heading back to Halong port. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi by road. Arrival, transfer to the hotel, and the rest of the day free to visit the favorite places of the city and acquire some souvenirs. (Hotel: Trang Trang Premium Hotel)
Day 14: Hanoi – Trip Concludes (B)
Your trip comes to an end this morning, with no further activities planned. Our tour concludes today with a transfer to the Hanoi airport for your onward flight and says goodbye to your tour leader.