ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax at the hotel or take a walk and explore the city streets.
Day 2: Hanoi
Discover the story of Hanoi by exploring its top sites and labyrinthine Old Quarter. See all the highlights including the Presidential Palace, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum — the resting place of Vietnam’s founding president. You’ll also see the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, an 11th century archaeological site, and the famous Temple of Literature. End the afternoon viewing Long Bien Bridge, which was partially bombed during the Vietnam War, then take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, finishing with a coffee at a local café.
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Drive about four hours to the coastal port of Halong to explore the amazing natural wonder of Halong Bay a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your two-day cruise through the jade green waters will see you cruise to the far-most corners of the bay on a traditional wooden junk, visit fishing villages and kayak past jungle-clad karsts towering up out of the water.
Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Wake up with the sunrise and admire the bay at first light. Take a small tender boat to visit Surprise Cave the largest in the bay and so called because you really are surprised on entering! The cave is filled with impressive limestone formations that have been illuminated for the best views. Cruise through the bay arriving back at the port around midday. Drive back to Hanoi arriving late in the afternoon.
Day 5: Hanoi – Hue
Fly to the former imperial city of Hue and explore the elaborate tombs belonging to past emperors. Nestled against the banks of the Perfume River, Hue has had an interesting history. See the mausoleum of the former emperor Minh Mang situated in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes and walk around the Imperial Citadel the seat of power for the Nguyen dynasty.
Day 6: Hue – Hoi An
Take a cruise down the romantically named Perfume River and let your mind wander to the empires of the past. Then drive about two and a half hours along the Hai Van Pass, the most scenic stretch of coastal road in all of Vietnam! The scenic route climbs over the ‘Pass of Ocean Clouds’ before dropping down to the photogenic fishing village of Lang Co. Arrive into the UNESCO Heritage Town of Hoi An late in the afternoon.
Day 7: Hoi An
With its stunning mix of architecture, that tells a story of days gone by, to the colourful boats bobbing in the harbour, Hoi An is has a charm and style all of its own. Once a 15th century fishing village, the town is now a renowned for its tailors, galleries, boutiques and of course its food! This morning, explore the beautifully restored town on a guided walking tour and see all the main sites.
Day 8: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City
Drive to Danang and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Discover the story of Saigon, from the days of the French rule to the war years with America – this is one city with a tale to tell! See all the main sights including the Reunification Palace, the Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. End your day with a speedboat trip down the river to see a different side of the city.
Day 9: Cu Chi Tunnels
Travel by speedboat from Ho Chi Minh City to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground city for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Cruise the Saigon River, taking in the scenery and river life as you leave the bustling city behind. In the tunnels, discover how the Viet Cong survived underground and see various man traps, bomb craters and other remnants of war. Then visit a farm and taste an unusual local specialty - cricket!
Day 10: Mekong Delta – Le Jarai Cruise – Can Tho
Travel two hours south of Ho Chi Minh City and board a small boat and explore the waterways stopping off at a small home-based factory where workers process coconuts to be used in products like matting and candy. Then transfer to Le Jarai, a converted rice barge and continue your cruise along the Mekong River. Join in a demonstration of Vietnamese cooking and watch the river go by as you enjoy a sumptuous three-course lunch of Mekong specialties! Return to Ben Tre where you will be will be transferred to Can Tho, the delta’s economic hub.
Day 11: Can Tho – Chau Doc
Rise early and go by boat to the township of Cai Rang to see the hustle and bustle of a floating market. Then, drive approximately three hours to the riverside town of Chau Doc, a colourful and sleepy town near the Vietnam-Cambodia border. This afternoon take a cruise along the Vinh Te Canal which helps define the border between Vietnam and Cambodia. After the cruise, head to Sam Mountain for breathtaking sunset views over a chequered patchwork of rice fields and earthen dikes.
Day 12: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh
Travel by boat four and half hours up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh the capital city of Cambodia. See the jewels of the Silver Pagoda with its floor made of silver and Buddha’s studded in diamonds. Hear the moving stories of the prisoners of Tuol Sleng and end your day on a lighter note as you shop for trinkets at the central market.
Day 13: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
Fly to Siem Reap and the magnificent temples of Ankgor. This afternoon explore the ancient ruins of the Roluos group of temples. These three small temples were the site of a former Angkorian capital. In the evening take your time to wander the old market area of the town with its labyrinth of lanes filled with boutiques, galleries, cafes and small bars. It’s the place to be after dark!
Day 14: Temples of Angkor
Be awestruck by Angkor Wat, marvel at the smiling faces of Bayon and the tree entwined temple of Ta Prohm, that featured in the movie Tomb Raider. You’ll also see the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of Leper King, the pyramid shaped Phimeanakas and watch the sunset from the top of Pre Rup. All the main highlight temples are covered so you won’t miss a thing!
Day 15: Depart Siem Reap
This morning you might like to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the market before you transfer to the airport for your onward flight.