• a person riding a horse in the water

Classic Vietnam and Cambodia Tour

Time to tick a holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia off your bucket list. Our Classic Vietnam and Cambodia tour takes you on an incredible journey to discover the culture, history, and the way of life in these two fascinating countries.

From marvelling at the outstanding natural beauty of Vietnam’s Halong Bay to discovering the ancient ruins of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, this eleven day tour takes in the must-see landmarks, natural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage sites across both countries.

You will be immersed in the local culture, from sampling the delicious food to discovering the local modes of transport - be that a bicycle taxi, a Honda motorbike, or a boat. You’ll have the chance to feast on a truly authentic meal that is cooked and prepared by locals during a dinner with a Cambodian family.

You’ll discover the remarkable lives of the communities that live in houses built on stilts above the water in Kompong Khleang. A day trip to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels where the Viet Cong soldiers lived underground during the Vietnam War is a poignant and moving experience.

Whether it’s the wonder of the jungle temple, taking part in a Buddhist spiritual cleansing ceremony or mingling with locals at the market, this Classic Vietnam and Cambodia tour is an unforgettable experience. It promises to be a thrilling and wonderful adventure.

Duration
12 days

Guide Price

 €2,689  pp
Best time to go
December to March
Options
Private or Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Hanoi

Trip highlights

  • Cruise through the emerald waters at Halong Bay and discover its otherworldly landscape
  • Visit Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and see one of Southeast Asia’s most important archeological sites
  • Crawl through the underground tunnels of the Cu Chi District, and learn about the Viet Cong soldiers’ lives during the Vietnam War
  • Whizz through the streets of Siem Reap and the surrounding Cambodian countryside on an exhilarating motorbike tour

Landing at Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi you will be met and driven to your hotel. After check-in, the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at your own leisure.   

Suggested Accommodation

  • Grand Babylon hotel
Local Boat on Halong Bay
Halong Bay

After breakfast, you will check out of your hotel before being picked up and driven to Halong City. Arriving into Halong City you will board an overnight cruise ship on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay, and an area of outstanding natural beauty. You’ll soon see why with its breath-taking forested islets that rise up from its emerald waters. The impressive rock formations have unusual names and shapes and as you enjoy lunch onboard, you can take in Halong Bay’s otherworldly scenery.

In the afternoon, you have the chance to visit a beautiful cave or swim in the bay’s crystalline waters. After your ship has anchored for the night, head to the bar for a sundowner. The spectacular sunsets over Halong Bay are worth their weight in gold. If you’re an enthusiastic foodie then you can sharpen your culinary skills at a cooking demonstration before dinner.

After dinner, you can stargaze on the sundeck or play board games with your fellow guests before retiring to your cabin for the night.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Bhaya Classic Cruise - Deluxe Cabin, Upper Deck
a sunset over a body of water
Hanoi
Hanoi

If you’re up early you can join a Tai Chi session on the sundeck and watch the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, your ship will make its way back to the pier, where you will disembark and be driven back to Hanoi.

Today’s excursion takes you on a tour of Hanoi’s charming and lively Old Quarter. You will board a cyclo, a local bicycle taxi that is a popular mode of transport in Vietnam, and explore the capital city’s historical centre.

In the afternoon, you have a choice of activities. You can either discover more of Vietnam’s vibrant capital at your own leisure and then, after a fun-filled day, rest your head in your Hanoi hotel before catching your flight to Hue the following morning.

Alternatively, you can enjoy a train journey to Hue on the Reunification Express. As Vietnam’s most famous railway, the Reunification Express railway line runs the full length of the country. It was built in 1936, but only ran for 18 years after its completion as the war halted its operations. In 1976 on the ‘reunification’ of north and south Vietnam, the train line reopened

Suggested Accommodation

  • Grand Babylon Hotel or train
Hue
Temple

If you stayed in Hanoi, after breakfast you will be taken to Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi, to catch your flight to Hue. After landing at Phu Bai International Airport in Hue, you will be picked up from the airport and driven to your hotel for check in.

For those of you that journeyed to Hue on the Reunification Express, you are scheduled to arrive at 11am. You will be met at the railway station and driven to your hotel for check-in. You then have some free time at your hotel as you unpack and settle in.

Lunch will be served up at a local restaurant before you begin your afternoon tour of Hue. As a former feudal and imperial capital, Hue has played a significant role in Vietnamese history. You can witness the blend of old and new architecture, and explore the many UNESCO World Heritage sites around the city. Hue is situated in a charming position on the banks of the Huong River, also known as the Perfume River, owing to the fragrant and delightful aromas that are released by the surrounding blooming flowers. During your tour you will visit the impressive imperial citadels and grand pagodas, before enjoying a picturesque boat trip along the Perfume River.

As the day draws to a close, head back to your hotel where you can relax and retire for the evening.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Moonlight Hotel
Riverfront
a row of wooden benches sitting on top of a sandy beach

After breakfast, your day will begin with a visit to one of Hue’s most beautiful mausoleums - the Tu Duc Royal Tomb. Emperor Tu Doc designed this tomb while he was still alive, in fact many years before his death. The 19th century emperor’s extravagance combined with the enforced labour used to build his tomb inevitably led to a planned coup. The plot was discovered and stopped, but visiting this tomb is a real eye opener into his opulent lifestyle.

After a three hour drive, you will arrive in the coastal city of Da Nang. The journey from Hue to Da Nang takes you across the Hai Van Pass, which is a beautiful 12-mile-long mountain road. Surrounded by towering mountains, verdant forests and deserted sandy beaches, your road trip to Da Nang is an experience in itself.
After enjoying lunch in a local restaurant in Da Nang, your first excursion of the day is at the Cham Museum. Discover the museum’s interesting collection of artefacts and sculptures from the Vietnamese indigenous Cham people.

Your next stop takes you to see the majestic Marble Mountains, which are situated just off the Da Nang Beach coastal road. These five marble and limestone hills are named after the five elements: kim (metal), thuy (water), moc (wood), hoa (fire) and tho (earth). Interestingly, the surrounding villages that have sprung up around these hills specialise in marble sculpture, which are a highlight to witness during your time here.

After taking in the splendour of the Marble Mountains, your journey will continue to the enchanting town of Hoi An. En route to Hoi An you will pass Vietnam’s Non Nuoc Beach, which has been voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Check in to your hotel upon arrival into Hoi An and the rest of your evening is free to enjoy at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hoi An Trails Resort
Hoi An market

During the 16th century, Hoi An was a major trading port in Southeast Asia. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage site is considered one of Vietnam’s best-preserved ancient towns. You will immediately fall in love with this charming port as you wander through its narrow streets that are adorned with quaint silk lanterns. Hoi An literally translates as ‘peaceful meeting place’, which is an apt name for this delightful town.

Your day begins with a short boat ride across the river to a shipbuilding yard. After admiring the skilled workmanship of the woodcarvers, you’ll head to a pottery and brick-making village.

Returning to Hoi An, you will enjoy an interesting walking tour of the Old Quarter. During the tour you will visit Hoi An’s notable sites, which include its Chinese temples, the Japanese merchant and community houses. Stop at the iconic Japanese Bridge with its ornately carved woodwork, and soak in the atmosphere of this romantic rendezvous point for local lovers.

After discovering the delights of the Old Quarter, the rest of your afternoon is free to explore Hoi An at your own leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hoi An Trails Resort
Hoi An
Hoi An

After breakfast, you will check out of your hotel and head to Da Nang International Airport to catch your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon).

After landing in Ho Chi Minh City, you will be taken for lunch at a restaurant in the city centre.

You will then spend your afternoon with a local guide who will lead a fascinating tour as you explore the city. You’ll learn about the city’s colonial past, when visiting Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Another highlight of the tour is visiting the French photographer Réhahn’s photo gallery, whose powerful images and portraits of the people of Vietnam are world-famous.

Your evening is free for you to organise and enjoy, before you head back to your hotel for the night.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Northern Hotel, Premier Deluxe Room
Thien Hau Temple China Town

After breakfast, take a short drive to Cu Chi District, which is just 34 miles from Ho Chi Minh City. Your morning excursion takes you underground into the amazing complex of tunnels, which were used by Viet Cong soldiers who spent much of the Vietnam War underground.

You’ll quickly realised how hard the living and working conditions were in the Cu Chi Tunnels. If you wish, you have the opportunity to crawl through the maze of tunnels and discover firsthand the conditions the soldiers would have faced on a daily basis.

After this moving morning discovering the bravery of the Vietnamese people, you will be driven back to Ho Chi Minh City for a tasty lunch in a local restaurant. You will then be taken to the airport to board your flight to Siem Reap.

You will be met at Siem Reap International Airport and then driven to your hotel. After check in, you can enjoy dinner before retiring for the night.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room
Siem Reap
Angkor Wat

Today, you will be driven to Angkor Wat to discover the ancient capitals of the Khmer Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage site dates back to the 9th century and is considered one of the most important archeological places in Southeast Asia.

Your tour will begin with taking in its most famous sites - Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, as well as a visit to the mysterious jungle temple of Ta Prohm. Lunch will be served at Sala Russey, a local restaurant that boasts fabulous views over the Khmer reservoir, Sra Srang.

A highlight of your day is taking part in a sacred Buddhist ritual conducted by Buddhist monks at Angkor Wat. The spiritual cleansing ceremony leaves your wrists adorned with a symbolic red tie and bids you a wish of good luck, safe travels and a long life. This is a fascinating day of discovering Cambodia’s cultural wonders at Angkor Wat.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room
Kompong Phluk
a boat is docked next to a body of water

Today is the day to discover the Sotr Nikum District on the Tonle Sap Lake, home to one of the largest communities who live in houses that are built on stilts over the water. Stopping at Kompong Khleang, marvel at this floating village’s water-based way of life. Just over an hour’s drive from Kompong Khleang is the jungle temple of Beng Mealea. Before exploring this 12th century abandoned temple, you will have the privilege of tucking into a lunch that is cooked and served by a local family in their home. Afterwards, it’s time to discover Beng Mealea. Covered in plants and overtaken by the surrounding jungle, there is certainly a mysterious and fairytale charm to this place, like something out of an Indiana Jones film.

After your visit, you will be driven back to your hotel and the rest of your evening is free to enjoy at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room
a man standing in front of a pond with Angkor Wat in the background

Today, you will enjoy discovering the streets of Siem Reap on a Honda motorbike. If you would prefer somebody else to do the driving, you can enjoy the tour on a local remork-moto. Whichever way you choose to explore this colourful city, your guided tour is sure to be an exhilarating ride.

Your first stop is a chance to sample local breakfast specialties at Siem Reap’s local market. Next, you’ll ride through Siem Reap’s backstreets before heading out to the surrounding countryside where you’ll get a snapshot of rural life in Cambodia. Whizz past farmers who are out in their rice paddy fields and vegetable gardens tending to their crops. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn how the local fishermen catch their fish. Heading back to Siem Reap, your mind will be buzzing with the sights and sounds of the morning’s tour.

Before the afternoon’s excursions begin, enjoy a delicious lunch at Pou Kitchen & Restaurant, an award-winning city eatery.

Your afternoon will take an artistic turn with a visit to the social enterprise business aimed at reviving ancient Khmer crafts, Les Artisans d’Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles. Discover collections of ornamental sculptures, silk weaving and silk paintings that have all been created by young artists. Venture onto another social enterprise, Rehash Trash, which runs daily workshops to educate local people how to reuse rubbish to create artistic pieces. This truly takes recycling to a whole new level.

Your day will end on a high at city favourite, Sombai Liqueur, where you can sample 11 different flavours of homemade, artisanal liqueurs. After you’ve found your favourite liqueur, you will be driven back to your hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room

After breakfast, you will be driven to Siem Reap International Airport where you will board your flight home. 

Included

  • Board basis is Full Board: breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Halong Bay; Half Board: breakfast and lunch/ at Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City (and Cu Chi Tunnels), Siem Reap; Breakfast at Hoi An
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day
  • Cost of accommodation in based on a twin/double room based on two people sharing for a total of 11 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for monuments and entertainment for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • All activities highlighted above
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary, except onboard your Halong Bay cruise ship
  • Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional attractions and excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals not specified
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • English-speaking local guide onboard the Halong Bay cruise