Journey through 2 of South-east Asia’s most incredible countries. The Experience Vietnam Cambodia Tour is our most popular small group tours.
From the cultural North of Hanoi, cruise Halong Bay, on to the most popular lovely town of Hoi An, before heading south into Ho Chi Minh City, through the Mekong Delta in depth and finishing at the majestic Angkor Temples in Cambodia. An incredible trip of a lifetime. There is no better experience of Vietnam and Cambodia and our small group tours offer the greatest value for money and experience.
Today arrive into Hanoi where you will be met at the airport for a transfer to your hotel.
This afternoon, your guide will take the group on an afternoon walking tour of the fascinating Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. The Old Quarter in Hanoi is over a thousand years old yet retains much of the old flavour that made the area special in earlier times. Discover this fascinating old part of Hanoi.
Later this evening, you will get your first taste of the wonderful Vietnamese cuisine and get to know the other tour members over dinner at a great restaurant.
2 night’s in a boutique 4 star hotel in the heart of the Old Quarter.
This morning, enjoy a city tour to visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (photo stop outside) and tour his historic house to learn more about the great man himself – Ho Chi Minh. Continue on to tour Hoa Lo, the infamous prison nick named the Hanoi Hilton. After which, visit the Women’s Museum, a fascinating insight into the Vietnamese culture and traditions including the women’s role in supporting the family and country.
It’s then on to the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 it was Vietnam’s first university and dedicated to Confucius. Your morning concludes with lunch at KOTO a not-for-profit restaurant helping troubled youth learn life and culinary skills to bring them an education and a brighter future.
After lunch, the afternoon is yours at leisure – you may wish explore one of the many other museum’s in Hanoi, enjoy Hoan Kiem Lake – or simply shop! Your guide is available to assist you if you wish.
Optional Experiences: Make the most of your time with these optional experiences bookable with your tour guide.
Chocolate High Tea – The impressive and historic Hotel Metropole Hanoi offers an exquisite afternoon Chocolate High Tea. Starts 3pm.
Street Food Tour – Sample the special flavours of Vietnam on this walking tour of the street food of Vietnam. Guided, 4-7pm
After breakfast, depart for Halong Bay – a legendary world just waiting to be explored. Here, board your cruise boat which combines oriental style with contemporary comfort. Together they are the perfect recipe for an enchanting holiday. On arriving at Halong Bay around midday, board your cruise vessel for a delicious buffet lunch as it sets sails out amongst the stunning seascape.
Spend the afternoon cruising amongst the limestone islands with stops along the way. There may also be the opportunity to kayak or swim. On board activities include sunbathing, traditional massage and cooking demonstrations.
Overnight on board your deluxe cruise. Your cabin offers all the amenities to feel comfortable: twin or queen-size bed, air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom with shower and expansive windows providing memorable views.
For the early risers you can join in with Tai Chi on the sundeck, feel the early morning salt water scent or watch the sun rising from behind the mountains. Or simply enjoy dawn break with coffee and a light breakfast. Cruise back to port with stops with at islands and bays before enjoying a buffet brunch at the end of your memorable trip. On disembarking your guide greets you for the return drive to Hanoi with a visit to a local village popular for embroidery and textile products.
Late afternoon, arrive at Hanoi Airport for a short flight to Danang in Central Vietnam. Bonus: We have included access to the airport lounge for you to relax before your flight. On arrival in Danang, transfer to your seaside hotel in Hoi An.
4 nights’ in a 4 star boutique beachfront resort
A later start this morning allows you to relax and enjoy a leisurely breakfast or early morning swim, before visiting Hoi An historic town. Begin with a walking tour inside and around the historic old buildings. Ancient shop houses line the streets, the Japanese covered bridge is a landmark and you’ll discover the history of this ancient trading port. Bonus: Your visit concludes with your chance to witness how the beautiful lanterns seen all around Hoi An are made – and give it a go yourself!
The afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. Hoi An is one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam with its charming old town filled with art shops, home-wares, cafés and tailors. During the 17th and 18th centuries Hoi An was a major Asian trading centre, it is a wonderful town for getting clothes tailor-made or for buying souvenirs, Hoi An also boasts an excellent beach.
This morning we discover the ancient ruins of My Son. Between the 4th and 13th centuries a unique culture which owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism developed on the coast of contemporary Vietnam. This is graphically illustrated by the My Son remains of impressive towers located in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence. My Son is considered to be Vietnam’s counterpart to the grand cities of other Asian civilizations such as Angkor (Cambodia), Bagan (Myanmar), Ayutthaya (Thailand), and Borobudur (Java).
You’ll return to Hoi An by boat for a relaxing view of the surrounding area. Arriving into Hoi An town, the afternoon and evening is yours at leisure to enjoy Hoi An or return to your hotel and its beach side setting.
Today we have included a full day at leisure in Hoi An as it is the jewel in anyone’s visit to Hoi An. Relax, explore, swim or shop – the choice is yours.
To discover more we offer optional experiences you can book with your guide (additional cost):
Red Bridge Cooking Class – Red Bridge offers one of the most professional and fun cooking classes in Vietnam. Begin with a market visit to purchase produce, followed by a boat trip to the school. Red Bridge will teach you how to create many of the popular Vietnamese dishes you will encounter on your holiday. Begins at 8.15am in Hoi An town.
Countryside Village by Bicycle – Using quality local bikes your guide will collect you from your hotel for a cycle through the countryside to a local village where the way of life remains as it has for generations. You’ll see pottery making and visit the Tra Que farming Village, the fresh vegetable gardens and many of local farmers work at their fields using traditional methods. On the way see small handicrafts, such as rice paper making. Lunch is included of local food before biking back to your hotel. Fitness level: Average. Grade: Easy
Ethnic Village by Jeep – Travel by American Army Jeep for an exciting ride inland towards the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through stunning countryside to a traditional ethnic community still living the ways of their ancestors. Full Day Tour, Guided.
These optional tours can be pre-paid with your tour or available for you to book with your guide prior to arriving in Hoi An. Alternatively you may simply relax beside the beach or enjoy shopping in the old town. Your guide is with you if you would like assistance.
This morning travel to Hue via the spectacular Hai Van Pass. After leaving Hoi An, the first stop is Marble Mountain, a whole village devoted to carving beautiful sculptures, then stop briefly at the Cham Museum filled with artefacts from the ancient Cham Kingdom, before heading over the pass. Once rated by National Geographic as one of the 50 ‘must-do’ journeys in the world, stunning views await at the top of Lang Co Beach and out to sea.
Continue on to Hue for check in with time to relax. Bonus: This evening you’ll be pampered like royalty as you discover the cuisine the Emperor’s dined on at a special Imperial banquet dinner.
2 nights’ in a historic 4 star hotel
Today explore the historical significance on a city tour of the small city of Hue – the former Imperial City. Start the day with a boat trip along the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, built in 1601. Then continue by car to the Ancient Citadel, the capital of Vietnam from 1802-1945, where the last king of Vietnam, Bao Dai abdicated on 30 August 1945.
After lunch at a delicious local restaurant, visit the tomb of the Emperor Khai Dinh with its mix of Asian and Western architecture. On the return to your hotel a stop is made at a roadside village to observe how locals make incense and traditional conical hats.
This morning transfer to Hue Airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). On arrival transfer to your hotel for check-in and time to freshen up. We then begin a tour of the main sights in and around Saigon including a stop at the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral and Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office. We include a stop for lunch (own cost) and a visit to the War Museum – a stark reminder of the US-Vietnam war. Continue on for a special insight with a tour of a traditional medicine museum where you’ll discover the use of natural herbs in traditional medicines, used in Asia dating back to the Stone Age. We end the day at a local boutique brewery for those who want to sample an ice-cold local beer to end their day!
2 nights’ in a historic central 4 star hotel
After breakfast, transfer to the wharf for a magical speedboat trip up Saigon River to visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Dug by hand the tunnels were home to the Viet Cong during the US war – parts have been excavated for visitors to see inside.
Returning to Saigon, the afternoon is yours at leisure for that last-minute shopping or to enjoy the cafés and bars. Tip: For those who like to shop, enjoy the luxury brand names around downtown Saigon or head to Ben Thanh Market to test your bartering skills.
Tonight, we celebrate your tour with a farewell dinner on a stunning evening river cruise.
(Note: Some people on this tour may only be doing the Vietnam portion of the tour and will leave the group tomorrow)
(Note: Some people may join today for the Mekong & Cambodia portion)
This morning depart Ho Chi Minh City for the drive through the beautiful agricultural areas known as the fruit bowl of Vietnam – the Mekong Delta. On arrival in the Mekong, a boat trip takes you across the river to explore the myriad of estuaries and islands. Visit orchards and bonsai gardens and sample the wonderful array of fruit. After a light lunch continue by road to Can Tho to overnight.
After breakfast travel by boat to the biggest floating market in the Mekong at Cai Rang. An amazing spectacle awaits as you witness the daily ritual of the markets. Boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other products anchor along the banks of the river daily selling their wares. The merchandise sold in each boat is hung on a high pole in front of the boat as a sample to attract customers from a distance.
Continue by road further into the Mekong arriving in the early afternoon at the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel. Lunch will be served on arrival at the hotel.
This afternoon visit Sam Mountain. With influence from Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer cultures, Sam Mountain is renowned for its traditional pagodas secluded in caves and is the site where devout local Buddhists make their annual pilgrimage.
During your tour, you will visit the main sites of Lady Chua Xu built in 1820, Tay An Co Tu built in 1847 and Thoai Ngoc Hau Mausoleum dated from 1930. These key locations will be the base of your introduction to Buddhism, Hinduism and worship to ancestors. Your guide will explain how these three religions were brought to Vietnam and how they impact the daily life of the Vietnamese.
Overnight at the 4 star colonial Chau Doc Hotel. Built in a colonial style right on the banks of the Bassac River. Relax in style enjoying the swimming pool, fitness centre or billiards – or hire a bicycle to explore the surrounding area.
Early this morning farewell your Vietnam guide as you board the Victoria speed boat for your journey up river to Phnom Penh. On board this unique means of transportation, explore one the most mysterious rivers of the world, the Great Mekong, and admire the natural beauty of its timeless scenery. From the comfort of your seat, watch life unfold in front of you: encounter tiny villages, bamboo-stilt houses, colourful floating markets, farmers at work and smiling children.
During border formalities, you’ll enjoy cool drinks offered by the on-board staff.
On arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be met by your local Cambodian guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in and time to freshen up. Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”. It was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920’s. In 1975 Phnom Penh was evacuated by the destructive Khmer Rouge, and now is regaining its place on the map of upcoming cities.
In the afternoon, visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. From here we’ll stop for a visit to the Daughters’ Visitor Centre a beautiful space, home to Daughters of Cambodia. Daughters of Cambodia reaches out to victims of sex trafficking. Their centre provides women with good-paying jobs at Sugar ‘n Spice Café, Hands ‘n Feet Spa and the entry-level boutique. Here you are free to browse the boutique, grab something to eat at the café or enjoy a foot spa. For those who wish to stay on, you are welcome to make your own way back to your hotel and spend your evening enjoying the river-front restaurants and bars. Alternatively you can be transferred back to your hotel.
1 night at a 4 star chic and modern boutique hotel close to the downtown riverfront area.
This morning visit the notorious Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields located just outside of Phnom Penh. Note: Some images may be disturbing for some people. We then transfer to Phnom Penh Airport with time for lunch (own expense) before a short flight to Siem Reap. On arrival in Siem Reap you will be transferred to your hotel.
This evening, enjoy a special cultural experience with dinner and a traditional Apsara Show. It is a rice to riches story for owner Por whose name proudly names this restaurant. In 1983 Por had a vision of owning a fine restaurant. He started by opening a humble kiosk serving his traditional noodle creations to the people of Siem Reap. His simple dish became an essential part of the community food chain, a taste that made his family well known and celebrated. Now 30 years later, the dream has come to life with an exciting array of flavours.
2 nights in a 4 star hotel within walking distance to evening attractions.
Today, enjoy a full day exploring the stunning Angkor Temples. Begin with Banteay Srey then the South Gate of Angkor Thom. The vast area of the Angkor Thom ruins, over a mile on one side, contains many stone temples and other features to explore. The city has five monumental gates (one in each wall plus an extra in the eastern wall), 20m high and decorated with stone elephant trunks and the king’s favourite motif, the four faces of Avalokiteshvara.
Continue to the ruins of Bayon, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure Phimeanakas and the Elephant terraces. The Bayon Temple (circa 1190) is a Buddhist temple but retains elements of Hindu cosmology and imagery. Standing in the exact centre of the walled city, it represents the intersection of heaven and earth. It is known for its enigmatic smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara and its extraordinary bas-reliefs.
Then visit the jewel – Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture in Cambodia and is so grand in design that some rank it among the seven wonders of the world. It appears on the Cambodian national flag, a very rare instance of a flag incorporating an image of a building.The “lost city” of Angkor first attracted the interest of Europeans in the 1800’s after Cambodia was colonised by the French.
The evening is yours at leisure, enjoy ‘Pub Street’ and the night markets if you wish.
Sadly today is the end of your tour. We include a transfer to Siem Reap Airport for your onward travel arrangements.
Travel April to September $4,969 per person twin share | Travel March, October – December 2018 $ 5,319 per person twin share – tour price includes a saving of $250.00 per person | Single Supplement available – please enquire
Tour Dates: 2018: April to September 3, 14, 28 April | 8, 19, 29 May | 12, 26, June | 10, 24 July | 7, 21 August |4, 18 September 2018 | March, October – December 6, 20 March | 2, 16, 30 October | 13 November | 11 December 2018
Guaranteed Departure applies as soon as 2 people are booked on this tour.
NOTE: We regret we do not accept children under 15 years old on our Experience Tour.
If travelling with children please ask us to customize a special family holiday for you.
Price includes: Small group tour with local English speaking guide in each country, all accommodation in 4 star hotels including daily breakfast, all transfers and sightseeing tours detailed including all entrance fees. All domestic flights and boat journeys detailed, additional meals as indicated (B = Breakfast; L = Lunch, D = Dinner), full pre-departure information and an emergency contact phone number in Vietnam & Cambodia.
Price excludes: International flights (arrive Hanoi – Depart Siem Reap), Cambodia & Vietnam entry VISA *, Travel Insurance, Drinks during lunches and Dinners, departure taxes (if applicable), personal expenses (mini-bar, phone calls, laundry, internet, etc) and gratuities (tips).
IMPORTANT: Due to the nature of this tour, a good level of physical mobility is required. Some boat excursions require you to be able to step into and out of boats from a variety of wharf’s/piers.
IMPORTANT VISA Information: A visa is required for entry into both Vietnam and Cambodia.
Please consult with your travel agent regarding Visa requirements. Although your Cambodia Visa can be arranged at the border crossing on the Mekong (bring two passport photos and US$ 35 cash) we do recommend this is arranged before you depart your home country to save time and any inconvenience.
T&C’s: Valid for new bookings only. Valid for travel on set tour departure dates between Mar-Dec 2018 and for sales to 30 Nov 17. Prices are per person in New Zealand dollars. International airfares are additional. A non-refundable NZD100 per person deposit is required at the time of reservation with full payment required no later than 30 Nov 2017. Advertised price includes the savings as stated above. Discount applies to the tour price only and not the additional single supplement rate. Prices are correct as at 12 Oct 17 but may vary due to currency fluctuations and are subject to change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances until paid in full. Guaranteed departure applies as soon as two people are booked on a tour date. Maximum group size: 14 people. Children under 15 years are not permitted on these tours, if you are travelling with young children please ask us to customise a special family holiday for you. Close-outs and surcharges may apply. Cancellation and amendment fees apply. Airfares, Vietnam and Cambodia visas, travel insurance, departure taxes, gratuities and any other personal expenses are at passenger’s own expense. For full terms and conditions please visit www.activeasia.co.nz.
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