Designed to show the best of Vietnam at a leisurely pace, this amazing holiday combines our intimate small group tour of Vietnam covering key destinations with a majestic river cruise of the Mekong Delta whilst cruising into Cambodia.
Soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the energetic cities then change pace as you begin to explore rural regions. On board your boutique ship, relax and admire the scenery with visits to floating markets, local home industries and peaceful villages along the way. Visit Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with an incredible day exploring the impressive Angkor temples.
|Destination||Vietnam & Cambodia|
|Cities & Locations||Halong Bay / Hoi An / Hue / Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum / Danang / Ancient ruins of My Son / Marble Mountain / Cham Museum / Hai Van Pass / Perfume River / Thien Mu Pagoda / Ancient Citadel / Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh / Cu Chi Tunnels / Mekong Delta / Phnom Penh / Siem Reap / Angkor Wat|
|Departure Location||Hotel, Hanoi|
|Duration||20 Days / 19 Nights|
Tour Dates: On Selected Dates - Small Group Tour.
Departure Dates: Guaranteed Departures
2020: 05 & 19 February, 04 & 18 March, 01 & 15 April, 01, 15 & 29 July, 12 & 26 August, 09 & 23 September, 07 & 21 October, 04 & 18 November, 02 & 30 December
2021: 13 & 27 January, 24 February, 10 & 24 March, 07 April
NOTE: We regret we do not accept children under 15 years old on this tour.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Your local English-speaking guide will update you with all you need to know about Hanoi including money matters, how to get around, what’s ahead on your tour plus you’ll get our best of what to do and where to eat guide.
This morning meet the rest of your group for a Heritage Hanoi city tour. Highlights include the Women’s Museum, offering an insight into the incredible role women have in Vietnamese culture; Hoa Lo, the infamous prison nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton; the Temple of Literature; Ba Dinh Square to see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum; Ho Chi Minh’s Historic House; and the One Pillar Pagoda. Lunch is included today at KOTO, a not-for-profit restaurant helping troubled youth learn culinary skills to bring them a higher education and a brighter future. Return to Hanoi’s Old Quarter for an Ancient City Walking Tour to discover the bustling and narrow streets of this 1,000-year-old city centre.
Transfer to Halong Bay, with its thousands of islands jutting from the sea. Upon arrival board your cruise vessel for lunch as it sets sails out amongst the stunning seascape. Spend the afternoon cruising amongst the limestone islands with excursions along the way and onboard activities to enjoy. Overnight onboard.
For the early risers, a Tai Chi session is available on the sundeck or you may wish to simply watch the sun rising from behind the mountains, enjoy dawn break with coffee and a light breakfast. Cruise back to port with stops along the way before enjoying a buffet brunch on board. Upon arrival at the port, disembark and transfer to Hanoi Airport for a flight to Danang. Upon arrival, transfer to your Hoi An hotel.
This morning discover the ancient ruins of My Son, a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence. My Son is Vietnam’s counterpart to the grand cities of other Asian civilzations such as Angkor (Cambodia), Bagan (Myanmar), Ayutthaya (Thailand), and Borobudur (Java). Return to Hoi An for a lunch of traditional Hoi An food followed by a short Hoi An walking tour which will showcase 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.
Today spend the day at leisure. Hoi An is one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam with its charming old town filled with art shops, homewares, 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. Optional extra tours are available upon request (additional charge).
Today transfer to Hue via the Hai Van Pass with stops along the way. Explore Marble Mountain and admire the huge array of artisans at the carving village set at the base of these historic mounds. Take the steps (or lift) to the top for a scenic view. Stop at one of Danang’s landmarks, the Dragon Bridge, before visiting the impressive ‘pink’ Danang Cathedral. At the Cham Museum you’ll discover some of the best artefacts from a past civilization of the Cham people. After an early lunch, travel via the winding roads of the spectacular Hai Van Pass where stunning views of the sea and of Lang Co Beach await.
Today discover the historical significance of the former royal capital, the city of Hue. Begin with a boat trip along the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, built in 1601. Continue by car to the Ancient Citadel, the capital of Vietnam from 1802-1945. After lunch, 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.
This morning transfer to Hue Airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for a quick freshen up. You will then begin a Saigon Sights city tour which includes a stop at the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral and Gustaf designed Central Post Office before visiting the War Museum – a stark reminder of the atrocities of war. Gain a special insight with a visit to 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. End the day at a local boutique brewery for those who want to sample an ice-cold local beer to end their day!
Take to the Saigon River this morning with a speedboat trip up river to visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Dug by hand the tunnels were home to the Viet Cong during the US war. A video shows their use and parts have been excavated for you to see inside. Upon returning to Saigon the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. You may wish to shop or check out the numerous cafes and bars available.
Today, transfer to the departure point of your river cruise. Say farewell to your local Vietnam guide and any tour guests only doing the Vietnam tour as you will be hosted and guided by the river cruise company during your luxury cruise. Board a luxury cruise ship which takes you on an amazing journey to places rarely visited as you travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap in Cambodia. The Mekong River and the Tonle Sap (The Great Lake of Cambodia) are the flowing heart of the area, giving love and life to this nation. Upon embarkation, refreshing drinks and a light lunch is served as the ship steadily glides off on your journey along the Mekong. Sit back, relax and make yourself familiar with all the ship facilities. During the time you savour your dinner, the ship reaches and anchors in Cai Be, a charming town, famous for its Catholic French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. Please Note: the cruise itinerary varies slightly throughout the year as water levels vary according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded.
Today highlights include a visit to Cai Be’s main floating market which you will visit onboard a smaller boat. Go onshore to visit local workshops including rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine and gain an insight into how these industries work. Continue by local boat to explore the lush and green canal network and observe the farmers working in the fields. Back on-board lunch is served. In the afternoon, reach the area of Sa Dec and embark on a traditional local boat and head towards Binh Thanh Island. Wander through a village and get an indepth understanding of native life here. Back on board, relax as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau – near the border to Cambodia.
This morning, head ashore and explore Tan Chau by ‘xelois’, a local vehicle which is still used as a taxi in this region. Slowly move around the streets to see all the workshops, houses, domiciles and the colourful local market. Board a local boat and cruise past floating houses to reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of a fish production that is sold all over the world. Here we get a deep insight on how fish farming works. Back on board your ship, sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside towards Phnom Penh. The afternoon is spent cruising up river. The ships docks at the pier of Phnom Penh in the evening where you are free to explore at your own leisure.
Start the morning with a tour to the Killing Fields located just outside of the city, followed by a visit to the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and suppression. Alternatively, you may prefer to explore the city in the morning on your own before re-joining the group. Following lunch, explore the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum. The day ends with a ‘cyclo’ ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh. Back onboard, a lecture about Cambodian modern history, by a professor of the Royal University is followed by a barbecue dinner on the sun deck.
Depart Phnom Penh before the break of dawn, cruising past tranquil villages all whilst taking in the exhilarating river life. Depending on the river water level, the cruise itinerary for today may include a visit to a small rural Cambodian school supported by the cruise line. This is an incredibly heartwarming experience.
This morning enjoy an excursion by tuk tuk to learn about silk production. Before lunch, an expert guide offers a presentation on the ‘Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap’. Depending on the season of travel, a visit may also include a local village for an exciting connection with the friendly river-side villagers.
Today’s excursion may include a visit to the Cambodian water world village, where everything is on sticks balanced on water-rich soil. This is perhaps the most fascinating cruise locale in Cambodia, or a visit to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey, built in the 7th century. This small complex sits on a hilltop right on the shore with breath-taking views of the Mekong. Return to the ship for lunch while cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap River. Come evening, a sumptuous dinner is served. Be sure to bring along your dance shoes as you’ll learn to manoeuvre the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors!
Today farewell your friendly cruise crew as its time to disembark for the transfer to Siem Reap. Departure point, and transfer time varies between low and high-water season, so the transfer by coach may take between one to four hours. On arrival in Siem Reap, farewell your fellow cruise passengers as you check in to your Siem Reap hotel. The afternoon and evening is then spent at leisure.
Discover the incredible key temples of the Angkor complex today beginning with the vast area of the Angkor Thom ruins. Over a mile on one side, they contain many stone temples and other features to explore. Next is the Bayon Temple, this Buddhist temple 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. After lunch, visit Angkor Wat, the jewel in the crown of Angkor. Angkor Wat is the best-preserved example of Khmer architecture in Cambodia and is so grand in design that it appears on the Cambodian national flag, a very rare instance of a flag incorporating an image of a building.
Today, transfer to Siem Reap Airport where tour arrangements end.
12 nights accommodation in 4 star hotels, 7 nights aboard a luxury river cruise in the Mekong Delta.
Breakfast daily, 12x lunches, 8x dinners.
All transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees, port taxes, the services of an English speaking guide and domestic flights within Vietnam; Hanoi-Danang, Hue-Ho Chi Minh City.
Excludes: Vietnam and Cambodia visas, meals not indicated, beverages, gratuities and any other personal expenses.
The Mekong River cruise excludes laundry, alcoholic beverages including mini-bar, wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar.
Terms & Conditions
Itinerary and price subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. Please refer to our full terms and conditions available on our brochure or from our website. Active Asia reserves the right to alter the hotels and/or the itinerary if needed due to availability and/or adverse weather conditions.