Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia VIS21
|Resort:||Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia VIS21|
|Operator:||Great Rail Journeys|
|Destination:||Asia, Cambodia, South East Asia|
Explore the wonders of 2 fascinating nations on a tour of Vietnam and Cambodia. Delve into the history and culture of Vietnam, explore UNESCO listed attractions and visit the incredible temple city of Angkor Wat.
Days 1-2 – Hanoi and London
Meet your Tour Manager and group at London Heathrow, departing on an overnight flight to Hanoi.
Arriving on Day 2, we transfer to our hotel ahead of a walking tour of Ngoc Son Temple. Following this, we enjoy a cyclo ride in the Old Quarter; a buzzing hub of activity set amongst traditionally Vietnamese buildings.
Day 3 – Exploring Hanoi
Today we enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Hanoi. Starting after breakfast, we explore the area around the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where Vietnam’s revolutionary leader is interred. Later, we continue to the One-Pillar Pagoda, where Ho Chi Minh once resided, and the Quan Thanh Temple, an 11th-century Taoist structure dedicated to the God of the North.
After free time for lunch, our tour continues, with the focus turning to food, we visit the Hanoi Old Quarter where we discover the amazing scents and sights of the traditional street food scene. Lining the vibrant streets, vendors quickly rustle up delicious ‘fast food’, and our local guide introduces us to some delectable treats, including Bun Cha, Banh Goi, and Oc Luoc.
Days 4-5 – Halong Bay
We leave Hanoi, heading to the stunning waters of Halong Bay where we take an overnight cruise on a traditional junk boat. We visit some of the stunning caves and islands and enjoy a seafood lunch on board. In the late afternoon, we have time to admire sunset over the bay, enjoy happy hour onboard, or attend a cooking demonstration. This area of outstanding natural beauty is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its deep turquoise waters and unusual rock formations.
On Day 5, we start the day with a relaxing Tai Chi class on the sun deck, after which we continue cruising through the bay, soaking up incredible views of this mesmerising attraction. After we disembark, we transfer back to Hanoi, making a short stop at the Dai Viet Craft Centre en route. This evening, we visit a Water Puppet Theatre, where we enjoy a performance of this amusing art form. Tonight, we join the overnight rail service to Da Nang.
Days 6-7 – Da Nang and Hoi An
After breakfast on board the train, we arrive at Da Nang, transferring by coach to Hoi An where the rest of your day is at leisure to discover this exciting and remarkably preserved city.
On Day 7, we take a guided morning walking tour, uncovering Hoi An’s historic and colourful Old Quarter, which at night is lit up with a wonderful display of lanterns. We also visit Tan Ky Old House, that flaunts Japanese and Chinese architectural influences and has been lovingly preserved through 7 generations, the Fukien Assembly Hall, and the stately looking Japanese covered bridge, which has stood for 400 years. Next we visit the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum where we can admire Rhahn’s Precious Heritage Collection. A renowned French fine art photographer, Rhahn’s work offers an immersive glimpse into the contrasts of Vietnam. The exhibition here showcases the traditions and heritage of some lesser-known Vietnamese tribes. This afternoon, you are free to explore Hoi An.
Days 8-9 – Ho Chi Minh City
We transfer to Da Nang airport today for our morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. This afternoon, we explore this city famously known as Saigon under French colonial rule, seeing the Reunification Palace, which occupies an important place in Vietnamese history as the site of the end of the Vietnam War, after North Vietnamese army tank crashed its gates and freed Saigon from South Vietnamese forces. We also see the General Post Office, and City Hall. The design of the city was heavily influenced by the French, with wide boulevards and grand historic colonial buildings. We then continue to the War Remnants Museum, home to exhibits from the Vietnam War and first Indochina War.
After breakfast on Day 9, we visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, an intricate underground network created by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. This fascinating complex of tunnels are part of a network which stretches across much of the country, and were originally built as protection from air raids in the 1940s. This afternoon, you have some time to enjoy lively Ho Chi Minh City at leisure.
Days 10-11 – Phnom Penh
We leave the hotel after breakfast and transfer by coach to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, arriving in the late afternoon.
We explore on Day 11, visiting the Royal Palace, a gorgeous building that looks almost gilded in the right light and which serves as the home of the current King of Cambodia. We also visit the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum before continuing to the Central Market where you have the opportunity to sample some local delicacies. This afternoon, we transfer by coach to Siem Reap.
Day 12 – Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat
Today, we explore the ancient architectural wonders that Cambodia is renowned for, seeing the remains of Angkor Thom’s South Gate, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas Hindu Temple, Elephants Terrace, and Terrace of the Leper King. Later, we continue to the temple complex of Angkor Wat, admiring the pinecone-shaped towers that peak through the surrounding thick rainforests that are steadily reclaiming these ancient structures.
Days 13-14 – Siem Reap and London
Spend the day at leisure until the evening of Day 13, when it is time to bid farewell to Cambodia.
We transfer to Siem Reap airport for the flight home, via Ho Chi Minh City, arriving back into London Heathrow on Day 14.