Vietnam & Angkor Wat

Vietnamese food is even more delicious when you learn how to make it yourself.Vietnam is a land of breathtaking natural beauty, abiding tradition and profoundly hospitable people. It is a nation reborn, and we take you to the most beautiful parts of the northern and central parts of the country.

We will meet in Hanoi and stay on the edge of the Old City, a fascinating covey of small alleys with traditional shops and friendly vendors. We will visit Ho Chi Minh’s tomb, attend a performance of the Water Puppets, and enjoy a cooking class before we depart for beautiful, tranquil Ninh Binh and Mai Chau where we experience traditional ways of life in the beautiful mountains west of Hanoi. We will take an over night boat cruise in the amazing Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site unlike any geologic scenes you have ever encountered. We fly south to visit the ancient city of Hoi An, staying near the Old City.

The capstone of the trip will be our visit to the incomparable Angor Wat complex in Cambodia. New parts of the ancient city are still being discovered. We finish our journey with a visit to the thriving city of Phnom Penh, located at the confluence of two rivers and the center of arts and culture of Cambodia.

Detailed Itinerary

Day One. Arrival in Hanoi

Vietnames Fruit Vendor sells from her bicycle

A lady fruit vendor in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

You will be met at the modern Hanoi Airport and taken to our hotel in the central city.  Free time in the afternoon to unpack and rest or explore on your own. Later we will meet for our Welcome Dinner and introduction to our guide.

Hotel: La Siesta Hotel & Spa.

Meal Included: Dinner

 

The art and skill of a calligrapher in Vietnam

A master calligrapher in Hanoi.

 

Day Two. Hanoi

Following breakfast, we will visit the mausoleum  of Ho Chi Minh and the Presidential Palace.

Following we will visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda at Westlake and the Temple of Literature. After a stop at the Ethnology Museum, we tour the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, known during the Vietnam War as the “Hanoi Hilton”. We finish with a performance of the Water Puppet Theater, an art form which originated in northern Vietnam.

Hotel: La Siesta Hotel & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner


  • Vietnam & Cambodia
  • $3795/person (double occupancy)
  • $715/person (single occupancy)
  • Feb. 11 – 27, 2017 (17 days)
  • Group Size: 6 min – 12 max
  • View  Map Below

 

 

 

Day Three. Ninh Bing

Ninh Binh is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Boating through the beautiful waterways and caves of Ninh Binh

We travel 3 hours in our private van to visit Ninh Bing, called the inland Halong Bay. Along the way we will visit the village ofmHoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th Century. After lunch we board a sampan to sail on crystal clear waters through the mysterious caves and peaceful countryside of Ninh Bing, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is a wonderful photographic vista which can be taken from atop the mountain overlooking Bich Dong and Tam Coc. Return to Hanoi in the early evening.

Hotel: La Siesta Hotel & Spa

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 

Day Four. Hanoi – Mai Chau

Leaving Hanoi, we begin our exploration of the mountainous region northwest of Hanoi, home to various ethnic minority groups. We will stop to visit a Muong Tribe where we will have lunch. We continue on crossing the Thung Khe Pass which gives a sweeping view of the Mai Chau Valley. After checking into our eco-lodge, we will hike along terraced rice paddies and small villages. In the evening, we will enjoy a music and traditional dance performance by Na Phon villagers.

Hotel: Mai Chau Eco Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

 

Vietnam is the second leading exporter of rice. Fields of terraced green rice fields dot the landscape in Vietnam.

Terraced rice fields in the of Viet Nam.

Day Five. Mai Chau & Mai Hich

We will experience Vietnamese village life when we spend a half day walking or biking in Mai Hichvillage, located on a river in the beautiful valley of Mai Chau. We will lunch with a local family and in the afternoon return to Mai Chau.

Hotel: Mai Chau Eco Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch,

Day Six. Mai Chau – Hanoi

The morning and mid day are free for you to relax or walk in the lovely surroundings of our eco-lodge. In the afternoon we return to Hanoi to enjoy a cooking class learning to make Vietnamese cuisine.

Hotel: La Siesta Hotel & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast,  Dinner.

 

Day Seven. Hanoi – Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam is an amazing landscape best seen by boar

Sailing through Ha Long Bay.

Departing our hotel, we travel by bus (4 hrs) to the embarkation point for our cruise of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. Lunch is served on the deck of our private cruise boat. We will cruise through the Vung Dang and Cong Dam area where there is the opportunity to kayak or to swim or relax on the beach. Returning to ship, we continue cruising the Ha Long Bay with its magnificent karst mountain formations. Dinner on board and sleep on board in the Tra San area.

Hotel: Dragon Pearl Cruise Boat

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

 

Day Eight.  Ha Long Bay – Hoi An

Start your day with a Tai Chi demonstration on the deck or a coffee/tea and breakfast in the fresh air. We continue our cruise to the Cong Do area where we can explore the Thien Canh Son cave. After disembarking we drive to the airport where we fly to Da Nang and then drive to Hoi An and check in to our hotel.

Hotel: Vinh Hung Riveside Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast , Lunch

 

Day Nine. Hoi An

Vietnamese women are hard working and industrious.

Bags of Fruit delivered to a market in Vietnam

After breakfast we explore the  4th century religious sanctuary of My Son, once the religious and political capitol of the Champa Kingdom, it is an fine example of Hindu architecture. While a small site, the ruins at My Son are the largest and most intact remaining in Vietnam. In the afternoon, we have a walking tour of the Hoi An’s Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will see galleries, local produce markets, and have the opportunity to have clothes specially tailored for you while you are in Hoi An.

Hotel: Vinh Hung Riveside Resort.

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

 

Day Ten. Hoi An

Noodle shops and coffee shops are plentiful in Vietnam

Noodle shop in Vietnam

The morning is free for you to explore the intimate streets of the city or perhaps relax and enjoy a massage. In the afternoon, we will explore Hoi An’s colorful market and purchase ingredients for our cooking class. We board a boat which will carry us 25 minutes to our cooking class. The river trip provides an excellent photo opportunity to capture images of the local river life. The chef at the Red Bridge Cooking School will lead us in preparing a delicious menu for our evening meal.

Hotel: Vinh Hung Riverside Resort

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Eleven. Hoi An – Da Nang – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Large stone faces carved in stone decorate the temples of Angkor Wat.

Massive stone sculptures protect the temples of Angkor Wat.

Today, we say good-bye to Vietnam when we drive to Da Nang and catch our flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia where we will be met by our English speaking guide and driven to check in at our hotel. Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor Wat complex of historic temples.

Hotel: Frangipani Villa or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

 

 

 

Day Twelve. Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

The stone temples of Angkor Wat are silhouetted by the rising sun.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

We start early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds visiting Angkor Wat, one of the magnificent wonders of the world. This UNESCO World Heritage site covers over 500 acres and new parts are still being discovered. We will visit and photograph the famous temple of Ta Prohm as well as the lightly visited Ta Nei. We break for lunch in the mid-day and then visit the Terrace of the Leper King and the atmospheric Preah Palilay in the afternoon. We will take the time to explore the temples and photograph at our own pace.

Hotel: Frangipani Villa

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day Thirteen. Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

People living on Tonle Sap Lake depend on fishing for their primary food.depend on the fish

Houses on stilts in Tonle Sap Lake

We start at pre-dawn to witness and photograph the breathtaking view of Angkor Wat temple at sunrise. In the morning we explore the central complex and bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat. In the afternoon we travel 60 minutes through pretty villages and rice paddies to the remote village of Kompong Kleang. This village of stilt houses reveals a traditional lifestyle of people whose lives are dependent on fishing in Lake Tonlesap.

Hotel: Frangipani Villa.

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Day Fourteen. Siem Reap – Phnom Penh

We travel (5 hrs) in our private bus to the capital of Phnom Penh, stopping along the way to photograph landscapes and visit local markets with their interesting assortments of vegetables, fruits and other foods.

Hotel: Blue Lime Phnom Penh or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day Fifteen. Phnom Penh

The golden Royal Palace offers a glimpse of how the Cambodian royal family used to live

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

We visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda–with over 5000 silver tiles—and then the National Museum, home to the world’s foremost collection of Khmer art. We will stop in the shops and boutiques along Street 240, and in the afternoon visit the Russian Market (Toul Tom Pong Market). The Central Market (Psa Thmei) is worth a look with its unique and historic art deco architectural design.

Hotel: Blue Lime Phnom Penh or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

 

 

Day Sixteen. Phnom Penh

We visit the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former high school that was converted into a prison and interrogation center by the Khmer Rouge during the dark period of Cambodian history in the 1970s.

The afternoon is free to walk the streets of Phnom Penh and enjoy the French influenced boulevards and cafes. Or you can relax and have one last massage before your trip home.

Hotel: Hotel: Blue Lime Phnom Penh or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day Seventeen.  Tour Ends.

After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flights.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

What’s Included

(Almost everything once you’re there!)

  • Sixteen nights in boutique hotels, for two people sharing
  • Domestic flight: Hanoi – Da Nang
  • International flight: Da Nang, Vietnam – Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Transfers to and from airports in Hanoi, DaNang, Siem Reap & Phnom Penh
  • Boat trips on Ha Long Bay & Ninh Binh
  • All local ground & river transportation with bottled water, driver, English-speaking guides.
  • Admission to attractions, museums, cooking classes.
  • Breakfast everyday, seven lunches and nine dinners
  • A personalized packet of information including market buying tips, restaurant recommendations and information on places you will visit.

What’s Not Included

  • International flights to and from Vietnam & Cambodia
  • Vietnamese ($135) and Cambodia ($30) Tourist Visas,  trip insurance, some meals as per itinerary, drinks, personal expenses.
  • Single Room Supplement for rooming alone.
  • Early check-in/late check-out
  • Gratuities local guides, drivers & porters.
  • International airport taxes

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“Vietnam and Cambodia are two of the most exotic countries in the world and it was wonderful to explore them through Benjamin’s and Myo’s eyes.”
– Judi, Asheville, NC