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 Halong Bay, the amazing UNESCO World Heritage site, where we will spend 3 days and 2 nights aboard our private junk. We will visit Sapa to experience the traditional ways of life in the beautiful mountains northwest of Hanoi. Finally,  we fly south to visit the ancient cities of Hue and  Hoi An before flying to Cambodia.

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.   Hanoi

Vietnames Fruit Vendor sells from her bicycle

A lady fruit vendor in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

We begin with a shopping trip to the colorful local market to buy the ingredients which we will use in our cooking class at the Blue Butterfly Restaurant. After enjoying our delicious dishes, we will enjoy a rickshaw ride through the Old Quarter and end up with a special Welcome Dinner.

Hotel: La Siesta Hotel & Spa.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

The art and skill of a calligrapher in Vietnam

A master calligrapher in Hanoi.

Day Two.   Hanoi

Following breakfast, we will enjoy a city tour  with a visit to the mausoleum  of Ho Chi Minh and the Presidential Palace. Also, 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, Lunch


  • Vietnam & Cambodia; Jan. 14 – 30, 2018
  • $3995/person (double occupancy) for 7 – 10 people traveling
  • $4195/person (double occupancy) for 5 – 6 people traveling
  •  $4495/person (double occupancy) for 4 people traveling
  • $795/person (single occupancy)
  • Group Size: 4 min – 10 max
  • View  Map Below

 

 

Day Three.   Hanoi – Halong Bay

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

Sailing through Ha Long Bay.

Departing our hotel, we travel by private van (4 hrs) to the embarkation point for our cruise of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong 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 Halong Bay with its magnificent karst mountain formations. Dinner on board and sleep on board in the Tra San area.

Hotel: On board Prince Private Junk/Deluxe Cabins

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day Four.   Bai Tu Long Bay

Enjoy an early morning coffee or tea on deck. After breakfast we sail to Cong Dam where it is possible to kayak through hidden lagoons in the geological park of Cong Dam. We will have a picnic lunch on a remote beach. In the afternoon we continue on to Hon Co island to explore the Thien Canh Son Cave. Overnight  on board moored at Cap La.

Hotel: On board Prince Private Junk/Deluxe Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day Five.   Halong Bay – Hanoi

In the morning we will visit the Vung Vien fishing village before returning to Halong port. Returning to Hanoi in the afternoon, we will visit a well known Vietnamese artist famous for installation art.

Hotel: La Siesta Hotel & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Six.   Hanoi – Sapa

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

Terraced rice fields in the region of Sapa.

We will drive on the new expressway to the mountainous region northwest of Hanoi. This scenic route takes us through the Red River Delta where rice fields are terraced along the mountains. This is the area of a variety of ethnic tribal groups and we will visit traditional villages in the area.

Hotel: Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa/Deluxe Room

Meals Included: Breakfast,  Lunch

 

Day Seven.   Sapa

We will have a walking tour of Sapa and visit the busy local market where ethnic minority people come from the surrounding hills to sell their silverware and handicrafts. Later we will drive to more remote villages where we will visit Hmong people and learn about their unique way of life. Return to Sapa and the rest of the day is free to relax or explore on your own

Hotel: Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa/Deluxe Room

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Day Eight.   Sapa – Hanoi – Fly to Hue

Today we visit the special Sunday market of Bac Ha. It is a popular traditional market which happens once a week and it offers many photographic opportunities. On our return to Hanoi we will visit the Chinese border before continuing on to the Hanoi airport and catch our flight to Hue. We will be met at the airport and drive to our hotel in Hue.

Hotel: Saigon Morin Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast , Lunch

 

Day Nine.   Hue

Vietnamese women are hard working and industrious.

Bags of fruit delivered to a market in Vietnam

We begin our city tour of Hue with a dragon boat ride on the Pearl River which meanders through the city. We will disembark and explore the Forbidden Purple City. In the afternoon we will admire the Tu Duc Tomb, one of the most beautiful works of royal architecture in the Nguyen Dynasty. An interesting stop will be at a rice cultivation workshop in the countryside outside of Hue.

Hotel: Saigon Morin Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 

Day Ten.   Hue – Hoi An

Noodle shops and coffee shops are plentiful in Vietnam

Noodle shop in Vietnam

We will depart Hue and enjoy a 2 hour scenic drive to Hoi An, stopping at the Hai Van pass, which overlooks the area where North Vietnam battled the south during the French and American (Vietnam) wars. We will visit the noteworthy Cham Sculpture Museum in Danang before continuing to Hoi An where we will check into our hotel close to the Old City of Hoi An. We will have a walking tour of Hoi An in the afternoon. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An has an abundance of original architecture and fascinating small streets with coffee shops and galleries.

Famed for its tailors, Hoi An is an ideal place to have clothes made for you as they will be ready before we depart.

Hotel: Vinh Hung Riverside Resort

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Eleven. Hoi An

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, you will have the opportunity to visit the nearby beaches or go for a bicycle ride to nearby organic vegetable farms or relax with a massage at our hotel.

Hotel: Vinh Hung Riverside Resort

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day Twelve.   Hoi An – Danang – fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia

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

Massive stone sculptures protect the temples of Angkor Wat.

You will have the morning free until we depart at mid-day for Danag Airport where we will catch our flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. After clearing immigration, we will be met by our guide and driver and taken to our hotel in downtown Siem Reap.

Hotel: Viroth’s Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day Thirteen. Siem Reap

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

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

We venture out in the 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.

In the evening we will attend a performance of the amazing Phare, The Cambodian Circus. Founded by survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide, the circus combines theater, story telling, dance and music.

Hotel: Viroth’s Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Fourteen. Siem Reap

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 picturesque 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: Viroth’s Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

 

Day Fifteen. Siem Reap – Fly to 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 catch a short 45 minute flight to Phnom Penh. In the afternoon, we will have an architectural tour of Phnom Penh  led by a Cambodian architect. The architecture in the city reflects a rich assortment of royal Cambodian and French colonial styles. In the evening we will enjoy a performance of the Cambodian Living Arts, a blend of dance and music honoring the traditions of Cambodia.

Hotel: The Plantation Urban Resort and Spa

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

 

Day Sixteen. Phnom Penh

In the morning we will visit the National Museum, which is home to the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. Next, we will 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.

A visit to Phnom Penh is not complete without a shopping trip to the Russian Market, a warren of shops that has everything from clothes to furniture and food. We will end our day with a sunset cruise and drinks on the Tonle Sap River followed by a Farewell Dinner.

Hotel: Hotel: The Plantation Urban Resort and Spa

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day Seventeen.  Phnom Penh. Tour Ends.

After breakfast, we will 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. Later in the day or evening you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

What’s Included

(Almost everything once you’re there!)

  • Sixteen nights in boutique hotels, for two people sharing
  • Domestic flight: Hanoi – Hue
  • 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 & Lake Tonle Sap
  • All local ground & river transportation with bottled water, driver, English-speaking guides.
  • Admission to attractions, museums, cooking classes.
  • Gratuities for drivers, porters, restaurants, boat crew
  • 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  English speaking guides.
  • 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