Cambodia and Cochinchina
A discovery of the authentic Mekong Delta, this 12-day combined tour transcends not only the border of Vietnam and Cambodia but also of varied ethnicities and exotic cultures.
Arrival in Ho Chi Minh – “the colonial Saigon”. Welcomed by our guide and transfer to hotel. Afternoon departure for a city tour to visit major sites of the capital of the South:
– Ben Thanh Market – one of the symbols of the city, a bustling market in daytime and a social center after sunset
– Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office (built on the plans of Gustave Eiffel)
– People’s Committee Building – the former Central City Hall, the most beautiful colonial building in the city.
– Bustling Chinatown in Cho Lon with a homage to the Temple of the Celestial Lady.
Overnight at hotel in Hochiminh City.
Today, take an excursion to Mekong Delta – a mid-aquatic world in the southernmost part of the country. Arrival at Ben Tre – small village located in the middle of the northern arms of the Mekong.
– Boat trip through several arroyos lined with coconut trees to soak up the daily life of the delta
– Walking, cycling or xe loi (cyclo-motorized) through coconut palms, rice fields … stop at coconut farms, observe how locals make mat from coconut – the local specialties.
– Witness first-hand the manufacture of coconut confectionery – a well-loved specialty of Ben Tre;
In the afternoon, transfer to Vinh Long’s An Binh Island (Cù lao An Bình) in the middle of Mekong River. Greet your host family in whose house you will participate preparation of your dinner.
Overnight at homestay.
Early in the morning, bid farewell to your host then continue on the road to Can Tho, the capital of Mekong Delta.
Upon arrival, commence a boat ride to visit the floating market of Cai Rang. Marvel at its wide selection of commodities (fruits, vegetables, fishes…) which are displayed and traded boat to boat.
At the end of the boat trip, transfer by road to Chau Doc. Pay a visit to Tra Su Wild Nature Reserve and relax as the boat drifts on quiet waterways.
Overnight at hotel in Chau Doc.
Embark on an upstream boat trip to Phnom Penh – the capital of Cambodia.
Arrive at Phnom Penh’s river port around midday, be welcomed by the local guide and check in at the hotel.
In the afternoon, pay homage to the capital city’s signature edifices: Wat Phnom – the foundation myth of Phnom Penh, the Royal Palace of Kings Norodom, the Silver Pagoda and the Phnom Penh National Museum.
Overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.
Travel by road to Siem Reap, passing Kampong Cham and Kampong Thom. Admire the peaceful Cambodian countryside with its traditional villages, paddy fields and palm hills as the landscape rolls towards the horizon.
Arrive in Siem Reap at the end of the day. Overnight at the hotel in Siem Reap.
Note: You can replace the road trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap with a 40-min flight.
Dedicate a day to the discovering the mystical temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom – once the capital of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and the 15th century.
The temples of Angkor Wat – dedicated to Vishnu the supreme god of Hinduism – is considered the masterpiece of Khmer art and architecture.
The temples of Angkor Thom is located inside a fortified city of 10km2 which houses a million inhabitants and a score of notable constructions: the South Gate, the Elephant Terrace, the King Leper’s Terrace and the Bayon Temple whose 54 gigantic towers were carved with 216 faces of Avalokitesvara.
In the afternoon, return to Siem Reap. The evening is at your liberty. Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, visit the majestic temples of the Petit & Grand Circuit:
– Banteay Srei – the small temple with the Apsaras and divinities finely carved in sandstones,
– Sacred temples of Takeo, Bantey Kdei and Taprohm – the site of Tomb Raiders series overgrown with snake-like gigantic roots,
– The temple-mountain Pre Rup with a treat of enchanting sunset at the end of the day.
Return to Siem Reap and overnight at hotel.
In the morning, depart from Siem Reap for Tonle Sap – the largest freshwater lake of Southeast Asia.
Drop by the little-frequented lakeside village of Kompan Khleang which boasts stilt houses, floating rafts, a bustling local market, a pagoda and a vantage point to watch the daily life of fishermen.
In the afternoon, fly to Da Nang – the capital city of Central Vietnam. Upon arrival, be welcomed by your guide and transfer to Hoi An, an ancient port town thirty kilometers to the south of Danang.
Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
Devote a whole day to a walking tour in Hoi An’s charming old quarter with cultural spots:
– Fujian Shrine, dedicated to the protective figure of fishermen and sailors;
– Chuc Thanh Pagoda, the oldest pagoda of Hoi An (built in 1454)
– Japanese Bridge built by the Japanese merchants in 1593;
– Old alleys, museums and ancient wooden houses dating centuries ago.
In the afternoon, embark on a bike tour to explore the outskirts of Hoi An which barrels rice fields, hamlets, shrimp farms and vegetable gardens. Stop en route at Cam Chau village to visit a lantern workshop where you are introduced to various traditional techniques to produce your favorite lantern.
Return to Hoi An in the evening and overnight at the hotel.
Transfer to Hue – the ancient imperial city 150 km north of Hoi An. The off-the-beaten path along the coast of the China Sea and the famous road. Several visits are planned along the way:
– Hai Van Pass – the most significant mountain passage of the central region. Once there, visit Lang Co beach and Lap An lagoon the foot of the pass.
– Danang’s Marble Mountain,
– An Bang cemetery – “The City of Ghosts” – with its elaborate collection of intricate burial sites and small-scaled mausoleum.
Arrive in Hue in the afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Hue.
Dedicate a day to visit the last imperial capital’s most important monuments:
– Imperial City, residence and court of the Nguyen Dynasty with its various royal palaces and locations of royal proceedings,
– Gia Long Mausoleum and Ming Mang Mausoleum, find out about the unorthodox life and legacy of the founder of the Nguyen Dynasty and his son-successor,
– Phu Mong village with its garden houses,
– Thien Mu Pagoda and Tu Hieu Pagoda, the two most important pagodas of Hue City,
– Dong Ba Market, the largest marketplace which sells Hue’s signature handicrafts.
Overnight at hotel in Hue.
The last day is at your liberty to relax, take some walking tours or do some last-minute souvenir hunting.
Depending on the schedule, transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport (HCMC) for your departure flight.
|Number of people||6 pax||4 pax||2 pax|
|Price per person||$980||$1130||$1395|