Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City
An itinerary to explore the best places of Hanoi, Ha Long, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia with enticing attractions and authentic local experiences. Discover Vietnam’s rich culture and history from the north to the south. Be amazed by the breathtaking nature of Halong Bay and pristine Mekong Delta. Embark on thrilling walking tour around Hanoi Old Quarter. Getting lost in the mysterious Angkor Temples which have been covered secretly by the jungle till late 20 century that found out by a French adventure explorer. Also, enjoy a boat ride on giant Tonle Sap Lake to interact with local Cambodian and learn more of local lifestyle on this unique fresh water lake.
Welcome to Hanoi, the capital city locating in the north of Vietnam. With the population of over 8 million, Hanoi is the second most populated and developed city of Vietnam, after Ho Chi Minh City in the south; though it’s the cultural, historical and culinary cradle of the country.
Upon your arrival, welcomed by your local tour guide and take private transfer from Hanoi airport to city center for hotel check-in. Balance of the day will be free & easy to get off the jet lag.
After breakfast at hotel, you will delve into the marvelous city tour discovering Hanoi. Begin with the Tran Quoc Pagoda sited at the peninsula on West Lake – the biggest lake in Hanoi (around 5.3sqkm). Apart from its remarkable location, Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest pagoda in Vietnam. You will find the solemn ambience and peaceful feeling when staying there, especially in the morning with fresh air.
Moving on to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum sited right at the Ba Dinh Square where preserves Ho Chi Minh President’s embalmed body by technique of Soviet Union. Nearby the mausoleum, you also have chance to visit Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts where he stayed in the last eleven years of his life; and the President Palace where still is functioned for politic receives and working place of the incumbent leader.
Thereupon, let’s stop at a local restaurant and have delicious lunch of authentic dishes of Vietnam and Hanoi.
After the lunch, discover Hanoi Old Quarter by strolling around the matrix of small but crowded alleys and streets. The place used to the busiest commercial hub between Vietnamese and Chinese traders which made every single street’s names unique and typical by one meaning. During the walking tour, you will stop at a local café for a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee (Nâu Đá – Iced coffee/ Cà Phê Trứng – Egg Coffee or Trà Đá – Vietnamese iced tea, etc.) When you are refilled after the walk, let’s carry on exploring the last one: Temple of Literature built since 1070 well-known as the first university of Vietnam. Finish the trip; you will travel back to hotel.
After check-out hotel, you will travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay taking around 2.5 hours and arriving at noon. From the pier, you will embark Halong Bay overnight cruise and start off the incredible sails toward UNESCO Heritage Site. Halong Bay is a heaven of verdant green ocean and thousands of emerging limestone peaks. You will have lunch on boat among stunning landscape with nice breeze form ocean while the boat ventures East toward center of Halong Bay. Following the schedule of cruise, you will participate in many activities on the bay like hiking up to the dried cave, sunset party, spending time on a sandy island for swimming, do kayaking, etc. After the dinner if fresh seafood, you can try your luck in squid fishing and overnight on boat.
For morning risers, you are encouraged to wake up early at around 6:00am to practice the Tai Chi exercise on the top deck with the master on board.
After breakfast, you will have time to go swimming on the Titop Island and walking up to the peak for Ha Long Panorama view. Then, you will get back to the main land. Spend your last time to enjoy the fantastic scenes of Ha Long Bay. At noon, disembark the boat and travel back to Hanoi. En route, you will head directly to the Noi Bai Airport and board the domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, welcomed by the local tour guide and driver and travel to hotel in city center for check-in.
In the morning, travel to Cu Chi Tunnels which lie deep down to the ground for very interesting and detail information about Vietnam War. The total length of Cu Chi Tunnels reaches up to 200km and around 3 to 4 meters deep. Constructed during the war against French, the tunnels then were extended during Vietnam War and fully equipped with basic amenities like sleeping rooms, kitchens, meeting rooms, hospital, weapon cavities, etc.
Finishing the exploration, you will get back to the city center for lunch. After lunch, you will visit main symbolic sites of the Ho Chi Minh City including War Remnant Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, Reunification Palace and Nguyen Hue Street.
After breakfast at hotel, you will depart to the south of city reaching Mekong delta regions. The amazing trip offers the most experiences of the countryside, fruity orchards and local floating inhabitants.
You will travel to Ben Tre – famous and hometown of coconuts, and reach the Phong Nam Pier to board a boat along An Hoa River for further exploration with stops to visit the brick kiln, handicrafts and coconut candies making workshop. Next have a Vietnamese tuk tuk ride passing coconut and fruit plantations. You then will stop for lunch at a local house sited nearby the river. After lunch, you will have time relaxing on the hammock or walk around and see the fruit orchards.
Thereupon, get on the sampan row and then motor-boat to return to mainland where your driver is awaited. Travel back to Ho Chi Minh City; and you will reach the hotel this late afternoon.
You will have breakfast at hotel and have leisure time at your own for shopping or getting around the town. After check-out, your tour guide and driver will greet you at hotel lobby and travel to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your departure to Siem Reap.
Upon your arrival, greeted by your local driver and tour guide and travel to hotel for check-in. Have free time at leisure till the rest of the day.
This morning, you will travel through the lush jungle to enter the Angkor complex. Let’s begin with Angkor Wat – the biggest temple of the area, built in 12th century. This is one of the most significant religious temples in Cambodia. Walking around the walls, you will realize the vivid carvings and sculptures showing country’s history and culture.
This afternoon, you will enter the Angkor Thom via the south gate. The first one comes out is Bayon Temple of 54 pillars topped by four facet stone heads. Then Bakheng Temples, Terraces of Elephants, etc. Finish the day at Ta Prohm Temple called “Tomb Raider Temple” which is swallowed by the huge trees’ roots.
This morning you will drive around 40 km (01 hour) to the Tonle Sap Lake to visit the Kompong Phluk floating village of around 3,000 villagers. A boat ride passing schools, pagodas and houses built on stilts up to 9 meters will help you learn more about the livings of the local people. Return to Siem Reap late noon and have free time on your own to get around the town or chilling at hotel.
This evening, transfer to see the show Phare – The Cambodian Circus. Cambodian cultural stories will be told by the creative combination of theater, music, dance and circus arts.
After check-out, travel to airport with tour guide and driver for your flight to next destination.
Accommodation in double/twin sharing basic
Daily breakfast at hotel and meals as indicated in the program
Private air-conditioned transfer
Excellent English-speaking guide (other language on request)
Show ticket Phare – The Cambodian Circus
Entrance fee, boat trip for sightseeing as mentioned
2 bottles of water per person per day
International and domestic flights
Tips and gratuities for guide, driver, etc.
Personal expenses and services not mentioned