Intriguing Vietnam & Cambodia 10 Days
Hanoi -Hue - Hoi An - Saigon - Siem Reap
Day 1 Arrive Hanoi
Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be greeted and escorted to your hotel.
Day 2 Hanoi (AB)
After breakfast, begin your day visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where visitors pay respects to the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. (The Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays and closes annually in October and November for restoration). Continue through the Park to Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, the simple two-room dwelling where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Continue your visit to One Pillar Pagoda, dated 11 century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. It stands near the vast of Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex, a lovely park setting which is home to Ho Chi Minh’s final resting place, as well as a museum and other memorials. You will also visit the Temple of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways and one of the best serving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Afterward, head to visit the Museum of Ethnology, which brings to life the
astonishing ethnic diversity in Vietnam, with art and artifacts from the 54 different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. This afternoon, visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple, located in heart of Hanoi which contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda. En route, drive by other colonial landmarks such as the magnificent Opera House (seen from the outside only) and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. You will also enjoy Water Puppet Show, a fantastic art form originating in the northern Vietnam, best seen in Hanoi.
Day 3 Hanoi - Hue (AB)
Transfer to airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and escorted to your hotel. This afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel located in the heart of Hue, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modeled after the Forbidden City of Peking. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds and visit Dien Tho Residence (Dien Tho Palace) where the Queen mother lived. You will visit Thai Hoa Palace, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns, among other sites, including Hue Royal Antiquities Museum. You will also visit the Imperial Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc.
Day 4 Hue – Danang – Hoi An (AB)
This morning, enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the Perfume River, stopping first at the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant
seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue’s most widely recognizable monument. Continue cruising into the countryside to the Imperial Tomb of Minh Mang, a majestic complex of courtyards, pavilions and temples in a beautiful natural setting. After that, transfer by vehicle to Hoi An. Journey from Hue over scenic mountainous roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Halfway between Danang and Hue lies the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and south Vietnam. Continue southwards passing Lang Co, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea, and the large coastal city of Danang before arriving in Hoi An. En route, you will visit Cham Museum houses the best collection of Cham Art to be found anywhere in the world. There are more than 300 artifacts in the museum, many dating to the 4th century. There are beautiful sculptures reflecting the 1000 year Cham period. Check in to your hotel.
Day 5 Hoi An (AB)
The exquisitely preserved merchant town of Hoi An was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. It’s colorful shop houses and temples reflect a diverse heritage dating back to the 16th and 17th century, when it was a major port of Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. Today, it is a thriving center of traditional crafts and a shoppers’ paradise, best explored on foot. Wander through the cobbled streets, past low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central Market and the small Harbor where colorfully painted boats are moored. The walking tour includes a visit to a private house where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting; to one of the family chapels built by prominent merchants or official families as centers for ancestor worship; and to a typical Chinese Style Pagoda or Assembly Hall. Continue to Sa Huynh Museum located near the Japanese Covered Bridge. You will also visit a handicraft workshop in Hoi An where local products are being made by the industry itself. Continue your visit to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. This afternoon, board a local boat and cruise down Thu Bon River, enjoying the unspoiled countryside. En route, stop by to visit pottery village and wood carving village before returning to Hoi An Harbor.
Day 6 Hoi An – Danang – Saigon (AB)
Transfer to Danang Airport for your flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and proceed for sightseeing to Cu Chi Tunnels. Never discovered by American forces, the Cu Chi Tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard literate, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Today, you can walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the VC, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists. Check in to your hotel.
Day 7 Saigon (AB)
After breakfast, begin your tour of this exciting city with a tour of the historic center, strolling along Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville) and the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside) and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Norte Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Afterward, visit the Reunification Palace, formerly the Independence Palace of South Vietnamese President. It was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. Continue to the harrowing War Remnants Museum which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam – American War and Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon’s most interesting pagoda. This afternoon, head out to Cholon (China Town). Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with a brief visit to Binh Tay Market and Thien Hau pagoda and end your tour at the central Ben Thanh Market where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Day 8 Saigon – Siem Reap (AB)
Transfer to airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, you will be greeted at the airport and proceed for sightseeing. The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square km. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue on to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings. You will also visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. This evening, watch the sunset over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple.
Day 9 Siem Reap (AB)
Today’s sightseeing starts with a visit to the Angkor Wat, the national symbol and the crowning jewel of Khmer architecture. Continue your visit to Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. You will also visit Banteay Srei, the jewel of classical Khmer art.
Day 10 Siem Reap – Home (AB)
Farewell to Siem Reap. Transfer to airport for your flight back to the USA.
Hanoi: Crowne Plaza West Hanoi Hotel
Hue: Best Western Premier Indochine Palace
Hoi An: Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort
Saigon: Novotel Saigon Centre
Siem Reap: Sokha Angkor Resort Hotel
Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
Arrival airport and departure transfers
Domestic air within Vietnam and Cambodia
Comprehensive sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary including admission charges where applicable
Experienced English speaking local guides
Baggage handling, port charges, hotel taxes; all local taxes
Transpacific airfare, US domestic add-on airfare are available, please call for details
Preferred accommodations subject to change to similar class.
All prices are subject to change without prior notice