Multi-Day Tour | Group, Private

Culture, Heritage and Cruising (14 days)

Trails of Indochina - Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam To Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Valid for Departures: 07 Oct 2018 - 12 Dec 2018

Culture, Heritage and Cruising (14 days)

Day 3

Halong, Vietnam

Day 4

Hanoi, Vietnam Siem Reap, Cambodia →Halong, Vietnam

Day 8

Kampong Tralach, Cambodia→Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia→Kampong Cham, Cambodia

Day 9

Phnom Penh, Cambodia →Kampong Cham, Cambodia→Okhna Tey, Cambodia

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Hanoi, Vietnam
Apricot Hotel Hanoi None

Upon arrival, as soon as you deplane, our Immigration Officer will meet you at the end of the jet bridge (or at the entrance of the terminal if there is no jet bridge), holding a signboard with your name(s) on it. The officer will assist you with immigration procedures. For those who already have their Vietnam visa, the estimated time to clear immigration is approximately 15-20mins per person. For those applying for a visa on arrival, the estimated wait time for the visa is usually 30mins, depending on the number of guests in the queue. (FYI, there is only one visa-on-arrival counter at Noi Bai Airport.)

After clearing immigration, our Immigration Officer will escort you to the baggage claim to collect your luggage and introduce you to your guide who will be waiting outside the terminal.

Day 2
Hanoi, Vietnam
Apricot Hotel Hanoi Breakfast
Explore the charming city of Hanoi, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, with its yellow ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes. Visit the of outside the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument built to house the preserved body of beloved Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple built in 1049 in the shape of a lotus blossom and set on a single stone pillar. Continue on to Ho Chi Minh's House, a simple wooden house in a tranquil setting where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked.

Next, enjoy a cultural talk with Dr. Dao Duc, Vice Editor and researcher on folk culture review at the Institute of Cultural Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), who has lived through the war era, the strict Communist era and the present modernization of Vietnam.

Afterwards, visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century. The temple is an example of well-preserved Vietnamese architecture and is featured on the back of the 100,000 VND banknote.

In the afternoon, visit the Hoa Lo prison ("Hanoi Hilton") and learn aboutits use as a place for holding American POWs. It was also used by the French to imprison Vietnamese patriots. Drive back to central Hanoi for a 1hr cyclo tour through the famed Old Quarter, known for its ‘36 streets of 36 wares’ named after the original 36 artisan guilds that date as far back as the 13th century.

Conclude the day by watching an entertaining water puppet performance, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form said to have originated in the flooded rice fields of the Red River Delta. The show uses colourful wooden puppets to depict scenes of rural life and episodes of national history set to music.

Day 3
Halong, Vietnam
Jasmine Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depart for a 3.5 hour journey to Halong Bay stopping for a break at Dai Viet Center - the best place to stop and stretch your legs en route. On arrival in Halong Bay, board your deluxe junk, settle into your cabin and prepare your appetite for an enjoyable lunch on deck.

In mid-afternoon visit the mysterious Tien Ong Cave - a wide cave but short entrance which is said to resemble the shape of frog’s mouth. In 2007 a team of Vietnamese archeologist conducted extensive research which led to the discovery of human bones and artifacts dating to 10,000 - 8,000BC, and then continue to Cua Van area. It was once the fishing village, however most of them have moved on land for their children’s future due to the lack of education system and access to vital information. Head back to the boat, participate in a cooking demonstration with the chef or enjoy sunset on the top deck before dinner.

Day 4
Hanoi, Vietnam
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Halong, Vietnam
Templation Angkor Breakfast, Snack
Rise early and greet the day with another refreshing Tai Chi demonstration on the upper deck. Then it is time for an early morning swim - in the Bay. By tender boat we bring the guests to a natural white sandy stretch. Sporty ones can also climb up to a hill top to have a last view from above over Halong Bay before we return to the boat and cruise slowly back to Halong City. During our trundle breakfast is served before we arrive at the jetty in late morning. Disembark at Heritage Line Lounge in Tuan Chau New MarinaTransfer back to Noi Bai airport for your onward flight to Siem ReapUpon arrival inside the arrival terminal, look for our Representative who will be holding a signboard with your names on it. Our Representative will collect your passport, visa fee (if it is not paid), and one passport photo for the visa before leading you to the baggage claim where you can collect your luggage by the time you have collected your bag your visa should have been processed and your passport returned. Then, our representative will accompany you to meet the guide, who will be waiting outside the arrival terminal. Transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Day 5
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Templation Angkor Breakfast, Dinner
Wake up early and transfer by private vehicle to the West Gate of Angkor Wat from where the sunrise can be best observed. Angkor Wat (early 12th century) is surrounded by a 190-metre-wide moat 1.5 kilometres by 1.3 kilometres and is claimed to be the largest religious building in the world. It was built as the earthly representation of the universe with its' central tower symbolising Mt Meru which, Hindus believe, is at the centre of the Universe.

Drive to visit Banteay Kdei, built between the 12th and 13th centuries. The ruined condition in no way detracts from the grandeur of this walled temple. Continue to Ta Prohm, a beautiful temple built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII.

Pause at Ta Keo, which would have been the finest temples in Angkor had it been completed. A short distance further are the twin temples of Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon.

Drive to Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9 sq km and served as the ancient royal Capital of the Khmer Empire from approx. 1181. With a probable population of 1 million, it was far bigger and grander than any city in Europe at the time. Your guide will take you to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. The centre piece of Jayavarman VII's Capital is the Bayon temple and, as you approach, you will notice the 216 giant, enigmatic, smiling faces looking into every direction. Return to the South gate where you will board a small, private boat out to Prasat Chrung Temple to watch the amazing sunset.

Purely Cambodian and daringly modern, Phare Circus lets you see Cambodian culture from a totally different angle. Firstly, enjoy a delicious pre-circus dinner at Madame Butterfly, a beautifully restored wooden house experience, to get you in the theatrical mood. Then be whisked away for an evening full of laughter and surprises at the Phare Circus.

Day 6
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Templation Angkor Breakfast, Lunch
Today you will be part of a culinary experience, creating some of Cambodia’s most fashionable and iconic dishes, while engaging with the day to day lives of its people. Starting out from the private farm, with your Chef, you will view the range of different vegetables available in the garden

Walk with the chef to explore local traditions in the nearby village market. You will select a basket of harvest and dried goods for you to present to the Head Villager, as a kind offering. Return back to the farm and begin to make your 3 course lunch. Preparing at your own station, while he talks you through the methods used to create each dish.

In the afternoon, discover Siem Reap's artistic side with a visit to several of the best workshops and galleries. Artisans d’Angkor, our first stop, has developed from the ambitious belief that it is possible to revive ancient Khmer Arts & Crafts while improving the lives of thousands of people living in rural areas. Not only has Artisans d'Angkor become a company dedicated to the preservation of traditional Khmer skills, but it is also an organization committed to promoting the development of individuals and secure their future by the means of education and welfare.

Continue to Theam's House. He is one of the few overseas-educated Cambodians who are helping revive the Khmer craft sector. He now has launched a new art project that includes training a team of protégé artisans’ apprentices while he embarks on a new creative journey of his own painting

Later check out the gallery of American photographer John McDermott. He founded three galleries that exhibit the work of Cambodian artists and photographers working across Asia. John McDermott’s work is on display as part of the permanent collection at the National Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Day 7
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Meet your guide in the lobby hotel to transfer to Jahan’s meeting point before moving to Jahan cruise.

We gather in the morning at our welcome lounge in Siem Reap. Lean back with a drink as our staff welcomes you and collects your details for the boarding. We bid farewell to the iconic sight of Ankor and travel a short distance to the pier at the Tonle Lake. By local boat we transfer to our beautiful ship and the crew warmly welcomes you on board. While you check in to your prepared staterooms the ship sets sail and your fasctinating journey on the Mighty Mekong can begin. You have lunch on board during the vessel gently glides over the Tonle Lake. The lake can only be crossed during high water season (approx. from End-July to Mid-November).Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way accross.

After lunch our expert guides offers a presentation about the “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap”. In the afternoon we serve a high tea at the open bar. Enjoy your cruising day onboard, relax on your balcony or relish

a spa treatment before dinner. The boat moors in the Tonle River. You can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.

Day 8
Kampong Tralach, Cambodia
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wake up early to witness this spectacular water-world in the break of down. Our moring Tai Chi class has the perfect backdrop today. Breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant. We are now at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil. This is the most fascinating cruise part in Cambodia. We take a local boat to the shore. With mini buses we head to a rural village nearby and go on a walking tour. Our guides introduce the village specialities – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. Definitely you should bring home some. Before returning to the boat we explore the local floating villages and wetlands of the region.

Back on board lunch is served while the cruise continues with a languid meander along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. A Monks’ blessing ceremony on board will deliver spirits and wishes for our health and prosperity for all. Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we reach Kampong Tralach. Cacophonous children waive enthusiastically while bringing their livestock for a bath in the meandering river. Live to see all this life - which is so much different than ours - by a local ox cart ride. Back on board we sail downstream, passing the the confluence of Tonle River and Mekong. We anchor mid-river and you can enjoy dinner in the dining hall.

Day 9
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Okhna Tey, Cambodia
Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a sumptuos breakfast we travel by bus to a local school to understand more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (the project is funded by an NGO). Those children here are always excited to show their skills in music and art and will bath you in smiles upon your applause. We continue by road to arrive at the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breath-taking views on the Mekong. After some refreshment back on the ship we serve lunch. During the afternoon our staff is keen to show you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion. Watch the riverbank life along the Mekong during our high tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop.

We arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for the manufacturing of high class silk products. By tuk tuk we explore the island with its workshops and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk. After some additional cruising time the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chating, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew once you are leaving the ship on your own).

Day 10
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Jahan Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Welome to Phnom Penh - the once called Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town to bespeak centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.

We start with a full sight-seeing tour right after breakfast. By bus we visit the Killing Fields at the outskirts of the city and after the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when once the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and supression. Those places have merely changed much since the horrific time back in the early seventies and so it can be heart wrenching. There is the alternative to explore the city during the morning by your own pace individually before re-joining the group.

Lunch we take in a nice restaurant in town. Our exploration of Phnom Penh focuses afterwards on the fascinating cultural heritage of Phnom Penh. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum are the afternoon highlights. The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh. Take some rest in your spacious cabin or join other fellow passengers at the bar for some refreshing drinks before our capturing evening activities start: It begins with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck or at the open bar.

We move to the lounge which is set up for a captivating lecture about Cambodian mordern history, held by a professor of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Definitely among the highlights of this cruise to receive knowledge out of first hand as our lecturer had a private relation to the former King of Cambodia and many other high ranking politician. After the lecture a feast of barbecue dinner on the sun deck commences. The dinner is accompanied by an Apsara dance performance. You have to witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of traditional music. As the evening unwinds enjoy your supper with a good glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh and the calming flow of the Tonle River.

Day 11
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Raffles Hotel Le Royal Breakfast, Dinner

After you have enjoyed your last breakfast Jahan, you will be transferred to the Pier where you will meet with our guide and we transfer you for touring.

Home to about 1.5 million people, Phnom Penh has been Cambodia’s capital since French colonisation of the country. Located on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. Enjoy a 3hr tour by cyclo, a bicycle-powered carriage, exploring this charming city which boasts a rich blend of Khmer and French colonial architecture. Hear the history underlying the abandoned facades as well as discover churches and Chinese temples hidden down narrow alleys. Then transfer to your hotel for check-in.

Spend your afternoon at leisure.

At 17:00, meet Duckie, our Phnom Penh food expert. She will take you around her favorite local market and make you try out some exotic fruits and for the more adventurous, insects and other silk worms. Then head with her to a delicious, traditional Khmer BBQ where you will dine and drink as a local!

Day 12
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hotel Des Arts Saigon MGallery Collection Breakfast

Free at leisure till our car and guide come to your hotel and transfer you to the airport.

Upon arrival Tan Son Nhat airport, after clearing all customs procedures, please proceed to exit gate and look for your guide who will be waiting at the lobby, holding the Trails of Indochina signboard with your name on it. If you cannot locate your guide, please come to the closest Information booth and have them call the emergency number (+84) 9 1871 3456. Your guide will come to meet you and transfer you to hotel.

Day 13
Cu Chi, Vietnam
Hotel Des Arts Saigon MGallery Collection Breakfast, Dinner

From Saigon, take a 2hr drive northwest to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as living quarters, communication and supply routes, and housed hospitals, food and weapons caches. Touring the underground compounds will provide a better understanding of the history of the tunnels, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Return to Saigon.

Saigon maintains a strong link to the past and our city tour takes in some of Saigon’s most historic landmarks including the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires constructed from materials imported from France (entrance is only permitted when no services are being performed). Then head across the square to the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. A short drive away is the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American War. Continue to the War Remnants Museum for a vivid perspective of the American War through the eyes of the Vietnamese. (Please note that some of the displays are very graphic.) Experience Saigon’s famed street coffee culture while your guide provides a brief language lesson as well as insights into daily life of a Saigonese before returning to your hotel.

Follow our trail through an alley dotted with colonial era mansions until you reach a gate, behind of which an enchanting home awaits. The US Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s, Henry Cabot Lodge, lived in this stylish residence from '60 - '65 and today it has been restored to its former glory. A sophisticated Vietnamese meal will be served in the magnificent dining room and is accompanied by live music to create a memorable atmosphere.

Day 14
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
None Breakfast

Meet your guide in hotel lobby and we transfer you to Saigon airport for your homebound flight.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Cruises & Water Tours
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing

Description

Vietnam and Cambodia are vibrant, pulsating and full of life. Spend 14 days absorbing the culinary delicacies, warm faces and heritage highlights of these two Southeast Asia gems. Cruise past Cambodia’s rural villages, enjoy culture talks and excursions, and a one-of-a-kind dinner at an exclusive residence.

About Us

Trails of Indochina had its humble beginnings in 1999 as a boutique inbound tour operator. Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and now with more than 250 employees throughout the region, Trails of Indochina has grown to be a full-service Destination Management Company and tour operation across Indochina. At Trails of Indochina, our personal relationships can make anything possible. We invite you to experience our part of the world where you will uncover the hidden gems and see a different perspectives of Southeast Asia.

Insider Tip

Vietnam is a top destination for foodies with its cuisine differing greatly from north to south. We suggest a combination offood experiences including food tours, cooking classes and craft beer tours.

Terms & Conditions

To read our Booking Terms and Conditions, please click here.



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Valid for Travel 07 Oct 2018 - 15 Dec 2018
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