Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia5 5 (1 reviews)
Hanoi - Ha Long Bay – Hoi An - Siem Reap
In a short 8 days/7 nights, we will take you to most of the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia. You will see Hanoi and 3 UNESCO world heritage sites of Ha Long Bay, Hoi An and the Angkor complex. You will learn how to cook local food, spend the night on a traditional wooden Junk, ride a Vespa scooter through the countryside of Hoi An and explore hidden stories behind the misty walls of Angkor temples. This tour can be considered as “make the most of your short time!”
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, you will be welcomed by our guide and transferred to your hotel in the city center. Relax after a long-haul flight.
When the hot weather cools down, you’re picked up by our guide to wander the bustling Old Quarter of Hanoi for a one-hour a cyclo (rickshaw) ride around the 36 old streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend of the lake and cross the picturesque red bridge to visit Ngoc Son Temple, followed by a traditional Water Puppet Show.
After the show, your Welcome Dinner will be catered at a nice restaurant in French colonial style with typical Vietnam cuisine. Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast, you will gather at a local restaurant in the Old Quarter of Hanoi where you will meet your chef and take a walk to Dong Xuan market, situated in the heart of the Old Quarter. You will be captivated by the color, noise and aroma of the market. Stroll around to visit distinct food sections with their variety of herbs, vegetables, meat and sea food which brings you very close to life in Hanoi. It is very interesting to see and to learn how a local woman chooses and buys the best quality of fresh food the numerous food stalls in the market.
With a rattan hand basket, your job is to buy some herbs and spices for the cooking class (herbs and spices are a very important part of authentic Vietnamese food)
Mid-morning, back to the restaurant, where you can enjoy a cup of Hanoi coffee, jasmine or lotus tea
before starting the cooking demonstration.
You will prepare and cook by yourself under the instruction of the chef. From start to finish, learning how to marinate and to add spices to the ingredients is very important. You will also enjoy decorating dishes with carrot flowers, lemongrass, tomato rose flower and curved chili. The authentic sauce mixed fish sauce, water, sugar, lime, chili, garlic and herbs is very easy to make.
And now it’s time to enjoy the meal you have prepared. The chef will taste and judge the best dish. You will then receive a Vietnamese cooking certificate, with the compliments of the Restaurant.
If you’re feeling on top today, keep visiting the more interesting sites of Hanoi including Hoa Lo Prison, also called “Hanoi Hilton” by U.S prisoners during the Vietnam War, and the venerable Temple of Literature built in 1077 – Vietnam’s first university. Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast, you will meet our guide and depart by road to Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. Travel through the rich farmlands of the Delta of Red River and the landscape of rice fields, water buffalo, and the daily life of the Vietnamese village. Arrive in Ha Long and board to board a traditional Junk. Lunch on board. The cruise passes by many karst rocks and islets in many unique and funny shapes. The cruise may stop for a while for visiting Surprise Cave. Later, the Junk moves to a peaceful docking area for overnight. Dinner and overnight on board.
In the morning, your brunch will be served while the boat cruises to explore the beauties of the bay before returning to the wharf. The Junk continues cruising toward Ha Long port. When ready to disembark, our guide will be there to pick you up and return to Hanoi. Drive straight to the airport for a flight to Danang. Upon arrival, you’re greeted by our guide and transfer 30km further to Hoi An. Check in to your hotel and overnight in Hoi An.
After breakfast, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall, and the local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, with regional Hoi An cuisine.
In the afternoon, meet your fellow scooter riders and head out west along the banks of the Thu Bon River, first stopping at a bustling local fish market before heading the rice paddy rich countryside and local villages, stopping to meet a local family producing local rice crackers. Crossing a bridge over the Thu Bon River takes us through more quiet villages and then beautiful farmlands, where we take a break, surrounded by seasonal vegetables in the picturesque fields of corn, eggplants, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and herbs.
As the sun starts to go down, we set off through the rice paddies, passing duck farms, visiting a local mat weaving family and then ride along the prawn farms and over the river to visit a charming family home where they produce the local & potent favorite brew – rice wine. It’s then a short ride over the Cam Kim Bridge Hoi An as the sun begins to set on this beautiful heritage town.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Morning and early afternoon is free time to chill out poolside at your resort, or leisurely stroll around Hoi An, or visit My Son Sanctuary, ruins of Cham kingdoms in the centre of Vietnam, or learn recipes of central Vietnam style food in a cooking class.
Late afternoon, it’s time head to Cambodia! You will be transferred to the airport for a 90 minute flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, you will be met by our guide and check in to your hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, we start a very special and busy day as you will explore some of Angkor’s most beautiful temples. You will visit Angkor Thom its West Gate – less discovered by mass tourism:
- The ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), see the South Gate
- Bayon Temple- unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara
- Baphuon Temple: lying just to the north of Bayon, a pyramidal representation of mythical Mont Meru, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.
We continue to visit the fabulous Ta Prohm temple embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. Ta Prohm was built in the 12th century, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII. Next up, visit Banteay Kdei - “the citadel of the monks”, located south of Ta Promh and was built in middle of the 12th century to the beginning of the 13th century by king Jayavarman II.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant with regional Khmer food.
In the afternoon, you will visit the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a World Heritage Site since 1992, famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories Hindu mythology.
Late afternoon, hike up to Pre Rup temple for sunset. This temple is known as the best place for sunset in Angkor complex.
Evening is your free time in Siem Reap. Most popular is walking the busy pub street, popping up at a bar for a cool drink, and shopping at the Angkor Night Market. Overnight in Siem Reap.
You will be free today in Siem Reap to relax and prepare until being transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver
The services of an experienced English-speaking guide throughout the tour (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination)
Where necessary, entry fees and permission to enter border areas for all visits mentioned in the program
Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available
In-tour flight tickets: Hanoi – Danang – Siem Reap (2 flights) with Vietnam Airlines and economy class
VAT and other taxes
International flight tickets and airport tax
Vietnamese Visa handling and stamp fee
Dinners, except as specified above
Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
Camera fees (if any)
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