​Vietnam & Cambodia: A Grand Adventure - GVC

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Mike and Stephie
May 03, 2021

We start our trip in charming Hanoi, explore the fascinating Old Quarter to see the city's most beautiful French colonial architecture and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquer ware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects…Attend a water puppet theater performance. Visit ancient temples, culture museums, and more. Spend one night on a cruise in beautiful Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea and numerous grottoes have created an ephemeral, fantastic landscape. Next, fly from Hanoi to Hue, the former imperial capital, in central Vietnam. Visit royal tombs, the imperial Citadel, and take a cruise along the Perfume River. From Hue, depart on a coastal drive to Hoi An ancient town, an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. There will be time to relax before flying to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) for city touring and take an excursion to the network of secret tunnels in Cu Chi that were used during the Vietnam War. Then we continue on to explore fabulous Cambodia, including Angkor Wat and the Mekong.

Dates

Monthly. Price: On application

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodation
  • The services of a tour guide
  • Entertainment
  • Entrances and touring
  • Transfers
  • Meals as shown on the final itinerary.
  • Not Included

    • International flights
    • Travel insurance
    • Visa fees
    • Personal expenses/li>
    • Any additional tour or service not specifically mentioned in the final tour itinerary.
    • Our groups typically include a mix of groups and solo travellers. Just because you choose to travel by yourself - you WILL NOT be travelling alone.

    Itinerary

    Welcome to Vietnam! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

    Sightseeing starts with a WALKING TOUR of the city's famous and historic landmarks. The route will take you through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. After some free time, join your travelling companions at a special welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director. (B, L, D)

    This morning leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles (193 kilometres) long that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. The city is booming, and pulses with contagious energy day and night. Sample local food from a street vendor, get a foot massage, or spend more time on Dong Khoi Street. Tonight, be sure to stop at one of several rooftop bars for a drink and great views of the city. Your Tour Director will be on hand to assist with recommendations. (B)

    After a short flight to Danang, visit CHINA BEACH, landing point for U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. Continue on to Hoi An, Vietnam's active trading centre and a town that has been largely preserved. Architecture here reflects the influence of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and British traders. (B, D)

    Today starts with a CRUISE on the Thu Bon River. Along the way, meet with a local fisherman who will teach you about their fishing methods and give you a FISHING LESSON, where you will learn how to throw and retrieve a traditional round fishing net called a ro. Afterward, you will have a chance to throw the net yourself and see what you catch! Later, continue with a WALKING TOUR of Hoi An, visiting an old MERCHANT HOUSE, the HOI AN MUSEUM, a CHINESE ASSEMBLY HALL, and the Japanese Covered Bridge. Then, take free time to enjoy this quaint town further. (B)

    Stop in Danang to visit the CHAM MUSEUM, then continue north over spectacular Hai Van Pass (weather permitting), considered to be one of the most scenic in all of Vietnam, before arriving in Hue. One of Vietnam's former capitals, Hue is a beautiful, welcoming city that remains a cultural and religious centre. Upon arrival, visit the IMPERIAL CITADEL and the THIEN MU PAGODA, the unofficial symbol of the city. (B, L)

    This morning's sightseeing provides a unique window into Vietnam and its complex past. Visit the TOMBS of the NGUYEN EMPERORS: the KHAI DINH MAUSOLEUM and the ROYAL TOMB of TU DUC. Later, fly to Hanoi, the nation's capital and one of Southeast Asia's most engaging cities. (B)

    Today, take time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. First, visit the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which "Uncle Ho" ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda are visits to the ONE PILLAR PAGODA and HO CHI MINH MUSEUM. You will also visit the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, more than 900 years old and Hanoi's first university, followed by the infamous HANOI HILTON. After lunch in a local restaurant, take a "CYCLO" ride around the city, followed by a WALKING TOUR through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi's renowned WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century. (B, L, D)

    Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the bay is dotted with more than 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of the small islets that are sprinkled across the bay. Board a CRUISE that takes you to explore the caves and admire the beauty and scale of the many secluded bays. (B, L)

    This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight to Siem Reap, which will act as your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! (B, L)

    Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the temples is arguably unmatched among the world's ancient ruins. Start your exploration at the best preserved and most famous of all the temples, ANGKOR WAT, honouring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas-reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Next stop is ANGKOR THOM to see the BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas-reliefs. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B, L)

    This morning visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva that was built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. Unlike the other temples, TA PROHM has been left relatively untouched and surrounded by jungle, with tree roots growing over and through the ruin walls. You'll be able to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. This afternoon enjoy a bit of time at your leisure. This evening enjoy a traditional APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (B, D)

    Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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