Vietnam and Cambodia with optional Mekong River cruise

Vietnam lotus

Vietnam & Cambodia

With optional Siem Reap to Saigon cruise
*Escorted from Australia
Guaranteed SINGLE room throughout
Departing Hanoi 28 March, 2017

Visiting Vietnam is a life changing experience. It is a country overwhelming to the senses; the smells, the heat, the traffic, the food, the beautiful beaches and scenery.  Liberated from years of war, occupation and isolation, the Vietnamese are focused firmly on the future and are revealed as a people of great charm and dynamism. Influenced by Chinese and French culture, they have maintained a strong sense of their own uniqueness while embracing new outside influences.

Today Cambodia is symbolised by awesome Angkor Wat, the largest manmade religious structure in the world and one of the most breathtaking sights you will experience.   Cambodia is also home to unspoilt beaches, pristine forests and beautiful colonial cities but it is the gentle, polite and friendly nature of the Khmer people which makes Cambodia such a memorable destination.

For those that have time to extend and add to this perfect holiday,  join us on a classic and captivating 8 day river journey aboard luxurious Heritage Line Jayavarman cruise from Siem Reap to Saigon,  which features cultural heritage, royal architecture, ancient traditions and insights into rural Cambodia and Vietnam. This unique cruise allows you to experience pure luxury as well as be a part of the local culture with fascinating shore excursions which are included in the cost.

 

HanoiDay 1   28 March, 2017    Hanoi.  Make your own way to Hanoi.  Use your frequent flyer points or we will find the best airfare for you and team you up with others in the tour who may be on the same flight.  On arrival, make your way to the hotel and meet your *Australian escort, local English speaking guide and fellow travelling companions over dinner this evening (own expense).
Accommodation:  Church Boutique Hotel Hang Trong  (or similar) 2 nights The Church Boutique Hotel Hang Trong is conveniently located in central Hanoi and features guestrooms with free WiFi, 24-hours room service and facilities including a spa. Just a short stroll away from The Church Boutique Hotel Hang Trong is the famous Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi’s Old Quarters, where French colonial-style buildings reside. The Church Boutique Hotel Hang Trong features Asian Art Deco interiors and guestrooms that are simple yet elegantly decorated. Each air-conditioned guestroom contains a LCD TV with satellite channels, bathroom with bathtub and free Wi-Fi internet access.

 

Hanoi cycloDay 2  29 March, 2017  Hanoi  After breakfast we being our half day sightseeing tour of Hanoi.   Visit Ba Dinh Square, where silent sentries guard the marble and granite Mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. See the  simple cottage where Uncle Ho lived and worked. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda, and hear the legend of its construction, born from  the love of an emperor in the 11th Century, continue to visit Temple of Literature, also built in the 11th century as Vietnam’s  first university. Finally, discover the OLD QUARTER of Hanoi by cyclo. This fascinating network of narrow alleys and  shop houses is also known as ‘The 36 Streets,’ each street being named after the merchandise traditionally sold there, ranging  from fabrics to crafts to medicines to tombstones.  You have some free time to explore and later this afternoon transfer to watch the Vietnam water puppet show.


Halong BayDay 3  30 March, 2017  Hanoi – HaLong   
After breakfast we drive to Ha Long and on arrival transfer to the pier and check in to our private boat. Enjoy a seafood lunch on board and  begin a 4-hour boat trip to discover Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. “Dragon   descending to the sea” as it is known in Vietnamese, picturesque Halong Bay has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from  the clear emerald water, many of them containing beautiful grottoes.
Accommodation:  Royal Lotus Hotel (or similar) overnight  Royal Lotus Hotel Halong offers guests an indulgent experience with pampering spa treatments and a rooftop bar. The indoor pool overlooks the magnificent Halong Bay. A fitness centre is provided.  Hotel Royal Lotus is a 5-minute walk from Halong Pier. Halong Central Business District is less than a 10-minute stroll from the hotel. Royal Lotus’ rooms blend Asian and Western elegance to bring guests spacious rooms overlooking Halong Bay. Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with cable channels are provided. Minibars and electric kettles are included.

Vinh Hung Resort Hoi AnDay 4  31 March, 2017  HaLong  – Hanoi  After breakfast we return to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi for our flight to Danang and transfer to Hoi An.
Accommodation:   Vinh Hung Emerald Resort (or similar)  3 nights    Vinh Hung Emerald Resort is 300 m from Hoi An Old Quarter. Offering rooms with free wired internet access, it also houses a large swimming pool for guests to relax in.  The resort is 200 m from Hoi An Night Market and 6 km from Cua Dai Beach. Da Nang International Airport is 30 km away, while the majestic peaks of Marble Mountains are 25 km away.  Fitted with wooden floors and a balcony, air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a seating area, and a minibar. En suite bathrooms include shower facilities and free toiletries with fluffy bathrobes.  Guests can exercise at the fitness centre. Staff at the 24-hour front desk can assist with laundry/ironing services and room service. Emerald River Restaurant and Bar serves local and international cuisines as well as daily breakfast buffets.

Hoi An covered bridgeDay 5  01 April, 2017  Hoi An  After breakfast we begin our walking our of Hoi An Old town.   Sightseeing this morning includes Japanese Covered Bridge, Tan Ky Old house, Assembly Hall, Chinese Phuc Kien Pagoda and  Hoi An Museum. Remainder of day is at leisure.    Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Vietnam that offers a curious combination of colonial France coupled with Oriental charm. However, Hoi An’s UNESCO status is not the only reason this beautiful location is pinned to the travel map. Once a major port on the silk route the town’s perfectly preserved 15th century trading past continues to thrive today as the tailors in Hoi An utilise their magic to produce excellent quality clothes at bargain prices for the seemingly endless passing trade.  The quality of the end result will depend on the amount you are prepared to pay and the effort you put into choosing the right fabric for the garment.  Faced with wall to wall and floor to ceiling fabric is somewhat overwhelming, however come prepared with an idea of what you want, be prepared to have several fittings and pay a little bit more for a better end result, and you will more than likely be very pleased with your new outfits.

Hoi An MarketDay 6   02 April, 2017  Hoi An  After breakfast this morning and a short introdution about Vietnam and Hoi An cusine, the  group will be taken to the Market on foot, or by boat to buy Vietnamese ingredients and raw foods, then proceed to the cooking school to prepare what you will enjoy for lunch. Remainder of the day is at leisure.  You’ll be able to do further exploring and shopping, take a boat ride along the river, have another fitting at your new favourite tailor or just relax in the hotel swimming pool or spa.

 

 

HoChiMinh city hall 2Day  7   03 April, 2017  Hoi An – Saigon  After breakfast, we transfer to Danang airport for the flight to Saigon.  Our sightseeing tour will include Reunification Hall (Former  Presidential Palace), History Museum. Photo stops at the famous sites such as City Hall, Grand Theater, Center Post Office and  Notre Dame Cathedral. Free time for shopping at Ben Thanh Market.
Accommodation:  Grand Hotel (or similar) 2 nights  Housed in a restored colonial building, Grand Hotel Saigon boasts spacious accommodation with marble bathrooms. It stands on the main commercial street of the city, 50 m from Saigon River.  Grand Hotel Saigon is within 1 km from the General Post Office, Notre Dame Church and the Reunification Palace. Tan Son Nhat International Airport is a convenient 25-minute drive away.  Featuring classic French décor, rooms at the Grand Saigon are luxurious with fine bedding and furnishings. Each air-conditioned room offers views of the city or pool and come with cable TV, minibar and tea/coffee maker.  Guests can relax at the hotel’s sauna or enjoy massage services. Soak up the sun at the outdoor pool which is surrounded by sun loungers. Other facilities include a 24-hour business centre and a casino.  Asian, Western and Vietnamese dishes are served at the Chez-Nous Restaurant, while the rooftop Grand Cafe restaurant offers wines and cocktails. Cakes and warm beverages are available at the coffee lounge.

CuChi TunnelsDay 8  04 April, 2017  Saigon  After breakfast we begin our excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels. 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.

 

 

Angkor ThomDay 9  05 April, 2017  Saigon – Siem Reap   Transfer to the airport after breakfast for our flight to Siem Reap. We have lunch at a local restaurant en-route to our hotel.  In the afternoon, visit the old town of King Jayavarman VII, the famous and powerful king in the late of 12th century. The city  is called Krong Angkor Thom, the town of Khmer including the temples such as: South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple  complex, Terraces of Elephants, Terrace of Leper King and Former Royal Palace. Continue to visit the temple of Ta Prohm, the  only temple that has been kept as its first natural situation, to be the example of how most of the temples of Angkor would look  like at the time of being discovered.  Dinner is included at a local restaurant tonight.

Accommodation:  Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (or similar) 3 nights 
Situated opposite Royal Park, this resort boasts colonial architecture, 5 dining options and rooms with a private balcony and free Wi-Fi access. It also houses a saltwater pool and a spa.  Featuring a Victorian touch, air-conditioned rooms and suites come with wooden flooring, stylish furniture and offer views of the pool or royal garden. Private bathrooms have a hairdryer.  Tea/coffee making facilities and a turn down Victoria Angkor hotelservice is available.  Victoria Angkor Resort And Spa is 7 km from Siem Reap International Airport.  Surrounded by tropical gardens, the outdoor pool comes with a spa tub. Relaxing massages, facial and body treatments are available at The Victoria Spa, which also has a beauty salon. French and local Khmer dishes are served at L’escale Restaurant, Bistrot De Siem Reap and L’explorateur Bar. They offer both indoor and outdoor dining options. Le Pool
Deck features light meals and refreshing beverages by the outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy happy hour, which features a live band, cooking shows and daily traditional music.

 

Angkor WatDay 10  06 April, 2017  Siem Reap  After breakfast we drive to the remote exquisite and unique Pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei Known as the Jewel of  Khmer Art with its perfect delicate decorations. Surprisingly with its patient perfect carved, this temple is said to be built by women in that period as have been proved with its name’s meaning “The Citadel of Women “. After this temple, it is a very good  time to see the one classified to the group of the seven wonders, the world heritage and the masterpiece of the world, the  Angkor Wat temple with nearly two thousands of Apsaras carving on the wall with different gesture, dresses and hairstyles.   Lunch and Dinner is included at local restaurants today.

Day 11  07 April, 2017  Siem Reap  Full day at leisure.  Breakfast at the hotel, with lunch and dinner included at a local restaurant.

Day 12  08 April, 2017  Siem Reap   Sadly, our land tour has come to an end after breakfast.  We would be happy to assist with your onward travel arrangements.   If you are continuing on with our Mekong River cruise we will transfer to Kampong Cham on the Mekong River and in the early afternoon, we will embark the Heritage Line Jayavarman in Kampong Cham.

Tour cost land tour $AU4290 includes:  

  •  12 days touring from Hanoi to Siem Reap  
  • *Services of a Destination World escort from arrival at the hotel in Hanoi until tour end in Siem Reap (subject to group size of 15)
  • Services of an English speaking local guide in Vietnam
  • Services of an English speaking local guide in Cambodia
  • Economy class air travel Hanoi/DaNang
  • Economy class air travel DaNang/Saigon
  • Economy class air travel Saigon/Siem Reap
  • First class hotels – SINGLE room throughout
  • Breakfast daily
  • Lunch on boat in HaLong Bay
  • Cooking class in Hoi An with lunch
  • Entrance fees
  • Cyclo tour
  • Water puppet theatre show

Tour cost does not include:

.  International airfares
.  Air ticket taxes
.  Meals other than those specified in itinerary
.  Visas or items of a personal nature
.  Gratuities
.  Anything not stated in ‘inclusions’

 

Optional add on:   Mekong cruise from Siem Reap to Saigon

Jayavarman stateroomDay 12  08 April, 2017  Siem Reap    Embarkation is followed by a welcome drink.  We cruise towards Angkor Bang and enjoy a performance of the school boys & girls from OBT- a project of Heritage Line and organization for Basic Training.   Later that evening, we enjoy a welcome dinner at the Dining Hall.  Overnight in Angkor Ban.
Inspired by the golden age cruise liner Normandie, “The Jayavarman” is a 20th century boutique style marvel marries avant-garde French colonial design with enchanting Indochine architecture to perfection. The Jayavarman Cruise ship is Indochina’s first of its kind boutique style river cruise liner and offers uncompromising luxury on 800 m2 public space including 4 decks.  The guest accommodation consists of 27 expansive and carefully designed staterooms with floor to ceiling panoramic sliding glass doors onto a private French balcony offer privacy and matchless luxury.

Wat Hanchey temple boysDay 13  09 April, 2017  Angkor Ban – Wat Hanchey   Everyday, your journey starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sun deck, just as the sun begins  its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird.   After the Tai Chi, you will be truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple  of Wat Hanchey. Travelers can either take a motor -taxi or climb 303 steps to the top. Located at the top  of a hill overlooking the river, the temple offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built  in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the  superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which redates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even  get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the Ship to witness a  blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. Lunch on boat and in the afternoon, we will depart for a little known silk weaving village. We will then return to the ship  and will cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages, exhilarating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their fishing boats.  Overnight in Kampong Cham.

Aundaung RusseyDay 14  10 April, 2017  Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach    Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets and boisterous children who wave  and greet us as we arrive on the Ship.   Here we take a van along the paddy fields to visit the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey  village. Then, it is back to the river bank for an adventurous excursion to the wetlands, floating houses  and fish farms in the region. We then return to the Ship for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and  meandering Tonle River.    The afternoon our cruise continues with a languid meander along the Tonle River to Kampong Tralach,  which narrows through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. Here, the river is very narrow and we  are greeted by children waving enthusiastically at us from the banks. Experience the ox cart, visit Heritage  Line –Linblad National Georaphic library project
Dinner awaits us at the Dining Hall while the Ship cruises to Phnom Penh.  Overnight midstream near Phnom Penh.

Royal Palace Phnom PenhDay 15  11 April, 2017    Phnom Penh  Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its  rustic charm and elegance. Sightseeing in the morning will include the Killing Field in town. Be prepared  to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime.  After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Genocide Museum visiting the dazzling white and  gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer  craft at the National Museum.   We go back to the Ship by “xichlo” – traditional vehicle after our museum visit. Take a rest on your  cabin balcony or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a  variety of cocktails served on the sun deck. BBQ dinner is served right after that. Take a seat and enjoy  the Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing  sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sun deck. It is  indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open with the moon and the stars as our companions.    Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Jayavarman sundeckDay 16  12 April, 2017   Phnom Penh – Border Crossing – Tan Chau     Start new day with Tai Chi at the sun deck with fresh tea and coffee be ready to served.   After breakfast and a comprehensive lecture on Camdodia’s modern history
we set sail for a lazy day of cruising along the main Mekong Channel. As this is an  international shipping route, you will witness large commercial ships plying this route. Lunch will be  served on boat. Later, in the afternoon, we set off to the Vietnamese border for the requisite cross border  paperwork. As the process tends to take some time, we bask in the glow of the afternoon sun on the sun  deck, pamper ourselves at the Spa, or sharpen our culinary skills with the Heritage Line’s  Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine cooking class.    The ship moors midstream overnight in Tan Chau   * Note: Cruising to Tan Chau is depending on water condition.

Tan Chau marketDay 17  13 April, 2017 Tan Chau – Sa Dec    Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall or  in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Brace yourself on local vehicles called “xeloi” to explore Tan  Chau, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border. We will also visit the colorful local market near an  ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where we will be feted to a boat excursion to the  floating villages and rustic catfish farms. Then, we will be back to the ship for a lunch.  In the mid afternoon, we will set off for My An Hung Village. Passengers walk to the family house  through the vegetable garden to see the boat building yard and canals. We will cross a monkey bridge  and see seasonal vegetable fields. Then gather at the family’s house to taste tea with honey with local  delicacies and fruits before back to the Ship to set off for Sa Dec in the late afternoon.    Overnight in Sa Dec.

Cai Be floating marketDay 18  14 April, 2017 Sa Dec – Cai Be – My Tho   In the morning, we embark a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat)  to tour Binh Thanh Island to visit an untouchable village. Here, every villager is involved in the process  of making rattan mat & interact with the old local people. After lunch on board, the Ship arrives in Cai  Be. The tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market where traders gather  in a cacophonous congregation. During the languid ride, we discover breathtaking landscapes along the  river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to  observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies, rice pop, rice wine and coconut candies are made, enjoy  local life along the canals on the way before heading to the Ship for dinner.  We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards My Tho. A wonderful farewell party  awaits us on the cruise.     Overnight in My Tho.

Day 19  15 April, 2017  My Tho – Ho Chi Minh City   Our magnificent cruiser winds its way to My Tho, approximately 70km south of Saigon on the upper  Mekong River in Vietnam.  We disembark at around 8.30 am and we join the transfer to the airport for departure flight.

 

Mekong cruise 8 days Siem Reap to Saigon $AU4990 includes:

  • Services of a Destination World escort (subject to group size of 15)
  • SINGLE superior stateroom throughout
  • All meals on board ship
  • Entertainment on board ship
  • Drinking water, coffee/tea (from jug) is included all day
  • All group shore excursions
  • Entrance fees on shore excursions
  • Transportation and tour guide services
  • Taxes, fuel, river pilots, port dues
  • Transfers in Siem Reap to port
  • Transfer in Saigon from port to airport

Tour cost does not include:

.  Crew gratuities
.  Airfares or air ticket taxes
.  Visas or items of a personal nature
.  Upgrade to deluxe cabin (approximately $790 extra)
.  Anything not stated in ‘inclusions

Please note:   This tour involves services which are settled in a number of currencies and the exchange rate has been calculated on rates current at the time of uploading this tour onto our website.  

Should there be a fluctuation of exchange rates of more than 3% from this time to the time we receive payment, we reserve the right to pass on an exchange rate surcharge.

To contact us for reservations or enquiries:

Destination World Travel

PO Box 2040

South Plympton    South Australia   5038      Australia

Phone:  08-8293-6988   Outside of Australia 61-8-8293-6988

Fax:  08-8293-5988        Outside of Australia 61-8-8293-5988

Email:   destinationworld@internode.on.net