8 February 2019 • 16 Day VIETNAM & CAMBODIA HIGHLIGHTS • Solo Only Escorted Tour

  • Pricing

    $4,618 per person (tour only, no international flights)


    $5,428 per person inclusive of return economy class airfares from Brisbane – ask us about departing from other capital cities

    Inclusions

    • Private single rooms in quality accommodation
    • Meals as per itinerary – 14 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 6 Dinners
    • Sightseeing tours and transfers* by private vehicle
    • Tour Escort – travels with group from/to Brisbane
    • Local English Speaking Guide

    Excludes
    • Tipping for guides/drivers – Optional Pre Pay $115
    • Any meals other than mentioned above
    • Items of a personal nature i.e. laundry, drinks, phone calls, etc
    • Travel Insurance – don’t have any travel insurance? Ask us for a quote

    • Tourists visas to Vietnam & Cambodia

    *Please note: Airport Transfers are only available with the group flights.

  • Itinerary 

    Day 1: Brisbane – Phnom Penh via Singapore (D)

    This morning we will meet our Tour Escort and fellow travellers at Brisbane Airport for our flights to Phnom Penh city. On arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, we will be welcomed by our Tour Guide who will assist and transfer us to our hotel. There will be time to freshen up and relax before we go out for our Welcome Dinner. Hotel – Le Mont Hotel or similar

    Day 2: Phonm Penh (B-L)

    After breakfast this morning we visit The Royal Palace, which was built in 1866 by King Norodom. The Palace is made up from a number of structures within a pagoda-style compound, one of which is The Silver Pagoda. The Silver Pagoda takes its name from the 5,000+ silver tiles and the building itself holds a number of national treasures.
    Note: During the visit of the Royal Palace, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees
    as this is still considered as a sacred site (no shorts, miniskirt or short trousers).

    We continue on to visit the National Museum, a Khmer temple inspired building that houses the world’s largest collection of Khmer art sculptures, ceramics and bronzes from different periods of Cambodian history. Over 5000 objects are on display including Angkorian era statues, lingas and other artifacts, most notably the legendary statue of the ‘Leper King.’ We will stop for lunch at Bopha Phnom Penh Restaurant.

    This afternoon, our guide will take us to visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, a former high school. In the Pol Pot time they took this school as a prison for detentions and torture of prisoners. Then we visit Cheung Ek, a profoundly moving experience. During the Khmer Rouge years, thousands of Cambodians were tortured and imprisoned in Toul Sleng. They were then moved to the extermination camps at Chueng Ek. Buried in mass graves, today over 8,000 skulls are displayed behind the glass of a memorial stupa, erected in 1988 to honour those who died.

    This evening is at leisure and our escort will let us know of their plans for dinner and all are welcome to join. Hotel – Le Mont Hotel or similar

    Day 3: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap  (B-L)

    This morning after breakfast we will take an overland transfer to Siem Reap. On the way we stop at Skun to visit Spider Market and then continue toward to Siem Reap by passing over and alongside ancient laterite bridges, and the town of Kampong K’dei.

    Upon arrival we will go direct to hotel for check in and freshen up before we head out for lunch at a local restaurant. The rest of the day is at leisure. Simply relax by the hotel swimming pool or venture out with newfound friends to explore a little more. This evening our escort will let us know of their plans for dinner and you may join if you wish. Hotel – Angkor Panoramic Boutique Hotel or similar

    Day 4: Siem Reap (B-L)

    After breakfast we will visit of the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom – last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon Temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs but the highlight is the “faces”, more than 200 of them, silent but with the famous half-smile playing on their lips.

    Then we continue our exploration of the Angkor Temples at Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in its natural state since its “re-discovery” by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles.

    We return to the hotel to have a lunch before making our way out again to visit Angkor Wat temple, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equalling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism. Its symmetrical towers are stylized on the modern Cambodian flag. Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build.

    Note: During the visit of the Bakan tower of Angkor Wat temple, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees as this temple is still considered as a sacred site (no shorts, miniskirts or short trousers).

    In the early evening we will enjoy a unique tour by Khmer Traditional Gondola Boats within the Temple area. We will depart by Gondola Boat from South Gate of Angkor Thom to the west side. This is a quiet ride, far from the crowds,
    allowing you to enjoy a landscape where history and nature are merging and melting. Dinner tonight is at leisure and our escort will let us know their plans so we may join if we wish. Hotel – Angkor Panoramic Boutique Hotel or similar

    Day 5: Siem Reap  (B-D)

    This morning after breakfast we visit Preah Khan, “The Sacred Sword”, an extensive monastic complex covering over 56 hectares built by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a monastery and teaching complex. Preah Khan was
    the site of the World Monuments Fund ‘prime’ Asian project, a painstaking renovation whilst maintaining its mysterious allure and superb original structure.

    We will continue our day tour to visit Banteay Srei; ‘the Womans Citadel’ – a tiny, enchanting temple, which is one of the jewels in this remarkable city. Built of red sandstone in the tenth century and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva,
    the carved male and female figures in the niches are exquisitely executed in both style and proportion.

    Note: During the visit of Banteay Srei temple, visitors are required to wear a proper attire, covering shoulders and
    knees as this temple is still considered as a sacred site (no shorts, miniskirts or short trousers).

    This afternoon, we take a boat trip to visit the floating village at Kampong Khleang. It is located on the northern lake-edge, about 35 km east of Siem Reap town, is more remote and less touristic than Kampong Phluk. Visitors to Kampong
    Khleang during the dry season are universally awestruck by the forest of stilted houses rising up to 10 meters in the air. In the wet season the waters rise to within one or two meters of the buildings. Like Kampong Phluk, Kampong Khleang is a permanent community within the floodplain of the Lake, with an economy based in fishing and surrounded by flooded forest. But Kampong Khleang is significantly larger with near 10 times the population of Kampong Phluk, making it the largest community on the Lake.

    This evening dinner takes place at Angkor Village Theater with a traditional Khmer dance show. Hotel – Angkor Panoramic Boutique Hotel or similar

    Day 6: Siem Reap – Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) (B-L)

    Enjoy breakfast this morning before we are transferred to to Siem Reap International Airport for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

    Upon arrival we will be assisted through Immigration and to our awaiting coach. We will then proceed to the city centre. Lunch today is at a local restaurant.

    We then visit Reunification Palace. Formerly named the Presidential Palace, this important city landmark was assured its place in history on 30th April 1975, when the first North Vietnamese tanks rumbled past, signalling the Fall of Saigon and ultimately the end of the Vietnam War. Across the street from the cathedral is the city’s striking French colonial-era post office. The Museum of Vietnamese History is housed in yet another fine example of Sino-French architecture. Dating back to the 1920s, it contains an excellent series of exhibits dating from the Bronze Age to the Nguyen dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam.

    As an alternative to the Museum of Vietnamese History, we can consider visiting the elegant Fine Arts Museum with its impressive collection of ancient and modern art and sculptures, or the War Remnants Museum, which is primarily
    dedicated to the Vietnam War but also includes exhibits dating back to French colonialist period and the first Indochina War.

    The final stop today is the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. With the pungent smell of incense hanging heavy in the air and an interior packed fall of ornate carvings and fierce-looking statues, this Taoist temple is one of the most
    atmospheric places of worship in the city.

    We can choose to be transferred back to the hotel after our visit or alternatively be dropped off at Ben Thanh market for personal exploration and a spot of souvenir hunting. Hotel – Signature Saigon or similar

    Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) (B-L)

    This morning after breakfast we begin the day by exploring Ben Tre, one of the lesser-visited provinces in the Mekong Delta. We will cruise along the Ham Luong River visiting small factories that provide an insight into how the local economy works. Time permitting stops could include a brickworks, where bricks are still painstakingly made by hand, a salt refinery, a coconut processing workshop where we could sample fresh coconut and see how every single part of this versatile
    nut is turned into food and other products, and a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven using a hand loom – you could even have a go at weaving yourself!

    We then stop at a peaceful village for a short walk to see more of the local life in the community before travelling by xe loi, a design of cyclo used only in the Delta, through fruit orchards before stopping at a riverside restaurant for a delicious lunch. The lunch will feature local specialties such as elephant ear fish and river shrimp. After lunch, there will be time to explore the garden or wander along the riverbanks with your guide before taking a rowing boat along narrow canals back to the main boat.

    We return to the pier in Ben Tre and transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City by car. This evening is at leisure and our escort will let us know their plans for dinner and you may join them if you wish. Hotel – Signature Saigon or similar

    Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Hoi An (B-D)

    After breakfast this morning you have the option to visit Cu Chi tunnels (additional expense). Synonymous with the Vietnam War and a testament to the determined spirit of the Vietnamese, the underground network of passages at Cu Chi is a fascinating trip out of the city.

    Later on we proceed to the airport for our flight to Danang. Upon arrival we will be met and transferred to our hotel to check in. There will be time to freshen up before we meet and make our way to a local restaurant for dinner. Hotel – Belle Maison Hadana Resort or similar

    Day 9: Hoi An    (B-L)

    Begin the morning with a fresh juice or ca phe sua da (Vietnamese coffee) at a local cafe before experiencing the cacophony of sights and sounds at Hoi An’s vibrant marketplace. Here we will have the chance to interact with the local vendors and also purchase the necessary ingredients to be used in our cooking lesson later this morning.

    Walking the short distance to the jetty, board a small boat and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Thu Bon River to the cooking school. As we journey, the bustling scene close to town gives way to peace and tranquillity and the boat trip is a wonderful way to experience life on the river. Hoi An is renowned throughout Vietnam for its delicious culinary specialities and this morning’s cooking class begins with an introduction to some of the region’s best-known dishes.

    We will tour the school’s vegetable and herb garden before following the example of the local chef and preparing some of the dishes yourself. The class will last approximately 2 hours and will culminate with lunch and a short demonstration of Vietnamese vegetable carving and plate decoration.

    Devoid of most forms of motorised transport, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town of this ancient port is ideal for exploring on foot. Discover beautifully preserved old merchant houses, atmospheric temples and lively markets as you stroll through the back streets of this enchanting destination. We will visit the iconic 400-year-old Japanese Bridge and the busy waterfront, where colourful fishing boats bob up and down on the Thu Bon River. There will also be time to peruse the numerous boutiques and galleries that line the narrow streets and perhaps make a purchase or two. During the walk, we make a quick stop and visit to a local house located in a hidden alleyway where we will have chance to try one of best known cake in Hoi An – Banh It la Gai.

    This evening will be at leisure and our escort will let us all know of their plans for dinner and you may join if you wish. Hotel – Belle Maison Hadana Resort or similar

    Day 10: Hoi An – Hue  (B-D)

    This morning after breakfast we depart Hoi An for Hue via Hai Van Pass, a journey of approximately 3.5 hours. On arrival we will check into the hotel and have time to relax.

    This afternoon our tour will begin with the Imperial Citadel. Built between 1804 and 1833, this heavily fortified structure is still very much the heart of modern day Hue and despite a chequered history, the fortress remains superbly intact. There will be time for exploration before moving on to Long An Palace.

    We then continue with an interesting boat ride along the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda. Consisting of seven stories the pagoda is the tallest religious building in Vietnam and within its ground is the Austin car in which Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, demonstrated against the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War.

    Returning to the hotel, we have time to freshen up before we depart for dinner at a local restaurant. Hotel – Huong Giang Hotel & Spa or similar

    Day 11: Hue – Hanoi (B-D)

    After breakfast today we check out and transfer to the airport for our flights to Hanoi. Upon arrival we will be met and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Early evening we will make our way to a local restaurant for dinner. Hotel – Thang Long Opera Hotel or similar

    Day 12: Hanoi (B-D)

    This morning after breakfast we will enjoy an orientation of Hanoi, its tree-lined streets resplendent with French colonial architecture, including the exquisite, recently restored Opera House.

    Pass Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as the ‘Lake of the Restored Sword’ after the legend that surrounds it, en-route to one of the city’s many fascinating museums, the Temple of Literature, a serene retreat from the busy streets outside. Built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, it became Vietnam’s first university.

    The best way to experience Hanoi’s Old Quarter is on foot and next we take a walking tour through an area of the city known as ’36 Streets’. The oldest continuously developed area of Vietnam, this densely populated section of
    Hanoi was once an important centre of commerce where goods were sold on the street name of a particular guild. The labyrinth of alleyways are perfect for exploring on foot with names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper
    Street. At the end of the tour we return back to the hotel and the afternoon. We meet this eveing and go to a local restaurant for dinner. Hotel – Thang Long Opera Hotel or similar

    Day 13: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B-L-D)

    We leave Hanoi early this morning, after breakfast, and will be driven to Halong City, a journey time of approximately 3.5 hours.

    On arrival, we will transfer to a junk (a traditional Chinese style sailing ship) for our cruise on Halong Bay. Sailing through emerald waters and past rocky islets and lush islands, a delicious lunch will be served on board.

    As night falls, the boat will drop anchor in a peaceful spot. Enjoy a refreshing drink and the view from the sundeck before sitting down to a leisurely dinner which will either be served on deck or inside the dining room depending on the vessel and local weather conditions. Boat – Pelican Cruise or similar

    Day 14: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B-D)

    This morning early birds can attend a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck at the break of dawn. Then we start the day by enjoying some cruise delights with a colourful buffet breakfast and continue exploring Ha Long Bay, sailing
    across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights.

    After check- out, we return to shore and continue onto Con Sơn – Kiep Bac in Hai Duong province. Con Son – Kiep Bac is considered the most famous and popular tourism complex. Visiting the complex, tourists can go to visit Con Son
    pagoda, Kiep Bac temple and temple worships of national celebrities. Con Son consists of Ky Lan mountain, Ngu Nhac mountain and Con Son lake. It is a gravel mountain with a height of 200 meters.

    On arrival back in Hanoi, we check in to our hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure. We will meet early evening for a Farewell Dinner. Hotel – Thang Long Opera Hotel or similar

    Day 15  – Day 16

    Hanoi – Brisbane via Singapore (B)

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before we are transferred to Hanoi International airport for our journey home.

  • Only one date available for this special solo only

    escorted group tour – 8 – 23 February 2019

    Call us on 1300 689 461

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