Day 1: UK to Vietnam
Depart from Heathrow Airport and fly direct to Hanoi. Flights from other airports may be possible, please call to discuss. Flight supplement may apply.
Day 2: Hanoi
Flight arrives Hanoi. On arrival transfer to the hotel (flight time permitting lunch will be included). In the afternoon we will have a tour of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, visiting Ngoc Son Temple, the Hoan Kiem Lake (the “Sword” Lake), and Quan Thanh Taoist Temple. The tour will be by the popular cyclo (a type of rickshaw). We also attend a show of Water Puppetry, a traditional stage art of Northern Vietnam. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Full Day City tour Hanoi
Today we have a full day exploring Hanoi with visits to Ho Chi Minh Complex, Mausoleum; Hoa Lo Prison Museum, also known as the "Hanoi Hilton", a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam. We also visit the Ethology Museum and Temple of Literature, an ancient collection of courtyards, gardens and architecture built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. Overnight in Hanoi. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 4: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise
This morning we head East to Halong Bay, the pride of the Gulf of Tonkin, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. The road will pass by the Red River delta with green paddy fields and rural villages. In Halong we join a traditional junk boat for a cruise in the “Descending-dragon” bay, created by thousands of limestone rocks and karst grottoes. Overnight on the boat near Titov Beach. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included).
All cabins have large windows, en-suite facilities, satellite TV, hairdryer. The ships can carry a total of 28 passengers in 14 cabins and a restaurant serving local cuisine, a bar and outside seating area to enjoy the stunning scenery.
Halong Bay junk boat
Day 5: Halong Bay – Night train to Hue
Waterside pagoda in Hanoi
Early morning wake up call to enjoy the dawn on the sea. After breakfast continue our cruise in the area, where each islet name is inspired by its shape, such as Sail Island, Fisherman’s head rock, Butterfly rock or Turtle islet. This afternoon we disembark the boat and travel back to Hanoi where we join our overnight sleeper train travelling south to Hué. Overnight on train. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Livitrans Express Train:
Deluxe cabins are 4-berth, for a 2 berth cabin a supplement will apply. Every carriage has sinks and a toilet situated at the end and the train has a dining car and a bar.
Day 6: Hué
Hue to Da Nang coastal train
On arrival in Hué we transfer to the hotel for check-in and breakfast. Today we have a full day sightseeing in Hué to discover the charm of the city including the Royal Citadel, Forbidden City and the Hué Royal Museum. In the afternoon we visit King Tu Duc tomb - the best-preserved monuments of the Nguyen Emperors since early 19th and early 20th centuries. Today’s schedule will include a cruise on the Perfume river. We will reach King Minh Mang tomb, a complex consisting of 40 palaces, temples and pavilions and enjoy the sunset before disembarking and returning to the hotel. Overnight in Hue. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 7: Hué – Hoi An – Coastal Train
This morning we travel from Hué to Da Nang on the stunning coastal railway. Contine by coach to Hoi An. On arrival we walk over the tile-roofed Japanese Bridge, visit the taciturn Chinese Assembly Halls, ancient houses, and pagodas, and stroll into the market on the Thu Bon river. This is also a wonderful town to shop for lanterns, soft silk, raw silk, or get your clothes tailored within a day. (Breakfast & Lunch included).
Day 8: Hoi An – Tra Que Village
This morning we travel to Tra Que herb village to appreciate the local agriculture and the stunning scenery. We enjoy a foot soak before preparing a typical lunch with a local family. Return to the hotel and the rest of day is at leisure. Overnight in Hoi An. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 9: Hoi An – Danang - Flight to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)
This morning we transfer to Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Upon arrival transfer to our hotel located in the city centre. This afternoon we have a tour to Saigon’s historic landmarks: Dong Khoi Street, previously Rue Catinat; Reunification Palace, the witness of the fierce Vietnam War ended in 1975; The Grand Building, today a Museum and Hall for official receptions, and the Central Post Office designed by famous architect Gustave Eiffel. Afterwards drop off at central Ben Thanh market for shopping. Overnight in Hoi Chi Minh. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh – Cu Chi Tunnels - Can Tho
Ho Chi Minh City Hall
This morning we drive out of Ho Chi Minh City to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. This network of tunnels, which stretched for over 200km, is one of the most famous and historical aspects of the Vietnam War. Upon arrival we watch a short introductory documentary before following our guide into the winding, underground network to explore the war memorial park. Afterwards transfer to Can Tho in the heart of the Mekong Delta and our overnight hotel. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 11: Can Tho Floating Market – Chau Doc
A highlight of the Mekong delta is its floating market. We rise early today to visit Cai Rang and enjoy the daily life of Mekong people who come to the markets on the rivers every day. Afterwards transfer to Chau Doc, explore the Tra Su Indigo Forest, which has an area of nearly 1,500 hectares with various species of animals, plants and peaceful sceneries. Here we enjoy its unique beauty by travelling on small boats through the forest. Overnight in Chau Doc. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 12: Chau Doc – Cambodia – Phnom Penh City - Killing Fields
Can Tho floating market
After breakfast transfer to the pier to take the Hangchau Express boat for great views and a quicker journey across the border to Cambodia. We arrive in Phnom Penh, a city which retains its traditional colonial style with French villas and large tree-lined footpaths. We visit the impressive colourful Khmer-style royal palace complex build in 1866 by the Predecessors of King Norodom. Nearby is Silver pagoda (the emerald Buddha temple), where the Buddha Statues are decorated and made of gold, diamonds, gemstones and silver. Afterwards we travel to Cheoung Ek, known as the Killing Fields and an important stop not only to remember the infamous events enforced by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, but it is only when you have visited that you can begin to understand modern Cambodia. Overnight in Phnom Penh. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 13: Phnom Penh – Spider village – Siem Reap
After breakfast we travel by coach to Siem Reap, stopping at Skuon town to see (or even try) sautéed spiders, a local speciality. On arrival at Siem Reap we visit West Baray Big Pond “baray” a water reservoir built by the ancient Khmer people and Pre Rup temple for a stunning sunset view. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 14: Angkor Temples
Today we have a full day visiting the Angkor Temples to include; Angkor Thom, known as Big Angkor, the last capital of the Angkorian Empire, The Bayon Temple; and the Terrace of the Elephants, an impressive 300 metre long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants that spans the heart of Angkor Thom. We also visit the Baphuon temple mountain; Royal Palace Area, Ta Prohm Temple and Angkor Wat Temple. We finish the day at Angkor night market. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast & lunch Included).
Day 15: Angkor Temples
Today we visit Banteay Srei, which loosely translates to “Citadel of the Women”. On the way we will visit Banteay Samre temple and Roluos group, one of the earliest Angkor capitals. The three Hindu sanctuaries: Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei will also be included. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 16: Preah Vihear
After breakfast we drive through the stunning Cambodian countryside to Preah Vihear Temple which sits at the top of the Dangrek Mountains. Preah Vihear is known as the Temple Mountain which was built at the beginning of the 10th century as a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. The temple is a World Heritage UNESCO site. Overnight in Preah Vihear. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 17: Sra Em – Koh Ker – Kompong Khleang – Siem Reap
Koh Ker pyramid
This morning we drive to the remote Angkor capital of Koh Ker where we see Prasat Thom, a seven-storey step pyramid, with commanding views over the surrounding forest. Continue to visit the five towers of Prasat Ling (Prasat Krahom or Red Temple, Prasat Balang, Prasat Krachap, Prasat Damrei Krap), the best found in situ anywhere in Cambodia. Our day will end with a trip in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia in the sunset around the floating villages. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 18: Siem Reap – Departure
This morning we transfer to Siem Reap Airport for our return flight to Hanoi and onward flight to the UK. (Breakfast included).
Day 19: Arrival in UK