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HomeFar East Holidays & ToursVietnamHighlights of Vietnam & Angkor Wat
17 days

Highlights of Vietnam & Angkor Wat

The classic tour in which you experience the contrasts from north to south in Vietnam spiced with the charming Siem Reap and the world-class attraction of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Highlights of Vietnam & Angkor Wat Highlights of Vietnam & Angkor Wat
17 days

Highlights of Vietnam & Angkor Wat

The classic tour in which you experience the contrasts from north to south in Vietnam spiced with the charming Siem Reap and the world-class attraction of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Why choose this tour

  • The classic Vietnam tour spiced with Cambodia in beautiful Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Hoi An, Ha Long Bay and Angkor Wat
  • Feel the contrasts from north to south between charming Hanoi, pleasant Hoi An and fascinating Ho Chi Minh City
  • Look forward to the impressive and unique royal temple complex Angkor Wat
  • Mini cruise in Ha Long Bay, where you can enjoy the sunset on the deck of the ship amidst hundreds of green limestone cliffs

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations

The tour in short

This 17-day tour takes in the classic sights and attractions of Vietnam, as well as the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, presented by skilled, local, English-speaking guides. The itinerary includes plenty of breaks during which you can explore the various destinations for yourself. The tour starts in the beautiful city of Hanoi in the tranquil north of the country, showcasing the contrasts between the modern and more traditional parts of the city. You have every opportunity to experience UNESCO Heritage Sites (both natural and cultural) at first hand during visits to Ha Long Bay and the old streets of Hoi An. In addition, you can immerse yourself in more modern history in the Cu Chi tunnel network – an indelible symbol of the guerrilla war waged by the Viet Cong against the American forces. Ho Chi Minh City is the economic dynamo of Vietnam, and the contrast to Hanoi is clear to see. In the Mekong Delta, you can admire the fertile ‘pantry’ of Vietnam, with its floating markets set against a background of green paddy fields and fruit plantations. Your trip winds up in Cambodia with a visit to the Angkor Wat temple complex, which features on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Your visit will take you to both Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. You will also have a day in Siem Reap, where you can explore the local area for yourself.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flights from the UK to Hanoi; return flight from Siem Reap
  • Domestic flight in Vietnam, from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City
  • Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap
  • 12 nights at 3- and 4-star hotels
  • 1 night on the 4-star mini cruise ship Emeraude
  • 1 night in a 4-bunk sleeping compartment on the train Livitrans from Hanoi to Danang
  • Local, English-speaking guides to accompany you on the trip
  • 14 x breakfast (days 3–5, 7–16)
  • 3 x lunch (days 5, 11, 14)
  • 1 x dinner (day 5)
  • Transport by car or minibus with air conditioning
  • All transfers and excursions mentioned are in small groups of up to 14 people, and with Asiatours’ own guests only
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Guided city tour in Hanoi including the Temple of Literature and a Cyclo tour of the old quarter and water puppet theatre
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City taking in Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Dong Khoi, Reunification Palace, the War Museum, the Opera House, Jade Emperor Pagoda and Ben Thanh market
  • Full-day excursion to the Mekong delta including a boat ride and visit to small, local cottage industries
  • Angkor Wat
  • The ruin city Angkor Thom including Bayon and Phimeanakas temples, the Terrace of the Elephants, Ta Prohm and sunset at a temple in Angkor
  • Admission and fees for the sights and attractions mentioned
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Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Outward flight from the UK

Departure day, where you will fly to Hanoi with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival in Hanoi

After arriving in Hanoi, you will pass through immigration before collecting your luggage. You will be met in the arrivals hall by a guide holding an Asiatours sign, who will accompany you to the hotel where you will be spending the next two nights. Having checked in at your hotel, the rest of the day is yours to do with as you wish.

For example, you can saunter along the busy streets and alleyways of the exotic old quarter, stopping as you please to admire the sights and sounds of this amazing city. Hoan Kiem Lake is close by; it takes about half an hour to walk all the way around it – a delightful stroll in the shade of the tall trees.

Day 3: Sightseeing in Hanoi

Today, you can look forward to a fascinating half-day sightseeing tour that takes in the biggest sights and attractions in Hanoi. Your itinerary starts at the Temple of Literature, which was built in the 1100s by students of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. With a history stretching back almost 1,000 years, the temple is one of the last remaining examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture.

It is then time to visit the Ngoc Son Temple, which is located on a small island in the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. Access to the temple is across Huc Bridge, whose name literally means ‘the placed touched by the rays of the morning sun’. Here, you will hear the legend of the Emperor, the magical sword and the giant turtle after which the lake is named. The next treat is a ride on a traditional ‘cyclo’ – a bicycle taxi – along some of the 36 streets that make up the charming old quarter. The local citizens flock to the area to buy everything from noodles to Buddha figurines. The 36 streets in this part of the city were named after the goods traded there, and ‘Bamboo Street’ and ‘Tin Street’ still live up to their names. Your sightseeing tour concludes with a traditional performance at the water puppet theatre.

Day 4: Hanoi

The day is yours to explore Hanoi on your own or choose one of our extra excursions.

There is plenty to do in the bustling capital. While away many an hour in the charming Old Quarter by Hoan Kiem Lake, where you will find old colonial buildings as well as a large selection of shops, restaurants, cafés and art galleries.

Day 5: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Mini cruise

From Hanoi, your tour continues through the fertile delta of the Red River to Ha Long Bay.

Ha Long Bay is one of the most remarkable nature areas in Vietnam. The bay is dotted with green-clad limestone cliffs rising almost vertically from the water, which changes in tone from deep blue to jade green with the turning of the seasons. Several of the islands also feature large grottoes. The large Cat Ba island is the site of several villages, while a number of smaller islands are home to modest fishing hamlets. For tourists, Ha Long Bay is first and foremost a magnificent area of nature of the finest calibre, but for the Vietnamese people it is also inextricably interwoven with legends of dragons and drama. Ha Long Bay covers approx. 1,500 km² and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1994.

For this mini-cruise around Ha Long Bay, you will be sailing on the cruise ship Emeraude. The vessel heads out among the scattered islands in the bay, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of the sea and the magnificent cliffs and islands. You can also experience life in a traditional fishing hamlet. Of course, you could choose simply to relax and enjoy life and the view out over the islands and the floating fishing villages, treating yourself to an occasional swim in the turquoise sea.

NB!! In the event of bad weather (storm conditions), the authorities in Vietnam reserve the right to cancel all sailing trips in Ha Long Bay in the interests of safety. This actually happens a few times every year. If this is the case, the mini-cruise will be replaced by hotel accommodation and an excursion in Hanoi.

Optional tours

Extra excursion: How about a bird’s-eye view of Ha Long Bay? This magnificent bay is a truly beautiful sight from above, and an aerial view will give you an excellent impression of the sheer size of the area, as well as the chance to admire the numerous limestone islands and islets towering majestically above the water.

Day 6: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – train journey to Danang

Start the day with a refreshing dip in the clear, warm waters of Ha Long Bay, or perhaps simply admire the sunrise from the magnificent sun deck – where you can also take part in morning exercises (usually Tai Chi). Breakfast is served while the boat starts to glide peacefully back towards the harbour. On the return trip, there will be time to visit a grotto to admire the impressive stalagmites and stalactites. Once you return to dry land, it is time to head off to Hanoi by road. You will then have a few hours in the city to do with as you wish before your guide accompanies you to the station to catch your train to Danang.

The night train departs from Hanoi at 7 pm and arrives in Danang at 11 am the next day.

For a surcharge, you can fly from Hanoi to Danang instead of taking the night train. This option will include an extra night in Hoi An.

Day 7: Hoi An

You wake up to a beautiful view as the train makes its way along the coast. Look out over the green mountains and the beautiful blue sea.

You arrive in Danang mid-morning, where you are met by a guide who drives you to your hotel in Hoi An. Having checked in, the rest of the day is at your leisure. You can explore the city on your own or purchase one of our extra excursions.

Hoi An is a wonderful experience and you cannot help but fall in love with the city. It is especially well-known for its charming architecture, impressive silk production, great tailors and its Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Flowing through the heart of the Old Town is the Thu Bon River, which is a glorious example of an international port dating back to the heyday of European and East Asian trading companies from the 16th to the 18th century.

Away from the river, you will find yourself in a maze of cosy, charming streets. Wherever you turn, you will see how the former colonial powers have each made their mark on the district. Colourful lanterns, Japanese houses, Chinese temples and French yellow merchants’ houses fill the cityscape. Shops, street kitchens, cafés and restaurants line the streets, where you can while away several hours connected to the city’s free Wi-Fi.

The fact that Hoi An’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site naturally makes it a major draw for tourists. The streets might be busy, but there is still a lovely calm to the area, and the district has managed to retain its authenticity and charm. It also helps that cars, scooters and motorcycles are denied access.

You spend three nights at this wonderful gem of a place, giving you plenty of time to enjoy and explore different parts of the city.

Days 8-9: Hoi An
Day 10: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City with guided tour

Today, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport in Da Nang, before flying to Vietnam’s biggest city, Ho Chi Minh City.

It might be something of a shock to come from the peaceful Hoi An to this hectic metropolis inhabited by some 10 million people and where there are just as many scooters and motorcycles. Fortunately, you will be rewarded with an incredibly exciting and modern city. This is seen in the city’s buildings, which are a good mix of old and new – modern high-rise buildings in glass and well-preserved colonial buildings.

On your arrival at Ho Chi Minh City Airport, you will be met by a guide who will drive you into the city in time for lunch.  The tour then starts, and the first stop is the Central Post Office, designed by the world famous French architect Gustav Eiffel.

Opposite the post office is the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1863 and 1880. As you stand facing the church, you have a grey building behind you. Some may recognise it as the “Pittmann Apartments” building at 22 Gia Long Street from the photo taken on 29 April 1974 by Dutch photographer Hubert van Es in connection with the fall of Saigon. Many people thought it was the American Embassy, but it actually housed the United States Agency for International Development and the CIA officer Conrad LaGueux. The photo shows a helicopter landing on the roof of the building to evacuate US government employees when the North Vietnamese forces penetrated Saigon.

From here you walk towards the Saigon River along the Dong Khoi shopping street, which held a central role in Graham Greene’s novel “The Quiet American”. You later pass the beautiful Saigon Opera House, which was built in 1901. The tour continues to the Reunification Palace where the Vietnam War – or the American War as the Vietnamese call it – ended on 30 April 1975 when a Vietnamese tank drove through the gate to end the war, which left 58,000 Americans and 3 million Vietnamese dead. You will then visit the War Museum, which is spread over several floors. Here, you have time to wander around on your own and see the harsh photos of the war – a truly moving experience!

The tour continues with a visit to one of the peaceful oases in the bustling metropolis: The atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda with its small pond full of small tortoises. The locals flock here to pray and light small candles and incense sticks. The tour rounds off at the covered Ben Thanh Market, the city’s largest and most authentic market, where you can find everything from fruit and vegetables to clothing, electronics, souvenirs and food stalls. You will be driven to the hotel to check in, and the rest of the day is yours to do whatever you please. The hotel is situated in District 1, which is still known as Saigon and is considered to be the inner city, while District 2–11 is called Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 11: Full-day outing to the Mekong Delta

You will be picked up from the hotel and driven south, where you will soon see green rice fields. The climate here allows the farmers to plant and harvest three crops a year.

Before you reach the Mekong Delta, you will visit the local temple, Cao Dai, which is home to a religion that combines Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity.

You then arrive in the charming town of Cai Be, which was once famous for its floating markets on the Mekong itself. From its source, the Mekong River runs 4,500 km through six countries to the delta at the coast to the south of Ho Chi Minh City. The delta is known as the rice bowl of Vietnam and is – as the name suggests – a lush place, covering an area of about 40,000 km². The size of the area covered in water depends on the season and precipitation.

In Cai Be, you board a private boat, which sails you around the delta. Along the way, you will see the locals fishing and selling their wares on land. You may also see locals sailing past with watermelons, coconuts and pineapple. You sail on through the narrow canals between the green coconut palms, also known as water coconut trees.

The day continues with a walk around the village, giving you a feel for how the locals live. You will visit a family that makes roofs out of coconut leaves, and other people who weave everything from blankets to bags and table mats.

You board a sampan, which is a traditional boat, and sail further down the charming delta before enjoying a late lunch at a local house. You are also given a demonstration of how to make one of the most popular Vietnamese specialties, banh xeo, a Vietnamese pancake typically filled with vegetables and fresh herbs as well as meat or tiger prawns.

After lunch, the boat sails back to Cai Be, and you then return to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap

You will be picked up from the hotel and driven the short 20-minute or so drive to Ho Chi Minh City Airport, from which you will fly to Siem Reap. After arrival, you will go through immigration and customs before being met by your guide. The guide will take you to the hotel, where you check in. The rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

The shady trees along the Siem Reap River, which flows through the town centre, are conducive to a relaxing stroll in the delightful town. This is also where some of the town’s very best restaurants are to be found. You can make a stop at one of the cosy little cafés or small shops, and in the evening, you can visit the natural meeting place Pub Street, which is lined with cafés, restaurants and bars. Finally, there are several markets selling clothing and souvenirs.

Day 14: Siem Reap with Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom

Today, a unique experience awaits you in the form of the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex and the ruin city of Angkor, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Angkor was originally the capital of the Khmer Empire, and the temple complex is situated just 5 km north of Siem Reap, where you will be driven by the guide. As the temple area is quite large, the car accompanies you all day, so you are driven the longer distances from place to place, but you will be dropped off by the guide so that you can view all the sights on foot.

You start at Angkor Thom’s beautiful south gate and moat, where it is always nice and green – even in the dry season. At one of the main temples, Bayon, you will be met by the impressive sight of countless smiling Buddha faces. The tour then takes you to the royal palace, Phimeanakas and the 350-metre-long Terrace of the Elephants, where the king could both stand and survey his troops and enjoy various ceremonies and performances. The name refers to the numerous sandstone carvings of elephants. Finally, you enjoy the famous Ta Prohm temple, made unique by the beautiful, large trees that have taken root in the temple buildings, becoming as one.

After a break for lunch, it’s time to explore the best-preserved and most famous temple in Cambodia, Angkor Wat. The temple comprises three levels, crowned by the five towers, which are shaped like the buds of the lotus flower. In the inner courtyards and vaulted walkways with their endless friezes and amazing carvings, most people are blown away. The upper level of the temple affords a fantastic view of the area. The day rounds off with the sunset over one of the temples in Angkor.

Day 15: Siem Reap
Day 16: Siem Reap – the UK

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven out to the airport to catch your flight from Siem Reap back to the UK. There will be
connecting flights along the way.

Day 17: Arrival in the UK

Arrive back in the UK after a wonderful holiday.

Single room supplement £590
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