Days
19
Price from
€3,295EUR

Take a journey that captures the very spirit and soul of Cambodia and Vietnam

Combine the incredible countries of Cambodia and Vietnam on this revealing 19-day journey. From the wondrous temples of Angkor to the dark legacy of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia is a country that exudes history from every corner. Between Phnomh Penh and Siem Reap, this journey takes you away from the well-worn tourist trails and into the provinces, where the heart and soul of the country is found in smiling Khmer villagers, hidden temples and sun-kissed fields of rice and bamboo. Taste and cook traditional culinary delights, witness farmers on their daily rituals and join Buddhist monks in their sacred blessings. In Vietnam, by visiting cities like Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi, you'll uncover that vibrant mix of historical influences. By stopping in Hoi An and Halong Bay, you'll discover places of eternal beauty that have also played their part in Vietnam's history. You're time here distils the country’s finest moments, with plenty of time for hidden treats and quiet surprises.


Start
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Countries
Cambodia, Vietnam
Style
Peregrine
Code
PACXC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Bond with fellow travellers over dinner at the Friends restaurant, combining an excellent local cause with a memorable dining experience

  • Travel to Kampot, where an unforgettable sunset river cruise is only the beginning. Wander the surrounding countryside, visit the Kampot Pepper Project, stop by a 7th-century cave temple and stroll along Kep Beach

  • Discover local tastes and sights in rural Battambang on a remork (motor-rickshaw) ride. As dusk descends, watch in awe as fruit bats emerge from a limestone cave for their nightly feeding frenzy

  • Join monks in their sacred water blessing ritual, burning incense and offering lotus flowers, in a working monastery in Siem Reap

  • Witness the magic of Angkor, the legendary Khmer temple complex. A full day at the site allows for in-depth viewing of marvels such as the Bayon, Ta Prohm and the incredible Angkor Wat

  • Meet the locals of a farming village outside Siem Reap. After strolling through the rice fields and learning about traditional Cambodian stilt homes, visit a lookout point to see the sun set over the plains, cocktail in hand

  • Visit the cities of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi to uncover the vibrant mix of influences, from the French to Asian traders, settlers and indigenous peoples, that make this a unique pocket of Asia

  • Sail down the Thu Bon River and watch the sunset over Hanoi, a city rich in ancient and recent history

  • Take an overnight cruise on Halong Bay and discover this place of famed beauty while enjoying a candle-lit dinner on deck

  • Discover the traditional arts of Vietnam with a special visit to the home of a seventh generation water puppet master

Is this trip right for you?

  • The bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge is a painful but important part of Cambodian history to confront. If you would rather not visit the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, simply let your leader know.

  • You will visit a number of temples on this trip, and this requires a level of modesty. Be sure to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

  • It’s important to prepare for hot and sticky temperatures during the day and cooler climates in the evening. Layers are the best way to tackle this disparity in weather.

  • Please note sometimes the order of your included activities in Siem Reap may change due to weather, season or other factors. The changes are made to give you the best possible experiences and to get you to the places at the best time. Your leader will advise of any changes to the order of your included activities on day one at your group meeting.

  • There is an included visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Going inside the tunnels is optional, but maybe best avoided if you are likely to feel claustrophobic.

  • There is some walking involved on this trip, with walking tours in the downtown areas of each city, as well as walking in the caves in Halong Bay.

Itinerary

Sua s'dei. Welcome to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. You'll be transferred to your hotel – check with hotel reception for more information about your important group meeting this evening. If you have free time in the afternoon, perhaps stroll the streets of Phnom Penh and explore the city, taking in the interesting French colonial architecture. The National Museum, with its collection of classic Khmer craftsmanship, is well worth a visit. Dinner tonight will be at the restaurant run by the Friends organisation. You might decide to go for a drink at the Foreign Correspondents' Club afterwards. 

Notes: The restaurant run by the Friends organisation is closed on public and school holidays. Alternative dinner arrangements will be made at these times.
Accommodation
  • Patio Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Drive south along National Road 2 in a private mini van through the town of Takeo towards Kampot, one of Cambodia's most attractive old towns, (approx travel time is 4 hours), . Arrive in Kampot, where the afternoon is free for your own relaxation – perhaps enjoy some coffee on the riverfront. Then, in the late afternoon, you will take off on a local river boat up the Kampot River. See fishing boats returning home and people’s daily life on the banks of the river. As the sun sets over the Elephant Mountain Range, the engines will be turned off so the sounds of rural Cambodia can be enjoyed. As you head back to town you may be lucky enough to see fireflies in the bushes lighting up the night sky.
Accommodation
  • Kep Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kampot - Sunset cruise
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Phnom Chisor - USD2
  • Kampot - Tamao Wildlife Santuary - USD2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a day out in the countryside. You will visit the Kampot Pepper Project and learn why Kampot pepper has been acknowledged by international chefs as the world’s best. Also visit the Kampot salt field, the only salt field in Cambodia. A short walk through the rice fields, and a climb, provides a lovely outlook over the surrounding countryside. A few steps later and you enter the mouth of Phnom Chhnork limestone cave which has a small 7th-century brick temple inside it. You will also enjoy a walk along the beach at Kep, and explore the old buildings near the ocean front. The town was Cambodia's most popular and prestigious beach town from the early 1900s until the 1960s. During the Khmer Rouge years many of Kep's mansions and villas were destroyed but the ghostly remains of many still stand as a silent reminder.
Accommodation
  • Kep Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kampot - Phnom Chhnork
  • Kampot - Countryside tour
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Traditional massage - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free time in the morning. You might like to explore further, or simply relax and unwind. After lunch, return to Phnom Penh by private van (approximately 4 hours).
Accommodation
  • Patio Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Confront Cambodia's tragic past today with a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school which served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre. It's estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here. You will also head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields, the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time before an included cyclo ride through the city streets in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Patio Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by private bus through the countryside to Battambang (approximately 4.5–5 hours). There will be stops along the way to see local pottery-making and silversmithing. You will also gain an insight into claypot making in Kampong Chhang en route. Cambodia's second-largest city, Battambang, (pronounced Battambong) is an attractive riverside town with traces of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and well-preserved colonial architecture.
Accommodation
  • Battambang Resort or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Battambang - Cooking Class - AUD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travelling by remork (Cambodian tuk-tuk), explore the beautiful surrounding countryside of Battambang today. Stop along the way to visit the village of Wat Kor. The village is known for its historic stilted wooden houses some of which pre-date French colonial times. The large wooden floor boards are shiny from generations of feet walking across them and the owner’s small collection of antiques and agricultural tools paint a picture of Cambodia in the early 1900s. Then it's off to see some small cottage industries producing rice paper, dried banana, sticky rice cooked in bamboo, and fish paste (Cambodia’s equivalent of vegemite or marmite). In the afternoon there is the option of riding the historic Bamboo Train. Also visit Prasat Phnom Banan Winery, Cambodia’s first winemaking enterprise, and perhaps enjoy a tasting. Nearby, a modern temple, Wat Bai Dom Ram, is interesting to visit for the large fruit bats that hang from a great tree at the entrance. There is often a bat at the cave around sunset.
Accommodation
  • Battambang Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Banon winery tour & wine testing
  • Battambang - Countryside guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Battambang - Bamboo Train - USD10
  • Battambang - Artistic Social Centre - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive from Battambang to Phnom Penh by private minivan (approximately 4 hours). After a break for lunch we head out to visit a farming community near the Tonle Sap lake. Meet locals, see the traditional Cambodian stilt homes, hear about daily life, walk around the fields and see the growing of rice and other crops (season depending), watch the buffalo and cows return to home after work in the fields, and, finally, enjoy a drink at a scenic lookout point as the sun sets over the gorgeous countryside.
Accommodation
  • Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Countryside village walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend a full day among the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided tour. Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone. The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. The famous Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure, whereas Ta Prohm, with trees embedded in its stone structure, has a different kind of beauty. For lunch today, enjoy a meal prepared by students at the Sala Bai Hotel School. In the evening, attend a performance of Phare, the Cambodian Circus, a riveting way to end the day.

Notes: The Sala Bai Hotel School is closed on public holidays and school holidays. On these days, an alternative restaurant will be used.
Accommodation
  • Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Phare Cambodia Circus Ticket
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Explore the Angkor complex some more in the morning. After lunch travel out of town to a working Monastery to learn more about the life of a Monk and Theravada Buddhism. Buddhism in Cambodia is a way of life that most local people incorporate into their daily life, and monks and local people welcome you to learn more about meditation and spirituality. During this activity you will meet the Monks and hear about their daily life and why they joined the Pagoda, make merit by burning incense and offering lotus flowers, enjoy a sacred water blessing for good luck and prosperity, receive a red band around your wrist to keep you safe in your travels, and see the pagoda art depicting the life of Buddha and his teachings. The day's activities conclude with a cooking class – a great chance to learn a few Khmer kitchen secrets.
Accommodation
  • Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-Out
  • Siem Reap - Buddhist Monastery visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
In the morning, visit Angkor Children’s Hospital Friends Centre. The hospital was founded in 1999 through the efforts of acclaimed photographer Kenro Izu. It helps treat poor children in Siem Reap and surrounding provinces as well as providing training for health professionals from all over Cambodia. The Friends Centre features rotating art and photography exhibitions as well as the work of founder Kenro Izu. In the afternoon, enjoy free time before an included group dinner in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Children's Hospital Visitor Center
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Leave Cambodia behind today with a transfer to the airport and a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Please note that you will be unescorted on this flight, but you will be met in the arrivals hall of the Tan Son Nhat International Airport by a local representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening you will gather together for another briefing with your Vietnamese tour leader. This meeting is generally followed by an optional group meal out at one of Ho Chi Minh City's many fantastic eating spots.
Accommodation
  • Millennium Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will head out of the city to the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi is the name of the district that covers the extensive network (approximately 200 kilometres) of underground tunnels dug by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong. The tunnels contained hospitals, accommodation and schools, and were used for refuge, storage and as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Ho Chi Minh City. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow visitors to enter and get a feel for what the life underground must have been like (please note that this will be hot and sweaty, and claustrophobic for some). You will then return to Ho Chi Minh City for an afternoon tour of the city, where daily life plays out on the streets and the dynamic atmosphere is a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. Your leader will take you to the Reunification Palace, formally the Presidential Palace and the site of South Vietnam’s surrender in 1975, before visiting the War Remnants Museum. This illuminating museum features equipment and vehicles from the Vietnam War, and here you can gain a deeper understanding of the how the Vietnamese view the war. The rest of the evening is free - perhaps explore the food stalls at Cho Ben Thanh market.
Accommodation
  • Millennium Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will leave Ho Chi Minh City and fly (approximately 1 hour) north to Danang. You will have the chance to enjoy some spectacular scenery on the drive (approximately 1 hour) including the sensational Marble Mountains. The five peaks, limestone with marble outcrops, are seen to epitomise the five elements: fire, water, earth, wood and metal. The history of the mountains is rich - the Champas once used them for religious purposes, and in more recent times they were a haven for the Viet Cong. You will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon, when you can settle in for your two-night stay in this atmospheric old town.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel Hoi An or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Danang - Marble Mountain
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will take a tour of the unique town of Hoi An, influenced over the years by myriad traders from various cultures. Originally a busy Cham Port, the town also has Chinese influences scattered about, with pagodas and assembly halls found down the streets. For a small town it has a liveliness alongside its charm and serenity. The tour will take you down the streets of low tiled buildings, taking in a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy more of delightful Hoi An and the surrounding area. Perhaps browse the market for silk and other materials that can be tailored into fine garments on the same day, or hire a bicycle and ride along the lanes and out to a nice nearby beach. Later this afternoon, take a boat trip out on the Thu Bon River. There are few better ways to soak up the atmosphere of this wonderful town than with sunset drinks as you float down river.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel Hoi An or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hoi An - Thu Bon sunset river cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will transfer (approximately 45 minutes) to the airport for a morning flight (approximately 1 hour) to the capital Hanoi. After arrival and a brief stop at the hotel you will take a guided half-day tour of the city. Enchanting Hanoi stands in contrast to its southern counterpart, relaxed rather than frantic, full of lakes and parks to escape to and best explored by foot or bicycle. The tour will take in the major sites, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. The tour will also include lunch at the KOTO café, an amazing project aimed at providing vocational training and experience in the hospitality industry for underprivileged young people. In the evening there is an option to enjoy a performance of the unique Water Puppets.
Accommodation
  • Lan Vien Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's stilt house
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today you will leave Hanoi and drive north (approximately 4 hours) to the famous Halong Bay. You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag for staying on the boat. Halong Bay is listed as a World Heritage site and is one of Vietnam’s most spectacular natural wonders. The views of sailing junks navigating past thousands of limestone islands with rocky outcrops are nothing short of spectacular. You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available), as well as spending a night on board. We visit a cave in the area and, in the warmer months, you can enjoy a swim from Ti Top Island Beach. You may also have the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) while on Halong Bay. A night on the boat under the stars is very special, but another highlight of this evening is a delicious candlelit dinner out on deck (weather permitting). This is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, dining on a seafood feast

Boat accommodation:
Our wooden junk-style boat has twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. Due to the limited cabins on board our smaller vessel, the single supplement is excluded for tonight, and accommodation will be on a twin-share basis.
Local authorities only permit a limited number of boats to stay overnight in Halong Bay. To ensure we can accommodate all travellers on board available boats, on rare occassions we will use larger boats (approx. 12 cabins) or split the group between different vessels. A group leader will be present on each boat, and the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.
Accommodation
  • Halong bay boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Optional Activities
  • Halong Bay - Kayaking - VND220000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast at Halong Bay, return by bus to Hanoi (approximately 3.5 hours). This afternoon you will enjoy a unique Peregrine experience when you sit down to a water-puppet performance hosted by a local family. Artist Phan Thanh Liem’s father and grandfather were important figures in this Vietnamese folk art, and the tradition of water puppet performance goes back six generations in the family. Liem was the first person to create a mobile puppetry stage, enabling him to take his art to a wider audience. You will visit his home, which is like a small-scale theatre and also a museum on the history of puppetry and the background of the artists. There’s also a workshop that shows how the puppets are made. You’ll have the chance to talk with Liem all about this traditional art, its history and development. Later, why not stop for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) at one of the microbars in the Old Quarter, relax at a café or explore the wealth of street food options.
Accommodation
  • Lan Vien Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Vietnamese adventure will come to an end after breakfast this morning. A transfer to the airport is not included; however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Village Discovery by Bike - USD33
  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle - USD88
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

18 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Resort (6 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Kampot - Sunset cruise
  • Kampot - Phnom Chhnork
  • Kampot - Countryside tour
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour
  • Banon winery tour & wine testing
  • Battambang - Countryside guided tour
  • Siem Reap - Countryside village walking tour
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Phare Cambodia Circus Ticket
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-Out
  • Siem Reap - Buddhist Monastery visit
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Children's Hospital Visitor Center
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
  • Danang - Marble Mountain
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hoi An - Thu Bon sunset river cruise
  • Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's stilt house
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book a single supplement. Please note a single room is not available on day 17 Halong bay
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please advise your flight details at time of booking.
3. Passport Details: Please provide your full name as per passport at the time of booking. For all flights and trains in Vietnam, full names as per passport are required, including middle names. Ticketing fees may apply for updates or amendments to details within 45 days of departure.

Essential Trip Information

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