13 days

Heritage Cambodia & Vietnam

Heritage Cambodia & Vietnam

Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Phnom Penh

Tuol Sleng Prison Museum

The bustling streets and cyclos of Saigon

The tailors and market traders of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An

'Junk' boat cruise among the limestone karsts of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay

Vietnam's northern capital Hanoi

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat

Angkor Thom's stone-carved human faces

Cu Chi Tunnels - the underground network of the Viet Minh and Viet Cong

Trip rating
  • Further out than most of Siem Reap’s temples, Banteay Srei, or ‘The Citadel of Women’, is not to be missed. This 10th century Hindu complex, made out of deep red sandstone, boasts reliefs that are so delicate and precise that it’s said they could have only been carved by the hand of a woman.

    Why we love it

    • Immerse yourself in the rich historic and cultural heritage of Cambodia and Vietnam.
    • This special adventure enables us to sample the Old World charm in this pocket of Asia that was part of the former French Indochina.
    • Equally as evocative are the oriental influences that stem from a historic mix of Asian traders, settlers and indigenous people that have made this part of the world a cornerstone for empires and colonies.
    • By paying homage to ancient Angkor, you will one of the world's greatest archaeological treasures
    • Visiting Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi, you will uncover that vibrant mix of the various major influences.
    • Hoi An and Halong Bay unveil places of eternal beauty that have played their part in Vietnam's history.
    • The heritage of both Cambodia and Vietnam combines eastern cultures with western influences, resulting in the somewhat eclectic and magical mix that we enjoy today.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Phnom Penh

    • Upon arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. You will meet your tour leader and the rest of the group.
    • After a pre-trip briefing, you will adjourn for a Welcome Dinner in the restaurant run by the Friends organisation (closed on public and school holidays when you will dine at an alternative restaurant).
    • During your free time after dinner, you might even choose to have a relaxing drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, a great way to spend your evening.
    Ohana Palace Hotel or similar
    Dinner

    Day 2 - Phnom Penh

    • A full city tour will introduce you to the sights of Phnom Penh, a city that lies near the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Rivers.
    • The private quarters of the Royal Palace are home to King Sihamoni and are therefore closed to the public; however, you will be able to visit the Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex, which is the most sacred temple in the country and was previously spared from destruction by the Khmer Rouge.
    • You can make an optional visit to Wat Phnom, the temple that gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century.
    • The bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge is a painful, but unavoidable, part of Cambodia's recent history and visits to the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek tell the story of this tragic legacy.
    • (Note: These sites are a major part of sightseeing in Phnom Penh; however, if you do not wish to visit either of them, please inform your tour leader.)
    • An ideal way to spend your the evening in is to relax in a cafe by the riverfront.
    Ohana Palace Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Siem Reap

    • You will catch a flight north to Siem Reap today, home of the great temples of Angkor. You'll notice a change of pace here, and wandering the streets you will find an abundance of local eateries and colourful markets.
    Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - Siem Reap

    • You will spend a full day visiting 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.
    • It is an early morning start as you travel out to Banteay Srei, famous for its detailed and intricate stone carvings. It is not a big temple, but has been sometimes referred to as ‘the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art’.
    • Back at the main temple complex, Preah Khan contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle.
    • You have the opportunity to visit the Sala Bai Hotel School where underprivileged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry. You enjoy a lunch prepared by students at the school (please note that this is closed on public holidays and school holidays and an alternative restaurant will be used).
    • The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure. It is the only one of Angkor's temples with its entrance facing to the west (the others face east), the reason being that it was constructed as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and a westerly countenance was seen to represent a sunset.
    • Ta Prohm temple is an incredible sight, with large trees embedding themselves in the stone foundations of the structure. This demonstrates the true feebleness of man’s creations when confronted with the powerful force of nature.
    • You will end the day with a sunset view of the temples.
    Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 5 - Siem Reap

    • Your ticket for the Angkor ruins enables you to spend more time exploring this memorable archaeological area.
    • Indulge with a traditional Khmer massage.
    • Visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), a place that rehabilitates animals that have fallen victim to wildlife trafficking and provides a breeding facility for highly endangered animal species. It is also a centre of education and information for the local population.
    • Learn to prepare Khmer food in a local cooking class (optional).
    • Enjoy a final Khmer dinner on your last night in Siem Reap.
    Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 6 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

    • You will be transferred back to the airport, where you will say goodbye to Cambodia and fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
    • Please note that you are likely to be unescorted on this flight and will be met on arrival in Saigon by your Vietnamese tour leader or a local representative.
    • 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.
    Asian Ruby Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 7 - Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City

    • Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and the nation's economic capital. A short city tour takes you to the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral, and will allow you to admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall).
    • The bustling Binh Tay Market in Cholon (Chinatown) will offer you a new perspective on the city; you will see the abundance of fresh local produce that is such an important feature of Vietnamese cuisine.
    • In the afternoon, you will head out of town to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi is actually the name of the district that covers an extensive underground network (approximately 200 kilometres) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong.
    • The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used extensively for refuge and storage and also utilised as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Ho Chi Minh City.
    • The 1968 Tet Offensive was launched from Cu Chi with surprising effect. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what the life underground must have been like (please note that this will be hot and sweaty and also a bit claustrophobic!).
    Asian Ruby Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 8 - Danang - Marble Mountain - Hoi An

    • You will depart Ho Chi Minh City and fly to Danang today, where you will enjoy some sightseeing en route to Hoi An. China Beach (locally known as My Khe Beach), enjoyed as an 'R & R' spot during the Vietnam War, lies against a backdrop of the sensational Marble Mountains.
    • The five peaks, which are actually 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, but in more recent times they became a haven for the Viet Cong, with their clear view of the Danang air base - at one time the busiest airport in the world.
    • You will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon and settle in for your two-night stay in this historical ‘oasis’.
    Hoi An Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 9 - Hoi An

    • Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Hoi An was once a bustling port in centuries gone by, before the river silted up. Today it is a delightful backwater town with an air of liveliness about it. The tranquility and charm of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. It is a consistent favourite among travellers and staff alike. A tour will take you to an historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.
    • You will enjoy a free afternoon to make the most of delightful Hoi An and its surrounding areas. The market is a good place to buy silk that can be made up into fine garments, all within a day. Close to town there is a nice beach, which can be reached easily by bicycle.
    Hoi An Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Hanoi

    • You will be transferred to the airport for a morning flight to the capital.
    • Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities. The northern capital is a quiet contradiction to its southern counterpart. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, and exploration by foot or bicycle is recommended. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes from the city.
    • You will take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying a homage to 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.
    Lan Vien Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 11 - Halong Bay

    • You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. It is a three-hour drive to famous Halong Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders.
    • The views of sailing junks navigating past over 3000 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 one cave in the area and, in the warmer months, you can enjoy a swim.
    • Conditions may be somewhat more communal compared to the usual hotel setting, but spending a night on the bay is such a wonderful experience. If the weather is obliging, the views at sunset are especially incredible.
    • There are only limited numbers of cabins on each boat, so the Single Supplement does not apply on the Halong Bay cruise, as all accommodation here is on a twin-share basis.
    • All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning.
    • You may also have the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) while on Halong Bay.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12 - Hanoi

    • In the morning you will sail back to the port, where you will disembark and drive back to Hanoi.
    • Arriving back in the capital, you will have free time to wander around and enjoy some of the city’s other attractions. Perhaps some shopping on Hang Gai Street, or afternoon tea at the Metropole Hotel?
    Lan Vien Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 13 - Hanoi

    • The tour will come to an end after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is not included; however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leaders throughout the tour and local guides at some sites.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Banteay Srei
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Preah Khan, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Tuol Sleng Prison Museum, Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Cu Chi Tunnels, Marble Mountain, China Beach and Hanoi (One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh’s House and Temple of Literature).
    • Local flights: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City to Danang and Danang to Hanoi.
    • Lunch at Sala Bai Hotel School prepared by underprivileged local youths who are training to work in the hospitality industry.
    • Hoi An walking tour.
    • Overnight cruise on a traditional boat on Halong Bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available) and resting in twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning.
    • Lunch at KOTO café in Hanoi – a project providing vocational hospitality training and experience to underprivileged young people.
    • Arrival transfer.
    • Accommodation: 11 nights comfortable hotel, 1 night boat
    • Meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners.

    Not Included

    • International long-haul flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Other meals
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature.
    • Departure transfer

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Heritage Cambodia & Vietnam

    Linda - Australia, 9 Dec, 2012
    4
    Overall Rating

    Heritage Cambodia & Vietnam

    Patricia - Australia, 11 Nov, 2012
    4
    Overall Rating

    The tour guides were excellent and the accomadation was very good

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PAHC
Start City: Phnom Penh , Cambodia
End City: Hanoi, Vietnam

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