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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT HIGHLIGHTS OF VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA TOUR
Embark on the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia and discover all the essentials of the two Southeast Asian countries. The journey with Orient Skyline Travel begins from Cambodia visiting Angkor wonders, passing glittering Saigon, ancient town of Hoi An, breathtaking Halong Bay to charming Hanoi. The tour will be compacted with unique culture, fascinating history and stunning landscapes.
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City – Danang – Hoi An – Hue – Hanoi – Halong Bay
- Discover the capital life of Phnom Penh
- Explore the world class wonder of Angkor
- Stroll on lantern streets of ancient Hoi An and Hue
- Observe river life in vibrant Mekong Delta
- Cruise across natural wonder of Halong Bay
- Discover different façades of life in old quarter of Hanoi
- Accommodation in a double / twin room with breakfast
- Meals indicated in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Local English speaking guides
- Tour transferred by air-conditioning vehicle
- Admission fees during guided visits
- Cruises as mentioned in tour
- Domestic flights (economy class)
- Service charges
THROUGH HIGHLIGHTS OF VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA TOUR, YOU WILL DISCOVER
Day 1: Arrive Phnom Penh
Welcome to Phnom Penh, at the airport, be greeted by the Orient Skyline Travel guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in.
After having refreshment, take a cyclo, an old mean of transportation, to discover the city’s highlights. The circuit begins at the Royal Palace, built in the 19th century this last palace features the French architectural elements. Within the same compound, visit the silver pagoda, named for 5,000 silver tiles covering its floor. Its true name was Wat Prakeo, meaning pagoda of the Emerald Buddha. There is a great collection of Buddha statues of all material and sizes.
Continue to Wat Phnom, the founding temple of the capital city, from this temple the history of Phnom Penh began. Next, be transferred to the National Museum and the building features the traditional Khmer style. In the museum, see the most important Khmer collection of over 5,000 pieces displaying.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 2: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (B)
Enjoy breakfast and transfer to the airport to board the flight to Siem Reap. Upon your arrival in Siem Reap, the Orient Skyline Travel guide will accompany you to the hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, embark on the tour of the Angkor complex visiting Angkor Thom, the ancient city of the Khmer empire. This last capital city of the great Empire was built under the reign of Jayavarman VII. The wall around the city was built 8m in height and 4 km long each side. The most remarkable site of the city is the impressive South Gate, carved with elephants and four giant stone faces. The entrance path is flanked with an array of gods or demons that hold the sacred Naga snakes.
At Bayon temple further to the center of the city, marvel at the 54 imposing towers representing for the 54 provinces of the ancient Khmer Empire. Admire the beautiful and intricate bas-reliefs with the Terrace of Elephant and the Leper King before going back to the hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 3: Siem Reap (B)
After breakfast, explore the temples of Ta Prohm, built by the reign of Suryavarman II between the mid-12th to early 13th century and with many part falling apart from the main temple and being covered by trees and forest vines, Ta Prohm is one of the most unique and picturesque temples in Angkor. Continue to visit Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery, following to Srah Srang which was functioning as the “pool of ablution “.
Take a mid day rest to avoid the heat, go on another tour to visit the World class Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century, the temple was designed to illustrate the holly mountain, Mount Meru, the home of the gods in Hinduism. The interior walls of the temples are impressively carved for the intricate bas-reliefs depicting Hindu stories and the wars that Suryavarman fought during his reign. Additionally, the temple is decorated by more than 2000 Apsara dancers which are also well known for the representing beauty of Angkor Wat. Nowadays, the image of Angkor Wat features on the national flag of Cambodia and symbolizes for the soul of the Khmer people.
Return to the hotel and overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 4: Siem Reap – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) (B)
Have free time until taking a short transfer to the airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City (former name: Saigon).
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh city tour (B, L)
Have a full day tour to discover highlight destinations in Ho Chi Minh City. Depart from the hotel and transfer to Cholon (means Big Market), Chinatown, to discover the local life around the vibrant markets and the Thien Hau Cantonese Pagoda, built by the Chinese merchants to worship their Goddess of the Sea. Continue to the Vietnamese Traditional Medicine Museum to learn about the traditional medication of Vietnam. The Museum houses a priceless collection of over 3,000 articles about the development of Vietnamese traditional medication, the collection comprises of texts, drug inscription, and herbal medicine tools are displayed. Before lunch break, drive back to the city center and visit the incredible Ben Thanh Market, stroll through the arrays and discover ranges of shops displaying for sale from polo shirts to jerky beef and fresh produce.
This afternoon after lunch, spend time to visit the War Remnant Museum and the Reunification Palace (former Presidential Palace). Nearby, stroll along the old colonial quarter of Ho Chi Minh such as Saigon Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Continental Hotel, the Opera House and City Hall before returning to your hotel (see outside only).
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Note: The War Museum is closed every Monday.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)
Depart from bustling Ho Chi Minh City and head to the South for 2 hour transfer and arrive the Mekong Delta town of Cai Be.
From Cai Be, welcome onboard your boat and cruise the waterways. Your journey starts as the boat glides slowly through Cai Be floating market where the traditional house boats sell their good of fruits, roots, vegetable. Before the motorbike decade, Cai Be was a central market and a busy place for the fruit trade. Though today, it remains a quiet although quaint local market.
Continue cruise beyond further the market to visit some local family workshops making rice paper, pop rice and coconut candy, try the green tea with honey.
Get back to the boat and cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep Island, relax while enjoy scenery and daily life of local villagers along the riverbanks. Enjoy a local lunch in a Mekong style restaurant. After lunch, take the transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City – Flight to Danang – Hoi An (B)
Enjoy breakfast and transfer to the airport, fly to Danang. Arrive at Danang and transfer a short while to Hoi An. Check in the hotel and start the walking tour to discover the ancient town of Hoi An, the UNESCO Heritage. Stroll leisurely around the lantern streets and visit some merchants’ ancient homes, admire the beauty of the most iconic bridge of Vietnam-Japanese Covered Bridge, visit the colorful Assembly Hall of Fujian. Explore the local and colorful market by the peaceful river of Hoi An.
Overnight in Hoi An or Danang.
Day 8: Hoi An – Hue – Visit Hue (B)
Depart from hotel for the 3.5 hour drive to Hue, the ancient royal city and former capital of Vietnam. On the way, take time to visit the Hai Van Pass, the remarkable pass sits between Danang and Hue, on the top of the pass, enjoy the spectacularly panoramic view of the two bays. Arrive Hue and visit the citadel and royal city where the Nguyen dynasty ruled Vietnam from, between 1802 and 1945. Many of the royal palaces, temples and monuments were destroyed during the tragic Vietnam War, especially during the Tet Offensive in 1968, however there are still some imposing monuments well survived and worth visited such as the Meridian Gate, the Great Harmony Palace, the Royal Library.
After visiting the royal monuments, leave for a short transfer to Thien Mu pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda, built in 1601, located by the bank of the Perfume River. Here, admire the beauty of the 21 m high tower centerpiece in the front of the pagoda and see the marble stone biography and a huge bonze bell. Behind the pagoda, find the famous Austin car which was used by a monk to drive to Saigon in 1963 to protest against the South Vietnam regime. In the garage, see the car and the photo of the monk’s self-immobilization which brought the brutal image of the Vietnam War to the world.
Overnight in Hue.
Day 9: Visit Hue – Flight to Hanoi (B)
After breakfast, your day starts with visiting the colorful and vibrant Dong Ba Market. Follow your guide lead and walk through the narrow paths in the market flanked with hundreds of stalls selling local specialties and fresh produce. Get back to the car and transfer to staring point of the cyclo tour. Hop on the three wheeled rickshaw and enjoy the ride through the quieter part of the city to Tinh Tam Lake, the former Rest and Recreation area where emperors used to come for relaxation in the fragrant of Lotus flowers in summer time. Nowadays, the lake is the favorite place for Hue students gathering or studying.
Next, visit the two most beautiful royal tombs of Emperor Minh Mang and Khai Dinh. The tomb of Minh Mang with the traditional style sits in peaceful gardens with beautiful lotus ponds, while Khai Dinh’s tomb was designed with a blend of Vietnamese style mixed with European elements.
After the royal mausoleums, drive to Hue airport to board the flight to Hanoi. On arrival, transfer to the hotel in Hanoi central city.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 10: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B, L, D)
In the morning, transfer to Halong Bay for 3.5 hours with refreshing break on the way. Arrive at the harbor and complete registration onboard the boat. After the service briefing, enjoy lunch on the boat and cruise leisurely toward the bay center. Depends on different boats, the activities onboard may be varied. Enjoy sightseeing, exploring cave activities or just spend time on sundeck for the stunning view of this natural beauty. Dinner will be served onboard.
Overnight on Halong Bay.
Day 11: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Visit Hanoi (B, L)
Get up early to join Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck, in middle of the bay. Enjoy a light breakfast while the boat motors slowly through the towering limestone formations toward the harbor. Spend some more hours on the deck before having an early lunch. Arrive the pier and return to Hanoi.
Arrive in Hanoi in mid afternoon, spend an hour visiting the Ethnology Museum (closed on Mondays), a fascinating research center exhibiting articles, documents, daily life of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups.
Drive to the downtown and visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter to explore the most intriguing streets of Hanoi, walk through the narrow and bustling streets where hundreds of family shops and business setup their sale along the street sides near Hoan Kiem Lake.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 12: Hanoi city tour – Departure (B)
Today, after breakfast, transfer to the Temple of Literature to have a glimpse of Vietnam’s glory past, visit the most important educational center of Vietnam during the past feudalism, built in 1070 the temple complex was where the first university of Vietnam was established and the place was functioning for almost 700 years. Walk through the well kept gardens with ponds and ancient banyan trees, pass the 82 marble turtles to the most sacred shrine and be amazed by the girl students wearing stunning traditional Ao Dai (long dress) taking photos for their graduation.
Drive to Ba Dinh square to view Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where embalmed body of the former President of modern Vietnam is housed (see from outside, it is closed on Monday and Friday). Walk further to the garden behind, pass the Presidential Palace to visit Ho Chi Minh’s simple stilted house and the One Pillar Pagoda, the Vietnam’s most iconic pagoda.
Wrap your Hanoi highlight tour at the breathtaking West Lake, pay a visit to the ancient Quan Thanh Temple which was built nearly one thousand years ago and dedicated to worshiping the Northern Sky God who is commonly worship in China as well. Walk following the lake shore to visit the 6th century Tran Quoc Pagoda.
Spend the last hours relaxing or shopping before having private transfer to Noi Bai airport for the departure flight.