Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia

15 Day Small Group Adventure from Hanoi to Siem Reap with Explore

Read 6 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on Explore's 15 Day Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia. Explore French colonial cities, vibrant riverside life and lost jungle temples on this fast-paced adventure through Vietnam and Cambodia. We travel using a variety of transport...read more

Our Price From:
$ 3,283
Per Person ($AU)
Save This Month:
$ 139
Per Person ($AU)
Small Group Adventure Starts In
Starts In
Hanoi
Small Group Adventure Ends In
Ends In
Siem Reap
Accomodation
Accomodation
Comfortable
18
Max Group Size
18
Full On
Trip Pace
Full On
Countries Explored:
Vietnam, Cambodia
Trip Operated By:
Explore
Explore
140 Reviews
Trip Reviews:
4.8 out of 5
6 Reviews
Trip Code:
VC

Itinerary

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1 Join trip in Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi and check- in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to make your first impressions of Hanoi. You may choose to take a stroll through the narrow lanes of the Old Quarter, or perhaps enjoy a gentle walk around Hoan Kiem Lake. Stay: Hotel (Standard)
2 Discover the sights of Hanoi including the Old Quater
This morning we will embark on a city tour encompassing some of the main sights of Hanoi. The city showcases superb French architecture from its colonial days, with large tree-lined boulevards and low-built mansions and houses. Some of the main sights we will be visiting today will include the One Pillar Pagoda, Confucius Temple and the Presidential Palace. Ho Chi Minh himself, a spartan-living and scholarly man, chose not to live in the Presidential Palace; he preferred instead a simple teak stilt-house specially built for him in the grounds. This afternoon is left free for further exploration. Your Explore Leader will provide you with a map of the Old Quarter should you wish to walk through the narrow lanes of this fascinating district, where the streets are named after various crafts or specialties: Paper Street, Silk Street, Basket Street and so on. The shops themselves have very narrow frontages but are actually quite deep; they are known locally as tube shops. On the pavements food sellers sell noodles, snacks and stir-fries from shoulder panniers, all adding to the charm of this historic quarter of the city. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
3 Cruise amongst the limestone cliffs in Halong Bay
We leave the city behind this morning and head east towards Halong Bay. The Bay is as mystical as it is beautiful; it is a place where thousands of jagged limestone islands rise majestically out of the jade green waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. It is also the stuff of legend; in fact Halong means: 'Where the dragon descends to the sea'. It is said that the World Heritage site was created by the pounding tail of a dragon as he ran from the mountains into the sea, carving the islands in his wake. This afternoon we raise anchor and head out of the bay, cruising past the towering limestone cliffs, and visiting the eerie Sung Sot Cave. We spend tonight on board a traditional wooden junk boat which has been converted to offer a traditional sailing experience, but with all comforts of a more modern vessel. Stay: Junk (Standard) (B/L/D)
4 Continue the cruise
We wake this morning to the romantic scenery of Halong Bay and continue our adventure through this awe-inspiring seascape. There will be chances to drop anchor and explore, perhaps visiting a beach, a floating village or a grotto beneath towering cliffs. We enjoy a traditional seafood lunch on board, before disembarking and returning to Hanoi. This evening we board the Reunification Express for our overnight rail journey south, to Danang. Stay: Overnight Train (Simple) (B/L)
5 In Hoi An, afternoon tour of the Old Town
The train is scheduled to arrive around lunchtime into Danang, where we then make the short transfer by road to Hoi An. The historic merchant town of Hoi An had become one of the busiest international trading ports of Southeast Asia by the 17th and 18th centuries. First colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century it still retains its medieval charm today, with many of its old buildings superbly preserved. After some time to freshen up we will set off on foot for a walking tour through this charming port town. We visit the famous Japanese Bridge, along with some of the Chinese temples and grand meeting halls. The traditional wooden houses are an interesting feature in this town and offer us some wonderful photographic opportunities. Stay: Hotel (Standard)
6 In Hoi An, free day to explore
Today is left free to explore and soak up Hoi An's unique atmosphere. There are many shops, bars and restaurants in this charming town and it is a great place to buy souvenirs, have clothing tailored or simply watch the world go by in a riverside café. You may wish to take an optional excursion to the holiest and most evocative of Vietnam's Cham sites, My Son. The Chams were dynastic lords who rejected the authority of China in 2AD and established their own kingdom. Although they benefited from strong sea links with the rest of Southeast Asia the kingdom's interior could not supply sufficient food for a strong military force. For 1000 years they managed to stave off attacks by the Vietnamese and Chinese, before being overcome by the Vietnamese in the 15th century. The track that leads to the site is slow and bumpy through wooded hills, but the site is certainly impressive with several groupings of Cham temples to be visited. Nowhere are the fine masonry skills of the Chams more evident than at My Son, despite the fact that much of the site was bombed in the 1960s. Alternatively, if you would prefer to stay in Hoi An, you can attend a cookery course. Here you can learn the secrets to sumptuous Vietnamese cuisine and sample your own creations for lunch. Another option would be to take a fishing trip out to the Thu Bon River Delta, where we learn how to fish using a traditional cast net. We travel out by boat where we meet local fisherman and try our hand at cast net fishing as well as trying the bamboo winches used to haul in the huge drop nets from the river. We also have a chance to go out in a Vietnamese 'basket boat' - a circular boat constructed from bamboo that takes some practice to row! Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
7 In Hoi An, free morning, overnight train to Ho Chi Minh City
This morning has been left free for some last minute-shopping or sightseeing before driving up the coast to Danang. Here we will board our overnight sleeper train south, to the rather different and modern Ho Chi Minh City. Stay: Overnight Train (Simple) (B)
8 Walking tour of Old Saigon, free afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City
This morning we arrive into Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it is better known by the locals. Saigon was heavily bombed during the war, and modern day Ho Chi Minh City is now a curious mix of French Colonial architecture and modern gleaming skyscrapers. Today we walk around the central sights of this multi-faceted city, taking in the Notre Dame Cathedral and the GPO building as well as some of the old Colonial hotels such as The Rex. We then drive to the Independence Palace (renamed the Reunification Hall) and the graphic War Remnants Museum, where you will learn about the Vietnam War from a very different view point to that of Hollywood. This afternoon has been left free to either relax, or perhaps for further exploration of this fascinating city. Stay: Hotel (Standard)
9 Cruise along Mekong Delta and visit floating market
Today we head into the fertile lands of the Mekong Delta that lie sandwiched between the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. A traditional area where people have lived off the land for generations, we have the chance to witness the daily life of the fisherman and farmers as we cruise through the myriad of waterways that make up the Delta. Passing through narrow tree-lined canals and past floating villages, we reach the trading town of Cai Be where we have the chance to visit the floating market and barter with the locals for exotic fruit, vegetables and refreshments. We enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at a local restaurant before visiting a family business to see how coconut sweets are made. We then transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City late this afternoon. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B/L)
10 Morning visit to Cu Chi Tunnels, drive onto Phnom Penh
This morning we take a short drive out to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels, which formed an incredible underground command base for 10,000 Viet Cong troops and were a major part of the 1968 Tet Offensive. The site offers a fascinating insight into the resourcefulness of the Vietnamese. There is the opportunity to crawl through a small, specially adapted section of the tunnels should you wish to sample the claustrophobic conditions in which the Viet Cong lived. Afterwards we continue north to cross the border into Cambodia, and seemingly into a different world compared to Vietnam. Border formalities take place at Moc Bai (Vietnam) and Bavet (Cambodia) crossing point. Our final destination is Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
11 Uncover the sights of Phnom Penh including the Royal Palace, afternoon free
Phnom Penh is now a lively city, complete with trendy river-side restaurants and bars, a warm welcoming atmosphere and smiling friendly locals. The modern upbeat nature of the city is fascinating to witness, given the recent atrocities the residents of this city would have endured just forty years before. Accompanied by a local guide we visit the National Museum, a treasure trove of beautifully preserved carvings and lintels rescued from Angkor; the glittering Royal Palace Silver Pagoda as well as the temple of Wat Phnom before having some free time in the city. This afternoon there is the option to visit the emotive Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, formerly a high school that became the Khmer Rouge's main torture and interrogation centre; and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek - where the memorial stupa is a glass tower filled with human skulls - a gruesome reminder of the scale of Pol Pot's atrocities. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
12 Drive to Siem Reap and visit the floating village of Chong Kneas
We set off into the countryside this morning, driving out of the city and towards Siem Reap. The drive is very picturesque, taking us through rural Cambodia, past vast rice fields and through stilted villages. After checking into our base in Siem Reap for the next 3 days, we set off towards the vast Tonle Sap Lake. Here we board our charter boat for a leisurely cruise through the fascinating floating village of Chong Kneas, where we see floating houses, riverside markets and an array of locally made boats. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
13 Full day visiting the temples of Angkor
Our exact programme over the next three days may change slightly at our local guide's discretion. Angkor was actually a series of cities, built between the 9th and the 13th centuries by the Khmer kings, with a population of 750,000 in its heyday. The Angkor complex is spread out over some 155 square kilometres, scattered with magnificent carved stone temples, elegant sculptures and incredible bas reliefs. We visit the Rolous group, which are some of the earliest temples. In the afternoon we visit the temples of Banteay Srei, a small but beautiful temple with exquisite carvings. We end the day at East Mebon, with a visit to Pre Rup temple which enjoys a spectacular sunset. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
14 Further exploration of the Angkor temple complex
We continue our exploration with a visit to the temples of King Jayavarman Vll, reputedly Angkor's greatest king. The fortified city of Angkor Thom, which he built at the end of the 12th century, is enclosed by a square wall with five monumental gates decorated with stone elephant trunks. Originally, crocodiles inhabited the moat and huge statues of 54 different gods protected each gate. The city contains another of Angkor's true gems - The Bayon. Although not as impressive as Angkor Wat from a distance, The Bayon is nevertheless incredible for its maze of corridors, gothic style towers and magical central temples. A highlight for many is a visit to the atmospheric temple of Ta Prohm, where the film Tomb Raider was filmed, lying half consumed by the jungle. We leave the best known and most breathtaking of all the sights, Angkor Wat, to the end - where we stay until the sun sets on the last night of our adventure. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
15 Trip ends in Siem Reap
The trip ends after breakfast. If you have time you may choose to browse the old market for some last minute bargains, visit a fish spa or enjoy afternoon tea at The Foreign Correspondent's Club. (B)

Explore! Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • Halong Bay - Cruise through the turquoise waters and past the towering limestone cliffs of Halong Bay
  • Hoi An - Discover the charm of this ancient merchant's town with its temples and Chinese architecture
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Learn about the resilience and resourcefulness of the Vietnamese at the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Mekong Delta - Barter for fresh fruit with the locals at Cai Be floating market in the Mekong Delta
  • Phnom Penh - Uncover the haunting truths of the Khmer Rouge years at the Killing Fields
  • Siem Reap - Marvel at the iconic jungle temples of Angkor
Trip Pace: Full On
  • Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a - block full of new experiences as possible
Read Trip Notes
  • Trip Notes outline what's included, visa information, important notes, how to get to your accommodation, packing checklist, optional activities, travel insurance requirements - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more. Please take time to have a read through, and contact us if you have any questions. View Trip Notes
About Explore!
About Explore!
Launching in 1981, Explore offer trips from over 130 countries - from classic small group tours. Read more
Explore Leaders
Explore Leaders
Explore's leaders are more than just your typical guide. They're your local expert are are passionate about sharing their expertise with you. Read more
Where do we Stay?
Where do we Stay?
The places Explore stay are every bit as important as the sights they visit and the things you do. Read more

Reviews (6)

15 Day Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia reviews from past clients of Global Journeys.

Rating 4.8 out of 5
5 Star
83%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
“Accomodation could be better.”
- Australia Feb 2019

Personally, I would have no problem paying a little more to ensure that the accommodation was of superior quality, but the trip was great. (Review provided by Explore Worldwide.)

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“Brilliant trip.”
- Australia Jan 2019

Brilliant trip. Some language probs, cost of extra trips highlighted before being booked. Slight misunderstanding of trip being booked and not all wanted to go, but too late. Cycle ride superb, more time to be able to browse shop on island would have been great. (Review provided by Explore Worldwide.)

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“More 'down' time needed.”
- Australia Jan 2019

I feel I would have benefitted from slightly more 'down' time. The guide was eager to show us everything which meant we didn't get a day to ourselves. (Review provided by Explore Worldwide.)

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“Cambodia holiday.”
- Australia Jan 2019

We had a really enjoyable trip and the group size of only 8 worked well. the only slight disappointing thing was that we never got to see a sunset at the Cambodia temples. one night was dull and the last night some members didn't want to stay around so we all ended up leaving. (Review provided by Explore Worldwide.)

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“Thanks to Long.”
- Australia Jan 2019

Many thanks to Long our Tour Guide for making this trip so enjoyable and memorable for us. (Review provided by Explore Worldwide.)

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Prices & Dates

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Sunday 07 Nov 2021 Sunday 21 Nov 2021 137per person 3,283per person Enquire
Sunday 14 Nov 2021 Sunday 28 Nov 2021 137per person 3,283per person Enquire
Sunday 21 Nov 2021 Sunday 05 Dec 2021 137per person 3,283per person Enquire
Sunday 28 Nov 2021 Sunday 12 Dec 2021 137per person 3,283per person Enquire
Sunday 19 Dec 2021 Sunday 02 Jan 2022 137per person 3,283per person Enquire
Wednesday 12 Jan 2022 Wednesday 26 Jan 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 06 Feb 2022 Sunday 20 Feb 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Wednesday 16 Feb 2022 Wednesday 02 Mar 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 20 Feb 2022 Sunday 06 Mar 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 27 Feb 2022 Sunday 13 Mar 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 06 Mar 2022 Sunday 20 Mar 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 10 Apr 2022 Sunday 24 Apr 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 06 Nov 2022 Sunday 20 Nov 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 13 Nov 2022 Sunday 27 Nov 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 20 Nov 2022 Sunday 04 Dec 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 27 Nov 2022 Sunday 11 Dec 2022 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Tuesday 20 Dec 2022 Tuesday 03 Jan 2023 139per person 3,331per person Enquire
Sunday 07 Nov 2021 Sunday 21 Nov 2021 161solo traveller 3,869solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 14 Nov 2021 Sunday 28 Nov 2021 161solo traveller 3,869solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 21 Nov 2021 Sunday 05 Dec 2021 161solo traveller 3,869solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 28 Nov 2021 Sunday 12 Dec 2021 161solo traveller 3,869solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 19 Dec 2021 Sunday 02 Jan 2022 161solo traveller 3,869solo traveller Enquire
Wednesday 12 Jan 2022 Wednesday 26 Jan 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 06 Feb 2022 Sunday 20 Feb 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Wednesday 16 Feb 2022 Wednesday 02 Mar 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 20 Feb 2022 Sunday 06 Mar 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 27 Feb 2022 Sunday 13 Mar 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 06 Mar 2022 Sunday 20 Mar 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 10 Apr 2022 Sunday 24 Apr 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 06 Nov 2022 Sunday 20 Nov 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 13 Nov 2022 Sunday 27 Nov 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 20 Nov 2022 Sunday 04 Dec 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Sunday 27 Nov 2022 Sunday 11 Dec 2022 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
Tuesday 20 Dec 2022 Tuesday 03 Jan 2023 164solo traveller 3,936solo traveller Enquire
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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Explore. Full terms & conditions are available here.