Day 1 – Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam and the beginning of your adventure. Arrive in Hanoi and travel independently to the hotel where you’ll meet your tour leader and group, before enjoying the rest of your first day at leisure. Overnight: Hanoi.
Day 2 – Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay
Hanoi – Cat Ba Island. Today we’ll travel to the beautiful Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Ha Long Bay. Enjoy a scenic boat cruise to the floating village of Beo and take in the stunning Lan Ha Bay. Later, enjoy an optional kayaking experience in Cat Ba Island’s pristine lagoons or join a cycle ride through the jungle to the island’s remotest village. Spend the rest of today as you please – relax on the beach or visit Canon Fort for a spectacular view of the sunset over the archipelago. Overnight: Cat Ba Island. (B/L)
Day 3 – Hue
Cat Ba island – Hue. Spend this morning exploring Cat Ba Island independently or join our optional excursion to the local fish market and a hike up to one of the island’s peaks for a breath-taking view over the national park. Later, we’ll take the overnight train to the city of Hue. Overnight: Sleeper train. (B)
Day 4 – Hue Sightseeing
Enjoy a half day tour of Hue, taking in highlights including the city’s most famous attraction – the Imperial Citadel. Later, we’ll visit the Village of the Mandarins on the banks of the Perfume River and experience Vietnamese cuisine as we enjoy lunch with the locals in their homes.
This afternoon you’ll have free time to explore Hue at leisure – why not enjoy one of our optional excursions to watch the sunset at Chuon Lagoon? Alternatively, if you’re feeling energetic then join a cycle ride through Hue’s rural outskirts. Overnight: Hue. (L)
Day 5 – Hoi An
Hue – Hoi An. Say goodbye to Hue this morning as we travel to the charming port town of Hoi An. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the city’s main attractions, including the UNESCO-listed town centre and the iconic Japanese Bridge. Spend the rest of the day as you please in the vibrant town – explore the cobbled back streets and browse the local art galleries and craft shops for souvenirs. Overnight: Hoi An. (B)
Day 6 – Free time in Hoi An
Hoi An – Mui Ne. Enjoy a free day in Hoi An – why not relax on the beach or explore the town’s bustling markets? Alternatively, join our optional excursion on a cycling and paddling adventure through the picturesque countryside, or visit a local farm to enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch. This evening we’ll board our overnight train to the popular beach resort of Mui Ne. Overnight: Sleeper train. (B)
Days 7-8 – Mui Ne beach
Arrive in Mui Ne where you’ll have the rest of today and day 8 to enjoy the golden sand dunes and crystal waters of this surfer’s paradise. Grab a board and catch the waves or try your hand at kite-surfing if you’re feeling energetic. Alternatively, relax and unwind on the beach or swim amongst colourful fishing boats. Overnight: Mui Ne. (B X1)
Days 9-10 – Ho Chi Minh City
Mui Ne – Ho Chi Minh City. This morning we’ll travel to Ho Chi Minh City where you’ll be free to spend the day at leisure – why not join our optional tour taking in the highlights of the city?
Enjoy day 10 further exploring the city independently or join our optional excursion to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. This vast underground network of tunnels and hideouts was used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Later, you’ll have time to enjoy the city’s delicious street food or visit the sobering War Remnants Museum and the famous Reunification Palace. Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City. (B X2)
Day 11 – Phnom Penh
Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh. Say goodbye to Vietnam as we travel across the border to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. Take a traditional tuk tuk to the Mekong River for a scenic walk along the riverside before we enjoy a drink at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club. Overnight: Phnom Penh. (B)
Day 12 – Free time in Phnom Penh
Today is free for you to explore the city as you please or choose to join one of our optional excursions. Enjoy a city tour of the capital taking in highlights including the National Museum and the Royal Palace with its famous Silver Pagoda. Later, there is an optional tour to the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields and Toul Sleng Prison, or a cycling trip to the scenic Koh Dach island. Overnight: Phnom Penh. (B)
Day 13 – Battambang
Phnom Penh – Battambang. Travel to the ‘rice bowl of Cambodia’ with a stop at a local pottery on the way. We’ll also visit Phnom Sambov Mountain, with the colourful temple of Wat Sampeou at its summit and home to the notorious Khmer Rouge ‘killing caves’ – now a place of pilgrimage. Overnight: Battambang. (B)
Day 14 – Battambang Bamboo train
Battambang – Siem Reap. This morning we’ll visit the bustling Battambang market and a local village renowned for its Khmer architecture. Look inside the houses of the local people to learn about the traditional Cambodian way of life. Later, discover the production process of Cambodian specialities including sticky rice, and visit a weaving and handicraft centre.
This afternoon we’ll enjoy a ride on Battambang’s famous bamboo train – used by local villagers to transport their goods, before exploring the temple of Wat Banan. This 11th century structure is perched on the mountain peak, where we’ll enjoy fantastic views of the countryside before travelling to Siem Reap where you can spend the evening at leisure. Overnight: Siem Reap. (B)
Day 15 – Angkor Temple Complex
Today we’ll discover Cambodia’s most famous attraction – the magnificent Angkor Wat. Rising 65-metres above the ground, this three-tiered temple dates back to the 12th century. Later, explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom, where the Bayon temple is famous for the smiling faces carved into its centre. Before we head back to Siem Reap there will also be time to visit the Ta Prohm temple, made famous by the ‘Tomb Raider’ movie starring Angelina Jolie. Overnight: Siem Reap. (B)
Day 16 – Kampong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake
Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake. This morning we’ll travel to the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake and visit the villages of Kampong Phluk, where the colourful houses are built on stilts over the floodplain. Explore the village by row boat, paddling past houses, businesses and even schools perched over the water. Explore Siem Reap at leisure this afternoon before you enjoy an optional traditional Apsara dance show in the evening. Overnight: Siem Reap. (B)
Day 17 – Siem Reap
Our adventure comes to an end today. Enjoy breakfast before departing to the airport for your onward flight. (B)