Vietnam Cambodia Tours

Authentic Vietnam Cambodia Discovery

Number of days: 30

Price from: 2,500$

Tour type: Private Tour

Departure: Daily

Start from: Hanoi or from any other city on your request

Highlights: Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoian, Nha Trang, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta, Chau Doc, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat

Immense natural beauty, rich and captivating culture, a joyful and welcoming people, and immense dignity from past sorrows: journey through two remarkable countries which share so much.

  • Overview
  • Trip Itinerary
  • Accommodations
  • Travel Info
  • Trip Map
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  • DESTINATIONS 

    * Hanoi - Sightseeing with a Local Guide; water puppets performance; visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Presidential Palace, and Temple of Literature; take a “cyclo” ride through the Old Quarter
    * Sapa - Experience stay overnight on the train. Trek through hill tribe villages meeting different hill tribe people; visiting hill tribe markets and beautiful waterfalls
    * Ninh Binh - majestic limestone cliffs and mysterious caves, as well as countryside landscape like peaceful streams, rice paddies and deserted green fields
    * Halong Bay:
     Overnight cruise in a traditional Junk boat, discover caves & fishing villages, explore the lagoon.
    * Hue - See stunning scenery en-route to Hue; Take a dragon boat to visit pagodas; Visit the Imperial Citadel. Visit the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang.
    * Danang / Hoi An - See ancient sculpture in the Cham Museum, and tour Buddhist cave temples in the Marble Mountains. A walking tour through the UNESCO listed Old Quarter; Countryside bike ride, visit an old merchant house, the Hoi An Museum, and a Chinese assembly hall.
    * Nha Trang - Enjoy this seaside resort town known for its pristine beaches and turquoise waters, Swim, snorkel and explore coral
    * Dalat- is often called the "City of Eternal Spring". Visit Bao Dai Palace, the art royal decored villa and its surrounding gardens provide a nice view of Dalat and the hills beyond. We venture outside of town to visit Truc Lam Thien Vien and Pagoda
    * Ho Chi Minh City - City tour including entry to the War Remnants Museum & Cu Chi Tunnels.
    * Mekong Delta - Take an excursion to Mekong Delta, with a boat trip on the Mekong River to visit Cat Be floating market.
    * Phnom Penh - Capital of Cambodia surrounded by the Mekong River; home to majestic palaces and pagodas  
    * Angkor Temples - The principal temple of the Angkorian region, Angkor Wat, was built between 1113 and 1150 by King Suryavarman II.


    ACTIVITIES

    Cultural Tours / History & Archaeology Tours / Museums & Galleries / Caves / Music / Shopping / Walking Tours / Boating & Sailing


    BRIEF ITINERARY:

    Day 01: Arrive in Hanoi

    Day 02: Start of the day with an orientation tour of Hanoi (B)

    Day 03: Hanoi City Tour – Night Train to Sapa (B)

    Day 04: Sapa: Visit Hill Tribe Market (B)

    Day 05: Sapa: Visit Hill Tribe Villages (B/L)

    Day 06: Sapa: Visit Silver Waterfall & Heaven Gates – Hanoi (B/L)

    Day 07: Hanoi – Drive to Ninh Binh: Visit Trang An & Bai Dinh pagoda (B/L)

    Day 08: Drive to Halong Bay – Visit Halong Bay and overnight on boat (B/L/D)

    Day 09: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B)

    Day 10: Leisure day in Hanoi to relax – Fly to Hue (B)

    Day 11: Visit Hue Citadel and King Tomb (B)

    Day 12: Hue – Drive to HoiAn (B)

    Day 13: Visit Myson Sanctuary and HoiAn ancient town (B)

    Day 14: HoiAn – Fly to Nha Trang (B)

    Day 15: Visit Nha Trang Beach City (B)

    Day 16: Leisure Day in Nha Trang (B)

    Day 17: Nha Trang – Drive to Dalat (B)

    Day 18: Dalat Tour (B)

    Day 19: Dalat – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (B)

    Day 20: Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B)

    Day 21: Visit Cuchi Tunnels & Cao Dai Great Temple (B)

    Day 22: Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta Tour – Can Tho (B/L)

    Day 23: Drive to Chau Doc – Visit Chau Doc (B)

    Day 24: Chau Doc – Speed boat trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (B)

    Day 25: Phnom Penh City Tour (B)

    Day 26: Phnom Penh – Drive to Siem Reap (B)

    Day 27: Siem Reap: Visit Highlighted Angkor Wat Temples (B)

    Day 28: Siem Reap: Visit remote Angkor Wat Temples (B)

    Day 29: Siem Reap: Visit the Floating Villages (B)

    Day 30: Siem Reap: AM: to relax – PM: Departure (B)

    Trip includes:

    - Accommodation with daily breakfast bases on double/twin sharing

    - Overnight boat cruise in Halong Bay

    - Other boat trips as mentioned in the program

    - Return train tickets in private 2 person soft berth cabin with A/C: Hanoi – Sapa – Hanoi

    - Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)

    - Transportation by private vehicle with A/C

    - 3 Domestic flights: Hanoi-Hue, Danang-Nha Trang, Dalat-Ho Chi Minh (Economic Class)

    - Private local English speaking tour guides

    - All entrance fees and permits where applicable
    - Vietnam visa permit arrangement for visa on arrival


    Trip excludes:

    - Meals that not mentioned in the program

    - Travel insurance

    - Vietnam Visa 

    - Cambodia visa (available at border on arrival at 30 US$/person)

    - Airfare to/from the trip start/finish point

    - Tipping, drinks and other personal expenses 

  • DETAILED ITINERARY:

    Day 01: Arrive in Hanoi

    Upon arrival in our thousand years Capital – Hanoi City, our guide will welcome you at Noi Bai airport and then transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Relax to recover somewhat from jet-leg and for the refreshment. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

    Day 02: Start the day with an orientation tour of Hanoi (B)

    Morning, take an orientation walking tour of Hanoi. You will know our legend/history about Hoan Kiem Lake (the lake of the Restored Sword), our architectural and our way of with small streets and its name (Old quarter).
    Afternoon, free time on your own. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

     

    Day 03: Hanoi City Tour – Night Train to Sapa (B)

    Today, we will take the sightseeing of the most city's outstanding historical and cultural sites. The visit includes:
    - The complex of Ho Chi Minh historical sites, also called the political center of Vietnam.
    - One-pillar Pagoda and The Temple of Literature for the brief understanding about the two most popular religions in Vietnam (Buddhism and Confucianism).
    - Visit one of the museums in Hanoi (Museum of History, Museum of Ethnology, Museum of Fine Art). 
    - Enjoy our welcome show of northern rural of Vietnam – Water Puppet show.
    You will have time for dinner then transfer to Railway station for night train to Sapa.

    Overnight on the train in a private 2 person soft berths cabin with A/C.

    Day 04: Sapa: Visit Sunday Bac Ha Hill Tribe Market (B)

    Arrive at Lao Cai train station at about 6.00am. Meet the local guide at the main entrance and take our private car for the transfer to a local restaurant to freshen up and for breakfast.

    After breakfast we will leave for a Hill Tribe Market for about 2 hours driving to the market. Join in the colorful market of the tribal people in this region. On the fair market the H'mong, Dzao, Phu La people in their best traditional costumes go to the market for shopping and meeting friends and relatives…
    Market schedule: Tuesday: Coc Ly Market, Saturday: Can Cau Market, Sunday: Bac Ha Market.

    Say goodbye to the colorful market and drive to Chay River where you will get on a boat for a river adventure. You are bound to feel great and find yourselves smaller among high Rock Mountains and to be surprised at white and breathtakingly waterfalls while cruising along the river. Get off the boat to visit a village of the Tay Minority (Trung Do village) by the river. After the boat trip, we continue our drive to the hotel in Sapa town. Check in hotel on arrival and free time to rest. Overnight at hotel in Sapa.



    Day 05: Sapa: Visit Hill Tribe Villages (B/L)

    A whole day today is for discovering the nature as well as different culture of hill tribal people. From hotel we start our trekking up and down hills with nice rice terraces, spectacular scenery the Fansipan Mount, and through scenic Muong Hoa valley. We walk up and down the rice terraces, hills, bamboo forests and streams to Lao Chai and Ta VanVillages which is decorated by terraced-fields and the house of H'mong, Red Zao and Zay people. You will have great opportunity for taking photos of breathtaking landscapes, meeting friendly hill-tribe people at home and work, and getting to understand their tradition, habits...Enjoy picnic lunch. We will return to our hotel in Sapa by car in late afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Sapa. 
    Note: A full or half day trekking or moving by car and short walk is on your request.

    Day 06: Sapa: Visit Silver Waterfall & Heaven Gates – Hanoi (B/L)

    After breakfast in hotel, we will drive to the Silver Waterfall, 12km from Sapa town (the biggest one in Sapa). From here you will enjoy the excellent view of mountain and green valley. Keep riding the car for 3 more km, you will arrive in the heaven gate. This is the highest pass in Vietnam (the heaven gate tram ton pass 1995 metter above sea level). In a good weather day you will see the spectacular view of the valley and the mountain Fansipan. The trip will then continue by car 4km to the place where you start the trek.

    From here you will walk through the jungle to Ban Khoang village where you will see the red Dao tribe. After visiting the village, it is time to enjoy the picnic near the river. After lunch the trek will take you Trek to Ban Khoang along the mountain trail sometimes up and down mountain, excellent view of valley, rice terraces to Taphin village. Here you will see a cave and then be transfer back to Sapa by car and have a shower in the hotel to freshen up. 
    Early evening, transfer to the train station in Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi.

    Overnight on the train in a private 2 person soft berths cabin with A/C.

    Day 07: Hanoi – Drive to Ninh Binh: Visit Trang An & Bai Dinh pagoda (B/L)

    The train arrives back to Hanoi around 4:30am, meet our guide at the train station for the transfer to a day use hotel for few hours relaxing and having breakfast. 
    Leave the hotel in Hanoi around 8am to Trang An Ecotourism in Ninh Binh province, 100km from Hanoi to the south. On arrival, we take the amazing boat trip to visit Trang An grottoes which is a gathering of 31 valleys, 50 cross-water caves, and home to 600 kinds of flora and over 200 kinds of fauna, many of them in the Red Book of Vietnam. While rowing through Trang An grotto in the quiet, fresh air of the highlands, with only the sound of birds and the oars stirring the clear water and surrounded by magnificent forested mountains upon which graze white goats, visitors enjoy a heaven on earth. After about 3 hour boat trip, come back to the land and enjoy lunch with local specialties. After lunch, we drive to Bai Dinh pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Vietnam with 500 La Han statues, biggest bronze Buddha statue in Vietnam with 10 meters in height, 100 tons in weight. Late afternoon, transfer to the hotel in Ninh Binh. Overnight in Ninh Binh.


    Day 08: Drive to Halong Bay – Visit Halong Bay and overnight on boat (B/L/D)

    After breakfast, you will leave Ninh Binh for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karst’ landscape. 
    On arrival in Halong Bay at 12:00pm: You will board your boat, a wooden junk built from the model of the old Vietnamese court vessels with sails, a wide transom and rectangular superstructure, that will take you first to the busy World Heritage area and then to some of the less well-known grottoes and caves. Weather permitting, you will be able to swim, fish, climb a hill for an overview of the Bay’s remarkable seascape, or venture into some of the sea level caves in a small sampan. All your meals will be provided on board, usually based on fresh seafood. Overnight on board the boat.



    Day 09: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B)

    Participate in Tai Chi o­n the top deck or simply watch the sunrise over the magnificent bay. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee or juice before setting out to the near- by cave by row boat. Watch for monkeys high on the cliff tops. Return back to the junk, where breakfast is served, while sailing around Bay Tu Long bay where the movie “Indochine” was filmed.
    Your cruise will end at noon and you will be met by your driver for the transfer to the hotel in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.

     

    Day 10: Leisure day in Hanoi to relax – Fly to Hue (B)

    Moring is free to relax or wandering around the city center or visit the Old Quarter or French Quarter of Hanoi.

    Early afternoon, we will transfer you to Hanoi airport for the flight to Hue VN1543 @13:40-14:50. On arrival in Hue, you are met and transferred to the hotel. Leisure time and overnight in Hue. 

    Day 11: Visit Hue Citadel and King Tomb (B)

    After breakfast, we take the sightseeing in Hue to the Ancient Imperial Citadel, a complex of palaces and temples built by the Nguyen from early 19th Century for which Hue was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage.

    Afternoon, embark on a drive to Hue’s countryside, through scenic villages and green rice fields to reach one of the Emperor’s tomb. It is one of the most beautiful of all Emperors tombs, in a complex of pavilions, temple, courtyards and lakes.

    Late afternoon, enjoy a traditional boat trip on the scenic Perfume River to visit Thien Mu pagoda.



    Day 12: Hue – Drive to HoiAn (B)

    Today, you will have a four hour drive over the scenic Hai Van pass along the coast to the ancient town of Hoian by the bank of Thu Bon River. You will have a short stop in spectacular Lang Co beach for refreshment and visit Cham Sculpture Museum and Marble Mountain workshop in Danang before reaching HoiAn town. On arrival in HoiAn, check in hotel and leisure time on your own. Overnight in HoiAn.  


    Day 13: Visit Myson Sanctuary and HoiAn ancient town (B)

    Morning, take a discovery trip to MySon, 40km from Hoi An. Located in a lush valley, My Son was a capital and religious center of Cham people, now remaining with red brick towers and sanctuaries. My Son, considered being in the same league as some of Southeast Asia's greatest archaeological sites, including Angkor in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Borobudur in Indonesia. These towers and sanctuaries were built from the 7 to 13 centuries. Admiring great architectural and art works of the Cham lost Kingdom. Having a brief understanding of the history, culture for which My Son was recognized the World Cultural Heritage. Return to Hoi An in the morning.

    In the afternoon, you will have a guided tour to see the interesting sights of this ancient city. Some hundreds years ago, this town thrived o­n trading with the Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. You will visit a historical Old House, Japanese Covered Bridge, Old Temple and Silk Factory. Overnight in HoiAn. 



    Day 14: HoiAn – Fly to Nha Trang (B)

    Depart HoiAn after breakfast for the short flight in the morning to Nha Trang. You will be met at the airport by your guide for the transfer to your resort.
    Nha Trang has o­ne of the most popular beaches in all of Vietnam, with clear turquoise water and mountains backdrop. The coconut palms provide shelter along most of the 6 km beachfront.

    This afternoon, enjoy free time on the beach. Overnight at hotel inNhatrang. 

    Day 15: Visit Nha Trang Beach City (B)

    This excursion takes you to visit a selection of the numerous attractions in Nha Trang City. First the car will drive you to Cau Da for a visit the Vietnam Oceanographic Institute to see the whole collection of sea creatures in Nha Trang Bay. After that, you will go to Long Son Pagoda, Cathedral or Stone Church built in French colony time, Chong Promontory Rocks and the Po Nagar Temples. The tour ends after the visit to local Dam Market. Overnight at hotel in Nha Trang. 


    Day 16: Nha Trang – Leisure day (B)

    Free day to relax on the beautiful beach of Nha Trang. Overnight in Nha Trang. 

    Day 17: Nha Trang – Drive to Dalat (B)

    After breakfast in hotel, take a 4 hour drive journey to Dalat. Dalat is a slice of Europe in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, Dalat found favor with the French rulers for its cool climate. Today, Dalat’s mild temperatures are popular with Private Asia Tours’s travelers, as is the town’s attractive landscape of colonial villas, gardens, lakes and rolling hills.

    Along the way we make stopover at the scenic Ngoan Muc Pass and the Po Klong Jarai Cham Towers. These amazing structures represent an interesting culture and a colorful history of the Cham people. Arrive in Dalat in the early afternoon, you will check in your hotel and then be free for relaxing or exploring this charming and romantic city on your own. Overnight at hotel in Dalat.

    Day 18: Dalat Tour (B)

    In the morning, you will ride a cable car to Truc Lam Pagoda and Tuyen Lam Lake. Truc Lam is the biggest pagoda in Dalat standing in Phoenix Mountain about 1,300m above the sea-level. It’s surrounded by an attractive flower garden and with the view of pure water lake and the pine forest on the far side.

    Afternoon, you will visit Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace, Crazy House, Dalat Railway station and Dalat Flower Garden. Overnight at hotel in Dalat.



    Day 19: Dalat – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (B)

    Morning, take an excursion to Lang Biang Mountain and visit Lat village – the indigenous people of Dalat with their rich culture, long houses, and weavings.

    Afternoon, transfer to the airport for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, you are met and transferred to the hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.


    Day 20: Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B)

    Although it is a big and chaotic metropolis, but this make your discovering the city are unique. Nice colonial center, with broad promenades and squares, and some French influence buildings that should not be missed. There are also many nice temples and pagodas. Another of the things visitors should not miss is popular markets - a great place to taste the local food specialties. Our stops in this city tour inclusive Reunification Palace, War Museum, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral, Binh Tay Market, on the way back we visit bustling China Town, and Ben Thanh Market. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.



    Day 21: Visit Cuchi Tunnels & Cao Dai Great Temple (B)

    Cao Daism is an mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. In this religious, Buddha and the Christian God are believed to both exist as deities, but Cao Dai is the third, highest deity. First found by Ngo Van Chieu in 1923, by 1930 there were half a million followers and over 2 million now. 
    In the morning, we are drive forward Tay Ninh, to see the ornate temple of Cao Dai and attend the fantastic mid-day service when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Afternoon, we drive back, with the visit to Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnel system had been created long time back, from 1948 to assist Viet Minh in the combat with French. And it was continuing built over 25 years later. It was an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers. In places, it was housed up to 10,000 people who virtually lived underground for years.... getting married, giving birth. During the American War the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a free fire zone and was heavily bombarded. From 1988, two sections of tunnels have been open for visitors. Return to the hotel in Ho Chi Minh in late afternoon. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.



    Day 22: Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta Tour – Can Tho (B/L)

    After breakfast in hotel, we will leave Ho Chi Minh for Cai Be in the Mekong Delta. Enjoy the sightseeing in Mekong which is translated in Vietnamese as “Nine Dragon River’ This is special experiences to see the real life of the local living along this river Delta. The visit includes the Cai Be floating market, Candy factory, orchard garden, traditional music and have your own lunch with family in the garden. Crossing river to island by motorized boat, some part by oars boats and also by cycling to get the real sense of countryside. We will disembark the boat at Vinh Long pier and take the drive to Can Tho city where we will stay overnight.



    Day 23: Drive to Chau Doc – Visit Chau Doc (B)

    After breakfast check out the hotel and head north-west to Chau Doc, situated on the Cambodian border. Transfer to hotel on arrival. In the afternoon take a boat to visit the unique farms where fish are bred in wooden cages suspended under floating houses on the river. Continue by boat to visit a village of stilt houses belonging to the Cham minority where colorful traditional textiles are woven on old wooden looms. Return to dry land in time to drive up Sam Mountain to watch the sunset over the Cambodian border. Overnight in Chau Doc. 

    Day 24: Chau Doc – Speed boat trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (B)

    After breakfast, you will board the speed boat to Phnom Penh. Visa formalities take about 45 minutes at the border and Cambodian visas can be issued at the border. Continue by river to Phnom Penh. Meet our guide and transfer to your hotel. This city was once considered one of the most beautiful in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history it still retains a colonial charm. Relax and have your own late lunch at the fine local restaurant.

    We begin our discovery of Phnom Penh in the thriving old market areas and then zip around the modernising parts of the city, visiting the exotic Central Markets where gems, silks and statues entice. End your afternoon with the visit of the Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh's namesake, from where you can enjoy views over the tree-lined avenues of Phnom Penh during sunset. Overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.


    Day 25: Phnom Penh City Tour (B)

    Continue our Phnom Penh discovery with the visit to the Victory Monument, and the National Museum, also called Musee des Beaux-Arts. A French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier, designed it in Khmer style in 1917. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art - notably sculptures - throughout the ages. Visit the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90kilograms and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha.

    We take a 'walk back' into the brutal, (modern) history that Cambodia shockingly suffered under Pol Pot's reign during the 1970's, visiting 'The Killing Fields' & S-21 - The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in the afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.



    Day 26: Phnom Penh – Drive to Siem Reap (B)

    After breakfast in hotel, take a private 7 hour drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap passing through the countryside and local towns along the way. There will be some stops in the way to relax. On arrival in Siem Reap in afternoon, check in hotel and leisure time on your own. Overnight in Siem Reap. 
    Option: We can take the 50 minute flight instead of the 7 hour car ride with additional cost. 


    Day 27: Siem Reap: Visit Highlighted Angkor Wat Temples (B)

    In the morning, visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wats five towers symbolize Merus five peaks - the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Continue to Ta Prohmone of the areas most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery.

    Afternoon, Visit the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal EnclosurePhimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Overnight in Siem Reap.



    Day 28: Siem Reap: Visit remote Angkor Wat Temples (B)

    This morning we visit the ancient Khmer civilization site of Hariharalaya which flourished in the late 9th and earlier 10th centuries. These are the earliest temples in the Angkor area and are referred to the Rolous group (Lo Lei, Preah Koh, and Bakhong Temples). Lunch with the local family and then we will continue todrive to the rural outskirt 35km from Angkor area to visit the smallest, but magnificent, Banteay Srei built in the 10th Century and dedicated to Shiva. The temple was the birthplace of Khmer classical style architecture and the bas-relief work is the best example of Khmer classical art remaining. The pink sandstone structure bears a series of striking and beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. Khmers say the temple must have been carved by women for the details are too fine for the hands of a man. On the way back to Siem Reap we will visit the Banteay Samre Temple adorned with impressive reliefs depicting scenes of Vishnu as well as Krishna legends. Overnight in Siem Reap.


    Day 29: Siem Reap: Visit the Floating Villages (B)

    Morning, Visit the floating village of Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap.  Take a traditional wooden boat for a ride on the Tonle Sap Lake, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia.
    Afternoon, visit "Les Artisans d'Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles" of Siem Reap and time at leisure at the local market in the rest of the afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.


    Day 30: Siem Reap – Departure (B)

    Leisure time until the departure time; our guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to Siem Reap airport for your departure flight home. End of Vietnam and Cambodia trip.

  • Categories of Accommodation


    Value:

    With basic hotels and simple accommodation, this is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel. We would normally accommodate your in these in remote areas.


    Standard:

    Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant. Sometimes these are a good affordable choice in cities where accommodation is very expensive, but where being centrally located is a prime consideration.


    Superior:

    Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre. This is the 'classic' hotel standard we use on most of our group based tours.


    Deluxe:

    Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care. India and Southeast Asia have a fabulous array of top notch 5-star properties.


    Luxury:

    Luxury accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!


  • Visa and Passport
    Except for a number of ASEAN countries a visa is required to visit Vietnam. If your itinerary requires two
    entries into Vietnam then a double entry visa must be obtained. If your trip is postponed or delayed it may be necessary to obtain another visa if your original visa is not valid for your new dates of travel.

    Tourist Visa
    A Vietnam Tourist Visa is valid for the period of 30-days and for a single entry (unless endorsed for a double entry at additional cost). The cost charged by the Vietnamese embassy is $65 for a single entry visa and $130 for a double entry visa. Your passport must be sent to the embassy along with payment with prepaid shipping arrangements with Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, FedEx, etc., two completed visa applications and two passport photos. Allow five-business days for processing.

    Visa-on-Arrival
    A Visa-on-Arrival is available if you are pre-approved for the visa. In lieu of a stamped visa in your passport prior to departure a fax from the Department of Immigration is issued and used as your travel document for boarding your international flight to Vietnam. This system has been working for a number of years now and is extremely reliable. Visa-on-Arrival processing charges are normally $25 and a $45 fee is payable directly to Vietnamese Immigration upon arrival.

    Double Entry Visa
    A Double Entry Visa is a Tourist Visa endorsed for a double entry. If your itinerary requires a double entry be sure and obtain the Double Entry Visa.

    Re-Entry Visa
    Re-entry Visas, prior to departing Vietnam, are possible to obtain in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through authorized agencies for a fee of approximately $25, however it requires one-to-two days and the deposit of your passport. This is not advisable unless your itinerary allows ample time and you remain in the city where the application was filed until the visa is issued. It is strongly advised to obtain a Double Entry Visa prior entering Vietnam.

    Passport Validity Dates
    Your passport must have a validity date of at least six-months remaining after your visit to Vietnam is completed.

    Travel Document Companies
    Unless you live nearby a Vietnamese embassy or consulate or are experienced in dealing with embassies by mail or telephone, it is advised that you use a travel document company to obtain your visa.
    Notes: You can email us at info@privateasiatours.com for more advice on Vietnam Visa information. The service is free of charge. All the emails will be replied within 24h.

    Entry Procedures
    Arrival and Departure Cards are required to be completed upon entry into Vietnam; they will be provided by the airline or at the border gate. The yellow copy of the card will be returned to you and must be submitted when you depart Vietnam; keep it in a safe place. Making a photocopy of it is a good idea and keeping it with your other photocopies.
    If you have been pre-approved for a Visa-on-Arrival simply process though the Visa-on-Arrival lane at immigration.
    Once your visa formalities have been completed claim your baggage and process through customs.

    Duty Free
    One-carton of cigarettes and one bottle of liquor.

    Exit Procedures
    Complete the customs declaration and process through customs then complete the immigration processing where you will be required to return the yellow copy of your Arrival and Departure Card.

    Airport Departure Taxes
    Domestic Departure Taxes are included in the price of the airline ticket. International Airport Departure taxes are $14 (Hanoi) and $12 (Ho Chi Minh City). First check-in for your flight and then obtain the receipt for the payment of your departure tax to present upon clearing customs.

    Tendering Passports
    Vietnamese law requires that passports be tendered to the hotel each evening. This may appear odd to Western travelers but until the 1960's a number of European countries required that passports be tendered to the hotel each evening.

    Travel Insurance
    Traveler's Insurance is strongly recommended. A number of companies sell competing policies and it is a good idea to read the fine print and ask questions if you are in doubt. Note : some insurance companies cover travel insurance in their existing policies; check, you may already be covered. Policies have differing benefits for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and dental coverage, emergency medical transportation, lost baggage, missed connections, and accidents.
    Of special note is the emergency medical transportation. This is extremely costly; if you any health condition which may require medical evacuation you should check to see if you are currently covered and if not purchase the insurance. Medical treatment, if required, can be costly and the pay is usually in cash.

    Electricity
    220 volt at 50 cycles however 110 volt at 50 cycles in the cities is sometimes encountered, but not often; in the countryside 110 volt via generators is common. For your convenience obtain electrical converters at outlets like Radio Shack prior to your departure. You hotel may have converters but it is always easier to come prepared. Electronic equipment should be protected with a surge protector.

    HEALTH AND SAFETY
    Common Health Problems

    Water
    Hydration is a concern in the tropics; the rates of water loss exceed those which most people are accustomed to in the northern hemispheres. Particular attention should to be paid to hydrating your body through above the average consumption of water. Bottled water is readily available throughout Vietnam and we strongly recommend that you carry a bottle with you . . . and drink it.

    Sunburn
    The sun in the tropics is not the sun in the northern hemispheres. Particular attention needs to be paid protecting your skin: bring and use sunscreen lotions. Even if you are not on the beaches, wear a hat and protect your arms and exposed skin with sunscreen if you are exposed to excessive hours in the sun.

    Diarrhea
    Diarrhea can be caused by simply a change of diet; it can also be caused by intestinal parasites or bacteria which are acquired by drinking non-boiled water or by eating vegetables which have been washed with non-boiled water such as lettuce and tomatoes; it can also be caused by drinking drinks with ice which was produced with non-boiled water.
    You can expect diarrhea as a normal result of changing diet, but if you suspect that the diarrhea is not the result of a change in diet or is ongoing for more than several hours, you should do something about it for dehydration is the major problem associated with diarrhea.
    Either use medications which you bring with you (none of which I have found to be effective) or consider over the counter medications from a Vietnamese pharmacy. Diarrhea is a typical Vietnamese healthcare problem and all pharmacies in Vietnam sell pharmaceuticals which eliminate nearly all cases of it. My personal experience has been that within of hours of taking over the counter medication one is on the upswing and within 12-hours one is nearly restored.

    Heat Exhaustion
    The least common health care problem in Vietnam with visitors to Vietnam is Heat Exhaustion. Proper hydration and not being a fool by walking, hiking or unduly exercising in the afternoon peak heat of the day, is the solution. Siestas in Mexico and the Mediterranean countries are for a reason: to stay out of the heat of the sun. So too in Vietnam.

    Health Concerns

    Avian Flu
    Avian Flu has been and still is a concern of many who are planning holidays to Southeast Asia. A U.S. Department of State Avian Flu Fact Sheet is published below providing excellent information on this topic.
    Influenza, or simply "flu," is a yearly and ongoing problem for North Americans. Each year in the United States thousands of people die from flu, and this is not avian flu, but the annual flu's which appear in the winter months and are transmitted by human-to-human transmissions. The flu is a serious matter: the flu of 1917 killed millions of people worldwide . . . these annual strains of flu have the ability to metamorphosize quickly and into many different forms, and all are potentially deadly.
    With avian flu deaths world-wide, numbering in the few hundreds over a two-year plus period, the threat pallor's in comparison to annual flu deaths in North America, gunshot wounds and highway automobile accidents. What sets avian flu apart from the normal reoccurring annual flu's is that its transmission is believed to be almost entirely from animal-to-human contact, not human-to-human contact. Therefore a number of specific precautions, outlined in the article below, are advised to further diminish the threat.
    Like HIV/Aids, avian flu will probably be with us for a very long time, however one's chances of contacting the avian flu are minute.

    MONEY GUIDE: 
    Banking Hours
    Normal banking hours are from 8:00 to 11:30 am and from 1:00 to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 to 11:30 am on Saturday. A few banks in the major metropolitan areas will remain open during lunch hour and on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Currency is also readily exchanged at official exchange counters at hotels and other retail establishments; the exchange rates are nearly identical to the bank rates.

    Convertible Currencies
    All major currencies including the sterling, the Yen, the Canadian dollar, the Euro and the U.S. dollar are convertible. The preferred currency is the U.S. dollar. Please note bills which are defaced, torn or simply old are often declined; be sure and bring fresh new bills.

    Re-conversion upon Departure
    It is illegal to take VND out of the country. Small amounts of VND can be redeemed upon departure at airport kiosks; large amounts require the initial transaction documents.

    Credit Cards
    Major credit cards (Visa, Master Charge and to a lesser extent American Express) are finally beginning to find wider usage in Vietnam as more and more establishments accept them; in major cities nearly all major and mid-level hotels, restaurants and major tourist shops now accept credit cards. Except for the higher end hotels most establishments charge a three-percent transaction fee; some establishments charge a five-percent surcharge.

    ATM Machines
    ATM machines have arrived in Vietnam. Vietcombank has an expanding network of ATM machines in the major cities of which many are open for 24-hours. The machines currently accept only Visa and Master Charge. The maximum daily withdrawal is two-million VND per transaction with a Vietnam 20,000 VND service charge which is in addition to your bank's charges. A four-digit PIN number is required. Foreign banks are also entering the ATM market. Larger cash advances require a visit to the teller.

    Traveler's Checks
    Traveler's checks denominated in most major currencies are accepted in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but USD is the preferred currency. Traveler's checks issued by Visa, MasterCharge and American Express are the most widely accepted. Outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City it is often difficult to redeem traveler's checks. The purchase receipt and the traveler's check numbers should be kept separately from the traveler's checks in the event of loss. A redemption fee of up to four-percent is charged. Passport ID is required for redemption.

    TET Travel (Vietnamese New Year) Considerations
    TET (the Vietnamese New Year) is not a good period to visit Vietnam for several reasons: the streets are near empty on the first day of TET and remain so for up to 4-days; Vietnamese want to be with their families, not working; airline tickets to and from Vietnam during the TET period are difficult to obtain and are offered at a premium price.
    While the days leading up to TET are joyous days, at midnight on the commencement of TET, the country goes silent. Only very gradually over the next week does it return to normal.
    Also taking into account the below tips before traveling to Vietnam

    Photocopies
    A photocopy of the information page of your passport along with a photocopy of your visa (or visas if you are traveling to more than one country) should be made and kept at a different place from your passport; it serves no purpose to loose your passport and the photocopies at the same time. In the event of loss these will speed the re-issuance of your passport and visas.

    Clothing
    One rarely needs a coat in Ho Chi Minh City but one nearly always needs a coat in Sapa in the winter. Vietnam reaches nearly from the Tropic of Cancer to the Equator and its climates range from tropical to temperate. Winter gets chilly in Hanoi and even moreso in the mountainous regions in the north and especially in the northern highlands. The Central Highlands in the center, as far down as Dalat, also get cold in the winter and chilly on summer evenings. The best strategy is "layering": a T-shirt, a long sleeved shirt along with a light coat will often suffice for chilly evenings. For colder climates and times of the year appropriate gloves, hats and even scarves are desirable. Hats, umbrellas and sunscreen work well to protect the skin.

    Food
    Three things to avoid: buffets where it is obvious the food has sat for a period of time; anything which has or could have a water residue on it (lettuce, tomatoes, unpeeled fruit); and mayonnaise which has a tendency to rapidly spoil in tropical climates and can cause food poisoning. Other than this Vietnamese food is a culinary delight: light, flavorful, delicate and filling but not "laden" as many Chinese dishes are. In the countryside, as well as in the cities, the many and varied soups of Vietnam are a delight with the ubiquitous "pho" being the national favorite.
    In the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City a rainbow of culinary delights from all corners of the world awaits the traveler.

    Bargaining
    Rarely is the first price or the posted price the real price: bargaining is expected, however unrealistic offers to purchase should be avoided as they are considered insulting.

    Tipping
    Tipping, until Vietnam opened its doors to the outside world, was never expected in Vietnam. With the advent of tourism the times have changed but still tipping is not nearly as routine as it is in some Western countries. For services, a 10% tip is gracious. For guides (for one or two people) for extraordinary service, $10 per day (or more depending on the service) tip is good; for adequate service $5; for so-so service: nothing. Driver's do not expect tips but welcome them.

    Laundry
    All good hotels provide laundry services. Laundries in Vietnam offer the quality at bargain prices.

    Maps
    A good map always places time and space in a far more understandable sphere. There are numerous maps available in Vietnam at bookstores and good city maps of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City available at good hotels (sometimes for free), but the best country maps as well as the best city maps are ITMB Maps from Vancouver, Canada. For years Jack Joyce, in conjunction with geographic institutes in Vietnam, has been making the best maps available. These maps can be purchased at most good map stores and online.

    Taxis
    Vietnam has perhaps the best taxi services in the world. Always take metered taxis which are plentiful in the major cities.

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