Vietnam and Cambodia with Sam

Overview

Join Sam Morgan from Chepstow on this amazing getaway to Vietnam and Cambodia. Discover two fascinating countries. Hike through the verdant rice terraces of Hoang Su phi and taste the street food in Hanoi. Your journey ends with an unforgettable exploration of the Angkor Wat complex by tuk tuk.

What's Included:

  • Free return transport to the airport from Chepstow* - please ask about other pick-up points
  • Return flights
  • Fully Escorted by Sam Morgan
  • Transfers
  • Full board
  • 4 nights Mekong river Cruise

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Depart UK

Depark the UK

Day 2: Saigon

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, is the commercial hub of Vietnam and the country’s largest metropolis. It was the capital of French Indochina during the late 19th century and much colonial architecture can still be seen today. The history of Saigon is inextricably linked with the American War in Vietnam and there are many places where you can learn more about these events.

Day 3: Saigon

Begin your journey to the Cu Chi Tunnels by travelling through the countryside which was once a stronghold of the Viet Cong. Upon arrival, watch a short video about what life was like for soldiers who lived there during the war. The cramped tunnels were central to a few of the war’s strategic operations, including the famous 1968 Tet Offensive, and they didn’t escape damage. The tunnels served not only as living quarters, but as supply routes and hospitals for thousands of guerrilla fighters. Many died there from malaria and other diseases, and a few were also born or married. Explore Saigon and visit some of the important historical buildings including Notre Dame Cathedral and the colonial architecture of the Central Post Office, perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 1880s by French colonists, is one of the few remaining strongholds of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam. Located in Paris Square, the name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue ‘Peaceful Notre Dame’ in 1959. Visit the War Remnants Museum which has many displays, personal accounts and images portraying the war from the Vietnamese perspective. It is a very moving experience, but be aware that some exhibits are graphic in nature. Later today, you will enjoy a unique culinary experience, Noir is a restaurant where you dine in the dark and experience your food in new ways. Waiters with visual impairments become your eyes and guide you through a delicious meal to challenge your other four senses. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: Saigon to Victoria Mekong Cruise

This morning, you will depart Saigon by coach and drive towards Can Tho, the beating heart of the Mekong Delta. Stop at the rustic, riverside town of Cai Be where lunch is served at the elegant Le Longanier Restaurant set amidst lush fruit trees by the river. Continue to Can Tho, arriving mid-afternoon and board the Victoria Mekong Cruise Ship. As the ship cruises towards Tiger Island, watch the sunset over the Hau River, with a drink in hand. As day turns into night, sit down to a gala dinner to officially welcome you aboard your Victoria Mekong Cruise, accompanied by a traditional Southern Vietnamese folk music performance, known as don ca tai tu. Spend the night on the river between Long Xuyen and Tiger Island. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Victoria Mekong Cruise

Today, you will enjoy an excursion to Tiger Island. You will have the choice to explore by sampan or electric bike, visiting local industries such as net weaving, incense making and banh in (rice cakes) making. Continue upstream to Long Xuyen and disembark once more to visit the bustling floating market and a local museum. Sit down for dinner and evening entertainment before retiring to your cabin. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6: Victoria Mekong Cruise

Enjoy breakfast as the ship makes its way to the border town of Tan Chau. On arrival, disembark the boat and travel by local rickshaw to a silk village to witness all the labour-intensive steps to producing this fine textile, including the use of natural dyes made from tree bark, leaves and fruit. After lunch on board, visit more Mekong Delta attractions, including some of the area’s floating fish farms. Travel up river by sampan to a rare Taoist Temple where Fortune Tellers practice their art using sticks in front of the altar. There is also an option to travel by speedboat to Chau Doc to see the submerged forest of Tra Su, known for its abundant birdlife and picturesque mangroves. This is payable locally. Return to the ship in time for a traditional Vietnamese lion dance, followed by dinner and the evening’s entertainment. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7: Victoria Mekong Cruise

As the ship begins cruising towards the Vietnam-Cambodia border, enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the restaurant. After, select from the many on-board activities including a ship’s tour, cocktail competition and cultural lecture. Arrive late afternoon in the charming capital of Phnom Penh, once known as the “Pearl of the Orient” for its French colonial buildings, tree- lined boulevards and scenic river-walk. Before the farewell gala dinner, watch a performance of Khmer Apsara dancing by a troupe of disadvantaged children with the opportunity to meet them after. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8: Victoria Mekong Cruise to Phnom Penh

Enjoy breakfast in the restaurant before disembarking and bidding farewell to the Victoria Mekong. Board a cyclo and head from the pier into the heart of the city to begin your full day tour of the city. Start with a visit to the Royal Palace, built in 1866 under the French protectorate and King Norodom. The Palace overlooks the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Within the palace grounds, you will find the coronation hall, an open air theatre for the Royal Dance Troupe and the King’s private residence. After, head to The Silver Pagoda which houses many national treasures including the Emerald Buddha, a life-sized statue decorated with nearly ten thousand diamonds. Head to the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artefacts. There are plenty of exhibits for you to explore, especially in the Angkor exhibit where you will see the giant pair of wrestling monkeys from the 10th Century. Climb the steps up the small hill to Wat Phnom Temple, the birthplace of Phnom Penh. Built in 1372, it is the tallest religious structure in the city at 27 metres. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. During the time of Pol Pot, one of the schools in Phnom Penh became the S-21 prison camp and is now the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It quickly became the largest centre of detention and torture in the country during this harrowing period. A visit to Tuol Sleng is a profoundly depressing experience. The sheer ordinariness of the place makes it even more horrific: the suburban setting, the plain school buildings, the grassy playing area where children kick around balls juxtaposed with rusted beds, instruments of torture and wall after wall of disturbing portraits. Head to the notorious Killing Fields just outside of the city. Between 1975 and 1978, about 17,000 men, women, children and infants who had been detained and tortured at S-21 were transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek. It is a peaceful place today where visitors can learn of the horrors that unfolded here decades ago. After touring, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Siem Reap. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10: Siem Reap

Visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom where statues of the gods of good and evil line the entrance. Head to the Bayon, which is known for the hundreds of smiling faces that grace the towers. The bas reliefs are quite impressive and tell stories of daily life and the great battles that were fought between the Khmers and ancient Thais. Continue to see the rows of trunks that form the wall of The Terrace of the Elephants, a platform from which King Jayavarman surveyed his army. Visit the Terrace of Leper Kings, which includes a statue depicting Yana, the Hindu god of death. Explore Ta Prohm, one of the most interesting temples at Angkor which was made famous as a setting for the film Tomb Raider. This small crumbling temple is held together by giant tree roots giving it a magical feel. Explore the magnificent Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument. This visually spectacular temple is a massive three-tiered pyramid, rising 65 metres from the ground and crowned by five lotus towers. It’s the national symbol of Cambodia and proudly appears on the country’s flag. This evening, relax on board a boat for a stunning view of the sunset on Angkor's moat. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11: Siem Reap

This morning, you will begin day tour with a visit to Kampong Phluk. This is a cluster of three villages of stilt houses built within the floodplain of the Tonle Sap lake.Whilst here, get a glimpse into local life and culture, and visit the home of a Khmer family. After exploring, you will return to Siem Reap to enjoy a performance by the PHARE Cambodian Circus, an NGO which teaches street children to become internationally renowned circus artists. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12: Siem Reap

Today, you will travel by tuk tuk to join your shared cooking lesson, where you will learn to prepare traditional Khmer dishes. The chef will teach you all about what goes into the local cuisine, as you create a delicious meal! Spend your afternoon at leisure before a farewell dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13: Depart Cambodia

Today, you will be met in your hotel lobby and transferred to the airport for your onward departure flight.

Hand Picked By

Sam Morgan

I'm very excited to be sharing the incredible highlights of this amazing trip with all of our customers, especially cruising on board the brand new ship 'Victoria' and watching the sunset on Angkor's moat. Wendy Wu are a fantastic company to work with and i know we will all have a fantastic time.

Sam Morgan

Additional Information

  • Date: 4th October 2020
  • Board Basis: Full Board
  • Duration: 12 nights
  • Departure Airport: London Heathrow
  • Guide Price: From £3,190pp
  • Free return transport to the airport from Chepstow
 Enquire Now

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