Welcome to an intoxicating 16-day journey of a lifetime. Hanoi and Saigon still retain a French flavour in their pavement cafes, architecture and wide tree-lined boulevards. We also visit the limestone archipelago of Halong Bay, the ancient royal capital of Hue and the fascinating Mekong Delta.
In Cambodia our tour includes a stay in the capital, Phnom Penh, with its vibrant riverside ambience. A short flight away is Siem Reap, gateway to the complex of temples within the ancient city of Angkor. At its height in the 13th century, Angkor had a staggering million inhabitants and was the capital of the fabulously wealthy Khmer Empire. The incredible state of preservation and artistry of its sculptures have, for many, made Angkor one of the great wonders of the world.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room; thirteen nights on bed-and-breakfast in four & five-star hotels, five lunches; all flights as mentioned; guided tours of Hanoi, Halong Bay cruise, Hue, Saigon, Cu Chi tunnels, Mekong Delta and Phnom Penh, plus one-day entrance and guided tour of Angkor; services of an experienced Riviera tour manager. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement (date dependant) from £399 to £439 per person.
All British passport holders require visas for both Vietnam and Cambodia. Please also ensure you have at least two completely empty pages in your passport and that it is valid for at least six months after your return date.
Vietnam visas: Single-entry tourist visas can be applied for by post or in person up to six months before travel from the Embassy of Vietnam, 12 Victoria Road, London W8 5RD, tel. 0207 9371912 (visa section 9.30am-12.30pm Mon-Fri). For postal applications, please send your passport, a passport-sized photo, a completed visa form, a self-addressed envelope, and a postal order payable to the ‘Embassy of Vietnam’. Charges for a standard up to 30-day tourist visa are £54 per visa, plus an additional charge, for returning your passport by Royal Mail Special Delivery, of £8 if submitting one passport, £6 per passport for two or three passports, £5 per passport for four to seven passports, or £8 per passport for eight applications. Please allow 5 working days for processing. For full details and a downloadable visa form, please see www.vietnamembassy.org.uk/consular.html.
Cambodia visas: Available on arrival in Phnom Penh upon completion of a simple application form and payment of $30 per person. You will alsoneed two passport-sized photos and if you arrive without photos, there is an extra charge of around $2 per person. Visas may also be arranged and paid for online prior to departure: please see http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh for details.
Please note all visa costs are non-refundable and subject to change without notice.
Whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that in visiting a number of historical sites, paths may be uneven and we often enjoy walking tours of the main sights. Therefore this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility. In the tropics temperatures and humidity levels will also be quite high for most of the year. Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for Vietnam & Cambodia at least a month before departure.
To make the most of your trip, we recommend you check the Foreign Office website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel
Fly overnight to Hanoi.
After a short stop at our hotel, we will commence our tour of Hanoi by cycle rickshaw where there will be time for lunch, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Today we explore Hanoi, past and present, during our guided tour we see the beautiful Temple of Literature and the imposing marble mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh himself, the afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish.
Today we visit Vietnam’s greatest natural wonder, Halong Bay. As we board our converted Chinese junk and glide along the jade-green waters, we visit some of the vast and beautifully illuminated caves and grottoes.
We will fly south to Danang and then drive over the stunning scenery of the Hai Van Pass before descending into Hue, Vietnam’s last royal capital and its traditional centre of religion, culture and education.
Today we start with a river cruise to the magnificent seven-storied Thien Mu pagoda, followed by the complex of the Citadel and the Imperial City within. We also visit the Palace of Supreme Harmony and In the afternoon emperor Tu Duc’s mausoleum.
Today we fly to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as the locals still insist on calling it.
Today we visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels, during our visit we see the tunnels themselves and examples of the many mantraps and stake pits which protected them. In the afternoon our city tour covers all the major sights.
Today we drive towards the great Mekong River delta, the first stop is one of the many islands, then travelling in small boats we continue our exploration to the aptly-named Coconut Island. We return to Saigon in the afternoon.
Our last morning in Vietnam and we have just enough time for a final walk round Saigon centre, before taking the short flight to Phnom Penh.
We’ll visit the majestic Royal Palace with its silver pagoda and the fascinating National Museum. After lunch, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum – originally a school, turned into the country’s most notorious prison.
We leave for the airport and our short flight to Siem Reap.
Today we see the morning light rise over the eerie temples of Angkor, visiting the city of Angkor Thom and the smaller temple of Ta Prohm, late in the afternoon we see the massive temple of Angkor Wat.
Today you have a free day to return to the monuments of Angkor, explore Siem Reap or relax around the hotel pool. Alternatively, you could take a tour to the lake of Tonle Sap to visit a floating village.
Fly to Siagon to begin your journey home.