14 Day Vietnam & Cambodia Private Tour
Hanoi • Halong Bay • Hue • Hoi An • Ho Chi Minh City • Seam Riep
Embark on a journey of discovery in South-east Asia's culturally rich regions on the 13 Day Vietnam & Cambodia Private Tour promising visitors a memorable holiday.
Starting in Hanoi, you will explore ancient villages, temples and natural wonders to leave a lasting memory. Highlights in Vietnam include the famous Halong Bay, Hue World Heritage site, fishing villages in Hoi An, the Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City.
Crossing the border into Cambodia, you will explore the cultural treasures of this landlocked nation, including its most recognizable temple, the Angkor Wat.
Vietnam & Cambodia Private Tour (Incl. Flights from JNB)
Upon arrival at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. This is Vietnam's capital and celebrated its anniversary of 1,000 years in 2010. Historical emphasis on the arts and learning stipulates that buildings in Hanoi remain small, simple and in harmony with nature. You will have the afternoon at your leisure before an evening welcome dinner at a local restaurant and an overnight stay in Hanoi.
Drive from hotel through the historical Ba Dinh Square where president Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independence of Vietnam in 1945 and find out outstanding architecture, beautiful atmosphere around this square. Then reach to Lenin Garden, a communal space for locals. This also offers a perfect opportunity for people-watching, to get a better idea of the daily activities of the locals. After that, we make our way through a small alleys of Hanoi where sewing shops have been in family hands for generations and admire the daily life of local people who still practise old an old way of life in the alleys of Hanoi. Do not forget to bring your camera along to capture the unique experience. Continue walk to visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century and explore its role in the country’s past.
Then visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum (closed Mondays), which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam.
And enjoy your lunch at local restaurant before make a stroll around the charming Hanoi old quarter to explore the fascinating maze of back streets. Then walking to busy street of Nha Chung where every day is always the busy by several vendors of food or vegetables gather for sale. And stop at old French house of Hanoian for tea break and talk with him to discover more about the change of local people, life and listen to the story of family in each period.
Finally, you will enjoy a Water Puppet show. A uniquely northern Vietnamese art form said to have originated in the flooded rice fields of the Red River Delta. Drive back to hotel
After pick-up from your hotel, you will leave Hanoi by private car/van at 7:30 am, arriving at the jetty around 12:30 pm. You will be welcomed aboard and set sail through the bay while lunch is served. You will pass through the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons' teeth. After lunch, you will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails, and then go swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck. Later in the afternoon, you will visit an interesting fishing village with the opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. Back on board, you can enjoy cocktails while watching the sunset. Later, you will unwind ata lavish dinner before an overnight stay on the deluxe junk.
Greet the day with a morning tai chi session, with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, you will visit a beautiful limestone grotto and then go back to the boat for a final glimpse of Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Checkout is at 11:45 am and the boat arrives at the harbor by noon for the drive back to Hanoi. You will then have free time before an overnight stay in Hanoi.
Following breakfast, you will be free until transfer to the airport for a flight to the ancient imperial capital of Hue. In Hue, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay in Hue.
Once the imperial capital of the Nguyen Lords from the 17th to the 19th centuries, Hue’s splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel contribute to its undeniable royal charm. Begin your exploration with a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Built in 1601, the seven-storied tower pagoda, perched on top of on a hill overlooking the Perfume River, is one of Vietnam’s most recognisable icons. Next, choose to explore one of the following two sites:
(1) The Imperial Citadel at the centre of the Complex of Hue Monuments inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Enter through the towering main gate and appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your guide explains the events and the intrigue surrounding the former royal court. Despite being heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, there are some incredibly well-preserved sections intact and others which are being carefully restored;
or (2) The Royal Tomb of Minh Mang. The second Nguyen Emperor, Minh Mang ruled from 1820-1841 and was known for his isolationist and conservative Confucian policies. He designed his tomb himself, but died before it was complete. His son and successor finished the tomb which is renowned for its symmetry and grandeur, situated in a picturesque forest setting.
In the afternoon, take a short drive into the Hue countryside to the village of Duong No, best known for being where a young Ho Chi Minh lived and studied. Walk along the river to the ornately decorated Thanh Toan Covered Bridge, with its Chinese and Japanese features and rare squared timber arch speckled with ancient ceramics. Note the calligraphy inscription in ancient Vietnamese and Chinese script. Return to your hotel.
You will leave Hue for Hoi An, World Heritage recognized city. You will stop in Danang for a visit to the Cham Museum and the handicraft villages at the foot of Marble Mountain. Once in Hoi An, you will check into your hotel and have some free time to explore before and overnight stay in Hoi An.
The rivers and waterways around Hoi An were not only instrumental during its history as a famed port city, they are also vital to the villagers who depend on fishing for their livelihood. Depart for a local fishing village and spend some time learning about the fishermen’s simple yet rewarding way of life in the area. Board a local river boat and start cruising down the Cua Dai River with a stop along the shore and try your hand at casting the Vietnamese fishing nets, an age-old technique still used today. The fluid motion looks easier than it is, but the friendly fishermen will offer you their guidance based on years of experience. Learn the art of paddling the unique Vietnamese round basket boats and travel through the tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways while hearing about how the area was a hot bed of activity during the American War. Return to the river boat and enjoy a refreshing drink as you head back up river. Enjoy your lunch before walking to visit Hoi An ancient city.
Hoi An Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognised for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets and distinctive local cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. Hoi An’s narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour of its many atmospheric sights including: old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, first built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its intricate woodcarvings; and the colourful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two. Then returning to your hotel.
After leaving Hoi An, you will drive to Danang Airport. From Danang, you will take the one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), where you will transfer directly to your centrally located hotel. Free at leisure until 18.30PM join Food tour by Vespa wanderer.
The darker the night gets, the more vivid Saigon becomes! Get ready for a fascinating ride by vintage vespa tonight to discover busy Saigon after sunset, together with delightful local food tasting in the most authentic local restaurants. Let us tell you the story of Saigon from its golden days of 1960s to its modern days of 21st century. Riding through time and taste the most typical local food and drinks at our authentic Southern Vietnamese restaurants. We will ride you to different districts, take you out of the lousy downtown and into the more local places barely visited by other tourists. All of the local food are carefully hand-picked by our food experts, from the most rustic one like bread rolls or grilled rice paper, to more sumptuous plates of seafood, from traditional Vietnamese desserts to the coffee and signature cocktails tucked away at the back of a quiet alley. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Depart from Saigon for the 1.5hr drive to Ben Tre, situated in the Mekong River Delta, exchanging city scenes for lush rice paddies and fruit farms. At the pier, embark on a fascinating motorboat excursion to start with a quick visit of Cai Be floating market. Then, the rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to enjoy the peaceful time. Back to our boat to go across one of the longest Mekong river. fish farms and scenes of countryside living. Arrive at An Bình Island. Head to handmade canal to Ut Trinh homestay & enjoy a lunch. After lunch, walking around this orchard & enjoy some cups of tea when listening to the traditional music in the ancient house.
Then walk around local village to visit the local workshop to see how to make rice paper, coconut candy, pop-rice... Enjoy some sweets with a cup of hot tea. And have an optional biking can be made for a leisure! It will be so amazing to bike on village paths to see the local daily life: orchard, school, church, pagoda, traditional houses. Then visit the brick kilns where you can see how the local people create beautiful potteries from clay. The cruise will end at Vinh Long city before driving back to Saigon.
Morning transfer to the Tan Cang Jetty in Binh Thanh District and depart for the Cu Chi Tunnels. Begin your private speedboat excursion and witness glittering skyscrapers and busy commercial centres giving way to green fields and stilt houses along the Saigon River. Arrive at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as living quarters, communication and supply routes, and housed hospitals, food and weapons caches. Touring the underground compounds will provide a better understanding of the history of the tunnels, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Transfer back to Hochiminh.
In the afternoon, you will embark on a city tour of Saigon, including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office, the War Remnants Museum and bustling Ben Thanh Market. You will stay overnight in HCMC.
In the morning you will take a flight to Siem Reap in Northern Cambodia. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, you will be met and transferred to your comfortable hotel for check in (subject to availability).
In the afternoon, you will visit South Gate of Angkor Thom, see famous Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), Baphoun, the Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King. After that, you will visit Bakheng Temple and enjoy a romantic sunset view form Bakheng hill. Overnight in Siemreap.
Capturing the atmosphere of the temple first by moon-light and then inside as the sun rises is our preferred way to present this magnificent monument. First destination is the east causeway to Angkor wat. Your guide will escort you through the entrance gate along a forested path and then into Angkor to the 1st level and up to the 2nd level of the temple providing time for personal exploration. All being well, you should witness dawn with very few others. Afterwards, following a brief introduction to temple life and Suryavarman II, you return to the first level which contains the bas-reliefs that feature the stories of the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the ‘churning of the sea of milk’. The extensive relief panels are the main feature of the morning outing. You depart Angkor Wat by way of the cruciform terrace, passing the libraries and the grand entrance pavilion before crossing the west causeway. If you are not after the perfect Angkor sunrise photograph and crowds of other travelers are of no concern to you then things are a little more leisurely. A suggested wake-up call at 5.00am with a departure from your hotel at 5.30am, with your destination the main entrance to Angkor Wat and the west causeway. Your guide will escort you along the cruciform terrace and to the southern library where the sun rises behind Angkor Wat reflecting in the pools adjacent to the great temple.
Once the sun has risen, the outing will continue following a very similar format as mentioned above. It should be stressed entering Angkor Wat from the west gate is how the majority of visitors experience this great temple, subsequently much of the atmosphere can be lost due to large crowds. Next stop is Ta Prohm, one of the most popular temples in the park. Once home to 615 exquisite dancers, the one hour spent within Ta Prohm provides the opportunity to ponder, not only in man’s ingenuity, but to witness the forces of nature as the forest has gradually taken a firmer hold over the temple ruins. It is ideal for exploration, photos and contemplative time. Try the local traditional Khmer noodle breakfast at Preak Dak Khmer Village House before returning to your hotel.
Rest of the day, free at leisure and overnight in Siemreap.
You will board a boat on Tonle Sap Lake and cruise past floating villages, complete with schools, restaurants, and hospitals. You will also visit the school known as "Les Artisans d'Angkor" before transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for your departure.
- Return flights from Johannesburg to Vietnam
- Internal flights
- Airport Taxes
- Private door-to-door pick-up & drop-off services
- All private transportation with guide
- Accommodation shared in Double/ Twin room with daily breakfast
- All In-tour flights as per itinerary
- Experienced English speaking guide
- Halong Bay cruise program with in-house guide on board
- Boat trip as per tour
- Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner)
- All sightseeing tickets
- Tissues and water on coach
- Services charges and government tax
- Exclusive and personalized single agent/single customer service
- No extra charge after services confirmation
- 24/7 hotline support guaranteed.
- Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
- Travel insurance
- Peak season surcharge if any
- Compulsory Gala dinner on X-Mas or New Year if any
- Vietnam visa
- Cambodia visa fee (currently US$30 per person for visa on arrival)
- Other services not mentioned above.
Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases, currency exchange, fluctuations and any unforeseen circumstances, without prior notice.