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Exploring Vietnam Holidays

A Cruise down the Mekong

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Siem Reap!

Your private guide and driver will meet you at the airport in Siem Reap and take you to your hotel, where you can check in and freshen up. This afternoon you will cycle to see the sunset on the top of Bakheng Hill, where you can look over the temple of Angkor Wat and the whole site of Angkor Heritage. Return to the Navutu Dreams, a gorgeous boutique resort in the countryside, which is the ultimate relaxation spot. (Explorer Room, B&B).

Day 2 - Explore the mighty Angkor Wat

This morning you have the opportunity to rise early to see sunrise over the largest temple in the whole complex; Angkor Wat. After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, you will visit the fortified city of Angkor Thom as well as Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, and the Terraces of the Elephants. Lunch is included at Viroth’s restaurant. Finish your day tour with the sunset at Pre Rup Temple, The beautiful rusty-red bricks are accentuated during sunset and stands in brilliant contrast to the lush green of the jungle in the distance.

Day 3 - Get off the beaten track at Angkor

Head to the lesser-visited Bantrey Srei temple this morning, which for many years was off limits due to its remote location and Khmer Rouge activity. On the way back to Siem Reap you can visit the Roluos Group of temples, (built in the 9th century), that served as the capital of the Khmer empire under King Idravarman, as well as the temple of Ta Prohm, which boasts atmospheric dark towers and courtyards, and is best known at the Tomb Raider film set.

Day 4 - Board your 7-night Mekong River cruise

This morning you will be transferred by coach to Kampong Cham, with your fellow cruise companions. A packed lunch will be provided on the coach and you will stop at Kampong Thom along the way. After lunch you will board the lovely Pandaw Cruise, which will be taking you down the Mekong and into Vietnam slowly for the next seven nights. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and select drinks are included every day. (Main Deck Cabin).

Day 5 - Visit Kampong Cham

Today you will disembark the boat and visit Kampong Cham, an important provincial capital with French colonial buildings, busting markets and an attractive setting overlooking the Mekong. Travelling by mini-van you will have the opportunity to visit the 12th century Angkor period temple of Wat Nokor, the hilltop temple of Wat Hanchey and the Twin Holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey (Man and Woman Hill). Later you will return to your boat for dinner, where you can enjoy your evening at leisure.

Day 6 - Explore the wetlands of Tonle River

Today you will explore the wetlands around the Tonle River. You will travel either by coach or boat depending on water levels before boarding a smaller boat to discover the vast wetlands around the mouth of the river.  The Tonle River connects the Mekong main channel at Phnom Penh with the great Tonle Sap Lake. This section is the prettiest part of your river journey as you pass through villages, woodland and hills. Return to Pandaw Cruise tonight.

Day 7 - Visit Phnom Pennh

Today you will reach Phnom Penh and after leaving the boat can enjoy a private cyclo tour of the city and choose what you would like to see. In the afternoon, there is an optional excursion (by coach) to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre, which is included in the cruise price. Sailing into Phnom Penh past the Royal Palace and bustling corniche is highlight to any Mekong voyage. Pandaw moors right in the city centre and you can walk virtually anywhere.

Day 8 - Cruising down the Mekong

Today you can relax on board as you cruise towards Vietnam in the main Mekong channel, an international shipping route. The ship has a lovely upper deck with chairs and sun beds as well as a games room, bar and restaurant so you can enjoy a relaxing day at your own leisure and make the most of the last passing river sights in Cambodia before entering Vietnam.

Day 9 - Explore the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Welcome to Vietnam! This morning you will board a smaller sampan trip to visit the Cham villages. You will also have the opportunity to explore the town of Chau Doc, which retains a ‘French’ style charm with many old colonial buildings. The market at Chau Doc is excellent and well worth a wander through. The town is easy to walk around or you can choose to enjoy a cyclo ride.

Day 10 - Explore the backwaters of the Mekong Delta

Take a lovely Sampan boat excursion to Sa Dec via Vinh Long this morning along canals and backwaters. You will visit Sa Dec and see the local market and the ancient house of Mr, Huyn Thuy Le, the ‘lover’ of Marguerite Duras, a famous French novelist. At Cai Be, you will cruise through its colourful floating market which takes place daily in front of the Catholic Church.

Day 11 - Finish the cruise and travel to Saigon

Bid farewell to your fellow cruise companions this morning as the ship docks in My Tho, where you will be disembarking. From here your private driver and guide will drive you to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, which is the beating heart of south Vietnam. Here you will check into the historic Majestic hotel, which is quirky and ornate – and has a super rooftop bar! (Colonial Pool View Room, B&B).

Day 12 - Highlights of Saigon before heading to the beach

This morning you will take a private tour of Saigon to see the highlights of the city including the War Remnant Museum, the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral and French era General Post office. You can take a peek down Dong Khoi Street, the former Rue Catinat, where famous author Graham Greene once rented an apartment. After you will be taken to Mui Ne (apprximately 4 hours) by private chauffeur and check into the Mia Resort on the beach. (Superior Garden View Room, B&B).

Days 13 - 15 - Relax on the beach

Enjoy three full days at the beach relaxing and soaking up the sand, surf and sea. Mia has a fantastic restaurant so you may not wish to stray too far but there are plenty of other lovely dining options and bars around. You may also wish to take an excursion to the impressive red and white sand dunes of Mui Ne, where you can even attempt sand sledding. Mui Ne is also renowned for its kite-surfing.

Day 16 - Bon Voyage!

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and kiss goodbye to the pretty sands of Mui Ne. Your private driver and guide will then take you back to Hoi Chi Minh City, which will take about five hours in an air conditioned vehicle, so you can catch your international flight home. Safe travels!

DETAILS: -

This itinerary costs from £4,300 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.

You can get flights from as little as £500 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

INCLUDED:
  • Prices start from £4,300 per person
  • Hotel accommodation on B&B basis
  • Cruise has breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Private transfers (air-conditioned vehicle)
  • All entrance fees with service of English speaking guide for excursions
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
Make a booking

Travelling the mighty Mekong, which is the longest river in south-east Asia, is a superb way to see Vietnam and Cambodia. This tour begins in Siem Reap where you can see the majestic temples of Angkor, before boarding an all-inclusive 7 night river cruise. As you slowly meander your way to Vietnam, you can enjoy the changing river life from the top deck and take daily excursions. Once docking in Vietnam you will visit the bright lights of Saigon before hitting the beach in Mui Ne. This Vietnam & Cambodia cruise down the Mekong can be done in reverse – please note all excursions apart from the cruise section are private and can be tailor-made to your needs.

Hanoi
This vibrant capital of Vietnam has a fascinating display of street life, food and architecture in its charming Old Quarter – let us take you on a walking tour down its winding alleyways, weaving through hundreds of motorbikes and fruit sellers. It's our favourite city and we've found a selection of fabulous boutique hotels. More
Mai Chau & Pu Bin
This glorious rural corner of the country offers a mountainous landscape full of rice paddies, greenery and tribal groups. We love it because it's a bit more off the beaten track than the more popular Sapa area and have even established our very wooden stilt homestay in a local community. This is the place to head for hiking, cycling and just observing a more simple life. More
Sapa
The ultimate mountain retreat in Vietnam - Sapa is a night train away from the capital, Hanoi. Those who venture here are rewarded with the image of colourful tribal groups set against a backdrop of green mountains and terraced rice paddies. Some of the most beautiful scenery of Vietnam is on offer - although the tourist traffic can be high in peak season. More
Halong Bay
The must-see attraction of Vietnam: Hundreds of islets pierce through the waters of an emerald green bay. We have a fabulous selection of one and two-night cruises on offer, which are without a doubt the best way to see this area of outstanding beauty. More
Ninh Binh
A lovely slice of rural life is on offer here. We especially love Ninh Binh during the summer butterfly and rice harvest seasons. Expect gorgeous caves, wooden boat rides and pretty cycle rides. We especially love the Emeralda Resort here. More
Hue
The old imperial capital - this is the place to head for an insight in the ancient kings and dynasties of Vietnam. Set on the banks of the idyllic Perfume River, you can explore magnificent royal tombs of Kings gone by and the old Imperial Palace (that despite suffering in the American war is still well worth a visit). And we have discovered a fabulous selection of hideaway resorts. More
Hoi An
This is the place that has it all; arguably the best architecture, cuisine, shopping (tailors aplenty) and beaches of all of Vietnam. Most who make it here never want to leave - this Unesco World Heritage town is full of fabulous old Japanese merchants homes, French colonial homes and classic Vietnamese styles. Pick up a bike and explore on two wheels. More
Nha Trang
Home to some of our favourite beach resorts in all of Vietnam, Nha Trang offers a little piece of Paradise on the coast of Vietnam. The town itself lacks a little inspiration but if you're looking for sand, sun and luxury then look no further. More
Mui Ne
Sun, surf and sand, oh my! This lovely little fishing-cum-beach town has a plethora of fabulous resorts and boutique hotels. World renowned for kite surfing and waterspouts, Mui Ne is a great beach destination. More
Dalat
A popular weekend getaway for the Vietnamese, Dalat offers a cooler climate in the mountains. Lovely walks along with more adrenalin-fuelled activities like canyoning and mountain biking are on offer here. More
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
The mad, modern metropolis of Vietnam is alive with the sound of a thousand motorbikes. Officially named Ho Chi Minh City but affectionately know as Saigon by the locals, this city is fun and fast paced. It's the ideal base from which to explore the infamous tunnels of the Vietnam War where guerrillas and there families lived for many years. More
Mekong Delta
This enormous waterway of canals, streams and rivers is a lifeline for the locals - and people watching is perhaps the best activity of all on the Mekong Delta. Get up early for the floating markets or perhaps watch it lazily with a beer in hand from the sun deck on one of our cruises. More
Phu Quoc Island
Attention all beach lovers! This is the penultimate beach destination in all of Vietnam. Whether you are taken by its serenely calm waters, long sandy beach or cute cottage-like accommodation, Phu Quoc is stealing hearts across the world. We especially love it after sunset when lanterns and candles are lit on tables along the beach. In fact, we can't think of a more perfect setting for a seafood feast, while digging your toes into the sand. More
Con Dao Islands
If the budget can stretch to it, the Con Dao islands offer one of the most luxurious and beautiful beach experiences in Vietnam. Leave the rest of the world behind you when you enter Six Senses Con Dao, which feels like an ultimate private-island getaway. More

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