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Exploring Vietnam Holidays

Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia

This private tour is ideal for those with just over two weeks, who would like to see the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia. From the majestic beauty of Halong Bay and the quaint, pretty beach town of Hoi An in Vietnam – to the temples and rolling countryside of Cambodia, this tour takes you right into the heart of the two neighbouring countries. It can be done in reverse if you would prefer to finish on the beach in Vietnam.


Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Hanoi

Your private driver and English-speaking guide will give you a warm welcome when you land in Hanoi. They will then drive you through the bustling capital to your central hotel in the Old Quarter. where you can relax and enjoy the evening at your leisure. The Maison d’Hanoi Boutique is a wonderful little hotel – stylish and smack bang in the centre of the Old Quarter. (Junior Suite).

Day 2 - Explore the hidden alleyways of the Old Quarter

Today you will explore Hanoi like a local; walk down the capital’s winding streets with a private walking, try local street food and have a local whipped coffee in a hidden coffee shop before exploring Hoa Lo Priosn where American and French POWs were once held and the Temple of Literature built in 1076. Finish your day walking down the city’s railway tracks and then stop for a home brewed beer, the renowned Bia Hoi.

Day 3 - Board your Halong Bay Cruise

Today you will be driven out to Halong Bay (four hours east of Halong Bay) in an air-conditioned mini bus with your cruise companions. Here you will board your traditional junk and enjoy a delicious as you cruise through the emerald bay surrounded by islets. You can kayak through a small fishing village or visit on a bamboo boat before returning on board for a cookery demonstration and a slap-up dinner. We love Indochina Sails’ traditional style junks. (Deluxe Cabin – Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.)

Day 4 - Enjoy a full second day in beautiful Halong Bay

Rise early for Tai Chi on the sundeck if you wish before transferring to the Indochina Sails Day Boat, which will cruise to a less crowded areas of the bay for swimming, kayaking and other activities. Lunch is served on board mid-day and you will return to the main boat later in the afternoon before dinner. You can even try your hand at squid fishing off the back of the boat tonight. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 5 - Bid farewell to Halong Bay and travel to Hue

This morning you will visit an island, where you can climb up the steps to the peak for a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Bay before returning to the boat for breakfast as you motor back to the mainland. You will return to Hanoi by shuttle bus and catch a short one-hour flight to Hue in the centre of Vietnam, which is the old imperial capital of the country. Here you will check into the beautiful La Residence hotel. (Superior River View Room).

Day 6 - Explore the ancient capital of Hue

This morning you will explore the ancient capital of Vietnam. The Forbidden Purple City and old Imperial Palace, which was constructed in the early 19th century. It suffered during the Vietnam War but remains very significant. Afterwards, board a dragon boat and sail down the Perfume River to visit the striking Thien Mu Pagoda, then visit tombs of the emperors TuDuc and Khai Dinh. If time permits you can enjoy a short cyclo ride to Dong Ba market where you can buy traditional souvenirs.

Day 7 - Take a road trip over an amazing Pass to Hoi An

Take one of the most scenic journeys down the Vietnam coastline this morning, over a beautiful pass, and along miles of coast as you make your way from Hue to Hoi An. You’ll make a day of it stopping for fabulous seafood, visit mountain caves and a fresh cool spring, before reaching Hoi An and checking into one of our favourite boutique hotels – the La Siesta Hoi An hotel, which is on the edge of this historic town. (Deluxe double with balcony). If you wish, you can do this journey by motorbike.

Days 8 - 10 - Enjoy the historic beach town of Hoi An

Take three full days to soak up this glorious beach town. Hoi An has it all; delicious cuisine, fabulous tailors and shopping and a beautiful beach just 4km away. We haven’t organised anything for you for these days so you can explore and sunbathe at your own pace (but do ask us about local excursions here including a fun fishing trip in traditional basket boats with local fishermen!) If you wish, you can upgrade to a beach hotel.

Day 11 - Fly to Cambodia

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, bid farewell to Vietnam and get ready for your Cambodian adventure! Your private driver will take you to Da Nang Airport, just half an hour from Hoi An. We will fly you to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where a chauffeur will be waiting for you. You can enjoy this evening at your leisure at the very lovely Shinta Mani Resort, which is central and stylish. (Poolside Room).

Day 12 - Explore the mighty Angkor Wat Temple

Rise early to see sunrise over the largest temple in the whole complex; Angkor Wat, which you can explore at your own pass. Return to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast before visiting Bayon Temple, which has become famous for the countless faces in the stone, as well as Baphoun, Phimean Akas, The Royal Enclosure, Terrace of Elephants and Leper King. Finish your day tour with the sunset at Pre Rup Temple, the beautiful rusty-red bricks are accentuated during sunset.

Day 13 - See the lesser-visited temples of Angkor

This morning take a scenic drive to the mid-10th century Banteay Srei, a lesser visited temple which has been well-preserved, and the Roluos Group of temples (built in the 9th century), that served as the capital of the Khmer empire under King Idravarman. Later this afternoon, visit the majestic Ta Phrom, which is a temple of towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors. Round the day off with a fantastic performance by the Phare Cambodian Circus – this non-profit organisation trains young Cambodians in the arts.

Day 14 - Visit Battambang for a slice of rural life

Today you will be driven to Battambang by a private driver, which will take about three hours, and will take you through some lovely rural scenery. This afternoon take a  tour around the small town, which has some of the best preserved French colonial architecture in the country, before riding the legendary “bamboo train” in Battambang, which is little more than a bamboo raft that hurtles down a dis-used railway track in the countryside.  Tonight you will stay at Bambu – a home from  home. (Superior Room).

Day 15 - Explore the surrounding countryside

Enjoy a half-day bike tour this morning through the gorgeous countryside and rice paddies surrounding Battambang. You will meet local families along the way who will teach you about traditional industries such as rice paper making, rice wine and Battambang’s famous bamboo rice cakes. It is a wonderful opportunity to see ‘real Cambodia’. At dusk your guide will take you to see tens of thousands of bats exit a cave on a hill – it takesabout 40 minutes for all the bats to leave and is an amazing sight.

Day 16 - Bon voyage!

After a leisurely breakfast, your driver will pick you up from Bambu and drive you three hours back to Siem Reap, to catch your international flight home. Safe travels!


This itinerary costs from £2,820 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?

  • Prices start from £2,920 per person
  • 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
  • Lunch on Days 2, 6 & 7
  • Two flights – Hanoi to Da Nang, and onto Siem Reap
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
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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
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
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
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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