- Get an insider’s view of Angkor Wat on a private tour with a Khmer scholar.
- Explore the farming villages of the Mekong Delta via bicycle or tuk-tuk, a motorized rickshaw.
- Discover the spectacular karst landscape of Trang Na, a UNESCO World Heritage site that harbors the ancient capital of Hoa Lu.
- Sample the flavors of Vietnam on a street-food tour of Hanoi led by a renowned food blogger.
From the temples of Angkor to the timeless pagodas of Hanoi, experience the diverse landscapes and intriguing cultural heritage of Vietnam and Cambodia. Immerse yourself in this beautiful region in many different ways: glide past floating villages on the Mekong in a sampan boat, and watch for wildlife among the dramatic karst formations of Van Long Nature Reserve. Enjoy private guided tours of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and spend two full days among the astonishing Khmer sites of Angkor. Along the way, get acquainted with local culture during a water-puppet show, a street-food tour, and visits to artisan villages.
Land in Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam’s pulsating urban hub. On arrival, transfer to your five-star hotel in the city center.
Travel through the diverse eras of Ho Chi Minh City’s recent history on a private tour. Uncover traces of the nearly 100-year-long French colonial period on visits to landmarks like the Opera House, the Hôtel de Ville, and the ornate Central Post Office designed by Gustave Eiffel. Then time warp to the 1960s at the Reunification Palace, the one-time presidential residence of South Vietnam, left untouched since the city fell to the North.
Spend a day in the Mekong Delta, a fertile region of verdant paddies and fruit orchards known as the “Rice Bowl of Vietnam.” Cruise into the countryside, explore the tropical landscape by bicycle or tuk-tuk, and visit a fruit orchard. Later, float along the area waterways on a traditional wooden sampan boat before visiting a family home for a lunch of traditional Mekong specialties. Return to Ho Chi Minh City later this afternoon.
Venture into the Cu Chi tunnels, a network of underground passageways used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The tunnels connected schools, residents, and hospitals, creating an intricate subterranean city. After emerging from the bunkers, transfer to the airport and catch a flight to Hanoi. Settle into your colonial-era hotel and discover the leafy lanes of the French Quarter on your own tonight.
Stroll tree-lined boulevards past serene lakes and charming pagodas as you discover atmospheric Hanoi. See the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh on a visit to the imposing mausoleum erected in his honor, and stop at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Set out on a private walking tour of the lively Old Quarter, where vendors hawk garments and trinkets while cooks dish up exotic street fare as motorbikes whiz by. This evening, head to the theater for a captivating water-puppetry performance.
Journey to the World Heritage site of Trang An, where verdant karst mountains jut vertically out of flat rice fields. Nestled within this landscape of contrasts lies Vietnam’s 10th-century capital of Hoa Lu. Learn about the ancient citadel that once stood here, and visit the temples that remain, which date to the Dinh and Le dynasties. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Ninh Binh before a visit to the Van Long Nature Reserve, the largest wetland natural reserve in the Red (Hong) River Delta. Explore the reserve by boat, taking in scenes of everyday life in the villages tucked among the limestone cliffs and caves. Watch for interesting bird species as well as langurs, or Asian monkeys. Return to Hanoi late this afternoon.
Get a local’s perspective on Hanoi during a private street-food tour with a renowned food blogger. Your tour weaves through the Old Quarter to eclectic markets such as Thanh Ha and Dong Xuan, where you’ll discover culinary delights among the colorful bustle of everyday life. Sample local delicacies, discover the food traditions of northern Vietnam in alleyways filled with street-food stalls, and learn about the dried goods and spices essential to Vietnamese cuisine. Taste exotic fruits and French-influenced desserts, and end your walk at a coffee shop. This afternoon, catch a flight to Siem Reap, the gateway of Cambodia’s legendary Angkor temple complex. A private guide awaits you to escort you to your hotel.
Enjoy two full days to explore the immense Angkor Archaeological Park, a World Heritage site spanning nearly 100,000 acres and once home to several capitals of the Khmer Empire. Visit the haunting, tree-root-shrouded temple of Ta Prohm, a largely unaltered 12th-century stone structure that is slowly becoming one with the Cambodian jungle. In the afternoon, wander the narrow passageways that weave through the immense walled city of Angkor Thom. Then travel to the intricately carved, pink-sandstone temple of Banteay Srei.
Your tour of the temple complex culminates at the renowned Angkor Wat. This extraordinary 12th-century Khmer temple is one of the largest religious buildings ever constructed. Join a Khmer scholar for a private tour and examine the architecture, artistry, and symbolism of this remarkable site, gaining insights into the civilization that created it.
After breakfast, head to the Khmer Fine Arts Centre and observe craftsmen practicing age-old Khmer arts and crafts techniques. Browse the on-site market for traditional stone carvings, silks, and other handicrafts before transferring to Siem Reap International Airport (REP) to catch your flight home.