VIETNAM & CAMBODIA VIA THE MEKONG RIVER
Cultural tour of Vietnam & Cambodia
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Experience the sublime beauty of Vietnam and Cambodia, visiting Hanoi, spectacular Halong Bay, the royal city of Hue, the charming little town of Hoi An, bustling Saigon, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Wat Hanchey and the magnificent ruins of Angkor in Cambodia.

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Tour Information
Tour Duration : 18 days
Min. Tour Size : 02 persons
Max. Tour Size : N/A
Includes international air
Tour Price (from) : US$
Day 01: Arrive Hanoi (VIETNAM)
Day 02: Hanoi/Ha Long Bay (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 03: Ha Long Bay/Hanoi (Drive)
(B, L)
Day 04: Hanoi/Hue (Flight)
(B)
Day 05: Hue
(B)
Day 06: Hue/Hoi An (Drive)
(B)
Day 07: Hoi An/Da Nang (Drive)/Ho Chi Minh City (Flight)
(B)
Day 08: Ho Chi Minh City/Cu Chi/Ho Chi Minh City
(B)
Day 09: Ho Chi Minh City/My Tho/Cai Be (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 10: Cai Be/Sa Dec/Chau Doc
(B, L, D)
Day 11: Chau Doc/Phnom Penh (CAMBODIA)
(B, L, D)
Day 12: Phnom Penh
(B, L, D)
Day 13: Phnom Penh/Kampong Cham
(B, L, D)
Day 14: Kampong Cham/Wat Hanchey
(B, L, D)
Day 15: Kampong Cham/Kampong Chhnang
(B, L, D)
Day 16: Tonle Sap Lake/Siem Reap
(B)
Day 17: Siem Reap
(B)
Day 18: Depart Siem Reap
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Hanoi (VIETNAM)

Chào ban! (Welcome in Vietnamese) Upon arrival to one of Vietnam’s capital we are met and transferred to our hotel. Check in time starts from 1500 hrs. In the afternoon, visit St. Joseph Cathedral, a striking neo-Gothic cathedral noteworthy for its square towers, elaborate altar and colorful stained-glass windows, then take one-hour pedicab ride around to the Old Quarters of Ha Noi. Visit Bach Ma Temple and Ma May Ancient House.
Overnight: Sunway Hotel, Hanoi (1 night)

Day 02: Hanoi/Ha Long Bay (Drive)

This morning we depart for Ha Long Bay. Boarding and check-in with welcome drink at noon, then the cruise starts through Cho Da, Dinh Huong, Ga Choi and Hoa Cuong limestone islets while a lunch is served on board. Then visit Sung Sot Grotto, the “Cave of Surprises”, before taking a swim in Titov Beach or Soi Sim Beach’s pristine waters. The vessel then cruises further to reach its overnight anchorage location near Ho Dong Tien or Luon Cave. Enjoy the sunset from the sundeck or while swimming; then a dinner will be served on board. Evening is devoted to relaxing in that peaceful piece of a setting, or to experience night-fishing from the boat’s deck.
Overnight: Pelican Junk, Ha Long Bay (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 03: Ha Long Bay/Hanoi (Drive)

Early wake-up for a breakfast with stunning scenery, then a small boat will take you to visit Luon Cave. Back on board the cruise heads to Tuan Chau pier. Lunch is served on board while the cruise goes back to Halong City for disembarking at noon time. End of the cruise. Return to Hanoi. Enjoy an evening water puppet show, a theatrical genre reflecting the agricultural civilization of thousands of years ago.
Overnight: Sunway Hotel, Hanoi (1 night) (B, L)

Day 04: Hanoi/Hue (Flight)

Take a photo stop in front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square, and Presidential Palace. Then, visit the Ho Chi Minh President House and One-Pillared Pagoda. Continue to visit the Literature Temple and take photos at Hanoi Post Office, City Hall, Flower Garden, Ly Thai To Status. In the afternoon, visit to the Ethnology Museum (closed on Monday) and we are transferred to the airport for a short flight to Hue. Upon arrival we are met and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Saigon Morin Hotel, Hue (2 nights) (B)

Day 05: Hue

Located just outside of Hue on the bank of the Perfume River, Thien Mu Pagoda was a hotbed of anti-government protests during the early 1960s. The Emperor Minh Mang Tomb complex built in 1840, is known for its magnificent architecture, military statuaries and elaborate decorations. It is perhaps the most beautiful of Hue's pagodas and tombs, a fitting end to a spectacular day. Visit the 19th Century Imperial City that was for a long time the cultural and intellectual center of Vietnam. Our tour includes the Citadel that was built in the early 19th century and modeled after the Forbidden City in Peking. Ngo Mon Gate is the principal entrance to the Imperial Enclosure and faces the Flag Tower. The Forbidden Purple City was reserved for the personal use of the emperor and the only servants allowed into the compound were eunuchs. (B)

Day 06: Hue/Hoi An (Drive)

A jaunt to Tu Duc Tomb, once the Royal Palace of Tu Duc, begins our day’s tour. Constructed between 1864 and 1867, its pavilions are framed in a tranquil setting of forested hills and lakes. Drive to Danang where we visit the Cham Museum. Founded in 1915 by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, it has the finest open-air collection of Cham sculptures in the world. The Marble Mountains consist of 5 stone hillocks made of marble and each is said to represent one of the five elements of the universe. The largest and most famous, Thuy Son, has a number of natural caves, in which Buddhist sanctuaries have been built over the centuries. We continue to Hoi An, a picturesque riverside town south of Danang. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South East Asia's major international ports from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Overnight: Boutique Hoi An Resort, Hoi An (1 night) (B)

Day 07: Hoi An/Da Nang (Drive)/Ho Chi Minh City (Flight)

We are transferred to the airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, one of Vietnam’s largest cities. We have an afternoon city tour to explore some of the most interesting sites, including the beautiful neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the Opera House also known as “Saigon Concert Hall’, the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its colorful and mysterious ambiance, the Reunification Palace and Ben Thanh Market.
Overnight: Grand Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City (2 nights) (B)

Day 08: Ho Chi Minh City/Cu Chi/ Ho Chi Minh City

Morning drive 70 km to Cu Chi, famed for its elaborate network of over 200 km of three-story underground tunnels hand-dug by local people during the Vietnam War. Crawl down a tunnel to feel the underground life. Back to Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon, visit Binh Tay Market and the Thien Hau Pagoda, one of the most active in Cholon town. (B)

Day 09: Ho Chi Minh City/My Tho/Cai Be (Drive)

Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City as we travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark your ship. We will be served a refreshing welcome drink as the ship steadily glides along the Mekong. We will bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a briefing at the lounge. Later, a welcome dinner awaits us. When approaching Cai Be, the Ship drops anchor to moor midstream where the river is several kilometers wide. Including dinner.
Overnight: Jayavarman Boat (Superior Cabin), Cai Be (7 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Cai Be /Sa Dec/Chau Doc

The day/in fact everyday/starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sun deck, just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. The day’s tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the languid ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, we head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the Ship for lunch. In the afternoon, we cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, we embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its manmade canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc. Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ship will moor midstream overnight near Chau Doc. (B, L, D)

Day 11: Chau Doc/Phnom Penh (CAMBODIA)

Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will also visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where we will be feted to a boat excursion to the floating villages and rustic catfish farms where we will learn exciting facts about the breeding of Basa fish in the Mekong Delta. Then, it is back to the ship for a lunch. By mid-afternoon, the cruise liner will make its way to the border for Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. It is an opportune time to relax on board, sharpen your culinary skills with our hands-on cooking classes or tour the ship with our impeccable Cruise Director. Or, better yet, do all three. “The Highway Blues” beckons as we float into a state of mild bliss caused by the hypnotic murmur of the ship’s engine. After hours of cruising, we will feel the rush of entering into a new country and to embrace new adventures. Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. (B, L, D)

Note:
Due to high water in the Mekong Delta between July and December the following program applies: This morning, you will start your excursion on a local boat (sampan) and discover the border town of Tan Chau. Firstly, the journey takes you to the “evergreen” islands where you will be thrilled to learn the life of the locals. The inhabitants of these islands live on houses poised on high stilts – a centuries-old tradition in this part of the Mekong Delta. We stop to visit a fish farm located in the Tan Chau canal – this farm consists of floating houses and the villagers make their living by cultivating fish. You continue by boat to Tan Chau pier, disembark here and stroll around this colorful local market with lots of regional products. You return to the cruise Ship after your market visit.

Day 12: Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. After breakfast, we will be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia’s modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia, which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning will include visiting the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Genocide Museum and the Killing Field in town. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime. We go back to the Ship after our museum visit. Take a rest on your cabin balcony or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck. Take a seat and enjoy the following Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sun deck. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open with the stars and the moon as our companions. Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 13: Phnom Penh/Kampong Cham

We will depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh silk weaving village. We will then return to the Ship and will cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages, exhilarating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their shift boats. We will tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stood still. We are transported back a hundred years into an era unspoiled by modernity. The houses here are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. But most of all, we feel overwhelmed by the unbridled warmth of the villagers. Travelers can take part in the daily activities of the villagers to experience village life first hand. Then, we are back to the Ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham. Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 14: Kampong Cham/Wat Hanchey

We will wake up in the small hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers either take a motor-taxi or climb 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the Ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. When the tide allows, we will enjoy a surprise sojourn in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby bank to swim in the teacoloured Mekong River, an experience that will, no doubt, dominate dinner conversations in the weeks to come. We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. On the way back to the Ship, we will visit an orphanage. Along the way, we will have to maneuver a 2-kilometer rickety bamboo bridge. Our sense of balance lies in the balance! Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight cruise to Kampong Chhnang. (B, L, D)

Day 15: Kampong Cham/Kampong Chhnang

Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Chhnang on the Tonle River/an amazingly narrow river/which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. We are greeted by cacophonous children who waive enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle River. Then we approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “waterworld” where everything is on stilts balanced on water rich soil– it’s an awesome sight whilst practising Tai Chi on the deck. Here we take a motorboat excursion to the landing, followed by a short bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. We then return to the Ship for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle River. Your floating sanctuary will then cruise gently, in the afternoon, along the narrow and meandering Tonle River. In the evening, a sumptuous spread will be served. And for the big surprise/bring along your dance shoes and learn to jiggle the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors. (If you can’t dance, do not fret. Neither can our staff) Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 16: Tonle Sap Lake/Siem Reap

This great lake dominates Cambodia and is the largest freshwater lake in Asia with abundant birdlife. This lake is so wide that one cannot see its shores from the middle of the lake. Enjoy the stillness of the water and the quiet tranquility on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, minor changes to the itinerary may occur during different seasons. Our Heritage Line cruise liner comes to an end as we reach this city of the fabled Angkor temple complex. We bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to a close. But the memories and the friendships made on board linger on for a lot longer. We will cross the Tonle Lake at dawn and at 0900 hrs, we will disembark at the Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the drop off point in town. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight: Victoria Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap (2 nights) (B)

Day 17: Siem Reap

We spend full day at Siem Reap and visit the interesting sites:  The majestic Angkor Wat temple was constructed over a period of 30 years and illustrates some of the most exquisite examples of Khmer and Hindu art. In 1992, the monuments and the city of Angkor were declared a World Heritage Site. Our next stop is at the Angkor Thom, a fortified Royal City (10 square kilometers/4 square miles) encircled by a moat 100 metres/109 yards wide with five monumental gates. In the center of the walled city are the most important monuments including the Baphuon, the Terrace of Elephants and the Bayon - Jayavarman VII’s temple mount standing at the center of Angkor Thom. This is one of the most popular and interesting of Angkor’s monuments with its narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers. (B)

Day 18: Depart Siem Reap

Check out time is by 1100 hrs.  This morning we depart Cambodia with pleasant memories of this historic and artistically rich country. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).

2017

Jan 13 & 27; Feb 10 & 24; Mar 10 & 24; Apr 07; Jun 30; Jul 14 & 28; Aug 11 & 25; Sep 08 & 22; Oct 06 & 20; Nov 03 & 17; Dec 01 & 15

Tour Price

We accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

Season(s) Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
High Season (Jan 01 – Mar 31) US$ 5090 US$ 1695
High Season (Oct 14 – Dec 31) US$ 5295 US$ 1790
Shoulder Season (Apr 01 – Apr 30) US$ 4395 US$ 1480
Shoulder Season (Sep 30 – Oct 13) US$ 4595 US$ 1550
Low Season (Jul 01 – Sep 29) US$ 4190 US$ 1395


Notes

N/A



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 33 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers by private transportation
  • Services of local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
Not Included
  • International airfares
  • Port charges (currently USD 125.00 subject to change without prior notice)
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)

CANADA(West Coast)
US$ 1400

USA(West Coast)
US$ 1400

CANADA(East Coast)
US$ 1600

USA(East Coast)
US$ 1600

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 02 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.