Real taste of Vietnam and Cambodia tour
18 days from £2,324* per person Saving you £572 per person*
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Arrival and foodie tour of Hanoi
Your guide will meet you at Hanoi airport and take you to a hotel in Vietnam’s electric capital city. Kick off your adventure with a street food tour of Hanoi’s best culinary spots accompanied by a local chef. You’ll try a Hanoi staple – a hearty bowl of pho noodle soup – before visiting the bustling local market to source and try exotic ingredients. The tour finishes with Vietnamese egg coffee or Che tea at a little coffee shop in the atmospheric old quarter. Stay overnight at your Hanoi hotel.
Day 2 Hanoi tour, cookery class and sleeper train to Sapa
Join a prominent local chef for a walking tour around a Hanoi food market, sourcing local produce before heading to his restaurant to make a five-course meal to enjoy alongside a signature cocktail. Spend the afternoon on a guided tour of the city visiting key sights such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and former residence and the ancient One Pillar Pagoda. Stop at the Temple of Literature for a talk with local historian Dr Lam and take a cyclo tour of the atmospheric old quarter. Go to the train station to catch the sleeper train to Sapa.
Day 3 Hiking in Sapa
Disembark the train at Lao Cai in the early morning and spend the day hiking through the picturesque hill tribe villages of the Sapa Valley. Your guide will take you along lush terraced valleys to traditional Black Hmong houses, you’ll visit a Giay minority community and go up to Giang Ta Chai village where a driver will take you to your Sapa hotel for the night.
Day 4 Ethnic markets, hill tribes and back to Hanoi
Explore the local ethnic markets where different hill tribes in colourful traditional dress sell handicrafts and local products. Take a short walk to a local village to learn more about daily life before taking a relaxed cruise on the Chay river and travelling back to Hanoi to spend the night in a city hotel.
Day 5 Halong Bay cruise
You’ll be picked up from your Hanoi and driven to the world heritage site of Halong Bay, passing through scenic paddy fields along the way. Board an authentic Vietnamese sailing boat for a two-day cruise of this ethereal beauty spot dotted with limestone karst islands, jade grottoes and caves. Stop at Ban Chan Beach, enjoy exotic spa treatments and dinner on board before retiring for a peaceful night’s sleep in a cosy cabin.
Day 6 Halong Bay cruise
Begin your day with Tai Chi on deck, then take an excursion to Thien Canh Son cave hidden beneath the forest canopy and cliffs. Lunch is served on board while sailing to Bai Tu Long Bay where you can swim and kayak at the beach. Savour a barbeque buffet and end your day with a drink at the bar or squid fishing from the deck. Take part in a local fruit carving session before bedtime on board your boat.
Day 7 Halong Bay and fly to Hue
Welcome in the day with a peaceful Tai Chi class before taking off in a traditional bamboo boat to visit Vung Vieng fishing village. Cruise into the afternoon before disembarking and driving to Hanoi airport for a flight south to Hue. Upon arrival you’ll be picked up and taken to your hotel for a two-night stay in Hue.
Day 8 Hue tour and dinner hosted in a local home
Take a voyage along the Huong river and visit Thien Mu Pagoda rising above its banks. Later your guide will take you around some of Hue’s most interesting sights including the Imperial Citadel and Emperor Tu Duc’s mystical mausoleum. For dinner, you’ll sample local cuisine at local chef Mrs Huyat’s house where she’ll serve up a royal menu designed just for you. Stay overnight in a hotel in Hue.
Day 9 Tour of Hoi An
Drive to the charming old port town of Hoi An, designated a UNESCO world heritage site, and explore the old quarter on foot taking in its quaint tile-roofed workshops, shady pagodas and colourful communal halls. Visit the Phuc Kien Pagoda and the Japanese wooden bridge before heading back to spend the evening at a local hotel.
Day 10 Hoi An foodie tour, cooking class and rural Vespa ride
Meet local celebrity chef Duc Tran for a guided walking tour around the food and fish markets of Hoi An to source local ingredients. Head to his Mango Mango restaurant by the riverside for a private cooking class making your own four-course lunch menu, before tucking into the end result along with a signature cocktail. Whizz off on a Vespa scooter for a guided tour of the surrounding countryside passing through lush rice paddies, meeting local artisans and visiting a vegetable and herb farm before heading back into town over Cam Kim Bridge at sunset. Stay overnight in Hoi An.
Day 11 Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
Go to Danang airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City and take an excursion to Cu Chi underground tunnels, created by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Explore the immense subterranean network with a guide and meet a local war veteran to hear his story. Spend the next few nights at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 12 Ho Chi Minh City tour
See Ho Chi Minh’s main sights with your expert local guide including the former Presidential Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the beautiful Central Post Office and the atmospheric colonial streets of the old district. You’ll finish your tour with a cup of coffee at the Art Deco Catinat building that has become a modern hub of designer boutiques, galleries, vintage shops, restaurants and cafes. Head back to your hotel for the night.
Day 13 Mekong Delta and dinner in Ho Chi Minh city
Drive to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, renowned for its coconut plantations and peaceful waterways. Take a moped ride to a local village surrounded by verdant paddies and tropical plantations. Switch to a boat and glide along small canals sipping on fresh coconut juice, stopping at workshops, fisheries and orchards. Disembark for a bicycle ride to a riverside restaurant for lunch. Visit local sticky rice maker Mr Hung, before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City. Traditional Vietnamese restaurant, Mandarin, is the venue for dinner with a diverse selection of wines followed by live classical music. Stay overnight at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 14 Ho Chi Minh City art and culture tour
Your guide will take you on an insightful tour of Ho Chi Minh City designed with the help of local historians, artists and galleries. You’ll be given a short introduction to Vietnamese history at a cafe before visiting a private collection of colonial-era artworks and taking a private viewing of propaganda art from the Vietnam War. The tour continues to the Fine Arts Museum, housed in an impressive Sino-French building displaying the work of wartime artists, with a final stop at one of the city’s leading contemporary art galleries. Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 15 Fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia
Go to the airport for a flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia and spend the afternoon exploring the world –famous ancient temples of Angkor Wat. Take an evening tuk-tuk ride around Siem Reap’s suburbs for a Buddhist blessing ceremony to wish you luck on your journey. Head back to a hotel in Siem Reap for a three-night stay.
Day 16 Siem Reap temples and villages
Venture out with your guide to the temples of Angkor Thom and jungle-shrouded Ta Prohm. Visit the floating village of Choueng Kneas, taking a boat to experience local life on the great lake of Tonle Sap, before returning to your hotel.
Day 17 Siem Reap cooking class
Travel to a local village for a Cambodian cooking class in a bamboo pavilion. Make three different dishes before sampling your creations and visiting a local home to learn about local food customs. Head back to the city centre and stay overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 18 Fly to Phnom Penh and head home
Take a short flight to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to explore the city and the chilling history of the Khmer Rouge, stopping at Tuol Sleng Museum, once used as a prison by Pol Pot. Visit the Killing Fields of Choeng Ek before bidding farewell to Cambodia and boarding your flight home.
*Prices are based on private arrangements (not lower priced escorted tours with set dates). Quality three star accommodation is quoted here (unless mentioned otherwise), with breakfast included and other meals where mentioned. Mostly private transfers with an English speaking driver/guide and all activities mentioned, with top guides, are included. Domestic flights and transport all included from Day 1 to end point. Can be tailored to your needs, so prices could be lower for budget arrangements or higher for luxury.
International flight is not included