From the Mekong Delta to the Temples of Angkor & Hanoi and Halong Bay
14 days with CroisiEurope Rating:
DAY 1 HANOI
Participation in today‘s activities will depend on your arrival time in Hanoi. If you arrive between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., your program will be:
We’ll spend the day on a guided tour of the capital, visiting the outside of the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum on Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh's humble stilt house behind the mausoleum, and the unique One Pillar Pagoda Buddhist temple. We’ll visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. After lunch in town (between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.), we’ll take a pedi-cab ride. We’ll have a tour of the local "Embassy Row" with its French colonial-style architecture. This evening, we’ll watch a traditional water puppetry show and have dinner in the city. You’ll check into a 3-star hotel.
DAY 2 HANOI - HALONG BAY
We’ll leave early in the morning for Halong Bay (approx. 3.5 hours travel time). We’ll be welcomed on board, enjoy a cocktail and have lunch. We'll begin our cruise to discover the thousands of various limestone islands dotting the emerald-colored bay. We’ll enjoy dinner on board this evening. Our ship will remain anchored overnight.
DAY 3 HALONG BAY - HANOI
Rise early with us this morning and participate in a Tai Chi class on deck. We'll continue our cruise through the bay, discovering more of its extraordinary scenery and visiting one of the largest caves. This morning, brunch will be served on board. We'll disembark at 11:00 and return to Hanoi. Before arriving, we'll stop off at the Dinh Bang. We'll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.
DAY 4 HANOI - HO CHI MINH CITY
You'll fly to Ho Chi Minh City. We will tour the city: Reunification palace, Notre Dame cathedral and Central Post office. Lunch in town. We’ll visit Cholon, the Chinese-influenced section of the city, including its hectic market and Ba Thien Hau Pagoda dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail, have dinner and spend the night on board downtown.
DAY 5 HO CHI MINH CITY
We’ll leave by coach for the Cu Chi tunnels, an immense network of underground tunnels that were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches. Lunch will be served on board. Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History. We’ll then set out to cross the very narrow Chao Gao Canal. Night on board.
DAY 6 CHO GAO - MY THO - VINH LONG - CAI BE - SA DEC
We continue our cruise to My Tho along the magnificent Chao Gao Canal. Visit of a bee farm and enjoy some honey tea and exotic fruit. Lunch. We’ll discover a brick and pottery factory as well as a traditional factory producing puffed riced, rice-paper wrappers used to make nems, and rice alcohol*. Night on board.
DAY 7 SA DEC - CHAU DOC
Visit of Sa Dec and discovery of the local market and visit the former house of Huynh Thuy Le, the man who Marguerite Duras based her book The Lover on. We’ll return on board our ship and have lunch. Sailing towards Cambodia. Night on board.
DAY 8 CHAU DOC - PHNOM PENH
Breakfast on board. Located on the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, the prosperous city of Chau Doc has developed around fish and fish farming. We’ll pay a visit to the Ba Chua Xu Temple and the Tay An Pagoda. Lunch on board. Arrival in the evening in Phnom Penh. Dinner on board. We'll remain in port overnight.
DAY 9 PHNOM PENH
We’ll enjoy a tour of the fabulous Royal Palace, one of the most impressive examples of Cambodian architecture, and its Silver Pagoda. Onward to visit the National Museum. After lunch in town, you can pay a visit to the Tuol Svay Prey School, a former detention, torture, and execution center run by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war. Afterwards, enjoy some free time at the market. As we get back on board, we will enjoy an Apsara dance show. Dinner and overnight on board, in the port of Phnom Penh. Free evening.
DAY 10 KOH CHEN - KAMPONG TRALACH - KAMPONG CHHNANG
Visit of Koh Chen, a small village where craftspeople specialize in silver and copper work. Lunch.Visit of the beautiful Vihara at the Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. To access the pagoda we need to cross the village of Kampong Tralach in ox carts, moving along a small road that runs perpendicular to the river in the middle of magnificent rice fields. Our ship will remain anchored overnight.
DAY 11 KAMPONG CHHNANG - TONLE SAP
Visit of Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap. Here they also have many fish farms. The region is best known for its fine traditional pottery which is a major source of revenue for the entire country. Tasting of some local products. Lunch. then continue our cruise to lake Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in southeast Asia which forms the heart of the hydraulic system of the Mekong. Cocktail and gala dinner tonight. Our ship will remain anchored overnight.
DAY 12 SIEM REAP - ANGKOR
We spend the morning cruising. Disembarkation, and lunch. Visit of the famous temple of Angkor Wat, masterpiece of Khmer architecture. This is the most famous and most imposing of all the monuments in Angkor. Enjoy a stroll through the Angkor Night Market. Dinner and overnight in hotel (Accommodations will be at either a 4-star or 5-star hotel according to the cruise you choose).
DAY 13 SIEM REAP
Visit of the Beng Mealea Temple. Isolated from the touristy spots, it is one of the few temples to have remained intact since it was first discovered. Built between 1112 and 1152, it is said to have served as an inspiration for the construction of the Angkor Wat temple complex. After lunch, we’ll visit the Senteurs d’Angkor: a diverse collection of silk and carvings, as well as a superb range of traditional beauty products and spices, all made locally. We'll also visit the silk weaving workshops and discover the traditional weaving techniques that are still being used today. Dinner in town followed by a show with Phare, the Cambodian circus. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 14 SIEM REAP
Visit of the temple at Ta Prohm. Today nature has taken over the site and the result is stunning: trees spring out from the temple buildings and thick roots now cover the temple. We'll then explore Angkor Thom, have a wander in the heart of the ancient Royal palace where the sanctuary of Phimeanakas is located, and visit the terrace of the Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Lunch in the hotel.
We’ll bid you farewell at approximately 2:00 p.m. Please do not book your flight before 5:00 p.m.
All This Included
You’ll begin your extraordinary vacation in Indochina with a discovery of Hanoï, the Vietnamese capital, and on an unforgettable cruise on the legendary Halong Bay among the fantastically formed islands, crags, and cliffs. Then, cast off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on the legendary river that begins in the mountains of Tibet and meanders through no less than six countries. The Mekong traces the authentic, profound, and mesmerizing history of Vietnam and Cambodia along its riverbanks.
Crusing: Cabin onboard RV Indochine
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.