Luxury Cambodia and Vietnam

Luxury Cambodia and Vietnam

Begin in Siem Reap, the gateway to the world famous Angkor temples, where you will explore the most important temples including Ta Prohm, Ta Keo and Angkor Thom. At the Angkor Wat, learn all about this famous site with a Khmer scholar. Take a helicopter for a bird view over the Angkor area, and visit the Boeng Mealea temple which is some 40km away. At night, enjoy an exclusive sunset dining experience, as you have your private candlelit diner at a private rice field.

 

Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam’s fascinating capital and cultural center. Visit the city’s most famous historical attractions, such as the Hoa Lo Prison, Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. Explore the leafy backstreets lined with stunning French colonial buildings, many of which are now upscale restaurants. Discover Hanoi’s incredible Old Quarter, where each street was historically named after the product it sells such as silk, bamboo and fish. Enjoy a street food tour, sample the best Vietnamese food with your own personal tour guide. At night, experience a motorbike ride and see the backstreets in Hanoi like a local.

 

Take a seaplane to the scenic Halong Bay for an overnight cruise on a traditional Vietnamese wooden boat. Cruise among fabulous islands, explore a limestone cave, visit a floating village or go sea kayaking, dine on fresh seafood, and enjoy on-board activities such as squid fishing and tai chi at sunrise.

 

Continue to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the country’s most beautiful city. Located on the banks of the well-known Perfume River in central Vietnam, Hue is famous for vestiges of its royal past such as the Forbidden Purple City, impressive royal tombs, and beautiful Buddhist temples. Meet with a Gastronomy Artisan at her home for a private hands-on cooking class of traditional Hue cuisine.

 

Next, drive to the ancient port town of Hoi An. Ride on a buffalo cart to a fishing village, where fishermen are busy with baskets of fish. Take in the best of this centuries-old town while exploring colorful streets and visiting well-preserved historic temples, the Japanese Covered Bridge, the nearby Museum of Cham Sculpture and walk through the narrow streets boasting the traditional architect that Hoi An is famous for.

 

Finally, fly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the most dynamic city of Vietnam. Take a sidecar to wander around the city, learn about the city’s history while visiting the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. From the city center, take your private speed boat and follow the Saigon River to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, explore the hideaway of Vietcong leaders during their resistance war. After all, enjoy a ride on a Vespa scooter to experience the night life in Saigon and sample some delicious street food on the way.

 

    Places visited:

  • Siem Reap
  • Hanoi
  • Halong Bay
  • Hue
  • Hoi An
  • Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Itinerary Idea in Detail:
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  • Day 1: Siem Reap Arrival/ Airport Fast Track Service

    Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, look for your guide holding a signboard with your names on it. He will then introduce you to our fast-track service officer, who will collect your passport, visa fee (if it is not paid), and one passport photo for the visa before leading you to the baggage claim to pick up your luggage. Get your stamped passport back before being accompanied outside the arrival terminal to meet your driver, drive to your hotel for three nights.

  • Day 2: Siem Reap Full Day Temples at Leisure Tour/ 02 hours Exploring Angkor Wat with a Khmer Scholar (B, L)

    Meet your guide at the hotel and transfer by private car to Ta Prohm, this beautiful temple was built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII. Drive a short distance to Ta Keo, which would have been one of the finest temples in Angor had it been completed. Continue to Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9 square kilometers and the royal capital from 1181. With a population of 1 million, it was far bigger any city in Europe at the time. The central piece is Bayon temple, crowned with 216 giant smiling faces of King Jayavarman VII. Also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, which houses almost perfectly preserved Khmer carvings.

     

    After lunch at a nice local restaurant, visit Angkor Wat – one of the modern wonders and most important religious monuments in the world, with a renowned Khmer scholar. He will be able to share with you his knowledge about the site and give you a concise overview of Khmer history, culture and civilization. This private tour takes approximately two hours, and it is able to be tailor-made to your own interests.

  • Day 3: Siem Reap/ Private Helicopter to see Angkor Wat/ Visit Boeng Mealea/ Candlelit Dinner at a Private Rice Field (B, D)

    Transfer to the airport, where you will take a 30-minutes scenic helicopter flight. Enjoy the bird-view of Angkor Wat, Floating Villages and the Roluos (Temple) Group.

     

    Continue your flight to visit Boeng Mealea, the temple located 40km east of the main group of temple at the Angkor Wat, and it was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. There is extensive carving of scenes from Hindu mythology, including the churning of the Ocean of Milk. Causeways have long balustrades formed by bodies of the seven-headed Naga serpent. Smaller in size than Angkor Wat, the king’s main monument, Boeng Mealea nonetheless ranks among the Khmer empire’s largest temples. After exploring the temple, flight back to Siem Reap airport. Drive back to your hotel for relaxing.

     

    CANDLELIT DINNER AT A PRIVATE RICE FIELD

    This evening, prepare for an exclusive sunset dining experience, catered just for you! Depart your hotel at the sunset for an evening of dinning under the stars, in your own private Sala House in the countryside, a 15 minute-drive from Siem Reap. As the light fades, your candles and lantern torch lights beam around you, as the countryside comes alive with the evening chorus of nature. Free flowing wine or beer is served, as you enjoy your pre-selected menu. After your special dining experience, enjoy the atmosphere of the countryside before returning to your hotel by private car transfer.

  • Day 4: Siem Reap – Hanoi (B)

    Today you will leave Siem Reap on a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. After breakfast, relax at your hotel until your guide and driver pick you up in time to drive to the airport.

     

    Upon your arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, our fast-track service officer will greet you with a signboard with your name(s) on it, and quickly assist you through the immigration to the baggage claim. Meet your own local guide and driver for a private transfer to your hotel for three nights.

  • Day 5: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)

    The capital of Vietnam since 1010AD, Hanoi is home of an amazing blend of Indo-Chinese and French colonial influences.  The modern-day Hanoi is a mix of ancient temples and pagodas, parks and lakes, broad tree-lined boulevards and narrow food alleyways. Start exploring the charming city of Hanoi with the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century. Continue to the Presidential Palace, where you will learn about President Ho Chi Minh and his life. Then head to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, offering broad insights into the 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam through the lens of women’s topics.

     

    Lunch at a nice local restaurant. Next to visit the Hoa Lo Prison (also known as the “Hanoi Hilton”) used by the French between 1896 – 1954 to imprison Vietnamese political prisoners before it housed American POWs. While only part of the original complex is left, the displays present a Vietnamese perspective in photographs and writings on the foreign powers involved in Vietnam’s recent history.

     

    Take a rickshaw tour around the photogenic Old Quarter where each street is named after the goods originally sold there, from silk to silver to noodles. Explore the fascinating maze of back streets, fronted by narrow houses known as “tube houses”, built to avoid taxes based on the width of the frontage onto the street. A fantastic glimpse into Hanoi street life.

  • Day 6: Hanoi Street Food and Local Market Tour/ Culture Adventure by Vintage Motorbike (B, L, D)

    Hanoi is one of the best foodie destination in the region, eating on the street has been a typical and fun activity in the city. And because the Old Quarter is home of well-known Vietnamese food such as the famous Nom Bo Kho (Dried Beef with Green Papaya Salad), Banh Khuc (Steamed Cake made of glutinous rice mixed with Cudweed, filled with green bean paste, pork, black peppers, and sprinkled with grains of cooked sticky rice), and Bun Cha (Grilled Pork Noodle Soup). Leave your hotel for a leisure walk to the Old Quarter and its local markets with your tour guide, sample the best local dishes along the way.

     

    If you are a coffee person, don’t miss out the Hanoi egg coffee, a local created coffee well-whisked with egg yolk and condensed milk. Other famous dishes include Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich), Pho (Beef Noodle Soup), or Hanoi’s ice cream.

     

    HANOI CULTURAL ADVENTURE ON VINTAGE MOTORBIKE

    This afternoon, you will have a chance to see Hanoi with a different appearance. You will discover hidden corners in Hanoi with a vintage Soviet Minsk motorbike. Along the way, enjoy the feeling of being on a motorbike like the local, stop and visit famous cultural places as well as visit a local home and sample some street foods.

  • Day 7: Hanoi – Halong Bay by Seaplane (B, L, D)

    Meet your guide and transfer to the airport for your seaplane ride to Halong Bay. Leave the noise of the city behind as you board a seaplane and take in the impressive aerial views over the countryside on a 45-minute flight to Halong. In Halong Bay, enjoy 15-minute sightseeing flight above the bay, taking in all the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage Site including islands of Cong Do, Ba Ham and Dau Be on the edge of the Gulf of Tonkin.

     

    On arrival at the port of Tuan Chau Island, settle in on board your chartered wooden traditional junk where a welcome drink and lunch awaits. Enjoy your cruise through thousands of limestone islands, all rises out of emerald waters of Halong Bay. Spend the afternoon cruising through the magnificent limestone islands of Halong Bay, enjoy the sunset from the upper deck of your boat before having a wonderful dinner in the middle of the bay. Overnight on the boat. All meals are included during your stay on the boat.

  • Day 8: Halong Bay – Seaplane to Hanoi – Hue (B, L)

    Wake up early and take a position on the deck with a cup of tea or coffee, start the day practicing some tai chi with the crews and see the beautiful sunrise over the bay this morning. Enjoy breakfast on board before visiting the Titop island with a beautiful beach, where you can swim in the water of the world famous bay. After lunch, disembark and take the seaplane back to Hanoi Airport.

     

    Take your onward flight to Hue, the imperial city in the central Vietnam. Upon arrival at Phu Bai Airport in Hue, your guide will greet and transfer you to your hotel where you will stay for two nights.

  • Day 9: Hue City Tour/ Lunch at Former Home of Princess Ngoc Son (B, L)

    Hue was Vietnam’s imperial capital from 1802 to 1945, and the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors – the country’s last dynasty. Hue boasts its vast citadel surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls, which encompasses the Imperial City with palaces and shrines.

     

    Start your Hue explorations by taking a cyclo to the Truong Tien Bridge to cross the beautiful Perfume River, ride along the famous Dong Ba Market to see how people in this historical city live. Then follow a branch of the Perfume River to an area surrounding the Citadel, where local people have lived for generations in their old style houses. When arrival at the Noon Gate, say goodbye to your cyclo driver and walk to the Imperial Citadel, once the emperor’s home. Along way, your guide explains about the events and the intrigue of the former royal court.

     

    Have your lunch hosted at the former home of Princess Ngoc Son, a daughter of Emperor Dong Khanh, who was granted a land to build the home after getting married.

     

    Drive on to Thien Mu pagoda, which was built in 1601 and known as Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. This Buddhist pagoda stands on the riverbank with its seven-story tower at its heart, it is a sight to behold. From the pagoda, depart for the Tombs of King Minh Mang, which located in a tranquil setting of green gardens and lotus ponds. The tomb is a harmonious design of balance and symmetry for the emperor’s resting place. Finish up the day at King Khai Dinh’s Tomb, which is traditional Vietnamese in design with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue. 

  • Day 10: Hue Cooking Class with the Gastronomy Artisan – Hoi An (B, L)

    Meet your guide and transfer to the cooking center, where you will meet with the gastronomy artisan. She is well-known in the country, as well as in the UK, France and Belgium. Being the head of professional cooking department in several universities, author of several cooking books, cuisine presenter for Vietnam and London television and receiving the most precious prize of most talented Vietnamese Woman, Ms. Nhu Huy has great culinary treasures to share with you.

     

    What better way to experience a fascinating culinary tour than to have the artisan takes you out for a stroll around the market to enjoy the tantalizing sights, smells and flavors of local produce? Then get to your chef’s home for a private hands-on cooking class of traditional Hue cuisine. Learn about her life and experiences, then enjoy the food you have learned to cook.

     

    After your lunch at Ms. Nhu Huy’s home, drive to Hoi An via the famous Hai Van Pass for a great view over the city. Stop en route at Danang City to visit the informative Cham Museum housing the best collection of Champa Kingdom ruins in Asia. The artifact here date from the 2nd to 15th centuries. Then head to your hotel, Four Season The Nam Hai Resort, where you will stay for two nights.

  • Day 11: Hoi An Buffalo Cart/ Fishing Life Experience/ Half-day Walking Tour (B, L)

    Known as “Faifo” during the 17th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was a prosperous trading port and attracting many Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish boats. Today this ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home of well-preserved homes and historic temples.

     

    Follow your private guide to explore Hoi An by traditional buffalo cart. As in Vietnam, farmers and buffalo working in the fields are symbol of countryside life, with the buffalo being the most valuable possession of each family, and treated almost as a member of the family. Enjoy a scenic and fun ride on the cart, passing by rice paddies, shrimp ponds and green vegetable farms with excellent photo opportunities. Arrive at a local dock, board a river boat and start cruising down the Hoi An River. The boat will stop along the shore where you can try your hand at casting traditional fishing nets, a common fishing method still practice today. Also learn the art of paddling the unique Vietnamese round basket boats. Return to your river boat an enjoy a light seafood dishes and a refreshing drink as you head back up the river and return to the town.

     

    In the afternoon, continue to explore the ancient town of Hoi An. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the nearby Museum of Cham Sculpture, the Assemble Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its intricate woodcarvings, and walk through the narrow streets boasting local specialties including silk, which can be tailored into fashionable suites within few hours.

  • Day 12: Hoi An – Danang – Saigon (B, D)

    Enjoy your free at leisure until your guide pick you up at the resort and drive to Danang airport for your flight to Saigon. On arrival in Saigon, meet your guide then transfer to hotel for two nights.

     

    SAIGON CITY TOUR ON SIDECAR

    This afternoon in Saigon, you will be picked up from the hotel for a half day Saigon City Tour by Sidecar. Despite being a modern metropolis, Saigon retains its fascinating connections with its past. Enjoy a half-day city tour to admire Saigon’s historic landmarks from the unique vantage point of a vintage sidecar motorbike with your chauffeur. Begin with a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires constructed from materials imported from France. Then head across the square to the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. A short drive takes you to the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon movement during the American War. Finnish the tour with a visit to the War Remnants Museum for a vivid perspective during the American War through the eyes of the Vietnamese.

  • Day 13: Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels by Private Speed Boat (B, L, D)

    Cu Chi Tunnels is a complex of immense underground network of connecting tunnels, dug by the local villagers of Cu Chi from 1948 to protect their guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. Those tunnels then served as a hideaway for Vietcong leaders, villagers during their resistance war against the American between 1954 and 1975. Touring the underground compound will provide a better understanding of the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat.

     

    Meet your guide at the hotel then transfer to Tan Cang Jetty in Binh Thanh District, depart for the Cu Chi Tunnels. Enjoy your private boat excursion and witness glittering skyscrapers and busy commercial centers giving way to green fields and stilt houses along the Saigon River. On your way back to Saigon after exploring the tunnels, stop your speedboat at a local restaurant for lunch.

     

    FOOD STORIES ON THE VINTAGE VESPA – VESPA WANDERERS

    The darker the night gets; the more vivid Saigon becomes! Get ready for a fascinating ride by vintage Vespa tonight to discover busy Saigon after dark, together with mouth-watering street food tasting in the most authentic local restaurants. Make your first stop at a small yet popular Vietnamese bread stall, line up to get a fresh bread roll before heading to a vintage coffee shop tucked away in a back alley for a briefing. Keep on riding to a hidden boutique restaurant to taste the freshest local seafood course. Then continue to zig zag through the hustle and bustle of the streets, wandering around an old apartment complex which becomes extremely lively at night with hundreds of food and drink stalls. Take a break at a 50-year-old dessert shop to try different hand-made sweet soups. End up your night at a cozy bar room tucked away in a quiet alley to taste some local beer or cocktail and have a chat with people here before walking your walk back to your hotel.

  • Day 14: Saigon Departure (B)

    Today you will leave Saigon and end your trip. Your guide and driver will pick you up and drive to Tan Son Nhat international airport to take your onward flight.


TRIP COST:  > 9,000 USD Per Person (double occupancy)

All Incense Travel tours are private and depart daily.

 

Trip cost includes:

  • Airport Arrival Fast Track Services in Siem Reap and Hanoi
  • Private airport transfers
  • Private touring with your own personal English speaking guides and drivers
  • All meals mentioned in the detailed itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Regional flights: Siem Reap – Hanoi, Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hanoi, Hanoi - Hue, Danang - Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Seaplane for to/from Halong Bay
  • Chartered helicopter for Angkor Wat
  • Chartered small wooden boat for Halong Bay
  • Sightseeing as mentioned with permission fee and entrance tickets
  • Double occupancy at nicest hotels as suggested in the detailed itinerary

 

Trip cost DOSE NOT include:

  • International airfares
  • Any meals not specified after each itinerary day, beverages at meals
  • Tips or gratuities to tour guide or staffs
  • Hotel accommodation pre and post the trip
  • Pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any)
  • Travel insurance, visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Details at-a-Glance

  • Length: 14 Days - Departs daily on a private basis
  • Price: >9,000 USD per person (double occupancy)
  • Arrival: Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Departure: Saigon, Vietnam
  • Travel Style: Leisure Travel

Highlights

  • Experience the best highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Explore the world famous Hindu temples in Angkor.
  • Take in the best views of Halong Bay on a seaplane, and Angkor temples on a helicopter.
  • Stay at the most luxurious accommodation that Vietnam and Cambodia has to offer.
  • Cruise among limestone formations of Halong Bay on a chartered traditional junk.
  • Immerge into the charms of Hoi An ancient town.
  • Explore the amazing underground tunnels of Cu Chi and bustling city of Saigon.

EXPLAIN TRIP LEVELS