ITINERARY BY DAY
DAY 1: SAIGON ARRIVAL
Welcome to sizzling Saigon. Included transfer to your hotel. Spend the afternoon getting acquainted with the city. Opt to explore on foot, shop at Ben Thanh Market or visit the grand Independence Palace, with its secret bunker and military command centre beneath! Evening at leisure.
DAY 2: CRUISING THE MEKONG
Saigon – Cai Be – Can Tho. This morning we drive to Vinh Long, the start point for our cruise of the Mekong Delta. Taking our sampan from we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island. As the boat resumes its course, we pass the beautiful church of Cai Be before stopping at some home factories where you can sample local sweets and see how they are made.
Overnight: Can Tho | Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 3: MEKONG & SAIGON
Can Tho – Saigon. Early morning visit to Cai Rang floating market and drive to Saigon. On a walking tour of the city we’ll visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Saigon | Breakfast
DAY 4: CU CHI TUNNELS – PHMON PENH
Saigon – Phnom Penh. This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet-Cong in their struggle to keep control of the region during the 1960’s. As we walk the bush trails you’ll see trapdoors, booby traps, living areas, weapon factories and kitchens. We can also safely crawl sections of the tunnels, that have been widened for the tourists and fire weapons of the era (including the M16 ‘s and AK47) on the firing range.
After crossing the Cambodian border we drive to the capital of Phnom Penh. Once deemed the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh offers a bustling mix of Asia’s past and present, a city quickly taking its place amongst the trendy capitals of the region.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 5: ROYAL PALACE – CRIMES OF POL POT
Today we’ll enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh starting at the National Museum of Fine Arts, a graceful terracotta building of traditional design housing the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. We continue with the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, famed for its lavish decorations – the floors are paved with silver tiles and statues of Buddha are encrusted with thousands of diamonds.
We later come face to face with the horrors of the Pol Pot regime as we visit Toul Sleng (Security Prison – S21), a school that was gruesomely transformed into a torture chamber under the Khmer Rouge, and visit the Killing Fields where over 10,000 people were executed.
Overnight: Phnom Penh | Breakfast
DAY 6: SIEM REAP & ANGKOR WAT
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap. Hotel check out and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Siem Reap. After we’ve had time to freshen up we visit The Angkor National Museum which has a fascinating collection of Angkorian artefacts with collections from Khmer Empire’s Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century.
This afternoon we see the mother of all temples – Angkor Wat. This breathtaking monument of man’s devotion to his gods is believed to be the largest religious building in the world and contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. There are plenty of wonderful photo opportunities at this iconic site. This evening is free for you to wander into town and perhaps sample Siem Reap’s lively nightlife. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants in the compact city centre which is easily navigated on foot.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
DAY 7: ANGKOR THOM & NGO CIRCUS PROJECT
Early this morning opt to see Angkor Wat bathed in the spectacular golden light of sunrise. Later we head out to Banteay Srei temple, considered by many to be the art gallery of Angkor with some of the finest stone carvings in the world. Cut from stone of a pinkish hue, the Hindu temple is dedicated to Shiva and contains lavishly decorated libraries and stunning reliefs of divinities.
Our temple tour continues with a visit to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This monumental fortified city is encircled by a 100m wide moat and is famed for the huge statue heads that glare down from every angle. In Angkor Thom we will see the fabulous Bayon Temple, Baphuon, the royal enclosure, and the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King. Last but not least is atmospheric Tra Prohm Temple where vast muscular tree roots envelop the crumbling towers and walls whilst the trees’ foliage dapples the temple in shade.
This evening we attend the wonderful Phare Cambodian Circus. The Phare NGO circus project trains street kids to become talented circus artists and the popular show blends circus skills with interpretations of modern life and issues in Cambodian society.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast
DAY 8: TONLE SAP LAKE
This morning we drive to Kampong Phluk, a cluster of three villages of stilt houses built within the floodplain of Tonle Sap Lake. We’ll see houses built on soaring stilts which hover over the Tonle Sap Lake whilst nearby, the petrified trees of a flooded forest are revealed whenever the water level drops. After a boat trip on the lake we return to Siem Reap where the afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure. Perhaps pick up some last minute souvenirs at the central market or head down to lively Pub Street.
Overnight: Siem Reap | Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 9: FREE TIME SIEM REAP
Today marks the end of our memorable journey. Spend the morning at leisure before hotel check out and included departure transfer to the airport.