Discover the wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia on this luxury 15-day tour, which will take you from Hanoi and the spectacular Lan Ha Bay to the Southern Cardamom National Park, Siem Reap and the iconic temples of Angkor. The tour is inclusive of a sea cruise on a deluxe Indochine junk, and a fabulous French Colonial riverboat cruise through the Mekong Delta and across the Cambodian border to Phnom Penh. Experience a helicopter ride over Angkor Wat, and stay at a sumptuous eco-resort in the rainforest and jungle, while taking in enchanting Hoi An, imperial Hue and bustling Saigon along the way.
Tour Vietnam’s charming capital of Hanoi and visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, where beneath the ancient gates lies a secret underground bunker used by North Vietnamese generals during the American War. Continue to the Temple of Literature, and glimpse local life in the backstreets of the French Quarter. Later, watch the Quintessence of Tonkin, a live stage show that will introduce you to Vietnamese customs and culture.
Your Lan Ha Bay Cruise
Cruise the quiet Lan Ha Bay area of the Halong Bay archipelago aboard a gorgeous Indochine-Vietnamese junk boat. Relax, or participate in activities on board, visit Cat Ba Island and meet the villagers. Relish a refreshing swim or try paddle-boarding off a secluded beach on Frog Lake.
Hội An and Hue
Enjoy some relaxed exploration of the enchanting riverside town of Hoi An, with its narrow cobbled streets, merchant houses, market stalls, colorful lanterns and iconic Japanese Bridge. Later, appreciate the scenery of the Hai Van pass on the drive to the ancient imperial city of Hue, which is famous for its citadel, pagodas, and royal tombs. Visit the impressive seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda and the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh. Return to Hoi An for a relaxing day beachside or shopping.
Saigon and the Cu Chi Tunnels
Arrive in Saigon and explore at your leisure. Visit an art exhibition, where you will meet and dine with the curator and artist. Embark on an excursion through Saigon, check out all the major sights including Notre Dame Cathedral, the General Post Office, the War Remnants Museum, and the Reunification Palace. Be mesmerized by a show at the famous Saigon Opera House. The next day, discover the maze-like Cu Chi Tunnels in the company of a Viet Cong veteran who once lived there. Step back in time as you peek into the old storage areas, poke your head through camouflaged trapdoors, and crawl through military supply tunnels.
Your Mekong Cruise to Phnom Penh
Board a luxurious French Colonial riverboat and discover the charms of the Mekong River with its remote villages, historic cities, and ancient temples. See the sights at the old town of Sa Dec, visit the Chau Doc floating market and the Long Son Pagoda. Meet Buddhist monks and local villagers, go on a bike ride or ride in a rickshaw. Cross the border into Cambodia, where you will observe Khymer artisans dyeing and weaving textiles, visit a traditional village and enjoy a tuk-tuk tour of Phnom Penh.
Head into the wild
Spend three nights in the heart of Cambodia’s untouched wilderness − a landscape of dense rainforest, fast-flowing rivers, and cascading waterfalls − in a pioneering, ultra-luxe retreat of world-class design, hospitality, and conservation. Your stay here makes a real difference in protecting unique and endangered species.
The temples of Angkor
Your guided tour of Vietnam and Cambodia continues with an unforgettable helicopter ride to see the grandeur of Angkor Wat from above. The next day, explore the temples at your own pace. Stroll through the intricately carved hallways. See the ancient city area of Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm, a temple complex slowly being reclaimed by the jungle.
Itinerary & Prices
Welcome to the ‘Paris of the East’
Welcome to Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, with its yellow ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards, and scenic lakes.
As soon as you deplane you will be met by the designated Immigration Officer and a guide to assist you with immigration procedures.
From the airport, you will be driven to your hotel in the city center. Enjoy the ride through the busy streets.
After check-in, take the rest of the day to rest and prepare for your exciting adventure in Vietnam.
Highlights of Hanoi and an Evening Show
Your private guide will pick you up from the hotel right after breakfast.
Start your city tour at the Thang Long Citadel. Built by the Ly Viet Dynasty in the 11th century to mark the independence of the Dai Viet. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, the Citadel was a political center of the country for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries.
Visit the secret underground war bunker which played an important role in the American War, especially during the 12 days and nights of the Ha Noi – Dien Bien Phu air battle of 1972.
Continue to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century.
Drive back to central Hanoi for a walking tour through the famed Old Quarter known for its ‘36 streets of 36 wares’ named after the original 36 artisan guilds that date as far back as the 13th century.
In the evening, you will be picked up for a ride to the Sai Son Village, for an impressive Show, performed by nearly 200 farmers from the village.
Set in the open-air large amphitheater, the show draws inspiration from the spiritual history of the nearby Thay Pagoda by telling the story of the pagoda’s founding by venerable monk Tu Dao Hanh and explains the ancient union between religion and the monarchy.
The show blends different aspects of the cultural Quintessence of Tonkin: Poetry, Buddhism, Nostalgia, Music & Painting, Joy & Festivities. The 1000 years old art of water puppetry will bring you vivid images of daily rural life in Vietnam.
Right before the show, you will have a chance to try some local dishes from the outdoor food village right at the venue.
Meals: (B, D)
Transfer to Spectacular Lan Ha Bay
Early in the morning transfer with your driver to the Ginger pick-up point.
2 hours drive takes you to the embarkation point at Tuan Chau Marina, Halong City. The first highlight of the cruise is the signature lunch, which we serve in Ginger’s nearly 360-degree light-flooded restaurant. Our live cooking in the open kitchen is a one-of-a-kind experience – enjoy the culinary display along with fantastic panoramic views of the passing scenery.
After lunch, the ship reaches the shore of a small lagoon on Cat Ba Island. Hop on a bicycle or take the e-cart for leisure pedaling along small paved roads towards the isolated Viet Hai village.
Back on board join an interactive cooking class in the restaurant’s big open kitchen.
As the sun sets, we arrive at our tranquil anchor spot for the night. Kick bank and let reveal in your mind’s eye today’s adventures as night falls gently over the bay.
After dinner, you may like to unwind at our bar with a digestif or watch a movie in the cinema which is set up in the dining area later on.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Early Morning in the Bay and Transfer to Central Vietnam
Wake up early and join our Tai Chi session on the terrace deck to ease your mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water.
Coffee, tea, and breakfast pastries await in the dining room to start the day. It is time for Ginger to lift her anchors and cruise to a secluded place called “Frog Lake”. Go for a refreshing swim in the bay or explore the captivating marine landscape by kayak.
Back on board, we serve a hearty breakfast while cruising back to our off-shore embarkation spot.
After the drive back to Hanoi, you will transfer to the airport, for your late afternoon flight to Da Nang and onwards journey to a nearby town of Hoi An.
Discover the Charming Old Town
Meet your guide at your hotel for a private walking tour in the Old Town.
Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An known then as ‘Faifo’, was a prosperous trading port, attracting Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships amongst others.
Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognized for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets, and distinctive local cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past.
Hoi An’s narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour of its many atmospheric sights including the old merchant houses, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation, and the colorful market with stalls brimming with local specialties like silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two.
Make sure that you find your way to the beach after the tour!
Royal Hue City
Depart Hoi An for a 3.5hr drive to Hue over scenic Hai Van Pass crossing over a spur of the Truong Son mountain range jutting into the sea.
Once the imperial capital of the Nguyen emperors from the 17th to the 19th centuries, Hue is home to splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas, and the remains of the Citadel which contribute to its undeniable royal charm.
Explore the Imperial Citadel at the center of the Complex of Hue Monuments inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. In the afternoon, drive to the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument.
Conclude your day of exploration at the Royal Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh with a remarkable blackened concrete exterior and colorful mosaic interior.
Drive back to Hoi An via the Hai Van Tunnel (6,280m/3.9mi long) in the late afternoon.
Day at Leisure
Hoi An has a long beautiful beach, incredibly charming old town, and calm surroundings. Take this day to relax in the sun, indulge in the spa, relax at the charming cafe, and buy all the gifts you need.
Transfer to Saigon and Dinner with the Artist
Meet your driver after breakfast for a ride back to Da Nang and your flight to bustling Saigon. Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver for a transfer to the hotel in the city center. Settle in and let yourself explore the neighborhood a bit before we see you again in the evening.
PM: In the evening we’ll bring you to Salon Saigon, an important art center in Saigon. Meet the Salon’s curator and the artist who is exhibiting their work at the gallery. Follow their steps and take in the art collection on the 1st floor of this charming colonial building before sitting down for a special cocktail (which was served to French artists in the 18th & 19th centuries) and to enjoy traditional dance performance on the ground floor.
Afterward, enjoy dinner with the Salon Saigon art curator and the local artist in the peaceful and creative setting before transferring back to your hotel.
Meals: (B, D)
With over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes, Saigon is truly a city that never sleeps.
Despite its modernity, Saigon maintains a strong link to the past and our city tour takes in some of Saigon’s most historic landmarks including 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 away is the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American War. Continue to the War Remnants Museum for a vivid perspective of the American War through the eyes of the Vietnamese. (Please note that some of the displays are very graphic.)
Experience Saigon’s famed street coffee culture while your guide provides a brief language lesson as well as insights into the daily life of a Saigonese before returning to your hotel.
In the evening, meet your driver for a very short ride to the Opera House for a marvelous show. A spectacular combination of dance, acrobatics, live music, and theatre, created to bring the metaphors of Vietnamese traditions and tales into life.
Cu Chi Tunnels with War Veteran
The ingenious Cu Chi tunnel complex is an immense network of connecting underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong as hiding spots during combat.
Originally dug in 1948 as a refuge from French air and ground sweeps, the tunnels also served as living quarters, communication, and supply routes, housed hospitals, food, and weapons caches throughout the American War.
Visit the underground villages with a VC veteran who once lived there, for a better understanding of the tunnels’ history, the hardship of life in the tunnels, and the Vietnamese resilience during combat.
With the help of your translator-guide, listen as the veteran recalls how he survived the living conditions of the subterranean hamlets where lack of air, food, and water made conditions almost unbearable.
Return to Saigon in the afternoon.
Embark the Luxury Boat
Your driver will bring you to the My Tho port right in time for the embarkation.
Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace, or daybed.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Culture of the Mekong Delta
Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le.
In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local’s home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers followed by a unique unicorn dance. A 17-kilometer Biking option is also available.
Markets and Pagodas
Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market then head off by van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain. Ask the monks about their age-old Buddhist practices. Return via the bustling morning market. Optional 18 kilometers bike ride on Long Khanh Island or take a rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with chef.
After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while we cross the border.
Buddhist temples and Khmer life
On this river of time we admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore.
After lunch, we board our marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
Meals: (B, L, D)
See Phnom Penh and Transfer to the Jungle
We show off the Cambodian capital to our passengers by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art.
For those who wish, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market.
After you disembark, you will meet your driver for a 2.5 hours drive to your wilderness experience.
Day in Nature
Join the picnic at the waterfalls, go for a hike, watch the birds or join the anti-poaching patrol. The day in this incredible place can be as active or as peaceful as you wish. Take it all in, and partake in as many activities as you feel like.
At night listen to the sound of the river and the cicadas, and don’t forget to look up – in places like this the stars are like nowhere else!
Another day in Nature
Walk through the forest foraging with the chef and continue to the cooking class. Set up forest cameras with the naturalist. Immerse yourself in pleasure during the Spa treatment with chemical-free tonics made from a unique mix of medicinal plants, herbs and spices from the rainforest.
Transfer to Siem Reap
Meet your driver after breakfast and transfer to the Phnom Penh airport for your flight to the center of Angkor Archeological Park.
In Siem Reap your local driver will take you to the beautiful resort where you can have a relaxing evening at your disposal.
Helicopter over Angkor and Haute Couture
Meet your guide after breakfast. Take a private car to the airport from where you take a helicopter and climb up to heights from where the entire Angkor Complex can be observed.
Located 65 kilometers from Siem Reap, Beng Mealea is a sprawling jungle temple constructed by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It preceded and may have served as a prototype of sorts for Angkor Wat.
Today the temple is largely overrun by vegetation and the stone walls are crumbling which uniquely adds to its charm. Accessibility has improved as elevated walkways have been set up throughout most of the temple, although it requires a sense of adventure to see all corners as you will need to climb over stone blocks or walk through narrow passageways.
Angkor Temples at Your Own Pace
It’s a full day around the Angkor Archeological Park today.
After breakfast, transfer by private car to Ta Prohm – one of Angkor’s jewels. Overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere, is the most photographable.
From here drive a short distance to Ta Keo, which would have been one of the finest temples in Angkor had it been completed.
Continue to Angkor Thom – an entire walled city, the royal Capital in the 12th century. With a population of 1 million, it was far bigger than any city in Europe at the time. The amazing centerpiece is Bayon temple crowned with 216 giant, smiling faces of King Jayavarman VII.
Take a lunch break before the exploration of Angkor Wat, claimed to be the largest religious building in the world. The temple, which took 30 years to construct & used the labor of 300,000 workers was built as the earthly representation of the universe with its’ central tower symbolizing Mt Meru – the center of the Universe.
Return to your hotel late afternoon.
Meet your driver for the transfer to the airport for your journey home.