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Offer valid: 24/02/2011 - 24/02/2012
Duration: 17 days
Departure airport: Any UK airport
Board basis: Full Board
Wendy Wu - Angkor to the Bay - 18 days
Legendary Temples, a Junk Cruise and Spectacular Cities
Highlights: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Saigon, Mekong Delta, Tay Ninh, Cu Chi, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay
Discover the delights of Cambodia and Vietnam from an in-depth exploration of the temples of Angkor to an overnight junk cruise on Halong Bay. With this itinerary, ancient history and spectacular scenery combine to create one of our most popular tours.
Wendy Wu - Indochina Angkor to the Bay includes:
• All international airfares
• All domestic transportation
• Departure taxes (except Cambodia)
• Current fuel surcharges
• All accommodation
• All meals
• Entrance fees, guides and daily tours
• Visa fees for UK passport holders
Days 1-2: UK – Siem Reap
Fly overnight from the UK (via Hong Kong) to Siem Reap. You will be met at Siem Reap Airport in the arrivals hall by your Local Guide and/or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. You will transfer (30 min drive) to your hotel and check-in. A tour introduction will be held in the hotel later that day or the following morning. This is an opportunity for your group to meet and learn more about travelling in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Day 3: Siem Reap
Drive to the fortified city of Angkor Thom. You will begin at the Southern Gate and continue to The Bayon, which is beautifully carved with numerous striking faces followed by a visit to the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the magnificent Angkor Wat - one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia.
Day 4: Siem Reap
Visit Banteay Srei, a Hindu temple which is dedicated to Shiva. You will also visit Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei, Kravan, Ta Keo and the fabulous Ta Prohm Temple, undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor, which has been swallowed by the jungle. The temple is cloaked in dappled light, its crumbling towers and walls locked in the embrace of a vast root system of enormous fig trees and giant creepers.
In the evening, we climb to the summit of Pre Rup Temple at sunset for a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.
Day 5: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh
Fly to Phnom Penh (flight duration 55 mins). Sightseeing today includes visits to the Silver Pagoda, the striking Emerald Buddha and the National Museum. We also visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes; both of which are very moving experiences, so you will be given time to explore on your own.
Day 6: Phnom Penh – Saigon
Fly to Saigon, Vietnam’s largest and busiest city.
Day 7: Saigon
Sightseeing today includes a visit to the former Presidential Palace, the War Remnants Museum, the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral and the French-style Post Office. We also visit Cholon (Chinatown), Thien Hau Pagoda and Ben Thanh Market for some shopping.
Day 8: Mekong Delta day tour
Travel to My Tho and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the magnificent Mekong River to explore the delta, also known as the ‘Rice Basket’ of Vietnam. Visit floating markets, villages, home industries and plantations as well as Thoi Son Island and Vinh Trang Pagoda. The Mekong Delta is primarily rural; however, it is the most densely populated area in Vietnam.
Life revolves around the river as people live, trade and travel along the river. The area’s rich and fertile lands are perfect for growing rice, coconuts, vegetables and tropical fruits. The Mekong Delta gives a perfect glimpse into how life once was. Later, return to Saigon.
Day 9: Cu Chi Tunnels & Tay Ninh day tour
Visit the famous tunnel system at Cu Chi and then attend the noon service at the Cao Dai Temple, one of the most striking structures in Asia, built in a unique architectural style that reflects its blended traditions.
Day 10: Saigon – Hoi An
Fly to Danang and transfer to the UNESCO listed town of Hoi An stopping at the Cham Museum (an intensive and diverse collection of Champa sculpture dating from the 7th to the 15th centuries), Marble Mountains (a cluster of five hills located 9km south of Da Nang) and China Beach an endless expanse of unspoiled white sand beach, is one of the best beaches in Vietnam.
Day 11: Hoi An
Enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An and visit one of the oldest homes, which is still occupied by the descendants of the merchants that built it over 200 years ago. Also visit the Japanese Bridge, Hoi An Market and a local Chinese Pagoda. The afternoon is at leisure to visit the renowned tailors, stroll through the local markets or relax in a riverside café.
Day 12: Hoi An – Hue
Drive over the Hai Van Pass, which provides a spectacular panoramic view of the central coastline. Continue to Hue, the former historic capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty and enjoy a cyclo tour to the Imperial Citadel - the centrepiece of the royal empire which was extensively damaged during the Vietnam War.
We also take a boat trip on the Perfume River and visit Thien Mu Pagoda, “Heavenly Lady Pagoda”, one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. In the evening, take part in a cooking class focusing on select local dishes designed for the Royal Courts.
Day 13: Hue – Hanoi
Visit the Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Royal Tombs, which took 11 years to complete. Later, fly to Hanoi, a charming and richly historic city of lakes, parks and shaded boulevards, also known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’. In the evening, enjoy a performance of the famous Water Puppets.
Days 14-15: Halong Bay Junk Cruise
Drive to Halong Bay, the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Vietnam. Relax and enjoy seafood meals onboard. Stay overnight on the traditionally designed junk boat and continue cruising between the nearby islands the following day. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most iconic attractions and features more than 3,000 limestone karsts rising from the Gulf of Tonkin dotted with caves, grottoes, reefs, forests and lakes. Return to Hanoi in the afternoon, driving through the striking rural countryside of the Red River Delta.
Day 16: Hanoi
Sightseeing today includes visits to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed Sep-Dec), Stilt House, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. We also enjoy a walking tour of the Old Quarter and a drive around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Days 17-18: Hanoi – UK
Fly overnight to the UK, arriving home the following day filled with many happy memories.