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Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia and Mekong River Cruise

18 Day
Between Hanoi and Siem Reap
Mekong
From * £4,795
£4,295
Departing 16 September 2018
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0808 159 4193
Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia and Mekong River Cruise  - 18 day
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The colourful landscapes of Cambodia and Vietnam are yours to discover over this 18-day itinerary, sweeping you from Hanoi to Siem Reap via Halong Bay, Angkor Wat and Ho Chi Minh City.

Exotic wonders abound across Southeast Asia, and this handcrafted itinerary showcases the very best — from the beautiful vistas of Halong Bay to the rich history and enchantment of Angkor Wat. Travelling from Hanoi in northern Vietnam, you’ll set forth on an unforgettable journey of discovery and intrigue, cruising the great Mekong River from Ho Chi Minh City to the backwaters of Cambodia, where people live simply, staying true to time-honoured customs and traditions thousands of years in the making. Enjoy an arresting junk cruise at the mesmeric Halong Bay; sail through the floating markets of Cai Be; discover the charming town of Angkor Ban; and revel in the captivating heritage and architecture of the Angkor Temples — one of Southeast Asia’s most enriching heritage sites.

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View your 18 day itinerary
Day 1
UK > Hanoi
Fly from London Heathrow or Manchester with Singapore Airlines.
Day 2
Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam

Xin Chao and welcome to Hanoi. You will be met by an Emerald Waterways representative and be transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your Tour Director for a tour briefing and welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Two Night Stay: Hanoi

Meals included: Dinner
Day 3
Hanoi

This morning visit historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (view from outside), see Ho Chi Minh’s former home, then the iconic One Pillar Pagoda. Continue to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, then take a walking tour through Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter. EmeraldPLUS: Stop for lunch at KOTO restaurant, a unique restaurant that trains disadvantaged street children. EmeraldPLUS: Attend a traditional Water Puppet performance and after the show go backstage to meet the puppeteers.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4
Hanoi – Halong Bay

Opportunity to view this spectacular landscape from the air with a 45 minute seaplane flight from Hanoi over Halong Bay (additional cost must be pre booked).

Travel to Halong Bay and board your luxurious traditional style junk for a two night cruise. Halong Bay is known for its stunning scenery where thousands of limestone pillars rise dramatically out of the emerald water. Cruise through the bays and islets of this magnificent region. Visit a fishing village to discover more about the main livelihood of the locals in the area.
Two Night Stay: Bhaya Classic Junk or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5
Halong Bay cruise

After breakfast visit an islet to explore one of the many caves with their impressive stalagmite and stalactite formations. After lunch visit Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Halong Bay which mainly consists of National Park. Tour the town and explore the verdant isle with a Local Guide.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6
Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. More commonly known as Saigon, it is a city with a turbulent and colourful past, although today it is the country’s commercial centre with over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes. Tonight enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Two Night Stay: Ho Chi Minh City

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7
Cu Chi Tunnels

EmeraldPLUS: Travel from the city, through the countryside to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. An ingenious network of over 200km of underground tunnels, they were built by the Viet Cong guerrillas as a means of protection, communication and deception against both the French and American forces. At its peak, the network included sleeping quarters, kitchens, meeting rooms and hospitals serving more than 18,000 fighters. Join a Vietnamese Veteran and learn of the wars, strategies, atrocities and the resourcefulness of the Vietnamese which eventually led to the defeat of their enemies. See traps, bombs, weapons, tanks and if you dare, you can even go underground and experience what it was like to be a guerrilla. Hear fascinating stories from first-hand experience to allow a real insight into one of the most famous wars of our time. Return to Saigon and spend the afternoon exploring the city.

Discover More: Evening street food walking tour introducing you to some hidden culinary delights of Ho Chi Minh City, or Discover Saigon old and new with a tour of modern, traditional and historical sights (additional cost)

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 8
Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – 7 night Mekong River Cruise

Be guided on a city tour seeing Reunification Palace, the Old Saigon Post Office, bustling Dong Khoi Street, Opera House, City Hall and the War Remnants Museum. Transfer to My Tho in the Mekong Delta. From here we will begin our journey upstream aboard the luxurious RV Mekong Navigator. Meet your Cruise Director and crew followed by a welcome reception. This evening enjoy a Vietnamese “Mekong Delta” Theme Dinner.
Seven Night Stay: RV Mekong Navigator

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9
Cai Be – Sa Dec

Board sampans and sail through Cai Be’s floating market, a fascinating and iconic scene of the Mekong Delta. Pass the city’s French gothic cathedral, tour Anh Kiet House, then visit a traditional rice factory. Observe daily routines of the villagers before stopping at a local brick factory. Upon arrival to Sa Dec, visit the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel, L’Amant (The Lover), and take a walk through the town’s market.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10
Tan Chau – Vietnam/Cambodia border crossing

Sail to a Cao Dai temple, then ride a Vietnamese tuk-tuk to a mat weaving workshop. Cruise to a floating fish farm, and visit Evergreen Island for a walk through a local village. Reboard the ship and cruise to the border and Phnom Penh. Sous Sdei and welcome to Cambodia! Please note we are unable to dock until the customs office is open tomorrow.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11
Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, but it was almost entirely evacuated by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. EmeraldPLUS: Meet our cyclo drivers for a city tour of Phnom Penh. Journey to the Royal Palace complex and the National Museum housing Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts. EmeraldPLUS: Enjoy a performance by the Cambodian Children’s Group which includes Cambodia’s national dance as well as local traditional folk dances.

Discover More: Backstreets, temples and communities tour, or street food tour (additional cost)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12
Phnom Penh

Visit the Killing Fields, which is a disconcerting reminder of the recent atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge regime. Continue to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school that was converted to the main prison and torture headquarters of the Khmer Rouge.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13
Angkor Ban

Visit the charming town of Angkor Ban. Here, you will get a glimpse into the lives of the local people, starting with a visit to a family’s home where you will have the opportunity to meet the family and discuss their lifestyle. Continue through the village to the local school and join the children in their classroom to experience a typical school day.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14
Wat Hanchey – Kampong Cham

Visit Wat Hanchey which offers views of the Mekong River. EmeraldPLUS: Receive a traditional Buddhist Water Blessing from the monastery’s resident monks. See Phnom Pros (man hill) and Phnom Srei (woman hill), the reclining Buddha, and the preaching Buddha. Our final visit is to the Angkorian-period complex of Wat Nokor Bachey. Return to the ship and gather for a farewell reception and Royal Cambodian Theme Dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15
Kampong Cham – Siem Reap

Disembark and bid farewell to the RV Mekong Navigator and her crew. Transfer to Siem Reap, the gateway to the magnificent Temples of Angkor. EmeraldPLUS: This evening witness the incredible Phare Cambodian Circus, a spectacle of acrobatics, theatre and music. Phare is an NGO founded by Cambodian refugees to assist disadvantaged young people by teaching them performing arts.
Two Night Stay: Siem Reap

Discover More: Uncover either Bantey Srei or Beng Mealea temples, take a Cambodian cooking class, or Explore the Roluos temple group (additional cost)

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 16
Angkor Temples

Start at the famous Angkor Wat, known for its elaborate decorations and intricate carvings throughout. Continue to the unique Ta Prohm temple which is overgrown by jungle trees. Visit the impressive Bayon Temple, and finish at the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King known for their intricate bas-reliefs. This evening enjoy a farewell banquet.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 17
Depart Siem Reap

It's time to say your goodbyes and transfer to Siem Reap airport for your homeward flight.

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 18
Arrive UK
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