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Custom Vietnam and Cambodia Cuisine


Day 1:
On arrival at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi you will be welcomed by your local guide and driven to your hotel near Hoan Kiem Lake. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in a restored French colonial building.
Day 2:
Enjoy a morning street food tour with a local gastronomy expert. Joining Hanoi residents eating on the street, you’ll be taken to numerous street food stalls to see food preparation in action, enjoy the aromas and savour the flavours of such Hanoi specialties as Pho - beef noodle soup; Nom - green papaya salad with seasoned beef; Bun Cha - rice noodle served with fried Nem filled with pork or mashed sea crab flesh; and many more fantastically fresh options from which you can pick your favourites. In the afternoon, take a guided architecture tour through the Old Quarter to view the fascinating amalgam of Chinese, French and local influences. View Long Bien Bridge, built over a century ago to span the Red River.
Day 3:
This morning head for Ha Long Bay, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Area where you’ll board a wooden junk and cruise amidst majestic limestone karst islands, disembarking to explore the stunning Tien Ong Cave. Enjoy an engaging cooking demonstration before dinner on board your cruise vessel, as your captain brings you to a quiet location for your overnight stay on board.
Day 4:
Join a Tai Chi session on your cruise vessel’s sundeck amidst the invigorating morning air of Halong Bay, and later take a rowboat or kayak to visit a fishing village. Cruise back through the bay to the dock, where you’ll be met and transferred to Hanoi. Arriving at your hotel in mid-afternoon, you will have some free time before dinner which you can take on your own; if you prefer we can book a table for you at a highly recommended local restaurant. In the evening you’ll be treated to a performance of traditional Water Puppetry, an endearing and light-hearted introduction to Northern Vietnam’s rural roots.
Day 5:
This morning fly to Danang, where you’ll be picked up and driven to your hotel in Hoi An. In the afternoon, take a guided tour of Hoi An Ancient Town and also visit some well-known tailor shops for “ao dai” dress making. Some of the best tailors in the country are located here, and many visitors have clothes made with Vietnamese flair: the speed of the work is astonishing!
Day 6:
Today enjoy a ‘Farmer to Fisherman Tour’, cycling Hoi An’s countryside, passing rice fields, water buffalos, bamboo bridges and local farmers amidst their daily work. Board a boat on the Thu Bon estuary where the river meets the sea, cruise along the coastline observing the local fishermen and try your hand at catching fish from a traditional ‘Thung Chai’ basket boat amidst the water palm coconuts. After visiting a local fishing village, relax and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before cycling back to your Hoi An hotel.
Day 7:
This morning fly to Ho Chi Minh City where you will be welcomed by your local guide and driven to your hotel. After some free time to refresh yourself, spend the evening on a guided Vespa tour. Relax for a bit at Cafe Zoom with a cocktail and appetizer, head off to another location for some local food, and wind down the evening at a coffee shop with live music, enjoying each journey on a classic Vespa - surely one of the most authentic ways to zip along the streets of Saigon.
Day 8:
Today head out early and leave the city behind as you venture into the Mekong Delta. Step aboard a short cruise through the bustling and colourful Cai Be floating market, and visit some handicraft villages specialised in local products like rice-net for spring rolls. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in a traditional house amidst an orchard on An Binh Island, and in the afternoon enjoy a casual bicycle ride along rural pathways winding through orchards, rice fields and vegetable farms. Return to Ho Chi Minh City for the night.
Day 9:
Visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels, a bewildering maze of underground passages, chambers, rooms and booby traps used by both the Vietminh and the Viet Cong to suddenly materialise as if from nowhere, launch a lightning ambush, and vanish equally rapidly. After lunch, return to Ho Chi Minh City in good time for your flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where you’ll be met and driven to your hotel for the night.
Day 10:
This morning your guide will bring you to visit two sites maintained as memorials to those lost under the rule of the Khmer Rouge: Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide (S-21 Prison) and the ‘Killing Fields’ at Choeung Ek. While genocide under the 1970’s Khmer Rouge was widespread and not focused on specific locations, these infamous sites can help you understand what took place during that era. Do note that visiting these sites can be harrowing and may distress anyone of a sensitive disposition. After lunch, visit the National Museum and the Silver Pagoda, and relax aboard a sunset cruise on the Chaktomuk River.
Day 11:
This morning fly to Siem Reap, where you will visit the ancient Khmer capital, Angkor Thom. The enigmatic giant carved faces of the Bayon and the stately Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King are highlights. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Angkor Wat itself, a massive temple-mount and masterpiece of Khmer architecture. After a chance to refresh yourself and let the afternoon heat wane, head out for an ATV (quad bike) Sunset Tour along the quiet back roads of rural villages outside of Siem Reap.
Day 12:
Wake early today to catch the incredible sunrise over Angkor Wat, followed by a traditional local breakfast. Later, visit Ta Prohm the jungle temple, Banteay Srey Temple which features beautiful and intricate carvings, and the admirably restored Banteay Samre. On your return trip, stop by a palm sugar village to learn about how locals produce tasty palm sugar. After a chance to refresh yourself at your hotel, you will be transferred to Siem Reap Airport for your departing flight.