Classic Vietnam and Pandaw Cruise
Bespoke Holiday Itinerary / Experience Tour

Info : Classic Vietnam and Pandaw Cruise

Discover the cultural highlights of Vietnam on this classic tour that takes you to some truly hidden gems, followed by a week cruising along the palm-fringed waterways of the Mekong River into Cambodia on board the stylish and luxurious Pandaw Cruise ship.

 Highlights include:

  • Soak up the hustle and bustle of Hanoi on your private cyclo ride and try a Hanoi Street Food Tour
  • Sail past dramatic karst peaks and explore hidden caves at Halong Bay
  • Try your hand at whipping up some Vietnamese classics at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An
  • Cruise along the Mekong River in style aboard the stunning Pandaw Cruise Ship
  • Discover the magnificent Temples of Angkor

As with all of our suggested itineraries, we can tailor-make your holiday to suit your budget, style and expectations. Find out about our exclusive ‘Journey Planner’ here.

Pricing & Inclusions

Please call us on 020 3411 3589 for detailed costings or click here for a guide on our pricing policy.

Inclusions

- All accommodation and meals as stated.

- Privately guided transfers and tours.

- International Flights.

- Exclusive experiences along the way. 

Day-to-Day Itinerary : Classic Vietnam and Pandaw Cruise

Day 1 – Depart the UK

Depart the UK.

Day 2 – Hanoi

You will be met by your guide when you arrive at the airport. You will then be transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city, where the rest of the day can be spent at leisure.

Day 3 – Hanoi

Today your guide will take you on a tour of the highlights of Hanoi, including Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature and the Old Quarter. Lunch will be included at one of Hanoi’s superb local restaurants.

In the evening you will experience a unique and traditionally Vietnamese performance art – water puppetry. Marvel at the craftsmanship of the colourful puppets and the deft manoeuvring skills of the artists as they control the puppets behind a “water stage”.

Day 4 – Hanoi

Vietnam can boast some of the most distinctive cuisine in the world and its street food is a real feast for the senses. Take an early morning stroll through Hanoi’s Old Quarter in the company of a local expert guide, to savour the real taste of Vietnam. With a seemingly endless choice of sweet and savoury snacks available, bring a healthy appetite and an open mind, as this may well prove one of the culinary highlights of your journey.

Day 5 – Halong Bay

You will transfer to Halong Bay by road and board your junk boat that will take you out into the beautiful archipelago of 1969 islands, famed for its picturesque ocean karst topography. Cruise past craggy peaks and small, beach-fringed islands and visit glittering stalactite caves. Dinner will be served on board where you can sit back, relax and watch the sunset behind the karst peaks of the bay.

Day 6 – Hue

After visiting a small fishing village in the morning, you will return back to Halong Bay harbour, be met by your guide and transferred back to Hanoi. Then catch an early evening flight to Hue.

Day 7 – Hue

Combine a relaxing Perfume River Cruise with some of Vietnam’s most important historical sites, including the ancient Imperial Citadel and the serene Thien Mu Pagoda. In the afternoon you will also have the chance to visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh’s tombs.

Day 8 – Hoi An

Travel overland to Hoi An via the Hai Van “Cloudy Pass”, a spectacular three-hour coastal drive with stunning views of the azure ocean and dazzling coastline of central Vietnam.

Day 9 – Hoi An

What better way to explore the serene countryside of Hoi An than by bike. This genteel ride through the beautiful landscapes of Hoi An takes you along quiet roads and through small farming communities, as you escape the bustle of city life and head off to enjoy a landscape and a way of life that has changed little in centuries.

Day 10 – Hoi An

Learn how to make some classic Vietnamese dishes at the Red Bridge Cooking School. You will first visit a local market to learn about the vegetables and herbs used in Vietnamese cuisine, as well as bartering for your ingredients! You will then return to the school and be shown how to prepare some famous Vietnamese delicacies before having a turn yourself.

In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An town. Untouched by war and with a complete ban on motorised traffic, historic Hoi An is one of the country’s most beguiling destinations and a joy to explore on foot.

Day 11 – Ho Chi Minh City

Transfer to Danang airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Once you are settled into your centrally-located hotel, the rest of the day will be at leisure.

Day 12 – Ho Chi Minh City

This morning you will have a guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City including visits to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame cathedral, the fascinating History Museum and the former Presidential Palace, where you can explore the underground communication tunnels.

After lunch you will head out of the city to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast underground network of tunnels used by the Vietcong during the American War.

Day 13 – Ho Chi Minh City

In the company of Sophie, an expert guide who has played a leading role in the Ho Chi Minh City arts scene for a number of years and a small group of likeminded travellers, take a fascinating journey through the city’s artistic landscapes, discovering a variety of styles and schools, from the French founded School of Fine Arts, to the remarkable collection of war artists work at the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts Museum. The tour includes a chance to view the stylised traditions of the propaganda art of the war years, before enjoying a knowledgeable introduction to the new wave of Vietnamese art at a contemporary gallery.

Day 14 – Pandaw Cruise

Transfer into the Mekong Delta the port of My Tho, where you will board the Pandaw Cruise boat. The rest of the day will be at leisure settling into your new home for the next seven days.

 Day 15 – Pandaw Cruise

In the morning you will have the chance to visit Cai Be, one of the most colourful and vibrant markets in the Mekong Delta. After lunch on board, you will board small sampan boats to visit Sa Dec and Vinh Long villages. You will cruise along canals and backwaters to see local markets and visit the ancient house of Mr Huyn Thuy Le, the lover of famous French novelist Marguerite Duras.

Day 16 – Pandaw Cruise

Continue to sail upstream today to reach the Vietnamese town of Chau Doc on the border with Cambodia. You will visit a Cham tribal village and a catfish farm and take a tri-shaw ride around Chau Doc town. Return to the ship for lunch and then pass through the Cambodian border along the river, heading towards the capital city of Phnom Penh.

 Day 17 – Pandaw Cruise

Enjoy a tour of Phnom Penh town from your own private rickshaw provided by a local charity called The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh. The charity provides basic welfare and medical services to cyclo drivers. In the afternoon, you will have the option to visit the Killing Fields and the harrowing Tuol Sleng, or S21 detention centre, used by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror.

Day 18 – Pandaw Cruise

Cruise up the Tonle River to Kampong Chhnang, a rural central province in Cambodia. As the water levels change throughout the year, you will either visit by boat or by coach depending on the time of year. In the afternoon the boat will navigate the vast and ecologically diverse wetlands around the mouth of the river. In particular, you will be able to see hundreds of local fish traps along this section of the river.

Day 19 – Pandaw Cruise

Enjoy a leisurely morning walk through the little-known Chong Koh silk-weaving village. Lunch will be on board the ship, followed by a visit to Peam Chi Kang village to visit the wat (monastery) and a local school. Inside the wat you will see the village's racing boats stored.

Day 20 – Pandaw Cruise

This morning you will visit the lovely hilltop temple of Wat Hanchey that offers stunning views of the Mekong River. In the afternoon travel to the twin holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey, meaning “man” and “woman” hill. Your last stop today will be the ecotourism village of Choeungkok, supported by the French-Cambodian NGO Amica.

Day 21 – Siem Reap

Today you will sail into Siem Reap, stopping en route at Kampong Thom for refreshments and a chance to stretch your legs. You will arrive in Siem Reap by the afternoon, where your guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel, where the rest of the day can be spent at leisure.

Day 22 – Siem Reap

Today you will start your exploration of the Temples of Angkor. Leave the hotel early to arrive at Angkor Wat for sunrise. After breakfast, you will visit the ancient royal city of Angkor Thom, including the impressive Bayon temple mountain. Other highlights today include the pyramid of Baphuon, Phimean Akas, and the royal viewing stands known as the Terrace of Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Finally, you can enjoy the sunset over Phnom Bakheng Temple.

Day 23 – Siem Reap

You will continue to discover the magnificent Temples of Angkor today by visiting some of the lesser know sites. Your first stop will be the giant pyramid of Takeo, then the Sras Srang and the Prasat Kravan temples. In the afternoon you will visit one of the main highlights of the Angkor region which is Preah Khan or Sacred Sword, with huge corridors extending in every direction. Sunset today will be enjoyed at the 10th century temple Pre Rup, surrounded by beautiful Cambodian rice fields.

Day 24 – Fly Home

Transfer to Siem Reap airport for your flight home.

 


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