PDI

Heritage Cambodia & Vietnam

This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with us.

We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.


your-trip

What's Included

  • The services of expert English-speaking local tour leaders throughout the tour and local guides at some sites.
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Banteay Srei
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Preah Khan, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Tuol Sleng Prison Museum, Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Cu Chi Tunnels, Marble Mountain, China Beach and Hanoi (One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh’s House and Temple of Literature).
  • Local flights: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City to Danang and Danang to Hanoi.
  • Lunch at Sala Bai Hotel School prepared by underprivileged local youths who are training to work in the hospitality industry.
  • Hoi An walking tour.
  • Overnight cruise on a traditional boat on Halong Bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available) and resting in twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning.
  • Lunch at KOTO café in Hanoi – a project providing vocational hospitality training and experience to underprivileged young people.
  • Arrival transfer.
  • Accommodation: 11 nights comfortable hotel, 1 night boat
  • Meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners.

not-included

  • International long-haul flights
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Other meals
  • Any optional tours and activities during free time
  • Tips
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Departure transfer
  • Daily budget

optional-extras

  • Hanoi - Citadel, Karst and Cycle tour
    US$72
  • Hanoi - Cooking class
    Various prices, starting from US$30
  • Hanoi - Ethnology Museum
    US$2
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum 
    US$2
  • Hanoi - Street food by night tour
    US$25
  • Hanoi - Village discovery tour
    US$49
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cyclo and market tour
    US$22
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnamese cooking class
    Various prices, starting from US$30
  • Hoi An - Boat & Bike ride tour
    US$40
  • Hoi An - Lifestart Foundation Craft Tour
    US$25
  • Hoi An - Thanh Ha Ceramic & Pottery Village
    Free (located 5 km from town - allow for transport cost)
  • Hoi An - Walking tour & cooking class
    US$49
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo Tour
    US$3 per person (per hour)
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum
    US$5
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom
    US$2
  • Siem Reap - Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre 
    US$3
  • Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon (Zipline Eco Adventure)
    USD129
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum 
    US$3
  • Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Boat Trip
    US$10 (plus transport) - can vary depending on group size
  • Siem Reap – Khmer Cooking class 
    US$25
  • Siem Reap – Khmer Massage 
    US$5 per hour

preparing-to-travel

Visas and Permits

Cambodia

Visas can be organised on arrival, or in advance. If you wish to obtain you visa prior to departure please contact the embassy or consulate and allow approx 3 weeks for the visa to be processed.

If you are obtaining your visa on arrival at the airport or at a border crossing you can do so for approx USD$25.00 (cost subject to change)- you will need a passport photo if you wish to do this.

Most countries can obtain their visa on arrival including, Australia, Belguim, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA. If your country is not listed above please contact your embassy.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Vietnam

You will need to obtain your Vietnam visa in advance. When obtaining your visa for Vietnam you should allow 3 weeks for processing, the cost is approx USD$60 to USD$100.00 (subject to change). Some nationalities are exempt from requiring a visa if their stay is less than 15 days, but if you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance.

Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure.

If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: PEAK Vietnam 57A Nguyen Khac Hieu St, Hanoi, Vietnam Ph +84 4 3715 0996.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

 

government-travel-advice

Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

U.S. Department of State

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Passport

Please ensure that you have a current passport well before travelling. It also needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.

travel-insurance

Every Peregrine traveller is required to have comprehensive travel insurance. This covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. You can arrange your own insurance or we can recommend a policy for you. Remember to bring a copy of your insurance policy with you so your tour leader can record the details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive at your destination without travel insurance, you'll need to organise this before you can continue on your Peregrine journey.

Medical---prep

Apart from having travel insurance and being in generally good health, some pre-holiday health preparation is advised. We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations and in some places anti-malarial medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental checkup is also highly recommended before departure.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required or recommended for this trip so you should consult with your travel doctor to obtain the latest up-to-date information. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return.

For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at
www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.

Malaria: There is no vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in many less-developed tropical areas in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations. Where malaria is considered prevalent in mountainous regions we prefer that trekkers to altitude try to avoid the use of mefloquine (Lariam) if possible.

copies-of-key-docs

We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy, traveller's cheques and credit card. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you.

what-to-take

General Packing List

Remember - the lighter you travel the better! You may be buying things as you go, so you should not bring too much from home. Many people find a backpack the most suitable type of luggage for our holidays. Medium-sized suitcases can also be used; however, you should avoid the large, bulky cases that are difficult to carry. The lockable suitcases on wheels are the best types to use. Be aware that some hotels in Asia are not over-endowed with lifts (elevators) and there may be occasions when you need to carry your luggage up stairs or along railway platforms, etc.

When packing, consider cultural differences which may mean that some attire that we wear at home is not appropriate in Asia and may be offensive to the local people. Beachwear in towns is not appropriate, nor is 'short' shorts, particularly for women. Light cotton pants are a better option. When visiting sites of religious significance, modest clothing should be worn. Sandals, thongs, flip-flops or jandals are appropriate footwear in the tropics.

When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. The majority of time the weather is warm in South East Asia; however, it may be distinctly cold up in the highlands. If there are specific requirements for a trip, these will be noted in the Trip Notes relating to that trip. Please note that in the last few years, the world’s weather pattern has gone somewhat awry. The effects of ‘El Nino’ and ‘La Nina’ are very real and this has resulted in unseasonable droughts followed by unseasonable deluges. Be prepared for the unexpected! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

  • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts,
  • Trip Notes
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
  • Spare passport photos
  • Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
  • Money belt
  • Small padlocks
  • Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
  • Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
  • 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Phrase book
  • Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
  • Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
  • Binoculars
  • Swimwear

 


money

Currency

Cambodia

The unit of currency is the riel. Notes come in denominations of 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 riel, although notes above 5,000 riel are not common. Coins are very rarely seen, for they are virtually worthless. The US dollar is also a major currency and commonly used in all day-to-day transactions.

Vietnam

The unit of currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Bank notes come in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 and 500,000 VND. Polymer notes of 50,000 VND (pink), 100,000 VND (light green) and 500,000 VND (dark green) are now used together with the old paper notes.

Exchange rates

Refer to www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Accessing Money

Cambodia

You can use your credit card in ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines), which are now common throughout the country. These machines dispense cash in US dollars. Money is safest when carried in the form of traveller’s cheques which, along with cash of major world currencies, can also be changed in banks. However, this will entail allowing for a bit of time spent in banks. There is no need to bring lots of cash with you unless you prefer not to use ATMs. There is also no need to pre-purchase Cambodian riel prior to arriving in the country. Most travellers never need to have more than US$10 worth of Cambodian Riel on them at any one time, as Cambodia is a country that widely accepts US dollars for all cash transactions. If you are taking in cash, please check that all your notes are in good condition and not old (US banknotes printed before 2006 and any US$2 bills are generally not accepted), crumpled, marked or torn, otherwise they may not be accepted. Please also be warned that some banks outlets at Cambodian airports may tell you that you will need to change your US dollars cash with them for Cambodia Riel, but this is not true!

Vietnam

Credit cards have recently become more acceptable in Vietnam and ATM machines are now available in all the major tourist centres, including Saigon, Hoi An and Hanoi. The easiest manner to change money in Vietnam is to carry US dollars in cash as this is widely accepted throughout the country. However, it is not safe to have all your money in cash, so we suggest carrying half in cash and using an ATM card (Cirrus or Maestro). Traveller's cheques in any of the major currencies can be exchanged in the bigger cities, although banks in the provincial centres may take only US dollar cheques. If using traveller's cheques, please carry your purchase receipt, as this may have to be produced before you can cash your traveller's cheques in certain banks in Vietnam. Note that traveller's cheques attract a commission fee of around 3% and are sometimes difficult to cash. It is recommended that you change money through banks, hotels and authorised moneychangers only: it is easy to be short-changed if you change money on the street. You can also change money in banks at the airport, upon arrival in Vietnam.

Personal Expenses

South East Asia

You will need to take money with you to cover any additional meals/drinks not included in your tour cost. Other costs to consider are drinking water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies that could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and be reimbursed later by your insurance company. As a guideline we suggest that you allow US$20 per day in Asia would allow you to eat and drink reasonably well.

Optional Tours & Activities: We include many sightseeing activities on most of our trips; however, there are additional optional tours and activities that you may wish to undertake during your free time. These may incur additional expenses. These activities are not a mandatory part of our tours because, from past experience, we have found that our travellers have appreciated some free time whilst on tour.

Airport Taxes

Vietnam

International airport departure taxes are included in the price of International airline tickets.

Tipping

Like in most places around the world, the tourism and hospitality industry in Asia has developed a culture of tipping. Often this is the way where someone such as a waiter in a restaurant makes a living. However, we realise that people of some nationalities still find it quite uncomfortable when confronted by this custom. On our trips your tour leader can advise you on this matter, however, as a guideline we would recommend a tip of 10% in restaurants and US$1 to US$3 per person, per day for a local guide. Taxi, rickshaw, cyclo and tuk-tuk drivers can be tipped according to the length of the journey. If you are unhappy with a service, of course, you are under no obligation to leave a tip. However, if the service has been satisfactory, please consider our advice above.

Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.

This kitty is not designed to provide a tip for your tour leader, so, if you would like to reward your leader for their services, you can do so individually or make a group presentation at the end of your tour. A minimum tip of US$3 per day, from each member of the group, is the usual amount expected.

Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

 


while-you-are-travelling

On arrival

Please refer to your itinerary for the joining hotel name and address. An arrival transfer is provided from the airport, if you are joining straight onto a tour or have booked pre-tour accommodation at the joining hotel, and have advised us of your arrival details (please check your voucher). After you clear customs, you will be met by a representative from our local agent who will transfer you to your hotel. Please look out for someone holding a sign. 

In the case of an emergency, our local operator, the PEAK Cambodian Office can be reached on: + 855 (0) 92 555 969

If you are finding your own way into town, you will find taxis available on arrival at Pochentong Airport. Make sure you agree to the price before you set off into town. You can expect to pay around US$7-US$10 for the 10-15 minute drive into the city centre.

There will be a pre-departure briefing with your tour leader at 6 pm this evening. Don’t forget to check the notice board in the foyer of the joining hotel for details of this meeting and for any messages from your leader. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the briefing.

Hotel Check In / Check Out

Generally, your room will be available from around midday. Sometimes it may be available mid-morning but this is in no way guaranteed. If your flight is scheduled to arrive in the early morning you may have to wait until a room becomes available. Alternatively you can book one night's 'pre-tour accommodation' which will ensure that your room is ready whenever you arrive. Rooms must generally be vacated by 12 noon unless you have made prior arrangements with the hotel reception. If you want to keep your room for longer you may have to pay an additional charge.

Photo etiquette

If you want to take someone's photograph, please ask first . This is just normal courtesy and if you are refused permission please abide by that person's wishes. At certain ancient sites, and in most museums, photography (video or still) may be forbidden, or may incur an extra charge for camera-use. Do not take photos of buildings, structures and personnel of potential military significance (including airports, bridges, army barracks, and police stations).

Flexibility and patience

Travelling with us can provide you with some really rewarding travel experiences. Our tours visit countries where travel modes and lifestyles are often not as sophisticated as our own. There is also a laid-back attitude amongst workers and there will often seem to be huge amounts of red tape and bureaucracy when doing the simplest things. You will enjoy your trip much more if you slip into the rhythm of local life and are prepared to take things as they come.

A word on drugs

In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.


other-important-information

Local Tour Leaders

By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success. Peregrine will use different tour leaders to run the various sectors of this particular trip. We will have a local leader for Vietnam and Cambodia respectively. You will be unescorted on the flight from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City.

Infrastructure and Tet Holiday Period

Please note that Cambodia and Vietnam are developing countries whose infrastructure may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences due to such things as restaurants or tourist sites being closed and our regular transport services not always being available, especially so during the Tet holiday period (Vietnamese New Year).

During Tet, most businesses will be closed as Vietnamese people usually spend this period returning to their homes and celebrating with their families. This will involve a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. Even if bookings are obtained, transport services during this period will be overcrowded and heavy delays are to be expected, so you will need to make sure that you pack your sense of humour. In order to facilitate your travels during the Tet period, we may need to substitute your train/plane journey with a private bus trip, if required.

single-room-sup
If you have booked a single supplement for this trip please note it will not be available for the following night: Day 11 - Halong Bay To enquire about booking a single supplement please contact your sales agent.

emergency

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Peregrine Cambodia office can be reached on Tel: +855 92 555 969, Peregrine's Vietnam office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770.

Please remember that our tours are of an adventurous nature. Our style of travelling means that it is more desirable to carry a backpack and a daypack on our tours. It is also possible to bring soft suitcases, but large heavy ones can be cumbersome and not always convenient to carry around. A sleeping bag is not required on this trip. It is useful to carry inner sleeping sheets on all adventure tours.

Please note that Cambodia and Vietnam are developing countries whose infrastructure, values, customs and standards may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences due to such things as restaurants or tourist sites being closed and our regular transport services not always being available (this can be especially so during the Tet holiday period). Hence, changes to itineraries may occur due to circumstances beyond our control.

This is an 'adventure' trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the various local cultures. Please be open minded while travelling as this will allow you to truly experience everything that Cambodia and Vietnam have to offer.

 

daily-itin

Heritage Cambodia & Vietnam

Trip Length

Trip Code

13 days

PAHC

 

Maximum Passengers

16 people

 

Countries Visited

Cambodia, Vietnam

 

Start City

End City

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Hanoi, Ha Noi, Vietnam

pahc-revised

 

Day 1: Phnom Penh

Meals included: 1 dinner

Accommodation: Ohana Palace Hotel or similar, Phnom Penh

Activities:

  • Upon arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. You will meet your tour leader and the rest of the group.
  • After a pre-trip briefing, you will adjourn for a Welcome Dinner in the restaurant run by the Friends organisation (closed on public and school holidays when you will dine at an alternative restaurant).
  • During your free time after dinner, you might even choose to have a relaxing drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, a great way to spend your evening.

Day 2: Phnom Penh

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Ohana Palace Hotel or similar, Phnom Penh

Activities:

  • A full city tour will introduce you to the sights of Phnom Penh, a city that lies near the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Rivers.
  • The private quarters of the Royal Palace are home to King Sihamoni and are therefore closed to the public; however, you will be able to visit the Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex, which is the most sacred temple in the country and was previously spared from destruction by the Khmer Rouge.
  • You can make an optional visit to Wat Phnom, the temple that gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century.
  • The bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge is a painful, but unavoidable, part of Cambodia's recent history and visits to the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek tell the story of this tragic legacy.
  • (Note: These sites are a major part of sightseeing in Phnom Penh; however, if you do not wish to visit either of them, please inform your tour leader.)
  • An ideal way to spend your the evening in is to relax in a cafe by the riverfront.

Day 3: Siem Reap

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar, Siem Reap

Activities:

  • You will catch a flight north to Siem Reap today, home of the great temples of Angkor. You'll notice a change of pace here, and wandering the streets you will find an abundance of local eateries and colourful markets.

Day 4: Siem Reap

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar, Siem Reap

Activities:

  • You will spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided tour. Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone.
  • It is an early morning start as you travel out to Banteay Srei, famous for its detailed and intricate stone carvings. It is not a big temple, but has been sometimes referred to as ‘the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art’.
  • Back at the main temple complex, Preah Khan contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle.
  • You have the opportunity to visit the Sala Bai Hotel School where underprivileged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry. You enjoy a lunch prepared by students at the school (please note that this is closed on public holidays and school holidays and an alternative restaurant will be used).
  • The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure. It is the only one of Angkor's temples with its entrance facing to the west (the others face east), the reason being that it was constructed as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and a westerly countenance was seen to represent a sunset.
  • Ta Prohm temple is an incredible sight, with large trees embedding themselves in the stone foundations of the structure. This demonstrates the true feebleness of man’s creations when confronted with the powerful force of nature.
  • You will end the day with a sunset view of the temples.

Day 5: Siem Reap

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar, Siem Reap

Activities:

  • Your ticket for the Angkor ruins enables you to spend more time exploring this memorable archaeological area.
  • Indulge with a traditional Khmer massage.
  • Visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), a place that rehabilitates animals that have fallen victim to wildlife trafficking and provides a breeding facility for highly endangered animal species. It is also a centre of education and information for the local population.
  • Learn to prepare Khmer food in a local cooking class (optional).
  • Enjoy a final Khmer dinner on your last night in Siem Reap.

Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC

Activities:

  • You will be transferred back to the airport, where you will say goodbye to Cambodia and fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Please note that you are likely to be unescorted on this flight and will be met on arrival in Saigon by your Vietnamese tour leader or a local representative.
  • This evening you will gather together for another briefing with your Vietnamese tour leader. This meeting is generally followed by an optional group meal out at one of Ho Chi Minh City's many fantastic eating spots.

Day 7: Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC

Activities:

  • Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and the nation's economic capital. A short city tour takes you to the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral, and will allow you to admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall).
  • The bustling Binh Tay Market in Cholon (Chinatown) will offer you a new perspective on the city; you will see the abundance of fresh local produce that is such an important feature of Vietnamese cuisine.
  • In the afternoon, you will head out of town to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi is actually the name of the district that covers an extensive underground network (approximately 200 kilometres) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong.
  • The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used extensively for refuge and storage and also utilised as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • The 1968 Tet Offensive was launched from Cu Chi with surprising effect. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what the life underground must have been like (please note that this will be hot and sweaty and also a bit claustrophobic!).

Day 8: Danang - Marble Mountain - Hoi An

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Hoi An Hotel or similar, Hoi An

Activities:

  • You will depart Ho Chi Minh City and fly to Danang today, where you will enjoy some sightseeing en route to Hoi An. China Beach (locally known as My Khe Beach), enjoyed as an 'R & R' spot during the Vietnam War, lies against a backdrop of the sensational Marble Mountains.
  • The five peaks, which are actually limestone with marble outcrops, are seen to epitomise the five elements: fire, water, earth, wood and metal. The history of the mountains is rich. The Champas once used them for religious purposes, but in more recent times they became a haven for the Viet Cong, with their clear view of the Danang air base - at one time the busiest airport in the world.
  • You will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon and settle in for your two-night stay in this historical ‘oasis’.

Day 9: Hoi An

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Hoi An Hotel or similar, Hoi An

Activities:

  • Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Hoi An was once a bustling port in centuries gone by, before the river silted up. Today it is a delightful backwater town with an air of liveliness about it. The tranquility and charm of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. It is a consistent favourite among travellers and staff alike. A tour will take you to an historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.
  • You will enjoy a free afternoon to make the most of delightful Hoi An and its surrounding areas. The market is a good place to buy silk that can be made up into fine garments, all within a day. Close to town there is a nice beach, which can be reached easily by bicycle.

Day 10: Hanoi

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Lan Vien Hotel or similar, Hanoi

Activities:

  • You will be transferred to the airport for a morning flight to the capital.
  • Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities. The northern capital is a quiet contradiction to its southern counterpart. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, and exploration by foot or bicycle is recommended. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes from the city.
  • You will take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying a homage to Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh.
  • The tour will also include lunch at the KOTO café, an amazing project aimed at providing vocational training and experience in the hospitality industry for underprivileged young people.
  • In the evening there is an option to enjoy a performance of the unique Water Puppets.

Day 11: Halong Bay

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Activities:

  • You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. It is a three-hour drive to famous Halong Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders.
  • The views of sailing junks navigating past over 3000 limestone islands with rocky outcrops are nothing short of spectacular.
  • You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available), as well as spending a night on board. We visit one cave in the area and, in the warmer months, you can enjoy a swim.
  • Conditions may be somewhat more communal compared to the usual hotel setting, but spending a night on the bay is such a wonderful experience. If the weather is obliging, the views at sunset are especially incredible.
  • There are only limited numbers of cabins on each boat, so the Single Supplement does not apply on the Halong Bay cruise, as all accommodation here is on a twin-share basis.
  • All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning.
  • You may also have the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) while on Halong Bay.

Day 12: Hanoi

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Lan Vien Hotel or similar, Hanoi

Activities:

  • In the morning you will sail back to the port, where you will disembark and drive back to Hanoi.
  • Arriving back in the capital, you will have free time to wander around and enjoy some of the city’s other attractions. Perhaps some shopping on Hang Gai Street, or afternoon tea at the Metropole Hotel?

Day 13: Hanoi

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Activities:

  • The tour will come to an end after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is not included; however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.

about-this-re-departure-inf

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

14 April 2014

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