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14-night tour allows you to travel down the heart of both Cambodia and Vietnam as you start your journey by truly discovering the Mekong River. Begin with the refined enchantment of Phnom Penh as you delve into its history and sample its cuisine, before jumping aboard the finest boat on the Mekong River exploring small remote fishing villages and bartering with the locals at the fluorescent colourful floating markets of Cai Be. Once back on land immerse yourself in the bustling streets of Saigon before finishing with the turquoise paradise waters of the luxurious Con Dao Island. Take a look and use this as a starting point for your own personalised holiday to Vietnam. Or we can start from scratch … call today!
Day 1: UK to Phnom Penh
Fly overnight from the UK to Phnom Penh
Day 2: Phnom Penh
Once you have landed you will be transferred to the luxurious Raffles Hotel Le Royal for 3 nights. Dating all the way back to 1929, this stunning building sets the benchmark for refined enchantment, divine relaxation and is often referred to as the cultural heart of Phnom Penh. With the rest of the day to yourself why not start to explore by taking a walk to the nearby Wat Phnom, or if you want to relax then you will be spoiled for choice with the hotel’s extensive whirlpool and steam sauna spa as well as its two large pools. In the evening enjoy a ‘Femme Fatale’ signature cocktail from its highly renowned elephant bar.
Days 3: Phnom Penh
Start your day with a private walking tour of the capital, beginning in the leafy suburb of Boeung Keng Kangh, you will make your way to one of the oldest Pagodas in Phnom Penh, Wat Lanka. Continue to the historic White Building, the picturesque Wat Prakeo also known as Temple of the Emerald Buddha and along the lively riverfront to the Royal Palace. In the afternoon, continue your private guided tour to the sobering Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Housed in a former school it was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as a torture center named ‘S-21’. You will then visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. A moving and important visit that teaches you about Cambodia’s history.
Day 4: Phnom Penh
This morning you will embark on a private street food walking tour, starting at a local market not on the tourist trail, you will be guided through the many different types of stunning fruits, herbs and vegetables used in traditional Khmer cuisine. From here try seasonal fruits as you continue to a local restaurant where you can indulge in french style baguettes known as Num Pang and the traditional Nom Banh Chok consisting of rice noodles, gravy and green beans. If you want to see more of Phnom Penh at night, talk to us about visiting their extensive range of fascinating night markets.
Day 5: Mekong River – Tan Chau
Prepare to set sail today as you float away from Cambodia and travel into Vietnam on one of the finest boats on the River Mekong: Pearl of the Orient. This luxurious cruiser provides all guests with five star services equal to the finest hotels with all your meals included, each room having its own private balcony, a complimentary mini bar with drinks of your own choice an extensive spa onboard and much more. Enjoy the glow of the afternoon sun on the deck with a sundowner in hand as you make your way to the Vietnamese border.
Day 6: Mekong River – Sa Dec
Welcome to Vietnam! Begin your day with breakfast on your balcony as you watch the world of the Mekong come to life. As the boat anchors, prepare yourself for an insight into the daily life of Vietnamese people in the Mekong. Excursions include trips to a small local town Tan Chau, known as the fish sanctuary of Vietnam and My An Hung Village. You will spend the day travelling aboard local vehicles and boats as you head to markets and fish farms before crossing over monkey bridge and visiting a local family home. Here you will enjoy homegrown delicacies and tea before heading back to the ship in the late afternoon in time to freshen up before dinner.
Day 7: Mekong River – Cai Be
This morning embark on a traditional flat bottomed Vietnamese wooden boat as you begin to tour Binh Thanh Island, known for its man-made canals and villagers being involved in the process of growing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets. After lunch back onboard, the ship will arrive in Cai Be, mostly known for its boisterous and colourful floating market where local traders gather. As you continue to cruise along the river take in all the endless breath-taking landscape along the river combined with evergreen islands that remain commonly unknown, stopping only to observe locals making rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candles. Enjoy a stunning farewell party tonight on the terrace deck as you make your way towards My Tho.
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City
Awake early on the upper Mekong River approx. an hour outside of the city before you enjoy one last breakfast on board, say goodbye and cruise towards the port for your transfer into Ho Chi Minh City. You will then be taken to the spectacular Park Hyatt where you will spend the next 3 nights. Known as a green oasis of peace in the middle of the bustling Saigon, spend the rest of the day enjoying the world class cuisines, prime location and ultimate Xuan Spa. Talk to us if you would like an introduction in the Saigon’s most popular night markets.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City
Today we’ve included a private tour with one of our brilliant guides. Visit the War Remnants Museum & the former Presidential Palace. From there, stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: The Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street, Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. In the evening, you will head out on a private street food tour getting to try various delicacies of the south including Com Suon Non Nuong Muoi Ot, a speciality in Ho Chi Minh consisting of rice and pork ribs. End your night at a local cafe enjoying music and perhaps some dancing, dessert and drinks.
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City
A free day to do with as you wish, maybe try your hand at grabbing some bargains. Take a trip to the extensive Ben Thanh Market and barter with the locals for some amazing souvenirs to take home. If all that has made you hungry and you fancy trying something different, then head to Noir restaurant located on Hai Ba Trung Street for a dining experience in the dark where all your senses will come alive, a truly amazing experience.
Day 11: Con Dao Island
Leave the city behind you today as you make your way to paradise! A quick flight from Ho Chi Minh International will take you to the picture-perfect island of Con Dao. Looked upon as heaven on earth with its turquoise clear warm seas, white stretched beaches and tropical forests you will have the next 5 nights to truly immerse yourself in paradise as you stay at the deluxe Six Senses, Con Dao. The first five-star resort in the archipelago islands, its contemporary in design and reflects the essence of a traditional fishing village.
Day 12, 13, 14, 15: Con Dao Island
You have 4 full days to enjoy this stunning island as you wish. Relax by your private pool and overlook the ocean with a cold sundowner in your hand, use the onsite spa or simply call in room service and enjoy a private meal created just for you by one of the hotel’s top chefs. If you fancy getting out and about then why not head to Bay Canh with its pristine beaches, old forests, coral reefs and the occasional turtles. Take a steep climb to the tip and be rewarded with stunning panorama views of the island.
Day 16: Con Dao Island / UK
Enjoy your last morning with breakfast overlooking the ocean as you take a final dip in your pool. You will then take a short flight back into Ho Chi Minh International to connect with your flight home.
This Luxury Mekong River and Island Holiday idea costs from £3,997pp and includes – international flights (price based on London), all internal flights, all accommodation on a sharing basis, 14 nights B&B, 1 lunches, 1 dinner, all meals included on Mekong River cruise, land transportation by private vehicle with driver, English speaking local guide, 5 tours, all entrance fees (as outlined above)
Nicola Bamsey Vietnam
Marion Lyons Vietnam
Lucy Pinington Vietnam
Sam Dawson Vietnam
Anton Turner Vietnam
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Holiday destinations: Borneo | Botswana | Cambodia | Kenya | India | Indonesia | Madagascar| Mozambique | Namibia | South Africa | Sri Lanka | Tanzania | Vietnam | Zambia | Zanzibar | Zimbabwe
Inspiration: Southern Africa Honeymoons | Madagascar Honeymoons | India & Sri Lanka Honeymoons | Southern Africa Family Holidays | Madagascar Family Holidays | Sri Lanka & India Family Holidays