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A Luxury Journey Exploring Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong River

Our new luxury journey features an impressive Aqua Mekong Cruise on the magnificent Mekong River. Explore the diverse cultures and history of Cambodia and Vietnam as you venture into remote villages, verdant plantations, local markets, and experience recent discoveries and sites of intrigue. Along the way, commune with gracious local and wise monks, learning about traditional ways of life and bring home the secrets you learn by preparing authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Explore the off-the-beaten-track, pristine bays of ancient karst formations that will leave you breathless with wonder.

One captivating experience after another will impart rich cultural perspective, incredible life experiences and indelible memories.

Prices starting at $5,439 per person (based on double occupancy)

Day 1 – Arrive in Siem Reap

Arrive in Siem Reap, you have warm welcome from tour guide and transfer to hotel check-in.
Overnight at Raffles Grand D’Angkor Siem Reap / State Room / 2 nights

Day 2 – Siem Reap – Angkor Wat – Angkor Thom

In the morning, visit the National Angkor Museum for an overview of the Angkor history before heading to the famous Angkor Wat, the world’s largest temple with the longest intricately carved bas-relief panels. Explore this 3-tier pyramidal structure with massive galleries of thousand Buddha, interior walls and niches decorated with stone aspires (celestial dancers) and devatas (goddesses). Take a walk around the top terrace for a great view of Angkor. After lunch, visit Angkor Thom meaning the “Great City” in Khmer. The 12th-century royal Buddhist city especially famed for its grand Bayon temple. Also including the South Gate, Bapoun, the Terrace of the Elephant, and the Terrace of the Leper King. The tour ends with a hike up Phnom Bakheng for spectacular sunset views of Angkor Wat.
Lunch at Malis Restaurant Siem Reap (Khmer Menu)

Day 3 – Siem Reap – Banteay Srei – Ta Phrom – Flight to Phnom Penh

Spend the morning explore Banteay Srei, the Citadel of Women with its very attractive carvings. Next visit Ta Prohm – the 12th century temple that has been left largely un-restored and is in its natural state surrounded by jungle with massive Banyan roots and limbs enveloping the stone-like tentacles. After lunch, visit Les Artisan D’Angkor and Siem Reap Market before transfer to the airport for flight to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival, meet your tour guide and private transfer to hotel check-in.
Lunch at Sokkha River (Fusion French Menu)
Overnight at Raffles Le Royal Phnom Penh Hotel / State Poolview room /1 night

Day 4 – Phnom Penh – Cruise Embarkation

In the morning, visit Wat Phnom, the capital of Cambodia, which was named after Lady Penh, who founded a sanctuary on the hill in 1917 were the grand stupa still stand today. You will also visit the Royal Palace, one of the capital’s premier tourist attractions, constructed between 1866-1870 in the reign of king Norodom. The Silver Pagoda, well known for its 5000 silver tiled floor & National Museum for an appreciation of the splendor of Khmer history. Transfer to the pier where we welcome you aboard Aqua Mekong Cruise. The welcome drink will be served when you check in. Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed.
Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
Overnight Aqua Mekong Cruise/ 3 nights

Day 5 – Mekong River – Ka´Om Samnor – Vinh Xuong Border Crossing – Chau Doc – My An Hung – Vietnam

Say ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ while we cross the border and sail towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town where we take the local rickshaw called “xe loi” for a trip around town or pedal 18 kilometers on the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, we visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local’s home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers, followed by a unique Unicorn dance. Biking option is also available for those who wish to explore on wheels.

Day 6 – Mekong River – Binh Thanh/Sa Dec – Cai Be

Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. We continue downstream for Cai Be, zigzagging in our sampan past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later, our skiffs moor at a wooden pier. Here in Cai Be, walk or bike ride among high-roofed open courtyard houses, some dating back more than 100 years, and currently inhabited by gracious locals who will invite us to glimpse their property.

Day 7 – Mekong River – My Tho – Saigon

Disembarkation. On the way to Saigon, we stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temples in the region. You will notice the mixed architectural style and see three large Buddha statues plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees. Arrive Saigon, check-in hotel. The rest of evening is free at leisure.
Overnight at Park Hyatt Hotel Saigon / Park Room 2 nights

Day 8 – Saigon

Option 1: Cu Chi Tunnels – Saigon City Tour
In the morning, transfer to Cu Chi. Its used to be a bitter battleground for many years during Vietnam War. We visit “underground village”, an intricate network of over 200km-long tunnels at Ben Dinh. We have experience by trying a very short segment of this labyrinth of interlaced tunnels. Lunch will be served at Chopstick Restaurant Saigon
After lunch, take a city tour to visit Reunification Palace, Central Post office, passing by the Hotel de Ville (City Hall), the colonial quarter Opera House. Then stop at Ben Thanh Market before transfer back to hotel. The rest of day is free on your own activities.
Option 2: Cooking Class – Saigon City Tour
Today, we will join “Grain by Luke Nguyen cooking class”. Grain studio has its own fresh market on site. You will hand on cooking 4-course meal, and demystify Vietnamese cuisine so you will gain a new-found confidence that will inspire you to cook more at home. Lunch will be your own prepared and served at the cooking class. It will be a great Vietnamese cultural and culinary experience.
After lunch, take a city tour to visit Reunification Palace, Central Post office, passing by the Hotel de Ville (City Hall), the colonial quarter Opera House. Then stop at Ben Thanh Market before transfer back to hotel. The rest of day is free on your own activities.

Day 9 – Saigon – Flight to Hanoi

Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Hanoi. On arrival, welcomed by local tour guide and transfer to hotel check-in. The rest of the evening is free on your own activities or take complimentary history tour to “the Lost Bomb Shelter” of your hotel, an honorable mentioned in 2013 UNESCO Heritage Awards (please make reservation in advanced).
Overnight at Sofitel Metropole Hanoi / Premium Room 2 nights

Day 10 – Hanoi City Tour

Today we spend full day to explore Hanoi, the city’s cultural heart that bears trace of centuries of changing dynasties. We visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in the city. Driving through Hanoi French Quarter passing by the Opera house, Hoan Kiem Lake, and political center, Ba Dinh Square. We visit Van Mieu, a famous historical and cultural relic consisting of the Temple of Literature and Vietnam’s first university. Then enjoy traditional cyclo ride through Hanoi Old Quarter. We continue walking along the narrow streets of the old quarter to Hang Be market. There are many varieties of flowers arranged ready to sell. A lot of delicious confectionery is displayed along the street. Lunch will be served at local authentic Vietnamese restaurant. After lunch visit “Hanoi Hilton”, where American prisoners of war were once confined. Then we continue to explore the habits of local, stop at the popular Highland Coffee Shop; you will have the best view of the Hanoi city while enjoy sips of coffee dripping from the filter. Return to hotel and the rest of evening is free at leisure.
Lunch at Ngon Villa

Day 11 – Hanoi – Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay

Morning, leave your hotel and drive to Halong Bay, UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site. Upon arrival, transfer by tender to the Orchid Cruise. On the way, you will have a chance to see Cai Trap Canal. Onboard the Orchid Cruise with a refreshing welcome drink, cruise briefing and safety instructions. Start cruising and explore Halong Bay.
The Orchid Cruise proceeds to Da Chong Islet, where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. We have lunch before continuing our journey via the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan. These amazing limestone karst formations rise up out of the sea in an impressive manner. This area is untouched, as not many cruise ships use the route via the Cat Ba Island – Thoi Quyt area – Coc Ngoi islet – through Cua Van to Ba Trai Dao area.
We progress to the Ba Trai Dao beach area of Lan Ha Bay- a separate part of Halong Bay. The region is known for its pristine beaches, spectacular beauty, and approximately 400 fascinating islands. Unlike the main Ha Long Bay, the islands of Lan Ha Bay are forested, and most are small in stature. You can kayaking or simply just enjoy swimming. This is a great experience, immersed in the crystal clear waters of the bay, in the Ba Trai Dao area.
Returning to the Orchid Cruise you can watch the spectacular sunset view over the Gulf of Tonkin or join a traditional cooking class.
Dinner is served at 19:30. After dinner, enjoy the landscape of the bay up on the top deck. Join squid fishing at night or watching movie.
Overnight Orchid Cruise /1 Night

Day 12 – Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure

There is a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck at the break of dawn. After breakfast continue our journey by canoe to explore the Sang Toi Cave.
9:30 return to Orchid Cruise boat for checkout procedures. Enjoy a delightful buffet breakfast while sailing across its thousands of islets and visiting some of its major highlights. Disembark at 11:35 at Dinh Vu port. Meet our guide and drive back to Hanoi airport for departure. Have a safe trip.

Prices starting at $5,439 per person (based on double occupancy)

Price Includes

Airport meet and greet with private transfer
All private transportation with air-conditioned vehicle
Private local English speaking guide in each city
Luxury accommodations based on Twin/Double sharing
Daily buffet breakfasts, selected lunches as specified
Boat & Admission fees as specified
Complimentary bottled drinking water on day tour

Price Excludes

Travel insurance
Tips and gratuities
Personal expenses

On Aqua Mekong Cruise

Designed Suite with balcony or without balcony feature panoramic river facing floor to ceiling window and interior daybed
All meals while onboard
Beverages (non-alcoholic, premium wines and beer)
All shore excursions (small group of 10 travelers)
Aqua Cruise’s private skiff
Complimentary laundry
Complimentary bicycle use
Complimentary Internet with intermittent connection

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