Vietnam & Cambodia: Seeking the essence of Indochina

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Overview

This 3-week voyage will bring us throughout the highlights of both countries, Vietnam and Cambodia, the very essence of the modern and ancient Indochina. 

We will experience the captivating blend of their French colonial history, unique local culture and fascinating rural scenery made up from a peerless mosaic of mist-shrouded mountains, vibrant green forests, patch-works of rice paddies and pristine white beaches, whilst we will also observe how the villages and cities act as custodians of the culture and traditions of unique thousands year old civilizations. Get on board and just enjoy this memorable trip, we will take care of the rest.
 

Highlights

  • The harmonious chaos of Hanoi and its emblematic Historical sites.
  • Cruising through an exclusive itinerary far from the masses in the UNESCO World Heritage of Halong Archipelago.
  • The speechless beauty of Ninh Binh, distinctive natural and spiritual province. 
  • The majestic people and mountains of Lao Cai province.
  •  Architectonic and cultural heritage in Hue and Hoi An. 
  • The multi-cultural Saigon.
  • Hitting the waters of the Mekong Delta on a traditional sampan and exploring its rural life on terra firma. 
  • Discovering Phnom Penh, the ancient "Pearl of Asia".
  • The magnificence of Angkor Wat, one of the most awe-inspiring man-made wonders ever built, and the immense Tonle Sap Lake.
Arrival in Hanoi

Day 1 Arrival in Hanoi

Meals: not included  | Accommodation: Superior room, La Belle Vie Hotel (or similar), Hanoi

We will be received at Noi Bai airport upon our arrival and driven to our hotel in Hanoi. When time permits, in the evening we will count on some tickets tickets for a Water Puppetry performance, a unique art from northern Vietnam and a good, light-hearted introduction to our culture. 

We will spend our first night in Hanoi.

HANOI’S SLICES OF LIFE

Day 2 HANOI’S SLICES OF LIFE

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Superior room, La Belle Vie Hotel (or similar), Hanoi

Around 9:00 we will be picked up in our hotel and head to Sen Garden, where we will have the chance to recover from our journey with a traditional massage. Set up in by a talented Vietnamese therapist, this medicine-free healthcare centre provides a unique combination of professional Vietnamese massage with lots of traditional, modern and effective methods.

A healthy lunch will be served after the massage and later, around 13:00, our guide will meet us again for a drive to the Ho Chi Minh complex, where we will stroll about so that we can get a glimpse of the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh house-on-silts and the unmissable One Pillar pagoda. Afterwards, we will head to Ngoc Ha village. This is an expedition through a real maze of narrow streets and alleys with a lively bustling atmosphere: locals, merchants, shops, pre-schools, small markets, a lake and a beautiful hidden temple.

Our next destination will be the West Lake, where, just as locals do, we will take our time to enjoy a refreshing drink and maybe a chat with some residents while we are waiting for our electric cart to arrive. Ready to go again, we will hop on the electric cart for a 1-hour ride on the small roads all around the lake. This will be a very pleasant journey, with nice views to the lake and to the city, and a totally different atmosphere from what we have experienced earlier. We will loop the loop and then will be driven back to our hotel by taxi.

Note: The day program includes a visit to a religious architectural building; it’s therefore advisable to wear clothes long enough to cover our shoulders/knees. 

HANOI - HALONG BAY CRUISE

Day 3 HANOI - HALONG BAY CRUISE

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Superior cabin, on board the Treasure Junk

This morning at 7:45 we will proceed to check-in at Handspan's head office (Ma May 78) and will be leaving on our shuttle bus for a 3.5-hour drive to Halong City. Upon arrival, we will board the Treasure Junk and start to cruise towards the boundaries of Halong bay while a delicious lunch with fresh seafood is served (vegetarian and kid’s menus available).

Make yourself at ease and just relax after lunch. Hundreds of emerging limestone rock formations will parade all around us for about 2 hours before our first stop. We will reach then the perfect spot, where the waters of Halong and Bai Tu Long hit and wave together. Let's get ready for a closer look to the water and explore the bay in depth paddling on our own kayak.

We’ll get back on the Treasure before sunset, when we will be able to enjoy a cocktail on board while we will sail till the anchorage area where we will spend the night offshore. The dinner will be served either inside or outside, depending on weather conditions. Overnight on board in our cosy air-conditioned cabin with en-suite bathroom. 

Note: On our way to Halong, we will stop at a place with food, beverages and souvenirs for sale. Please bear in mind that we are not trying to incite you to buy any product. This is just the only place on the way with proper toilets that our travellers, guide and driver can use without being forced to buy anything. Thanks for your understanding.

HALONG - TAM COC, NINH BINH

Day 4 HALONG - TAM COC, NINH BINH

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Rice Field Lodge (or similar), Tam Coc

Wake up smoothly while witnessing the silence of the beautifully misty bay. From 6:30, coffee, tea and cakes will be served. We will be free to join a 30-minute Tai Chi session at the first light of dawn, organized by our Tai Chi master on board, so we will have the chance to energize our body, mind and soul, although if we prefer, we can simply enjoy a sunbath with a cup of coffee.  

We will hop later on a bamboo boat to visit a secluded floating village surrounded by mountains. We will trace our way among numerous floating houses and small rowing boats that are used in everyday life as vehicle, itinerant shops, fishing utility and even sometimes as an overnight shelter.

We will be back on the Treasure before 9:00 am to start cruising back to the pier. From 9.30, a brunch will be served. Take a last glance at the emerging rocks, standing still as the eternal guardians of a kingdom, we are about to reach the pier.

Once in Terra Firma, we will be transferred from Halong to Ninh Binh. The drive will take us around 5 hours, reaching Tam Coc (known as one of the most scenic spots of the region) in the late afternoon.
 

TAM COC - HANOI - NIGHT TRAIN TO LAO CAI

Day 5 TAM COC - HANOI - NIGHT TRAIN TO LAO CAI

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Night train - sleeping cabin

This morning, we will hop on our bicycles for an easy-paced ride to a local pier where we will board a rowing sampan for about one hour, sailing though the less travelled canals of the region, whose beauty has nothing to envy the busiest ones. We will go through caves and along the border with the spectacular natural site of Trang An.

Afterwards, we will continue our cycling route through the scenic rural landscapes in Tam Coc, having a chance to get a closer look to the villages’ rural life and if we wish, we can also make a stop en-route to help a local farmer in his daily work. A home-made lunch will be served at one of the village’s houses.

Before heading back to Hanoi, we will collect our luggage from the lodge and visit the temples of the ancient imperial capital in Hoa Lu.

Time will be on your own till 20:30, when we will be transferred to Hanoi Railway Station from Handspan’s office to catch the night train to Lao Cai.

Note: Travelling by train at night should be seen a way to save time, being transported to our new destination while we sleep. A 4-berth soft sleeper in air-conditioned cabin is provided (so we will likely share it with other passengers). The beds count on a clean blanket and pillow, but not that soft.  Each carriage has 2 international-standard toilets, tiny but clean. If you prefer travelling by bus, please just inform your Handspan Travel consultant.
 

LAO CAI – BAC HA

Day 6 LAO CAI – BAC HA

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Na Tha village (or similar) - Traditional house on silts

We will arrive early in the morning at Lao Cai railway station. Time for breakfast and refreshment. Afterwards, we will be driven to the mountain range of Bac Ha and reach some of its highest peaks on a truly scenic road from where we will start hiking. It will be an easy trek for anyone used to outdoor practices, with no specific difficulty and going mostly down.

We will get in a region where the H’mong people are the most represented ethnic culture. This is a rough terrain, both to cultivate and to live on. Very few travellers venture here, nevertheless, these trails are a paradise on earth for hiking lovers, due to the beautiful views over the valleys. We will walk for approximately 5 hours, with a break en route for lunch. Our car will never be too far from us on the sealed road, so we can always shorten the trek if we feel tired or if the weather becomes unbearable.

We will head in the late afternoon to our hosts’ house in a small hamlet near Bac Ha center. Time for a shower and refreshments before the home-made dinner is served.

Note: Our accommodation tonight will be provided by a local family in their traditional house-on-silts. Therefore we will experience and adapt to the local lifestyle. We will sleep in a large communal area. The sleeping corner is set up with a single mattress on the floor (thin, but adequate), blankets (ditto), pillow and mosquito net. The restroom is at international standard and a few steps from the main house.

BAC HA - HANOI

Day 7 BAC HA - HANOI

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Superior room, La Belle Vie Hotel (or similar) Hanoi

After breakfast we will get on the car and drive 9 km till Nam Mon Commune to trek during 2 hours through a small concrete path in the middle of nowhere, going mostly down till we reach a small village lying next to the Chay river.
We will stroll around the village and enjoy any opportunity to get better acquainted with the locals before having lunch at a local home.

We will continue later walking along the Chay River for over an hour to visit some of the hamlets of the Black Dao and Hmong in the Cac Cop Village.

At 16:00, our comfortable shuttle bus will depart from Sapa to Hanoi. We will have the chance to bid farewell to the Northern Vietnamese mountains when driving along Hoang Lien Son mountain range. The bus is equipped with large reclining individual seats, A/C and wifi. 2 stops on the way (dinner is not included). We will arrive in Hanoi centre around 22:00.

HANOI - HUE

Day 8 HANOI - HUE

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Superior room, Emm Hotel (or similar), Hue

We will enjoy a morning at our leisure until our driver arrives to take us to the airport and catch our flight to Hue.
Once in Hue, we will be met by our guide and driven to our hotel in Hue to drop off the luggage before leaving for our first exploration of the city. We will get started by a cruise along the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, and then reach Thuy Bieu village for lunch at a local garden house.

We will spend the afternoon at the impressive Imperial Citadel of Hue, which once was the seat of the Emperors of the powerful Nguyen Dynasty that ruled Vietnam approximately from 1800 to 1945. We will end up meeting a local artisan who took the tradition of using bamboo for paper production to a whole new level with his innovative techniques. Overnight in Hue.

HUE – HAI VAN PASS – HOI AN

Day 9 HUE – HAI VAN PASS – HOI AN

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Vinh Hung Emerald Resort (or similar), Hoi An

Checking-out after breakfast, we will spend the morning visiting Hue’s Royal tombs. Each Royal mausoleum reflects the personality of the Emperor it commemorates. Emperor Minh Mang's tomb may be the most majestic one. Opulent and exotic, it was planned by the own Emperor and built shortly after his death in formal Chinese style, being a great example of classic Sino-Vietnamese architecture.

In complete contrast to Emperor Minh Mang's creation, the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh is an unprepossessing construction on the side of a wide valley. Its interest lies in the combination of Vietnamese and European features.

After lunch, we will drive to Danang via the awe-inspiring Hai Van Pass. Get ready to go through a truly beautiful coastal road! The views from the top are just excellent; we will be able to see Lang Co beach, the Laguna far below and Danang spreading out to the south. We will definitely be able to understand why this is considered the prettiest road in the country. We should get to our hotel in Hoi An by 16:00.
 

Free day in Hoi An

Day 10 Free day in Hoi An

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Vinh Hung Emerald Resort (or similar), Hoi An

We will spend the day at leisure, just doing what we fancy.

Some tips! } Take a walk around Hoi An’s Ancient town, spend the day laying on the beach, doing some shopping or, with a bit of organization, you can also manage to do all these things in the same day. Remind to ask your guide the previous day in case you need some suggestions. 

Hoi An town is a UNESCO World Heritage area. An ancient trading port, once the largest in Indochina, Hoi An was a meeting point for many cultures that left their remnants through the different architectural features of its wooden buildings.

There are plenty of good restaurants offering a wide range of food at different prices. The town is also a good place for shopping silk. You can have your clothes tailor-made within a day or two at reasonable cost.

About 3 km from town is An Bang and Cua Dai Beach - part of what was once known as China Beach, used by the American GIs for rest and recreation during the Vietnam War. The white sand beach is fringed with palm trees and overlooks the South China Sea.
 

Rural and Riverside Life in Hoi An

Day 11 Rural and Riverside Life in Hoi An

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Vinh Hung Emerald Resort (or similar), Hoi An

Our guide will pick us up this morning from the hotel with bicycles; we will then set off towards Duy Vinh –Hoi An’s countryside. Our picturesque cycling route will be highlighted with rice fields, local gardens and markets.
We will stop as often as we wish to take photos or for some chit-chat with locals, having also time to visit a local family who makes sleeping mats in traditional way or going to a local carving workshop nearby.

After 1 hour cycling, we will meet our water gear. Let’s explore amazing Cam Thanh coco palm forest on a kayak or SUP (stand-up-paddle). The area is a unique mangrove ecosystem and the scenery is simply spectacular. The Coco palm forest provides the locals with different sort of products such as fish, shells and Nipa leaves which are commonly used as roofing material for local homes.

We will be back to the boat pier after 1-1.5 hours paddling, cool ourselves off with some local snack before getting back to our hotel.
 

HOI AN – DANANG – SAIGON

Day 12 HOI AN – DANANG – SAIGON

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Premier room, Lavender Boutique Hotel (or similar), Saigon

We will spend some time on our own until our driver arrives to bring us to Danang airport for our noon flight to Ho Chi Minh City, still widely known as Saigon.

Upon our arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, we will be met and driven to our hotel in the city centre. After checking in, we will be free for a preliminary wander around the District 1.

In the evening, we’ll have some tickets waiting for us to attend a cultural performance at the Opera House. Featuring a blend of acrobatic acts, circus stunts, traditional music and contemporary dance, this lavish production embraces various elements of performance art which manage to paint a unique Vietnamese picture.
 

SAIGON – CU CHI TUNNELS

Day 13 SAIGON – CU CHI TUNNELS

Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Premier room, Lavender Boutique Hotel (or similar), Saigon

Around 7:45 we will meet our guide at the hotel lobby. Our day will start with a morning coffee at Tao Dan park, which with its 10 hectares, is an ideal urban green space and a perfect spot for the city bird-lovers club. We will enjoy a local coffee while listening to the birds or having some chit-chat with locals.

Our next target will be the Reunification Palace - a blend of traditional ritual and modern architecture and former presidential palace of South Vietnam until the reunification in 1975. Now the building functions as a museum, offering tours around the former state rooms, the presidential office and library, living quarters of the president's family and underground war rooms. From the palace, we will take a stroll to some major colonial architecture samples of the city including the City Hall, the Opera House or the Notre Dame Cathedral.

After lunch, we will be transferred to Cu Chi – an impressive byzantine maze of underground passages, chambers, rooms and booby traps used during the war. We will be able to get an idea of how it was for the citizens to try to keep on living their lives in the underground passages and bunkers while fierce battles took place above and below the surface. The dinner will take place on our own and night in Saigon.
 

SAIGON – CAN THO

Day 14 SAIGON – CAN THO

Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Hau Giang Hotel (or similar), Can Tho

Today we will leave around 8:00 for an approximate 2,5-hour drive to our exploration area.  We will arrive at Cai Thia pier around 10:30 and our boat will start to hit the waterways till we reach the village of Hoa Loc. We will cycle through the villages on the winding countryside to visit local houses en-route, with opportunities to learn about their traditional handicrafts and/or being invited for a cup of tea with some local snack.

We will later meet our boat again and go further to a less busy area of the Mekong, where a bamboo sampan (rowing boat) will be waiting to take us deeper into the countryside of the Delta through its networks of small canals.
In the afternoon, we will cruise towards Vinh Long with more stops at local workshops. Afterwards, a quick transfer to Can Tho will bring us to our hotel, where we will spend the night in this “mega city” of the Mekong Delta.  

CAN THO – CHAU DOC

Day 15 CAN THO – CHAU DOC

Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Hung Cuong Hotel (or similar), Chau Doc

We have thought that you would like to see the Cai Rang floating market in all its splendor, so an early start it will be necessary today (around 6 am!). Please feel free to take photographs, talk or bargain with local vendors while our boat glides slowly through the market mayhem. There are fantastic and countless photo opportunities amidst the variety of agricultural bounty on sale here.  We’ll be back to the hotel for breakfast, and then check-out to continue our journey to Chau Doc.

Around noon, we will arrive at the Tra Su National Park - an ecosystem of cajuput trees. A short walk from the parking area will take us to the small pier where we will board another boat which will take us deeper into the mangrove forest. We will soon find ourselves zipping through a living carpet of water lettuce, passing water birds of all shapes and colours before having a simple lunch at a local restaurant in the heart of the forest. We will settle down at our hotel in Chau Doc at around 17:00.

CHAU DOC – PHNOM PENH

Day 16 CHAU DOC – PHNOM PENH

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Comfort room, Iroha Garden Hotel (or similar), Phnom Penh

We will leave early morning (6:45 approx.) to the boat pier where we will embark on a speed boat for a 4-hour ride to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival, we will be transferred to our hotel in the city centre.

Cambodia visa is required for most nationalities. It is easy to be obtained in advance at overseas Cambodian embassies; or through the online e-Visa (www.evisa.gov.kh); it’s also available upon arrival at international border crossing checkpoints in Phnom Penh (airport and boat pier) and Siem Reap. Please contact your Handspan Travel consultant in case you want us to make the respective visa arrangements for your trip. 

In the afternoon our guide will pick us up for an insight discovery of the capital. We will explore the stunning Royal Palace complex, home to the Cambodian royal family and a symbol of the nation, starting by the beautiful royal gardens, landscaped with tropical plants and studded with gleaming spires. 

We will continue to the Silver Pagoda, named after the 5000 silver tiles covering the floor, each weighing 1kg. Inside there are some of the country's most cherished treasures, including a life-size gold Buddha studded with 9584 diamonds, the largest weighing 25 carats. There is also a delicate emerald Buddha made of baccarat crystal, which gives the temple its Khmer name of Wat Preah Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). 

We will leave the Royal Palace and continue to the nearby National Museum, home to the world's finest collection of sculpture from the Angkor period. The exquisite building was completed between 1917 and 1920 and features a lush courtyard garden surrounded by collections from the pre-Angkor, Angkor and post-Angkor periods. We concentrate on the incredible sandstone sculpture from Angkor, as well as the intricate bronzes. 

PHNOM PENH – SIEM REAP

Day 17 PHNOM PENH – SIEM REAP

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Siddharta Boutique Hotel (or similar), Siem Reap

Our driver will pick us up from the hotel to bring us to Phnom Penh bus station for our trip to Siem Reap, that will take us around 6 hours with some short breaks en-route. The road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap offers a glimpse of the Cambodian countryside life, with its rice paddies, traditional wooden houses, water buffalos and cows lazily grazing on the side of the road.

We use the services of a fleet of buses that are in good condition, air-conditioned, lean-seat with seat belts, free WiFi and power outlets on board.  Please feel free to ask our travel consultant if you prefer to take a flight instead

SIEM REAP – TEMPLES OF ANGKOR

Day 18 SIEM REAP – TEMPLES OF ANGKOR

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Siddharta Boutique Hotel (or similar), Siem Reap

We will encounter the magnificent Temples of Angor today. In the morning, we will travel through the traditional village of Preah Dak to the 12th century temple of Banteay Samre. Built by King Suryavarman II, the genius behind Angkor Wat, this temple has been extensively restored. The pediments above the inner doors here include some of the most accomplished carving from the Angkor period. 

We will continue further north to Banteay Srei, Angkor’s ultimate art gallery. This petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name can be translated as ‘Women’s Fortress’, indeed the intricate detail here is considered too fine for having been carved by the hands of a man. Originally believed to date from the latter part of the Angkor period, inscriptions at the site suggest it was built by a Brahman in 967. However, some architectural historians have suggested that the inscriptions may date from an earlier structure on this site and the temple is in fact later, marking a high-water mark in Khmer sculpture. 

In the afternoon, we will travel to the mighty temple of Preah Khan or 'Sacred Sword', built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century and whose cruciform corridors are impressive, as well as the spectacular hall of dancers. We will observe how this curious structure seems almost Greek in inspiration. This is one of the few temples originally dedicated to Buddhism and Hinduism. The original eastern entrance was for Mahayana Buddhists, while the other cardinal points represented the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. We then continue on to the elegant curves of Neak Poan. This petite temple is the ultimate ornamental fountain, its series of elaborate spouts including the heads of lions and elephants. 

We will journey to the mountain temple of Phnom Bakheng to see how the sunset casts its soft light over Angkor Wat. A winding path cuts through the jungle. This temple is a signature spot for sunset, so it can get very crowded. Please advise your guide if you want to witness sunset at a quieter location.

SIEM REAP – TEMPLES OF ANGKOR

Day 19 SIEM REAP – TEMPLES OF ANGKOR

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Siddharta Boutique Hotel (or similar), Siem Reap

We will rise early to travel to mystical Ta Prohm, which has been abandoned to the elements, as a reminder that while empires rise and fall, the riotous power of nature keeps marching on, oblivious to the dramas of human history. Left as it was ‘discovered’ by French explorer Henri Mouhout in 1860, the tentacle-like tree roots here are slowly strangling the surviving stones.

After soaking up the unique atmosphere of Ta Prohm, we will head to the giant pyramid of Takeo, one of the highest temples in the Angkor area. Built at the end of the 10th century, it was never completed. This morning we will also visit the remains of an old Angkorian bridge which once spanned the Siem Reap river. Like the Romans before them, the Khmer kings built long, straight roads connecting the outposts of their empire. There is also the option to visit the smaller temples of Chau Sey Devada and Thommanon for avid temple enthusiasts.

In the afternoon, we will visit the immense walled city Angkor Thom that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire. The scale is simply staggering and we will feel immediately overwhelmed by the audacity of Jayavarman upon our arrival at the city’s gates. The causeway is lined by an intricate bridge depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk from Hindu mythology in which the devas (gods) and asuras (devils) play tug of war with a naga (seven-headed serpent) to obtain the elixir of immortality. We will begin by the Terrace of the Leper King and continue along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. At the southern end lies the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman I in the 11th century. It has undergone a massive renovation by the French and is now once again open for viewing.

Our climax will come with the enigmatic and enchanting temple of the Bayon. At the exact centre of Angkor Thom, this is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia’s most celebrated king. Its 54 towers are each topped off with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion), which bear  more than a passing resemblance to the king himself. These colossal heads stare down from every side, exuding power and control with a hint of compassion, just the features required to keep a hold on such a vast empire. Before clambering upwards, we will unravel the mysteries of the bas-reliefs, with their intricate scenes of ancient battles against the Chams and their snapshot of daily life during the Angkor period. 
 

Sunrise at Angkor Wat & Tonle Sap Lake

Day 20 Sunrise at Angkor Wat & Tonle Sap Lake

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Siddharta Boutique Hotel (or similar), Siem Reap

Rising at the crack of dawn, we will journey out to the Mother of all temples, Angkor Wat. Believed to be the world's largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this is most famous temple at Angkor. We will stay at Angkor Wat to enjoy a picnic breakfast. As the crowds return to their hotels, we will venture into Angkor Wat to enjoy its magnificence. We will begin by unravelling the mysteries of the bas-reliefs that tell of tales from Hindu mythology and of the glories of the Khmer empire. Stretching for almost one kilometre, these intricate carvings are a candidate for the world’s longest unbroken piece of art. Following in the footsteps of the devout and the destructive before us, we then continue to the upper levels of the inner sanctuary. The final steps to the upper terrace of Angkor are the steepest of all, as pilgrims of old were to stoop on their pilgrimage to encounter the Gods. Finally we will find ourselves by the pinnacle, the sacred heart of Angkor Wat, a blend of spirituality and symmetry so perfect that few moments will measure up.

In the afternoon we will visit Kompong Khleang Village in the Tonle Sap Lake. It has a population of about 10,000 people, all of whom make a living from the fishing industry. We will explore the canals (wet season) or streets (dry season) of this incredible town. In the wet season, the houses appear to be floating, as water laps at the verandas, but in the dry season towering stilts are revealed, the houses almost look like wooden skyscrapers. We will visit one of the pagodas here, built on the site of an ancient temple, and see the wall paintings.  We may also stop off to visit a house in the village to learn a little more about local life. We will cruise into the open water of the great lake to see a small floating village and learn some more about this incredible natural flood barrier, returning later to Siem Reap by road.

Day 21 Siem Reap - Departure

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: not included

We may be able to enjoy some time on our own before our guide and driver come to bring us to the airport for our onward flight. Bid proper farewell to Cambodia after this memorable 3-week voyage around Indochina!

  

PRICE PER PERSON based on a group tour

Group size

Price per person

2 pax

USD 2108

 

* Prices valid till 1st October 2019 for the ready-to-book adventure outlined on this detailed program which has been handcrafted by our production team and that includes the best of every destination (highlights and some lesser known assets as well!). Our travel consultants will also be glad to customize this journey to suit your specific interests and travel-style. 

* Would you like to adapt the itinerary, accommodation or any activity as per your needs and preferences? Then just forward us your comments at info@handspan.com.

* Special prices for groups of more than 5 people and for children, and the possibility to connect the tour with other stages of your trip around Indochina, by contacting us. 

* A private trip for a solo traveller is also available with a surcharge.

Included

  • Accommodation in shared double room as mentioned on the program (upgrades possible with a supplement)
  • Transportation in private and public vehicles as stated.
  • Meals as specified. 
  • All entrance fees, visits and activities mentioned on the program.
  • The services of experienced local English-speaking guides.
  • VAT and other taxes.

Not included

  • Flights and visas.
  • Personal travel Insurance.
  • Child or adult in triple sharing room
  • Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Supplements on peak season.
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