Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia (13 Days/12 Nights)

12 Nights

Hanoi

Visit the best of Vietnam and Cambodia in 12 nights on this tour covering Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. 

Explore Hanoi's illustrious history by visiting some of the famous landmarks and tourist hotspots, cruise through the limestone cliffs of Halong Bay, visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels and experience some of the old war remnants during the war, experience the floating market of Cai Rang, travel to Phnom Penh by boat taking in the sights of the Mekong River then head over to Siem Reap to explore the ancient city.

From £1676pp
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Highlights

  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Hanoi's Old Quarter
  • Ha Long Bay - Morning cruise with lunch onboard
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise
  • Hoi An - Learn how to make your own famous lantern at the workshop
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Chinatown
  • Can Tho - Cai Rang floating market
  • Phnom Penh - Witness how locals live and work along the river
  • Siem Reap - Bayon, Angkor Wat, Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm Temple
  • Day 1 - Hanoi – Arrival
  • Day 2 - Hanoi – Sightseeing – Ha Long bay
  • Day 3 - Ha Long Bay - Boat Cruise - Hanoi
  • Day 4 - Hanoi - Hue - Sightseeing
  • Day 5 - Hue – Da Nang - Hoi An – Sightseeing
  • Day 6 - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City
  • Day 7 - Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels – Sightseeing
  • Day 8 - Ho Chi Minh City - Cai Be - Vinh Long - Can Tho
  • Day 9 - Can Tho – Chau Doc
  • Day 10 - Chau Doc - Phnom Penh by Boat – 1-hour Foot or Khmer Traditional Massage
  • Day 11 - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Angkor Complex
  • Day 12 - Siem Reap – Banteay Srei – Banteay Samre – Ta Prohm – Visit Local Monastery for Blessing Ceremony
  • Day 13 - Siem Reap - Departure
  • Additional Information

Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi

Meals Included: Room only

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

Rising over the heart of Hanoi's central old quarter and famous Silk Road, with a 3-minute walk to HoanKiem Lake, Water Puppet Theatre, St Josephs Cathedral, Night Market, Hanoi Post Office, Trang Tien Plaza shopping center etc.. The luxury and impressive designed Golden Silk Boutique Hotel features stunning views and gracious style – a remarkable luxury experience, even by Western standards with graceful Asian style. Especially, the front view rooms of the hotel with balconies, captivating vistas of Hanoi’s old quarter.

Take part of the day to explore Hanoi’s illustrious history before driving to Ha Long Bay. In the morning, visit the imposing marble edifice housing the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (CLOSED ON MONDAYS and FRIDAYS) before moving onto his wooden stilt house and the One Pillar Pagoda. You will then explore the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature, which is imbued with the profound philosophies of Confucianism. The tour includes stops at the Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and Hanoi’s Old Quarter before proceeding to Ha Long bay.
Overnight in Ha Long Bay [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Royal Lotus Hotel Halong

Property Location With a stay at Royal Lotus Hotel Halong in Halong (Bai Chay), you'll be minutes from Ha Long Night Market and close to Sun World Ha Long Park. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Cho Bai Chay and Tuan Chau Beach.

HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM IN HANOI

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes).

For visitors, a trip to Uncle Ho’s final resting place can be an extraordinary experience as it is not just an average attraction; it’s a part of a unique history.

TEMPLE OF LITERATURE IN HANOI

The Temple of Literature is often cited as one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture.

This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty. Visiting the Temple of Literature you will discover historic buildings from the Ly and Tran dynasties in a revered place that has seen thousands of doctors’ graduate in what has now become a memorial to education and literature.

Originally the university only accepted aristocrats, the elite and royal family members as students before eventually opening its doors to brighter ‘commoners’. Successful graduates had their names engraved on a stone stele which can be found on top of the stone turtles.

In the morning take a delightful cruise through the limestone cliffs of Ha Long Bay. Enjoy lunch onboard and then return to the dock. Drive back to Hanoi with stop en route at a ceramic factory.
Overnight in Hanoi [Breakfast, Lunch]

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

Rising over the heart of Hanoi's central old quarter and famous Silk Road, with a 3-minute walk to HoanKiem Lake, Water Puppet Theatre, St Josephs Cathedral, Night Market, Hanoi Post Office, Trang Tien Plaza shopping center etc.. The luxury and impressive designed Golden Silk Boutique Hotel features stunning views and gracious style – a remarkable luxury experience, even by Western standards with graceful Asian style. Especially, the front view rooms of the hotel with balconies, captivating vistas of Hanoi’s old quarter.

Fly to Hue, the former Imperial Capital of Vietnam. Arrive in Hue and enjoy a river cruise on the peaceful Perfume River to the Thien Mu pagoda. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel which was built in accordance with strict principles of geomancy and the poetic mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc. Overnight in Hue [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Mondial Hotel Hue

This modern luxurious hotel, conveniently located in center of Hue city, with major attractions surrounding the area such as the Perfume river, shops, banks, markets, and parks. With 106 spacious, comfortable and luxurious rooms and Suite, The Mondial hotel is designed to appeal to leisure and business travellers. Furthermore, the hotel boasts Huong Xuan Restaurant on the top floor with comforting ambience and magnificent views of the Perfume river which serves a combination of authentic local and international dishes.

Hue Imperial Citadel

Famously being one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Imperial City of Hue has long been a must-see attraction for tourists visiting a hidden charm of Vietnam.

Famously being one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Imperial City of Hue has long been a must-see attraction for tourists visiting a hidden charm of Vietnam. The Imperial City of Hue was actually a walled fortress and palace belonged to the ancient city of Hue which was a capital city of the Nguyen Dynasty for 140 years date back from 1805 until 1945.

The grandeur architecture was planned to be built in 1803 by Gia Long – an emperor who founded the Nguyen Dynasty. During 27 years from 1805 to 1832, the Imperial City of Hue was finally completed under the reign of Minh Mang, making it the most massive structure being built in the history of modern Vietnam involving thousands of workers, millions cubic meters of rock and huge volume of burden workload. It locates on the northern bank of Huong River, turning South with total land area of 520 ha. The place was made UNESCO Site in 1993 with the remained buildings being actively restored and preserved after the destruction from the Vietnam War.

The Imperial City of Hue has a circumference of 10 kilometers with the height of 6.6 meters and 21 meters thick with forts being meanderingly arranged, accompanied by cannons, artilleries and ammunitions. Initially the fortress was built solely by soil, only to be replaced by bricks afterward. Surrounding the city is the complicated canal system served not only as a protection but also as a waterway with nearly seven kilometers.

There are total of ten main majestic gates leading to the Imperial City of Hue, which can be divided into two main parts excluding houses and mansions: The Citadel and The Forbidden City. The former served to protect the important palaces inside while the latter was where the emperor and the royal family stayed as well as the court’s workplace. All the typically traditional Eastern architectures including majestic palaces, tombs and museums stand accordantly together to make an utmost amusing attraction right in the heart of Vietnam.

There is no difficulty getting to the Imperial City. From Phu Bai International Airport, head straight to 1A Highway and you’ll be standing right next to a massive gate leading its way inside; just prepare 50.000 VND for the ticket and all there’s left for you to do is sightseeing the magnificence of the Imperial City of Hue.

Thien Mu pagoda

If Hanoi has One-pillar pagoda, Hue is renowned for its Thien Mu pagoda. The architecture, location and history makes Thien Mu pagoda among the top attractions to see in Hue.

Tu Duc Tomb

A glance at the tomb can create the illusion of a park, packed with frangipani trees and grove of pines.

Drive along the coast via mountain passes to Hoi An with a stop en route at the photogenic village of Lang Co. Upon arrival in Hoi An, pay a visit to one of Hoi An’s famous lantern workshops and learn how to make one yourself before setting out on a walking tour to explore this World Heritage Site. Highlights include an ancient merchant house, the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the vibrant riverside market. Take a peaceful boat trip on the Thu Bon River and afterwards enjoy free time to further explore the old town.
Overnight in Hoi An [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Hoi An Ancient House Resort & Spa

Hoi An Ancient House Resort & Spa includes a 200 years-old ancient house that is recognized as a provincial level relic. Designed in Vietnamese style. This house is a family home since 5 generations and the present owners now, serving travelers the family traditional way.

HOI AN OLD TOWN

Once a major Southeast Asian trading post in the 16th and 17th centuries, the seaside town Hoi An is basically a living museum featuring a unique mixture of East and West in the form of its old-town architecture.

Among the heritage architecture stand Chinese temples, a Japanese-designed bridge, pagodas, wooden shop-houses, French- colonial houses and old canals. Though large-scale trading had long moved elsewhere Hoi An has been successful in preserving and restoring its charming roots and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in December 1999.

Hoi An Riverside is the best place to be at night as the area is lit by quaint and old-fashioned lanterns, making it an atmospheric and beautiful spot. For those who love sea, sun and sand, Hoi An offers two lovely beaches five kilometres away from the town centre – a sort of holiday within a holiday.

Hoi An is known for its great food, fun shopping, skilled tailors, friendly people and cosy atmosphere – all key characteristics that draw people to this picturesque town.

HOI AN RIVERSIDE

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, Hoi An attracted international traders because of its location on the banks of Thu Bon River, conveniently flowing into the East China Sea. The merchants chose to stop here to wait for the right wind directions for their next destinations. Among them were traders from China, Japan, the Netherlands, France, Portugal and India.

Of all the streets in the Old Town, the one that runs east-west to the river’s edge is the liveliest. The traditional buildings and shops have welcomed foreign merchants since the days when the town was known as Hai Pho (Seaside Town). Nowadays it no longer greets foreign traders but tourists and travelers.

However, the seemingly untouched architecture in Hoi An’s Riverside and Old Town was built only about 200 years ago and is made up of a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and colonial styles. Those who wish to see older buildings will have to go further inland where they can find, for example, a 15th century pagoda.

FUJIAN ASSEMBLY HALL IN HOI AN

The photogenic Fujian (Phuc Kien) assembly hall was created as a place in which residents from Fujian in China could meet up and socialise whilst living or visiting Hoi An. Built around 1690 with the main gate added much later, the assembly hall is also a World Cultural Heritage site and is much visited today by those seeking a glimpse of this superb piece of architecture.

The inside of the assembly hall contains the Jinshang Golden Mountain temple dedicated to Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea and caretaker of sailors, featuring altars adorned with delicately carved dragons. There is also a fertility shrine to help answer the prayers of childless couples who visit.

JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE IN HOI AN

One of Vietnam's most iconic attractions, Hoi An's Japanese covered bridge dates back to the 18th century and is a beautiful historical piece of Japanese architecture. It is claimed that it was created by the Japanese then living in Hoi An as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water.

The bridge was opened by Nguyen Phuc Chu Lord in 1719 who carved three Chinese symbols above the door in commemoration. The bridge also features the sculptures of two dogs and two monkeys representing the Chinese years in which many Japanese Emperors were born along with the fact that the building of the bridge began in the year of the dog and was completed in the year of the monkey.

The Japanese Covered Bridge underwent renovation work in 1986 which saw the restoration of the arch that was once flattened to make way for cars. Today, the bridge stands as a symbol of Hoi An and remains as aesthetically pleasing as it was when it first opened.

Depart for Da Nang and catch your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Asian Ruby Luxury Hotel

Located in central Saigon, Asian Ruby Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free internet access, free private parking and 24-hour room service. It also has a spa. Rooms have cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom. Free bottled water and hairdryer are provided. Guests can dine at Asian Ruby's restaurant and bar, which serves Vietnamese and European dishes. Asian Ruby Hotel provides a fitness room, laundry service and bike rental. Massage services are available.

This morning you will visit the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels where Vietnamese guerrillas built a labyrinth of narrow tunnels as hideouts during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a half-day city tour. Highlights include the photo stops at the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office. Visit a local market in Chinatown and either the Thien Hau Temple or the Quan Am Pagoda.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Asian Ruby Luxury Hotel

Located in central Saigon, Asian Ruby Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free internet access, free private parking and 24-hour room service. It also has a spa. Rooms have cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom. Free bottled water and hairdryer are provided. Guests can dine at Asian Ruby's restaurant and bar, which serves Vietnamese and European dishes. Asian Ruby Hotel provides a fitness room, laundry service and bike rental. Massage services are available.

CU CHI TUNNELS IN HO CHI MINH

The Cu Chi Tunnels are basically a huge war museum offering visitors a sneak peak at the underground life of Viet Cong-era soldiers. Comprising more than 120km of tunnels, they were first started around 1948 when the Viet Cong were fighting the French.

Nowadays, the restored tunnels are one of Vietnam’s top attractions and are especially popular with non-Vietnamese tourists. People follow the routes of the underground army and before entering the tunnels visitors will have the chance to watch a short movie and get to understand beforehand how this unusual tunnel system actually works.

CENTRAL POST OFFICE IN HO CHI MINH CITY

The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a beautifully preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. Located next door to Notre Dame Cathedral, the two cultural sites can be visited together and offers visitors a chance to imagine life in Vietnam during the times of the Indochinese Empire. The building was designed by Gustave Eiffel – the renowned engineer who also designed the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower – and features arched windows and wooden shutters, just as it would have in its heyday in the late 19th Century.

The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh was constructed between 1886 and 1891 and once inside, the looping arches, intricately designed marble floors and antiquated telephone boxes all serve as a reminder of the importance the post office played in days before email and mobile phones. Although the architecture is distinctly French, the large portrait of Ho Chi Minh hanging high above everyone at the far end of the building reminds everyone we are definitely in Vietnam. Painted onto walls overhead are two maps of the region; one of them showing the telegraph lines that crisscross Vietnam and Cambodia and the other displaying a map of the Saigon region in 1892.

Although the experience is a fascinating glimpse into history, the fact that this is still a functioning post office makes the experience even sweeter, and we encourage everyone to send a letter or postcard from here – it’s a piece of living history where even the old fashioned glue pots are still in use for sticking stamps to letters. There are two wings branching out from the main office, selling souvenirs, postcards and lacquerware but the prices are inflated and the same products can probably be found elsewhere for a better price.

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL IN HO CHI MINH

In a quiet corner of bustling downtown Ho Chi Minh City stands Notre Dame Cathedral, the one remaining stronghold of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam. Built in the late 1880s by French colonists, it was formerly called Saigon Church. The name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue ‘Peaceful Notre Dame’ in 1959. In 1962, the Vatican conferred the Cathedral status as a basilica and gave it the official name of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

In a quiet corner of bustling downtown Ho Chi Minh City stands Notre Dame Cathedral, the one remaining stronghold of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam.

Built in the late 1880s by French colonists, it was formerly called Saigon Church. The name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue ‘Peaceful Notre Dame’ in 1959. In 1962, the Vatican conferred the Cathedral status as a basilica and gave it the official name of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

REUNIFICATION PALACE IN HO CHI MINH

The iconic Reunification Palace made its name in global history when in 1975 a tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate – thus signifying the end of the Vietnam War. This image is one of the most famous pictures depicting the Reunification Palace which has seen a rich and varied history and once served as the base of the US-backed Vietnamese General Ngo Dinh Diem during the Vietnam War, until his assassination in 1963.

The palace is like a time capsule frozen in 1975 with two of the original tanks used in the capture of the palace parked in the grounds. Originally the site of the Nordom Palace also known as the Governor’s Palace its first role was as a home and workplace for the then French Governor of Cochinchina. The Reunification Palace is a landmark not to be missed by any tourist visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the palace hides secret rooms, antique furniture and a command bunker within its eerie corridors. The Reunification Palace is still in use to host occasions including APEC summits and national events of significant importance.

Drive to Cai Be and take a boat cruise to the Cai Be area. You will have a chance to observe the lively activities of local merchants trading their produce from laden vessels. Visit a village where you will see some family run businesses that produce rice cake and rice paper. After eating lunch at a local house, proceed to Binh Hoa Phuoc islet for a sampan ride before disembarking at Vinh Long for your drive to Can Tho.
Overnight in Can Tho [Breakfast, Lunch]

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch

Kim Tho Hotel

Offering city or river views, air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a wardrobe, seating area, minibar and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Rooms come with en suite bathroom that includes bathtub and free toiletries.

Enjoy a morning boat cruise to the Cai Rang Floating Market full of small boats and vessels that deliver goods from all parts of the Mekong Delta. You will have a chance to observe lively activities of merchants trading their produce as well as enjoying the seasonal fruit before proceeding to Chau Doc, a trading port near the Cambodian border. Upon arrival, enjoy a boat cruise to the Chau Giang fish farm - where fish are raised in cages beneath floating houses - as well as the Cham village.
Overnight in Chau Doc [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Chau Pho

Chau Pho Hotel is located at the centre of Chau Doc City which is among the prettiest 3-star hotels in Chau Doc City. Just 15 minutes drive from the hotel are tourist sites and historical/cultural sites such as Sam Mountain, Thaoi Ngoc Hau Tomb, Tay An Pagoda and Champa Village.

A half day cruise to Phnom Penh gives you a chance to appreciate the immensity of the Mekong River and to witness how locals live and work along the river. Arrive in Phnom Penh and check in to hotel. In the afternoon, you will visit some of the capital’s most impressive sites including the Silver Pagoda containing the Emerald Buddha statue, the Royal Palace and Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh’s oldest shrine. Ending the tour by having an-hour relaxing as you get pampered with a rejuvenating traditional Khmer massage at La Rose Spa.
Overnight in Phnom Penh [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel

Property Location With a stay at Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel, you'll be centrally located in Phnom Penh, steps from Kandal Market and Wat Ounalom. This family-friendly hotel is close to Royal Palace and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Royal Palace

Gleaming in gold, the Royal Palace is one of Phnom Penh?s most splendid architectural achievements. It is home to His Majesty Preah Bat smdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and Her Majesty Preah Reach Akka-Mohesey Norodom Monineath. The palace was built in 1866 by His Majeaty Preah Bat Norodom, great grandfather to our current King. The Royal Palace is built on the site of the old town. This site was especially chosen by a Commission of Royal Ministers and Astrologers because it had great geographical significance in relation to the King, who was regarded as a direct descendant of the gods, whose role it was to live and govern on earth under the influence of heaven.

The Royal Palace contains some spectacular buildings. Not least of which is the Throne Hall, situated to the left of the main entrance. It boasts a 59-meter tower. The tower roof is beautiful, having been decoratively tiered with golden coloured tiles. This building is used for high official celebrations, coronations and audiences with foreign dignitaries and government officials.

The Royal Treasury and the Napoleon II villa lie south to the Royal Throne Hall. North to this stands the Silver pagoda enclosure, otherwise known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha. The Pagoda?s steps are crafted from Italian marble, and within the throne room the regal floor consists of more than 500 solid silver blocks. If calculated together, they weigh nearly six tones. Displayed a round the room, surrounding the main area, stand plush presents from foreign dignitaries.

The magnificent 17th century emerald Buddha statue is made of Baccarat cuystal and solid gold. It weighs 90 kilograms and is adorned with 9,584 diamonds. Bronze statues stand to it?s left and right sides. Next to these, encased under a glass cover, reside a golden locus. Within this area other ancient treasures include a large Buddha?s footprint, representing the 108 past lives of the Buddha before he was re-incarnated as Prince Siddharta, who subsequently gained enlightenment. On the wall, surrounding the Pagoda compound, (the oldest par of the palace) are hundreds of meters of frescos depicting an episode of the Indian epic Ramayana. These are the biggest mural frescos in South East Asia.

The Royal Palace sits between streets 184 and 240. The main entrance is situated on Samdech Sothearos Boulevard via the Pavilion of Dancers. Opposite the entrance sits another almost equally stunning Royal spectacle. The Royal Residence, along with their Royal Highnesses, houses the sacred white elephant, the most auspicious and reverd symbol of royal beneficence within Cambodia.

Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh

Set on top of a tree-covered knoll 27m high, Wat Phnom is the only hill in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong and discovered by a woman name, Penh. The main entrance to Wat Phnom is via the grand eastern staircase, which is guarded by lions and naga (snake) balustrades. Today, many people come here to pray for good luck and success in school exams or business affairs. When a petitioner's wish is granted, he or she returns to make the offering (such as a garland of jasmine flowers or bananas, of which the spirits are said to be especially fond) promised when the request was made.

The vihara (temple sanctuary) was rebuilt in 1434, 1806, 1894, and, most recently, in 1926. West of the vihara is an enormous stupa containing the ashes of King Ponhea Vat (reigned 1405 to 1467). In a small pavilion on the south side of the passage between the vihara and the stupa is a statue of the smiling and rather plump Madame Penh.A bit to the north of the vihara and below it is an eclectic shrine dedicated to the genie Preah Chau, who is especially revered by the Vietnamese. On either side ofthe entrance to the chamber in which a statue of Preah Chau sits are guardian spirits bearing iron bats. On the tile table in front of the two guardian spirits are drawings of Confucius, and two Chinese-style figures of the sages Thang Cheng (on the right) and Thang Thay (on the left). To the left of the central altar is an eight-armed statue of Vishnu.

Down the hill from the shrine is a royal stupa sprouting full-size trees from its roof. For now, the roots are holding the bricks together in their net-like grip, but when the trees die the tower will slowly crumble. If you can't make it out to Angkor, this stupa gives a pretty good idea of what the jungle can do (and is doing) to Cambodia's monuments. Curiously, Wat Phnom is the only attraction in Phnom Penh that is in danger of turning into a circus. Beggars, street urchins, women selling drinks and children selling birds in cages (you pay to set the bird free locals claim the birds are trained to return to their cage afterwards) pester everyone who turns up to slog the 27m to the summit. Fortunately it's all high-spirited stuff, and it's difficult to be annoyed by the vendors, who after all, are only trying to eke out a living. trip on this road you will get the fresh air from the Mekong and Bassac rivers, especially around the garden in front of the Royal Palace. Furthermore, you will have the special chance to relax and chat with your lovely friends at the riverside. And just sit on the benches or walking through the riverbanks you can absorb the fresh air from the river and see the whole view of beautiful river, in order to reduce stress or complicate.

Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh

Wat Preah Keo Morakot (Silver Pagoda) is located in the southern portion of the Royal Palace complex. The pagoda was formerly known as Wat Uborsoth Rotannaram because it is where the King worshiped, prayed and practiced every Buddhist Silas Day. In the additional, the royal family and officials also held Buddhist ceremonies there.This pagoda has no monks. However, this Majestic King Norodom Sihanouk lived there for one year when he entered the monkhood on July 31, 1947. Because the pagoda has no monks, visitors usually refer to it as Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot. When the King celebrates Buddhist ceremonies, monks from other pagoda such as Wat Unaloam and Wat Botumvattey are invited to attend the ceremonies. Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot was built between 1892 and 1902, during the region of King Norodom, but at that time it was constructed of wood and brick. Its design is base on Cambodian architectural style. Then Banhchos Khan Seima ceremony was held on Feb 5, 1903.

The temple was later damaged, and Queen Kosamak Neary Rath asked that it be repaired. Under the direction of her son Samdach Preah Norodom Sihanouk, who at that time was the head of state, the old temple was dismantled and reconstructed in 1962 on the same site with reinforced concrete. The floor was laid with silver tiles, and the columns were covered with glass stone imported from Italy. The architecture, however, remained the same.This temple is called Pheah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot because the main Buddha statue is made of priceless emerald, which Cambodians call Keo Morakot. Westerners, however, prefer to call the temple the Silver Pagoda because of the 5,329 genuine silver tiles that cover the floor.

There are 1,650 art objects housed in this temple. Most of them are Buddha figures. They are made of gold, silver, bronze and other valuable materials. Some are decorated with diamonds. They are gifts from the King, the royal family, dignitaries and other people who worship at Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, where they pray for peace and prosperity, for happiness and for the preservation of Cambodian cultural heritage for the next generation. In front of the throne, site a Buddha statue made of gold, weighing 90 kilograms (about 200 pounds) and decorated with 2,086 diamonds. The biggest diamond is on the crown. It is 25 millimeters. This statue was commissioned in 1904 by King Sisowath, following the suggestion of King Norodom. King Norodom said, after his body was cremated the gold casket should be melted to make Buddha statue representing Preah Srei Araymetrey. This Buddha statue is named Preah Chin Raingsei Rachik Norodom.

Objects of particular interest in the Preah Vihear Keo Morakot include: The Preah Keo Morakot, the Emerald Buddha, which sits atop throne in the center of the temple. There is a small glass cabinet that contains what Buddhists believe are ashes of the Buddha. The ashes were brought from Sri Lanka in 1956 by Samdech Head Monk Lvea Em, who stayed in Wat Langka in Phnom Penh. In a nearby cabinet sits a gold Buddha figure offered by Queen Kosamak Nearyrath, mother of King Norodom Shihanouk, in 1969. This Buddha figure is protected by naga. It represents when Buddha stayed at the Muchalonti Pond. Objects in other cabinets are the keepsakes and decorated objects for royal and Buddhist ceremonies. The temple is surrounded by lofty gallery. On the wall of the gallery, there are traditional paintings of the entire Ream Ke epic. These paintings were done by 40 Cambodian artists between 1903 and 104 under the direction of Oknha Tep Nimit. The Ream Ke painting is 642 meters long and 3meters high. It starts from the south of the eastern gallery and winds its way around the gallery. This means that visitors must walk in a circle to see the entire story.

The ancient epic Ream Ke along the gallery shows a unique scene not copied completely from Indian Ramayana. Because some plots of Cambodian Ream Ke are so mysterious, visitors mush look at the painting carefully. Visitors who are familiar with Indian Ramayana will understand the Cambodian Reap Ke easily, even thought the two versions are different. Some themes are also depicted by La Khon Khaol or depicted in Sbek Thom and other sculpted figures. Astrologers also use the story to tell fortunes. Weather, structural damage and destruction by visitors over the years have caused the paintings to deteriorate. In 1985, the Cambodian government was cooperating with the government of Poland to restore, protect and maintain the paintings. The venture lasted only five years, however, because the budget was terminated. Today the Cambodian government is looking for way to conserve, restore and maintain this cultural heritage.

Monks from Phnom Penh and other provinces once studied the Pali language in classes that were held along the gallery before the Pali School was opened in Phnom Penh on Dec 16, 1930. In front of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot, are two stupas and a statue under the roof. The south stupas hold the cremains of King Ang Doung, the great-great grandfather of King Sihanouk. The north stupas hold cremains of King Norodom, the great grandfather of King Shihanouk. Both stupas were dedicated on March 13, 1980. The statue of King Norodom riding a horse was erected in 1875. It was the keepsake of the French King Napoleon III. It was kept in front of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot in 1892, but at that time there was no roof. During King Sihanouk?s crusade to win independence fron France, he prayed in front of the statue. After Cambodia won its dependence on Nov 11, 1953, King Sihanouk had the roof built in honor of King Norodom.

South of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot beside Thamma Hall, a place for praying, and the stupa of King Sihanouk?s father, King Norodom Soramrith, which was built in 1960, visitor find: Keung Prah BatKeung Preah Bat houses the footprints of the four Buddhas who have already reached enlightenment. Those Buddhas are Kok Santhor, Neak Komonor, Kasabor and Damonakodom. In additional to the four Buddha, Preah Srei Araynetrey, whom Buddhist believe has not yet been born. They believe that he will come 5,000 years after the fourth Buddha reaches Nirvana. Buddhists believe that Preah Srei Araymetrey will come and help the people. Phnom Khan Malineati Borapat Kailasha Phnom Khan Malineati Borapat Kailasha or Phnom Mondul is the manmade hill that represents Phnom Kailasha, where the Buddha left his footprints on the stone. On the Phnom Mondul, there is a statue of the Buddha and 108 blessings of life before the Buddha reaches enlightenment.

Kunthabopha Stupa was built in 1960 as the resting place for the ashes of Princess Norodom Kunthaboph, the daughter of King Norodom Sihanouk. She was 4years old when she died of dengue fever. The stupa?s design is base on the ancient Banteay Srei temple in Siem Reap. West of Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot is a bell hall. The bell is used in the various ceremonies and to mark the opening and closing of the Silver Pagoda. In the past, the bell was also used to call the monks who studied Pali in the palace. To the north, is a building that houses. Tipitaka, the fundamental scriptural canon of Buddhism. They include Sutta Pitaka.

The Sutta Pitaka, a collection of discourses, is primarily composed of dialogues between the Buddha and other people. It consists of five groups of texts: Digha Nikaya(Collection of long discourses), Mijjhima Nikaya (collection of medium discourses), Samyutta Nikaya (collection of grouped discourses), Anguttara Nikaya (collection of discourses on numbered topics), and Khuddaka Nikaya(collection of miscellaneous texts). In the fifth group, the Jatakas, comprising stories of former lives of the Buddha, and the Dhammapada (religious sentences), a summary of the Buddha?s teachings on mental discipline and morality, are especially popular. The Vinaya Pitaka, the code of monastic discipline, consists of more than 225 rules governing the conducts of Buddhist monks and nuns. Each is accompanied by a story explaining the original reason for the rule. The rule are arranged according to the seriousness of the offense resulting from their violation. Abhidharma Patika

The Abhidharma Patika contains philosophical, psychological, and doctrinal discussions and classifications. It consists of seven separate works. They include detailed classifications of psychological phenomena, metaphysical analysis, and a thesaurus of technical vocabulary. The Building also houses a Shiva's mount Nandi. This figure was found buried in Koh Thom district in Kandal province in 1983. It is estimated to be 80 percent silver and 20 percent bronze, copper, lead, iron and zinc.

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check in. Afterwards, access Angkor Thom via the Southern Gate to explore the ancient city, and then proceed to visit the ruins at Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, the Royal Palace, the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Angkor Wat where its extraordinary architecture offers an opportunity to experience a spectacular sunset over the monuments.
Overnight in Siem Reap [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Treasure Oasis Hotel

With a prime location in the heart of the city's central district, Treasure Oasis offers top class accommodation and exceptional dining options for visitors to Siem Reap.The colonial-style design and traditional Khmer ornaments enhance their guests' experience of the captivating architecture and showcase the refined culture of Cambodia.The hotel welcomes you to a secluded paradise, steeped in rich cultural tradition and filled with warm Khmer hospitality.

Angkor Wat

There are few places anywhere on earth to match the splendour of Angkor Wat. The temple is one of the largest monuments to religion ever built and is truly one the wonders of the world. Believed to have been constructed as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is probably the best-preserved of the Angkorean temples. As with other Angkorean temples and walled cities such as Angkor Thom, the central theme of Khmer architecture revolved around the idea of the temple-mountain.

By the time building on Angkor Wat was begun early in the 12th century, this had been elaborated to a central tower surrounded by four smaller towers. The central monument represents the mythical Mount Meru, the holy mountain at the centre of the universe, which was home to the Hindu god Vishnu. The five towers symbolise Mount Meru's five peaks. It is difficult to express in words the enormous scale of Angkor Wat, but it can be explained in part by a look at the dimensions of the complex. The temple is surrounded by a moat which makes the one around the Tower of London, built at roughly the same time, look like nothing more than a garden trench.

At 190 metres wide and forming a rectangle measuring 1.5 km by 1.3 km, it is hard to imagine any attacking force overwhelming the defences. But the moat was more than just a defensive bulwark, in line with the temple's Hindu origins it represented the oceans of the world. A rectangular wall measuring 1025 metres by 800 metres borders the inner edge of the moat. There is a gate in each side of the wall, but unusually for the mainly Hindu-influenced Angkorian temples, the main entrance faces west. This entrance is a richly decorated portico, 235 m wide with three gates. However, the temple's greatest sculptural treasure is its 2 km-long bas-reliefs around the walls of the outer gallery and the hundred figures of devatas and apsaras. This intricately carved gallery tells stories of the god Vishnu and of Suryavarman II's successes on the battlefield. The whole complex covers 81 hectares.

Bayon & Ta Prohm Temples

Aside from Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon may be the best known and most photographed of the “other” temples. Ta Prohm is popular because of its lost temple in the jungle atmosphere, overgrown with trees and vines, and Bayon is famous for its huge enigmatic, carved stone faces.

The Bayon Temple is the dominant feature inside the walled city of Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm is not far outside the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom. Both are Buddhist temples, and were constructed by King Jayavarman VII; Bayon in the late 12th century, and Ta Prohm from the mid 12th century to the early 13th century. These two magnificent examples of Angkor temple architecture should not be missed. See below for details of these two ancient structures.

After breakfast, visit the graceful 11th century Temple of Shiva – Banteay Srei – and the Banteay Samre Temple. On the way back, swing by the Ta Prohm Temple which is mystically enveloped in the jungle.  In the afternoon, we drive to a local monastery, meet the resident monks and participate in a private spiritual blessing ceremony. Sit on the mat while the monks chant blessings and sprinkle holy water on you – a traditional way believed to pass on good luck from gods. Afterwards, a red sacred thread will be tied around your wrist as a symbol of luck and prosperity. Traditionally, this is also believed to protect you from evil spirits or accidents and is a memorable experience!
Overnight in Siem Reap [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Treasure Oasis Hotel

With a prime location in the heart of the city's central district, Treasure Oasis offers top class accommodation and exceptional dining options for visitors to Siem Reap.The colonial-style design and traditional Khmer ornaments enhance their guests' experience of the captivating architecture and showcase the refined culture of Cambodia.The hotel welcomes you to a secluded paradise, steeped in rich cultural tradition and filled with warm Khmer hospitality.

Free until transfer to the airport for departure flight.
[Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICES ARE:

  • Vietnam visa approval number processing fee    
  • Accommodation & daily breakfast   
  • Transportation on tour in air-conditioned vehicles    
  • Local English speaking guides    
  • Entrance fees for all sight-seeing tours  as specified in the itinerary    
  •  Meals as specified in the itinerary    
  • Bottled water for sightseeing tours     
  • International air ticket reconfirmation

NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICES ARE:

  • Vietnam visa stamping fee     
  • Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar visa     
  • International airfares  
  • Beverages during included meals    
  • All personal expenses    
  • Personal insurance    
  • Gratuities for guide, driver, waiter/waitress, bell boy, boat crew etc.    
  • All other services not mentioned in the itinerary