Halong Bay & Five-Star Vietnam River Cruise With Angkor Wat & Phnom Penh Extension
0 nights. October 2020. From £3825.00.
BOOK TODAY TO RECEIVE A FREE FESTIVE HAMPER - USE CODE: HAMPERFESTIVE
On this luxurious journey of the senses, you'll experience a part of the world where time - for now at least - stands still. Here, on the waterways of Vietnam, age-old traditions are passed down through generations and defy the encroaching modern world, and the stunning scenery, through which you'll ply your languid course, will etch itself forever upon your memory. Back on land you'll say goodbye to Vietnam and head to Cambodia, extending your tour to discover the vast serenity of Angkor Wat, the 'lost city' of Angkor Thom and the palaces and museums of Phnom Penh.
What's IncludedA night’s pre-cruise bed and breakfast accommodation in Hanoi
Ten nights’ full-board accommodation aboard five-star RV Angkor Pandaw, sharing with a twin-bedded Main Deck cabin (upgrade cabin available for a supplement)
Five nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at hotels in Siem Reap (3 nights) and Phnom Penh (2)
Main meals, locally made soft drinks, beer and spirits, jugged coffee and teas, mineral water, guide services, entrances and crew gratuities (excludes local guides and drivers)
Return flights to Hanoi (returning from Phnom Penh via Singapore)
Internal flights from Hanoi to Siem Reap and from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager (please note: the ship’s appointed guides will take care of you on board the cruise)
Holiday HighlightsColonial Hanoi, Vietnam’s charming capital
Five-star luxury on board RV Angkor Pandaw
Exploring Cambodia's world-famous temples and cities at the end of your cruise
The vast 'dark and bright cave' in Ha Long Bay
Cruising from Ha Long Bay, through the Red River Delta and on the Da River to Hoa Binh
Cruise the Kinh Thay River
The remote villages of the Lower Red River
Verdant Ba Vi National Park and ancient Duong Lam
See the vast Hoa Binh Dam
Enjoy a traditional water puppet shows and dance performances, visit ancient pagodas and meet local artisans
Visit Hoa Binh's Muong museum
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Fly overnight from the UK to Hanoi.
Day 2Meet your tour manager and transfer to elegant, romantic Hanoi, for an overnight stay. Enjoy an introductory walking tour of the Vietnamese capital, with its colonial architecture, labyrinthine old quarter, tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake and island Ngoc Son Temple. After the opportunity to rest and relax, enjoy your first taste of Vietnamese cuisine, dining in the hotel or nearby at your leisure.
Day 3After breakfast, board the coach to journey through a landscape of timeless paddies dotted with remote villages, to stunning, UNESCO-listed Halong Bay. The smiling crew of RV Angkor Pandaw, your luxurious, exclusively chartered floating home-from-home, will be waiting to welcome you aboard. Settle into your teak-lined cabin and, as you enjoy an evening cruise through the bay’s astonishing limestone scenery, sip at your welcome cocktail before your first dinner is served. Retire to your cabin as the ship drops anchor in a sheltered bay.
Day 4Wake in dramatic Halong Bay, and as breakfast is served, sail through the spectacular seascape, where countless limestone pillars and cone-shaped islands rise out of the water. A shore call brings the opportunity, by ship’s bicycles or by motorised buggy, to discover the ancient village of Viet Hai. This jungle oasis draws visitors from across the globe to its pristine, verdant setting. Wander the village vegetable garden and perhaps taste local produce, before returning to the ship to cruise further into beautiful Lan Ha Bay. Weather-permitting, cocktails will be taken on the beach – bring your swimwear – before dinner is served on board once again.
Day 5A morning’s cruise through beautiful Halong Bay brings the chance to visit the spectacular ‘dark and bright cave’, a vast chasm boasting giant stalactites and a bat colony, reached either by kayak or on a traditional fisherman’s leg-rowed basket boat. As you head into the Red River delta to drop anchor near bustling Hai Phong, the rest of the day passes lazily by. Enjoy a fruit-carving demonstration from the chef, who will also unveil the secrets of the famous Vietnamese spring roll, before another dinner is served.
Day 6Stretch out in the shade on a deck lounger, as the ship passes through the Kinh Thay River, North Vietnam’s key commercial waterway. Enjoy an entertaining on-board talk from your guide, and after lunch aboard ship, join the afternoon excursion to idyllic village Thanh Ha, where as well as meeting the locals, you will be treated to a traditional water puppet show. Return to the ship and enjoy dinner as she continues upstream.
Day 7Another relaxing day sees you sailing towards Hanoi, pausing en route to visit Bat Trang, an ancient pottery-making village. Here, you will see craftsman at work and be treated to the colourful sight of a lion and unicorn dance, an ages-old tradition dating back to Chinese dominion over the region.
Day 8Today sees you arrive once more in teeming, fascinating Hanoi, where highlights include visits to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the former leader’s traditional house, the Imperial Citadel and the fascinating Temple of Literature, where Confucius once sat, thinking. Take in the notorious ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison and, less sombrely, enjoy a guided visit to a coffee shop to learn about Vietnam’s coffee industry. The ship will moor overnight in the city, enabling you to dine aboard or ashore at your leisure.
Day 9Cruise inland on to the Lower Red River, a pastoral landscape punctuated at times by bustling, commercialised towns. Step ashore to journey through the paddies, which are studded with startling limestone outcrops – a classic North Vietnamese scene unchanged in centuries – and visit two of the country’s most important Buddhist pagodas. A memorable day is completed with a visit to a traditional carpenter’s workshop, where some remarkable artefacts are exquisitely fashioned. This evening, you’ll arrive in Viet Tri, gateway to the Vietnamese Highlands.
Day 10Another morning’s cruise sees you enter the Lo River, which flows south from China through the northern ranges. You’ll head to the busy ferry station at Tien Du, for the short drive to traditional village Gia Thanh, where iconic, conical Vietnamese hats are fashioned by hand from palm leaves and bamboo, to a 3,000-year-old design. Another drive brings you to the Hung Lo Temple at Viet Tri, where traditional stories are passed from generation to generation through the medium of Xoan singing – yet another example of how life remains unchanged in rural Vietnam today.
Day 11Enjoy a relaxing morning’s cruise into the Da River, passing through the verdant, mountainous landscape of the Ba Vi National Park, with its tropical flora, before arriving this afternoon in Hoa Binh, the last port of call for Angkor Pandaw. Another fascinating included excursion brings you to ancient Duong Lam village, birthplace of two Vietnamese kings and where houses are fashioned from mud and clay. Back aboard ship, there’s a chance to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour, including the galley and engine room.
Day 12A last full day brings the opportunity to explore Hoa Binh, home to the ethnic Muong people, and site of a fierce battle during the Indochina War of 1951-52. Take a morning boat ride to Southeast Asia’s largest hydroelectric dam and this evening complete a wonderful tour of this unspoiled part of Vietnam with a visit to a rural village, to enjoy a traditional dance demonstration. A last dinner aboard brings opportunities to reflect on the past few days’ wonders with fellow guests.
Day 13Disembark Angkor Pandaw after breakfast, bidding farewell to the crew and guides, to board the coach for a morning visit to another local village untrammelled by the modern world. After a stop for lunch, the final highlights of the tour are visits to the 1,000-year-old Soc Son temple, set close to its hill-top pagoda and giant bronze Buddha, and to beautiful Thanh Chuong Palace, with its exquisite art collection. A final drive through the classic landscape brings you near to Hanoi, where dinner is provided before you transfer to the airport, checking in for your flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Days 14-15Spend the next few days discovering some of South East Asia's greatest treasures. Discover the four vast stone heads and countless carved faces of the Bayon, which stands in the heart of the 'lost city' of Angkor Thom. Visit the world's largest religious building, Angkor Wat, to see the sun rise over its five great towers and 1000-metre-long carved bas-relief, explore the incredible Angkor National Museum, and sail across the waters of Tonlé Sap and enjoy a traditional Cambodian dinner-dance show
Days 16-17On Day 16 of your extended holiday you'll fly to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, on the banks of the Mekong River. During your time here, you'll see The Royal Palace and its Silver Pagoda filled with priceless Buddhist artefacts; visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, which chronicles the Pol Pot years and the reign of the Khmer Rouge; and enjoy dinner at the famous, riverside Foreign Correspondents' Club. On the evening of Day 17 you'll transfer to the airport, and check in for your overnight flight via Singapore and begin your journey home.
Day 18Arrive back in the UK early this morning, at the end of a wonderful South East Asian adventure. Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 minutes.
Combining hotel transfersWe sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotelsShould circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.