Day 1: New Zealand – – Ho Chi Minh City
Depart from Australia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City
On arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel for your check in.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City (B)
This morning is spent discovering Saigon with highlights such as, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, War Remnant Museum and soaking up the atmosphere at Ben Thanh market, one of Ho Chi Minh’s liveliest areas.
Afternoon is free of leisure for your own exploration. You may sign up for the following optional activity.
Optional: Saigon Unknown Parts. Join us on a guided tour to discover the lesser known parts of Saigon. To get us started we will board a coach for 20 minute drive to the Saigon riverside in District 3 where we find a local floating fruit market. Walk along to learn about a variety of tropical fruits grown in the Mekong Delta and transported here daily by boats. The exploration also includes the colourful flower market nearby. From here we will walk along the narrow alleys of the Old Saigon, stopping at a special local café where the owner still prepare the coffee in the way as it was decades ago. Take a cup while interacting with the locals all around then transfer back to the hotel. Additional cost applies.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
Visit Cu Chi Tunnels. During the Vietnam War, guerrilla fighters built a labyrinth of narrow tunnels, using them to hide in during bombing raids and to stage surprise attacks. Today, the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction, giving visitors a unique understanding of what life was like during the Vietnam War. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll be transferred back to the city where lecture of “Traditional Wedding Anniversary” is conducted by our guide. It may be arranged either in the hotel or a café, depending on the group size. The evening is free of leisure.
Optional: Vespa Adventure tour. Discover Saigon’s nightlife on the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. You will be picked up at your hotel and start off your amazing night with some cocktail appetiser at café Zoom. Afterwards, enjoy some Saigon’s best authentic local food, followed by a stop at a Vietnamese- style coffee shop featuring live music bar where local people party. Additional cost applies.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Enjoy a day of leisure to explore Ho Chi Minh City.
Optional: Travel to Ben Tre to discover the unique lifestyle of inhabitants living along the Mekong Delta. Board your cruise on Ben Tre River (one of the tributaries of Mekong River) before stopping at a brickworks to see how bricks are made in traditional style by printing and baking. Next, visit a coconut processing workshop located along canal. Turn on natural scissors creeks where they look smaller and smaller which will lead to a local village. Walk to a family workshop to observe how sleep mats being made while enjoying some fruits and tea. Then you’ll take a motor cart or cycle under shady trees, pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains all while getting a feel for the life and tropical culture from Peasants. Lunch is served at a riverside restaurant. In the afternoon, you’ll take a row-boat along water palm creek and then boat back to Hung Vuong Pier, where your transport is waiting back to Ho Chi Minh City. Lunch will be included on your Mekong Delta tour. Additional cost applies.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Today is free to do as little or as much as you like.
Optional: See Saigon at Dawn. Experience the lives of the local Saigonese community with a walk throughout the park. Whilst there, witness the morning rituals that people perform to start their day, from Tai Chi to bird cafes. This walk is sure to further immerse you in the local life of Ho Chi Minh City. Additional cost applies.
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City – – Siem Reap (B)
Today you will be transported to Saigon airport for your flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. On arrival at Saigon airport, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Optional: Sunset tour over Angkor Thom. Hop on a bus for the transfer to the South Gate of Angkor Thom where you will be strongly impressed with its magic old doors and artefacts. Embark on an Angkor gondola, a replica of a traditional Khmer boat, which is propelled with a wooden paddle by an experienced oarsman. Glide gently along the Southern Angkor Thom’s moat while admiring the sunset over Angkor Archaeological Park. Once you reach the southwest corner of the Ancient City, disembark near one of the four temples called Prasat Chrung and hike with your guide to the ruined building, constructed in the late 12th century. Walk under the shade of trees to the top of the gate, where a sunset viewpoint awaits. During your visit, learn about the four small sandstone temples, which were dedicated to a bodhisattva and designed in the style of Prasat Bayon, the magnificent temple at the centre of Angkor Thom. Additional cost applies.
Day 8: Siem Reap – Angkor Temples (B)
Spend a full day discovering the mystical Angkor temples. Your day starts with a visit to Angkor Wat, then we will visit the ancient Ta Prohm Monastery. In the afternoon, visit Angkor Thom (the Great City) beginning by the west gate and the famous Bayon of the 12th and 13th centuries. Then, journey to the Elephant Terrace and the raised Leper King Terrace, built in the 12th century and which features many beautifully sculptured Apsaras. Tonight is at leisure.
Day 9: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh (B)
You are free time at leisure in the morning before your journey by bus to Phnom Penh. Spend your five-hour-driving through the rice fields and visit Kampong Cham on the road also. Late afternoon, you arrive in Phnom Penh and check in your hotel where the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Day 10: Phnom Penh (B,L)
This morning we take in everything Phnom Penh has the offer, The Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Wat Ounalom. Afterwards, enjoy shopping for unique souvenirs at Central Market. Over lunch, we watch the royal dance rehearsal by the Apsara Arts Association. Later, journey to the place where journalists camped on the eve of the Khmer Rouge takeover. Tour the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school that served as Khmer Rouge prison, before heading to the Choeung Ek Killing Field. This is an opportunity to reflect, remember and pay respect to all those whose lives were affected by this tragic part of Cambodian history.
Day 11: Phnom Penh – – New Zealand (B)
Today you are free at leisure before your transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Day 12: New Zealand
Arrive home in New Zealand this morning.