3/126 Albert Road, Warragul VIC 3820 Phone: (03) 5623 5151 Fax: (03) 5623 4952 Email us EMERGENCY NUMBER +61 (0)419 213 274
Vietnam and Cambodia
Personally escorted by Jacquey Turner
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 7pm
We are currently taking expressions of interest for this tour in February 2020
SAMPLE ITINERARY ONLY
The itinerary below is from a previous tour and should be used as a guide ONLY to the proposed tour being organised for February 2020
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Departs Melbourne: 10th November 2014
Concludes: 3rd December 2014
Mon 10 November – Melbourne – Hanoi
We shall have a morning departure from Gippsland to Melbourne Airport for our flight to Hanoi via Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines.
After clearing immigration we shall be met by our Vietnam-based national guide, Le Dinh Thanh (Thom), at Hanoi Airport’s Arrival Area and transferred to the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel in downtown Hanoi for the next three nights.
Tuesday, 11 November: Hanoi
We shall have some free time before we leave the hotel for a one-hour orientation tour of Hanoi by cyclo, riding through the bustling Old Quarter of the 36 streets and 36 wares and other major landmarks of the capital city. The cyclo tour ends at Koto for lunch. This is an Australian-funded establishment aimed at helping Hanoi street kids. After lunch we will visit the Museum of Ethnology and the Temple of Literature before returning to the hotel to freshen up. We shall then take a short guided walk to the nearby Press Club for a (Vietnamese cuisine) welcome dinner. After dinner we return to the hotel.
Wednesday, 12 November: Hanoi
After breakfast we set off on a full day tour of Hanoi including the Vietnamese Women Museum, the Ho Chi Minh House-On-Stilts, the Presidential Palace (viewed from the outside only) and Ngoc Ha Village (to see remains of a B-52 that was shot down during the 1972 American bombing). After lunch, we shall visit the Hanoi Hilton Prison before returning to the hotel for a short break before we head out to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre for a water puppet show. Dinner tonight is at our leisure.
Thursday, 13 November: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Today we take a private guided transfer to Halong. On arrival in Halong, we board the Jasmine Junk Boat for an overnight cruise among the rocky limestone islands in the emerald waters of Halong Bay.
Friday, 14 November: Halong Bay – Hanoi
We shall enjoy further cruising around Halong Bay this morning before we disembark after a late morning brunch. On our way back to Hanoi we shall stop for a visit to a local pottery village before returning to the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel, for an overnight stay. Dinner tonight is at our leisure.
Saturday, 15 November: Hanoi – Hue
There will be time to relax this morning before we check out of the hotel around noon. We have an early afternoon transfer to Hanoi Airport for our flight to Hue. On our arrival we shall be met and transferred to the La Residence Hotel & Spa for two nights. Tonight we will have a dinner at the Ancient Hue restaurant, located in a cultural art complex, a short distance by coach from the hotel.
Sunday, 16 November: Hue
This morning we shall take a short cyclo ride to the Citadel. We shall tour the Citadel & the Forbidden City then continue by private coach to the boat pier for a 30-minute boat ride along Perfume River to Thiem Mu Pagoda. After we return to the hotel our afternoon is at leisure. Time to relax or take a stroll to the Dong Ba Market which is within walking distance from our hotel.
Monday, 17 November: Hue – Danang – Hoi An
We continue our travels this morning as we drive to Hoi An over the scenic Cloud Pass, stopping at Non Nuoc and Marble Mountain en route. We shall stop for lunch at the Blue Whale restaurant in Danang. In the afternoon on our guided walking tour of the ancient town of Hoi An we will visit the former merchant houses, the 400 year old Japanese covered bridge, and colourful silk and antique shops. Our hotel for the next three nights is the Anantara Hoian Resort. Dinner tonight is at Brother Café restaurant, an easy walking distance from the resort.
Tuesday, 18 November: Hoi An’s Wet Rice Farm tour
Rice is the staple diet in many Asian countries, especially in Vietnam. Perhaps, you have seen rice growing in most of Asian rice paddy fields. However, you do not know the sequence of rice cultivation in Vietnam. It is still secret know-how for the western tourists. Through today’s tour, we will learn how to cultivate rice in the fields and experience the hardships of the Vietnamese farmers.
The tour begins with a guided transfer to nearby village and then we start biking to the countryside past rice paddies, where we meet & interact with local farmers, learn about their daily farming life and have a cup of tea with them in the middle of the rice field farm. Our tour guide will introduce and explain about the process of the wet rice growing. We learn how to grow wet rice with water buffalo plough and how to use agricultural water system. We can also try our hand at riding on water buffalo at a small pond at the rice farm and have a local meal with the local farmer at their house before a private guided transfer back to the hotel. We have the rest of the day to relax. If you prefer not to cycle mini bus transfers will be provided.
Wednesday, 19 November: Hoian’s Red Bride cooking class
We will have plenty of time this morning to further explore Hoi An at our leisure. In the afternoon take a short guided walk to Hai Café, Red Bridge Cooking School’s for a private cooking class. We shall enjoy a welcome drink at Hai Café, followed by a visit to Hoi An’s colourful market to experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. Here we will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about all the ingredients that will be used in the cooking lessons. We then board the Red Bridge boat for a 25-minute cruise along the Thu Bon River to the Red Bridge Cooking School past local villages along the banks of the river. On arrival at the school, we explore the school’s herb garden before having our hands-on cooking experience. Dinner is at the school with the food you will have cooked!
Thursday, 20 November: Hoian – Danang – Saigon – Cu Chi
After breakfast we will be transferred to Danang Airport for our flight to Saigon. On arrival in Saigon we shall have lunch at nearby Pho 24 restaurant, before travelling to Cu Chi to explore the amazing underground tunnel system built by Vietnamese guerilla fighters during the war. Return to Saigon and check into the Renaissance Riverside Hotel for a two night stay. Dinner will be at our leisure.
Friday, 21 November: Saigon
This morning we will have a guided exploration of bustling Saigon with visits to the Presidential Palace, the War Museum, the Old Post Office, the Notre-Dame Cathedral viewed from the outside and the Ben Thanh Market. We shall then have the rest of the day at leisure to explore. Dinner tonight is at Temple Club restaurant which is within easy walking distance from the hotel
Saturday, 22 November: Saigon – My Tho – Cai Be
We have a relaxing morning before we leave the hotel around noon to join our seven night Jahan Cruise. We bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon as we travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark our boutique ship. We will be served a refreshing welcome drink as the Ship steadily glides along the Mekong. We will bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a briefing at the lounge, then dinner. When approaching Cai Be, the ship drops anchor to moor midstream where the river is several kilometres wide.
Sunday, 23 November: Cai Be – Sa Dec – Chau Doc
The day, in fact every day, starts with an invigorating tai-chi lesson on the sundeck, just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. The day’s tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colourful floating market on board a traditional sampan. During the languid ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and take in the rustic life on the Mekong Delta.
The cruise will halt intermittenly to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, we head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the ship for lunch.
In the afternoon we cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, we embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets.
We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc. The Ship will moor mid-stream overnight.
Monday, 24 November: Chau Doc – border crossing
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast in the restaurant or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will also visit the colourful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where we will be feted to a boat excursion to the floating villages and rustic catfish farms.
We will certainly enjoy watching schools of basa fish being fed by hand followed by a shore excursion to the local Cham Muslim community village. Then, it is back to the ship for a mouth-watering lunch. By mid-afternoon, the cruise liner will make its way to the border en route to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. It is an opportune time to relax on-board, sharpen your culinary skills with our hands-on cooking classes or tour the ship with our impeccable Cruise Director. Or, better yet, do all three. “The Highway Blues” beckon as we float into a state of mild bliss caused by the hypnotic murmur of the ship’s engine. After hours of cruising, we will feel the rush of entering into a new country and to embrace new adventures. Overnight mid-stream near Phnom Penh.
Tuesday, 25 November: Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. After breakfast, we will appreciate a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia’s modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of this historical capital city of Cambodia which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning will include visiting the white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Genocide museum and the Killing Field. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime.
We go back to the ship after our museum visit. You may then wish to take a rest in your cabin or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck. Enjoy an Aspara dance performance onboard. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sundeck. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open with the stars and the moon as our companions. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Wednesday, 26 November: Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham
We will depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh silk weaving village. We will then return to the ship and will cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages, river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their make-shift boats.
We will tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stood still. We are transported back a hundred years into an era unsullied by modernity. The houses here are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. But most of all, we feel overwhelmed by the warmth of the villagers.
We can take part in the daily activities of the villagers to experience village life first hand. Then, we are back to the Ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham. Overnight Kampong Cham.
Thursday, 27 November: Kampong Chan – Wat Hanchey
We will wake up in the small hours of the morning to embark on a land journey to the pre- Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. We can either take a motor-taxi or climb the 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks.
When the tide allows, we will enjoy a surprise sojourn in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby beach to swim in the tea-coloured Mekong River, an experience that will, no doubt, be a highlight.
We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. On the way back to the ship, we will visit an orphanage. Along the way, we will have to manoeuvre around a2 km rickety bamboo bridge. Our sense of balance lies in the balance! We cruise overnight to Kampong Chhnang.
Friday, 28 November: Kampong Cham – Kampong Chhnang
Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Chhnang on the Tonle Sap River – an amazingly narrow river – which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. We are greeted by cacophonous children who wave enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle Sap River.
Then we approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “waterworld” where everything is on stilts balanced on rich water covered soil – it’s an awesome sight whilst practicing Tai Chi on the deck. Here we take a motorboat excursion to the landing, followed by a short bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. We then return to the ship for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap.
In the evening, a sumptuous spread will be served. And for the big surprise – bring along your dance shoes and learn to jiggle the Cambodian way with the staff doubling up as dance instructors. (If you can’t dance, do not fret. Neither can the staff.) We overnight in Kampong Chhnang.
Saturday, 29 November: Tonle Sap – Siem Reap
This great lake dominates Cambodia and is the largest freshwater lake in Asia with abundant birdlife. This lake is so wide that one cannot see its shores from the middle of the lake.
Enjoy the stillness of the water and the quiet tranquility on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, minor changes to the itinerary may occur during different seasons. Our cruise comes to an end as we reach this city of the fabled Angkor temple complex. We will cross the Tonle Sap Lake at dawn and at 9:00am, we will disembark at the Siem Reap Port then transferred by coach to the Victoria Angkor Resort. Here we shall be met by our Siem Reap-based guide for our private transfer to the Shinta Mani Resort for a three night stay.
Balance of our day at leisure.
Sunday, 30 November: Siem Reap
We shall have an early morning private guided transfer to Angkor Wat. On arrival we shall enjoy a glass of champagne while experiencing amazing sunrise on the Angkor Temples.
We then continue to explore magnificent Angkor Wat before returning to the hotel for breakfast.
Mid-morning we take a short private guided drive to Wat Damnak, one of the most beautiful pagodas in town with French colonial architecture reflecting its history and a large garden filled with statues. With candles and incense sticks we shall participate in a private good luck blessing
ceremony, performed by local monks that reside at the temple. Sit on the mat while the monks chant blessings and sprinkle holy water on you – a traditional way which is believed pass on the good luck of the gods. Afterwards, a sacred thread will be tied around your wrist. This will protect you from any evil spirits or accidents.
Before we continue on our journey, we will receive a small keepsake from the monks to remind us of this special moment. On our return to the hotel we shall visit the Artisans D’ Angkor.
In the afternoon we continue our exploration of the amazing Angkor temple complex with visits to South Gate of Angkor Thom and Bayon, Terrace of the Elephant and Leper King.
Monday, 1 December: Siem Reap
After an early breakfast we visit Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre, the birthplace of Khmer classical style architecture and also the Landmine Museum and mystical Ta Prohm, unique for the overgrown roots of giant fig trees. Our afternoon is at leisure. You may like to visit the Old Market which is within walking distance from the hotel. We shall have a chance for a late afternoon climb to the summit of Phnom Bakheng for a sunset view over the surrounding landscape. With our tour coming to an end we shall enjoy a Farewell dinner at Tangram Garden restaurant.
Tuesday, 2 December: Depart Siem Reap
There will be time this morning to shop for those last minute souvenirs or simply take one last opportunity to further walk around the city. We shall check out of the hotel at noon for our afternoon transfer to Siem Reap Airport. We shall then board for our overnight flight via Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne.
Wednesday, 3 December Melbourne
Vietnam and Cambodia are located in Southeast Aisa and have charm that combines the old and the new. They are known for beautiful scenery, diverse cultures and friendly and hospitable people.
We will witness many ancient wonders and explore lively cities while enjoying fabulous cuisine. A highlight will be our luxury cruise down the mighty Mekong on our way to Siem Reap, our base for exploring the temples of the world heritage Angkor Wat.
YOUR TOUR ESCORT
Jacquey Turner has more than 27 years’ experience as a highly successful travel agent and tour leader.
With this itinerary, Jacquey will guide you through this intriguing destination.
Along with the local guides she will ensure you have a most memorable journey.
TOTAL TOUR COST:
Based on cabin selection
on 7 night Mekong cruise
$10,299 per person twin share
additional $3,363 per person
Upgrade to Deluxe Cabin
additional $689 per person twin share
Upgrade to Deluxe Cabin
additional $1,032 per person – single
Upgrade to Signature Cabin
additional $1,047 per person twin share
Upgrade to Signature Cabin
additional $1,570 per person – single
Upgrade to business class:
Cost on application
There are only very limited cabins available in each category. Cabin type preferences will be allocated in order of receipt of deposit.
**Should you wish to extend your travel arrangements after the tour, please contact me to discuss further options.
Initial deposit – due by Saturday, 7 July 2018: $1000 per person
Second deposit – due by Wednesday, 14 November 2018: $2000 per person
Balance of payment: due by Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Next Information Night: Wednesday, 6 March 2019
Any cancellations received after 6 December 2013 will incur the following cancellation fees:
All costs are based on the
exchange rate prevailing as at
26 November, 2013.