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Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia

22 Days  |  Departing Saturday 10th March 2018 and returning Saturday 31st March 2018

Prices & Options

Choose your Room:

$2,000.00 deposit payable

Progress Payment: $2,800.00 by 10 Nov 2017
Final Payment: $3,199.00 by 8 Dec 2017
Pay by direct deposit, credit card or cheque.

An amazing adventure awaits!

Highlights

Visit to Bantrey Srei Khmer Temple of Shiva (Womens Temple) in Siem Reap
Visit to Khmer Traditional Textiles
Visit to Mystical Angkor Wat in Siem Reap
Boat Trip on Great Lake – Tonle Sap
Cyclo Tour of Hanoi’s Ancient Streets
Unveiling Vietnam's History through Art
3 Day/ 2 Night Halong Bay junk boat Cruise
Overnight Train Trip to Sapa (In private 4 berth cabins - 2 persons per cabin)
Visit to Sapa and Bac Ha market
Visit to Ban Khoang - T Giang Phinh
Visit to Hope House in Hue
Discover hidden charm of Hue by Vespa
4 Night Stay in Hoi An with free time for personal discovery
Streets International Cooking Class in Hoi An
Kim Bong Village Cycle tour
Free time for Shopping in Saigon
After Dark Tour of Saigon on Vespa **Highly recommended**
Visit to Mekong Delta

 

Inclusions

Personally escorted from Australia, your SWT tour hostess is on hand to assist with making your holiday a memorable one
Return international economy airfares ex Melbourne to Cambodia / Vietnam inc taxes** flying Malaysian Airlines (other departure cities available on request)
English speaking professional guides at each destination
All transportation as per detailed itinerary
Meals as per detailed itinerary
Quality accommodation as per detailed itinerary
Vietnam Visa Processing Fee (Australian Passport Holders)
Cambodia Visa Processing Fee (Australian Passport Holder)
Tipping for Driver & Guides only
Willing to Share Option for Single Travellers (subj to availability)
Meet and greet prior to departure (subj to minimum numbers)
Sisterhood documentation and ticket wallet
** Taxes are subject to change
     

Notice

Fitness Level Required
This tour requires a basic level of fitness.  When enjoying our village stay in remote Sapa there are 2 short treks that are included.  You will also encounter uneven surfaces, steep stairs and may need to walk gang planks when participating in any cruising activities.  

Climate  
You can expect Vietnam and Cambodia to be humid and warm.  Please pack accordingly.

Passport and Visa Information
Your Passports must have at least 6 months validity from your date of re-entry back into Australia.
A pre arranged visa is required for both Vietnam and Cambodia .

Tipping
Tipping isn't generally expected in Vietnam and Cambodia but it is always greatly appreciated.  Our tour cost includes tipping for our drivers and destination guides only so please allow USD2.00 for porterage and other sightseeing activities.

Vaccinations
We suggest you visit your local GP for up to date advice and recommendations on your vaccination requirements for both Vietnam and Cambodia.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday 10 March 2018

Melbourne - Siem Reap

Our Adventure begins!  Meet your Sisterhood hostess and fellow travellers at Melbourne Airport for our flight to Siem Reap Cambodia .  Sit back relax and enjoy the flight.  

 

Day 2 - Sunday 11 March 2018

Siem Reap (D)

A mid morning flight arrival into Siem Reap with a transfer and check in to our hotel.  Our hotel for the next 3 nights will be the beautiful Shinta Mani Club, a training hotel where the staff are in training to gain employment in the hospitality industry.  A fantastic hotel with friendly and enthusiastic staff.

Upon arrival in Siem Reap, you will be greeted by your local English speaking guide, who will accompany you to your hotel for check in. Siem Reap the charming gateway to the famed Temples of Angkor.

Settle in and enjoy some time at leisure to refresh. 

Welcome dinner will be served at hotel’s restaurant – Kroya Restaurant.

 Overnight Shinta Mani Club - Superior Room.

Day 3 - Monday 12 March 2018

Siem Reap (B,L)

Early morning, we'll head by private vehicle to see the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srei, in the best morning light. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” was built between the 11th and 13th century and remains the best preserved in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art as this small temple is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs depicting Hindu god Shiva. Banteay Srei is unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone which is seen nowhere else in Angkor.

Lunch at Champey Restaurant.

This afternoon visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.             

From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. Overnight Shina Mani Club - Superior Room.

Day 4 - Tuesday 13 March 2018

Siem Reap (B,L,D)

Visit the ‘Wisdom of the Forest’ project where the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles focuses on the restoration of the natural environment for producing materials to make traditional textiles and cultivates a vegetable garden to feed 30-40 families working on its 22 hectares.

Enjoy lunch at Marum, a newly opened dining experience which is a sister to the Romdeng and Friends training restaurants in Phnom Penh. 33 students and 15 trainers are currently employed by an NGO that has been working with street children and other marginalized young people since 2005 in Siem Reap. The food is mostly tapas style though main courses are also available. (closed Sundays).

This afternoon visit Angkor Wat, built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.

This evening, start within the town center to a market place famous for its pickled fruit and insects such as fried cricket, grasshopper and silkworms to whet your appetite.

After continue to Siem Reap’s famous Road 60 just out of town. An evening at Road 60 is like going for dinner, Cambodian style, and it’s buzzing every single night. A long road lined with mats for hire, street food sellers and a small fun fair; it’s an evening picnic and barbecue haven.  This is truly a local hang out with an incredible variety of all kinds of Khmer foods on offer. Here there will be chance to sample a range of exotic fruits, fried insects, snails, roasted frog, fired chicken, roast belly pork, crispy duck and fried chive cakes to name but a few!

Into the night you move to yet another part of Siem Reap town with numerous night spots that are frequented by local clientele. The next destination is the Triangle Restaurant where the fascinating food journey continues. Here a selection of their best specialties will be served, together with drinks and local music performances.

Finishing the night your guide can either drop you back off at your hotel or onto Pub Street to continue the night! Overnight Shina Mani Club - Superior Room.

Day 5 - Wednesday 14 March 2018

Siem Reap - Hanoi (B)

This morning, we'll visit Kampong Phluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. Embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. You will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water. Tonle Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season, as it is swelling to about 4 times

(NOTE: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March, but we can arrange an overland visit to Kampong Pluck that is an equally interesting experience, as you can walk among the stilted houses).

Transfer to the airport for our flight to Hanoi.

Welcome to Hanoi, upon arrival, visa formalities, then you will be greeted by your local guide and then transferred to hotel in Hanoi for check-in.  Dinner at leisure tonight with plenty of restaurants within walking distance.

Overnight Silk Path Hotel – Premium Deluxe Room.

Day 6 - Thursday 15 March 2018

Hanoi - (B,D)

Today we'll visit a charming art café for an introduction to modern Vietnamese history. The next stop is the National Museum of Fine Arts housed in an impressive former French convent. Beginning with artworks from the colonial era guests invited to see how European styles fused with traditional Vietnamese materials to give birth to modern Vietnamese art.

Continue to the adjoining room where works made during the two Indochina wars are displayed. War time sketches, propaganda poster and impressive, government commissioned lacquer works will help visitors understand essential role of artists in revolution and reconstruction of a nation.

Our tour continues in an air-conditioned vehicle to one Hanoi’s longest running galleries. Here visitors are invited to see the rapid changes Vietnam underwent after the war with the arrival of a contemporary art market. Guests will also see the works of the first generation of young contemporary artists.

The final destination is a vibrant art space cafe housed in a stunning colonial era villa. Here guests will have the opportunity to view the current exhibition before being given a lively and informative presentation about the work of Vietnamese contemporary artists. The future of Vietnamese art and the next generation of Vietnamese artists are discussed. Afterwards transfer back to your hotel.

In the afternoon, start for your half day city tour. Visit the highly-acclaimed Vietnam Women’s Museum. Then visit to the Temple of Literature. Explore the incredible compound which was constructed in 1076. Then visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a cyclo tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. Stop at Ngoc Son temple. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.

Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.  

Dinner will be arranged in local restaurant 

 Overnight Silk Path Hotel – Premium Deluxe Room.

Day 7 - Friday 16 March 2018

Hanoi - Halong Bay (B,L,D)

After breakfast we'll depart for the 4-hour drive to Halong Bay.  Arrive at our jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After our welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.

Overnight Indochina Sails Cruise – Superior Cabin.

Day 8 - Saturday 17 March 2018

Halong Bay (B,L,D)

After breakfast we'll transfer to our day – trip boat with our crew and cruise to the bay’s most untouched areas. Enjoy swimming on quiet beaches, visiting water tunnels, fishing villages or kayaking. Lunch served on board.

Overnight Indochina Sails Cruise – Superior Cabin.

Day 9 - Sunday 18 March 2018

Halong Bay - Sapa (B)

In the morning there will be time for a further excursion and breakfast (or brunch) as our boat weaves its way back to the dock. On arrival your driver will meet you for the transfer back to Hanoi.

Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will check-in a mini hotel to freshening up before your overnight train trip.

We’ll transfer to train station for our overnight train adventure to Lao Cai. 

Overnight on Fanxipan Train – Private Cabin

Day 10 - Monday 19 March 2018

Sapa (B,D)

On arrival in Lao Cai, you will be greeted by your local guide and then transferred to our hotel for early check-in and  breakfast.

In the afternoon, depart for half day light trek. Half-day trekking tour to Hang Da and Sau Chua Villages, just about 8km east of Sapa where the Black Hmong people have been living their traditional and unique way of life despite the recent changes and effects caused by the fast development and tourism boom in Sapa town.

Enjoy walking with your guide along the quiet narrow pathways through the countryside and past the scattered modest houses of the Black H’mong people. The trekking route can be adjusted depending on energy levels, fitness and weather conditions.

Dinner will be arranged in local restaurant. Overnight Victoria Sapa Hotel – Superior Room.

Day 11 - Tuesday 20 March 2018

Sapa (B, L)

This morning we'll leave Sapa at about 8.30am, driving north with several stops to admire the view of Mount Fansipan and Sin Chai valley en route. We'll turn off the main road into a valley passing jungle-clad mountainsides and several waterfalls before arriving in Ban Khoang, a remote and little visited village of the Red Dao ethnic group, who still maintain a traditional way of life. The Red Dao people cultivate rice on the terraced fields with cardamom farmed under the shade of trees in the forest. Spend an hour or so walking through the village, as your guide helps you to understand local life.

Leaving Ban Khoang behind we'll drive about 10km further to the scenic valley of Ta Giang Phin, where a few small Black Hmong villages lie beside a peaceful stream. Enjoy a simple picnic lunch before walking along the path which connects village to village, catching glimpses of everyday village life as you walk. Traditionally the men of the village will be out ploughing the fields, planting or harvesting or perhaps building or repairing houses, while women stay at home making traditional costumes. The walk ends mid-afternoon and your driver will collect you for the drive back to Sapa (30km / approx. 1 hr). Your total walking time today will be around 4 to 5 hours, along gently undulating tracks and village paths, with plenty of stops along the way.

Overnight Victoria Sapa Hotel – Superior Room.

Day 12 - Wednesday 21 March 2018

Sapa - Hue (B)

Free time at leisure, before we check-out o four hotel and transfer by private vehicle from Sapa to Hanoi for our flight from Sapa to Hanoi airport by private vehicle.  Upon arrival in Hue, we will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to hotel in Hue for check-in.  Hue was the nation’s capital under the Nguyen Dynasty emperors for 150 years until the early 20th Century and today the historic monuments and imperial architecture add to its laidback charm. The city boasts a wonderful location along the banks of the Song Huong River (Perfume River), relatively quiet streets and a locally famous cuisine. Its most famous sites include the Imperial Citadel, Forbidden Purple City and Thien Mu Pagoda which together have been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overnight Eldora Hotel – Deluxe River View Room.

Day 13 - Thursday 22 March 2018

Hue - (B,L,D)

Today we’ll visit Hope House, the vocational training centre for disabled and underprivileged children.  Souvenirs are made and sold to visitors from all over the world. Lunch will be arranged in local restaurant

In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern (the Royal Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war) but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today. From here take a cyclo through dai noi ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax; full of lotus flowers in summer there are many local style coffee shops around the lake where university students come to study.

After exploring the ruins of this wonderful monument, depart to the tomb of the former emperor Khai Dinh which is traditional Vietnamese in design with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue. Dinner will be arranged in local restaurant

Overnight Eldora Hotel – Deluxe River View Room.

Day 14 - Friday 23 March 2018

Hue - Hoi An (B,L)

Today we'll kick off our morning with a Vietnamese coffee or fresh juice at a local cafe, where we’ll meet our tour guide and get ready to get off the beaten path of Hue for our Our first stop will be a family temple, where we'll get to learn about the strong traditions and responsibilities that come along with Vietnamese family culture. Then take a stroll down the street, learning about the French colonial influence on architecture and the struggle the locals have to preserve their beautiful riverside homes. The short stroll will finish at a local bustling market, where we'll see the daily hustle of Vietnamese women and the selling point of ancient worshiping materials. After the market, hop on a small ferry to cross the Perfume River, where we’ll find our Vespas waiting on the other side.

Zooming through small countryside streets, we'll find ourselves getting further from city life. We'll stop at a small workshop producing worship materials. Next stop we'll have a chance to make our own small folk art print while sipping on some green tea. Then make our way through the vibrant rice paddies by Vespa and a local ancient bridge hangout where people of all ages go to relax and enjoy the cool river breeze. We'll have the perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals.

Lunch will be arranged in local restaurant

After lunch we'll say goodbye to our Vespas and depart Hue for Hoi An (140km /approx 2.5 hrs). You will take the scenic route over the Hai Van Pass, also known as the Pass of Ocean Clouds, and through the fishing village of Lang Co – a very picturesque journey. In Danang stop to visit the Cham Museum which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world.

Overnight Hoi An Historic Hotel – Deluxe Room.

 



 

Day 15 - Saturday 24 March 2018

Hoi An (B,L,D)

Today we have the opportunity to participate in a cooking class with trainees who are disadvantaged youth supported by the Streets International.  Our tour starts at the local market where we’ll choose ingredients before being transferred to the Training Centre for our cooking class.  We’ll learn some basic Vietnamese cooking and experience first-hand the rich and rewarding encounter of working together with these trainees.  We’ll then enjoy lunch at the Streets Café.

The rest of day is free at leisure

Light dinner will be arranged in Hoi An with a bow of Cao Lau

Overnight Hoi An Historic Hotel – Deluxe Room.

Day 16 - Sunday 25 March 2018

Hoi An - (B,L)

Discover Hoi An's surrounding countryside by bicycle, far away from the crowds in the city. Venture to lesser known areas which still retain their authenticity and old world charm. Discover picturesque villages, wood carving workshops and boat building yards en route. Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch with a local family before heading back by boat to Hoi An town.

Morning transfer to the centre of Hoi An. Hop onto your bicycle and head to Hoi An’s main boat pier journey across the Thu Bon River aboard a local ferry. Once on dry land and in the countryside peddle through picturesque villages, alongside rice paddies, water coconut forests and waterways – the riding is easy and flat and plenty of water will be supplied, Biking distance 9km along flat roads with little traffic.

The rest of day is free at leisure

Overnight Hoi An Historic Hotel – Deluxe Room.

Day 17 - Monday 26 March 2018

Hoi An (B)

Today a free day to explore this quaint town at leisure.  Organise your tailor-made outfits, shoes even prescription glasses today or perhaps enjoy a spa treatment at the many spa retreats dotted throughout the town.  You might like some downtown at the hotel pool today – the choice is yours - Today is your day to explore.  Overnight Hoi An Historic Hotel.

Day 18 - Tuesday 27 March 2018

Hoi An - Saigon (B)

After breakfast this morning we’ll transfer to the airport for our flight to Saigon.  With a transfer to our hotel and afternoon at leisure to explore.  Saigon is a bustling and dynamic city offering a fascinating history, great shopping and dining and an atmosphere of excitement and energy.  Markets galore in Vietnam’s second largest city with plenty of choices for dining tonight. Overnight Libery Central City Point Hotel.

Day 19 - Wednesday 28 March 2018

Saigon (B,L)

Today we travel the bustling highway into the surrounding countryside where we will board our motorised sampan for a unique experience on the Mekong Delta Waterways.  We’ll sample delicious fruit before continuing via even smaller waterways to lunch. Overnight Libery Central City Point Hotel.

Day 20 - Thursday 29 March 2018

Saigon (B,D)

Depart early this morning for a tour to the  Cu Chi Tunnels.  Spend a couple of hours walking around Cu Chi’s rugged grounds with a local guide. Crawl underground and have a look at the tiny chambers.  Following this insightful visit, journey back to Ho Chi Minh City in time for lunch or to visit the War Remnants Museum for even more military history.

Tonight upon dark we’ll enjoy an “After Dark Tour” of Saigon by Vespa to see all that the nightlife has to offer.   What a way to finish our fantastic Cambodia & Vietnam adventure! Overnight Libery Central City Point Hotel.

Day 21 - Friday 30 March 2018

Saigon - Melbourne

Free time at leisure, then you will be transferred to Ho Chi Minh airport for onward flight without English speaking guide.

Day 22 - Saturday 31 March 2018

Welcome Home

This morning we arrive back into Melbourne in the morning.  What a great trip we’ve enjoyed.  We encourage you to stay in touch with your new found friends after your tour!  Thank you for travelling with Sisterhood Womens Travel and we look forward to welcoming you to your next adventure!

Prices & Options

22 Day Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia

Choose your Room:

$2,000.00 deposit payable

Pay by direct deposit, credit card or cheque.

For questions & Bookings 1300 885 255