Mekong Odyssey


Venture through Vietnam's cultural centres, natural wonders and fast-paced cities before a Pandaw cruise along the mighty Mekong. Finish up in the resilient land of Cambodia where the Temples of Angkor await your discovery.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Hanoi (2N) - Halong Bay (1N) - Hue (1N) - Hoi An (2N) - Saigon (2N) - Mekong Cruise (7N) - Siem Reap (3N) - New Zealand

Day 1: Fly to Hanoi
Fly to Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi for a two-night stay. ^During daylight savings, flight leaves at 1am on day 2 for Auckland passengers.
Day 1: Fly to Hanoi
Day 2: Explore Hanoi
Explore the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, the Stilt House, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature before taking a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter, stopping off for local delicacy ‘ca phe trung’ (egg coffee) en route. Continue on foot, sampling a range of local cuisine as you discover more!
Day 2: Explore Hanoi
Days 3-4: Cruise Halong Bay
Spend two days aboard your comfortable junk boat sailing amongst magnificent karst peaks on the tranquil green waters of Halong Bay. Stay overnight on the boat before returning to Hanoi for your flight to Hue.
Days 3-4: Cruise Halong Bay
Day 5: Hue's Imperial Citadel
Hue is the epitome of Vietnam’s dynastic past. Explore the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City before visiting the Royal Tomb of Minh Mang and the Thien Mu Pagoda which overlooks the Perfume River. Continue by road to Hoi An.
Day 5: Hue's Imperial Citadel
Day 6: Discover Hoi An
Explore the charms of Hoi An on a morning walking tour. A wonderfully laidback and wilfully traditional place, the streets are a delight to wander – visit the elaborate Japanese Bridge, the colourful market, a Chinese temple and the Reaching Out Arts & Crafts workshop.
Day 6: Discover Hoi An
Day 7: Hoi An Cooking Class
Purchase fresh ingredients at the market for a cookery class at a local restaurant, consuming your creations for lunch. Transfer to Danang for your flight to Saigon. A seamless blend of past and present, Saigon is the city that is driving Vietnam towards an ever-brighter future.
Day 7: Hoi An Cooking Class
Day 8: Cu Chi Tunnels
Discover the history of guerrilla warfare at the astonishing Cu Chi Tunnels, where you’ll see the legendary tunnel network used by the Viet Cong to infiltrate South Vietnam during the war. Return to the city to experience the neoclassical Central Post Office; also visit the Reunification Palace and the chilling War Remnants Museum where the brutality of the war and its victims are well-documented. Finish up browsing through the lively Ben Thanh Market.
Day 8: Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 9: Mekong River Cruise
Transfer to My Tho, a city on the Mekong Delta, to board boutique cruise vessel, Mekong Prestige II. Dine on delicious local cuisine at the welcome dinner and enjoy a traditional music show as you cruise upstream. Later, retire to your comfortable stateroom for the night.
Day 9: Mekong River Cruise
Day 10: Cai Be and Sa Dec
Dock at Cai Be to experience the floating market and a stroll along the river bank to visit local manufacturers of rice paper and coconut sweets. Also explore Sa Dec.
Day 10: Cai Be and Sa Dec
Day 11: Tan Chau
Visit a fish farm and a handicraft village, before exploring Tan Chau by rickshaw. Cross the border into Cambodia.
Day 11: Tan Chau
Day 12: Phnom Penh
Cambodia’s capital is a city of airy boulevards and colonial villas. After an introductory lecture, take a city tour that includes the dazzling Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, the harrowing Tuol Sleng Museum and Wat Phnom. This evening, watch an Apsara dance performance on board.
Day 12: Phnom Penh
Day 13: Rural Cambodia
Sail away from Phnom Penh and soak up the views of rural Cambodia. Visit a silk weaving village, a local pagoda and primary school.
Day 13: Rural Cambodia
Day 14: Oudong
Disembark to visit the old hilltop capital of Oudong before finding peace at Vipassana Dhura Pagoda. Also see Kampong Tralach and return to the ship by ox-drawn carriage.
Day 14: Oudong
Day 15: Tonle Sap River
Sail onto the Tonle Sap River and cruise to Kampong Chhang, where you’ll see a floating village and buzzing local market.
Day 15: Tonle Sap River
Day 16: Siem Reap
Disembark from the cruise vessel and transfer to Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor. This afternoon visit the captivating Banteay Srei – a richly-embellished rose-coloured sandstone temple, before watching the sunset from the summit of Pre Rup.
Day 16: Siem Reap
Day 17: Explore Angkor
The Angkor complex includes over 1,000 temples. Rising early, the tour begins in the heart of Angkor Thom, the old walled city - passing through its South Gate you’ll reach the enigmatic Bayon and visit the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Continue to Ta Prohm, an atmospheric temple left in the grips of the jungle. This afternoon is dedicated to the indescribable Angkor Wat. The best preserved of Angkor’s temples, examine the vast number of intricate details and relish the sheer magnificence of its architecture.
Day 17: Explore Angkor
Day 18: Tonle Sap Lake
High water season (Aug to Feb): Visit Beng Mealea, a mysterious temple overrun by the jungle before enjoying a cruise on Tonle Sap Lake, visiting the floating village of Kampong Kleng and observing the way of life of these lake communities. Return to Siem Reap via Artisan D'Angkor, an organisation working to revive traditional Khmer arts and crafts. Low water season (Mar to Jul): Head to Beng Mealea to explore this mysterious temple overrun by the jungle. Drop by Artisan D'Angkor before visiting the floating village of Chong Kneas.
Day 18: Tonle Sap Lake
Days 19-20: Siem Reap to New Zealand
Transfer to the airport for your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day.
Days 19-20: Siem Reap to New Zealand

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Supplement from $2,850
Land Only (Hanoi to Siem Reap) 19 days from $6,970 pp twin share
Additional charges: Customary tipping - US$105 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular and you will find high quality coverage, with active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Vietnam is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
 
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those with a long length of time available and who are interested in visiting the main cities and sights of Vietnam and Camboida. This tour also has a 7 night Mekong River Cruise.

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