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 vibrant capital city Hanoi with Singapore Airlines. Wellington and Christchurch passengers may depart one day earlier.
Day 1: Fly to Hanoi
Day 2: Explore Hanoi
Hanoi combines all the charms of the past with a modern buzz in one fast-paced yet refined city. Explore the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, the Humble House on Stilts, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature before taking a cyclo and walking tour around the Old Quarter to sample a range of local cuisine.
Day 2: Explore Hanoi
Days 3-4: Cruise Halong Bay
Spend time aboard a traditionally-designed junk cruising 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
The epitome of Vietnam’s dynastic past, Hue is a dignified and scholarly city. This morning 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 via the Marble Mountains to Hoi An.
Day 5: Hue's Imperial Citadel
Day 6: Discover Hoi An
Purchase fresh ingredients at the market for a cookery class at a local restaurant, consuming your creations for lunch. This afternoon take a walking tour of Hoi An. A wonderfully laidback and wilfully traditional place, the streets are a delight to wander – visit the elaborate Japanese Covered Bridge, the colourful market and a Chinese temple.
Day 6: Discover Hoi An
Day 7: Discover Saigon
Transfer to Danang for your flight to Saigon. A seamless blend of past and present, Saigon offers a high-octane ride into Vietnam’s ever brighter future. Experience Notre Dame Cathedral and the neoclassical Central Post Office designed by Gustave Eiffel; 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 7: Discover Saigon
Day 8: Cu Chi Tunnels
Confront the reality 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. We’ll then travel to Tay Ninh to attend the noon service at the Cao Dai Temple. Return to Saigon.
Day 8: Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 9: Board your Mekong River Cruise
Transfer to My Tho, a city on the Mekong Delta, to board your elegant Pandaw cruise vessel. Sit on the sundeck and sip your welcome cocktail before dining on delicious local cuisine in the bistro-style restaurant. Later, retire to your comfortable stateroom for the night.
Day 9: Board your Mekong River Cruise
Day 10: Cai Be and Sa Dec
Experience the floating market of Cai Be and enjoy a sampan cruise excursion to Sa Dec and Vinh Long.
Day 10: Cai Be and Sa Dec
Day 11: Cham Tribal village and Chau Doc
Visit a Cham Tribal village, a catfish farm and enjoy a trishaw ride around Chau Doc. Cruise through the Cambodian border overnighting near Phnom Penh.
Day 11: Cham Tribal village and Chau Doc
Day 12: Phnom Penh
Cambodia’s capital is a city of airy boulevards and colonial villas. Take a cyclo ride around the centre to see the main sights, including the dazzling Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. This afternoon visit the harrowing Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Museum.
Day 12: Phnom Penh
Day 13: Tonle River
Travel up the Tonle Sap River by boat or road (depending on water levels) to Kampong Chhnang where you will take a motorboat excursion into the wetlands.
Day 13: Tonle River
Day 14: Countryside Scenery
Enjoy a leisurely morning stroll around the village of Chong Koh where you can see the local silk-weavers at work. Cruise on past timeless rural scenes and peaceful villages making a stop at Peam Chi Kang village to meet the local people.
Day 14: Countryside Scenery
Day 15: Wat Hanchey
Visit the hilltop temple of Wat Hanchey, just north of Kampong Cham on the river. This afternoon see the twin holy mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey before heading to the ecotourism village of Choeungkok.
Day 15: Wat Hanchey
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
Encompassing the seats of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries the Angkor Archaeological Park covers 400 square kilometres and includes over 1,000 temples. Rising early, the tour begins at Ta Prohm. Continue to the walled city of Angkor Thom, passing through the South Gate flanked by 54 stone figures. Reach the enigmatic Bayon, the Elephant Terrace and Leper King before dedicating your afternoon to Angkor Wat, an exemplar of Khmer architecture and a monument to religious devotion.
Day 17: Explore Angkor
Day 18: Tonle Sap
Spend the morning experiencing life on the water in the floating village of Kampong Kleang. From here continue to Beng Melea, a mysterious temple completely overrun by the jungle.
Day 18: Tonle Sap
Days 19: Depart Siem Reap
This morning is at leisure before you are transferred to Siem Reap airport to board your overnight flight to New Zealand.
Days 19: Depart Siem Reap
Day 20: Arrive New Zealand
Arrive home today.
Day 20: Arrive 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:


Single Hotel Room and Cruise Cabin Option from $7,980
Land Only (Hanoi to Siem Reap) 19 days from $9,317 pp twin share
Additional charges: Tipping - US$60 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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