22 DAYS ●
From spectacular Halong Bay and the treasures of old Hanoi, travel the length of this beautiful country, through Hue and Hoi An to the bright lights of Saigon, experiencing the authentic Vietnam all the way. Then, embark on a four-night cruise on the Mekong, relaxing onboard as you as you witness life on the river, finishing up in Cambodia to explore colonial Phnom Penh and magnificent Angkor temple complex.
Meet Mr Vinh at Tha Om Garden House and learn of it's history with a royal dinner.
Stroll through the clouds on the Golden Bridge, held by stone hands.
Spend 4 nights cruising on the deluxe Victoria Mekong
Watch a performance by the NGO that assists street children.
Our Mekong Explorer itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to Hanoi where you will be met at the airport in the arrival hall by your Local Guide or National Escort. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, you will transfer 45 minutes to your hotel and check into your room or store any luggage if your room is not ready yet. The rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, stopping at the Old Pillar Pagoda and exploring the Tempole of Literature. Later tak a cyclo tour through the Old Quarter's atmospheric streets with a stop for local delicacy 'ca phe trung' (egg coffee). Tonight, attend the Quintessence of Tonkin show.
Stay overnight on a traditionally designed boat on Halong Bay, cruising amongst the karst peaks on the tranquil green waters. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a vision of awe-inspiring beauty, it isn't hard to see why it is one of Vietnam's most popular destinations. A fresh seafood meal is included during your voyage.
Rise early to watch the sun rise over the bay, and enjoy an invigorating session of Tai Chi. Transfer back to Hanoi and fly to Hue, Vietnam's imperial capital.
This morning visit the imposing Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Purple City at the heart of Hue, once the home of Vietnam's emperors. Cruise on the picturesque Perfume River and admire the Thien Mu Pagoda. Later, see the magnificent tomb of Minh Mang before heading to Zen house where you learn about architecture and spiritual meaning of this beautiful place. Finally, visit Tha Om Garden house to learn of the 19th century heritage of Mr Vinh, its owner.
Leave Hue for Hoi An, taking a scenic route over the Hai Van Pass. Stop en-route at Ba Na Hills and journey up to 1,400m by cable car to visit the Golden Bridge, a beautiful bridge held by gigantic stone hands with panoramic views.
Head out into Hoi An's verdant surroundings to Tra Que, where you'll see the local farmers at work, tending lush gardens of vegetables and herbs. Join a local family for lunch and a cooking demonstration. In the afternoon, take a walking tour of this charming town. Visit the Japanese Bridge, the colourful market and Chinese temple. Stop en route to visit Reaching Out, a social enterprise craft workshop, and watch the artisans at work.
This morning is free, before your afternoon flight to Saigon.
The exuberant city of Saigon is driving Vietnam forward into the modern world, but it is also a treasure trove of fascinating heritage. See the colonial Notre Dame Cathedral and visit the Central Post Office, the Reunification Palace, and the chilling War Remnants Museum.
Head out of the city to the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground passageways used by the Viet Cong during the war. After an afternoon at leisure, enjoy dinner in the dark at Noir, a restaurant supporting Saigon's visually impaired.
Drive via Can Tho to board the Victoria Mekong and cast off into the waters of the Delta. 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.
Explore Tiger Island and its local industries by either sampan or electric bike, before continuing your upstream journey to visit a floating market and local museum.
Continue your cruise, with shore excursions around Tan Chau including a stop at a Cao Dai temple, silk village and options to see the Tra Su Forest. In the evening, watch a thrilling lion dance performance.
Cross over into Cambodia, taking in the passing scenery. There will be onboard activities available such as cocktail making, and in the late afternoon, dock at Sisowath Quay for a traditional Apsara performance and a farewell dinner.
Leave the ship behind this morning, and board a cyclo. Exploring Phnom Penh with stops at the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Finally, visit Wat Phnom before enjoying a local beer by the river.
Reflect on the history of the city with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields, locations that provide chilling reminders of the Khmer Rouge regime. Later today, fly to Siem Reap.
Journey to the old city of Angkor Thom and pass through the magnificent South Gate flanked by 54 gods and demons. At Angkor Thom's centre is the enigmatic Bayon, a breath-taking temple of innumerable sculptural decorations. Also admire the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Continue to Ta Prohm before the rest of the day is dedicated to Angkor Wat, the most magnificent, and best preserved of all of Angkor's treasures. Later, relax on a boat as you watch the sun set from Angkor's moat.
High Water Season (Aug to Feb) Enjoy a morning cruise on Tonle Sap Lake, visiting the floating village of Kampong Phluk and observing the way of life of these lake communities.
Low Water Season (Mar to Jul) Visit Chong Kneas floating village. Return to Siem Reap to enjoy a rollicking performance of the Phare Cambodian Circus.
Travel by tuk tuk to a cooking lesson, where you will learn to prepare traditional Khmer dishes. The chef will teach you all about what goes into the local cuisine, as you create a delicious meal!
Grab your last minute souvenirs before boarding an overnight flight to New Zealand, arriving home the following day.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to Vietnam. Travellers should arrange visas well in advance of departure. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your visa in the price of your tour. We handle the entire application process – all you need to do is complete the paperwork and send your passport to us eight weeks prior to departure. We are always on hand to help you with any queries you may have while completing the application form.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +64 9 975 8117. Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288. You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave New Zealand. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Southeast Asia is no exception. We have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount 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 is calculated for each tour. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual. Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. In remote areas, we suggest embracing local specialities. Lunch and dinner consists of shared dishes. Meals generally finish with fruit to clean the palate. Drinks such as beer, soft drinks or bottled water are at your own expense locally.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and New Zealand's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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