Cambodia

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights

This two week trip covers the highlights of both Vietnam and Cambodia. Starting in Hanoi and finishing in Siem Reap you will sail through the karst scenery of Halong Bay, take a boat and bike ride around Ninh Binh, relax on the beach in Hoi An and take a tuk tuk around the ruins of Angkor Wat. As ever we can tailor the itinerary to your family’s requirements.

Highlights

  Make spring rolls with a Hanoi family
  Boat ride in spectacular Halong Bay
  Bike ride through the paddy fields
  Take a basket boat ride in Hoi An
  Relax on idyllic beaches
  Watch sunset from the Angkor ruins

15 days from £1,875 pp

Plus international flights starting at £700

A 2-week holiday in Cambodia and Vietnam for a family of four usually costs from £7,500 plus flights.

View pricing guide

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 Hanoi
Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by a Stubborn Mule Travel representative and taken to your hotel in the heart of Hanoi. The rest of the day is free for you to explore.

Hanoi is a lovely city that will completely entrance; wander through the parks in the early morning or at sunset and you will see people doing tai chi and ballroom dancing. There are wide boulevards with imposing colonial buildings that you can admire from the comfort of a tiny noodle shop, gleaming office buildings, trendy boutiques and exquisite restaurants. There are also endless narrow streets full of children playing games and old men playing chess that just beg to be explored.


Day 2 Hanoi
You have a full day tour of the city today. Two highlights will be Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum where you can see the revered leader lying in state in a glass coffin and the graceful Temple of Literature, set in peaceful gardens.

The children will also love the afternoon cyclo (cycle rickshaw) tour through the chaotic streets of the Old Quarter. With two people to a cyclo, your rickshaw driver will navigate slowly through the narrow streets. Pass vendors pulling wooden carts laden with goods and shops spilling over with colourful handicrafts. The streets of Hanoi are completely manic (with a never ending stream of motorbikes) so this is the ideal (and most relaxing) way to take in the mayhem.


Day 3 Hanoi
This morning you will head off the beaten track in Hanoi, venturing to a suburb on the banks of the Red River. The area escaped much of the bombing during the war and is home to many old houses and temples. Take a walk through the back streets, stopping to visit a charming small temple, and getting an insight into a very different side of the city. You will finish at a traditional courtyard house where you will join the host family for lunch, helping to make spring rolls.

In the afternoon a short drive takes you into the countryside, to a beautiful area of immaculately tended vegetable and flower fields. Here you can ride bikes along quiet paths through the fields, stopping in a small village along the way. Return to Hanoi for the night.


Day 4 Hanoi – Halong Bay
This morning drive approximately 3.5 hours to Halong Bay where you will board a traditional junk (sailing boat) for a 2-night cruise.

Halong Bay is spectacularly beautiful, with thousands of towering pillars of sea and wind-carved limestone karsts soaring out of the water. Although Halong Bay itself gets extremely busy, we will arrange for you to sail to a much quieter but equally beautiful area so that you can get away from the crowds.

This afternoon the junk will stop at one of the small islands in the bay to give you the chance to try your hand at kayaking. You can paddle around the limestone cliffs and stop on a shallow sandy spit of land to swim.


Day 5 Halong Bay
A full day to continue with your exploration of the bay. The exact itinerary will depend on your choice of boat, but you will continue cruising through the spectacular scenery and may stop at a small beach to swim, kayak or relax.

Read More


Day 6 Halong Bay – Ninh Binh
After a leisurely morning on board your boat, you will disembark for the drive to Ninh Binh. This is a beautiful area to the south of Hanoi and the drive takes around 2.5-3 hours.

When you arrive, visit Vietnam’s ancient capital of Hoa Lu before heading to your hotel in the middle of the countryside.


Day 7 Ninh Binh – Overnight Train
A morning bike ride through the picturesque landscape. Sheer sided limestone cliffs rear up out of the paddy fields, water buffalo graze whilst white egrets ride on their back and lazy rivers meander past.

Later take a boat ride in Trang An. Here the river has carved a route through ancient limestone cliffs and your boat will follow the course of the river through caves up to 300m long. The tunnels are very narrow and low in areas, and the precision with which the boat ‘rower’ navigates the route is remarkable. You will need to duck frequently as you pass under low stalactites.

In the evening board the overnight train to Danang. Most families love the overnight train but if this does not appeal we can arrange a flight instead.


Day 8 Overnight Train – Hoi An
When you arrive in Danang you will be transferred around 45 minutes to Hoi An to your beachfront hotel.

Although you will stay on the beach, the small town of Hoi An is just a short distance away and you can pop in and out at will. Hoi An is one of the loveliest towns in Vietnam, a small port that has traditionally been home to a thriving merchant community of foreign traders. There are lively markets and quaint narrow streets. These are lined with old buildings that have been converted into tailors, cafes and boutiques. This is one of the best places in Vietnam to shop for souvenirs, especially in the evening when the streets are lit by traditional Chinese lanterns. The tailors here are excellent so you could consider getting some clothes made up.


Days 9-10 Hoi An Beach
Two full days to relax and enjoy the beach.

One day we can arrange a cookery class if you are interested. You will head to the market to help select your ingredients and then learn how to cook several delicious Vietnamese dishes.


Day 11 Hoi An Beach
This morning venture out into the countryside by bike. You will follow small roads past local villages, small shrimp farms, endless fields of rice and lumbering water buffalo. You will also take a ‘basket boat’ ride on the river. This is a small round boat that you paddle along with an oar and which was traditionally used by fishermen in this area. Stop along the way to catch purple crabs in the water bamboo.

The afternoon is free to relax.


Day 12 Hoi An – Siem Reap
Transfer to Danang airport for a short flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia. This is the gateway city to the Temples of Angkor. These are absolutely incredible and will be a highlight of your trip. Angkor Wat is the name of the largest and most famous temple but there are literally hundreds. Some of these have been fabulously preserved and restored whilst others are almost completely over-run by the jungle and feel very remote.


Day 13 Siem Reap
Today you start to explore the Angkor Temples by bike or tuk tuk with your guide. You will start at the magnificent ‘South Gate’ of Angkor Thom. Here there is a colonnade of colossal human faces, carved from stone. You will also visit the extraordinary Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm (where Lara Croft Tombraider was filmed) as well as Angkor Wat itself.


Day 14 Siem Reap
After breakfast your guide will take you to Beng Melea Temple. This enormous ruin is the size of Angkor Wat but remains completely part of the jungle. This is real Indiana Jones stuff with giant lianas that grow through the temple walls, thick undergrowth and dilapidated carvings.

From here you will continue to a stilt village built over the vast waters of Tonle Sap. This freshwater lake is home to traditional fishing communities and is best explored by a small wooden boat. You can sail amongst the stilt houses and through the flooded mangrove forest. There will be the chance to visit a stilt house and you may also be able to stop by a local school.


Day 15 Siem Reap
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Logo-icon

Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

Stubborn Mule cartoon