Start this Mazing tour of Vietnam and Cambodia at Ho Chi Minh City. The city of unification, Saigon, is the cultural hub of Vietnam. Visit the Cu Chi tunnels used by the Vietcong, the war museum and the Mekong Delta. Across the border,a nation with a rather gory history, Cambodia is a testament to its people’s unyielding spirit and unwavering optimism. A region dominated by temples and pagodas, Siem Reap blends the divinity of religion with the allure of Southeast Asian cuisine, history and more. Take a boat ride in Tonle Sap Lake,the ‘Great Lake’ of Cambodia. Head out for some interesting street shopping and food in a land where every corner seems to tell a different story.
Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City
A chaotic, exhilarating ride, erstwhile Saigon is everything you imagined it to be, and probably more. Fascinating baroque and oriental architecture mark quaint streets in Ho Chi Minh City. Numerous museums at regular intervals with everything from traditional Vietnamese medicine to fine arts and war artefacts, dot the city.
In the afternoon, take a city tour to visit the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica a neo-Roman cathedral and the Saigon Central Post Office designed by the famous French architect Gustave Eiffel.
Cu Chi Tunnels and Ho Chi Minh City Tour
Morning, meet our guide at your hotel and transfer about 75 kilometres North-west of downtown Ho Chi Minh City to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. These interconnected underground tunnels underlie much of the country and were built for guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam War.
In the afternoon, we take you for a half-day tour to visit the War Remnants Museum. It has exhibits from both the Vietnam War and the first Indochina War involving the French colonialists. Diffused ordinances, aircraft collection, artillery and armour collection are on display here. Move on to visit the Reunification Palace. This is the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. Quite a dramatic end to the war it was when a North Vietnamese Tank crashed though the gates of the palace.
Drive to the Mekong Delta after breakfast, which is around 65 kilometres from Saigon. Officially Vietnam's largest rice bowl, floating markets and rugged buildings mark this tourist hub. Hop aboard a motorboat to navigate My Tho City’s intricate canals and waterways. Head to Thoi Son Island for some interesting Southern traditional music performed by native artists. A paddleboat cruise would take you through more canals. Land in Ben Tre to visit homes where traditional coconut candy and rice-wine making is still in practice.
Head back to Ho Chi Minh and spend the evening at leisure.
Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap
Take the flight to Siem Reap today. A region dominated by temples and pagodas, here is where the divinity of religion blends in perfectly with the allure of a range of cuisine, hip hotels, great shopping and more.
Visa’s are issued on arrival here, and we’ll get you to your hotel soon after. Of tuk tuks and tomb raiders (Siem Reap’s Bayon Temple featured in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), there’s no dearth of street food stalls that serve that mouth watering Khmer cuisine.
In the afternoon, head out to explore the floating village of Chong Khneas, 10 kilometres south of Siem Reap. Get on board a traditional wooden boat for a ride on the Tonle Sap Lake, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia, that flows into the Tonle Sap River, joining the Mekong in Phnom Penh.
The capital city of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Thom is the textbook definition of ‘fortress’. Surrounded by a formidable 8-m high wall and a 100-m wide moat, Angkor Thom was built to withstand invader after invader, and so it does. Construction here dates back to the 12th century, with the impressive Bayon Temple, Tep Pranam and Prasat Suor Prat and more. Both the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King were former spaces of public ceremonies, adorned with bas reliefs, which is a method of moulding or stamping where the design stands out to a lower extent.
The ultimate in Khmer antiquity, Angkor Wat is everything it’s made out to be, and then some. Sheer brilliance in architecture, a cataclysmic collision of spirituality and symmetry, the Angkor Wat remains an endearing testament to our devotion to the Gods. One of the largest temple complexes ever built, escape into a world where history and time literally stands still. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, you’ve not visited Cambodia if you’ve not been here.
All good things come to an end. This fascinating holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia will leave you wanting for more. Depart with memories of a lifetime and considerably heavier bags as you board your flight home.