In Angkor divide your time between temple viewing and zipline adventure before heading over to north Vietnam. Here variety is the key as you experience atmospheric Hanoi, a rural Vietnamese village stay and overnight Halong Bay cruise. Back on dry land head to Ninh Binh, a rural region full of dramatic limestone & jungle landscapes, before taking the overnight train to the beaches of Hoi An.
Day 1: Depart on your choice of overnight flights to Siem Reap
Day 2: Arrive Siem Reap (Angkor) for 3 nights. Private transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free.
Day 3: Private guided Angkor Temples Highlights tour
Day 4: Flight of the Gibbon jungle zip-lining day
Day 5: Flight to Hanoi for 2 nights. Private transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day to settle in
Day 6: Morning cooking course with underprivileged children or cycle tour. Afternoon city tour incl. cycle rickshaw, water puppets and Hanoi ice cream
Day 7: Transfer to Yen Duc Village for 1 night. Immerse yourself in rural / farming life
Day 8: Drive to Halong Bay - 1 night cruise exploring UNESCO World Heritage site
Day 9: Cruise through bay then drive to Ninh Binh (2 nights), a land of dramatic landscapes
Day 10: Day tour to Cuc Phuong National Park, a true jungle experience
Day 11: Boat ride through beautiful Van Long Wetlands. Overnight train to Hoi An
Day 12: Met and transferred to your Hoi An beach hotel for 5 nights
Days 13-16: Free days to enjoy the beach, explore UNESCO Old Town and surrounding countryside
Day 17: Overnight flight home
Day 18: Arrive home
Day 1: UK Airport / Siem Reap
Depart on a choice of overnight flights to Siem Reap.
Day 2: Arrive Siem Reap
On arrival you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to your choice of hotel for4 nights. This evening you might like to visit the circus that performs nightly in the centre of town. We can arrange tickets.
Day 3: Siem Reap - Private Guided Angkor Temples Tour (B / L)
This morning your private guide will pick you up for a private guided tour of the iconic Angkor Archaeological Park. Start off at Angkor Thom, the last great capital of the Khmer Empire. Highlights include the magnificent Bayon, one of the most recognisable sites because of the 54 towers adorned with 216 enigmatically smiling stone faces, the Terrace of Elephants, a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies and the Terrace of Leper Kings, whose walls boast beautifully carved nagas, demons and other mythological beings. In the low morning sun the carvings really stand out and as you stand on the Terrace of Elephants you get a great view across a parkland scene interspersed with giant trees protected in the National Park.
Then move onto the temple of Ta Phrom, jungle covered and pretty much left as originally found by European explorers to create a mystical atmosphere.
Back to Siem Reap (15 minutes away) for lunch and a rest in the hot midday. This afternoon return to explore Angkor Wat, the most famous and best preserved of all the Angkor temples. You’ll have time for a thorough exploration before climbing to the top of Pre Rup temple to watch the sunsetover the jungle. Back to the hotel by early evening.
Extra…The great thing about having your own specialist guide is that the itinerary can be tailored to you and be adapted on the ground to take advantage of local knowledge and keep ahead of the crowds. Angkor represents the universe in miniature and you could spend weeks touring round the thousand or so temples, so on this tour we focus on the highlights, but we can easily extend your stay.
Day 4: Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon Zip-Lining Jungle Adventure (B /L)
Nestled in the rainforest, not far from the majestic temples of Angkor, prepare to soar on ziplines, traverse suspended sky bridges, abseil from towering trees of the rainforest and fly like never before.Your adventure starts with a safety briefing as you are helped into your harness and protective helmet, then it’s a short walk up to the first platform and off you go! It takes a couple of hours to navigate the course and there are professional instructors to help guide you along the way. We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing and proper footwear such as sport shoes. Facilities include 21 platforms high in the treetops, 10 thrilling ziplines, 4 sky bridges spanning hundreds of metres, Spiral staircases circling trees and 50 foot abseil finish. A great day out for both kids and adults alike! Lunch is included. Back at hotel mid-afternoon.
Day 5: Fly from Siem Reap (B) to Hanoi
Morning free, then afternoon airport transfer and short flight to Hanoi. On arrival met by your private guide and transferred to the city centre where you check in to your choice of hotel for 2 nights.
Hanoi offers the chance to enjoy authentic old school Far East. The hotel is in the centre and we’d recommend that you take a walk through the Old Quarter. Don’t be put off by the thousands of motor scooters, just dive in.
Day 6: Hanoi - City Tour (B / L)
This morning you’ll join a cooking class at a hospitality school for underprivileged children. Many of them were living on the streets of Hanoi and other cities, and their training will eventually help them work in some of Vietnam’s best hotels and restaurants. This is an informal fun morning and lunch will be the fruit of your labours! Alternatively if you'd prefer a more physically active weekend we can organise a morning exploring Hanoi and the surrounding countryside by bike.
This afternoon head into Hanoi’s Old Quarter for an hour’s exploration aboard a cyclo (Vietnamese cycle rickshaw).Also known as the 36 streets, this bustling warren of narrow streets is home to thousands of small businesses, including galleries, craft shops and restaurants. The afternoon continues with a walk around the picturesque Hoam Kiem Lake that acts as the social focal point for Hanoians and is the perfect place to enjoy a Vietnamese ice cream or coffee before finishing the day watching a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show.
Day 7: Hanoi to Yen Duc Village (B / L / D)
Morning shuttle bus transfer to Yen Duc Village out of the city where you’ll spend 1 night on full board. The rest of the morning is free for you to explore this authentic rural village and farming community either on foot or by bike. Lunch will be in the main restaurant.
This afternoon you’ll be taken around the village to learn more about Vietnamese family traditions and experience farming works such as milling and pounding rice, picking vegetables, gardening, and fishing. This is an authentic working community so throughout the day you will have the chance to interact and exchange with the local people. Dinner is served at the restaurant and then if still have enough energy learn how to make traditional Troi (floating rice) cakes with the host.
Day 8: Yen Duc Village - Halong Bay (B / L / D)
If you rise early you can join in Tai Chi before breakfast. There’s also the chance to further explore the village and local market that operates each morning. You are also invited to visit a local house and learn about traditional handicraft work. At 10.30am you’ll be transferred to Halong Bay. On arrival meet the crew and board your choice of traditional wooden junk then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads toward the secluded islands. Visit ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming (weather permitting). Return to the junk to relax on deck with a drink watching the sunset and enjoy a seafood dinner under the stars.
Day 9: Halong Bay (B / L) - Ninh Binh
Enjoy breakfast as you continue to cruise through Halong Bay and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng to learn about daily life living on the water. From here cruise back to the dock over a light lunch and meet your private guide who will drive you on to Ninh Binh (3.5 hours) a land of dramatic scenery and beautiful countryside. On arrival check-in to your choice of hotel for 2 nights. Time for a swim before dinner.
Day 10: Ninh Binh - Cuc Phuong National Park - Jungle Walk (B / L)
This morning your guide will collect you for a day tour to Cuc Phuong National Park, the first in the country and a true jungle set in beautiful limestone hill country. The exact day can be adapted to suit your energy levels and interest, but your guide will plan to take you on the loop trail that takes you on a 3 hour moderate walk through the centre of the park and is a rare chance to experience an authentic jungle environment that has all but disappeared in Vietnam.
Over a picnic lunch enjoy the sounds of the forest as you dine between 1000-year old giant trees. You may be lucky enough to hear or spot the gibbons that live here, but you’re more likely to see butterflies and birds. On the way out of the park take a short walk to caves once inhabited by prehistoric humans.
Day 11: Ninh Binh (B) - Van Long Wetlands & overnight train to Hoi An
This morning your guide will collect you for a boat tour through the Van Long Wetlands Reserve (10 minutes away), which forms part of a series of dramatic interlinked waterways, surrounded by impressive limestone scenery and nicknamed 'Halong Bay on the Rice Paddies' . Mornings are the best time to visit and paddle through the wetland scene, passing by the towering limestone peaks, through grottoes and past rice paddies. If you’re lucky you’ll hear and perhaps see the threatened Delacour’s Langur (ape), but you will see plenty of birds as you’re gently rowed through this beautiful scenery.
Back at the hotel in time for lunch and afternoon free to enjoy the hotel facilities. Late check-out is included and you can leave your luggage with the concierge whilst enjoying dinner. Your guide will collect you at approximately 8.30pm and transfer you to Ninh Binh station for the overnight train to Hoi An. They will settle you into your private soft sleeper berth before leaving. The berth is a private cabin with bedding, large window and lockable door.
Day 12: Arrive Hoi An - Beach Days
This morning enjoy a few hours travelling through central Vietnam's countryside, winding your way down the dramtic coast passing through Hue to Hoi An. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your choice of hotel for 5 nights (or more) on the beach.
Days 13-16: Hoi An (B) - Free days - Beach, Old Town & Countryside
Hoi An is a great place to spend a few days by the beach, but don’t ignore the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Beautifully preserved and car free at night, visitors can leisurely explore the historic streets, spending time watching local artisans at work with silk, ceramics, paint and wood. Hoi An is famous for its tailoring heritage and is a popular place to have a little something run up. The town is lantern lit by night and its cobbled streets house some beautifully atmospheric restaurants & cafes. There are a host of excursions we can offer, for example a cycling tour or the surrounding countryside or perhaps an informal cooking course in a beautiful setting.
Extra…If you’d like to extend your holiday in Saigon this can easily be arranged.
Day 17: Fly (B) Hoi An / UK Airport
Morning free then airport transfer and flight home via Saigon, Hanoi, Singapore or Hong Kong. Arrive back in UK the following morning.
Each featured itinerary is really a starting point from which to create your ideal holiday.
We can include as much or as little as you like, mix and match hotels, excursions and experiences, add extra nights and change the destinations you'd like to visit.
The common thread is that each is a privately guided holiday, allowing you to travel where and when you want, with your own private transport and dedicated guide.
- Return scheduled international flights (optional if you would like to arrange your own)
- English speaking, local guide & driver
- Choice of hotel accommodation
- Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Domestic flights detailed in itinerary
- Admission fees to all attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as detailed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Entry visas (if applicable)
- Optional Tours / Excursions
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Tips for Guides / Drivers (discretionary)
- Travel insurance
- Any camera or video fees charged at sites
The hotels below are there as examples, designed to act as a starting point from which to create your holiday. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from and when we quote we will include other suggestions so we get to understand your likes and dislikes. Quite often clients mix and match hotel categories throughout their holiday.
Hotels in Siem ReapAs the main gateway to the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap offers a great range of hotel accommodation.
Browse our suggestions for Siem Reap Hotels here
Hotels in Hanoi
The bustling but elegant city of Hanoi understandably provides a wealth of hotel choice.
Halong Bay Cruise Boats
An overnight cruise on Halong Bay is often seen as an essential part of a Vietnam holiday
Hotels in Cuc Phuong Area
Cuc Phuong can be found in the Ninh Binh region just south of Hanoi, a land of dramatic scenery and beautiful countryside
Hotels in Hoi An
Hoi An is a stunningly atmospheric UNESCO town, and we know all the great places to stay