A Journey of Wonders
Discover how the people defeated the Khmer Rouge. Walk with a scholar who can tell you all about the famous wonder — Angkor Wat. Taste the tropical fruits prepared by your guide. An interesting cooking class is waiting for you in Hoi An. Enjoy your time on a sundeck during a Halong Bay cruise. This journey will be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
Nov. to Apr.
We have just returned from an amazing trip to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Our travel adviser Albee Ning prepared a wonderful itinerary taking us to great locations with creative activities highlighting local culture.
We traveled with Asia Highlights (Lissie was our agent) several years ago when we went to Saigon, and the experience was so positive, we automatically went to Asia Highlights again for an extensive trip to Southeast Asia.
If you are planning your first trip to Asia, we recommend the great Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the picturesque Vietnam. The trip detailed below connects the two countries but you can adjust the itinerary to suit your needs.
Hotel suggestions: Double Leaf Boutique Hotel / Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
Welcome to Cambodia. Your guide will escort you to your hotel.
There are not usually any direct flights from the US/Europe to Southeast Asia because of the long journey duration. Many travelers choose to take a layover in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. When you search for international flight options, check these layover destinations for reference.
In the morning, your guide will take you to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh.
After lunch, you will be taken to two locations that have a tragic history — the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. The fields were where the prisoners were held and killed, and the prisoners were not ordinary criminals, such as thieves, but scholars who had an advanced communist ideology. They were arrested in the city and taken to this evil place but they never stopped pursuing the communist ideology.
Hotel suggestions: Tara Angkor Hotel / Shinta Mani Shack
You will take a flight to Siem Reap in the afternoon.
Tomb Raider is a world-famous film and visiting Bayon, a temple, in the afternoon will make you think of the scenes in the movie without any special effects needed. The mysterious atmosphere is created by the old trees around it.
Constructed with sandstone, Banteay Srei is a must-see attraction in the complex of Angkor Wat. The best time to enjoy it is in the early morning when the sunlight is shining on the stone.
After some hours walking in Angkor Thom, which used to be the palace for the kingdoms, a local scholar will walk with you at Angkor Wat and tell you many interesting stories and facts that are not listed in guidebooks. This knowledge will help you to unveil the mystery of Angkor Wat.
Hotel suggestions: Millennium Boutique Hotel / Hotel Grand Saigon
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City by airplane in the morning.
After your transfer from the airport, you will have a whole afternoon enjoying the city highlights, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, Saigon Central Post Office, Reunification Palace, and An Dong Market. The private tour will provide you with an authentic experience at a comfortable pace.
You will visit a town located in the Mekong Delta, which is 2 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. On the way, your private tour guide will give a brief introduction to the lifestyle and culture of this region. Later, you will get in a sampan and an experienced local fisherman will row it and show you how to keep away from the obstacles along the canals.
After getting out of the sampan, some local workshops welcome you to the market. You can learn the manufacturing processes of coconut candy, rice wine, and rice paper. Later, you will go to a garden to help the host do some easy work. He will chat with you and you can enjoy many delicious fruits that have already been prepared by the host.
If you would like to experience the locals' lifestyle in the Mekong Delta, this day is ideal for you. We'll handle all the arrangements for your transportation, guides, and tickets. All you need to do is just enjoy your time.
Hotel suggestions: Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa / Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort
Take the morning flight to your next wonderful destination — Hoi An. The flight will arrive in Da Nang, from where it takes 40 minutes to reach Hoi An by car.
Your guide will lead you to some key scenic spots, such as the Japanese Covered Bridge, Fujian Assembly Hall, and Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An.
After lunch, you can go inside the Tran Family Chapel and learn about the lifestyle and history of the family.
Later, you will have a cup of coffee and then you can start your cooking class in Red Bridge Restaurant and Cooking School, which will help you learn how the local Vietnamese make their daily food.
Hotel suggestions: Hanoi Pearl Hotel / InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
Saying goodbye to Hoi An, your guide and driver will escort you from your hotel to Da Nang to catch your flight to Hanoi. Meet your guide in Hanoi and check in at your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your leisure.
If there is a competition to compare which city is the most attractive in the world, Hanoi will be the winner because of its history and multiple cultures. The people who live there, however, are ordinary and work laboriously.
On this trip, you will visit famous places, such as the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and Hoan Kiem Lake.
In the afternoon, your guide will accompany you to take a cyclo in the Old Quarter to experience authentic Hanoi life. Hanoi's best egg coffee, weird-looking fruits, and ice creams are all highlights there.
Overnight accommodation: Paradise Luxury Cruise / Bhaya Classic Cruise
After enjoying a refreshing breakfast in your hotel, you will be picked up by the shuttle bus arranged by the cruise company and head to Halong Bay. It takes 3–4 hours to drive there depending on the traffic. If you prefer to have a private transfer with an English-speaking guide, just tell your travel advisor.
Board the ship and then your memorable Halong Bay cruise will start. The fishing villages, caves, and kayaking are all highlights there.
In the evening, enjoy your time on the junk under the stars.
After the delicious breakfast on board, you will be transferred to Hanoi and your private tour guide will meet you there. Take your flight back home. We, at Asia Highlights, wish you a pleasant journey!
Price from: $3,038 (Tour code: gh-ah-5)