Join Flow Travel on a fabulous trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, from 14 February to 27 February 2020 (13 nights)

This 18-day trip will take you to the most famous cities in Vietnam and Cambodia, floating shopping markets, the ancient town of Hoi An, the limestone islands of Halong Bay, and the world-famous temples of Angkor Wat. As you pass through different regions our knowledgeable guides are on hand to tell the stories of history, share local insights, introduce local villagers and source traditional cuisine. For bookings and enquiries email info@flow.travel.

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Cambodia and Vietnam lie in the Far East, in Indochina, where ancient culture survives in the face of modern influence. Vietnam is home to nearly 100-million inhabitants and Cambodia to 16-million.

Both share war-ravaged histories. Vietnam’s dates back to the 1960s when the Soviet-backed Viet Cong, allied with North Vietnam, clashed with the US-supported South Vietnam, and it was only two decades ago that Cambodia emerged from the grip of the Khmer Rouge.

Today Vietnam is at peace, with life along the Mekong delta meandering at leisurely pace, Halong Bay filled with cruise boats and the Cu Chi tunnels waiting to be explored.

Cambodians are warm, welcoming and proud to share sights such as the Angkor Wat UNESCO World Heritage Site, the packed markets from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, and the rare Irrawaddy dolphins of the Mekong River.

Day 1

You will be welcomed by an experienced and knowledgable local English-speaking guide at Hanoi airport and transferred to your hotel.

The day is at leisure in the Vietnamese capital.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2

Vietnam 16

After breakfast, explore the capital city, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the remains of the "father of the nation", Ho Chi Minh, rest. Visit Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House and the One-Pillar Pagoda, which dates back to the 11th Century. Visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda, regarded as the most ancient pagoda of the city, built in the 6th Century and a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. Then visit the Museum of Ethnology, which focuses on the 54 officially recognised ethnic groups in Vietnam.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first and historic university. Then visit Ngoc Son Temple, which is beautifully situated on Hoan Kiem Lake, and which is reached by a charming wooden bridge.

The day ends with a private water puppet show, featuring sketches about the daily life and beliefs of the rural people.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3

After breakfast, travel through the countryside to Hoa Lu, the capital of Vietnam during the 10th Century.

On arrival, enjoy a bicycle ride through the countryside and small villages to reach Bich Dong Pagoda. After the visit, continue to Thung Nang Pier and board a small sampan boat for a two-hour journey through a cave and numerous waterways, passing through beautiful rural views that included limestone cliffs and rice paddies. Return to the pier afterwards.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit the Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh Dynasty Temples before checking in at your hotel.

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Day 4

Vietnam 3

In the morning, transfer to the Got Port in Hai Phong (this will take about two hours) to embark on your junk. Check-in on board and enjoy a welcome drink before cruising and exploring Halong Bay, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

The boat heads to Da Chong islet, where clients can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. You will enjoy lunch on board before continuing the journey via the unspoiled islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan.

Continue your journey to Trung Trang by bus on Cat Ba Island, which is located in the middle of Cat Ba National Park. Return to the boat to enjoy the magnificent sunset view over the Gulf of Tonkin and join a traditional cooking class. The chef will demonstrate how to cook some Vietnamese dishes.

Dinner and overnight on board the junk. An English-speaking guide will be on board.

Day 5

Vietnam 4

Delight in an invigorating Tai Chi session on the sundeck before breakfast. After breakfast, continue the journey and head out to explore the bay in the area where Ao Ech is situated.

Whilst cruising back, enjoy brunch before returning to the quayside, south of the bay, to disembark.

You will meet your private local English-speaking guide again and transfer to Haiphong airport to take the flight to Danang.

On arrival at the airport in Danang, you will be welcomed by your new local English-speaking guide and will drive to Hoi An, a port city classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 6

Vietnam 6

After breakfast, visit the famous Old Quarter of Hoi An. This is an exceptionally well-preserved example of an old South-East Asian trading port. Walk around the ancient town of Hoi An and explore its treasures. The buildings and street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. Then, visit a lantern-making cottage and learn how to make one.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion by boat on the Thu Bon River with a stop along the way at a traditional ceramic and carpentry village.

The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the old city or the beach.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 7

After breakfast, departure for Lang Co lagoon. On the way, stop in Danang city, where you will visit the Cham Archaeological Museum, which has an extremely rich collection retracing the history of this lost civilisation.

Continue through the Hai Van Pass and arrival at Lang Co lagoon. Meet with a family of fishermen. Mr Thien and his wife, Mrs, Gai, have lived on the edge of the lagoon for almost 50 years.

Embark on a local boat and enjoy the idyllic panorama of crystal clear water overlooked by the Annamite Cordillera, a mountain range that forms the boundary between Laos and Vietnam. We'll stop by a stilt house and enjoy delicious fresh seafood prepared by the family, and will visit their small oyster and mould farm. This will be an occasion to learn about the local people who depend on the lagoon, and their way of life. The setting is beautiful, and you'll be able to enjoy it before we leave by relaxing in a hammock.

Drive to Hue and check in at the hotel.

Overnight in Hué.

Day 8

Vietnam 5

Spend a full day discovering Hué, the former capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty. Discover the Imperial City, the former imperial seat of government. This is a great, sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls, gates, shops, museums and galleries, featuring art and costumes from various periods of Vietnamese history. Then visit the Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda, one of the most venerated sites in the city of Hué.

We'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang and the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, the 4th emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam, who reigned from 1847–1883. The buildings and gardens have been shaped according to the directives of geomancy (Feng Shui). Together, they form a huge, natural park.

Our last stop is at a family workshop, to see how conical hats and incense sticks are made.

Overnight in Hué.

Day 9

After breakfast, transfer to Hué Airport for the morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

On arrival, you will be welcomed by a local English-speaking guide to explore Ho Chi Minh City, the economic capital of the country. Visit the old colonial residential quarter, including the City Hall, built from 1902-1908 in a French colonial style, and the Opera House, built in 1897 and designed by French architect, Eugene Ferret. Afterwards, visit the contemporary Independence Palace and the elegant 19th century Notre Dame Cathedral.

Stroll around the Central Post Office, designed in the neoclassical architectural style in the early 20th century by Gustav Eiffel.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit the War Museum; it contains exhibits relating to the American period of the Vietnam War. Then transfer to hotel and check in.

What could be better than exploring Ho Chi Minh at night on a Vintage Vespa? Go on a part night excursion, part street food adventure. This is an exciting way to experience the nightlife of Saigon. Cruise through the busy streets and alleys to experience the night life of locals and enjoy street food and cold drinks. Be mesmerised by all the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, a specialty of Saigon, and enjoy southern food with the locals.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 10

Vietnam 14

After breakfast, drive to one of the most dramatic sites in the history of the Vietnam War: the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Visit the underground city, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels, and part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong's base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort.

An unforgettable moment will be shared with a few soldiers at Cu Chi over lunch.

Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 11

Vietnam 9

Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City airport early in the morning for the flight to Siem Reap.

You will be welcomed by your local English-speaking guide at Siem Reap airport, who will take you to your hotel, where you can check in.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, depart by private coach to visit Angkor Wat (built in the 12th century) and dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu. This magnificent temple-mountain, built by King Suryavarman II, is considered as the masterpiece of the Khmer architecture and art. Finally, discover the fascinating Ta Phrom Temple, another famous Cambodian monument and former monastery surrounded by jungle.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 12

Vietnam 8

After breakfast, depart by motorcycle trailer (also called a remok, or tuk tuk) to visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom, a huge architectural complex with the famous Bayon Temple at its centre. This mountain-temple was once surrounded by 54 towers. On each of the 37 remaining towers, four enigmatic faces can still be recognised. Then, explore Baphuon, another famous temple built in the mid-11th century, and which was fully restored by a team of French archaeologists after 16 years of work.

Next, we'll visit the Preah Khan Temple, which was probably the royal residence during the construction of Angkor Thom. It was built by Jayavarman VII during the second half of the 12th Century. Later, discover the natural essence of Cambodia by visiting a handicraft centre.

You will then be transferred to the small and isolated Temple of Ta Nei, often forgotten by tourists, and therefore a very peaceful place.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and spend some time at a local artist's studio afterwards.

Witness and delight in an authentic circus show in Siem Reap offered by the Phare Ponleu Selpak Association. This evening show is typical of Khmer creativity, energy and originality!

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 13

Vietnam 10

After breakfast, travel by old American Jeep from Siem Reap to Kbal Spean, the “River of a Thousand Lingas”, located approximately 31 miles (50km) north of Siem Reap. Walk through the forest upon arrival and explore the river where the bedrocks are engraved with apsaras (mythological Hindu nymphs) and countless symbols of the god, Shiva. It was believed that the linga fertilised the water that irrigated the rice fields underneath.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, explore the famous Bantey Srey Temple, the “Citadel of Women”. This late 10th century pink sandstone temple, is considered a jewel in the crown of classical Khmer art due to its delicate carvings.

Return to Siem Reap through the Cambodian countryside and immerse yourself in an ancient craft at a centre of golden silk production. This excursion will be followed by a visit to the marvellously restored Bantey Samré Temple.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 14

After breakfast, free time until transfer to the airport.

Transfer by private car with a guide to the airport for the departure flight.

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