Boats in front of the Bo Nau Cave on Halong Bay

Essence of Vietnam & Cambodia - 9 Days

Essence of Vietnam & Cambodia is a classic tour designed for the travelers to get a glimpse of the major tourist highlights in Vietnam and Cambodia in 9 days. The tour starts in the charming capital city of Vietnam and concludes in Siem Reap, gateway to the legendary temples of Angkor – Kingdom of Cambodia.

The trip covers the karst formations of Ha Long Bay and the exotic lifestyle on the Mekong River in southern Vietnam. The travel pace is easy and the tour includes walking, sightseeing, culture-touring, sea and river cruising. All hotels are of boutique luxury or high end luxury standards.Hanoi Vietnam

"Essence of Vietnam & Cambodia is to reveal the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam and Cambodia."

Day1  Arrive in Ha Noi (no meal)
Day2  Ha Noi City Tour (B/L)
Day3  Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi (B/L)
Day4  Ha Noi - Ho Chi Minh City (VN217: 1100 – 1300) (B)
Day5  Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Ben Tre - Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)
Day6  Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap (VN 827: 1140 – 1240)/Tour of Angkor Temples (B)
Day7  Angkor Temple Tour (B)
Day8  Angkor Temple Tour (B)
Day9  Depart Siem Reap (B)

What’s includedHalong Bay Vietnam

  • English-speaking guide;
  • Transportation as on the tour itinerary
  • Airlines tickets for Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap as indicated in the program;
  • Boat cruise on Ha Long Bay and the Mekong River as indicated on the itinerary
  • Accommodations on twin-shared basis as indicated in the program;
  • Meals as indicated in the program: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner;
  • All admission fees during guided times in the program;

What’s not included

  • Insurance of any types;
  • International airfares rather than those mentioned in the included services above;
  • International airport taxes in Cambodia;
  • Drinks or personal expenses;
  • Others not specified in the inclusions; 

Day1 Arrive in Ha Noi (no meal)
Arriving at Hanoi Airport, Paradissa Travel tour guide welcomes and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure. 
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day2 Ha Noi City Tour (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We start the city tour with Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace. The whole complex recalls some of the most remembered moments of the Vietnamese modern history. Then we’ll tour the unique One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature (The Temple of Knowledge) – The First University of Vietnam. The king ordered the construction of the Temple of Literature since we wanted the people to appreciate knowledge and encouraged the study of Confucianism. After that the First University was built just to the back of the Temple of Literature to educate the talented students of the kingdom. The kings of Vietnam that time would choose the bests that passed the royal exams to serve the kingdom. Those passed the royal exams would be granted with a PhD Degree. This noble title was not awarded easily: conscientious study combined with talents was required. Visiting the Temple of Literature you’ll adore the learning tradition of the Vietnamese started by their visionary kings thousands of years ago.

The Old Quarter of Hanoi shaped up from around the 11th – 13th century. This was the business quarter of ancient Hanoi. Nowadays the Old Quarter of Hanoi still offers traffic, hustling and bustling atmosphere like no others. We’ll weave the Old Quarter of the city by push-rickshaw.

After lunch we’ll visit Ngoc Son Temple and the West Lake area. In late afternoon, we’ll sample the unique water puppetry which dates back to the 11th century in Vietnam.
Overnight in Hanoi.

Nowadays the travelers to Hanoi know the city as 3 main areas: The Former Citadel Area, the Old Quarter and the French Quarter. Of course the city has more areas to the north, to the south and to the west of central Hanoi now where high-rise buildings are found to accommodate the growing economy. With much development going on in the fast growing economy of Vietnam, the old areas of Hanoi are specially protected by the authority and still Hanoi retains the charm like no others.

Day3 Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We start at 08:00 A.M for the 3 hour journey (170 km) through the Red River delta, which offers plenty of chances for taking photos of Vietnamese farmers tilling the vast green paddy fields. At half way, we'll have a visit to a handicraft workshop with fine clothes, embroidered paintings, stone statuettes and all kinds of gems mined in Vietnam such as star rubies or sapphires... Our destination is the World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. The bay offers some 3000 mountain islands and islets towering in the Gulf of Tonkin in the East Vietnam Sea.

Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed on board our boat and treated with green tea while the boat glides further into the tranquility of Ha Long Bay amid the towering mountain cliffs. Making your way on the emerald green water, you'll have relaxing time adoring the Creator for the stunning works of arts. We’ll visit the Cave of Dau Go and have fresh seafood for lunch before docking back on the shore where our car takes us back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.

Ha Long Bay is part of the Ton Kin Gulf bordered to the north by China, to the south by Cat Ba Island. The bay has over 3000 islands towering on the emerald water with many lagoons, limestone caves and amazing system of flora and fauna, of which many are unknown and some are listed as endangered species such as the oyster-like creatures, the white-headed black monkeys…Ha Long Bay was first listed as the World Heritage Site twice by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), the first time was in 1994 for the natural beauty and settings, the second time in 1999 for the limestone rock formations of the bay. Ha Long Bay offers boat cruise trips, overnight luxury junk cruise trips, kayaking tours, trekking adventure tours.

Day4 Ha Noi - Ho Chi Minh City (VN217: 1100 – 1300) (B)Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Breakfast at the hotel.
You have free  time enjoying your last moments in Hanoi until our tour guide comes back and escorts you back to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Arriving at Tan Son Nhat Airport, meet our Saigon tour guide and we drive to the city. Reaching the city, we’ll have time for refreshment, then continue with a discovery tour of Ho Chi Minh City. We’ll visit the Reunification Palace, China Town, L’Hotel De Ville, The Cathedral and the General Post Office. In late afternoon, we check into our hotel and enjoy free time at leisure.
Overnight in Saigon.

Day5 Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Ben Tre - Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we’ll travel into the verdant Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam. Upon arrival, we’ll enjoy a boat trip through the Bao Dinh natural canal with the stilt houses and the fruit plantations along the riverside. We’ll tour the  wholesale fruit market at My Tho, then proceed our tour to the Tortoise Island. Lunch is served in the canopy an orchard.Mekong Delta, Vietnam

After My Tho, our boat trip brings us on the Tan Thach natural canal in Ben Tre, under the shadow of water coconut trees. We’ll visit a family where you can learn about the agricultural lifestyle; we’ll travel through the fruit plantation in Thoi Son Island and enjoy a rowing boat trip on the creeks before cruising back to My Tho to rejoin our car and travel back to Saigon.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day6  Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap (VN 827: 1140 – 1240)/Tour of Angkor Temples (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
You have free time at leisure until our tour guide and car transfer you back to the Tan Son Nhat Airport for your flight to Siem Reap, The Kingdom of Cambodia. Arriving in Siem Reap, meet our Cambodia tour guide and we’ll travel to Rolous Town. The monuments of Roluos, which served as the capital of Indravarman I (reigned from A.D 877-89), are among the earliest permanent temples built by the Khmers and mark the beginning of Khmer classical art.

In Roluos, we’ll tour the temples of Preah Ko (erected by Indravarman I in the late 9th century and dedicated by the King to his ancestors), Bakong (the largest and most interesting of the Roluos group temples, it has an active Buddhist monastery) and Lolei (built on an islet in the center of a large reservoir by Yasovarman I, the founder of the first city at Angkor).

In late afternoon, we’ll climb the Phnom Bakheng Hill to the hilltop temple and adore the stunning sunset view over the countryside and the fabled Angkor Wat.
Overnight in Siem Reap.Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day7  Angkor Temple Tour (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Our morning tour starts with Angkor Thom the ancient capital of Angkor (12th century). We’ll tour the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), Bayon Temple(unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Travel back to Siem Reap for refreshment.

In the afternoon, we’ll enter the legendary world of Angkor Wat. We’ll have 2 to 3 hours for a guided tour which we’ll learn about the magical works of the Khmer to build these unrivaled structures. Then we’ll have some brief moments for self-exploring the upper levels of Angkor Wat. Since the top levels are vertically steep, it’s necessary we clamber them with caution.
Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day8  Angkor Temple Tour (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning, we’ll travel through the countryside to visit Banteay Srei with some of the most impressive sculptures found in the region. Banteay Srei temple (10th century), regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Arts. Then we’ll move onto Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southernmost of which is remarkably well preserved. Two concentric walls enclose the complex.  On the way back we will tour the fabled Ta Prohm temple embraced by gigantic trees and creepers.

In the afternoon, we’ll take a trip to visit the terrace of Sras Srang, Prasat Kravan, Banteay Kdei and Takeo.
Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day9  Depart Siem Reap (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
You have free time until we transfer you back to Siem Reap International Airport for your departure flight. Time to bid farewell to the fabled temples of Angkor. We trust you had a wonderful vacation in Vietnam and Cambodia with Paradissa Travel.

Optional tour: Depending on the flight time you may like to join us on a discovery tour of the exotic life on the open water of Tonle Sap. We’ll cruise to visit the community who live in floating houses of Tonle Sap and enjoy the freshness of nature here before getting back to Siem Reap Town.