Southeast Asia has long been a draw for travellers searching for that certain something, far removed from daily life back home. Spirituality, relaxation and adventure – there are infinite reasons why heading east has become an experience not to be missed. Join us on our discovery tour from Angkor Temples in Cambodia to Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and explore these two truly amazing countries with your fellow solo travellers.
Depart the UK for your overnight flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Welcome to incredible Cambodia! Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, we’ll proceed through immigration, collect our luggage and transfer to our hotel in Siem Reap. After check-in, we will have some free time to rest after our flight.
Today evening we will enjoy a welcome drink and dinner while watching an Apsara Dance show embodying Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage through traditional performing arts. Dancers, singers and musicians will perform classical and village dances to the music of the traditional orchestra.
Overnight stay in Siem Reap.
Today we visit Angkor Thom, the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. At the heart of Angkor Thom is the 12th Century Bayon – the mesmerising, if slightly mind-bending, state temple of King Jayavarman VII. This masterpiece temple of grandeur is well known for its 54 towers of enigmatic faces, representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire.
Our next stop is the Terrace of Elephants which was used by Angkor’s King Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. We will also see Terrace of the Leper King, the statue that depicts the Hindu god Yama, the god of death.
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll drive to the North of the Angkor area and visit the temple of Banteay Srei, carved in beautiful pink sandstone. It is also called The Citadel of Women and is one of the best-preserved temples in Cambodia.
In the afternoon we will visit the Ta Phrom Temple, the most atmospheric ruins at Angkor. Swallowed by the jungle, the ruins resemble the monuments of Angkor that appeared when European explorers first stumbled upon them.
We depart to Tonle Sap Lake and board a Sampan (flat-bottomed wooden boat) and head down the Roulos river to Kompong Phluk, a floating village on Tonle Sap Lake. We will see the village houses on stilts, flooded forests and learn about the daily life of the local community.
Following our tour, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to the airport for our flight to Hanoi.
After arriving in Hanoi, we transfer to our hotel in Hanoi.
Today we tour incredible Hanoi! We begin with a visit to the Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins. Then it’s onto a visit of the Museum of History. We also walk through Dong Xuan Market – the Old Quarter’s largest wholesale market, where you can find exotic plants, fresh fruits, vegetables and sweetly fragrant flowers. We visit a local house and take our time talking with the hosts and learn about their family’s life and history.
Afterwards we will have lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (outside visit) and his personal residence, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Tran Quoc Pagoda.
This morning, we depart for the stunning Halong Bay (3 ½ hour drive), located in the Gulf of Tonkin. Undoubtedly one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations, with over 1600 islands and islets, most of which are uninhabited.
Soon after arriving in Halong City, we check-in and board a traditional junk boat, with lunch served on board as we cruise towards the bay.
During the course of the afternoon, we can enjoy some visits and activities, or simply relax on board (possibility to swim in the bay if weather permits). Dinner is served on the boat.
After breakfast on board, we can enjoy the fresh morning in the bay, with the cruise ending around 11am.
If time permits, stop at Hai Phong City for a short city tour (Hang Kenh Temple, The Central Market, Hai Phong Museum) before going to Haiphong Airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
(Please note: Internal flight baggage allowance is 20Kg)
Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh airport we will transfer to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Today we enjoy a full day exploring the city. We visit the former Presidential Palace, or as it is known today – the Reunification Palace. Then we will head to the historical heart of the city and visit the Notre Dame Cathedral (outside visit only due to its renovation). The red bricks of the cathedral walls were originally from Paris. From there, we take a short walk to the old Central Post Office. After that, we will visit the best-preserved buildings from the colonial era, the Opera House and the Hotel de Ville now home to Saigon’s municipal authorities. Later, we will continue to the Catinat building. Built in 1927, in an art deco style, it has once again become a hub for fashion conscious Saigonese and contains many designer boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafés.
After breakfast, we drive to Phan Thiet (3 hrs drive) and once we check-in to our hotel, the rest of the day is free to spend as you wish.
Today we can enjoy the day however we wish. Take in the sights & delights of the local area or spend time at the beach. You can also join one of the optional day tours. Further details of the day tours can be found in the FAQ’s.
Another relaxing day taking in the sights & delights of the local area or strolling the sands.
Enjoy a third day unwinding on white sands or taking a dip in the ocean.
After breakfast, we spend the day enjoying a final day at the beach, thanks to a late 6pm check-out. We’ll then transfer to Ho Chi Minh City Airport for our flight home.
Overnight flight back to the UK, arriving today morning in London.
We stay in comfortable hotels throughout as detailed below (or similar);
From 15 March 2022 Vietnam has reintroduced visa waivers for the nationals of 13 countries including the UK. Visa waivers allow for visits to Vietnam for up to 15 days without needing to apply for a visa.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months on the date you enter Vietnam.
A number of British nationals have been refused entry and exit due to their passport being damaged. Make sure your passport is in good condition before arriving in Vietnam. Being refused entry can result in significant cost and a long stay at the airport.
Tourist visas are available on arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports. If you wish to get a visa on arrival you must arrive with a passport photograph. You can also get an eVisa online before you travel.
Visa fees, conditions and photograph requirements are subject to change. Check the Royal Cambodian Embassy, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation website for the latest information on fees, conditions and photograph requirements and on how to apply for an e-visa. Currently an e-visa costs 30 USD + 6 USD processing fee).
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Cambodia. Entry is normally refused if you have a damaged passport or pages missing.
Your passport should also be valid for a minimum period of 6 months for any subsequent renewal or extension of your visa that you apply for from within Cambodia.
When checking into a hotel, you’ll have to hand over your passport so that the hotel can register your presence with the local police. Make sure your passport is returned and keep it in a safe place.
The transfer time from Siem Reap International Airport to your hotel in Siem Reap is approximately 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. The transfer time from your hotel in Phan Thiet to Ho Chi Minh International Airport is approximately 4 hours, depending on the traffic.
The emphasis is on casual clothing throughout. Go for light, loose cotton clothing and comfortable shoes or walking boots. Conservative dress is preferred for both men and women. No shorts or vest tops in restaurants. When visiting temples and certain museums dress politely; shorts, singlets, spaghetti straps, skirts, tank-tops and open backed sandals are not acceptable. The dress code would be same for men and women, that is shoulders and legs covered, no hats, and shoes to be taken off.
We suggest a Group Collection to cover guides, transfer drivers, and hotel staff of equivalent of £70.00 per person. Your Tour Leader will collect this on your behalf and distribute it accordingly, thus relieving you of the burden of who, when and how much to tip. The tipping of housekeeping will be left to your individual discretion (a small amount left in your room on departure should cover this and would be much appreciated). As is customary, ‘the hat’ will be passed around for the driver and guide on all optional excursions. For any meals that are not included in your itinerary, or taxi fares, your Tour Leader can advise of an appropriate % to add on.
A reasonable level of fitness/mobility is required as we include plenty of sightseeing/travelling, some with early starts.
The order of the itinerary and events may be subject to change
Please note:- Optional excursions are not guaranteed and are based on minimum numbers. The prices quoted are guideline only and may involve other non-Solos holidaymakers.
During your leisure beach stay you will have opportunity to join following optional excursions:
|OPTION 1: PHAN THIET – WALKING BEYOND THE FAIRY STREAM & WHITE SAND DUNNE – HALFDAY
Pick up at your hotel, heading to the Fairly Stream. It is breath-taking and simply beautiful. Prepare yourself since you will have to walk around and the weather is relatively hot, however, the feeling of warm shallow water streaming between your toes is just great. Continue the visit at local Fishing Village to learn more about the farm and their working. On your way back, visit the White Sand Dunes, which is among the top attractions at Mui Ne after the beach itself.
The best time to visit is at sunrise and sunset when you can fully enjoy the beauty of this attraction. The sand at this moment will be in its full pink or light red splendour. Transfer back to your hotel.
Note: Riding on sand dune by jeep is excluded and can be booked as extra services on spot if you wish.
|OPTION 2: PHAN THIET– SIGHTSEEING AND TA CU MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE – HALF DAY
Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Ta Cu Mountain where you will enjoy a cable car ride to the peak of the mountain. Visit Linh Son Truong Tho Pagoda and admire the panoramic view of the enchanting forest and magnificent mountainous scenery around. Continue on to Takou temple lying one of the biggest Buddha statues in the region.
On the way back to your hotel, stop at a local dragon fruit’s farm and learn more about the cultivating process of this beautiful tropical fruit. After that, visit Poshanu Cham Tower built during the old Champa Kingdom and now remained as the worship place of the Cham minority in Mui Ne; and Van Thuy Tu temple, which is famous for the whale skeleton of 22 meter in length and 65 tons in weight – the largest fishbone in Vietnam and South East Asia. The final stop will be a sand painting workshop. It displays a collection of art works made from sands in different themes. Transfer back to your hotel
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