Vietnam & Angkor Wat

15 days
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About This Experience

Witness the dramatic history that unfolded in Southeast Asia, and see how this region is reinventing itself today. Commemorate the war in Vietnam, peruse the markets and soak up the vibrant, contemporary culture. Then, cruise amidst the staggering seascapes of Ha Long Bay before wandering among Angkor’s temples and terraces, where you’ll discover one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels; 1 night aboard a Ha long Paradise cruise ship

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 8 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Take off on an adventure to Southeast Asia

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Hô Chi Minh City aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Hô Chi Minh City3 nights - hotel info

Day2

Say hello to Hô Chi Minh City

Breakfast (in flight)

Welcome to Vietnam! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and then accompanies you to your Hô Chi Minh City hotel to assist with hotel check-in.

Day3

Trace Vietnamese history, from colonial churches to war memorials

Breakfast, Dinner

Reunification Palace, War Remnants museum

Take in the sights of the largest city in Vietnam on a guided tour. Witness Vietnam’s progression from French colony to unified, independent nation as you view the city’s major landmarks. The Reunification Palace, the General Post Office, City Hall, Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica and the War Remnants Museum each have a unique story to be told. You’ll also stroll along Lê Công Kiêu, a street known for its treasure trove of antiques. Get to know your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day4

Ride a sampan through the canals and markets of the Mekong Delta

Optional Excursion - Mekong Delta Cruise

Breakfast

Today is free to explore Hô Chi Minh City on your own. Alternatively, consider joining our optional Mekong Delta cruise. On board a motorized sampan, you’ll be introduced to the floating market at Cái Bè and then continue on to the labyrinthine canals and streams of the upper river.

Optional Excursions

Mekong Delta Cruise $45* pp

Journey south to the Mekong Delta town of Cái Bè to board a motorized sampan for a winding introduction to life on the river. Cái Bè is known for its large floating market, where locally grown produce hangs from bamboo poles over the market's boats. From here, your sampan will traverse the upper tributaries of the river. You’ll pass by numerous fruit plantations and stop for an included lunch, with a sample of tropical fruit, in the shade of a local farmer’s home. Then, rejoin your craft for a leisurely cruise back to Cái Bè. You’ll return to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon.

Hôi An2 nights - hotel info

Day5

Go underground to explore the Viet Cong’s Cù Chi Tunnels

Optional Excursion - Cù Chi Tunnels

Breakfast, Dinner

This morning is free to enjoy at your leisure. You might join our optional excursion to the Cù Chi Tunnels. Centered in the northern suburbs of Hô Chi Minh City, these tunnels were the staging ground for the Tet Offensive’s attacks on what was then Saigon. Later, transfer to the airport and board your flight for Dà Nang. Upon arrival, you’ll continue on to Hôi An in time for an included dinner.

Optional Excursions

Cù Chi Tunnels $25* pp

At Cù Chi, you’ll visit the vast underground network of tunnels built as a defense against the French and expanded during the Vietnam War. From here, the North Vietnamese waged guerrilla warfare against the South. See secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. The more adventurous may explore the deeper-level tunnels. Those preferring to remain above ground will have ample opportunity to view excavated areas. Some tunnels are easily accessed by stairs. Your guide will advise you of the length and level of difficulty of each tunnel before entering. Please note: Good walking shoes and sun protection are recommended, as are clothes that can get slightly dirty.

Day6

Shop the markets, cook the food, feast on the fruits of your labor

Breakfast, Lunch

Reunification Palace, History Museum

Visit a local market on the Thu Bôn River this morning, where you’ll select ingredients with your guide and learn about market shopping. Then, try your hand at Vietnamese cuisine at a cooking class, followed by a lunch of the delicacies you helped prepare. This afternoon, return to Hôi An for a guided tour featuring the Japanese covered bridge, the Old Town and a brief visit to a local school (sites and duration may vary based on the time of the this morning’s excursion).

Huê1 night - hotel info

Day7

Float down the Perfume River to the towering Thiên Mu Pagoda

Breakfast

Journey to Huê this morning via the Hài Vân Pass, known for its sweeping views of the East Sea (known outside Vietnam as the South China Sea). Upon arrival in Huê, you’ll set out on a guided tour of this former national capital beginning with a cruise down the Perfume River and continuing on to the Thiên Mu Pagoda and the Imperial City.

Hanoi2 nights - hotel info

Day8

Pay your respects to the emperors of the long-ruling Nguyen dynasty

Optional Excursion - Tu Dúc & Khài Dinh Tombs

Breakfast, Dinner

This morning is free to discover Huê at your leisure. You might join an optional excursion to the tombs of two emperors, Tu Dúc and Khài Dinh Early this afternoon, you’ll board a flight to the northern city of Hanoi, arriving in time for dinner.

Optional Excursions

Tu Dúc & Khài Dinh Tombs $29* pp

The hills surrounding Huê are dotted with the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty emperors. You’ll visit the two most impressive tombs, designed in contrasting styles. First, you’ll behold the tomb of Emperor Tu Dúc, resplendent in traditional architecture, paved walkways, resting pavilions overlooking tranquil lotus ponds and a small forest for hunting. The tomb of Emperor Khài Dinh, who is remembered as the “Puppet Emperor” because of his affiliation with the French, exemplifies colonial flair. A glass mosaic frieze dominates this tomb’s interior.

Day9

Discover Hanoi’s places of beauty and pieces of history

Optional Excursion - Vietnamese Home-Hosted Dinner

Breakfast

Today’s guided tour introduces you to Hanoi, including Ba Dinh Square, where Hô Chi Minh read the Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. You’ll also visit the Hô Chi Minh Museum, the Governor’s Residence and the Opera House. Examine the One Pillar Pagoda, designed to resemble a lotus blossom, and wander through the Temple of Literature, a walled complex dedicated to Confucious. Hoàn Kiém Lake is a focal point for Hanoi public life, with an enchanting red wooden bridge. This evening, opt for a traditional Vietnamese home-hosted dinner.

Optional Excursions

Vietnamese Home-Hosted Dinner $35* pp

Get a taste of authentic local flavors with a home-hosted dinner at Ms. Nga's house in Hanoi. Listen to her stories of everyday life and enjoy the opportunity to tour her home. Then, dine on regional specialties like Vietnamese vegetable soup, spring rolls, fried fish or chicken, sautéed vegetables and papaya salad. Finish the meal with tea and peanut candy before saying your goodbyes.

Ha Long Bay1 night - hotel info

Day10

Cruise through the stunning limestone cliffs and karst of Ha Long Bay

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Transfer to Ha Long Bay, where you’ll embark on a luxurious cruise for an overnight stay. Ha Long Bay is home to more than 3,000 limestone towers, cliffs and arches, along with many fishing villages. Relax among some of the most stunning scenery in all of Vietnam, and savor a leisurely dinner on board.

Siem Reap3 nights - hotel info

Day11

Uncover 1,000 years of history and artistry in the Land of the Khmers

Breakfast, Dinner

Disembark from your cruise ship today and return to Hanoi, where you will board a flight to Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Upon arrival, share a dinner with your tour group.

Day12

Explore Angkor’s elaborate temples and evocative terraces

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Angkor Temple Complex

Start your day with a sunrise visit to Angkor Wat. It is arguably the largest religious building in the world and an outstanding example of Khmer architecture. Unique among nearby temples, Angkor Wat is oriented toward the west. After an included lunch, you’ll visit Angkor Thom, the ruined capital of the Khmer Empire. Pay special attention to the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and the enormous carved stone faces of the Bayon temple.

Day13

Climb on jungle-clad ruins and cruise through floating villages

Breakfast, Dinner

Angkor Temple Complex

Today, you’ll explore Ta Prohm, a 12th-century temple that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle. It’s an intriguing and evocative setting (even featured in the movie Tomb Raider), as nature takes over the man-made structures. You’ll also explore the ruins of the nearby Preah Khan temple. This afternoon, embark upon a cruise on Tonlé Sap lake to visit floating villages. Tonight, you’ll see a performance of traditional Apsara dance during dinner.

Bangkok1 night - hotel info

Day14

Arrive in the City of Angels for a taste of Thailand

Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, board a flight for Bangkok. After landing, you’ll have the remainder of the day to relax and explore the Thai capital on your own. Tonight, say goodbye to your fellow travelers over an included farewell dinner.

Day15

Arrive home

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Extend Your Stay

Add Bangkok $259*

Bangkok—it’s exotic, energetic and downright delicious. Start your Southeast Asian tour early with two nights in the “City of Angels.” Wander through ornate palaces and Buddhist temples; explore the quaint canals and floating markets; and feast on scrumptious, spicy Thai cuisine.

Bangkok2 nights - hotel info

Day14

Wander the wats, examining thousands of holy images

Breakfast

This morning is free to relax or explore Bangkok on your own. In the afternoon, a guided tour introduces you to the city, including the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and the Temple of the Golden Buddha.

Day15

Float through the khlong in “Venice of the East”

Breakfast

This morning, enjoy a tour of Bangkok’s khlong, or canals, on a speedboat and converted rice barge. The afternoon is free for you to explore at your leisure.

Day16

Pack up your chopsticks¬—you’re homeward bound

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day17

Arrive home

Arrive home today.

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand (on the post-tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of your return home. Additionally, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in order to enter Vietnam and Cambodia. The visa for entry into Vietnam must be secured in advance, while you have the option to obtain a Cambodian visa upon arrival (you will need $20 USD and two passport-sized photos). You may choose to obtain your individual visas by applying directly to each country’s consulate or by using a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral (www.visacentral.com/goaheadtours). If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.  

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. Remember that it is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia. However, some of the diseases known to exist in Vietnam and Cambodia include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, diphtheria, dengue, malaria, tetanus, polio, rabies and HIV/AIDS. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements. More information on vaccinations and other health precautions can be found via the CDC website.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine. A wide range of international cuisines is available in both Vietnam and Cambodia, but the indigenous cooking styles are among the best in Southeast Asia. The subtle mixing of herbs, spices and market-fresh ingredients makes dining a special culinary experience. The staples in both countries are rice and noodles, accompanied by a variety of dishes that can be eaten in almost any order and seasoned to individual taste. Fresh seafood is abundant, and there are many options for vegetarians.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Hô Chi Minh City and depart from Bangkok. Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach and internal flights. 

Electricity

The electrical current for both Vietnam and Cambodia is 220 volt, 50 cycles. Many sockets will take both two-prong round pins and U.S.-style flat pins; however, it is recommended to bring a universal adaptor. It is a good idea to use a power surge device if using a laptop computer. Adapters may be available in Vietnam and Cambodia; however, it advisable to bring one from home.

Time Zones

Vietnam and Cambodia are seven hours ahead of Greenwich meantime, and 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time. When it’s 9 a.m. in New York, it’s 9 p.m. the same day in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Currency

The official unit of currency in Vietnam is the dong (VND). It is recommended to use VND for most transactions. ATMs are widely available in airports, major cities and towns and issue VND only. United States dollars (USD) can be used in some hotels and restaurants, or for larger purchases; however, other currencies (AUD, GBP, CAN, NZD) will need to be exchanged into the local currency. It is useful to bring a combination of debit and credit cards, as well as some USD cash. If you bring traveler’s checks, it is best to use USD, but these are now becoming harder to cash. It is not possible to exchange dong outside Vietnam. The official unit of currency in Cambodia is the riel (KHR). In Cambodia, USD cash is accepted everywhere, though change may be given in riel. ATMs dispense U.S. dollars and can be found in most major tourist centers. Most hotels and restaurants, shops, taxis, buses and airlines set their prices in U.S. dollars, but small transactions (less than a dollar) are usually done in riel. Change of less than $1 is given in riel. Always carry some small riel for motorcycle taxis, snacks and other small purchases. There is no coinage in Cambodia, only currency notes. Cambodian riel notes come in 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 denominations, but the distinctive red 500 riel note and the 1000 riel note are the most useful and common. Riel cannot be exchanged outside Cambodia. Cash advances via Mastercard or Visa can be obtained at exchange booths and banks and Siem Reap. Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted in most mid-range to upmarket hotels, as well as some boutiques and restaurants. If you bring traveler’s checks, it is best to use USD, but these are now becoming harder to cash.

Shopping on Tour

Please note that some excursions may include a stop at a market or specialty store. Go Ahead Tours has no relationship with these vendors and encourages you to research specialty items you’re interested in purchasing abroad before you leave to ensure you’re receiving the best quality.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2 USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

Best Tour Director

We just returned from a tour of Vietnam and AngKor Wat. Our tour leader, Jackie, was an unbelievable resource for all things Vietnam! He was great with all the details from pick up to drop off, always there to answer questions about anything, was very personable and patient with each person on tour, and just really took care of everybody in a foreign country. He shared his views on every thing we asked and really made the whole experience just the best!!! I believe we all felt sad leaving him to go to Cambodia. He became like one of us, joined in the group, had a sense of humor, and was so knowledgeable about the history of his country. Great job for Go Ahead Tours and their contact with Destination Asia. Keep Jackie on your list of top tour guides.


5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/8/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

What a Trip!

This was definitely an eye-opener to the Southeast Asia culture and history!! We had a great time, and met some wonderful people. However, this is not a tour for everyone. You definitely need to be in good physical shape for the climbing on the ruins of Angkor Wat, and able to withstand the heat (and we went in March)! To see what little many of the people have, but yet, how happy they are was amazing. Our tour directors were great. Ve in Vietnam was great - loved the Whispers - wish we had had them in Cambodia. Sevay in Cambodia was great as well. Top in Thailand was too. The Halong Bay cruise will always be a wonderful memory for us!! We did have some problems though. Not sure when or where, but several items were stolen. Silk pajamas, and some of the little silk artwork, along with the pen and ink drawings didn't make it home with us. We don't buy expensive things - but the fact is, these were souvenirs that didn't get to their final destination. And my extra pair of eyeglasses were taken too. I didn't realize that until I got home and was unpacking. I can't imagine why someone would take those!!! I really don't have many friends who are interested in this kind of tour, but those folks who live studying history, cultures, religion...this is for you! Just bring your best walking shoes, and sunscreen and bug spray!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: WV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Vietnam and Angkor Wat

Great accomodations. The Ha Long Bay cruise was everything that we could have expected. Be prepared for a fair amount of war propaganda. There should have been local guides in the Cambodian ruins and there should have been a speaker system for the tour director to use, as was the case in Vietnam. We should not have been presented with a multi-page review of the trip at 9PM on the last night of the tour with a 3AM wake-up call for the plane home. The travel review should be given at the beginning of the trip, so that we can fill it out, as we go along.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 2/8/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Outstanding Tour

We more than got our moneys worth on this tour. We stayed in the finest hotels and ate delicious meals. Our days were very full with sightseeing activities. We had wonderful Tour Directors. Unlike other tours with GoAhead, we had a different Tour Director in each country. While a surprise at first, we found that each TD was able to show us the best of his country. They shared so much with us. It was wonderful to use "The Whisperers" while touring. We did not need to be on top of the guide to hear and understand what was being said. I wish that all trips provided Whisperers. For those who do not know what I mean.....it looks like a transistor radio with a wire and ear bud. The guide speaks into his...and we can all hear what is being said. Future participants should know that this is a very tiring trip. We are active all day and on our feet much of the time. This is not a complaint.....I love this kind of trip. But, if you had any difficulties or get tired easily, this may not be the trip for you. This is a wonderful way to see Vietnam and Cambodia, today. What a contrast to the war years. To enjoy this trip more....read a few books in advance about the history of the area. Advanced reading enhances the trip.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/14/2013

Number of Past Tours: 28

From: NH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

southeast asia

Angkor Wat was impressive. I felt too much time was spent while several tourmembers climbed a tall structure and there was a loong wait line to descend. The guide might have foreseen this. Also Nguen, although well informed, was not too sensitive to the needs of elderely members, including myself, when it came to issuing instructions, moving thru exhibit rooms, and letting the group spread out. There were some times when Whispers was not used effectively. The Choice of Boutique Hotel was excellent for relaxation. Therer were numberless occasions for early rising and departures on the tour which made it rather strenuous.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/14/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: CA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour

I loved Cambodia and Vietnam. The hotels were excellent and the guides "Ratt" and "Quang" were the BEST! I recommend this tour for the avid traveler. You will be surprised - it is a true journey of the senses!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/14/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent tour except for a stolen iPad

This was my 14th goahead tour and one of the best for the money. The accommodations were superior and instead of being feed "faux" American food we dined on local cuisine which was very good. The trip was very busy and many cities and sites were visited. Rath the Cambodian tour director and Quang the Vietnam tour director were excellent. One caveat, the air quality in Hanoi is horrific. You can smell and taste the particulates in the air. My iPad was stolen from my locked hotel room in the Prince D'Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The iPad was hidden in a drawer because the safe didn't work. Hotel staff at the Prince D'Angkor Hotel did not help me. They refused my request to file a police report. They were condescending and disrespectful. If you stay here make sure to lock your valuables in a safe, the security is poor, and don't expect any help from the hotel management staff. goAhead staff have been helping me recover using my travel insurance.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/14/2013

Number of Past Tours: 14

From: PA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Exciting cultural escape

Cambodia and Vietnam are two places unlike any other. On this trip you visit two fantastic countries with amazing history, sites and food. You get the opportunity to enjoy ruins, cultural adventures and taste some of the best cuisine in the world. The tour combines the massive sites of Angkor Wat and then visit North, Central and Southern Vietnam. Throughout Vietnam you explore the cultural differences between each region while taking in the sights, sounds and amazing taste that each area has to offer. It's an amazing trip filled with fantastic sites, delicious eats and amazing people.

review photo review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/23/2013

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Cambodia/Vietnam

My trip to Cambodia and Vietnam was more than I thought it would be. There was a suprise at every stop on the itinerery. Our guide Rodd made Cambodia special. In Vietnam, Heip was very informative with the history of the country and the many regimes. The food in both countries was excellent, I'm missing it already. Can't wait to try the recipes received in cooking school, a great addition.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/23/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: MI

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Experience

Angkor Wat and the other temples were fasinating! If this was in the US, no way would we have been able to climb and walk all around. Don't wait too long to take this trip as already they say 4,000 people a day come to see. All of Vietnam was interesting and the other highlight of the trip is a one night stay on Ha Long Bay. This is a very fast paced trip with excellent guides, very nice hotels and delicious food including a cooking class in Hoi An. This trip was a great value and our fellow participants were delightful. Most were past Go Ahead travelers and now we will be too.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/21/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

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