Vietnam Cambodia 12 Day Itinerary

Hanoi - Lao Cai - Y Ty - Ninh Binh - Van Long nature reserve - Cat Ba island - Lan Ha Bay - Hue - Danang - Hoi An - Saigon - Mekong Delta - Cai Be floating market - Siem Reap (Cambodia)


This " Vietnam Cambodia 12 Day Itinerary" offers you a wonderful discovery of Vietnam and Cambodia that is off the beaten track. You will visit the essentials of Vietnam that are not done by mass tourism but in the familiar angle.

Your trip will be arranged to visit the villages and un-touristic areas that you will have chances to explore truly Vietnam, while offering a very good panorama from North to South. The offered extension tour in Cambodia is the dream destination of any travelers traveling to Cambodia including Angkor temples.

You will recover from your emotion and energy by taking a speedboat on the Tonle Sap lake, which closes this beautiful 12-day Vietnam Cambodia tour.

Itinerary & maps

vietnam-cambodia-12-day-itineraryDay 01: Hanoi arrival – city tour – cyclo ride (-/L/-)

Day 02: Hanoi – Duong Lam ancient village – Tay Phuong – Lao Cai  (B/L/-) – by overnight train

Day 03: Lao Cai - Muong Hum Market - Y Ty (B/L/-)

Day 04: Y Ty - Lao Chai - Ngai Thau - Lao Cai – Hanoi – by overnight train (B/L/-)

Day 05: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Hoa Lu ancient capital – Van Long nature reserve (B/L/D)

Day 06: Van Long - Hai Phong - Cat Ba island – overnight on cruise (B/L/D)

Day 7: Cat Ba - Hai Phong - Hanoi – Hue  (B/L/-) - – by flight

Day 8: Hue - Craft villages – Cloudy Ocean pass - Hoi An (B/L/-)

Day 9: Hoi An – Walking tour – handicraft workshop – Saigon  (B/L/-) - – by flight

Day 10: Saigon - Cai Be floating market - Saigon - Siem Reap  (B/L/-) – by flight

Day 11: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom – Angkor Wat (B/L/-)

Day 12: Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake – Departure (B/L/-)


Program details

Day 01: Hanoi arrival – city tour – cyclo ride (-/L/-)

Upon arrival at Noi Bai international airport, you will be welcomed by our guide and driver, then transfer to the center for your city tour of this peaceful and beautiful capital. Start your tour by visiting the notably Hoan Kiem lake (Restored Sword lake) with Thu Huc bridge, Ngoc Son temple and turtle tower which is the symbol of Hanoi, all of which will take you back to the 15th century by a legendary story from our guide. Then transfer to Women museum which keeps tangible and intangible items about Vietnam history and culture and Vietnamese women. Continue your trip by cyclo ride around the old quarter to get closer to Hanoian to understand more about the culture and daily life of locals, especially the cyclo passing different streets owning their own crafted items. Afterwards, participate in a folk song show (Cheo) or water puppet show. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 02: Hanoi – Duong Lam ancient village – Tay Phuong – Lao Cai – by overnight train (B/L/-)

Be picked up around 8.30 at your hotel and then depart to Duong Lam ancient village located in Son Tay town which about 45km to the Northwest of Hanoi. This beautiful village has a very long history which dates backs over 1,200 years and owns many houses built over 400 years ago. Enjoy your chance for exploration by walking to meet up the hospitable villagers and see old houses of red laterite and rammed earth. You will explore the customs and ways of life of the villagers in the Red River Delta by visiting the town hall of the village, tomb of King Ngo Quyen, temple of King Phung Hung and Mia Pagoda. Next, visit Thay (also known as Master’s pagoda) and Tay Phuong pagoda which are famous ancient pagodas in Hanoi and holds magnificent sculptures of wooden buddha statues. Finally, return to Hanoi for the overnight train to Lao Cai (shared A/C 4-soft berth cabin)

Day 03: Lao Cai - Muong Hum Market - Y Ty (B/L/-)

Arrive at Lao Cai railway station in the early morning, be welcomed by our guide then head out to Muong Hum for a visit of local weekly market. Have breakfast a restaurant near to the market. Then, explore this beautiful and colorful market where you meet many people from ethnic groups who live nearby and remote areas and go to market every Sunday to buy essentials and meet people after a week. After that, do a hike to the villages nearby for deep exploration of the area. Have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, drive to Y Ty via the beautiful landscapes with several stops for photos and visits. Upon arrival, check in homestay/hotel and overnight at Y Ty.

Day 04: Y Ty - Lao Chai - Ngai Thau - Lao Cai – Hanoi – by overnight train (B/L/-)

After breakfast depart to Ngai Thau village – the land of H'mong people. The village is located between mountains and valleys which offer a wonderful trip combined with meeting with very welcoming ethnic groups. Have lunch at a homesaty. Then, visit the ethnic village of Lao Chai that is the homeland of the ethnic groups of Ha Nhi followed by a transfer to Lao Cai railway station for the night train to Hanoi. Free dinner and overnight on the train (shared A/C 4-soft berth cabin).

Day 05: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Hoa Lu ancient capital – Van Long nature reserve (B/L/D)

Arrive in Hanoi railway station around 5.30am, then walk to hotel right opposite the station for your early check-in. Take your time to relax, showering and breakfast. Around 08.00, be welcomed at your hotel by our guide and driver, and then depart for Ninh Binh. Upon arrival, visit Hoa Lu ancient capital dating from the tenth century including the temples of King Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh to discover the long-standing history of Vietnam.  Then, drive to Van Long lagoon - National Reserve in the Northern Vietnam which is recognized as the beautiful “Ha Long bay on land”. Do a sampan ride in the heart of magical landscapes: rocks and karst mountains covered with beautiful vegetation and you can see rare animals and birds. Afterwards, take a beautiful bike ride in the countryside, especially, cycling on the dike of Van Long lagoon to explore the local life of the villagers will bring you the best pleasant. Transfer to homestay for check-in and overnight in Van Long.

Day 06: Van Long - Hai Phong - Cat Ba island – overnight on cruise (B/L/D)

After breakfast, depart in the morning for Hai Phong. Arrive at Ben Beo wharf around 11.30am where you will board on a beautiful cruise then make a magnificent sailing in Lan Ha bay which is a biosphere reserve and the most beautiful one of Halong and Cat Ba. Enjoy lunch on the cruise while it is sailing to the center of the bay. After that, visit one of the most beautiful caves in Halong and Cat Ba followed by a stop at the beautiful beach for swimming and relaxation. The cruise goes through islands, floating fishing villages and karst reefs to the peaceful and safe place for anchoring. Enjoy dinner and overnight on the cruise.

Day 7: Cat Ba - Hai Phong - Hanoi – Hue – by flight (B/L/-)

Wake up early in the morning to enjoy the beautiful sun coming out the sea and participate in the Tai Chi to fresh up yourself before a great day tour again. The cruise continues to sail through the beautiful and calm corners of Lan Ha Bay while you enjoy your lunch before reaching Ben Beo wharf where our car picks up for the transfer to Hanoi airport for the flight to Hue. Upon arrival at the airport in Hue, be welcomed by our guide and then transfer to hotel in center for check-in and overnight in Hue.

Day 8: Hue - Craft villages – Cloudy Ocean pass - Hoi An (B/L/-)

Breakfast at the hotel, then depart to the dock where you board on a nice boat on Perfume River to discover the daily activities of the locals and beautiful landscapes. Disembark at the craft villages of Sinh, Thanh Tien and Tien Non then go on bicycle to meet and discover the daily life and occupations of the locals. Sinh village is known for painting served for worship of local people while Thanh Tien is famous for paper flowers making and finally Tien Non village is the place of chrysanthemum flowers where you will see steps of growing. In the afternoon, visit Imperial Citadel which is a symbol of Hue built in 1804 under King Gia Long – Nguyen dynasty. You will see Thai Hoa Palace, Flag tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynasty Urns and Nine Holy Cannons…Finally, drive to Hoi An through beautiful Lang Co beach and Cloudy Ocean pass. Arrive in Hoi An, check in and overnight at hotel in Hoi An.

Day 9: Hoi An – Walking tour – handicraft workshop – Saigon – by flight (B/L/-)

Breakfast at the hotel, then explore the old quarter of Hoi An. Hoi An was recognized by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritate in 1999. Which was used as a busy port of trade with Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese in the 17th century. Start your tour by visiting Japanese covered bridge, handicraft workshops, Fujian Assembly hall, Chuc Thanh pagoda and especially stop at a lantern workshop to learn how to make the lantern and get one for your souvenir. After that, drive to the airport in Danang for the flight to Saigon.

Upon arrival at the airport in Saigon, be welcomed and picked up by our guide and then head out to the center for check-in hotel. Afterwards, participate in a cooking class which gives you a chance to visit a local market with the chef choosing ingredients for your class. The chef will show you the steps to make some Vietnamese food follow by your dinners. Overnight at hotel in Saigon.

Day 10: Saigon - Cai Be floating market - Saigon - Siem Reap – by flight (B/L/-)

After breakfast, then depart to Cai Be. Upon arrival at the wharf, board on a private boat to visit Cai Be floating market which is the meeting point for traders in the region and nearby. The unique feature of Cai Be market is the way in which the sellers hang their sample products on the tall wooden poles at the front of boat to help others recognize what are sold. Then visit craft workshops including coconut candy and popcorn workshops, then visit an old house in Cai Be. Continue cruising to An Binh in Vinh Long where hundreds of species of tropical fruit are grow all year round such as, longan and rambutan.

Later, cycle or stroll on the island in a calm atmosphere and especially the communication with the locals will bring many good experiences. Back to cruise towards Vinh Long on Tien river. Stop to visit either the bonsai garden of Mr Sau Giao or the nursery garden of Mr Tam Ho or terracotta brick ovens. Disembark at Vinh Long port and transfer directly to the airport in Saigon for the flight to Siem Reap (Cambodia). Upon arrival, be welcomed and picked up by our guide and driver then head out to hotel in the center. Check in hotel and overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 11: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom – Angkor Wat (B/L/-)

Breakfast at hotel, explore South Gate of Angkor Thom known as Big Angkor, 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire. The famous Bayon Temple was an architectural muddle, in part because it was constructed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion for over a century. Terrace of the Elephants is an impressive, two and a half meters tall, 300-meter-long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants and gradual that spans the heart of Angkor Thom in front of Baphuon - huge temple mountain in the heart of Angkor Thom, Royal Palace Area and Phimeanakas - impressive rite and sandstone pyramid. Terrace of the Leper King is at the north end of the Terrace of the Elephants, a double terrace wall with deeply carved nag as, demons and other mythological beings.

Afternoon visit Angkor Wat temple, the founder of the temple was Suryavarman II who ruled Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers in the 12th century to dedicate to the Hindu God Vishnu. The plan of the pyramidal conception of the temple combined with spaces, alleys, ditches is an ancient masterpiece of architectural design and construction. It is time to visit Pre Rup temple for a romantic sunset view. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 12: Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake – Departure (B/L/-)

Today, we start our tour to the Tonle Sap Lake. This is the largest permanent fresh-water lake in South East Asia and flows into Tonle Sap River, joining the Mekong in Phnom Penh. We will see a fishermen's "floating village" with floating schools, floating police station, etc. It is same as a big village floating on the lake, and the "village" move from place to place following water levels and current.

On the way back we will take sometimes to visit artisan D’Angkor. A visit to Artisans D’Angkor is a must to get a deep insight into the remarkable skilled workmanship of traditional handicrafts in Cambodia and local Market “Psar Chas” Free for your own leisure until our guide transfer to Siem Reap international airport for your departure

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