Be enchanted by the lush beauty of Cambodia and the teaming excitement of bustling Phnom Penh. See the sights by tuk-tuk in Siem Reap and go deep into the jungle as we explore the mysterious 12th-century Angkor Wat. Peer into Vietnam’s imperial past and descend into the Vietcong’s Cu Chi tunnels. Indulge in the delicious heritage, culture and cuisine of these fascinating Indochinese countries.
Our Indochina trip begins with an overnight flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder.
After arrival, transfer to your hotel. Take time to relax and unwind before our welcome orientation this evening. Be enchanted by the unique French colonial architecture, palm-lined boulevards, majestic Khmer ruins and lush landscapes as we discover the indelible spirit of this exotic land.
Cambodia’s capital is the perfect place to delve into the country’s history and culture. Our morning city tour includes the ornate Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum of Khmer Arts with graceful statues of Hindu gods and ancient Sanskrit tablets. Later, we visit the hilltop Buddhist Temple Wat Phnom, the Choeng Ek Killing Field Memorial, and the Toul Sleng Museum, recounting the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.
Cambodian food is Southeast Asia’s oldest cuisine offering amazing curries, stir-fried lok lak, and savory noodle dishes. Experience tasty Khmer specialties at our dinner tonight.
- See the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum of Khmer Arts, Budhist Temple Way Phnom, Choeng Ek Killing Field Memorial, Toul Sleng Museum and more
- Traditional Cambodian dinner of Khmer specialties
Meals: Breakfast, Cambodian Dinner
After breakfast, we drive to Siem Reap. En route stop to visit the fascinating spider market and ancient Naga Bridge. Check into our hotel early this afternoon with free time until our exciting ‘tuk tuk’ trip along the colorful riverside of Siem Reap. Our excursion includes a visit to a lively food market where locals gather to picnic with their families. (Crispy crickets anyone?) Try out your negotiating skills as you shop for bargains before a traditional dinner this evening.
- Visit the Spider Market and Naga Bridge
- Siem Reap Tuk Tuk trip
- Traditional Siem Reap Dinner
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Ancient temples rise through thick mysterious jungle as we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei temples today. Angkor Wat is famous for its splendor and features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world narrating stories from Hindu mythology. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, then gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit incredible Ta Prohm, the fortified city of Angkor Thom, the mysterious Bayon Temple, and the Terrace of the Leper Kings. Surrounded by the jungle, ancient temples settle among enormous fig trees and giant creeper roots slowly becoming reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature. Return to Siem Reap this evening.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, Kanteay Srei Temples, Ta Prohm and Bayon Temple
- Traditional Angkor Wat Lunch
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Board our short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, we transfer to our hotel. Time permitting; opt to participate in a half day city tour. Sights include Notre Dame Cathedral, French-style Colonial Post Office, Jade Emperor Pagoda, the former Presidential Palace, and a visit to Ben Thanh market. Otherwise the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Join us for tonight’s relaxing Vietnamese buffet dinner and sunset cruise on the Saigon River.
- One-way flight to Ho Chi Minh
- Vietnamese Dinner and Saigon River Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Vietnamese dinner & cruiseOptional Activity: Half-day city sightseeing tour
We depart early on our excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This is an incredible underground tunnel network of approximately 125 miles, built by Vietcong, housing hideouts, hospitals and shelters. Afterwards, visit to the local market of Cholon and bustling old town “Saigon.” We’ll also see the War Museum, featuring photographs and weapons of the Vietnam wars, as well as the original French “Guillotine.” A free evening in Ho Chi Minh is perfect for night-owl revelers with a seemingly endless array of diversions like stunning rooftop bars, pulsating nightclubs, or fun night markets and street bars. Take your pick in the city that doesn’t sleep.
- Vietcong Cu Chi Tunnels
- Cholon Market
- See Old Town "Saigon" and the War Museum
Enjoy today at your leisure shopping for souvenirs or join an optional excursion to the Mekong Delta where we take sampan boats through narrow jungle canals, fishing villages and floating markets.
In the evening we are invited to a water puppet show, a unique Vietnamese art form performed in a large pool. At our farewell dinner, savor dishes from this thriving food scene with delicacies including Pho and fresh seafood infused with fragrant herbs.
- Water Puppet Show
- Farewell Pho Dinner
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinnerOptional Activity: Mekong Delta
For some of us the exploration ends in Ho Chi Minh City this morning. Bid farewell to friends and before jetting back home with memories to last a lifetime. For those going on the extension: Hanoi and Ha Long Bay await.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for our flight to Hanoi. Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old world charm and some of Asia’s most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks also create a relaxing atmosphere in this otherwise bustling city. Our afternoon tour starts with a visit to One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (the first national university of Vietnam built in 1070), and the “Hanoi Hilton” prison (where John McCain and other POWs were kept during the Vietnam War). Afterwards, hold on tight during a fun “Cyclo” rickshaw ride through the buzzing Old Quarter of Hanoi. During your free evening, soak up the nightlife from a plastic stool in the walking street district sampling steamed peanuts and exotic snacks, or go high-end at a famous jazz club or insane multi-level nightclub.
- One way flight to Hanoi
- See One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the "Hanoi Hilton" Prison and more
- "Cyclo" Rickshaw Ride
Meals: Breakfast, In-flight
This morning, we travel to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders. Cruise along the Bay on a typical Bai Tho ‘junk’, a replica of an ancient Asian sailing vessel, and enjoy the picturesque scenery with some 2,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear, emerald waters. The limestone karst formations are strewn with beaches, grottos and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and take an excursion to one of the many hidden grottos beneath the towering cliffs. Enjoy a leisurely dinner on board tonight with tranquil views of the bay and an unforgettable sunset from the upper deck.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay
- Overnight Junk Cruise
- Specialty Dinner
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After a morning swim and delicious brunch on our boat, we disembark for our transfer back to Hanoi. En route, stop in a local village to shop for handmade ceramics and pottery. Enjoy some free time for last minute sightseeing before our farewell dinner of fresh, local ingredients.
- Junk Cruise Brunch
- Farewell Dinner
Meals: Brunch, Farewell Dinner
After a morning at leisure we transfer to the airport for our flight home with dreams of returning to this land of enchantment soon.
Meals: Breakfast, In-flight
* U.S. citizens require visas for Cambodia and Vietnam – see terms and conditions or contact AESU for details.