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Magnificent Vietnam & Cambodia

Updated: Mar 17, 2023



Welcome to Vietnam


Vietnam is long recognized as one of Asia’s most dynamic countries, Vietnam is a kaleidoscope of colour and culture, blending French influence with traditional Asian philosophy. From bustling Ho Chi Minh City and the capital Hanoi, to quaint riverside villages in the Mekong Delta and the towering rice paddies of Sapa, Vietnam’s compelling history is on display everywhere, from the ancient pagodas of imperial dynasties to more recent relics of Vietnam’s complex past.


Departure on the 13 November, 2023 home getaway you will arrive at the Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi) on 14 November, 2023. Destination Asia tour guide will meet you as you exit the airport, and transfer you by private vehicle to the Sofitel Metropole Legend Hotel for check- in and have a restful evening in your hotel.

November 14 to November 17

(3 night stay, Hanoi)

Ha Noi, a city of lakes, parks and colonial mansions, retains much of its historical charm and, with an eclectic mix of Asian tempo and French refinement, Vietnam’s capital is a city to be savoured. The labyrinthine streets of Ha Noi’s Old Quarter are the ideal place in which to wander and observe daily life. Here street traders jostle for space on the sidewalks and crumbling houses are crammed into narrow alleyways that are still named after the goods that were traded there - Silk Street, Gold Street and even Fried Fish Street! A stroll around West Lake reveals a different side of the city and nearby you will find the sombre Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which is usually crowded with Vietnamese of all ages wishing to show their respects.

The elegant French Quarter is home to some fine colonial architecture including the famous Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel and the Opera House, whilst an early morning wake-up call and a visit to Hoan Kiem Lake will be rewarded by a display of local residents practicing their t’ai chi. Ha Noi is steeped in history from the 'Hanoi Hilton’, the infamous Hoa Lo Prison where so many prisoners of war were incarcerated, to the religious pride that constructed the 11th century Temple of Literature, the heart of the Confucian education system. Ha Noi is a delightful city of contrasts and the ideal city in which soak up the ebb and flow of life in Vietnam.


Breakfast at your hotel

15 November, 2023

The Insider’s Ha Noi by antique vespa (private)

Duration: 4 hours (8:00 am – 12:00 pm)


We start off with a welcome drink and enjoy the most spectacular view of the famous Long Bien Bridge spanning the Red River. We submerge ourselves in the truly unique lifestyle of the floating village of Banana Island. It’s back on our Vespas as we explore the railway tracks cutting through the heart of the city and meet families living and working mere centimetres away in tall narrow houses. We then go to a bustling & vibrant open market to shop with the local people from Hanoi. After zooming through narrow alleyways, we reach the crash site of an American B-52 bomber in a city lake and learn of the city’s more recent history before visiting a peaceful Buddhist temple set in the most beautiful gardens. Our last stop is a tranquil green oasis at a miniature Kumquat farm (seasonal) or we learn about the ancient tradition of making tea at the home of a Vietnamese Tea Master.

In the afternoon, enjoy a drink at the Iconic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel.


- Guest ride pillion behind vespa’s driver (one driver per guest)


16 November, 2023

Hidden Alleys of the Old Quarter(Private)

Duration: 4 hours (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)

Hanoi's Old Quarter is a densely populated area of the city known as ’36 Streets’ and is the oldest continuously developed section of Vietnam. This was once an important centre of commerce where goods were sold on the street name of a particular guild. The labyrinthine alleyways are perfect for exploring with names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street. Today ancient homes and temples are interspersed with narrow stores and there is no better way to see this fascinating part of the city than on foot accompanied by a local Hanoian.


As you navigate the alleyways, people continue with their daily lives almost oblivious to your presence. Fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and fish are sold by a constant stream of street vendors selling their wares from baskets on bamboo sticks. Observe locals enjoying their breakfast or quick lunch on the sides of the narrow streets and mothers cooking their family’s meals in front of their houses.


Walking through Hang Da market, continue to Yên Thái communal house where you will learn about a famous Queen in Vietnamese history before winding along Hang Bong street, busy with street vendors, to Hoan Kiem Lake. Enjoy a cup of coffee in Café Giang which was founded by Mr. Nguyen Giang in 1946 when he was working as a bartender at the famous Metropole Hanoi hotel.


Our walking tour continues to Hang Be and Luong Ngoc Quyen Streets and Phat Loc alley where a variety of activities can be seen and foods tasted. There is the option of a quick stop at the unique Shot Café before continuing on foot to Ta Hien Street, a part of the town long-established by candy and jam makers. Your final stop before returning to your hotel is which offers great opportunities for colourful photographs of local fruit and vegetables and other traditional Vietnamese ingredients.


We will drop you off at the hotel, enjoy a nice drink at Bamboo Bar and we will see you tonight.



17 November, 2023

Breakfast at your hotel.


Seaplane option:

8:45 am, drive to Noi Bai airport for seaplane flight to Ha Long Bay, HAI601/ 10:00 am – 11:00 am included 15 minutes scenic on the bay (flight schedule is current and subject to change). Arrival transfer to the Ginger cruise’s check-in lounge


Option 2: Land Transfer

9:00 am: meet your guide and driver at your hotel’s lobby for a private transfer by car to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay (drive takes approx. 2 ½ hours)



Approximately 170 km from Ha Noi, the mystical landscapes of Ha Long Bay are one of Asia’s most iconic sights. Translated as the ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’ and located in the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long is made up by some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, lush islands and emerald waters. Although best explored from the comfort of a Chinese-style junk or replica paddle steamer ensure you make time to ascend one of the surrounding hills for a memorable panoramic view of the verdant islands and shimmering waters below. One of the most beautiful places on earth, this magnificent feat of nature rarely fails to impress. Breathtaking beyond words, and often compared with the limestone mountains around Guilin in China, Ha Long Bay is justifiably one of the world’s natural wonders and more than deserves its UNESCO World Heritage status.


Upon arrival at Ha Long city, embark your luxurious floating home which sets sail around noontime. Enjoy a welcome drink upon boarding while being acquainted with the facilities on board during the welcome briefing. We start our unique journey of exploring one of the new wonders of nature – Lan Ha Bay. We enjoy lunch in Ginger’s light-flooded dining room offering panoramic views of the passing scenery.


We reach the landing spot of Viet Hai Village on Cat Ba Island where we hop on bikes (electric car available) for an active tour along small paved roads towards a village nestled in a valley. Meet and greet local inhabitants doing their daily work, see their homes and the village school.


Back on board, our chef is ready and prepared for an interactive cooking class in the open kitchen at the restaurant. Learn about local ingredients, preparation and cooking of particular dishes to imitate easily at home. We arrive at a tranquil anchor spot for the night. A hidden place to reminisce on the day’s adventure sand enjoy cocktails under the stars. Dinner is served in the dining room.


You may like to hang out at our bar after with a digestif or pay a visit to the evening cinema which is set up in the dining area. Kick back with your favourite drink in probably the most unusual cinema you have ever visited. Or - have some fun with our team joining them for squid fishing before retiring to your room.

Your accommodation tonight is on board the junk boat allowing for a peaceful nights sleep and a memorable morning out on the bay.


Meals included : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner



18 November

Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi

Wake up early and join our Tai Chi session on the sun deck to ease mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water. Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries await in the dining room to start the new day.


Ginger anchors up and we cruise to Tra Bau, a secluded spot which is perfect for our morning excursion. In kayaks or bamboo boats we enjoy a close encounter and discovery of the bay. Paddling through the dreamlike landscape with tree topped islands, you will feel a sense of freedom and harmony with nature that you have

never experienced before.


Back on board a hearty breakfast is served in the dining room (or on request served to your room) before we start our journey back to the pier where we arrive around 11 o’clock in the morning.


Savor the last cruise moments of this unique journey relaxing on comfy sun beds on the terrace deck. We hope you enjoyed cruising with us in the Hidden World of Lan Ha Bay.


Notes:

- above cruise itinerary is subject to change without prior notice and depends on weather condition!

- Overnight Cruise has their own guide on-board so your guide will not accompany you while on the cruise, but will meet you again when you disembark.


Meet your guide and driver for a private transfer to Hanoi Airport to depart your flight at 15:05 to arrival in Siem Reap 16:55.


Welcome to Cambodia

Famous around the world for its spectacular temples, floating villages and vast forests, Cambodia has risen from its turbulent history and blossomed into a captivating destination that will surprise and delight you at every turn. Visit Siem Reap and experience one of Cambodia’s most famous landmarks the World Heritage-listed Temples of Angkor. Explore Phnom Penh, once known as the “Pearl of Asia” and the capital of Cambodia, and savour the colonial history and sites.


You will be picked by Scenic at Siem Reap airport to be driven to Raffles


November 18 to 21 November, 2023

Raffles Grand hotel D'Angkor which has been welcoming world travelers since 1932. As the cultural heart of Siem Reap, a series of immersive, mindful and exclusive experiences that embody the Raffles spirit of adventure have been crafted for the ultimate exploration of Angkor and beyond. Have a good night rest as tomorrow Scenic will pick you up and drive you to the dock to embark on the Spirit. (approx. 5.5 hours drive)


Day 1

Sat, 18 November, 2023

Siem Reap (D)

Welcome to Cambodia and the regional city of Siem Reap. Your hotel, is a step back in time in the definition of luxury and will be your historical home for the next three nights in Siem Reap. This brilliantly appointed accommodation is styled with a mix of French inspired architecture, local interior furnishings and amenities fit for royalty with the attentive staff providing a service beyond expectations. Enjoy the day at leisure until tonight when you meet your Scenic Tour Director and fellow travelling companions at your welcome briefing and dinner.

Day 2

Sun, 19 Nov

Siem Reap (B,L)

Your Siem Reap exploration starts with a delicious champagne buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Freechoice: As part of Scenic’s Freechoice excursions, you have multiple options to choose from. Explore the 10th-century Banteay Srei Temple, commonly referred to as the Ladies Temple because of its pinkish sandstone and dedication to the Hindu god Shiva. Afterwards visit the Landmine Museum, founded in 1997 with the aim to make the country safe through the removal of mines. Alternatively, visit Senteurs d'Angkor workshop to try your hand at producing your own local souvenir. Through different hands-on workstations, discover how the artisans make by hand soap with coconut oil, natural cosmetics, subtly scented balms, aromatic candles and local spices in traditional ways. The third option today is for those who enjoy being on the water. Sail on Tonlé Sap (seasonal), a picturesque UNESCO biosphere reserve and witness the lifestyle of the residents of the famous floating village. Or, you can choose to take to the sky in a tethered balloon for a bird’s eye view of the contrasting traditional and modern Siem Reap. Take some remarkable photographs of the skyline as you lift into the skies of Siem Reap overlooking Angkor Wat below.

Later this afternoon, all guests will explore Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument. Originally constructed by the Khmer Empire as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu, it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. An afternoon visit provides the perfect light for those idyllic pictures of this colossal structure.

Enrich Head to the colourful Cambodian Phare Circus where your VIP premium reserved seating awaits you. Beautifully dressed performers style a stunning show that is more than just a circus. The performers use theatre, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern.

Day 3

Mon, 20 Nov

Siem Reap (B,D)

Enrich Marvel at the sunrise over the magnificent Angkor Wat before moving to a special location near a temple for a scrumptious champagne breakfast with food prepared by an NGO supported local bakery school which Scenic also sponsors.

After breakfast, visit the atmospheric, jungle covered Ta Prohm Temple, before stopping at Angkor Thom and the multi-faced Bayon Temple. You have the remainder of the afternoon to discover more of the Siem Reap markets or relax at your luxury hotel after your early morning start.

Enrich Tonight is truly a special and exclusive evening, one that is best experienced first-hand to fully appreciate its scale. Your Tour Directors and Scenic team will escort you to a private, magical gala themed dinner at Prasat Kravan. This small 10th-century temple consists of five reddish brick towers on a common terrace. Including free flow drinks, Khmer cuisine and a performance featuring Apsara dancers in front of the candle lit temple ruins, this evening brings a most incredible end to your time in Siem Reap.

Day 4

Tue, 21 Nov,

Siem Reap > Mekong Cruise (B,L,D)

Discover the rural side of Cambodia en-route to Kampong Cham where the breathtaking Scenic Spirit awaits. Along the way, visit the stunning Khmer bridge at Kampong Kdei, Kampong Thom and a stone cutters village. After boarding, begin your cruise in style with a cocktail reception hosted by your Cruise Director. Take a stroll around the decks to orientate yourself as to where all the amenities are. After your welcome dinner, settle into your private suite. At any time, your dedicated personal butler is available to assist with a nightcap and delivery of your preferred pillows.

7 night River Cruise


The Wonders Along the Mekong River and Beyond

Cruising along the Mekong River will leave you with memories that will remain long after you arrive home from your trip. The Mekong River encompasses some of the most ancient lands in the world, and Scenic’s all-inclusive river cruises in Asia provides you with the opportunity to explore these countries in style, comfort and ultimate luxury.

A Scenic luxury river cruise on the Mekong River is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced. Once you board our luxury cruise ship, the Scenic Spirit Space-Ship, and take in the serene beauty displayed outside of your suite window, you’ll feel yourself become captivated by a world filled with unique customs, cultures and history. Our all-inclusive and luxury Mekong River cruises will take you through some of the most culturally rich countries in this region:


Here is a sneak preview:


28 November


Your tour guide will be waiting for you on the pier but approx. 100 meter from gangway in Phu My port and accompany you to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, it takes approx. 1 ½ hours’ drive.

With a population of nearly 8 million inhabitants and an almost equal number of scooters, mopeds and motorcycles all competing for space on the ultra-busy streets, bustling and noisy Ho Chi Minh City is quite literally a metropolis on the move. The most western of Vietnamese cities, Saigon, as it is still commonly known, is a city of contrasts; a place where ultra-modern shopping malls and fashionable restaurants vie for space with local retailers selling all manner of wares and quiet roadside cafes making delicious Vietnamese iced coffee (cafe sua da) and other liquid refreshments. There is always something going on in Saigon and a friendly roadside cafe is the perfect place to take five, enjoy a coffee and absorb the dynamic scene unfolding around you.


Ho Chi Minh City is packed with first-rate museums and some elegant French-era colonial architecture, including the Central Post Office and the stunning Saigon Opera House. Away from the city centre, Cholon, where the treasure trove of temples are best explored on foot, is one of the most vibrant Chinatowns in South-east-Asia whilst Ben Thanh Market is the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy and souvenir-hunting. With so much to see and do, an international dining scene and some of the most luxurious hotels in the country, Ho Chi Minh City is a truly remarkable destination waiting to be explored.



Highlights of Sai Gon including lunch (Private)

Duration: 8 hours (8:00 am – 4:00 pm)

Transfer by motor coach to the center of bustling Ho Chi Minh City. Your first stop is at the recently renovated City Museum- a wonderful example of French heritage that has survived the surge of development currently enveloping old Saigon. Among the most attractive buildings in the city, the museum belonged to the Emperor Gia Long at the beginning of French rule in the mid-1800s. Since 1975, it has housed artifacts unique to Vietnam’s culture and history, including a wide selection of rarely seen black and white images of the communist struggle for power in Vietnam. From there you will drive down the wide Boulevard of Le Duan to the city park. Founded by the French in 1864, this sprawling green area remains the vital lung of this incredibly populous city. It offers a quiet serenity for busy city folk—a respite from the teeming streets. Enjoy a short walk through the grounds before continuing to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Although it is not quite as impressive as its Parisian namesake, French colonists proudly paid homage to the motherland with the construction of this Roman-Gothic-style church whose construction materials hailed entirely from France.


Lunch at a local restaurant with Pho- a delightful broth of beef or chicken noodles that sends the taste buds into overdrive.



You’ll also visit the former Presidential Palace, now Reunification Hall, made famous when a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the front gates on 30th April, 1975, signaling the end of the Vietnam War. The final stop today is the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. With the pungent smell of incense hanging heavy in the air and an interior packed full of ornate carvings and fierce-looking statues, this Taoist temple is one of the most atmospheric places of worship in the city It has changed little since that time. Your tour will include the reception and dining rooms of the President’s quarters and the basement—still full of ancient American-made telecommunications equipment and strategic military maps lining the walls.


Continue with your guide to the visit the Central Market (Ben Thanh Market) where you will wander the colorful stalls and stands of local trade and commerce.


After that, transfer to your one night hotel stay at the Park Hyatt


November 29 to December 3, 2023


A private driver will pick you up and drive you to airport to your final stop Hoi an!

Flight departs at 10:25 am and arrives at Da Nang airport at 11:45am. You will be picked by a private driver and in a 40 minute drive you will enjoy a 4 night stay at the Four Seasons The Nam Hotel

With an idyllic location on Vietnam’s culturally rich central coast, The Nam Hai offers a portal to three extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage sites and a breezy respite on the country’s most celebrated beach. You’ll have a chance to reconnect with your loved ones – whether you take to the East Sea by kayak, explore the glory of imperial Hue or simply savor quiet moments in your own tranquil villa.





November 30, 2023

Private Imperial Hue city tour

ANCIENT HUE CAPITAL


Visitors to Hue are often taken aback to discover that the sleepy provincial town of Hue was once the religious, economic and cultural epicenter of Vietnam, the mighty Imperial headquarters, and the political capital of the country until 1945. Thirteen Nguyen Dynasty Emperors ruled Vietnam from Hue. They built a fortress around the ancient city, a huge Citadel, with walls 10 meters thick, modelled on Beijing's Forbidden City. Even this seemingly impenetrable defense though was useless during the Tet Offensive of 1968, when the proud city of Hue was reduced to ruins. Hue today has regained it's royal demeanor and is a calm, peaceful and relaxed place to visit.



Full day Hue Royal Kingdom tour (Private)

Duration: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm


One of the most notable features of Hue is the meandering Perfume (Huo ng) River that divides the city. As both the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda are situated on the river banks, boating on a simple, yet comfortable, vessel offers a relaxing alternative to the Imperial Hue tour.


Built in 1601 between a river and a pine forest, the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue is one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. Among the many interesting artifacts housed at the complex is the car that took the monk Thich Quang Duc to his self-immolation in 1963 Saigon.


The Citadel stared in 1805 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long and completed in 1832 under the reign of Emperor Ming Mang. Under Nguyen' reign, Kings have ordered to build ramparts, palaces and constructional works of royal. Over 200 years to now, it is still original with nearly 140 small and large constructions.


After a break for lunch at Le Jardin restaurant, sightseeing will continue with a visit to the tombs of emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Located in attractive settings along the banks of the Perfume River, the tombs of the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty were not just designed as their final place of rest. Here, the emperors would come during their twilight years to enjoy recreational activities such as fishing and hunting as well as the company of their many concubines. Of these tombs, that of Emperor Tu Duc is considered to be the most magnificent. Tu Duc lived a life of excess and this is reflected in the grandeur of the traditional architecture, majestic walkways and ornate pavilions that fill the grounds of his mausoleum. In contrast, Emperor Khai Dinh was effectively a ‘Puppet Emperor’ styles for the ruling French colonialists and this is evident in the eclectic mix of European and Vietnamese that influenced the design of his final resting place.



December 1, 2023

Da Nang City Tour

One of the oldest settlements in Vietnam, Da Nang is now a city on the verge of modernity. The riverfront promenade has been spruced in recent years whilst the revamped airport now boasts international status. Yet it is Da Nang’s Cham Dynasty heritage that is the real draw for those visiting the city. Housed in a colonial-era building, the superb Museum of Cham Sculpture boasts the largest and most impressive collection of Cham artefacts anywhere in the world and is a must-see attraction.


Further afield, approximately 10km south of the city, the five craggy limestone peaks of Marble Mountains make for a compelling excursion. Said to represent the five elements of the universe (space, air, fire, water, and earth), the mountains are home to several Buddhist and Hindu grottoes, some of which are accessible to the visitor. Da Nang Beach, on the other hand, is actually a series of beaches extending between Da Nang and the riverine town of Hoi An. Known locally as Non Nuoc, the fine golden sands of Da Nang Beach were once a recreational hangout for US soldiers during the Vietnam War. Nowadays, the beaches are home to several luxurious hotels and resorts, making the region an ideal base for exploring the nearby charms of Hoi An and the evocative Cham ruins at My Son.



Half Day Da Nang Exploration (Private)

Duration: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm


A morning to explore one of the dynamic cities in Vietnam - Da Nang. Depart from your hotel for Man Thai villlage where local people are daily using the typical basket boats to carry, transfer goods and people from fishing boats to the land. There might see how local fishermen are purchasing fresh seafood by the shore. Continue to Son Tra peninsular and visit Linh Ung pagoda, being the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam, Goddess of Mercy - Lady Buddha is located at Linh Ung Pagoda with a height of 67m, the lotus diameter is 35m, equivalent to a 30-storey building on Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang. It is also a fantastic panorama view down to Da Nang city.


After the visit, an oriental drive along Han river banks via the most well-known bridges such as Dragon bridge, Swing Bridge (Han) and Thuan Phuoc bridge before to stop a visit Museum of Cham Sculpture in Danang. Located near the Han River the museum is one of a kind and houses an incredible collection of Cham artefacts including exquisite statues of Apsara dancers, mythical Garudas as well as images of the Hindu gods, Shiva and Vishnu.


The cyclo driver greets you at the exit. You are seated on a private to enjoy half of the hour orientation to witness the peaceful developing city along the Han river. Getting off at local Han Market. Most local people visit Han market to buy a wide range of products, from fruits to traditional clothes at a reasonable price. Return to your hotel and finish the tour.



December 2, 2023


Relax your last day by the pool, take in the last sunrays.


December 3, 2023

Departure to the airport.





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