Day 1: Arrive Bangkok.
Upon arrival in Bangkok, you will be welcomed by your Exotissimo guide, and transferred to your accommodation. Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok.
Begin your day with an introduction to Thailand's rich cultural heritage as you visit The National Museum, a treasure house of textiles, Buddhist relics, and royal regalia. Afterwards, step into a Chao Phraya river boat to explore the city's aquatic side as you're taken to the Royal Barge Museum and the astounding Wat Arun, Bangkok's "Temple of the Dawn". Enjoy Thailand's culinary heritage with a lunch at the gracious Sala Rim Nam, then visit two collections of majestic teak houses: the famed Jim Thompson House, once owned by the mysterious American who helped revive the silk industry, and Suan Pakkad Palace, an elegant museum for Thai porcelain, lacquer and paintings. Overnight in Bangkok. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Bangkok to Poipet - Cross into Cambodia - Drive to Battambang.
Leaving the skyscrapers of Bangkok behind, you'll set out through lush forest and gleaming rice paddies as you journey to the town of Aranyaprathet, at the Cambodian border. Upon clearing Thai Immigration, you'll be welcomed by your Cambodian guide, who will assist you through immigration and customs formalities. After traveling along rustic tree-lined roads, you'll arrive in Battambang, a plantation town known for the warmth of its residents and the charms of its colonial French buildings. Overnight at La Villa Guest House. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Battambang.
Spend the morning soaking in Battambang's faded colonial charm as you stroll along the Sangker river. Later, visit the local museum, where you'll get your first taste of Khmer art as you examine their collection of carved lintels and Buddha statues. Afterwards, take in the view from atop the elegant Phnom Banon, then take a meditative jaunt into the shade-enshrouded ruins of Wat Baset. Overnight at La Villa Guest House. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Battambang - Siem Reap.
Catch a glimpse of rural Cambodian life as you journey by boat through riverside villages and local markets on the way to Siem Reap, site of the famous ruins of Angkor. Once the center of the most sophisticated civilization in Southeast Asia, Angkor was rediscovered in 1858 by French explorer and naturalist Henri Mouhot, and the evocative jungle clad ruins have tantalized Western imaginations ever since. You'll soon realize why as you stand upon the hilltop pyramid of Phnom Bakheng, and watch the sun's glow fade over Angkor Wat, the verdant countryside, and the distant Tonle Sap lake. Overnight in Siem Reap. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Siem Reap.
Start your day at Angkor Wat, an elegant monument of towering stone, where you'll pass admire graceful stone Buddhas and candle-lit shrines. After lunch at the Angkor Cafe, you'll climb aboard an elephant and march into Angkor Thom, site of the mysterious and captivating Bayon. Famous for its giant stone faces, this 12th century temple is decorated in an astounding array of bas-reliefs that depict both the religious cosmology and the everyday life of the Khmer empire. Overnight in Siem Reap. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: Siem Reap.
This morning you will cross through the forest to the distant complex of Banteay Srei, a temple known as "the citadel of women", and famed for its intricately carved decorations. After lunch, you'll pass under the grip of python-like strangler trees on the way into the Preah Khan, an elaborate complex of halls, pavilions, causeways and moats. From there, you will visit Neak Pean, a tiny temple worship where the princesses of the Khmer empire came to worship long ago. Overnight in Siem Reap. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 8: Siem Reap - Kampong Thom - Phnom Penh.
Setting out toward the country's capital, you'll have the chance to peek into Cambodia's pre-Angkorian history as you visit the ancient ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk. Once the capital of the Chenla Kingdom, it now rests as an engaging site of fallen brick walls lying at the heart of a jungle. After exploring the ruins, you'll continue on to Phnom Penh. Overnight in Phnom Penh. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Phnom Penh.
Known before the civil war as one of the loveliest cities in Indochina, Phnom Penh is currently experiencing a revival, and with its dazzling temples, stately monuments, and wide boulevards strewn with jacaranda flowers, it is lovely once again. An architectural tour of the city's most attractive buildings will reveal Phnom Penh's unique style, a mix of French influence and modern Khmer design. After a leisurely riverside lunch, visit the refined Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, then search for delicately woven Khmer silks and charming wood carvings at the popular Russian Market. Overnight in Phnom Penh. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 10: Phnom Penh - Chau Doc (Mekong Delta, Vietnam).
Before departing from Phnom Penh, you'll have another chance to admire the skilled artistry of the Khmer empire as you visit the National Museum, a reliquary for the country's finest masterpieces. Later, board the Blue Cruiser boat for a trip down the Mekong and across the border into Vietnam. Upon arrival in Chau Doc, you will be met by your Vietnamese guide, and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Chau Doc. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 11: Chau Doc - Can Tho.
In the morning you'll take in a local market at the confluence of three rivers, then travel by boat into the homeland of the Cham, a community who were once the rulers of an extensive coastal empire. There you'll visit their floating houses and catfish farms, and observe them as they weave their beautiful textiles. After lunch, set out toward Can Tho, but not before stopping for a boat ride to a wildlife sanctuary where you'll be astounded by the twilight sight of thousands of storks coming in to roost. Overnight in Can Tho. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 12: Can Tho.
Climb into a small boat for a journey into some of the Mekong delta's must alluring waterways as we set out to view vibrant floating markets. Slipping past stilt-houses and under flimsy bamboo bridges, you'll return to Can Tho via the canals, which are the arteries of life for the local community. Later, visit the Muniwangsyaram Pagoda, a Khmer Buddhist temple populated by engaging and friendly monks, then spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Can Tho. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 13: Can Tho - Saigon.
This morning you depart from the Mekong delta, stopping first at Vinh Long for a sampan ride, then at a huge floating market at Cai Be, before arriving in Ho Chi Minh City. Known as the 'Pearl of the Orient' to the French, and still called Saigon by its residents, you'll find the city a fascinating combination of fast paced economic growth and leisurely tropical lifestyle. Before checking in to your hotel, step through a veil of flowery incense as you enter Saigon's Chinatown for visit a Chinese temple and the city's oldest pagoda. Overnight in Saigon. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 14: Excursion to the Chu Chi Tunnels.
Traveling out of Ho Chi Minh City, you will be amazed by the extensive network of tunnels that were built by the Vietcong. View some of the excavated tunnels from above ground, or journey down into the labyrinthine city to marvel at the secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, and cave-like meeting rooms. After lunch at the Mandarin Restaurant back in Saigon, take a tour of the city's highlights, including the retro '60s Presidential Palace, the red brick Notre Dame Cathedral, and the baroque History Museum, Post Office, and City Hall. Return to your hotel to freshen up before stepping out on the town for your farewell dinner at Xu Restaurant, one of the finest dining establishments in Vietnam. Overnight in Saigon. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: Depart Saigon.
Enjoy your final day in Saigon at your leisure before being transferred to the airport for your departure flight. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Cambodia Vietnam Thailand Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History
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