An adventure through a land of magic & mystery

Highlights

  • City Tour, Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show in Hanoi
  • Private boat cruise in Halong Bay
  • Explore the city of Hue by Dragon Boat
  • Enjoy a cooking class in Hoi An
  • Services of a Local Leader throughout

Itinerary for Travel With Kids Family Adventure: Vietnam and Cambodia

Day 1: Hanoi

Meals included:   None

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel, and your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm.

Day 2:  Hanoi

Meals included:   Breakfast, lunch

Embark on a full-day tour of the city. You will visit Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton where prisoners of war, including U.S. Senator John McCain, were held during the war. Then, explore the colorful market streets by cyclo (three-wheeled pedal rickshaw). In the evening, sit down to a traditional water puppet performance. This northern tradition, dating back nearly a thousand years, is performed alongside traditional Vietnamese music that employs drums, wooden bells, horns and bamboo flutes.

Day 3: Halong Bay

Meals included:   Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Travel by minibus to the spectacular World Heritage-listed site of Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours). The bay is a breathtaking secluded harbor with some 2,000 limestone islands jutting out of the waters of the Bac Bo Gulf. Board your private boat and cruise among the dramatic limestone peaks. Enjoy the views across lush rice paddies before arriving at the bay and boarding our home for the next three days, a traditional junk boat, which has been refurbished to a luxury small ship cruise. After exploring a beautiful lagoon and relaxing by the water, get back on board the ship for dinner. At night, try your hand at squid fishing.

Day 4: Halong Bay

Meals included:   Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today, we head deeper into Halong Bay, exploring small lagoons, caves, remote villages and more. Wake up your mind and body this morning with Tai Chi classes before kayaking through amazing caves and in the afternoon explore caves on foot. Later, choose to relax on the sundeck or join a Vietnamese cooking demonstration.

Day 5: Hanoi – Hue

Meals included:   Breakfast

After breakfast, explore remote areas of the bay on a hike through lush green jungles. After the hike, enjoy a swim and then indulge in brunch before disembarking and hopping a transfer to Hanoi train station for our overnight train to Hue. It’s a classic South East Asian experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals. Lie back and enjoy the ride! Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but it’s a great idea to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit before you head off.

Notes: Sleeper trains typically have four-berth compartments (occasionally they’re six-berth, depending on seasonal variations) which have bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travelers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you’ll be sharing with local travelers or travelers who are not part of your group.

Day 6: Hue

Meals included:   Breakfast, lunch

Upon arriving in Hue, transfer to a hotel to freshen up and enjoy breakfast before boarding a Dragon Boat to explore the city by river with stops at Thien Mu Pagoda and possibly the Imperial City. After lunch, we will continue our journey south to Hoi An ancient town, one of the cultural capitals of Vietnam.

Day 7: Hoi An

Meals included:   Breakfast, lunch

We start the day with a welcome drink at Hai Café. Visit Hoi An’s colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about all the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.

We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.

On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – the Red Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, we sit down and eat what we have cooked.

Then take a tour of the unique town of Hoi An, influenced over the years by myriad traders from various cultures. Originally a busy Cham Port, the town also has Chinese influences scattered about, with pagodas and assembly halls found down the streets. For a small town it has a liveliness alongside its charm and serenity. The tour will take you down the streets of low tiled buildings, taking in a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.

Day 8: Hoi An

Meals included:   Breakfast

Enjoy an entire day unscripted for you to write your own adventure!

 

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City

Meals included:   Breakfast

Take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1 hour). Formerly known as Saigon, this bustling metropolis is characterized by a vast array of sights and sounds, a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. Check out Ben Thanh Market and feast on a delicious lunch of local street food, then take an orientation walk. Afterwards, you’re free to explore the city as you please. Your leader will have plenty of interesting ideas for you and your family. Consider scooting off on cyclos to Cholon, the Chinatown area of Ho Chi Minh City, for a bit of temple-hopping. Or visit the Vietnamese version of a department store for some serious shopping.

 

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

Meals included:   Breakfast

This morning you will head to Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the most important and impressive sites showing the ingeniuous mind of the Viet Cong army, they built the whole system of defense underground, interconnecting via tunnels. Learn about the undergroun-life, the organisation of the tunnels and the war in Vietnam.

Day 11: Mekong Delta

Meals included:   Breakfast, lunch

This morning, head out on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Board a boat to Ben Tre to visit a coconut candy factory and sample their sweet products. On a tuk-tuk tour around the remote village, learn about local rural life and stop to sample tropical fruits. Eat lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the delta, sampling regional specialties such as the famous Elephant Ear fish. Afterwards, paddle in sampans (small rowing boats) past water coconut trees along the Mekong. After the cruise, you will head to a charming lodge in the middle of the nature, you can participate in the dinner preparation to discover some secret tips from your charming host’s family.

 

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City –  Tour Ends or continue to Siem Riep

Meals included:   Breakfast

Wake-up at your ease in the peaceful ambiance of the lodge and transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue to Siem Reap.

 

CAMBODIA EXTENSION ITINERARY

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap

Meals Included: Breakfast (on base tour)

After your breakfast, you will head back to Saigon, take short flight to Siem Reap to explore the amazing Angkor temples.

Upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, you will be welcomed by local English-speaking guide who will escorted you directly to hotel.  The rest of the day is at leisure.

The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most popular destination for travelers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South-East Asia. The markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food.

 

Day 13: Siem Reap

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at hotel, you visit Angkor Thom-the ‘Great Royal City’, a temple is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone.

Before lunch, you will take a shady walk through walkway flanking by lofty trees to explore beautiful temple of Ta Prohm.  Lunch will be served at local restaurant nearby the temple site.

This afternoon, explore the amazing temples of Angkor Wat. There are more than 2,000 Apsaras (heavenly dancers) decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years. Today, Angkor Wat features on Cambodia’s national flag as well as its beer as the temple symbolizes the heart and soul of the Khmer people.   (Note: If travelers wish to climb up on Bakan towers, you need to line-up, not allow for child under 12 years old. The towers close on Buddhist observance day also other days of religious event.) 

Tonight, a special dinner with a traditional Apsara dance show at local restaurant where you will enjoy with stunningly dressed dancers bring to life the epic tales of the Royal Court.

Day 14: Siem Reap – Departure

Meals included: Breakfast

After breakfast at hotel, the day is free at leisure until appointed time with transfer to Siem Reap airport for your departure flight.

12 days, from $2,649 USD