A Journey through Cambodia & Vietnam
Take in two of South East Asia’s jewels on this immersive itinerary that sees you uncover Angkor Wat, sail the Mekong, explore Saigon and relax at one of Vietnam’s most luxurious beach hotels.
- Experience a two-week trip in South East Asia exploring both Cambodia and Vietnam in style
- Rubble gaze at Angkor Wat and kick back at a greenery-infused hotel
- Sail from Siem Reap to Phnom Pehn on the Tonle Sap and Mekong aboard a luxe vessel
- Soak up the sights, smells and tastes of Saigon on a Vespa foodie excursion
- Relax on a tropical beach at one of Vietnam’s best hotels
A seamless two-week journey through Cambodia and Vietnam, seeing the big and little sights and bedding down in stylish stays.
When to go:
For this itinerary, we suggest that the best time to go is November through April.
How to get there:
We’d recommend flying Vietnam Airways; Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways as they all offer routes into Siem Reap via their hub city (Saigon; Singapore; Bangkok) and out of Saigon to London via their hub.
Cambodia’s Crown - Days 1-3
Welcome to Cambodia – and straight to one of Asia’s most intriguing and impressive sights – Angkor Wat. But you may also want to spend time in Siem Reap, a cultural town that has of late become so much more than the gateway to Angkor Wat. Here you can dine at innovative Khmer restaurants, enjoy French-inspired cuisine, shop for artisan products or attend an Aspara dance evening of traditional movement and culture.
Of course, you’ll also be excited to visit Angkor Wat. There’s a lot to see, so we’ll recommend our best guides so you can be in the right place at the right time – for example at sunset, away from the crowds, and you will spread your visit over two to three days. Find out how French explorer Henri Mahout uncovered the temples in the mid-19th century and unpick the meanings behind the intricate bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and the battles of Khmer history. You will also spend time at Ta Prohm admiring the perfect fusion of nature and architecture as seen in the tree roots that encircle the temple.
STAY: Phum Baiting
Your base will be the calming Phum Baiting, the perfect respite to temple gazing and the buzz of Siem Reap. Surrounded by green paddy fields, the hotel has a rustic, rural feel, but does not lack comfort. In fact, the villas are models of stylish simplicity with private pools and lots of local touches to keep you firmly rooted in Cambodia. There’s also an indulgent spa with strong Angkor-era design elements, a 50m saltwater pool, and bicycles for getting around the resort’s grounds.
Sail Away - Days 4-8
From here you will travel the length of the country via its iconic lake and river – the Tonle Sap and the mighty Mekong. Boarding in Siem Reap, you will spend four nights sailing on Aqua Mekong, a luxurious ship that smoothly navigates the Mekong waters making cultural stops via the ship’s own speedboat to off-the-beaten-track experiences which really highlight way-of-life riverside in Cambodia.
With four nights on board, you’ll have the chance to explore places that many tourists never see. The first part of the trip cruises the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia – the Tonle Sap including visiting the Prek Taol Core Bird Reserve to spot pelicans, storks and ibis, plus admire the floating villages of Chhnok Tru. Sailing into the Mekong basin, explore the ‘silk islands of the Mekong’ and examine the artisan silverwork on show at Koh Chen where the Cambodian king shops for gifts. Eventually you’ll smoothly sail into Phnom Pehn where you can see the Royal Place and Silver Pagoda.
STAY: Aqua Mekong
With three stories and five stars, this is one of the finest and most comfortable ways to explore the Tonle Sap Lake and Mekong River. Aboard there’s plenty of space including a sun deck, spa, gym, indoor lounge, top-deck pool and even a private cinema. Suites are ideally configured for down time with panoramic windows, balcony and daybed plus ensuite bathroom with rain shower.
Saigon Sights Days 8-10
From Phnom Pehn you will fly to Saigon, Vietnam’s biggest city and guaranteed to be a total reset of your senses. To guide you through this buzzing hub, we’d suggest a range of guided tours to help get to grips with this busy and bustling city.
You may like to see the Ben Thanh Market which sells almost everything or the Nha Hang Ngon, where you can try traditional street food. Other notable sites include the Jade Emperor Pagoda for its statues and woodcarvings, the moving War Remnants Museum, and the Khanh Van Nam Vien Pagoda, said to be the only pure Taoist temple in Vietnam. Exploring the city by Vespa is a fun excursion that allows you to see Saigon after dark – zipping through traffic down side streets for out-of-the-way cocktail bars, authentic local restaurants and street food markets.
STAY: Hotel des Arts
Just five minutes from the Notre Dame Cathedral, Hotel Des Arts is a boutique hotel with charming nods to Indochina. With roomy suites in a modern décor with polished parquet flooring and free-standing tubs, the Hotel des Arts also has an enticing rooftop pool and bar.
To finish off, it is thoroughly justified to enjoy a tropical beach break. From Saigon, fly to the islands of Con Dao, which sit off the southeast coast of Vietnam. Characterized by white sand beaches, pristine coral reefs, and a wealth of marine life, Con Dao is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the pleasures of these tropical islands.
Depending on the season, you may see turtles hatching on the shores of Bảy Cạnh Island, and scuba divers and snorkellers will be happy to see rays, barracuda and small bamboo sharks. On land, soak up the exotic topography with hikes through the forest to the colonial-era Bảy Cạnh Lighthouse or take a tour of the island visiting temples, shrines and markets, meeting local inhabitants along the way.
STAY: Six Senses Con Dao
There’s a castaway ambience at Con Dao, with all the trappings of a luxe getaway paired with excellent service. Spend your days by the private pool alongside your airy reclaimed teakwood villa, or snorkel in the pristine national marine park. It is a quick walk from your villa to a gorgeous beach, where the only footsteps in the sand will be yours. Use this pristine environment to dose up on wellness – spa programs here include yoga and meditation, immunity and sleep therapies.
Although you can fly back from Saigon, you may want to extend your adventures in South East Asia. You could connect to either Bangkok and head north into the Golden Triangle for elephant spotting, fly to Singapore for stylish shopping or even an island getaway at one of our favourite tropical hideaways, Bawah Reserve. Speak to us about tailoring your holiday to make it exactly how you want – we have some fantastic ideas to create the ultimate travel experiences.
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Cambodia in Style
A two-week luxury adventure through Cambodia, taking in the country’s greatest sites and finest hotels.
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