Exploring Vietnam & Cambodia with Chiang Mai (OVE2) - 2014

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17 Day Tour from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok


Exploring Vietnam & Cambodia with Chiang Mai
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City
The elaboratly decorated interior of the Temple of Literature
Ho Chi Minh City
Khai Dinh Mausoleum
The lovely Ha Long Bay in Vietnam
Boats along the beautiful shores of Thailand
A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi
Do your shopping by boat at the popular Floating Market

Vacation Overview

Explore several of the world’s greatest treasures and experience the warmth and hospitality bestowed by the locals on this fascinating journey through Southeast Asia.

As a hub of culture and cuisine, Vietnam paints an exotic picture of Southeast Asian life. In vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, explore the city on a walking tour and visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong. In historic Hanoi, explore the city by cyclo, take a walking tour through the fascinating Old Quarter, and see a performance of the famed Water Puppets. Other highlights include a cruise on stunning Ha Long Bay, a visit to the Royal Tomb of Tu Doc in Hue, and a fishing lesson with a local fisherman in Hoi An, where you will learn how to use a traditional round fishing net, known as a “ro.”

No visit to this part of the world would be complete without a visit to the Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia. These ancient temples, built between the 9th and 13th centuries, are unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. See several of the temples, including spectacular Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century and honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Beyond the temples, witness Khmer culture come to life at a traditional Apsara dance performance and enjoy some free time to explore this charming town on your own.

In Thailand, visit Chiang Mai’s Wat Doi Suthep, a temple at 3,464 feet above sea level that draws Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. On your own, perhaps sample khao soi—curry noodles—or get a Thai massage.

From sightseeing and cultural performances to sumptuous cuisine and interactions with the locals this adventure is sure to delight all your senses!

     
Similar Vacations that may interest you:

HO CHI MINH CITY
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; Cu Chi Tunnels excursion; walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; welcome dinner

DANANG
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit China Beach and the Cham Museum

HOI AN
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; cruise on the Thu Bon River; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite fishing lesson with local fisherman; learn how to paddle a bamboo basket boat; walking tour of the city; visit an old merchant house, the Hoi An Museum, and a Chinese assembly hall

HUE
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, Tombs of Nguyen Emperors, Khai Dinh Mausoleum, and Royal Tomb of Tu Duc

HANOI
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite water puppets performance; visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi Hilton, and Temple of Literature; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite take a “cyclo” ride; walking tour in the Old Quarter; guided walk around Hoan Kiem Lake

HA LONG BAY
Cruise the bay

SIEM REAP
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Banteay Srei, and Ta Prohm; cruise on Tonle Sap; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Apsara dance performance

CHIANG MAI
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit Wat Phra Singh, Wat Doi Suthep, an elephant training camp, and an orchid farm; Host service during your stay

NOTE:
Small-Group Discovery – We never allow more than 20 travelers on our Small-Group Discovery vacations, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the destination and local culture.


DAY 1Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City 
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DAY 2Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi Excursion

This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City for a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks. The tour will take you through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Next, visit the REUNIFICATION PALACE (formerly the Presidential Palace) and the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. This evening, join your traveling companions at a special welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City 
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DAY 3Ho Chi Minh City

A full day at leisure in Ho Chi Minh City. The city is booming and pulses with infectious energy day and night. Sample local food from a street vendor, get a foot massage, or spend more time on Dong Khoi Street, known for its quality goods, including silk garments that rival those of Hong Kong. Even if shopping isn’t your thing, this is a great place to start your exploration of the city. You may also consider an optional trip to the Mekong Delta for a cruise on the great Mekong River and a visit to a local family’s home for tea and rice wine. Tonight, be sure to stop at one of several rooftop bars for a drink and great views of the city. Your Tour Director will be on hand to assist with recommendations. (Breakfast)

Cosmopolitan Hong Kong Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City Lush banks along the Mekong River 
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DAY 4Ho Chi Minh City–Danang–Hoi An

After a short flight to Danang, enjoy a picturesque journey by motorcoach to Hoi An. Along the way, visit CHINA BEACH, landing point for U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. Hoi An is Vietnam’s active trading center and a town that has been largely preserved, with architecture that reflects the influence of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and British traders. Hoi An is also where French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes introduced Catholicism and Roman script to Vietnam. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 5Hoi An

Today starts with a CRUISE on the Thu Bon River. Along the way, meet with a local fisherman who will teach you about their fishing methods and give you a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite FISHING LESSON, where you will learn how to throw and retrieve a traditional round fishing net called a ro. Afterward, you will have a chance to throw the net yourself and see what you catch! Later, continue with a WALKING TOUR of Hoi An, visiting an old MERCHANT HOUSE, the HOI AN MUSEUM, a CHINESE ASSEMBLY HALL, and the Japanese Covered Bridge. Then, free time to enjoy this quaint town further or relax at your beach resort. (Breakfast)

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DAY 6Hoi An–Danang–Hue

Stop in Danang to visit the CHAM MUSEUM, then continue north over spectacular Hai Van Pass, considered to be one of the most scenic in all of Vietnam, before arriving in Hue. One of Vietnam’s former capitals, Hue is a beautiful, welcoming city that remains a cultural and religious center. Upon arrival, visit the IMPERIAL CITADEL and the THIEN MU PAGODA, the unofficial symbol of the city. This evening, enjoy an imperial banquet at a popular local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 7Hue–Hanoi

This morning’s sightseeing provides a unique window into Vietnam and its complex past. Visit the TOMBS of the NGUYEN EMPERORS: the KHAI DINH MAUSOLEUM and the ROYAL TOMB of TU DUC. Later, fly to Hanoi, the nation’s capital and one of Southeast Asia’s most engaging cities. (Breakfast)

Khai Dinh Mausoleum A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi 
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DAY 8Hanoi

Start today with a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite “CYCLO” ride around the city, followed by a WALKING TOUR through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. Then, take time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. First, visit the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which “Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda are the ONE PILLAR PAGODA, the HO CHI MINH MUSEUM, and the Presidential Palace. Stop at the infamous HANOI HILTON before continuing on to mystical Hoan Kiem Lake, where you will enjoy a brief GUIDED WALK. Also visit the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, over 900 years old and Hanoi’s first university. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s renowned Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

The elaboratly decorated interior of the Temple of Literature A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi 
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DAY 9Hanoi–Ha Long Bay

Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the bay is dotted with over 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of the small islets that are sprinkled across the Bay. Board a CRUISE that takes you to explore the caves, and admire the beauty and scale before stopping at one of the many secluded bays. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi The lovely Ha Long Bay in Vietnam 
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The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 10Ha Long Bay–Hanoi–Siem Reap, Cambodia

This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight to Siem Reap, which will act as your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! (Breakfast, Dinner)

A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi 
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DAY 11Siem Reap

This morning, start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples, ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Next stop is ANGKOR THOM to see the BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening, witness one of the world’s most amazing experiences: sunset at Angkor Wat! (Breakfast, Lunch)

The infamous Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia 
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DAY 12Siem Reap

Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples. Visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva that was built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. Unlike the other temples, TA PROHM has been left relatively untouched. Surrounded by jungle, tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, and you will experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. This afternoon, enjoy a CRUISE on Tonle Sap (Great Lake), where you will see a floating village and get a glimpse of life on the water. This evening, enjoy a traditional Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (Breakfast, Dinner)

NOTE:
During low waters in February/March, it may not be possible to cruise on Tonle Sap. Alternatively, you will visit a local silk farm.

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DAY 13Siem Reap–Chiang Mai

Today, fly via Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second-largest city. (Breakfast)

Boats along the beautiful shores of Thailand Do your shopping by boat at the popular Floating Market 
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DAY 14Chiang Mai

Today’s Chiang Mai city tour includes a visit to WAT PHRA SINGH with its famous Buddha image and WAT DOI SUTHEP, a temple tucked away in the mountains at 3,464 feet above sea level. The temple is reached by climbing 290 steps. The remainder of the day is free for your own exploration. (Breakfast)

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DAY 15Chiang Mai

Today, visit the ELEPHANT TRAINING CAMP in the Mae-Sa Valley. Here you will learn about the methods used to train the elephants and will set out for a brief elephant trek through the jungle. On your return to Chiang Mai, stop at an ORCHID FARM to see these exotic plants up close. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (Breakfast)

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DAY 16Chiang Mai–Bangkok

Fly to Bangkok. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (Breakfast)

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DAY 17Bangkok

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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American breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 7 dinners including a welcome dinner in Ho Chi Minh City and a farewell dinner show in Siem Reap


With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

DANG SI HIEP

Years of Experience: 16 years

I get great joy out of sharing my knowledge about Cambodia with people from around the world. From fascinating stories and friendly people to the unique culture and hidden charms, visitors are often pleasantly surprised by what this great country has to offer. Most people say they choose their career, but for me, being a Tour Director chose me - and I have loved every moment of it from day one!

Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles

VIP Access
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.

Perfect Hotels
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.

Tour Directors
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.

Transportation
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride.