Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Bangkok – Northbound - Avalon Waterways | Pavlus Travel

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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
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Itinerary map of Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River with Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Bangkok – Northbound

Day 1 HANOI, VIETNAM

Welcome to Vietnam! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2 HANOI

This morning, your Guided Sightseeing takes a 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: One Pillar Pagoda, the Presidential Palace, and the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” Also visit the ancient Temple of Literature, over 900 years old and Hanoi’s first university. Lunch is at Koto, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that trains local street children in restaurant skills they can use to find a job and build a stable life. After lunch, enjoy an electric cart ride through the fascinating Old Quarter, with 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s renowned water puppets, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century.

Day 3 HANOI–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 more than 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 sprinkled across the bay. Board a Cruise Excursion to explore the caves, and admire the beauty and scale before stopping at one of the many secluded bays.

Day 4 HA LONG BAY–HANOI–HO CHI MINH CITY

This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight for Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 5 HO CHI MINH CITY

Motorbikes, Monuments, and Mouthwatering Cuisine

CLASSIC Take a Walking Tour of Ho Chi Minh City’s historic landmarks, including a stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing drink at the rooftop bar where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Then visit the War Remnants Museum and bustling Ben Thanh Market.

DISCOVERY For lunch, participate in a hands-on Vietnamese Cooking Class. Learn to prepare several local dishes and how to recreate them at home. Last, but not least, sample your delicious creations!

Explore the city further during free time this afternoon.

This evening join your traveling companions for a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6 HO CHI MINH CITY. EXCURSION TO CU CHI TUNNELS

Secret Passageways and Underground Hideouts

CLASSIC Drive out of the city for a Guided Visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels—an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length—used as a hideout and secret village by the Viet Cong.

Enjoy free time this afternoon and evening. Consider stopping for a drink at the famous rooftop bar at the Caravelle Hotel.

Day 7 HO CHI MINH CITY (EMBARKATION)

Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding

Transfer to the port on the Saigon River for embarkation. Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO VINH LONG

Day 8 VINH LONG–CU LAO GIENG

Sweets, Sampans, and Spires

DISCOVERY Board a sampan this morning for a local Workshop Visit in Vinh Long to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made.

DISCOVERY This afternoon, enjoy scenes of daily life with a Guided Excursion along the river near Cu Lao Gieng via sampan. Stop at a local home, where a skilled family hand-crafts sampan boats. Then, ride a motor cart to one of Vietnam’s oldest churches for a special interaction with a catholic priest.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO CHAU DOC

Day 9 CHAU DOC–LONG KHANH A–BORDER CROSSING, CAMBODIA

Colorful markets, Charming Locals, and Cotton Weavers

DISCOVERY In Chau Doc take a Guided Walk through the local market and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. Then embark on a River Excursion down the backwaters of the Mekong. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, religious sites, a market selling dried goods, and more.

DISCOVERY After lunch, a sampan brings you to the village of Long Khanh A for a Cotton-Weaving Demonstration of a well-preserved artisan’s tradition.

Return to the ship to set sail for the Cambodian border.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH

Day 10 PHNOM PENH

Bonjour! French Charm Lives in Cambodia’s Capital City

CLASSIC Take a City Tour by private cyclo to visit the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts.

The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the city at your leisure. Consider a Guided Optional Tour of a local brewery with free-flowing local beer!

Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will perform a show featuring local song and dance.

Day 11 PHNOM PENH

Shining a Light on a Dark History

CLASSIC This morning, a Guided Visit of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields offers a glimpse into the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime.

After lunch, depart Phnom Penh and enjoy some time at leisure on the ship.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY

Day 12 WAT HANCHEY–ANGKOR BAN

Water Blessings and Back To School Adventures

DISCOVERY Visit Wat Hanchey, a hilltop temple dating back to the 8th century. Climb or be driven to the top where you will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a traditional water blessing given by local monks.

DISCOVERY After lunch, enjoy a Walking Tour through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here, you will visit a traditional Khmer house and interact with children at a local school.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO KONPONG LOUANG

Day 13 KONPONG LOUANG–KAMPONG TRALACH

Calm in the Cambodian Countryside

DISCOVERY Start your Guided Sightseeing at the silversmith village in Konpong Louang. Here, see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. In Kampong Tralach board an ox cart for a ride through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life.

This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising on the Tonle River.

EVENING CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH

Day 14 PHNOM PENH (DISEMBARKATION)–SIEM REAP

A Pilgrimage of Inspirational Beauty

Fly to Siem Reap, home to the Temples of Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth!

CLASSIC After lunch, begin your Sightseeing Tour by tuk-tuk to explore the temples. Start at the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: Angkor Wat. Featuring five trademark towers, it is the symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit Angkor Thom, where you will explore Bayon Temple with its 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas-relief sculptures, or:

ACTIVE Visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Bayon Temple by bike.

The evening is yours to explore charming Siem Reap, stay to witness the sunset at Angkor Wat, or consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Cambodian circus.

Day 15 SIEM REAP

Roots Carved in Stone and Celebrated in Dance

CLASSIC Continue your Guided Sightseeing of the Angkor Temples at Ta Prohm. Tree roots cover the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as early explorers. Then visit Banteay Srei, a unique temple built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. En route stop at a local village famous for making Khmer noodles by hand.

Spend the afternoon at your leisure. You may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to further explore Siem Reap or the temple complex by tuk-tuk.

DISCOVERY This evening, a private Apsara Dance Performance brings ancient Khmer culture to life through music, song, and dance.

Day 16 SIEM REAP–BANGKOK, THAILAND

This morning, fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Day 17 BANGKOK

This morning, your Guided Sightseeing begins with a boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals. Stop at the stunning Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Also, Visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 18 BANGKOK

Enjoy a full day at your leisure.

Day 19 BANGKOK

Your extension ends with breakfast this morning.


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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