Excursions to UNESCO-protected temples, a luxury cruise on Asia’s greatest river and four relaxing nights by the sea combine on this journey through Vietnam and Cambodia.
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Upon arrival in Siem Reap you will be warmly met and escorted to Zannier Phum Baitang to relax after your flight. Set amidst tranquil tropical gardens just 15 minutes from the ‘lost city’ of Angkor, it makes for the perfect base.
The following morning you will set off on a full-day guided tour of the magnificent Angkor complex, a cornucopia of ornate temples, huge statues, decorative carvings and enigmatic stone heads. You’ll take in breathtaking sites like the 12th century Bayon – a richly decorated temple with 54 towers – the pyramidal Baphuon, the jungle-clad temple of Ta Prohm and the Terrace of the Elephants.
After a picnic lunch at the Secret Temple, you’ll spend the afternoon at the magnificent Angkor Wat – the largest religious monument in the world and a testament to the might of the Khmer Empire.
Stay: Three nights in a Terrace Villa at the Zannier Hotel Phum Baitang
This morning you’ll bid goodbye to Siem Reap and catch a flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s bustling capital located at the junction of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers. The next day you’ll meet your guide to begin your exploration of this historical city. You’ll visit attractions like the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, browse the fascinating artefacts in the National Museum and learn about the daily life of Buddhist monks at a tranquil pagoda.
Stay: Two nights in a Landmark Room at Raffles Hotel Le Royal
Today you’ll head to Phnom Penh port in time to board your Mekong River cruise, celebrating your onward journey with sundowners and an indigenous Khmer Apsara performance. Your home for the next three nights is the Aqua Mekong, a luxurious river cruiser with all the trappings of a five-star hotel.
Crossing into Vietnam, you’ll sail towards the vibrant border town of Tan Chau where you’ll enjoy a ride around town in a local rickshaw. In the afternoon, you’ll visit a traditional village called My An Hung, with the opportunity to walk through verdant plantations, taste local fruits and hear traditional folk songs. If you prefer, you can also borrow bikes and explore the area on your own two wheels.
The next day you’ll call in at the rural mat-weaving village of Binh Thanh, wander the vibrant market of Sa Dec and see the house of Huynh Thuy Le – lover of Marguerite Duras. Zigzagging downstream past lone fisherman on their long tail boats, you’ll then visit Cai Be and the centuries-old courtyard homes of its gracious locals.
On the fourth day, you’ll disembark at My Tho port. Your private driver and guide will then escort you to the airport for your onward flight to Quy Nhon.
Stay: Three nights in a Design Suite aboard the Aqua Mekong
Upon arrival in Quy Nhon, you will make the 1.5-hour drive to Zannier Bai San Ho on Vietnam’s south-central coast. Check into your pool villa to unwind after a long day.
Famed for its rich culture and the unspoilt beauty of its mountains and coast, Phu Yen is a delightful place to spend a few nights. Whether you want to immerse yourself in local life or simply relax on the white sands of Zannier’s private beach is up to you. You’ll have two tennis courts, a yoga studio and a 20-metre infinity pool at your disposal, as well as the Hoa Sen Spa. Don’t forget to rise early to catch the sunrise from the top of the hills surrounding the resort.
During your stay, a Zodiac tour of Phu Yen’s beautiful coastline will take you past small islands to snorkel rainbow reefs and discover secret caves. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about traditional Vietnamese medicine at a traditional healer’s house, visit a salt farm and meet a rice paper-making family.
Stay: Four nights in a One Bedroom Hill Pool Villa at Zannier Bai San Ho
The last leg of your journey brings you to Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City. From here you will make an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels – one of the most important historical sites of the Vietnam War. You’ll explore the countless rooms, offices, kitchens, bunk rooms and even hospitals, and at the end of the tour, taste a culinary speciality of Cu Chi – khoai my luoc – which was eaten daily during the war.
Returning to Ho Chi Minh City, you will walk with a local guide who will take you off-the-beaten-path to see a maze-like flower market and an open-air living space where locals read newspapers, make their lunch and have their hair cut. You’ll stop to admire the views from the banks of the Saigon River, before ending your Vietnamese journey with sunset cocktails at a rooftop bar – taking in the city’s famous monuments.
Stay: Two nights in a Serene Corner Room at The Myst Dong Khoi