Cambodia & Vietnam
Mysterious cities, atmospheric forests and colonial grandeur await in these evocative parts of southeastern Asia. Home to some of the world’s most iconic archaeological sites, such as the legendary Angkor Wat, we also discover history and culture.
From breathtaking architecture and lectures from our experts on the areas we visit, to delicious regional cuisine - this tour provides the perfect introduction to these incredible countries. Journey back to the past as we wander ruined temple sites, explore collections housed in great museums and learn more about these much visited destinations in unique and immersive ways.
- See the historic One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple
- View the beautiful royal tombs of Ta Duc Mausoleum
- Enjoy enchanting lectures on local culture & history
- Discover Banteay Srei, home to exceptional carvings
- Stand before the outstanding wonder, Angkor Wat
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We depart from London in the morning to take our flight to Hanoi.
After an early arrival into the city, we check into our hotel and have time to relax and get used to our surroundings, or to explore a little with our guide lecturer. Destinations include the History Museum, the Temple of Literature and also the excavations at Hanoi Citadel.
This morning, our tour of Hanoi officially begins. We visit the Governor’s Palace, a colonial building constructed to house the French Governor-General of Indochina; the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, a wooden temple built to resemble a lotus flower, and the traditional stilt house in which Ho Chi Minh once lived. Following an early lunch we fly south to Hue, Vietnam’s capital until 1945, where we view the Ta Duc Mausoleum – a beautiful royal tomb complex devised by the heirless emperor Tu Duc.
This morning we travel to the Thien Mu Pagoda, a seven-storey symbol of the city built in 1601. Next, we enter the 19th century walled citadel at the heart of Hue, where the remains of the Forbidden Purple City lie. Our discovery of the Imperial City continues with a visit to the Fine Arts Museum, an exceptional attraction that brims with ancient treasures. We end the day at Dong Khanh’s tomb.
We begin the day by heading south along the coast, via the spectacular Hai Van Pass (‘Pass of the Mountain Clouds’), from where we enjoy views over the Annamite Range and the glittering South China Sea. Arriving in the city of Da Nang, we enjoy lunch by the river. Afterwards we visit the Cham Museum. This quaint building houses the world’s best collection of religious sculpture from the Cham culture, dating from the 5th to the 15th centuries. Our journey continues through the Marble Mountains to the well-preserved trading port and World Heritage Site of Hoi An, a delightful city whose patchwork of styles and architecture reflects a rich cultural heritage.
This morning we make our way inland to My Son, the religious centre of the Cham people, stopping at the Champa empire’s first capital, Tra Kieu, along the way. My Son is believed to be the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina. More than 70 Hindu temples and tombs are nestled amongst the wooded hills here, all dedicated to the goddess Shiva. The site was also a burial place for the Cham kings.
This morning is ours to discover Hoi An at our leisure. Browse the shops for local arts and crafts, stroll past the creaking old merchant houses, cross the famous covered bridge, or breathe in the city’s ambience with a local coffee in hand. This afternoon we return to Da Nang for a flight to Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia. We will enjoy a lecture introducing Angkor Wat and the Khmer kingdom by our esteemed archaeologist, Dr Damian Evans.
Our introduction to the Khmer kings continues with a short transfer to the Roluos group of 9th century temples – some of the earliest Khmer structures ever found, and once the seat of the ancient Khmer capital Hariharalaya. Following lunch we continue to the remote temple complex of Banteay Srei (‘Citadel of Beauty’). Among the many highlights here are the ornate library buildings, and the three central towers, adorned with deities.
We drive north through beautiful countryside to Koh Ker this morning, a remote 10th century Khmer city hidden in the forest and only recently opened to visitors. We see the ancient city’s large stepped pyramid – the biggest of its kind in this region. This afternoon we travel further into the jungle, to the Beng Mealea Temple complex, an incredible site where the natural world has slowly taken hold, with massive tree roots snaking through the stones of stunning Hindu architecture.
An early start brings us to Cambodia’s most famous wonder: the outstanding Angkor Wat. We explore this enormous complex, with its assortment of Khmer buildings; a testament to the powers of this incredible civilisation. As well as taking in the site’s best-known monuments, we also visit the smaller temples of Ta Som, Preah Khan and Baray Reach Dak, which are rarely visited by Western tourists.
We enjoy a free day at Siem Reap today. Given that the world’s largest religious monument is on our doorstep, it is likely that you will want to return to Angkor Wat, where there are always new discoveries to be made. Take the ruins at your leisure on foot, or even by bicycle – an option allowing you to reach the further flung parts of the complex before the day is through.
On our last day of this trip, we rise early to discover some of Cambodia’s lesser-known temples, beginning with Ta Prohm, a Buddhist monastery held together by banyan and strangler fig roots. We also stop at the 12th century stone temple of Ta Nei, and the impressive Ta Keo, thought to be the first wholly sandstone temple built by the Khmer.
After lunch we delve into the fortified city of Angkor Thom, an astounding location dominated by giant stone heads of the Buddha. This evening we make our way to the airport for our return flight.
We arrive in the UK.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach and river boat
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.