Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

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15 days, from £1999
Newmarket Holidays
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Description

From Bangkok to the Mekong

Experience the excitement of the Thai capital, Bangkok. See the River Kwai, the vast serenity of Angkor Wat, and the palaces and museums of Phnom Penh. You'll also drift through the exquisite waterways of the Mekong Delta to Ho Chi Minh City - formerly and famously Saigon - on this wonderful tour of South East Asia.

Thailand, Cambodia And Vietnam Tour Highlights
* A guided tour of Bangkok - its Buddhas, palaces and monuments
* A scenic journey to the Cambodian border and French colonial Battambang
* A cruise across the 'Great Lake' of Tonle Sap
* Two full days at Siem Reap, including a visit to the temple complex of Angkor Wat
* A tour around the evocative Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh
* A journey along the mighty Mekong River by fast passenger boat
* A visit to the unique floating market at Cai Rang
* A visit to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon)
* A chance to see the infamous Cu Chi tunnel complex, a former Viet Cong hideaway
What does the price included?* 12 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at a series of four-star hotels in Bangkok (3 nights), Battambang (1), Siem Reap (3), Phnom Penh (1), Chaudoc (1), Cantho (1) and Ho Chi Minh City (2)
* Lunch on Days Six and 9-13, and dinner on Days 5-11 and 13
* Return flights from the UK to Bangkok, returning from Ho Chi Minh City (2017 departures) or Abu Dhabi (2018 departures)
* Comfortable, air-conditioned coach and boat travel and transfers
* All included tours detailed in the itinerary
* The services of a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Single rooms are available for a supplementN.B. Visas are required for travel on this tour (see Further Information)Must experience: The sunrise over the temple complex of Angkor Wat with the sounds of birdsong and monks chanting in the background.Fascinating fact: The immense Golden Buddha at Bangkok's Wat Traimit, officially called Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon, weighs in at five-and-a-half tons. The body of the statue is 40 per cent pure gold, the section from the chin to the forehead is 80 per cent pure, and the hair and the topknot, weighing 45 kg, are 99 per cent pure gold.You say: "They put a lot of energy and effort into showing us places the average tourist just wouldn't see."

Itinerary


 Day One: Fly to Thailand

Begin your holiday with an overnight flight to Bangkok.


 Day Two: Included Bangkok city tour

After a relaxed morning, you'll head into the city for a guided tour of Bangkok, starting on Rattanakosin Island, the 'royal island' on the bank of the River Kwai. You'll visit the Grand Palace and the adjoining Wat Phra Kaew temple, as well as the Wat Pho temple - home to the gigantic figure of the Reclining Buddha. You'll also see the ornate five-and-a-half-ton Golden Buddha at Chinatown's Wat Traimit temple.Round off your day by joining your fellow travellers for a traditional Thai Dinner with Dance optional excursion, and celebrate the first of your three nights in the city.


 Day Three: Optional River Kwai excursion

Relax in Bangkok, or perhaps join today's optional River Kwai and the Death Railway excursion. Travel by train, through a fascinating landscape of rice fields and sugar-cane plantations and into the Thai jungle, to Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi. Enjoy lunch, and visit Kanchanaburi's beautifully-tended war cemeteries as well as the various museums connected with this area's tragic WWII history, the construction of the Death Railway and the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai.


 Day Four: Optional Floating Markets excursion

Immerse yourself in Thai culture, today, on our optional excursion to the floating markets at Damnoen Saduak. Watch as the locals buy fresh produce from the traders on the boats, then head back into Bangkok to visit the 70-acre Rose Gardens to witness displays of Thai culture, Thai boxing and folk dancing, and enjoy an included buffet lunch, in the surroundings of a traditional Thai village.


 Day Five: From Thailand to Cambodia

You'll have an early start to make the most of the day, this morning, as we travel through the unspoilt rural landscape to the border where you'll cross into Cambodia at Aranyaprathet-Poipet. Formalities completed, you'll begin the second part of your adventure with the short journey to the elegant French colonial city of Battambang.


 Day Six: Cruise on Tonle Sap to Siem Reap

Journey across Tonle Sap, South East Asia's Great Lake, and see the villages built entirely on stilts that are home to the 'floating communities' whose livelihoods depend on the lake's waters. By mid afternoon you'll arrive in the colourful market town of Siem Reap, home to the archaeological Angkor National Museum, and gateway to the incredible temple complex of Angkor Thom.This evening, you'll get your first taste of traditional Cambodian culture at an included dinner and dance show.


 Day Seven: Included Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat excursion

Discover the four vast stone heads and countless carved faces of the Bayon, which stands in the heart of the 'lost city' of Angkor Thom, today. Angkor Thom was the greatest citadel of the Khmer Empire that ruled half of South East Asia for nearly 600 years, and its ruined boulevards and gateways cover a vast area to the north of Siem Reap. And yet it is not the highlight of this landscape littered with great ruins. That title goes to Angkor Wat. The world's largest religious building, with its five great towers and 1000-metre-long carved bas-relief, is dazzling and unforgettable. Expect to return to your hotel awed and amazed by everything you've seen.


 Day Eight: Included Hariharalaya temples excursion

Another day of exploration takes in the ruined Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei temples - all that remains of the ancient Khmer city of Hariharalaya. You'll also visit the hilltop temple of Banteay Srei to the north of Angkor Thom, and the temple of Banteay Samre to the east.


 Day Nine: From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Travel to the evocative Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, set on the banks of the Mekong River, where you'll take an introductory afternoon's guided tour that includes The Royal Palace, and its Silver Pagoda of priceless Buddhist artefacts. This evening, you'll have dinner at Phnom Penh's famous, riverside Foreign Correspondents' Club.


 Day 10: Included Tuol Sleng Museum visit and Mekong boat trip to Vietnam

Today begins with a thought-provoking morning visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum, which chronicles the Pol Pot years and the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Afterwards, you'll have the opportunity to take a good look around the National Museum of Cambodia, the country's largest cultural, historical and archaeological museum.You'll then board the fast boat along the Mekong River to feel the wind on your face on a thrilling boat ride into Vietnam, arriving at your overnight hotel in the border town of Chau Doc.


 Day 11: Included Nui Sam visit and travel to Can Tho

Your day begins with a visit to the holy mountain of Nui Sam. Studded with pagodas and temples, the mountain offers visitors stunning views over the Mekong Delta (which you'll be heading towards today). You'll stay overnight in the university town of Can Tho, with its colourful floating markets, busy working harbour and sacred Khmer pagoda: Muniwangsyaram.


 Day 12: From Can Tho to Ho Chi Minh City

Brilliantly coloured orchards, lush forests and traditional rice fields criss-crossed by a network of small tributaries: this is the unmistakable landscape of the Mekong Delta. Today, you'll enjoy a boat ride to the floating markets of Cai Rang and Cai Be, and visit the delta town of Vinh Long.By evening, you'll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City for a two-night stay.


 Day 13: Included Chu Chi Tunnels excursion

The remarkable Cu Chi tunnel complex provides a poignant reminder of the country's recent history. This 200 km underground labyrinth was used by the Viet Cong as a base, and now serves as a national memorial for those who lost their lives in the conflict.


 Day 14: Included Ho Chi Minh City tour and flight home

A guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City reveals the city's fascinating mix of French colonial history and modern Vietnamese life. You'll see the grand General Post Office, the Reunification Hall on the site of the former President's Palace, the Xa Loi Pagoda with its bronze Buddha, and (time permitting) the War Remnants Museum. You'll complete your tour with a celebratory Farewell Dinner: the perfect opportunity to look back on your holiday and relive the many highlights with your travelling companions (and new-found friends). Later, you'll transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.


 Day 15: Arrive back in the UK

You'll touch down in the UK, today, after an unforgettable tour of South East Asia.