Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Arrive in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and transfer to your colonial-style hotel.
Hanoi | Asian Grace and Pace
Hanoi is the country’s cultural heart, bearing traces of centuries of changing dynasties. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s house, a simple structure located among banyan and milkweed trees, which served as home to the revolutionary guerrilla leader who pursued independence for Vietnam. Continue to the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the first Vietnamese empire independent from China. Also visit the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison, where American prisoners of war were once confined; the Temple of Literature; and the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts. Ride Like a Local by cyclo through the Old Quarter. This evening, see a traditional Vietnamese roi nuoc (water puppetry) performance, before gathering with your fellow guests for a welcome dinner.
Ha Long Bay | Among the Limestone Islands
Travel overland through the lush Vietnamese countryside to Ha Long Bay, seeing a traditional way of life along the way. Board a classic junk (wooden boat) and sail through a verdant setting where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the water. After lunch, relax and sunbathe on the deck before exploring a limestone cave. Later, visit a floating village to see how locals live without solid land underfoot. Spend the night at anchor, so you can witness both sunset and sunrise on this magical body of water.
Ha Long Bay to Danang | Sunrise Tai Chi
Greet the sunrise with an early morning tai chi lesson on the top deck. Then, visit a limestone island and trek to its summit for panoramic views of the bay, or choose to swim off the shores of its sandy beach. Return overland to Hanoi, with a stop at a local village en route. This evening, fly to Danang and travel to your beachfront resort on Son Tra Peninsula near China Beach.
Danang to Hoi An | Secrets of the Silk Trade
Set out on a day trip to discover historic Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that retains architectural styles of the many nations that used its port; it includes the Old House of Tan Ky, the Fujian Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge. Visit a local shop to see how silkworms are raised and how the silk is produced. Afterward, visit a lantern artist and learn how to make the silk lanterns for which Hoi An is known. Return to your resort for an afternoon at leisure.
Ho Chi Minh City | Vibrant, Evocative Saigon
Fly this morning to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Recently experiencing a resurgence of art and culture, this lively, evocative city is a hub of activity — a sharp contrast to the traditional ambience of Hanoi. Later, view examples of the city’s colonial legacy, including the Central Post Office, the Opera House and the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Ho Chi Minh City | Into the Cu Chi Tunnels
This morning, travel out of the city and into the countryside to explore the expansive Cu Chi Tunnel network, a key Vietcong resource during the Vietnam War. You have the opportunity to shoot a war-era rifle, and squeeze into and crawl through the small tunnels once traversed by Vietcong guerrillas. Visit the War Remnants Museum and explore the surrounding neighborhood of Cholon, the city’s Chinatown, to visit Quan Am Pagoda and stop at Binh Thanh Market. Tonight, gather for dinner at a culinary hot spot.
Angkor, Cambodia | Ruins of Angkor Thom
Fly to Siem Reap, the town nearest to Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, and transfer to your hotel. Over the next few days, explore the region with your guide, who was born and raised in Cambodia and experienced firsthand the challenges under the Khmer Rouge and the country’s optimistic rise above them. This afternoon, begin your exploration of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Kingdom, with a visit to the Bayon Temple, with its 172 large-scale faces bearing beguiling smiles, representing gods, goddesses and other beings from classical poems and mythological stories. Continue to the nearby Terrace of the Elephant and Terrace of the Leper King.
Angkor | Temple of Treasures
This morning, enjoy a lecture by a local expert on the geographic and historic significance of ancient Angkor. Then, discover the Angkor National Museum, home to golden era Khmer Kingdom artifacts. After an early afternoon at leisure, explore two less visited areas — Banteay Srei, also known as the “Citadel of Women,” and Banteay Samre, one of the most complete temple complexes in Angkor. Learn about the essential work of the Cambodia Clean Water Project, an A&K Philanthropy project that builds pumping wells in rural communities throughout the country.
Angkor | Sunrise Over Angkor Wat
Ride a tuk-tuk through the sleepy streets of the city to witness the pink glow of the rising sun illuminate ancient Angkor Wat — an unforgettable Southeast Asian experience. Then, walk amid the moss-peppered pathways and climb the steep temple steps to the temple-mountain, designed to represent Mount Meru, home to the devas of Hindu mythology. Contemplate the temple’s spiritual power while admiring the bas reliefs depicting mythological stories or walking the shaded hallways wafting with incense. After lunch, journey to Ta Prohm temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been reclaimed by massive trees and root systems. At dusk, toast your experience in Cambodia with a Scenic Sundowner aboard a gondola on the moat of Angkor Thom.
Bangkok, Thailand | Along the Chao Phraya River
This morning, fly to Bangkok, Thailand’s lively capital. Breeze through customs and immigration with special assistance. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and then board a boat to experience life along the Chao Phraya River and its klongs (canals), including a stop to visit a colorful market. Later, check in to your luxurious riverside hotel and dine at a local restaurant.
Bangkok | A City Filled with Life
Today, Ride Like a Local on a tuk-tuk around the sprawling Grand Palace. Explore the ancient Siamese court, home to Thailand’s most important shrine, the green-jade Emerald Buddha. Discover Wat Pho temple, with its massive, gilded Reclining Buddha, and listen to the musical sound of coins dropping into brass offering bowls. Tonight, gather for a special farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart for home.