Ancient Cities, Temples and Pagodas | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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Ancient Cities, Temples and Pagodas



FROM £$ 7282

Private Tour Highlights

  • See the complete picture of Hanoi, independent Vietnam’s first capital
  • Visit some of Vietnam’s most colorful and beautiful temples
  • Gaze at the impeccably preserved Cham artifacts in Hue
  • Journey to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Marvel at the spectacle of Angkor Wat’s temples
  • Visit the finest museums in the region
  • See how colonialism has impacted Vietnam
  • Journey down a river on a motorized sampan
  • Take a trip to the bustling market town of Cai Rang
  • Visit some of the many museums in Can Tho
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Hanoi, one of Asia’s most attractive and interesting cities, was founded in 1010 and became the official capital of independent Vietnam in 1954. From exploring the back alleys of Hanoi’s famous Ancient Quarter to visiting the Ho Chi Minh museum and complex to an excursion outside the city to visit some of Vietnam’s most revered and colourful temples and pagodas, your time in Hanoi will be rich with new experiences.

Next you will travel to one of Vietnam’s most ancient cities, Danang. Home to the largest and most impressive collection of Cham Dynasty artefacts, Danang also boasts spectacular landscapes like China Beach and the Marble Mountains. Spend an afternoon and evening in the picturesque port town of Hoi An, which was left remarkably unscathed after the American War, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Round out your time in central Vietnam with a visit to graceful Hue. This Imperial capital city has fascinating tombs and mausoleums of the last emperors of Vietnam which reveal insights into Vietnam’s textured history.

From Vietnam you will fly to Siem Reap, a quaint and peaceful town in the north of Cambodia. Siem Reap stands in the shadow of Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building, boasting a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt. The temple complex at Angkor is home to over a thousand different archaeological sites, ranging from piles of rubble to magnificent, well-preserved temples. From Siem Reap you will also visit Tonle Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia, where a boat will bring you to visit villages built entirely on stilts in the middle of this vast expanse of water.

Price Includes:
Regional flights from Hanoi to Danang, Hue to Siem Reap and Siem Reap to Hanoi, Hotel accommodation including continental or buffet breakfast, Private transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling, Private guided tours in English including all entrance fees, Meals where specified (food only), Bottled water and cool towels provided for transfers and sightseeing, Vietnam and Cambodian government tax and service charge, Local airport taxes that are payable in the country of destination are not included. Taxes and security fees that can be paid at time of ticketing are already included in the quote (if airfare has been included in the quote)

Siem Reap Optional Excursions
Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles Tour
Travel to the 'Wisdom from the Forest' project, 35 kilometers north of Siem Reap. Here, the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles (IKTT) focuses on the restoration of the natural environment to produce materials for making traditional textiles. IKTT also cultivates a vegetable garden to feed the 30-40 families working on its 22 hectares of land. Here you will see all the trees that are needed to produce the natural dyes for silk, as well as the Mulberry trees that are vital in the production of silk. You can see silk worms munching on the Mulberry leaves and forming the all-important cocoons. As you wander around the site, you will discover the entire silk process from boiling the cocoons, to pulling out the silk thread, dying the silk and finally weaving it into beautiful designs. At the end of the tour, you can browse through the workshop to see a variety of silk products.

Siem Reap School Tour
Today your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you to a local village school. During your visit, you will have time to interact with students, teach a short English lesson and learn how the education system in Cambodia works. Due to a lack of resources and minimum government funding for schools in Cambodia, there is a shortage of teaching material and school facilities. Donations of books, study materials and sports equipment are welcomed.

Cooking Class and Visit to Local Home
Khmer cuisine is one of the major national identities that reflect the ways of life, thought and mind of the Cambodian people which are hidden in the taste of consumption of meat dishes and sweet food. Start the day enjoying tea and coffee with the Chef before heading to the Siem Reap morning market (Old Market). The Chef will guide you through the market and introduce you to the Cambodian fruits, vegetables, fish, multi-color spices and herbs that are used in traditional Khmer cooking. After picking up fresh ingredients at the market, you’ll head to the restaurant where refreshing drinks and cold towels are waiting for you. Next, head to the kitchen and begin cooking! You will create a full, three courses Khmer menu, all under professional guidance by skilled Cambodian Chefs. Finally, enjoy the fruits of your labor! Afterward, transfer to a local home to learn more about Cambodian daily life.

* Due to the low water levels at Tonle Sap Lake between March and June, an alternate excursion will be provided for Day 13.

* Additional supplements may apply between 19 December – 8 January.
Best Time to Travel

Best Good Consult

Package Price: From £$ 7282

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary


International Flight to Hanoi

Overnight international flight to Hanoi.

Overnight international flight to Hanoi.


Arrival in Hanoi

Upon arrival in Hanoi and airport reception, transfer to the hotel in a private vehicle. Depending on the arrival time, spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Upon arrival in Hanoi and airport reception, transfer to the hotel in a private vehicle. Depending on the arrival time, spend the remainder of the day at leisure.


Hanoi City Highlights

Morning

Morning tour of the Ho Chi Minh Complex with the private guide. Visit Ba Dinh Square, where silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. See the simple cottage where Uncle Ho lived and worked and visit the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum - an extraordinary tribute to the life of the "father of the country." Carry on to the Governor's Residence, a fine example of Hanoi's French architecture, followed by a stop at the One Pillar Pagoda to hear the legend of its construction.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by a private afternoon tour of the Hanoi City highlights. Marvel at the tree lined streets on the way to the Opera House and pass by Hoan Kiem Lake en route to one of the city's fascinating museums: either the Museum of History of Vietnamese Military, Vietnam History Museum, or Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. Continue to the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, for a quick escape from the busy streets. Afterwards, enjoy a private guided walking tour of the Ancient Quarter, also known as the 36 Streets District, and find a nice mix of ancient homes, temples and small shops.

Note: The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed for maintenance on Mondays and Fridays from September to November annually. less


Pagodas of Hanoi

Take a morning excursion outside of Hanoi to the surrounding countryside with the private guide. Rich in Buddhism, the north of Vietnam is home to the country's most colorful and revered pagodas and temples. The Thay Pagoda (Master's Pagoda) is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Hanoi. While a temple is a place to worship the dead, a pagoda is a place to worship the Lord Buddha. Thay Pagoda is widely known for its finely carved lacquer and gold statues of Buddha in his past and present form, as well as the colorful Buddhist ceremonies performed here during auspicious dates of the Lunar calendar.

Only 6 kilometers (4 miles) away lies Tay Phuong Pagoda, situated at the top of a small hillock. Built in 1794, the pagoda is famous for its vast display of finely carved wooden statues of former monks from the 18th Century. Afterwards, return to Hanoi to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Lunch is included today. less


Hanoi – Halong Bay

Depart Hanoi in the morning for an approximately 3.5 hour direct drive to Halong Bay. Upon arrival, get on a boat to begin a cruise. While the junk is passing many islets, rocks, caves, floating villages and beaches on Halong Bay, a lunch of fresh seafood will be served on board. Then, visit the Thien Cung and Dau Go Caves, the most beautiful among the thousands in the bay. Return to land for a late afternoon hotel check-in and enjoy the evening at leisure.

Note: If staying overnight on a boat is preferred, please contact a travel consultant. This option comes highly recommended. less


Halong Bay – Hanoi

Depart Halong to return to Hanoi and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant en route. Transfer to the hotel in Hanoi and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Depart Halong to return to Hanoi and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant en route. Transfer to the hotel in Hanoi and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.


Hanoi – Danang

Transfer

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Danang. Upon arrival, airport reception and private transfer to the city for a visit to the Cham Museum. Close by Danang is My Khe Beach, immortalized for many by U.S. television shows, and still one of the most spectacular beaches in Asia. Also nearby are the Marble Mountains. A climb inside through the hundreds of natural caves and grottoes is a must. Then continue on to visit Hoi An.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Hoi An (included) before taking a walking tour with the private guide through this small town. Wander the completely traffic-free streets and discover the historic old town center before transferring to the hotel. Enjoy the evening at leisure. less


Danang – Hue

Morning

Morning transfer to Hue in a private vehicle. The overland journey will go through the most beautiful scenery in Vietnam while traversing the Hai Van or "Cloudy Pass." There will be plenty of photo opportunities and stops at beaches en route. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (included).

This afternoon, take a private guided tour of the Imperial Citadel. In the early 19th century, when the Nguyen Dynasty ruled Vietnam from Hue, the Emperor constructed a mighty citadel from where he could both live and rule. The resulting Imperial Citadel was modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing, but suffered much damage during years of war. Many of the pavilions, bridges, libraries and great halls are now being carefully restored with help from UNESCO. Marvel at the legends of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors who built the fortress and lived within its moated walls for nearly 150 years. less


Exploring the Thein Mu Pagoda & Tomb of Minh Vang

This morning, visit the Thein Mu Pagoda with a private boat and guide. Built in 1601 between a river and a pine forest, the "Heavenly Lady Pagoda" is one of the oldest and most attractive religious buildings in the country. Among the many interesting artifacts housed at the complex is the car that transported the monk Thich Quag Duc to the site of his self immolation in 1963 Saigon.

Continue by boat to the less visited, yet most majestic of all of Hue's tombs - the tomb of Minh Mang. Built around 1840, this tomb is well known for its harmonious blend of architecture and the natural landscape. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and the remainder of the day at leisure. less


Hue – Siem Reap

Transfer to the airport for the connecting flight to Siem Reap. Reception at airport and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Transfer to the airport for the connecting flight to Siem Reap. Reception at airport and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.


Exploring Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat

This morning, embark on a half day tour of Angkor Thom with the private guide. Visit the sprawling Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the enchanting Bayon. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very center of Angkor Thom City and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs, but the main features are the towers each with 3 or 4 gently smiling faces, over 200 in total. Afterwards, continue to Pre Rup Temple. Built in 961, the boldness of the architectural design is superb and gives the temple fine balance, scale and proportion. The temple is close in style to the East Mabon, although it was built several years later.

Later on, continue to Angkor Wat with the private guide. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism. Its symmetrical towers are stylized on the modern Cambodian flag. Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides, each telling a story, but the most celebrated of these is the Churning of the Sea Milk, located on the east wing. The guide will explain the fascinating mystical tale behind it. less


Visit to Banteay Srei & Preah Khan

This morning, visit Banteay Srei, "The Women's Citadel", a tiny, enchanting temple, which is one of the jewels in this remarkable city. Built of red sandstone in the 10th century and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, this is the most Indian of all the temples in Angkor and in the words of H.W. Ponder, "a fairy palace in the heart of an immense and mysterious forest." Continue to Banteay Samre, another Hindu temple.

This afternoon, enjoy lunch and transfer by Tuk Tuk to Preah Khan. This extensive monastic complex, which covers over 130 acres, was built by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a monastery and teaching complex. Continue to Ta Prohm, a temple that has been left largely in its natural state since its re-discovery by the French. Surrounded by jungle, it remains a labyrinth of stone hallways that have become overgrown with roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelope the stone like tentacles. less


Exploring the Valley of a Thousand Lingas & Tonle Sap

Commonly

Commonly known as the Valley of a Thousand Lingas, Kbal Spean is set deep in the jungle, northeast of Angkor. Hike through the jungle to reach the River of a Thousand Lingas. Historically, the ancient civilization of Angkor used this waterway for irrigation purposes. Numerous bas-reliefs remain, as do the thousand lingas that were embedded in the river to bless the water before it ran downhill to the royal city. This Hindu Pilgrimage site predates the Angkor Temples by some 200 years, thus making it the most ancient site in the region.

After lunch (not included), continue to the famous Tonle Sap, the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia, for a memorable boat ride to a nearby floating village. For most of the year the lake is fairly small, approximately only one meter deep with an area of 2,700 square km. However, during the monsoon season, the water is pushed up from the Mekong River into the lake, resulting in an increased area of 16,000 square km and a depth of up to nine meters, ultimately flooding nearby fields and forests. The floodplain provides a perfect breeding ground for fish. The livelihood of most of the local community depends largely on fishing and Tonle Sap accounts for 75 percent of Cambodia's annual inland fish catch. After the tour, return to the hotel.

Note: Depending on the time of year, the Tonle Sap boat ride might be unavailable. In that event, choose to do the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles Tour, Siem Reap School Tour, or Cooking Class and Visit to Local Home. Please contact a Yampu travel consultant for more information. less


International Flight Home

Transfer to the airport for the flight home or continue with a Yampu Tours add-on.

Transfer to the airport for the flight home or continue with a Yampu Tours add-on.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Ha Long Natural heritage

Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam

Huế, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Places You'll See

  • Hanoi_City_View_Vietnam


    Meaning “embraced by the river”, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. Visit the many temples and parks of this beautiful city, such as the Temple of Literature or Hoan Kiem Lake Park. Visit the Army Museum and hear retellings of many battles fought throughout the country’s history. Take the little ones to the Ha Noi circus for some family fun.

  • halong-bay-vietnam284606

    Halong Bay

    Halong Bay is known as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. With roughly 1,600 limestone islands, each covered in thick vegetation, it has extreme aesthetic value. Home to a small fishing community of people living on floating houses. Enjoy “junk boat” tours, or a rent a kayak and explore.

  • Hoi_An_Vietnam

    Hoi An

    Once a trading port in the 15th century, this beautifully preserved city is a prime example of Southeast Asian culture. The architecture showcases a fascinating blend of local and foreign influences. Enjoy exploring the old town by motorbike, kayak, motorboat, and more. Visit the Museum of Folk Culture and learn about traditional Vietnamese dress and culture.

  • Royal_Palace_benches_Hue_Vietnam


    Once the imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue is a city rich in history and culture. During the Vietnam war, much of the city was destroyed, but the buildings and ruins that are left are worth visiting. Much of the Imperial Citadel still stands and houses interesting shops, museums, and galleries. See the Tombs of the Emperors along the pristine Perfume River.

  • Cambodia_Angkor_Wat

    Siem Reap

    Showcasing colonial Chinese-style architecture, Siem Reap is a cultural and historical gold mine. There are several Buddhist temples scattered throughout the city, including the Wat Preah Prom Rath showcasing its 500-year history. Take a ceramic class at the Angkor Pottery Center, or catch a traditional performance at the Aspara Theater.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Hanoi : Church Boutique Hotel Hang Gai

Hanoi : La Belle Vie Hotel

Hanoi : Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

Hanoi : Skylark Hotel

Halong Bay : Royal Lotus Hotel Halong

Halong Bay : Halong Plaza Hotel

Hoi An : Essence Hotel & Spa

Hoi An : Ancient House Village Resort

Hoi An : Vinh Hung Riverside Resort

Hoi An : Phu Thinh Boutique Resort & Spa

Hue : Mondial Hotel

Siem Reap : Hotel Somadevi Angkor Resort & Spa

Siem Reap : La Maison d’Angkor

Siem Reap : Tara Angkor

4 Star Properties

Hanoi : Silk Path Hotel

Hanoi : Sunway Hotel

Hanoi : Mercure Hanoi La Gare

Halong Bay : Novotel Hotel Halong

Halong Bay : Royal Lotus Hotel Halong (Junior Suite)

Hoi An : Boutique Hoi An Resort

Hoi An : Sunrise Hoi An Beach Resort

Hoi An : Hoi An Chic Hotel

Hue : Saigon Morin

Hue : Eldora Hotel

Hue : Imperial Hue Hotel

Siem Reap : Angkor Palace Resort & Spa

Siem Reap : Borei Angkor Resort & Spa

Siem Reap : Sokha Angkor Resort

Siem Reap : Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa

5 Star Properties

Hanoi : Hotel De L’Opera

Hanoi : Melia Hotel

Halong Bay : Novotel Hotel Halong (Executive Room)

Hoi An : Hotel Royal Hoi An

Hoi An : Anantara Hoi An Resort

Hoi An : Alma Courtyard Hoi An Resort

Hue : La Residence Hotel & Spa

Hue : Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa

Siem Reap : Heritage Suites Hotel

Siem Reap : Le Meridien Angkor

Siem Reap : Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort

Luxury Properties

Hanoi : Sofitel Legend Metropole

Hoi An : The Nam Hai

Hue : Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa (Aqua Bungalow)

Siem Reap : Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor

Siem Reap : Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Siem Reap : Belmond La Residence D’Angkor



Traveled July, 2014

Our trip was fantastic!

Our trip was fantastic! We were met us at the airport in Saigon when we arrived and shuttled to the Hotel, the guide got us settled in and arranged the schedule with us for the next day. Each day we knew in advance what was planned and had enough time to relax too. Both guides (in the South and Central Regions) were very good. We also had a private driver in our van which was constantly stocked with cold bottled water and moist wipes for cooling off after every activity. In general the Hotels were all excellent and a couple were even better (Hoi-An and Victoria Chau-Doc). Both guides were flexible to our needs and very personable and accommodating. We had ample food and it was all great. On a couple of occasions the Guide in the Central Region even made adjustments to our Menu to make certain that we got better items (which we appreciated). We got Heavy rain on one day only and that was the day that we were driving back to Saigon from the Mekong delta, so we were safely ensconced in the Van. We saw a lot in our time there but we really have no complaints at all. The guides in country were excellent in keeping us on schedule without making us feel hurried. In Saigon the last night we even arranged for an extension of the Hotel room (for half a day) and a show that started at 8PM that evening. The guide arranged to pick our luggage up for us at the hotel and then come pick us up after the show at the Opera House and get us to the Airport in time for our flight back to Tokyo. If we go back again we will certainly be happy to use you again.

Traveled To


Traveled February, 2014

I will always remember this trip

We have had opportunities to review our photos and share stories with family and friends, I will always remember this trip! Bangkok hotel and tour guide was fabulous. As soon as we got to the hotel they upgraded all of us to unbelievably fantastic rooms! Our guide met us at the airport and between her and the driver all went so smoothly. Due to the protest and closed streets, our guide helped us around the city using public transportation (upon our request), so no sight was unseen. The guide treated us as friends, sharing the local market place food and making sure we were safe at all times. Chiang Mai was great. Our hotel was in a perfect location. The hotel staff, food, and our guide were excellent.In Siem Reap, the hotel and surprise birthday celebration was fantastic, great location and fantastic staff! The guide and driver were kind, knowledgeable, accommodating and very flexible! Magical is a good word for Koh Samui. The hotel was perfect and would highly recommend it. I saw a few children, but not a place I would suggest for family with young kids. I must say that our guide showed us incredible places on the island that were not on the planned itinerary and that was beautiful. This guide had such a love for Koh Samui, which was a big plus! This guide saw we loved nature and added some unique experiences for us, like climbing a fantastic waterfall. In most of the locations the included lunches were not very good and in some cases bad. Maybe people should be given a chance on tour packages to upgrade to more of a local experience not a place all the tour buses go to. The first meal in Cambodia was fine but it went downhill fast from that one.I am so grateful for the chance to get check one place off my bucket list, Angkor Wat. Seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise completed one of my dreams.

Traveled To

Eric and Karen W. Canada

Traveled March, 2013

Dealing with Yampu makes me feel like I’m dealing with friends and that’s special

I want to send the attached to you with our heartfelt thanks for all you both did to make our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia the incredible adventure that it was. We have dealt with Yampu (Kontiki) since 2005 and in three trips have not had a moment that has not been wonderful. Jose you have built a company that is second to none in travel and that now appears to be just about anywhere in the world. Your coordination and expertise is unrivaled. The letter I have attached is a quick overview of our thoughts on our Vietnam trip. Feel free to use any or all of it on your website. I have also included a few photos. You continue to amaze and please me. If we can swing anyone your way, we certainly will. Dealing with Yampu makes me feel like I’m dealing with friends and that’s special. Vermont is not that far from Ontario. Karen and I may take a road trip there sometime. If we do we’ll let you know. We’d love to visit you. Warmest Wishes

Traveled To

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