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Deluxe Vietnam & Cambodia

  • Destination: Asia & India, Cambodia, Cruise, Laos, Vietnam
  • Duration: 13 days
  • Start: 02/09/2018
  • End: 02/21/2018

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OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO LAOS
For Coda’s 2018 season, we are bringing back one of their most popular itineraries: The Best of Vietnam & Cambodia. Our trip is distinguished by the top hotels selected in both countries and ample time to leisurely visit each city. Dine at the best restaurants and learn the troubled history of these countries. Enjoy Hanoi, Ha Long Bay (overnight luxury cruise), Danang, Hue, Saigon & Angkor Wat. Take an extension to Luang Prabang, Laos following the group tour or spend some nights in Bangkok, where there is always a party going on…
Start in Hanoi (HAN), End in Siem Reap (REP).

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“I have tried all things…I have experienced everything…. In the depths of the forests of Siam, I have seen the Evening Star rise over the mysterious ruins of Angkor.“

A Pilgrimage to AngkorPierre Lotio (1912)

We begin our journey with three elegant nights in Hanoi, where everything from the architecture to the cuisine is classic Vietnamese, but with a French accent. Leaving the sophisticated capital, we cruise among the 3000 islands rising from the clear, emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin at HaLong Bay. We continue to ancient Hue, seat of Vietnam’s emperors. We have two full days to explore Ho Chi Minh City, hub of all that is new in Vietnam. Lastly, we fly to Siem Reap, the gateway to the temples of Angkor, where we’ll have two days to explore this spectacular site in the midst of the jungles of Cambodia.

Please click ( + ) signs by each day for detailed information.

Day 1

FRI FEB 9, 2018 • Depart USA

Depart the USA on any regularly scheduled flight to Hanoi.

Day 2

SAT FEB 10 • Arrive Hanoi

Wide tree-lined bicycle-filled boulevards, elegant colonial French mansions, the grandeur and solemnity of Ho Chi Minh’s monumental Mausoleum, the incongruous rustic simplicity of the house in which ‘Uncle Ho’ lived out his final years, the memory of Hoa Lo Prison, the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ where so many prisoners of war were incarcerated, the beautiful temple of Literature compound — it’s all here in Hanoi, a microcosm of the Vietnamese culture.

Arrive in Hanoi. A visa is required for entry into Vietnam. It may be obtained prior to departure from the USA or upon arrival at the airport in Hanoi. If you plan to obtain it at the airport, Coda Tours will assist you in getting the necessary permission. The process upon arrival is simple, but it may take time if several flights arrive at the same time. Please inform us at the time of booking if you wish to obtain your visa upon arrival.

Once you have completed immigration & customs, you will be met at the exit by a Coda representative and transferred to the hotel for check in. Your hotel for the next four nights will be the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel. Please note early check-in is subject to room availability due to the check-in time is at 02pm.

metropoleAfter immigration and customs formalities, we meet our guide and transfer to the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel HanoiThe Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel is a luxury, 5-star hotel, centrally located in Hanoi. It is the Grande Dame Hotel of Vietnam and one of the historic, famous hotels of Asia. Its rich history, colonial & neo-classical architecture is an ideal place to begin our exploration of Indochina.

This evening is unscheduled while we wait for everyone to arrive. Meals are on your own today.

Hotel: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Room: Deluxe room in Opera Wing
Meals: None

Day 3

SUN FEB 11 • Discover the Highlights of Hanoi

day3
Breakfast will be served in the hotel restaurant. Afterwards, meet your fellow tour participants and your guide in the lobby of the hotel and depart for a tour of Hanoi.

This morning, we will have a private tour of the Museum of Ethnology, followed by a tour of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, House on Stilts and the famous One Pillar Pagoda. French architecture is a feature of Hanoi, and the nearby former Governor’s Residence is a fine example.

After lunch at Seasons of Hanoi restaurant, we tour Hanoi’s Ancient Quarter, including a ‘cyclo’ ride followed by a walking tour.

Dinner tonight is at Wild Rice restaurant with a Vietnamese menu.

Hotel: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Room: Deluxe room in Opera Wing
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

MON FEB 12 • Hanoi's Colonial Architecture & Art Galleries

day4

After breakfast, enjoy an orientation of the tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture, including the recently restored Opera House. Pass by Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Lake of the Restored Sword, en-route to a visit of the infamous Hanoi Hilton (Hoa Lo prison). Finish the morning at the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and then dedicated to Confucius. It is a serene retreat from the busy streets outside, and later became Vietnam’s first university. Lunch today at Cau Go restaurant.

In the afternoon, we have arranged a special art galleries tour. For art lovers, Vietnam is a treasure-trove waiting to be explored. Art galleries abound and each is filled to the brim with quality art at affordable prices. Following our galleries tour, we continue to a Vietnamese-style coffee shop for tea or coffee and a taste of Vietnamese music.

Dinner tonight is on your own account, an opportunity to try one of Hanoi’s best restaurants, of which there are many.

Hotel: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Room: Deluxe room in Opera Wing
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5

TUE FEB 13 • Travel Hanoi to Halong Bay and board Paradise Cruises


About 170 km away from Hanoi is Halong Bay the World Natural Heritage site, one of the most beautiful places on earth. With its picturesque blend of land and sea, this is one of the world’s most precious natural attractions. Halong Bay is a vast area, dotted with thousands of rocky islands. It really is a natural sculpture on a gigantic scale.

After breakfast depart Hanoi for a 4-hour drive to Halong Bay – Vietnam’s premier travel destination.

Your journey across Halong Bay starts around noon on Tuan Chau Island.

Meals are served on board. This will be a shared departure with tourists from around the world. Sightseeing will include by Cua Van floating Village, Tien Ong Cave, Trong Cave, Ho dong Tien, Luon Cave, Ti Top Island and Coconut Three Island.

Cruise: Paradise Luxury Cruise (Deluxe Balcony cabin)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

WED FEB 14 • Disembark & Drive to Hanoi Airport for Flight to Danang

day6Wake up early to enjoy the beautiful, tranquil scenery this morning. Perhaps start the day with some Tai Chi led by a staff member on deck. Late morning, disembark the cruise for the transfer back to Hanoi. Stop for an independent lunch at Hong Ngoc centre run for and by handicapped children then continue to the Hanoi airport for our flight to Danang.

Upon arrival in Danang, transfer to our hotel for two nights.

The Nam Hai Hoian Resort is part of Vietnam’s luxury hotel scene. Located on the renowned China Beach, the imperial influence is evident in its opulent, yet Zen-like ocean-view villas.

Hotel: The Nam Hai Hoian Resort
Room: 1-bedroom Pool Villa
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7

THU FEB 15 • Danang to My Son and an Excursion to ancient Hoi An

Breakfast is included at the resort. The tour starts with a visit to the Cham Museum in Danang – once the centre of the ancient Cham civilization. Hindu in origin, the Cham people left a legacy of excellent sculptures, now housed in the only museum if its kind in Danang, as they were pushed south by the advancing Vietnamese invaders.

Drive through rolling countryside to My Son, dating from the 7th – 13th centuries. My Son translates literally as “Beautiful Mountain.” As we draw near to the site, the condition of the road becomes more challenging. On arriving at the My Son area you will take a short walk through lush hillsides, trees and brush, before emerging at the main site.

There were over 70 classic Cham monuments at My Son. Set against the backdrop of the appropriately named Cat’s Tooth Mountain, they would then have been an awesome sight. Until 1968 they remained, remarkably, in almost perfect condition, having been sheltered from the worst excesses of weather by the surrounding hills. Regrettably however, man achieved what nature could not and B52 bombers destroyed most of the towers when My Son found itself in a free-fire zone during the Vietnam War.

Our guide will offer full commentary on the Cham heritage of My Son while you wander at will around this most historic site. Take the opportunity to do so now, as My Son is due to become part of UNESCO’s protected monuments list and access may well be restricted in the future.

Drive back to Hoi An, among Vietnam’s oldest and best preserved fishing villages. Built in the 1500’s, Hoi An was once one of the most important ports in Southeast Asia. Today the town still looks like it did centuries ago. Visit the colorful, riverside market and tour the town. Visit a Silk Artisan’s workshop and learn the techniques of lantern making. You will also have the chance to drop a few dollars on beautiful souvenirs to take home.

Return to the hotel. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

Hotel: The Nam Hai Hoian Resort
Room: 1-bedroom Pool Villa
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8

FRI FEB 16 • A Dramatic Drive from Danang to Hue, Vietnam's Ancient Capital

day8Breakfast is at our resort before departing to Hue via Cloudy Pass. Upon arrival in Hue, check in to the hotel.

La Residence is an enchanting Art Deco boutique hotel on the banks of the fabled Perfume River. Indulge yourself in our large freeform saltwater swimming pool and at Le Spa with a selection of traditional Vietnamese and international luxurious treatments. Lunch is on your own account.

In the afternoon visit the Imperial Citadel, begun in 1804, built in the style of the great French military architect, Vauban. Afterwards, visit a local market, Dong Ba.

A special dinner will be planned for tonight at the hotel. The Imperial Dinner replicates the menu of the old Imperial Court. Imperial costumes are available to don for Facebook posts!

Hotel: La Residence Hotel & Spa
Room: Deluxe Riverview
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

SAT FEB 17 • Tour the Royal Tombs in Hue. Later arrive in Bustling Saigon.

day9Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang Tomb, the most majestic of the Royal Tombs. Six royal tombs lie to the south east of the citadel on the other side of the Perfume River and one on the same side. They are monuments to nine of the thirteen rulers of the Nguyen Dynasty, mostly built during the lifetime of the Emperor in question. Lunch today is at leisure.

Transfer to the airport. In the late afternoon, we fly to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, transfer to the hotel.

The Caravelle Saigon Hotel is located in the heart of the city, directly across from the Opera House. This luxury hotel served as a base for international reporters during the Vietnam War. Walter Cronkite wrote in his memoirs, “On the roof of the Caravelle … I watched helicopter gunships and bombers attacking suspected Vietcong concentrations on the city’s outskirts and saw fires blossom on the docks downriver.” Dinner tonight is independent.

Hotel: Caravelle Hotel Saigon
Room: Heritage Opera Suite (Signature Floor Privileges included)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10

SUN FEB 18 • Saigon

If Hanoi and Hué represent the colonial past of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City stands for its future. This bustling city is booming with new economic opportunities, new construction, new technology, and newly arrived Western influences. More and more, cars are replacing bicycles, and cell-phone sales are on the rise. Situated on the northeast edge of the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City is poised and ready for a new millennium of growth.

day10On our tour of Ho Chi Minh City, we see the Reunification Palace, The History Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the grounds of the former US Embassy. The afternoon is on your own to explore, shop or relax at the hotel. Those who wish may join an optional tour to the famed Cu Chi Tunnels, which served as the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968.

Hotel: Caravelle Hotel Saigon (Signature Floor Privileges included)
Room: Heritage Opera Suite
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11

MON FEB 19 • The Spectacular Angkor Wat is on our Program for Today

day11
Transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to Southeast Asia’s most immense collection of ancient temples and palaces built between the 6th and 13th centuries.

Upon arrival, we are met and transferred from airport to our hotel to freshen up before setting out to tour in the afternoon. A visa is required for entry into Cambodia. This may be obtained on line prior to departure from the USA or upon arrival at the airport in Siem Reap (A passport photo is required. The visa cost is $30.)

Park Hyatt Siem Reap — Experience authentic, Cambodian hospitality at the award-winning Park Hyatt Siem Reap, recognized as one of the Top 100 hotels in the world.

Lunch is on your own. This afternoon, visit Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. 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.  Conceived by Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build. It is generally believed to have been a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by Buddhist monks and is well preserved. Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides. Enjoy sunset at Angkor Wat.

Hotel: Park Hyatt Hotel
Room: Park Room
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12

TUE FEB 20 • Siem Reap

day12Breakfast at hotel. The morning begins with the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom – last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very center of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs but the highlight is the “faces”, more than 200 of them, silent but with the famous half-smile playing on their lips. PJ de Beerski wrote of them, “godliness in the majesty and the size; mystery in the expression.”

Continue to Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in its natural state since its “re-discovery” by French explorers.  Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles. It is one of the largest temples at Angkor, dedicated in 1186.  Historians have noted its mystical charm.

This afternoon is at leisure with an optional tour to Ton Le Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia, and the lifeblood of the Cambodian fishing industry. Alternatively, enjoy the pool and spa at the hotel or take a walk in the busy, but small town of Siem Reap. Join us for a farewell dinner at the hotel this evening.

Hotel: Park Hyatt Hotel
Room: Park Room
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13

WED FEB 21 • Siem Reap to the USA or select an optional extension

Breakfast at hotel. Free at leisure until check-out time at 12noon. Transfer to the airport for your departure flights.

Meals: Breakfast

Rates & Facts

Rates Per Person
Double Occupancy TBA
Single Occupancy TBA

Intra-Tour Flights Economy Class Business Class
HAN/DAD; HUI/SGN; SGN/REP TBA** TBA**

*For 2-4 travelers, there is no tour escort from Coda Tours.
**All intra-tour airfares are subject to change until ticketed. These flights are in economy class and are not included in the Tour Rates and must be purchased with the tour.
Single rates can be avoided if you are willing to share. We will be happy to match you with another single traveler who also wishes to share. If no share is available, the single rate will apply.
Special Note – Rates are based on current rates and currency exchange rates at the time of publishing the tour on-line. Rates are subject to change until final payment has been made. Rates are based on a minimum participation as shown.

Your tour includes:

  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary and in the room category indicated. Breakfast is included daily.
  • Meals: as indicated in the itinerary
  • Domestic airfare in economy class. (Ask for Business Class upgrades if available.)
  • Entrance fees to sites listed in the itinerary.
  • All transfers as required by the itinerary, including private transfers for arrival & departure if required.
  • Sightseeing with English Speaking local guides.
  • A Coda tour manager based on minimum participation.
  • Private, air-conditioned vehicles.
  • One drink at all meals (either of mineral of water, local beer or soft drink).
  • Bottled water and cold towels in vehicles during sightseeing.
  • Pre-departure assistance and information Portfolio from Coda Tours.

Your tour does not include:

  • International airfare to/from Vietnam & Cambodia.
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance (highly recommended)
  • Vietnam Visa fees (currently US$ 20 for pre-approval and from US$ 45 cash payable on arrival).
  • International departure tax US$ 25 from Siem Reap.
  • Cambodia Visa fee (currently cash US$ 30, with one passport size photo, on arrival).
  • Meals are not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Drinks with meals beyond the 1st one.
  • Tips to guides & drivers.
  • Items of a personal nature.
Travel Documents

A single entry visa for Vietnam is required for American/Canadian passport holders. For current costs and to download forms, we recommend using Visa Central. To speak directly to Visa Central, call 877-535-0688 (toll-free in the U.S.). Please note that visas cannot be processed more than 90 days prior to departure and processing may take several weeks to complete. You may also apply directly with a Vietnamese Consulate in your area. For information, google the Vietnam Consulate nearest you (e.g. Vietnam Consulate New York). You must have a valid passport that remains valid six months past your return to the U.S. You should also have a minimum of two empty passport pages.
Note that a Vietnam visa may also be obtained upon arrival at the airport in Hanoi (or Ho Chi Minh City.) To arrange for this, Coda Tours must submit all of your personal data in advance to the authorities. Please inform us at the time of booking if you wish to obtain your visa upon arrival. A Cambodian visa is obtainable upon arrival at the airport in Siem Reap and one passport photo is required. The Cambodian visa may also be obtained on-line by applying here: http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/evisa/

Shots

None required or recommended. It is recommended you have your regular vaccinations up-to-date before traveling. For further information, visit the Center For Disease Control website.

International Airfare

Cathay Pacific, United Airlines, Thai Airways, Korean Airlines, Japan Airlines, China Airlines are among airlines that can be used for this trip. We recommend booking at least 7 months in advance if you want to try to use Frequent Flyer Miles for free tickets or upgrades or the American Express Platinum card 2-4-1 program.

Minimums

All departures are guaranteed on a minimum of 10 participants. A Coda Tour Manager accompanies the tour on a minimum of 10 participants. This tour can be operated as a Private Tour, can be customized and repriced based on final itinerary. Rates are based on a minimum participation of 10. For fewer than 10 participants, rates may be revised.

Optional Extension to Laos – Luang Prabang 4 Days/3 Nights


Day 13

WED FEB 21, 2018 • Welcome to Luang Prabang, Laos

Arrive at Luang Prabang Airport from Siem Reap, Cambodia – arrival flight is not included, after customs & immigration formalities; you will be transferred to your hotel.

Surrounded by thickly forested mountains and situated at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang has a tranquil, old world charm rarely found in Asia today. This fascinating town was the capital of the Lane Xang (million elephants) kingdom until the mid-sixteenth century. In colonial times it served as a provincial headquarters of the north. The legacy of the European presence here – well preserved French architecture and careful street planning – has blended delightfully with more than 30 gilded Buddhist temples to create a town rich in atmosphere and history. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East Asia. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City.

The remainder of the day and dinner is on your own.

Hotel: Sofitel Luang Prabang
Meals: None

Day 14

THU FEB 22 • Full Day Highlight Tour

14This morning there is the opportunity to start the day early with one of the most memorable sights of Luang Prabang – The ‚Tak Bat’. At dawn hundreds of saffron robed monks move silently through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). Your guide will explain the background behind this ritual which is still very much a part of everyday life in Laos. Take a stroll with your local guide through the colorful, open-air fresh early Morning Market. Tasted a unique local authentic Lao Coffee at Pasaneyom Coffee Shop and return to hotel. It’s early but well worth the wake up call!

After breakfast, discover some of the priceless monuments around the old city, now under UNESCO protection as a World Heritage Site.

Set out to Living Lands Community Farm, Your adventure that benefits the environment! The Living Land Project is a sustainable company set up in Luang Prabang where guests learn about the importance of certain farming methods and how the produce can help support local communities. The rice farming experience is particularly popular, introducing visitors to the process of planting and harvesting rice in the rice paddies. Only employing locals and helping to train young members of the community, the project provides many great benefits for the community – all within an idyllic countryside setting framed by rising mountains and ancient rice terraces. Lunch is included at local restaurant and visit Luang Prabang’s National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace. Displayed inside is a collection of personal artifacts of the former Laotian Royal Family. Visit Wat Xieng Thong – often said to be Luang Prabang’s most beautiful. It is characterized by its several roofs sweeping low to the ground and the impressive “tree of life” mosaic. Visit Vat Siphouthabat a monk school, where you will have the opportunity to meet with a young monks learning about Buddhism and Laos.

If time and energy permit! Climb its 350 steps Phou Sii hill stands right in the center of this small city to enjoy commanding views for many miles in each direction.

The remainder of the day and dinner is on your own.

Hotel: Sofitel Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15

FRI FEB 23 • Elephant Ride & Mekong River Cruise

15After breakfast, take a short transfer to Elephant Camp, located in the countryside near the Mekong River approximately 15 kilometres from Luang Prabang town. On arrival you will be welcomed participate in a short briefing and then depart for a scenic ride. Enjoy the impressive experience of one hour elephant ride on the Howdah (Elephant seat).
Also visit Ban Thin Hong Traditional Handicraft Village for a picturesque and get a glimpse of daily life. You are also welcomed in the village with the special, traditional Laotian Baci ceremony. ‘Baci’ plays an important role even today to welcome or farewell, bring good luck and ward of bad spirits for any major event in the life of local people. Later begin a relaxing riverboat trip with your guide on the mighty Mekong River to visit Pak Ou Buddha Caves. These caves have been home to many thousands of Buddha images that were placed here by local people since 16th century, when King Setthathirat found the caves and declared them a holy spot. Today many people still pay respect to this tradition. Follow by lunch and enjoy a relaxation on a river cruise descend of the Mekong River to Luang Prabang with choice cold Lao beer or chilled white wine.

The remainder of the day and dinner is on your own.

Hotel: Sofitel Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16

SAT FEB 24 • Departure to Bangkok

Breakfast at hotel. Free at leisure until check-out time at 12noon. Transfer to the airport for your departure flights.

Meals: Breakfast

Additional Hotel

Enjoy a privileged stay in a century-old colonial mansion enclosing lush botanical gardens. Built in the 1900s as the governor’s residence, with its fortified walls and watchtowers, was transformed into a luxury all-suite hotel.

The hotel reflects the shared identity and timeless appeal of its destination. Lao tradition, and French elegance and hospitality are woven together in style.

Each clay-roofed suite offers towering ceilings and elegantly crafted furnishings. Contemplate misty Lao skies from a private garden, oversized outdoor bathtub or private pool, or soak up the sun around a glistening pool in the main garden.

Rates

4 Days/3 Nights with Luang Prabang Tours

Rates Double Occupancy Single Occupancy
Per Person TBA TBA
Flights TBA

Your tour includes:
  • Accommodation as specified in the itinerary with breakfast daily
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (food only)
  • Transfers and included sightseeing as specified on a private basis
  • Service of English speaking local guide for included sightseeing and transfers
  • Entrance fees to all included sites visited
  • Service charge, room tax and baggage handling
  • NTA and Laos Government Tax
  • Bottled water provided on transport during transfers
  • First drink is included at meals (Lunch or Dinner)
Your tour does not include:
  • Meals and other services than those mentioned in above inclusion
  • Any optional sightseeing excursions or additional visits not outlined in itinerary
  • Laotian visa fee (Laos visa on arrival presently US$ 35 for USA passport holders, plus 2 passport-sized color photos. Often an extra US$ 1 or so will be charged on weekends or holidays as an overtime fee).
  • International arrival flight to/from Laos and airport departure tax
  • Excess Baggage fees or charges levied by Airlines
  • Drinks, tips and other personal expenditures (e.g. telephone, laundry, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Tips/Gratuities to guides/drivers

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