VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA
SAMPLING THE NATURAL wonders and vibrant culture of Vietnam and Cambodia has been simplified with an escorted, 18-day tour arranged by Venture Holidays. There are Adelaide departures available in 2015 – May 6, September 16 and October 14 – and highlights include a scenic Halong Bay cruise, the Ho Chi Minh Memorial complex, the imperial architecture of Hue, and the fortified city of Angkor Thom in Cambodia.
The tour flies into Hanoi then travels by coach to Halong Bay for a cruise on a wooden junk.
The group takes in Hanoi on day four, including the Temple of Literature founded in 1070, and Hao Lo Prison where many US soldiers were held during the Vietnam War.
The country’s former, imperial capital Hue takes centre stage on day six with sightseeing through the city built in the 19th century.
There’s also a cruise on the Perfume River, taking travellers to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda.
A road trip then takes the group to Danang to tour the Cham Museum's unsurpassed Cham sculpture collection before moving to riverside Hoi An, a major port from the 17th to 19th centuries, for three nights. Sites visited in and around Hoi An include the Japanese covered bridge pagoda (1593), Sa Huynh Museum, a silk lantern workshop and the ancient My Son archaeological sites.
There’s a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City on day 10 to see its Notre Dame Cathedral, central post office, Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and Ben Thanh Markets.
While in Saigon, the group will visit the Cu Chi Tunnels built by the Viet Cong; Tay Ninh, the birthplace of the unique Cao Dao religion; and My Tho on the Mekong Delta on day 12.
The My Tho visit includes the Vinh Trang Pagoda before boarding a boat and sampan to explore the islands of the Mekong.
The last leg takes you to Cambodia, flying into Siem Reap where you’ll see Tonle Sap lake by boat and explore its floating fishing villages.
Pilgrimage site Phnom Kulen is visited on day 15 along with a temple dedicated to Shiva at Banteay Srei. The tour ends on a high with the visit to the fortified city of Angkor Thom.
Naturally, it then moves onto Angkor Wat, the largest and best preserved of all Angkor temples.
The tour package costs $4445 per person, twin share, including return flights to Adelaide with Singapore Airlines, domestic airfares in Asia, accommodation, most dinners and breakfasts.
Tipping will be simplified with an amount collected on arrival in Vietnam which will cover the tour. International groups manager for Venture Holidays Stephen Peters will give an insight into the tour at a film and talk on October 17. More details: King William Travel 8212 2132, kingwilliamtravel.com.au