From high-octane Ho Chi Minh City, take a cruise through the Mekong Delta and explore the ingenious Cu Chi tunnels of the Viet Cong before taking in the highlights of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia. Visit colourful floating markets and royal palaces, explore spectacular Angkor Wat and much more on this 9 day tour.
Friday. Hello Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon). Upon arrival you'll be met and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to get acquainted with the city. Opt to explore on foot, shop at Ben Thanh Market or visit the grand Independence Palace, with its secret bunker and military command centre beneath!
Ho Chi Minh City – Cai Be – Can Tho. This morning we travel to Cai Be and board a sampan for a cruise around the lush waterways of the Mekong Delta. We stop to visit local cottage industries and enjoy lunch at a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island. After a day exploring the Mekong we spend the night at a hotel in the city Can Tho.
Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City. Early this morning we visit the lively Cai Rang floating market to watch the traders selling their wares before driving back to Ho Chi Minh City. On a walking tour of the city we’ll see the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office before visiting the sobering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.
Ho Chi Minh City - Phnom Penh. This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet-Cong in their struggle to keep control of the region during the 1960’s. As we walk the bush trails you’ll see trapdoors, booby traps, living areas, weapon factories and kitchens. We can also safely crawl sections of the tunnels, that have been widened for the tourists and fire weapons of the era (including the M16‘s and AK47) on the firing range. <br/><br/> After crossing the Cambodian border we drive to the capital of Phnom Penh. Once deemed the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh offers a bustling mix of Asia’s past and present, a city quickly taking its place amongst the trendy capitals of the region.
Today we’ll enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh starting at the National Museum of Fine Arts, a graceful terracotta building of traditional design housing the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. We continue with the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, famed for its lavish decorations – the floors are paved with silver tiles and statues of Buddha are encrusted with thousands of diamonds. <br/><br/> We later come face to face with the horrors of the Pol Pot regime as we visit Toul Sleng (Security Prison - S21), a school that was gruesomely transformed into a torture chamber under the Khmer Rouge, and visit the Killing Fields where over 10,000 people were executed.
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap. Hotel check out and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Siem Reap. After we've had time to freshen up we visit The Angkor National Museum which has a fascinating collection of Angkorian artefacts with collections from Khmer Empire's Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century. <br/><br/> This afternoon we see the mother of all temples – Angkor Wat. This breathtaking monument of man’s devotion to his gods is believed to be the largest religious building in the world and contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. There are plenty of wonderful photo opportunities at this iconic site. This evening is free for you to wander into town and perhaps sample Siem Reap's lively nightlife. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants in the compact city centre which is easily navigated on foot.
Early this morning opt to see Angkor Wat bathed in the spectacular golden light of sunrise. Later we head out to Banteay Srei temple, considered by many to be the art gallery of Angkor with some of the finest stone carvings in the world. Cut from stone of a pinkish hue, the Hindu temple is dedicated to Shiva and contains lavishly decorated libraries and stunning reliefs of divinities. Enroute to Banteay Srei stops will be made at an exotic butterfly sanctuary and the a village of Preak Dak where we support a community tree planting initiative. <br/><br/> Our temple tour continues with a visit to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This monumental fortified city is encircled by a 100m wide moat and is famed for the huge statue heads that glare down from every angle. In Angkor Thom we will see the fabulous Bayon Temple, Baphuon, the royal enclosure, and the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King. Last but not least is atmospheric Tra Prohm Temple where vast muscular tree roots envelop the crumbling towers and walls whilst the trees’ foliage dapples the temple in shade. <br/><br/> This evening we attend the wonderful Phare Cambodian Circus. The Phare NGO circus project trains street kids to become talented circus artists and the popular show blends circus skills with interpretations of modern life and issues in Cambodian society.
This morning we drive to Kampong Phluk, a cluster of three villages of stilt houses built within the floodplain of Tonle Sap Lake. We'll see houses built on soaring stilts which hover over the Tonle Sap Lake whilst nearby, the petrified trees of a flooded forest are revealed whenever the water level drops. After a boat trip on the lake we return to Siem Reap where the afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure. Perhaps pick up some last minute souvenirs at the central market or head down to lively Pub Street.
Saturday. Today marks the end of our memorable journey. Spend the morning at leisure before hotel check out and included departure transfer to the airport.
From a first foray into Egypt in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded their operations to more than 60 countries, offering award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world. Their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco, whilst other regions include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent. From Machu Picchu in Peru to the extravagant Taj Mahal in India, On The Go Tours get you to the main sights of whichever destination you choose to visit. There’s also a range of special festival tours, Christmas and New Year adventures and much more, from overland adventures to luxury cruises. They always uncover some hidden gems too, be it canoeing to a local home for lunch in Sri Lanka or riding a rickshaw around the maze of Hutongs in Beijing, China.
With three different ranges of trips to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Signature tours are everything that makes On The Go Tours special, with local tour guides, small groups and a great quality of accommodation. Essentials tours keep the costs down whilst still delivering true adventure, with a mixture of public transport in Japan and overland trucks in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. Whilst on their Handpicked tours, On The Go Tours work with local partners to deliver authentic experiences in amazing destinations, from Iceland to the Galapagos archipelago.
Sustainability and environmental awareness are also at the heart of On The Go Tours’ operations. Whether it’s planting trees in Cambodia, donating stationary to a school in India or funding the conservation of endangered Bengal tigers, protecting the regions they visit is at the forefront of the way they do business. Signature tours with On The Go Tours also make use of locally-run hotels and eateries wherever possible, and tour guides are mostly English-speaking locals. Overall, around 70% of travellers holiday funds remain in the destination visited.