A combination of divergent experiences; this journey will take through the awe-inspiring splendour of Angkor Wat, the world’s largest Temple complex and also give you a taste of life in the Mekong delta – both urban and rural, in Southern Vietnam.
Experience the majesty of the Angkor complex simply getting lost travelling through time, history, religion and cultures, and an all pervading sense of mystery. Go exploring in the ruins of Thom, Banteay Srei, Bayon and Ta Prohm, made famous by Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider. Trek up the hills, deep in the jungles, 25 kms north-east of Angkor to see the thousand Linga temple of Kbal Spean, most of which now lies under pristine rivulets and hidden waterfalls. And for those who like a bit of city life, perhaps nothing can get better than sipping ‘liquid nirvana’ in the Pub Street…
End your journey in the modern cosmopolitan city of Ho Chi Minh City; take a boat ride along the Mekong delta and take a peek into history with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
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- Travel back in time in the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat
- Observe the rural life along the Mekong Delta on a boat ride.
- Glimpse into history on a visit to Cu Chi tunnels
- Experience the vibrancy of modern Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive at Siem Reap, experience the city in the evening, and definitely try the local cuisine.
Enjoy the divine Apsara classical dance performance in the evening, which highlights the mysterious civilization and heritage of Khmer civilization.
Start the day with a drive upto the Kulen mountains – a place where Cambodia as we know it today was born in the year 804. Once referred to as the Mount Mahendraparvata – the Kulen Mountain is a cultural and historical resort that marked the origin of Khmer empire in the 9th century. Climb up to the top of the mountain to be welcomed by the famous Reclining Buddha of Cambodia. As you trek back, you will realise the river bed has intricate carvings of various Hindu deities…
Don’t forget to walk around the Reclining Buddha statue and you will notice a lot of people leave money and small notes with wishes for their families and friends.
The highlight of the day will be the trek to Kbal Spean – the valley of the Thousand Lingas. A short moderate trek through a jungle on a hill, you arrive at the beginning of a river where someone in the 11th century has carved a thousand ‘Lingas’ (symbol of Shiva in Hinduism) on the river bed. From the foothills, a drive to the Banteay Srei and then the Preah Kahn temple and back to the town after a long hectic day and a surfeit of ruins and spectacular views.
Visit the Tonle Sap Lake that seems like an ocean really – it is supposed to spawn the fish that feeds all the countries along the Mekong river… Weather permitting, visit a fishing village where entire families live on boats and fish for food…
Walk down the banks of the river to discover more and more river bed rock carvings and see how many deities you recognize… and don’t forget to bathe in the spectacular secluded waterfall on the way…
A really early start to the morning will find you admiring the piece de resistance – the Angkor Wat. After viewing the sunrise behind the massive temple complex, take in a guided tour of the temple – prepare to be stunned!
Drive to the Roluos group of monuments from the 9th Century which showcase the “Classic period of Khmer Art” Roluos is the site of an ancient center of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya meaning the “abode of Hari (Visnu) and Hara (Siva)”
Ask a lot of questions – the devil is in the details here. Indians will find lots of interesting similarities and difference in the depiction of tales from the Ramayana.
Start the day with Angkor Thom, which was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer Empire. The stunning Ta Prohm made famous by Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider is another item on the agenda. And then on to the amazing Pre Rup Pyramid complex to view the dramatic sunset…
A must-visit place in the hipper part of the town is an old pub called the “Angkor What”… As the name suggests it is a superbly quirky place in terms of ambience, drinks and décor. It was the hub of the night life during the swinging 60-70s…
Evening: Fly to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City: a high octane city of culture and commerce. On the city tour, get ready to know more about the history of the country. Visit the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the OldSaiGon Post Office, a neo-Romanesque cathedral.
Don’t miss the delicacy Pho or the Vietnamese Noodles Soup in the evening along with the Spring Rolls and do look out for lovely lacquer souvenirs.
Ho Chi Minh City and Cu Chi Tunnels
Start the day with a dose of history and culture at Tay Ninh. Visit the Great Temple also known as The Holy See Temple of a rare religion named Cao Dai native to the province. Cao Dai was established in 1926 as a monotheistic religion with its name meaning “Way of the Highest Lord”. It incorporates some aspects of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity.
Drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels, which were once a major underground hideout and resistance base of Viet Cong forces during the two wars against the French and later on Americans.
Mekong Delta Boat Ride
From beaches to the mighty Mekong, drive to a riverside town in the vast Mekong Delta, the world’s largest delta. Cruise to lively Cai Be floating market and through a maze of shady canals to Hoa Binh Phuoc Island. The landscape of zigzag canals, lush vegetation, small villages and glimpses of rural life is a visual delight. Get a slice of the Vietnamese rural life by interacting with farmers, and also learn about their trades of bonsai gardening, rice paper and coconut candy making.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home. With memories of days spent in these two lovely countries of the Orient … we are sure you would come back for more!