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ULTIMATE SOUTHEAST ASIA & THE MAJESTIC MEKONG (NORTHBOUND) - CATEGORY B - 2019

This inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise vacation begins in vibrant Bangkok, Thailand. A boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals, is the perfect way to start your sightseeing. Continue at the Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha followed by the Temple of the Reclining Buddha—the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in the city. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and enjoy a walking tour of the famous landmarks of the city and try your hand in the kitchen with a Vietnamese cooking class. Go on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the unbelievable network of tunnels used extensively during the war. Next, board your ship and begin your cruise along the mighty Mekong River.

As you cruise through Vietnam, you’ll stop in the villages for interactions with locals, such as a visit to the home of a skilled family who make handcrafted sampans for a living. In Cambodia, visit the capital city of Phnom Penh, with the magnificent Royal Palace featuring its striking Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Take in the stunning views at the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. Continue your river cruise adventure to Siem Reap, where you’ll see the magnificent Temples of Angkor. The famous temples here, such as Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple, featuring some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers, are a display of intricacy and architectural grandeur unmatched in the world.

Disembark your cruise ship and fly to Hanoi, where you’ll explore the famous Old Quarter with peddlers trading goods among its 36 ancient streets. From here, travel to Ha Long Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, where you’ll be amazed at the more than 3,000 limestone islands of varying shapes. Enjoy a 2-night cruise along the bay with visits to the Cua Van Floating Village, fascinating caves, and a chance to swim at Titop Island. The beautiful scenery, ornate temples, and interactions with locals make this Southeast Asia river cruise vacation one you won’t soon forget!

Inclusions

20 breakfasts
20 lunches
20 dinners
Tour Provider Avalon Waterways
Number of Days
21
Price From
AUD $10,367
Start Location
Bangkok, Thailand
End Location
Hanoi, Thailand
Age Range
Min :45
Group Size
20 to 44
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
04 Jan 201924 Jan 2019OpenAUD $10,367
11 Jan 201931 Jan 2019OpenAUD $10,367
18 Jan 201907 Feb 2019OpenAUD $10,367
25 Jan 201914 Feb 2019OpenAUD $10,367
01 Feb 201921 Feb 2019OpenAUD $10,367
08 Feb 201928 Feb 2019OpenAUD $10,367
15 Feb 201907 Mar 2019OpenAUD $10,367
22 Feb 201914 Mar 2019OpenAUD $10,367
01 Mar 201921 Mar 2019OpenAUD $10,367
08 Mar 201928 Mar 2019OpenAUD $10,367
15 Mar 201904 Apr 2019OpenAUD $10,367
22 Mar 201911 Apr 2019OpenAUD $10,097
29 Mar 201918 Apr 2019OpenAUD $10,097
05 Apr 201925 Apr 2019OpenAUD $10,097
05 Jul 201925 Jul 2019On RequestAUD $9,666
19 Jul 201908 Aug 2019OpenAUD $8,927
26 Jul 201915 Aug 2019OpenAUD $8,927
02 Aug 201922 Aug 2019On RequestAUD $9,666
09 Aug 201929 Aug 2019OpenAUD $8,927
16 Aug 201905 Sep 2019OpenAUD $8,927
23 Aug 201912 Sep 2019OpenAUD $9,877
30 Aug 201919 Sep 2019OpenAUD $9,877
06 Sep 201926 Sep 2019OpenAUD $9,877
13 Sep 201903 Oct 2019OpenAUD $10,167
20 Sep 201910 Oct 2019OpenAUD $10,167
27 Sep 201917 Oct 2019OpenAUD $10,447
04 Oct 201924 Oct 2019OpenAUD $10,447
11 Oct 201931 Oct 2019OpenAUD $10,447
18 Oct 201907 Nov 2019OpenAUD $10,447
25 Oct 201914 Nov 2019OpenAUD $10,447
01 Nov 201921 Nov 2019OpenAUD $10,517
08 Nov 201928 Nov 2019OpenAUD $10,517
15 Nov 201905 Dec 2019OpenAUD $10,517
22 Nov 201912 Dec 2019OpenAUD $10,517
29 Nov 201919 Dec 2019OpenAUD $10,237
06 Dec 201926 Dec 2019OpenAUD $9,937
13 Dec 201902 Jan 2020OpenAUD $9,937
20 Dec 201909 Jan 2020OpenAUD $10,237
27 Dec 201916 Jan 2020OpenAUD $10,687
Itinerary
Day 1: BANGKOK, THAILAND.
Welcome to Thailand! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2: BANGKOK.
Canals, Temples, and the Buddhas of Bangkok. CLASSIC - This morning, your Guided Sightseeing begins with a boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok's famous canals. Visit the stunning Grand Palace featuring the Temple Of The Emerald Buddha. Also, visit the Temple Of The Reclining Buddha, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 15 metre (49 foot) high by 46 metre (151 foot) long massive Reclining Buddha. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B,L)
Day 3: BANGKOK.
Enjoy a full day at your leisure. (B)
Day 4: BANGKOK-HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM.
Today, fly to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 5: HO CHI MINH CITY.
Motorbikes, Monuments, and Mouthwatering Cuisine. CLASSIC - Take a Walking Tour of Ho Chi Minh City's historic landmarks, including a stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing drink at the rooftop bar where the U.S. Military held the infamous "Five O'Clock Follies" during the war. Then visit the War Remnants Museum and bustling Ben Thanh Market. DISCOVERY - For lunch, participate in a hands-on Vietnamese Cooking Class. Learn to prepare several local dishes and how to recreate them at home. Last, but not least, sample your delicious creations! Explore the city further during free time this afternoon. This evening join your travelling companions for a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 6: HO CHI MINH CITY. EXCURSION TO CU CHI TUNNELS.
Secret Passageways and Underground Hideouts. CLASSIC - Drive out of the city for a Guided Visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels-an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 193 kilometres (120 miles) in length- used as a hideout and secret village by the Viet Cong. Enjoy free time this afternoon and evening. Consider stopping for a drink at the famous rooftop bar at the Caravelle Hotel. (B)
Day 7: HO CHI MINH CITY (EMBARKATION).
Your Suite Ship is Ready for Boarding. Transfer to the port on the Saigon River for embarkation. Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening. AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO VINH LONG (B,L,D)
Day 8: VINH LONG-CU LAO GIENG.
Sweets, Sampans, and Spires. DISCOVERY - Board a sampan this morning for a local Workshop Visit in Vinh Long to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made. DISCOVERY - This afternoon, enjoy scenes of daily life along the river near Cu Lao Gieng via Sampan. Visit a Local Home, where a skilled family handcrafts sampan boats. Then, ride a motor cart to one of Vietnam's oldest churches for a special interaction with a Catholic priest. AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO CHAU DOC (B,L,D)
Day 9: CHAU DOC-LONG KHANH A-BORDER CROSSING, CAMBODIA.
Colourful markets, Charming Locals, and Cotton Weavers. DISCOVERY - In Chau Doc, take a Guided Walk through the local market and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. Then embark on a River Excursion down the backwaters of the Mekong. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, religious sites, a market selling dried goods, and more. DISCOVERY - After lunch, a sampan brings you to the village of Long Khanh A for a Cotton- Weaving Demonstration of a well-preserved artisan's tradition. Return to the ship to set sail for the Cambodian border. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH (B,L,D)
Day 10: PHNOM PENH.
Bonjour! French Charm in Cambodia. CLASSIC - Join a Guided Tour of the city by private cyclo with visits to the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the city, Consider a Guided Optional Tour of a local brewery with free flowing local beer! Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will perform a show, featuring local song and dance. (B,L,D)
Day 19: HA LONG BAY.
Caves, Kayaks, and Scenic Climbs. DISCOVERY - Visit Titop Island for a Guided Excursion to take a swim, or climb 400 steps to the top for stunning views. You can also visit Luon Cave by boat, and explore Dark & Bright Cave by bamboo raft, OR: ACTIVE - Explore Luon Cave and Dark & Bright Cave by Kayak Ride. After a day of exploring, consider a spa treatment or simply relax for happy hour prior to dinner! (B,L,D)
Day 18: HANOI-HA LONG BAY.
Island Shapes and a Floating Village. Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bay is dotted with more than 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes. Board the luxurious Paradise Elegance for a Two- Night Cruise on the bay. DISCOVERY - Visit the Cua Van Floating Village, home to more than 700 people-by bamboo raft, OR: ACTIVE - Take a Kayak Ride to visit Cua Van Village. Enjoy scenic sailing for the remainder of the day before anchoring for the night. (B,L,D)
Day 17: HANOI.
Historic Hanoi and Water Puppets. CLASSIC - First, join a Guided Visit of the mausoleum and the humble cottage from which "Uncle Ho" ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next, see iconic sites, including One Pillar Pagoda, the Presidential Palace, and the infamous "Hanoi Hilton." Lastly, visit the 900-year-old Temple of Literature, Hanoi's first university. Enjoy lunch at Koto, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that trains local street children in restaurant skills they can use to become employed for a more stable life. CLASSIC - Enjoy an Electric Cart Ride through the fascinating Old Quarter-with its 36 ancient streets. DISCOVERY - An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating Live Performance of Hanoi's renowned water puppets, a traditional 11th century artform. (B,L,D)
Day 16: SIEM REAP-HANOI.
Today, transfer to the airport and fly to Hanoi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (B)
Day 11: PHNOM PENH.
Shining a Light on a Dark History. CLASSIC - A Guided Visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields provides a glimpse into the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. After lunch, depart Phnom Penh and enjoy some time at leisure on the ship. AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY (B,L,D)
Day 14: PHNOM PENH (DISEMBARKATION)-SIEM REAP.
Fly to Siem Reap, home to the Temples of Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! CLASSIC - After lunch, begin your Sightseeing Tour by tuk-tuk to explore the temples. Start at the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: Angkor Wat. Featuring five trademark towers, it is the symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit Angkor Thom, where you will explore Bayon Temple with its 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas-relief sculptures, OR: ACTIVE - Visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Bayon Temple by bike. The evening is yours to explore charming Siem Reap, stay to witness the sunset at Angkor Wat, or consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Cambodian circus. (B,L)
Day 13: KONPONG LOUANG-KAMPONG TRALACH.
Calm in the Cambodian Countryside. DISCOVERY - Start your Guided Sightseeing at the silversmith village in Konpong Louang. Here, see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. In Kampong Tralach board an ox cart for a ride through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life. This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising on the Tonle River. EVENING CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH (B,L,D)
Day 12: WAT HANCHEY-ANGKOR BAN.
Water Blessings and Back To School Adventures. DISCOVERY - Visit Wat Hanchey, a hilltop temple dating back to the 8th century. Climb or be driven to the top where you will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a traditional water blessing given by local monks. DISCOVERY - After lunch, enjoy a Walking Tour through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here, you will visit a traditional Khmer house and interact with children at a local school. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO KONPONG LOUANG (B,L,D)
Day 20: HA LONG BAY-HANOI.
Surprising and Amazing Beauty. This morning, relax onboard your ship, or visit Sung Sot Cave, considered one of the most beautiful in the area with its magnificent formations. Afterwards, return to Hanoi and check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure. (B)
Day 15: SIEM REAP.
Root-Covered Ruins and Native Noodles. CLASSIC - Join a Sightseeing Excursion to the Angkor temples at Ta Prohm. Tree roots cover the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as early explorers. Then, visit Banteay Srei, a unique temple built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. En route, stop at a village famous for making Khmer noodles by hand. Spend the afternoon at your leisure. You may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to further explore Siem Reap, or visit the temple complex by tuk-tuk. DISCOVERY - This evening, a private Apsara Dance Performance brings ancient Khmer culture to life through music, song, and dance. (B,D)
Day 21: HANOI.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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