- Vietnam and Cambodia Odyssey
A leisurely yet enthralling itinerary that takes its time to travel from the mountainous and humid north of Vietnam through to the wealthier colonial south then along the sultry Mekong Delta to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Encompassing five nights of cruising and four train journeys this tour covers all the iconic sights you would expect with the added bonus of no internal flights.
Depart London on your overnight flight to Hanoi.
You will be met on arrival by your guide who'll accompany you to your hotel. After some time to relax enjoy dinner and a traditional Water Puppet Performance.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
A full day tour of this historic city begins with the Ho Chi Minh Complex where the father of modern day Vietnam declared the nation's independence in 1945. Visit sites including the Presidential Palace built by the French colonialists in the early 20th century, Ho Chi Minh's House of Stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda. After lunch, you will learn about Vietnam's ethnic groups in the Museum of Ethnology. Later return to the lively Old Quarter to explore this bustling commercial centre on cyclo, a two person cycle carriage.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
This memorable day marks the start of your two-night cruise around the awe-inspiring Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a vision of ethereal beauty. You'll explore these marvellous islands, intricate limestone rock formations and hidden wave-eroded grottoes on a luxury cruise boat. Begin with a visit to Vung Vieng Fishing village by rowing boat, a floating settlement dating back hundreds of years. After lunch, there'll be some time to swim and relax on Ban Chan sandy beach before continuing your journey to Cong Do where the boat will anchor overnight. Finish your day with a local cookery demonstration before enjoying a delicious set dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Begin your day with some calming Tai Chi on the boat's deck or watch the sun rise from your cabin before setting off for a more active day on the water. Cruise to some of the bay's more untouched areas, making stops for swimming and sightseeing. Spend the evening relaxing on board with a spa treatment (at a fee).
Rise early for your final water excursion - a trip to explore the well-hidden and prehistoric Thien Canh Son cave before a farewell brunch and arrival on the mainland. Enjoy an early dinner back in Hanoi before boarding a sleeper train for an overnight journey to Hue.
Lunch & Dinner
Enjoy the morning view from your window as the train approaches its final destination. The first visit of the day is to the Citadel of Hue, a large fortress built in the 18th century whose architectural style takes inspiration from both the Forbidden City in Beijing and the military principles of the French army. Then continue to the partially ruined Dien Tho Residence before visiting Thai Hoa Palace and finally to Thien Mu pagoda and the Imperial tomb of Emperor Minh Mang.
After breakfast, you'll board the train for a trip along the Reunification Railway to Danang that links Hanoi to Saigon. The train glides through the world class scenic route that runs along the South China Sea, snaking between jungle-covered cliffs and past white beaches, finally heading through lush green mountains to reach Danang. Take some time to relax at your hotel or explore the area before reconvening for dinner.
Breakfast & Lunch
Your morning in Hoi An will begin with a walking tour of the town, taking you past traditional Japanese merchant houses, ancient Chinese tea warehouses and finishes at the Pagoda Bridge, an early 17th-century Japanese temple that spans across the waterway. After lunch, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the myriad of silk and tailor shops or simply take in the views over a coffee at one of the many waterside cafes.
Following breakfast at your hotel, it's time to board the train for the day-long journey south to the coastal city of Nha Trang, widely considered to be home to one of the most beautiful bays in the word. Arrive in the late evening and check into your hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Today you will enjoy a day of island hopping, starting with a trip to Mun Island, the premium spot for snorkelling in Nha Trang, blessed with a wealth of colourful coral reefs and marine life. Enjoy lunch on Con Se Tre island before returning to your hotel to refresh, have dinner, then board the overnight train to Saigon. (* snorkelling & water sports available at a fee)
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
The train arrives into Saigon in the early hours so you'll be transferred straight to your hotel with time to enjoy breakfast. Spend the afternoon touring Saigon's highlights with a visit to the Reunification Palace as well as nearby Notre Dame Cathedral. Next travel to the French-style Saigon Post Office then finishes at the Ben Thanh Market, a symbol of the bustling city where colourful stalls are packed to the rafters with fresh fruit and tourist kitsch.
Breakfast & Lunch
After breakfast travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an impressive network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. This immense labyrinth of 75 miles in length once housed hospitals, weapon factories and living quarters. Return to Saigon for an afternoon and evening at leisure.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Leaving Saigon behind, embark on a three-night cruise along the fascinating network of rivers in the Mekong Delta that will journey all the way up to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. First visit Can Tho, the largest town on the Delta, cruising gently through picturesque canals and waterways, taking in the sultry scenery and daily activities of the Mekong people. Continue to Cai Be where there'll be a guided walk to a rural village, passing lush green orchards and the chance to meet the locals.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Depart early in the morning with an excursion on long rowing sampan boats allowing you to meander through the small canals of Tan Phong islet. This afternoon the boats will moor at the charming colonial town of Sa Dec. Famous for its beautiful flower gardens, the small, sleepy town is truly a hidden gem on the Mekong Delta. Return to the vessel for a sunset cruise and dinner on board.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Arrive at Cao Lanh in the morning and after breakfast disembark for a morning excursion to Tan Thuan Dong islet where you can enjoy a gentle cycle around the winding roads or simply explore the area by foot. As the boat manoeuvres through Cho Vam canal, you are invited to a sunset cocktail party on the top deck.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After an early breakfast you will be transferred to Phnom Penh by speedboat where you'll be met with the coach to begin your tour of the capital of Cambodia. Begin with a visit to the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866, and marvel at the ornately gilded Khmer roofs, beguiling throne hall, solid gold-encrusted Buddha and Silver Pagoda. Next visit the National Museum that houses a collection of Khmer art, notably sculptures, throughout the ages. Check into your hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
This morning includes a guided tour of Toul Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, both grim reminders of Cambodia's bloody past. These excursions may prove distressing for some but are important pieces of Cambodia's historical and cultural puzzle. Later this afternoon continue by coach to Siem Reap.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Watch the sunrise at the 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex, the best-preserved temple boasting fascinating decorative flourishes that took 30 years to build and represents Khmer civilisation at its grandest. Next visit Angkor Thom, a group of buildings that surpass Angkor Watt in splendour and grandiosity. Start at the Southern Gate, flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side, followed by the Bayon and its beautifully crafted central towers. From here you visit Baphoun, Phimeanakas and the Elephant Terrace, once used as a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies. Lastly see Ta Prohm, undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor. That has been left to be swallowed by the jungle and is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Conclude the day with dinner and an Apsara dance performance.
Depart Siem Reap for your return flight back to the UK via Saigon or continue on to your chosen extension.
T Walker18 Mar 20
The gentleman I booked with over the phone was excellent.
Helen Stafford08 Mar 20
All hotels excellent particular like the ones in Hoi An Laos and Cambodia.
Linda Hughes25 Jan 20
All hotels were of a high standard except The one in Central Saigon.
T Clarke-Williams19 Dec 19
We would like to command you to the most excellent organised holiday. We shall certainly use you again and recommend to others. The greatest holiday experience.
Stephen Jackson10 Dec 19
The hotels were excellent. The only one I would say was not up to the high standard set by the rest was Saigon. This was fine but a little tired. Well done this was a fantastic tour which we really enjoyed. I would like to single out 3 of the guides: Andy, Jackie and Choo who's English was excellent, were very knowledgeable, and provided a very attentive service. The group size of 27 was perfect and it turned out to be a remarkably coherent and friendly group with relationships established that may continue. The itinerary worked liked clockwork and the planning and organisation first class. Food was of a high quality and there was plenty of it. Maybe too much!
Linda Brown06 Dec 19
All the hotels were lovely and spacious apart from the Rosaka we had a poky room . The accommodation on the Mekong Eyes cruise was beautiful and the food was superb xx
Richard Mansell01 Dec 19
All hotels were excellent. Highlight being overnight Ha Long bay and hotel in Laos. All the guides were extremely knowledgeable , helpful and friendly. All local . November seemed a great time to visit. Very few mosquitoes and bearable temperature. Different location for meals every time allowing to sample local cuisines. Highly recommend tour .
Joanne Clinton30 Nov 19
Most of the hotels were very good. Hotel in Laos outstanding. Service received in all hotels excellent.
Simon Oxford24 Nov 19
Couldn't fault them. Higher standard than expected.
Janet Sheldon22 Nov 19
All hotels were excellent
Peter Aucock22 Nov 19
All excellent although Golden Hotel in Saigon was a little tired.
Barry Westall21 Nov 19
All off them fine.
Very nice of Siem Reap's Tara Angkor to permit us late check out (6:00) ...very nice hotel too.
Chris Saunders15 Nov 19
All hotels were good clean and comfortable. Particularly Loas. Setting was idyllic. All breakfasts offered a wide choice. Staff all polite and welcoming.
Cath Sumner09 Nov 19
Hotels were very nice, mostly central.
Gillian Morgan08 Nov 19
All Hotels exceptionally good
Debra Cooper01 Nov 19
Most were excellent Rooms in the Golden hotel Saigon were in need of updating, but the location was good
Helen Impett28 Oct 19
All hotels were good although the Golden Central Hotel in Saigon was rather dated. Outstanding value. Incredible variety. Very well looked after in Vietnam by all three guides.
Doug Pawlow26 Oct 19
In the main, very good.
Peter Coles24 Oct 19
All well selected, central locations with friendly and very helpful staff.
Ronald Dunn12 Oct 19
very good 4 star 3 star in Saigon less so but location was good.
William Todd11 Oct 19
Fabulous hotels which I would recommend to anyone. Some were a bit better than others however there is no complaint in any of them.
Ronald Kernohan02 Aug 19
All Hotels were of a high standard, no complaints with all the hotels
Robert Gibbon29 Jul 19
All hotels were of a very good standard
Paul Carter28 Jun 19
All hotels good except Saigon, room very small.
Jane Phillips28 Jun 19
All hotels excellent except Golden in Saigon which was a little less but well placed
S Harrold27 Jun 19
Fantastic holiday, everything was joined up very good guides and great food. A really good trip for our first group tour. The hotels were all good especially the early check ins and late check outs.
Leonard Smith22 Jun 19
All of a very high standard with service to match.
Lorraine Duffy18 Jun 19
all great but saigon a bit dated and very small room although good location
Nigel And Heather Woonton30 Mar 19
All hotels were very good. An excellent holiday. All hotels and both mini cruises were very good. The tour included a good mix of city and historical tours and more relaxing countryside and sea and river experiences. The guides were all very good. We had all of our included meals at lovely local restaurants. Anyone with special dietary requirements were well catered for. We had free bottles of water at all hotels and on all the coaches. We had access to our hotel rooms when we first arrived at about 8am after a long flight and likewise after one of the night trains. We were also able to stay in our room until we left for the airport on the last day at 5pm. We had free reserved sunbeds on our beach day and the best table at the dance show. Thank you Mercury for thinking of everything to make our holiday a really enjoyable and memorable experience.
Patricia Ness20 Mar 19
Beautiful hotels...some spectacular. This trip has probably been the most amazing experience travel wise of my life. Absolutely everything was arranged for us and everything worked. I do not have one single complaint or suggestion to improve it. The whole visit will stay with me long after the tan has faded. Well done Mercury. You will definitely be seeing us again.
Diane Woodsell21 Feb 19
All hotels were very good.
Dr Andrew Earwaker15 Feb 19
All the hotels were very good. The use of our room until 6pm on the date of departure was a very welcome touch.
Linda Rudland09 Feb 19
All hotels were 4 star standard and very nice. Luang Prabang and Tara Ankor, Cambodia being the best. This trip ran like clockwork.
Rosemary Stone26 Jan 19
Saigon Hotel of poor standard. Insufficient lighting and inaccessible power points.
T Day13 Dec 18
The guides in Vietnam were excellent. The days where a meal wasn't included the guides provided us with a packed lunch. When we first arrived the guide in Hanoi took note of my dietary requirements and passed this onto the next guide, it continued through the Vietnam trip. The guides obviously spoke in advance to the restaurants, as the food that was served to me was gluten free and no meat. Very Efficient.
Christine Whalley04 Dec 18
for 4 star hotels they were great
Ian Trimble04 Dec 18
Excellent hotels. The food offered was excellent throughout, especially in Vietnam. If anything, the food on offer was too generous - smaller amounts would have sufficed. The food was quite 'westernised', which probably suited our touring party - though we really enjoyed the more authentic dishes served on occasion, e.g. in Nha Trang
Ian Sargent03 Dec 18
No complaints whatsoever!
Susan Dowty23 Nov 18
The hotels used were all excellent except for the ones in Saigon and Hanoi. These two were good, but not excellent. (The breakfast in Saigon was poor.)
Barbara Archer19 Nov 18
Just to say thank you all so much - neither I nor my Husband would not have known how to put such an amazing itinerary together! - On our journey, we came across the truly worldly backpackers so we can assume we were on the right route for true exploration - we proudly call ourselves 'flashpackers' as we followed an adventurous (but well-organised) trail too!
Iain Shepherd06 Nov 18
Hotels were all of a good to very good
Richard Triscott06 Nov 18
All hotels were of an excellent standard
Jeffrey Banham05 Nov 18
Hotels were all fine- no problems,
Gwen Nash02 Nov 18
Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The guides,hotels and the itinerary was excellent. Value for money.
Gary Younger30 Oct 18
Hotels gave excellent service
Susan Bonney26 Oct 18
All the hotels used were excellent. Lovely spacious rooms , very comfortable beds and varied delicious breakfast- you could literally have anything you wanted.
Graham Barnett12 Oct 18
All better than expected
Patrick Mylon06 Oct 18
All the hotels were very good.
Anthony Jones23 Jun 18
Just one big let down was the fact swimming pools were either shut due to maintenance or too small to make a decent swim of it.
Stephen Croft09 Jun 18
All the hotels used were excellent
Nicola Greenwood04 Jun 18
The hotel Santi in Laos was by far the best, we would have loved to have stayed there longer, tropical, beautiful, it felt like we had stepped back in time, a 'rest day' and extra night would have been welcomed there. We asked to change rooms in one hotel as the bath was recessed and difficult to access for my mother but this was addressed with no problem by the guide
John Mutter02 Jun 18
Hotels were of a good standard with the exception of the one in Saigon which was poor. Small rooms, with grubby walls and inadequate lighting. Breakfast was not up to the standard provided by all other hotels / boats. Hotel in Siem Reap was the best.
Christopher Chilvers25 May 18
all hotels used where of excellent quality
Derek & Val Hoit06 Apr 18
All hotels were of excellent standard for their rating. Clean ,comfortable, attentive staff and with good breakfasts! Halong Bay & Mekong Delta cruise ships were excellent.
Lawrence Richards25 Mar 18
All the hotels and river cruisers were excellent and of a very high standard
Susan Picton02 Mar 18
All hotels were excellent except for the Saigon stay which was not at all welcoming. I also have to voice my concern that I had to share 2 overnight train journeys with a member of the opposite sex as I was travelling solo. Whilst he was a complete gentleman, I don't think this was appropriate & I'm sure the single supplement should cover my own compartment.
Joon Fordham16 Feb 18
Can not fault the hotels or their service
Elaine Hinds06 Feb 18
Hotels on tour varied between adequate and very good. Unfortunately the beach stay hotel was not of a good standard. The Independance Hotel is very tired and really showing its age 55 years. In general hotel a bit scruffy, very poor breakfast offering, unhappy & unmotivated staff and remotely located. The resort itself offers little of interest and a very poor food offering. All in all a disappointing end to what had been an excellent tour.
Geoffrey Hyde13 Nov 17
All hotels were of excellent standards. Giang (Hanoi) was the best guide we've ever encountered, she's a real plus to your company. The other guides were very good. All restaurants used were excellent except for the final evening in Siem Reap. The show was OK, however the group would have prefered to have revisited the superb afternoon restaurantand enjoyed superb food and our own company to reminise on our holiday together.
Jim And Diana Davies10 Nov 17
All of the hotels exceeded our expectations.In each we had twin king sized beds, large screen tv, tea and coffee making facilities,and complementary fruit and bottled water.All bathrooms had showers, and some had a bath.They were well equipped with towels, and all had complementary shower gel and shampoo, together with sealed toothbrushes and several other boxed products. Breakfasts were amazing. I counted forty three different types of food on offer, both Vietnamese and European, from beef stew with noodles, to toast and marmalade.
Eileen Warne27 Sep 17
Far exceeded expectations
<b>Vietnam:</b> Until 30th June 2021, a visa is not required for stays up to 15 days for UK citizens. From the 1st July 2021 and for stays longer than 15 days, a visa is required for entry into Vietnam. You can apply for an e-visa online at https://evisa. xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn. The cost of the visa is approximately USD$25 and will take roughly 3 working days. Alternatively, we work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote Mercury Holidays. The cost of the visa is £105. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of entry. Therefore we recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however, please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time. You can also visit the Embassy of Vietnam in London: 12-14 Victoria Road, London, W8 5RD. This visa information is a guideline only and is subject to change; up-to-date information regarding the process and fees will be advised at the time of calling the Travel Visa Company.<br><b>Please note, Irish citizens must accquire a visa when travelling to Vietnam, so please follow the above information to obtain a visa.</b><br> <b>Cambodia:</b> A visa is required for entry into Cambodia and this can be purchased on arrival at the airport in Siem Reap. The cost of this is approximately USD $30 per person. Please note that you will be required to bring a passport photo with you as well as USD $30 cash in order to apply for your visa on arrival into Cambodia. A visa will need to be paid for again if entering Cambodia a second time, at the same cost of USD $30 (for example if you are taking both the Laos extension and the Cambodia extension). Please note that it is important that is plenty of space left in the passport, as a Cambodian visa alone takes up one page.<br> <b>Laos</b> A visa is required for entry into Laos and this can be purchased on arrival at the airport in Luang Prabang. The cost of this is approximately USD $35 per person and you will need to bring the money in cash in order to apply for your visa on arrival into Laos, you will also be required to bring two passport photos. Visa requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy prior to departure for the most up to date guidelines regarding visas and passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your initial flight is to Hanoi International Airport with Vietnam Airlines (VN), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking, lounges or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extra Tel. 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313. Baggage allowance (per person): Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage. Hand luggage: One piece of hand baggage and one accessory not exceeding 12kg total weight for both. The total dimension of one hand baggage item must not exceed 115cm (56cm x 36cm x 23cm). The total dimension of one accessory must not exceed 40cm x 30cm x 15cm. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in.
Alternative Flights Alternative flights are available, please contact us for details.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing of steep stairs and getting on and off coaches, boats and trains. Please note you will be required to carry your luggage between stations, and you may be required to sleep on a top bunk. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 36. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is an escorted tour, meaning that you will have the services of an English speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND) and the currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHM). We recommend that you take some US Dollars (USD) with you and exchange this currency whilst you are travelling.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £600-£700 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Tipping is not compulsory and is at your discretion. Should you wish to tip, you can give this to your guide and driver when you leave them in each place. If you feel you have received a good level of service, we recommend approximately £2 ($3) per person per day for the guide and driver. This will be collected at the end of each destination visited for your convenience. Tips are accepted in the local currency, US dollars and British pounds.