This 5-day luxury itinerary gives you the highlights of French colonial Vietnam, stopping at fascinating historical sites, visiting ornate Buddhist temples and exploring the waterways of the mighty Mekong Delta. This trip includes visits to various markets around Vietnam, giving you the opportunity to engage in some spirited haggling for local handicrafts.
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On your first day in Saigon, you'll get to know this beautiful city by taking a colonial walking tour that takes in early-20th century architecture such as the Opera House, Ho Chí Minh City Hall and the Continental Hotel. In the afternoon, check out Ben Thanh Market downtown and haggle over local sweets or silks. Stay in style tonight, in one of the many luxury hotels in Saigon, such as the classy colonial-style Park Hyatt.
The Cu Chi Tunnels, 2 hours from Saigon, are a fascinating remnant of the Vietnam War. Today, you'll get the chance to explore these tunnels – now preserved as a war memorial – with the guidance of a local expert. Chinatown – Cholon – is your next destination, with the Bình Tay Market the main attraction. This huge market is where local vendors purchase their goods – it's here you can enjoy a truly authentic market experience. In the evening, enjoy fine dining in your luxury hotel.
The Mekong is Southeast Asia's most important river and today you'll travel to Can Tho, the Mekong Delta's largest city. Today, you'll take a full-day cruise through the waterways of Ben Tre province, past lush countryside, islands and peaceful river towns. At night, check into the Victoria Can Tho Resort, a grand colonial hotel nestled in lush tropical gardens on the Hau River.
The city of Chau Doc is a former trade hub, sporting a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese and Khmer influences. Here the main attraction is the bewilderingly large Cai Rang floating market – a must-see attraction on any Vietnam trip. Today you'll visit the market, visit a Khmer Buddhist temple, and embark on a leisurely floating village cruise. In the evening, enjoy the luxurious surrounds of the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel, a lovely old French mansion on the river.
After an early morning breakfast at the hotel, you'll transfer to Phnom Penh by speedboat. Enjoy a delightful journey down the Bassac River to the Mekong, taking in serene countryside, spotting temples and observing the ins and outs of local river life on the way to Phnom Penh.
Inspired by the colonial traditions of the French, this stylishly chic 259-room hotel built in 2005 is the premier address in Saigon, centrally located near the Opera House. High standards of service, elegant decor and fine amenities are the trademarks of this hotel. The large and well-equipped fitness center covers 397 square feet and features modern Life Fitness cardio equipment with personal LCD television screens and headphones. A 66-foot outdoor swimming pool with a special water feature is located next to a beautifully landscaped tropical garden. Fitness classes are also available. All public areas have wi-fi, and there are wired Internet connections in the guest rooms.
Surrounded by gardens full of vivid flowers, including many indigenous species, the Victoria Can Tho sits right on the banks of the Hau river and is the only luxury resort in the lush heart of Vietnam's Mekong Delta. The colonial-style building has a breezy, open-air lobby and is arranged around a central courtyard with a lovely pool. There are 92 rooms and eight suites, each featuring authentic Vietnamese decor and equipped with a balcony. The hotel's Spices restaurant is helmed by a French chef and overlooks the river; there is also an open-air bar, and a floating restaurant aboard a converted antique rice barge, the Lady Hau, which is open for special occasions. The Victoria has excellent amenities, with wi-fi in all rooms and public places, a fitness center, and an elegant spa with seven treatment rooms.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal is one of Phnom Penh's premier historic properties. First established in 1929, the hotel hosted an international clientele comprising globetrotters and adventurers, writers and journalists, royalty and dignitaries. Reopened in 1997 after a careful restoration, the grand historic hotel fulfills all the requirements of a modern world-class hotel with its facilities and amenities, but imparts an old-world charm through its style and decor. Raffles Hotel Le Royal has 170 guest rooms, suites and executive apartments, which are spread over three separate but interconnecting low-rise wings, set around the garden courtyard and swimming pools. There are five distinctive restaurants and bars, encompassing traditional French and Khmer cuisine at Restaurant Le Royal, Café Monivong and Le Phnom Deli, and the Elephant Bar, the home of the Airavata, a cocktail of secret ingredients. Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, Raffles Hotel Le Royal is only a 20 minutes’ drive from Pochentong International Airport and within easy access of the city’s attractions such as the Royal Palace, Central Market, Russian Market and the National Artefacts Museum.