Sample the best of Southeast Asia on this fascinating journey with Independence by Globus. You’ll begin in Hanoi, Vietnam, with guided sightseeing and a cyclo ride through the ancient Old Quarter where merchants trade as they have for centuries. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s humble cottage, as well as the mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, the Presidential Palace, and the 900-year-old Temple of Literature. Embark on a cruise on stunning Ha Long Bay, with its 3,000 limestone islands carved by time into spectacular landscapes rising from the Gulf of Tonkin. Savor traditional Vietnamese cuisine on this overnight cruise and visit spectacular caves, tunnels, and pristine beaches.
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City to explore the city’s many famed landmarks, including the War Remnants Museum and the bustling Ben Thanh Market. Take an excursion to the Cu Chi tunnels—an extraordinary network of passageways used by the Viet Cong during the war. In Siem Reap, visit the largest temple complex in the world—including incomparable Angkor Wat. See the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom with some 200 faces carved in 54 towers. Interact with the children at a local school, and venture on to Ta Prohm—virtually untouched and wrapped in ancient tree roots around its ruins.
Start your exploration of Bangkok with a boat ride through the city’s famous canals, or klongs, to see family homes and temples—you’ll quickly see why they call this city “Venice of the East.” Next, visit Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of the Dawn, and the Grand Palace, which houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Lastly, stop at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok, featuring one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. You’ll also have I-time to explore more of Bangkok and other nearby attractions including Damnoen Saduak floating market and the ancient capital of Ayutthaya.
Starting at $2939 Per Person
* The “Starting at” or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include International airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price shown includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Globus). IAT2
Welcome to Vietnam! Your hotel is available for mid-afternoon check-in
• This morning, enjoy a private guided tour of the city. First, take a cyclo ride though the ancient streets of the fascinating Old Quarter. Here, merchants trade as they have for centuries.
• Then, visit the mausoleum and the humble cottage from which “Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda: One Pillar Pagoda and the Presidential Palace.
• Also, visit the ancient Temple of Literature, more than 900 years old and Hanoi’s first university.
• Enjoy lunch at Koto, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that teaches local children restaurant skills for stable employment opportunities.
• A private transfer takes you from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the bay is dotted with more than 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water.
• Upon arrival, board an overnight cruise that takes you to explore the tunnels, caves, pristine beaches, and floating villages that are sprinkled across the bay.
• Early birds can participate in a tai chi demonstration on the Sun Deck at the break of dawn.
• Further, explore the bay before disembarking later in the morning.
• A private transfer brings you to Hanoi for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many.
• Start your private guided sightseeing with a walking tour of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral.
• Next, visit the moving War Remnants Museum, followed by bustling Ben Thanh Market, the largest and oldest in the city.
• Today, enjoy a half-day private guided excursion to the Cu Chi tunnels, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout during the war.
• Today, fly to Siem Reap, your base for exploring the temples of Angkor. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples are unmatched among the world’s ancient ruins.
• Your private guided sightseeing starts at the best preserved of all the temples—Angkor Wat, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu.
• Next stop is Angkor Thom to see Bayon Temple. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers.
• Continue exploring the Angkor temple complex on a private guided tour.
• Start at Banteay Srei, a unique, small temple outside the main complex built from red sandstone and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. On your return journey stop at a local school to interact with the children.
• Then, on to Ta Prohm, which has been left relatively untouched, unlike many other temples. Here, the jungle surrounds you, and tree roots grow over and through the ruins. The afternoon is at your leisure.
Today, fly to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city.
• Today’s private guided tour starts with a boat ride through the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals.
• Next, stop at Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, whose 260-foot-tall spire has become identified with Bangkok.
• Continue to the Grand Palace, comprised of the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
• Lastly, 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 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha.
Enjoy a full day at your leisure.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.