Welcome to the neighbouring lands of Cambodia & Vietnam, two counties which are highly characterized by ancient heritage, rich in culture & home to immense natural beauty. Countries which share their passion for ancient history, concern for preservation of ethnicity & carries ahead heritage of hospitality.
Cambodia is known for its man-made wonders such as “Angkor wat” regarded as largest temple dedicated to Hindu and Buddhist gods, Phnom Kulen, historically revered by all Cambodians as a sacred place of pilgrimage & Kbal Spean, (also known as) the River of 1000 Lingas, where visitors applaud carvings in the riverbed. On the other hand, Vietnam specialises in tantalizing & iconic sights of Halong Bay, tribute to patriotisms & capital at Hanoi & scenes of cold war & advanced war fare techniques at Ho-chi-Minh city.
We will begin our endeavour from Capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi. There is no berrter way to explore the city than by a Cyclo ride! Will enjoy the ride & later head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple, located in heart of Hanoi, which contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda. From there, venture on to explore the Old Quarter. This fascinating network of narrow alleys and shop houses is also known as the 36 Streets, each street being named after the merchandise traditionally sold there, ranging from fabrics, crafts, medicines and even tombstones. A handicraft lover’s paradise, the Old Quarter is a fascinating area to explore local life. Afterwards, visit the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays & Vietnamese New Year), which brings to life the astonishing ethnic diversity in Vietnam, with art and artefacts from the 54 different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. In the evening, we will enjoy “Water Puppet show” & appreciate local performers for their unique art.
Next day will set course to town Trang An Grottoes, southwest of Hoa Lu ancient capital inside Trang An Eco Tourism Complex. This area is including limestone ranges, valleys, caves and rivers; Trang An Grottoes also hosts Vuc Vong Temple, and the Khong residence. Embark on a small, hand rowed sampan, and begin your journey along green waterways. Continue to Hoa Lu, the birthplace of the Vietnamese nation. In the 10th century, it was here that the first capital was established. Today only the foundations remain of the original palace, but visitors can still see two temples, Dinh Tien Hoan Temple and Le Dai Hanh Temple, dedicated to the rulers of the first two dynasties of the nation. These temples are a sight to behold, with traditional courtyards and lily ponds, set among the dramatic rice paddies and karst formations of the area.
Up next is most awaited destination in Vietnam, Peral of the Vietnamese Sea “Halong Bay.” Decorated by upraised lime stones crowned with lush green patches & turquoise blue shades of water “Halong bay” is regarded as one of the most remarkable natural sight in South East Asia. Will wonder around the limestones in a classic boat ride & capture the enchanting beauty of this place.
With a short flight, will arrive at Saigon (A.K.A Ho-Chi-Minh City). A vibrant metropolis, Saigon teems with energy, activity, and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the convergence of traditional and modern life. Begin the trip into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style building was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates. Afterwards, drive to the historic centre to visit the Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon’s most interesting pagodas. Proceed to pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Pass by the classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside). Finally, end up at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Time to witness cold war chapter in history of Vietnam. Never discovered by American forces, the Cu Chi Tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter, and weapons factories. Today, walk through the area and learn about the day to day life of the Vietcong, bear witness to the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists.
Just 1.5 hrs away from Saigon, My Tho, is a bustling town in the rich agricultural region of the Mekong Delta. We will visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda, a beautiful temple which illustrates the splendid harmonious fusion of Asian and European architectural styles. Afterwards board a local boat to explore the Mekong River Islands, stopping at a fruit orchard to enjoy fruit and tea while listening to local music and Thoi Son islet. The trip also includes a brief sampan ride through the tiny waterways that thread the island.
Well, I hope you enjoyed Vietnam. Now it’s time to move on to our next destination, Siam Reap (Cambodia) which is perfect gateway for excursions of Angkor Wat, Phnom Kulen & Kbal Spean.
Enjoy the breakfast & we will leave for “the crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat.” Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. After entering the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyards before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones. The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by the walls and wide moat, the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle. Visit Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. Watch the sunset over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple.
Very next day, visit Phnom Kulen, historically revered by all Cambodians as a sacred place of pilgrimage.It was the site, then known as Mount Mahendraparvata, that Jayavarman II chose in 802 to proclaim himself a divine universal ruler and marked the beginning of the Angkor period of Khmer history. At this location it’s possible to see some of Kulen’s spectacular riverbed rock carvings. Continue to Kbal Spean,also known as the River of 1000 Lingas, where there are carvings in the riverbed (in the same way as at Kulen). It should be more spectacular but many of the carvings have been looted. Near Kbal Spean is a waterfall that can be reached by hiking 2 kilometres uphill.
To enjoy all these endeavours, Bhagyashri takes total responsibility of your Indian food, Classic hotels for stay, all-inclusive sightseeing with private transfers. By providing 24 x 7 overseas support we let you sit back, relax & enjoy each experience at its best.book tour
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