An insightful exploration taking time to uncover the highlights of two of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic countries while enjoying exclusive insider experiences.


12 Days, 11 Nights     CONTACT US FOR PRICING

Our Highlights of Cambodia & Vietnam tour provides the unique opportunity to see the ’best of’ two extraordinary countries, led by local expert guides.

The tour is a sensational exploration of what makes the two Southeast Asian countries the magnificent attractions they are, and will take you deep into the culture and tradition of the similar yet vastly different nations.

In Cambodia you’ll spend time at the legendary Angkor Wat, one of the most revered temple complexes in the world. You’ll see the Silver Pagoda in all its magnificence up close. Your expert guide will take you to Ta Phrom Temple, used in the Hollywood blockbuster Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie.

From Cambodia you’ll fly to Vietnam, a country with a fascinating history and captivating culture. Once in ’Nam you’ll travel through north from the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, still affectionately known as Saigon, up to Hoi An, Hue and finally Hanoi.

Along the way you’ll experience life on the Mekong, finding out the significance the enormous river has for life throughout the country. You’ll visit ancient temples and see sensational buildings, ending your tour with a relaxing overnight voyage aboard a traditional ship on Halong Bay.


Each of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,


Explore the majestic Angkor Wat complex and learn all about the famous landmark guided by expert locals
Visit the magnificent Silver Pagoda and the atmospheric Ta Phrom Temple, used as the set for the Hollywood blockbuster ’Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’
Observe the rural communities and local life in the fascinating cities of Vietnam as you journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi via Hoi An and Hue
Investigate the way of life on the majestic Mekong River and learn its significance to local existence

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Phnom Penh

    On arrival in Phnom Penh you will be greeted in the arrivals hall by your personal Backyard Travel guide who will assist you with transfer to your hotel (taking approximately 20 minutes by vehicle).

    Take the chance to have a refreshing break before you begin your exploration of Cambodia’s capital. Your guide will escort you on ‘moto dop’ (the Cambodian ‘tuk tuk’) to see some of the city’s main highlights. Firstly you’ll head to the Royal Palace which was built in 1866 and has been home to Cambodian monarchs ever since (with the exception of the Khmer Rouge reign).

    The palace complex also houses the ‘Silver Pagoda’, known to locals as Wat Prakeo. The Silver Pagoda, which contains many effigies of Buddha made from gold, silver, bronze and crystal, was rebuilt in the 1960s at the behest of Queen Kossamak and is made up of over 5,000 silver tiles that blanket the floor.

    Next you’ll move to the National Museum of Cambodia which lies conveniently next to the Royal Palace. The museum is the largest in Cambodia and tells the story of the nation’s history and archaeology. The building houses one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art made during the 4th - 13th centuries. The roof of the museum is also home to one of Cambodia’s largest bat colonies!Your first day of guided exploration will conclude at Wat Phnom, a hilltop temple built in 1373. The 27-meter-high structure is the tallest religious monument in the city and (according to legend) was constructed by Lady Penh who built the temple to protect sacred statues of Buddha. The city was later named after Lady Phnom, and the site is still one of the most sacred sites for Cambodian people.

    Your guide will then escort you back to your hotel with your evening free to spend at your own leisure.

    Overnight in Phnom Penh

    Meals included on this day: None

    SONY DSCNational Museum in Phnom Penh1000x600
  • Day 2: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

    After breakfast at the hotel, your expert local guide will take you to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap where you will be met upon arrival by another local Backyard Travel guide and then transfer to your hand-selected hotel (taking approximately 20 minutes).

    In the afternoon you’ll begin your tour of Siem Reap’s majestic temples by visiting the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire and learn the history of the ancient temples.

    The city was established in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII. Built in the Bayon style, the city is surrounded by an 8-meter-high wall, which creates a perfectly square barrier around the 9-kilometer-square city.

    You’ll enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone archway with carvings of elephants and four giant faces sculpted into the surface. After passing through the gate you’ll continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is majestic to see up close and is famous for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-see structures and are both known for their intricate stone sculptures.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Bas-Reliefs at the Outer Walls of The Bayon, Angkor Thom, Cambodia
  • Day 3: Siem Reap

    After breakfast you will have the chance to visit and explore Ta Prohm Temple, which you may recognize from the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie, which was set and filmed here. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was discovered: overgrown and engulfed by trees and vines, with many parts of the temple in a state of disrepair. This character makes the temple one of the most memorable and unique of the Angkor temples.

    You’ll visit Ta Phrom and some of the other temples on a mini-tour by moto dop, including stops at Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery built in the 12th century and Srah Srang, or Royal Bath, a large body of water that was at one time considered the most beautiful area of Siem Reap. You’ll then pay visit to the majestic and legendary Angkor Wat.

    Built in the 12th century during the reign of King Suryavarman II, the temple was constructed to symbolize Mount Meru, a sacred mountain in Buddhism considered to be the center of all physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. The temple itself is covered with stone carvings and has more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Angkor Wat is so revered by the nation that Cambodia is the only flag in the world with a building on it - and that building is Angkor Wat.

    Your visit to the iconic structure will end after sunset, allowing you to see the temple at its most beautiful. As dusk arrives and the sun dips down, its soft rays cascading down the temple creating a magical moment.

    The remainder of your evening may be spent at your leisure. Feel free to ask your guide for a local restaurant recommendation.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    siemreap-ta-prohm-cambodia1000x600A female performer in Apsara national dress Angkor Wat, Siem Reapsiemreap-Angkor Wat Temple in Siam Reap Cambodia_8
  • Day 4: Siem Reap - Ho Chi Minh City

    After breakfast you will be free to spend the day as you please until your onward flight to Ho Chi Minh City (time may vary). If you have time, and you’d like to pick up some Cambodian souvenirs, be sure to ask your expert local guide for a good place to visit.

    When the time comes, your guide will escort you to the airport in time to catch your onward flight to Vietnam.

    Still largely known as Saigon to locals, Ho Chi Minh City (or HCMC for short) is Vietnam’s largest city and was once the capital of the French colony of Cochin-china. The city lines the banks of the Saigon River and is home to approximately nine million people. On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City you will be met by your Backyard Travel guide who will escort you on to your hotel(taking approximately 30 minutes by vehicle)

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Asian Girl Greets in temple traditional way with both handsdreamstimelarge_18115375
  • Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City

    After breakfast you’ll begin your exploration of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC for short) by visiting the captivating Chinatown area. You’ll have time to wander the markets and shops and experience the buzz of the busy streets. When your feet get weary, why not take a break outside one of Vietnam’s bustling coffee shops set on the street, or in one of the city’s ‘skinny’ buildings.

    Next you’ll pay a visit to the Thien Hau Temple, which is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Lady of the Sea, and contains some striking porcelain dioramas depicting scenes of history and an alter to the goddess with three impressive statues.

    You’ll have the chance to visit FITO, Vietnam’s first medicine museum which concentrates on traditional Vietnamese and Chinese medicine dating back to the Stone Age.

    Your guide will give you the option of visiting either the War Remnants Museum or History Museum next. The War Remnants Museum is an exhibition hall that displays mostly memorabilia from the Vietnam War. The name of the museum has been changed many times since its original opening in 1975 when it was called ‘Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes’.

    After visiting one of the museums, your guide will then lead you to the former Presidential Palace. From the palace you will have the chance to meander the city (or be chauffeured around it), seeing the colonial sites of HCMC. You’ll visit the Old Saigon Post Office, Continental Hotel, Dong Khoi Street (once known as Catinat Street), the Opera House and City Hall.

    Once again your evening will be spent at your leisure but if you’d like to take dinner in a local specialty restaurant then be sure to ask for recommendations from your expert Backyard Travel guide.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Peoples Committee Buildingdreamstimelarge_15938036dreamstimelarge_13177112
  • Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City

    After breakfast you’ll be driven two - hours to the delta town of Cai Be, a region filled with vast rice fields and lush waterways where you will board a local sampan boat and sail through Cai Be’s quaint floating market. The market has been the life and soul of the region for generations, providing not only sustenance through fishing but transport and trade capabilities.

    Once you’ve fully soaked up the atmosphere of the market and serenity of the Mekong Delta, you’ll visit a period house that was built over 100 years ago and a traditional rice popcorn factory and taste the local specialties.

    You’ll stop for lunch at Dong Hoa Hiep Island where you’ll take a local Mekong-style lunch and sample some of the specialties of the region before cruising back to Ho Chi Minh City where you’ll have the evening free to spend at your leisure.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    Cai Rang Floating Market – Mekong Deltadreamstimelarge_13038282
  • Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City - Danang - Hoi An

    After breakfast you’ll enjoy pick-up from your hotel by your guide who will escort you to the airport in time for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival in Danang you will be met by your private vehicle for a 40-minute transfer to your next stop: Hoi An.

    Once a major international trade port, Hoi An lost its importance at the end of the 18th century and remained largely unchanged for the next 200yrs. The unaltered coastal town is now a haven for travelers who want to take a glimpse at ‘old Vietnam’ with a rich history and skilled craftsmen and women still practicing trades passed down to them through generations.

    As well as the echoes of a bygone era, Hoi An also has a flipside, with luxury beach resorts dotting the long stretch of clean white sand taking advantage of the prime location on the coast of the South China Sea. You’ll be able to enjoy a walking tour around the quaint town today, led by a local Backyard Travel guide. On the way you can visit the beautiful houses of former rich merchants, the Chinese communal hall, the Japanese Covered Bridge and one of the colorful local markets.

    The evening will be spent at your own leisure, but once again be sure to ask for recommendations from your expert guide on restaurants or places to go at night.

    Overnight in Hoi An

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Vietnamese Fishing Boats and their Reflections in Hoi An Harbour, VietnamStreets of Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Day 8: Hoi An - Danang - Hue

    After breakfast you’ll be picked up by private vehicle and transferred by three-hour drive to Hue, passing back through Danang on the way.

    The drive will take you along the magnificent Hai Van pass, which is a must-see experience in itself. Renowned as one of the most scenic coastal journeys in Asia, the road is lined by dramatic looming mountainous to one side and beautiful coastline of the South China Sea to the other.

    Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture which contains a majestic collection of Cham (freestanding sandstone sculptures) before your drive takes you over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and down into the sublime Lang Co fishing village before eventually reaching Hue.

    Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty, is centrally located in the middle of the country on the banks of the Perfume River a few miles inland from the South China Sea. The ancient citadel is known for its fascinating tombs and mausoleums which pay homage to the last emperors of Vietnam and bears both the scars of past turmoil as well as reflecting the pomp of the country’s previous rulers.

    Your guided exploration of Hue will begin at the citadel, a walled complex surrounded by a moat that protects the Imperial City. The Imperial City hosted the Nguyen imperial family in an enclosure referred to as the ‘Purple Forbidden City’.

    You’ll then move on to Thien Mu Pagoda, also known as Linh Mu, one of Hue’s most iconic historical temples. Constructed in 1601, the seven-storey, 21-meter tall tower overlooks the Perfume River. The seven storeys are said to represent the seven reincarnations of Buddha.

    Within the pagoda’s grounds you’ll also see the famous car that in 1963 took Thich Quang Duc to Saigon to protest against the southern regime by self-immolation, one of the most striking and poignant moments of the Vietnam War.

    The evening will be free to spend at your leisure. If you’d like a recommendation of where to go at night, or which restaurant to visit for dinner, your expert Backyard Travel guide will be delighted to share his/her secrets!

    Overnight in Hue

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    View of surrounding Vietnam countryside from the Marble Mountains near DanangKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAhue-the-purple-palace-of-hue-in-vietnam
  • Day 9: Hue - Hanoi

    After breakfast your Backyard Travel guide will take you to Dong Ba Market where you’ll be able to soak up the unique atmosphere of a local marketplace. Markets like this are always a unique experience in Southeast Asia and you’ll be amazed by the range of produce on sale.

    From the market you’ll move by rickshaw (known locally as a ‘cyclo’) through dai noi (Old City) to Tinh Tam Lake, a serene location that was used by previous Emperors as a place to relax and unwind. The lake, which translates as ‘Lake of the Serene Heart’ is one of the most beautiful spots in Hue and in the summer the area blooms with pink and white lotus flowers.

    After you take the time to enjoy lunch at your leisure, your guide will then escort you to the tomb of Minh Mang, a former emperor of Vietnam, which is set 12km outside the city on Cam Ke Hill. The tomb is renowned for its beautiful architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Next you’ll visit the tomb of Khai Dinh, the 12th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty who although only reigned nine years, ordered the tomb be built in anticipation of his death. Khai Dinh died in 1925 but although the tomb began construction in 1920, it took 11 years to complete - two years more than he actually reigned - and was funded by a 30% increase on taxes.

    Your guide will then ensure you reach the airport in plenty of time to catch your onward flight to Hanoi.

    Hanoi is an eclectic mix of East and West, with its colonial architecture rubbing shoulders with 1,000-year-old Vietnamese history. The city’s dynamism has seen a growing population and increasing wealth and it still retains its old-fashioned romantic charm; and its beautiful architecture, wide tree-lined avenues and parks are home to a million stories, which you can see reflected in the city’s vibrant, flourishing arts scene and its incredible historic past.

    You will be met at the airport by your local Backyard Travel guide who will meet and greet you before escorting you on to your hotel taking approximately an hour. Your evening is free to spend at your leisure, but should you wish to try some local cuisine be sure to ask your guide for a recommendation.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Vietnamese saleswoman at the market sale vegetableshanoi-presidential-palace-vietnamHoi An Vietnam old Cyclo–vietnamx1000x600
  • Day 10: Hanoi - Halong Bay

    Today you will embark on a cruise of the legendary Halong Bay. After breakfast your local guide and private vehicle will escort you on the three and a half hour journey to the pier giving you the chance to witness everyday life in Vietnam on your drive; villagers work in their rice fields and plough them using buffaloes, while others cycle to market with their wares loaded wherever they can fit them.

    You’ll arrive at Halong City in the late morning and board your chosen boat for an overnight journey into the bay. Your course will take you past a variety of rock formations, many named after their resemblance to things (Sail, Dog, and Incense Pot), and you can enjoy your lunch served on deck as the bay goes by.

    As the sun begins to set over the bay your Captain will drop the anchor before you enjoy a relaxed dinner before settling down for the night in your private cabin.

    Overnight in Halong Bay

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Boat in Halong Bayred-dragon-junk
  • Day 11: Halong Bay - Hanoi

    This morning you’ll awake in you cabin and rise to a scenic breakfast on the deck as you see the sun come up over Halong Bay. Your route back to Halong City (taking approximately three and a half hours) once again gives you the chance to see many of the fascinating rock formations that dot the ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’.

    At an additional cost, your route back to Halong City can also include a stop at ‘But Thap’ one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam on your return to Hanoi.

    After a lunch in Hanoi at your leisure, your guide will take you to visit the Ethnology Museum which tells the story of the many ethnic groups of Vietnam through various exhibitions. The museum is also a research center which collects and documents the culture of the nation, making it a fascinating venue to discover the history of Vietnam.

    To round-off your afternoon you’ll visit the Old Quarter of Hanoi, also called ’36 Streets’ based on the fact the area is made up of that many roads. Located near Hoan Kiem Lake, you’ll stroll through the streets and observe the original architecture that remains intact as you browse the hundreds of boutique shops selling traditional Vietnamese products.

    After your visit to the Old Quarter you’ll have the chance to watch a Water Puppet show, a unique Vietnamese show depicting moments in history, before having the evening free to spend at your leisure.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Halong Bay landscape, VietnamYoung Child sitting at a Bamboo shop in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Vietnam
  • Day 12: Hanoi

    This morning, after breakfast, you will be met at your hotel by your expert Backyard Travel guide who will lead you to the ‘Temple of Literature’, known to locals as Quoc Tu Giam. Recognized as Hanoi’s first university, the temple was built in 1070 during the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong and is featured on the back of the 100,000 dong banknote. The temple educated Vietnam’s royalty and members of elite society for nearly 700 years.

    Next you will move to the ‘One Pillar Pagoda’ which was built in 1049 by King Ly Thai To. Known to locals as Chua Mot Cot, the pagoda is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. The king built the temple to offer thanks to the deity he believed helped with the birth of his son.

    Nearby you’ll also discover the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam as well as his former president’s house, a modest home built on stilts, where he lived from 1958 to 1969.

    Your Backyard Travel guide will then take you to the picturesque West Lake, a body of fresh water with a shore length of 17km. While there you can also pay visit to Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda, built in the 6th century before taking a walk along the lake to the Quan Thanh Taoist temple which is dedicated to Tran Vu, a principle deity in Taoism.

    If time allows, before your Backyard Travel guide escorts you on the one-hour journey to the airport for your onward flight, you may be able to do some last minute souvenir shopping.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast


All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room in luxury accommodation. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

 Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

 Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.
We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.
With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.




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