It's unlike anywhere else. Raw and simple one minute, bustling and friendly the next. In one breath dramatic and tranquil. A sail among the limestone peaks in Halong Bay. Footpaths that snake through secluded rice paddies. A quiet nod from villagers leading buffalo to water. Touching the ethereal ruins of Angkor with your own hands. It's a journey full of color and intrigue. Every meal is a metaphor for the region's complex culture. Every hotel offers soothing luxuries. Temples that defy centuries. Smiles that bridge oceans. And local guides that open doors long closed.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
AccommodationsWe are constantly seeking the best possible accommodations on Halong Bay. Bai Tho Cruise and Indochina Sails generally offer the most consistently comfortable boats with an appropriate number of cabins that also allow us to visit the more exclusive parts of the bay. New boat companies are being launched and some of these may include fancier boats, but since these vessels are typically quite large and do not journey too far from their port, we’ve chosen not to use them. Rest assured, we use the nicest boats that head into our favorite parts of the bay.
Walking & Hiking in an Emerging WorldYour journey through Vietnam and Cambodia will probably be unlike anything you’ve experienced. The people you'll meet and places you'll visit will likely stay with you for a long time.
As wonderfully fulfilling as travel is in this region, it's not always easy. These are developing countries and even something as simple as crossing the road can be a challenge.
Our itineraries and Trip Leaders remove as many obstacles and inconveniences as possible, making your next extraordinary encounter always within reach. Of course, we can't remove haze and noise from the air, or replace poorly maintained paths. But if you can be flexible and approach the region with an open mind, you’ll enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Day 1 A wealth of insight from our local guides, who bring to life the intertwined cultures of Vietnam and Cambodia Ride in a bicycle rickshaw through old Hanoi's narrow streets packed with food and flower stalls Hungry? Asia's freshest and tastiest cuisine is within reach Explore Ngoc Ha, a lively district seldom visited by foreigners.
Days 2-4 Cruise and kayak on heavenly Halong Bay, a World Heritage site with hidden beaches, cool caves and beautiful lagoons Enjoy two peaceful nights beneath a canopy of stars in Halong Bay A morning cruise takes us past untouched islands farther into the bay, where we kayak to a small beachside temple.
Day 5 Step back in time and into the imperial city of Hué, with its centuries-old palaces and battle-scarred temples For a unique look at everyday life, you're welcomed into a traditional home Venture into the mysterious and imposing citadel, site of heavy conflict during the Vietnam War.
Days 6-7 Wander the colorful streets of Hoi An, an ancient trading town with beautifully preserved Chinese and Japanese architecture Ride a traditional dragon boat up the Perfume River, and walk among waterfront villages and imperial mausoleums Care to relax? There's a white-sand beach waiting for you.
Days 8-10 Lose yourself in Angkor The remains of Cambodia's ancient Khmer Empire will thrill you with immense spires, giant carved images and beautiful bas-relief Explore iconic temples, statues and other wonders off the beaten path Meet villagers in the fishing hamlet of Tonle Sap.
- Lose yourself in Cambodia's thrilling Angkor Wat ruins
- Gain an insider's perspective from our local guides, longtime Backroads friends
- Step back in time and into the imperial city of Hué
- Cruise and kayak on heavenly Halong Bay
- Savor some of Asia's most delicious and distinctive cuisine
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi (2 nights): This five-star historic landmark is a French Colonial gem set in the heart of old Hanoi. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best award. (pool, spa)
Bai Tho Cruise or Indochina Sails Junk (2 nights): These fully equipped boats allows us to explore Halong Bay's spectacular karst formations by day, then retreat to quiet coves at night. Though rooms, with attached bathrooms, are small and basic, we'll be aboard the most comfortable boats on the more exclusive parts of the bay.
La Résidence Hôtel & Spa (1 night): A blend of Asian and Colonial charm, this boutique hotel is housed in the former governor’s mansion on the bank of the Perfume River. Travel + Leisure World's Best award. (pool, spa, tennis)
The Nam Hai (2 nights): This luxury all-villa resort is set on pristine China Beach, near the picturesque port town of Hoi An. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best award. (pool, spa, tennis)
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Ankgor (2 nights): Described by Andrew Harper as a "stylish and beautifully restored landmark resort-hotel surrounded by a 15-acre park, less than five miles from Angkor Wat." Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa, tennis)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Cyclo Tour of Old Quarter (45 Minutes)|
|Sailing on Halong Bay (3 Hours)|
|Kayaking on Halong Bay (1 Hour)|
|4||Halong Bay Cruise (2 Hours)|
|Dragon Boat Cruise (1 Hour)|
|7||Hoi An Guided Walk (45 Minutes)|
|8||Angkor Tom Temple Guided Walk (2 Hours)|
|Boat Ride to Floating Villages (1 Hour)|
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/9-18 Price: $5298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1210 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $560
- 12/21-30 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1210 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $560
- 12/31-1/9 Price: $5498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1210 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $560
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $6,198 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $5,898 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $5,298 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
The Vietnam & Cambodia Backroads trip is the trip of a lifetime! It's jam-packed with culture, culinary pleasures and adventure with just the right amount of activity.- Scottsdale, AZ
Vietnam and Cambodia are wonderful countries, and our Backroads trip allowed us to see villages and have experiences that we never could have arranged on our own. It was great!- Ambler, PA
This was a fascinating, well-run, and fabulous trip. Backroads introduced us to destinations and cultures that we knew little about. Backroads handled all the logical challenges allowing us the luxury of enjoying and learning on our trip. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.- Scarborough, NY
The trip could not have been better. Every aspect was extremely well thought-out, researched and coordinated. Despite the relatively tight itinerary there was still an amazing amount of flexibility. No request or need was unmet and both trip leaders were extremely resourceful in accommodating us. It became a bit of a joke on the trip how well things were organized and how good Backroads' local contacts were. We always were whisked through customs. Vans were always available, snacks and drinks just kept on coming, the opportunities to go where other groups did not - to visit homes and to hike through remote villages was particularly impressive. Clearly a great deal of time was spent on making this the spectacular trip that it was.- Philadelphia, PA
I really liked the focus on learning and in particular, experiencing so much of the local culture vs. just doing physical activities. I liked that we had quite a bit of opportunity to mix with locals, and that this was encouraged by our leaders. I especially liked the visits to non-traditional tourist places. You sometimes felt like we were the first "western" visitors there.- New York, NY
This was an amazing trip. The balance of walking, sightseeing, cultural activities was perfect. Interaction with local people was very special. It met all of my expectations.- Philadelphia, PA
I have friends who can't believe I would just show up halfway around the world on my own to meet up with people I don't know for a trip in exotic places like Vietnam and Cambodia. I always tell them that I don't have any concerns because I know Backroads will not disappoint. The leaders will be where they say they will be and provide an amazing experience. It's the little things - like meeting with a village leader in his home to discuss life in the village, meeting a knowledgeable historian and having dinner in his home, getting inside the private home of a woman to see what a local home is like - that set these trips apart from the usual bus ride and photo op. I also know the other guests will be interesting and good travel companions. And I will have another experience of a lifetime.- Bethesda, MD
From the second the trip began until the moment it finished, my experience was stellar.- New York, NY