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>  Far East  >  Cambodia

Cambodia & Vietnam Culinary tour  - 15 Days from £1588 per person

There is a magic about Cambodia that casts a spell on many who visit this charming and confounding reign. Ascend to the realm of the gods at the mother of all temples, Angkor Wat, a spectacular fusion of symbolism, symmetry and spirituality. Descent into hell of Tuol Sleng and come face to face with the Khmer Rouge and its killing machine. Welcome to the conundrum that is Cambodia: a country with a history both inspiring and depressing, an intoxicating place where the future is waiting to be molded.

Just as Angkor is more than its wat, so too is Cambodia more than its temples. The chaotic yet charismatic capital city of Phnom Penh is a center of political intrigue, economic vitality and intellectual debate. Too often overlooked by tourists hit-and-run scoring on a tour Angkor region, the city of Siem Reap, revitalized finally win applause in their own right thanks to a gorgeous riverside location, a cultural renaissance and dining and drinking scene to rival the best in the region. And do not forget the rest of the country: relax in the quiet seaside town of Kampot and trek the nearby Bokor National Park, take an elephant ride in the jungle in Mondulkiri province, ogle the Mekong dolphins at Kratie or simply choose a beach near Sihanoukville

 

Phnom Penh


Phnom Penh is situated at the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers with the Mekong. It was founded as a small monastery in 1372 by the rich Khmer woman Penh, after she had found four Buddha statues in a tree trunk on the banks of the Mekong. She set up the monastery on a hill near the bank of the Mekong. The Cambodian word for hill is Phnom. Therefore the name of the town correctly translates as Hill of Penh.

Rather significantly Phnom Penh's history is founded on an episode, in which the Buddhist religion played a part, contrary to the Khmer capital of that time, Angkor, which was shaped, and literally so, by Hinduism. Nevertheless, Buddhism had, since the beginning of the 13th century, become the dominant religion. (In Southeast Asia both religions are entwined to a much higher degree than first appears to be the case. For instance, numerous Buddhist temples in Thailand house altars of Hindu deities, especially Brahma, and the details of the royal ploughing ceremony in Bangkok are determined by Brahman, not Buddhist, palace priests... just like Thai coronation modalities).

Ankor

Angkor, a few kilometres to the north of the town of Siem Reap, is indisputably the most famous, most enormous, most impressive and most important attraction not only in Cambodia, but in all of Southeast Asia, and maybe even in all of Asia.

Compared to Angkor the old Royal Palace of Bangkok, the Shwedagon Pagoda of Rangoon or the Citadel at the old Vietnamese Emperor's town of Hué fade. Compared to Angkor many of the attractions, monuments or archaeological sites of other places appear small, if not irrelevant. Angkor is truly overpowering.

In its dimensions Angkor is best compared to the Egyptian Pyramids. But Angkor is far more than merely an agglomeration of huge geometrical structures. Despite its enormous constructional dimensions, it is ornamented in detail like Notre Dame of Paris and tells of an ancient art of architecture and sculpturing on a level of the Acropolis of Athens.

Angkor Wat (see header photo) is the most famous temple ground in the entire Angkor plain. It was built by King Suryavarman II in the middle of the 12th century over a period of about 30 years. Like many other Khmer temples, Angkor Wat was built as architectural allegory of the Hindu religion. The central tower stands for Mount Meru, the center of the universe according to Hindu mythology; the top of Mount Meru is considered the home of the gods.

 

InterContinental Phnom Penh

 

Situated in the city center, this luxury hotel is close to Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, and Royal University of Phnom Penh. Also nearby are Independence Monument and Phsar Thom Thmei.

 

In addition to 2 restaurants, InterContinental Phnom Penh features an outdoor pool. Other amenities include a full-service spa and a bar/lounge.

 

 

Royal Angkor Resort & Spa

 

Situated in Siem Reap Center, this first class Boutique& Resort is close to Psar Chaa Market and Angkor Wat. Nearby attractions also include Phnom Bakheng and Bayon Temple.

 

At Royal Angkor Resort& Spa recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a health club. The hotel also features a restaurant and a full-service spa. Free an International Buffet Breakfast.

 

 

Angkor Village Hotel

 

This business-friendly hotel is located in the city center, close to Psar Chaa Market, Pub Street, and Angkor Night Market. Local attractions also include Cambodian Cultural Village.

 

In addition to 2 restaurants, Angkor Village Hotel features an outdoor pool. Other amenities include a 24-hour business center and a concierge desk.

 

 

 

Cambodia & Vietnam Culinary tour 

Serving up the highlights of Cambodia and Vietnam on this mouth watering culinary tour

You are never far away from an exotic meal on this magical 15 day culinary tour of Cambodia and Vietnam. As well as seeing the natural and historical highlights of both these fascinating countries you can enjoy a whole series of mouthwatering dishes, many which you have prepared yourself, and find out everything worth knowing about local cooking methods as you experience a whole series of demonstrations and hands on cooking classes. Add to the mix visits to all the famous sights in both countries and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable tour.

Full Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi

After your arrival in this fascinating city in the north of Vietnam you will be met and transferred to your hotel where you will meet your tour leader and the rest of the group for welcome drinks and a tour briefing. Tonight the culinary theme begins when you will be dining out in one of the city's favourite restaurants.

 

Standard Rate Maison D'Hanoi Hanova Hotel
 

Day 2: Cooking class and Hanoi

Start the day with your first cooking class and learn some of the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine. An experienced chef will take you on a tour of a local market to buy ingredients that you will later use to prepare your meal. After eating your own creations enjoy a city tour taking in all the highlights before a free evening when you can choose where to eat.

 
Standard Rate Maison D'Hanoi Hanova Hotel
 

Day 3: Hanoi to Halong Bay

Journey east to Hon Gai, the gateway to beautiful Halong Bay, considered Vietnam's greatest natural wonder. On arrival board your boat for a cruise around some of the 3,000 islands while enjoying a seafood lunch. You will visit some spectacular caves on the cruise and in the evening enjoy a sumptuous dinner on board before spending the night in a comfortable cabin.

Standard Rate Halong Bay - 2 berth cabins
 

Day 4: Halong Bay to Hue

It is worth getting up early today to make the most of the stunning setting of Halong Bay. After breakfast visit more of the islands and then head back to Halong City, enjoying another tasty seafood lunch on the way. Later return to Hanoi airport for your evening flight to the historic city of Hue.

 

Standard Rate Huong Giang Hotel
 

Day 5: Hue

The city is beautifully located on the banks of the Perfume River and was once Vietnam's capital city. Hue provides a unique window into the country's past and you will visit the Citadel, the magnificent tombs of the emperors and the Thien Mu Pagoda. The evening is free for you to try some Hue specialities in the local restaurants.

 

Standard Rate Huong Giang Hotel
 

Day 6: Hue to Hoi An

Today travel north to Danang with a stop at the Huda Brewery at Phu Bai and see how the famous Huda beer is made. Continue south to the Marble Mountains and explore some of the caves and sacred Buddhist shrines. When you arrive at Hoi An there is a walking tour of this enchanting town with visits to the Japanese Covered Bridge, the museum and the Chinese Assembly Hall.

Standard Rate Hoi An Pacific Hotel
 

Day 7: Red Bridge Cooking class

This morning continue your culinary experience by taking part in the popular Red Bridge cooking class. You will be taken to Tra Que organic garden to buy ingredients and a local village market before taking part in this hands on class. After sampling your own creations the evening is free to explore the town's many shops and galleries.

 

Standard Rate Hoi An Pacific Hotel
 

Day 8: Hoi An to Saigon

After a free morning for more sightseeing in Hoi An you transfer to the airport for your short flight to colourful Saigon. Today Saigon is called Ho Chi Minh City and is by far the most modern in all Vietnam. Saigon is a friendly and welcoming place and you will have some time to explore this evening.

 

Standard Rate Lavender Hotel
 

Day 9: Mekong Delta

The Mekong River is one of the world's great waterways and today you will visit the Mekong Delta region, known as the rice bowl of Vietnam. On arrival travel by boat to one of the islands and an orchard before boarding a smaller sampan that winds along narrow canals. Enjoy some local hospitality before returning to Saigon for dinner.

 
Standard Rate Lavender Hotel
 

Day 10: Cooking class and Saigon tour

This morning attend a cooking class in a pleasant garden setting at the Vietnam Cooking Centre, conducted by a local chef. The class is designed to be easy and fun but also comprehensive. After lunch begin a city tour visiting Dong Koi Street, formerly Rue Catinat, the Rex Hotel. Ho Chi Minh Square and many of the other historic landmarks.

 
Standard Rate Lavender Hotel
 

Day 11: Saigon to Siem Reap

Today you say farewell to Vietnam and fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia. In the afternoon enjoy a visit to beautiful Tonle Sap Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in the world, visiting a floating fishing village. Tonight enjoy your first taste of Khmer food at one of the town's many top class restaurants.

 

Standard Rate Royal Bay Inn Angkor
 

Day 12: Temples of Angkor

Today you will explore the majestic temples of Ankor, including the most famous of all, Angkor Wat. Your adventure begins with a pre dawn visit to watch the sun rise over this great temple. Also visit the beautiful Bayon temple and the jungle-enveloped Ta Prohm before arriving at the Artisans of Angkor silk farm where you will learn how silk is actually made.

Standard Rate Royal Bay Inn Angkor
 

Day 13: Full day Khmer cooking experience

It's a good idea to have a light breakfast today because of what's to come. You will be taken to the River Garden, the venue for your day of Khmer cooking. You will visit a local market to buy ingredients and prepare and cook your own food. In the afternoon take part in a fun lesson in learning the art of vegetable carving and in the evening you will be served a Khmer tasting platter.

Standard Rate Royal Bay Inn Angkor
 

Day 14: Outlying temples

Today visit some of the many interesting temples outside Angkor Thom city. Travel through the jungles to Boeng Mealea and Banteay Srei temples and have lunch at a local restaurant. On the way back to Siem Reap you visit the Cambodian Landmine museum. Tonight dine out at another great Khmer restaurant to celebrate the end of your culinary journey.

Standard Rate Royal Bay Inn Angkor
 

Day 15: Depart

Today marks the end of your fantastic culinary adventure through Vietnam and Cambodia and there may be time for some last minute shopping, some more sightseeing or perhaps even one final meal before your transfer to the airport for your onward flight or journey home taking with you a stomach full of memories.

 

Valid between: 15/01/2015 - 30/06/2015

Book by: 31/ 01/ 2015

Price includes

  • 13 nights hotel accommodation on a twin sharing basis
  • 1 night overnight boat - 2 berth cabins
  • Maximum group size 16
  • 2 domestic flights, 1 international flight
  • All sightseeing as specified & entrance fees
  • Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 5 dinners
  • 4 cooking classes
  • All road transport in air conditioned vehicles
  • Western tour leader with a minimum of 7 travelling
  • Arrival and departure transfers on tour dates

Price does not include

  • Vietnamese & Cambodian visas

 

Angkor Adventure