Shruthi Achieved Her Life’s Dream by Embarking on an Unforgettable Family Adventure to Cambodia and Vietnam

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Shruthi recounts a remarkable journey to Cambodia and Vietnam that she embarked on with her family of six. They opted for a remarkable 10-night, 11-day package from Fred and Fuzzys, encompassing accommodation, meals, sightseeing, and internal flights.

Travel Experience: An exhilarating group adventure!Duration: 10 nights, 11 daysBudget: INR 1,19,865/- (inclusive of internal flights!)Destinations: Vietnam and CambodiaInclusions: Accommodation, meals, sightseeing, private transfers, & internal flights.

I had always been captivated by the captivating landscapes and marvelous architectural marvels of Cambodia. It had always been a lifelong aspiration of mine to delve into the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Finally, during a recent family gathering, we decided to pursue this dream. While scouring the internet for travel packages, I stumbled upon the intriguing Fred and Fuzzys platform. It immediately caught my attention due to its promising nature. After submitting a trip request, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an immediate call back and soon found myself exploring various enticing packages offered by different tour agents.

Eventually, I decided to proceed with Vigoti Travels Ltd as they presented me with a comfortable itinerary well within my budget. I had a conversation with Mr. Mike from Vigoti Travels, and he skillfully elucidated all the details. His honest and polite explanations resolved any lingering doubts I may have had about the trip!

Mr. Mike was always prompt in his responses and readily accommodated the numerous customizations we requested, even during odd hours! In fact, when we mistakenly booked our trip for 11 days instead of 10, he happily arranged a tour to Trang An without any hassle!

landing at hanoi airport

Vietnam and Cambodia offer a myriad of experiences, including natural beauty, thrilling adventures, ancient architectural wonders, serene tranquility, vibrant nightlife (in Ho Chi Minh), and an enchanting shopping scene. To truly immerse oneself in all these wonders and more, a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam is an absolute must.

Day 1 | Hanoi: A Heartfelt Welcome from Vietnam!

We embarked on our flight from Bangalore and arrived in Hanoi, the thousand-year-old capital of Vietnam, around 11 in the morning. Our guide awaited us outside the airport. To kickstart our journey, our knowledgeable guide, who also doubled as our driver, took us to the enchanting Art Vietnam Gallery. Here, we witnessed local artisans skillfully crafting lacquer items and selling them to visitors. It was truly captivating to observe the creation of these exquisite artifacts. On our way to the hotel, our guide also pointed out several other noteworthy sights. Once we checked into our rooms and freshened up, we indulged in a delightful lunch. In the evening, our guide took us on a tour of the local areas, acquainting us with the surroundings, and then treated us to a sumptuous meal at an authentic Indian restaurant. We returned to our hotel for a restful overnight stay.

standing before One Pillar Pagoda

Day 2 | Hanoi: A captivating exploration of the city and the delightful Water Puppet Show

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Our day commenced bright and early as we embarked on an extensive city exploration of Hanoi, determined not to miss any of the marvels this astonishing city has to offer. We initiated our journey with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, an enchanting space encompassing botanical gardens, pagodas, monuments, and memorials.

Spending time at President Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House

The first stop on our itinerary was the revered Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, followed by a visit to President Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House. Moving forward, we proceeded to explore the One Pillar Pagoda and the captivating Tran Quoc Pagoda, with our guide enlightening us about the intriguing history of these remarkable edifices. However, as the elder members of our group began to grow weary from continuous strolling, we decided it was time for a well-deserved lunch break and some rest, ensuring we recharged before continuing our expedition.

Restaurant gave us veg food

Unaware of our dietary preferences, our guide took us to a traditional Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. To our surprise, the restaurant staff made exceptional efforts to provide us with delectable vegetarian dishes, although we ended up indulging in a refreshing assortment of fresh fruits for our meal! Despite the unexpected twist, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were greatly impressed by the unwavering dedication of the staff to cater to our needs. After our lunch break, we resumed our tour and eagerly anticipated the highlight of the day – the Water Puppet Show, a captivating performance that depicted the rich history and vibrant culture of Vietnam.

witnessing the delightful water puppet show

To our delight, the Water Puppet Show was included as a complimentary feature in our itinerary, thanks to a special request made by my mother to Mr. Mike. It proved to be an absolute spectacle, leaving us in awe of its brilliance. We highly recommend this enthralling experience to all visitors of Vietnam. Additionally, our hotel was conveniently located near major points of interest such as the marketplace, the lake, and various tourist attractions, providing us with a significant advantage as we could easily stroll to these locations, particularly the bustling market. Therefore, after immersing ourselves in the delightful sights of the Water Puppet Show, all six of us leisurely strolled back to our hotel.

what we ate in veitnam

Day 3 | Hanoi: A Captivating Journey to Trang An and the Enchanting Stroll Back to the Hotel Through Vibrant Market Streets

After a delectable morning meal at the hotel, we embarked on an extraordinary expedition to Trang An, a mesmerizing nature reserve and an awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site. This remarkable tour became a part of our itinerary when an extra day was added, and it truly lived up to its promise, providing me with the most unforgettable experience in Vietnam! Within the complex, we had the privilege of visiting Bai Dinh, Vietnam’s largest and most captivating pagoda, where the momentous Vesak Day celebration took place in 2014. During lunchtime, the restaurant staff went above and beyond to ensure we were well-fed and refused to let us leave with empty stomachs. Although the food didn’t meet our expectations, we were grateful for their unwavering dedication. Following lunch, we searched for Indian restaurants in Vietnam and compiled a list to avoid any future dining troubles.

checking out Surprise Cave's interiors

Later, we indulged in a serene boat excursion that took us through a series of enchanting caves: Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, and Nau Ruou. We gracefully rowed through underground rivers that are believed to connect the 31 tranquil lakes of Trang An. This delightful boat ride treated us to breathtaking vistas, showcasing the splendor of untouched landscapes, from mystical forests and caves to imposing mountains and rivers. Since the Old Town was closed that day and public and private transportation options were limited, we anticipated difficulties in finding a place to eat. However, our driver came to our rescue, taking us to various Indian restaurants despite the long distances involved, and kindly provided us with directions back to the hotel before departing.

The view from Halong BayThe lively night market in Hanoi

After dinner, we took a leisurely stroll through the bustling Night Market, all while plotting our route back home. Despite the darkness, we observed people from diverse backgrounds going about their activities in the market with boundless joy. When we asked for directions, they even offered to accompany us all the way to our hotel. We were amazed to discover the generosity and hospitality of the people of Hanoi, surpassing our expectations.

Day 4 | Halong Bay: Unforgettable Exploration of Majestic Limestone Formations and Serene Green Landscapes Through Kayaking and Cruising

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After enjoying our morning meal, our knowledgeable guide for the breathtaking Halong Bay greeted us all and transported us in a convenient shuttle bus through the Red River Delta, a stunning countryside filled with charming villages and local farming activities. Along the way, we made a brief stop to replenish ourselves before continuing our journey. Upon reaching our destination, we embarked on a luxurious cruise where we anticipated a delicious lunch while being serenaded by the cruise itself. As we dined, the cruise gracefully sailed through numerous magnificent limestone formations emerging from the enchanting emerald waters, an awe-inspiring spectacle. Following our meal, we engaged in the exhilarating activity of kayaking, encountering even more of these stunning limestone marvels. It was truly a mind-blowing experience witnessing Nature’s astounding display before us. After enjoying a delectable dinner on board, we retreated to our comfortable cabins for a restful night.

watching oysters being harvested for pearls at pearl farmChilling out at Halong Bay in Vietnam

Day 5 | Hanoi: Immersing ourselves in astonishing limestone caves and discovering glistening treasures in oysters

We awoke to a picturesque morning on the Halong Bay cruise. While savoring our breakfast, the skilled chef treated us to an extraordinary performance by adorning dishes with intricately carved fruit, vegetable, and root flowers, as the cruise made its way back to the harbor. After this delightful culinary exhibition, we proceeded to explore the captivating Sung Sot caves scattered throughout the bay. Our guide charmed us with his witty humor and provided insightful explanations about the formation of these captivating limestone caves.

the skyline of Ho Chi Minh city

Following a satisfying lunch, we visited the charming Pearl Farm, an enchanting experience that delighted both young and old alike. Here, we learned about the Vietnamese tradition of cultivating pearls from oysters, a bountiful natural resource in this region, and witnessed the transformation of these petite blessings of Mother Nature into exquisite jewelry. After spending some leisurely time at the farm, we boarded our shuttle to return to Hanoi. Upon our arrival, we indulged in shopping and leisurely strolls through the captivating Night Market before returning to our hotel to enjoy a delectable dinner and a peaceful sleep.

seeking blessings at Notre Dam Cathedral

Day 6 | Ho Chi Minh: Exploring magnificent attractions and witnessing awe-inspiring performances in a grand Opera House

Early in the morning, we boarded our flight to the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, arriving two hours later. Our guide, a polite and pleasant gentleman, awaited us at the airport. However, upon exiting the aircraft, my mother realized she had left her phone behind. Our guide immediately contacted the airport authorities and went to great lengths to retrieve her phone. As we ventured outside the airport, we were confronted with a revelation that forever changed our perception of “traffic jams.” Ho Chi Minh City is notorious for its extensive traffic congestion, and the obstructions on the road delayed our progress. To make the most of our time, we decided to embark on our sightseeing tour before checking in to our hotel.

Stepping into history at Cu Chi Tunnels

Our first stop was the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, followed by a visit to the Reunification Palace. While the former is a symbol of Catholicism in this predominantly Buddhist nation, the latter is known for its mysterious corridors and extravagant architecture. Next on our itinerary was the Saigon Central Post Office, showcasing a fusion of French, Renaissance, and Gothic architectural styles. We then had lunch at the Ganh Palace restaurant, which had an impressive ambiance and a wide variety of cuisine, but unfortunately lacked satisfactory options for vegetarians. Despite this disappointment, we were impressed by the generosity and hospitality of the staff.

After lunch, we headed to the Cu Chi tunnels. Before exploring the tunnels, we watched a video that provided us with a glimpse of their historical significance. Once inside the tunnels, we couldn’t help but acknowledge the immense pain endured by the soldiers who navigated them. This tour left a profound impact on our souls. Following this emotional experience, we attended the highly acclaimed AO show, which combined contemporary dance, acrobatics, stunning stage visuals, and live folk music, portraying the essence of urban and rural life in Vietnam. After this extraordinary display of art, music, and dance, we had dinner and returned to our hotel.

riding a horse cart near the picturesque Con Thoi SonSailing in the Mekong Delta

Day 7 began with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, followed by a two-hour drive to the mesmerizing Mekong Delta. Upon arrival in My Tho city, we boarded a motorboat and sailed along the Mekong River, passing by charming floating houses. Our guide informed us that these houses were designed to allow the inhabitants to fish from beneath the structure, a fascinating sight to behold as we observed from our boat.

We reached Con Thoi Son, affectionately known as Unicorn Island, and embarked on a delightful horse cart ride to witness a captivating folk dance of Southern Vietnam. Later, we boarded a traditional cruise boat in My Tho and enjoyed a scenic sail along the river, with the canopy of coconut trees creating a beautiful archway above us. And thus, our day immersed in the wonders of Mekong Delta came to an end.

enjoying honey tea at bee keeping farm

During our lunch break, we were taken on a tour of the beekeeping farm, where we had the opportunity to savor a piping hot cup of exquisite honey-infused tea. Following our meal, we boarded our boat and returned to our bus, having had an incredibly enlightening and rejuvenating experience in the Mekong Delta region. Unfortunately, the heavy traffic delayed our return to Ho Chi Minh City. In an attempt to satisfy our cravings, we decided to visit an Indian restaurant renowned for its delectable parathas, recommended to us by a friendly Punjabi family we had met during our tour. However, our plans were thwarted when my phone was snatched during the journey, forcing us to spend the rest of the day filing a complaint at a nearby police station.

Siem Reap tiny airport

Heading into Day 8 in Siem Reap, we embarked on a journey into this breathtaking city and treated ourselves to a mesmerizing Apsara Dance performance.

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We packed our belongings and checked out of our hotel as we had initially planned to pay a visit to a church before our flight to Siem Reap. However, circumstances led to the church being closed, so we made our way directly to the airport and spent the afternoon there instead. Upon landing at the charmingly petite yet flawlessly maintained Siem Reap airport, our driver, who also acted as our guide, greeted us and immediately took us to witness an enchanting Apsara Dance performance. It was at that moment that I instantly fell head over heels in love with this stunning city. After the captivating performance, we indulged in a sumptuous buffet dinner and then headed to our hotel, where we swiftly completed the check-in process and retired to our rooms for the night.

With my mom at Bayon Temple

Day 9 in Siem Reap commenced with a delightful breakfast at the hotel, accompanied by the exceptionally hospitable and courteous treatment from the staff. With our itinerary packed full with exciting activities, we embarked on a tour of Siem Reap. Our driver took us first to the intricately carved and impeccably preserved Banteay Srei temple, followed by the quaint village of Preah Dark and the awe-inspiring Banteay Samre Temple adorned with magnificent relief work depicting tales from the legends of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. In the afternoon, we had the pleasure of exploring the jungle-engulfed Ta Prohm temple, famous for its appearance in the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Covered in immense fig trees and enormous vines reminiscent of towering buildings, this remarkable stone structure truly evoked the concept of nature reclaiming man-made creations.

Temples in Cambodia during sunset

We also visited several other temples such as the impressive Preah Khan, Kravan, the captivating Neak Pean, and the enchanting Krol Ko in the Grand Circuit. Unfortunately, the elders in our group became completely exhausted and couldn’t continue any further. Our guide, who deserves special mention, was incredibly accommodating and considerate. He patiently dealt with our slow pace and always made sure we had enough water. Without a doubt, he was the best and most knowledgeable guide we had during our vacation in Cambodia and Vietnam! As the sun set, he took us to a fantastic dinner spot where we savored delicious barbecued cuisine. Unlike Vietnam, Cambodia surprised us with a wide variety of vegetarian food, surpassing even the options we have back in Bangalore.

Day 10 | Siem Reap: Exploring More Captivating Temples and Witnessing the Astounding Architecture and Ruins of Angkor Wat

Me and the pretty ladies of my group at the Angkor Wat temple

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We woke up bright and early to witness the awe-inspiring sunrise at Angkor Wat, a highly revered and divine phenomenon in Siem Reap. Although it wasn’t particularly vibrant, it still held a fascinating and calming beauty. After this captivating show on the horizon, we returned to our hotel where a scrumptious breakfast awaited us. We enjoyed our meal and took some time to rest before embarking on our exploration of the enigmatic temples and pristine ancient ruins of Angkor. We began with the South Gate of Angkor Thom, renowned for its remarkable stone carvings depicting colossal human faces. Then, we proceeded to the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephant Terrace, and finally, we wandered through the vast and breathtaking ruins of Angkor Wat.

All day long, we immersed ourselves in this magical realm that felt like an entirely different world. However, eventually, the heat took its toll on us. Although our hearts yearned to continue exploring these timeless wonders, exhaustion forced us to skip the remaining sites in Angkor. Following a blissful day amidst the temples, ruins, and extraordinary architecture of Angkor, we traveled to a renowned market in the city via a Tuk Tuk. Along the way, we witnessed various intriguing scenes of daily life in Siem Reap. After spending some time in the market, we returned to our hotel to rest.

carvings at elephant terrace temple

Day 11: Sailing to the Delightful Floating Market of Tonle Sap and Bidding Farewell to Cambodia

We packed our bags and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Our guide then took us to Tonle Sap, the final attraction on our Cambodia and Vietnam holiday. This vast floating village was truly a feast for the eyes. We sailed across the lake in a spacious private steamer, relishing the exclusivity and privacy it offered. As we ventured through the village, we encountered stunning sights such as temples, churches, and even a market, which delighted us the most! When we reached the floating market, numerous vendors approached us in their charming little boats, offering fruits and vegetables. It was a truly pleasant experience. Finally, our driver dropped us off at the airport, where we boarded our flight back to Bangalore, filled with memories of an exhilarating trip to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Sailing to the adorable floating market of Tonle Sap

Our impressions of the trip: Our expectations for this part of the world were exceeded. We were highly impressed with the seamless arrangement and execution of the trip plan by Mr. Mike of Vigoti Travels. The Water Puppet Show, AO Show, Trang An eco-tour, kayaking amidst the limestone formations in Halong Bay, the Pearl Farm, Cu Chi Tunnels, the floating village of Tonle Sap, exploring the ruins and temples of Siem Reap, and the warm hospitality of the Cambodian people were just a few of the incredible experiences we had on this trip.

standing with my family before the beautiful angkor complex

Not everything went smoothly though: We faced difficulties in finding vegetarian food in Vietnam (except during the first two days), and sadly, my phone was stolen in Ho Chi Minh city, with little help from the Vietnamese police in resolving the matter.

Tips for future travelers: Prioritize researching and finding good Indian restaurants in the cities you plan to visit well in advance. Also, exercise caution with your belongings, especially on the streets of Ho Chi Minh city.

Interested in taking your family on a fantastic vacation to Cambodia and Vietnam? Don’t wait any longer! Check out Fred and Fuzzys‘s expertly crafted packages for these destinations, book yourself a fabulous holiday, and go have a blast!

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