Road Scholar : Home
Voyages to Antiquity: Siem Reap to Hong Kong

Program Number: 20571RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/25/2012 - 1/17/2013;
Duration: 23 nights
Location: Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand/China
Price starting at: $6,947.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 60; 21 Breakfasts, 19 Lunches, 20 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

From the morning chants of saffron-robed monks to exotic regional cuisine, experience the vibrant cultures of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong.




Activity Particulars

Walking over uneven terrain; standing up to 90 minutes at a time; stairs without railings; hot and humid conditions.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Siem Reap (Cambodia), 3 nights; Bangkok (Thailand), 2 nights; aboard MV Aegean Odyssey, 13 nights; Hong Kong, 2 nights.



Days 1-2: Flight from the U.S.A., cross International Date Line


Days 3-5: Arrival Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Take a field trip to the beautiful temple of Banteay Srey, and thrill in the magnitude of Angkor Wat. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Days 6-10: Flight to Bangkok (Thailand) / embark MV Aegean Odyssey / At sea

Listen to the early morning chants of monks at Wat Pho before taking an exhilarating long tail boat ride through the klongs of Bangkok. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



Days 11-14: Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) / Nha Trang / At sea

Sample Vietnamese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City, and visit the 8th-century Ponagar Temples of Nha Trang.



Days 15-16: Da Nang / At sea

Take a field trip to the religious ruins of the Imperial Champa city of My Son before spending the afternoon in the medieval trading port of Hoi An.



Days 17-20: Hanoi (Vietnam) / Halong Bay (Vietnam) / At sea

Walk through the Old Quarter of Hanoi, and thrill in the beauty of more than 3,000 islands in the emerald waters of Halong Bay.



Days 21-23: Hong Kong / disembark / departure

Ride the historic Star Ferry to the Central District, marvel in views of the city from Victoria’s Peak and enjoy a lunch of dim sum - a Cantonese 'tea meal' favorite. Lodging: Five-star hotel with skyline views.



Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium class ship especially rebuilt for cruising in the coastal waters and among the islands of the Mediterranean, visiting small, uncrowded harbors that large ocean liners can't reach. Public areas include Mediterranean-influenced restaurants, a library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.


Meals and Lodgings
   Tara Angkor Hotel
  Siem Reap, Cambodia 3 nights
   Majestic Grande
  Bangkok, Thailand 2 nights
   MV Aegean Odyssey
  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 14 nights
   Hotel Harbour Grand Kowloon
  Hong Kong, Hong Kong 2 nights
 Tara Angkor Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Tara Angkor Hotel is conveniently located on the road to Angkor, 15 minutes from the airport and a short ride to the center of town. With 206 rooms it is equipped with modern amenities and is elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable.
  Contact info: Vithei Charles De Gaulle (Road to Angkor Wat)
Siem Reap,   Cambodia
phone: +855 (0) 63 966 661/2
web: www.taraangkorhotel.com
  Room amenities: Each room has individually controlled air conditioning, television, free wireless Internet access, coffee and tea making facilities, mini bar, complimentary bottled water, hair dryer, personal safe, 220 voltage adapters and transformers (available upon request), wardrobes with bathrobe and slippers for your convenience, and ironing board and iron.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, spa, lounge, room service, poolside bar, lobby bar, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center, sauna, complimentary bicycles, business center, hotel-wide wireless Internet access, gift shop, currency exchange, laundry service, shuttle van, and a shoe shine service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Majestic Grande
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The Majestic Grande combines contemporary décor and state-of-the-art technology with warm hospitality that is uniquely Thai. It is closely located to major Embassies, banks, and the Queen Sirikit Convention Center, and it is within walking distance to the BTS Sky-train Station, which is linked to the MRT Underground.
  Contact info: 12 Sukhumvit Soi 2
Bangkok,  10110 Thailand
phone: +66 (0) 2 262 2999
web: www.majesticgrande.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, telephone, mini bar, personal safe, two daily complimentary bottles of water, coffee and tea making facilities, wireless Internet access, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, laundry and dry-cleaning services, rooftop terrace, outdoor pool, whirlpool, steam room, sauna, gym, and free wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 MV Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The MV Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
web: www.voyagestoantiquity.com
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: MV Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge. Or perhaps an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa and Jacuzzi; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, no wireless available); beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Harbour Grand Kowloon
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: This new five-star hotel is situated in a residential district beside Hong Kong's harbor and affords beautiful views of the Hong Kong skyline. It is about a 15-minute drive to downtown Kowloon.
  Contact info: 20 Tak Fung Street
Whampoa Garden, Hunghom, Kowloon
Hong Kong,   China
phone: +852 2621 3188
web: www.harbourgrand.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a telephone, satellite television, personal safe, individually controlled air conditioning, mini bar, coffee and tea making facilities, wireless Internet access, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, roof-top swimming pool, sauna, safes, Internet access (for a fee), air conditioning, and complimentary shuttle service to the Tsimshatsui shopping area and to subway and railway stations.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Siem Reap, Cambodia. 12:30 PM lunch in the hotel dining room. You will be staying at Tara Angkor Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Hong Kong, China. 6:00 PM on the last day. You will be staying at Hotel Harbour Grand Kowloon the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Siem Reap
  Transportation to site: You may take a taxi from Siem Reap Airport to the Tara Angkor Hotel. It is approximately a 15 minute trip over 7 km. The cost is approximately USD $7 which can be paid in US dollars.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Hong Kong
  Transportation from site: There are three options for traveling from the hotel to Hong Kong International Airport 1) Taxi: approximate cost is HK$300 (US$39); approximately 45 minutes. 2) Airport Express MTR: Trains operate from Kowloon Station every 12 minutes from 5:53 AM to 12:52 AM. The fare is HK$90 (US$12) one way. The Kowloon MTR station is accessible via a short taxi ride. 3) Hotel Shuttle Bus: Cost is HK$130 (US$17) and shuttles run from 5:15 AM to 10:15 PM.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In transit.
(Tuesday, December 25)
   
 In Transit: Depart on international flight.

Day 2: In transit.
(Wednesday, December 26)
   
 In Transit: Continue international flight. Cross International Date Line.

Day 3: Arrival in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
(Thursday, December 27)
   
 Morning: Arrive at Siem Reap airport and transfer to the hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Meet in the hotel lobby at 4:00 PM for a Road Scholar introduction and orientation to the program.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the Fou Nan Restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Tara Angkor Hotel
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Siem Reap, Cambodia.
(Friday, December 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Travel to the gem of the Angkor area, the beautiful temple of Banteay Srey, which is best viewed in the warm morning light. The so-called "Citadel of the Women" was built between the 11th and 13th century and remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art and this small temple is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs depicting the Hindu god Shiva. Banteay Srey is unique because of the pink sandstone used in its construction and which is not seen anywhere else in Angkor. On the way back to Siem Reap, stop at the Landmine Museum where the museum's founder, Mr. Aki Ra, was a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge regime and is working today as a de-miner. The museum also serves as a rescue center for a number of landmine amputee children that Aki Ra has brought off Phnom Penh's streets or from impoverished rural communities.
 Lunch: Lunch at Champey Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit the legendary Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carving and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the ways Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around 30 years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is featured on the Cambodian national flag as it symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. You will be there during sunset, when Angkor Wat is less crowded and the Apsaras (female spirits) will shine in the most beautiful light.
 Dinner: Dinner at Kanell Restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Tara Angkor Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Siem Reap, Cambodia / Tonlé Sap Lake.
(Saturday, December 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Embark on a fascinating boat ride on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will learn about life on the lake. Tonlé Sap is South East Asia's largest freshwater lake and its size varies greatly between seasons, sometimes swelling up to four times its original size during the wet season! Visit the small village of Kampong Phluck where you will see houses built on stilts to protect them from Tonlé Sap Lake's ebb and flow. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests.
 Lunch: Lunch at Cassia Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This city was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman II. This city is surrounded by a 26 foot high wall, with each side of the city being 2.5 miles long, forming a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate. Continue to the exact center of the city to find the Bayon Temple. This temple is unique because of the 54 towers with four faces representing the 54 provinces of the then Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and The Terrace of the Leper King are also a must, as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. Afterwards, partake in a very special ceremony in which Buddhist monks will perform a private blessing ceremony for you, wishing you health and safety during your journey.
 Dinner: Dinner at Viroth Restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Tara Angkor Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Siem Reap, Cambodia / Bangkok, Thailand.
(Sunday, December 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore the Ta Prohm temple which is unique because it has been largely left as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the 'Tomb Raider Temple' one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Field trip to the Angkor National Museum, which showcases artifacts from the Golden Era of the Khmer Empire.
 Lunch: Lunch in hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Transfer to airport for 3:20 PM flight to Bangkok (estimated arrival 4:45 PM). Transfer to hotel. En route, learn about the city, its rich history, and Thai culture in general.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Majestic Grande
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Bangkok, Thailand.
(Monday, December 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: An early start will take you to Wat Pho in time to experience the monks early morning chanting ritual. After this uplifting and often private experience visit the temple grounds and the famous 146 foot reclining Buddha. Continue to the Grand Palace and marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Supatra River House.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an exhilarating long tail boat ride through the klongs of Bangkok to Nonthaburi in the far north of the city, where the cityscape turns into countryside. Stop the boat to walk through a bustling local market place and discover a riverside temple with an impressive reclining Buddha far from the tourist crowds. We stop for a fresh coconut juice and chat with the locals before cruising back into town.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Enjoy a New Year's Eve toast with your fellow Road Scholars.
   
Accommodations: Majestic Grande
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Bangkok, Thailand / Embark
(Tuesday, January 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Free time to relax or explore the city.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Your local guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and accompany you, by coach, for embarkation at the Lam Chabang Pier. Transfer to MV Aegean Odyssey for embarkation at 4 PM. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge." You will benefit from the advantage of small-ship cruising as you board Aegean Odyssey in the heart of Bangkok, before sailing down the Phraya River to the Gulf of Thailand.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: At sea.
(Wednesday, January 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. A chance to relax on deck and enjoy the shipboard guest lectures.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Sihanoukville, Cambodia / Phnom Penh.
(Thursday, January 3)

Note: Please cover arms, shoulders and knees. It is recommended to wear socks as it is required to remove shoes at the Silver Pagoda. Museum photography is allowed only in the courtyard. Backpacks are not permitted in the Royal Palace. On occasion, the palace closes at short notice. If this occurs, the temple will be combined with a visit to the Central Market.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: From the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville, you will travel to the country's exotic capital Phnom Penh. With its fragrant markets, Royal Palace, bustling riverfront and monks in traditional saffron robes, this is a place redolent of an older Asia. After Angkor was abandoned in the 15th century, Phnom Penh on the banks of the Mekong River became the country's new capital. The city flourished during French colonial rule and much of its current layout dates from this time. Despite horrific suffering during the time of the Khmer Rouge, the Cambodians are a resilient people and Phnom Penh is once again a thriving and charming place.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Your field trip will include the National Museum with its extensive collection of Khmer art and sculpture, and the Royal Palace with its beautiful gardens. * Please note that the trip to Phnom Penh is a very long day; those participants wishing a less strenuous excursion will be able take a half day excursion, “Sihanoukville & Surroundings.”
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: At sea.
(Friday, January 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. A relaxing day to enjoy the sunshine and the shipboard guest lectures as the ship makes its way to Ho Chi Minh City.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Cool off by taking a dip in the outdoor swimming pool and take in the refreshing ocean air.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
(Saturday, January 5)

Note: Participants are advised to convert about ten to twenty dollars into local currency if wishing to take a taxi or stop for a drink.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a lecture by a guest speaker. A spectacular arrival in one of Southeast Asia's most exciting cities as Aegean Odyssey cruises up the Saigon River to berth in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. Your central location is perfect for not only exploring Saigon but also gives you the chance to sample one of the world's great cuisines (no visit to Vietnam is complete without trying a bowl of the local noodle soup, pho).
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Called Saigon until 1975, this city is a potpourri of pagodas, modern towers and grand old buildings influenced by its French colonial past. Bicycles and motorcycles speed frantically past carts selling all manner of goods from loaves of French bread to crispy roasted ducks. Get acquainted with the city's incredible mix on this half-day excursion that includes a photo stop at the neo-Romanesque cathedral of Notre Dame. Built in the mid- 1800s, the cathedral is the focal point of the city center. Just across the square, visit the Central Post Office, designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel to showcase French colonial style. High vaulted ceilings, colonial furnishings, and period pieces accentuate the feeling of being in another place in time. In sharp contrast to this vibrant city's colonial past is the newly renovated War Remnants Museum. The grounds are dotted with an array of aircraft, tanks and other weaponry left behind. The museum itself extends over three floors and consists primarily of photos, all labeled in English, documenting the Vietnam War and its aftermath. From the museum, step into the lively world of Ho Chi Minh City today at the Ben Thanh main market, and find everything from coffee beans to bowls of the local noodle soup, pho. If you wish, stay behind to explore and later make your own way back to the ship. Just remember to bring some local currency for shopping – and your best bargaining skills.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
(Sunday, January 6)

Note: The terrain is flat, but uneven and may be slippery. Please wear walking shoes, bring a hat and insect repellant.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy this Road Scholar field trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels in the Mekong Delta. Construction on these tunnels began in the 1940s by the Viet Minh and once stretched for 210 miles. They once contained extensive Viet Cong infrastructure including tactical quarters, storage rooms, kitchens, a school, and even an underground hospital. Most entrances were so well disguised that only a small portion of the system was ever discovered during the American war, despite the fact that some 125 miles ran under a U.S. military base.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The ship sets sail in the early afternoon. Attend a lecture by a guest speaker.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Nha Trang, Vietnam.
(Monday, January 7)

Note: Please remember we will be entering sacred monuments. Knees and shoulders must be covered, and shoes and hats removed when entering the prayer hall.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a lecture by a guest speaker.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: See for yourself why beautiful beaches are just part of Nha Trang's charm and walk amid pilgrims at Po Nagar, some of the best-preserved Cham towers in Vietnam. Start this afternoon's excursion at the port with a visit to the aquarium of the National Oceanographic Museum, built back in the 1920s. Then drive along the palm-fringed bay to Long Son Pagoda, an active Buddhist temple. Climb 152 stone steps to the giant white Buddha seated on a lotus blossom and meditate on the superb views. The highlight is your visit to the sanctuary of Po Nagar or "Mistress of the Kingdom." Built between the 7th and 12th centuries, these Cham towers of Hindu worship are now also used by Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists. Enjoy the view down on to the Ha Ra Bridge and Nha Trang’s fishing fleet. Complete your excursion with a stroll around Dam market where you can bargain for fresh produce, exotic fruit, and such treats as mango cake.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: At sea.
(Tuesday, January 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy the Observation Deck if the weather is nice. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. You may wish to enjoy a treatment at the ship's spa.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Da Nang, Vietnam
(Wednesday, January 9)

Note: There is considerable walking, though mainly on flat ground. Please wear comfortable walking shoes.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Da Nang is Vietnam's third largest city and is located on the South China Sea coast midway between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Founded by the Cham people some 3,000 years ago, it became a popular resort for GIs on R&R during the Vietnam War due to its proximity to the surf of China Beach. Set out to visit the religious ruins of the Imperial Champa city of My Son.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Hoi An sampling the variety of Vietnamese cuisine.
 Afternoon: Continue your full-day field trip in the medieval trading port of Hoi An. The narrow streets of Hoi An are lined with pristine 16th-century houses decorated with lacquer panels and built from rare timbers: this place is a real delight. On your way you will pass through the picturesque scenery of rural Vietnam with its extensive paddy fields and luscious vegetation. From Hoi An, you may return to ship, or stay on and take the later coach back.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: At sea.
(Thursday, January 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. A chance to relax on deck and enjoy the shipboard guest lectures.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. You may wish to enjoy a selection of freshly-prepared sandwiches, cakes and scones served in the Observation Lounge. Accompanying these is a selection of refreshing teas and a choice of coffees.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Hanoi, Vietnam.
(Friday, January 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The capital of Vietnam, and also its second largest city, Hanoi is the perfect blend of East and West, with Chinese influence from 42 centuries of dominance, and French design from its colonial past. It is largely unspoiled by modern architecture and as a result it has retained a Parisian grace with its wide boulevards lined by huge mansions and carefully designed parks and public spaces. Departing from the port of Hong Gai, you will see many of the great sights this fascinating city has to offer including the 1,000-year-old Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum. Walking through the Old Quarter with its market stalls heaving with exotic produce and myriad street food stalls is like stepping back in time.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue your excursion of Hanoi before returning to the ship in Hong Gai.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Cruising Halong Bay, Vietnam.
(Saturday, January 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Wind through the jade waters of the Gulf of Tonkin for a close-up look at this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over 3,000 stone islands and islets create one of Vietnam's great scenic wonders. These limestone pillars, known as drowned karst towers, rise from the water in shapes that inspire such names as Marionette, Monkey and Toad islands. The legend of the islands' creation is equally whimsical. Halong Bay is said to have been created by dragons. Long ago, a Mother Dragon and her children were sent by the Jade Emperor to protect the Viet people in time of war. Rather than fire, the dragons spit out pearls, jades, and all manner of jewels that turned into a barrier of islands. The invaders were repelled but the dragons, instead of returning to the heavens, chose to stay and make Halong Bay – literally descending dragon bay – their home. Board a local boat for a gentle cruise around these islands, draped with lush foliage and pocked with caves and grottos created by waves and wind. Cruise past all manner of watercraft, from junks to sampans, as you pass generations-old floating fishing villages and step ashore on one of these islands to explore a cavern pocked with stalactites and stalagmites before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue to enjoy the picturesque views of Halong Bay.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: At sea.
(Sunday, January 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. A chance to relax on deck and enjoy the shipboard guest lectures.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Enjoy the Observation Deck if the weather is nice, or dive into a good book from the ship's library.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: At sea.
(Monday, January 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Cool off by taking a dip in the outdoor swimming pool and take in the refreshing ocean air.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Hong Kong, China / Disembark
(Tuesday, January 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark and ride the historic Star Ferry across the harbor to Central District. Even after 100 years, the ferry remains an important commuter link from Kowloon to Hong Kong island. The eight-minute crossing provides spectacular 360 degree views of Hong Kong's magnificent harbor. Drive to the base of Victoria Peak and take the funicular up the highest mountain on the island, where spectacular views stretch over the city's most expensive real estate, to the harbor beyond.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Explore Stanley Bay's seaside promenade and its famous market independently or relax at one of its many waterfront restaurants and cafes.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Harbour Grand Kowloon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 23: Hong Kong, China.
(Wednesday, January 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Known for its antique and curio shops as well as contemporary art galleries, this area is a favorite for collectors or simple those who want to browse and imbibe the ambience of 'old Hong Kong.' At the foot of Hollywood Road lies colorful Man Mo Temple, one of Hong Kong's oldest and most active.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to relax or explore.
 Dinner: Depart for a farewell dinner at Lei Yue Mun. Once a small fishing village, it still retains much of its original character. Lei Yue Mun overlooks the Eastern gate of Victoria Harbor.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Harbour Grand Kowloon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 24: Hong Kong, China / Departures
(Thursday, January 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Free time to prepare for your departure.
 Lunch: Enjoy a lunch of dim sum - a Cantonese/Hong Kong 'tea meal' favorite. These dishes include a selection of fried and steamed dumplings as well as various other savory items. The term for this Chinese style of eating translates as "heart's delight." Originally dim sum referred to the Cantonese practice of serving small dishes in teahouses.
 Afternoon: At the fascinating Hong Kong History Museum, learn about the unique origins of this beautiful city - from the history of its original inhabitants to its present-day status as a distinctively international port and financial center. Late afternoon transfer to the airport.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Bangkok MBK (Ma Boon Krong) or Siam Area
Take the sky train to Siam or National Stadium and explore Bangkok's well known shopping area.
  Royal Barges Museum
The Royal Thai Barges are not slow, wide transport ships, but rather are incredibly decorated, slender, ornate, longtail boats that were once used daily by the royal family. This museum is a delight for anyone interested in Thai art or culture.
  Siem Reap Angkor Night Market
In the evening, you may wish to explore the Angkor Night Market and "Pub Street" with its many restaurants.
  Old Market (Phsar Chas)
At the central market, Phsar Chas, you will find silks, handicrafts and souvenirs.
  Hong Kong Flagstaff Museum of Tea and Hong Kong Park
The small Museum of Tea is located in Flagstaff House, the oldest colonial building in Hong Kong. Built for the British commander of forces, it is now home to a collection of tea and a center of tea culture. It is situated in Hong Kong Park whose lovely grounds include one of southeast Asia's largest greenhouses and an aviary with more than 100 bird species in a tropical rain forest setting.
  Hollywood Road
This winding half mile road in Central District features shops that sell Chinese and Asian antiques and reproductions including ceramics, paintings, furniture and folk artifacts. The shops provide pleasurable browsing.
  Hong Kong Museum of Art
Conveniently located in downtown Tsim Sha Tsui and beside the harbor, this small museum houses Chinese antiquities and fine arts, as well as special exhibitions and works by contemporary artists.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam


Author: Norman Lewis


Description: A classic account of travels and adventure during the last years of French Indochina, strong on atmosphere and including wonderfully detailed descriptions of local cultures and archaeological treasures. First published in 1951.



A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia


Author: J.M. Barwise, Nicholas J. White


Description: A compact history of the region, including the Khmer and the various ancient kingdoms that produced Borobudur, Angkor and other architectural marvels.



Angkor Map


Author: Dawn Rooney


Description: A site plan and pocket guide to the city of Angkor at a scale of 1:40,000.



Angkor, Heart of an Asian Empire


Author: Bruno Dagens


Description: An excellent guide to the site, this shirt-pocket encyclopedia of discovery features hundreds of color photographs, illustrations and maps.



Arts of Southeast Asia


Author: Fiona Kerlogue


Description: A handsome guide to the art, architecture, textiles and crafts of Southeast Asia.



Birds of Southeast Asia


Author: Craig Robson


Description: This authoritative, masterfully illustrated guide, featuring 140 color plates covering 1,270 species throughout the region, also includes Malaysia, Burma, Borneo and Indonesia.



Culture Smart! Hong Kong


Author: Clare Vickers


Description: A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.



Culture Smart! Thailand


Author: Roger Jones


Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with practical travel advice and a short overview of the land and people.



Eyewitness Guide Vietnam and Angkor Wat


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Featuring innovative site diagrams, local maps and hundreds of color photographs, this handy companion introduces the culture, history and attractions of Vietnam.



Fodor's Bangkok's 25 Best


Author: Sylvie Franquet, Anthony Sattin


Description: This slim guide to Bangkok includes an excellent pullout map of the center of the city along with essential information on its highlights.



Hong Kong


Author: Jan Morris


Description: A wonderful portrait of Hong Kong by one of our favorite writers. Morris enumerates the many personal pleasures of the city, deftly interweaving reportage, history and culture.



Insight City Guide Bangkok


Author: Insight Guides


Description: This delightful guide, with 600 color photographs, features maps, not-to-be-missed attractions and a comprehensive street atlas.



Insight Select Hong Kong


Author: Insight Guides


Description: A handy pocket guide to secret gems and off-beat itinerary ideas for a memorable stay in Hong Kong. With a handpicked list of hotels for all tastes and budgets and travel tips.



Kowloon Tong, A Novel of Hong Kong


Author: Paul Theroux


Description: With its strong sense of place and contemporary setting in Hong Kong at a time of transition, this fast-paced novel is an illuminating and imaginative look at the city.



Lonely Planet Angkor Wat & Siem Reap Encounter


Author: Nick Ray


Description: This lively shirt pocket guide is jammed with personal recommendations, photographs and a pull-out map.



Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha


Author: Dorothy Gilman


Description: Grandma Pollifax, the CIA agent, is at it again, hot on the trail of jewel thieves, drug dealers and murderers in the city of Hong Kong. Part of the popular series, this mystery is great fun.



Phnom Penh, A Cultural History


Author: Milton Osborne


Description: As a one-time resident of Phnom Penh and an authority on Southeast Asia, Milton Osborne provides a colorful account of the troubled history and appealing culture of Cambodia's capital city.



Southeast Asia Map


Author: Nelles


Description: A clear, double-sided map of all of Southeast Asia at a scale of 1:4,500,000.



The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars


Author: Andrew X. Pham


Description: Pham recounts the story of his father's life during the French occupation, Japanese invasion and the American War, weaving such momentous events with anecdotes from his childhood and details of family, friends, food and daily life.



The Gods Drink Whiskey


Author: Stephen T. Asma


Description: Asma writes with verve and wit in this eye-opening account of his yearlong stint teaching at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh. His account is both an overview of Theravada Buddhism and a down-to-earth portrait of contemporary Cambodia.



The Quiet American


Author: Graham Greene


Description: A classic, this is the most famous Western work of fiction on Vietnam. Greene writes of a love triangle between a war correspondent, his Vietnamese consort and an optimistic young American during the last days of French rule.



Understanding Vietnam


Author: Neil Jamieson


Description: Jamieson's ambitious primer addresses politics, social history, village life, structural renewal, literature and the arts, illuminating the Vietnamese worldview with insight and depth. It's a terrific introduction to Vietnam.



Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: John Balaban, Nguyen Qui Duc


Description: From rain forest and rural countryside to the cities, these 17 stories from Vietnam's finest writers explore Vietnam's landscapes, myths and changing traditions.





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