2023 JAPAN G1with Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand 26 day tour - March 11, 2023
- Japan: Our cruise and tour will include Kobe, Kyoto, Mt Fuji, Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Himeji, Nara, and Uji. The cities we visit in Japan can be found in nearly everyone’s top 10 cities or places to visit in Japan. The highlight of highlights in 2023 –Experience staggering beauty of Japan’s Cherry Blossoms: We have reviewed the last 8 years of when the Cherry Blossom season occurs. Mother nature can never fully be predictable, but the time we have scheduled for 2023 would have all worked during the last 5 years. The odds are in our favor.
- Vietnam and Cambodia: Our special tour includes – the BEST ancient ruins in the world – Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a “luxurious” cruise on the Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam visiting small ancient villages. Our tour and cruise also includes the major cities of Phnom Penn in Cambodia, Ho Chi Min (Saigon) in Vietnam, Hanoi in Vietnam – Plus, possibly the most beautiful place on earth, Halong Bay in Vietnam.
- Luxury AmaWaterways Cruise Ship: Every cabin is over 250 square feet with both a French Balcony and an Outside Porch Balcony. Our small intimate ship holds 120 passengers. We have reservations for 40 cabins, 80 passengers. AmaWaterways in 2020 was awarded first places trophies for the Best River Cruise Line in the world, the Best River Cruise Line in Europe, and the Best River Cruise Line in Asia – Beating out all other river cruise companies including Viking!
- 5-Star Luxury Phuket Island Beach Resort: There are beach resorts all over the world, but very few can compare to our Phuket Beach Resort. It is on almost everyone’s list of the best beach resorts in the world. It will be an absolute highlight of this tour and cruise.
Package Price Includes:
Our 26 Day Special Package Price:
It is a combination of an AmaWaterways Luxurious Cruise, COMBINED with a unique designed land tour in Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. The total price is the combination of the cruise and land tour:
AmaWaterways Luxurious Cruise Portion of Our Package Includes:
- 8-day 7-night cruise from Angkor Wat area in Cambodia to Ho Chi Min (Saigon) in Vietnam with AmaWaterways – the BEST cruise company in Asia.
- Luxurious Cat B Double Balcony Cabin.
- All taxes and fees.
- All port charges.
- Transfer from Siem Reap to the ship.
- All shore excursions.
- Three quality meals a day and we do mean quality!
- Free internet.
- Free movies.
- Bottled water, bathrobes and slippers in each cabin.
- Dr. Michael Wilcox as your educator.
- Fun For Less Tours Staff.
- Headset receivers for all shore excursions.
- Option to upgrade to Cat A and Suite Cabins lower than what the ship sells them for.
Special discounted ship package price: $3,798
Plus ship port charges, taxes & fees: +$200
Minus Fun For Less Group Discount: -$800
Out Special Cruise discount price: $3,198 per person
- The ship sells our $3,198 package for $3,998 per person – saving you $800 per person. This really is a fantastic deal. You can ALSO save even more when you upgrade to Cat A or a Suite Cabin:
- Upgrade to Cat A, better location on the ship: upgrade for $400 per person.
- Upgrade to a large Suite “best location” on the ship: only $900 per person.
Land Portion in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam:
- 5 Nights Deluxe Hotel Osaka Japan (our base – High-speed Trains and buses to other cities).
- 4 Nights 5-Star Luxury Beach Resort Phuket.
- 2 Nights 5-Star Luxury Hotel Angkor Wat Cambodia.
- 3 Nights 5-Star Luxury Hotel Hanoi Vietnam.
- 1 Night Deluxe Hotel in Bangkok Thailand.
- 1 Night Deluxe Hotel Tokyo.
- 3 Airfares
- Angkor Wat to Hanoi.
- Hanoi to Phuket.
- Phuket to Bangkok.
- Includes: Checked luggage, Taxes, and Fees.
- National Park Pass Cambodia.
- Full-Day to the many ruins of Angkor Wat.
- All transfers from and to airports, ships, and hotels.
- Halong Bay boat ride.
- All tours, guides, buses, entrance fees in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
- Round Trip High-speed Train between Osaka and Hiroshima.
- Bullet Train to Mt. Fuji.
- Includes any other needed use of Japan’s High-speed Trains.
- Dr. Michael Wilcox will be giving lectures on the ship and in the Osaka, Japan Hotel.
- Tour Managers Anita and Eric Towner.
- Use of our “Whisper Perfect” headset receivers.
- Not included in our Package:
- The option to purchase our group airfare.
- The international flight from Bangkok to Osaka. This flight will be required to purchase through Fun For Less Tours. Price will be known about 6 months before departure.
Land Tour Package Price: $4,495
Total Combined Cruise and Land Tour Package: $7,693
Package Price: $7,693 - Total Combined Cruise and Land Tour Package*
*Per person, cash discount price, Does not include airfare international flight or flight from Vietnam to Japan. It does include shore excursions.
Amawaterways Asia cabins are more luxurious and larger than almost any other river cruise ship.
Note: the lower level is for staff, Cat B cabins are on the main level, Cat A cabins are one story above B and Suite Cabins are the top floor two stories above main level.
Day 1 March 11: Fly to Ho Chi Min (Saigon), Vietnam
Day 2 March 12: Ho Chi Min
This evening we will arrive into Ho Chi Min City, after clearing customs we will transfer to our 5 -Star Luxury Hotel.
Day 3 March 13: Ho Chi Minh City – AmaWaterways Cruise Ship
This morning we will head to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an important Vietcong base during the Vietnam war. Stretching over 120 miles, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelters, and weapons factories. We will also tour Ho Chi Min (Saigon). The tour will include Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, and the Reunification Palace. We will then drive to meet our ship late this afternoon. (B, D)
Day 4 March 14: CAI BE – SA DEC
Take a local boat to Cai Be. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper-making workshops, as well as the historic Kiet Old House. Later in the day, journey to Sa Dec, a sprawling town on the Mekong Delta, where French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her youth. You will visit the colorful market, Cao Dai Temple, and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, which her prize-winning novel, “The Lover,” is said to be based on. (B,L,D)
Day 5 March 15: TAN CHAU – BORDER CROSSING
Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. Be treated to an authentic experience on a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Alternatively, take a boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh. (B,L,D)
Day 6 March 16: PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum). Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. After lunch on board, you will explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)
Day 7 March 17: OUDONG – KAMPONG TRALACH – PHNOM PENH
Visit Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. You may walk around Oudong’s monastery or take an active walking tour to see panoramic views of the Oudong plain. In Kampong Tralach, you will have a truly authentic excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk ride and be enchanted by the city’s French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian (B,L,D)
Day 8 March 18: OKNHATEY – ANGKOR BAN
In the morning, set sail for Oknhatey Village. Oknhatey is the “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you will visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving, an art that has been preserved for centuries. Your cruise continues to sail to Angkor Ban. (B,L,D)
Day 9 March 19: ANGKOR BAN – KAMPONG CHAM
Go on a walking tour of Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in Cambodia that was not destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Here people still live in their traditional wooden abodes and keep their old cultural traditions alive. Hundreds of wooden houses stand intact on stilts, shaded with banana trees, among the hustle and bustle of the daily agricultural on-going of the local villagers. After visiting here, the ship sets sail for Kampong Cham, where you will go on an afternoon excursion via motorcoach to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the annals of Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. Cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)
Day 10 March 20: Disembarkation – Transfer via motorcoach to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Your excursion today takes you to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. As the story goes, the women lit a fire at night, which made the men believe the sun was rising. As a result, the men stopped working and the women won the competition. Thus, men still need to ask the women’s parents for permission, and Phnom Srei is higher than Phnom Pros. Upon arrival into Siem Reap, we will check into our Luxury 5-Star Hotel.
Day 11 March 21: Angkor Wat – Siem Reap
Visit Angkor Wat: Today will be a fantastic highlight day! The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, ANGKOR WAT is the national symbol and a favorite of Cambodia. The largest, best-preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples. Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, you must cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. As you enter the main building, you will ascend through a series of galleries and courtyards before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, we stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along with the outer gallery, walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day.
Visit Angkor Thom: The fortified city of ANGKOR THOM covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats, the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monumental SOUTH GATE over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the TERRACE OF THE ELEPHANTS and the TERRACE OF THE LEPER KINGS, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs. We will visit the ruined BAPHUON, ROYAL ENCLOSURE, and PHIMEANAKAS
Visit TA PROHM: One of the most popular attractions of Angkor. Much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. Overnight Siem Reap.
Day 12 March 22: Siem Reap – Hanoi
This morning we will visit Tonle Sap Lake. By boat, we will explore the floating fishing villages that live at the edges of the lake, passing submerged forests and fishing farms. We will then transfer this afternoon to the airport for our flight to Hanoi, Vietnam. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our 5-Star Luxury Hotel.
Day 13 March 23: Hanoi Halong Bay
Today will be a full-day tour to Halong Bay with a boat trip. According to legends, Halong Bay was formed by dragons who used their tails to gouge out valleys and crevices and spat out jewels that turned into islands. This is truly one of the most beautiful places on this earth. On a traditional wooden “junk” (boat) we’ll drift through a fairyland of sheer limestone islands that rise from the emerald water. We will pass by unique rock formations and caves in the rocks. At the end of a fantastic day, we will return to our hotel in Hanoi.
Day 14 March 24: Hanoi
We will spend the day touring Hanoi. Our tour will include the mystery and charm of past century’s narrow lanes and traditional shophouses on our walking tour. We also include the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex, the Temple of Literature, and the highlight, the Old Town. The Old Town is best seen on foot. The maze of narrow streets dates back to the 13th century. We will also visit the famous Hanoi Hilton (prison).
Day 15 March 25: Hanoi – Phuket
This morning we will fly from Hanoi to the Island of Phuket. There are two islands in the world the owners of Fun For Less Tours have as their favorite islands in the world to vacation. One is the island of Bali and the other is the Island of Phuket.
Day 16, 17, 18 March 26, 27, 28: Phuket
We love Phuket! Your beach resort is not just a nice beach resort. Consider the hundreds of thousands of beach resorts in the world – Your beach resort hotel is the JW Marriott and is considered one of the top 40 Beach Resorts in the whole world.
Day 19 March 29: Phuket – Bangkok
This morning early, we will fly to Bangkok. We will have plenty of time after arrival to do our tour of Bangkok. Our tour today includes a city tour and the gigantic highlight of the Grand Palace area, which includes several Golden Temples and the Royal Residence. The beauty of the area is truly breathtaking. We will overnight near the Bangkok Airport as tomorrow we fly from Bangkok to Osaka, Japan.
Day 20 March 30: Bangkok – Osaka Japan
This morning we will fly to Osaka, Japan; with the time zone changes, we will arrive in the afternoon. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our deluxe hotel.
Important note: We are still working out all of the details with Japan related to our different tours and what will be included. We have listed some of what we expect, but all tours are subject to some tweaking as we work through what we can do in the time we have.
Day 21 March 31: Osaka – Himeji Castle, Kobe, and Osaka
Himeji Castle, also known as White Heron Castle, due to its elegant, white appearance, is widely considered as Japan’s most spectacular castle for its imposing size, beauty, and its well-preserved complex castle grounds. It is also a World Heritage Site. Followed by a visit to Kobe Harbor Land & Port Tower Landmark before heading to Osaka for the afternoon. Osaka Castle Park is beautiful during the Cherry Blossom Season. We will also visit the lively Shinsaibashi Walking Street and Dotonbori, the most lively areas in Osaka.
Day 22 April 1: Osaka – Hiroshima – Osaka
We will depart early for the train station. You have heard about Japan’s highspeed bullet trains that can travel up to 200 miles an hour, today you’re going to experience it going to and returning from Hiroshima. It is around 1.5 hours to Hiroshima by bullet train. Upon arrival, we will take a ferry to see the Itsukushima Shrine (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Red Torii Gate floating in the sea before heading to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Then return by train to Osaka.
Day 23 April 2: Osaka – Kyoto – Osaka
Today will be another huge highlight day. Kyoto, on most lists, is considered the #1 place to visit in Japan. We will visit the Golden Pavilion and its gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then we will visit Nijo Castle built in 1603 and at times, used as a Royal Palace; it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will also visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace, used as the residence of Japan’s Imperial Family until 1868 when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. The Kiyomizudera Temple (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. Near Kiyomizudera Temple is the ancient unspoiled historical streets of Ninenzaka that you will be able to explore. Then return by train to Osaka.
Day 24 April 3: Osaka – Naha – Uji – Osaka
Today we will visit Nara Deer Park, where you can enjoy feeding cute deer. We will also visit Todaiji Temple with its Giant Buddha. It is one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark in Nara. After our tours in Nara, we will head to Uji City to visit the Byodoin Temple, and its garden is a picture-taking paradise. We then head to Byodo-in Omotesando Street with its many shops before returning to Osaka.
Day 25 April 4: Osaka – Fuji – Tokyo
This morning we head to Mt. Fuji by bullet train, getting off in Odawara station. We will then travel by bus to Hakone, where we will take a cruise to enjoy Lake Ashi, where we can have a great view of Mt. Fuji. Your experience gets even better; we will then travel by cable car on the Hakone Rope Way to Owakudani Volcanic Valley. At the end of the day, we continue by bus to Tokyo.
Day 26 April 5: Tour Tokyo – fly to LAX
Early this morning, we will visit a fish market area that you should not miss in Tokyo. Our tour today will also include the Emperor Palace and other important sites in Tokyo. Mid-afternoon, we will transfer to the Narita Airport for our evening flight back to the U.S. and home.