This tour is specially designed for those who wish to discover the extraordinary civilizations of the people of Indochina. It begins in Laos, a small country of tropical forests and mountains with the capital of Vientiane, which lies within sight of the Thai border on the Mekong River. We follow with Luang Prabang, the ancient capital and home of the former royal family. The second leg of the journey is Vietnam, which has 4,000 years of history with Hanoi – the capital known for its shimmering lakes, shaded boulevards and verdant parks, Ho Chi Minh City – a young city with a dynamic spirit, Halong Bay – a world natural heritage site recognized by UNESCO and the Mekong Delta – Vietnam’s rice basket with evergreen paddy fields. The final stop is the temples of Angkor, one of the World Heritage sites.
VIENTIANE – LUANG PRABANG – HA NOI – HA LONG – SAI GON – MEKONG DELTA – SIEM REAP
14 days 13 nights
Travel styles: Classic and cultural
Day 1 Arrival in Vientiane
Arrive at Vientiane, warm welcome at the airport with the tour guide and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Stay overnight in Vientiane
A city tour includes Wat Simuang, Wat Sisaket, Wat Prakeo, the Patuxai Victory Gate and the 16th century That Luang Golden Stupa. Visit the Morning Market and end the day with watching the sunset on the banks of the Mekong River. Overnight in Vientiane
Day 3 Vientiane Luang Prabang (B,L)
Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Luang Prabang, 420km north of Vientiane. Luang Prabang was the capital of the first Lao Kingdom, Lan Xang, in 1353. It is about 700 m above sea level at the confluence of the Nam Khan River and the Mekong River. Luang Prabang has become a tourist attraction because of its 32 historical temples built before the era of French colonisation. A city tour to the former Royal Palace comprises the National Museum, Vat Visun, Wat Sen, Wat Sieng Thong and Mount Phousi with a panoramic view of the city.
Day 4 Excursion to Pak Ou (B,L)
Enjoy a full-day boat trip on the Mekong River to holy Pak Ou Caves, full of Buddha images of all styles and sizes. Stop over at the nearby villages of Xang Hai, Thin Hong and Pak Ou. Return to Luang Prabang by boat and overland to the traditional hand-weaving village of Phanom.
Day 5 Luang Prabang – Hanoi (B)
Have breakfast at the hotel, normally check out.
Free time until transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Pick up and transfer to a hotel. Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, boasts tree-lined streets and centuries-old temples.
Day 6 Hanoi street food and city tour (B,L)
Morning stop at Bach Ma temple and continue walking along the narrow streets to Hang Be market. Taste street foods and learn about “local cuisine culture”, such as cha que (sausage with cinnamon), banh cuon (Vietnamese rolling cakes), bun cha (rice noodles served with cha que), nem (deep fried “square-shape” spring rolls) and che (a popular dessert soup with many varieties kinds of beans). Take a rest at a local cafe.
Afternoon, continue visiting the Presidential Palace (façade only), One Pillar pagoda, the Temple of Literature. Enjoy a cyclo ride through Hanoi's Old Quarter, followed is the water puppet show at Thang Long theatre.
Day 7 Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Depart to Halong Bay. Enjoy the landscape of the Red River Delta country side.
On arrival, enjoy welcome drink on board, receive cruise brief programs and safety instructions. Then check-in and enjoy lunch while the cruise starts cruising into quiet area of Halong Bay, passing small islets. Visit caves, grottos by bamboo boat and stop at a beach for swimming or enjoy kayaking (optional). You can enjoy cruise activities such as cooking class, Happy Hour time, watching movies, or squid fishing at night. Enjoy dinner and relaxing time on board.
Day 8 Halong Bay – Hanoi – Saigon (B)
The day starts early onboard with Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Coffee, tea and pastries for breakfast are served in the dining room with morning view of bay’s landscape.
Visit one of the biggest cave in Halong bay with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Return to the boat, check-out and cruising back to the Wharf. Disembark and say farewell to the crew.
Transfer back to Hanoi airport for flight to Saigon, the hustle and bustle city.
Pick-up airport and transfer to hotel for relaxing. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 9 Cu Chi Tunnels – City tour (B,L)
8:00AM have an excursion to Cu Chi, 70km north of Saigon, famed for its over 200-kilometer tunnel system that was used by guerrilla fighters during the Viet Nam War. We will understand how they managed to prolong the war in such difficult conditions. Stop at the Ben Duoc War Memorial (over 40,000 people have fallen) before testing your marksmanship with an AK rifle at local rifle range (optional).
In the Afternoon, city tour includes: War Remnants Museum, features Notre Dame Cathedral built by the French in 1880 and City Post office building. Drop by Ben Thanh Market for viewing local people doing transaction at their busiest time. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 10 Sai Gon – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta) – Saigon (B,L)
Drive toward Mekong Delta – Southern area of Viet Nam and known as the rice basket of Viet Nam. On arrival in Hùng vương Pier (Bến Tre town). Take a private boat on Bến Tre River – one of tributaries of Mekong River, Sight-seeing lively activities along river as fishing, water transferring… Stop at brickwork to see how to make bricks in handy traditional style by printing and baking. Visit one of plenty of coconut processing workshops located along canal. Follow tiny creeks that get smaller and smaller as we to go to village. Take a walk to family workshop making sleep-mats and enjoying some fruits and tea. Take a motor cart (xe lôi) or cycle riding under tree shades, pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from locals. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon, take rowing-boat along water palm creek and boat back to pier. Drive back to Saigon.
Day 11 Saigon – Siem Reap (B)
Transfer to the airport for flight to Siem Reap.
Pick up and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 12 Angkor Wat - Angkor Thom - Pre Rup at sunset (B,L)
In early morning, our tour guide and transportation take you Angkor Wat to enjoy the beauty of
Angkor Wat sunrise view then back to hotel for breakfast. We will have full day exploration of this vast temple complex at Angkor. Angkor Wat was built by King Suryavarman II at the height of the Khmer Empire in the 12th century dedicated to the Hindu god-Vishnu, Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon we visit Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, Terrace of Leper King, see Pre Rup at sunset.
Day 13 Siem Reap (B,L)
In the morning, visit Banteay Srei (the Citadel of Women). Covered with floral carvings and Hindu mythology. These structures are exquisite in detail and in near perfect preservation. Visit the Angkor Silk Farm and Les Artisan D’Angkor.
Optional: visit the Ton Le Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia and the lifeblood of the Cambodian fishing industry (in water season – from July to February)
Transfer to the airport for departure flight. End of services.