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Travel Indochina Highlights 12 Days

Saigon - My Tho - Cu Chi Tunnel - Hanoi - Halong Bay - Siem Reap - Vientiane - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave

Saigon Cu Chi Hanoi Halong Bay Siem Reap Vientiane

Day 1: Arrival Ho Chi Minh City

Today you’ll land in Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat International Airport). Warmly welcome by Tour Guide & Car Driver at airport then transfer to hotel for check in. Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - My Tho (B, L)

Today takes you to My Tho, the capital of Tien Giang Province. Situated on the Mekong River, 75 kilometers southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, the city is surrounded by orchards and rice fields, which produce grain for the entire country. Visit one or two of the islands that produce traditional handcrafts, coconut candy and bee farms. Visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda, the oldest one in the delta on your boat trip on the Mekong River. Return to Ho Chi Minh City. Check in hotel & stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnels - Hanoi (B, L)

Today you will visit the largest Vietnamese city. There are street markets, sidewalk cafes and sleek new bars. This teeming metropolis offers 300 years of timeless traditions and the beauty of an ancient culture. To the west of the city is the huge Chinese neighborhood called Cho lon, which means "Big Market." Notre Dame Cathedral, in the heart of Saigon's government quarter, is of neo- Romanesque architecture with two high square tower and iron spires. The Central Post Office is French-style and City Hall, known as "Hotel de Ville, " is typical of the French architecture that would be seen in any village in France. Visit the War Remnants Museum, featuring collections of weapons and photographs from the two Indochina wars. Leave Saigon for Cu Chi Tunnels to learn about Vietnam history & Vietnam War. After Cu Chi Tunnels you will take flight to Hanoi by Vietnam Airlines. Arrive Hanoi in the evening. Transfer to hotel for check in. Stay overnight in Hanoi.

Day 4: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)

Hanoi, a city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks, is the capital of Vietnam. It is a very attractive city with French-style architecture. You have a full day of sightseeing ahead, including a visit to One Pillar Pagoda, which was built by Ly Thai Tong and the Temple of Literature, founded by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. Stop in the heart of Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake, which contains an islet with a tiny Tortoise Pagoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Opera House and St. Joseph Cathedral. Conclude with a visit to Bao Tang Lich, once the museum of l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, which includes artifacts from Vietnam's turbulent history. Water Puppet Show, Cyclo visiting Old Quarter. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Early this morning, we’ll drive from Hanoi to one of the most magnificent scenic environments in the world, Halong Bay. Covering 577 square miles, this vast bay is filled with more than 3, 000 limestone “peaks” or karsts that jut from the deep blue water as far as the eye can see. We’ll spend a day and a half, including an overnight with dinner and breakfast onboard, exploring this overwhelming seascape from the decks of a traditional Vietnamese boat. Comfortable and intimate, your boat features hand-crafted wooden interiors including a dining room and pleasant air-conditioned cabins with private baths. Since we’re overnight on the water, we’ll be able to explore Ha Long Bay’s most beautiful spots with time to swim and even visit some of the largest rock formations and caves. This promises to be one of your most memorable travel experiences in Asia. Stay overnight on Boat.

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B, L)

Rising to the sound of lapping bay waters, we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water of the bay. After breakfast, explore Sung Sot cave, swim and relax. Cruises back to the jetty while brunch is served while you are cruising through the bay, along the way seeing more of the fascinating formations. Cruise check-out. Rejoin car drive back to Hanoi for overnight. Arrive Hanoi at 3: 00pm. Check in hotel & free time to go sightseeing in the Old Quarter. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 7: Hanoi - Siem Reap (B, L)

Breakfast at hotel then transfer to airport for flight to Siem Reap Cambodia. Arrive Siem Reap at noon time. Warmly welcome by Tour Guide & Car Driver at airport then transfer to Siem Reap City then visit AngkorComplex: 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. Visit the ruined BAPHUON, ROYAL ENCLOSURE and PHIMEANAKAS before continuing to the mysterious BAYON TEMPLE. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle.Visit a temple for sunset. Watch the sun set over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple. Return to hotel for check in. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 8: Siem Reap full day tour (B, L)

After breakfast at hotel.Visit Angkor Wat - the crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, ANGKOR WAT is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to 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, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. As you enter the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stonecarvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1, 700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along 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, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones.
Visit Ta Proh one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as 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. Visit Banteay Srei Temple Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, BANTEAY SREI is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favorite with visitors. Transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 9: Siem Reap - Vientiane (B)

Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, continue the temple tour toTakeo, Thommanon, Chau Say Tevoda andTaProhm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been left relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it was abandoned and swallowed by the jungle, looking very much the ways most of the Angkor temples appeared when European explorers first stumbled upon them. After lunch, transfer to Siem Reap International airport for departure to Vientiane. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Vientiane is a fascinating capital, with a fusion of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and American influences. This charming and easygoing city will provide a smooth introduction to Laos. After a short rest, an orientation walk of Lao Capital is a pleasant way to spend the day, strolling around some of the city’s most historical sites and seeing some of the French colonial architecture. We observe the sunset by the Mekong Riverside until the late evening and experience the city lifestyle of the local Lao people. Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 10: Vientiane - Luang Prabang (B)

AM: After breakfast, we start to visit the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we will stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. From there, we visit the central market known as the ‘Morning Market’ which is a great place for browsing antiques, handmade textiles and gifts.

PM: We board our short flight to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage City Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best - preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Asia. On arrival, we transfer you to hotel. After a short rest, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as viewing a beautiful and panoramic sunset over the ancient and once royal city and the Mekong River. We then stroll around the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of textiles made by the local and the hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 11: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou cave (B)

After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On our way back, we pass the local villages at Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan continue to see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun, which once belonged to a royal family patronage near by Sackarine Caves. We cross to city and take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 12: Luang Prabang - Departure (B)

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. This is a real highlight of the tour prior to saying goodbye to this charming city. Following breakfast, we visit The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. After we visit the silver smith’s and Fine Arts School and the Central Market, which is not to be missed. We then say farewell and depart this ancient city.
Price per person in $US
Class
2 - 3 Pax
4 -6 Pax
7 - 11 Pax
3 Star 1, 960 1, 844 1, 646
4 Star 2, 287 2, 101 1, 926
5 Star 2, 742 2, 610 2, 392

Trip includes:

  • Private tour (Except joining boat in Halong Bay)
  • Accommodation at specified or similar hotels with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner)
  • All transfers and transportation as indicated in program
  • All guided sightseeing fees and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • English or French speaking tour guide at places as indicated in program
  • Boat trip as indicated in program
  • Internal flight tickets: Ho Chi Minh City - Hanoi; Vientiane - Luong Phrabang (economy class) including fuel charge & Airport taxes
  • International flight ticket: Hanoi - Siem Reap; Seam Riep - Vientiane (economy class) Vietnam Airlines including fuel charge & Airport taxes>

Trip excludes:

  • Surcharge on Chirstmas Eve and New Year Eve
  • VISA to Vietnam (Please make sure you have 6 months passport validity. We can help for visa on arrival if request)
  • VISA to Laos and Cambodia
  • Personal expenses such as shopping, telephone, laundry and bar bills etc.
  • Other meals and drinks Late check out or early check in at all places (Normally check in at 14: 00 and check out at 12: 00/ surcharge if request)
  • Insurance travel
  • Tips & gratuities
  • All other services are not made on the written form

See Also

Laos Vietnam Cambodia Tour 10 Days
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Jewels of Indochina Tour 20 Days
Treasures of Indochina Tour 16 Days
Paradise of Indochina Tour 29 Days
Laos Vietnam Cambodia Tour 15 Days
Laos Vietnam Cambodia Tour 13 Days
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Indochina Discovery Tour 28 Days
Cambodia Vietnam Laos Package 14 Days
Treasures of Indochina Tour 21 Days
Vietnam Cambodia Laos Tour 16 Days
Vietnam Laos Cambodia Tour 12 Days
Travel Indochina Mekong Delta in 16 Days
Lost Kingdom of Indochina Tour 11 Days
Laos Vietnam Cambodia Tour 14 Days
Indochina Package Tour 21 Days
Indochina Highlights Package 16 Days
Indochina Classic Tour 17 Days
Cambodia Vietnam Laos & Greater Mekong Tour 11 Days

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