17 days Spirit of Indochina

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

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Overview

Itinerary Summary

By Day Destinations Activities Meals
Day 1 Fly to Hanoi
Day 2 Hanoi City Tour Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 Hanoi - Halong Bay - Overnight on Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Halong Bay - Hanoi - Fly to Luang Prabang Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 Motorbike Tour - Countryside Hanoi - Fly to Luang Prabang Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 Luang Prabang City Tour - Pak Ou Cave Breakfast
Day 7 Luang Prabang - Kuangsi Falls Breakfast
Day 8 Luang Prabang - Fly to Siem Reap Breakfast
Day 9 Angkor Tour Breakfast
Day 10 Outlying Temples Breakfast
Day 11 Tonle Sap Lake - Fly to Da Nang - Hoi An Breakfast
Day 12 Hoi An Breakfast
Day 13 Hoi An Walking Tour - Cycling to Tra Que Breakfast
Day 14 Hoi An - Da Nang - Fly to Ho Chi Minh Breakfast
Day 15 Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnel Breakfast, lunch
Day 16 Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Excursion Breakfast, Lunch
Day 17 Ho Chi Minh departure Breakfast

Full itinerary

Day 1

Fly to Hanoi

Fly to Hanoi, depend on your time arrival the rest of the day is yours to soaking up the local culture (Early check-in is NOT included and subject to hotel’s availability)

Meals:

Day 2

Hanoi City Tour

After breakfast, our guide pick up at hotel at 8.00AM and start a sightseeing today includes explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, start a Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and stilt house), the Presidential Palace, the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Temple of Literature; West Lake including the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda; and one of the city’s museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum or Hoa Lo prison). End the day’s explorations, watch a traditional puppet show on water that shows off an ancient art form. Overnight in Hanoi. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Overnight on Cruise

Our guide and shuttle bus will pick you up at lobby of hotel at 8.20AM and start journey east to Halong Bay, through picturesque rice-farming villages of the Red River Delta, where we see every day Vietnamese village life. On arrival, we board a beautiful traditional junk and spend a full day and night cruising the bay’s 3000 magnificent limestone islets. In the evening when the boat is anchored in the middle of the stunning lagoon, we enjoy a wonderful seafood meal and later there is opportunity for an evening swim from the side of the boat. Overnight on board. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Halong Bay - Hanoi

Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk for breakfast then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Halong. Have brunch on board the boat before returning to Halong pier to get back Hanoi. Upon arrival Hanoi, free at leisure and overnight in Hanoi. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5

VESPA Tour - Countryside Hanoi - Fly to Luang Prabang

VESPA TOUR 5 hours – start at 8.00 – 13.00 A view of Hanoi and the countryside unlike anything you could see from a package tour and much more than you could see on your own or from another tour company in Hanoi. Our guide will show you all of the local life and traditional villages near Hanoi in a short period of time without missing out on any experience. Keep driving through vegetable farms, rice farms and stop for a visit to a temple and pagoda that dates back to 257 BC, the perfect place for you learn about the history of Hanoi and Vietnam. During these 5 hours, your feelings will change about the countryside and city people and how the live. Let's go and see what it looks like. We welcome you and are excited to give you an experience unlike any other! 

End of the tour, transfer to airport for flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, meet our driver and transfer to hotel for check in. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Luang Prabang City Tour - Pak Ou Cave

For early-risers (05h30) there is a very special dawn visit to witness the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast, a city tour begins at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum and Wat Xieng Thong.

We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also 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 will make a stop at Ban Xang Hai village where rice wine is distilled. We will visit the caves of Tham Ting and Tham Phoum which house hundreds of Buddha statues. We return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon, continue to visit Ban Xang Khong, a village well known for silk hand-weaving and traditional Saa paper-making.

Return to the city, climbing the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside, Stop at the night market. 

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7

Luang Prabang - Kuangsi Falls

You will visit the morning Phosi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. We return to the city by late afternoon to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath. 

Overnight in Luang Prabang 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8

Luang Prabang - Fly to Siem Reap

Morning, fly to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel for check in. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9

Angkor Tour

Beat the crowd early morning by 7 am; visit the picturesque Ta Prohm that had nearly disappeared into the jungle and remains overgrown, an oddly haunting and exotic scene. The magnificent roots of a tree, pushing between the huge stone blocks of the temple in a sort of embrace, evoke feelings that you may remember forever. And continue to visit the intricately carved Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat - one of the world’s most impressive ruins.  The temple still owns fine Apsara carvings in Angkorian era art. 

Lunch is on own account.

Afternoon, explore the mysterious Royal city Angkor Thom & Bayon. Its 54-tower temple is an awesome sight. At first glance it seems a shapeless mass of stone, but further scrutiny reveals a face, and then another and another one, until suddenly you are engulfed by the silent, heavy, enigmatic and silent gaze through half-closed eyes, staring out from a primitive and remote time. Further, visit the surroundings of the complex including the Baphuon, Elephant Terrace, Lepper King Terrace and Royal Place area.

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10

Outlying Temples

7am, drive to the rural outskirt 35km from Angkor area to visit the smallest, but magnificent, Banteay Srei built in the 10th Century and dedicated to Shiva. The temple was the birthplace of Khmer classical style architecture and the bas-relief work is the best example of Khmer classical art remaining. The pink sandstone structure bears a series of striking and beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. Khmers say the temple must have been carved by women for the details are too fine for the hands of a man. Drive on to Chau Srei Vibol which is a small charming temple on top of a hill which hardly sees any visitors - very few non-locals have heard of it, and it is set just far enough away from the main tourist routes. 

Lunch is hosted at the local family, a great chance to chat with the survivor former village chief during Khmer Rouge regime. 

Continue to the ancient Khmer civilization site of Hariharalaya which flourished in the late 9th and earlier 10th centuries. These are the earliest temples in the Angkor area and are referred to the Rolous group we visit the main one called Bakhong temple.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 11

Tonle Sap Lake - Fly to Da Nang - Hoi An

Morning transfer out of the Siem Reap town to a beautiful village in the countryside, you will start to walk through the village houses, witnessing very nice and different activities from the locals for their daily life. Just as some examples: how the locals wash vehicles, selling gasoline in whiskey bottles or the small shops where the locals sell food on the side of small streets. 

Enjoy a view of this wonderful area and interact with very kindly people in the village. Leisurely walk through the rice paddies and see how this family doing daily work such as making rice wine, handicraft works meanwhile a member of the family will offer you a fresh coconut and some homemade rice wine to taste. 

Hop in your van for driving onward to the next destination, a floating community, arrive at the quay for embarking on a motorized boat to visit floating houses village offering an incredible natural phenomenon of making their lives from the lake in a respectful and meaningful way. This is a great chance to witness one of Cambodia and the world’s most amazing natural wonders. Drive back to Siem Reap airport for your flight to Da nang.  (Note***floating community is recommended from September to February)

 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 12

Hoi An

TODAY, it is time for you to explore art and handicraft galleries, try on clothes tailor-made, relax at the riverside restaurants or take the short journey to the nearby beach. Overnight in Hoi An. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 13

Hoi An Walking Tour - Cycling to Tra Que

After breakfast, 8.30AM Cycling through the countryside to the small farming community of Tra Que Vegetable Village. Here you can enjoy the lush green countryside and see the farmers at work, later learn to make Vietnamese spring roll and free on foot massage by herbs. End of the tour, return old quarter and  visiting the Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Phung Hung old house and see the local market. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 14

Hoi An - Da Nang - Fly to Ho Chi Minh

Morning flight to Ho Chi Minh, Upon arrival transfer to hotel for check in. 

Meals: Breakfast

Day 15

Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnel

Breakfast at hotel, after picked up at 8.00AM, you will take a short sight-seeing: visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the War Remnants Museum and the independent palace. 

Afternoon, take a half-day excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km, from Saigon to the Cambodian border, and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today, the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction, giving you a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S.-Vietnam War must have been like. Return Ho Chi Minh late afternoon and free leisure in your own way. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 16

Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Excursion

After breakfast, 8.00 pick you up to visit one of the must visited regions of the Mekong delta, we visit Cai be floating market, cruising among the local barges stuffed-full of fruits and vegetables. Visit some local workshops then enjoy a delicious lunch served at a local house in the cool shade of An Binh Island’s orchards. 

Afternoon, take a traditional rowboat and venture deeper into the countryside, floating through narrow canals to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Stop at a nursery garden to discover how farmers along the delta produce their world famous fruits and vegetables. The cruise ends in Cai Be. Get on our car and return Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 17

Ho Chi Minh departure

Free at leisure until transfer to airport for flight back home. End of service!

Meals: Breakfast

Trip Notes

Inclusions

All transfer and quality air-conditioned vehicles

Accommodation at 4 star Hotel/ Cruise selected including daily breakfast with Double/twin room 

Tours with local English Speaking Guide/ Other language is available at your request 

Meals as mentioned in the program (Breakfast: B ; Lunch: L ; Dinner: D)

Airport transfer at destination

Cooking demonstration

Kayaking

Cycling

Entrance fee for all destinations as Tour Itinerary indicated

Bottle of water available on coach ( 2 bottle/pax/day)

Exclusions

Domestic/ international airfare 

Drinks and other meals do not indicate in the program

Travel insurance

Visa to Vietnam/ Cambodia/ Burma 

Personal expenses (telephone, shopping...)

Tipping/ Gratuities

Single Supplement

Accommodation

Destinations 3 star 4 star 5 star
Hanoi

Gondola Hotel

Tirant Hotel

Melia Hotel

Halong Bay

Swan Cruise

Huong Hai Sealife Cruise

Dragon Legend Cruise

Hoi An

Calla Villa

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort

Palm Garden Resort

Ho Chi Minh

GK Central Hotel

Grand Silverland Hotel

Rex Hotel

Siem Reap

Sokha Roth Hotel

Tara Angkor Hotel

Sokha Angkor Resort

Luang Prabang

CM Hotel

Villa Santi Resort

Luang Prabang View Hotel

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