Grand Indochina Tour (16 days / 15 nights
Day 1 Luang Prabang – Arrival
Arrive at Luang Prabang and transfer to hotel. After check in, take a brief city tour to the former Royal Palace (currently the National Museum); Wat Xieng Thong; Wat Sen; and Wat Visun. End the day by enjoying a sunset view from the top of Mount Phou Si. Afterwards, visit the Night Market to observe local hill tribe people selling their wares.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2 Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves
Take a full-day boat trip on the mighty Mekong River to explore local villages at Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan. Continue onto the Royal Temple at Wat Longkhoun, which once housed the royal family; visit the nearby Sackarine Caves and continue cruising to Pak Ou Cave. Explore the caves and cross the Mekong River at Ban Ou for lunch at a local restaurant. Return by road to Luang Prabang stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai (where the locals create a unique rice wine called lao lao) and at the Lao villages Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek (well known for its handmade Jute Sar paper).
Overnight in Luang Prabang. (B)
Day 3 Luang Prabang – Vientiane
After breakfast, visit the Luang Prabang Market where a number of shops sell antiques and silver jewellery made by mountain tribes. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane. Arrive in Vientiane and transfer to hotel. Enjoy an afternoon city tour including Wat Simuang, Vientiane’s most sacred site, and the religious museum at Wat Sisaket. The tour includes a stop at Wat Pra Keo, the original home of the Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok, the 16th century That Luang Golden Stupa and the Patuxai Victory Gate. The day ends watching the sunset on the banks of the Mekong River.
Overnight in Vientiane. (B)
Day 4 Vientiane – Hanoi
In the morning, transfer to the airport for a flight to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. In the evening, take delight in watching a traditional water puppet performance whose origin dates back over a thousand years
Overnight in Hanoi. (B)
Day 5 Hanoi – Sightseeing – Ha Long bay
Take part of the day to explore Hanoi’s illustrious history before driving to Ha Long Bay. In the morning, visit the imposing marble edifice housing the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (CLOSED ON MONDAYS and FRIDAYS) before moving onto his wooden stilt house and the One Pillar Pagoda. You will then explore the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature, which is imbued with the profound philosophies of Confucianism. The tour includes stops at the Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and Hanoi’s Old Quarter before proceeding to Ha Long bay.
Overnight in Ha Long Bay. (B)
Day 6 Ha Long Bay – Boat Cruise – Hanoi
In the morning take a delightful cruise through the limestone cliffs of Ha Long Bay. Visit a grotto of gigantic stalactites and stalagmites before enjoying a seafood lunch onboard and then return to the dock. Drive back to Hanoi with stop en route at a ceramic factory.
Overnight in Hanoi. (B,L)
Day 7 Hanoi – Hue – Sightseeing
Fly to Hue, the former Imperial Capital of Vietnam. Arrive in Hue and enjoy a river cruise on the peaceful Perfume River to the Thien Mu pagoda. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel which was built in accordance with strict principles of geomancy and the poetic mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc.
Overnight in Hue. (B)
Day 8 Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An – Sightseeing
Drive along the coast and via mountain passes to Hoi An with a stop en route at the photogenic village of Lang Co. Upon arrival in Hoi An, pay a visit to one of Hoi An’s famous lantern workshops and learn how to make one yourself before setting out on a walking tour to explore this World Heritage Site. Highlights include an ancient merchant house, the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the vibrant riverside market. Take a peaceful boat trip on the Thu Bon River to Thanh Ha pottery village and afterwards enjoy free time to further explore the old town.
Overnight in Hoi An. (B)
Day 9 Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City
Depart for Da Nang and catch your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (B)
Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – Sightseeing
This morning you will visit the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels where Vietnamese guerrillas built a labyrinth of narrow tunnels as hideouts during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a half-day city tour. Highlights include the Reunification Palace (photo stop), the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Chinatown, the Binh Tay Market and either the Thien Hau Temple or the Quan Am Pagoda.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (B)
Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City – Cai Be – Vinh Long – Can Tho
Drive to Cai Be and take a boat cruise to the Cai Be Floating Market. You will have a chance to observe the lively activities of local merchants trading their produce from laden vessels. Visit a village where you will see some family run businesses that produce rice cakes and rice paper. After eating lunch at a local house, proceed to Binh Hoa Phuoc islet for a sampan ride before disembarking at Vinh Long for your drive to Can Tho.
Overnight in Can Tho. (B, L)
Day 12 Can Tho – Chau Doc
Enjoy a morning boat cruise to the Cai Rang Floating Market where small boats and vessels deliver goods from all parts of the Mekong Delta. You will have a chance to observe the lively activities of merchants trading their produce. Visit a historic house in Binh Thuy before proceeding to Chau Doc, a trading port near the Cambodian border. Upon arrival, enjoy a boat cruise to the Chau Giang fish farm – where fish are raised in cages beneath floating houses – as well as the Cham weaving village of Da Phuoc.
Overnight in Chau Doc. (B)
Day 13 Chau Doc – Phnom Penh by Boat
A half day cruise to Phnom Penh gives you a chance to appreciate the immensity of the Mekong River and to witness how locals live and work along the river. Arrive in Phnom Penh and check in to hotel. In the afternoon, visit some of the capital’s most impressive sites including the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda containing an emerald Buddha statue, the Royal Palace and Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh’s oldest shrine.
Overnight in Phnom Penh. (B)
Day 14 Phnom Penh – Siem Reap – Angkor Complex
After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check in. Afterwards, access Angkor Thom via the Southern Gate to explore the ancient city, then proceed to visit the ruins at Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, the Royal Palace, the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace. In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Angkor Wat where its extraordinary architecture offers an opportunity to experience a spectacular sunset over the monuments.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (B)
Day 15 Siem Reap – Angkor Complex
After breakfast, visit the graceful 11th century Temple of Shiva – Banteay Srei – and the Banteay Samre Temple. On the return trip, pay a visit to Ta Prohm Temple which is mystically enveloped by the jungle. In the afternoon, visit the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles (IKTT). Housed in traditional Khmer architecture, IKTT serves to further the preservation of Cambodian national heritage by encouraging the young generation to learn traditional silk-making techniques passed down by their ancestors.
Overnight in Siem Reap. [Breakfast]
Day 16 Siem Reap – Departure
Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for departure flight.
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