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FAR EAST Travel

OVERVIEW

Start
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Finish
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Destinations
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Tam Coc, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Luang Prabang
Style
Classic
Theme
Explorer
Code
FETMCDLX19
Ages
Min 1, Max --
Group size
Min 1, Max --

Discover Indochina: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in 19 days is one of our most compact programs for Indochina in highlight that invites you to experience Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia’s geography and culture. Within 19 days of travel, you will have a quick glance of Vietnam highlight including Hanoi, Halong, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon and Mekong delta. In this trip you will explore the 1000 year old Hanoi capital, the breathtaking Halong Bay, the charming and historical imperial citadel Hue, the ancient town Hoi An, and the modern and dynamic Saigon. These remaning days in Cambodia will give you a taste of Siem Reap and its archaeological sites with time for a handful of other engaging experiences. Spend days focused on the star sights at Angkor Archaeological Park, like Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, home to Bayon and Ta Prohm. Experiencing the peaceful ambiance of Luang Prabang and visiting its cultural heritage sites.

Tour Highlights


 Experience the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City & Hanoi, hit Hoi An by bike & chill out in the amazing scenery of Hue.

 Sit back & discover the amazing limestone formations of Halong Bay aboard a traditional junk boat.

 Angkor temples – including temples of Rolous group, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei.

 Sunset or sunrise at Angkor Wat and Bakheng hill temples.

 Experiencing the peaceful ambiance of Luang Prabang and visiting its cultural heritage sites.

MAP

ITINERARY

Discover Indochina: Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos

On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). 

In the 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 Ben Thanh Market and either the Thien Hau Temple or the Quan Am Pagoda.

Afterwards, have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

We depart at 8:00am and head south to the river town of Cai Be, a rural district of Tien Giang province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

9:30am: take a break at Mekong Rest Stop.

10.30am: Arrive at the Nam Bo branch in My Tho town. Take a boat trip on Tiền river, get over  Tiền river to The other side (Bến tre land). Sight-seeing fish farms, floating fish market along the Dragon island on the way. Through Xếp canal in Bến Tre (land of coconuts) to See coconut collection set and how the locals make handicrafts from coconut trunk and shell. Enjoy seasonal fruits and listening to traditional music. Take the horse-cart on village path and stop at Mr Nam Ngô orchard, taste honey with tea or wine. See bees-breeding in wooden boxes under longans tree.

Take rowing-boat along water palm creek. Lunch on islets (if any). Boat to see local people make coconut candy, taste candy (Special products of Bến Tre  province)

02.00pm Back to Mỹ Tho Pier where you catch our transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City. On the way, enjoy a visit to Cao Dai Temple and explore the region’s rich architectural style.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

Our driver will transfer to Airport for a flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Afternoon, we have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Siem Reap. 

Begin your day exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Thom, known for its colossal stone-carved faces. Discover its famous Bayon temple, Baphoun; Phimeanakas, the Royal Palace, the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace. Next, explore the famous Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building and the symbol of Cambodia. Stand before the stone carvings and bas-reliefs that adorn the complex, the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire. Remain until evening for an opportunity to see a spectacular sunset over the monuments. Dinner this evening is accompanied by an Apsara show.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Set out to see three impressive Hindu temples: the towering 11th-century pyramid-shaped Temple of Shiva; Banteay Srei Temple with its remarkably intricate carvings; and the well-preserved Banteay Samre Temple. This afternoon, spend time at a local monastery where you’ll meet the monks who reside there and participate in a private blessing ceremony. Then we continue to the mystical Buddhist temple Ta Prohm, overgrown by the creeping jungle.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Your day begins at the JWOC Community Center** where you’ll meet local school children. Then we fly to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Today, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temples of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as exploring the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. Along the way, we will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is produced. On return, we take a short drive to another small village Ban Phanom, which is famous for its hand weaving.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual.

After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace.  It displays a collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. There will also be time for us to look around the Central Market. We then continue towards Khouangsi Waterfall, en route, we visit the local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Ban Ou, Laoloum and Ban Thapene, and then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall.   Here you can take a dip in the inviting pools or walk along the forest trails surrounding the waterfall.  We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk hand weaving and for traditional Saa Paper making.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

After breakfast, free and easy at leisure until time to transfer to the airport for a flight to Hanoi (Vietnam). Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Afternoon, have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Hanoi. 

08:30 This morning, depart on a sightseeing tour of the charming capital city. We begin at the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (view from outside), an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite.  It is where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” resides.  Next it is the nearby One-Pillar Pagoda, dating back to 1049, and then Ho Chi Minh's stilt house, which is just a few steps away. Then it is on to the sixth century Tran Quoc Pagoda –with architecture that is harmonized with nature.  The pagoda complements the beautiful scenery around the lake.  Finally, we visit the Temple of Literature - the first University in Vietnam, founded in 1070. Lunch at local restaurant.

 

In the afternoon, we visit the Museum of Ethnology (closed Monday) that offers extensive exhibits from Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities. Then we drive to Hoan Kiem Lake for a relaxing rickshaw ride (cyclo) through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - known as the ‘36 Streets’. The Old Quarter is a labyrinth of roads, alleyways and marketplaces, bustling with local activities. End the day with a traditional water-puppet performance – a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes of rural life and episodes of national history. Once finished, we return to hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Drive to the outskirts of Hanoi before beginning our cycle along rural paths towards Tam Coc. Visit the historic capital of Viet Nam and the famous ancient temples of Le and The Dinh Dynasties. Cycle for an hour on picturesque quiet roads through villages, rice fields, rivers and rocky outcrops to Tam Coc for lunch. Then, enjoy a 2 hour boat trip along the scenic waterways, a sampan boat journey in the heart of “Inland Ha Long Bay”. Take in the beauty of the karst formations as you pass along their base and row into one of the many caves carved through the limestone.

Stop for a short rest near a small shrine before returning to the boat and making your way back to the dock. Cycle back to Tam Coc village. Return to Hanoi.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Distance cycling: 31 miles (50km)

Shuttle bus will pick up at your hotel about 7:30am and depart to Ha Long Bay by road through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields (harvest time: 5th month and 10th month of Lunar New Year), water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life on both side of the highway No.18.

12.15 pm: Arrive in Ha Long city, board our traditional wooden junk boat, for an overnight journey. Sip on a refreshing welcome drink upon check in before you begin your cruise through to magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay.. Feast on a delicious lunch as you cruise among hundreds of islets (Dinh Huong islet, Ga Choi – Fighting Cock islet, Dog islet, Finger islet, etc.) to discover unspoilt pockets of Halong Bay and visit Sung Sot cave, one of the most imposing grottos of the Bay. Swim at Soi Sim beach or Titov beach or a short trek to the top of Titov mountain for a magnificent panorama scenery.

7.30pm: Enjoy your dinner with fresh seafood on board.

9.00pm: Squid fishing or relax and chatting with your partner, friends, family.

Overnight on Ha Long Bay aboard of Junk.

(Note: Private bus can be arranged if required. There will have a surcharge)

7:00am: For early riser complimentary tea, coffee, fruit and cake are served.

8.00 am: Visit Luon cave on small bamboo boat paddle by out crew staff and enjoy the quiet atmosphere enclosed by high islets and mountains. Be back to our Junk. Sail past rock formations such as Man’s Head islet, Tortoise islet, Butterfly cave, Lion islet, Bai Tho mountain, enjoy the tranquil scenery as the boat meanders its way through the bay on the way back to Ha Long city, etc.

9.00 am: Arrange your luggage and do the check out on board.

9.30 am: Enjoy a wholesome brunch as your boat weaves through strange-shaped limestone rock formations.

11.30 am: Arrive back at Hon Gai habour and get the bus to Hanoi.

Then take a flight to Hue. Upon your arrival, our team will pick up and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in Hue.

(Note: Private bus can be arranged if required. There will have a surcharge)

Established as the capital of unified Viet Nam in 1802, Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious centre under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. 08:30 Begin the day with a quick stop at Dong Ba market - a great example of a local Vietnamese market. Stroll around to see the daily marketing activities and. Then we depart for the Imperial Citadel and spend time exploring the monument complex. The buildings inside the enclosure were heavily damaged by carpet bombings and bullets during the Tet Offensive in 1969, especially the Forbidden Purple City. Many of them have been recently renovated but not yet finished. Continue your journey on to Khai Dinh and Tu Duc tombs for an insight into the final resting places of the Nguyen Emperors. We stop to make visits to Incense & Conical Hat making workshops en-route. As the sun slowly sets over the horizon, enjoy the view (weather permitting) from a boat cruising the Perfume River towards the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda. Hop off the boat and finish the day with a last visit through the pagoda. Return hotel.

Overnight in Hue.

08:30 Take a scenic drive to Hoi An this morning, climbing up to the Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Ocean Clouds”). Stop en-route to witness the spectacular panorama of the fishing village of Lang Co on the way down. Continue our drive on to Hoi An, passing Da Nang City and stop again to visit the Marble Mountain. Arrive in Hoi An at noon, transfer you for lunch at a local restaurant (your own account).

14:00, We take a walking tour through the narrow streets of the ancient town visiting the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year-old Tan Ky house, and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. The tour will give you a glimpse of Hoi An’s prosperous past - a bustling international trading port dating back to 16th century. Today, Hoi An is a quiet riverside town, renowned for its quaint architecture, delicious fusion cuisine and excellent 24h tailor-made service.  It is a world heritage site listed by UNESCO.

Overnight in Hoi An.

08:30 A delightful cycling and cooking tour on the rural outskirts of Hoi An town will reveal the secrets of Hoi An’s cuisine and its traditional gardening methods. This morning, we hop on our bikes and travel to the organic village of Tra Que which is named after a widely used sweet scented herb. Walk through the herb gardens, where we'll have the opportunity to interact with local farmers and join them in their daily gardening activities. Rest and enjoy a special herbal drink before we get to know how to make "Cao Lau" and "Tam Huu" for today lunch. Finish the cooking session, sit and enjoy your own creations, then a leisurely cycle back to hotel.

(Note: None-biking program can be arranged if required)

Overnight in Hoi An

The morning we leave Hoi An behind and fly to the bustling and dynamic city of Ho Chi Minh. The locals still prefer to call it Saigon. The rest of the day is free for leisure. Perhaps a last minutes walk along the chic & souvenirs shops of Dong Khoi’s street. Tonight, toast to the end of a remarkable trip while savoring your farewell dinner. We wish you a pleasant journey ahead and hope to see you soon.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

Today free at leisure for last minute shopping or sightseeing until transferring to airport for onward flight. We wish you a pleasant journey ahead and hope to see you soon.

End of tour and welcome back.

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