SAI GON - CU CHI - MEKONG DELTA - HOI AN - HUE - HA NOI - HA LONG BAY - LUANG PRABANG - VIENTIANE - PHNOM PENH - SIEM SEAP - ANGKOR WATT
20 Days/ 19 Nights
Grand Indochina Vacation shows you the best of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos - known as Indochina under the rule of the French. You will visit sites of ancient civilizations, Royal Palaces and colonial cities all amongst staggering scenery...
* BRIEF ITINERARY:
Day 1: Arrival – Hochiminh City
Day 2: Fullday Sightseeing in Hochiminh City
Day 3: Hochiminh to Tay Ninh – Cuchi Tunnels Tour
Day 4: Hochiminh to Mekong Delta Tour
Day 5: Hochiminh to Danang – Hoian Ancient Town
Day 6: Hoian Town to Hue Citadel
Day 7: Hue Full Day Sightseeing Tour
Day 8: Hue to Hanoi – Hanoi City Tour
Day 9: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruising Tour
Day 10: Halong Bay to Hanoi City
Day 11: One Day tour to Hoa Lu – Tam Coc
Day 12: Hanoi to Laos – Luang Prabang City Tour
Day 13: Luang Prabang City Tour to Pak Ou Caves
Day 14: Luang Prabang City to Khouang Si Waterfall
Day 15: Luang Prabang to Vientiane City
Day 16: Vientiane to Phnom Penh City
Day 17: Phnom Penh Sightseeing Tour to Siem Reap
Day 18: Angkor Watt Full Day Tour
Day 19: Angkor Watt City Tour
Day 20: Siem Reap – Departure
DAY 1 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: ARRIVAL – HOCHIMINH CITY TOUR (B/-/-)
On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel for check in.
The bustling Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This metropolis, contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping areas and sidewalk cafes. (If time permits) we stroll around the down town to explore the different local ways of life
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ben Thanh Market – Thien Hau Pagoda
DAY 2 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: SAIGON FULLDAY SIGHTSEEING TOURS (B/-/-)
In the morning, the tour will take you to visit our bustling and friendly city. Your will be excited to view the daily life of local people with the crowded bikes and motorbikes. This tour gives you a chance to exploring the Exotic Street & sights of business city. Start with Reunification Palace, which is now preserved as a museum, including the underground communications bunkers, headquarters for the Saigon Government during the American War. Nearby are Notre Dame Cathedral – an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral & Post office – the city’s major landmark. A short walking down the shopping Dong Khoi street offers photo shooting opportunities. After seeing the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum, we continue our trip on to the teeming Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale! Lunch with Pho noodle soup.
In the afternoon we visit Cho Lon – the city’s Chinatown – a reminder of Chinese influence on the country. Cho lon is bustling during the day and night. Walk down the hundreds of small side street where people buying and selling a huge variety of items. Stop over at Thien Hau pagoda for photo shooting. What makes Cho Lon so special are the sights and sound of its streets. Back to hotel.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 3 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: SAI GON TOURS TO TAY NINH – CU CHI TUNNELS (B/-/-)
The incredible underground network in Cu Chi stretched over 200 kilometers and became legendary during the American war. The extensive tunnels have been specially constructed with living areas, weapon factories, filed hospitals, command centers, plus accommodation. Today we have an excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels to visit an exposition hall and a widened section of the tunnels to get a feel of the underground life. There are also possibilities to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range. Upon leaving Cu Chi we drive a short distance to Tay Ninh, the headquarters of Cao Dai Sect. This religion was founded in 1923 and now numbers over 2 million members. We arrive in time to see the ornate temple of Cao Dai and attend the fantastic mid-day service when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes. These costumes are a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
Cu Chi Tunnels – Floating Market on Mekong Delta
DAY 4 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: SAI GON SIGHTSEEING TOURS TO MEKONG DELTA CRUISING TOURS (B/L/-)
Heading out of town, we travel by roads to the Mekong Delta. This plain region boasts the largest rice bowl of Vietnam. On arrival in My Tho we board a boat navigating around the intricate small canals, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up and catch a view dotted by many islands. The exciting river trip will pass by the lush green vegetation towards the famous Unicorn Island where we have a chance to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits and see farmers at work. We navigate some narrower canals using small rowing boats to Ben Tre Province for an interesting visit to some local industries. The extra enjoyment is a lunch at one of the famous local eating spots. We drive back to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off en route to see the beautiful Ving Trang Pagoda and the Saigon’s Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon. This bustling area is crammed with sacred temples and mysterious, narrow lanes.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
DAY 5 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: SAI GON – DA NANG – HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN (B/-/-)
After having breakfast, at leisure our guide & driver will pick you up at hotel then accompany to the airport to take a morning flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang.
Upon arrival at Da Nang Airport, you will be welcome by our regional guide then escorted to the hotel in Hoi An for a check-in.
In this afternoon, you will take a half-day visit to discover Hoi An Ancient Town, which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market. We include these sites in an enchanting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town’s multi-cultural past.
O/N in Hoi An.
Lanterns in Hoian – Conical Hat in Hue
DAY 6 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: HOI AN – DA NANG – HUE PACKAGE TOURS (B/-/-)
After having breakfast, you have free time at leisure on the beach or shopping at Hoi An. After that we will take to short drive within 4 hours to Hue. Before approaching to Hue, we will stop at Da Nang to visit some beautiful places. Initially, we will take a visit to Cham Museum formerly known as the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient. This museum contains many exquisite limestone carvings from the vanquished Kingdom of Champa which has been the central coastal littoral prior to the march of the Vietnamese nation southward. Then a visit to Marble Mountains with its beautiful grottoes and temples whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe. Later on, we keep on rolling further northward to Hue. Upon arrival at Hue, our guide will escort you to the hotel for a check-in and you will have free time for having dinner and relax.
O/N in Hue.
Day 7 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: HUE FULLDAY SIGHSEEING TOUR (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we have a boat trip on the romantically named Perfume River visits Hue’s best-known religious site, Thien Mu Pagoda. The beautiful riverside Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious work ship in Hue. We include this in a half day cruise on the Perfume River which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside and an enjoyable visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. This impressive landmark reflects the beautiful architecture, intricate decor and mysterious statues. Afterwards, we start our sightseeing tour with the massive citadel named the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945 including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and Forbidden Purple City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. Close to this masterpiece is Hue Imperial Museum which displays interesting collections of bronzes, Chinaware, court robes and various emperors’ personal belongings
By the end of the day, we will have one more chance to take a glancing tour of Hue with a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass many fantastic eating spots, all ideal for visitors to sample some local delicacies.
O/N in Hue.
Hue Imperial Citadel – Thien Mu Pagoda
DAY 8 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: HUE- HANOI – FULLDAY SIGHTSEEING TOURS (B/L/-)
After enjoying breakfast in Hue, we will leave the hotel by our bus to go to Da Nang airport. Then accompany to the airport to take a morning flight from Da Nang to Hanoi. Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will be welcome by our regional guide then escorted to the hotel in Hanoi for a check-in.
After having lunch, we will visit the Ethnology museum and enjoy your time to learn about 54 ethics in Vietnam. Then we continue visiting to the Hoan Kiem Lake with Ngoc Son temple, one of the most famous places in Hanoi. You enjoy a tour by cyclo around the old quarter streets to experience the daily life of the local people.
O/N in Ha Noi.
DAY 9 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: HANOI – HALONG BAY CRUISES (B/L/D)
After having breakfast at hotel, you will be picked by our guide & driver at hotel then driven to Halong Bay – 170km from the East of Hanoi. On the way, you will have chances to stop by green paddies to see the Vietnamese farmers working on their fields or you might get by a Humanity Center where we are nursing the disabled Children who are left behind the War & they are victims of Agent Oranges caused by American troops.
At around 12:00, you will reach to Halong Bay recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1994. The islands in Ha Long Bay are mainly limestone and schist islands most lying in the two main areas: the southeastern part of Bai Tu Long Bay and southwestern part of Ha Long Bay. They are the result of many times of rising and lowering processes of the continent to form a karst. The process of nearly full erosion and weathering of the karst created the unique Ha Long Bay in the world. In 2000, UNESCO recognized it as the World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values. On arrival at 12h30, We are welcome on the traditional boat and have welcome drink. Start the boat trip to visit Halong Bay with outstanding natural beauty of many Islands such as Con Cho Island, Dinh Huong Island, Canh Buom Island, Ga Choi Island and have fresh seafood lunch served on board.
In the afternoon, you will have opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cave in Ha long Bay- Sung Sot Cave or Suprising Cave, then swim on Titop or do kayak to visit Luon Cave. Fishing with seine and owing bamboo boat (on request)
Dinner and overnight on boat.
Halong Overnight Cruise
DAY 10 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: HA LONG BAY CRUISE TOURS – HA NOI (B/L)
In this morning, we will keep on our journey by junk-boat to to explore more islands & natural beauties of Halong Bay.
At around 10:30: you will have a brunch served on cruise before reaching to Halong Harbour at around 12:00. Right here our car will be at disposal to pick you up then drive back to Hanoi with stopover at Dong Trieu Ceramic village.
At around 15:30: You will get to Hanoi & the rest of time you will be free on your own
O/N in Ha Noi.
DAY 11 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: HA NOI TO HOA LU- TAM COC – HALONG BAY ON LAND (B/L/-)
After having breakfast, we commence our exploration of Hanoi with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which contains the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. Next, we will leave Hanoi by coach to Hoa Lu (2.5 hrs). The area of Tam Coc and Hoa Lu is characterized by the limestone geology that gives rise to the towering karsts that make this picturesque area so unique. On this enjoyable day trip, the atmosphere is relaxed as you casually pedal and paddle your way past green rice fields, along waterways and through underground passages. We have a chance to visit the historic capital of Viet Nam and the famous ancient temples of Le and The Dinh Dynasties. Bus will transfer or cycle for an hour on picturesque quiet roads through villages, rice fields, rivers and rocky outcrops to Tam Coc (12km) for lunch.
After lunch, we have a boat trip to visit Tam Coc to see the beauty of the karsts formations as you pass along their base and row into one of the many caves carved through the limestone. Then we come back in Hanoi around and have dinner in the hotel.
O/N in Hanoi.
Hochiminh Complex – Hoa Lu & Tam Coc
DAY 12 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: HANOI – LUANG PRABANG SIGHTSEEING TOURS (B/-/-)
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you check out and our guide will take you to the airport for morning flight to Luang Prabang.
On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Luang Prabang – the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom, the center of religious life in Laos and today the World Heritage City. After a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the hill tribe and local people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 13 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: LUANG PRABANG PACKAGE TOURS TO PAKOU CAVE (B/L/-)
After breakfast, we depart hotel to the boat landing, and take an excursion (a few hours) by boat, upstream on the Mekong to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimeter to two meters in height.
En route, Lao typical villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore, bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Our first stop will be at Ban Muangkeo, a well-known village for Lao traditional rice whisky, namely Laoh-Khao to be distilled. We are welcome to taste it and also take away. Lunch is at a riverside restaurant.
We arrive back at Luang Prabang in late afternoon, and continue by car to outskirt of town to visit Ban Xangkhong, a well-known village for its wood paper making and also Lao silk weavings with natural dyes.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 14 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: LUANG PRABANG SIGHTSEEING TOURS TO KHOUANG SI WATERFALL (B/L/-)
A morning breakfast, before we take a drive (30 km South) to visit Kuangsi Waterfall, which, though not very high, is spectacular and really beautiful with its green surroundings as the preserved National park. We stop en-route, to visit a fresh produced market namely Talad Phosy, and also visit Ban Na Oune, a small village of a hill-tribe group “Hmong”, probably the best-known minority group in Laos. Just before arriving at Kuangsi waterfall, there is another village of Khmu minority group, namely Ban Tha Pane that we will visit. Our picnic lunch is served at the shady park nearby Kuangsi waterfall. There is plenty of time for relaxing and a swim in cool water, before we head back to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is spent by visiting various craft-shops, including silver smiths’ and also Hmong market in town, where some skilled embroidery-works of Hmong ladies can be seen.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 15 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: LUANG PRABANG TO VIEN TIANE CITY TOURS (B/-/-)
After breakfast, we spent a free morning for last chance to shop and visit local sights by own, till we depart to Luang Prabang airport for departure by QV flight to Vientiane, the city of the moon – an ancient city, situated on the bend on the left bank of the Mekong as the largest city and the capital of Laos.
Transfer to hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of Vientiane, to visit religious museums of Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple to have been survived from the Siamese war of 1828 and its cloister contains more than 8000 Buddha statues; Wat Ho Prakeo, the former home-temple of the Emerald Buddha statue or Pra Keo, but today it contains a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and all artifacts found in around Vientiane; That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos, which was built to cover the original small stupa containing a piece of the chest bone of Buddha; Patouxay (Arch de Triumph), built quite recently in commemoration of those who died during the wars in the past and it is today as the land-mark of Vientiane.
O/N in Vientiane.
Pak Ou Caves – Khouang Si Waterfall
DAY 16 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: VIEN TIANE – PHNOM PENH PACKAGE TOURS (B/-/-)
After morning breakfast, we take you to the airport for flight to Phnom Penh. On arrival at Po Chen Tong Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. In the afternoon, we have a half day city tour to discover Phnom Penh – capital city of Phnom Penh was once considered the loveliest city of Indochina. Despite its recent turbulent history, it still maintains considerable charm. A city tour acquaints us with some major sights of Phnom Penh. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are now home to the royal family and are therefore very close to the public. At the northern area of the palace grounds is Silver Pagoda, the most sacred shrine in the country. We visit both structures as well as the legendary temple of Wat Phnom, which provides an interesting view over the environs.
O/N in Phnom Penh.
DAY 17 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: PHNOM PENH – CITY TOUR – SIEM REAP (B/-/-)
Phnom Penh is famous for history begins with Lady Penh who discovered five Buddha images concealed in a tree and had a pagoda named Wat Phnom Don Penh built on that spot. The city that took its name from the pagoda was founded nearly a century later, becoming the capital in 1866.
Today we continue seeing Phnom Penh with the Royal University of Fine Arts, where the young Cambodians learn the ancient arts of their ancestors. A view of numerous children practicing the graceful movements of the beautiful national dances is impressive. The next stop of our trip is the National Museum, exclusively dedicated to Khmer art and sculpture. The majority of the exhibits are from the Angkor period from 9th to 15th centuries, but some date from as early as the 4th century. Heading out of town we visit the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the notorious ‘Killing Fields’ of Choeung Ek, which will give us a deep insight into the painful bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge. We have time for an exploration of Psar Toul Tom Pong, also called the “Russian Market”, where anything and everything is for sales.
In the afternoon, you have dinner before we transfer to Phnom Penh Airport for short flight to Siem Reap. On arrival met and transfer to hotel for check in. Dinner at local restaurant
O/N at Siem Reap.
DAY 18 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: ANGOR WATT PACKAGE TOURS (B/-/D)
It is time to visit the Angkor National Museum and visit one of the great wonders of the world and symbol of the heart and soul of the Cambodia, Angkor Wat and view wonderful sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng Hills. Tonight you will enjoy dinner with Khmer Apsara Dance Show. Accommodation at hotel
Optional for elephant riding at Bayon temple or ride up/down at Bakheng.
O/N at Siem Reap.
DAY19 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: ANGOR WATT TOURS (B/L/-)
Optional for view sunrise (early morning)
Breakfast at the hotel
We continue to visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers, Pre Rup, East Mebon, and Neak Poan.
Visit Krovan, Royal Bath of Srah Srang and Banteay Kdei temples.
Lunch at local restaurant and accommodation at hotel.
O/N at Siem Reap.
DAY 20 – INDOCHINA VACATION IN FULL: SIEM REAP- DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel
We board on boat in Tonle Sap Lake. Here, enjoy a brief cruise past floating villages complete with schools, restaurants, and hospitals. Lunch at local restaurant.
Free leisure for your own time for rolling at local market for shopping until transfer to Siem Reap International airport departure flight.
End of Service!!
• Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Domestic Air-tickets: Sai Gon – Da Nang, Da Nang – Ha Noi, Luang Prabang – Vien Tiane, Vien Tiane – Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
• Accommodation in hotels (Twin / Double shared room)
• Meals as indicated: B = breakfast, L = lunch & D = Dinner
• Regional English or French speaking guide
• Entrance fee to indicated sights
• Boat trip in Mekong, Hue,Hoa Lu – Tam Coc
• Cruising trip in Ha Long Bay
• Pure bottled water & wipes
• Visa Approval Letter to Vietnam
International flights in / out (Ha Noi – Luong Prabang) ( Siem Reap – ), Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance,…
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