16 Days 15 Nights
Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Luang Prabang
Day 1: Arrive Phnom Penh
Arrive in Phnom Penh, meet by a local representative and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel or similar
Day 2: Phnom Penh (B/D)
Morning at leisure. In the afternoon, pick up for an afternoon tour of the city. Start your tour with an insight into Cambodia’s cultural heritage with a visit to the Royal Palace and the adjacent Silver Pagoda, also known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha. Continue to the elegant National Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection of Khmer Art. Your tour will end with a visit to one of Phnom Penh’s two great markets, either the Central Market, which is located in a distinctive domed Art Deco building, or the sprawling Russian Market, a labyrinth of stalls selling everything from CDs and DVDs to silks, crafts, jewelry and more. Enjoy a cycle ride around Phnom Penh at sunset, followed by a welcome dinner.
Day 3: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (B/L)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Arrive at Siem Reap and transfer to your hotel. You will then depart on your tour to visit Angkor Wat, the crown jewel of Khmer architecture and the national symbol of Cambodia. You will approach the temple by first crossing a vast moat. As you enter the main building, you will ascend through a series of galleries and courtyards before reaching the central sanctuary. Along the outer gallery walls runs the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. After your tour you will travel to visit the fortified city of Angkor Thom. Enclosed by wall and wide moats, the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights, including the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper Kings, Baphuon, the Royal Enclosure and Phimenakas. Continue to the mysterious Bayon Temple. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, you will explore 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. Return to your hotel at the end of your tour.
Accommodation: Le Meridien Angkor Hotel or similar
Day 4: Siem Reap (B/L/D)
Today’s tour begins with a visit to Banteay Srei, 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. Then visit Ta Prohm temple, 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 a temple at sunset and watch the sun set over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple.
Day 5: Siem Reap – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Enjoy morning at leisure. In the afternoon, pick up from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, meet your local representative and transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Nikko Saigon Hotel or similar
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)
After breakfast, pick up for an excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels. Never discovered by American forces, the Cu Chi Tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapons factories. Today, walk through the area and learn about the day to day life of the Vietcong, bear witness to the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists. Return to the city for a tour of Ho Chi Minh City. Begin the trip into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style building was famously stormed by tanks in 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. Afterwards drive to the historic centre to visit Emperor of Jade Pagoda. Continue to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office for a quick visit. Pass by the classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall, the old Opera House. Finally, end up at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
Today, immerse yourself fully in the local culture of the Mekong Delta with a day out to rustic Ben Tre. A journey of about two and a half hours will bring you to a peaceful area of lush orchards, green rice paddies and coconut fields. Hop on a bike for a ride along the shady paths to visit the home of a local antique collector, Uncle Six. This friendly older man will welcome you into his home from where he also sells his ceramics. If you’re feeling fit, Uncle Six will even show you how to climb the coconut trees using just your bare hands. Continue your two-wheeled exploration along rural pathways that wind their way alongside dense vegetation and small tributaries of the Mekong. Board a rowing boat and cruise along the small canals under the shade of the coconut trees. Then change your mode of transport to a motorized boat. After a delicious lunch of local specialties cooked by the host, visit some local workshops to see how rice paper and sticky coconut sweets are made. In the evening board the traditional wooden barge and start cruising along the Saigon River. Enjoy a delicious international buffet while watching the live entertainment and the passing scenery.
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City – Hue (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue, which served as the capital of Vietnam for more than 140 years. Upon arrival you will depart on a tour of the area. Visit the Old Imperial City, located in the heart of Hue, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modelled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit Dien Tho Residence (Dien Tho palace) where the Queen mother lived, visit Thai Hoa Palace, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns, among other sites, including a visit to the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum. Then embark on a local boat and cruise down the Perfume River to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue’s most widely recognizable monuments. During the early 1960s, this became a centre of anti-government protests, and the site of the famous self-immolation by the monk Thich Quang Duc.
Accommodation: Indochine Palace Hue or similar
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B/L/D)
Today, visit the Imperial Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Venture into the countryside around Hue to the Imperial Tomb of Tu Duc. Tu Duc, the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor, designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theatre performances. Afterwards visit the Imperial Tomb of Khai Dinh, dramatically located on a hillside. The last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, completed in 1931, this tomb incorporates distinct European elements into traditional Vietnamese architecture. Drive south from Hue along scenic mountain roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Highlights along the way include the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of North and South Vietnam; Lang Co, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea; and the large coastal city of Danang. Arrive in Hoi An, visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. Near the bridge is Sa Huynh Museum which houses exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history. Wander into the Tran Family Chapel, the 200 years old house built for worshipping ancestors. Visit Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, a Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese clans in the Hoi An area and is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau, the Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen. Also enter a Lantern Making Workshop to see how the frame is made and the silk cloth put onto the lantern. Check in to your hotel at the end of your tour.
Accommodation: La Siesta Hoi An Hotel or similar
Day 10: Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L)
Transfer from Hoi An to Danang airport in the morning and board your flight to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Arrive in Hanoi, enjoy lunch at local restaurant, then transfer to Halong Bay for an overnight.
Accommodation: Wyndham Legend Halong Hotel or similar
Day 11: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer to Tuan Chau Marina port and board the charming traditional wooden junk for a cruise through Halong Bay. Enjoy lunch onboard, then witness rock formations with names like Stone Dog, Incense Burner (Dinh Huong), and Fighting Cock (Ga Choi). At the core of the islets, there is an enchanting cave to visit thusly named Surprise Cave (Sung Sot), after that stop at Titov Island. Sail past floating villages, fishermen casting their nets and pearl fisheries and observe the rhythms of daily life on the bay. After the cruise, transfer to Hanoi and overnight.
Accommodation: Hilton Hanoi Opera or similar
Day 12: Hanoi (B)
Begin the day by passing the Ho Chi Minh President’s Mausoleum (only viewed from the outside). Continue to the Temple of Literature with its walled courtyards and graceful gateways. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university. Finally, take a walk through the Old Quarter, a fascinating network of narrow alleys and shop houses also known as ‘The 36 Streets’ – each street being named after the merchandise traditionally sold there, ranging from fabrics to crafts and from medicines to tombstones. Enjoy Vietnamese coffee at a local coffee shop during your stroll. Stop at the Ancient House on Ma May Street, an excellent example of traditional Hanoian style architecture from days gone by. Return to the hotel after the tour and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Day 13: Hanoi– Luang Prabang (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival begin a sightseeing tour with Wat Visoun (Wat Wisunalat). The oldest temple in Luang Prabang, Wat Visoun dates back to 1513 and contains a collection of antique wooden Buddhas. Visit the nearby Wat Aham before continuing to Wat Xieng, the crown jewel of all the monasteries and temples in the city. Its many ornate buildings feature exquisite mosaic and gold-stenciled murals. From there, stroll down the main street (Wat Street) of Luang Prabang. Time permitting, stop at some of the many temples that line its sides, including Wat Sibounheuang, Wat Si Moungkhoun, Wat Sop and Wat Sene. Continue to Mount Phou Si for sunset. Climb 328 steps starting from the entrance on the opposite side of the National Museum, or 410 steps on the other side of the Khan River to the small temples atop Phou Si. The hill is 150m high and sits in the middle of the town, offering beautiful views over the temples and river.
Accommodation: Le Palais Juliana Luang Prabang or similar
Day 14: Luang Prabang (B/L)
In the morning, visit a local market to see the bustle and activity of the early morning. Continue to the National Museum, a modest but graceful building which combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts motifs. Then, visit Hor Phrabang. In the right front corner room of the Palace which opens to the outside, is a collection of the palace’s most prized art, including the Phrabang, cast of a gold, silver and bronze alloy. This Buddha stands at 83 cm tall and weighs around 50 kgs. Afterwards, visit Wat Mai. In the afternoon travel to Kuang Si Waterfall. This multi-tiered waterfall tumbles over limestone formations into a series of turquoise pools. Enjoy swimming in the clear water or just relaxing in the natural environment. Visit a local village on the way, before returning to Luang Prabang.
Day 15: Luang Prabang (B)
Today you will depart from Luang Prabang on an excursion up the Mekong River to the steep limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, home to the Tham Pak Ou Caves. These extraordinary caves are filled with Buddha images, of every style and materials imaginable. On the way to Pak Ou Cave, stop at Ban Xang Hai Village, a local village famous for producing lao-lao, the local rice wine whisky. Continue to visit Ban Xang Khong, a village near Luang Prabang well known for its traditional handwoven cotton and silk, as well as production of the local sa (mulberry) paper.
Day 16: Luang Prabang – Departure (B)
Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.
B – Breakfast L – Lunch D – Dinner
Tour Price per Person Double Occupancy – minimum 2 persons
|Daily Departure||Land Package||Single Supp.|
|2020: April – September||4770||1300|
2020: October – December
2021: January – March
LAND ONLY price includes Domestic airfare within Indochina
HOTEL BLACKOUT DATES and FAIR/SEASONAL SURCHARGES may apply.
~~ ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE ~~
Your Tour Package Includes
• Domestic airfare within Indochina.
• Return transfers between airport and hotel.
• Deluxe hotel accommodation with daily breakfast.
• Private sightseeing tours with admission and meals as per itinerary.
• Professional English-speaking local guide service.
Your Tour Package Does NOT Include
• International airfare from Canada to Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos.
• Any applicable weekend and other surcharges imposed by airlines.
• Any taxes, airport fees and fuel surcharge.
• Travel/medical/cancellation insurance and all personal expenses.
• Tipping and gratuities to local guides, drivers and hotel staff.
• Any items not specified as included.
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