From the picturesque and laid back land of Laos, to the bustling cities of Vietnam and the ancient kingdom of Cambodia, experience beautiful and verdant landscapes, meet warm and friendly locals, and become inspired by the rich history, culture and cuisine on this incredible journey through Indochina.
Arrive Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos and transfer to the Le Sen Boutique Hotel. Late afternoon enjoy a one hour walking tour of Luang Prabang’s atmospheric night market. Wander the stalls to search the collection of traditional and ethnic handicrafts for sale including carvings, basketry, ceramics and handmade paper goods.
This morning fly to Vientiane and upon arrival enjoy a city tour of this quiet Asian capital. Visit the historical sites of Wat Sisaket and Hor Pha Keo and continue on to Patouxai, the Victory Monument, offering panoramic views of town. Visit That Luang, the holiest site in Laos and its national symbol. This afternoon visit COPE Centre, an organisation which helps people with disabilities access rehabilitation services. (B)
Enjoy a city tour of Hanoi today. Included are visits to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit the Museum of Ethnology and enjoy a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter with its host of shops and restaurants. End the day with a Vietnamese coffee in a cafe overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. (B,L)
This morning drive north to the Imperial city of Hue. En-route stop at the Cham Museum in Da Nang with its host of interesting relics. A visit will also be made to the Marble Mountain. Continue on up the Hai Van Pass, or “Pass of the Clouds”, which offers excellent views of the surroundings. Check into the Saigon Morin Hotel. Evening at leisure. (B)
Today start a full day tour of the Imperial City of Hue. Visit the Citadel and the Imperial City which was modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. Many of the buildings have been damaged by war over the years and are now being restored to their former glory. Wander through the citadel and take a short journey into the countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors at two of the most impressive Royal Tombs. End with a boat trip along the Perfume River and a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda. (B,L)
Set off from Ho Chi Minh City today for the charming delta town of Cai Be, famous for its rustic floating communities. Float past a mass of rickety river vessels and though the floating market here is not nearly as busy as day’s past, you might still spot locals tossing water-melons or pineapples between their boats! Visit cottage workshops making pop rice and coconut candy and visit a family who weave intricate hyacinth products. Then take a rowing sampan through a maze of narrow canals before enjoying a late lunch in a local house. Enjoy a demonstration of how to make a popular Vietnamese speciality - banh xeo, or a Vietnamese savoury pancake. The tour ends with a gentle ride aboard the boat back to Cai Be. Return to Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L)
Today fly to Siem Reap and transfer to the Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
Today start with a visit to the South Gate of Angkor Thom where statues of the gods of good and evil line the entrance. Continue to the Bayon, known for the hundreds of smiling faces that grace the towers. Move on to Phimeanakas shaped a bit like a pyramid and once used for religious rituals. Walk to the top of the temple for impressive views of the Angkor complex and see rows of trunks that form the wall of the Terrace of the Elephants and close by is the Terrace of Leper Kings. From here it’s a short drive to the small crumbling temple of Ta Prohm which is held together by giant tree roots giving it a magical feel. Return to Siem Reap for lunch before exploring magnificent Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument. This visually spectacular temple is the national symbol of Cambodia and proudly appears on the country’s flag. End the day with sunset views over the jungle from the top of Pre Rup Temple before returning to Siem Reap. (B,L)
The day commences with an exploration of the small, delicately carved pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei, also known as the Citadel of Women, considered the 'jewel in the crown’ of all the Angkor temples. The temple has hundreds of small, intricate figures and deities, cut into the walls and lintels that depict scenes from Hindu stories. Continue to Banteay Samre which is very similar to Angkor Wat, particularly in the style of the towers and balustrades. (B)