Indochina In Your Eyes
This 14-day program will bring you a different look at these Indochina countries and wake up your six senses. Explore stunning UNESO World Heritage of Old Town Hoi An, Ha Long Bay and Luang Prabang City. Learn rich culture city of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Cruise in ever green Mekong Delta. Sample authentic local cuisine and meet very friendly local. End the trip in the largest religious monuments of Siem Reap.
- Explore famous attraction and places of Ho Chi Minh City
- Day cruise in the Mekong Delta and taste local specialty
- Walking in old town Hoi An
- Experience unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats and learn to make crunchy Banh Xeo in Hoi An
- Visit the formal Imperial Citadel and the royal tomb in Hue city
- Ha Long Bay overnight cruise
- Morning arm giving in Luang Prabang
- Discover great Angkor temples
- Venturing local street food by tuk tuk in Siem Reap
- Day 1:
Upon arrival at Tan San Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City, your guide will meet you and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of your day is at leisure. Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: (5*) Nikko Hotel Saigon (Deluxe Room) (three nights) Visa approval letter and immigration assistance at airport: Please provide your agent all passport details at least 10 days prior to your arrival date, and you will get a visa approval letter on time for boarding flight to Vietnam. Your visa label will be stamped upon arrival at the international airport in Vietnam. An immigration coordinator will meet and greet you at the entrance of arrival hall with a signboard with your name on it. As quickly as possible, you will provide the immigration coordinator all necessary documents (original passport, photo, stamping fee). Then, on your behalf, the coordinator completes the visa procedure at the arrival counter. You will get back your passport with a visa stamp. You will be shown to the passport control and baggage claim area, pick up your luggage and go out of the terminal to meet your tour guide. You will need to pay the visa stamping fee (50USD per passport for multiple entry).
- Day 2:
Set out on a Ho Chi Minh City sightseeing tour which offers a good mix of both famous attractions and lesser known markets and sites of this vibrant, fast-paced city. Head out to visit The Central Post office, a well preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. Located next door to Notre Dame Cathedral, the two cultural sites can be visited together and offers visitors a chance to imagine life in Vietnam during the times of the Indochinese Empire. Continue to the Reunification Palace, former residence of the Indochina Governor General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in April 30, 1975. The formal secret CIA building cannot be missed. Next to a local food market, flowers market, local residence place to observe local life. The final stop today is the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. The pagoda is filled with smoky incense and fantastic carved figurines. It was built by the Cantonese community around the turn of the 20th century and is still buzzing with worshippers. Evening is your free time to relax or explore the hustle and bustle of city’s nightlife.
- Day 3:
The “rice bowl” of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta, is carpeted with rice paddies, floating markets, crisscross rivers and canals. Ben Tre is known for large green coconut and fruits gardens. Leave bustling Ho Chi Minh behind and head out to untouched areas not well-known by tourists in Ben Tre. Board the Apricot Cruise, featuring a new boat design open on all sides to allow the river breezes to flow freely. From the comfort of your Apricot Cruise, meander downs the Mekong observing local life play out along the riverbanks. Stop at some local families and see how local traditional methods utilize every bit of the coconut. Learn how to make local cakes and perhaps meet a veteran as he shares different perspectives of the American and Vietnam sides. Fun experience with row-sampan through winding water-coconut canals and bike riding (if no bike, local tuk tuk can be replaced) along lush rural roads and enjoy lunch served with Mekong specialties at Apricot Riverside Restaurant. Relax, enjoy the tour and have memorable experiences.
- Day 4:
After breakfast at the hotel, your driver will transfer you to the airport for a morning flight to Danang, a coastal city in central of Vietnam (additional charge applies). Upon landing, you are greeted and transferred to Hoi An. The afternoon, embark on a half-day walking tour of Hoi An. The riverside town of Hoi An is a feast for the eyes. Devoid of most forms of motorized transport, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town of this ancient port is ideal for exploring on foot. Visit the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly hall, a typical Vietnamese merchant’s house, one of the interesting museums and the local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like. Evening is your free time to explore a colorful night market and try local cuisine. Accommodation in Hoi An: (5*) Allegro Boutique Hotel & Spa (Junior Suite Room) (two nights)
- Day 5:
Today is filled with interesting activities. You will do a very easy bike (For those who do not bike, there is a motorbike with driver.) Travel through picturesque villages, meet the local people and have a chance to learn some traditional fishing techniques and how to paddle the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats. Exploring the tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war. Experience an authentic social and cultural insight of the local way of life. Reaching a local farm, learn unique technique of growing organic herbs from river weeds. Do a mini cooking class and enjoy a tasty lunch prepared by your host. After lunch, bike back to hotel and have rest of day at leisure.
- Day 6:
This morning, drive over the Hai Van Pass of Clouds and over well-known Lang Co lagoon to Hue City. This capital of Nguyen emperors is packed with temples, tombs, palaces and pagodas or at least the remains of those that successive armies didn’t manage to completely destroy. You will explore Hue including visits to the Imperial Citadel, where kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, Forbidden Purple City. Next, continue visiting the last resting place of the 12th King Khai Dinh, who left behind a magnificent and huge burial idyllically located in Chau Chu Mountain just outside of Hue, home to a mix of eastern and western architecture. It took 11 years to build his final resting place and was completed in 1931. Then enjoy a Hue sunset on the Perfume River and a street food tour by rickshaw. Accommodation in Hue: (5*) Pilgrimage Village Resort (Deluxe Room) (one night)
- Day 7:
After breakfast at the hotel, you head to Hue city’s airport for a morning flight to Hanoi (additional charge applies). Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to city. The afternoon city tour starts with a visit to the Museum of Ethnology which presents the recognition of Vietnam as a multi-ethnic country and socio-cultural diversity. From here, you will experience Hoang Hoa Tham Street, which is full of bonsai, flower and pet shops before enjoying walking tour through hidden alley and merchant streets of the Old Quarter. Relax and enjoy a typical egg coffee in a local coffee shop or take a seat in Western Corner and have a glass of local draft beer. Accommodation in Hanoi: (5*) Melia Hotel (Deluxe Room) (one night)
- Day 8:
After breakfast, depart from your hotel by road to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. Upon arrival in Hon Gai port, Halong, you are welcomed to La Regina Royal, an elegant and delightful blend of traditional Vietnamese design. It offers the most memorable cruising throughout Ha Long Bay. Let your vacation start with a delicious lunch set menu in a restaurant. Then, visit Vung Vieng floating fishing village, one of the biggest village in Ha Long Bay, have a chance to learn about the living of fishermen. There will be some optional activities (additional charge applies) such as riding in a bamboo boat or kayaking. Besides having experienced daily life of fishermen, you will stop at Pearl Village and observe the lovely jewelry made from pearls. Enjoy your time with the beautiful sunset on the bay and a deep-fried spring roll cooking class on sundeck. Dinner will be served on sundeck. Accommodation on Ha Long bay: La Regina Royal Cruise (Noble Suite Cabin) (one night)
- Day 9:
Watch the sunrise and Taichi practice on sundeck followed by a light breakfast served in dining room. Discover the Thien Canh Son cave, located on top of mountain, which contains the long history of geological value and the natural beauty. Be sure you bring your camera and wear sport shoes for hiking. Back to the main boat for relaxing and check out at the reception. Please put all your luggage outside of your cabin door, and a crew member will help to bring the luggage to land. Brunch is served in the restaurant before disembarking at 11:00 AM. The driver will pick you up and transfer you back to Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi city. Take a short flight to Luang Prabang city, Laos (additional charge applies). After receiving a stamp visa on arrival, clear Customs and collect your luggage. Your tour guide will meet you and transfer you by private vehicle to the hotel for check-in. The rest of your day is at leisure. Accommodation in Luang Prabang: (4*+) Luang Prabang View Hotel (Superior Room) (two nights)
- Day 10:
After breakfast, you will visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Continue on to visit the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represent the classical architecture of Luang Prabang temple. You will continue driving through the Luang Prabang countryside to Kuang Si Waterfalls. Along the way, by the Mekong River you will see gorgeous landscapes of many rice fields, hills and villages. You will visit an ethnic minority at a village where their local culture has remained unchanged for centuries. Upon reaching Kuang Si Waterfalls, relax and enjoy the magnificent natural surroundings. Visit the Bear Rescue Centre. Afterward, return to Luang Prabang city, view the sunset and a panoramic view over Luang Prabang city from Mt. Phousi. Your last stop is the Night Market.
- Day 11:
For early risers (5:45 AM), there is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting the alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people. Visit the Morning Market where you can find all ingredients for local food. Return to your hotel for breakfast. You will enjoy a boat cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives you a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, stop at the small village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is distilled. You will return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon and, on the way, take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a small village well known for its hand weaving. Next head to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap - home to Angkor, the treasure of the Kingdom of Cambodia (additional charge applies). You will be greeted by a local tour guide and transferred to the hotel for check-in. Accommodation in Siem Reap: (5*) Angkor Palace Resort & Spa (Deluxe Room) (three nights)
- Day 12:
The ‘City of Kings’ boasts some of the largest religious monuments ever constructed. Spend today exploring the most impressive temples. You first come to Angkor Thom, the ancient royal city of Khmer Empire with its centre piece, the Bayon temple. As you approach, you will notice the enigmatic faces of former King Jayavarman VII looking into every direction. Your guide will take you to the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King could welcome back his victorious army and the Terrace of the Leper King, which holds detailed carvings winding along a narrow passage way that leads to the Baphuon complex. Continue to Ta Prohm, The Tomb Raider. This beautiful temple is overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. Next visit to Angkor Wat, one of the modern wonders of the world. Be amazed by the sheer size of the temple and learn how the Khmer Empire prospered between the 9th and 13th centuries, around the time when Angkor Wat was built. End up the day with view of the sunset from Pre Rup Temple, a temple mountain of combined brick, lateritic and sandstone construction.
- Day 13:
This morning, you will make a trip to Tonle Sap Lake. En route, stop for photos in the Cambodian countryside villages, interacting with locals and seeing pagodas. Take a boat cruise on the Tonle Sap Lake and visit the floating village to see how people live and trade. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a ride on a tuk tuk to a local night market, where you will see a variety of local food, snacks, fruits, clothes on display on the roads for sale. Walking through the market, you may get the Cambodian snacks - all fries include grasshoppers, spiders, cockroaches, crickets, baby frogs, and so on. These are all Cambodian favorites. Try it and take a picture of it to show your friends back home. Afterward, you will be transferred to a local restaurant to enjoy a dinner, cooked by and in the Cambodian way. The food can always be catered to your allergy restriction; just make sure your guide is aware.
- Day 14:
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight.
January 01 – December 31, 2020 (Except for public holidays)
Per Person Sharing: $2,149
Single Supplement: $ 879
- Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast as mentioned or similar
- One night cruise to explore Ha Long Bay inclusive of accommodation, food and entrance fee
- Visa assistance service at the airport (upon arrival)
- Easy biking tour to explore the scenic countryside of Hoi An
- Street food tour by rickshaw in Hue city
- Explore local market in Siem Reap by tuk tuk
- Transfer services in private air-conditioned vehicle
- Entrance fees and boat fees where applicable
- Meals listed in the itinerary (if any)
- English-speaking local guide in each city
- Bottled water on coach during transfer
- Government taxes and service charges
- International and domestic flights, along with airport taxes (including airport departure tax), unless otherwise mentioned
- Hotel upgrades
- Optional activities
- Kayak equipment in Ha Long Bay
- Meals not mentioned
- Drinks and surcharge for special request on foods and meals
- Entrance fees, guide service during free time and other personal expenses
- Gratuities for guides and drivers
- Surcharge for public holidays and/or peak periods (if applicable)
- Any compulsory meal by the hotels (during Christmas and New Year)
- Any type of visa and fee
- All other services not stated in the program
Standard hotel check-in time is 14:00 and check-out time is 12:00 (Early check-in time or late check-out time is subject to availability and with additional charge.)