Wonders of Indochina

This 18 days - 17 nights tour designed to cover the most important destinations in Vietnam, the intersting colonial city of Laos - Luang Prabang and the Angkor complex in Cambodia.
Day 1: Arrives in Luang Prabang
Upon arrival meet and transfer hotel for check-in or dropping off your luggage (Early check-in is NOT included and subject to hotel’s availability). The remainder of the day is free at leisure for jetlag
Overnight in Luang Prabang (Laos)

Day 2: Luang Prabang
Note: With the Morning Alms Giving, if you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and observe the ritual in silence. Dress appropriately – shoulder, chest and legs should be covered.
You have the option to wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks – an awe-inspiring sight for many travelers. Please tell your guide if you wish to make an offer so he/she can prepare some food for you. This early morning ritual dates back generations in Laos. Watch the town come to life in the morning and then return to hotel for breakfast
After breakfast we will visit this sacred city of temples with a visit to the National Museum (closed on Tue), the former Royal Palace housing a collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue and gifts from foreign dignitaries. Other must-see places include Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple that served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple said to be the most beautiful temple in town, epitomizing all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture. Late afternoon, visit to Phousi Hill climbing up 328 steps to the summit of Phousi Hill which dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang providing the finest panoramic view in the whole city.
Overnight in Luang Prabang (Laos)

Day 3: Pak Ou caves
After breakfast, then travel on a long-tailed boat for a few hours on the Mekong River to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimetres to two metres in height. En route, typical Laotian villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore and bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Lunch is at a local restaurant on the bank of the Mekong River. Return to Luang Prabang by the same boat; continue by car to visit Ban Xangkhong, a village well-known for its wood paper making and also Laotian silk weavings with natural dyes. Transfer back to town. The remainder of the day is free at leisure
Overnight in Luang Prabang (Laos)

Day 4: Luang Prabang
After breakfast, take a rural drive (30 km South) to visit Kuangsi Waterfall, though not very high but 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 heading back to Luang Prabang. Afternoon is free at leisure
Overnight in Luang Prabang (Laos)

Day 5: Luang Prabang – Siem Reap (Cambodia)
After breakfast, free at leisure. 12.00PM check-out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at the airport and after clearing the immigrations and customs, meet with your guide and embark on your comfortable car for transferring to the hotel for check-in or dropping off your luggage (Early check-in is NOT included and subject to hotel’s availability). The remainder of the day is free at leisure
Overnight in Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Day 6: Siem Reap
Optional: enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat temple. Return hotel for late breakfast
Early morning, enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat temple, visit the intricately carved Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat– one of the world’s most impressive ruins. The temple still owns fine Apsara carvings in Angkorian era art.
Afternoon, take an elephant ride from the Southgate of Angkor Thom to Bayon and explore the mysterious Royal city Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom’s 50-tower temple is an awesome sight. At first glance it seems a shapeless mass of stone, but further scrutiny reveals a face, and then another and another until suddenly you are engulfed by the silent, heavy, enigmatic and silent gaze through half-closed eyes, staring out from a primitive and remote time. Enjoy sunset at one of the less touristy temples
Overnight in Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Day 7: Siem Reap
After breakfast, visit the smallest, but magnificent temple, Banteay Srei built in the 10th Century and dedicated to Shiva. The temple was the birthplace of Khmer classical style architecture and the bas-relief work is the best example of Khmer classical art remaining. The pink sandstone structure bears a series of striking and beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. Khmers say the temple must have been carved by women for the details are too fine for the hands of a man. If the clients are interested in buying souvenir, then a visit to Artisans D’Angkor studios carving and silk is recommended

Continue our sightseeing today to visit the picturesque Ta Prohm that had nearly disappeared into the jungle and remains overgrown, an oddly haunting and exotic scene. The magnificent roots of a tree, pushing between the huge stone blocks of the temple in a sort of embrace, evoke feelings that you may remember forever
Overnight in Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Day 8: Siem Reap – Ho Chi Minh City (Fly)
After breakfast, free at leisure. 12.00PMcheck-out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Upon arrival at the airport and after clearing the immigrations and customs, meet with your guide and embark on your comfortable car for transferring to the hotel for check-in or dropping off your luggage (Early check-in is NOT included and subject to hotel’s availability). Your guide will brief orientation of the city on the way
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Day 9: Visit Cu Chi Tunnels underground Network & City tour of Saigon
After breakfast, depart Saigon for Cu Chi Tunnels. Upon arrival visit the underground. This network of tunnels, which stretched for over 200km, became legendary during the 1960s. The Cu Chi tunnels played a vital part in the U.S.-Vietnam War in that they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area only 30 to 40 km from Saigon. At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network, parts of which were several levels deep, included innumerable trap doors, specifically constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command center and kitchens. Today the remaining bloody tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and feel of what underground life during the war.
Afternoon, enjoy city tour to visit Notre Dame Cathedral was built between 1877 and 1883 and the stone used to create it was exported in its entirety from France. Next to the cathedral stands the Central Post Office, finished in 1891. It is another fine example of French architecture and is Vietnam's largest post office. Continue to visit the Reunification Palace was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until April 30, 1975. Endour city tour today with a stroll around the bustling Ben Thanh Market - a fantastic place for shopping
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Day 10: Visit My Tho (Mekong Delta) day trip
After breakfast, we set out on an excursion to My Tho, the closest city in the Mekong Delta to Saigon. A 2-hour drive brings you through urbanized areas till you reach river tributaries, there Mekong Delta! On the way, stop at Vinh Trang pagoda built in 1849. The monk who ordered the build had been to Angkor Wat so here and there influnces of the famous Cambodian temple complex. On arrival in My Tho, board a local private motorized boat (sub-standard) for a river cruise on the upper part of the Mekong River and a taste of the agricultural life of the mighty Mekong River. Visit to a fish-raising village before entering Vam Xep canal and its beautiful scenery of water palm. Disembark and stroll around Quoi An fruit orchard, visiting fruit-drying kilns and coconut craftwares home. Enhance your trip with a short horse-drawn cart ride along the village road. Upon arrival at Ben Truc – Phong Phu garden, sample Mekong delta fruit whilst enjoying traditional local music, and an opportunity to interact with the local people, whose livelihood is on the river here. End your trip with a rowing boat trip to explore the water palm canals. Re-board the main boat and transfer back to My Tho. Arrive at the dock and lunch at Ngoc Gia Trang restaurant, the standard is basic but it offers great Mekong specialities. Drive back to Saigon and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Day 11: Saigon – Danang – Hoi An
Transfer to the Saigon airport for your flight to Danang. Transfer to the Cham Museum in Danang for a visit. The museum houses the largest and most impressive collection of Cham sculpture and artifacts anywhere in the world, dating from the 4th to the 14th centuries. Drive to the Marble Mountains for a photo stop, continue to Non Nuoc Beach, immortalized for many by the US television show and still one of the most spectacular beaches in Asia en-route to Hoi An. In a country ravaged by war, Hoi An managed to remain untouched, and as you wander the completely traffic-free streets of this ancient seaport it is not hard to imagine yourself amidst the sailors and merchants of the 18th Century, when Hoi An was one of the busiest trading ports in Asia. And don’t forget that this is the town famed for its great tailors; so if you brought anything with you to be replicated—or want to have some traditional Vietnamese dresses made—this is the spot.
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 12: Hoi An
Next day, your guide will offer to lead you around Hoi An’s historic Old Town The picturesque riverside town of Hoi An, a major international trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries, has an enchanting Old Quarter full of mansions built by prosperous Japanese, Chinese, and European merchants. Enjoy a vivid sense of history as you walk the narrow streets, visiting houses, artisan workshops, the bustling fish market along the quay.
Late morning, you will enjoy a cooking class with a chef and cooking instructor. The chef offers us an introductory cooking class that leads into lunch together. After your market visit this morning, you will have gained a good understanding of local ingredients and the basic techniques of Vietnamese cuisine. Remainder of the day is free on your own exploration or picking up your clothes from tailors.
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 13: Hoi An / Hue – The Imperial City (B, D)
Say good-bye to Hoi An, we take a driving towards Hue. Between 1802 and 1945, Hue was Vietnam’s Imperial City, serving as the seat of 13 Nguyen emperors. Today, the city is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. You’ll take a tour to visit the Imperial city of Hue, continue your tour to see the Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) pagoda, and then cruising along the beautiful Perfume River.
Overnight at hotel in The Imperial of Hue

Day 14: Hue / Hanoi – the capital city (1 hour flight) (B)
Breakfast at hotel. After that we will tour around Hue through shady, scenic landscape to arrive at the majestic, serene tomb of Nguyen Emperor Tu Duc, set amid frangipani trees and a grove of gaudy mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh. Catch your flight to the capital city of Hanoi. Upon arrival, private transfer to your hotel in downtown.
Overnight at hotel in The Capital City of Hanoi

Day 15: Hanoi / Halong Bay (overnight on board) (B, L, D)
Leave your hotel in Hanoi for a 3.5 hours driving to Halong City with a break en route at a local coffee shop. Arriving by noon at the quayside, we board our junk to begin a cruise through the spectacular Halong Bay – Halong Bay is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most discover the Bay. Stopping along the way to explore the limestone caves or just lazing about atop the deck of our boat.
Overnight on board

Day 16: Halong Bay / Hanoi (B, L)
Breakfast will be served on board. Enjoy sun rise in the morning from the top of your boat. Continue your cruising for more exploration of the Bay with the tiny limestone islands are dotted with many beaches and grottoes created by the wind and the waves that provide an excellent backdrop for swimming. Drop off at the pier at around mid-day and transfer back to Hanoi.
Overnight at hotel in The Capital City of Hanoi

Day 17: Hanoi – City tour (B, L)
In the morning, we travel by rickshaw cyclo (traditional bike-propelled cart) and foot along tree-lined boulevards and through the 1000-year-old Old Quarter, exploring the markets and taking in some of the city’s great colonial architecture. Other stops on our tour include Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and the One Pillar Pagoda, the hallowed “Temple of Literature”. Van Mieu, as it is known in Vietnamese, is the country’s most renowned temple complex. A combination of Confucian sanctuary and academy, the centre also housed the country’s first university, founded in 1076. We have time to wander through the stone tablets and soak up a thousand years of learning with our local guide. After lunch at another of our favourite local spots, we leave you to enjoy the afternoon as you see fit. Depending on your interests, our guides will be happy to lead you to some of the city’s more interesting art galleries, or take you on a shopping tour for silks and linens (this is perhaps the best place in Vietnam to pick up gifts for people back home), or continue visiting historic sites or visit to a very beautiful Museum of Ethnology to enhance your understanding of Vietnam's diverse culture through its unique presentation of objects & dress from daily life. In the late afternoon, we’ll enjoy a performance of water puppetry, an art form that developed in the rice paddies of northern Vietnam.
Overnight at hotel in The Capital City of Hanoi

Day 18: Hanoi – Homeward (B)
You will be collected from your hotel for a private transfer with your guide to the airport for departure flight home. Your Tour comes to an end.




This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services.

Please click on CUSTOMIZE YOUR TRIPS and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!

Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements, but may incur price changes

WHAT'S INCLUDED?
Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels 
Private Vehicles and Drivers
Transport from Hanoi to Halong and return by mini van
Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
All domestic flights
Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Drinking water available on the vehicles.
Service Charge & Government Taxes
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
Your International Flights
Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Any bank fees or charges at your end
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Personal Travel Insurance
Tips for tour guide and driver in each region
Peak season or public holidays surcharge if any
Compulsory Gala dinner on X-Mas or New Year if any
Vietnam visa stamp fee 
Other services not mentioned above

HOTEL SELECTION:

The hotels listed below are our suggestions for the best value on this tour.  However, Asia Essence Tours offers many more options of hand-picked hotels, with different "star ratings", allowing you to customize the vacation to meet your taste and budget.
  

LOCATIONS

FIRST CLASS CATEGORY

SUPERIOR CATEGORY

DELUXE CATEGORY

Hanoi

Silk Queen Hanoi

Golden Silk Boutique

Hanoi D’Opera

Halong Cruise

Swan Cruise

Huonghai Sealife

Indochina Sails

Hue

New Star Hue

Park View Hue

Imperial Hue

Hoian

Kiman Hoian

Essence Hoian

Palm Garden Hoian

HCM City

Family Inn

Paragon Saigon

Majestic Saigon

Luang prabang

Villa Chitdara hotel

Villa Santi hotel

Maison Souvanaphoum

Siem Reap

Angkor Home Hotel

Tara Angkor

Victoria Hotel

ABOUT HOTELS:

We, at Asia Essence Tours, are aware that a good tour must have good hotels. As the hotel cost will be the major expense of your vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, it is essential that all of the hotels chosen by us are the highest quality for the price paid. All of our prices are based on twin, double or queen shared rooms.

BELOW IS AN EXPLANATION OF THE HOTEL "STAR" RATINGS:

First Class/ 3 Star (from US$ 40 - US$ 60 per room/night)

The First Class/ 3 Star Hotels are good value and normally centrally located. They all have comfortable en-suite rooms, good amenities and public areas to relax in. They are usually family run hotels, so offer great personalized service for your enjoyment and comfort. Most first class properties offer an in-house restaurant, and some may even have a swimming pool!

Superior/ 4 star (from US$ 80 - US$ 110/ per room/night)

The 4* superior Hotels offer a wide range of services. Many superior hotels feature a choice of several in-house restaurants. In addition virtually all of them have a swimming pool. Some may even feature a spa or health club. This grade of hotel offers more for your enjoyment and comfort, while still remaining affordable.

Deluxe/ 5 Star (from US$120 - US$ 180++/ per room/night)

These 5* Deluxe hotels are usually owned by Worldwide, well known Hotel chains. The deluxe hotels feature excellent locations, offer the highest standards of service and facilities, and are known as the best hotels in each region. Facilities such as swimming pools and spas are the norm, and guest rooms are luxurious. These hotels offer first class service and amenities throughout.

ASIA ESSENCE TOURS™ BESPOKE STYLE SUITS EVERYONE

Flexibility: The sample itinerary can be modified to suit your interests, budget as well as your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.

Tailor-Made Journey: This trip can be tailor made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more individual trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments, with the flexibility to plan a trip at your own pace. Quality and value are the hallmark of the trips, with most services being provided on a private basis.

Commitment to Excellence: We enjoys excellent relationships with all of the highly regarded hotels and finest properties in our destinations as well as with service suppliers so that we are able to negotiate the most attractive prices for our clients, which enables us to provide exclusive holidays and affordable special offers. We create one-of-a-kind vacations for groups and individuals. We love our destinations and do our best to make sure that our customers feel the same way. Our job is to make sure that everyone gets the right balance of comfort and excitement to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.


Extend This Tour With...

Indochina Discovery


Best of Laos and Myanmar


Best of Cambodia and Myanmar


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