Tour Route: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou - Vientiane - Hanoi - Hoi An - Hue - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Cu Chi - Siem Reap
There are few regions in the world that can claim as rich a cultural and historic past as Indochina; the countries of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia are home to some of the oldest temples in existence, the site of great humanitarian tragedy, and also spectacularly beautiful. This tour allows you to visit all of them over a period of 14 days, taking in the most special and unique sights that each one has to offer.
Day 1 - Arrive at Luang Prabang
Welcome to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage City. Situated along the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, this charming city is the spiritual and cultural capital of Laos. Filled with dozens of elaborate temples, French colonial architecture, and friendly locals, this magical town is enjoyed by all. Climb the 328 stairs at Mount Phousi this evening for spectacular views over the town. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2 - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou (B,L)
Soak-in the beautiful scenery as you travel aboard the elegant Nava Mekong boat up to the Pak Ou caves where thousands of golden Buddhas are crammed in to limestone caves. Moor in the middle of the Mekong for a lunch of fresh Lao dishes and enjoy the views. Travel back down river to Luang Prabang where you have time to explore more of this quaint town including its famed Royal Palace and majestic temples. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3 - Luang Prabang - Vientiane (B)
This morning, head to Ban Xang Khok, where the local villagers specialize in the weaving of silk and cotton and the making natural paper products. Then fly to the country's capital, Vientiane. A city tour will take you from the peaceful Wat Sisaket to the golden stupa of That Luang. Also stop at Laos' own ‘Arc de Triomphe' and also visit Wat Ho Phra Keo to see their display of Lao and Khmer art. The blend of French architecture, tree lined boulevards, and Buddhist temples make Vientiane and unique capital city. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 4 - Vientiane - Hanoi (B)
Start this morning with a visit to Buddha Park, a tranquil park near the Thai border filled with bizarre Hindu and Buddhist sculptures. Continue to COPE, a center working to rid the country of landmines, where you will learn about the recent history of Laos and the lasting impacts of war. This afternoon, fly to Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 5 - Hanoi City Tour Full day (B)
A full day guided tour of the capital explores its main sites as well as some hidden gems. Pay homage to the revered Ho Chi Minh with a visit to his mausoleum and former home, be wisked back in time with a tour of the ancient Temple of Literature and learn about the country's eclectic mix of hilltribe cultures at the Museum of Ethnology. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 6 - Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An Ancient Town (B)
Fly to the central town of Danang where a short drive along the coast takes you to Hoi An. This town was major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries with a relaxed lifestyle that has changed little over the years. In the afternoon, take a tour of the ancient town centre to visit the homes of former merchants, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the exotic local market. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 7 - Hoi An - Hue Citadel (B/)
After a morning at leisure in charming Hoi An, drive along the coast to Hue, passing the Marble Mountains, Lang Co beach and the Pass of Ocean Clouds en route. Arrive late this afternoon in the former Imperial Capital where a mesmerizing mix of imposing tombs, peaceful rivers and ancient traditions await. Overnight in Hue.
Day 8 - Hue Citadel (B)
After breakfast, visit the historic Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's best-known religious site. Jump on board a cyclo from which the sites of city can be observed before exploring the Imperial Citadel. The day continues as you drive through the countryside to visit to the elaborate mausoleums of former Emperors Minh Mang, Tu Duc, and Khai Dinh. Enjoy some free time in Hue this afternoon to explore its small streets and the colorful Dong Da market. Overnight in Hue
Day 9 - Hue - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) (B,L)
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by some, where old French-Vietnamese colonial architecture stands alongside modern buildings and skyscapers. A sightseeing tour of this dynamic city takes in the former Presidential Palace, the War Museum and bustling Chinatown area. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City (B,L)
Drive south to the Mekong Delta where hundreds of narrow waterways and islands create a network of paths that can only be explored by local boat. On arrival at Cai Be, take a boat trip to the floating market, Binh Hoa Phuoc Island to visit the areas fruit orchards, and have lunch in a local Bonsai garden. Return through the meandering waterways to Vinh Long and then by road to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi - Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap (B)
Enjoy a morning at leisure in the cosmopolitan city of Ho Chi Minh, taking in some sightseeing or making the most of the variety of shopping opportunities available to you. Continue to the Ho Chi Minh Airport for a flight to Siem Reap, the gateway to the temples of Angkor. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 12 - Siem Reap (B)
A morning tour of the temples starts at the South Gate of Angkor Thom City. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer empire and its massive 8 meter high walls surround an area filled with temples. Set in the center of this area is Bayon, whose massive towers are carved with enigmatic faces. End your day at Angkor Wat and explore the intricate carvings and passageways of this 12th century temple. Watch the sun set over Angkor Wat's five towers and marvel at its wonder. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 13 - Siem Reap (B)
This morning, head out to Banteay Srei, a petite pink sandstone temple, before continuing on to Kbal Spean. Here, the water rushes over a riverbed that is carved with Hindu symbols, giving it the name 'River of 1000 Lingas'. Return to the heart of the Angkor complex this afternoon as you visit the temples along the ‘Grand Circuit', including the evocative Preah Khan. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 14 - Depart Siem Reap (B)
For your last day in Siem Reap you have three options to choose from. Drive out to the great Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia's largest, and take a boat trip amongst the floating villages. Or, visit one of two unique projects in the city. One option is the workshops of Artisans d'Angkor where traditional techniques like wood and stone carving are being taught to locals. Or visit the Landmine Museum of Mr. Aki Ra, where you can learn more about the ongoing effort to rid the country of landmines and unexploded ordinances. Your tour ends with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.