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Discover the diverse wonders of Indochina. On this journey explore three unique countries, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, each as intriguing as the next. Traverse this emerging region for an authentic Asian experience
Day 1: Arrive Ha Noi (-/-/-)
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B/L/-)
Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Day 4: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi – Hue (B/L/-)
Day 5: Hue Sightseeing (B/L/-)
Day 6: Hue - Da Nang - Hoian (B/L/-)\
Day 7: Hoian Ancient Town Sightseeing Tour (B/L/-)
Day 8: Truly Vietnam Life at Tra Que Village (B/L/-)
Day 9: Hoi An - Da Nang - Siem Reap (B/-/-)
Day 10: Siem Reap - Angkor Tour (B/L/-)
Day 11: Banteysamre - Banteysrei – Kapean (B/L/-)
Day 12: Siem Reap - Luang Prabang (B/-/-)
Day 13: Luang Prabang City Tour (B/L/-)
Day 14: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave (B/L/-)
Day 15: Vientiane (B/-/-)
Right after landing on Noi Bai Airport, you are picked up and transferred to hotel. Free at your hotel after the long flight and go out in the evening for the first taste of authentic local cookery is given to you at one of Hanoi’s finest restaurants.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will start exploring our 1000 years old capital. Today, visit the Temple of Literature. In 1076, Vietnam’s first university Quoc Tu Giam, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
Visit The One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049, next. This structure is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. (viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov)
At the end of the afternoon visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a cyclo tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.
Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.
Overnight in Hanoi.
This morning you will be picked up from the hotel to Halong Bay, arriving at around midday in time to board a traditional junk (sailing boat) for an overnight cruise.
Halong Bay is spectacularly beautiful, with thousands of towering pillars of sea and wind-carved limestone karsts soaring out of the water. After lunch the junk will stop at one of the small islands in the bay to give you the chance to explore a huge limestone cave and visit a floating fishing village. The captain will then find a secluded spot where you can swim, soak up the sun on the top deck or try your hand at kayaking (weather permitting). In the evening there will be a seafood feast. You will spend the night on board the boat in comfortable with en suite facilities.
Continue sailing and take a row boat to visit one of the most impressive cave in the Bay where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. After an early lunch on board your junk you will disembark and head back to Hanoi for the flight to Hue. Upon arrival, the driver and tour guide will pick you up then transfer to the hotel for check in.
Discover the spectacular sites of Hue and admire its art, architecture, history and local food on this full day sightseeing tour. After breakfast, head to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hue Citadel, where Nguyen rulers presided between 1802 and 1945. Passing by stunning palaces and shrines at the Imperial City and the emperor’s private residence at the Forbidden Purple City, hear interesting stories about the Nguyen Emperors and learn more about the history of the city from your informative guide.
Then, enjoy unique local food which is rated as one of the best in the world. After lunch, take a panoramic cruise along the enchanting Perfume River. Relax and get closer to nature as you pass by lush forest trees and colorful flowers on full bloom by the river bank. Disembark for a quick visit of the Thien Mu Pagoda, the tallest pagoda in Vietnam and is considered by many as the unofficial symbol of Hue. See one of its most poignant display, a car belonging to a former monk, who in 1963, drove to Sai Gon and set himself alight to protest against the South Vietnamese regime and its cruel treatment of Buddhist monks and followers. Explore the Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, and see its graceful combination of Western and oriental architecture. Emperor Khai Dinh ruled Vietnam for 9 years and his tomb took 11 years to complete.
Overnight in Hue.
At around 08:00 AM, our driver and tour guide will pick you up at your hotel in Hue and depart to Hoi An. On the way from Hue to Hoi An, you stop to visit Lang Co beach – Oyster farming village. This is the most beautiful beach in Vietnam which is suit for relaxing, diving and is one of the ideal holiday resorts since many years.
The next destination is Hai Van Pass which is the highest pass and an impressive landscape in Vietnam. It is like a giant dragon, lying on Highway 1 on the border between Thua Thien-Hue Province and Danang City. You can also see the beautiful Lang Co beach on Hai van pass.
Upon arrival in Hoian, check in hotel and overnight in Hoian.
After breakfast, 8:30 or 9:00AM we start a walking tour to explore this enchanting port town. We spend a walking tour around this enchanting port town and visit its numerous places of interest: 400 years old Japanese Bridge, 300 years old Chinese temple, 200 years old Vietnamese former merchants’ house, the local fish market … Around the town we can see a numerous art galleries and tailor shops, get some made-to-order clothes if you like.
After lunch in local restaurant, you will have a chance to ride a “Xich Lo or pedicab” through the opposite site of Hoi An River bank where you can take a panorama of Hoi An town. Keep on the “Xich Lo” through the tiny lanes of Hoi An countryside, passing the fields of corn, sweet potatoes, beautiful local fruit-garden …
You spend more 2-hours boat trip on the Thu Bon river to enjoy the natural view and discover the normal life of local fishing people.
Overnight at the hotel.
Tra Que is a charming little village on the edge of Hoi An, the village is famous for its sweet scented & green vegetables that spice up on the daily meals of Hoi An people: Cao Lau and Quang noodles. Come here, you will have a chance to discover the art of cultivar ting and water plants, tasting and doing a cooking class with local dishes prepared by host.
Itinerary for one-day tour: Depart at your hotel at 9:00 am, you will ride by bicycle to Tra Que Vegetable Village, experience a day of living and working with the local farmers in this village. A tour of the organic vegetable and herb gardens can include some time working in the field if you like, or merely observing and learning about the system and the fresh ingredients. Upon returning to the house, we were all treated to an herbal foot massage followed by a session of cooking various local dishes ales such as: Tam Huu Spring Roll, Banh Xeo or the local pancake of the people from the middle region. Then start a walking tour through the Ancient Town. Here we can see the vestige of the mix combination of Chinese and Japanese architecture as well as traditional cultural values. In December, 1999 Hoi An is declared a Unesco World Heritage site.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Today, free at your leisure until transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Once arrive airport in Siem Reap, you are welcomed by our local guide, then transfer you to hotel for check in
Free at leisure. In the evening, we pick you up for dinner with Apsara Dance show at local restaurant.
For those travelers thirsting for cultural highlights of Cambodia, no visit to Cambodia is complete without attending at least one traditional Khmer dance performance, often referred to as ‘Apsara Dance’ after one of the most popular Classical dance pieces. Traditional Khmer dance better described as ‘dance-drama’ in that the dances are not merely dance but also meant to convey a story or message.
Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.
It’s a very special and acting day as you will explore some of Angkor’s most beautiful temples. Visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12 century): The South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Continue to visit Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples; Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery.
Following lunch at local restaurant, visit to the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture.
Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.
Today we drive to visit Kbal Spean, 50km northeast of Siem Reap or 18km from Banteay Srei. The original “River of Thousand Lingams”, Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle. Visit to Banteay Srei temple (10th century), regarded as the jewel in the crown of classical Khmer Art. Then continue your visit to Banteay Samre, build in the third quarter of the 12th century. it consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompany by two libraries, the southern example remarkably well preserved.
Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, take an excursion to visit a rural village supporting a proven model of tourism. Learn about people life through their daily activities. Then come back to the city, bid farewell to Cambodia and fly to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed town of Luang Prabang, with its golden temples with glittering spires.
Today excursion is to explore the temples of Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai the spiritual hub of Luang Prabang with their sweeping roofs and gilded facades. Visit the National Museum that was once the former Royal Palace to view the relics from Laos’ royalist past. Then head out of town to the Kuang Si waterfall, where the cool turquoise pools have a magical appearance and visit the Sun Bear refuge centre to say hello to the furry residents. Pop into the Living Crafts Centre, where artisans are keeping traditional crafts alive and arrive back into Luang Prabang later in the afternoon.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Following breakfast, take a visit the National Museum (Royal Palace), a modest but graceful building which combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts motifs. This turn-of-the century royal residence has been preserved as it was when the royal family last lived here and provides unique insights into the history of Laos.
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 pieces, including the Phrabang, cast of a gold, silver and bronze alloy. This Buddha stands at 83 cm tall and weighs around 50 kg.
Continue to Wat Mai, which was constructed in 1821 during the reign of King Manthatourath, and was once the residence of Phra Sangkharaj (the Patriarch of the Buddhist clergy).
Travel 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 material imaginable.
On the way to Pak Ou Cave, stop at Ban Xang Hai Village, a local village famous for the production of lao lao, the local rice wine whisky. (Closed every major Buddhist holiday)
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Have breakfast at your hotel, free at your leisure until be picked to the Airport for your departure flight in Vientiane. Thank you so much for travelling with Viet Sense Travel and warmly welcome you to come again!
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