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Vietnam – Cambodia & Laos Tour – 17 Days
The Best of Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia & Brazil Tour
Cost: Adult £2595 per person on twin / double / triple sharing
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DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG CITY TOUR (B/D)
After breakfast, our full day city tour begins with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. We then enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then visit Wat Visoun, dating back to 1513 during the reign of King Wisunarat (Visoun) this is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple and was once home to the Prabang Buddhas. From there we stroll around to visit Wat Aham, which was once the residence of Sangkharat, the supreme head of Lao Buddhism. We continue our visit to the Arts and Ethnology Centre to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Dinner at Indian restaurant. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU CAVE – KUANG SI WATERFALL (B/D)
An early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there, we will take a short visit to the morning local market near the Royal Palace. At the market, you can find anything from rice, to fresh vegetables, to steamed fish, frogs, and anything else that might be the day’s catch, just set up on the ground, this is what the locals do every day. This is really the chance for you to get a real flavor of the local culture. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
This morning, we embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious 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, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On return, we disembark the boat to visit traditional villages, and continue taking a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village famous for its hand weaving.
This afternoon, we’ll visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village, Ban Ou a Laoloum village and Ban Thapene, Khmu villages. This then takes us to the beautiful Khuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. We then return to Luang Prabang. Dinner at Indian restaurant. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 5: LUANG PRABANG – FLY TO SIEM REAP (B/D)
After breakfast, at leisure until we transfer to the airport for flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, trasfer to the hotel to check in. Welcome dinner with Apsara, the traditional Khmer dance - drama performance, which are not merely dance but also telling a story. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 6: SIEM REAP – ANGKOR TOUR (B/D)
After breakfast, we explore South Gate of Angkor Thom known as Big Angkor, 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire, The famous Bayon Temple was an architectural muddle, in part because it was constructed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion for over a century. Terrace of the Elephants is an impressive, two and a half meter tall, 300 meter long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants and gradual that spans the heart of Angkor Thom in front of Baphuon - huge temple mountain in the heart of Angkor Thom, Royal Palace Area and Phimeanakas - impressive rite and sandstone pyramid. Terrace of the Leper King is at the north end of the Terrace of the Elephants, a double terrace wall with deeply carved nag as, demons and other mythological beings. Last you will visit Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty! Giant trees have grown here for centuries. Afternoon visit Angkor Wat temple, the founder of the temple was Suryavarman II who reigned Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers in the 12th century to dedicate to the Hindu God Vishnu. The plan of the pyramidal conception of the temple combined with spaces, alleys, ditches is an ancient masterpiece of architectural design and construction. Dinner at Indian restaurant. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 7: SIEM REAP – FLOATING VILLAGE – CITY TOUR (B/D)
After breakfast, we visit Wat Thmei (Killing Field) contains a unique glass-walled stupa containing the bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge. Some of the bones were recovered from a nearby well while others are the remains of soldiers who died on a nearby battlefield. Come back to visit the "Les Artisans d'Angkor – Chantiers Ecole" the Finest Authentic Khmer Arts and Crafts.
Afternoon visit Floating Villages, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap! Take a ride in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia and the largest in Asia. Here you’ll see plenty of examples of the Khmer way of life on the Tonle Sap. Then visit Wat Bo founded in the 18th century, a highly respected pagoda contains very unique wall paintings of the Reamker (Ramayana) that are said to be late 19th century. We continue to one of the city’s lively open markets, Psar Chars, also called the “Old Market”, where anything and everything is for sale. Dinner at Indian restaurant. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 8: SIEM REAP – FLY TO SAIGON (B/D)
After breakfast, at leisure until we transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, trasfer to the hotel to check in. Dinner on board Saigon river cruise. Overnight in Saigon.
DAY 9: SAIGON CITY TOUR (B/D)
After breakfast, begin our city tour by strolling along Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notredame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Continue to visit the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates. Continue to the harrowing War Remnants Museum, which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam- American War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and weapons. A powerful experience, this museum is guaranteed to provoke strong emotions.
In the afternoon, head out to Cholon (Chinatown). Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with a brief visit to Binh Tay Market, the vast wholesale market selling every kind of good from dried foods to T shirts to electronics. Continue to Thien Hau Pagoda, build by the Cantonese congregation and dedicated to the heavenly goddess. End our tour at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste. Dinner at Indian restaurant. Overnight in Saigon.
DAY 10: SAIGON – TAY NINH – CU CHI – SAIGON (B/L/D)
After breakfast, our day will begin with a visit to Tay Ninh, the centre of Caodaism, a local sect of Buddhism founded by a Vietnamese countryman in early 20th century. Arriving at noontime, we will have the chance to join the daily solemn ceremony at the temple of Cao Dai called Tayninh Holysee. Lunch at a local restaurant in Tay Ninh. On the way back to Saigon, we stop to visit Cu Chi Tunnels - the network of over 200km of tunnels became legendary when they played a vital role in the War. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities including numerous trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers & kitchens. Before discovering the tunnels we watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. Spend the next hour exploring the tunnels before we return to Saigon. Dinner at Indian restaurant. Overnight in Saigon.
DAY 11: SAIGON – MEKONG DELTA – SAIGON (B/L/D)
After breakfast, a Full Day Trip to the sprawling city of My Tho, located on the banks of the Upper Mekong River, is one the closest cities in the mighty Mekong Delta to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and can be reached by road in just one hour. Enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway, bordered by green rice fields. On arrival, take a leisurely boat trip around the four beautiful islands known as Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix and Tortoise islands. Enjoy a rowing boat ride in the shadows of the water-coconut palms along the tiny canals of Ben Tre Province. Visit the picturesque orchards and sample the freshly picked fruit at the invitation of friendly local farmers. Spend some time in the villages to learn about the daily lives of the inhabitants, listen to their traditional folk music. Lunch is arranged at the restaurant in My Tho. Evening return to Saigon. Overnight in Saigon.
DAY 12: SAIGON – FLY TO HANOI (B/D)
After breakfast, at leisure until we transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, trasfer to the hotel to check in. This afternoon, enjoy Water Puppet show at water puppet theatre. Dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 13: HANOI CITY TOUR (B/D)
After breakfast, we will begin a fascinating day with visits to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, inclusive of Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, as well as his private residence from 1954 until 1969. The wooden ethnic minority style house, which was built on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. In the same complex you will see the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Our next stop will be the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. In the afternoon, take a visit to Museum of Ethnology, widely considered to be the finest modern museum, exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. Later, we take a cyclo tour around the Old Quarter of Hanoi, visit Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and the old street of Hanoi. Dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 14: HANOI – HALONG – OVERNIGHT ON BOARD (B/L/D)
After breakfast and check out hotel, we journey east for 4 hour through picturesque rice-farming villages of the Red River Delta, where we see everyday Vietnamese village life to reach to Halong Bay, a Natural World Heritage as designated by UNESCO since 1994 and 2006.
12.30: Get on boat easily by private quay. Then you will be warmly welcomed by crew team, welcome drink will be served instantly during cruise briefing. Check in your cabin and take a rest.
13.30: Enjoy a nice set-menu lunch. By local flavors in each dish, it vitally helps to recuperate after a 4-hour-car drive. In the meantime, our cruise goes ahead to the Bay’s center. After lunch, you are free to relax on sundeck. While the light of afternoon decreases slightly, hundreds of islands with different shares definitely amaze you by its natural beauty.
15:00: By tender, visit Titop Island. Have free choice of activities such as sunbathing; swimming; conquering the peak of the biggest island in Halong named of a Russian space hero and taking panoramic photos of Halong bay in the afternoon.
15.40: Arrive at Ong Cam floating house by tender – one of few existing houses (belong Lan Ha Bay) left after the regulation of Management to relocate the traditional floating village to mainland. You will discover the area’s tranquility by kayaking – an indispensable water activity in Halong, for those who love challenging themselves or sitting on bamboo boat, for those who love being gentle and sophisticated, to admire breathtaking scenes. No matter what you choose, you will have a very quick look at the ruin of floating village to understand how they survive in simple forms of floating houses. Centrally, the activity offers the serenity of escape, particularly in the late afternoon. From a distance, few small junks drift off into the sunset slowly. What cool and poetic moment!
17:30: Go back to our overnight boat for relaxation. Regain your energy by enjoying fantastic views of Halong on sundeck at dusk. Enjoy the mini sunset party with complimentary seasonal fruits and finger foods. To get memorable sunset moment, you should order some Halong styled glasses of cocktail by joining buy-one-get-one-free program, made by our skillful bartenders.
18.30: Join cooking class on the sundeck. The chef shows you how to make Spring Roll - an authentic specialty, which is voted for World's 50 best foods by CNN.
19.30: A sophisticated dinner that gives you an appetite will be dedicatedly served in romantic ambience, especially with BBQ fresh seafood and a variety of Vietnamese and Western foods.
21:00: Evening activities: watching film at the outdoor bar; playing board, guitar and card games; going fishing squid on tender. Enjoy squid cooked after fishing.
22:00: Overnight at the quietest sleeping area. End of the first day in Halong.
DAY 15: HALONG – HANOI (B/BRUNCH/D)
06.30: Wake up at dawn for morning exercise with body warm up, Tai Chi Quan… on sundeck or enjoy beautiful spectacles that a blazing sunrise breaks the clouds of the island on the bay!
07.30: Have a light breakfast with coffee, tea and bakeries while enjoy the bay view.
08.30: Explore Me Cung (Maze) cave. This least known cave locates on a remote island, which is rare in cave-lake seascape. Climb up several rugged stone stairs to admire the miracle of stalactites in a very complex structure, then overlooking gradually to the west, a great lake will appear in font of you, considered as a royal garden surrounding by natural mountain walls. You will be seemingly isolated on the bay. Its water looks blue all year round and breathtaking from high above.
9:30: Come back to the cruise. It's time to check out our cabin, relax among grand views.
11:00: Farewell lunch is deliciously served at restaurant and say ‘’goodbye’’ to the crew.
11:45: Disembark at Tuan Chau Marina. Transfer back to Hanoi.
Arrival in Hanoi around 16h00, drop off at hotel and check in. Enjoy shopping at the Old Quarter. Dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi hotel.
DAY 16: HANOI – DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast check out at 12:00 NOON and free time. Transfer on time to the airport for our flight back home.
DAY 17: Arrive in UK Flight depart early.
- Return Air Tickets International
- Coach Transfers in Vietnam and Cambodia.
- Domestic Flights.
- Breakfast and Dinner as per itinerary.
- Accommodation on 2 persons sharing basis.
- Services of our Tour Manager
- Tips and Gratituities.
- Private Cabin two sharing on cruise in Halong Bay.
- Mineral water one per day on coach.
- Travel Insurance.
- Return transfers from Leicester to UK Airports. £30 per person
- Vietnam and Cambodia Visa stamp fee Estimate cost 100 USD per person.
- Kayaking on Halong Bay
- Single supplement surcharge £675
- Other meals not mentioned in the tour Drinks and personal expenses (phone call, laundry, etc…)program
- Any services not mentioned in the program
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