14 Days : Jewels of Indochina

angkor_wat_photo-thumbnail The three Jewels of Indochina – Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia reasures
Duration:
14 days/ 13 nights - daily departure
Route
:Siemreap -  Luang Prabang  - Hanoï - Halong - Hanoï - Hue- Hoian - Saigon - or vice versa

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The three jewels of Indochina – Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia – share a common cultural heritage yet possess their own unique personalities and histories as well. The French ruled this area, collectively known as Indochine, from the late 1800’s through the mid-20th century. The French influence still remains in some areas, mingling with the cultural influences of China and India.

Laos is the least developed of the three former French Indochinese states and offers travelers an unparalleled glimpse of traditional Southeast Asian life. After two decades of isolation from the outside world, this landlocked, sparsely populated country is enjoying peace, stabilizing its political and economic structures, and admitting foreign visitors - albeit in limited numbers.

Most visitors to Vietnam are overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of the country's natural setting: the Red River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south and almost the entire coastal strip are a patchwork of brilliant green rice paddies tended by women in conical hats. There are some divine beaches along the coast, while inland there are soaring mountains, some of which are cloaked by dense, misty forests. Vietnam also offers an opportunity to see a country of traditional charm and rare beauty rapidly opening up to the outside world.

Cambodia has emerged from decades of war and isolation and is well and truly back on the Southeast Asian travel map. The successor-state of the mighty Khmer Empire, which ruled much of what is now Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, Cambodia boasts a rich culture, a weathered French-era capital and impressive natural scenery. The celebrated temples of Angkor are Cambodia's greatest tourist attraction.


Day 1 : Arrive to Siemreap ( L )
Arrival at the airport, you are met and transferred to the hotelAm. Visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century). See the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), Bayon Temple(unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King

In the afternoon, visit the most famous of all the temples on the Angkor plain: Angkor Wat. The temple complex cover 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. Angkor Wat's five tower symbolize Meru's five peaks, the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat symbolizes the ocean beyond

Sunset from Phnom Bakheng, one of two hills dominating the plain of Angkor, from where you will have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat. Accommodation at hotel


Day 2 : Visit Angkor wat ( B, L )
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, you will continue your temple visits. Included are Prasat Kravan (with its unique brick sculptures), Srah Srang ("The Royal Boths" was once used for ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by four concentric walls), Eastern Mebon (guarded at its corner by stone figures of harnessed elephants, some of which are still in a reasonable state of preservation) and the "Mountain Temple" of Pre Rup until sunset. In the afternoon, transfer to the archaeological site and continue to the temple tour. Visit Ta Prohm, one of the most beautiful temples in the area. Ta Prohm has been left relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Visit Takeo, Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda temples. Accommodation at hotel.


Day 3 : Siemreap - Luang Prabang ( B,L ) Flight
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for the morning flight to LuangprabangVisit the floating village of the Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Take a traditional wooden boat for a ride on the Tonle Sap, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia and the largest in Asia

Transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure to Luang Prabang. This small city is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. After a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai; we then climb up to the top of Phousi Mount for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore Street Night Market, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.


Day 4 : Luang Prabang - Pakou cave ( B, L )
This morning you may want to wake up early and participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black Alms-giving bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice.


AM: After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city is oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represent the classical architecture of Luang Prabang temple. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the distillation of local rice wine. On return, we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.


Day 5: Luang Prabang - KhouangSi water fall ( B, L )
After breakfast, we visit The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. You will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the pools or walk along the forest paths, return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Phanom, a well known weaving village, return to the city by late evening, for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.


Day 6 : LuangPrabang - Hanoi - Halong ( B, L ) Flight
After visiting these sights in the morning, you have free time to explore the town and stroll around the shopping area.

The tour ends after your transfer to Airport for the flight to Hanoi. Pick up at the airport and transfer to Halong bay. Overnight at hotel.


Day 7 : Halong Bay - Hanoi ( B, L )
Breakfast at the hotel. 7 hours boat trip give you a chance to enjoy the breath-taking beauty of Halong Bay - the World's Natural Wonder. Visit SungSot Cave and Tiptop beach. Boat cruise to see many other small islands in the bay. Lunch on board. Afternoon back Hanoi. Diner is your choice. Overnight in Hanoi.


Day 8 : Hanoi city tour ( B , L )
AM : 8h00 Taking the cyclo for an hour along the Hanoi Old Quarters, pass by Dong Xuan market then continue to the Old Citadel to Literature Temple and Quoc Tu Giam. Then by car to visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda. Continue to visit the Quan Thanh Temple and Tran Quoc Pagoda. Lunch at the local restaurant.

PM : After lunch proceed to visit the Ethnology Museum. Evening is reserved for Water Puppet Show. Free for diner. Overnight at hotel.


Day 9 : Hanoi - Hue ( B, L ) Flight
Am : Transfer from your hotel in Hanoi to the airport. Flight VN 245 to Hue ( 12h20 -13h30 ). Pick up then transfer to your hotel in Hue. Bus trip to visit Hue City and King's tombs (KhaiDinh). Dinner in Hue with Hue specialty ( Com CungDinh). Overnight in Hue.


Day 10 : Hue - Hoian ( B, L )
Am : breakfast at hotel. 8h00 Boat trip to visit ThienMu Pagoda and Minh Mang tomb. Visit Imperial Citadel . Lunch at the garden restaurant.

Pm : Transfer to Hoian. Stop over at Langco beach, Cham museum in Danang, sculptures on stone village at Mabre mountain. Arrive Hoian. Check in hotel.


Day 11 : Hoian ( B, L )
Visit Hoian - an old trading town, some 30km from Danang. Walking tour to visit Hoian: Japanese Covered Bridge, TanKy Old house, Assembly Hall Chinese. PhucKien Pagoda, this is the oldest and famous chinese Pagoda in Hoian, Then have a look at Hoian Museum, see the real life of Vietnamese peoples at the Market on the river side. Overnight in Hoian.


Day 12 : Hoian - Danang - Hochiminh city ( B, L ) Flight
Am : Transfer to the airport for the morning flight to Hochiminh city. The biggest city and consider as the economic capital of Vietnam.

Pick up at TanSan Nhat hotel and transfer to hotel in the central of Hochiminh city. Short city tour to City Hall, Cathedral , Post office and BenThanh Market. Return to hotel. Free time for diner. Overnight at hotel.


Day 13: Mytho - Mekong Delta ( B, L )
Am : Breakfast at the hotel. 8h00 Drive southward to Mekong delta. Boat trip in MyTho through tiny canals and quiet villages. Lunch in nice restaurant inside garden. Visit bee-raising farm, coconut-candy enterprise. Afternoon transfer back Saigon with stop over in VinhTrang pagoda for visiting. Overnight in Saigon.


Day 14: Hochiminh departure ( B )
Am : Breakfast at the hotel.and free time till transfer to the airport.
End tour services.


Trip Prices Include :
- Full transportation by private car or bus as tour program indicated.
- Half board as indicated in the itinerary ( B= Breakfast, L = lunch )
- International flight : LuangPrabang - Hanoi , Hochiminh - Siemreap
- 2 domestic flights with airport taxes : Hanoi - Hue ; Danang - Hochiminh
- English or French - speaking guide
- Full Entrance fees.
- Sharing Junk in Halong bay - private room
- Private , Perfume River, Tiengiang river in Mytho
- Private Boat in MeKong in Laos and Tonlesap in Cambodia.
- Twin-share accommodation with daily breakfast; ( AC room)


Trip Prices Do Not Include :
- International Airport taxes in Cambodia, Laos
- Exclude visa on arrival at Cambodia (USD 20. per pax)
- Exclude visa on arrival at Laos (USD 30. per pax)
- Exclude visa on arrival at Vietnam (USD 50. per pax)
- Exclude international air ticket & airport tax from Siem Reap with airport tax of 25$)
- International air ticket to Vietnam/Out Laos
- Drinks and personal expenses and other meals not mentioned on the program.