The temples of Angkor, the mighty Mekong River, a Ha Long Bay overnight cruise and ancient and modern capitals of South East Asia
Flight - 1 night
Saigon - 3 nights
Hue - 2 nights
Hoi An - 2 nights
Hanoi - 2 nights
Ha Long Bay - 1 night
Siem Reap - 3 nights
Phnom Penh - 2 nights
Vientiane - 1 night
Luang Prabang - 3 nights
Flight - 1 night
The expression, Indochina, is perhaps a creation from French colonial times when Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were administered as one entity, but the meaning becomes clear at Angkor. The original Hindu temples were inspired by India, but the later Buddhist additions came from further east, a fascinating and awe-inspiring combination.
After Angkor was abandoned due to pressure from Thailand, nature overwhelmed the temples and only now have they been partly reclaimed from the jungle. Angkor Wat is the most impressive and Ta Prohm, the 'jungle' temple the most photogenic, but every temple represents a variation on the theme and the accumulated effect is astounding.
Vietnam is historic and scenically beautiful, but also thought-provoking and moving. Increasing prosperity is changing the country, the villages as well as the cities. The palace and tombs of Hue make a strong impression, reminiscent of the Forbidden City and Terracotta Army in China, whilst Ha Long Bay equals the scenic beauty of Guilin. Vietnam has moved on from the 'American War', as they call the 'Vietnam War' - observe how the victors write the history! The Cu Chi tunnels and Presidential Palace with helicopter, present a snapshot of the war, whilst our central Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) hotels facilitate a drink at the iconic rooftop bars of the Caravelle or Rex. The water puppet show and Saigon River cruise are good entertainment, colourful and varied in content.
Laos is a surprising contrast to Vietnam, less developed with everything on a smaller, more personal scale. Local colour can equate to 'tourist shows' in some countries, but here it is the Tagbat: 2,000 monks walking around the old royal capital of Luang Prabang at 6am every morning in a ceremony embraced by the local people, who turn out daily to give food to the monks. You will wonder at the impressive temples and palaces but the gentle people and beautiful scenery may stay longer in the memory - the French called Laos 'the earthly paradise of South East Asia'.
The Mekong River rises in Laos, forms the border between Thailand and Cambodia and finally emerges in the fertile delta to the south of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, creating a connecting thread through the trio of countries.
Cultural & Natural Wonders
Jules Verne Sightseeing
6 UNESCO Heritage Sites
5 Lunches & 6 Dinners
Local Expert Guides
Day 1 Fly overnight from Heathrow via Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Day 2 Transfer to the 4-star Novotel Saigon Centre (early check-in) for three nights. Afternoon city tour.
Day 3 Visit the Cu Chi tunnels. Dinner cruise on the Saigon River. (B, D)
Day 4 A scenic drive through the Mekong Delta to Vinh Trang Pagoda and My Tho for a cruise on the Mekong River. (B, L)
Day 5 Fly to Hue for two nights at the 4-star Senna Hue Hotel. Visit the Imperial Citadel. (B)
Day 6 Visit the tombs of the Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda. Cruise on the Perfume River back to Hue City. Village dinner with a local family. (B, D)
Day 7 Cross the Hai Van Pass to Danang to visit the Cham Museum. At Hoi An, a walking tour visits merchants’ houses and the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. Two nights at the 4-star Allegro Hoi An Hotel. (B)
Day 8 Visit the My Son ruins of the Champa Kingdom. Thu Bon River cruise visiting Kim Bong and Thanh Ha villages. (B)
Day 9 Fly to Hanoi and transfer to 5-star Hanoi Du Parc Hotel for two nights. (B)
Day 10 Visit Ho Chi Minh’s home and Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, Ethnological Museum, Temple of Literature, History Museum, Hoan Kiem Lake and old quarter. Water puppet show. (B)
Day 11 Transfer to Ha Long Bay for Overnight Ha Long Bay cruise with seafood lunch. Visit a variety of islands and caves. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Further cruising, then transfer to Hanoi (3 hrs) for flight to Siem Reap. Three nights at 4-star Lotus Blanc Hotel. (B)
Day 13 Visit the temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre. Afternoon visit to Angkor Wat and ‘Les Artisans d’Angkor’. (B)
Day 14 Visit by tuk tuk the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and Ta Prohm. Afternoon visit to Tonle Sap Lake. Apsara dance theatre show and dinner. (B, D)
Day 15 Travel by road to Phnom Penh (6 hrs) for two nights at the 4-star Sunway Hotel. (B, L)
Day 16 Visit Tuol Sleng prison (Genocide Museum) and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields. Cyclo tour of Phnom Penh includes the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace and take a cruise on the Mekong River. (B, L)
Day 17 Visit the National Museum, Ounaloam Pagoda and Wat Phnom. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Vientiane. Overnight at 4-star Salana Boutique Hotel. (B, D)
Day 18 Tour of Vientiane including Wat Sisaket and Ho Phra Keo and That Luang shrine and Patuxai arch. Travel by train to Luang Prabang for three nights at 4-star Le Palais Juliana Hotel. (B, D)
Day 19 Early morning, witness monks during their ritual of Tagbat. Visit the Royal Palace Museum. Cruise on the Mekong to Pak Ou caves and visit a village. Walk through the Hmong market. Evening ballet performance at the Royal Palace. (B, L)
Day 20 Visit Kuangsi waterfall (chance to swim). Visit Vat Xieng Thong, Vat Vixoune and That Makmo. Baci ceremony with traditional music and dance. Afternoon free. (B)
Day 21 Morning climb up Phousy Hill with panoramic views, then visit the Ethnic Museum. Travel by train to Vientiane and transfer to the airport for the flight to Hanoi to connect to overnight flight to London Heathrow. (B)
Day 22 Arrive Heathrow in the morning.
This is a full itinerary with some visits on foot and some uneven surfaces and inclines.
A 4-star hotel located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Restaurant, bar, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 247 comfortable and contemporary designed rooms with a stunning city view, air-conditioning, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A 4-star boutique hotel located in the centre of Hue, near the Imperial Citadel, Truong Tien bridge and Dong Ba market. Restaurant, bar, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 129 comfortable contemporary designed rooms with astunning city view, air-conditioning, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A 4-star hotel situated in the heart of the ancient town. Restaurant, bar, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). Air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A charming 5-star hotel surrounded by Thong Nhat Park in the Hai Ba Trung district in Hanoi. Restaurants, bar, gym, outdoor pool, spa and WiFi (free). 256 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A contemporary designed 4-star hotel, only a few minutes away from the cultural attractions and one of the world’s number one landmark, Angkor Wat. Restaurant, bar, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). Air-conditioned rooms with stunning city view, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A 4-star hotel walking distance from Wat Phnom, the Mekong River and central market. Restaurant, bar, gym and WiFi (free). 138 air-conditioned rooms with hairdyer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A stylish 4-star Boutique Hotel in central Vientiane. Restaurant, bar, spa, WiFi (free). 41 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A small 4-star Boutique Hotel close to the centre of Luang Prabang. Restaurant, bar, gym, pool and WiFi (free). 50 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Bhaya Cruises is the largest and most reputed cruise operator in Halong Bay. Established in 2007, it is the first company to introduce the overnight cruise service with innovative ships and unsurpassed customer service.
Bhaya Classic vessels are being the very first overnight cruise in Halong Bay since 2007 with an amazing mix of oriental style with contemporary design. Four wooden boats with 14-20 deluxe cabins incorporate modern state-of-the-art facilities to serve passengers to the most comfort while bringing about mystery feeling of featured oriental culture. The vessels offer a dining room, authentic Vietnamese cuisine, bar, spa and spacious sundeck. Cabins are air-conditioned with private facilities, Panoramic window, hairdryer and mini-bar.
per person in a twin/double room
Vietnam Airlines from Heathrow
Supplements per person
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
2023: Jan 26
Single supplement £985
London-Ho Chi Minh City/Ho Chi Minh City-London
Vietnam Airlines Premium Economy from £695
Vietnam Airlines Business Class from £1945
Extra nights (pre tour) - Ho Chi Minh
Novotel Saigon Centre
(per night) £75
Single supplement £70
Arrival transfer add £20
Extra nights (post tour) - Luang Prabang
(per night) £45
Single supplement £40
Departure transfer add £25
Departure transfer via Vientiane add £35
Add £795 per person
Arrival transfer add £20
Departure transfer with group included
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 19 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 5 lunches and 6 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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