Email: info@viethighlights.com
Hotline: (84) 902 088 698
Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia
Glimpse of Indochina
  • Duration: 13 days
  • Highlights: Visit Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves - Khuang Si Waterfall - Vientiane - Hanoi - Halong Bay with an overnight stay on-board a traditional wooden junk - Hoi An Ancient Town - Ho Chi Minh City - Bustling floating market in Mekong Delta - Siem Reap.

    This 13 day tour can be reversed starting either from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and ending in Siem Reap, Cambodia or Luang Prabang, Laos. Tour prices are subject to change depending on the flight schedule.


    ITINERARY

     
     

    DAY 1: ARRIVE AT LUANG PRABANG, LAOS


    Welcome to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. After a short rest, visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai.
    At the end of the day, climb the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside and get back to your hotel by the evening hilltribe market where you may find plenty of local souvenirs to buy such as handicraft, textile.

    Stay overnight in Luang Prabang.

     
     

    DAY 2: LUANG PRABANG - PAK OU CAVES - KHUANG SI FALLS (B, -)


    An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual. You can also visit the morning Phousi Market where you can see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.

    Following breakfast 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. Next, embark a wooden river boat for a cruise up stream 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. Stop en-route to visit the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On return, we disembark the boat to visit traditional villages, and take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village famous for its hand weaving.

    In the afternoon visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village; Ban Ou, Laoloum village and Ban Thapene, Khmu villages then drive to the beautiful Khuang Si Waterfall with multi-tiered pools and cascading falls, ideal for swimming and relaxing or walk along the forest trails. Return to Luang Prabang and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk handweaving and for traditional Saa Paper making. Back to the city by late evening to watch the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath.

    Stay overnight in Luang Prabang.


    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.

     

     

    DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG - FLIGHT TO VIENTIANE (B, -)


    Start this morning with a visit to the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum (close on Tuesdays), where you will explore the history of Laos. It displays a collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. There will also be time for us to look around the Central Market.

    Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Vientiane, a fascinating capital with a fusion of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and American influences. This charming and easygoing city will provide a smooth introduction to Laos. Upon arrival in Vientiane, set off to enjoy a guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, whose name means ‘the city of sandal wood’. Vientiane is one of the quietest capitals in the world, far away from the bustle and hustle of other Asian capitals and far from the real-estate frenzy of the regional megalopolis. Your tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.

    Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace. Although you are not allowed to visit inside, it is a good glimpse in to the town’s colonial past as this building formerly served as the French governor’s palace. Then, continue your tour with a visit to the Patuxay monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where you can climb the stairs to the roof for sweeping panoramic views of the city. Next, your tour takes you to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun is shines upon its towering golden spire. Enjoy the sunset by Mekong Riverside and spend the evening here absorbing the city’s nightlife.

    Stay overnight in Vientiane.


    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.

     


    DAY 4: VIENTIANE - FLIGHT TO HANOI, VIETNAM (B, -)


    Have this morning at leisure for relax or shopping until transfer to Wattay airport for 1hr10min flight to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, a city that celebrated 1,000 years in 2010 has countless fascinating cultural and historic sites.

    Arrive in Hanoi, welcome by your guide and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

    Stay overnight in Hanoi.


    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.

     
     

    DAY 5: HANOI CITY TOUR  (B, L, -)


    08h30 You will be picked up from your hotel lobby and depart for the city tour with visit to the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure is one of Vietnam's most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov) and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969, his former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary.
    Continue your visit to the Taoist Temple (Quan Thanh Temple) which is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism or visit Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda, was built in the sixth century (means “Stabilizing the Nation”). Lunch will be had in one of the city's finest restaurants.
    After lunch visit the Temple of Literature - Vietnam's first university, also referred to as Van Mieu, 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.

    Next we go to visit Hanoi Old Quarter also known as the '36 streets'. Take a walking tour 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 life-style of Hanoians, culture or architecture with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.
    Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
    Stay overnight in Hanoi.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.


     

    DAY 6: HANOI - HALONG BAY, THE WORLD HERITAGE - OVERNIGHT ON BOARD (B, L, D)

     

    Following breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3hs 30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself.
    In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
    Stay overnight on board.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch and Dinner on board.

     
     

    DAY 7: HA LONG BAY - HANOI - FLIGHT TO DANANG - HOI AN (B, L, -)

     

    Rising to the sound of lapping bay waters, we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water of the bay. On your return to Halong City enjoy a wholesome brunch as your boat wends through strange-shaped limestone rock formations. Upon disembarkation your driver will meet you for the transfer back to Hanoi.

    17h00 Arrive at your hotel.

    Your leisure time until transfer to Noi Bai airport for the short flight to the central port city of Danang. On arrival in Danang airport you will be met then taken 45-minute transfer by private car to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Arrive in Hoi An and check in your hotel.

    Stay overnight in Hoi An.

    Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch on board.


     

    DAY 8: HALF DAY HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN (B, -)


    Have breakfast at hotel and take an interesting guided walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit former merchants’ houses, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese communal hall and the colorful market. Hoi An is a destination with two faces – the charming, old-world trading port of narrow streets and traditional houses, and the beach with its new resorts and long stretch of clean white sand. In keeping with Hoi An’s heritage as a trading port, the town’s tiny shop houses now host a range of craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors. Despite the passing of 200 years and the ravages of weather and war, the centre of Hoi An remains much the same as it was in its heyday.
    Return to your hotel where the half day trip ends. The rest of your time is left free to relax in this beautiful area. You could take a taxi or make the easy five-kilometre bicycle ride through the rice paddies and shrimp ponds to Cua Dai beach. Alternatively Hoi An is one of the best places to shop for souvenirs, especially if you’re looking for t-shirts, paintings or ceramics. For those interested in getting clothes tailored, this is definitely the place to shop. Another good idea is to take a boat trip out to a village specialising in ceramics and boat-building (optional).
    Stay overnight in Hoi An.


    Meals included
    : Breakfast at hotel.


     

    DAY 9: HOI AN - DANANG - FLIGHT TO HO CHI MINH CITY & CITY TOUR (B, L, -)


    Transfer to Danang airport (30km from Hoi An) after breakfast for the short flight to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals (1.10 hour flight). Upon arrival in Tan Son Nhat Airport we transfer to our hotel downtown Saigon. The busy city of Saigon, used to be the capital of South Vietnam, is the biggest commercial and cultural centre of Vietnam.

    Have lunch in a local restaurant then take an interesting city tour of Saigon with visit to the War Remnants where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and 'American' wars or History Museum (choose which one you would most like to see) and the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the former Presidential Palace it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese tanks seized on the morning of April 30 1975, as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many.

    Stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall.

    Before heading back to your hotel visit Ben Thanh Market where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered. Simply stroll through the market exploring the variety of goods for sale.
    Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.

     
     

    DAY 10: HO CHI MINH CITY - MEKONG DELTA, CAI BE FLOATING MARKET  (B, L, -)


    This morning, leave bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2 hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be. The local traditional wooden boats, vast emerald rice fields and lush back waterways; these are the things that make Cai Be such a desired destination.
    On arrival board your boat for a cruise of Cai Be floating market. Traders work the river and some have been living on these waters for generations. Produce at the market are hung on a pole in front of boats to attract customers and make it easier for people to see from afar what is on offer.  Immerse yourself in a world of lush vegetation from the Mekong Delta as you pick through the fascinating and lively market, watching buyers bargaining for produce.

    After visiting the market continue to a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Return to the boat for the cruise to Tan Phong Island. Next, take a rowing boat along the maze of shady canals. Head for a local orchard to enjoy the local tropical fruits, and visit artisan workshops to see the handicraft producers of the village at work.
    Break for lunch at an orchard garden. Lunch will be local Mekong style serving specialties of the area. Afterwards, you will ride bicycles to villages, sightseeing and soaking up the rural ambiance or enjoy cooking class. If you prefer to relax, you can laze in a hammock. Following your cruise drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at your hotel around 17h30.
    Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.

     
     

    DAY 11: HO CHI MINH CITY - FLIGHT TO SIEM REAP (B, L, -)
     


    Following breakfast transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for one hour flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Arrival and transfer to the hotel for check-in (hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in). The same afternoon, we will visit the jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Return to the hotel.
    Stay overnight in Siem Reap.


    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at local restaurant.

     

    DAY 12: SIEM REAP DISCOVERY (B, L, D)


    Breakfast at hotel then start your tour with a visit to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8m high wall, with each side of the city being 4km long, drawing a perfect square. You will enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giants. On each side of the entrance path a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.
    From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. The particularity of this monument is the 54 towers with four faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
    Next, depart on a very special sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Meru, home of the gods. The divine residence of Vishnu, the King himself was to reside here after his death. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Moreover, Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.

    Finish the day with Tuk Tuk ride (the locally common taxi in Cambodia) to get the whole view of Siem Reap town and its outskirt. Return to the hotel.
    Stay overnight in Siem Reap.


    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch and Dinner at local restaurant.


    DAY 13: SIEM REAP DEPARTURE (B, -)


    After breakfast this morning, drive to Choueng Kneas village where you will take the boat to visit the way of life of Cambodian poor people along with schools, restaurants, hospitals and much more floating on the great lake of Tonle sap.

    The tour ends with transfer to the airport for your onward flight.


    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.


    End of services.

     

     

    INCLUDES:
    - Transportation by air conditioned vehicle as tour program indicated.
    - Entrance fees to indicated sights.
    - Boat trips as stated in above sights.
    - All excursion trips and activities as tour program indicated
    - Local English-speaking guides (for other languages supplements apply).
    - Meals as stated in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).
    - Tuk Tuk ride.
    - Flight ticket from Luang Prabang to Vientiane.
    - Accommodation in shared twin or double bedded room.
    - Mineral water and chilled tissue served on trip.
    - The written approval letter for a Vietnamese visa on arrival (single entry).

    EXCLUDES:
    - Visa stamping fee on arrival (in Laos: 25 US$ per person, in Vietnam: 45 US$ per person; in Cambodia: 20 US$ per person). Vietnamese visa must be obtained in advance before arrival.
    - All air tickets not mentioned in the program and above quotation.
    - Optional tours.
    - Surcharges for other language guides.
    - Personal travel insurance.
    - Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc…
    - Meals and services other than mentioned in the program.
    - Drinks with meals.
    - Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program.


    NOTE:

    - Prices may vary according to your travel time and are higher in the high season, e.g. Christmas period (Dec 24-26), New Year period (Dec 31-Jan 02).
    - For additional hotel night cost to the packages or higher accommodation standards, please contact us for the rates.
    - Flights of Vientiane - Hanoi, Hanoi - Danang, Danang - Ho Chi Minh, and Ho Chi Minh - Siem Reap at extra cost US$ per person/ 4 routes on request (subject to availability at the time of final confirmation).
    - This tour package can be fully customizable to fit your travel plan. You can also disregard full package tours and choose whatever travel items you need or a mix of private and group tours to minimize the cost. We can quote the tours you really want. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.
    - Keep your luggage and money by yourself.
    - Inform in advance if you are vegetarian.
    - Take original passports, good and comfortable trekking shoes, insect repellent, sun scream and rain gear. All customers must obey the order of your guide for your safety.

    ADDITIONAL NOTES:
    - Child definition: from age of 3 to 7 Years (usually enjoying 10%-20% discount. Contact us for the actual discount for your case). 8 Years old and above will be charged as Adult Price.
    - All tours & transfers are all based in English Speaking local guides. For other languages, please contact us for new quotations.
    - Itinerary Change to the confirmed itinerary may happen because of traffic, weather, or any other conditions not under our control such as war, strike, fire, acts of government, riot, etc. We will do our best to make sure that all the travel will be similar. Viet HighlightsTravel can substitute the itinerary upon your agreement.
    - Transportation and Restaurants: The cars, vans or coaches for the land transportation should be in good shape with air conditioner. All restaurants should be tidy and clean.

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