Hotline: (84) 902 088 698
Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia
Mysteries of Indochina
  • Duration: 23 days - 26 days
  • Highlights: Visit Vientiane - Xiangkhouang - Plain of Jars - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves - Hanoi - Halong Bay with an overnight stay on-board a traditional wooden junk - Hue - Phong Nha Caves - Hoi An - Cooking Class at Tra Que Herb Village - Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Phu Quoc Island - Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

    This 23 day tour can be reversed starting either from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Tour prices are subject to change depending on the flight schedule.




    On arrival at the airport you will be welcomed by your English speaking guide and then transferred to the hotel for check-in. Embark on a half day city tour to visit the major temples of Vientiane including the Wat Sisaket, a temple of thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Continue to visit Lao national icon, That Luang Stupa, and we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Evening at leisure.

    Stay overnight in Vientiane.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.



    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight from Vientiane to Xiangkhouang. Arrival and transfer to visit Site 1 of the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. Return to the hotel. Evening at leisure.

    Stay overnight in Xiangkhouang.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.



    Early morning, visit the Central Market of Phonsavan to watch the different hilltribe people barter and exchange merchandises. We then head out towards Luang Prabang. Enroute we stop off to see the Buddha images at Thampra, a site more than 200 years old, and various H'mong and hilltribe minority villages along the way. After numerous photo stops, continue driving, enjoying the splendid natural scenery of the mountains, the forest and landscape. The journey will take us over mountainous regions until we approach Luang Prabang. Check in your hotel and relax. Evening at leisure.

    Stay overnight in Luang Prabang.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.



    Today, 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.

    In the afternoon visit 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. Then head to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. 

    Finish the day with a visit to the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. Evening at leisure.

    Stay overnight in Luang Prabang.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.



    After breakfast, free until transfer to the airport for departure flight from Luang Prabang to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.

    Stay overnight in Hanoi.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.


    DAY 6: 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 7:


    Following breakfast leave Hanoi at 08h00 for a 3hr30min 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.




    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. Arrive at your hotel around 17h00.

    Your leisure time until transfer to Hanoi station at 18h00 for a night train to Hue on SE1 leaving at 19:00 (13 hour duration).
    Stay overnight in air-conditioned cabin (soft sleeper – 4 berth compartment).

    Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch on board.



    Upon your arrival at Hue station you will be picked up for breakfast and embark on half day Hue city tour with a visit to the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern (the Royal Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war) but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today. 

    Then depart for Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River constructed in 1601, the 21-meter tower is the centerpiece of the pagoda and represents seven reincarnations of Buddha. On the pagoda grounds is the famous Austin car a resident monk drove to Saigon in 1963 to protest against the southern regime. The photo of his self immortalization is one of the most well known images of the war.

    Have lunch then return to your hotel for check-in. Afternoon free to relax or shop or explore Hue by yourself.

    You can take time to stroll around Dong Ba Market - another of the must see sites in Hue, the stalls are teeming with color and a great place to catch a glimpse of everyday life.
    Stay overnight in Hue.

    Meals included
    : Breakfast and Lunch at local restaurant.


    DAY 10: HUE - PHONG NHA CAVE - HUE (B, L, -)

    07h00 Our guide & driver will pick you up at your hotel in Hue City Center and leave for Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng in Quang Binh Province. Stop on the way to visit La Vang Holly Land (40 kilometers from Hue) which became the National Marian Center of Vietnam on April 13, 1961.

    Have lunch at a local restaurant. Then take a boat to cruise on the Son River upstream to visit Phong Nha Cave. The Park is one of the world's two largest limestone regions. In comparison with 41 other world heritage sites which have karsts, Phong Nha has dissimilar geomorphic, geologic and biotic conditions. The area has numerous grottoes and caves. Vietnamese and British scientists have so far surveyed a total of 20 caves with a total length of 70 km.

    Following the narrow underground river, you explore the most impressive Phong Nha cave, from which the name to the whole system. The Cave is famous for its rock formation which have been given names such as the "Lion", the "Fairy Caves", the "Royal Court", and the "Buddha".

    In the afternoon, return to Hue. On the way pass by Hien Luong Bridge and Ben Hai River on the 17th parallel. Tour ends at your hotel in Hue around 19h00.

    Stay overnight in Hue.

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


    DAY 11: HUE - HOI AN (B, L, -)

    Have breakfast at hotel then depart for the rural area of Hue, passing scenic villages and green rice fields to reach Emperor Minh Mang Tomb, one of the most beautiful Emperor’s tombs in Hue. The tomb is particularly impressive being extravagant complex of pavilions, temple, courtyards, and lakes. Journey on to Khai Dinh’s Tomb designed in traditional Vietnamese style with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue.

    Back to your hotel for check-out. Lunch in local restaurant with local delights.

    After lunch leave Hue for 3 hour road transfer 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. Drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co. Arrive in Hoi An and check in your hotel.

    Stay overnight in Hoi An.

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



    This morning we take a 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.
    Around the town we can see a numerous art galleries and tailor shops, get some made-to-order clothes if you like. Have lunch then return to your hotel.
    Rest of the day is free to relax by the pool or on the sandy beach (Cua Dai beach is 3km far from Hoi An town) or wander the streets and discover Hoi An.
    Stay overnight in Hoi An.

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


    Tour guide meets you at your hotel lobby, then go by bicycle to Hoi An’s colorful central market. Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.  Make sure your camera is handy.

    10h00 Continue to Tra Que Herb Village. Take a rest with a special welcome drink then walk through the market gardens where local farmers work on their fields using traditional methods from 300 years ago.

    11h00 Learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. The chef will show you how to cook “Cao Lau”, “My Quang”, and “Tam Huu”.  After the lesson, enjoy what you have cooked.

    13h00 Return to your hotel.


    08h30 Tour guide meets you at your hotel lobby then depart for a short ride to Tra Que Herb Village by bicycle.Take a walk around the herb garden where you can join in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake; see how they are raking the ground, sowing, watering, picking vegetable …

    After a short rest and enjoy foot soaking it is time for preparing your lunch with many local delicacies.

    13h00 Return to your hotel.

    Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

    Stay overnight in Hoi An.

    Meals included
    : Breakfast at hotel and Lunch at Tra Que Herb Village.



    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).
    A full day city tour takes in Cholon, the Chinatown district, to discover the area’s markets, shops and the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda - dedicated to the goddess of the Sea. Visit Vietnam's first traditional medicine museum, the FITO Museum, with an amazing collection of 3,000 items relevant to the development of traditional Vietnamese medicine. Implements used to prepare indigenous herbs and objects commonly found in traditional pharmacies can be seen in the galleries as well as ancient books and documents on traditional Vietnamese medicine.
    Head back to the city centre to 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.

    This afternoon visit 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. At the end of the afternoon head back to your hotel.
    Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

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



    Leave Ho Chi Minh City at 08h00, enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields. On arrival at My Tho, visit Vinh Trang pagoda, then heading to My Tho boat station where you will board the local boat for a cruise among the aptly named Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle and Phoenix Islands. Enjoy a leisurely boat ride along Tien river, view stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank. Continue on a smaller rowing boat for a more adventurous cruise on the Xep Canal which is set amongst a forest of palm trees.

    After the boat trip, take a ride on a horse driven cart along country roads to the famed garden for a honey tasting session. Enjoy seasonal fruit & honey tea to the sound of "Southern Vietnamese folk music", performed by the locals. Keep cruising on a hand-rowed sampan under the shade of the water coconut trees along natural canals. Embark once more by boat to Turtle Island then visit a family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle, taste delicious coconut candy & observe the pastoral life as you roam through fruit plantations and villages. Lunch will be served with a selection of Mekong delicacies. 

    After lunch have a short cycling tour around the quiet laneways and dirt paths then back to the boat station where you will be picked up and transferred to Can Tho. Check in on arrival. Free time to visit bustling Can Tho market.

    Stay overnight at hotel in Can Tho.

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



    An early start this morning to visit the lively and colourful floating market of Cai Rang. Take a small boat and explore the waterways where hundreds of vessels congregate and become a maze of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple and other types of produce. Have you ever tasted Vietnamese vermicelli soup? Well, now go and see how it is made. Then wander around the village, meet the friendly local people and experience how to cross a "Monkey bridge" which is built by only one stem of bamboo. Visit the orchard garden and stop for lunch. Return to Can Tho by boat through the back canals and waterways where you’ll get a view of everyday life of the locals.
    On the way back to Ho Chi Minh City the last stop is to see how incense sticks are made (optional visit to Mangrove forest which was a former Viet Cong base used by the guerillas during the War can be arranged on request).  Arrive in Ho Chi Minh at around 17h00.

    Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

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



    After breakfast transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for one hour flight to Phu Quoc. On arrival, the resort shuttle bus will welcome and transfer you to resort.
    The island of Phu Quoc is one of Asia’s least developed beach destinations. The rest of day is free to relax by the pool or on the beach.

    Stay overnight in Phu Quoc Island.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.


    DAY 18: PHU QUOC ISLAND (B, -)

    A full day at leisure in the resort or on the beach or explore the island as you wish or take one of the optional excursions available.

    Stay overnight in Phu Quoc Island.

    Meals included: Breakfast at hotel.



    The morning is at leisure before checking out and transfer to the airport for your connecting flight to Ho Chi Minh City then Siem Reap, Cambodia. Arrival and transfer to the hotel for check-in then have dinner at local restaurant.

    Stay overnight in Siem Reap.

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


    DAY 20: SIEM REAP (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. Return to the hotel.
    Stay overnight in Siem Reap.

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


    DAY 21: SIEM REAP (B, L, D)

    After breakfast this morning, explore the temples of the Small Circuit with a start from Ta Prohm temple, 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. Your visit will also include Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Srah Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”, Ta Keo, Thommanon and Chau Say Tevado. Return to the hotel for a relaxing break during the midday heat.

    Afternoon 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.

    Stay overnight in Siem Reap.

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



    Following breakfast head out of the town and travel on a newly paved road to the intricately carved and well preserved temple of Banteay Srei with stopover at the Preah Dark village. Next, visit the Banteay Samre Temple adorned with impressive relief’s depicting scenes of Vishunu as well as Krishna legends. 

    Take early afternoon flight to Phnom Penh and check in on arrival.

    The same afternoon visit Wat Phnom temple, the founding place of the city on a small hilltop and a great place to people watch as the locals come to pray for good luck. Enjoy one hour cruise before the sunset.

    Stay overnight in Phnom Penh.

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



    Start your day with a visit to Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and was the last palace built during the French colonial period. The same complex houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
    Continue to the Toul Sleng museum (S-21) and the killing field of Choueng Ek, which is about 35km away from the city. 

    Finish the tour with transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meals included
    : Breakfast at hotel.

    End of services.


    - Full transportation by private air conditioned vehicle as tour program indicated.
    - Entrance fees to indicated sights.
    - Boat trips as stated in above sights.
    - Airticket of flight Vientiane - Xiangkhouang included airport tax.
    - Airticket of Siem Reap - Phnom Penh included airport tax.
    - Train ticket Hanoi - Hue in air-conditioned cabin (soft sleeper – 4 berth compartment).
    - 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).
    - Accommodation in shared twin or double bedded room with air-conditioner and private bathroom.
    - Mineral water and chilled tissue served on trip.
    - The written approval letter for a Vietnamese visa on arrival (single entry).

    - 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.

    - 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, please contact us for the rates.
    - Flights of Luang Prabang - Hanoi, Danang - Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh - Phu Quoc, Phu Quoc - Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap at extra cost US$ per person/ 5 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.

    - 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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