GENERAL INFORMATION OF INDOCHINA JOURNEY TOUR

 

DESTINATION OVERVIEW

Enjoy a fifteen day with highlights of Indochina Journey with Orient Skyline Travel! Discover all three Indochinese countries from spectacular landscape of Vietnam to fascinating history of Cambodia! Round up the trip with magical culture of Laos!

 

DESTINATIONS INCLUDED

Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Mekong Delta – Siem Reap – Phnom Penh – Vientiane – Luang Prabang

 

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Soak in the hustle and bustle of Hanoi’s streets
  • Cruise on junk boat through scenic Halong Bay
  • Stroll along riverside lantern streets of Hoi An Ancient Town
  • Experience the Mekong Delta on a traditional riverboat
  • Explore the ruined temples of Angkor Wat
  • Discover historical and cultural landmark in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh
  • Experience laid back life pace in Vientiane
  • Experience Laos’ cultural capital of Luang Prabang and visiting its heritage sites

 

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Accommodation at selective hotel with breakfast
  • All meals as indicated in program
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Tour transferred by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Sightseeing fees for guided visits
  • Boat cruises while on tour
  • Flights to tour destinations (Economy Class)
  • Government VAT tax

THROUGH INDOCHINA JOURNEY TOUR, YOU WILL DISCOVER

 

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi and check into your hotel. Visit the city highlight walking through the labyrinthine streets of the Old Quarter.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B, L)

Discover the history of Hanoi by exploring its main sites and its old labyrinthine district. Visit the Presidential Palace, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – the resting place of Vietnam’s founding president. You will also explore the imperial citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the famous Temple of Literature. Towards the end of the afternoon, visit the Long Bien Bridge, which was built during the French colonization in Vietnam, then take a cyclo ride through the ancient district of Hanoi, ending with a coffee in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Depart for World Heritage listed Halong Bay for a two day cruise through jungle clad limestone formations and spend the night on a traditional junk. Explore caves, kayak, swim, sunbathe and dine on traditional Vietnamese seafood dishes.

Overnight on board in Halong Bay.

Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Danang – Hoi An (B, L)

Rise to the calm of the Bay before exploring a magnificent cave. In the afternoon transfer back to Hanoi airport then fly South to the picturesque fishing village of Hoi An in the Centre of the country.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 5: Hoi An city tour (B)

Your stroll through the streets of the old quarter will take you to Chua Ong Pagoda, Assembly Hall, Tan Ky House (200 years old), and Chinese merchants’ houses. The Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, built in 1690, is a site not to be missed. The pagoda is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau, Goddess of the Sea and Protector of the Sailors. The unofficial emblem of the city is the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, which you will not fail to meet on your way. You may want to take a boat to walk along the Thu Bon River or to watch the arrival of boats full of fish and seafood early in the morning. You can also explore the area around the city by bicycle and head to Cua Dai Beach, just 4 km from Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 6: Hoi An – Cooking class (B, L)

In the morning, join in a cooking class, learn to prepare Vietnamese food in a beautiful colonial villa by the river. Take the afternoon for free time at leisure, relax on the beach or take the advantage visiting art galleries and silk shops.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 7: Hoi An – Danang – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)

Departure from Hoi An to go to the economic metropolis of the country: Ho Chi Minh City.

You will discover highlight destinations in Saigon: Your guide will come directly to your hotel and take you to the central Post Office which was designed by the famous French architect Gustave Eiffel of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. This grandiose monument was built between 1863 and 1880. Admired for its neo-Roman architecture!

Then, take a stroll along the Saigon River along Dong Khoi Street, which features in Graham Greene’s famous novel, The Quiet American, to the Saigon Opera House, a custom-built building completed in 1901. Bombarded during he Second World War, the Opera was used by French citizens fleeing northern Vietnam in 1954, the year the country gained independence from France.

This city tour will continue with a stop at the Reunification Palace, where a North Vietnamese tank crashed on the ramparts in 1975 to end the war.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)

Leave the sound of Ho Chi Minh City during the two-hour trip to the Cai Be Mekong Delta, known for its floating markets. Embark a small boat to visit around the markets and experience the Mekong local life. Continue your cruise on the Vinh Long canals, visit the home of a gardener who will explain how to plant bonsai at lunch time. You will board the boat again to explore the surroundings before returning to Ho Chi Minh City late in the afternoon.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City – Fly to Siem Reap (B)

Fly to Siem Reap and spend the rest of the day exploring the World’s most amazing and inspiring temples.

See where it all began as you travel to the ancient site of Roluos group of temples a short drive from Siem Reap. This small collection of monuments was the center of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalya and served as a capital city to four successive kings over a period of more than 70 years. Lolei the island temple was built in the middle of a reservoir and consists of four brick towers and a few lintel carvings that remain in good condition. Preah Ko or the sacred bull temple is named after the statues of bulls in front of the central towers and Bakong, is the largest and most impressive in the group dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 10: Siem Reap – Angkor complex (B, L)

Start with a visit to the South Gate of Angkor Thom where statues of the gods of good and evil line the entrance. Your next stop is the Bayon, known for the hundreds of smiling faces that grace the towers. The bas reliefs are quite impressive and tell stories of daily life and the great battles that were fought between the Khmers and ancient Thais. Move on to Phimeanakas, shaped a bit like a pyramid with two ponds in the rear. The ponds were once used for religious rituals but today serve as swimming pools for Khmer kids. Walk to the top of the temple for impressive views of the Angkor complex.

See the rows of trunks that form the wall of the Terrace of the Elephants, a platform from which King Jayavarman surveyed his army. Close by is the Terrace of Leper Kings, which includes a statue depicting Yana, the Hindu god of death. Then it’s a short drive to one of the most loved temples of all – Ta Prohm. This small crumbling temple is held together by giant tree roots giving it a magical feel.

Return to Siem Reap for lunch and to escape the hot sun. Then later in the afternoon explore the magnificent Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument. This visually spectacular temple is a massive three-tiered pyramid, rising 65 metres from the ground and crowned by five lotus towers. It’s the national symbol of Cambodia and proudly appears on the country’s flag. End your day with sunset views over the jungle from the top of Pre Rup Temple before returning to Siem Reap.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Optional activity: an Apsara dinner can be arranged with a supplement. Please contact us for more details!

Day 11: Siem Reap – Angkor complex – Tonle Sap lake (B, L)

See the exquisite pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei, overflowing with small, delicate and very ornate carvings depicting classical Khmer art, and considered one of the best temples of all! Then it’s off for a quick look at Banteay Samre, which is modeled on Angkor Wat, before heading to the Tonle Sap Lake for cruise around the floating villages.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 12: Siem Reap – Fly to Phnom Penh (B)

From Seam Reap, take a short flight to Phnom Penh. Free time at leisure for the rest of the day.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 14: Phnom Penh city tour (B, L)

Begin your day tour with a visit to the Royal Palace overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Built in 1866 by King Norodom, the palace is now home to the reigning monarch. Within the palace grounds you will find the Silver Pagoda, its floor covered by 5,000 silver tiles each weighing 1kg.

You will also visit the National Museum. This monument built in Khmer style during the 1920s, brings together a splendid collection of Khmer statues and objects found on the Angkor site through the various expeditions that rediscovered and restored the site.

Next you will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which documents the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge against both their political enemies and many thousands of everyday Cambodians.

Next drive a short distance to Choeung Ek – the Killing Fields. This particular killing field is the site of the brutal executions of more than 17,000 men, women and children. Many who had first suffered interrogation and torture at S21 and buried in mass graves. The large pits have all but gone, but a stupa filled with skulls and bones is a chilling memorial.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 14: Phnom Penh – Fly to Vientiane (B)

Depart Cambodia’s capital and board the flight to Vientiane, Laos’ capital city. Go on a short city tour taking in the mix of architectural styles and stroll along breezy Mekong watching the sunset over the Thailand.

Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 15: Vientiane – Fly to Luang Prabang (B)

After a tour of Vientiane’s temples fly to the charming town of Luang Prabang. Set in a flat valley surrounded by ridges of mountains, with golden stupa as the cultural gems, Luang Prabang remains Laos’ cultural capital.

For the afternoon, start Luang Prabang city tour at the Royal Palace, now serves as the National Museum then walk to the nearby Wat Mai, the temple decorated with golden bas-relief. At the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, learn about the diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities for their culture and way of life. (Note: closed on Monday).

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 16: Luang Prabang – Morning Almsgiving – Kuang Si waterfall (B, L)

Take an early morning to observe the yellow robe monks walking bare feet along the street collecting alms offered by residents of Luang Prabang. Observing this sacred ceremony is one of the highlights that shed a light on the spiritualism life of people in Laos. After that, get back to the hotel for a tasty breakfast.

Leave Luang Prabang for the peaceful countryside. Reach Kuang Si Waterfalls to soak in the green natural forest and emerald the water. In the hot days, the naturally created pools will be ideal places for a dip.

On the way out, after the waterfall, take options of visiting the Bear Sanctuary where some of the Asian Black Bears are rescued and looked after. If you are keen on seeing butterflies there is an option to visit the Butterfly Park where hundreds of Laos’s butterflies are seen! Both places are located by the entrance gate to the Kuang Si Waterfall (Note: closed on Tuesday).

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 17: Luang Prabang – Departure (B)

Morning at leisure before flying home.

 

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