Enchanted Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos - The Big OneSoutheast Asia
A comprehensive tour including the principal sights and experiences of
Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, staying in heritage and modern luxury hotels
Luxury from £3600 per person
3 Countries over 17 Days / 16 Nights
Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay – Hanoi – Danang – Hoi An – Hue – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Ben Tre – Siem Reap – Angkor Thom – Angkor Wat – Banteay Srey – Banteay Sambre > LAOS – Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – Luang Prabang
This luxury private tour of the welcoming Indo-China countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos covers everything from the mighty Mekong River to legendary Halong Bay, peaceful Buddhist shrines to the aftermath of war with the Viet Cong tunnels and the principal cities of the three countries with their eclectic mix of indigenous and colonial architectures – staying in heritage and modern luxury hotels. Not to be missed!
DAY 1: Hanoi (Viet Nam)
Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be picked up from the airport and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel in Hanoi. The balance of your day is at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 2: Hanoi – explore
After breakfast, you’ll start visiting Hanoi with your own personal guide. Renowned as the ‘Paris of the East’, Hanoi is one of Asia’s most fascinating cities. Rich in culture and history, this diverse city draws on its influences from both French and Chinese culture.
DAY 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh
Set off early morning for a 2-hour drive through rural northern Vietnam to the site of Vietnam’s first capital, Hoa Lu. Visit the temples dedicated to Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang of the Dinh Dynasty (968-80) and Emperor Le Dai Hanh of the Le Dynasty (980-1009). In the afternoon, depart for Tam Coc Town, stopping to photograph local villages and the stunning landscape. Take a traditional sampan through beautiful rice paddy scenery and the three famous grottoes: Hang Ca, Hang Giua and Hang Cuoi. Overnight in Ninh Binh.
DAY 4: Halong Bay
This morning depart for Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most stunning natural wonders of Vietnam. .
In Ha Long, board your luxury Vietnamese boat for an overnight cruise among the over 3000 limestone islands and rocks rising majestically out of the turquoise bay. Pass quaint fishing towns, sample a delicious buffet made of freshly caught seafood.
DAY 5: Halong – Hanoi
Start your day with calming Tai Chi or an optional massage on the sun deck. Pass beautiful spots such as Trong, Trinh Nu and the Me Cung Caves, and explore the Surprise Cave yourself before your buffet brunch on board. Arrive back at Ha Long harbour around noon and transfer directly to the airport in Hanoi for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival, transfer to Hoi An. Check in hotel. Free time at leisure.
DAY 6: Hoi An
After breakfast, head out to the countryside, to ride on a buffalo and thereafter to a nearby fishing village to ride in a basket boat. Return and enjoy a walking tour around Hoi An ancient town to explore its treasures – the Japanese Bridge, Phuc Kien Pagoda, Phung Hung Old Merchant House, and Quang Dong Assembly Hall.This afternoon is your free time to relax on the Hoi An beach or to go shopping.
DAY 7: Hoi An – Hue
After breakfast transfer to Hue via the Hai Van Pass and through the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. Drive through Danang and visit the Marble Mountain. Arrive Hue and In the afternoon visit the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Afterwards, stroll around Dong Ba Market, a great place to catch a glimpse of everyday life.
DAY 8: Hue
Thanh Toan is a peaceful countryside where the scents of an ancient village are still very much visible through the landscape, temples and way of living. Explore the countryside, village, clans’ shrine house and typical local workshops. Hop on a sampan to go fishing with traditional techniques. Hang out like a local on the intriguing 17th century tile-roofed bridge. Enjoy a boat trip along Perfume River, to Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda and the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang before heading to Khai Dinh’s Tomb, a traditional Vietnamese design with a European touch, unique from other tombs in Hue.
DAY 9: Hue – Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)
After breakfast, take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you’ll visit the Cu Chi tunnel, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence.The tunnels, over 250km in length and up to three levels deep in places, played a huge part in the Viet Cong’s victory over the Americans, allowing them to control a large rural area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 10: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) – Mekong Delta
Leave bustling Ho Chi Minh City for the 2 hour drive to the delta town of Ben Tre/My Tho. Board your local boat and travel through small canals with beautiful tropical scenery. Afterwards, take a ride on a local vehicle along country roads, through the fruit plantations before enjoying lunch at a riverside restaurant.In the afternoon, enjoy a ride in a rowing boat along the palm creek before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City. In the late afternoon, hop on the back of a vintage Vespa scooter to discover the local street food and the vibrant nightlife that Saigon is renowned for.
DAY 11: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) – Siem Reap (Cambodia)
After breakfast at your hotel you’ll visit the former Presidential Palace, the town’s center with the Notre Dame Cathedral, the City Hall, the Municipal Theater and the War Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap and upon arrival check in at the hotel and relax. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 12: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom – Angkor Wat
Take a Tuk – Tuk to visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, then the impressive Bayon Temple, Phimeanakas, the Terrace of the Leper King. Also visit Ta Prohm Temple, one of the most spectacular temples. Ta Prohm has been left relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. In the afternoon, visit the most famous of all temples, Angkor Wat – UNESCO World Heritage Site. Comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing, its distinctive five towers are to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Enjoy sunset from the Pre Rup temple.
DAY 13: Siem Reap – Banteay Srey – Banteay Samre
In Cambodia, it is a common sight to see Buddhist monks wrapped in orange cloth chanting their prayers and offering showers of blessings in temples and on the streets.You too will be part of this sacred Buddhist ritual where you’ll receive blessings of luck and longevity from monks in an ancient pagoda. In the afternoon, visit Banteay Srei, unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone and known as the ‘Citadel of the Women’, with some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art with its remarkable fine bas-reliefs. You’ll also visit Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century.
DAY 14: Siem Reap – Luang Prabang (Laos)
After breakfast and at the appropriate time you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang in Laos, where you’ll be taken to your hotel by private transfer and can spend the rest of the day at leisure.
DAY 15: Luang Prabang City – Pak Ou Caves
You’ll visit the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum before embarking on a boat journey upstream along the Mekong River, giving a beautiful view of tranquil countryside en route to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues left by pilgrims. Another short stop at a small village named Ban Muangkeo finds you strolling through this local village along the Mekong River. Lunch at local restaurant. Afterwards climb a hundred steps to Mount Phousi to enjoy the fantastic sunset view of Luang Prabang, where the Nam Kan River joins the Mekong. Free time to discover the Night Market.
In the late afternoon, we will attend a Baci ceremony, which celebrates a special event, at a local house.
DAY 16: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si Waterfall
Early wake-up call to join locals giving food to hundreds of Buddhist monks returning from morning prayers. Take a stroll through Ban Pakham morning market and take part in this everyday ritual.In the afternoon make your way to the famous Kuang Si Waterfalls, driving through beautiful landscapes of rice fields, hills, and small villages. En-route visit a small village, home to one of the many ethnic minorities, to learn about their traditions and culture, much of which has remained unchanged for centuries.At Kuang Si Waterfall, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings or enjoy a refreshing swim in several of its cool, clear pools.