TREASURES OF INDOCHINA

Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap & Bangkok

Overview

TOUR CODE: TREIDC

Discover the beauty, history and culture of Indochina on this grand adventure. Begin in Vietnam’s bustling capital of Hanoi, visiting iconic and historic landmarks, before venturing on to majestic Ha Long Bay. We will also explore lesser known treasures including Hai Phong, Lan Ha Bay and ancient My Son, before moving on to charming Siem Reap in Cambodia. From this base, we will explore the historic Angkor temples including mesmerizing Angkor Wat, soaking in the history and intrigue of this beautiful place. We will then journey on to the Laotian city of Luang Prabang, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its many beautiful temples and attractions. Our adventure will finish in Thailand’s bustling Bangkok, with its stunning Royal Palace and other sites.

What’s Included

  • One-way economy class airfare from Hanoi to Danang on a local airline
  • One-way economy class airfare from Danang to Siem Reap on a local airline
  • One-way economy class airfare from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang
  • One-way economy class airfare from Luang Prabang to Bangkok on a local airline
  • 2 nights in a Deluxe Room at Melia Hotel Hanoi
  • 2 days/1 night Halong Bay cruise in a Orchid Suite on board the Orchid Cruise
  • 2 nights in Superior Garden View Room at the Palm Garden Beach Resort in Hoi An
  • 3 nights in a Superior Room at Le Meridien Hotel in Siem Reap
  • 2 nights in a Palace Room at the Victoria Xiengthong Palace  in Luang Prabang
  • 3 nights in a Urban Room at Riva Surya in Bangkok
  • 26 meals: 13 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Transfers and sightseeing tours as specified in the itinerary
  • All taxes, fees and service surcharges

Itinerary

DAY 01

ARRIVE IN HANOI

We arrive in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Meet our guide at the airport for your transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

DAY 02

HANOI (B/L/D)

After breakfast, meet your guide at your hotel for a day of intriguing sightseeing, beginning at the Museum of Ethnology which showcases art, traditional clothing and reconstructions of traditional longhouses from fifty four different ethnic groups. Next, visit the Temple of Literature with its walled courtyards and graceful gateways. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university. Continue to Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex where the Vietnamese people honor the country’s Great Father. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (outside only) which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh; and Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Following by the miniature 11th century One Pillar Pagoda which was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. Continue to the infamous Hoa Lo Prison built by the French to imprison political prisoners, Hoa Lo was sardonically nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War by American POWs.

DAY 03

HANOI/HAI PHONG/HALONG BAY CRUISE/LAN HA BAY (B/L/D)

Early morning, we travel via the new highway to Got Ferry Terminal in Haiphong City. Upon arrival at the Orchid Cruise’s lounge where we will board our luxurious vessel “Orchid”. As the Orchid makes its way to Da Chong islet, watching as the French colonial lighthouse drifts by. Savor a delicious lunch while passing via the islets of Con Vit. See amazing limestone karst formations rising dramatically from the bay. Disembark at Cat Ba Island and travel overland through striking landscape to Trung Trang Cave in Cat Ba National Park. Admire the stunning karst landscape which was carved by nature for more than 2,000 years. Return to our vessel, enjoy the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin as we cruise to Lan Ha Bay where our ship will anchor overnight. Join the Chef’s table demonstration featuring traditional Vietnamese cuisine followed by a sumptuous dinner aboard. The rest of the evening is free to relax, you may go squid fishing or watch a movie in the restaurant.

DAY 04

HALONG BAY/HANOI/HOI AN (B/D)

Greet the day on deck with a tai chi session as the sun rises, followed by breakfast in the restaurant. Set out for an early morning kayak excursion among the towering limestone pinnacles. Back on board for brunch as we cruise back to port. Disembark and drive back to Hanoi for your flight to Danang in central Vietnam. Upon arrival, continue to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

DAY 05

HOI AN (B/L)

Hoi An, a picturesque riverside town, was one of South East Asia’s major international ports during the 17th to 19th centuries. Our morning walking tour includes many of the town’s highlights. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. Near the bridge is Sa Huynh Museum which houses exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history. Wander into the Tran Family Chapel, a 200 year old house built for worshipping ancestors. Visit Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, a Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and enlarged in 1900. It is a typical Chinese clans in the Hoi An area and is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau, the Goddess of the Sea and protector of sailors and fishermen. We also visit a lantern making workshop to see how the frame is made and the silk cloth put onto the lantern. We return to our hotel for a free afternoon at leisure.

DAY 06

MY SON SANCTUARY/SIEM REAP (B/L)

Enjoy this morning at leisure. Our afternoon excursion to My Son, the former religious centre of the Champa Kingdom, a sophisticated civilization which held sway over the region from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Today, all that is left are five archaeological sites from different periods, in a beautifully green setting of hills and winding streams. After a brief visit to the Visitor’s Centre for an overview of Cham history and culture, visit each ruin in turn, walking along forested paths. Afterward, transfer to Danang for our flight to Siem Reap.

DAY 07

SIEM REAP (B/L)

We begin our sightseeing at Angkor Thom, the heavily fortified city built in the 10th century by the greatest of the Khmer rulers, King Jayavarman VII (1181 – 1201). With a population in excess of one million inhabitants, Angkor Thom covered an area of 3.8 square miles. Enter via the South Gate of Angkor Thom, one of the five 65-foot high gates. Pass along a narrow causeways over the city moat flanked by the statues of 54 gods on the left and 54 devils on the right. They are seemingly engaged in a game of tug of war, yet in fact they are enacting the famous scene from the Churning Sea of Milk bas-relief. After walking through the causeway and gate, you will have entered Angkor Thom. From Angkor Thom’s southern gateway continue onto visit the Bayon Temple. The structure is staggering in its construction and most Angkor specialists agree that it is one of the finest examples of classic Khmer architecture. Its third level is stunning; its 49 towers are adorned with 172 smiling faces of the omnipresent Avalokitesvara. Constructed during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, this temple marks the exact centre of Angkor Thom, thus it is the most venerated of the city’s temples and also the most mysterious. Leaving the Bayon take a brief stop at the Royal Enclosure to see the Elephant Terrace, the terrace takes its name from the exceptional depiction of elephants and of an elephant hunt, which takes up the majority of the frieze. A little north of the main terrace is another, known as the Terrace of the Leper King after a statue found above it. We will conclude our afternoon’s sightseeing by paying a visit to one of the larger temple sites within Angkor, Preah Kahn. Constructed as a monastery and teaching complex in 1191 by Jayavarman VII, it is unique in its sense of religious tolerance, with sections dedicated to Buddhism, ancestor worship, and the Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu.

DAY 08

SIEM REAP (B/L)

This morning, rise early to view the sunrise over the wonderful ruins of Angkor Wat. Imagine centuries ago the markets and temples coming alive with the dawn of a new day.  After this memorable experience, enter Angkor Wat’s main enclosure to experience Angkor in an entirely different perspective, with the grounds almost deserted of visitors you will feel like Angkor Wat is yours to explore. Constructed under the reign of Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat is one of the largest religious structures in the world, covering an area 480 acres encircled by an enclosure wall nearly four miles long.  Angkor Wat is a representation of the Hindu cosmology and is dedicated to the god Vishnu. The five towers of Angkor Wat are the representation of the five peaks of Mount Meru, home of the gods and centre of the Hindu universe. The temple’s greatest sculptural treasure is its one mile long bas-relief that wraps around the walls of the outer gallery along with the figures of Khmer Devas and Apsaras. Return to your hotel for breakfast. The remainder of the morning will be at your leisure to enjoy the hotel and escape the midday sun. This afternoon, visit Banteay Srei, in some obvious aspects it stands apart from the other monuments of the Angkor region – and not only for its relatively isolation, 15 miles north-east of the main temple group. On route, take a short detour to visit Banteay Samre, constructed around the same period as Angkor Wat, it is a compact but imposing Angkor Wat style temple. Its sole conical tower and surrounding galleries make it well worth the short detour. Continue on, arriving at Banteay Srei, the temples name loosely translates to ‘citadel of the women’, but this is a modern name that probably refers to the delicate beauty of the carvings. Built at a time when the Khmer Empire was gaining significant power and territory, the temple was constructed by a Brahmin priest under a powerful king, Rajendravarman and later under Jayavarman V. The walls are densely covered with some of the most beautifully intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple. Take your time to enjoy the ruins at Banteay Srei before you return to your hotel.

DAY 09

SIEM REAP/LUANG PRABANG (B/D)

Enjoy this morning at leisure until our afternoon flight to Luang Prabang, a Unesco World Heritage town in northern Laos.

DAY 10

LUANG PRAGANG (B/D)

Rise early to witness the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’, a local custom of giving alms to monks. This unique ritual is still followed by locals in Luang Prabang and offers a wonderful insight into local culture. After breakfast, take a boat trip to the spectacular Pak Ou Caves. A jagged hole in the cliff face reveals a cave filled with hundreds of statues of the Buddha. For at least the last 500 years, kings and pilgrims have worshipped at Pak Ou’s lower cave, Tham Ting. Along the way stop at the village of Baan Xanghai where they distill rice wine. Continue to Khoung Si Waterfall, a breathtaking waterfall nestled amidst primitive hilltribe villages in the mountainous jungles on the outskirts of Luang Prabang. With close proximity to the waterfall is the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene. Take a walk around the village for a glimpse of their lifestyle.

DAY 11

LUANG PRAGANG/BANGKOK (B/L)

After breakfast, our first stop today is Mount Phousi, the highest point in Luang Prabang, home to a thriving Buddhist monastery. Wat Phuosi offers spectacular 360 degree views of the old town. Leaving the highest point in Luang Prabang, continue to the National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace. Constructed as a palace between 1904 and 1909 during the reign of King Sisavangvong, and now turned into a National Museum, it houses the royal throne of Lan Xang kingdom in its original splendor and many other religious treasures. In the afternoon, board our flight to Bangkok, the bustling Thai capital.

DAY 12

BANGKOK (B)

After breakfast, we travel by boat on the Chao Phraya River (The River of Kings) and on through the Klongs (canals) of Thonburi. You will have the chance to observe and photograph the serene family homes and temples along the waterways, which gave the city the name “Venice of the East”. Then, we visit the Grand Palace, the perfect example of an ancient Siamese court. Continue to Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the sacred Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most revered religious image. Continue our visit to one of the most photographed sights in Bangkok, the Wat Arun. The majestic shrine has a pagoda of 249 feet high. It is decorated with glazed ceramic pieces, that reflect the rising sun and gave the temple its name. This afternoon is free at leisure. We will have the afternoon at leisure.

DAY 13

BANGKOK (B/D)

Our morning tour takes us to the rural yet world-famous floating market of Damnern Saduak, located 62 miles west of Bangkok. It is generally known as Klong Ton Khem Floating Market or Damnern Saduak Floating Market. Once there, board a long-tail boat to visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, an old-style marketplace set in a small klong (canal) network where floating vendors sell their wares from canoe-style boats. Some floating vendors even prepare noodles in hot broth and delicious snacks from their boats, while the nearby wooden piers are packed with a variety of food stalls. Nowadays, the market is bustling with activity from very early in the morning until about 11.00 am. For those who want to buy some memorabilia here, do not forget to bargain. Return to Bangkok for a free afternoon. Tonight, step aboard the luxury Manohra Cruise for a stylish cruise on board a lovingly restored antique rice barge. Savor Thailand’s world renowned cuisine with a set menu designed by the chef. Thai food is well known for its unforgettable flavors, textures and aromas. Cruise down the Chao Phraya River passing by many of the city’s landmarks lit up under the night sky. See the imposing Temple of Dawn, the Grand Palace and the Royal Barges Boat House. Pass under striking bridges and alongside glittering temples next to vivid snapshots of traditional Thai river life.

DAY 14

BANGKOK DEPARTURE (B)

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

Meals: B= Breakfast   L= Lunch    D=Dinner

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Pricing

Per person, based on double occupancy

    2019Land OnlyAir & Land from
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    Feb 06 - 28$3,899$4,499$4,499$4,499$4,599$4,499$4,499
    Mar 01 - Apr 17$3,799$4,399$4,499$4,399$4,399$4,399$4,399
    Apr 18 - May 15$3,799$4,499$4,499$4,499$4,499$4,499$4,499
    May 16 - Jul 01$3,799$4,999$4,999$4,999$4,999$4,999$4,999
    Jul 02 - Aug 05$3,799$4,699$4,699$4,799$4,899$4,699$4,799
    Aug 06 - Oct 15$3,799$4,499$4,499$4,499$4,499$4,499$4,499
    Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. Land only package does not include International airfare. Air & Land Package: A $75 each way weekend (Fri-Sun) air surcharge applies for air and land package. Inbound air peak season surcharge (Air & Land package) of $75.00 per person from Jan 01-08. Tour prices include all taxes, fees and carrier-imposed surcharges. (BR/185/090218/C-10)

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