Highlights of Indochina
This Highlights of Indochina 11 days tour combines the highlights of Indochina. From the charm of Vietnam capital – Hanoi - a thousand-year-old capital to visit her top attractions, the world heritage site of Ha Long Bay, the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia - Luang Prabang, and the majestic temples of Angkor. This will be a memorable journey of history, culture, cuisines, relaxation, and funs.
Tour Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Tour Route: Hanoi Hanoi city tour - Halong Bay - Hanoi - Luang Prabang - Siem Reap
Starts/Ends: Hanoi (Vietnam) / Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Tour Type: Landscape and Nature, History, Heritage sites, Cuisines
Activity Level: Regular itinerary, Moderate walking
Tour Customizable: Absolutely! (Tell us about your specific requirements in the inquiry form)
Day 01: Arrival Hanoi – Vietnam (D)
Day 02: Hanoi city tour & street food tour (B, street food)
Day 03: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise (B, L, D)
Day 04: Halong Bay Cruise - Hanoi (B, L) / Brunch
Day 05: Hanoi – Fly to Luang Prabang (B)
Day 06: Luang Prabang (B, L)
Day 07: Luang Prabang (B)
Day 08: Luang Prabang - Siem Reap by flight (B, D)
Day 09: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat (B)
Day 10: Siem Reap (B)
Day 11: Siem Reap departure (B)
Note: B – Breakfast, L = Lunch, Br = Brunch, D = Dinner
You are welcomed at Noi Bai Airport and transfer to the hotel in Hanoi. In the late afternoon, you will take an hour Cycle - tour viewing the charming French colonial architecture to the bustling Old Quarter. Welcome dinner will be reserved at a local restaurant.
In the evening, enjoy the welcome dinner in the finest local restaurant in town.
Overnight in Hanoi.
* Estimated distance from hotels in the Old Quarter to the airport or v.v: ~35-40km. Estimated driving time: ~45mins - 1hr.
* International arrivals: Please proceed through immigration and customs, and make your way to the exterior arrivals area, using the exit indicated for your flight on the arrival’s marquee (either exit A1 or A2).
We begin a full-day city tour by visiting the Ho Chi Minh complex, including the One Pillar Pagoda, the former leader’s house on stilts and his Mausoleum. Continue, transfer to West Lake to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda as known the oldest pagoda in the city, originally constructed in the sixth century during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De, and then keep walking to Quan Thanh Temple, as one of the Four Sacred Temples of the capital.
Keep forward to the peaceful Temple of Literature - the first university of Vietnam.
In the afternoon, proceed to the Ethnologic Museum, which focuses on the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam, it is widely considered to be the finest modern museum in Vietnam and a tourist attraction in Hanoi.
Back to the city center, attend the performance of the unique water puppetry before starting our street food tour in Ta Hien – Luong Ngoc Quyen – Hang Giay – Dao Duy Tu streets, where shows many kinds of local and traditional dishes. Here, you will have a chance to try Bun Cha (a type of noodle soup with pork BBQ) or Pho (widely known as Vietnamese noodle soup, is a highlight of Vietnamese culinary). All the preparation and content are explained by the guide. The guide also tells the daily life of the common Vietnamese, experiencing something that the Vietnamese used a lot in cooking, dried foods, spices, and fresh herbs. You also have a chance to taste the Hanoi's specialties Banh Cuon – the dish that made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed rice. This is one of the most famous dishes in Ha Noi and has been along with Hanoian for years. The tour ends with a cup of Egg Coffee at Nguyen Huu Huan Street.
Overnight in Hanoi.
We depart Hanoi for Ha Long Bay, listed as a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. “Dragon descending to the sea“as it is known in Vietnamese, picturesque Ha Long bay has more than 1.000 limestone islets rising from the sea, many of them containing beautiful grottoes
Upon arrival at Ha Long Bay we embark on a boat trip to cruise discovering this magnificent UNESCO World Wonder. This is a great journey among surreal islands rising from a tranquil emerald sea.
In the late afternoon, we anchor for the night on the bay and enjoy a delicious seafood dinner on board.
Overnight on a junk boat in Halong Bay.
Notes: The program may differ slightly based on the junk cruise’s itinerary. An extra night can be added to the program. If your time is flexible, we highly recommend it.
Participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply watch the sunrise over the magnificent bay. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee or juice before setting out to the nearby cave on a rowboat.
Return to the Cruise, where breakfast is served, while sailing around Bay Tu Long Bay where the film “Indochine” was made. Your cruise will end at noontime and back to the pier. You depart for Bac Ninh Province to have more knowledge of Vietnamese’s history and culture. You are welcome at Do temple for visiting. This temple was built during the Le Dynasty and has been altered several times since. A major reconstruction took place under the reign of Le Trung Hung in the 17th century.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang.
Estimated flight time: VN 931 HANLPQ SS1 1250 1400
On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Breakfast, we visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace displays a lovely collection of the artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. The National Museum and the Central Market are not to be missed.
We visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai. We continue seeing Luang Prabang with the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, a magnificent piece of architecture, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes as well as doorways and the main sim has a marvelous 'tree life' mosaic pattern on an outer wall.
We embark on a boat for a leisurely trip on the Mekong River, stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai to see the production of and to sample the local rice wine. Upon leaving this village we pass through stunning mountain landscape to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. These two linked caves are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devout villagers. After the river trip we drive toward Ban Phanom, a small village known for its hand weaving.
We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the hill tribe and local people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there you will visit the morning Phosi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables, and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. Visit Bear rescue center before returning to Luang Prabang by late afternoon, we continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. We return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
This morning, we take a short flight to Siem Reap
Estimated flight time: VN 931 LPQREP SS1 1440 1610
Arrive Siem Reap by flight, Siem Reap – Treasures of the Kingdom of Cambodia, process immigration procedure (visa on arrival is available or obtain in advance via www.evisa.gov.kh), then get your luggage and walk straight to the Exit Gate where our representative is waiting. After self-introduced, you’ll transfer directly around 20 minutes to the hotel in the city for check in (check in time is 2pm). Time to freshen up and relax at the hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Welcome dinner with Apsara Dance show at local restaurant.
For those travelers thirsting for cultural highlights of Cambodia, no visit to Cambodia is complete without attending at least one traditional Khmer dance performance, often referred to as 'Apsara Dance' after one of the most popular Classical dance pieces. Traditional Khmer dance is better described as 'dance-drama' in that the dances are not merely dance but also meant to convey a story or message.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
We drive to Angkor Thom that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire.
We begin to visit Bayon Temple. At the exact center of Angkor Thom, this is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia’s most celebrated king.
Photo stop at Terrace of the Leper King. Along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances, and traditional sports. At the southern end lies the Baphuon, one of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman 1 in the 11th century.
Visit the picturesque Ta Prohm that had nearly disappeared into the jungle and remains overgrown, an oddly haunting and exotic scene. The magnificent roots of a tree, pushing between the huge stone blocks of the temple in a sort of embrace, evoke feelings that you may remember forever.
We journey out to the mother of all temples, Angkor Wat. Believed to be the world's largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
We’ll escape the heat of the city by driving 48kms North of Siem Reap to visit the holy Kulen Mountains, also referred to as Phnom Kulen (Mountain of the Lychees) by locals. The sandstone from this mountain was the main supplier of construction materials for the Angkor Kingdom. We’ll stop at the sacred site of The River of a Thousand Lingas, which features hundreds of lingas carved in the sandstone bed of the river, which date back to the 9th century. Further downstream, large blocks of stone, also under water, are carved with Apsaras dancers and Vishnu figures. Next on the agenda is a wander around the mountain-top pagoda which is home to relics, statues, and a large reclining Buddha. The last mountain stop will be Kulen Waterfall, featuring a natural pool which is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day and a great picnic spot too, so that’s what we’ll do. We return to Siem Reap in afternoon.
Overnight in Siem Reap
After breakfast, depart for the Tonlé Sap. You will enjoy a boat ride on the Tonle Sap Lake. This is the largest permanent fresh-water lake in Southeast Asia and flows into Tonle Sap River, joining the Mekong in Phnom Penh. You will see a fishermen's "floating village" with floating schools, floating police station, etc. It is same as a big village floating on the lake, and the "village" moves from place-to-place following water levels and current.
Visit Apopo a HeroRat Visitor Center and experience the realities of humanitarian demining and how we train rats to save lives. You will learn about the mine clearance process from our guides, enjoy a series of videos showing our work and can read all about how Cambodia became one of the most mine affected countries in the world.
Transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure to next destination. It’s time to say goodbye, we thank you for traveling with us and warmly welcome you to come again.
Price Includes, Price Excludes
- 09-night hotel accommodation in twin shared as noted or similar
- 01 night on the junk/cruise on Ha Long Bay
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle
- Boat trip as stated in the itinerary.
- Local English-speaking guide (for other languages supplements apply)
- Admission fee to indicated sights.
- Meals as stated in the itinerary (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner) – Food only, without drinks.
- Souvenir gift and mineral water
- 24hours supporting hotline.
- 2 bottles of cold water and 2 towels per day.