18 Days The Wonder of Indochina Tour

posted Jul 6, 2012, 1:53 AM by An Bui   [ updated Jul 6, 2012, 1:53 AM ]
Travel Vietnam Blog
Day 01: Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon Arrival
Day 02: Saigon / Ben Tre / Saigon
Day 03: Saigon / Danang / Hoian
Day 04: Hoian / Danang / Hue
Day 05: Hue / Hanoi
Day 06: Hanoi / Halong
Day 07: Halong / Hoa Lu
Day 08: Hoa Lu / Hanoi
Day 09: Hanoi / Luang Pra Bang
Day 10: Luang Pra Bang / Kuong Xi Waterfall / Pak Ou Cave
Day 11: Luang Pra Bang
Day 12: Luang Pra Bang / Vientiane
Day 13: Vientiane / Pakse
Day 14: Pakse
Day 15: Pakse / Siem Reap
Day 16: Siem Reap
Day 17: Siem Reap
Day 18: Siem Reap Departure




DAY 01: ARRIVAL AT HO CHI MINH CITY / SAIGON

Saigon, the pearl of the Far East Orient, Ho Chi Minh city or Saigon has numerous architectural works, worth of interest: The Central Post Office, colonial construction in 1886, the “Notre-Dame” Cathedral, with neo-roman inspiration, and red bricks imported from Marseille (France), the Reunification Palace, former residence of the general governor of Cochin China, the municipal theatre, the lively Ben Thanh Market, and the busy Chinese quarters with shop and stalls, selling all kind of goods.

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DAY 02: SAIGON/BEN TRE / SAIGON

Day excursion on the luxuriant scene of the Mekong Delta. Boat trip in small yawl, through the riverside of the Mekong, its canals, villages, orchards. Short trip on horse cart. Tasting local products, tropical fruits and tea with honey. Lunch on a typical island restaurant of the Delta, back to Saigon.


DAY 03: SAIGON / DANANG / HOIAN

Fly to Danang, visit the CHAM museum, that gathers the most beautiful collection of CHAM sculptures. Our journey continues to Hoi An. Hoi An City, previously called Faifo, is also classified at world heritage by UNESCO. Hoi An is a perfect example of Vietnamese classic architecture, with the covered bridge, the houses of precious wood, dating from the 17th century, the communal houses of the congregations of Canton and Phuc Kien, and the numerous silk shops; bicycle rides thru the cozy old little streets. Dinner in town. Overnight in our hotel.


DAY 04: HOIAN / DANANG / HUE

Heading to Hue, the old royal capital of Vietnam, also registered at the world heritage by UNESCO. Boat trip on the Perfume River and visit of the Thien Mu Pagoda: it is the most beautiful religious construction of Hue, with its octagonal tower and 7 levels, over viewing the river. Then we visit the Tu Duc’s mausoleum and the village of the manufacturers of typical conical hats of Vietnam. Visit of the Dong Ba Market. Dinner with local special dishes.


DAY 05: HUE / HANOI

Visit of the Minh Mang’s Mausoleum, then the Imperial City, surrounded by large moats, with the South Gate, the palace of supreme Harmony, the purple Forbidden City, where the emperor used to live with his family. Fly to Hanoi.


DAY 06: HANOI /HA LONG

Visit Hanoi before taking the road to Ha Long: exterior visit of the marble Mausoleum, the One Pillar pagoda. Heading to Ha Long that was registered at the World Heritage by UNESCO since 1994. Cruising on a traditional junk, and visit Ha Long Bay through the wonderful sceneries. Lunch with a variety of seafood. Diner and overnight on board.


AY 07: HA LONG / HOA LU

Landing after lunch. Drive to Hoa Lu, the old capital of Vietnam. Drive to the Thung Nang site. Boat trip through the peaceful landscapes: canals and rice fields to reach a magnificent cave. Lunch at Hoa Lu. Bicycle rides through the country side. Dinner and night at the hotel.


DAY 08: HOA LU / HANOI

Drive back to Hanoi. Arrive at Hanoi at noon. Lunch at local restaurant.Visit Hanoi: the Hoan Kiem Lake,the Ngoc Son temple, the Tran Quoc pagoda, the Quan Thanh temple. Strolling in the old Hanoi. Dinner and night.


DAY 09: HANOI / LUANG PRABANG

Breakfast at the hotel, free at leisure till departure to Luang Pra Bang, on arrival in Luang Prabang you will be picked up by our local driver and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon you will be taken on a brief orientation tour of the spiritual capital of Laos before climbing the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside. In the evening you will get the chance to stop at the night market. Your overnight stay will be in Luang Prabang.


DAY10: LUANG PRABANG / KUANGXI WATER FALL / PAK OU CAVE

After breakfast, enjoy a visit to Kuang Si Waterfall, south west of Luang Prabang with stops en-route to visit some ethnic minority villages. It is possible to walk to the top of the falls via a steep track and if the weather is good you can swim in the clear water at the foot of the falls. On the way, you can visit the bears rescued center. Return to Luang Prabang for lunch. After lunch, you will embark for a boat trip on the Mekong River to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves.


DAY 11: LUANG PRABANG

A very special (optional) dawn visit – highly recommended - before breakfast to witness the long line of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Back to the hotel for breakfast. After that, you will visit the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong showing its best face in the morning sun, before heading to the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum and Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-reliefs. In the afternoon, you will continue the exploration of the cozy town with stops at Wat That, Wat Visun and Wat Aham. Road to the weaving village to see the very beautiful local products: traditional Lao textiles and Sa paper.


DAY 12: LUANG PRABANG / VIENTIANE

Arrive in Vientiane. Meet your guide at the airport, transfer to hotel for check in. In the afternoon, take a city tour. Visit That Luang Stupa. Pratuxai, Ho Prakeo, Wat Sisaket. Watch the sunset on the banks of Mekong River. Overnight at hotel.


DAY 13: VIENTIANE / PAKSE

Breakfast. Transfer to airport for flight to Pakse. Travel by vehicle to view khone Phapheng waterfalls (the biggest waterfalls in Se Asia on Mekong River). Boat to Done Khone. See Li Pi waterfalls and local boat cruise to see the fresh water dolphins. Overnight in Done Khone.


DAY 14. PAKSE

Breakfast. Local boat to the main land. Trabel by car see Wat Phou (ruins of preangkor temples). Continue the road to Bolaven Plateau to see Tad Fane (38km from Pakse) and coffee plantation. Overnight in Pakse.


DAY 15: PAKSE / SIEM REAP

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap, gateway to the ancient city of Angkor. Upon arrival in Siem Reap you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Lunch at local restaurant. This afternoon, begin your tour of the ancient city of Angkor. First, visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom - last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure, and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious and stunning Bayon Temple. Watch the sun set over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple. Dinner at local restaurant and over night in Siem Reap.


DAY 16: SIEM REAP

This morning visit the "crowning jewel" of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat. The largest temple in the world, this temple is the national symbol of Cambodia. Continue to Ta Prohm, a temple that has been left largely in its natural state since its "re-discovery" by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles. Banteay Srei is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Visit the Chantiers Ecoles (Aritsans d Angkor) vocational center which trains 650 apprentices each year including 160 in fine arts and crafts trades united in the "Artisan d Angkor" production network. Dinner at local restaurant.


DAY 17: SIEM REAP

In the morning process to visit the Roluos group of temples. These 3 monuments, which served as the capital during the reign of King Indravaraman I (877-889) are among the earliest large, permanent temples of the Khmer classical art period. Preah Ko, erected by Indavaraman I in the late 9th century was dedicated by the King to his ancestors. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Pre Rup temple, East Memon and then move to Neak Pean and Preah Khan. Dinner at local restaurant.


DAY 18: SIEM REAP / DEPART

The morning is at leisure. Transfer to Siem Reap airport for the flight to Bangkok.

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