Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City arrival
Your journey will begin in Ho Chi Minh City, the fabled city of the nation’s amazing founder; the key that created all that is beautiful about this nation! You’ll be free entirely at your leisure to head out into this wondrous city to experience a night. You can spend it watching the amazing night sky over Ho Chi Minh City from the comfort of your soft, luxurious hotel room in your most comfortable nightwear, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can tantalise your stay with a slice of the Vietnamese nightlife! There’s no shortage of street cafes, night bars and roadside markets to gently ease you into the rich culture!
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
Once you’re rested and happy, you’ll be taken on a full, mentally invigorating tour of the great city, with an extensive stop off at Reunification Hall. It’s a gem of history for Vietnam, a reminder of the days that Saigon fell to the onslaught of Communist armoured forces. It’s a chance to talk a walk back through the years of the Vietnam war. And you’ll even be able to revisit the front lines from the lesser seen perspective of the Vietnamese Army, known as the Vietcong, with a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. The intricacy of this honeycomb of passages will amaze any visitors. You can walk, touch, feel and smell the rich history behind them. An enigma of Vietnam engineering, these tunnels once stretched for over 210 miles, and created a hard point network of hundreds of strategic locations that Vietcong rigidly defended against American forces during the 60s and 70s, and you’ll get to handle it! Put your hands on the real McCoy; the genuine article of the time, and take yourself back half a century…
You’ll find the perfect moment of your journey across these marvelous nations, and give you something concrete to treasure, whether you want something traditional, contemporary or modern. It’s a pure jewel of culture, and it’s yours to seize with open hands! It’s all available from the pleasant street markets, cultural sidewalk cafes and the beautiful bars for engaging in some of Vietnam’s atmospheric nightlife. It’s a wealth of timeless traditions, classics and a mix of many cultures. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral which is of neo- Romanesque architecture with two high square tower and iron spires. Next, stop at the City Hall, known as “Hotel de Ville”.
Visit the Central Post Office and see the amazing fusion of French and Vietnamese architecture, and see the turbulent history within the War Remnants Museum, and get the chance to be up close and personal with photographs and weapons that hail from the period.
Day 3: Mekong Delta - Hue (B, L)
It’s one of the world’s very well-known geographical features, and it’s yours to explore after a great night rest, it’s the Mekong Delta! A whole day of cruising down the famous river 75 kilometres outside of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s one of the farming capitals of Vietnam, surrounded by peaceful, picturesque rice farms and lush orchards; a fantastic sight for any budding tourist. And it’s all to see from the comfort of the boat. You’ll get hands on experience on the islands in the middle of the Delta, and a chance to get a traditional piece of Vietnamese handicraft… And with plenty of sights to see on the water, you’ll be on your way to somewhere completely new…
Then you’ll be jetting off to Hue.
Day 4: Hue full day city tour (B, L)
Morning enjoy a cruise on the romantic Perfume River to visit Hue’s oldest and most revered site Thien Mu Pagoda, then the Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang.
You’ll be let loose upon the Old Imperial city, the pinnacle of politics and religion under no less than thirteen emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. It’s full of rich culture and is a fabulous jewel of history that every explorer and tourist is just sure to love. Walk through the Thai Hoa Palace, made from the most ornate decorations in this corner of the globe, and supported by 80 beautiful pillars which each tell their own story, adding just more jigsaw pieces to the enigmatic history of Vietnam… See the Forbidden Purple City Site. See the Halls of Mandarins… broaden your spectrum of knowledge… experience something new at every twist and turn…
Then visit the Mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc and the bustling Dong Ba market.
Day 5: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (B, L)
Feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your back as you immerse yourself in the town of Da Nang. My Khe Beach awaits. Now’s the time to build up that beautiful sun kissed look beneath the sun with the beautiful, clear blue waves washing over your ankles. With several miles of golden beaches and fantastic shoreline for your feet to wander, there’s no shortage of places to kick back, collect the breeze and smile. Mingle with your friends, family, and your fellow tourists as you enjoy the sites and sun…
You’ll also get the chance to witness the most amazing collection of Cham sculptures available anywhere in the world! And full of riches and ancient buildings, including the 200 year old Tan Ky house, Assembly hall and even the former merchants’ houses, and it’s all yours to see!
Day 6: Hoi An - Hanoi (B)
Don’t forget the capital city! No trip can ever be called finished without an experience in the capital city! After you’ve had your amazing share of the waves, swimming and wonders, you’ll be jetting off to Hanoi. On arrival, take one hour cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets of Hanoi before enjoying a fantastic traditional water puppet show (unique to Vietnam).
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise & stay overnight on board (B, L, D)
It’s not just by land; your trip is beautifully accented with an experience atop the myriad of sparkling emerald oceans and the purest blue waves of Halong Bay. You’ll be sleeping and dining in style on the surface of the water while you take in the magical sights of the thousands of rock formations and tiny rocky islands that make up the bays.
It’s a chance to feel the wave’s crash upon your body as you take a relaxing swim in the bay to a sunset over the thousands of limestone peaks that may up the cove. A full 577 square miles of pure, uncensored mystical beauty meets the eyes of every travel the Halong. And with your own private cabin to rest your weary head in the lap of comfort and luxury, it’s a great way to spend the early stages of your holiday!
Day 8: Halong Bay - Hanoi (Brunch)
The magical trip atop Halong bay doesn’t finish after the first day; you’ll be up in time for a swim before a hearty breakfast on the upper deck of your ship. You can put your feet up and bask in the pleasant breath of sunshine that awaits you. It makes for one of the most memorable travelling experiences anywhere in Asia!
Take a cruise through the bay to see the fascinating natural formation to match the glory of the world’s greatest wonders. Then you’ll head to Hanoi via your own personal driver.
Day 9: Hanoi - Vientiane (B, L)
You’ll be inducted in pure style through the fascinating and charming city as soon as you arrive, and you’ll get the chance to visit all of the rich museums and get a chance to see the home of the founder of Vietnam, the legendary Ho Chi Minh. His house, perfectly preserved, is all on display, as well as the presidential palace. It’s a must visit for every tourist! Add in a tour of the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature to capture your historic flare and you’ve got a head-first dive into the mystique that is Vietnamese culture!
You’ll find yourself arriving in the city of Vientiane in style, with a centrally located, comfortable hotel to rest your tired legs. You’ll be right in the heart of a diverse, highly cultural, amazing fusion of hundreds of cultures and ways of life that will capture the senses and ensnare the mind. Take an oriental walk through your third nation capital and experience all that is Lao in the area around you… Don’t worry, you’ll get the chance to see it all in style tomorrow!
Day 10: Vientiane - Luang Prabang (B, L)
Once you’ve had a full measure and full introduction into the Franco-Lao architecture and inspirations, and experienced the wonders of the previous housing of the famous Emerald Buddha Image & Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, you’ll board a short flight to one of the most powerful cultural heritage sight in the entire world…
Meet Luang Prabang, the best preserved traditional hub city in the whole of the continent! It’s charm will become obvious to all, and boasts a breathtaking sunset across the peak of Mount Phousi. And you’ll have a front row seat at the peak just in time for the evening dusk!
We then stroll around the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of textiles made by the local and the hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 11: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou cave (B, L)
Today is a very special day. For those early risers, you’ll have the chance to be a part of history, and indulge in the fantastic opportunity to join the local monks through an ancient ritual practiced nowhere else in the world; the collecting offerings of Alms from the faithful residents of the city. It’s totally unique to Laos, and they are the only Buddhist nation who still observes this practice. It’s a very powerful highlight to your stay in the city, and gives you the chance to not only see, but take part in this amazing tradition.
Following breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture.
Next, visit the oldest temples of amazing and majestic standing across the reaches of Luang Prabang, and bearing witness to the beautiful architecture of ways ancient and modern. It’s also another ride on the boat along the fabled Mekong River, and a sightseeing tour of epic proportions through rural Laos and Vietnam. You’ll even get to see the legendary Pak Ou caves, home to many thousands of golden uddhas; relics of visiting pilgrims leaving a symbol of their faith. It’s an amazing sight, all while drinking in the crisp afternoon air and fresh breeze! Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On our way back, we pass the local villages at Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan continue to see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun, which once belonged to a royal family patronage nearby Sackarine Caves. We cross to city and take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 12: Luang Prabang - Siem Reap (B)
Just remember, it’s not just two countries you’re experiencing, it’s three! If you thought the best of Vietnam & Laos was enough to make a holiday, we take it one step further, and take you to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Day 13: Angkor Thom - Ta Prohm - Angkor Wat full day tour (B, L)
We drop you into the deep end of culture from Siem Reap City to the fortified city of Angkor Thom! Ten square kilometres of ancient fortifications await, including a perfectly preserved wide moat and walls. Each and every ornate statue of demons and gods alike tell the story of the founding beliefs of ancient civilisation, and it’s all the learnt as you tour the landmarks, all rounded off by a visit to the legendary Bayon Temple. Even alone, the giant stone carvings of each face will create that feeling of being watched we all know all so well about…
Next, visit Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of the area. As beautiful as it is mysterious, it retains its aura around the revelation that it was once abandoned by its inhabitants, left at the mercy of mother nature and the surrounding jungle, completely against the typical structures in the area.
Don’t forget, it’s all across the city you’ll be seeing, from the national symbol of Angkor Wat; a must see for any visit to Cambodia, to the 1,700 celestial dancer carving of the Angkor temple walls, making up the longest continuous bas-relief in the whole world. It’s a testament to the deep, rich history of Hindu mythology, enough to inspire anyone! And it can only be added to by bearing witness to this mystical place as the sun is rising and setting…
Day 14: Banteay Srey - Banteay Samre - Kbal Spean full day (B, L)
Morning transfer to Banteay Srey temple (35 km) – the Citadel of women. This Hindu temple, dating back to the 10th century, has three central towers each decorated with superbly intricate reliefs of male and female divinities, carved from pink sandstone contrasting with the main walls made of laterite. While many of Angkor temples are impressive because of their sheer size, Banteay Srei stands out by the quality of craftsmanship. Next, visit Banteay Samre, a small temple in the jungle built Angkor Wat adapt.
Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon we transfer to visit Kbal Spean, one of the most complete complex at Angkor, restored with the method of the anastylosis. Built under the reign of Suryavarman II during the mid-12th century, its unique feature is the interior moat covered with a laterite paving. Not very touristic, you should appreciate its peaceful atmosphere.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 15: Siem Reap departure (B)
Today you’ll be on your way to your final departure…
But it need not be farewell…
It’s a one of a kind trip that’ll keep you coming back time and time again, and keep you hungry to experience more and more of this amazing part of the world. So don’t leave your holiday to chance, indulge in our beautiful itineraries and experience something new!