Indochina Discovery Tour

This is an authentic itinerary to discover Indochina in 12 days in very reasonable pacing. We offer you a chance to visit beautiful highlights of Northern of Vietnam, Luang Prabang and Siem Reap.

Destinations: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Tho Ha Village – Luang Prabang – Siem Riep

  • Daily departure
  • Prices valid until December 2015
Indochina Discovery Tour
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DAY 1: ARRIVAL – HANOI

Fly to Hanoi. Upon arrival to the airport, you well be met by our guide and transfer to you hotel.

Meals: Non
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 2: FULL DAY OF HANOI CITY TOUR

Morning start our tour to discover Hanoi, a peaceful city with beautiful trees and lakes, the city has thousand years of history and culture. We will have the first impression of the city by authentic Cyclo ride from your hotel to Hanoi Old Quarter – where you can experience the real daily life activities of local people in the oldest area of Hanoi. Then you will ride by the French Quarter along wide and green typical French boulevard that can explain to you why this city so called “Paris of the East” before taking a walk to Ngoc Ha village. You can see the village as an Oasis in the middle of the city, that still keep all the typical daily life activities as well as the typical community sense of the village in Red river Delta along your walk. Then visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – the symbol of the country and Presidential Palace, Presidential Garden, his House on Stilts and One Pillar Pagoda. After that, visit Temple of Literature – the central of culture of Hanoi that worship to Literature – the only subject for student to study in the feudal system just hundred years ago and Confucius. At lunch, enjoy the typical and authentic cuisine at Season of Hanoi Restaurant.

Afternoon visit Ethnology Museum in which you can study the great outline of 54 ethics people living in Vietnam. This museum is the only one in Vietnam that many artifacts display in there still exist in the life of local people but not extinct like most of the museums, that will create very good reflection about the life, culture, customs, religions and costumes of Vietnamese people.  Back to the center of the city for the short walk to discover the Old Quarter. Your tour will be concluded with great experience of Water Puppet show – the unique art of Vietnamese people from Red River Delta.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 3: TAY PHUONG PAGODA – DUONG LAM VILLAGE

Morning we will take one hour drive to Tay Phuong, one of ten most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam. Located on the top of the hill, this pagoda is very famous about the collection of Buddha and Arhat statues from 17th century and unique architecture. Then take 45 minutes bike ride the rural area nearby the Pagoda through green rice field, local villages. This is the great chances for you to discover the daily life activities in the Red River Delta, interact to local people and feel the real atmosphere of rural area. After that, back to the car for driving to the ancient village of Duong Lam, the place so called “Hoi An of the Red River Delta” as still preserve many hundred-year-old houses constructed by laterite stone – the unique material just can be found in this area. That is the reason why Duong Lam also has the name “The laterite ancient village”. Upon arrival, take the pleasant walk by the gate of the village to Mong Phu Communal House. This is one of very few village gates still remained intact locates by the old Banyan Tree as the typical image of the village in the Red River Delta. After visiting the Communal House, just take a seat at the tea house nearby and enjoy some local fresh green tea and special candy made from sticky rice flake. This is the oldest Tea House in Vietnam as the villagers made used of the spare material from constructing the Communal House to build this Tea House from 400 years ago. Then our guide will take you to walk along some small alleys in the village. The village has constructed very special system of alleys in “fish bone” style that every single alley comes to death end for the security reason. That could be the reason why many families in the village still using the old gate with the handle from outside to help the guests open the gate themselves. The walk will concluded by the visit of the most beautiful ancient house in the village of Mr. Huyen family and enjoy the authentic home hosted lunch prepare by hospitable people in his family.
After lunch, we will take another bike ride in the rural area around the village that lead you to green rice field, interesting resting house had been constructed hundred years ago for people working on the field to rest in the shade and breeze in the hot summer day. You also can visit the thousand year old tree line that had been recognized as Heritage Trees in Vietnam before coming back to the village for the drive back to Hanoi. Return to the city in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 4: HANOI – HALONG BAY

Morning depart to Halong bay through Red River Delta. Upon arrival to Halong, transfer by tender to the Indochina Sails boat. Upon boarding guests are greeted with a welcome drink and gather in the dining room for a comprehensive safety and boat orientation briefing followed by itinerary details.
After the briefing and check in we have a bit of free time till lunch is served at 1:00pm. Lunch is a multi-course Vietnamese and Western set menu. Any and all dietary needs will be catered to.
During lunch we cruise through the Bai Tu Long Bay, cruising through the most beautiful and quiet area in Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay to visit Cua Van Fishing Village. Cua Van Floating Fishing Village (the largest fishing village on the Bay). At the village, which has a population of about 600 residents living in about 150 floating houses, guests can choose between kayaking through the village or visiting on small bamboo boats (sampans) rowed by the villagers.
Back on board after visiting the village there will be free time of about one and a half hours before the Cooking Class on board will be held by our Chef and all the passengers could attend to this. During that time the chef will conduct a Cooking Class showing the guests how make some Vietnamese food which is traditional food in Vietnam and guests will taste the food after the class. In addition we will have the first of our double happy hours from 6:00 till 7:00 during which time one free drink will be received for each one ordered. The dinner is served at 7:30pm.
Dinner is a sumptuous buffet featuring an array of salads, seafood, meat dishes, seasonal fresh fruits and deserts.
After dinner guests can relax in the dining room and lounge or on the upper deck and enjoy the second happy hour from 9:00 till 10:00. Board games and playing cards are available and massage services as well (massage service is available throughout the cruise). Also, everyone can try their luck at squid fishing from the boat with help from the crew.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: On the Junk

DAY 5: HALONG BAY – THO HA – HANOI

The next morning coffee, tea and breakfast pastries are on offer from 6:45. Tai Chi lessons are led by our tai chi master at 7:00 before we leave the boat at 7:45 for a walking tour of Titov Beach Island. About one hour is spent on the island allowing time for a climb up the steps to the peak for a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Bay (there is also an expansive viewing deck half way up). After the climb there is time left to relax on the beach and have a swim.
Back on board it’s time for final packing and freshening up before enjoying a full breakfast buffet, including traditional Vietnamese Noodles (Pho). After breakfast guests may relax in the dining room and lounge or on the deck enjoying the last Bay view before disembarkation at 11:00am. On the way back to Hanoi, visit Tho Ha the famous village of terracotta products before 20th century. Discover village through narrow and zigzag alleys with the old houses had been constructed from broken part of terracotta from the past. Walking over village cemetery to the dike, where you can see the village from distance over the beautiful lake. Drive back to Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 6: HANOI – LUANG PRABANG

After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Noi Bai airport for flight to Luang Prabang known as the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom. Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, transfer to this smaaal and charming town by Mekong River then check in your hotel.
In the afternoon, we visit Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple, which more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture, Hmong market in town, where some of Hmong ladies still show their skilled embroidery works, climb Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi Hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang and watch sunset over the hill at Wat Phabat Tai on the bank of the Mekong river.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

DAY 7: LUANG PRABANG & PAK OU CAVE

Enjoy an excursion to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. On the way, time for visiting some Lao typical villages. Ban Xanghai, the famous village for rice whisky, also visited. The return boat begins to Luang Prabang. Then drive to visit Ban Xangkhong, the well-known village for its wood papermaking and also traditional silk weavings.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

DAY 8: LUANG PRABANG – KUANGSI WATERFALL

This morning we will have the option of wake up early for experience the monks in Luang Phrabang walking for merit in town before breakfast time at the hotel. Then we take a drive (30 km South) to visit Kuangsi Waterfall, which, though not very high, is spectacular and really beautiful with its green surroundings as the preserved National park. We stop en-route, to visit a fresh produced market namely Talad Phosy, and also visit Ban Na Oune, a small village of a hill-tribe group “Hmong”, probably the best-known minority group in Laos. Just before arriving at Kuangsi waterfall, there is another village of Khmu minority group, namely Ban Tha Pane that we will visit.
Our picnic lunch is served at the shady park nearby Kuangsi waterfall. There is plenty of time for relaxing and a swim in cool water, before we head back to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is spent by visiting various craft-shops, including silver smiths’ and also Hmong market in town, where some skilled embroidery-works of Hmong ladies can be seen.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

DAY 9: LUANG PRABANG – SIEM REAP (ANGKOR)

After breakfast, a short flight to Siemriep. Upon arrival at the airport, transfer to hotel. Lunch in local restaurant. Afternoon, visit Angkor Wat. This temple is visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking. It is a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat and an exterior wall measuring 1300 meters x 1500 meters. The temple itself is 1 km square and consists of three levels surmounted by a central tower. The walls of the temple are covered inside and out with bas-reliefs and carvings. Nearly 2000 distinctively rendered Apsara carvings adorn the walls throughout the temple and represent some of the finest examples of Apsara carvings in Angkorian era art.
The temple interior is not as densely carved as the first level exterior, but still sports hundreds of fine carvings of Apsaras and scenes from Hindu mythology. At the upper-most of your tour of the temple, the central tower on the third level houses four Buddha images, each facing a different cardinal point, highlighting the fact that though Angkor Wat was constructed as a Hindu temple, it has served as a Buddhist temple since Buddhism became Cambodia’s dominant religion in the 14th century. Some say that it is good luck to pay homage to all four Buddha images before departing Angkor. This is also the best place in Sieamreap for viewing and enjoy the sunset. Return to Siem Reap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Siem Reap

DAY 10: SIEM REAP (ANGKOR)

In the morning continue discovering the beauties of amazing temples in Siemriep. We start our tour to Angkor Thom (Big Angkor), is a 3 km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. After Jayavarman VII recaptured the Angkorian capital from the Cham invaders in 1181, he began a massive building campaign across the empire, constructing Angkor Thom as his new capital city. There are five entrances (gates) to the city, one for each cardinal point, and the victory gate leading to the Royal Palace area. Each gate is crowned with 4 giant faces. The South Gate is often the first stop on a tour. From here, we will drive to visit Bayon Temple. The giant stone faces of Bayon have become one of the most recognizable images connected to classic Khmer art and architecture. There are 37 standing towers, most but not all sporting four carved faces oriented toward the cardinal points. The best of Bayon are the bas-reliefs on the exterior walls of the lower level and on the upper level where the stone faces reside. The bas-reliefs on the southern wall contain real-life scenes from the historical sea battle between the Khmer and the Cham. Even more interesting are extensive carvings of unique and revealing scenes of everyday life that are interspersed among the battle scenes, including market scenes, cockfighting, chess games and childbirth.
After visiting Bayon, stop to have the quick visit of Terrace of the Elephants – an impressive, two and a half-meter tall, 300 meter long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants and garudas spanning the front of Baphuon, Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace area at the heart of Angkor Thom. Then transfer to visit Ta Prohm – the jungle temple. Intentionally left partially unrestored, massive fig and silk-cotton trees grow from the towers and corridors offering some of the best ‘tree-in-temple’ photo opportunities at Angkor. Flocks of noisy parrots flit from tree to tree adding to the jungle atmosphere. Ta Prohm is well worth an extended exploration of its dark corridors and open plazas. The temple was originally constructed as a Buddhist monastery and was enormously wealthy in its time, boasting of control over 3000 villages, thousands of support staff and vast stores of jewels and gold. This is also the place where the movie Tomb raider had been filmed. Enjoy lunch at have Cafe Angkor restaurant.
In the afternoon we will take the beautiful drive along then beautiful scenery of rural area in Siem Reap with green rice field and sugar palm trees to visit Banteay Srei. Banteay Srey loosely translates to ‘citadel of the women, but this is a modern appellation that probably refers to the delicate beauty of the carvings. The walls are densely covered with some of the most beautiful, deep and intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple. The temple’s relatively small size, pink sandstone construction and ornate design give it a fairyland ambiance. The colors are best before 10:30 AM and after 2:00 PM, but there are fewer tourists in the afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Siem Reap

DAY 11: SIEM REAP – TONLE SAP LAKE

Morning, we take a boat trip to Chong Knies village, the floating village on Tonle Sap. On the way you can stop to experience the Ox Cart ride along the typical scenery of rural area in Siem Reap along rice field and local villages. The highlight of the tour will be the villages, the enjoyable off road track, the people and the wonderful smile of the children. Drive to boat station then take the boat trip along the canal leading too Tonle Sap – the biggest fresh water lake in South East Asia. Enjoy the rural scenery as well as activities of local people along the ride before getting to the floating village of Chong Knies. In here, people living in the floating house that can be moved based on the water level of the lake, so the village is much closer in the rainy season then the dry season. You also can see the local school, Buddhist Monastery and fishing boat along your boat ride. The boat also will stop at the local crocodile farm for you to visit before getting back to Siemreap for lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, our guide will take you for the walk in the central of Siemreap by well-known Pub Street and authentic Old Market of the town that selling all the interesting local food and products as well as some souvenir shops. Then visit the National Museum, they can provide you great outline and summary about history, religion as well as Angkor Temples at the end of your trip.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Siem Reap

DAY 12: SIEM REAP – DEPARTURE

Morning is free at leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight. End of 12-Day Indochina Discovery Tour.

Meals: Breakfast

End of Services

Services included:

• Accommodation in hotels (twin shared room)
• Air tickets: Hanoi – Luang Prabang , Luang Prabang – Siem Reap
• Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Meal as mentioned
• English speaking guide
• 2 days boat cruise in Halong Bay
• Entrance fee to indicated sights
• Boat trips

Services excluded:

• Other meals, tip, drinks, international flights & airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance…

Remarks:

• The tour prices are subject to change during Christmas and New Year Eve (24 and 30 Dec)

Price per person in US$
Valid till 31 December 2015 (subject to change on 24 Dec and 31 Dec)
Private party of First Class Superior Class
2 participants 2160 2374
3-6 participants  1938 2152
7-10 participants  1751 1965
11-14 participants  1687 1914
15-19 participants  1671 1896
20 participants and above  1657 1880
Single Supplement  405 632
Trip Highlights
3 UNESCO World Heritages

Visit Hanoi – the city called Paris of the East, overnight stay on the Junk at Halong Bay, discover lovely town of Luang Prabang and surrounded area. Visit legendary Angkor Temple and Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Riep.

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