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Essential Indochina

16 Days / 15 Nights





Upon arrival at airport, welcome by our local tour guide and driver for short drive to your preferred hotel for check in. Rest of the day, free at leisure. 

   Meals: None
   Accommodation: Vientiane. 
After breakfast at hotel, set out to explore the famous city landmarks of Vientiane. First, we'll visit Wat Sisaket, the oldest Buddhist monastery in Laos and features around 6,800 images of the Buddha in wood, stone, and bronze. Then move on to the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which houses the famous Emerald Buddha Image. 

The tour continues with visit the golden-domed That Luang stupa (Great Sacred Stupa), a national symbol of Laos built in the 16th century Make photo stop at the imposing Patuxay Victory Gate Monument, which is the capital city’s own Arc de Triumph. Take short flight to ancient capital Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, welcome by our local tour guide and driver for short drive to preferred hotel for check in.

Rest of the day, free at leisure.

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Luang Prabang. 
Exploration of the charming town starts at the National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace, where you will learn the history of Laos. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple famous for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Wrap up your morning foot tour at Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the confluence, close to the Mekong, this temple was built in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is decorated with ornate carvings and mosaics.

Lunch with local cuisine. 

Start afternoon on an excursion along one of the longest rivers in the world, Me Kong river. The boat journey takes us to Pak Ou Caves (locally called Tam Ting), filled with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha icons. The icons range in size from a few centimeters tall to the height of a human and are crammed into the cave which is nestled in a limestone cliff. The caves are frequently visited by local pilgrimages. Return to Luang Prabang by car with stops at Ban Xiengkek and Ban Xangkhong where local villagers make jute paper. 

In the late afternoon, visit to Phousi mount, located right in the heart of the old town. Make the climb up 300 plus steps to the top of the hill where you can take in / capture spectacular views of most of Luang Prabang.  Also enjoy views of the Khan and Mekong rivers. Explore night market on your own. 

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Luang Prabang.
This early morning, take the special dawn visit to watch the local monks collecting the alms.  As the sun begins to rise, you will see long lines of orange-robed monks walking barefoot down the streets collecting offerings (Alms Giving) from faithful local residents. This beautiful, serene ceremony is unique to Laos, making it the only Buddhist nation still preserving the daily procession.

Free to explore the town till noon when being transferred back to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, welcome by our local tour guide and driver for short drive to preferred hotel for check in.

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation:  Hanoi. 
8:00 Start the full day city tour with short drive through French quarter to Ba Dinh square. Line up for entering inside the Soviet-style mausoleum (*) where body of historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, has been reserved over the last 5 decades. Walk to the Presidential palace – an elaborate original colonial building for photos from outside before proceeding to the wooden house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lived during 1958 – 1969. Last, take photos of the One Pillar Pagoda - one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples.
Continue to picturesque Ho Tay (West Lake) and the 6th century Tran Quoc Pagoda. 

Next stop of this morning will be Temple of Literature which is just 5 minutes drive away. The temple complex was built since 1070 and in 1076 Vietnam's first university Quoc Tu Giam was established within the temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite and smart men from all over the country. 

Lunch at local restaurant with typical local dishes like Bun Cha,…

Visit Hoan Kiem lake which has been considered one of the most beautiful lakes in Hanoi. Stroll through the red bridge to Ngoc Son temple which is dedicated national heroes as well as Saint Van Suong, here you will learn about why the story of  "Lake of the Restored Sword” as well as take photos of Turtle tower.

Following take cyclo ride through Hanoi’s hectic Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’.

We end the the day with a Water Puppet show - a unique northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. 

      Note: The Ho Chi Minh mausoleum is closed every Monday and Friday (outside grounds and garden area will be open on these days) and normally closed from June 15 through August 15 for preservation and maintenance of the building.

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Hanoi
9:00 Embark 3-hour drive through Red river delta’s peaceful villages and lush rice fields. Upon arrival in Halong city, board luxurious overnight cruise boat and get ready sailing into the breathtaking Ha Long Bay. 

The overnight journey includes visits to a sandy beach and a limestone cave full of stalactites and stalagmites. Doing kayaking to a lagoon and partaking in cooking demonstration are part of listed activities as well. 

Ha Long Bay has been twice recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in 1994 and 2000 as well as named one of the seven natural wonders of the world,  Ha Long Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin and 165 kilometres from Hanoi, covers an area of 43,400 hectares and includes over 1,600 islands and islets. The exceptional scenic beauty of the limestone pillars complemented by biological interest is an ideal model of a mature Karst landscape developed during a warm and wet tropical climate. The outstanding value of Ha Long Bay is centered around the drowned limestone karst landforms, displaying spectacular pillars with a variety of coastal erosional features such as arches and caves which form a majestic natural scenery.

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch / dinner
   Accommodation: Cruise boat
Start the day with early get up and practicing Tai Chi exercise with help of a crewmember. Then continue the unforgettable Halong Bay cruise until a big brunch is finished and then disembark the cruiser at around 10:00 am. Meet the tour guide and driver will at the pier then drive back to airport Hanoi for short flight to Hue.

Upon arrival, welcome by our local tour guide and driver for short drive to the preferred hotel for check in.

Rest of the day, free at leisure.

   Meals: Brunch
   Accommodation: Hue.
Set off tour of the former Imperial capital built early 19th century. Enter the Ngo Mon Gate, main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure and the central passage reserved for use by the Emperor. Continue to the Supreme  harmonious Palace or Thai Hoa in Vietnamese with its spacious hallways and ornamental roof, the Halls of the Mandarins, the Nine Dynastic Urns, and the ruins of the Forbidden Purple City, once home to the royal family. 

Short drive to legendary Thien Mu pagoda on the north bank of Perfume river.Take boat excursion on the iconic Perfume River as to explore the life along the banks of the ancient royal capital city. 

Lunch with local dishes.

The city exploration continues with visit to the tomb of King Tu Duc, the dynasty’s longest reigning ruler. Unlike other tombs, the 12ha tomb complex with theater, bedroom, moon viewing house, pagoda, fishing pond was used by the King and his entourage as summer palace during his lifetime. 

The next visit to Tomb of Khai Dinh, built in Chau Chu mountain. Built for the Emperor Khai Dinh between 1920-31, the last tomb of its kind is an impressive structure combining western and eastern architecture, guarded by statues of soldiers and animals. This is only royal tomb that position of the king’s corpse can be found. 

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Hue
This morning, depart to Hoian on 4-hrs drvive through costal Danang city. On route, make couple of stops  on route. Photo stop at  Hai Van Pass  known as Cloudy pass (weather permitting), make a visit to the Cham Museum in the central Da Nang city, which has a big collection of Champa sculpture dating back to the seventh century. Arrival in Hoian at noon. 

Having lunch at local restaurant prior to  a 3hrs walking tour of Hoi An, a UNESCO world heritage site retaining a diverse mix of architecture influenced by the many nations that traded in this historic port of call.

The tour starts with a visit to the Fujian Assembly Hall, established as a meeting place by Chinese merchants fleeing the Manchu conquest of China in 17th century. The hall is dedicated to the goddess of the sea, Tian Hau, and the Chinese merchants' ancestors, and is adorned with ornate carvings and statues. Continue to the Old House of Tan Ky, the iconic 400-year old Japanese covered bridge, and then to Trade ceramic museum. The city exploration on foot concludes at the vibrant riverside market nearby.

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Hoian.
This morning, embark boat ride on Thu Bon river to head into the cooking classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations!  

Late afternoon, transfer back to the airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh city, or Sai Gon by many people. Upon arrival, met for short drive to preferred hotel for check in.

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Hoian 
This morning, Leave the bustling city behind and drive northwest to visit the Cu Chi tunnels, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during Vietnam war. Here, after a 20 minutes long documentary movie you will learn about how the tunnels were created and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Head back to Ho Chi Minh city. 

Start city tour with visit to the historic Reunification Palace formerly the Presidential Palace of the South Vietnamese government, which was attacked by Viet Cong troops on April 30, 1975, marking the end of the Republic of Vietnam. 

Stroll to European-style landmarks neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral , which dates from the late 19th century and is built of red brick with two distinctive spires, the Central Post Office - one of Vietnam’s most beautiful examples of French colonial architecture.

Continue the city tour with visit to War Remnants museum, which displays a number of exhibits relating to the war with the U.S. and battles with occupying French forces. 

Drive back to hotel via the magnificent Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theatre), city Hall, continental hotel. If time permits, we will have brief look at famous Ben Thanh market.

Dinner on boat cruising on Sai Gon river. 

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch / dinner
   Accommodation:  Ho Chi Minh city.
This morning, make 2hrs journey outside of bustling Ho Chi Minh City to discover the famous Mekong Delta that considered “Rice bowl of Vietnam”. The delta is blessed with the best weather, excellent geographic location and a vast area of 3.8 million hectares of rice cultivable area. Our destination is Ben Tre where is famous for its coconut plantations.

Upon arrival in Ben Tre city, taking private sampan ride to visit local brick kilns to learn how the local burn bricks in traditional method. Continue sampan ride along one of the town's scenic and peaceful canals where you can disembark to visit a riverside coconut candy workshop to learn about making the sweet "keo dua" the region is known for.Taking brief walk into local village to visit a mat weaving family, where sedge mats are woven by using a hand loom.

Riding on motor cart (Tuk Tuk) on shady village road, passing by lush rice fields and vegetable plains next. Stop at local restaurant for delicious lunch featuring such local specialty as elephant-ear fish and river shrimp. 

Go back to the main boat by sampan rowing boat. Return to HCM city to take an hour flight to Phnom Penh (Cambodia). 

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Phnom Penh. 
This morning, Tour begins with visit to Wat Phnom temple, the founding place of the city on a small hilltop. Then stroll along Mekong riverfront to the Royal Palace, home of the present King Norodom Sihamoni. The palace dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors.  Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will admire a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze. 

This afternoon, visit the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek—both reminders of Cambodia's recent dark history under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.  Take evening flight to Siem Reap.
Upon arrival, you are met for short drive to your preferred hotel for check in.

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Siem Reap.  
Early morning, drive to visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. This is the fabled pink temple of women, so called because it is made of pink sandstone & considered a tribute to the beauty of women. Its small size, delicate carving and remarkable state of preservation make Banteay Srei one of travelers' favorite temples. 

Next stop is jungle covered temple of TA PROHM which has been left relatively untouched. Enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. 
In the afternoon, Start at ANGKOR THOM, where you will explore BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, which is famous for some 200 striking colossal humane faces carved in 54 stone towers and impressive bas reliefs. 

Then stroll to ELEPHANT TERRACE, which is over 350 meter long and is carved with a long line of elephants.  The terrace was used by Angkor's king Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. 

Having dinner while enjoying traditional Apsara dance. 

   Meals: Breakfast / lunch / dinner
   Accommodation: Siem Reap.
Early morning, depart hotel by Tuk Tuk to visit the largest Hindu temple in the world: ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. 
This large pyramid temple was built between 1113 and 1150 by King Suryavarman II as state temple and capital city. The complex is surrounded by a great moat 570 feet wide. It features five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia.  

This afternoon, walk up to Bakheng hill for wonderful sunset over Angkot Wat (weather permitting).  

 Breakfast / lunch 
   Accommodation: Siem Reap.
This morning, visit the famous Tonle Sap Lake on a boat trip out. This shallow lake boats the largest natural fresh water body in Southeast Asia and flows into the Tonle Sap River which joins the Mekong River in Phnom Penh. The traditional boat navigates along a small river towards the gigantesque lake, giving us a chance to explore floating village, local life style, friendly children in small boats and fishermen pulling in morning catch close up. 

This excursion is all depending on your departure time. The trip ends after your transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure.

   Meals: Breakfast 



16 Days / 15 Nights




  • Private transfer by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Experienced local tour guide
  • Sightseeing fees to the indicated places
  • Accommodation in twin share with breakfast
  • Meals as indicated
  • Boat trips as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Water puppet show, cyclo ride


  • International and domestic flights
  • Visas to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Insurance of all kind
  • Personal expenditures, tips
  • Other meals than mentioned above
  • Other services than mentioned above