Grand Indochina Tour
Grand Indochina Tour - 19 Days
Country: Vietnam Tours
Hightlights: Saigon - Cu Chi & Tay Ninh - My Tho & Ben Tre - Danang - Hoian - Hue - Hanoi - Halong Bay - Luang Prabang - Siem Reap - Phnom Penh
Description: It is great excitement to visit all major attractions of Indochina. The package tour starts at Ho Chi Minh City and ends at Siem Reap
Day 1: Arrival - Ho Chi Minh City
On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel for check in.
In this afternoon, we spend a half-day exploring the captivating Ho Chi Minh City. The most places of interest are located near the town center. We pass by the now-demolished wartime American Embassy on our way to the Reunification Palace. This famous mansion was a former residence of the President of Southern Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. Upon leaving these landmarks we drive to see the crowded Saigon's Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon, which is crammed with fascinating temples as well as mysterious and narrow lanes. We follow it with a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War remnant exhibit with a wealth of images from the notorious conflicts.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Cu Chi - Tay Ninh
Depart for Cu Chi, which is about 30km from the north-west of Ho Chi Minh City to visit an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. Cu Chi tunnels were used as the base from which the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The Cu Chi tunnels consist of more than 200km of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels, the tunnels are between 0.5 to 1m wide, just enough for a person to crawl along.
Later on, Proceed to Tay Ninh, the head quarter of Cao Dai region founded on 1926. On arrival we attend the fantastic mid-day mass when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity and Buddhism.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Cai Be
In the morning, we will keep heading out of town by roads to Cai Be in the heart of the Mekong Delta. On arrival we embark a boat for a leisurely trip around the tributaries of the mighty Mekong River, stopping en route to explore the vibrant floating market of Cai Be where each boat usually sells one particular item such as pumpkins, pineapples, sugar canes and more. In order that customers know where to shop, the vendors hang that item from the highest part of the boat. We continue our exciting river trip to visit some local cottage industries including rice paper makers, sweet factory and bonsai nurseries. The boat will anchor at an island, giving us a chance to see various farmers at work and enjoy a huge lunch followed by many seasonal fruits. We weave our way through the intricate network of canals which are the lifeblood of the Mekong Delta. On reaching Vinh Long Town, we meet up with our vehicle for a return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City - Da Nang - Hoi An
At leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for flight to Da Nang.
On arrival at Da Nang Airport, you are met and transferred to Hoi An, which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200-year-old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market. We include these sights in an enchanting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past
O/N in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An - Hue
In the morning, Depart for Hue via Danang from Hoi An. The scenic 4-hour drive will be getting over Hai Van Pass known as one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes offering spectacular views of mountains, the sea, idyllic beaches and villages (we can choose the shorter way by driving through the tunnel). However, on the way we will stop by one very famous Cham Museum in Da Nang city. This structure contains many exquisite limestone carvings from the vanquished Kingdom of Champa which has been the central coastal littoral prior to the march of the Vietnamese nation south.
In the afternoon, the Imperial Citadel including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Purple Forbidden City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. Close to this masterpiece is Hue Imperial Museum which displays an interesting collections of bronzes, Chinaware, court robes and various emperors’ personal belongings.
Later on, we come back to Hue center &l stop by the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass many fantastic eating spots, all ideal for visitors to sample some local delicacies.
O/N in Hue.
Day 6: Full Day Hue City
In the morning, we keep on exploring the hidden charm of Hue by enjoying a boat trip on Perfumes River to visit Thien Mu pagoda and time for discovering the typical lifestyle of Vietnamese people at Kim Long Village.
Afternoon: We continue a car- trip to visit the Royal Mausoleum of Tu Duc and Royal Mausoleum of Khai Dinh.
O/N in Hue.
Day 7: Hue - Ha Noi
After breakfast at hotel, flight to Hanoi.
Arrive at Noi Bai Airport, transfer to Hanoi Center for an orientation tour via Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, French Colonial Quarter and West Lake.
In the afternoon, we visit the Temple of Literature well known as Vietnam’s first university and Ethnology Museum, which displays an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnam’s ethnic minorities with their own traditions, cultures & life-styles. Additionally, the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple and the bustling Hang Be or Dong Xuan Market are also visited. Lastly, a cyclo tour in the old quarter streets to discover the local people life.
O/N in Hanoi.
Day 8: Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay
Today we commence our sightseeing of Hanoi with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing the mausoleum of the nation's founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of Hanoi. We follow this with another visit to Hilton prison detaining American pilots captured in the bombing war in Hanoi from 1967 until 1973 before driving straight to Ha Long Bay.
O/N in Ha Long.
Day 9: Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi
The legendary Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. We board a traditional boat for a 5- hour trip around Halong Bay. This exciting cruise provides us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. These limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. We round off our excursion with a seafood lunch served on board
Finally, we will driver back to Hanoi.
Evening: Water puppets show, the unique Vietnam traditional art.
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 10: Ha Noi - Hoa Lu - Tam Coc - Ha Noi
The country capital during the Dinh and early Le Dynasties is Hoa Lu, which however has left its legacy in the form of two small temples, each one nearly a thousand years old. Today we will depart our hotel at 8h00 for Ninh Binh to visit these two remaining structures. The first one is dedicated to the Dinh Dynasty. The second one commemorates the Le Rulers. In front of these temples is the rugged Ma Yen mount; it involves a walk over 200 steps for a fantastic view over the surrounding areas. The following sight is Tam Coc which is surnamed “Halong Bay on land”. We board a sampan for a leisurely trip through the quiet and peaceful landscape of rice fields surrounded by towering limestone cliffs to the grottoes of Tam Coc. The trip ends after arrival in Ha Noi
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 11: Ha Noi - Luang Prabang
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Noi Bai airport for flight to Luang Prabang, the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom, the center of religious life in Laos and today the World Heritage City. Arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to our hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty temples still remain in the town and surrounding areas. Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana - Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple which, more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture; 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.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Day 12: Luang Prabang
Following breakfast, we depart hotel to the boat landing, and take an excursion (a few hours) by boat, upstream on the Mekong to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimeter to two meters in height.
En route, Lao typical villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore, bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Our first stop will be at Ban Muangkeo, a well-known village for Lao traditional rice whisky, namely Laoh-Khao to be distilled. We are welcome to taste it and also take away. Lunch is served at a riverside restaurant.
We arrive back at Luang Prabang in late afternoon, and continue to drive outskirt of town to visit Ban Xangkhong, a well-known village for its wood paper making and also Lao silk weavings with natural dyes.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Day 13: Luang Prabang Kuangsi Waterfall
An morning breakfast, before 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, stop 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.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Day 14: Luang Prabang - Vientiane
In the morning, visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace which houses the collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue, gifts received from foreign dignitaries…etc. Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for flight Vientiane.
Meet on arrival and you are welcome to Vientiane, the city of the moon - an ancient city, situated on the bend on the left bank of the Mekong as the largest city and the capital of Laos. Transfer to hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of Vientiane, to visit religious museums of Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple to have been survived from the Siamese war of 1828 and its cloister contains more than 8000 Buddha statues; Wat Ho Prakeo, the former home-temple of the Emerald Buddha statue or Pra Keo, but today it contains a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and all artifacts found in around Vientiane; That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos, which was built to cover the original small stupa containing a piece of the chest bone of Buddha; Patouxay (Arch de Triumph), built quite recently in commemoration of those who died during the wars in the past and it is today as the land-mark of Vientiane.
O/N in Vientiane.
Day 15: Vientiane - Phnom Penh
After breakfast, a short flight to Phnom Penh.
Upon arrival at Phnom Penh airport, meets and transfers to hotel
Visit the Victory Monument and the National Museum, the Royal Palace, built by the French in 1866 on the site of the old town, and Silver Pagoda, which located within the Royal Palace ground.
You will then end your tour with a visit to Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh's namesake, from where you can enjoy views over the tree lined avenues of the city during sunset
O/N at hotel.
Day 16: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
Breakfast at hotel
Transfer to Phnom Penh airport for departure to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, meets and transfers to hotel
Visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century). See the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), Bayon Temple(unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King
In the afternoon, visit the most famous of all the temples on the Angkor plain: Angkor Wat. The temple complex cover 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat's five tower symbolize Meru's five peaks, the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat symbolizes the ocean beyond
Sunset from Phnom Bakheng, one of two hills dominating the plain of Angkor, from where you will have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat
O/N at hotel.
Day 17: Siem Reap
Breakfast at hotel
In the morning, you will continue your temple visits. Included are Prasat Kravan (with its unique brick sculptures), Srah Srang ("The Royal Boths" was once used for ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by four concentric walls), Eastern Mebon (guarded at its corner by stone figures of harnessed elephants, some of which are still in a reasonable state of preservation) and the "Mountain Temple" of Pre Rup.
In the afternoon, transfer to the archaeological site and continue to the temple tour. Visit Ta Prohm, one of the most beautiful temples in the area. Ta Prohm has been left relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery
Then, visit Takeo, Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda temples
O/N at hotel.
Day 18: Siem Reap
Breakfast at hotel
Morning, drive to Kbal Spean. Walk 45 minutes through the forest to the top of the hill to reach Kbal Spean, the "Thousand Linga River." Discover the 10th-12th century sculptures chiseled into the rocky riverbed, the Royal Bath and the waterfall
Then, continue to the enchanting temple of the Banteay Srei, nearly everyone's favorite site. The special charm of this temple lies in its compact size, remarkable state of preservation, and the excellence of it decorative carvings
In the afternoon, visit Banteay Samre, one of the most complete complexes at Angkor due to the "anastylosis" restoration method being used. The name Samre refers to an ethnic group of mountain people that inhabited the region at the base of Phnom Kulen and were probably related to the Khmers. No inscriptions have been found at this temple, but the style of most of the architecture is of the classic art of the middle period, similar to Angkor Wat. The proportions of Banteay Samre are splendid. A unique feature is an interior moat with laterite paving, which when filled with water must have given an ethereal atmosphere to the temple
Return to Siem Reap at the end of the afternoon
O/N at hotel.
Day 19: Siem Reap - Departure
Breakfast at hotel
Visit the floating village of the Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Take a traditional wooden boat for a ride on the Tonle Sap, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia and the largest in Asia
In the afternoon, visit "Les Artisans d'Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles" of Siem Reap and time at leisure at the local market (if time permits)
Transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure to the next destination.
Here are some information for whole trip, might you like to book!
Five common questions travellers ask us
1. How long and where to visit for first-timers?
For first-timers, one week can be enough to take in Vietnam at a glance. An ideal order should be going from north to south, with a changing view from ancient times to modernity. Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City should make a great 8 days travel plan. If you have extra one or two days, stretch to the northern hillside Sapa or explore the Mekong Delta with the bustling floating markets.
Rushing your time for some so-called must-see attractions is not necessary for such an interesting country like Vietnam. Deciding what you are interested in, culture, nature, lifestyle, beaches or food before making a smartly-timed travel plan is a good way to go.
2. When is the best time to visit Vietnam?
October to next February is the best time as it is the cool and dry season of Vietnam. Temperature is about 20-26c nationwide, just comfortable for sightseeing. Besides, you might also have a chance to be a part of the local life during the festival seasons in December and February.
3. What is the best way to get to Vietnam?
First option is by air. Vietnam has three major international airports: Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Cam Ranh International Airport in Nha Trang and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi and Nha Trang only have international flights with most Asian countries; international flights can fly from Paris and Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City, it is also connected with other Asian big cities.
Bangkok and Hong Kong are the most-friendly transit hubs as they have better airfares and much easier to get around.
4. How do I book the trip?
To book our trip, please select your preferred trip and click on ”Book this trip” on the web page. Our booking form wizard will automatically call the trip name, and ask you to fill out some fields for information. Once completed filling the form, you just click Submit to send us your inquiry or Reset to cancel what you have filled up. After receiving your reservation request, we will immediately make all the necessary arrangements in accordance with your request. This will takes about 1-2 business days, and we will send to you our confirmation message by e-mail with all the details of hotels, flights, tours, the booking status and also payment term.
5. Do I Need a Visa for Visiting Vietnam?
Citizens of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Italy are exempt from visas for a stay of a maximum of 15 days for all purposes. Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and most western countries need a Vietnam visa.
We would suggest you get your Vietnam visa at least one month ahead of your travel. Applying for Visa-on-Arrival (VOA), for more information, check out Vietnam Visas and How to Apply for:
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