Indochina tailor made holiday

“Discover the very best of Southeast Asia with a 3 week tour which incorporates all of the 僧ust experience' heavyweights: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.”

Highlights

Bangkok | Golden Triangle | Vientiane | Angkor Wat | Siem Reap | Mekong River | Phnom Penh | 'Killing Fields' | Ho Chi Minh City | Cu Chi Tunnels | Hoi An | Hanoi | Halong Bay |

Description of Indochina tailor made holiday

Cruise down the Mekong, temple-hop from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, see the sunrise in Angkor, then navigate the limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay. This three-week Southeast Asia adventure offers the highlights of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam on a luxury tour filled with cultural wonders.

You'll start in the vibrant capital of Thailand, Bangkok, before flying to Chiang Rai in the north for natural beautiful and tranquil temples. At the Thai/Laos border, you'll board a private boat and enjoy a gentle two-day cruise following the Mekong to Luang Prabang. In Laos, you'll discover the UNESCO-listed city of Luang Prabang, the mysterious Plain of Jars at Phonsavan and the sleepy capital of Vientiane. Next, you'll head to Cambodia, where you'll visit Siem Reap, discover the ancient ruins of Angkor, then fly onto to the capital, Phomn Penh, for lessons in architecture, culture and history. Finally, you'll move to Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), journey north to the charming town of Hoi An and finally arrive in the capital city of Hanoi, from which you can take a trip out to the stunning karsts of Ha Long Bay.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand - Upon arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your accommodation. Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the evening to brief you about your itinerary and recommend some great places to eat in this exciting city.
Day 2:Bangkok Guided Tour & Fly to Chiang Rai - This morning, your local guide will take you to Bangkok痴 magnificent temples and palaces, including Thailand痴 most sacred sites; the glittering Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Pho with its spectacular 46-metre long Reclining Buddha. After lunch, you値l transfer back to the airport for a flight to Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, near the Golden Triangle, bordering Myanmar and Laos. This evening, you can explore the bustling Chiang Rai Night Bazaar, where hill tribe people and lowlanders gather to sell their handicrafts.
Day 3:Transfer to Huay Xai, Laos & Mekong River Cruise - This morning you値l take a two-hour trip to the Thai border town of Chiang Khong and then you値l cross the border by boat to Huay Xai in Laos, where your guide will help you get your Laos entry visas on arrival. You値l board a private boat for a two-day personalised cruise down the Mekong River passing beautiful jungle scenery and traditional villages. This slow cruise is a wonderful way to soak up the tranquil atmosphere of the upper Mekong and it is a great introduction to laid-back Laos. This evening, you値l spend the night in Pakbeng, a small village in Laos located on the Mekong River halfway between Huay Xai in Thailand and Luang Prabang in Laos.
Day 4:Mekong Cruise & Arrive in Luang Prabang - Today, you値l continue your cruise south along the Mekong River towards Luang Prabang. You値l stop to explore the fascinating Pak Ou Caves, which contain hundreds of Buddha statues, before arriving in Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. Luang Prabang has been claimed by UNESCO to be "the best preserved city in Southeast Asia." Here, you can wander the streets and back alleys - you値l soon discover why so many people fall in love with this beautiful town with sloping temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop.
Day 5:Explore Luang Prabang & Visit Kuang Si Waterfalls - We recommend that you get up early to join the locals as they offer alms to the hundreds of saffron robed Buddhist Monks, who line the streets of Luang Prabang every morning. After breakfast, you値l embark on a guided walking tour during which you値l visit Wat Xieng Thong with its sweeping roof and rare reclining Buddha, as well as Wat Wisunalat, which represents the earliest style of Laotian architecture and Luang Prubang痴 oldest operating temple. Climb to the top of Phu Si Hill to take in panoramic views of the city. After lunch, you値l travel 29 kilometres outside of Luang Prabang to Kuang Si Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall surrounded by lush jungle. In the evening, your guide will give you recommendations for Luang Prabang痴 best restaurants.
Day 6:Transfer to Phonsavan - Today, you値l travel to Phonsavan in the remote Xieng Khuoang Province in central Laos.
Day 7:Explore the Plain of Jars & Fly to Vientiane - After breakfast this morning, your guide will take you to the mysterious Plain of Jars, an ancient site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered across the countryside, although no one knows exactly why they are there. The jars are carved from both sandstone and granite in various sizes, from very small to about 3.5 metres high - they are thought to be more than 2,000 years old. In the afternoon, you値l fly to the peaceful capital city of Vientiane, located on the banks of the Mekong River.
Day 8:Explore Vientiane - This morning, you値l explore Vientiane with your guide. You値l visit Wat Si Saket, which is the oldest surviving temple in Vientiane and home to over 10,000 Buddha images, as well as the golden stupa of That Luang (the Great Sacred Stupa), which is the most sacred monument in the country - now recognised as the national monument and symbol of Laos. You値l also visit Patuxai (Victory Gate of Vientiane) which is reminiscent of Paris Arc de Triomphe and one of the city痴 most iconic landmarks. This afternoon, you池e free to explore the Talat Sao Morning Market, which is confusingly open in the afternoon.
Day 9:Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia - Today, you値l fly from Vientiane to Siem Reap, the former capital of the great Khmer Empire. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and will take you on a guided tour of this historical city.
Day 10:Explore Angkor - Today, you値l have a full day to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, including the iconic temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Phrom. The complex consists of hundreds of temples and monuments, which were built by the Khmer empire between 800AD to 1300AD. After the fall of the Khmer empire, they were abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle for centuries, but many of the temples have now been restored and more than two million tourists visit Angkor Wat each year. Your guide will provide detailed information on how these temples were built and what purpose each one had within the complex.
Day 11:Explore Banteay Srei & Tonle Sap - After breakfast, you値l travel to Banteay Srei, a temple famed for its intricate carvings depicting battles, scenes of conquest and Khmer daily life. Built in the 10th century and dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva, this remote temple is one of Angkor痴 highlights. This afternoon, you値l discover Tonle Sap Lake and the floating village of Chong Khneas, where almost 1000 families live and make their living fishing on the lake.
Day 12:Explore Siem Reap & Fly to Phnom Penh - This morning, you値l have some free time to explore Siem Reap. We recommend that you visit Wat Thmei, which serves as a memorial to those who were killed at the site during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime; explore the Old Quarter with its tree-lined boulevards and stunning French architecture, and learn about the fascinating story of the Angkor Empire at the Angkor National Museum. Later today, you will transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Cambodia痴 capital, Phnom Penh.
Day 13:Phnom Penh Guided Tour - Today, you値l have a guided tour of Phnom Penh, which will include a visit to the Royal Palace, home of the current Cambodian Monarch, King Sihamoni. There痴 also the option to visit the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S-21) where prisoners of the Khmer regime were held and killed, as well as the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek outside the city. Visiting Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek is a sobering experience, not suitable for children, but serves as a poignant reminder of a difficult period of Cambodia's history.
Day 14:Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - This morning you値l have some free time to explore Phnom Penh further and then later in the day you値l be transferred back to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) in Vietnam.
Day 15:Ho Chi Minh City Guided Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels - This morning, you値l visit the Cu Chi Tunnels: a huge system of connecting underground tunnels built by the Viet Cong in the 1940s as protection from French air raids during the Indochina conflict. The Cu Chi Tunnels offer visitors a poignant reminder of the hardships of war and an insight into the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers during this period, plus you値l have the opportunity to crawl through a 100m section of the tunnels to experience what life would have been like for the soldiers. This evening, you値l have a guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City, where you値l see all the famous landmarks of the city, including the sobering War Remnants Museum, the Presidential Palace and some of the colonial-era landmarks, such as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office and the Continental Hotel, plus the Jade Emperor Pagoda (also known as Tortoise Pagoda), and the Thich Quang Duc statue.
Day 16:Fly to Dan Nang & Transfer to Hoi An - This morning you値l fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang on the central coast, then you値l be transferred by private car to the charming town of Hoi An.
Day 17:Explore Hoi An - Today, you池e free to explore Hoi An. With its cobblestoned streets, narrow canals, French-colonial buildings and Chinese-style shop-houses and French colonial buildings, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An is one of Vietnam痴 most beautiful towns. This former trading port is famous for its historic and picturesque Old Town. Although many of the old shops within the cobblestoned centre have been converted into modern businesses aimed at tourists, including countless tailors, art galleries, souvenir shops, restaurants and caf駸, it has retained its old-fashioned atmosphere.
Day 18:Fly to Hanoi - This morning you値l fly to Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River in northern Vietnam. With Chinese, French and Vietnamese architecture, bustling markets, ancient Buddhist temples and pagodas, cultural museums, war memorials and communist landmarks, plus the charming Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake, there痴 much to explore in this fascinating city. This afternoon you値l have time to discover Hanoi. It is a very compact city and the main tourist attractions are all relatively close to each other making it easy to explore on foot or by cyclo (three-wheeled bicycle). The most well known districts are Ba Dinh (the French Quarter) and Hoan Kiem (the Old Quarter).
Day 19:Ha Long Bay Cruise - Today, you値l drive approximately four hours from Hanoi to Halong Bay for an overnight luxury cruise. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay is famous for its serene, emerald waters and towering limestone islands topped with greenery. You can take in the stunning natural scenery as you cruise on the tranquil waters, and you値l see floating villages such as Cua Van, Vung Vieng and Cong Dam. During your cruise you値l have the opportunity to visit a secret grotto, enjoy a swim, and maybe even kayak on the calm waters. Once the crew have moored up in the bay for the night, you値l be served a delicious fresh seafood dinner.
Day 20:Return to Hanoi - This morning, you値l cruise back to Ha Long Bay Pier where you値l disembark your boat and transfer back to Hanoi. This afternoon/evening, is free for you to discover more of Hanoi. You may wish to explore Hanoi痴 Old Quarter, which is a maze of narrow lanes crammed with shops, art galleries, boutique shops, trendy cafes and restaurants alongside street stalls. The serene Hoan Kiem Lake is the focal point of Hanoi痴 Old Quarter this beautiful lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) which is built on a small island connected by Huc Bridge. The lake has a particularly romantic atmosphere at night when Ngoc Son Temple and Huc Bridge are illuminated and couples walk around the lake holding hands.
Day 21:Depart from Hanoi - Today, your Indochina adventure comes to an end. After breakfast this morning you値l check out of your accommodation and be driven to the airport for your flight home.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Make a difference on tour by Packing for a Purpose which invites you to use some spare luggage space to take basic supplies to the free community health clinic of Pakbeng Lodge in Laos.
Trip type:
Tailor made tour.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Be prepared for steps, boats and sightseeing.
Accomm:
Choice of accommodation tailored to your preferences.
Included:
Activities, choice of accommodation, transport, entrance fees and a local, English speaking, guide.
Meals:
All breakfasts included alongside 3 lunches and 1 dinner.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Indochina tailor made holiday

Environment

On your adventure you will visit an authentic floating village on Tonle Sap Lake to experience a glimpse into a traditional way of life in Cambodia. Some tour companies take travellers to artificially created villages which have been built to be easily accessible all year round. Unfortunately this has also created unnatural effects on local ecosystems and we refuse to be a part of this practice.

The carbon emissions created in the region by this holiday are all offset in Southeast Asia through our partnership with a local environmental charity. These offsets are paid for out of our company profits so that you can travel with a green conscience and at no extra cost to you.

Many travel companies offer their customers the chance to offset the carbon emissions from their international flights too but we have gone a step further and offer to share this cost with you 50/50. If you select to compensate for your international flight emissions when you book with us then what you put in, we put in too!

To ensure that we are offering ground-breaking itineraries and are always keeping up-to-date with the latest developments abroad, our UK staff travel regularly to our destinations. This 層ork also leaves a carbon footprint and we compensate for all our staff travel by donating carbon-mitigating funds to our charity partners.

Our UK office takes a leading role in setting the standards for an environmentally friendly work environment. We work with local government to recycle our waste and continually look for new ways to be greener.

Community

Talk to one of our tailor-made specialists and ask us about Packing for a Purpose. This initiative allows you to use some of your luggage space to take supplies to partnered accommodations on your itinerary. Your accommodations will then pass on these supplies to projects in the local community such as schools, orphanages and health clinics.

We employ local guides and support staff who we pay fair wages, often exceeding government standards which we still consider too low, and thereby remove the reliance on tipping from travellers for livelihoods.

Our accommodation choices make use of locally owned properties where possible and often include adventurous, authentic choices such as local homestays which therefore involve local people and their communities in the very fabric of our holidays.

We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture.

In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their children痴 education in pursuit of this opportunity.

Talk to us about packing for a purpose and see if you can get involved by making a small material contribution to the communities you are visiting. We have developed partnerships with charities and accommodations throughout Cambodia and are constantly working to extend our reach with the help of our travellers.

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