Wonders of Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam
Embark on a 20 night tailor made tour through the ancient monuments, incredible scenery and unforgettable culture of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
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Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have an undeniable attraction and over the course of 21 unforgettable days you will discover the rich heritage, culture and scenery in each. Visit iconic monuments like Angkor Wat, explore UNESCO World Heritage cities like Luang Prabang and witness the gravity defying limestone karsts of Vietnam. Experience life as a local as you visit working farms, lantern workshops and hone your culinary skills at a cookery workshop. Visit local markets, hike to waterfalls, and sail both river and sea as you take a cruise down the Mekong and set out across Halong Bay.
Day 1: Arrive Siem Reap, Cambodia
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the centre of Siem Reap. Make use of the pool or explore the city for the remainder of the day.
Day 2: Angkor Wat (B, L)
A busy but unforgettable day of sightseeing starts at the south gate of Angkor Thom with its wonderful statues of the gods. Bayon follows, famous for its smiling face statues on its towers, then pyramid-shaped Phimeanakas with its beautiful ponds and excellent vantage point of the Angkor complex. You will visit the Terrace of Elephants, the Terrace of Leper Kings and then take a short drive to one of the most loved temples – Ta Prohm. Held together by giant tree roots, Ta Prohm has an enchanted, other-worldly feel.
After lunch back in Siem Reap you will head to the famous Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument and the national symbol of Cambodia. End your day watching the sun set over the jungle from the top of Pre Rup Temple.
Day 3: Tonle Sap Lake (B)
After breakfast you will head out to the exquisite pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei; the citadel of women. It was built in the 10th century and is a wonderful example of Indian architecture in Cambodia. Next you will head to Banteay Samre, a Hindu temple in the same style as Angkor Wat but built in the same pink hued sandstone as Banteay Srei. From here you will then head to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia. Enjoy a cruise around the floating villages, floating homes and fish farms as you experience life on the lake up close.
Day 4: Luang Prabang, Laos (B, L)
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang in Laos. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Day 5: Luang Prabang (B)
Just a short drive from Luang Prabang is the Living Land Farm – a community project cultivating rice, vegetables and herbs to help combat destructive farming methods. Their produce is sold to restaurants and helps support education for underprivileged children. So today, you will help out in the fields where farmers plough, plant and harvest without the help of machinery. Get knee deep in the mud to try your hand at rice planting, or learn to steer a water buffalo and plough. Pick herbs and vegetables, husk rice or, if you prefer, simply take a seat on the veranda and enjoy the sights and sounds of a working farm. There is also a basket weaving workshop and a blacksmith.
After lunch back in Luang Prabang, you will visit East Meets West Living Crafts Centre. This charming house on the Mekong River is the headquarters of this project known as Ock Pop Tok (East meets West). Their goal is to empower women through their high quality weaving and sales of their artisan products. Meet the women, watch them create their fabulous textiles on traditional looms; hand-dye a scarf, and try your hand at spinning silk. The centre has a lovely garden and café where you can sit and enjoy your surroundings.
Day 6: Pak Ou Caves & Kuang Si Waterfall (B, L)
After breakfast you will begin your day with a relaxing cruise on the mighty Mekong River to the holy site of the Pak Ou Buddha Caves, home to thousands of Buddha images placed here since the 16th century. Stop at the Mekong Riverside Organic Garden, followed by a stop for lunch. After lunch you will visit Ban Thin Hong Traditional Handicraft Village to get an idea of daily life here and a traditional Laotian Baci Ceremony will welcome you into the village. The boat will then cruise gently back down the river to Luang Prabang where you will need your swimsuit for the next stop – Kuang Si Waterfall. Turquoise water and white limestone cliffs make this a magical place. Next to the falls is the Sun Bear Reserve, a conservation centre dedicated to rescuing animals from the wildlife trade.
Day 7: Vientiane (B)
Your guide will transfer you from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Vientiane. On arrival your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel, one of the most famous in the city. From there you will embark on a whirlwind tour of the city starting at Wat Sisaket, the oldest surviving monastery with thousands of Buddha statues. Hear the history behind Hor Pha Keo, built as a royal chapel in 1565. Then visit Pha That Luang, a gold-covered stupa in the city centre surrounded by 30 smaller stupas – it is represented on the national seal and on Laos’s currency.
Day 8: Hanoi, Vietnam (B, D)
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Hanoi in Vietnam. On arrival your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel to check in. In the afternoon you will head out to explore Hanoi. Described as an ‘old fashioned city’ you will have a wonderful taste of Vietnamese culture here among the lakes, parks, trees, villas, mansions and an area called the Old French Quarter where crumbling houses line narrow alleyways named after the goods that were traded there – Silk Street, Gold Street, even Fried Fish Street. Start your afternoon at the thousand year old Temple of Literature built in homage to the Chinese scholar, Confucius. Next you will head to a tiny island on Hoan Kim Lake to see the Ngoc Son Temple. Enjoy a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarters 36 streets where Hanoians buy everything from noodles to light fixtures and end your day with a water puppet show.
Day 9: Tam Coc (B, L)
After breakfast your driver-guide will take you about 100km south of Hanoi to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of the Dinh and Le dynasties dating back to the 11th century. Here scattered ruins dot the spectacular landscape. After lunch in a local restaurant, you will continue to Tam Coc, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Board a small boat to explore the river and its ancient caves and see the limestone karsts (pyramid-like hills) rise vertically from the vibrant green paddy fields.
Day 10: Halong Bay (B, L, D)
Four hours from Hanoi is the incredible Halong Bay. When you arrive, a small tender will take you to the L’Azalee, a beautifully restored wooden junk with 12 well-appointed cabins. You will explore the emerald waters of Halong Bay over lunch. See fishing villages, and the dramatic jungle clad karsts rising from the waters. Take the tender to explore caves and go fishing. In the afternoon you will moor in a secluded bay where the water is perfect for swimming and kayaking around the limestone karsts. Return to the L’Azalee in time to watch the sunset over the bay before enjoying a fresh seafood dinner.
Day 11: Hue (B, L)
After a good night’s sleep on board the L’Azalee, the boat will motor towards Surprise Cave, the biggest in Halong Bay. Entry to the cave is deceptive and you will travel in the tender, but once you are there you will be amazed at the huge chamber and impressive limestone formations. After you have explored enough, you will return to the boat and cruise to Halong Port before returning to Hanoi where you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Hue. On arrival your guide will take you to your hotel which sits just steps away from the city’s many bars, restaurants and markets.
Day 12: Hue (B)
After breakfast you will visit Emperor Minh Mang’s Mausoleum made up of 40 palaces, temples and pavilions. Continue to the ancient citadel containing the former Imperial Palace and a tour of the final resting place of the emperors at Tu Duc Royal Tomb.
Day 13: Hoi An (B, L)
A drive south today takes you over the scenic Hai Van Pass, easily the most scenic stretch of coastal road in Vietnam. Arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon and check into your beach side resort to make use of the excellent facilities.
Day 14: Hoi An, Lantern Making Class (B)
The silk lanterns of Hoi An are an iconic sight. So today you will visit a small, local workshop where you will learn how they are made through the intricate use of silk and bamboo. Choose from a range of brightly colours and patterns to create your own for a unique keepsake from Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 15: Hoi An, Cooking Class (B, L)
Today starts with a trip to the local market before cruising down the Thu Bon River to a cookery school where you will learn popular Hoi An specialities like their famous noodle dish, Cao Lau – a medley of noodles, pork and pickled hot peppers.
Day 16 & 17: Hoi An (B)
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the city, declared a UNESCO world Cultural Heritage Site with a distinctive Chinese atmosphere and beautiful scenery along the Thu Bon River.
Day 18: Ho Chi Minh (B)
Your guide will take you to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh. On arrival your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel, conveniently located just 100m from Ben Thanh Market.
Day 19: Ho Chi Minh, full day city tour (B, L)
Today you will explore the wonderful city of Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon). You will start at two iconic landmarks the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, both built around 1880 by famous designer Gustav Eiffel. You will also see the Opera House and the Reunification Palace. After lunch you will head to the War Remnants Museum where you will learn about the Vietnam War before heading to Cholon, the city’s Chinatown and the Thien Hau Pagoda for some impressive photos. A cyclo ride through the narrow streets to Binh Tay market gives a taste of local life, before enjoying a market that sells everything from hats to dried squid.
Day 20: Cai Be (B, L)
An early start today as you get up and drive to the town of Cai be. From here you will board a traditional bamboo riverboat for a leisurely cruise along the waterways. The river is still a bustling mass of boats and you can enjoy the sights and sounds as daily river life plays out around you. Along the way you will make several stops including a 19th century house, and to watch several cottage industries, like coconut candy and puffed rice, at work. You will enjoy a leisurely lunch in a colonial style villa before being driven back to Hi Chi Minh City.
Day 21: Departure
You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.
OUR PRICE INCLUDES
Private round trip transfer Airport/Hotel/Airport at all locations
Tours as stated
Accommodation based on twin/double room inclusive tax and service charges
Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Departure taxes Services of Odyssey World’s local agents in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos
NOT INCLUDED IN OUR PRICE
Vietnam visa – local charge payable USD45 PLUS pre-arrangement fee (ask for details)
Cambodia visa – payable locally USD30 per person
Laos visa – issued on arrival for USD45 per person
Cambodia departure taxes – USD20 per person
Any meals other than those specified
Anything not stated above
Early check-in/late check-out charges unless otherwise stated
Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, tips etc.
Prices vary according to season. Price is based on two people sharing a twin or double room. Please ask us for the full itinerary and add-ons.
All itineraries shown can be amended to suit your personal requirements. To find out more, give us a call on 01453 883937 or email email@example.com