INDOCHINA QUINTESSENTIAL DISCOVERY - 19 DAYS TOUR         

Departure date:  18 November London from £2998per person   (single supplement £695)    

VIETNAM: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Danang, HoiAn, Saigon, Mekong Delta - 

CAMBODIA: Siem Reap - LAOS: Luang Prabang      

4 & 5 star hotels & one night luxury cruise      

4 & 5 star hotels & one night luxury cruise   You will sail along Halong Bay aboard the Bhaya Classic, a charming vessel built in Oriental style and incorporating many aspects of comfort and luxury. Features include a sundeck, cocktail bar, massage and spa area and a restaurant offering a variety of Vietnamese and international dishes. Cabins feature handcrafted hardwood furniture, twin or queen-size bed, air conditioning, wall fan, hairdryer, mini-bar and en suite facilities. Each one boasts a picture window. All hotels will be confirmed in your final documentation.

ITINERARY:

D1: LONDON- HONG KONG - HANOI 
Fly from London direct to Hong Kong next day arrival, transfer for the flight to Hanoi.

D2: HANOI  ( D )

On arrival meet and transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight Hanoi Guoman Hotel or similar.

D3: HANOI  (B/L)

A full day city tour of Vietnam's capital. Hanoi is a unique Asian city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and oriental temples. The city tour includes such sights as Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the Lake of the Restored Sword, Fine Art Museum OR Museum of Ethnology. In the evening enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show. Overnight in Hanoi

D4: HANOI- HALONG BAY- BHAYA CLASSIC CRUISE   (B/L/D)

Transfer to Halong.

12.00               Arrive at Pier. Welcome by Bhaya staf

12.00-13.00      Welcome cocktails and check-in on board Bhaya cruise

13.00 - 18.00   The Bhaya cruises through Halong Bay passing by some of the most scenic locations including Yen Ngua, Con Coc Mountains and a floating fishing village.

13.00 - 15.00   A Vietnamese buffet lunch is served between 13.00 and 14.30 in the restaurant.

15.00 - 16.00   There is an optional guided visit to Sungsot Grotto (Grotto of Surprises), weather and tide permitting. Option of afternoon tea with pastries on the sundeck or in the restaurant and an aperitif before dinner.

16.30 - 18.00   Anchor near Trinh Nu & Hang Trong, Swimming, Kayaking.

19.00 - 21.00  Vietnamese buffet dinner is served in the dining room.  Optional BBQ on the Sundeck

Accommodation and overnight on board. The Bhaya anchored between breathtaking  Trinh Nu and Hang Trong Cave, Halong Bay.

D5: HALONG- HANOI- HUE  (B/L)

06.30-07.00  Tai Chi Class

07.00 The Bhaya sets sail once again through the breathtaking scenery of Halong Bay

07.00- 08.30  European buffet breakfast is served.

08.30 - 09.30 Check out

09.30- 10.00 Disemark at the pier.

Transfer back to Hanoi by road, lunch at a local restaurant and visit the old quarter by cyclo. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Hue.

Upon arrival,pick up and transfer to the hotel for check-in.    Overnight Hue La Residence or similar.

D6: HUE- HOI AN (B/L/D)

A boat trip on the romantically named Perfume River visits Hue's best-known religious site, Thien Mu Pag Visit the elaborate mausoleums of emperors Tu Duc , the Imperial Citadel from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Lunch at local restaurant.

Drive south to Danang through the inspiring 4900ft high Hai Van Pass,Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundry between north and south.The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds( "Cloudy Mountain") Stop at the stone carving village at the foot of Marble Mountains. Continue to the absolutely charming and releaxed town of Hoi An. Believed to have been settled no less than 2200 years ago,Hoi An was a thriving seaport and base for seafaring nations seeking new sources of wealth throught South East Asia.Even ancient Arab trading documents mention Hoi An as a stop along their trade routes.  Overnight Hoi An Beach Resort or similar

D7: HOI-AN  (B/L)

Hoi-An is a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants' homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market.  Rest of day is at leisure                              Overnight in Hoi An

D8: HOI-AN- DANANG - SAIGON   (B/D)  

free at leisure until transfer to the airport for afternoon flight to Saigon.  Lunch not included today.
On arrival in Saigon meet guide and transfer to the hotel.   Dinner and overnight Saigon Rex Hotel or similar

D9: SAIGON- CH CHI-  SAIGON  (B/L)
Originally a vast forest of malarial swamps and marshes, Saigon - now known as Ho Chi Minh City - has become the focus of business entrepreneurs looking for untapped markets.Many of its colonial charms – classical European buildings that have been converted into apartment complexes,office buildings and up-market hotels,the huge General Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral-retain their dignity standing side by side with the high rise department stores and surrounded by luxury cars and modern developments.The famous Rue Catinat of Graham Greene's Saigon may be called Dong Khoi nowadays but it is still the swankiest in town,lined with fancy restaurants,boutiques,art galleries and souvenier shops.In the morning, visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence.In the afternoon,you will start your visit in Cholon,which literally means "Big Market" and has been home to the Chinese community since the 4th century.A city within a city,Cholon is Saigon's Chinatown,a vibrant and colourful district,best discovered by Cyclo (rickshaw) the traditional bicycle driven cab. 

You will visit the Thien Hau Temple, a quaint and incense-saturated pagoda, then go for a ‘cyclo’ ride, the most appropriate and unusual way to explore Cholon and its maze of streets lined with hundreds of shops, market stalls and restaurants of all kinds. This one-hour ride will take you to the Binh Tay market, where vendors serve freshly prepared food at all times of the day and clothing and hardware stalls offer beautiful silk and other fabrics at unbeatable prices; a truly hectic and memorable shopping affair. Then visit a lacquerware factory to witness workers continuing a Vietnamese ancestral tradition.  Overnight in Saigon.

D10: SAIGON- CAI BE- VINHLONG - SAIGON  (B/L)

Leave Ho Chi Minh City after breakfast for Vinh Long.  Arrive in Cai Be floating market, take a boat trip to explore the floating market, one of the most attractions in the Mekong Delta. Continue cruising to Vinh Long the capital of Vinh Long Province, is a medium-sized town on the banks of the Mekong River. What makes a trip to Vinh Long worthwhile is not the town itself but the beautiful small islands in the river. The islands are totally given to agriculture, especially the growing of tropical fruits, which are shipped to markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Visit Binh Hoa Phuoc Island where one of the fascinating things to be seen are the “monkey bridges”. These are makeshift footbridges built of uneven logs about 30 to 80 cm wide and from 2m to 10m above the canals. For lunch sample the local delicacy, the "Elephant's Ear Fish" on Binh Hoa Phuoc Island.  Transfer back to Saigon and overnight Saigon.

D11: SAIGON- SIEM REAP  (B/L/D)   Transfer to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap. Arrive in Siem Reap. On arrival- visa formalities- welcomed by your English guide and then transfer to the hotel check-in.   Lunch at Viroth’s restaurant.Siem Reap is the provincial capital city of Siem Reap province. This small town crossed by a river coming from the Kulen Mountain is the gateway for the visit of the Angkor Park which is over 40 km2  and is home of more than 100 temples dating from the 9th to the 13th century.  In the afternoon, depend on your arrival flight, start immediately the visit to Srash Srang, Banteay Kdei, then you will visit one of the most popular temples of the Angkor Complex: The Ta Prohm. This temple like the Preah Khan, was built in the memory of the King Jayavarman VII’s mother. When found by the French conservators at the end of the 19th century, they deliberately left this temple in the same condition as it was discovered; overgrown by strangler fig and silk-cotton  trees, giving the temple a mystical and romantic appeal.Diner at La Noria restaurant  Overnight in Siem Reap Victoria Hotel or similar

D12: SIEM REAP TOUR  (B/L/D)
After breakfast, start the visit to the Great City of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by a 8 m high wall, each side of the city is 4 km long. It draws a perfect square you access this town through 5 gates; 4 of them represent the cardinal points and the 5th

one the Victory Gate was the one leading directly to the Royal Palace Area.lYou will arrive via the South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and 4 giant faces. On each side is a row of 54 gods or demons holding the sacred Naga snake. From here you continue and enter the city and arrive at the Bayon Temple. This temple lies exactly in the center of the city. The particularity of this monument is the 54 towers representing the 54 provinces of the then Great Khmer Empire. Each tower has 4 faces. Continue by walk to the Baphuon, Phimean Akas, the terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch at Café Indochine restaurantIn the afternoon, visit the biggest religious temple in the world; the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple. Built by Suryavarman II, in early 12th century Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Merou, home of the gods. Considered as the masterpiece of the Khmer architecture, this Vishnuite temple is the King’s funerary temple. These are the main reasons to explain the West exposure of the temple.Inside the temple the walls are covered by carvings and bas-reliefs depicting the Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II made during his reign. As well Angkor Wat is well known for the 2000 Apsaras dancers decorating the all temple. Return to your hotel after viewing sunset over Angkor Wat. Diner with Apsara Dance show at Apsara Theatre                      Overnight in Siem Reap 

D13: SIEM REAP-TOUR  (B/L)                             
After breakfast, transfer to visit Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre  & Lunch in local restaurant
 
In the afternoon, continue to explore the Grand Circuit including Pre Rup, East Mebon, Neak Poan and then continue to visit Preah Khan Temple, built approximately at the same period as the Ta Prohm and for the same purpose: In memory of a person Jayavarman VII‘s father while Ta Prohm is in memory of Jayavarman VII’s mother. The particularity of this temple lies in the fact that on top of being a pantheon of divinities it was also a religious university with possibly as much as 15,000 people resident.       Overnight in Siem Reap

D14: SIEM REAP - LUANG PRABANG( L/D)

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Lunch at a local restaurant. Late in the afternoonenjoy a brief panororamic tour of Luang Prabang.Make a stop at Mount Phousi where you can climb 328 steps to the top to enjoy a view of the city and the surrounding countryside.Afterwards your guide will accompany you on astroll through the evening hill tribe market in downtown Luang Prabang. Enjoy dinner at alocal restaurant.    Overnight Luang Prabang Grand Hotel or similar

D15: LUANG PRABANG(B/L)  
Optional: For early-risers (05h30) there is a very special dawn visit to witness the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Return to the hotel for breakfast.After breakfast, this morning visit Wat Visoun, where you will see the famous Watermelon Stupa, shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. This temple was destroyed in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from China, and was restored in 1930 by Buddhist monks and local people.  We will also visit wat Aham where you will see the altar of the 2 geniuses of Luang Prabang.  Continue your visit to Wat That, where the ashes of the last King of Laos, King Sisavang Vong are interred inside the large central stupa.Lunch at a local resturant.
This afternoon depart to Kuang Si Waterfall, 30 km south-west of Luang Prabang.  En-route you will make stops to visit ethnic minority villages.   It is possible to hike to the top of the falls via a steep trail, and if the weather is good, you might enjoy a swim in the clear water at the foot of the falls. Return to Luang Prabang with a stop for viewing the sunset from the beautiful Wat Pra Bat Thai.  Overnight Luang Prabang.

D16: LUANG PRABANG- PAK OU CAVES- LUANG PRABANG  (B/L/D )
Breakfast in the morning, visit Vat Xieng Thong, the most beautiful temple, then take the traditional boat trip upstream on the Mekong river to visit the famous cave of Pak Ou. On the way stopover at Ban Xanghai where rice wine distillation can be seen. Visit Tam Ting (Pak Ou Caves) known as Buddha cave. Picnic lunch at bamboo cottage on the river overlooking its beautiful sceneries at the confluence between the Mekong and Ou rivers. In the afternoon, return to Luang  Prabang and continue  to visit a weaving village(Xang Khong)where traditional Lao textiles are woven and where Sa paper is made and the Wat Xieng Lek. Overnight Luang Prabang.

D17: LUANG PRABANG - HONG KONG (B)

After breakfast,visit National Musuem (former king's palace).From there, continue on foot to visit Wat Mai,central(Phoisy)market and a silver smiths and lunch, before transfer to the airport for flight to Hong Kong via Hanoi.On arrival meet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight Hong Kong Harbour Plaza or similar.

D18: HONG KONG  (B)

Morning sightseeing, and free afternoon to relax.

D19: HONG KONG TO LONDON  (B)

Transfer from the hotel to the airport and your return flight to London.

The price includes: 
Return international flights, local flights; Full Sightseeing; Meals as specified; English speaking guide/TM(12+); Local taxes; All hotels
The price excludes: 
Visas for all three countries; Travel Insurance; Tips misc expenses;