Indochina

Adventure and Discovery

Level

Easy

Duration

16 days

Time to travel

November to April is considered the best time for this trip

Route

Vientiane – Luang Prabang – Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – Mekong Delta – Siem Reap – Phnom Penh

This trip is a great combination of the highlights of Indochina- the bustling sights of Saigon, the legendary Cu Chi tunnel, the colorful temple of Dadaism, lush green landscapes of the Mekong delta, the majestic Angkor complex and the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. This is a memorable adventure filled with history, culture and fun.

Facts:

  • Activities: cultural sightseeing; boating, kayaking, cycling, trekking
  • Route: Vientiane – Luang Prabang – Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – Mekong Delta – Siem Reap – Phnom Penh.

 

Indochina is a peninsula in Southeast Asia lying roughly south or southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French Indochine as a combination of the names of “India” and “China”, referring to the location of the territory between those two countries.

Our operation:

  • All Rahhalah ground handlers and guides are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity to local customs and cultures.
  • Our staff is highly experienced and has excellent knowledge, committed to provide exceptional service at all times.

Sustainability:

  • We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.
  • All our local guides and staff are properly employed and adequately equipped. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.
  • As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival in Vientiane / City tour (D)

Upon arrival at the airport in Vientiane at the airport; you will be welcomed & transferred to your hotel.

This afternoon you will enjoy a city tour around Vientiane. Although it is a capital city, Vientiane has the feel of a small provincial town. The wide boulevards are almost devoid of traffic and with its many temples; the city retains the feel of another age.

Our tour includes visits to the major temples of Vat Sisaket, Vat Phrakeo and the impressive That Luang Stupa, the country’s most important monument. We will also see the Arch of Triumph, the National Museum and the main market.

Back to the hotel & free time in the evening.

Overnight at a hotel in Vientiane.

Duration of city tour –approx  4hrs

Day 02: Vientiane - Luang Prabang by a short domestic flight (B, L, D)

This morning we transfer to the airport for a short domestic flight to Luang Prabang.

On arrival at the airport in Luang Prabang you are welcomed by our local guide & driver to proceed for  a city tour.

Luang Prabang is best known for its beautiful scenery and high numbers of ancient temples. Such as visit the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts, we then enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture.

Today, we also visit the Arts and Ethnology Centre to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures before we head out of town to see the weaving villages of Ban Xiengkhong and Ban Xienglek  before we then return to the city for a visit to Wat Mai. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River.  The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.

We are taken back to our hotel at late afternoon, relaxing and then  dinner. 

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Duration of tour: 11:00 -12:00/ Lunch 12:00-13:00 and tour 13:00-16:30

Day 03: Luang Prabang- Cycling, Elephant ride and boating to Tadsae waterfall (B, L,D)

At 7:30AM: Pick – up at hotel by the local guide & driver.

You are also introduced to your bicycles, each designated bike being then adjusted and fitted with you.

After a short briefing to explain you the use of your bicycle, it will be the time to start your discovery around Luang Prabang !

We leave Luang Prabang and will stop first at Wat Pa Phon Phao, a temple famous for the teachings of Ajahn Saisamut. This large golden stupa contains three inside levels plus an outside terrace with a view into the countryside and Luang Prabang. The inside walls are painted with many Buddhist stories and moral admonitions.

After another short stretch, we will arrive in Ban Phanom. This village, populated by Thai Lue (a tribe with its origins in Southern China), is well known for cotton and silk hand-weaving. Here we have the opportunity to check out how to make the traditional Lao Cotton on a weaving loom. After taking some time to look aroun, we continue onwards to cycle up and town to the Nam Khan valley. We pass the tomb of Henry Mouhot, the French explorer who showed Angkor Wat to the world. Henry Mouhot perished of malaria in 1861 in Luang Prabang.

We will continue our bike adventure and arrive at the Elephant Village area. This wonderful place is located 15 km from Luang Prabang along the Nam Khan river. You will enjoy Elephant ride and also feed the animals. After that, we continue cycling to Ban Aen, take a small long tail boat to Tad Sae Waterfall. Picnic lunch at Tad Sae area. You then spend time swimming  or you can also try Monkey Jump into the water. Return to Ban Aen by boat. The final leg of the journey (depends on how energetic you are feeling) is a bike ride or jump on the minivans which brings us back to Luang Prabang. Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Duration Approximately: 4 hours cycling, 1 hour Elephant riding, 5 minutes boat trip (each way)

Day 04: ( Vietnam Part ) Luang Prabang- Kayaking tour / Fly to Hanoi (B, L, D)

We start off in Luang Prabang heading North on 13rd Road to a Khmu village of Ban Somsanouk where a short introduction to paddling and the basics of kayaking will be given. We then head off downstream where there are some easy rapids!

Along the way on the Nam Ou River, we see the beautiful cliffs and authentic villages. We carry on downstream once again until stopping for a delicious picnic lunch which is prepared for us in the most scenic of locations, a beautiful white sandbank set amongst some amazing surroundings!

After lunch and taking a relaxing break and swim we carry onwards once again. And then we spend paddling in a calmer section of the Nam Ou and on the Mekong River .Along the way, there is plenty of time to watch the villagers fishing and harvesting river weed which they dry out, season and fry to make a tasty snack! We stop at the famous Pak Ou (Buddha) Cave to observe these thousands Buddha’s and a cultural and historical beautiful cave!The end of the kayaking is in weaving and Lao whisky making village. From here we go back to Luang Prabang by Private Local truck or “Songtheow”.

After that we proceed to the airport here for the evening flight to Hanoi.

Upon our arrival we will be picked up and transfer to Hanoi city central where is our hotel location. Tonight we will have dinner at a fine restaurant in town. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 05: Hanoi - Halong Bay day trip/Kayaking (B, L, D)

We depart to Halong Bay for 3,5 hours drive with a short break time at the middle way.

On arrival at Tuan Chau boat tourist pier; we take a private junk to visit the majestic Halong Bay. The 6- hours boat journey will take us around the seclude bay (listed in the World Heritage site). Passing the Dog islet, Cockfighting islet, Tuttle islet then we will stop to visit Thien Cung ( Heavenly cave ). Seafood lunch will be served on boat.

We also do kayaking in about 45-minutes or have a swim before getting back on board to sail back to Tuan Chau pier at 6:00 PM and transfer back to Hanoi.

Arrive in Hanoi  around 9:00 PM  in time for dinner.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 6: Hanoi City tour (B, L)

Today you will enjoy a full day explore the charming colonial city of Hanoi. We start our morning by visiting Ho Chi Minh complex including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, his House on stilt, One Pillar pagoda. After that we visit Hanoi Hilton (the prison that keep the American pilots when their aircraft were brought down during the war) then we continue to the Temple of Literature.

Lunch time: 12:30 – 13:30.

Afternoon tour: around 13:30 -17:30:  we have one hour on Cyclo (the pedal rickshaw) to see the Old Quarter & then onward to enjoy the unique water puppet show in the theater.

Notes:

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum opening time: Open from Tuesday to Thursday and weekends from 8am to 11pm. Closed on Mondays and Fridays. The mausoleum is closed for two months of the year, usually October and November, when Ho Chi Minh’s body is maintenance by Russian expert.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 7: Hanoi - Fly to Hue city/ Hue City tour ( B , L )

Today morning you will transfer to the airport for an hour flight to Hue.

Upon arrival at the airport at Hue you are picked by our local guide and proceed for a city tour.

Lunch time in Hue: 12:00- 13:00.

Duration of tour in Hue: 11:00 -13:00 & 13:00 -16:00.

You will Visit  the Citadel, the Imperial City, tomb and Dong Ba market.

Overnight in Hue. 

Day 8: Hue – Transfer to Hoi An/ over Danang (B, L)

Today morning around 8:30 – 9:30AM we make our way down to the Perfume River. We pause at the best-loved architecture pagoda in Hue, Thien Mu pagoda (The Heavenly Lady pagoda).

Around 10:00-14:00: Leave Hue, we go to Hoi An along the Highway 1A. We stop over at Hai Van Pass, My Khe beach, and Marble Mountain.

Lunch time: On the way to Hoi at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Check in hotel in Hoi and then free time to relax.

Stay overnight in Hoi an.

Day 9: Hoi An – Farming and Fishing eco tour (B, L)

  • Visit to Farming & Fishing Life Eco Tour to learn about the local farming communities.
  • Starting at Tra Que Village, we will help local farmers to prepare their land for sowing, help fertilize the gardens and water the land the traditional way with huge tin cans strapped to our backs.
  • Followed by cycling tour through the countryside for a first hand experience of local Vietnamese rural life.
  • The next morning, we will take a river cruise on a Hoi An Eco-tour boat, meet local fishermen and enjoy a hands-on experience in traditional net fishing.
  • Transfer to a Vietnamese bamboo basket boat for a quick race and a ride down a coconut palm lined waterway. Lunch on board the boat and will consist of the vegetables picked by us earlier at Tra Que Village.

After lunch, a walking tour around Hoi An town center will the perfect way to relax before heading back to the hotel.

Day 10: Hoi An/ Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh/Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnel (B,L)

  • Visit the legendary Cu Chi Tunnel, which was used by Viet Cong during the second Indochina war. The guides were usually soldiers here share their knowledge to help visitors understand this tragic part of Vietnamese history.
  • If you’re comfortable with it, you can try firing some rounds on an AK47, the rifle that was used by Viet Cong during the war.
  • Lunch on a floating restaurant and then return to Ho Chi Minh City in the early afternoon by speed boat
  • Visit the highlights of Ho Chi Minh City: Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, Formal Presidential Palace, Museum of War Remnants.

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta day trip (B, L, D)

  • Visit the Mekong Delta, a.k.a the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, a 39,000-square-kilometre labyrinth of waterways and one of the most densely populated parts of the country.
  • Visit Cai Be floating market, a colourful wholesale market on Mekong
  • We stop at workshops to watch century old techniques as the locals produce rice paper, coconut candy and fish sauce.
  • After lunch, we continue to explore Mekong on bicycle, chat to the local farmers
  • Later in the afternoon, we transfer back to Saigon to freshen up before dinner.

Day 12: ( Cambodia part) Ho Chi Minh – Fly to Siem Reap (B, L, D)

Today you will transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport to catch midday flight to Siem Reap ( 60 mins)

Upon our arrival in Siem Reap, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to the hotel.

After that you will explore the incomparable temples of Neak Poen (if the schedule allows) and Preah Khan.

After touring the grounds, 4: 30-5: 00 hours, small boats will be waiting on a pier located right at the East Gate of the Temple. From there we will begin an unforgettable sunset cruise through the lush nature that languishes in the artificial lake Baray Reach Dak heritage of the Angkor Empire and recently restored (2009).

In the evening 19:00-20:00:  you will enjoy a nice welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 13: Siem Reap – Tour of Angkor Temples by Cycles (B, L, D)

  • bike fitting and tour briefing for our cycling journey to the check point to purchase an Angkor pass. Sites such as Kravan temple, Banteay Kdei, the famous Ta Phrom awaits us.
  • Visit by cycle: Ta Keo temple, Chao Say Tevoda, Tommanon, Angkor Thom city, Terrace of Leper King, Terrace of Elephant, Baphoun, Phimean Akas. Stop at Bayon temple and Angkor Thom built by Cambodia’s great king, Jayavarman VII.
  • Cycle to Angkor Wat to finish the small circuit and visit the magnificent 12th century Angkor Wat. It is visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking. Angkor Wat is a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five beehive-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level.
  • And now for an aerial treat- a hot air balloon ride overlooking the sunset and one of the Wonders of the World, Angkor wat.

Cycling tour distance: around 25km.

Day 14: Kayaking/ Siem Reap - Phnom Penh domestic flight (B, L, D)

  • Kayak our way into the villages and have lunch on a veranda of one of the tallest stilted houses looking over the water and pagoda. During the dry season the 6-metre stilted homes tower above the low water line, exposing the various livestock of the villagers, including chicken, pigs and dogs. The villagers are fishing folk with shrimp harvesting their primary source of income. Giant sheets covered with pink shrimp drying in the sun can be seen on the lake shore and along the main street.
  • After an afternoon visit to the local market, followed by a flight to Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.

On arrival at the airport in Phnom Penh; you are welcomed and transferred to the hotel and dinner.

Day 15: Enjoy Phnom Penh’s highlights (B, L, D)

  • City tour that includes the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda, the Royal Palace and Wat Phnom.
  • Afternoon visit to the Russian market, the infamous Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and Cheung Ek, better known as the Killing Fields.
  • Sunset cruise on the Mekong River.

Full board meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 16: Phnom Penh, Cambodia -Departure (B)

Free time.

Transfer for departure flight.

3,700 USD

per person in a group of min 6.Double occupancy

Trip Dates

Open Dates

Notes:

  • This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
  • Full payment should be made 30 days prior the departure.
  • This cost is valid till 30th Sep 2017
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change
  • All accommodation subject to change to similar one depending on availability.

This includes:

  • Private transfer
  • Join Airplanes for all flights as included in trip, Economy Class:
  • Luang Prabang – Hanoi
  • Hanoi – Fly to Hue city
  • Hoi An – Da Nang (flight) Ho Chi Minh
  • Ho Chi Minh – Siem Reap
  • Siem Reap – Phnom Penh
  • English speaking guide (s) separately in each city & each country. 
  • Accommodation in 4 * hotels on  Double  sharing occupancy
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner): set menu & local food combine Vietnamese local food in couple of places.
  • Entrance fees & permissions to visit all sites as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All private boat cruise as indicated in the itinerary.
  • A bottle of mineral water per person per day.
  • All government taxes.

   This  excludes:

  • The airfares of international flight to Vientiane/Laos & out of Phnom Penh/Cambodia.
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages
  • Visa and visa fees to Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia.
  • Single supplement
  • High season surcharge
  • Entrance fees and permits during free time
  • Personal travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Personal expenses such as Bar, telephone & Laundry bills
  • Tips and gratuities for tour guides & drivers.

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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