Great Indochina Tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Taking in the four contrasting countries in three weeks along The Mighty Mekong and Myanmar‘s river of spirits Ayeyarwady…
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport, our guide and driver will warmly welcome you, and then our driver will transfer you to the hotel for check in.
Saigon half day city tour includes the Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, and the War Remnants Museum to see some interesting displays and photographs following the path of the revolution. Then visit the Reunification Palace for a glimpse into the lifestyle of the democratic regime of former South Vietnam. Tonight a welcome dinner is at finest local restaurant.
Today we leave Saigon and travel to the Mekong River Delta. Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before driving to the riverside town, Cai Be. Along the way, we stop at a candy factory and orchard garden, where you will have an opportunity to listen to traditional music of south Vietnam. Enjoy a relaxing lunch at a riverside restaurant, then cross the Mekong river by boat to visit some fluvial islands and explore the countryside by bicycle. Our driver and guide will meet you at Vinh Long pier and transfer to Can Tho city. Overnight in Can Tho
Wake early and leave the hotel to visit the famous Cai Rang floating market by motorboat. After we continue on boat to visit the Mekong Delta’s famous orchards and sample the fresh, exotic fruits. Then venture deeper into the country side, passing traditional houses made of wood and palm leaves as you observe the activities of the local people. Return to Can Tho for lunch, after which we will drive to the riverside town, Chau Doc, situated along the Cambodian border.
In the afternoon, visit Tra Su Cajuput Forest (An Giang Province). Get into the wild by taking a small boat through the mangrove preserve and having some great views of the bird species that live here. You also enjoy the silent paddling of the guide and the sense of sliding across water. Overnight in Chau Doc
This morning we travel by speedboat up the Mekong River to Cambodia’s capital: Phnom Penh. The total trip takes about four and a half hours (including visa formalities). Visas are easily obtained at the border between Vietnam and Cambodia.
Our guide will meet you at the dock in Phnom Penh and escort you to the hotel. Despite its recent turbulent history, Phnom Penh’s wide tree-lined boulevards and faded colonial mansions hold an undeniable charm. After lunch at a downtown restaurant, take a leisurely tour to visit the Russian Market and try out your best at bargaining skills.
Spend the day on a tour of Cambodia’s vibrant capital city. Start by learning about the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia’s recent, bloody history on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the notorious Choeung Ek “Killing Fields.”
Lunch at a local restaurant, then we conclude the day with a cyclo ride down Sihanouk Boulevard to visit the National Museum and the Royal Palace – home to the royal family and the opulent Silver Pagoda.
Tour end at Wat Phnom – Set on top of a tree-covered knoll 27 m high, Wat Phnom is the only hill in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong and discovered by a woman name Penh.
Today we travel to Siem Reap by shared bus from Phnom Penh. The journey take around 6 hours with lunch en route by your own expense.
Enjoy an entire day dedicated to discovering the mysterious Angkor temples. Wake before dawn and take a “tuk-tuk” ride to visit the jungle-entwined temple Ta Prohm. Sunrise is one of the most beautiful and haunting times to visit the temples, whose ancient sandstone blocks are painted orange by the early morning rays.
Return to the hotel for breakfast then set back out on a full day temple tour. Starting with the magnificent Angkor Wat – the largest Khmer temple and finest example of Angkorian art and architecture, we proceed to Angkor Thom’s imposing South Gate, topped with the four serenely smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara. Next, visit Bayon temple, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. We conclude our tour in the evening with watching a preformace of Khmer dance in the local restaurant.
Discover the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine in a half-day cooking class. Begin with a the walk and talk along the country lanes in the village where you will learn about Cambodian vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients before returning to the classroom for a hands-on culinary experience.
After dining on your creations, we will transfer you back to hotel for check out and be ready for the transferring to the airport to catch your flight to Luang Prabang. Our driver and guide will meet you at the airport there and escort you to your hotel.
Wake up early before dawn (around 5:00 am) to catch up with traditional alms giving ceremony. The unique and must-see activities in Laos.
In the early hours of the morning each day, as the sun is rising, the local Buddhist monks pad softly around the streets barefoot in single file, accepting gifts from the locals. All around the town, locals kneel down on the street, offering the monks gifts of rice, fresh fruit and sweets to contribute to their one meal of the day.
Transfer back to hotel for breakfast. Firstly, we explore local culture through the nearby morning market very popular for fresh vegetable, fish from the Mekong River, medicinal plant and other curiosity. And then, we visit Royal Palace, National Museum.
After lunch by your own expense, we take one hour journey by private car (~30 km) to beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall. Enjoy landscape and swimming on natural and clean small lakes there before back to Luang Prabang center.
The last point is Phousi mountain to enjoy sunset view before transfer back to hotel.
Spend the day discovering some of Luang Prabang’s most famous sites. After breakfast, take a guided tour of the city’s oldest temples: Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong – representative of the city’s classical architecture. After the tour, board a boat for a cruise up the Mekong, enjoying beautiful views of the tranquil countryside on our journey to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. Stop along the way at the Ban Xanghai village, famous for its homemade rice wine. Arrive at the Pak Ou cave in the afternoon and explore these mysterious caverns, filled with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha images. Back to Luang Prabang town
And then, transfer to the airport to take late afternoon flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, meet our guide/driver and transfer to the hotel.
After breakfast, get picked up for trip to Ha Long Bay passing the country side of Red River Delta.
Spend 24 hours on a traditional Junk Cruise in the amazing bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters. Arrive at the dock around noon and board your cruise. Savor a gourmet lunch of fresh seafood on board as we sail out into the mystical bay. In the afternoon, cruise around some of Halong’s many islands, including Dinh Huong and Ga Choi. Along the way visit one of the bay’s 3 largest caves (Thien Cung, Dau Go or Sung Sot). Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white-sand beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the East Sea (Bien Dong) (weather permitting). Pass the night on your cruise, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters.
Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk for breakfast then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Halong Bay as we navigate back to Halong City. Have lunch on board the boat before returning to Halong pier. Our driver will meet you at the dock and take you back to Hanoi.
Today we have a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas; Hanoi is an eclectic mix that offers something for everyone. Our city tour will take you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and stilt house); the Presidential Palace; the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Old Quarter; the Temple of Literature; West Lake; the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda.
Take the afternoon flight to Yangon. Up on arrival to Yangon International airport, our driver will welcome you and transfer you to hotel in central of Yangon city.
Today we fly to Bagan very early in the morning, Myanmar’s archeological wonderland, where over 3,000 ancient temples blossom from the countryside. Have an early breakfast at the hotel then drive to the airport to catch your short, in-country flight to Bagan. Start your tour with a trip to the bustling Nyang U Market in Old Bagan then explore the beautiful, gold-leaf Shwezigon pagoda and learn about the Burmese Buddhist tradition. We continue our tour with a visit to Ananda temple, stopping along the way in the Bagan plain to admire some of the surrounding temples. In the afternoon, take a tour of a local lacquer wear workshop and learn about this traditional craft.
After breakfast, we start with the exotic horse cart to one of the biggest temple in Bagan: Nan Paya pagoda and many other interesting sites nearby, continue with sightseeing to Minkaba Gubyaukyi Temple, experience the architectural difference in MyaZedi pagoda before heading to Manuha Temple. The highlight of today is the panoramic sunset view from the second highest pagoda of Bagan the ShweSandaw pagoda.
Leaving the Bagan temples behind, we begin the drive to Mt Popa. Join the pilgrims as they ascend Mt Popa and admire the crazy statues that line the walk along with the monkeys that live on the mountain. Once at the peak guests can relax and bask in the glorious views of Bagan. We then return to Bagan for a short cruise along the Irrawaddy River at sunset.
After breakfast, transfer from Bagan to Mandalay. Afternoon, leave the city for Sagaing Hill, discover the monk education, visit Budda cave, Uminthonze pagoda and Sunooponnyashin pagoda. Behold the panoramic view of Mandalay. Take the 30 minutes drive to Amarapura – being famous for Mahagandaryone Monastery Amarapura is the best place to experience the monk life in Mandalay. Walk over Ubein Wooden Bridge, the longest teak wood of its type to Mahamuni Image – a bronze Buddha image castled during the lifetime of Buddha himself.
Known as the hub of Buddhism in Myanmar, Mandalay is a realm of stupas, monks and monastery. The most fascinating visit will be the time to behold the monks doing their worship and having meals.
Drive to Mandalay pier, embarking on a private boat upstream to visit Mingun, famed for its huge and incomplete Pahtodawgyi Pagoda and Mingun Bell the 90 tons ringing bell.
In the afternoon, visit Mandalay Palace, Shwenandaw Monastery – noted for its exquisite wood carvings, gold leaf beating workshop, Kuthodaw Pagoda – known as the world biggest book and finish the tour by visiting Mandalay Hill to watch the sun-set and the panoramic view of the city.
Leave Mandalay for Inle Lake, Heho. Inle Lake, the second largest lake in Myanmar, located 900 m above sea level and is home to unique one leg rower Intha people. The land journey take around 6 hours, stop en route for your own lunch. Upon arrival, check in hotel and free at leisure.
This morning, you will visit the 5 days market which is hold in different villages surround the lake. This is definitely a fascinating place to enjoy the scene of local tribes in their colorful clothes and exotic market atmosphere.
After lunch, the boat will take you to beautiful temple of Indein, located on the hill overlooking the lake. It will be definitely relaxing to walk along the corridor and enjoy the giant columns which have been left to the nature for centuries.
Leave Inle Lake for Yangon. Spend your full day exploring Yangon and its highlights from Sule pagoda, the heart of Yangon city; Chaukhtayi pagoda and Kandawgyi Lake. After lunch, discover the most outstanding pagoda in Yangon: Shwedagon pagoda. The golden pagoda is really a must see while you are in Myanmar. Enjoy your shopping time in Scott market.
Day at leisure until to transfer to the airport to take flight back to your country.