Provide a fantastic insight into the culture and history of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with junk excursion in Halong Bay, boat trip to Pak Ou Cave and visit to Angkor Temples
Day 1: Arrival – Hanoi
You are met on arrival at Noi Bai Airport & transferred to hotel for check in.
In the afternoon, you will be driven to visit the Temple of Literature known as Vietnam’s first university & Museum of Ethnology. And lastly, you will have a chance to take a tour by cyclo around the old quarter streets to discover the local people life. O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay
In this morning, we will take a sightseeing tour to Ho Chi Minh Complex including the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of Hanoi. After having lunch at restaurant, we will keep going ahead to Ha Long Bay.
O/N in Halong
Day 3: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Take a 5-hour boat trip to visit Ha Long Bay, listed as a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. This picturesque “Dragon descending to the sea” Bay has 1,969 limestone islets rising from the sea, many of them containing beautiful grottoes. Visit of a grotto then seafood lunch on board. Drive back to Hanoi.
Evening: Water puppets show, the unique Vietnam traditional art.
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 4: Hanoi – Luang Prabang
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Noi Bai airport for flight to Luang Prabang, the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom, the center of religious life in Laos and today the World Heritage City. Arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to our hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty temples still remain in the town and surrounding areas. Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana – Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa
Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple which, more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture; Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang & Pak Ou Cave
Following breakfast, we depart hotel to the boat landing, and take an excursion (a few hours) by boat, upstream on the Mekong to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimeter to two meters in height.
En route, Lao typical villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore, bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Our first stop will be at Ban Muangkeo, a well-known village for Lao traditional rice whisky, namely Laoh-Khao to be distilled. We are welcome to taste it and also take away. Lunch is served at a riverside restaurant.
We arrive back at Luang Prabang in late afternoon, and continue to drive outskirt of town to visit Ban Xangkhong, a well-known village for its wood paper making and also Lao silk weavings with natural dyes.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Day 6: Luang Prabang – Vientiane
In the morning, visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace which houses the collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue, gifts received from foreign dignitaries etc. Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for flight Vientiane.
Meet on arrival and you are welcome to Vientiane, the city of the moon – an ancient city, situated on the bend on the left bank of the Mekong as the largest city and the capital of Laos. Transfer to hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of Vientiane, to visit religious museums of Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple to have been survived from the Siamese war of 1828 and its cloister contains more than 8000 Buddha statues; Wat Ho Prakeo, the former home-temple of the Emerald Buddha statue or Pra Keo, but today it contains a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and all artifacts found in around Vientiane; That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos, which was built to cover the original small stupa containing a piece of the chest bone of Buddha; Patouxay (Arch de Triumph), built quite recently in commemoration of those who died during the wars in the past and it is today as the land-mark of Vientiane.
O/N in Vientiane.
Day 7: Vientiane – Phnom Penh
After breakfast, a short flight to Phnom Penh.
Upon arrival at Phnom Penh airport, meets and transfers to hotel
Upon arrival at Phnom Penh Airport by morning flight, you will be welcome by our friendly tour guide then accompany you to the hotel. The capital city of Phnom Penh was once considered the loveliest city of Indochina. Despite its recent turbulent history, it still maintains considerable charm. A city tour acquaints us with some major sights of Phnom Penh.
This morning start visit Wat Phnom (rebuild in 1434, 1806, 1894 and 1926), a small hill crowned by an active Wat (Pagoda) marks the legendary founding place of the Phnom Penh. Then visit Yeay Penh’s statue (grand mother Penh) at southwest of the hills, who found four statues of the Buddha and she was build a hill or Phnom in AD 1372 for placed a shrine on top to the house the precious artifacts.
The Victory Monument, build in 1955, it is the symbolize Cambodian Independence regained from French colonialism in 1953. Then visit Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21 prison). This prison was a high school, and used as a prison by Pol Pot’s security forces and became the largest center for detention and torture during the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Lunch at local restaurant on your own.
PM: In the afternoon, visit National Museum, it was build in 1917and designed in Khmer style by famed French architect Georges Groslier & Ecole Des Arts. The museum has a good collection of Khmer sculptures dating from the pre-Angkor period (4th centuries) to post-Angkor period (14th centuries).
Then visit Royal Palace; built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, Silver Pagoda, Located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. When you exit from the Royal Palaces, Then continue your visit to the riverfront, it is the most popular place for the tourist. The view of the confluence of Mekong and Tonle Sap River is the geographically unique.
O/N at hotel.
Day 8: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
Breakfast at hotel
AM: Visit the notorious Killing Fields “Choeung Ek” 15km southwest of Phnom Penh. This one is the site of brutal executions of more than 17,000 individuals, most of whom first suffered through interrogations, torture and deprivation in Toul Sleng Prison during Pol Pot regime (From 1975 – 1979).
Then return back on the way drop and visit to the handicraft shop, spa and vocational training restaurant. This place was created in 1996 by Pour un Sourire d’ Enfant (PSE) www.pse.asso.fr. Is the NGO that aims to rescue Cambodian children who are forced to scavenge through the rubbish dumps to survive, especially around Steung Mean Chey garbage dump in Phnom Penh. Today we prefer you to have your own lunch over there.
PM: Visit Central Market (Phsar Thom Thmei), the distinctive art-deco styling of this market makes it stand out among the architecture of Phnom Penh, where you can shop for souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, silver products, then transfer to Phnom Penh Airport for short flight to Siem Reap. On arrival met and transfer to hotel for check in.
The town of Siem Reap is our base for visiting the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor, which is home for the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire dating from 802 AD to 1350 AD. This stunning and extensive site sprawls through the dense jungle, over an area of 60 square miles
O/N at Siem Reap
Day 9: Siem Reap
(Optional tour to view sunrise at early morning will be paid by yourself)
Breakfast at hotel
AM: Visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12 century): the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch at local restaurant on your own
PM: Visit Angkor National Museum & to the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a World Heritage Site since 1992, famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology, visit Bakheng Temple and enjoy a romantic sun set view form Bakheng Hills. Dinner and enjoy with Aspara Dance Show at local restaurant, O/N at Siem Reap.
(Optional tour with either elephant or balloon riding will be paid by yourself)
O/N at hotel.
Day 10: Siem Reap – Departure
AM: Visit Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake), Ta Som, built in late 12th century C.E. the most distant temple on the grand circuit, small but classic. Preah Khan temple, Built by the King Jayavarman VII. Lunch at local restaurant on your own
PM: Visit the unique interior brick sculptures of Prasat Kravan, Srah Srang (“The Royal Baths” was once used for ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by 4 concentric walls), Ta Keo, constructed in late 10th early 11th century C.E, the first temple to be constructed wholly of sandstone. Then transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure to next destination by evening flight.