Indochina Grand Tour With 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Indochina Grand Tour With 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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The Indochina Grand Tour 20 Days/19 Nights will give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience to discover all of the beauty of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with stunning landscape, marvelous architecture of Khmer temples as well as rich culture. This itinerary can be used as a starting point and altered or extended to suite your requirements

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Tour Name     :     INDOCHINA GRAND TOUR WITH 11 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES

Highlights       :     Luang Prabang – Vientiane - Don Khong – Preah Vihear – Siem Reap – Phnom Penh – Saigon – Hoi An – Hue – Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay

Duration         :     20 Days – 19 Nights

 

Day 1: Arrival – Luang Prabang (Laos)

Welcome at the airport on arrival in Luang Prabang (flight time to be advised), an ancient capital of Kingdom of Laos recognized as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1995. The ancient town is not only a remarkable example of the fusion of traditional architecture and colonial urban structures in 19th century, but also a cultural and religious place for locals
Transfer for hotel check in and relax
Overnight in Luang Prabang 

Day 2: Luang Prabang

Breakfast at hotel
Morning enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local speciality of rice wine is produced. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving. We also have time to visit Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek, small villages well known for silk weavings and for Saa (jute) Papermaking
Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 3: Luang Prabang – Vientiane

Breakfast at hotel
Morning visit Wat Visoun, a replica of an older Temple, which was erected in the same place back in 1513 with numerous religious art treasures, as well as Wat Xieng Thong a royal Wat built on the banks of the Mekong River in 1559. It has remained relatively undamaged by the various mainly Chinese invasions over the centuries. The temple is decorated extensively with impressive carving, murals and mosaics.
Then continue to visit Royal Palace officially known as Haw Kham. The palace was built during the French colonial era for the King and his family housing many artefacts, which showcase the richness of Laotian culture. Then continue to enjoy the atmosphere at Wat Mai, built in 1796 and sits at the foot of Mount Phousi.
Afterwards drive to Khuang Si Waterfall in a natural jungle setting and relax or swim in its turquoise cool pools. 
Return to Luang Prabang and drive directly to the train station to catch our speed train depart at 15.05 to Vientiane
Upon arrival to Vientiane train station, transfer to hotel for check in and relax
Overnight in Vientiane

Day 4: Vientiane

Breakfast at hotel
Morning continue to explore Vientiane capital by visiting the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Enroute to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. 
Afternoon continue visiting the rest of Vientiane by foot, including Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. We pass by the major shopping area continuing to the Vientiane Central Market of Talad Sao and Talad Kouadin where various goods are displayed for sale; including fresh food, household goods, souvenirs, textiles, gold, silver and antiques. We return to the Mekong Riverside in the late afternoon for observing the sunset.
Overnight in Vientiane

Day 5: Vientiane – Pakse – Don Khong

Breakfast at hotel
Transfer to the airport and catch an early flight to Pakse (flight time to be advised).
On arrival, we drive on the National Road No. 13th south to Champassak and to visit the fascinating pre-angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. We have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. Wat Phu is one of the Lao World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001, this wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization dates back to the 10th century, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We continue our journey by road to Don Khong, the largest island in the South Mekong river region known as the 4000 islands, one of the most scenic areas in Laos.
Hotel check in and relax
Overnight in Don Khong

Day 6: Don Khong

Breakfast at hotel
Morning explore the local villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive. We continue discover the 4000 islands area by boat at our leisure to visit the Liphi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking the end of Lao border to Cambodia. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. Return to Ban Nakasang and drive to famous waterfalls of Khone Phapeng, the largest waterfall in South East Asia, known as Niagara of the east.
Return to hotel afterwards and relax
Overnight in Don Khong

Day 7: Don Khong – Preah Vihear (Cambodia)

Breakfast at hotel
Drive to Dom Kralor (the border of Laos-Cambodia on Laos side) to enter Cambodia via the Tropeang Kreal border in Stung Streng Province, Cambodia and proceed to Preah Vihear via Thbeng Mean Chay.
Hotel check in and relax
Overnight in Preah Vihear

Day 8: Preah Vihear – Siem Reap

Breakfast at hotel
Morning visit Preah Vihear, an ancient Hindu temple built during the Khmer Empire in 11th century AD, recognized as World UNESCO Heritage Site located along the border of Cambodia – Thailand
Drive to Siem Reap afterwards via Anlong Veng, one of the last Khmer Rouge bases to fall to the government forces, and visit the house of Ta Mok, the former military commander of the Khmer Rouge.
Hotel check in in in Siem Reap and relax
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 9: Siem Reap

Breakfast at hotel
Start your full day sightseeing tour of Angkor area with the South Gate of Angkor Thom, which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the the jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm
Afternoon visit the largest as well as the most complete temple of Angkor Wat with many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple.
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 10: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh

Breakfast at hotel
Drive to Phnom Penh for about 6 hours and on the way visit the local carving village as well as the new UNESCO World Heritage Site Sambor Prei Kuk temples of pre-Angkor period in Kampong Thom Province.
Hotel check in on arrival in Phnom Penh and relax
Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 11: Phnom Penh – Saigon (Vietnam)

Breakfast at hotel
Morning visit Royal Palace built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90kilograms and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. Then explore the National Museum dedicated exclusively to Khmer art and sculpture dated as early as the 4th century to the 15th century. Continue to visit Wat Ounalom and Wat Phnom temple which recites the history of Phnom Penh’s name.
Transfer to the airport for international flight to Saigon (flight time to be advised)
Pick up at the airport in Saigon and transfer to hotel for check in and relax
Overnight in Saigon

Day 12: Saigon

Breakfast at hotel
Morning enjoy the cyclo for an excursion to visit the local markets such as flower market, bird market, home appliance market… which are off-the-beaten to see the very daily life of locals.
Afternoon, visit the War Remnants Hall, Reunification Hall. Photo stops at Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, Opera Theatre and City Hall.
Overnight in Saigon

Day 13: Saigon – Hoi An

Breakfast at hotel
Transfer to the airport for flight to Danang (flight time to be advised)
Pick up at the airport in Danang and transfer to Hoi An also known as Faifo and a former important seaport in the South-east Asia during 17th to 19th centuries
Hotel check in on arrival and relax
Afternoon stroll around the nice and peaceful Hoi An ancient town – another UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vietnam – to visit old houses, local market, Chinese assembly halls and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 14: Hoi An – My Son - Hue

Breakfast at hotel
Morning excursion to visit My Son Holy land of the former Champa Kingdom which is newly recognized as the World’s Cultural Heritage – this place was once the religious and intellectual centre of Champa Kingdom during its flourishing period from the 4th to 13th centuries. Visit the remaining temples to enjoy the skill of Cham people in building these structures and the carving decorations on them
Then drive to Hue (140 km/ 3 hours) via Hai Van Tunnel and hotel check in upon arrival
Overnight in Hue

Day 15: Hue - Hanoi

Breakfast at hotel
Morning sightseeing around the city and visit the former Imperial Citadel of Nguyen dynasty from 1805 to 1945 – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visit majestic tomb of Minh Mang King and Thien Mu Pagoda built in 1601 which is one of the oldest religious temples in Vietnam
Then transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi (flight time to be advised)
Pick up at the airport in Hanoi and transfer for hotel for check in
Overnight in Hanoi

Day 16: Hanoi

Breakfast at hotel
Full day city tour to visit the historic Ba Dinh Square with Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (if open), Ho Chi Minh Stilt House and One Pillar Pagoda, then visit Hoa Lo Prison
Afternoon continue to visit the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (built in the 11th century and was recognized as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site) (closed on Mondays) and Temple of Literature (founded in early 11th century and considered as Vietnam’s first university)
Enjoy one-hour cyclo ride in the Old Quarters of Ha Noi with over one thousand years of history, follow by an spectacular Water Puppet Show in the evening
Overnight in Ha Noi

Day 17: Hanoi – Ninh Binh - Hanoi

Breakfast at hotel
Morning excursion to Ninh Binh (100 km/ 2.5 hours) to visit two temples dedicated on Dinh and Le Dynasties in Hoa Lu Ancient town.
After that enjoy hand –rowed sampan ride to visit Trang An Caves in Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex – the UNESCO World’s Natural Heritage.
Return to Hanoi and free time afterwards
Overnight in Ha Noi

Day 18: Hanoi - Halong

Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Tuan Chau Marina in Halong (around 3 – 4 hours) where the wonderful Lan Ha Bay is situated.
Lan Ha Bay, a southern part of Ha Long Bay, still maintains the natural beauty and less crowded than Halong Bay or Bai Tu Long Bay. The beauty of Lan Ha Bay is as beautiful as Halong Bay which is a great choice for those who want to explore the limestone landscape yet immerse in the tranquil area of the Bay
Upon arrival in Tuan Chau, check in Peony Cruise and enjoy the cruise program on the beautiful Lan Ha Bay
As the vessel sets sails, you will be greeted by Peony Cruise Crew and Cruise Manager who will aim throughout your stay at providing you with the highest standards of service and facilities
After the lunch onboard, you will visit Dar and Bright Cave by bamboo boat and enjoy swimming in the clear emerald water
Return to the cruise and enjoy sunset on the top deck or relax in the mini pool with Jacuzzi
An elegant Gala set dinner will be served in the restaurant where you can enjoy the Lan Ha Bay charm at night.
Overnight on board in Lan Ha Bay

Day 19: Halong - Hanoi

Start the day with Taichi session on the sundeck at the break of dawn on Lan Ha Bay, later enjoy light breakfast with cookies, tea and coffee at the restaurant
After that, you will visit Frog Pond area where you can kayak and relax in the natural mini pool in Lan Ha Bay
Return to the cruise afterwards and enjoy the brunch in Peony Cruise while departing to Tuan Chau
Pick up at the dock and transfer back to Hanoi
Overnight in Ha Noi

Day 20: Hanoi - Departure

Breakfast at the hotel
Free time until transfer to the airport for international flight back home (flight time to be advised)

 

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