This trip of a lifetime takes you to places you may have heard of, or read about, but never considered visiting. You will be amazed at the beauties of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam and forever remember this unique experience.
On arrival in Bangkok, your first excursion is to Mount Phousi, bordered on one side by the Mekong River and on the other by the Nam Khan River. The steps you climb are all easy steps, and at the top, there is a breath-taking view of the city and the surrounding countryside. Return in the evening via the scenic hill tribe markets for an appetizing meal.
Then it is on to Luang Prabang, literally Royal Buddha Image. This city in north central Laos lives up to its name. If visiting temples is on your list of interesting things to do, you are spoiled for choice in Luang Prabang. Buddhist temples and monasteries are abundant, another intriguing site almost everywhere you look.
In the evening, dine by candlelight at one of the many bars and cafes in the city. Favourites are Tangor, Hive Bar, Lao Lao Garden, and JoMa Bakery Café.
The following day, enjoy a boat trip on the Nam Ou River, visit the Pak Ou caves, and cross the Mekong River to see local villages. After lunch, you can spend the afternoon washing, riding, and learning to train elephants at the Nam Ou Elephant Farm. Other popular tourist attractions include the Kuang Si Falls and Tat Sae Waterfalls.
Delve into the culture of Luang Prabang. The local markets offer tasty food, souvenirs, shoes, slippers, and fashion plus many booths selling fruit smoothies and sandwiches. The brilliant array of colours of all the foodstuffs is amazing. Everything is bright and striking!
Early risers are treated to a cultural sight—long lines of orange-robed monks, having left their pagodas, walk the streets collecting alms from the local residents.
After the pleasant sojourn in Luang Prabang, the tour departs to Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos. Vientiane’s relaxing atmosphere gives it a lovely small town feel. After you’ve seen the beautiful temples and statuary and visited Buddha Park, stroll down to the river and relax with the national beer, Beerlao, watching the sunset over the Mekong River. Camera buffs will want to take photos of the Friendship Bridge which links Laos and Thailand. The structure was built in 1994 by the Australian government. In the evening, you board a flight to Hanoi.
Hanoi features a fascinating sightseeing tour of the city. The sweeping boulevards, tree-lined lakes and ancient pagodas make Hanoi so atmospheric, you may wish to tarry. The next day is a flight to Danang, before continuing on to Hoi An. Visitors to Hoi An can see the 400 year old covered Japanese Bridge, walk around the ancient town centre visiting former merchants’ houses, and partake of the colourful, ever-present markets in this part of the world.
After Hoi An is a stopover in Hue, with many tombs and mausoleums of the last Imperial families. Next morning, a rewarding way to see Hue is to cycle through the Old City to Tinh Tam Lake, and then to Thien Mu Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River. See the tomb of a former emperor, and visit the mausoleum of Tu Duc.
The tour then travels to Ho Chi Minh City, which is still called Saigon by the locals. Here you can enjoy Ben Thanh Market teeming with stalls, visit the Jade Pagoda, and the War Remnants Museum (once called the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes). The War Remnants Museum is extremely popular with western visitors. Take in the History Museum as well. A day of sightseeing in the city gives you a wealth of local culture, entertainment and a historical experience you’re not soon to forget.
The day after, treat yourself to a boat trip to the floating market at Cai Be, where produce is hung on poles at the front of boats to attract the customers. A visit to Dong Hoa Hiep Island is a pleasant outing. The ancient village of Dong Hoa Hiep in Cai Be District, is known for the exquisite scenery. The calm Cai Be River and ancient houses, amid lush orchards offering fruit the year round; lend a serene, near magical feel.
The last few days of your trip are spent in Siem Reap, exploring more temples, and taking a boat trip on Tonie Sap Lake, before departing for the flight home.
The Handpicked Indochina Private Tour is truly a once in a lifetime experience, but when you’ve seen these beautiful countries, you might find yourself wishing for more.