DAY 1: ARRIVAL – SIEM REAP (-/-/-)
On arrival, our tour guide in Siem Reap will meet you and take you to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will visit Angkor Wat, the most harmonious and beautiful Khmer temple. It reflects the Khmer art, which reached its peak of glory in the 12th century. It is a temple -mountain and was built by king Suryavrman II, dedicated to god Vishnu. Then you will climb the Bakheng hill to have a bird’s-eye view of the sunset before going to Angkor Wat and western Baray. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 2: ANGKOR THOM – BIG CIRCUIT (B/-/-)
After breakfast at your hotel, you will visit the south gate of Angkor Thom with two rows of huge statues of demons and gods depicting the churning of the ocean of milk arranged on both sides of the stone bridge and the Bayon temple, a forest of heads, built in late -12th century by king Jayavarman VI (1181-1220) as a Buddhist state temple. Then you will visit the terrace of elephant, which used to be a base for the king’s grand audience hall and the terrace of Leper king, a terrace housing the royal crematory. You will continue to go to Ta Prohm temple which has been deliberately left as it was discovered. At Ta Prohm kapok trees clasp the sanctuaries in their mighty roots.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Pre Rup temple, a classic example of temple -mou
ntain, eastern Mebon, Ta Som, Neak Pean, a unique ancient hospital built in the reign of king Jayavarman VI which has been considered as a representative of Anavatapta. You will also explore a miraculous lake in Himalayas that cures all illnesses and Preah Khan, a large temple built on the battlefield marking the downfall of Angkor on the land of the Cham. Preah Khan was also a university with a number of professors and students. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 3: SIEM REAP – PHNOM PENH (B/-/-)
After having breakfast at your hotel, you will take a flight from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. On arrival, our tour guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. First you will go on a city tour to some major sights of Phnom Penh: the National Museum, in which there is an attractive collection of ancient Khmer art; sandstone sculptures whose history trace back to the Angkorean and pre-Angkorean eras. You will also have the chance to visit the Royal Palace and the sacred Silver pagoda, which is well-known for its 5000 silver tiled floor. Leaving this area, you will go on with your trip to Wat Phnom and the lively central market. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
DAY 4: PHNOM PENH – HO CHI MINH CITY (B/-/-)
After breakfast at your hotel, you will visit Toul Sleng. Before 1975, it was a high school but it was turned into a S-21 prison and interrogation facility by the Khmer Rouge when they came to power (1975-1979). Then you will also visit Choeung Ek killing fields site, where during the ultra-Communist Khmer Rouge’s short regime between 1 and 2.5 million Cambodians perished; some were killed outright, others died from disease, malnutrition and mistreatment. You next will transfer to Phnom Penh international airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will take a short visit to the Notre Dame cathedral, Central Post Office and Ben Thanh market.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 5: HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA (B/L/-)
Departing from your hotel at around 8:00 AM for Vinh Long city, you will go on a boat trip on the Mekong river to visit the Cai Be floating market, a typical bustling trade center on water of southern villagers. Proceeding to a small canal of the An Binh islet, you will visit a ceramics tile factory, a coconut candy factory, and a rice husking business. You can stop to enjoy tasty fruits in the orchards, home–made honey liquor, local traditional songs or visit the famous Bonsai of gardener Sau Giao’s sapling garden of Tam Ho before returning to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 6: HO CHI MINH CITY – CU CHI TUNNELS – CAO
DAI/TAY NINH (B/L/-)
Leaving from your hotel at around 7:30 AM, you will enjoy a drive through typical southern Vietnamese countryside to Tay Ninh province in the west of Viet Nam. You will visit the Cao Dai temple with fantastic architecture where all major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious cocktail with an amazing noon ceremony. Up to you if it’s your taste or not. After lunch in a local restaurant, you will have the chance to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels, the vestiges of the American war, an underground tunnel system constructed by Vietnamese soldiers. Then you will go back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 7: HO CHI MINH CITY – DA NANG – HOI AN (B/-/-)
Taking a morning flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang, you will transfer from Da Nang to Hoi An. Here you will visit the Cham museum, China beach and Marble mountains. You can enjoy a walking tour (short distance) to visit the 17th century Quan Cong temple, Phuoc Kien pagoda, Japanese covered bridge (constructed in 1593), Sa Huynh museum and Phung Hung house. Overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 8: HOI AN (B/-/-)
You will sail on the Thu Bon river to visit the traditional villages around Hoi An. In the afternoon, you are free to relax on the beach. Overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 9: HOI AN – HUE (B/-/-)
On the way from Hoi An to Hue, you stop at the top of the Hai Van pass and drop by Lang Co fishing village. In Hue, you will visit the old Imperial Citadel, the mausoleum of the former emperors Minh Mang and Khai Dinh, constructed as the king himself planned and chose the location in the middle of the pine forest. You then will take a boat trip on the romantic Perfume river to visit the most famous religious site in Hue: Thien Mu pagoda and Dong Ba market. Overnight in Hue.
DAY 10: HUE – HA NOI (B/-/-)
After the flight to Ha Noi, our staff will pick you up at the airport and take you to Ha Noi for a city tour. You will visit the Ho Chi Minh complex (mausoleum, museum - the late venerated leader’s private residence at the House- on- Stilts, followed by the wooden One Pillar pagoda). You will go to the Temple of Literature, Old Quarters, Hoan Kiem lake and Ngoc Son temple. In the evening, you will have the opportunity to experience a water puppet show, a unique traditional art form of Viet Nam. Overnight in Ha Noi.
DAY 11: HA NOI – HA LONG (B/L/-)
Arriving in Ha Long after a pleasant 3-hour drive, you will board on a private bo
at to visit the Thien Cung cave (grotto of the Heavenly Palace) and Dau Go cave (grotto of the Wooden Stakes). Fresh seafood for lunch will be served on boat. You will be back to Ha Noi in the afternoon.
Overnight in Ha Noi.
DAY 12: HA NOI – HOA LU – TAM COC (B/L/-)
From Ha Noi you will go on a drive of 3 hours to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Viet Nam in the 9th century. The place once covered an area of three square kilometers but most of which has been destroyed now. You will visit temples dedicated to the emperors Dinh Tien Hoang of the Dinh dynasty (968 – 980) and Le Dai Hanh of the Le dynasty (980 – 1009). Then you will go to Tam Coc town for lunch. In the afternoon you will take a private sampan on the river for an hour and a half through the rice paddies to the grottoes of the sacred Tam Coc cave. On the way, you will stop by the Bich Dong pagoda, located among pink lotuses. The temple offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. In the late afternoon you will go back to Ha Noi. Overnight in Ha Noi.
DAY 13: HA NOI – LUANG PRABANG (B/-/-)
Flying to Luang Prabang, you will meet our staff and they will take you to your hotel. First you will visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai. After that you can climb up to the top of mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong river. You will visit the night market with a selection of handmade textiles made by the hill tribes and local people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 14: LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU CAVES (B)
You will visit Wat Sene and Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground representing classical Laotian architecture. Then you will cruise upstream on the Mekong river to Pak Ou caves with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. Along the way, you can stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is produced. On return, you will take a short drive to another small village Ban Phanom which is famous for its hand weaving.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 15: LUANG PRABANG – VIENTIANE (B/-/-)
You will visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) in the former Royal Palace and central market (if time permits). Flying to Vientiane, you will explore the capital of Laos, Vientiane and Pha That Luang, a gleaming golden stupa. Moreover, you will visit Ho Pha Keo, the formal royal temple, currently a museum with beautiful examples of Buddhist sculpture and Wat Si Saket Patuxai, a monumental arch inspired by the Arc de Triomphe but constructed with Laotian motifs.
Overnight in Vientiane.
DAY 16: VIENTIANE DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
You will be free on your own until going to the airport for the next destination.