The Majestic Beauty of Indochina 25 Days
explore-vietnam

An experience to three countries in one shot of 25 days, visiting the highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, from interesting sightseeing, traditional culture to easy adventures.

 

If you haven't been to these countires before, then this is the perfect trip for you.

 
 
 

Day 01 Arrive Hanoi, transfer to hotel.

Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be met and transferred to hotel. Chao Ban! Welcome to Hanoi.

 

Rest of the day is at leisure to rest or explore on your own.

 

Overnight Hanoi.

Day 02 Tour Hanoi

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch

After breakfast, we begin our day by visiting Uncle Ho at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and residential grounds learning about his great life. Next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam's first University. Here we will also have a chance to see a traditional music performance.

 

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant for a taste of authentic Hanoi Pho (noodle soup). In the afternoon, choose from one of the numerous museums or temples around Hanoi (Museum of Ethnology, Women's Museum, History Museum or Quan Thanh Temple).

 

In the late afternoon, take a cyclo trip around Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi's fascinating Old Quarter. This is your chance to be in the midst of typical Hanoian life and Vietnamese culture. We finish our relaxing but informative day by attending a Water Puppet Show - a favorite experience for all visitors to Vietnam.

 

We can help you to get back to your hotel if you wish, but you rather enjoy the evening enjoying a drink with a view of the city. 

 

Overnight Hanoi.

Day 03 Hanoi - Ninh Binh, night train to Lao Cai

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch

Leave 8:00 AM to Ninh Binh. After a 2.5 hour drive (about 100 km), we will ride on the rowboat as soon as we arrive Trang An. This is a very beautiful boat ride in about 1,5 hours, a meandering stream with towering limestone mountain peaks above and rowing through some limestone caves.  Lunch at local restaurant.

 

We make a short transfer along the peaceful country road to Hoa Lu - here our guide will take you through this interesting history part of Vietnam's ancient capital in the 9th century, with stories of the two kings are now being worshiped there.  We return to Hanoi in the late afternoon at around 6:00 pm. 

 

At 8:00 pm transfer from a prearranged meeting spot to the station for your night train to Sapa. Boarding is at around 9:10 pm. You will be in shared AC soft sleeper cabin to travel North to Lao Cai town.

 

(Our tour guide will show you the mini hotel where you will have basic shower and breakfast before going on Halong bay trip after you come back from Sapa).

 

Ovenright train.

 

Day 04 Arrival Lao Cai - Sapa, trek to Ta Phin (~ 14 km)

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

The train arrives at about 6:00 am. Exit the train station, as your guide will meet you outside the staion. Take a morning drive through the clouds by car / van to Sapa, about 1.5 hours. When you arrive in Sapa you will be taken to a local restaurant for a morning shower, breakfast, a short rest and some last preparations before our inspiring trek.

 

We will then take short ride from Sapa to our trekking base. Our trek through the terraced valleys, up and down hills will take about 5 to 6 hours. We will pass rice paddies, bamboo forests, and minority villages.

 

Lunch break along the way depending on our pace. When we arrive in Taphin village, our Dao host family will welcome us to their home where we will share in an ethnic style dinner and stay the night

 

Overnight Homestay at Taphin village.

Day 05 More in Ta Phin and back to Sapa

MEAL: Breakfast

At the first gleam of daylight, you will see and hear the sounds of morning village life. You can join your host family in some of their morning activities like feeding the animals, cleaning the houses, gardening or preparing breakfast. After breakfast, we can take a short wander around the village or spend more time enjoying the view and company at the homestay.

 

You will be then supported by our car / van back to Sapa (30 minutes). When we arrive back in Sapa, check into the hotel, shower, and stop for lunch on your own.

 

At 2:30 pm we will take an easy 5 km walk to Cat Cat village, home of Black H’mong hill tribe, and to take part in a traditional ethnic music performance put on by the ethnic minority people. 

 

Back in Sapa and overnight.

Day 06 Sapa - night train back to Hanoi

MEAL: Breakfast

Breakfast at hotel.  Today your guide is available to you for the whole day, although, you have the entire day for free time and visiting the lively markets. Some suggestions include a visit to the orchid gardens of Dragon Mountain, or a cultural day trek to hill tribe village.

 

In the afternoon, depart from your hotel for the Lao Cai train station at 5:30 pm. The train leaves Lao Cai at 8:15 pm for Hanoi.

 

Overnight train.

Day 07 Arrive Hanoi, transfer to Halong Bay

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Arrival in Hanoi in the early morning at around 5:00 am. Walk to a mini hotel near the Tran Quy Cap train station gate to have shower and a basic set menu breakfast.

 

Departure for Halong Bay is around 8:00 am on a shared van from your hotel. The drive takes 4 hours driving passing through the Vietnam countryside and rice paddy-life.

 

Arrive at the port around noon, the junks crew welcomes guests on board. Check-in, enjoy a welcome drink & attend the cruise briefing. Fresh, local seafood lunch while cruising on to Bai Tu Long Bay.

 

Stop for swimming, visit mysterious Thien Canh cave, Relax at a secluded beach, and kayak to explore the bay up close.Back on the junk to enjoy a relaxing sunset.

 

Dinner and overnight on board.

 

Day 08 Explore the tranquil scenery in Bai Tu Long bay, back to Hanoi

MEAL: Breakfast.Lunch

Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of karst landscape. From 7:30 to 8:00 am have breakfast in the fresh air, then visit Vong Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat. Meet the locals, visit a floating school & fish farms. Later take one more swim in the middle of the bay. There is ample time for the 11:45 am check-out from the cabin while cruising back.

 

Lunch on the boat as we slowly cruise back to port.

 

We will be ashore,  then hit the road back for water puppet show at a traditional Vietnamese village before getting back to Hanoi at around 6:00 pm.

 

Overnight Hanoi.

 

Day 09 Your free day in Hanoi. Night train to Hue

MEAL: Breakfast

Today is your free day in the Hanoi capital with all of its fascinating historical charm. Spend your day relaxing or shopping. Some suggestions include waking up early (about 6:00 am) and joining in the some exercising around Hoan Kiem Lake, or visiting the numerous markets, shopping, and trying all of the street side traditional foods.

 

At 6:00 pm we will pick you up from our office or your hotel for the night train to Hue. Boarding is at 7:00 pm. You will be in a shared AC soft sleeper cabin.

 

Overnight train.

Day 10 Arrival Hue, city tour of Vietnam's last feudal dynasty & boat trip

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch

Arrival in Hue at around 10:00 am. Meet and transfer to a mini hotel to take a shower and short rest.

 

This morning we will explore the Royal Tombs, choosing only to visit the best ones, as we have lots to do today. Lunch will be served at a local traditional restaurant at noon.

 

After lunch, we continue to see the Khai Dinh Royal Tomb then head back to Hue center to visit the former Imperial Citadel. Later, drive to Thien Mu Pagoda and learn more about Buddhism in Vietnam. Finally, take a short walk to the boat dock for our cruise on the Perfume River before getting back to your hotel at around 6:30 pm.

 

Overnight Hue

Day 11 Hue - Vietnam cyclo, visit market. Transfer to Hoi An

MEAL: Breakfast

After breakfast at your hotel around 9:00 AM,  we will go on a relaxing 1 hour Vietnam cyclo ride to visit Dong Ba market. After it will be time to begin our transfer to Hoi An (about 4 hours).

 

There is fabulous sightseeing en route and we may make stops at: Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum, and maybe the Marble Mountains if time permits. Hoi An in the evening. 

 

Ovenright Hoi An.

 

Overnight Hoi An.

Day 12 Hoi An, easy biking to Tra Que vegetable village - walking tour in the ancient town

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch

The center of Vietnam has many World Heritage Sites, and Hoi An is one of them. This ancient town of Hoi An, 30 km south of Danang, lies on the banks of the Thu Bon River.

 

At 8:00 am your guide will pick you up at your hotel for our bicycle trip to the countryside of Hoi An Town.

 

Arrival at Tra Que Organic village, then have a walk to visit the gardens of local farmers. Learn about their traditional methods and farming techniques - no machines here. Later, we will partly join-in some of the garden work followed by a short feet-soaking in Vietnamese herbs - a lovely treat.

 

12:00 noon, we head back Hoi An town for lunch at a local restaurant then take free time to take a rest as you wish until 2:00 pm. We'll walk around the town and experience its charming culture. We will visit the old Tan Ky House, the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, and the stylish Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. Back to hotel in the late afternoon. Free time to relax and discover other corners of Hoi An on your own. 

 

Overnight Hoi An.

Day 13 Hoi An - Nha Trang

MEAL: Breakfast

Breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the airport in Danang for a noon-flight to Nha Trang. Upon arrival, meet and  ransfer to your hotel. Free to chill out on the beautiful white sand beach.

 

Overnight Nha Trang.

Day 14 Nha Trang, island boat trip

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch

Morning pick up from hotel at 8:00 am and transfer to the boat station (15 minutes). Hop on the shared boat and begin a day on the water. The first stop will be Tri Nguyen Aquarium. Then we will cruise to Mot Island. This is one of the best places for snorkeling in Nha Trang. Hold your breath for as long as you can and dive deep into this colorful world of fish and coral. Next stop, Coral Island for sun bathing and relaxing on the off shore beach.

 

Lunch will be served with a selection of fresh seafood. After lunch, cruise to Tranh Island for more swimming and relaxing then boat back to Nha Trang city for around 5:00 pm. 

 

Overnight Nha Trang.

 

Day 15 Nha Trang - Saigon, city tour

MEAL: Breakfast

Take an early flight this morning at 7:50 am, arriving to Saigon at 8:45 am. Transfer downtown and check-in at our hotel before our city tour of bustling Saigon starts. Visit the Binh Tay Market in Cho Lon; stopover at Thien Hau, a 150-year-old Chinese Temple; then visit a Lacquer-wares workshop as well as the Jade Emperor Pagoda.

 

In the afternoon, visit the War Remnants Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the historic Central Post Office.

 

Overnight Saigon.

 

Day 16 Tay Ninh and the Cu Chi tunnels

MEAL: Breakfast

Departing Saigon at 8:00 am from your hotel for a morning excursion to Tay Ninh and the Great Cao Dai Temple (a place to worship a mixture of Buddhism, Confucius, Taoism, Hinduism and Christianity). Take part in the noon mass at the temple (1 hour). Lunch on your own in Tay Ninh.

 

In the afternoon we visit the Cu Chi outdoor museum to learn about the infamous tunnel systems of the Vietnamese army. Take this opportunity to get a unique understanding of the guerillas underground fighting strategies during the war. Crawl through 50 to 100 meters of the 200 km tunnel system if you dare.

 

On the way back to Saigon, visit a local rice paper workshop and take in views of the Vietnam countryside. We’ll drop you off at your hotel around 5:30 pm. 

 

Ovenright Saigon.

Day 17 Saigon to the fertile Mekong Delta (Cai Be - Can Tho)

MEAL: Breakfast

Depart Saigon at 8:00 am from your hotel. Head south to Cai Be. Upon arrival at around 10:30 am, board a boat for a journey through the Mekong's floating markets. See how river life goes on here, watch the trading between merchant ships and local farmers. Alive and exciting! Cruise through the secluded canals and cross the Mighty Mekong to an island where we will stop to enjoy fresh seasonal fruit before boating to Vinh Long.

 

Back on the bus for our trip to Can Tho, and  overnight.

 

Day 18 Can Tho - Chau Doc

MEAL: Breakfast

Wake up and 8:00 am start the day with an early boat trip to Cai Rang’s floating market. We’ll have some distance to cover to reach Phong Dien so take the time to enjoy the scenery. We’ll take a short cruise followed by a walk on a quiet country road getting a little bit closer local life here.

 

In the afternoon, we head back to Chau Doc. Pause to visit the Stork Garden near Thot Not and an incense factory. We’ll arrive late afternoon in Chau Doc where we will conquer Sam Mountain (~ 3km) with a rewarding hike. From the top, the panorama views over reach into Cambodia. Check into the hotel and stay the night.

 

Overniugth Chau Doc.

 

Day 19 Chau Doc - Phnom Penh

MEAL: Phnom Penh

After breakfast, we transfer to the boat pier for our departure to Phnom Penh. We’ll board a speedboat at 8:00 am and arrive in Phnom Penh at about 1:00 pm.

 

Your local guide will greet you and take you to the town center for lunch on your own before starting our half-day city tour.

 

We will visit the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, Independence Monument and National Museum. Pass by the river front park and capture photographs of Watt Phnom, Watt Phnom Daun and Penh pagoda. Tour ends at your hotel around 6:00 pm.

 

Overnight Phnom Penh.

Day 20 Phnom Penh - flight to Siem Reap, visit Angkor Wat, sunset & Apsara Dance

MEAL: Breakfast/Dinner

Breakfast at your hotel, then transfer to Phnom Penh airport for departure to Siem Reap. Arrival in Siem Reap greeted by your local guide. Transfer to your hotel, check in, then journey to the mother of all temples: Angkor Wat.

 

Believed to be the world's largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers. Built in the 12thcentury by King Suryavarman II, this is most famous temple at the Angkor complex. 6:30 pm, welcome dinner and Apsara Dance show at a local restaurant. Back to hotel to catch up on some rest in preparation for tomorrow.

 

Ovenright Siem Reap.

Day 21 Siem Reap - visit Angkor Thom, Bayon & Taprohm

MEAL: Breakfast

Today at 8:30 am we will hop on our bikes to explore the Angkor’s World Heritage and splendid temples.

 

You will visit the West Gate of Angkor Thom, Angkor Thom, South Gate, Bayon Temple, and Baphuon Temple. Also included today are visits to the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.

 

We will then continue on to visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of the enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. Bear witness to some of the measures being taken to preserve the temple while at the same time allowing nature reclaim the area.

 

Enjoy our one hour foot massage before transfer back to your hotel at around 6: 30 pm. ( one hour foot massage included)

 

Overnight Siem Reap.

 

Day 22 Siem Reap -. Flight to Luang Prabang, Laos

MEAL: Breakfast

Breakfast at your hotel, then 8:00 am we will start the day with a visit to Banteay Srei: nearly everyone's favorite site. The special charm of this temple lies in its small stature, remarkable state of preservation, and the excellence of its decorative carvings. Next is Banteay Samre’s rose-coloured sandstone walls decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs.

 

Finally, we visit Artisan d’Angkor and a local silk farm. Tour of the classes and workshops to get a glimpse into the unique vocational training programs teaching young artists the techniques and styles of classic Cambodian artistry.

 

Transfer and catch your afternoon flight from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang. Airport pick upon arrival, transfer to hotel.

 

Overnight Luang Prabang.

Day 23 Explore Luang Prabang

MEAL: Breakfast

Morning at your own leisure then in the afternoon at around 1:30 pm, meet with your local guide for a city tour to visit the tranquil and charming town of Luang Prabang.

 

Visit the National Museum (closed Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, the impressive Stupa of Watt Visoun and the shrine of Watt Aham at Watt Mai. Next, we ascent up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa with abeautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.

 

Explore the night market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local Hmong people.

 

Back to the hotel. Ovenright Luang Prabang.

Day 24 Visit Pak Ou cave and Khuang si waterfall

MEAL: Breakfast

Today we will leave hotel at 8:00 am and  enjoy a short-guided tour with visits to the city’s oldest temples: Watt Sene and the magnificent Watt Xiengthong. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, offering us breathtaking views of the tranquil countryside. Our destination is the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. A set of two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims.

 

Along the way, we will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where local rice wine is produced.

 

On the way back, we take a short drive to another small village, Ban Phanom, which has become famous for its hand weaving. 

 

Overnight Luang Prabang

Day 25 Luang Prabang - U.S. or an extension

MEAL: Breakfast

Breakfast at your hotel. Depending on your flight, you may have some more time for shopping. Then we transfer you to the airport for your flight home, or extend your trip to Myanmar.

 
VISA INFO

 
A valid passport and Vietnamese visa is required. You must have a visa to Vietnam before you arrive Vietnam.

A VISA to Vietnam can be applied for by mail or in person at the Embassy of Vietnam as early as six months prior to the date of travel. The applicant must submit original PASSPORT,  Application form (PDF Form/Word Form), original photo (2x 2in) and visa fee in money order.

The visa rules and regulations are subjec to change. Please check www.vietnamembassy.us

Current information on visa and entry requirements may be obtained from the
Vietnamese Embassy
1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400,
Washington, DC 20036, tel: 202-861-0737

The Vietnamese Consulate General,
1700 California Street - Suite 430,
San Francisco, CA 94109, tel: (415) 922-1707