Lanterns

15 day escorted tour

The Grand Tour of Indochina

Take the ultimate journey through Southeast Asia

*Available for departures from 1st October 2019*

Embark on the ultimate journey traveling through three different countries, starting in Luang Prabang and completing your trip in Siem Reap. From the saffron-robed Buddhist monks in Luang Prabang and the limestone islets of Halong Bay to the charming historic town of Hoi An, the busy streets of Hanoi and Saigon and the magnificent temples of Angkor, this tour gives you a flavour of what Indochina can offer and unforgettable memories that will enthuse you to go back and discover more.

 

Group Tour departs every Sunday

Private basis departs daily 

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Wander Hoi An's old town
  • Temples and waterfalls of Luang Prabang
  • Boat trip along Perfume River
  • Ho Chi Minh City's Cu Chi tunnels

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
15 days
Destination Breakdown
Options
Private or Group basis, Escorted
Included
  • International and domestic flights as detailed.
  • Accommodation as detailed in double or twin room with private facilities (alternative but similar hotels may be used at certain times of the year).
  • Air-conditioned transportation.
  • Services of an English-speaking local driver/guide.
  • All entrance fees during sightseeing as detailed.
  • Meals included as stated. Please note: breakfast is usually a Western-style buffet in your hotel. Most other meals are taken at local restaurants.
  • If the overnight train is taken from Hanoi to Hue a private four-berth cabin will be booked, however bathroom facilities are shared.
Not included
  • Visa fees.
  • Beverages during meals.
  • Tips for the driver/guide.
  • Optional excursions.

Itinerary Breakdown

Meet upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport, the tour guide for your time in Laos will pick you up and take you to your hotel for check-in.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Santi Resort and Spa

Start the day with a stroll through the morning market, a great way to see local life. Stop off for a visit to the impressive Vat Visoun and Vat Aham before climbing Vat Phousi hill for outstanding views over the city. In the afternoon you will visit the former Kings palace which is now the National Museum which has displays of personal artifacts from the Royal family. This is followed by a visit to Ock Pop Tock Weave Centre where you can explore the fascinating world of traditional Lao handicrafts.  

Points of Interest

  • Ock PopTock Weave Centre

Overnight Accommodation

  • Santi Resort and Spa

Embark on a riverboat cruise on the Mekong River, from Luang Prabang upstream to the sacred Pak Ou Caves where you can marvel at the thousands of gold Buddha statues. Visit the enchanting village of Ban Xang Hai which is famous for the distillation of traditional rice alcohol. Return to the boat for lunch on board - this is a great photo opportunity as you are moored in front of the majestic Pha Enn Cliff. You will return to your hotel in Luang Prabang around 14:30pm - and the rest of the days is free for you to relax or perhaps take a stroll around the old town of Luang Prabang.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Santi Resort and Spa

After breakfast take the 1-hour journey to the enchanting Kuang Si Waterfalls. Water tumbles over the multi-tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. Enjoy a picnic lunch near the waterfalls and enjoy some time to wander the area and explore. On the way back to Luang Prabang make a stop a Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm - the first Buffalo dairy to produce buffalo cheese and a range of dairy products and provide income and a sustainable future for the local Lao people.  Then proceed to the airport for your flight to Hanoi.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Thien Thai Hotel

After an early breakfast, depart your hotel for Halong Bay. After boarding the boat you will start a relaxing overnight cruise passing bizarre rock formations. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of outstanding natural beauty, known in Vietnamese as 'dragon descending to the sea'. Itineraries vary depending on the boats programme, after lunch enjoy a guided excursion to Sung Sot Caves, floating village or swimming in the bay. Once the sun has set your boat will drop anchor for the night. A cooking demonstration may take place before dinner is served.

After dinner, you may choose to enjoy the fresh air on the sundeck or play board games or retire to your cabin for a comfortable night in the bay after a long day.

Note: our tour guide will not accompany you on-board, however, each boat has its own knowledgeable guides.

Points of Interest

  • Sung Sot Caves
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Overnight Accommodation

  • Bhaya Classic Cruise - Deluxe Cabin, Upper Deck

You are welcome to join in an early morning Tai Chi session on the sundeck while watching the sunrise in the bay or enjoy other activities (depending on your boat's programme). Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking the boat and heading back towards Hanoi, enjoy an orientation tour visiting the Old Quarter which is known as the cities historical centre. You have the choice to stay in Hanoi for another night or experience the Vietnam rail tracks overnight a board the SE3 Reunification Express from Hanoi to Hue. The overnight train is based in a private four-berth compartment (two upper and two lower berths) with air-conditioning and shared restrooms.

For those taking the train, dinner will be enjoyed at a restaurant before transferring to Hanoi railway station.

Notes when taking the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue:

Tour guide will not accompany those taking the overnight train option.

Train schedule is subject to change (ETD: 22:00pm).

Shared restrooms only available at either end of the carriages.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Thien Thai Hotel or train

Spend the morning at leisure before checking out of your hotel and transferring to the airport for your flight to Hue or those that have taken the overnight train option you will arrive in Hue around 10.35am and be picked up to join the rest of the group for lunch before continuing with a half day tour of Hue. You will visit the Imperial Citadel, this royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.Continue by road to visit Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda an active Buddhist monastery originating from 1601 and afterward take a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to the city pier.

Overnight in Hue.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Moonlight Hotel

In the morning, visit Tu Duc Royal Tomb, construction of the tomb was meticulously carried out starting whilst the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Your journey continues southbound to Da Nang over the famous Hai Van Pass with a green view of the stretch of Truong Son mountain range on one side and a spectacular sea view on the other followed by lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon visit Cham Museum and en route take a photo stop at Marble Mountains before driving the short distance south past the famous Non Nuoc Beach onto the enchanting town of Hoi An listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Upon arrival in Hoi An, check in the hotel and the rest of the day will be at leisure.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Hoi An Trails Resort

Explore the Ancient Town of Hoi An and its surroundings. Known to early Western merchants, Hoi An was one of the major trading centres of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Hoi An has a mixed Chinese-Vietnamese atmosphere with low, tiled-roof houses and narrow streets; the original structure of some of these streets is still virtually intact. Many of the houses are constructed of rare timbers and decorated with lacquer panels engraved with Chinese characters and pillars carved with ornamental designs.
Take a short boat ride across the river to a boat builder’s yard and woodcarvers. You will also visit a pottery and brick-making village. Return to the town for a discovery tour on foot through Hoi An Ancient Town which has been enlisted as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1999. You will visit some of the historic merchant and community houses, places of worship and the famous Japanese covered bridge.
In the afternoon, have free time for relaxation or for further discovery of the ancient town on your own.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Hoi An Trails Resort

Check out of the hotel and transfer to Danang airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Flight VN 117 10:00 hrs.– 11:25 hrs.)
Formerly known as Saigon,todays Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrating economiccentre of the South. Over the past few centuries, Saigon was called the“Pearl of the Far East” and was an important trading centre for Chinese, Japanese and Western merchants who travelled along the Saigon River.

Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City airport, pick up and transfer the city centre for lunch at restaurant.
After lunch, take an orientation tour in the city centre. You will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, both being the landmarks of the City’s colonial past. Continue with visit to the photo gallery Couleurs d’Asie by Rehahn – the famous French photographer. On the show are two different sides of the artist’s works: images of Vietnam and his works from other countries as well as fine art photography.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Northern Hotel, Premier Deluxe Room

Drive to Cu Chi district this morning to visit the amazing complex of underground tunnels at Cu Chi. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch. 

After lunch enjoy some free time before transferring to Ho Chi Minh City airport for your flight to Siem Reap.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room

Start the day by visiting the last capital of the Khmer Empire: Angkor Thom, built in the 12th century and deserted most likely during the 16th century. 
Continue towards famous Ta Prohm, beautiful jungle temple which nature seems to have taken over, has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Stop and relax for a nice lunch at Sala Russey, local restaurant facing Sra Srang
 
Next a visit to the most famous of all temples: Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument named UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.
Take part in a sacred Buddhist ritual when you travel to Cambodia and receive a spiritual cleansing ceremony performed by the monks. The ceremony begins with the monks chanting harmoniously as they wish you good luck, safe travel, and a long life. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room

You will be driven to Soutr Nikum District (pronounced So Nikum) which occupies a long stretch of shore on the Tonle Sap Lake and is home to one of the largest communities on the water, Kompong Khleang. 

Once you have finished exploring Kompong Khleang, drive towards Beng Mealea where you will enjoy a homemade lunch at a local family house located behind Beng Mealea. After lunch, take a igestiveshortk on the red dirt road to a small atmospheric satellite temple of Beng Mealea, named Prasat Chhrey, before exploring the long-abandoned ruins of Beng Mealea , still strangled by the overgrown jungle. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room

This morning, see the real Siem Reap by scooter-like Honda motorbikes - this is an exciting way to really see what the city can offer.

Siem Reap town center is known for pub street, night markets and restaurants, but Siem Reap’s real market center is Phsar Leu, easily twice the size of Old Market (Siem Reap’s largest tourist market). Here your guide will help you to select available food in the market for you to taste and discover what Cambodians eat for breakfast.

Then, time to ride through the back streets of Siem Reap, down to the countryside where you can closely view the daily activities of local farmers. During this part of the ride you may have as many stops as desired to interact with locals. You will also learn how to throw fishing nets in the pond. Return back to Siem Reap for lunch and enjoy creative Khmer dishes by Chef Mengly, at his Pou Kitchen & Restaurant

After lunch take the short walk next door to visit “Les Artisans d’Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles”.
This centre is working with young artisans and company promotes fair, sustainable development in order to provide benefits to rural communities.
Continue to visit Rehash Trash, a daily workshop that turns dirty roadside rubbish into incredible stylish stuff. Take part in the 2 hours workshop to learn how they really work with this unwanted trash and make your own creation. 

This exciting day finishes with a walk over to visit Sombai Liqueur. Discover the local taste of Siem Reap through a wide range of home-made and artisan products by trying 11 different flavours of liqueur (or as many as you can handle!). It will be a pleasure for the eyes and taste buds.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Sakmut Boutique Hotel - Deluxe Room

After your breakfast, transfer to Siem Reap airport for your next destination.