World Heritage Sites of Indochina
Day 1: Siem Reap – Arrival
Day 2: Siem Reap – Angkor Temples – Full-Day Tour
Day 3: Siem Reap – Flight to Luang Prabang
Day 4: Luang Prabang City Tour – Kuang Si Waterfall
Day 5: Laos Living Land Farm – UXO Centre –Flight to Hanoi
Day 6: Hanoi – Full-Day City Tour– Thang Long Citadel
Day 7: Hanoi – Halong Bay – On board a junk boat
Day 8: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Day 9: Hanoi – Flight to Dong Hoi
Day 10: Dong Hoi – Thien Duong Cave – Phong Nha Cave
Day 11: Dong Hoi – Day train to Hue
Day 12: Hue – Full-Day Tour
Day 13: Hue – Hoi An
Day 14: Hoi An – My Son Sanctuary
Day 15: Hoi An / Da Nang – Departure
Extra: Optional tours
This tour is designed to let you discover all the UNESCO heritage sites of Indochina – Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Start off your trip in Siem Reap with visits to its most sacred sites – Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm. The next Heritage Site you will see is Luang Prabang, known for its tranquil life along the river, you will also trek to the beautiful Kuangsi waterfalls. Later, travel to northern Vietnam, where you will embark on an interesting tour around Hanoi and visit the ancient Thang Long Citadel, following with a memorable day spent on the cruise at Halong Bay. Enjoy the change of scenery when you fly to Dong Hoi and marvel at the incredible landscape of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Step back in time to see the glorious past of the Nguyen Dynasty inside the Imperial Palace in Hue. You will have time to stroll along the lovely alleys of Hoi An ancient town before exploring My Son sanctuary – the last UNESCO Site on this tour.
Your private tour guide will meet you at the Siem Reap airport and will escort you by private car to your selected hotel in Siem Reap. Your knowledgeable guide will be happy to answer any questions along the way about your 2-week vacation in Indochina and will assist you with check-in and registration at the hotel.
Dinner will be on your own, but your guide will recommend excellent options for your preferred cuisine – we highly recommend trying Cambodian cuisine for a true immersion experience.
Note: For the Cambodian Visa on Arrival, please make sure you have 1 passport sized 3 cm x 4 cm photo and $30 for the stamping fee.
Overnight in Siem Reap
After breakfast, your adventure holiday will kick off as your private tour guide picks you up and takes you on a full-day discovery tour of the first UNESCO World Heritage site of Indochina, a masterpiece of Khmer architecture and the largest religious monument in the world, the Angkor Temples. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Bayon – the incredible maze of corridors, gothic style towers and magical central temples with 1200 meters of the finest bas relief, depicting scenes of everyday life in 12th Century Cambodia is sure to impress
– Royal Palace
– Terrace of the Leper King
– The temples of King Jayavarman VII, reputedly Angkor’s greatest king. The fortified city of Angkor Thom which he built at the end of the 12th century is enclosed by a square wall 8 meters high, with five 20 meter long monumental gates decorated with stone elephant trunks.
Finish the morning tour by visiting Ta Prohm – the ultimate Indiana Jones fantasy, cloaked in dappled shadow, its crumbling towers and walls locked in the slow muscular embrace of vast root systems.
Lunch will be served at a local Cambodian restaurant giving you the chance to sample some of the delicious local cuisines.
You will continue to visit the famous temple of Angkor Wat – the best known and most breathtaking of all the sights in Cambodia, and a highlight of any visit to the Angkor complex. Originally built as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman ll in honor of Vishnu, this temple is unique as it faces west, symbolically, the direction of death.
After you are taken back to Siem Reap, the rest of the evening will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Morning (pick up at 5:00 am)
This morning, you will watch the sunrise at the Angkor Wat Temple. Your private tour guide will take you to Angkor Wat, where you will have your breakfast whilst enjoying the view.
– if you wish to sleep in and avoid waking up at 5:00 am, you can start your day later in the morning but then you will not revisit Angkor Wat you can have your breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the sunrise if you prefer
Leaving Angkor Wat (or the hotel if you decide to sleep in), you will visit the 10th century capital of Koh Ker (travel time approximately 2 hours). While there are known to be over 200 temples within the boundaries of this ancient city, only 96 have been discovered thus far. You will spend the morning at Prasat Thom, much of which is partially buried.
On the way back to Siem Reap, you will stop to explore Beng Mealea, similar in size to the better-known Angkor Wat (both were built by Jayavarman VII), though not nearly as frequently visited. Completely swallowed by the jungle, and with minimal restoration work, it is easy to imagine the difficulties early explorers must have faced when discovering these temples for the first time.
Back at Siem Reap, the rest of the afternoon will be yours to explore at your leisure.
You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the Siem Reap airport for a short flight to Luang Prabang, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel in Luang Prabang to check in.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a bike tour (or on foot if you prefer) of Luang Prabang.
– The National Museum (the former Royal Palace of Laos), houses a range of interesting artifacts from the Royal period in Luang Prabang
– Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture
– Wat Visoun, entirely rebuilt in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from southern China – in the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa, shaped like the fruit for which it is named
– Wat Aham, home of the altar of Luang Prabang
After lunch at a local restaurant, you wind your way to the Kuang Si Waterfall, a three-tier waterfall about 29 km south of Luang Prabang. You can swim in the topaz pool of the waterfall, (please remember to bring your swim gear with you for this activity), walk along the forest trails and visit the Bear Sanctuary.
On the way back to town, there will be a stop to visit the morning Phousi Market. This is where the locals of Luang Prabang do their daily shopping. You will see a variety of local foodstuffs and products including dried buffalo skin, local tea, and saltpeter, all set among the chickens, fish, vegetables, and fruit.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to the Living Land Farm, a working community farm. There, you will learn all about the rice growing process and have an opportunity to participate in seasonal farm activities, such as identifying viable rice seeds, ploughing with a buffalo, hand planting, weeding and harvesting rice and threshing rice seeds.
You will pick your own vegetables from the organic garden and catch a fish to cook for your wholesome lunch. There will also be a variety of local rice products for you to sample.
You will return to Luang Prabang to visit the UXO Laos Information Centre and learn about how Laos was the country that got bombed the most during the Indochina War.
Following the UXO Centre, you will be taken to the Luang Prabang airport for a short flight to Hanoi, the next country of your tour in Indochina.
Note: For the Vietnamese Visa on Arrival, please make sure you have 2 passport sized 4 cm x 6 cm photos and $25 for the stamping fee. After going through customs, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel to check-in.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a full-day city tour of Hanoi. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Thang Long Citadel (the most recent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vietnam), built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet (former Vietnam)
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace
– Huu Tiep Lake, where you will be able to see the Downed B-52, an interesting slice of history nestled in the day to day life of the residents of Hanoi
– Museum of Ethnology
Lunch will be served at one of many breathtaking restored colonial villas.
After lunch, your tour will continue.
– Temple of Literature (a Confucius temple considered the first National University of Vietnam)
– Hoa Lo prison (known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the American war)
– A stroll around the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake
– A cycle rickshaw ride through Hanoi’s French Quarter, characterized by wide tree-lined streets, majestic French buildings and side-walk cafes
In the evening, you will be picked up and driven to visit a local Vietnamese family, where you will savor a delicious home-style dinner. During your traditional Vietnamese dinner, the family will engage you in conversation about their daily life and the Vietnamese culture. The host family will also entertain you by playing some local music instruments that he personally made.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay (travel time approximately 4 hours). There will be stops en route for photos and refreshments.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed aboard your traditional junk; designed in the same style as those that have sailed the bay for hundreds of years. You will begin a relaxing and unforgettable cruise through the azure waters of this magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone karsts (small islands) crest the waves like dragons’ teeth. A delicious fresh seafood lunch will be served as you cruise this UNESCO site.
After lunch, your junk boat will anchor near a secluded beach. You can take a short trek to a nearby summit and enjoy the panoramic view of the bay. This is a great place to swim, or you may prefer to sunbathe on the deck. Later, you will visit a local fishing village where you can meet the local people who have lived and fished in the bay for many generations.
You will return to your junk boat to watch the sunset, with cocktails available for purchase from the bar, followed by a sumptuous dinner. You will spend the night on the junk, in a cabin with an ensuite bathroom.
(Note: Program may differ slightly based on your selected junk boat’s itinerary.)
Overnight on board
In the morning, enjoy the magnificent scenery of the bay; if you are an early riser, be sure to take advantage and watch the sunrise over the sea. Engage in an early morning Tai Chi session on the sundeck, followed by breakfast and a visit to a beautiful limestone grotto for its unique rock formations. After one last glimpse of Halong Bay’s awe-inspiring beauty around midday, your junk boat will return to the dock.
Upon returning to the dock, your private guide and driver will transfer you back to Hanoi (travel time approximately 4 hours). The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast and check out, you will be picked up and driven back to the airport to catch a short flight to Dong Hoi to visit Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Quang Binh Province in the north-central coast region.
Upon arrival in Dong Hoi Airport, your private tour guide and driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel to check in. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Dong Hoi
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to the wharf where you will embark on a boat trip upstream to discover the Phong Nha Cave, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2003. The cave is always a favorite on family private tours of Indochina. The first British Vietnamese caving expeditions took place in 1990 and 1992 and the Phong Nha Cave was concluded at 7729 meters. The cave was opened to tourists in 1994, for exploration up to 600 meters inside the cave.
At the entrance of the cave, you will take a sampan boat through the cave to discover the amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
After lunch, you will continue to visit the famed Thien Duong Cave, also known as Paradise Cave. Here, you will see different forms of stalactites, each 30-50 centimeters tall, resembling Buddha statues, some of them with diameters of more than 1 meter. One even resembles the communal house of the Central Highlands people!
Return to your hotel later in the afternoon, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Dong Hoi
You’ll have the whole morning free at your leisure. Breakfast will be served at the hotel and you’ll check out of the hotel room at midday.
Your guide and driver will collect you from the hotel and transfer you to Dong Hoi Train station to catch the Reunification Express train (soft seats with Air-condition) to Hue, a Unesco World Heritage site and the former capital of Imperial Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. The three-hour train journey will be an interesting experience because it allows you to see the scenery along the way and especially crossing Vietnam’s former DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). The DMZ was the former border between North and South Vietnam before the reunification. Historically it was a narrow band of terrain extending from the Laos border to the coast, five kilometers on either side of the Ben Hai River, roughly on the 17th parallel north of latitude.
In the evening, we’ll arrive in Hue train station where you are picked up by the local guide and driver, then transferred to the hotel to check in. The rest of the evening will be yours at leisure.
Overnight in Hue
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to Thanh Toan Village to discover the Thanh Toan market. People from the surrounding areas gather here every morning to trade and buy their daily food. You will walk around the market stalls, talk and mingle with the locals, as well as visit the small village museum, the ancient Thanh Toan Covered Bridge which dates back to the 1700s, and the cultural museum which displays Vietnamese agricultural life.
Leaving the village, you will board a dragon boat to cruise along the Perfume River and visit the Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) Pagoda.
Next, you will travel to the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors and visit one of Vietnam’s most impressive royal tombs, Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb.
A vegetarian lunch will be served by the nuns at a Buddhist monastery. Here, you will have the opportunity to interact with them and learn more about Buddhism.
After lunch, you will continue to visit the Imperial City, a listed UNESCO site – Hue was the ancient capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945, under the reign of the Nguyen dynasty. The city is considered a living museum with many historical monuments, imperial tombs, pagodas and temples that educate us on the history of the last feudal dynasty in Vietnam.
End your day with a visit to Dong Ba Central Market. Walk across the historic Trang Tien bridge to return to the hotel.
Overnight in Hue
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to the riverside town of Hoi An. The drive will hug the coastline along the Eastern Sea, providing breathtaking view after another as you wind your way up Hai Van (Ocean Clouds) Pass. There will be stops en route to visit the Non Nuoc Beach, the Cham Museum containing the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world, and Marble Mountains where dozens of Buddhist shrines are erected.
After checking into your hotel in Hoi An, your guide will take you to lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, you will take a walking tour of Hoi An through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter. From the 16th to the 18th century, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port. Today it is a quaint riverside town popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailor shops, and cafes.
– Chua Ong Temple
– The Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation
– The 200-year-old Tam Ky house
– The 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge
– Hoi An Central Market
You will also take a short boat trip to a nearby island to visit the villages of Thanh Ha and Kim Bong to see handcrafted ceramics and a boat-building business.
Return to Hoi An later in the afternoon, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to My Son Sanctuary, your last destination on your Indochina travel package.
My Son is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu Temples constructed between the 4th and 14th centuries by the kings of Champa. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is “Bhadresvara”. The temples are in a valley roughly 2 km wide, surrounded by two mountain ranges. It was the site of religious ceremonies for the Kings of the Champa dynasty and was also a burial place of Champa royals and national heroes.
Return to Hoi An in the afternoon. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to the Da Nang Airport for your departure flight home.
From Fishing to Farming Life Tour: $65/person
This is a special tour designed to show visitors the beautiful countryside scenery of Hoi An while educating them about the farmers and fishermen’s life in Hoi An. You will explore the narrow winding roads in the countryside by bicycle. Along the way, you will see water buffalos, rice paddies, organic vegetable farms, and interact with the friendly local farming people. You will also experience a bit of the fishing life by catching a fish with a local fisherman’s net, learn how to row the funny basket boat, and visit the beautiful Water Coconut Palm Paradise which has a very interesting story.
Don’t want to go home yet? Add a side trip to Phu Quoc Island & Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon!
Day 1: Da Nang – Flight to Phu Quoc Island
At the airport in Da Nang, take a short flight to Phu Quoc, passing through Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon arrival at Phu Quoc, your private driver will take you to your resort in Phu Quoc to check in. Phu Quoc Island is an undiscovered paradise in the warm turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand, about 50 km from the Vietnamese mainland. In Phu Quoc, you will find beautiful beaches, an untouched natural environment, a relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals and fantastic scuba diving.
Overnight in Phu Quoc
Boutique: Thanh Kieu Resort/ Deluxe room
3 Star: Sea Star Resort/ Superior room
4 Star: Eden Resort/ Deluxe room
5 Star: Chelsea Resort/ Deluxe room
Days 2 & 3: Phu Quoc– Free Day
Visit the local market, take a scuba diving class, bicycle around the island or just relax at the beach sunbathing and swimming in the ocean.
Overnight in Phu Quoc
Day 4: Phu Quoc– Flight to Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to the Da Nang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City), previously known as Saigon.
Upon arrival at HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat airport, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel in HCM City to check in.
Overnight in HCM City
Boutique: Anpha Boutique Hotel/ Deluxe Premier room
3 Star: Sanouva Hotel/ Premier room
4 Star: Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa/ Deluxe room
5 Star: Lotte Legend Saigon Hotel/ Deluxe room
Day 5: HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels – City Tour
After breakfast, your private tour guide will take you on a 2 hour tour of the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by the Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. This vast network of tunnels played a huge part in the Viet Cong’s victory over the Americans, allowing them to control a large rural area surrounding HCMC. The tunnels are a sobering insight into the dedication of the Viet Cong who lived almost entirely underground in the narrow and claustrophobic tunnels, for up to 10 years! Today, some of the remaining tunnels have been opened to tourists, offering a unique insight into what underground life must have been like during the ‘American’ war.
At the Cu Chi Tunnels, you will watch a brief introductory video, followed by a walk through the reserve. If you are feeling brave, you can crawl inside the Cu Chi Tunnels to experience how difficult life must have been, and discover the 3 underground levels. There will also be a chilling exhibition of the traps and weapons used against the American GI’s.
After the visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, you will return to HCM City. Lunch will be at a local restaurant en route.
After checking in to your hotel, your private tour guide will take you on a tour of HCM City. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Reunification Palace (the former Presidential Palace), where the war officially ended on April 30th, 1975 when tank 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of the home of the President of the Republic of Vietnam
– War Remnants Museum, highlighting the suffering of the Vietnamese people during recent conflicts – not entirely unbiased
– Notre Dame Cathedral considered being one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Vietnam. It was built in the period 1877 – 1880 by the French architect Bourad.
– General Post Office (GPO), noted for its neoclassical architecture, designed and constructed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. We suggest you visit the Ben Thanh night market and do some fun shopping.
Overnight in HCM City
Day 6: HCM City – Departure
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat airport for your departure flight home.
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Domestic flights within Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
- Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
Free service. No credit card required
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Incredible Vietnam experience with Tony
Great company, great service
Excellent customer service from Elly Do and Asia Pioneer Travel from start to finish. Elly took the time to come to meet us in our hotel in Hanoi and it was lovely to meet her. We changed our itinerary a couple of times before booking and Elly was always happy to discuss and accommodate. All the guides we had and all of the hotels were great. When you only have a couple of days in each city it was great to have a guide and a driver to whisk you through the traffic. Thanks Elly!
Amazing People and Great Service
We travelled for 7 weeks so the tour that we structured gave us a great mix of guided and free time. We were able to see the normal tourist sites, as well as spend some in-depth time in the villages and communities. This gave us a much greater insight into life in Vietnam and Cambodia. All I can say is that they are amazing and incredible people!
Our guides were great. Our drivers were safe and looked after us very well. I would not recommend anyone try driving on thier own if you are coming from a country where people obey the traffic laws. We learned over time that is is actully very organized chaos!
If you are looking for a great agency, we can assure you that Asia Pioneer cares about you and will look after you with every detail!
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