From £3,144 pp incl. UK flights
This holiday cherry picks 5 very different iconic destinations in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Perfect for those who want to experience the incredible variety that Indochina has to offer or enjoy a taste of each, with a view to explore your favourite in greater depth at a later date.
Day 1: Depart UK on your overnight flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Day 2: Arrive Siem Reap (Angkor) for 3 nights. Private transfer to your choice of hotel
Day 3: Private guided Angkor Temples Highlights tour
Day 4: Morning private guided tour to Tonle Sap Lake with boat ride
Day 5: Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos for 3 nights
Day 6: Private guided Alms Procession & City Tour
Day 7: Private boat tour to Pak Ou Caves. Afternoon private Kuang Si Waterfall tour
Day 8: Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam for 2 nights
Day 9: Hanoi City Highlights tour. Evening Street Eats & Market Tour
Day 10: Overnight cruise to Halong Bay, UNESCO World Heritage site
Day 11: Morning Cruise. Evening flight down to Saigon for 3 nights.
Day 12: Private Cu Chi Tunnels tour
Day 13: Mekong Delta day tour tour with boat ride
Day 14: Overnight flight home.
Day 15: Arrive home
Day 1: UK Airport / Siem Reap
Depart on a choice of overnight flights to Siem Reap. As there are no direct flights to Cambodia this is a chance to add on an extra destination such as Bangkok, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur or just book a through flight.
Day 2: Arrive Siem Reap
On arrival you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to the city centre where you check in to your choice of hotel for 3 nights. The rest of the day is free. This evening you might like to visit the circus that performs nightly in the centre of town. We can arrange tickets.
Day 3: Siem Reap - Private Angkor Temples Highlights Tour (B / L)
This morning your private guide will pick you up for a private guided tour of the iconic Angkor Archaeological Park. Start off at Angkor Thom, the last great capital of the Khmer Empire. Highlights include the magnificent Bayon, one of the most recognisable sites because of the 54 towers adorned with 216 enigmatically smiling stone faces, the Terrace of Elephants, a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies and the Terrace of Leper Kings, whose walls boast beautifully carved nagas, demons and other mythological beings. In the low morning sun the carvings really stand out and as you stand on the Terrace of Elephants you get a great view across a parkland scene interspersed with giant trees protected in the National Park.
Then move onto the temple of Ta Phrom, jungle covered and pretty much left as originally found by European explorers to create a mystical atmosphere.
Back to Siem Reap (15 minutes away) for lunch and a rest in the hot midday. This afternoon return to explore Angkor Wat, the most famous and best preserved of all the Angkor temples. You’ll have time for a thorough exploration before climbing to the top of Pre Rup temple to watch the sunsetover the jungle. Back to the hotel by early evening.
Extra…The great thing about having your own specialist guide is that the itinerary can be tailored to you and be adapted on the ground to take advantage of local knowledge and keep ahead of the crowds. Angkor represents the universe in miniature and you could spend weeks touring round the thousand or so temples, so on this tour we focus on the highlights, but we can easily extend your stay.
Day 4: Siem Reap (B) - Tonle Sap Lake Stilted Villages Tour
This morning you’ll be collected by your guide and transferred 45 minutes through the Cambodia countryside to Tonle Sap Lake where you board a longtail boat to explore the lake and visit Kompong Phluk, an isolated community of three villages built on stilts. These scenic villages are flooded for around half the year and you will board a local boat, rowed by a villager, to explore the local community. You will also be taken through the flooded mangrove forests that are the main building block of this valuable ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife. Back in Siem Reap in time for a late lunch.
Day 5: Fly Siem Reap (B) / Luang Prabang
Most of morning free, rhen early afternon private airport transfer and flight to Luang Prabang, Laos. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel of choice for 3 nights. The rest of the day is free to explore this mystical town, one of the most fascinating and authentic places to visit in SE Asia. This evening don’t miss the superb night market that runs through the centre of town.
Day 6: Luang Prabang - Private Guided Almsgiving & City Tour (B / L)
Today rise early for a dawn (6.00am) start to watch the traditional Lao rite of Almsgiving to the 300+ monks that occurs each morning. Afterwards your private guide will take you back to the hotel via the Morning Market, a feast of local and somewhat unusual (to us) produce. After a leisurely breakfast re-join your guide for a private guided walking tour around this beautiful World Heritage town, visiting a number of Wats (temples), the Royal Palace and central market. Luang Prabang is best experienced by foot (we can arrange a car) and is home to a growing number of niche shops and galleries. The morning finishes with a climb up the 328 steps up Phousi Mountain for superb views of the area. Lunch will be in a local restaurant and the rest of the afternoon is free.
Day 7: Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfall & Pak Ou Caves Mekong Cruise (B / L)
This morning head out to the countryside to visit the Kuang Si Waterfall, whose multi-tiered cascading falls tumble down jagged limestone reliefs into emerald pools. Quite a climb but worth it as you can cool off with a swim in the pools. The tour ends at the Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre, established to showcase the weavings of the Lao-Tai peoples. Other handicrafts such as paper making are also featured and the proceeds go back to the people who make them. The quality is good, so you might want to make room in your case for a few presents. Back into the city for lunch in a local restaurant.
Then re-join your guide, walk to the Mekong River and board your private boat to visit the Pak Ou Caves that rest high in the limestone cliffs and house thousands of Buddha statues that were hidden from the looting Chinese Haw. The caves were converted into Buddhist temples in the 15th century and are used as a site for old Buddha images that can no longer be venerated in a temple, either because they are damaged or the temple they were displayed in has been destroyed. On the way, stop to visit Ban Xang Khong, where the weaving of Lao textiles still takes place on ancient wooden looms. Back at the hotel late afternoon.
Day 8: Luang Prabang (B) / Hanoi
Most of the day’s free to enjoy the town. Afternoon transfer to the airport and flight over to Hanoi, Vietnam. On arrival met by your private guide and transferred to your city centre hotel of choice for 2 nights. Hanoi offers the chance to enjoy authentic old school Far East. The hotel is in the centre and we’d recommend that you take a walk through the Old Quarter. Don’t be put off by the thousands of motor scooters, just dive in.
Day 9: Hanoi - City Tour & Street Eats & Market Tour (B / L / D)
After breakfast you will be picked up for a city tour. The day kicks off at Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum where you join thousands of Vietnamese as they pay their respects filing past in solemn silence. The complex is also home to his former stilt-house, the Presidential Palace and One Pillar Pagoda. You will also visit the Temple of Literature, a temple to Confucius and Vietnam's first university dating back to 1070. For lunch, sit down for a traditional Vietnamese meal at the Porte D’Annam Restaurant. Afternoon free
This evening meet your tour guide for an introduction to Hanoi life that explores the flavours of northern street food amongst the alleys of the Old Quarter on a small group or private tour. Walk through a local night market, watching the bustle and array of goods on display, before setting off into the maze of alleys. Stop at a famous pho stall to try this world renowned beef noodle soup, before grabbing a stool at a ‘bia hoi corner’ where you can try the local brew (or soft drink) while watching the busy streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Bia Hoi is a draft beer that is brewed daily and usually drunk by locals sat on small plastic stools. Continue through the Old Quarter stopping to try some local delicacies such as savoury steamed rice rolls with wood ear mushroom and pork before you head for a Vietnamese style barbeque dinner. Here your guide will select an array meats, tofu and vegetables on skewers while you sit down as they flame grill the food for you. Dessert will be fresh tropical fruits over shaved ice, drizzled with condensed milk as a perfect way for Hanoians to finish off a street food evening. Finishes approx. 9pm.
Day 10: Hanoi - Halong Bay Overnight Cruise (B / L / D)
This morning you’ll be transferred by minibus to Halong Bay (2.5 hours). Meet the crew and board the traditional wooden junk for 1 night, then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads toward the secluded islands. Visit ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming (weather permitting). Return to the junk refreshed & invigorated to relax on deck with a drink watching the sunset and enjoy dinner looking out over the bay.
Day 11: Halong Bay Cruise (B / L) - Hanoi / Saigon - Evening Flight
Early risers can take an informal Tai Chi lesson on deck before enjoying breakfast as the boat continues to cruise through the bay to Ti Tov Island. Your final stop here leaves plenty of time to explore, hiking up to the scenic viewpoint or swimming off of the beach. On the final leg of your cruise pass by well-known karsts of Thumb Island, Fighting Cocks, the Incense Karst which is featured on the 200,000 dong note. Enjoy your last glimpses of Halong Bay over an early lunch. Back at the dock you’ll be transferred back to Hanoi airport for the flight to Saigon. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to your choice of hotel for 3 nights.
Day 12: Saigon (B) - Private guided Cu Chi Tunnels Tour
Early departure to escape city traffic and get ahead of the crowds on a half day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels, legendary remnants of the Vietnam War that offer an evocative insight into the horrors that were faced by those involved. During the guided tour it’s possible to descend into the layers of tunnels, that although widened, still create a feeling of creeping claustrophobia. Few other places encapsulate the sheer will-power that the American military was up against - and the lengths that the Viet Cong were prepared to go to in order to evict them. Back to the city early afternoon and rest of the day's free or we could add a tour of the city.
Day 13: Saigon - Mekong Delta Tour with Boat Ride (B / L)
Early this morning you’ll be picked up from the hotel lobby and driven south (small group) to the Mekong Delta to board a local boat at Ben Tre. This less-visited area of the Mekong is home to luxuriant vegetation and lush coconut islands as well as orchards and rice paddies. Visit a local coconut processing enterprise where this vital fruit is treated in the age-old way to separate oil, flesh and husk to be used variously in coconut oil, coconut matting and coconut candy.
After the boat ride you will be taken on a short walk to a small village to see mat weavers at work, before jumping on the delta’s version of a tuk tuk to travel down the country roads to the pier. Here you board Le Jarai, a beautiful teak boat and continue your cruise along the river. Whilst on board join in a demonstration of Vietnamese cooking before sitting down to a sumptuous three course lunch of Mekong specialities. After lunch relax on the top deck and watch river life pass you by. Cruise back to Ben Tre where you’re met and transferred back to Saigon for a final night.
Day 14 Saigon (B) / UK Airport
Day free until private airport transfer and flight home. Arrive back in UK the following morning
Each featured itinerary is really a starting point from which to create your ideal holiday.
We can include as much or as little as you like, mix and match hotels, excursions and experiences, add extra nights and change the destinations you'd like to visit.
The common thread is that each is a privately guided holiday, allowing you to travel where and when you want, with your own private transport and dedicated guide.
- Return scheduled international flights (optional if you would like to arrange your own)
- English speaking, local guide & driver
- Choice of hotel accommodation
- Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Domestic flights detailed in itinerary
- Admission fees to all attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as detailed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Entry visas
- Optional Tours / Excursions
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Tips for Guides / Drivers (discretionary)
- Travel insurance
- Any camera or video fees charged at sites
The hotels below are there as examples, designed to act as a starting point from which to create your holiday. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from and when we quote we will include other suggestions so we get to understand your likes and dislikes. Quite often clients mix and match hotel categories throughout their holiday.
Hotels in Siem Reap
As the main gateway to the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap offers a great range of hotel accomodation.
Hotels in Luang Prabang
This UNESCO World Heritage city is very special and you'll be amazed how at home you'll feel there
Hotels in Hanoi
This dynamic and exciting city is full of places to explore and the perfect starting point for a tour of what Vietnam has to offer
Hotels in Saigon
A vibrant beating heart of the country and a great mix of traditional and modern. Plenty of great accomodation to choose from.