Simply Indochina - 24 Days

Tour Code: MD-24D23N-1

This 24-days tour explores highlights of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. You’ll visit Indochina’s must-sees: magical Luang Prabang, the awesome Angkor Temples, and Halong Bay with its impressive limestone karsts; as well as finding time for city stops in Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. 

Start ~ Vientiane, Laos
Finish ~ Siem Reap, Cambodia
Physical rating: 2 out of 5

The Itinerary

On arrival in Laos, you’ll be met by your airport transfer team, who will accompany you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Meal is not included on this day.

After Breakfast at the hotel, discover the charms of Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos on the banks of the Mekong River. 

The highlights of the tour are:

  • religious museum, Wat Si Saket
  • Wat Ho Phra Keo, one of the most unique characteristics and former home of the Emerald Buddha
  • Pha That Luang, a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of the city
  • Patuxai is a massive war monument and triumphal arch in the center of Vientiane

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

This morning, we will drive to Vang Vieng. Sitting on the banks of the Song river, surrounded by green rice fields and rising dramatic limestone mountains above the luscious paddy fields, Vang Vieng is one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful adventure destinations. The driving time is around 3 hours.

On the way, we will stop at a dry fish village (Houei Mor Village) to learn and witness local fish products. Upon arrival in Vang Vieng, check-in your hotel and enjoy a short relax.

Then, drive to Jang Cave; this cave was used as a bunker in the early 19th century during the Chinese-Ho invasion. Next, we will cross the Song river to Blue Lagoon to marvel at its beauty and relax. There is an opportunity to climb up to Phoukham cave.

We’ll return to the hotel. You can explore the Street Night Market on your free evening.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, we will continue our journey to Luang Prabang. The small town of Luang Prabang is located in northern Laos and has one of the most beautiful settings in south-east Asia. Sandwiched between the Mekong and the Nam Khan River, Luang Prabang is oh so pretty and ever so romantic! This old French colonial town became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and nowadays it’s very popular with visitors to Laos.

This drive is around 5hours. On the way, we will stop at a street market at Phahom Valley to experience the local trade.

Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, we will have free time until 4:30pm. Then, we will drive to Mount Phousi to climb up and watch the sunset over the Mekong river.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

In this morning, you will visit the highlights of this ancient capital described as below:

  • Wat Visoun – originally built during the reign of King Wisunarat (or Vixoun, 1501-1520) in 1513 (some suggest 1512) and represents the earliest style.
  • Wat Xieng Thong – one of the largest temples in Luang Prabang. A symbol of great historic importance, its structure has characteristics of 16th-century Lao architecture; where you will also see the impressive “Tree of Life” Mosaic – one side of this temple is a glass mosaic depicting the Tree of Life created in 1960 by Lao craftsmen.

In the afternoon, we will drive to the pier to enjoy a cruise trip along the Mekong River. Take in the picturesque scenery as the boat whizzes past verdant jungle and dramatic limestone cliff. At the confluence of the Mekong and Ou River, disembark the longtail boat and climb up several steps until reaching an opening in the limestone cliff face. One of Laos’ most respected religious sites, Pak Ou caves are crammed with several thousand Buddha statues, varying in size and poses, which have been left behind by Buddhist devotees.

Next, we will visit Ban Xanghai village, famous for the distillation of its local rice wine. Before returning to the hotel, we will stop at Ban Xang Khong Village. This village has specialised for many years in manufacturing and selling products made from silk and Saa Paper.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Today is your free day in Luang Prabang.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Suggestions for your free time => You have a full day at leisure today to explore the atmospheric ancient capital independently. Side trips, such as trips up the river to Kuang Si Falls, can be arranged. Staying within the city there are a number of excellent cooking classes, plus great shopping opportunities in local craft centres.

Breakfast and free time until time to go to the airport for your departure flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.  Then, transfer you to the Luang Prabang Airport according to your flight departure time.

On arrival in Vietnam, you’ll be met by your airport transfer team, who will accompany you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure in Hanoi.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up for the city tour. We first head out to the Tran Quoc Pagoda, a 1400 year-old temple, the oldest in the city and is located near West Lake offering a watery landscape, the pagoda is a very scenic attraction.

Then, we’ll drive to Ho Chi Minh Complex, where you’ll have the opportunity to visit President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Uncle Ho’s House and the One-pillar pagoda – a very iconic temple in Vietnam.

Temple of Literature will be our next stop. This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty. Visiting the Temple of Literature you will discover historic buildings from the Ly and Tran dynasties in a revered place that has seen thousands of doctors’ graduate in what has now become a memorial to education and literature.

Thereafter, we will continue our tour to Ngoc Son Temple, also known as the Temple of Jade Mountain, dedicated to Confucian and Taoist philosophers and the national hero Tran Hung Dao. Photography is also popular at this Huc bridge, a landmark red wooden bridge, leading over a lake to a shrine.

This tour will end with a drop off back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Wake up early and depart your hotel in Hanoi for a transfer by shared van to Ha Long Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the true natural wonders of the world. In this sweet spot where the land meets the Gulf of Tonkin, over 1,000 karst islets rise above emerald waters and the seascape takes on an otherworldly quality.

The eastward drive from Hanoi takes about four hours, and you’ll arrive at the port about noon. Here you’ll board a pleasure boat for an unforgettable overnight cruise along the bay. After a welcome aboard the ship, you’ll be led to your cabin followed by a short trip briefing.

Once the ship gets underway, you’ll enjoy a lunch of fresh, locally caught seafood. 

Cruise at a gentle pace, disembark onto smaller boats to venture into grottos and caves, stop to explore floating fishing villages and picturesque lookout points.

You’ll return to the boat just in time to watch the incomparable sunset from the top deck ship before sitting down for a dinner of more delicious, fresh seafood.

Evening entertainments or activities onboard (such as card games, chess, karaoke, squid fishing) are also available.

Please note, each junk operates with a slightly different itinerary and on board facilities.

Accommodation: Overnight Onboard a Cruise Ship / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin your day with a Tai Chi session on the cruise’s sundeck accompanied by complimentary tea and coffee. It’s the perfect locale to integrate your mind and body as the sunrise over the bay compliments this internal martial art perfectly. With a rejuvenated spirit and newly healthy qi (life energy), you’ll sit down for a light breakfast to be served on board.

After breakfast, you’ll have the opportunities for a swim, or to explore by kayak or to join other available activities.

Please note, each junk operates with a slightly different itinerary and on board facilities.

Afterward, you’ll return to the cruise where you’ll have time to relax and enjoy lunch. Then you’ll be transferred to a dock on the mainland followed by a drive to Hanoi.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast and free time until time to go to the airport for your flight to Da Nang. The flight time is approx. 1 and half hours. On arrival, we’ll drive to Hoi An, about 45 minutes drive, to check-in the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Today you are free at leisure to explore Hoi An, a World Heritage Site.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Suggestions for your free time => Walk around Hoi An in the morning. Visit popular highlights including the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple and Phung Hung Old House.

Optional Tour (additional cost applies, this tour can be booked locally): Golden Bridge – Travel to the foot of the Ba Na Hills and ride by cable car up to the Marseille station. It is a short walk to the Golden Bridge from the station. The newly-opened bridge has been designed to make its visitors feel as though they’re walking on clouds. Make sure your camera is charged for the incredible photo opportunities! Continue with a walk into le Jardin d’Amour. The whole garden is made up of 9 gardens, all telling different stories and designed in different styles. The last stop of the excursion is a visit to Linh Ung Pagoda to admire the 27-metre high Shakyamuni statue.

Optional Tour (additional cost applies, this tour can be booked locally): Tra Que Vegetable Village Tour – Observe and try the local farming activities. Learn the process of planting vegetables such as raking the ground, sowing, watering, picking vegetables and many others. A light meal will be served during the tour.

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll set off to My Son, a World Heritage site, 50 km southwest of Hoi An.

We will learn about the Cham history and how this massive sanctuary was built. My Son is a complex consisting of more than 65 architectural towers and temples dating back to the 4th century. The site was used for religious ceremonies for Kings of the ruling dynasty as well as burial sites for national heroes and royal family up to the 19th century. My Son is considered to be of the same historical significance as Southeast Asia’s greatest archaeological sites, including Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Borobudur in Indonesia.

After that, we’ll drive to the Thu Bon river, where we will take a boat trip back to Hoi An. Then we’ll have lunch at the restaurant before we return to the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll leave for the Da Nang airport to fly to the Ho Chi Minh City. The flight time is approx. 1½ hours. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll set off to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Cu Chi is a network of more than 120 km under the ground and was built by sweat and blood of Vietnamese guerrillas to hide and fight against the rival forces. You will be introduced to many kinds of booby traps used during the Vietnam War. We will take time to explain the methods of creating, maintaining and living in these tunnels as well as the special technique of hiding smoke invented by the guerrillas.

This tour also includes visiting different types of underground halls, secret working, meeting rooms. We’ll also have the opportunity to spend an hour experiencing the tunnels with a guide.

After that, we’ll enjoy the tea and cassava (guerrilla’s food during the war) before watching a short (15 minutes) documentary about the tunnel. At the end of the tour, we’ll return to the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at the hotel, we will set off to explore Vietnam’s picturesque Mekong Delta on this day trip. The Mekong Delta, located in southern Vietnam, is a stunning maze of rivers, islets, small villages with rice paddies and fruit plantations.

Firstly, we’ll drive to My Tho City. We can observe as the bustling city views transition to serene rice fields and rural settings. On the way, you will have a visit at the Vinh Trang Pagoda. On arrival in My Tho, hop on a boat for a calm cruise along the river observing stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages. Then, continue to Tortoise Islet where we’ll have our lunch in the orchard garden.

After lunch, your boat will take you to An Khanh in the beautiful green province of Ben Tre. Taste some local treats like coconut candy and honey tea as you sit back and relax on your wooden river boat in the comfort of the shaded canals covered by water-coconut trees.

Then, your boat will bring you to the marvellous tropical fruit gardens to enjoy a Southern Vietnamese folk music performance by the local islanders. After a relaxing cultural experience on the water, we’ll return to the Ho Chi Minh City by road.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today is at leisure to relax at your hotel, or explore more of the local area independently.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Suggestions for your free time:

Optional Tour (additional cost applies, this tour can be booked locally): A O Show is a sophisticated cultural show featuring talented. This show will bring you on a journey from the rural to the urban life of Vietnam via a series of sketches and acts involving Vietnamese traditional props.

Optional Tour (additional cost applies, this tour can be booked locally): Teh Dar Show – Join us a fantastic cultural Teh Dar Show and immerse in an interesting story of Vietnamese highlanders. Get ready to be amazed at the stunning acrobatic movements of the skilled artists and feel the spiritual life’s beauty through an exceptional background live music.

Optional Tour (additional cost applies, this tour can be booked locally): Dinner on Saigon River Cruise Tour

Breakfast and free time until time to go to the airport for your departure flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Then, transfer you to the Ho Chi Minh International Airport according to your flight departure time.

On arrival in Cambodia, you’ll be met by your airport transfer team, who will accompany you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, we will set off to visit Angkor National Museum, which is an archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, and presentation of Angkorian artifacts, also to provide information and education about art and culture of Khmer civilization, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire’s Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century. Most of the artifacts were discovered in and around the Angkor archaeological sites nearby. The museum exhibits are arranged flowing single direction through themed galleries.

With fascinating exhibitions on the history of Angkor and the Khmer Empire, a visit to the Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap is the perfect complement to a tour of the UNESCO-listed Angkor Temples.  

We’ll then drive to Wat Preah Prom Rath. Set back from the west bank of the Siem Reap River, Wat Preah Prom Rath temple boasts a history that may date back to the 13th century. However, everything to be seen here was built after World War II. Colorful statues and lush gardens in the heart of downtown offer the chance to see how Cambodian Buddhism is practiced today.

Our next stop is at the War Museum where you’ll learn about Cambodia’s dark history and where you can see some of the weapons and vehicles used during the Khmer Rouge and the subsequent civil war which lasted for nearly two decades. It shows visitors an insightful view of the lives of the Cambodian nation when it was engulfed in war for three decades. 

The tour will end with a safe trip back to your hotel with a visit to a market en-route.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

This tour is hands down the best way to explore Cambodia’s incredible feats of religious architecture. 

Begin with an early morning pick up at your hotel, right before you head off to Angkor Wat to watch the captivating sun rise behind the temple complex. Walk through one of the largest religious structures in the world and admire the intricate carvings of heavenly nymphs on the walls. You’ll also learn some interesting history facts as well as fun trivia from your local tour guide as you stroll through the complex. Once the sun has fully risen, you’ll have some free time for breakfast! Breakfast is followed by a stop at the Bayon Temple, in the heart of Angkor Thom, where you can marvel at the numerous massive faces of Avalokiteshvara engraved on the towers.

Next, we’ll visit Ta Prohm Temple, filled with crumbling towers and overgrown trees that are centuries-old! Inspect the curious root formations on the walls and live out your Tomb Raider fantasy.

The tour will end with a sunset at the Pre-Rub Temple before you will be dropped off at the hotel. The glow of the evening light produces reddish hues that contrast beautifully with the surrounding green jungle. The temple also offers stunning views over the rice fields of the Eastern Baray.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Explore some of Siem Reap temples that lie off the beaten tourist path on this one-day tour that takes you to five different temples! Start your tour off with a visit to the Banteay Srei Temple, or the “Citadel of Women”, believed to have been made by a woman as the carvings are thought to be too elaborate for the hand of men. This tour will then continue to Preah Khan Temple, filled with vaulted corridors, fine carvings and delicate stonework. 

Afternoon is to experience the Cambodia of the past as you travel back in time, all the way to the 9th century, with this daytime exploration of the nearby Roluos Temples (Lolei, Preah Ko, Bakong). Located only about 13 kilometers east of Siem Reap, the Roluos group of temples is the earliest site of the 600-year Angkor full stop that is open to visitors, built in the ancient city of Hariharalaya.

We’ll then return to the hotel with a stop at Neak Pean Temple, which is a small island temple, en-route.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Experience the rural side of Cambodia with this half-day tour of Kompong Phluk Floating Village from Siem Reap! The tour begins with a pick up at your hotel, followed by a scenic drive through small yet beautiful villages as well as some rice paddies. Once we arrive, we’ll jump in a boat to enjoy a serene boat ride through the calm waters of Tonle Sap Lake, where you will see big mangrove trees and herds of cattle feeding on grass. Go into the main area of Kompong Phluk, home to approximately 3000 fishing people, and explore this one-of-a-kind floating village. Learn how rural fishing villages work and what the people’s daily routines are like, as well as discover how they’ve built the village to adapt to the changing seasons. Once you’re done walking around, you’ll make your way back to your hotel. (Please note: During the dry season, boats cannot get all the way to the main villages because the water level may be too low; however, the village can be visited by car.) 

In the evening, we’ll head off to enjoy Phare, The Cambodian Circus. This traditional Cambodian performance is a phenomenon not to miss! You’ll be left in absolute awe at the talents of these brilliant young performers. An amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion all beautifully choreographed in a story about Cambodian lives and society. Though performed in Khmer with English subtitles on a screen, the story is easy to follow without words and you’ll probably be too enthralled by the performers to keep up with the narrative anyway!

You will head back to the hotel at the end of the show. 

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Spend a morning at the Kulen Elephant Forest. This protected forest sanctuary is currently home to a handful of elephants who have spent the majority of their lives carrying tourists around the Angkor temples, and are now able to engage in natural behaviours within the safety of their new home. Over the course of the morning you’ll spend time observing the resident elephants and how they interact with each other, take a walk with them through the forest and assist with feeding them. After a local-style lunch head back to Siem Reap where the rest of your day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Siem Reap airport for your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast

Don’t forget you can modify this tour. Whether you enjoy travelling as a part of a small group with other like-minded travellers, or perhaps you are looking for your very own private journey, we have the right option for you. Click on talk to us button to send us your enquiry.