TOUR 33 – (B or S); Indochina Highlights: Small Group Tour
30 Days. From AUD $3,990

THIS INDOCHINA HIGHLIGHTS SMALL GROUP TOUR HAS THE OPTION OF BUDGET OR STANDARD ACCOMMODATION:

 

This Indochina small group tour starts and finishes in fascinating Bangkok. In between there will be nothing other than highlights as this trip takes in most of the more famous attractions in Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia. This trip is just one highlight after another.  Start with a super highlight of Luang prabang and finish with another at Angkor Wat. In between visit  Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, The Mekong Delta,  get a beach break in Nha Trang  and see four amazingly different big Asian cities.  And with two included international flights and one domestic one that means only one long bus trip and  one overnight train.

B. ACCOMMODATION = (3 star hotel x 2 nights, 1 to 2 star hotels x 16 nights, Simple guest houses x 9 nights, Deluxe cabin on boat x 1 night, Overnight train x 1 night).

S. ACCOMMODATION = (4 star hotel x 1 night, 3 star hotels x 21 nights, 1 to 2 star hotel x 2 nights, Simple guest house x 3 nights, Deluxe cabin on boat x 1 night, Overnight train x 1 night).

cambodian buddhist monk standing next to a giant head of the future buddha at Angkor Wat in Cambodia
the mekhong river in laos
Laotian Child Sleeping

From AUD $3,990

Group Size: Minimum 1, Maximum 8

Guaranteed to depart

English speaking tour coordinator

Visiting
BANGKOK - LUANG PRABANG - VANG VIENG - VIENTIANE - HANOI - HALONG BAY - HUE - HOI AN - NHA TRANG - HO CHI MINH CITY - MEKONG DELTA - PHNOM PENH - SIEM REAP - ANGKOR WAT

Accommodation
BUDGET

  • Three star hotel, (2 nights).
  • 1 to 2 star hotels, (16 nights).
  • Simple guest houses, (9 nights).
  • Deluxe cabin on boat, (1 night).
  • Overnight sleeper train, (1 night).
STANDARD
  • Four star hotel, ( 1 night).
  • Three star hotels, (21 nights).
  • One to two star hotels, (2 nights).
  • Simple guest houses, (3 nights).
  • Deluxe cabin on boat, (1 night).
  • Overnight sleeper train, (1 night).

Transport
Bus, Train, Boat, Taxi, Plane.

Day Trips

  • Tour of Luang Prabang area, (half day).
  • Hanoi street food dinner tour. (Until you say "NO MORE").
  • Halong Bay; Two days and one night. (All inclusive with local operator as per itinerary).
  • Nha Trang offshore islands tour, (full day).
  • Guided tour of Citadel in Hue, (half day).
  • Mekong Delta, (full day).
  • Killing Fields of Choeung Ek & Tuol Sleng Museum, (half day).
  • Angkor Wat, (two to three hours at sunset followed by a full day).

Entry Fees
All included when part of the itinerary.

Meals
30 meals included as per itinerary.
B = Breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner.

Itinerary

Day 1:

Tonight our Indochina Highlights small group tour will stay in; BANGKOK - Our Indochina small group budget tour officially starts when you check into your Bangkok accommodation. A welcoming dinner will be had in the evening. If you arrive early enough your free time could be spent visiting  Wat Phra Kaew & the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, MBK or Siam shopping centres or take a boat ride with the locals on the Chao Phraya express to some local shops in Nonthaburi.         

A few of the  dozens of other options may be Vimanmek Teak Mansion, Chinatown, Wat Traimit, Jim Thompsons House, Silom or Sukhumvit road shops.

OR? Maybe just lay back and have a traditional Thai Massage. A month in the capital wouldn't allow you enough time to see it all. D.

Day 2:

BANGKOK - A free day to relax or explore the Thai capital with your tour coordinator on hand to offer advice on what to do. B.

Day 3:

Tonight our Indochina Highlights small group tour will stay in; LUANG PRABANG -  A short international flight today will see our small group tour in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang in Laos. Will there be a better highlight?

WHERE TO START? Just about anywhere as Luang Prabang is one of the great travel destinations in Asia today. First up, while you still have the energy, try walking up the hundred or more steps to Phu Si Temple with fantastic views as the reward. Then onto, in no particular order, The Royal Palace Museum, Wat Ho Pha Bang, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Visoun, Wat That Luang, Wat Manolom or another dozen or so other Wat's.

Cooking courses can be found  at: Tamarind or Tamnak Lao Three Elephants Cafe;  Massage and Spa's are another way to enjoy Luang Prabang for the not so energetic. Markets and other great eateries will see you get enough nourishment to complete the task at hand whatever you decide on. Dinner by the Mekong with a Beerlao being the perfect way to finish the day. No meals.

Day 4:

LUANG PRABANG - A half day tour with a local operator today will include a trip on the Mekong  to visit the spiritual caves of Pak Ou, a beautiful waterfall and a local village or two among other interesting places.  B..

Day 5:

LUANG PRABANG - A free day to visit temples, markets and riverside restaurants will soon show you why Luang Prabang is a favorite destination with all travellers. In the evening a local market sets up on the main road with lots of arts, crafts and clothing to tempt you also. B.

Day 6:

Tonight our Indochina Highlights small group tour will stay in; VANG VIENG - Today by bus our small group tour will see some of the loveliest scenery in all South East Asia as you approach Vang Vieng for an overnight break. Vang Vieng itself is surrounded by stunning limestone karst scenery and on arrival you can sit down and relax with the sunset. No meals.

Day 7:

Tonight our Indochina Highlights small group tour will stay in; VIENTIANE - A short drive today sees us in what surely must be South East Asia's smallest and sleepiest capital city. Without any sign of hustle or bustle beside the Mekong lies Vientiane. Sightseeing begins with a short Jumbo ride to the most important temple in Laos of Wat That Luang. After that most sights can be seen on foot and include  Wat Si Saket, Wat Si Muang or wat Mixai among others. Then the Arc De Triomphe look alike of Patuxai, Lao National Museum or enjoy a drink at the central Fountain Circle. No meals.

Day 8:

VIENTIANE - A free day to explore this sleepy hollow. Don't miss the Morning Market, (open all day).   You can again enjoy a Beerlao beside the Mekong, with the spectacular sunset over Thailand, as the perfect way to make a toast to Laid back Laos. B.

Day 9:

Tonight our Indochina Highlights small group tour will stay in; HANOI - A short international flight today will see us in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. The rest of the day you can use to get the feel of this amazing city. Be careful crossing the roads is the best advice here. Shops and local culture abound. 

The millenium old, Old Quarter is the best place to start and get a feel of the local way of life along with a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake. Pay your respects at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum as you start to explore the many sights and attractions. A few being the Ho Chi Minh Museum, One Pillar Pagoda, Dien Huu Pagoda, Tay Ho Pagoda among many other pagoda's and temples as well as St Joseph Cathedral. Another museum or three may include the History, Fine Arts, Womans, Army, Air force, Loa Lo Prison or Museum of Vietnamese Revolution.     

For Foodies; start with a bowl of Pho. This bowl of noodle soup plus is the complete meal which the locals enjoy day and night, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Rice paper spring rolls are another of the popular choices, available in meat or vegetarian varieties. Lots of other local choices as well as International and other Asian cuisines are readily available also. Wash it all down with a USD $0.40 glass of Beer Hoi, ("fresh" draught beer), and alls well in Hanoi. Dinner tonight will take the form of  a roaming street food tour with a local guide. Think, all you can eat  delicious real Vietnamese delights. D.

 

Day 10:

Tonight our Vietnam small group tour will stay on; HALONG BAY BOAT - An early start  with a local operator will take our small group tour for an all inclusive tour for two days and one night to the UNESCO world heritage listed Halong Bay. Firstly by bus to Halong City where we will board your deluxe cruise boat for an afternoon of cruising, cave visiting and swimming in spectacular Halong Bay. Overnight will be on board our boat in a deluxe private  cabin. (An optional visit to another cave by a smaller local boat during the afternoon is not included, approximately USD $2.00). B.  L. D.

Day 11:

 Tonight our Vietnam small group tour will stay in; HANOI - In the morning we will again cruise among the limestone karsts back to Halong City. After lunch our small group tour will continue by bus back to Hanoi, arriving late afternoon. B. L.

Day 12:

Tonight our Indochina Highlights small group tour will stay on; OVERNIGHT SLEEPER TRAIN.  -  A final day to explore some more of Hanoi before catching the overnight sleeper train to Hue. B.

Day 13:

Tonight our Indochina highlights small group tour will stay in HUE - After arrival in Hue we will check in to our accommodation followed by an historical tour of the Citadel and other  attractions with a specialist local guide. No meals.

Day 14:

Tonight our Vietnam small group tour will stay in; HOI AN - From Hue our small group tour will continue south today via Danang to the quaint and charming UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Hoi An. If anybody wishes to have a short stop in Danang along the way to visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture and/or the Danang Cathedral we can do that also. B.

 

Day 15:

HOI AN - Hoi An is also the place to look out for that tailor made suit you were thinking about or just relax with a coffee by the Thu Bon River. Hoi An is a favorite with all travellers. For sightseeing there are numerous attractions on an easy half day meander around     town. Start at the Phac Hat pagoda followed by the Truong family chapel, the assembly hall of the Fujian Chinese congregation, the Quan Cong Temple, the Quan Am Pagoda and history museum, the museum of Sa Huynh Culture, the Hoi An Church, the Japanese covered bridge and finish with a local coffee or USD $0.40 glass of beer Hoi ("fresh", draught beer),  riverside. The above sights are only a few of the many available. Most places are free to visit while a few charge a small entrance fee or ask for a donation. B.

Day 16:

HOI AN -  Another free day to soak up the atmosphere of Charming Hoi An. Checking out the local markets along the river is yet another option today. B.

Day 17:

Tonight our Vietnam small group tour will stay in; NHA TRANG - After a lazy morning our small group tour will transfer back to Danang for an afternoon train to Nha Trang. Arriving late in the evening. B.

Day 18:

NHA TRANG - A free day to relax or explore this large but pleasant city by the sea. Apart from lazing on the nearby scenic beach there are numerous sightseeing options around town. Remember to take off your shoes before entering the Po Nagar Cham  Towers which were built before the 12th century for Hindu worshippers  and are still in use today by Buddhist followers. Then it could be on  to the Long Son Pagoda or the small Khanh Hoa Museum which houses some  of Ho Chi Minh's personal effects among other things. Again there are  too many  sights to list here but those who don't want the beach  will not become bored. B.

Day 19:

 NHA TRANG - This morning a local boat operator will take our small group tour on  a full days tour to some of the many offshore islands. There will be  the chance for a swim and a snorkel as well as seeing some local life on an island or two. B. L.

Day 20:

Tonight our Vietnam small group tour will stay in; HO CHI MINH CITY - This morning we will take a very short domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Hopefully by now you will have mastered how to cross the  roads so seeing the attractions will not hold as much fear of  the teeming traffic chaos.

There is  lots to see and do. The War Remnants Museum is a truely  gruesome look at the utter futility and horrors of war or on a lighter  note the History, Fine Arts or museum of Ho Chi Minh City will keep   you fully occupied.
Other places of interest include the nearby Ben Thanh  market or the Huynh Thuc Khang street market. A taxi ride to Cholon  will see you in either the Binh Tay or An Dong markets with the  latter particularly good for clothing and cheap local eats. B.

Day 21:

HO CHI  MINH CITY - A  free day for shopping, sightseeing  and trying some more of the great food on offer. More rice paper or fried spring rolls, a bowl of Pho,(rice noodle soup), aromatic curries and numerous  other local specialities often cooked in coconut milk. Vegetarians  wont be short on choice either as most things come in vegie options also. B.

Day 22:

HO CHI MINH CITY -A full days tour with a local operator by  bus and boats to the Mekong Delta to get a close up view of the  lifestyles of the locals. Firstly by bus to the town of My Tho, 70  kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. Then by boat you will visit Dragon,  Unicorn, Phoenix and Tortoise islands. Sights along the way include a  fishing port and stilt houses. Lunch will be had riverside in an  orchard. Then it will be by a small local rowing boat through some smaller  jungle shrouded channels to try some local fruits and honey as well as  be entertained by some island villagers performing Southern Vietnamese  folk music.  L.

 

Day 23:

Tonight our Indochina highlights small group tour will stay in PHNOM PENH - Short in distance but still a full day by international bus will see us cross into Cambodia via the Bavet/Moc Bai border crossing and arrive late afternoon in the capital Phnom Penh. No meals.

Day 24:

PHNOM PENH - A day to try and fully comprehend the short but brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge. A visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek where the Khmers have made fantastic efforts to come to terms with their recent history. Then to the just as infamous S21 which is now Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Here you can view 100's of black and white photos Pol Pot's regime took both before and sometimes after torturing his victims. This experience will stay with you forever. You will come away with far more compassion and concern for your fellow man. B.

Day 25:

Tonight our Indochina highlights small group tour will stay in; SIEM REAP - Today our small group tour heads for Siem Reap by bus on the much improved Cambodian roads. The rest of the day will be free to explore Siem Reap. B.

 

Day 26:

SIEM REAP - A free day to wander around sleepy Siem Reap. Late afternoon you will be taken to Angkor Wat by  van or car for the sunset views of this amazing temple complex.

A few of the Siem Reap sights and/or activities beforehand in your free time may include:

The Angkor National Museum. or a cooking courses.       

For shoppers:

Artisans d'Angkor has a shop selling various pieces relating to local culture.

Shops set up to benefit the blind, disabled and other worthy causes include Krouser Thmey, Nyemo,Rajana, Rehab Craft, Sentaurs d'Angkor and Tabitha Cambodia. These shops sell a variety of goods which include silk products, arts and craft, clothing, wallets, bags and the like. B.

Day 27:

SIEM REAP - A full day by  van or car with a local guide to explore the majestic and mysterious spectacle of Angkor Wat. Apart from the main Angkor Wat complex you will also visit the Bayon, Tha Prohm and Angkor Thom. B.

Day 28:

Tonight our Indochina highlights small group tour will stay in; BANGKOK -  Our small group tour will go back to Bangkok today by bus via the Poipet/ Aranya Prathet border crossing. No B.

Day 29:

BANGKOK - A last free day in the city of angels to sight see, shop or just relax. Your tour coordinator will help you decide which way you want to go today. A number of optional day tours are also available. A farewell dinner will be had in the evening. B. D.

Day 30:

Our Indochina Highlights  small group tour is officially over when you check out of your Bangkok accommodation. An airport transfer is included also. B.

Tour Departure Dates

2017
04 Jul, 01 Aug, 05 Sep, 03 Oct, 07 Nov, 05 Dec

2018
02 Jan, 06 Feb, 06 Mar, 03 Apr, 01 May, 05 Jun, 03 Jul, 07 Aug, 04 Sep, 02 Oct, 06 Nov

Any other date on application. (Minimum two people).

Price

P/P, T/S, land only; Includes two international and one domestic flights as per itinerary.
Budget: AUD $3,990
Single Suppliment: AUD $2,180
Standard: AUD $4,740
Single Suppliment: AUD $3,000