Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia – A Journey of Discovery
Explore Southeast Asia!
This part of the world is the most beautiful and welcoming place to go. Southeast Asia is home to lush landscapes, vivid colours and the infectious spirit of the locals. It is a historic region that buzzes with energy.
The tour focuses on Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and includes a wide variety of activities. The region is home to some of the most idyllic and secluded beaches in the world. It is the perfect place to relax and unwind. It includes amongst others a cruise on the Mekong River as well as a cruise to visit the Floating Market of Cai Be. During the tour you will get the chance to explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves as well as the impressive Angkor Wat Temple. Also a lot of historic places are part of the tour: Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Imperial City as well as the Forbidden Purple City. A highlight of the tour is the visit of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, home of the Emerald Buddha and the gold Buddha.
Moreover, this part of Southeast Asia is renown for its flavourful and mouth watering cuisine. Thus the tour includes a ‘foodie’ tour in Hoi An as well as a stroll around the bustling markets in Vietnam. The sights, smells and sounds are enough to make any traveller never want to leave.
Dates on request
Suggested Itinerary by Air
Luang Prabang, Laos – Arrival
Fly from the UK via Hanoi and arrive at Luang Prabang Airport in Laos. Pick up and transfer to your hotel.
Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Cave – Kuangsi Waterfall
After breakfast you will embark on a two hour cruise in a long-tail boat on the Mekong River and visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. En route, spot the typical Laotian villages through the foliage. Wooden canoes bobbing by the shore attached to bamboo poles can be seen everywhere while floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Arrive at Pak Ou and explore the sanctuaries which consist of two large caves. Both repositories house thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimetres to two meters in height. Drive south to one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the Kuang Si waterfall. On arrival, take a leisurely hike through the National Park. The more adventurous may choose to continue to the top of the main waterfall and swim in a large pool. In the evening, explore the colourful night Bazaar .
Luang Prabang – Hanoi
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the evening at leisure and perhaps visit the famous Night Market.
Ha Long Bay – Set sail on the emerald waters
Heading out of the town, embark on a boat for an exploration of the legendary Ha Long Bay, truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. This exciting overnight cruise will provide a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear water. These karsts are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way, anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs.
Ha Long Bay – Hanoi
Enjoy breakfast on the boat, and spend the day swimming and sunbathing on the glorious Ha Long Bay beaches. Return to Ha Noi and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Hanoi – Explore the city
Visit Ba Dinh Square, where the late President Ho Chi Minh read Vietnam’s Proclamation of Independence in 1945. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the One-Pillar Pagoda, a must-see monument. Continue to the Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (temple of literature), the first Imperial school in Vietnam built in 1070 during the dynasty of King Ly. Later transfer to airport for flight to Da Nang. On arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to nearby Hoi An. Enjoy the fresh cool sea breeze with a leisurely evening stroll in the shimmering lights of the ancient town.
Hue – Explore the walled city
Visit the Citadel, Hue’s prime attraction, which contains the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City and the Emperor’s Private Residence. In the afternoon, take a boat trip on the Perfume River with a stopover at Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many as the symbol of Hue. Thien Mu is an active Buddhist monastery with origins dating back to 1601. Later, visit the serene Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of feng-shui.
Hoi An – Take a ‘foodie’ tour
Start with a ride through the Hoi An’s beautiful countryside to a local village. Stop to enjoy a bowl of Cao Lau, a traditional Hoi An specialty composed of local noodles, pork, fresh vegetables and rice paper. Learn how to make special white rose cakes with a local family before travelling to Cam Nam to enjoy the Ying and Yang food, Banh Dap and Che Bap.
Ho Chi Minh City – Arrival
Check out and transfer to Da Nang for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Pick up and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the evening at leisure to explore the city.
Mekong Delta – Cai Be floating market
Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta and take a boat cruise to visit Cai Be Floating Market. At the floating market, watch locals aboard their small boats trading fresh goods and local commodities. Stop over at a local house where you can see how they make coconut candy, rice-paper, rice-pop corn and rice wine. Leave Cai Be for Binh Hoa Phuoc Islet where the maze of shady creeks will surely fascinate you. You will have a chance to spend time with the local farmers, enjoying traditional music and tropical fruits. Enjoy a traditional lunch at a local home and even try the popular dish of ‘Elephant Ear Fish’.
Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh City Tour
Start the day with a visit to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Stretching over 250 km, Cu Chi is one of the most famous and historical aspects of war in Viet Nam. The tunnel system was created in 1948 to assist the Viet Minh as they fought the French for independence. In the afternoon, explore Ho Chi Minh City. Visit the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office.
Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon visit the popular Pub Street and Night Market.
Banteay Srei & Beng Mealea
One of the jewels in the Angkor area, Banteay Srei, is an enchanting temple that dates back to the late 10th century. Continue afterwards to Beng Mealea, which was built between the late 11th and the first half of the 12th century and is one of the largest ensembles in the Angkor region. The ruins of Beng Mealea are overgrown with vegetation, allowing a real “wilderness experience.”
Siem Reap – Visit the famous Angkor Temples
Spend the day visiting the well-known Temples of Angkor Archeological Park.
Wake up early to witness the beautiful sunrise at Angkor Wat. Later visit the Southern Gate of Angkor Thom, Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of Leper King, all dating back to the 13th century.
Siem Reap – Phnom Penh
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to airport for your flight to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel. Relax at the hotel or venture out and explore the city.
Phnom Penh – Enjoy a guided tour of the city
Start the tour at the Royal Palace, built by the French in 1866 on the site of the old town. On the compounds, the Silver Pagoda stands out in its own distinctive way. The pagoda houses a magnificent 17th century Emerald Buddha statue and a 90kg gold Buddha studded with 9584 diamonds. Right next to the palace, stands the National Museum of Phnom Penh, an example of traditional Khmer architecture.
Phnom Penh – Departure
Check out, and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
All 3 countries are subject to two main seasons, wet and dry, but they can still be visited and enjoyed all year round. The dry season, from November to April, is the most popular time to visit both countries, but the wet season isn’t as bad as the label implies, and can actually be a pleasant time to go thanks to lower visitor numbers.
You can get an e-visa for Vietnam online for visits of up to 30 days, the visa is limited to certain entry and exit points but you will be asked to specify these when applying for the visa. For visas longer that 30 days contact the nearest Vietnamese embassy.
Tourist Visas are available on arrival at the main Cambodian airports for $30 and you will also need to arrive with a passport photograph, Visa’s can also be bought online. The visa usually lasts for 30 days, overstaying this can lead to fines and deportation.
Laos Visas can be obtained on arrival at the airport, visitors must show a valid passport (with atleast 6 months remaining on the expiry date) and 2 passport photos. For UK citizens the cost will be $35, which is payable in cash only using US dollars or Thai Baht.