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Indochina Overture 9 Days

From

USD 1,385

/ person
  • 1
  • 9 Days

Mr. Phan Duc Son

Haivenu Tours

A Tailor-made specialist offering private tours and travel throughout Vietnam

  • Local time:03:16

Indochina Overture 9 Days

This Indochina Overture brings you the region’s highlights on a circuit of the jewels of Indochina. In Hanoi, see both ancient and recent history, visiting the Temple of Literature as well as Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and infamous stilt house, and explore the bustling architectural jumble of the Old Quarter. On board a Halong Bay cruise, explore islands, visit beaches, discover caves, and join a top deck sunrise Tai Chi session – tailor made to capture a special moment. In Siem Reap, Cambodia, take in the vast wonder of the Angkor temple complex, with Angkor Wat being the best known and perhaps most impressive, but only one of numerous temples found in the area. Fly to another royal capital, Luang Prabang in northern Laos. Here witness the daily alms-giving ritual which has been practiced for centuries, and visit the town’s remarkable temples and a nearby waterfall. History, nature and culture; wrapped in a roll you should not resist.

Arriving in Hanoi

Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey before having tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam and a light-hearted introduction to its rural culture). You then enjoy your ‘Welcome’ dinner at a restaurant in an old colonial building. Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi. Read more

Hanoi Orientation

You’ll have the whole day to explore Vietnam’s capital city. Your guide will take you to the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam dating back to the 11th century, and a popular attraction, as is Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, his simple stilt house where he lived and worked, and the museum dedicated to his memory. After lunch, you’ll call in at the serene Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest in Hanoi, on the banks of Hanoi’s Ho Tay (West) Lake. The centre of Hanoi, including Hoan Kiem Lake, the Ngoc Son temple and the bustling Old Quarter, is a magnet for visitors – it’s noisy and hectic, but definitely a ‘must-see’ attraction. The Old Quarter is a maze of shopping streets and restaurants with a hotchpotch of architecture - traditional tube houses, religious buildings, artisans’ workshops and cottages, colonial houses and modern concrete edifices. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi. You might like to consider the following alternatives for your day in Hanoi: • The Hoa Lo Prison – better known by captured US pilots as the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ • The History, Fine Arts and Vietnam Military History Museum [formerly Army Museum] – large, but many interesting exhibits • The Women’s Museum – small, but a fascinating narrative of the role of women in Vietnam, particularly during the war • The Hanoi Citadel: This former residence of the royalty of Vietnam was used between 1010 and 1810. Most of the structure that makes up the citadel was destroyed by the French in the 19th century, but the gate, steps, Princess's Palace and Hanoi Flag Tower still exist. You can now visit a few of the buildings, which were kept guarded from visitors for centuries. It’s newly recognised as World Heritage Site. • The Dong Xuan, Hang Be or Hom markets – large, crowded, but very Vietnamese • St. Joseph’s Cathedral – European neo-Gothic (plenty of up-market shops and restaurants nearby) Read more

Hanoi/Ha Long

Around 08:00 AM, you’ll leave for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karst’ landscape. There you’ll board the La Vela Classic and discover some of the treasures scattered across the Bay of the Descending Dragon during the afternoon: fascinating caves, pristine beaches, picturesque floating villages, and fantastic rock formations rising up out of emerald waters. You will visit Sung Sot Cave - hiking up and down 600 steps to the magnificent limestone formations of the biggest and most marvelous cave in Halong Bay. While on board, you can take advantage of the cruise’s facilities and services. Join your chef’s cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking. Then, you’ll enjoy the dinner with other passengers on cruise. Read more

Ha Long/Hanoi/Siem Reap

You’ll wake in the fresh air of the bay with a Tai Chi session on the large sundeck (beginners welcome!). Coffee & tea with homemade cookies & biscuits will be served onboard. Spend the early morning relaxing while cruising Ha Long Bay or visit Titop Island. You can take part in an array of exciting activities: swimming and climbing to the top for breathtaking view of the bay. You will enjoy buffet breakfast while the cruise pass by other beautiful parts of the Bay , while cruising back to the main dock, and around noon you’ll leave for Hanoi/Noi Bai airport for your flight to Siem Reap Upon arriving Siem Reap, you’ll be picked up and transferred to your hotel. You’ll spend the night in Siem Reap. Read more

Siem Reap

You’ll begin with a visit to Angkor Thom, starting with the Bayon, a bizarre structure of several architectural changes reflecting a switch from Hinduism (the foundations) to Buddhism (the superstructure). Your next visit will be to the Elephant and Leper King Terraces followed by the Baphoun Temple, which is now ending of an eight-year multi-million dollar restoration programme. After lunch, you’ll also see Ta Prohm, strangled by massive tree roots and typical of the condition of the whole complex when it was discovered in 1860 by French naturalist Henri Mouhot. In the afternoon, you’ll explore Angkor Wat itself, the largest, and for most people, the most impressive temple in the complex. You can stay late to enjoy sunset from that famous temple. Overnight in Siem Reap. Read more

Siem Reap/Luang Prabang

Your day will be taken up with visits to some of the outer sites including Preah Khan, a huge and highly explorable monastic complex, Neak Pean, a Himalayan-style lake and sanctuary, and East Mebon, a temple-mountain. Transfer to Siem Reap airport for your afternoon flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arriving Luang Prabang, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. You’ll spend the night in Luang Prabang. Read more

Luang Prabang/Kuangsi Waterf

After breakfast, you’ll be driven to the Kuangsi Waterfalls, a serene beauty spot where you can splash around in the pools or stroll the forest paths. From there, you’ll return to Luang Prabang and continue to Ban Phanom, a well-known weaving village. It’s quite commercial, but if you look carefully you can pick up some authentic hand-woven material – they make good souvenirs. You should return to the city in time for your chosen dinner venue. Read more

Luang Prabang

You need your alarm clock! Early in the morning after a sustaining beverage and a small snack, youll witness one of Laos unique ceremonies the daily alms giving ritual of saffron-clad monks walking in a long line holding black bowls to receive offerings from local people. The traditional gift is a handful of sticky rice, but nowadays money is equally acceptable. You’ll then return to your hotel for a proper breakfast. After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will take you to visit the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. Its roofs sweep low to the ground, typical of the classical architecture of Luang Prabang’s temples. The morning will culminate with a stroll around Wat Mai temple and a visit to the ‘Day Market’. After lunch, a climb up the steps to the top of Mount Phousi provides a panorama of the ancient royal city and the Mekong River - the evening views can be spectacular if there’s a good sunset. Mount Phousi also has many shrines and votive statues, topped by a large gilded stupa. The rest of the day will be free. You’ll spend the night in Luang Prabang. Read more

Luang Prabang departure

Your time is your own until your car arrives to take you to the airport for your departure flight.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Hanoi
Day 3
Location Halong Bay
Day 4
Location Siem Reap
Day 6
Location Laos

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Entrance fee
  • Flight tickets: Hanoi – Siem Reap and Siem Reap – Luang Prabang flights, including airport taxes
  • Boat cruises as specified in the programme.
  • Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available
  • VAT and other taxes

Package excludes

  • Visas
  • Dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Insurance
  • Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
  • Compulsory Christmas Eve’s dinner and Gala dinner (if any)

REVIEWS

6 Reviews

Tina, United States

Was awesome. Our tour guides were very knowledgeable and definitely made sure things ran smoothly. The travel agents were especially helpful for getting my friends and I approved for our updated visas on such a short notice. Overall great trip and will def recommend it.

Seth, United States

The trip went smoothly and the women who organized the trip, was extremely responsive by email and was able to make numerous changes to the proposed itinerary without issue. Overall the trip was moderately priced and there were no major snags. I have two main complaints. First was that we spent two nights sleeping on a train. I have spent many nights on a train and do not have issue with this in itself. However, when my brother and I arrived to the train, I was surprised to see that instead of having a private cabin, we were booked into a small cabin that slept 4 people and we had both an upper and lower bunk. This is a mode of travel usually reserved for back-packers and that constituted the other 98% of people on the train. Fortunately, the people who we shared the train with on both legs of the trip were nice but this does not constitute "luxury" travel which is what I expect when booking on this site and is what I specified to our agent when I set up the trip with her. Although my brother and I are in our early 40s and can easily hop up and down from the top bunk in the middle of the night, this may be a major issue with many people. In retrospect, this information was buried in the fine print, but I would have been more than happy to spend the extra $75-$100 each way for a private cabin if I was given that option. In addition, when were arriving to Lo Cai, we were told that we had an area to shower and refresh. To do so, we were directed to a room just above the restaurant in which we were having breakfast. The room that we were sent to was filthy and dingy. I have travelled to many parts of the world and have showered in many places but this was truly nasty. In addition, the towels that we were provided were little more than falling apart rags, but at least they were dry. My brother, who is relatively adventurous, refused to use the facilities. Again, this would have been fine when I was 20 and backpacking, but when I book a luxury vacation, this is not acceptable. The kicker is that Hanoi to Sapa is only 3.5 hours by car and I would have been much happier to sleep in a nice hotel and drive instead of taking the train. Other than that, the tour was fine. I was happy that I booked my own hotel rooms. Read more

Amy, United States

Our tour operator was very responsive and accommodating throughout the entire planning process. She incorporated our requests flawlessly into the itinerary and worked with us on changes until we were satisfied with the final itinerary. She was also available to assist us with last minute flight changes/delays/cancellations by contacting our tour guide to inform of changes and make sure that we had someone waiting for us at the airport when we arrived. She made sure we had all the information needed before the trip including the names and contact numbers of the tour guides assigned to our trip and the names and addresses of the hotel we would be staying. Our tour operator also contacted us after the trip to inquire about our trip and to make sure that everything went as expected and planned. She was very responsive to our comments and suggestions and worked expeditiously to resolve our concerns. We look forward to working with her again to plan our next trip. Read more

MORE REVIEWS

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