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The Best of Indochina

20 days from £4250 per person

An area covering Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Indochina is a distinctive region with a shared history, religious tradition and similar cultural traits. This comprehensive itinerary is a relaxed journey tracing south-east Asia's greatest treasures. Starting in Cambodia, visit the spectacular Angkor Wat temple complex. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and travel north through Vietnam stopping en-route in Hue, Hoi An and Hanoi. After an overnight cruise around Ha Long Bay fly to Laos for three nights in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang.

Route: Siem Reap – Ho Chi Minh City – Hue – Hoi An – Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Luang Prabang

Itinerary Highlights

The temple complex of Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. Originally a Hindu temple and later Buddhist, the classic Khmer architecture is beautiful.

The spectacular karst scenery of Ha Long Bay is unlike anywhere else in Asia. With 3,000 islands, cruising the bay by boat provides the opportunity to really appreciate its grandeur.

Luang Prabang in Northern Laos, was the ancient royal capital of the Lan Xang kingdom and contains spectacular palaces and temples, but still retains a sleepy, laid-back atmosphere.

Itinerary: The Best of Indochina

Today depart the UK on the Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. (N)
Arrive Bangkok and connect onto a flight to Siem Reap. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a three night stay. Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples of Angkor – some of the most spectacular religious monuments ever built. Capital of the ancient Khmer Empire, Angkor was abandoned in 1431 and reclaimed by the thick Cambodian jungle only to be rediscovered 400 years later by French naturalist Henri Mouhot. (N)
Accommodation in Siem Reap: Sokkhak Boutique Resort
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence d’Angkor
Alternative upgrade option: Raffles Grand d’Angkor
This morning visit Angkor Thom, the spacious walled capital of Jayavarman where highlights include the temple ruins of Bayon, Baphoun and Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and 12th century Terrace of the Leper King. In the afternoon, visit the epic Angkor Wat. Explore its extraordinary architecture and enjoy the beautiful Khmer architecture and reliefs which adorn this ancient monument. End the day with a spectacular sunset viewed from the mountain temple of Phnom Bakheng. (B)
Accommodation in Siem Reap: Sokkhak Boutique Resort
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence d’Angkor
Alternative upgrade option: Raffles Grand d’Angkor
Today visit the outlying Roluos group of temples which are located away from the main Angkor complex. Over 1,100 years old, the initial sanctuaries were built by Indravarman and his son Yashovarman, however, at a later date the site was to become one of Jayavarman’s capitals. The Roluos temples are considered the best preserved of the earliest monuments and are adorned with sculpted human figures and guardian spirits. (B)
Accommodation in Siem Reap: Sokkhak Boutique Resort
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence d’Angkor
Alternative upgrade option: Raffles Grand d’Angkor
After breakfast return to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City where you will stay for the next three nights. Renamed at the conclusion of the Vietnam War, the city is still known to many as Saigon. Growing from a small 15th century Khmer trading port, today Ho Chi Minh City is the modern face of Vietnam – a bustling dynamic metropolis of crumbling colonial buildings, chaotic streets, colourful markets and informal pavement cafes. (B)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Park Hyatt Saigon
This morning explore Ho Chi Minh City with your guide. Places of interest include the former Presidential Palace, now Reunification Hall, famously occupied by the army of North Vietnam in 1975, the city’s colonial centre including Notre Dame Cathedral and General Post Office and colourful Chinatown with its historic pagodas. In the afternoon take a walking tour through the busy side-streets ending at a small shop, formerly the secret weapon storage of the Viet Cong that was used during the Tet Offensive of 1968. (B)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Park Hyatt Saigon
Leaving the city, today drive south to the Mekong Delta and quiet Ben Tre – the heart of Vietnam’s coconut growing region. Travelling deserted country roads, stop and experience local village life, visit a small farmstead and travel by small sampan on the many side streams that criss-cross this riverine landscape. After lunch at a local farm, board a larger boat and, if time permits, visit one of the bank-side coconut factories that line the river before returning to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon. (B/L)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Park Hyatt Saigon
Today fly to the imperial city of Hue and continue to your hotel for a two night stay. With one foot planted firmly in the past, Hue represents the best of Vietnam and is a city of infinite charm and personality. Home to the powerful Nguyen dynasty, Hue sat at the centre of a vast Vietnamese empire and underwent a building programme designed to reflect its power. Despite the damage caused by the 1968 Tet Offensive, much of this magnificence remains and later travel by boat down the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda – one of the oldest religious structures in the city. (B)
Accommodation in Hue: Pilgrimage Village Hue
Upgrade option: La Residence Hotel and Spa
Hue is dominated by its spectacular Imperial City and in the morning explore this complex with your guide. Similar to Beijing’s Forbidden City, the ancient walls of this UNESCO World Heritage Site enclose a vast complex of palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples. In the afternoon visit the Dong Ba Market then travel to the countryside outside of the city to explore some of the astonishing tombs of the ancient emperors of Vietnam. In Hue a visit to a local Garden House can also be arranged as can scenic cycle rides through the outlying rural villages to the beautiful Thanh Toan covered bridge. (B)
Accommodation in Hue: Pilgrimage Village Hue
Upgrade option: La Residence Hotel and Spa
Leaving Hue drive south following Highway 1 as it winds its way up the Hai Van Pass – the historic border between the kingdoms of Vietnam and Champa. With fabulous views along the coast, descend to Danang and the Cham Museum which houses the largest collection of Cham art in the world. Continue to China Beach, close to Hoi An, where you will stay for three nights. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An Resort
Upgrade option: Victoria Hoi An Resort and Spa
Alternative upgrade option: The Nam Hai, Hoi An
This morning visit Hoi An – a quaint, picturesque town of winding cobbled streets, pretty wooden merchant houses, pagodas and silk merchants. Around two-hundred years ago Hoi An was a bustling little port home to Chinese traders and a strong commercial link to Japan which, over time, influenced the town’s architecture and design. Spending time in the town, spend the rest of the day relaxing on China Beach. Visits can also be made to one or two of the local fishing villages outside of Hoi An. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An Resort
Upgrade option: Victoria Hoi An Resort and Spa
Alternative upgrade option: The Nam Hai, Hoi An
At leisure to relax and enjoy the beach and hotel. The majority of resorts provide a free shuttle service into the old town of Hoi An should you wish to return. A day trip to the ancient Cham city of My Son can also be arranged as can a cookery class in the town. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An Resort
Upgrade option: Victoria Hoi An Resort and Spa
Alternative upgrade option: The Nam Hai, Hoi An
This morning transfer to Danang Airport for the flight to Haiphong. On arrival continue by road to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise. There are a number of different junk boats that operate on Ha Long Bay and we can also organise a private charter cruise. At Ha Long Bay over 3,000 limestone-karst islands protrude from the sea to create a labyrinth of channels, secluded beaches and yawning caves. The scenery here is unlike anywhere else in the country and spend the remainder of the day cruising the bay. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Ha Long Bay: Dragon Pearl Junk Boat
Upgrade option: Jasmine Junk
Enjoying breakfast onboard, cruise back towards Ha Long quay stopping on the way to visit some of the more spectacular caves. Leaving the boat, travel by road to Hanoi where you will stay for the next two nights. A handsome city of tree-lined boulevards, temples, lakes, parks and a frenetic, vibrant old colonial centre, Hanoi’s charm lies in the preservation of a distinct North Vietnamese culture and way of life. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Today explore Hanoi with your guide starting at Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum before continuing to his house, in the compound of the former Presidential Palace, and nearby One Pillar Pagoda which was originally built during the 11th century AD. From here continue on foot to the wonderful Temple of Literature – the largest temple complex in the city. Nearly 1,000 years old, the temple was dedicated to Confucius and the cult of literacy and education. End the day exploring the narrow lanes and historic buildings of the atmospheric old quarter. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
This morning transfer to Hanoi Airport and fly to Luang Prabang for a three night stay in the town. Encircled by the mountains of northern Laos and resting on the banks of the Mekong River, the former Royal capital of Luang Prabang is an eclectic mix of historic temples and beautiful old French colonial mansions. (B)
Accommodation in Luang Prabang: 3 Nagas Luang Prabang, MGallery by Sofitel
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao
Alternative upgrade option: Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel
With its historic temples and colonial architecture Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a wonderfully atmospheric place to explore. With your guide start the morning with visits to the Royal Palace Museum, Wat Xieng Thong and That Makmo, known locally as the ‘Watermelon Stupa’. Leaving the town, travel south to the villages of Xangkhong and Xienglek, which are famous for the textiles they produce, before returning to Luang Prabang for sunset viewed from the temple atop Mount Phu Si. (B)
Accommodation in Luang Prabang: 3 Nagas Luang Prabang, MGallery by Sofitel
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao
Alternative upgrade option: Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel
Today visit the picturesque falls at Khouang-Sy which are on a tributary of the Mekong. Crystal blue, there a numerous sheltered pools ideal for swimming and walking routes through the lush vegetation. Return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon and travel by boat to Pak Ou – a place famous for caves full of small Buddha images. Later leave Pak Ou and return to Luang Prabang where the rest of the day will be at leisure. (B)
Accommodation in Luang Prabang: 3 Nagas Luang Prabang, MGallery by Sofitel
Upgrade option: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao
Alternative upgrade option: Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel
This morning return to Luang Prabang Airport for the onward flight to Bangkok. Here connect onto the Thai Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
Arrive in the UK in the morning. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Cruise accommodation and sightseeing with other passengers

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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