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Secrets of Indochina: ex Ho Chi Minh City

Duration
13 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,561

Goway's 13 day Secrets of Indochina tour that visits exotic destinations within Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.


Eastern Indochina is packed with unforgettable sights and traditional towns to capture your heart. Get to know them on this 13 day trip through the highlights.

Ho Chi Minh City – still known to the locals as Saigon – is the bustling commercial hub of Vietnam, moving to its own rhythm rather than chasing western trends. A city tour takes you to Reunification Hall, the History Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. With time to spare, get a different perspective on ‘the American War’ at the War Remnants Museum, drive a hard bargain at Ben Thanh Market. You’ll also visit the Cu Chi Tunnels for an intriguing (if tight!) look at guerilla warfare.

The UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Hoi An has left its mark on many visitors’ hearts. Having escaped the war unscathed, it’s one of the best places in the country for an authentic look at Vietnamese culture. You’ll even enjoy a cooking class, with time to see why Vietnam is Asia’s fastest growing beach destination. Nearby Hue is a charming town in its own right, but it’s the surrounding tombs of the Nguyen emperors that make it an essential stop.

Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi has been called Asia’s best travel bargain. See Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum to see the ‘father of the country’ in a new light. Then enjoy the rich blend of traditional and French-influenced architecture. You’ll visit the Temple of Literature and the newly restored Opera House with time to wander on your own.

Laos is Indochina’s lesser known delight, and home to Luang Prabang, another UNESCO listed city that enchants all who visit. Make the 5.30am wake up call to see saffron robed monks colleting alms. Then visit some of the local temples and the sacred Pak Ou Buddha Caves. You’ll also visit a traditional Lao village and explore some spectacular local waterfalls. Formerly the Royal Palace, the National Museum will answer many of your questions about this enigmatic country before your onward flight.

In Cambodia, Siem Reap is the gateway to Indochina’s most splendid ruins, the temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat is the most famous – and indeed the largest religious structure on Earth, but a full day lets you explore the 12th century city of Angkor Thom, plus other spectacular ruins such as Ta Prohm. Spend another day here exploring the exquisitely detailed women’s citadel, Banteay Srei, and visit the local communities of Tonle Sap, the great lake at Cambodia’s centre before you depart.


 

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Duration
13 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,561

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Ho Chi Minh Saigon Airport to City Hotel

Duration45 Minutes

Saigon Hotel

The Saigon Hotel is perfectly located right in the bustling commercial and tourist district of Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel offers 86 well-furnished and rooms and suites with wood floors and a mix of traditional and modern decor. Facilities include an in-house restaurant and fitness centre.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Saigon Hotel

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    Saigon Hotel


    The Saigon Hotel is perfectly located right in the bustling commercial and tourist district of Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel offers 86 well-furnished and rooms and suites with wood floors and a mix of traditional and modern decor. Facilities include an in-house restaurant and ...

    The Saigon Hotel is perfectly located right in the bustling commercial and tourist district of Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel offers 86 well-furnished and rooms and suites with wood floors and a mix of traditional and modern decor. Facilities include an in-house restaurant and fitness centre.

    Facilities

    • Airport Transfer
    • Car Rental Service
    • Conference and Banquet
    • Fitness Centre
    • Restaurant
    • Tour Desk

    More Details

Day 2

Full Day Cu Chi and Ho Chi Minh City Tour including lunch

Journey out of Ho Chi Minh City to the Cu Chi region, where you will visit the vast underground network of tunnels built first as a defence against the French, and later expanded during the Vietnam war. It was from here that the North Vietnamese waged their guerrilla warfare. You will marvel at their ingenuity and resilience. See secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. The more adventurous may explore the deeper second, and even third level tunnels. For those preferring to remain above ground, there is ample opportunity to view excavated areas from above. Your guide will advise you of the length and level of difficulty of each tunnel before entering - some are easily accessed by stairs. We recommend good walking shoes and sun protection for this tour and advise you may get a little dirty!
In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of Ho Chi Minh City. Proceed to the former Presidential Palace, which is now preserved as a museum, including the underground communications bunker headquarters for the Saigon Government during the War. Continue to the History Museum, which houses an excellent display tracing the origins of the indigenous Vietnamese. Visit Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the centre of city. Lunch is included.

Duration8 Hours
Day 3

City Hotel to Ho Chi Minh Saigon Airport

Duration45 Minutes

Ho Chi Minh City Airport to Da Nang Airport

Duration1 Hour

Transfer from Danang Airport to Hoian with Cham Museum Tour En-route

Upon arrival, you will drive overland visiting the Cham Museum. Situated in a quiet area of Danang City, the Cham Museum was built in 1915. The kingdom of Champa controlled what is now south and central Vietnam from approximately 192 through 1697. At present, the museum houses 297 stone and terracotta sculptural works made between the 7th and the 15th centuries. These are impressive works typical of the Cham culture. From here, continue on to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries with period architecture and relaxed lifestyle.

Duration1 Hour

Half Day Hoi An Walking Tour - Afternoon

Just a short drive from Danang is the unique trading town of Hoi An; a civilization cut off by destroyed rail lines and a silted river, leaving it untouched by war and almost frozen in time. No cars are allowed to pass through Hoi An, rendering it an excellent walking village. You are transferred from your hotel/resort to the town to start your walking tour which includes a visit to Chinese communal houses/pagodas, the unique Japanese covered bridge, architecture reminiscent of traders of a bygone era - Japanese, French, Chinese, and Indian, as well as beautifully preserved ancient houses. You will also have chance to visit the Hoi An local market or shop for art at one of the numerous galleries and enjoy the riverside ambience.

Duration3 Hours

Hoi An Historic Hotel

Established in 1991, the Hoi An Hotel is admired for its location, charm, and world-class facilities. Guests can access stunning Cua Dai beach, 4km East, by hopping on a shuttle bus that runs on the fifteen minutes. It is also a quick walk to the Old Town. Room design discards the minimalist fad of recent years. The hotel also offers use of a vast, outdoor pool with poolside recliners, Jacuzzi, tennis courts, souvenir shop and art gallery, beauty salon and tour desk.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hoi An Historic Hotel

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Hoi An Historic Hotel



    Established in 1991, the Hoi An Hotel is admired for its location, charm, and world-class facilities. Guests can access stunning Cua Dai beach, 4km East, by hopping on a shuttle bus that runs on the fifteen minutes. It is also a quick walk to the ...

    Established in 1991, the Hoi An Hotel is admired for its location, charm, and world-class facilities. Guests can access stunning Cua Dai beach, 4km East, by hopping on a shuttle bus that runs on the fifteen minutes. It is also a quick walk to the Old Town. Room design discards the minimalist fad of recent years. The hotel also offers use of a vast, outdoor pool with poolside recliners, Jacuzzi, tennis courts, souvenir shop and art gallery, beauty salon and tour desk.

    Facilities

    • Art Gallery
    • Badminton Court
    • Bar(s)
    • Bicycles
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lounge(s)
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Medical Services
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa
    • Tennis

    More Details

Day 4

Half Day Market Visit and Cooking Classes with Lunch ex Hoi An

Enjoy some fresh juice or Vietnamese coffee at a local cafe before experiencing the cacophony of Hoi An's vibrant marketplace. Here you'll have the chance to interact with local vendors and purchase the ingredients for your cooking lesson. From the market, board a small boat and cruise along the Thu Bon River to the cooking school in the countryside. Hoi An is renowned throughout Vietnam for its culinary specialties, and the cooking class begins with an introduction to some of the region's best-known dishes and a tour of the school's vegetable and herb garden. Afterwards, the local chef will lead you in preparing some of these famous dishes. The cooking class will last approximately 2 hours, finishing with lunch and a short demonstration of Vietnamese vegetable carving and plate decoration.

Duration4 Hours
Day 5

Overland from Hoi An to Hue incl Lang Co Fishing Village En-route

Depart Hoi An and travel overland to Hue via cloudy pass with a visit to the idyllic fishing village of Lang Co.

Duration4 Hours

Half Day Perfume River Cruise to Thien Mu Pagoda and Imperial Citadel With Lunch

Enjoy one of the most notable features of Hue, the meandering Perfume (Huong) River that divides the city. As both the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda are situated on the river banks, boating on a simple, yet comfortable, vessel offers you a relaxing alternative to the Imperial Hue tour. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Duration4 Hours

Eldora Hue Hotel

Located in the heart of the city within walking distance to many tourist attractions. This hotel is the best base to start your exploration of Hue .

Luxury and attention to details are what you'll experience at the first moment you arrive to the Hotel. Offering exquisite style, spacious guestrooms, and most importantly, seamlessly intuitive service and personalised comfort, Eldora boutique hotel is an ideal getaway for leisure and business travellers alike.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Eldora Hue Hotel

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Location View map
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    Eldora Hue Hotel



    Located in the heart of the city within walking distance to many tourist attractions. This hotel is the best base to start your exploration of Hue . Luxury and attention to details are what you'll experience at the first moment you arrive to the Hotel. ...

    Located in the heart of the city within walking distance to many tourist attractions. This hotel is the best base to start your exploration of Hue .

    Luxury and attention to details are what you'll experience at the first moment you arrive to the Hotel. Offering exquisite style, spacious guestrooms, and most importantly, seamlessly intuitive service and personalised comfort, Eldora boutique hotel is an ideal getaway for leisure and business travellers alike.

    Facilities

    • Coffee/Tea Making Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Non-Smoking Rooms

    More Details

Day 6

Half Day Emperors of Contrast by Road to Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Tomb

The hills surrounding Hue are dotted with the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty emperors. Built not only as an eternal resting place, the tombs were designed for recreation; somewhere the Emperor could fish, hunt and enjoy the company of concubines in his twilight years. Your tour combines visits to two of the most contrasting tombs. First, you will visit the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, resplendent in traditional architecture, paved walkways, resting pavilions overlooking tranquil lotus ponds, and a small forest for hunting. In stark contrast, you will continue on to Khai Dinh's Tomb. Remembered as the "Puppet Emperor" because of his affiliation with the French, this tomb was designed with colonial flair, and a glass mosaic frieze dominates the interior.

Duration3 Hours

City Hotel to Hue Airport

Duration30 Minutes

Hue Airport to Hanoi Airport

Duration1 Hour

Hanoi Airport to City Hotel

Duration1 Hour

Chalcedony Hotel

Chalcedony Hotel is located in the centre of Hanoi's Old Quarter, just a 3-minute walk from Dong Xuan central market and 10 minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake. The hotel offers 73 spacious, contemporary rooms with easy access to restaurants, shopping areas and historical sites. On-site amenities include a rooftop restaurant, coffee lounge, business centre and gym. Complimentary internet is provided.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Chalcedony Hotel

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Location View map
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    Chalcedony Hotel



    Chalcedony Hotel is located in the centre of Hanoi's Old Quarter, just a 3-minute walk from Dong Xuan central market and 10 minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake. The hotel offers 73 spacious, contemporary rooms with easy access to restaurants, shopping areas and historical sites. On-site ...

    Chalcedony Hotel is located in the centre of Hanoi's Old Quarter, just a 3-minute walk from Dong Xuan central market and 10 minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake. The hotel offers 73 spacious, contemporary rooms with easy access to restaurants, shopping areas and historical sites. On-site amenities include a rooftop restaurant, coffee lounge, business centre and gym. Complimentary internet is provided.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Security
    • Baby Sitting Service
    • Baggage storage
    • Bar
    • Broadband Internet
    • Business Centre
    • Camera System on Public Areas
    • Coffee Lounge
    • Doctor on Call
    • Elevator
    • Foreign Currency Exchange
    • Gym
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Newspapers
    • Restaurant
    • Travel Desk
    • Wireless Broadband Internet

    More Details

Day 7

Full Day Hanoi City Tour including Lunch

Today, enjoy a full-day city tour of Hanoi. First, visit Ba Dinh Square, where silent sentries guard Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum (closed Mondays and Fridays, and in October and November). See the simple cottage where Uncle Ho lived and worked, then visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum, a tribute to the much-loved father of the country and to Vietnam's independence. French colonial architecture is a feature of Hanoi, and the nearby former Governor's Residence is a fine example, as is the One Pillar Pagoda. Continue on to the serene Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the recently restored Opera House, then pass by Hoan Kiem Lake ("Lake of the Restored Sword"). Next, take a walk through the charming streets of the Ancient Quarter, still a thriving market community today, and an ideal spot to pick up inexpensive and unique souvenirs. You'll notice street names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street.

Duration7 Hours
Day 8

City Hotel to Hanoi Airport

Duration1 Hour

Hanoi Airport to Luang Prabang Airport

Duration1 Hour

Luang Prabang Airport to Hotel

Duration15 Minutes

Villa Santi Hotel

The Villa Santi Hotel was established in 1992 by Lao business man Mr. Santi Inthavong in a royal residence, which belongs to his wife, a royal princess of Luang Prabang. The century old mansion was renovated and equipped with up to date facilities. The hotel was first operated as a family business with 11 rooms and a restaurant. In November 1994, 14 rooms were added, making the property one of the most famous sites of Luang Prabang, which was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Villa Santi Hotel

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Location View map
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    Villa Santi Hotel



    The Villa Santi Hotel was established in 1992 by Lao business man Mr. Santi Inthavong in a royal residence, which belongs to his wife, a royal princess of Luang Prabang. The century old mansion was renovated and equipped with up to date facilities. The hotel ...

    The Villa Santi Hotel was established in 1992 by Lao business man Mr. Santi Inthavong in a royal residence, which belongs to his wife, a royal princess of Luang Prabang. The century old mansion was renovated and equipped with up to date facilities. The hotel was first operated as a family business with 11 rooms and a restaurant. In November 1994, 14 rooms were added, making the property one of the most famous sites of Luang Prabang, which was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 9

Full Day Morning Alms Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Sii Waterfalls

This morning there is the opportunity to start the day early with one of the most memorable sights of Luang Prabang. At dawn hundreds of saffron robed monks move silently through the streets to collect alms. Your guide will explain the background behind this ritual which is still very much a part of everyday life in Laos and you will have the chance to make 'merit'. Return to your hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast visit the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong. It is characterized by its several roofs sweeping low to the ground and the impressive "tree of life" mosaic. Then begin a relaxing riverboat trip with your guide up the mighty Mekong to visit the sacred Pak Ou Buddha Caves. En-route it is possible to stopover at Ban Thin Hong village, a Lao Loum village where you can get a glimpse of daily life. Pak Ou caves is home to thousands of Buddha images placed in the caves by locals as far back as the 16th century, when King Setthathirat found the caves and declared them a holy spot. Today many people still pay respect to this tradition.

After exploring the caves and having lunch at a local restaurant nearby continue by road to the Kuang Sii Waterfalls. The distance is about 70km and the journey should take approximately 1 hour passing through very scenic Laotian countryside, with rice paddies and many ethnic minority villages along the way. On arrival at Kuang Sii there is time to enjoy a refreshing dip in the falls. These beautiful falls cascade over many calcified tiers and down several hundred feet into a series of cool, turquoise pools. After exploring the waterfalls return to Luang Prabang by road. If time permits, you may stop at some local villages. Arrive back in Luang Prabang town in the late afternoon and this evening is at leisure.

Duration9 Hours
Day 10

Half Day Luang Prabang City Tour with Lunch

Visit Luang Prabang's National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace. Displayed inside is a collection of personal artifacts from the former Laotian Royal Family. Continue on to visit the nearby Wat Mai. The five tiers of the roof of the wooden Sim (chapel) epitomizes the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. Also take some time to visit the local market or H'mong market. Return to your hotel to check-out by 12 noon and then enjoy lunch at one of Luang Prabang's local restaurants or cafes.

Duration4 Hours

Luang Prabang Hotel to Airport

Duration15 Minutes

Luang Prabang Airport to Siem Reap Airport

Duration2 Hours

Siem Reap Airport to Siem Reap City Hotel

Duration30 Minutes

Tara Angkor

Experience all that Siem Reap has to offer in this stylish international hotel. The Tara Angkor Hotel is an ideal base to explore Siem Reap and the magnificent temples steeped in legend and history. Tara Angkor is conveniently located on the road to Angkor only 5km from the entrance, 15 minutes from the airport and a short ride to the centre of town. The Tara Angkor with 213 rooms is also equipped with modern amenities and is elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Tara Angkor

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Location View map
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    Tara Angkor



    Experience all that Siem Reap has to offer in this stylish international hotel. The Tara Angkor Hotel is an ideal base to explore Siem Reap and the magnificent temples steeped in legend and history. Tara Angkor is conveniently located on the road to Angkor only ...

    Experience all that Siem Reap has to offer in this stylish international hotel. The Tara Angkor Hotel is an ideal base to explore Siem Reap and the magnificent temples steeped in legend and history. Tara Angkor is conveniently located on the road to Angkor only 5km from the entrance, 15 minutes from the airport and a short ride to the centre of town. The Tara Angkor with 213 rooms is also equipped with modern amenities and is elegantly furnished to make your stay luxurious and enjoyable.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)

    More Details

Day 11

Full Day Angkor Temples incl Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat

This morning, you will visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom, last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. Continue to visit Thommanon, Ta Keo and Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in it's natural state since its 're-discovery' by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees. This afternoon, you will visit to Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equalling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism.

Duration10 Hours
Day 12

Full Day Banteay Srei, Banteay Samre and Tonle Sap

This morning, you drive to Banteay Srei; the citadel of women - a tiny, enchanting temple, which is one of the jewels in this remarkable city. Built of red sandstone in the tenth century and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the carved male and female figures in the niches are exquisitely executed in both style and proportion. This is the most Indian of all the temples in Angkor and in the words of H.W. Ponder, is a fairy palace in the heart of an immense and mysterious forest. Continue to Banteay Samre, is built under Suryavarman II and Yasovarman II in the early 12th century, it is a Hindu temple in the Angkor Wat style. Named after the Samré, an ancient people of Indochina, the temple uses the same materials as the Banteay Srei. This afternoon, drive to a development project teaching young adults, stone carving, wood carving and lacquer application, Les Artisans d' Angkor is a heart warming reminder that progress in Cambodia can go hand in hand with traditional crafts. Then continue to Ton Le Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia, is the lifeblood of the Cambodian fishing industry. The Mekong River, from as a far away as Phnom Penh, reverses the direction of the Ton Le Sap river to bring an overflow of water and silt to support both rice growing and the breeding fish of many sizes and varieties. Hopping on board small shaded vessels and moving between the floating homes and small fish farms you will experience close up, daily lake life.

Duration9 Hours
Day 13

Siem Reap City Hotel to Siem Reap Airport

Duration30 Minutes

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

12 nights accommodation, flights within Asia, all private touring and transfers as specified, meals as specified.

PRICE EXCLUDES:

Travel insurance, gratuities, items of a personal nature and drinks. Visa costs.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

*Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share in low season. Subject to availability.  

DP HOCTPK13DSIEVN1
16 Sep 2017
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