Day 1: Luang Prabang (D).
Upon arrival, you will be greeted and transferred to the hotel. Luang Prabang has been claimed by the UNESCO as “the best-preserved city in South East Asia”. During our time here, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River. From there we will explore the Luang Prabang night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textile made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Dinner and overnight in Luang Prabang. (Lunch at your own arrangement for more flexibility).
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou - Luang Prabang (B/L).
Let’s enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. We stop en route at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On the way back to Luang Prabang we will take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a small village known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (dinner at your own arrangement).
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Khouangsi Water Fall – Villages - Luang Prabang (B/L).
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the religious residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From here we will visit the morning Phousi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today we will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khuangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. After returning to Luang Prabang by late afternoon, we will go on to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. Return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (dinner at your own arrangement).
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Hanoi (B/D).
Depending on your flight schedule, we may have enough time for a visit at The National Museum at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. The Central Market should not be missed too if you wish to have some craft to remember of Laos.
Welcomed by THREELAND tour guide at Hanoi airport, transfer to the city and have a city tour – an essential preparation for your next excursions. Have a look at the Old Quarter of Hanoi, stop at Ngoc Son Temple located on the Hoan Kiem Lake (the “Sword” Lake) and enjoy a unique fascinating show of Water Puppetry, a traditional stage art of Northern Vietnam late afternoon or evening. Dinner and overnight in Hanoi. (lunch at your own arrangement for flexibility).
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay – Train To Lao Cai (B/L/D).
Early depart for Halong Bay, a World Heritage as designated by UNESCO in 1994, with thousands limestone islets with stopovers en route to visit the rural life of the Red River Delta’s farmers (esp. in transplanting and harvest times), or the ceramic town at Dong Trieu. Upon arrival, take a boat trip for about 5 hours to cruise Halong bay (width 1,500 sq. km) to enjoy its splendid seascape of thousands odd-shaped rocky islands, visit the inside-island grottoes and / or swimming. Lunch of fresh seafood served on board by the crew. Late afternoon back to Hanoi for dinner before transfer to the Railway Station to take a night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on the Train.
Day 6: Visit Sapa (B/L).
Around 06.00am, you’ll arrive at Lao Cai Station, a borderland city that looks over China and that is closest to Sapa Hill Resort. Transferred to Sapa. The road is 40km long and very sight-worthy with terraced paddy fields, small waterfalls and pinewoods. Have breakfast at your hotel in Sapa and leave your luggage here before hanging around with your tour guide to Sapa market, then climb up the Dragon Peak to have the panorama of Sapa with pine trees, old colonial-styled villas and numerous hill tribal people. Afternoon walk downhill from Sapa to Cat Cat village of the Hmong people (4km) to visit the daily life of the Hmong ethnic group and enjoy the landscape in Cat Cat. Overnight in Sapa. (dinner at your own arrangement).
Day 7: A Colorful Weekly Market In Bacha Surroundings – Laocai (B/L/D).
Today should be Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday. Anyone of these days will offer us a great chance for a memorable trip to a weekly market of the hill tribes living surrounding Sapa. Alternatives are Can Cau market on Saturday, Bac Ha market on Sunday or Coc Ly market on Tuesday. On Sunday, we can even choose to stay in Sapa Town to enjoy the market of Black Hmong and Dzay people. To reach any of them, we will drive from Sapa about 3hours to the marketplace, where hundreds of people from tribes Hmong, Tay, Dzay, Dzao, Kinh gather for meeting, hanging around, shopping and exchanging their goods, especially fabrics and handicrafts weekly. After enjoying the market for 2-3 hours, we can visit a village nearby the marketplace (alternatively), take a boat on Chay river (during Coc Ly market only) or leave for Lao Cai and have a look at the Chinese border in Lao Cai. Take the night Train to Hanoi at 19.00 or 21.00 and overnight on the Train. (lunch at restaurant near the market; dinner in Laocai).
Day 8: Hanoi – Saigon (B/D).
Arrive Hanoi about 06.00am. Have a circle surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake to watch the morning exercises of the Hanoians surrounding the lake, inclusive of yoga, jogging, dance, martial art, and taichi-quan. Visit the Mausoleum and House of Ho Chi Minh before transfer to the airport for a midday flight to Saigon. Welcomed in Saigon and start the city tour to enjoy a very different ambience of fastest-growing city you ever since in Indochina. Visit the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral and Post Office will give us more knowledge of the old time of the city. Continue to the bustling China Town with “Cho Lon” (Big market) and Thien Hau Temple of the Chinese community to enjoy daily life of the working people of Saigon nowadays. Back to district 1 to enjoy “Bach dang ice-cream”, a popular rendezvous of Saigon people. Dinner with delicious local foods. Overnight in Saigon. (lunch at your own arrangement for more flexibility).
Day 9: Tay Ninh Holysee – Cu Chi Tunnel (B/L).
Our day will begin with a visit to Tayninh, the centre of Caodaism, a local sect of Buddhism founded by a Vietnamese countryman in early 20th century. Arriving at noontime, we will have the chance to join the daily solemn ceremony at the temple of Cao Dai called Tayninh Holysee. On the way back to Saigon, we can stop to visit Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the few remaining monuments to the fierce Vietnam War. We can even crawl a part of the tunnel to experience the real life of the Vietnamese guerrillas, who used to use and live inside this system during the wartime. Return to Saigon late afternoon. Lunch in Tayninh or en route. Dinner by your own arrangement for your own discovery of Saigon’s exciting night life. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 10: Saigon – Siemreap – Angkor Thom (B/D).
At leisure for relax and shopping until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport to fly Saigon - Siemreap.
Welcomed in Siemreap and transfer to hotel to check-in. In the afternoon depart to visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, which is 7km from Siemreap: the Bayon temple, the Baphuan, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. View the sunset over Angkor complex on the top of Phnom Bakheng mountain. Dinner enjoying Apsara traditional dance and Overnight in Siemreap. (Lunch at your own arrangement for flexibility).
Day 11: Angkor Wat And Other Famous Temples – Siemreap (B/L).
After breakfast, visit the Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human construction genius and natural beauty of giant trees, which have grown there for centuries. Go on to visit Ta keo, dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and was built at the end of the 10th century. Visit the Thommanon, Chau Say temples and the natural lake of Sra Srang. Have Lunch before visit Angkor Wat; The founder was Suryavarman II who reigned Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers in the 12th century and dedicated them to the Hindu God Vishnu. The plan of the pyramidal conception of the temple combined with spaces, alleys, ditches is an ancient masterpiece of architectural design and construction. Back to Siemreap for overnight. (Dinner at your own arrangement).
Day 12: Siemreap - Banteay Srey - Siemreap (B/L).
After breakfast, spend the entire morning in one of the jewels of Angkor, the Banteay Srey Temple which means "Citadel of Women", made of pink sandstone and presents the most graceful carvings in stone we might ever seen in our life. After a picnic lunch near the site, continue to Kbal Spean, the river of thousand Lingas, the phallic symbol of the God Shiva. Arrival near the site, walk for an hour through the forest to arrive at Kbal Spean. Return to Siemreap for our last night in Cambodia. (dinner at your own arrangement).
Day 13: Siemreap Departure (B).
After breakfast, have your own time until being transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
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Asia Vietnam Laos Cambodia Local Culture Sightseeing