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IndoChina Encounter

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IndoChina Encounter

offered by supplier M07207 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 14 - 16 people
Destination(s): Thailand   Vietnam   Cambodia  
Specialty Categories: small group tour   Sightseeing  
Season: January - April
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 640 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 820 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Tour Highlights

•Bangkok - See floating markets on the ‘klongs’, the network of waterways skirting the city’s modern skyscrapers (optional)
•Siem Reap - Gateway to the iconic and awe-inspiring Khmer temple complex of Angkor
•Battambong - Dusty streets lined with Colonial buildings and Khmer temples
•Phnom Penh - Learn about the dark history of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia's buzzing capital (optional)
•Ho Chi Minh City - Learn about the resourcefulness of the Viet Cong at the Cu Chi Tunnels (optional)

1 Join tour Bangkok (Thailand); optional boat trips along the canals

Arrive Bangkok and check-in at the hotel. The rest of the day is free. You may choose to take an optional cruise along the city’s Klongs (canals) in a traditional longtail boat. This is the ideal way to explore Bangkok’s network of meandering waterways that branch off from the main channel of the Chao Phraya River. The excursion will also include visits to the Royal Barge Museum and the iconic Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, which was built to represent the towering slopes of Mount Meru, the home to the gods of Khmer mythology.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: None

2 Train and Public bus to Siem Reap (Cambodia)

We have a long day today with an early start travelling on a train before boarding a scheduled bus service to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap. Operated as a cross-border through service, travellers will nevertheless change vehicles once across the Cambodian border. Your Thai leader will accompany you on this journey travelling by local bus to Siem Reap and our hotel.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

3 to 4 In Siem Reap

The next two days have been left free to explore the incredible jungle temple complex of Angkor period, whose history covers some 600 years, from the 9th through to the 15th centuries. No activities or excursions have been included in Siem Reap and your time here is very much your own, although your tour leader will be more than happy to help organise any visits that you wish. Two of the best ways to explore are by bicycle or striking a deal with one of the many tuk tuks that ply their trade here. Obvious choices are the magnificent complex of Angkor Wat, without doubt one of the most breathtaking of the jungle sites, the fortified city of Angkor Thom (home to the Bayon, with its mysterious giant faces) and the wonderfully overgrown and atmospheric Ta Phrom, set amidst tangled tree roots and lush jungle and famous as the setting for some of the Laura Croft film “Tomb Raider”. Other possibilities include taking to the waters of the Roluos River, to visit the floating villages and local wat at Kompong Phluk and explore the flooded forest and great lake of Tonle Sap (the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia, covering nearly a seventh of Cambodia’s entire landmass). Those wishing to gain a little understanding of Cambodia’s more recent past might like to seek out the fascinating Landmine Museum just to the south of Banteay Srei Temple. Set up in 1997 by a former Khmer Rouge soldier, the museum offers support for countless victims of landmines, as well as providing visitors with a poignant reminder of one of the country’s most violent and tragic periods.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: None

5 Journey to Battambong

Transferring to the pier this morning we join a scheduled boat service across the great Lake Tonle Sap, past numerous small fishing settlements and up the Sangker river to the town of Battambong. Depending upon the river levels the journey could take anything from 5-7 hours and on arrival we will transfer to our hotel. Please note that in the dry season (Feb-August) the water levels may become so low that we will travel from Siem Riep to Battambong by bus (3hrs). Battambong lies along a route that has seen countless Thai and the Khmer Rouge soldiers wind their way north and south, either in the pursuit of conquest, or in the case of the Khmer Rouge to escape the invading Vietnamese in 1979. The town is, surprisingly, Cambodia’s second largest, a factor that has done little to detract from its laid-back feel, enhanced by a wealth of colonial villas and leafy streets. Depending upon our arrival time there may be an opportunity to explore this afternoon, taking in its traditional temples and French-colonial architecture.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: None

6 Public bus to Phnom Penh; PM orientation walk

A public bus takes us on to the Cambodian capital this morning, the 5-hour journey getting us to the city in time for an afternoon’s orientation tour. Phnom Penh sits at the confluence of the Sap, Mekong and Bassac Rivers, a charming testament to the country’s ancient and colonial past, with tree lined boulevards and colonial villas dotted amongst the reminders of its turbulent history. The Cambodian capital since the mid 15th century, Phnom Penh’s origins lie in the legend of 4 statues of Buddha, washed on the shores of the Mekong and discovered by a woman named Penh, which were later housed in the 14th century Wat Phnom, located on a small hill at the northern end of the city. On arrival there should be time to freshen up, after which you may join your tour leader on a short walking tour of the city.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: None

7 Free in Phnom Penh

Today has been left free for you to continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Options include the National Museum, with its impressive collection of Angkor statues and the impressive French built Royal Palace, whose spectacular pagodastyle structure is without doubt one of Phnom Penh’s most impressive sights. A replica of King Norodom’s old wooden palace, the building presents an ostentatious display of elaborate Khmer architecture, with golden nagas, orange, sapphire and green tiles and scenes from the Ramayana painted on the ceiling. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the ‘Killing Fields’ of Choeung Ek provide gruesome testaments to life under the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, the skull filled glass tower a vivid memorial to the 17,000 men, women and children who were murdered there between 1975-1978. You should be aware that by their very nature Tuol Sleng and the ‘Killing Fields’ can be a distressing experience for some people. You might like to take a trip along the Mekong, or perhaps visit some of the capital’s numerous markets, such as the old Russian Market of Psar Toul Tom Poung, renowned for its textiles, jewellery and antiques. Of course you may just prefer to wander Phnom Penh’s vibrant streets, soaking up the atmosphere and perhaps enjoying a drink in one of the city’s old colonial riverfront bars.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

8 Public bus to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Transferring to the bus station this morning, we catch the non-stop public bus to Ho Chi Minh City, an unescorted journey of some 6.5 hours that gets into the city in time to meet up with our Vietnamese tour leader. We cross the border at Bouret (Cambodia) and Moc Bai (Vietnam). Lying to the north of the Mekong Delta, on the banks of the Saigon River and still unofficially referred to as ‘Saigon’, the city today is the largest in Vietnam, an eclectic mix of the traditional and the new, where pagodas and markets compete alongside the trappings of Vietnam’s newly discovered entrepreneurial spirit. Depending upon our arrival time we plan to make a short orientation tour on foot around the city, taking in some of its more obvious highlights, including the prominent Hotel de Ville, whose ornate grandeur is today the home of the city’s People’s Committee, as well as the Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the impressive French style edifice that is the GPO building (should our arrival time render this option impossible, then we will do the tour tomorrow morning instead).

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

9 In Ho Chi Minh City; optional Mekong delta trip to Binh Tay

Today is free for you to choose from a number of options. You may wish to visit the remarkable Reunification Palace and the emotive War Remnants Museum, which contains a fascinating, and at times chilling reminder of the cost of what the Vietnamese refer to as the American War. Or perhaps browse the bustling stalls of the Binh Tay Market, the largest wholesale market in southern Vietnam and a fabulous place to stroll and meet the locals.

Overnight: Simple Hotel, Included Meals: Breakfast

10 Tour ends Ho Chi Minh City; optional trip to Cu Chi Tunnels

Tour ends after breakfast. If you have time you may wish to to take an excursion further afield to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Originally started during the French occupation of the country, the tunnels went on to achieve notoriety during the Vietnam War, when they formed an incredible underground command base for 10,000 Viet Cong troops and were a major part of the Tet Offensive.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

prices based on double occupancy land only and vary on departure dates, no air is included

Supplier Information
Location: Canada
Joined InfoHub: Feb 1999
Client Request Served: 1283

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