Heart of Indochina


A multitude of delights await you in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as you enjoy this comprehensive tour and its deluxe touches. Uncover affecting history, immerse yourself in rich culture, and savour the simplicity of life in the wonderfully contrasting landscapes of the region.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Saigon (3N) - Hoi An (2N) - Hue (2N) - Hanoi (2N) - Halong Bay (1N) - Hanoi (1N) - Luang Prabang (3N) - Siem Reap (3N) - New Zealand

Day 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Fly to Saigon for a three night stay.
Day 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Day 3: Discover Saigon
Saigon has evolved from war torn city to thriving metropolis, the powerhouse driving Vietnam towards its ever brighter future. This morning see the Central Post Office; the Reunification Palace; and the harrowing War Remnants Museum. Take a cyclo ride through the bustling streets of Chinatown before taking a walking tour of a traditional herbal medicine street, learning about herbs, spices and healing concoctions as you go. Later, ascend to the sky deck of the Bitexco Tower for a cocktail and sunset view. Finally drift gently down the Saigon River on the Bonsai Cruise, dining on delicious cuisine as you soak up the night time views. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Discover Saigon
Day 4: Mekong Delta Cruise
Set sail through the palm-lined canals of the Mekong Delta in a traditional sampan, stopping to explore markets bursting with fresh produce and innovative home industries. Visit a 19th-century house, a home that produces coconut candy and puffed rice before enjoying lunch served in a colonial-style villa set in a lush garden by the river. Return to Saigon for the cultural extravaganza that is the A O Show, staged at the Saigon Opera House. (B,L)
Day 4: Mekong Delta Cruise
Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels
Travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels, part of an elaborate network of excavations used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. En route stop by a cricket farm. For those feeling brave, you can attempt a section of the tunnels for yourself. Fly to Danang and transfer to the charming town of Hoi An. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 6: Explore Hoi An
This morning tour the market to choose fresh ingredients from the colourful array of local produce for your Vietnamese cookery class, where you’ll be learning to prepare a number of local dishes. This afternoon wander the old streets, visiting the Japanese Covered Bridge and Chua Ong Pagoda. Take tea at the Reaching Out Teahouse, a peaceful place, run by hearing and speech impaired locals, to savour the flavours of Hoi An produce. (B,L)
Day 6: Explore Hoi An
Day 7: Travel to Hue
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Hoi An. This afternoon, depart for Hue, driving across the scenic Hai Van Pass. On arrival, cruise the Perfume River to the picturesque Thien Mu Pagoda. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Travel to Hue
Day 8: Discover Imperial Hue
Long considered a seat of culture and learning, Hue is dominated by its immense Imperial Citadel, home to emperors from 1802 to 1945. Enter through its grandiose entrance and you’ll be able to explore before heading out, along the river, into Hue’s lush surroundings to see Minh Mang’s tomb. Lunch will be vegetarian dishes prepared by the nuns of Lien Hoa Pagoda, before you try your hand at making paper flowers in a village that is known for the art. Admire the regal surroundings of the Tha Om Garden House – the owner, Mr Vinh, is descended from royalty. (B,L)
Day 8: Discover Imperial Hue
Day 9: Travel to Hanoi
ransfer to the airport to fly to Hanoi. Visit the Thanh Chuang Viet Palace. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Travel to Hanoi
Day 10: Explore Hanoi
Hanoi evokes the days when Asia was at its most chic. Spend the morning exploring the Ho Chi Minh Quarter and learning about the life of ‘Uncle Ho’. Visit the revered Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda. Meet a water puppeteer who will put on a private water puppet show. You will also be able to get involved in creating the puppets. (B,L)
Day 10: Explore Hanoi
Day 11: Halong Bay
Thousands of limestone islets dot the emerald waters of Halong Bay creating a vision of beauty to which very little compares. Voyage the bay aboard your comfortable cruise boat stopping to explore the sights as you go. Spend the night anchored amongst glorious scenery. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Halong Bay
Day 12: Sunrise over Halong Bay
Rise early to see the sun rise over the karst-scapes of the bay and savour the serenity of the early morning. Continue cruising through the bay, heading back to the wharf where there’s time for a tasty buffet before disembarking. Return to Hanoi where an indulgent Afternoon Tea experience awaits you. (B,D)
Day 12: Sunrise over Halong Bay
Day 13: Travel to Luang Prabang
Enjoy the morning free in Hanoi before catching an afternoon flight to Luang Prabang. Nestled amongst green mountains, the city is Laos’ cultural heart, an oasis of calm antiquity and rich heritage. (B)
Day 13: Travel to Luang Prabang
Day 14: Takbat
Rise early to observe the ceremony of Takbat. Watch the monks, swathed in their vibrant robes, collecting alms from the locals. Ascend Phousi Hill for views over the town and visit Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang’s most glittering temple. Take to the languid waters of the Mekong to visit the Pak Ou caves, renowned for the hundreds of carved Buddha statues that reside within. (B,L)
Day 14: Takbat
Day 15: Explore Luang Prabang
Wander the National Museum before heading to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. This evening you are invited to a local home to participate in a Baci Ceremony, an integral part of Laos' culture. (B,L)
Day 15: Explore Luang Prabang
Day 16: Discover Siem Reap
After a free morning in Luang Prabang, fly to Siem Reap. This evening enjoy a rollicking performance of the Phare Circus, run by an NGO that teaches street kids circus skills. Later enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment. (B,L)
Day 16: Discover Siem Reap
Day 17: Explore Angkor
The day begins with a masterclass that takes you behind the scenes at Angkor with one of its lead stone conservationists. You’ll learn little-known secrets and get a crash course in conservation techniques. Full of knowledge you’ll then embark on a full-day tour of Angkor. Beginning in Angkor Thom, the walled city, see the enigmatic Bayon before exploring the atmospheric Ta Prohm. The afternoon is dedicated to the breathtaking Angkor Wat before a champagne sunset at Phnom Krom temple. (B,L,D)
Day 17: Explore Angkor
Day 18: Floating Villages
High water season (Aug to Feb) Visit Beng Mealea, a mysterious temple overrun by the jungle and enjoy a cruise on Tonle Sap Lake, visiting the community of the floating village of Kampong Kleng. (B,L) Low water season (Mar to Jul) Visit a village to meet some of the locals and pop into Khapor High School to learn about the library project. Explore the exquisite temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre. (B,L)
Day 18: Floating Villages
Days 19-20: Fly Siem Reap to New Zealand
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Days 19-20: Fly Siem Reap to New Zealand

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Supplement from $2,450
Land Only (Saigon to Siem Reap) 18 days from $8,180 per person twin share
Additional charges: Tipping - US$144 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2, or may require extra nights pre or post tour accommodation or stopovers at additional cost
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular and you will find high quality coverage, with active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Vietnam is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
 
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.


Why Book This Tour?

It's packed full of exclusive experiences to help you soak up the local cultures, meandering at a relaxed pace through the must-see sights of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, including Halong Bay, Angkor and Luang Prabang, in style

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