Indochina: The Big One


This complete Indochina adventure, covering Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, shows you the highlights of the region whilst giving you plenty of time for independent exploration and a choice of experiences to help you delve deeper into the local culture and heritage.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Saigon (2N) - Ben Tre (1N) - Saigon (1N) - Hoi An (2N) - Hue (2N) - Hanoi (2N) - Mai Chau (2N) - Hanoi (1N) - Halong Bay (1N) - Hanoi (1N) - Luang Prabang (2N) - Vientiane (2N) - Phnom Penh (2N) - Siem Reap (4N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Fly to Saigon for a two-night stay. (D)
Days 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Day 3: Explore Saigon
Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels. Return to Saigon and tour the Central Post Office as well as the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. (B,L)
Day 3: Explore Saigon
Day 4: The Mekong Delta
Transfer to Ben Tre in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Cycle through lush scenery to a local house for lunch and stay overnight in Ben Tre. (B,L,D)
Day 4: The Mekong Delta
Day 5: Cho Lach
Visit Vinh Bac bonsai and flower village. Return to Saigon. This evening is free, or there are three optional excursions available (at your own expense): 1) dinner and an AO Show performance at the Saigon Opera House, 2) a tour of Saigon at night on a Vespa, or 3) discover street food on a tour of Saigon’s best street eats. (B,L)
Day 5: Cho Lach
Day 6: Discover Hoi An
Fly to charming Hoi An. This afternoon, wander the old cobbled streets and soak up the town's delights. (B,L)
Day 6: Discover Hoi An
Day 7: Hoi An Experiences
Today is at leisure for your own explorations, or choose between the following experiences (at your own expense) 1) A cooking class, with a visit to the produce market, or 2) A full day farmer and fisherman experience, learning traditional techniques of both. (B)
Day 7: Hoi An Experiences
Day 8: Travel to Hue
Journey by road to Hue via the Hai Van Pass and stop en route at the Son Tra Peninsula. (B,L)
Day 8: Travel to Hue
Day 9: Explore Hue
Take a cyclo ride up to Hue’s Imperial Citadel. Visit the imperial tomb of Minh Mang, before admiring Thien Mu Pagoda and a cruise on the Perfume River. (B,L)
Day 9: Explore Hue
Day 10: Fly to Hanoi
Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam’s atmospheric capital. This evening is free, with the option of taking a mini backstage tour of the Hanoi Opera House, followed by dinner and a performance of ‘Lang Toi' (at your own expense). (B)
Day 10: Fly to Hanoi
Day 11: Discover Hanoi
Explore the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Stilt House and the Temple of Literature. Next, take a thrilling cyclo ride through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter. This evening, enjoy a traditional water puppets show. (B,L)
Day 11: Discover Hanoi
Day 12: Mai Chau
Journey west to Mai Chau, where a patchwork of rice fields and tiny stilt house villages are set against a backdrop of rolling hills. Walk to the ethnic minority villages of Pom Coong and Lac and explore magnificent Mo Luong cave. This evening, enjoy dinner with a traditional dance performance in Lac village. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Mai Chau
Day 13: Mai Chau experiences
Today is at leisure, or choose between the following experiences (at your own expense) 1) Spend the day walking amongst the incredible limestone landscapes of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, 2) a cycling adventure through Mai Chau, an alternative way to see this beautiful, untouched area. (B)
Day 13: Mai Chau experiences
Day 14: Return to Hanoi
Spend the morning at leisure before returning to Hanoi. (B)
Day 14: Return to Hanoi
Day 15: Cruise Halong Bay
Travel to Halong Bay. Board your junk boat for a serene and unforgettable cruise on the glassy, limestone-studded waters. (B,L,D)
Day 15: Cruise Halong Bay
Day 16: Tai Chi
Rise early to catch the sunrise and practice Tai Chi on deck. After brunch on board, return to Hanoi. (B)
Day 16: Tai Chi
Day 17: Fly to Laos
This morning is at leisure, with two optional activities available (at your own expense) 1) a Vietnamese cooking class 2) a tour of the Hanoi’s hidden gems. Later, fly to Luang Prabang, Asia’s most atmospheric city. (B)
Day 17: Fly to Laos
Day 18: See Luang Prabang
Rise early to witness the daily dawn ceremony of Takbat, before heading to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls and the Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Later, see Wat Xieng Thong and take in the sunset views from Mount Phousi. This evening is free, with the option of taking part in a traditional Baci ceremony (at your own expense). (B,L)
Day 18: See Luang Prabang
Day 19: Fly to Vientiane
This morning is at leisure with two optional experiences available (at your own expense) 1) Learn about the traditional uses of bamboo, from products to food with a bamboo experience, or 2) Travel up the Mekong by boat to visit the Pak Ou Caves. This afternoon, fly to Vientiane. (B)
Day 19: Fly to Vientiane
Day 20: Explore Vientiane
Visit the city’s most important sights - Wat Si Saket, Wat Phra Keo, That Luang Stupa and Patuxai Victory Monument before spending time at Buddha Park. This evening, enjoy a music and dance performance. (B,L,D)
Day 20: Explore Vientiane
Day 21: Fly to Phnom Penh
Fly to Phnom Penh. (B,D)
Day 21: Fly to Phnom Penh
Day 22: Explore Phnom Penh
Take a cyclo through the city to Wat Phnom before heading to the glittering Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum. This afternoon is free, with two optional extra experiences (at your own expense) 1) a visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields 2) a boat trip up the Mekong to Silk Island to visit a silk weaving village. (B,L)
Day 22: Explore Phnom Penh
Day 23: Fly to Siem Reap
Fly to Siem Reap, the gateway to the Temples of Angkor! (B,D)
Day 23: Fly to Siem Reap
Day 24: Temples of Angkor
The Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses over a thousand temples, all the remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries. Enter the walled city of Angkor Thom and head to its heart to see the enigmatic Bayon, followed by the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Continue to Ta Prohm, an atmospheric temple left in the grips of the jungle. This afternoon is dedicated to the magnificence of Angkor Wat and intricate beauty of Banteay Srei temple. Take a leisurely boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom and view hidden elements of the ancient Khmer water systems. This evening attend the Phare Cambodian Circus. (B,L)
Day 24: Temples of Angkor
Day 25: Siem Reap
Enjoy a free day or take part in one of the following optional tours. Choose between (at your own expense) 1) A full day amongst rural Cambodian communities, learning about their daily life 2) Explore the hidden temple of Beng Mealea. (B)
Day 25: Siem Reap
Day 26: Tonle Sap
High water season (Aug-Feb) Cruise on the waters of Tonle Sap to visit the village of Kompong Kleang. A fully-fledged village of both floating and stilted houses, here you’ll get a glimpse of real Cambodian village. Low water season (Mar-Jul) The village of Chong Khneas is a floating village right on the edge of the Tonle Sap where you can see locals going about their day-to-day lives on and by the water. Both seasons include dinner with a traditional Apsara dance show this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 26: Tonle Sap
Days 27-28: Siem Reap to New Zealand
Transfer to Siem Reap airport and board your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day. (B) ^Due to flight schedules, an extra night may be required at an additional cost.
Days 27-28: 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 $1,320
Land Only (Saigon to Siem Reap) 26 days from $6,680 per person
Additional charges: Customary tipping - Approximately US$156 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 not required for visitors to Vietnam if your stay is less than 16 days. If your stay is for longer than 16 days then a visa is required by all nationalities and 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. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
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 Wi-Fi 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 the ultimate tour of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, seeing the big sights and lesser-known hidden gems. Whether witnessing the monks receive aims, or practising Tai Chi while cruising Halong Bay, this tour is true cultural immersion.

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