Luang Prabang Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 147

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Day 1: Siem Reap

Welcome to Siem Reap! On arrival, transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, enter the Sough Gate of Angkor Thom temple and marvel at the wonders of the eerie Bayon, Phimean Akas, the terrace of Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Enjoy the sunset view over Phnom Bakheng. Overnight at Angkor Palace or similar.

Day 2: Siem Reap

In the morning visit famous Angkor Wat, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. The largest and best preserved of the Angkor temples, it is also the most well known world wide and a source of pride for the Khmer people, Angkor Wat has appeared on the Cambodian flag for almost 150 years. After lunch, visit Preah Khan Temple, Then take a half hour journey to Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual of the Angkor temples. Overnight at Angkor Palace or similar.

Day 3: Siem Reap

After breakfast, continue the journey of discovery through the wonders of Angkor with visits to several ancient temples including The Prasat Kravan temple, The Banteay Kdei Temple, The Srah Srang, Ta Keo and Thommanon temple. Overnight at Angkor Palace or similar.

Day 4: Siem Reap - Luang Prabang

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the short flight to Luang Prabang, perhaps the best preserved traditional city in all Southeast Asia. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Villa Maly Hotel or similar.

Day 5: Luang Prabang

oday take a boat ride upstream on the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered statues of the Buddha in various postures and sizes. En-route stop off at the village of Ban Xanghai, renowned for producing local rice wine. On return, stop to visit Ban Chan before travelling overland to the local villages at Ban Xiengmene to visit the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun. If time permits this afternoon a visit will be made to visit the weaving villages of Ban Xiengkhong. Overnight at Villa Maly Hotel or similar.

Day 6: Luang Prabang - Hanoi

Visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, picturesque Wat Mai, the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roof sweeping low to the ground, and the classic, symbolic architecture of the Luang Prabang temples. To top it all off climb to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded Stupa as well as a superb view over the town and Mekong river. From there, walk through Luang Prabang to visit the lively night market in the streets. Transfer to the airport and fly to Hanoi. Overnight at Sheraton Hanoi or similar.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Depart Hanoi in the morning for the scenic drive through the countryside to Ha Long Bay. On arrival board one of the traditional vessels for an overnight cruise through the 3,000 limestone islands. Savor a delicious Vietnamese buffet lunch as your junk boat heads to Bai Tu Long Bay passing the towns of Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets. Optional tours are available. Overnight on board.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 8: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Morning exercise and seeing the sunrise. The cruise weighs anchor to cuise through the Bay passing beautiful spots like Trong, Trinh Nu and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi Islet.,etc. Explore the Surprise Cave. Buffet brunch is served on board. Later we cruise leisurely back to Halong harbor where upon disembarkation transfer back to Hanoi where a visit to the Temple Of Literature, dating back to 1070 and the first university in Vietnam. This evening is free to explore Hanoi further. Overnight at Sheraton Hanoi or similar.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 9: Hanoi - Hoi An

Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda. Located beside the dazzling West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. Afterwards, take a 30min drive to Van Giang Village to attend a cooking demonstration given by a loca family. After the cooking demonstration, join the Vietnamese family in their home for a delicious lunch. Transfer to the airport and fly to Da Nang. Overnight at Palm Garden Resort or similar.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 10: Hoi An

In the morning, take a half day excursion to My Son Sanctuary. My Son is a religious site dating back to the Kingdom of Champa, and also a burial place of Cham royals and national heroes. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Free day in the afternoon. Overnight at Palm Garden Resort or similar.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 11: Hoi An - Hue

Today visit the mausoleums of the Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. On the way to Danang, stopping for a refreshment at Lang Co beach en-route, one of the World’s most beautiful bays. In Danang visit the Cham Museum before continuing to the World Cultural Heritage Site of Hoi An before checking in to your hotel. This evening enjoy some free time exploring the narrow lanes of the town, lined with century-old buildings and illuminated at night by hundreds of colourful lanterns. Overnight at Imperial Hotel or similar.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 12: Hue

Today take a boat ride along the romantic Perfume River and stop off at the Thien Mu Pagoda on the banks of the river to see the 7-storey Stupa, the pagoda is also home to the old Austin car driven to Saigon by the Venerable Thich Quang Duc. Continuing, visit the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841), built between 1841 and 1843. Later visit the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City, created in the 19th century for the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Enjoy some free time at Dong Ba Market before transferring back to your hotel. Overnight at Imperial Hotel or similar.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 13: Hue - Saigon

In the afternoon, take a short flight to Saigon. Welcome to saigon! Transfer to your hotel. Saigon is a bustling, dynamic and industrious urban centre. It is the largest city in Vietnam, the economic capital and the cultural trendsetter. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture. Discover the city's most attreactive sites, taking in the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office and Chinatown. Overnight at New World Hotel or similar.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 14: Saigon

After breakfast, travel out of Saigon and spend the full day boating along the waterways of the lush Mekong Delta region on an exploration excursion. On arrival in Cai Be district, take a boat ride to visit a local orchard and the Cai Be floating market. Leaving Cai Be, visit some cottage industry workshops making coconut candy, crispy rice cakes.,etc. Continue on along the village pathways to visit a local house. Lunch will served by locals. Overnight at New World Hotel or similar.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 15: Saigon

Arrangements end after breakfast and transfer to the airport.