Highlights and Insights Indochina Itinerary

9 Days 8 Nights

Itinerary Overview

This multi-country itinerary connects the modern Vietnam metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City with slow living in southern Laos that includes the mighty Mekong River, Bolaven Plateau and Tad Fane Waterfalls before visiting the amazing Angkor Temple in Cambodia. This itinerary can easily be extended to include Luang Prabang and Pakse in Laos or can be extended with a beach stay in Cambodia or Vietnam or extra time visiting Siem Reap or other destinations in Viet Nam.

Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. Transfer to your hotel.

Depending upon arrival time, enjoy an orientation tour of the city. Visit the Reunification Hall built on the site of the former Norodom Palace. Designed as the Presidential Palace during the Vietnam War, it was where the official handover of power took place during the Fall of Saigon in 1975. The building is preserved almost as it was under the old Saigon regime with elegant interiors decorated with fine Vietnamese arts and crafts. One of the many attractions within the building is the underground Command Post of the now exiled president. Make a brief photo stop at Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. It has a Neo-Romanesque façade and two bell towers topped with iron spires that reach a height of 190 feet dominating the skyline.

Next, visit the classic 19th century French Colonial Post Office. The largest post office in Vietnam. It is an important communication hub for most of the city’s inhabitants. The inside of the building has huge vaulted ceilings with vast maps of Vietnam on both sides of the main hall.

Hotel: Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel
Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, drive 70 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City passing through picturesque ricefields, gardens and rubber plantations to visit the Cu Chi tunnels. Upon arrival in Cu Chi and after a short introduction to the tunnel network of more than 200km, you will have a chance to crawl into a short section of the tunnels to feel the oppressive narrowness and heat inside. Documentaries and displays will give you an idea of the life and struggles inside the tunnels.

Return to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch, followed by a visit to the Saigon War Remnant Museum. In the late afternoon, your guide will meet you at your hotel to visit the Saigon Opera House built in 1898. It is not only a fantastic venue to explore but also offers a unique cultural experience. There are live Vietnamese cultural shows with sophisticated lighting and mesmerizing live music played from 20 traditional Vietnamese instruments. Daily life is highlighted in these productions that give an appreciation to both the old and new Vietnam that is expressed on the stage.

Hotel: Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel
Day 3 Ho Chi Minh City – Pakse - Boloven

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Pakse, the gateway to Southern Laos. Meet your Laotian guide at Pakse airport and drive to the Bolaven Plateau, a unique elevated region in Laos, where tea and coffee are grown.

Start your tour with the waterfalls of Tad Fane. These impressive twin waterfalls are 120 meters tall. The falls are fed by the river Champy and Pak Koot River whose waters come together in the dense jungle dropping a deep gorge and generating an impressive roar. Stop at a plantation and continue to the spectacular Tad Yueng Waterfalls.

Lunch is at a local restaurant.

At the end of the day, transfer to your resort and visit their coffee plantation and botanical gardens.

Hotel: Sabaidee Valley Resort
Day 4 Boloven - Champasak – Don Daeng

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Drive to the small town of Champasak at Wat Phou temple. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou temple is a spectacular pre – Angkorian era temple that is in the middle of paddy fields and canals in southern Laos. The temple was built by leaders of the Khmer empire before the construction of Angkor Wat.

Lunch is at a local restaurant.

Cross the Mekong River by small boat to get to La Folie Lodge where you will spend the night.

Hotel: La Folie Lodge
Day 5 Don Daeng – 4 Thousand Islands – Don Khong Island

Breakfast is at your hotel.

This morning cross the Mekong River by small boat and drive to another local pier where you will embark on a traditional boat to Don Khon and Don Det. Cross the French railway bridge linking Don Khon and Don Det and pass by an old locomotive left behind by the French colonial authorities. Walk or take a tuk – tuk to the beautiful Liphi Waterfalls.

Lunch is at a local restaurant on Khone Island. Return to Nakasang pier then continue by road to Khong.

Hotel: Pon Arena Hotel
Day 6 Don Khong

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Take a boat trip to Done Loppadi (Loppadi Island). There, you will meet with the villagers and learn about their way of life, their trades, culture and religion. You will learn how to do traditional fishing or how to weave traditional rice baskets.

After lunch, partially prepared by yourself as you will try your hand at cooking sticky rice, you will take another boat trip to Done Sang (Sang Island) where you will fish with the locals, like the locals! Take a boat trip back to Don Khong.

Hotel: Pon Arena Hotel
Day 7 Don Khong –Tropean Kreal Border Crossing – Siem Reap

Breakfast is at your hotel.

You will be picked up at your hotel and leave by car to Tropeang Kreal (Laos – Cambodia border). Stop at the mighty Khonphapeng waterfall at the southern tip of Laos. Continue to the Laos – Cambodia border. After clearance at the Laos border, meet your Cambodian guide for an onward transfer to Siem Reap (5 hours).

Arrive Siem Reap, transfer to your hotel.

Afterwards, spend a half day with experts from “Les Artisans d’Angkor” to craft a product to bring home. Choose between sandstone carving, wood carving or silk painting.

Hotel: Lotus Blanc Resort
Day 8 Siem Reap

Breakfast is at the hotel.

In the morning, visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephants Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King.

Afternoon, visit Angkor Wat Temple and Ta Prohm.

Note: To visit the Bakan tower of Angkor Wat Temple, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees to show their respect, as this temple is still considered as a sacrificial site for the Khmer people. Children under twelve years old are unable to climb up the tower. The tower will be closed on the Buddhist Sabbath days, the Buddhist religious days and four days a month in accordance with the Lunar Calendar.

Dinner is at a local restaurant with Apsara dance.

Hotel: Lotus Blanc Resort
Day 9 Siem Reap - Departure

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Day is at leisure until it is time to transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for your departure flight.

Note: Official check out time is 12 noon. The late check-out depends on room availability with extra charge.