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Magical Mysteries of Southeast Asia
Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia

GROUP TRAVEL

Enjoy our incredible journey through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
the treasures of Southeast Asia.

Arts, Food, Cultures, Music, Dance, Nature’s Glory

Join our extraordinary journey through the mountains, jungles and rivers of Southeast Asia.   Explore the bustling cities of modern Vietnam, marvel in amazement in the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor Wat, and wander through the ancient wonders of Laos, one of the less frequented tourist destinations in the world.   Incredible art and crafts, a symphony of colors and friendly people greet us everywhere.

Adventure Awaits


itinerary and price

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Travel

Ho Chi Minh City
 Upon arrival,  you will be met at the airport for transfer to hotel
Welcome Dinner.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (or “Saigon”).

Your guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel lobby, then transfer to Ben Tre  biggest coconut- town in Vietnam, stop en route to have a cup of coffee.
Around 2 hour driving in the express way, you will see the very beautiful scenery with rice fields, vegetables plantations and the life of local farmers.   Take a long boat trip along Ham Luong river  to enjoy the fresh air, natural environment  Visit the local coconut factory (making coconut candy, wine, and dried coconut ). Take a rickshaw around beautiful Island with coconut plantations and some small canals along the roads. Enjoy lunch in a small local riverside restaurant.  After lunch, walk to the ferry station and take a small sampan back to the pier   Our driver will pick you up to return to Sai Gon.

Overnight in Saigon.
Morning: Free at your leisure.

Afternoon: Half-day Saigon city tour. of  downtown, where you will learn about Viet Nam’s recent history as you pass the Reunification Palace, formerly Southern Viet Nam’s Independence Palace, until the war on April 30th in 1975.    Then drive along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), to the heart of Ho Chi Minh City.   Stroll through the colorful Ben Thanh Market with its hundreds of stalls full of silks, spices and assorted souvenirs. The rest of the day you are free to relax or to explore this modern city on your own.

Evening: Dinner at Sai Gon river cruise (approximately 2 hours).

Overnight in Saigon.
transfer to the airport for flight to Da Nang.
Upon arrival, transfer to hotel in Hoi An (Hoian).

Evening Cultural Stage Show – Hoi An Memories Show and Pre show drinks and tasting platter
Experience this unique Vietnamese cultural show called Hoi An Memories.  The colourful and musically dazzling light show, set on water, with a cast of nearly 500 actors and actresses, recalls the memories of Hoi An as a prosperous spice trading port over 400 years ago. The stage is set to resemble the Hoi An of old on the river, and tells the tale of a lost love.
Prior to the show  enjoy the Little Faifo restaurant for a nice cold beer or delicious cocktail  with traditional Vietnamese Tasting platter of Hoi An specialities. 
17:30 Transfer to Little Faifo to enjoy a ‘before show’ Soft Drink, beer or cocktail with a Vietnamese tasting platter
18:45 Transfer to Hoi An Impression Theme Park. This allows you time to explore the cultural park that adjoins the theatre with many mini shows and activities to enjoy.
19:30 Showtime – take your seat. 
Transfer back to your hotel after the show

Inclusive of:
– Show ticket
– Drink and Snack at Little Faifo Restaurant before the show

Full-day Hoian city tour

Your guide meets you at your hotel lobby (Hoi An Area), then you will go by bicycle to Hoi An’s colourful central market. Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about the ingredients you will use in the cooking lesson later. Make sure your camera is handy. Continue to Tra Que Water Wheel.  Visit the herb garden where local farmers work using organic methods from 300 years ago.  Learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. Make some flowers and animals with vegetables for decoration. After the lesson, enjoy what you have cooked.

Afternoon: Explore the Ancient Town of Hoi An on foot. The World Heritage  Ancient Town got its start as a port more than 2,000 years ago.   Chinese, Hindu and Arab influences can be detected in the architecture, cuisine and rich culture.  Stroll along the colorful pedestrian-only streets to see highlights such as the Japanese Covered Bridge, historic wooden merchant homes, a bustling food market and small shops that carry clothing, silk, antiques, handicrafts and more.

Return to hotel in the late afternoon. Evening is free at your leisure.

Overnight in Hoian.

08:00 Enjoy an authentic social and cultural insight into the local Vietnamese way of life. Drive to a local farming village travelling along picturesque country roads. Explore the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war and hear of the extreme conditions endured by soldiers on both sides.   Meet local fishermen and experience their daily life.

You will take a bamboo round boat often referred to as “the coracle” boats to a ‘water coconut forest, and join local fishermen on the river to experience round net and cast net fishing. Learn to paddle bamboo basket boats and join in a basket boat race. You’ll also learn how to use reeds or palm leaves to make grasshoppers, birds, rings, sunglasses, etc. This is a fun day’s activity and certainly one to enjoy amongst the beautiful scenery of the water coconut forest and fishing village.

Return to the village to enjoy some tasty local food and a cold beer or soft drink and then return the hotel by car

12:00: Back to hotel

Inclusive of:
– English Speaking Guide
– Transfer round trip from and to hotel by minivan
– Tour activities as mentioned in itinerary
– Lunch on boat

Overnight in Hoi An.
Free day at leisure.

Overnight in Hoi An.

07:00 Our driver and tour guide will pick you up from hotel in Hoian, transfer to Danang then to Bana Hill.
08:00 Arrive at the 1st cable Car station.  Visit French wine cellar.  Explore the famous golden hand bridge, Linh Ung pagoda, Fantasy Park, train to Flower garden,  games at Fantasy Park.Ba Na Hills, once a retreat for the French during their occupation in the early 1900’s has been reinvented by Sunland and converted into a major theme park boasting many attractions to explore at your own leisure. You will find plenty of things to amuse you as you go up and down cable cars and funiculars in the search for secret gardens, the golden hand bridge and the beautiful Buddha.
11:30 Lunch at restaurant (International Buffet lunch)

After lunch time Pick up and transfer to Danang airport, fly to Ha Noi.

Overnight in Ha Noi.
A full day of visiting Hanoi’s attractions, including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature, and the French-influenced Old Quarters of the city with a stop at the Hoan Kiem Lake, a Vietnamese coffee house, and Museum of History.

Late afternoon: Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show.  Dinner at  local restaurant.
Overnight in Ha Noi.
Breakfast at hotel transfer to cruise terminal.

After meeting at Heritage Line’s welcome lounge at the Tuan Chau Marina, take a quick speedboat transfer to your luxurious floating home Heritage Line Ginger before starting our unique journey of exploring one of the wonders of nature – Lan Ha Bay and its main island of Cat Ba. The first highlight of the cruise is lunch, which we serve in Ginger’s nearly 360-degree light-flooded restaurant. Our live cooking in the open kitchen is a one of a kind experience – enjoy the culinary display along with fantastic panoramic views of the passing scenery. Relax on the terrace deck or on your private balcony and soak in the enchanting aura which emanates from the surreal seascape.
While we cruise along in the early afternoon, there is time to enjoy some unique facilities on board. Take a plunge in the pool with infinity-like vistas or get pampered with a selection of fine treatments and massages in the spa   As we reach the shore of a small lagoon on Cat Ba Island, we hop on bicycles (e-cart transfers are also available) for a leisure pedaling along small paved roads towards the Viet Hai village. Little has changed in Viet Hai since the ancestors of the 80 households settled here centuries ago.  Situated in a valley within the Cat Ba National Park and surrounded on all sides by thick forest and mountains, the locals are isolated from the island’s other villages and towns.  The only access is via sea.  The community is self-sufficient, as the residents provide for themselves by cultivating vegetables and fruits in the next door fields, growing rice in the valley, and fishing out in the bay.  This is truly unique and authentic opportunity to meet local inhabitants and experience their local daily life. We have a glimpse of local households, see how they make medicine organically from a tree bark and we can also try various homemade liquors.   Back on board, we sail northbound again.  Our chef invites us for an interactive cooking class in the restaurant’s big open kitchen.  Learn about local ingredients as well as the preparation of classic Vietnamese dishes. You are warmly invited to lend a hand.  As the sun sets, we arrive at our tranquil anchor spot for the night. After a delicious dinner, unwind at our bar with a digestif or watch a movie in the cinema   Or join our team and have some fun squid fishing before retiring to your room.

Overnight on cruise in Lan Ha Bay. 
Wake up early and join our Tai Chi session on the terrace deck to ease your mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water.  Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries await in the dining room to start the day.  Cruise to “Frog Lake”, a secluded area which is perfect for our energetic morning excursion.   Go for a refreshing swim in the bay or explore this captivating marine landscape via kayak.    The cliffs stretch vertically out of the water and you feel a sense of freedom while paddling through this labyrinth of jade-green water, rocks and vivid tree-topped islets.     Back on board, we serve a hearty breakfast while cruising back to our off-shore embarkation spot, to transfer you back to the welcome lounge at the pier by your speed boat. Savour the last moments of this unique journey while relaxing on comfy sun beds on the terrace deck.

Disembark then transfer to the airport, fly to Luang Prabang (Laos).

Upon arrival, pick up at the airport and transfer to hotel.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.
8:30, the Morning Market.   Unlike the large grocery stores you might be familiar with back home; the food here is still produced by small farming families and villages and brought to Luang Prabang from the surrounding Northern provinces.  Your guide will explain the common vegetables and fruits that are in season .  After a short walk along the streets you will arrive at Wat Mai (“New Monastery” built in 1796).  It was given its present name following the restoration undertaken in 1821 by King Manthathourat. The most striking feature of the temple is the gilded relief panels covering the front facade.   The panels tell the story of the highest incarnation of the Buddha — Vessentara.    The gilded door frames merge into the relief panel, forming what looks like a monolithic wall of gold.    Next to Wat Mai temple is the National Museum which used to be the Royal Palace (Haw Kham).It houses the Royal throne of the Lane Xang kingdom in its original splendor, and many other religious treasures.   After the museum you visit Wat Visoun.  This temple was constructed during the reign of King Visounarat around 1520. In 1942, it was turned into a Museum of Religious Arts, and houses collections of Buddha images and religious artifacts from the fourteenth century.

ride along the Nam Khan river to Wat Xieng Thong.  This is one of the most important temples in the entire country of Laos and the most important one in Luang prabang.   Until 1975, when the Communist Party gained control over Laos, Wat Xieng Thong was a royal temple, supported by the royal family.   During the 1960s Wat Xieng Thong was completely remodeled and redecorated, becoming the splendid temple we see today.   Then we’ll travel by car to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls, stopping on the way to visit Hmong and Khamu villages.   Hmong and Khamu villages have different structures and ways of life; here, we can learn about their traditions and the differences between Lao, Khamu and Hmong culture.   The multi-tiered waterfall, which takes on a striking turquoise color in the dry season, is perfect for a refreshing bath in the afternoon.   Clean and relaxed from the waterfall, we’ll travel back to town.

To finish our trip we will climb the steps of Phou Si hill, to the top, which is studded with many small temples and shrines. The gilded stupa at the top of the hill is built on a large rock outcropping.   An old opening in the base of the rock was sealed up to prevent vandalism.   Next to the stupa is a small wiharn (chapel) for prayers.   Further down the side of the hill is part of Wat Phra Buddabhat (The Buddha’s Footprint Temple). From here enjoy the view of the peninsula where the Nam Khan river meets the mighty Mekong river.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Free at leisure on this day.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Today you’ll board a traditional slow boat for the trip on the Mekong River. This majestic river runs from the Tibetan Plateau through China, Myanmar (“Burma”), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.  It is the world’s 10th longest river, with an estimated length of 4,909km. The name Mekong derived from Lao and Thai and reflects those peoples’ understanding of the Mekong as their “Mother River.”   The Mekong basin is the second richest area of biodiversity in the world, exceeded only by the Amazon.   Protected by the Mother River, Laos remains one of Asia’s most unvisited and unchanged countries.

We will stop to visit the holy Tam Ting Caves (also called the Pak Ou caves), where the Nam Ou river meets the Mekong.  This is a site of ancient spiritual significance.  It was here, during the 15th century, that the animistic religions were peacefully united with Buddhism.  Within the two caves of Tam Ting are stupas, shrines, and carvings of Buddha.  Over 4,000 wooden figures of Buddha, many highly ornate, stand within the natural limestone caves, testament to the skill of Lao craftsmen centuries ago.   Continuing along the river, we will visit some local villages: Ban Xang Hai where you can see rice whisky (Lou Lao) being distilled and taste the local product and Ban Xang Khong, where Lao craftspeople make saa paper from the bark of mulberry trees.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Breakfast at hotel then transfer to Luang Prabang airport to fly to Siem Reap (Cambodia).

Upon arrival inside the immigration hall in Siem Reap, look for our Representative holding the paging board with your names on. Please ensure that each of you has one passport photo with you and has completed your paper form on the flight in order to ensure that this process is as quick and efficient as possible. Our Representative will collect your passport and your passport photo and will assist to fast-track your visa application before leading you to the baggage claim where you can pick up your luggage, and then escort you to meet your guide, who is waiting outside the arrival terminal. You will then be transferred to your hotel. (Early check-in is NOT included and is subject to the hotel’s availability)

Meets and transfers to Hotel in Siem Reap for check-in and free at leisure.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Optional: Fast Tract Airport Arrival Service (Without visa = USD 41/pax, or With Visa fee = USD 85/pax)

Beat the crowd early morning by 7 am; visit the picturesque Ta Prohm that had nearly disappeared into the jungle and remains overgrown, an oddly haunting and exotic scene. The magnificent roots of a tree, pushing between the huge stone blocks of the temple in a sort of embrace, evoke feelings that you may remember forever.  And continue to visit the intricately carved Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat – one of the world’s most impressive ruins. The temple still owns fine Apsara carvings in Angkorian era art.

Lunch is own account.

Afternoon, explore the mysterious Royal city Angkor Thom & Bayon. Its 54-tower temple is an awesome sight. At first glance it seems a shapeless mass of stone, but further scrutiny reveals a face, and then another and another one, until suddenly you are engulfed by the silent, heavy, enigmatic gaze through half-closed eyes, staring out from a primitive and remote time. Further, visit the surroundings of the complex including the Baphuon, Elephant Terrace, Lepper King Terrace and Royal Place area.

Overnight in Siem Reap.
 Free day at leisure.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

After breakfast, you will transfer by private bus to Phnom Penh.   visit Tonle Sap Lake at Kampong Pluk.  It is a permanent settlement on the Tonle Sap Lake with a small land based village attached.  Its remarkable mangrove forest is unique in the Siem Reap area. You will board a local boat and cruise the waterways observing the authentic and diverse lifestyle of the local floating community.

Arrive in Phnom Penh and check in hotel for overnight

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Optional: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh by flight = $90 per person (subject to change).
 Full-day City Tour.

Breakfast at hotel, visit The Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the notorious ‘Killing Fields’ of Choeung Ek. A visit to these sights provides a deep insight into the painful bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge. Then explore Russian Market   Afternoon, you will enjoy the Cyclo Ride to visit private quarters of the Royal Palace now home to the royal family and therefore closed to the public. At the northern area of the palace grounds is Silver Pagoda, the most sacred temple in the country. Set out on a city tour to visit the National Museum which houses Khmer art, especially sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

 Pick up and transfer to the airport for departure.   Not included late – check-out.

EXCLUDES

-Tips
-International flight
-Personal expenses
-Meals and drinks not mentioned in program
-Travel insurance
-Extra charge for Xmas, New year if any
-Visa fees (Vietnam: $25 stamping fee + $5 ID photo/pax; Cambodia: $30/pax ; Laos: $30-$45/pax)

 

COST OF TOUR

$4628pp/sharing
$1469SS

INCLUDES

-Accommodation in the category chosen or similar (subject to availability).
-Meals as mentioned in the program. (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, Br: Brunch).
-Private tour with English-speaking guides.
-All transfers and land tour with A/C Van.
-All entrance fees as per itinerary.
-2 days 1 night cruise in Lan Ha Bay
-Surcharge: Vietnam domestic and regional flights in Laos and Cambodia (SGN-DAD // DAD-HAN // HAN-LPQ // LPQ-REP). Surcharge for HAN-VTE-LPQ and LPQ-BKK-REP as direct flights HAN-LPQ and LPQ-REP are under suspension.
-Boat ride to visit Kampong Phluk Village
-Private van transfer with guide (Siem Reap – Phnom Penh)

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Contact

Whatsapp: +212693842357
Email:Journeys@theexistentialtraveller.club
Email: linda@theexistentialtraveller.club

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