Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay), Laos (Luang Prabang), Cambodia (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh)
Flying Five Star departing from Sydney/Melbourne^
From $3,349 per person twin-share
Book by 30 Jun 2019 (subject to availability)
^Upgrade available on international long haul sectors only
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant city life of Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Hoi An
- See the remnants of the Vietnam War at the Cu Chi Tunnels
- Savour the rural delights and local lifestyles of the Mekong Delta
- Tour Hanoi City, including Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the ‘Hanoi Hilton’
- Take an overnight traditional junk cruise through Halong Bay
- Enjoy three nights in the scenic former royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang
- Visit Wat Xieng Thong, the largest and most splendid temple in the city
- Join Buddhist monks for breakfast at morning alms-giving, and learn about their ancient philosophy
- Enjoy the picturesque Khuang Si Waterfalls and Pak Ou Caves, filled with thousands of Buddhist icons
- Visit the largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples
- Enjoy lunch with locals at Kompong Kleang floating village on Tonle Sap Lake
- Explore the capital city Phnom Penh, visiting the beautiful Royal Palace
- Come to grips with the legacy of Khmer Rouge terror, at the Choeung Ek Killing Field
French colonial possessions in Southeast Asia came to include modern Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, which were collectively known as ‘French Indochina’. The struggle for independence in each country tore their societies apart, and put them back together in unique ways. While each country experienced a civil war and communist takeover, Vietnam has since embraced global capitalism, Laos has remained a quiet backwater, and Cambodia is still recovering from the terrors of the Khmer Rouge regime. One thing they have in common is that they are hugely attractive to travellers from around the world. Now, you can experience the special charms of all three countries in one amazing package!
Vietnam is filled with stunning natural beauty and deep culture. Its mountains, jungles, and coastlines range from virtually untouched to well-groomed. Rural communities remain authentic and hospitable, and major cities are cosmopolitan but retain much of the old-world charm of the colonial and precolonial eras.
Laos is a unique, landlocked nation, sandwiched in the midst of the Southeast Asian mainland. Culturally a cousin to Thailand, Laos has remained a quiet agricultural society into the 21st century. With road, rail, and river access rapidly opening up through massive Chinese-funded infrastructure development, now is a great time to gain a feeling for the fading era of French Indochina, and for the colourful Buddhist culture of pre-modern Southeast Asia.
Cambodia is a small and little-developed country, but was once the seat of an advanced and immensely wealthy empire. The Khmer empire was based around a vast network of temples and reservoirs around today’s Siem Reap town. ‘Angkor’ is the name now given to the city, and Angkor Wat is its most famous attraction. Travellers will experience a society that still bears the scars of war, but which holds great pride in its past and hope for the future.
Note: Some flights may depart one day earlier.
Optional Lunch: Hoi An Sense. Hội An Sense restaurant is a beautiful harmony between refined cuisine and unique architecture. Set on an opulent rooftop with intimate terrace, relaxing fish pond and vivid lanterns, Hội An Sense draws influences from vibrant flavours of Vietnam’s central region.
Optional Dinner Cruise: Cruise on Saigon River and enjoy a delicious selection of local dishes as you take in the ambience of this charming city (at your own expense).
Optional Activity 2: Fishing Village & Waterway Eco-tour. 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 wooden boat 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 (pictured at right) 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. Return to the boat to enjoy lunch and a cold beer or soft drink and then return the hotel by car.
Optional Activity 2: Evening Cultural Stage Show. Lune Performing Center Hoi An, with its graceful bamboo dome architecture, is known for such performances as My Village, Teh Dar, and The Mist. The shows portray the daily lives of farmers, minority tribes, and urban and rural dwellers, and carry Lune Production’s vision of upholding Vietnam’s culture and heritage, creating a whole new destination where heritage and art converge.
Depending on the day of arrival in Hoi An, you may instead see the stunning Hoi An Memories Show. This colourful and musically dazzling show, with a cast of nearly 500 actors and actresses, recalls the memories of Hoi An as a prosperous trading port over 400 years. It took nearly two years to produce the one-hour show. The theatre uses the waters of the Hoai River as its 25,000 m2 stage along with state-of-the-art lighting technology and sophisticated sound effects.
NOTE: Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is only viewable from outside if your visit is on a Monday or Friday, and from 5 Sep. to 5 Nov. due to annual maintenance. Rules regarding dress and behaviour are strictly enforced by staff and guards. Legs must be covered (no shorts or miniskirts).
Visit Ta Prohm temple, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. Continue your visit to Angkor Wat, the Crown Jewel of Khmer architecture. Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia.
Departure Dates (min. 10 passengers)
|2019||Per Person Twin Share||Single Supplement|
|* = Peak season surcharge: $300|
- Vietnam Airlines return economy class airfares departing Sydney or Melbourne (or if unavailable, China Southern Airlines, China Airlines or Thai Airways)
- Vietnam internal airfares
- 16 nights accommodation (twin/double) plus 1 night on board during your Halong Bay cruise
- Round trip airport & hotel transfers
- Entrance fees to attractions in program
- Daily meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- Private coach transportation
- English speaking tour guide(s)
- Government taxes and service charges
- Prepaid tipping: $160
- Vietnam and Laos visas (apply online), and Cambodia visa (on arrival)
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
- Personal expenses & anything optional