We think you might enjoy...
- Explore the hidden alleys of the Old Quarter of Hanoi
- A private cooking class at an ancient house in Hoi An
- Step into the less-visited Banteay Samre and watch sunset at Pre Rup in Siem Reap
- Offering the first pot of ricer to the monks in Luang Prabang
- Jump into the crystal-clear water of Kuangsi Waterfall
- Private transfers and English-speaking tour guides
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
- Governmental taxes
Itinerary in detail
Connecting three countries together is no easy work. You are reading only an example and we are sure you have better ideas to tailor-make the journey unique to your own tastes.
Day 1 Hanoi Arrival, Vietnam
Arrive in the capital city of Vietnam; Hanoi welcomes you with a smile. Transfer to your hotel and relax.
Day 2 Hanoi | Hanoi's Cultures, History and Flavors
Hanoi is like an undemonstrative lady whose stories are intriguing. Today take a city tour in Hanoi to get to know her better. Firstly, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology will introduce you to 50-plus ethnic minority groups with colorful cultures and lifestyles. Getting back to the city, you will visit Temple of Literature and then have lunch.
After a short break, your guide will bring history to life at Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and get around the Old Quarter for a gourmet hunt. Sample some great snacks and seasonal fruits that your guide picks especially for you.
Day 3 Hanoi - Halong Bay | Cruising in a Breeze
Have breakfast at your hotel and you will then be taken to Halong Bay. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is not only a place for amazing landscapes, but also for some quality time with your loved one(s).
Every cruise ship has its own route; but on your cruise you will probably see Cua Van Fishing Village, Vung Vieng Fishing Village, Me Cung Caves, Virgin Cave, and Surprise Cave, as well as passing some small islets, such as Flight Cock Islet, Human Head Islet, and Toad Islet etc. Some cruises also include a cooking class at night and a tai chi lesson in the morning.
Day 4Halong Bay - Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An
Enjoy a safe and smooth shuttle transfer back to Hanoi when your cruise reaches the shore at noon.
Transfer to Hanoi airport for the onward flight to Danang. Danang is the major airport hub in central Vietnam and from here, you will be taken to Hoi An.
Day 5Hoi An | Old Memories of Hoi An
Visit a local market in the morning with an experienced chef from Ancient Faifo Restaurant. Ancient Faifo is set in an ancient house that once inhabited and inspired two generations of prominent Hoi An artisans. The chef will teach you how to pick fresh ingredients and how they are used in a Vietnamese kitchen. Enjoy a couple of hours learning and savor your creation for lunch.
Measure Hoi An Ancient Town with your footsteps, your guide will lead you to Japanese Covered Bridge, Old House of Tan Ky and Fujian Assembly Hall, all of which will shed a light of the old days of Hoi An.
Day 6Hoi An - Danang - Ho Chi Minh City
Today we will arrange an afternoon flight so you may have more free time in Hoi An. Transfer to Danang and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Have some free exploration after checking in your hotel.
Day 7Ho Chi Minh City
In the morning, visit the Reunification Palace, Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Send out a postcard from the central post office and see how long it takes to reach your home.
Later, pay a visit at the War Remnants Museum, of which a huge collection of an F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter is absolutely the highlight. Now you will get on a local cyclo (rickshaw) and roam around the city. You will pass by narrow streets, local markets and numerous interesting sites that are not really accessible by cars.
Day 8Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap | Boat Ride in Mekong
Depart for a 1 1/2-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Tre, one of the country's southern provinces, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River.
Take in the lush surroundings of rice paddies and fruit farms alongside the highway as you leave behind the busy city. Arrive at the waterfront pier and hop on an enjoyable motor boat excursion. Along the way, catch a glimpse of the Delta scenery, houses built on stilts and local fish farms. More to explore as you delve deeper.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the early afternoon and fly to Siem Reap.
Day 9Siem Reap | Essence of Angkor Wat
Only by visiting the Angkor Wat Complex in person, can one say with authority that the word ‘wonder’ is well-deserved. Today you will visit the essential parts of the complex: Angkor Wat, the primary exhibits.
Angkor Thom, yesterday’s royal city; Ta Prohm, an Indiana Jones’ fantasy in reality; Bayon Temple, the iconic site for the mysterious Smile of Angkor. Each of these four sites was constructed for a different purpose and in a different style. One thing that they have in common is that they stand for the ultimate pursuit for immortality. Your tour guide will share interesting insights and even divulge some secrets of Apsara (female celestial being) carvings.
Angkor Wat, which literally means Angkor Royal Temple, will be your last stop as the rush hours are over in the afternoon.
At night, you will attend a dinner show at Por Cuisine Restaurant and witness the Apsaras come to life.
Day 10Siem Reap | Beyond the Center of Angkor Wat
Each temple ruins of the grand Angkor Wat Complex has its own style. Bantey Srei, situated in the jungles and built with pink sandstone, demonstrates the essences of Angkorian art. On the way to this lovely site, you will also stop at a less-known ruin, Banteay Samre.
Visit the Cambodia Landmine Museum and learn about Aki Ra’s lifelong efforts to eliminate landmines. Thanks to him and his team, Beng Meala, which was full of landmines some decades ago, is now safe to visit, and you will probably revel in the rustic ambiance.
Put a perfect ending at a secluded temple Pre Rup, an ideal location for sunset.
Day 11Siem Reap - Luang Prabang
Enjoy a lazy morning in Siem Reap before the flight to Luang Prabang, Laos. Transfer to your hotel upon arrival and take a relaxing walk in the peaceful town of Luang Prabang.
Day 12Luang Prabang | Charming Town of Luang Prabang
Rise up early in the morning and you will participate in an important ritual: morning alms giving. To show respect, locals offer their first pot of sticky rice of the day to Buddhist monks, who walk a long distance barefoot into the town. Such simple food is their only food resource of the day. Get in line and wait for the monks' approach.
After the ritual, you will visit the morning market of Luang Prabang. Today’s tour will be at a slow pace: Xieng Thong Temple, the Traditional Art Exhibition Center and the Royal Palace Museum. Sample some local cuisine for lunch.
Day 13Luang Prabang | Kuangsi Waterfall Dipping
Drive out of Luang Prabang and visit some villages on the way to Kuangsi Waterfall.
Encounter some friendly ethnic minority people on the way as passing Ban Na Ouane Village and then Ban Tha Pen Village. Go swimming or jumping into the crystal-clear water or easy hiking around the forest.
Return to Luang Prabang in the early afternoon.
Day 14Luang Prabang Departure
After breakfast onboard, you will be transferred to the airport. Thanks for traveling with Asia Highlights and hope to see you again soon!
Asia Highlights handpicked hotels
Asia Highlights chooses hotels with a balanced mixture of traditional style and modern comfort, easy access to everything yet quiet enough for a good night's sleep.
- 4.5/5 points by over 600 travelers on TripAdvisor.
- 10 minutes to walk to the Old Quarter, great service and breakfast.
- Deluxe City View Room, 35sqm, extra bed available and city view.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence, #11/146 on TripAdvisor.
- Cruising in less-crowded water, experienced crew and elegant deco.
- Deluxe Cabin, upper deck, totally 20sqm with private balcony.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, ranked 6/119.
- 10 minutes to walk to ancient town, spa, pool and quiet rooms.
- Deluxe Room Balcony, 30sqm with balcony, extra bed allowed.
- Winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, ranked 40/457.
- Near the Saigon River, pool and connecting rooms available.
- Premium Deluxe, 30sqm, allows family of 3, higher floor.
- TripAdvisor's winner of Certificate of Excellence.
- Colonial style with Cambodian influence, great breakfast and location.
- Superior Room of 30sqm, homey and soft beds.
- Proudly #1 and winner of Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor.
- 10 minutes easy walk to town center, quiet and homey surrounding.
- Deluxe Room, is 30sqm with large beds and balcony.
- Seasonal information:No matter for first-timers or seasoned travelers, an adventure to these three countries is ideally made during October to next February. If you would like to dodge from big crowds, leave Chirstmas and January.
Travelling for great value and experiences, we would suggest late September to October and February.
If the heat and occasional rainfalls are not much a problem for you, you are in for a great deal during the shoulder seasons, namely March to August. During this time, we will arrange a noon break and the pace will be much lossen as for you to restore.
- Visas: Vietnam visa: Most nationalities are required to obtain tourist visa for Vietnam ahead of the travel time. Holders of British, German, French, Spanish and Italian passports are exempt from visas for a stay of a maximum of 15 days for all purposes.
Cambodia visa: The easiest way to get visa for Cambodia is do it on arrival. Most nationalities are offered Visa-on-Arrival at international airports of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Fare is USD30 for all nationalities, for a maximum stay of 30 days and extensions are possible.
Laos visa: It is very easy to obtain a visa at the airpotr of Luang Prabang, cost ranges from USD20 to USD50 per person depended on nationality.
Instead of applying for visa on arrival, we would suggest you get your Vietnam visa at least one month ahead of your travel, which can be done either by application at your nearest embassy or online. For more information, please refer to How to Get a Vietnam Visa.
- Meals:Daily breakfast at hotels and a lunch for days with sightseeing are included, so are some dinners as mentioned in the itinerary. For meals that are not included, your tour guides will suggest where and what to eat.
Food in these three countries is mainly rice-based and you will eat a lot of vegetables, fish, chicken and beef. If you would like to make special arrangements, such as Halal or Kosher food, or none-dairy, please inform your travel advisor at the time of inquiry. We will do our best to accommodate you.
- Transportation: You will have a private car in each destination; our cars are within 5 years of usage and your private drivers will be polite and drive with strong regard for safety. As for your Halong Bay cruise, a shuttle bus from the cruise company will take you to the certain port for boarding. Of course, private transfer between Hanoi and Halong Bay is also available upon request.
Internal flights are operated by Vietnam Airlines, a memeber of SkyTeam and flag carrier of Vietnam. Safe, punctual and good service, make it our go-to choice for your trip, although airfares might look slightly higher compared to other airlines such as JetStar and VietJet Air. All flights include 20kg of check-in luggage plus a 7kg carry-on for each adlut passenger.
As for Cambodia and Laos, Cambodia Angkor Air and Lao Airlines are our choice for service and punctuality. Special note for Lao Airlines: their aircrafts are bit dated and smaller compared to Vietnam and Cambodia, but it should be just fine for a short flight.
- Arrangements Sightseeing, activities and accommodations that are mentioned in this tour you are looking at are just for your inspiration.
If you want to have a free morning in Ho Chi Minh City, make other arrangements; if you would like to pump up to a suite cabin on Halong Bay cruise, you got it; it is always up to you to make the trip just the right way you want. If you are looking for experiences that are not done by others, Discovery your way, Asia Highlights' motto suites you the best.
- Responsible travel: Travel avails you with special experiences. Somehow its impact on the local community can be more beyond imagination and what Asia Highlights wishes to do is lead the impact onto a good path, a path that helps the local people (not only your tour guides) boarden their outlook and the local communities develop.
Some lunches are served at local restaurants that are also training centers for former street kids. Taking baby steps one at a time, we highly appreciate you would like to be part of it (of course, we can make other arrangements if needed).
With that being said, detours to so-called factories or specialty workshops are strictly prohibited. We make sure your tour guides earn enough to support their families without squeezing commissions out of you.