Indochine

An Extraordinary Cultural Journey to Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia

Overview

Gold-leafed pagodas glinting in the sun, women carrying goods to market by yoke basket, young monks in saffron robes—the visual images of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia are striking. In Luang Prabang, Laos’ timeless temple town, we boat along the Mekong and meet hill villagers. In Vietnam, we take a bike-rickshaw through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, overnight on a private boat in Bai Tu Long Bay, stroll the lantern-lit lanes of Hoi An, and marvel at the palaces of the Nguyen emperors in Hue. Our final treat is Angkor, Cambodia’s surreal “lost city,” where the stone towers of a medieval metropolis rise out of an enveloping forest. Our incredible Trip Leaders ensure an unforgettable cultural immersion in these ancient lands.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos’ royal capital until 1975, Luang Prabang is a tranquil oasis of golden temples, colonial-era villas, and hundred-year-old frangipani trees along the winding Mekong River. We visit its 15th century pagodas, boat along the Mekong River to a Buddhist pilgrimage site, and visit Hmong villages. At sunrise one morning, we’ll “make merit” by giving alms to the monks.

Maison Souvannaphoum
Luang Prabang, Laos
Days 1 to 3 (3 nights)
Hanoi Opera Hilton Hotel
Hanoi, Vietnam
Days 4 to 6 (3 nights)
Melia Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
Days 4 to 6 (3 nights)
Days 5-7
Hanoi, Vietnam / Bai Tu Long Bay

Taking in the marvels of Hanoi’s Old Quarter by rickshaw and on foot, we stop for a delicious lunch of cha ca, Hanoi’s famous fish and noodle dish, and visit the studio of a local artist. In Bai Tu Long Bay, less crowded than nearby Halong Bay, we overnight aboard our private “junk” (boat) in a stunning UNESCO-listed karst landscape.

Hanoi Opera Hilton Hotel
Hanoi, Vietnam
Days 4 to 6 (3 nights)
Melia Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
Days 4 to 6 (3 nights)
Days 8-12
Hoi An / Hue / Saigon

We walk the charming riverside lanes of Hoi An, with its tea houses, mansions, and Chinese temples dating from the era when it was a major trading port. In Hue, we explore the elaborate tombs of the Nguyen emperors, and in Saigon, we visit the historic Reunification Palace, forever associated with the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

Hotel Royal Hoi An
Hoi An, Vietnam
Days 8 to 9 (2 nights)
Azerai La Residence, Hue
Hue, Vietnam
Days 10 to 11 (2 nights)
Caravelle Hotel
Saigon, Vietnam
Day 12 (1 night)
Days 13-16
Siem Reap, Cambodia / Temples of Angkor

With intricate bas-reliefs, pavilions, and reflecting ponds in a park-like landscape, Angkor is a breathtaking expression of the glory of the Khmer Empire. Timing the order of our visits for the least crowded times, we explore massive stone temples, including Ta Prohm, where huge fig, banyan, and kapok trees have grown through the temple’s walls. Depart on Day 16 via Siem Reap.

Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Days 13 to 15 (3 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Our Trip Leaders bring an insider’s introduction to three ancient cultures
Explore Luang Prabang’s ethereal temples, meet hill tribe people in their villages
Discover Hanoi’s famous Old Quarter by bicycle rickshaw and on foot
Experience the surreal landscape of World Heritage-listed Bai Tu Long Bay on an overnight cruise
Enjoy Hoi An’s lantern-lit riverside setting and historic architecture
Sample the famous cuisine of Hue, Vietnam’s royal city
Discover the majesty of the temple-city of Angkor, one of the wonders of the world

Details

Length: 16 days
Cost From: $6995  
Arrive: Luang Prabang, Laos
Depart: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Lodging: 14 nights deluxe hotels, 1 night aboard private traditional junk
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 4 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Cultural explorations and walking tours