Getting Around in South-East AsiaEdit This
On this exceptional private tour through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, experience the history, culture and natural beauty of Indochina's most evocative places. With your private guides and drivers, tour atmospheric towns filled with traditional homes and French colonial architecture. Explore stunning ruins and ancient temples. Visit traditional workshops, modern art galleries and new design boutiques. Learn to cook local dishes, and cruise on a wooden junk.
Begin in Bangkok with introductory city touring and an overnight stay at the beautiful Sukhothai Hotel.
In the morning, fly to Luang Prabang , a charming UNESCO World Heritage-listed town along the Mekong River in northern Laos. During private touring, experience the unique blend of traditional Lao and French colonial architecture lining the streets of this former royal capital. Visit major sites such as the National Museum and Wat Xieng Thong, a revered 16th-century temple. Enjoy unique cultural experiences such as interacting with monks at a local temple, participating in a baci ceremony (a traditional Lao celebration) and visiting local hill tribe villages. Meet local silk weavers and noted contemporary textile designers. One morning, tour a local market and learn to cook Lao specialties.
Next, fly to Siem Reap , Cambodia, and tour Angkor — the spectacular ruins of the ancient Khmer empire. Stay at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, a historic, colonial-era luxury hotel. Spend several days enjoying comprehensive private touring of the ruins of Angkor. Depending on your interests, you may also opt for a bike ride to the ruins, a meeting with a local archaeologist, a visit to an orphanage, or the opportunity to observe local students training in traditional Cambodian arts.
Next, fly to leafy Hanoi , Vietnam's cultural and political capital. Stay at the Sofitel Metropole, the city's colonial-era grand dame hotel. Explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Visit Hanoi's main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, House on Stilts, One Pillar Pagoda, Fine Arts Museum and Temple of Literature. Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, and watch a performance of water puppet theater. Take a cyclo tour around town. Dinner in French colonial villas converted into a gourmet restaurants. Meet with local artists and visit Hanoi's most noted art galleries.
Next, cruise on a deluxe boat through romantic Halong Bay , where 3,000 limestone islands rise dramatically from the sea. Explore grottoes on the islands, enjoy meals of fresh seafood, and spend the night onboard the boat, surrounded by the bay's calm water and fantastic forms.
Continue to central Vietnam and stay at a luxury beach resort in Danang . Visit atmospheric Hoi An , a UNESCO-listed riverfront town crammed with hundreds of historic structures. Tour ancient houses, picturesque backstreets, and bustling silk and fish markets. Also, tour Buddhist cave temples, and learn about the ancient Champa civilization at the Cham Museum and during an excursion to the temple ruins at My Son .
Fly to Saigon , Vietnam's bustling commercial center. Tour the city's local markets, Chinatown, best museums and major cultural attractions. One day, take an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels and Tay Ninh to watch an eccentric religious ceremony at the main temple of Cao Daism, a unique fusion of world religions.