indochina-header

 

We visited Indochina in 2010

This was our itinerary:
Day1….Depart Cape Town at 11:35 am on Singapore air.
Day 2… Arrive Siem Reap, Cambodia 9:50 am.
Check into our hotel with the remainder of day free to relax and or wander around town.
Overnight Ankor Holiday hotel…Pool
Day 3…After breakfast we begin by visiting the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century).
South Gate, with it’s huge statues depicting the churning ocean of milk. Bayon Temple, unique for
it’s 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Royal enclosure,
Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.
In the afternoon visit the most famous of all the temples on the Angkor plain: Angkor Wat.
The temple complex is over 81 hectares, the size of the Imperial Palace in Beijing. This 12th century
masterpiece is considered to be the prime example of Khmer art and architecture. Angkor’s 5 towers
symbolize Meru’s 5 peaks, the enclosed wall symbolizes the mountains at the edge of the world, the moat
symbolizing the ocean beyond. From Phnom Bakheng, one of the 2 hills on Angkor plain, you
have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat.
Overnight…Angkor Holiday hotel….breakfast
Day 4…After breakfast you will continue the temple visits. Prasat Kravan, Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei,
Eastern Mebon, and Mountain Temple of Pre Rup. After lunch we continue to an archaeological site.
A visit to Ta Prohm, one of the most beautiful as it has been untouched since it’s discovery and retains
much of it’s mystery. Then onto Takeo, Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda temples.
Overnight…Angkor Holiday hotel…breakfast
Day 5…After breakfast we drive to Kbal Spean. A 45 minute walk takes us through the forest
to reach Kabal Spean, The Thousand Linga River. 10-12th century sculptures chiseled into the rocky
river bed, the royal bath and waterfall. We continue to the enchanting temple of Banteay Srei. It’s
compact size, remarkable preservation and the excellence of the decorative carvings makes it everyone’s favorite.
In the afternoon a visit to Banteay Samre, one of the most complete complexes due to the “anastylosis”
restoration method being used. Samre refers to an ethnic group of mountain people that inhabited the region.
Probably related to the Khmers. Return to Siem Reap.
Overnight…Angkor Holiday hotel…breakfast
Day 6 …After breakfast we are transferred to the airport for our flight to DaNang, Vietnam.
We are picked up and transferred to our hotel in Hoi An.
Overnight Ancient House hotel…breakfast…Pool
Day 7…After breakfast we have a morning tour of Hoi A n. Which was a major trading center in the
16th century. It’s low tiled houses of Chinese appearance, Japanese covered bridge, brightly coloured temples
and pagodas make it one of Vietnam’s most delightful places.
Overnight…Ancient House…breakfast
Day 8…After a light breakfast we will go on a walking tour of the food market with Ms. Lu and then have
a cooking class under the instruction of Ms Vy, known as one of the best chefs in Vietnam. She is the owner
of Morning Glory restaurant in Hoi An. Afternoon free time for shopping or the beach.
Overnight Ancient House…breakfast
Day 9…After breakfast we drive to Hue. A 4 hour drive over Hai Van Pass with spectacular views of
mountains, sea and beaches. On arrival we check into our hotel and then visit the Imperial Citadel and the
Mausoleum of TuDuc. A visit to a couple of the many temples in Hue.
Overnight Park View hotel…breakfast…Pool
Day 10…After breakfast we visit one of the many temples in Hue. At 12:00 noon we fly to Hanoi.
An afternoon cyclo tour around the old quarter.
Overnight Indochina hotel…breakfast
Day 11…We will visit the Pagoda on the lake, the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university.
Next the Ethnology museum. A Water puppet show and dinner before we are transferred to the train station.
Overnight Fanxipan Express train…..breakfast
Day 12…On arrival in Lao Cai we will be met and taken to a local restaurant
for breakfast. At 1500 meters, SaPa was once a hill resort of French administrators when the summer heat
became unbearable. In the afternoon we will hike down into the valley and visit villages of the Red Dao,
Black Hmong, Tay, and Xa Pho ethnic minority people. We can purchase their goods along the way.
Meeting with a medicine man.
Overnight Royal View hotel, SaPa…breakfast
Day 13…Free day to wander around Sapa until we are transferred back down the mountain to the train station.
Overnight Fanxipan Express train….breakfast and dinner
Day 14…5 AM arrival in Hanoi. A car will be waiting at the station to escort
us to the hotel for breakfast and relaxation. At 8:30 AM we will be driven to Ha Long Bay.
Approximately 12:30 PM we will be welcomed on the traditional Phoenix Junk and enjoy a welcome drink.
We begin our trip in Ha Long Bay which is listed as a World Heritage area of outstanding natural beauty.
This picturesque “Dragon Descending to the Sea”, Halong Bay has 1969 limestone islets rising from the sea,
many of them containing beautiful grottos. We will visit a grotto then enjoy a seafood lunch on board.
A canoe trip, swimming alongside the anchored Junk, and watching the sunset are all a part of the day.
Overnight on board Phenoix junk…breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 15…We will continue visiting other corners of Ha Long Bay. Brunch will be
served on board. An 11:30 transfer back to Hanoi arriving about 4pm. Dinner at the Wild Lotus for those
wanting to celebrate Kathy’s birthday.
Overnight Indochina hotel….brunch
This ends first segment of the Indochina tour. Those flying home will depart tomorrow afternoon.

Day 16…After breakfast transferred to airport for 8:30am flight to VienTiane Laos.
Met in VienTiane, the city of the moon-an ancient city, situated on the bend of the Mekong river.
It is the largest city and capital of Laos. Afternoon sightseeing of VienTiane, visiting religious museums
of Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple to have survived the Siamese war of 1828. It’s cloister contains more than
800 Buddha statues. Wat Ho Prakeo, the former home of the emerald Buddha statue of Pra Keo, but today
it contains a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and all artifacts found in and around VienTiane.
Luang Stupa the single most important monument in Laos. It is said to contain a breastbone of the Buddha.
Overnight….Beau Rivage hotel…breakfast
Day 17… After breakfast we are taken to the Buddha park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu
sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadows. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back
over 500 years. They were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his
ideas about the universe. Afternoon free for exploring or shopping.
Overnight…Beau Rivage hotel…breakfast
Day 18… After breakfast a visit to the morning market. We make our way to Nam Ngum Lake with hundreds
of small islands, en-route we stop to visit a village where natural salt is produced. We have lunch overlooking
the lake, and after lunch a boat ride on the lake. We continue our drive up into the northern highlands stopping
at a silk weaving village. These people migrated down from China’s border during the war. We arrive in
Vangvien in time for the sunset.
Overnight …Thavonsouk Riverside Bungalows….breakfast and lunch
Day 19…Breakfast with hosting family. Take a local taxi tractor back to Vangvieng. Drive 5 hours to reach
Luang Prabang, the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom. This is the center of religious life in Laos
and a World Heritage City.
Overnight…Ancient hotel…breakfast and lunch
Day 20…After breakfast we visit Wat Xiengthong, this 16th century temple epitomizes all of the elegance and
grace of Luang Prabang’s architecture. We travel by boat up the Mekong to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of
a limestone cliff. It is opposite the mouth of the Mekong and Ou rivers. The sanctuary at Pak Ou consists of
2 caves, both repositories of thousands of Buddha images from 2 centimeters (3”) to 2 meters (6’) in height.
En- route typical villages are barely visible behind the thick foliage. Slender canoes and bamboo poles mark
the location of nets and fish traps. Our first stop will be at Ban Muangkeo, known for it’s rice whiskey named
Laoh-Khao. We can taste and purchase. Lunch on the riverside. We arrive in Luang Prabang in late afternoon.
For those with sturdy legs there is a 328 steps climb with a panoramic view of Luang Prabang. Sorry no finiculars.
Overnight…Ancient hotel…breakfast and lunch
Day 21…After breakfast we take a beautiful scenic drive to Ban Long Laoh, a small Hamong village, the best
known hill tribe in Laos. Passing beautiful forests, rice fields to Kuangsi Waterfall where we enjoy a picnic lunch.
Time for a swim in the cool water before heading back to Luang Prabang. Just past the city we visit Ban
Xangkhong, a village that does wood paper making and Lao silk weaving with natural dyes.
Overnight…Ancient hotel…breakfast and lunch
Day 22…After breakfast we visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace. It contains the famous Prabang
Buddha statue. Remainder of day free until our flight at 3pm to Hanoi.
Overnight… Indochina hotel….breakfast
Day 23… After breakfast you have a free morning. You will be transferred to the airport for 1:30 flight.