Tour of South East Asia - Cambodia - Laos - Vietnam

South East Asia Tour

Travel through the
heart of SE Asia

Laos provinces

Explore SE Asia

Travel through the heart of South East Asia

Cambodia - Laos - Vietnam SE Asia Tour
An offer by the Artisan Tour Operators of South-Eastern Asia

 Highlights:

  • The temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom (Cambodia)
  • The city of Luang Prabang (Laos)
  • Muang La Resort & the mountain peoples of the Oudom Xai region (Laos)
  • Cruise on the Nam Ou River (Laos)
  • Cruise in Halong Bay (Vietnam)
  • City tour of Hanoi (Vietnam)
  • Bike ride in the rural Red River Delta (Vietnam)

 

Day 1: Siem Reap
Breakfast /. /.
On arrival at the airport in Siem Reap you will be greeted by one of our highly qualified, English speaking guides.
Transfer to your hotel by private air conditioned vehicle with a welcome, followed by lunch at your hotel.
In the afternoon, a short tour of the site of Angkor where you will find the Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei, Ta Keo, Thommanon, Chau Say Tevoda, Ta Prohm, enveloped by the roots of enormous fig trees and  colossal climbing plants.

Dinner (not included).

Overnight stay at the Palmeraie D'Angkor.

Wall carvings at Angkor

Day 2: Siem Reap
Breakfast / Lunch /.

After a hearty breakfast, you enter the south gate of the ancient city of Angkor Thom and find yourselves facing the magnificent Bayon. You continue your tour discovering the other main buildings of the city - Bapuon, Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of the King of Lepers.
You take lunch at the Oriental Restaurant. After lunch, a short transfer of 37 kilometers from Siem Reap to one of the most beautiful & best preserved temples of Cambodia, Banteay Srei.  This temple, dedicated to women, really is unlike any other. On the way back, you stop at Banteay Samre before arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon; giving you time to enjoy the pool and the other facilities of your hotel.

Dinner (not included)

Overnight stay at the Palmeraie D'Angkor.

 

Day 3: Siem Reap - Tonle Sap
Breakfast / Lunch /.
You travel 50km to reach the lakeside village of Kompong Kleang; unique because most of its houses are perched on stilts over 10m high. We embark on a traditional boat to Lake Tonle Sap - the largest lake in Southeast Asia. You discover another village composed of floating houses before stopping in the flooded rainforest to enjoy a picnic basket of Western and Asian specialties. Return to Kompong Kleang or you have the option to venture deeper into this lakeside village and witness the making of nets, traps and all the necessary equipment to fish.

Dinner (not included)

Overnight stay at the Palmeraie D'Angkor.

Day 4: Siem Reap
Breakfast / Lunch /.

Your day starts with a visit to the silk farm at Puouk (18 kilometers from Siem Reap) and then back downtown to see the old market. Lunch is at the Café Indochine. Your afternoon is spent visiting Angkor Wat - a beautiful temple of the 12th century. It is considered a masterpiece of Khmer architecture and is the heart & soul of Cambodia. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest religious structure in the world. For your last evening at Angkor, you have the delight of the sunset over the temples, a magical moment.

Dinner (not included)

Overnight stay at the Palmeraie D'Angkor.

 

Day 5: Siem Reap - Luang Prabang
Breakfast / Lunch /.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang, which departs at 12:40. You will be greeted by your English speaking Lao guide and after check-in at your hotel; you start the tour of this amazing city.  Wat Aham and Wat Wisoun, (the oldest temple in the city), That Mak Mo (shaped like a watermelon - it was built in 1504 and restored by Henri Marchal - the immortal conservator of Angkor) await you. You pass by Wat Xieng Thong, probably the most beautiful temple in the city, which lies at the northern tip of the peninsula. Your tour goes from temple to temple with time to discover the local people going about their daily business. Finally a climb to the top of the popular Mount Phou Si to take in the sunset. The effort to climb over 300 steps is rewarded with a unique view across the city.

Overnight stay at La Villa Maydou (Superior Rooms).

Day 6: Luang Prabang
Breakfast /. /.

At first light (before breakfast) you can experience the “alms ceremony” – a parade of monks through the old city to collect donations from villagers - it is a truly unforgettable sight. After breakfast, you cross the Mekong to discover the small village of Ban Xieng Maen and visit Wat Long Khun, the monastery of the blessed song that has a very nice wooden carved relief and Wat Chom Pet, the Monastery of the Diamond situated on a hill overlooking the Mekong. After lunch (not included), you leave the peninsula to go to the waterfalls at Kuang Si. The falls are some of the most beautiful in Laos and the local people like to picnic at the falls in the hot season, in order to benefit from the cooler temperatures. You return to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. 

Overnight stay at La Villa Maydou (Superior Rooms)

 

Day 7: Luang Prabang - Muang La
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

You leave for a cruise on the Mekong River through the beautiful landscapes the region. Your first stop is in the village of Ban Xang Khong where you can learn how to make paper in the traditional way. Your next stop is at the village of Ban Xiang Hai, where villagers specialize in the production of rice wine. This is followed by the magnificent caves at Pak Ou. Carved into a cliff overlooking the Mekong, they are home to hundreds of Buddhas who seem to contemplate the Mekong as it flows by. We continue the ascent of the Mekong with lunch taken as a picnic (prepared by one of the best restaurants in Luang Prabang).

In the afternoon, you continue your journey by road, discovering the numerous & varied people of different ethnic tribes scattered throughout the region; several stops are planned to meet them. You arrive at Muang La Resort in the late afternoon. The resort is situated between a river and mountains, with only 8 rooms on the outskirts of a village and with a natural hot spring. A haven of peace and relaxation, the Resort has a massage pavilion facing the river, a sauna (2 parts: male and female) and the hot water spa (mixed). The spa is raised to give magnificent views overlooking the landscape and is fed by water from a geyser.  This Lodge is undoubtedly the "Pearl of Northern Laos”.

Dinner and overnight stay at Muang La Resort (Superior Room).

 

Day 8: Muang La
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Your day is dedicated to discovering the ethnic tribes of the region. Rendezvous after breakfast at 08h30; you set off in a 4x4 passing through lush bamboo forests. After an hours drive, you arrive in the upper reaches of the mountain on a beautiful mountain trail. You arrive in the village of Bane Kok Maé Niae, where a stroll through the village reveals the traditional way of life of these Akha or Ikhos people.

Laos-Buddhist Temple

En route to the next village, you take lunch instop in a community home for lunch. After lunch, you continue to explore another Ikhos village where new aspects of their culture are unveiled: dyeing their clothes with natural plant dyes and their animist beliefs in the world of spirits whose worship is part of everyday life - this is the village of Ban Ano. On the way back to Muang La you discover another traditional village of the Hmong people who originate from the high steppes of Tibet.You will see their way of life, the importance of animals (pigs, buffalo etc) in their lifestyle and their care they give to their livestock. Also the impressive but long, daily makeup sessions for the girls and women of the tribe. You arrive at The Resort in the late afternoon where you can unwind with a relaxing massage.

 Dinner and overnight stay at Muang La Resort (Superior Room).

Day 9: Muang La - Muang Khua - Nong Khiew
Breakfast / Lunch /.
Departure by minibus to Muang Khua following a small hilly road which is very busy. It passes the outskirts of many villages and eventually leads to Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. At Muang Khua, a canoe waits for you down on the Nam Ou River. This is certainly the most beautiful river journey in Laos. The Nam Ou River takes you to enchanting places at a leisurely pace. Your picnic lunch including grilled fish is taken on one of the many natural beaches along the river. You arrive at Nong Khiew by late afternoon. You are in one of the most spectacular karst regions of South-East Asia. The large white cliffs with strange rock formations, crowned by jungle and rice paddies seem to emerge like pensive sentinels. During the Vietnam War, the caves contained in the rock formations served as a refuge for local people. Today, Thai Leu, the Hmong, the Khmus live here in perfect harmony.

Overnight stay in Nong Khiew River Side Hotel (standard room).

 

Day 10: Nong Khiew - Luang Prabang - Hanoi
Breakfast /. / Dinner
Before the early start to Luang Prabang you visit the caves where the villagers took refuge during the Vietnam War. Departure for Luang Prabang (2h30 drive) arriving at the end of the morning to take your flight to Hanoi. You arrive in Hanoi (late afternoon) and after the transfer to your hotel, you receive your introduction, a welcome snack and a presentation of your programme. A short stroll gives you your first view of the city. Dinner in town and a puppet show by the river.

Overnight stay at the Quoc Hoa Hotel (Superior Room).

Street seller in Hanoi

Day 11: Hanoi
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

A day to explore the countryside surrounding Hanoi, encountering Vietnamese culture: traditional crafts, their spiritual universe and a bike ride among rice paddies.
You begin the day by crossing the city, passing new areas of the city (which have developed to the west of the city following the same principles that have existed since the founding of the city; that is staying within the borders of the Red River) - Hanoi means "that lies within the river" or "outside the river". The architectural contrast between the old quarter or the colonial district and the new developments is stark. You really get a feel for the development that has taken place when you imagine that its only 10 years since these new districts were rice fields and marshes. Once out of the city, you reach the ancient province of Ha Tay (integrated administratively in Hanoi since 2008) which is full of traditional craft villages, buildings and various spiritual villages typical of the Red River Delta.

You continue to the Tay Phuong Pagoda or “Pagoda of the West” (Sung Phuc), which is a center of Buddhist art in Vietnam. After visiting the pagoda, take to the bikes for a ride of approx. 1 hour on small country roads and passing through some interesting craft villages. Your trip ends at the Thay Pagoda or “Pagoda of the Master” (11thcentury, then restored in the 15th century). It is also known as the “Pagoda of Heavenly Happiness” (Thien Phuc) and is dedicated to the Buddha Amitabha, the Buddha of the present. You then take a small snack at the top of the hill of the pagoda for a break in the rejuvenating ambiance of the pagoda’s serenity. After visiting the pagoda, you drive to the village of Mong Phu (Duong Lam). This village has retained the rustic charm of the villages of the Red River Delta with its town hall, temple, village gate, ancient banyan tree and, of course, the typical houses of the Vietnamese. Lunch in the home of one of the villagers (around 13:30 or 14 pm), followed by a visit of the village and especially the beautiful town hall; the administrative and cultural centre of the village under the old feudal system. You complete the day with a bike ride, this time going from village to village. Return to Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Dinner in town. Overnight stay at the Quoc Hoa Hotel (Superior Room).

Halong Bay i Vietnam

Day 12: Hanoi - Halong
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Departure to Halong Bay. Boarding at about 12pm and cruising through the maze of “sugar loaf” islands in the bay. This setting is magical and inspiring: 2 000 islands and islets dotted around clear emerald waters. We offer an alternative to the classic route taken by dozens and dozens of boats every day in this UNESCO World Heritage Site; preferring a more intimate discovery of this extraordinary natural spectacle. We sail in the beautiful Bay of Bai Tu Long (which is an administrative division of the geographical site of Halong). You visit one of the caves and can take a swim (weather permitting). Overnight on the boat (Private Junk or cabin rental).

Day 13: Halong - Ninh Binh
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
You continue your cruise with numerous stops: visiting caves & swimming. A breakfast buffet. You disembark before noon and your transfer to Ninh Binh with a few stops on route. You arrive in the late afternoon.

 Dinner in town. Overnight stay at Hotel Thuy Anh and Thanh Binh.

Day 14: Ninh Binh - Hanoi
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
In the morning, you go by bike to the site of Tam Coc which, like Halong Bay, is known for its karst peaks. You take a small country road passing through a very nice typical rural villages and very charming scenic spots. (Between 1.5 & 2 hours ride). On arrival in Tam Coc, you take a relaxing sampan on the bodies of water or small channels that criss-cross this picture postcard landscape. Lunch at a local restaurant.

You will then drive to the site of Hoa Lu, located about ten kilometers from the town of Ninh Binh. Hoa Lu is the site of the former imperial capital of Dai Viet kingdom of the 10th century (before it moved to its current site in Hanoi). Hoa Lu is now an old rural village which houses the memorial temples of the kings, Dinh and Le Past (dynasties of kings who reigned in the era of Dai Viet). A real opportunity to combine history and culture. You are scheduled to be back in Hanoi for mid-afternoon.

Dinner in town. Overnight stay at the Quoc Hoa (Superior Room).

Day 15: Hanoi
Breakfast /. /.

Tour of the city depending on your flight schedule.

Laos-Baci ceremony

Personal Service

 

  • An English speaking, experienced local guide is with you throughout your journey to answer all your questions and needs
  • Each of our clients has a personal travel adviser
  • We are in frequent contact with you, from the moment you arrive to your departure & we are always available for you
  • We ask you to complete a detailed questionnaire and we carefully study all the feedback that we receive
  • We are regularly “out in the field” to ensure the quality & reliability of our partners