Back
Web Page Book Now

Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos in Depth 2018/19

Discover the essence of Indochina on this in-depth journey. Travel through Vietnam from the hills of Sapa to the bustling Mekong Delta. Explore the history of Angkor, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia and travel north through the countryside of Laos to charming Luang Prabang.Historic HanoiFrom the moment you arrive in the historic Vietnamese city of Hanoi, you're truly immersed into traditions and culture. See both sides to Vietnamese life, as we explore the bustling city of Hanoi.Hills of Sapa & Halong BayTravel north through scenic rural Vietnam to the hills of Sapa. Meet the people of the Black Hmong hill tribe and the Giay minority in local villages and admire the incredible terraces of rice paddies. Absolutely breathtaking, Halong Bay is a feast for the eyes, dotted with hundreds of rocky islands and outcrops. Sit back and relax, cruising around this natural wonder and sampling some of the freshest local cuisine in the world!Imperial HueTour the former capital and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty's emperors, Hue. Discover the imperial tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh and enjoy a cruise along the perfume river to Thien Mu Pagoda.Traditional ExperiencesHoi An will beguile you with its charm. Wander the quaint streets, visit a traditional home and take an aromatic cooking class. We juxtapose this against the lively city of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the largest in Vietnam. See the historic architecture and immerse yourself in the history of the Vietnam War. Traverse the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels a base for the Viet Cong, where they remained undiscovered throughout the conflict. Explore the Mekong Delta by boat, enjoy a sampan cruise through the small canals and visit a floating market.Captivating CambodiaFly to the gateway to the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap. Explore the fortified city of Angkor Thom and of course, incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat. Take part in a Khmer cooking class with a local family. Cruise Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake Tonl Sap, and explore the vibrant floating villages. Tour Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. Visit the poignant killing fields, a stark reminder of the Pol Pot regime, and Tuol Sleng, the notorious Security Prison 21.Charismatic LaosTravel to Laos, where you'll discover the charming colonial capital of Vientiane. Continue the journey north through the scenic countryside to Vang Vieng, visit the Nam Ngum Reservoir and Dam and a Hmong village. Make your way to quaint Luang Prabang and explore the city by tuk tuk, then join the locals for a game of petanque. Venture to the cascading Kuang Si waterfalls to swim in the crystal-clear waters and cruise along the Mekong enjoying typical Laotian cuisine as the sun sets.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Asia. Taxes included
  • 5 economy-class flights within Asia
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding water based activities and tuk tuk)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $375pp pre-paid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 24 nights in good quality hotels (4 star)
  • 2 nights on board a Vietnamese cruise boat on Halong Bay
  • 1 night on board a river cruise vessel on the Mekong Delta
  • 27 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 7 lunches and 12 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides
  • English-speaking locally based national guides throughout (Vietnam & Laos only)
  • English-speaking local guide on board the Mekong cruise

Sightseeing

Hanoi, Halong Bay and the hills of Sapa

  • Go behind the scenes at a traditional water puppet show in Hanoi.
  • Tour stately Hanoi including the Ho Chi Minh Memorial, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter on foot.
  • Discover the city of Hanoi as it awakens, visiting the flower market, old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake before a Vietnamese breakfast and coffee.
  • Walk the Rail Tracks of Hanoi and explore a rarely seen side of Vietnam's capital city! We meet the locals and see how they have adapted to daily life along the rail tracks.
  • Discover the scenic rice terraces and undulating landscape of Sapa Hills and meet the local hill tribes.
  • Spend 2 nights on a Vietnamese Cruiseboat exploring beautiful Halong Bay.

Heritage-listed Hoi An and Hue

  • Explore ancient Vietnam's capital Hue including the vast 19th century Citadel.
  • Travel by boat to Thien Mu Pagoda.
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise to Thuy Bieu Eco-village and learn about their traditional way of life, including lunch with a local family.
  • Spend 3 nights in World Heritage-listed Hoi An and explore the town on foot, including the Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, the Culture & History Museum, the Chinese Assembly Hall of Fujien Chinese Community and an old historic house (UNESCO site).
  • Cruise down Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School and learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Saigon and the lively Mekong Delta

  • Tour bustling Saigon including the French-style Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Reunification Palace and the very moving War Remnants Museum.
  • Visit the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnel complex north of Saigon, with a veteran. This elaborate 200 kilometre-long tunnel complex was built by the Viet Cong and never discovered during the Vietnam War.
  • Enjoy an "A Little out of the Ordinary" tour of Saigon - a unique look at Saigon visiting the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street (Le Cong Kieu), Fanny's Ice Cream Parlour, the trendy boutiques and shops of Ton That Thiep Street.
  • Spend the night on the Mekong River, exploring the tributaries and canals while observing daily life along the banks.
  • Visit the Cai Be Floating markets and walk along the canals and the palm-shaded creek witnessing local houses, green orchards, shipbuilding yards, and the rural and water activities of the Mekong.
  • Cruise to Can Tho and visit the Cai Rang floating market, the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta.

Captivating Cambodia

  • Spend an incredible day and a half exploring the ruins of Angkor. One of the world's must-see attractions, Angkor Wat was recently named a finalist in an international vote for the new Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Enjoy a private Khmer cooking class among shaded palm groves and bamboo trees. Learn about food and its role in Cambodian life, as well as their customs, traditional beliefs and superstitions regarding food, herbs and spices.
  • Explore Tonle Sap Lake and cruise past the floating villages.
  • Witness breathtaking views of Angkor Wat at sunrise. A great photo opportunity.
  • Tour the Killing Fields, a chilling reminder of the Khmer Rouge regime.
  • Explore Phnom Penh by rickshaw, including the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.

The natural charm of Laos

  • Explore the capital and largest city of Laos, Vientiane, and walk along the banks of the Mekong River.
  • Travel north from Vientiane to Vang Vieng and stop at the first Hydropower Dam in Laos, Nam Ngum Dam. Enjoy a boat excursion on the lake and visit a local village.
  • Explore Luang Prabang by Tuk Tuk, visiting the open-air market and the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre.
  • Experience the tastes and traditions of Laos and enjoy dinner and a game of p tanque with the locals in Luang Prabang.
  • Stop at Living Lands Organic Farm and meet the local farming guide to learn about rice harvesting and the tools used, and taste some dishes made from the rice.
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner cruise on the Mekong River.
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
30
Price From
AUD $9,235
Start Location
End Location
Age Range
Avg. 50+
Group Size
4 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Slow paced, Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
20 Dec 201818 Jan 2019Fully BookedAUD $9,005 
03 Jan 201901 Feb 2019Fully BookedAUD $8,805 
17 Jan 201915 Feb 2019Fully BookedAUD $8,705 
14 Feb 201915 Mar 2019Limited SeatsAUD $8,705
28 Feb 201929 Mar 2019Fully BookedAUD $8,705 
14 Mar 201912 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $8,705
28 Mar 201926 Apr 2019Guaranteed DepartureAUD $8,705
ItineraryExpand
Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos in Depth 2018/19

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia
Day 2. Arrive Hanoi

Welcome to Vietnam and bustling Hanoi! Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before this evening's group welcome dinner in the Old Quarter. [D]

Day 3. Hanoi

A full day of sightseeing in Hanoi. Highlights include the beautiful Temple of Literature, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Hoan Kiem Lake. [B]

Special Experience: A tradition dating back to the 11th century in northern Vietnam, we'll enjoy an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the history and art behind water puppetry.

Day 4. Hanoi - Sapa

An early start this morning to discover Hanoi as the city awakens. We'll visit the flower market and the Old Quarter and finish our tour with a Vietnamese breakfast and coffee.

Special Experience: Walk along the 'Rail Tracks of Hanoi' and explore a rarely seen side of Vietnam's capital. We meet the locals and see how they have adapted to daily life along the rail tracks, just metres from the trains.

This afternoon we take a scenic journey through some of northern Vietnam's breathtaking scenery to the hills of Sapa. [B,D]

Day 5. Sapa

We begin the morning just out of town admiring the spectacular views of Mt Fansipan and of rose and chayote plantations. On our way south we'll stop at Silver Waterfall (one of the most beautiful in Vietnam), Heaven Gate and Tram Ton Pass. We'll enjoy a short walk with views of Hoang Lien Son Mountain range, and stop at a farm in O Quy Ho to see how produce and medicinal plants are grown. After lunch we'll descend into the Muong Hoa Valley alongside the largest rice paddy terrace in the Sapa area. In Lao Chai we'll meet people of the Black Hmong hill tribe, then walk to Ta Van village, home to the Giay minority. [B,L]

Day 6. Sapa - Hanoi

Special Experience: This morning we travel through more of rural Vietnam to the market of Coc Ly, where we'll be able to witness several minority groups mingle, trade and barter.

We'll also enjoy a walk along the tranquil Chay River. This afternoon we return to Hanoi. [B]

Day 7. Hanoi - Halong Bay

Today we travel to breathtaking Halong Bay, through the picturesque farming lands and rice paddies of the Red River Delta. Here we'll board our overnight cruise. We'll sail past amazing limestone rock formations, and discover the mysterious Tien Ong Cave, one of the finest caves in Halong Bay featuring stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Relax with a sundowner this evening and enjoy the incredible views as the sun sets. [B,L,D]

Day 8. Halong Bay

This morning you might like to take part in a tai chi lesson on the sundeck or just sit back and relax as we cruise the waters and islets of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. After breakfast we'll be able to discover the Coc Cheo Islet, a great place for kayaking and swimming. This area was famously used as the filming location for the Kong Skull Island movie. Enjoy another beautiful evening on-board. [B,L,D]

Day 9. Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue

Early this morning we'll take a trip to Cua Van floating fishing village. After brunch back on-board we'll disembark and return to Hanoi for our flight to Hue, Vietnam's former capital and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty's emperors. [B,Brunch]

Day 10. Hue

Special Experience: Enjoy a cruise to Thien Mu Pagoda and Thuy Bieu eco-village this morning. We'll also taste Hue's traditional cuisine at lunch in a local house.

This afternoon we'll explore the old imperial city, a vast complex built in the early 19th century. [B,L]

Day 11. Hue - Hoi An

This morning we visit the imperial tombs of emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. In the afternoon we'll depart for Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van Pass. [B]

Day 12. Hoi An

We begin the day with a walking tour of charming Hoi An. Highlights include the Culture & History Museum, the famous Japanese covered bridge and a historic, UNESCO Heritage-listed house. [B,D]

Special Experience: Visit the colourful local market before taking a short cruise along the Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School for an aromatic and informative cooking class (cruise portion subject to prevailing water levels).

Day 13. Hoi An

The day is at leisure for you to enjoy this picturesque town at your own pace. Hoi An's centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is free from cars so a lovely area to explore on foot. [B]

Day 14. Hoi An - Saigon

This morning we fly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). In the afternoon we'll take a walking tour of the bustling metropolis. Highlights include the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office and Opera House. We'll also visit the Presidential Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum. [B]

Day 15. Saigon

Today we travel by boat to the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels for a tour with a veteran guide. This network of tunnels served as a base for the Viet Cong and remained undiscovered during the Vietnam War. [B,L]

Special Experience: Go off the beaten track to discover Saigon's a-little-out-of-the-ordinary sights. We'll visit the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, the Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street and the traditional French-style Fanny's Ice Cream Parlour, Vietnam's leading ice cream producer.

Day 16. Saigon - Mekong Delta

We make our way to the Mekong Delta to board our traditional-style cruise boat. We'll observe life along the banks of the delta and hop on and off smaller boats on shore excursions, passing villages and rice paddies. Relax on board this evening with an aperitif as the sun sets. [B,L,D]

Day 17. Mekong Delta - Saigon

This morning we travel to Cai Rang by traditional sampan boat to experience all the action of the floating market - the liveliest market in the Mekong Delta. We'll also witness rice-paper and coconut candy making. Tonight we'll enjoy a group dinner back in Saigon. [B,D]

Day 18. Saigon - Siem Reap

Enjoy the morning at leisure before our flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia, gateway to the incredible temples of Angkor. Tonight we'll travel by tuk tuk to dinner at a local restaurant serving typical Khmer dishes. [B,D]

Day 19. Angkor Excursion

Our day is spent in Angkor, visiting the ancient fortified city of Angkor Thom and the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King. We'll also see the temple of Ta Keo, the amazing ruins of Ta Prohm, the temple of Preah Khan and the Buddhist temples of Banteay Kdei and Banteay Srei, considered the jewels of Khmer art. [B,D]

Day 20. Siem Reap

Special Experience: Take part in a Khmer cooking class with a local family and learn about their food customs and beliefs. We'll savour our creations at lunch, overlooking a lily pond.

We'll then cruise Tonl Sap, the largest freshwater lake in southeast Asia, to observe life and see the colourful floating villages. [B,L]

Day 21. Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

Special Experience: An early start to witness breathtaking views of Angkor Wat as the sun rises and creates stunning shadows and reflections.

After breakfast we'll return and have time to explore before we fly to Phnom Penh this afternoon. [B]

Day 22. Phnom Penh

Today we visit the poignant Killing Fields, a stark reminder of the Pol Pot regime, and the notorious Security Prison 21, Tuol Sleng. The former prison has been turned into a moving museum which stands as a testament to the crimes committed by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. This afternoon we'll explore the bustling city by cyclo. Highlights include the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum. Tonight we'll enjoy a group farewell dinner. [B,D]

Day 23. Phnom Penh - Vientiane

Enjoy the morning at leisure before our flight to Laos' colonial capital, Vientiane. [B]

Day 24. Vientiane

Today we'll explore the city. Highlights of our tour include the golden stupa of Pha That Luang and the Patuxai Arch, inspired by Paris' Arc de Triomphe. [B]

Day 25. Vientiane - Vang Vieng

We take a scenic drive north to Nam Ngum Reservoir and Dam. We'll enjoy a lake cruise and visit Ban Keun village and a traditional salt factory before we continue to Vang Vieng. [B]

Day 26. Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang

Along the way to Luang Prabang we'll stop at a cable bridge and walk across the river to visit the Hmong village of Ban Phan Thao. We'll arrive in town early this evening. [B]

Day 27. Luang Prabang

We board a tuk tuk to explore Luang Prabang this morning. We'll visit the open-air market and participate in the Big Brother Mouse program, helping young locals practice their English conversation. [B,D]

Special Experience: This evening we join the locals to experience the tastes and traditions of Laos during a game of p tanque and a typical Laotian dinner.

Day 28. Luang Prabang

Special Experience: Learn about rice harvesting and meet the local farming guide at Living Lands Organic Farm. We'll then enjoy a tasting of some typical food.

This afternoon we'll explore the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls and visit 'Free the Bears', a rescue centre, before a group farewell dinner on a Mekong sunset cruise. [B,D]

Day 29. Depart Luang Prabang

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 30. Arrive Australia