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Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos in Depth 2019/20

3 countries
7 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites
Vietnamese cruise boat, Halong Bay | River cruise vessel, Mekong Delta
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, $315pp pre-paid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 25 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
  • 28 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 7 lunches and 12 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

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

Porterage

  • Porterage included where available

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.
  • Take the cable car and travel to the top of Mt Fansipan.
  • 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.
  • Journey through Kim Long Village in Hue by cyclo and learn about the lifestyle of the upperclass in Hue over hundreds of years, depicted by their Garden Houses. Meet a Master of Calligraphy and learn about this ancient art while he performs some traditional music by bamboo flute.
  • 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.
  • Explore Kuang Si Waterfalls including a visit to the "Free the Bears" a rescue centre for Asiatic Black Bears.
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
31
Price From
AUD $8,995
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
07 Apr 201907 May 2019AvailableAUD $8,445
21 Apr 201921 May 2019Guaranteed DepartureAUD $8,445
05 May 201904 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
19 May 201918 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
02 Jun 201902 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
16 Jun 201916 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
30 Jun 201930 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
14 Jul 201913 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
28 Jul 201927 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
11 Aug 201910 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
25 Aug 201924 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $8,245
08 Sep 201908 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $8,645
22 Sep 201922 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $8,645
06 Oct 201905 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $8,745
20 Oct 201919 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $8,745
03 Nov 201903 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $8,745
17 Nov 201917 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $8,945
01 Dec 201931 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $8,945
02 Feb 202003 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $8,845
16 Feb 202017 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $8,845
01 Mar 202031 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $8,845
15 Mar 202014 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $8,845
ItineraryExpand
Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos in Depth 2019/20

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

Day 1. Depart Australia
Day 2. Arrive Hanoi

Welcome to Vietnam and bustling Hanoi! Tonight we'll enjoy a group dinner. [D]

Special Experience: A tradition dating back to the 11th century in northern Vietnam, we'll enjoy a water puppetry performance by a local renowned puppet master where we will go behind the scenes.

Day 3. Hanoi

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 just metres from the trains.

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

Day 4. Hanoi - Sapa

An early start this morning to discover Hanoi as the city awakens. We'll visit the flower market, the Old Quarter and finish our tour with a Vietnamese breakfast. This afternoon we journey to Sapa. [B,D]

Day 5. Sapa

We begin the morning in 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: Ascend beautiful Mt Fansipan by cable car and tram, enjoying spectacular views along the way.

This afternoon we return to Hanoi. [B]

Day 7. Hanoi - Halong Bay

Today we travel to breathtaking Halong Bay and board our overnight cruise. [B,L,D]

Day 8. Halong Bay

Enjoy a morning of tai chi or just relax on deck. Today we discover a limestone cave and visit the Virgin Grotto by kayak. [B,L,D]

Day 9. Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue

Early this morning we'll explore the Hidden Cave by bamboo boat. After brunch we'll disembark and fly to Hue. [B,Brunch]

Day 10. Hue

This morning we'll enjoy a dragon boat cruise to Thien Mu Pagoda and visit the Imperial Citadel. This afternoon we'll visit the imperial tombs of emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. [B]

Day 11. Hue - Danang - Hoi An

Special Experience: Cycle through Hue to visit its famous Garden Houses, many of which have ties with the old imperial court.

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 subject to prevailing water levels).

Day 13. Hoi An

The day is at leisure for you to enjoy. [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 tour the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels. [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

Today we board our traditional-style cruise boat on the Mekong Delta. Enjoy an aperitif as the sun sets this evening. [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. [B,D]

Day 18. Saigon - Siem Reap

Today we fly to Siem Reap, gateway to the ruins of Angkor. Tonight we'll travel by remork to dinner at a local restaurant. [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. [B,D]

Day 20. Siem Reap

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

We'll then cruise Tonl Sap,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, shadows and reflections of Angkor Wat at sunrise.

We fly to Phnom Penh this afternoon. [B]

Day 22. Phnom Penh

Today we visit the poignant Killing Fields and the notorious Security Prison 21, Tuol Sleng. This afternoon we'll explore the bustling city by cyclo. Enjoy a group dinner tonight. [B,D]

Day 23. Phnom Penh - Vientiane

We fly to colonial Vientiane, Laos today. [B]

Day 24. Vientiane

Explore Vientiane, including the golden stupa of Pha That Luang and the Patuxai Arch. [B]

Day 25. Vientiane - Vang Vieng

Enjoy a scenic drive to Nam Ngum Reservoir and Dam. We'll enjoy a lake cruise and visit Ban Keun village and a traditional salt factory before continuing 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. [B]

Day 27. Luang Prabang

Explore Luang Prabang by tuk tuk this morning, visiting the open-air market. [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.

Day 29. Luang Prabang

Explore Kuang Si waterfalls and visit the 'Free the Bears' rescue centre before our group farewell dinner cruise on the Mekong. [B,D]

Day 30. Depart Luang Prabang

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 31. Arrive Australia

Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.