City or Town : Laos
State : Luang Prabang
Country : Laos
Postcode : +856
Day1 Arrival in Bangkok ( Clients own ticket )
Arrive in Bangkok and transfer to hotel. Then free at leisure and Overnight in Bangkok.
Day2 Bangkok Sightseeing ( B )
The Royal Grand Palace is the nation’s landmark and the most revered royal monument. You will see palaces that were used for different occasions – the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and the mysterious Emerald Buddha which is most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Appropriate dress is required (or can be rented on site). Continue your visit to Wat Po, the home of Thai massage and the Reclining Buddha. This afternoon stroll through Chinatown where you visit interesting shops, tea shop, markets and temples to get a first-hand feel for old Bangkok. Continue to The Bangkok Folk Museum**, a seventy-year-old Thai house converted into a small but fascinating museum. Then hop on a long tail boat for a ride along the bustling Chao Phraya River and the quiet klongs (canals) of Thonburi where you see how Thai people have lived next to the water for centuries. Last stop is the magnificent Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn and overnight in Bangkok .
Day3 Bangkok - Sukhothai ( B )
Tansfer to airport for your flight to Sukhothai. Upon arrival, your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to Sukhothai Historical Park which was once a walled city surrounded by a moat. Sukhothai, a name meaning dawn of happiness, was founded in the 13th century and became the kingdom's first capital, overseeing a period known as the golden age of Thai history. The park contains almost 200 ruined chedis in remarkable condition. See the main sites of Wat Mahathat, Wat Si Chum, Wat Sri Sawai and War Sra Sri and Wat Trapang Ngoen and Ramkamhaeng Museum before checking into your hotel. Bike ride is possible in supplement in the historical park. A nice and easy way to stroll around the ruins and Overnight in Sukhothai.
Day4 Sukhothai – Lampang - Chiang Mai ( B )
Drive north to Si Satchanalai Historical Park on the bank of the Yom River north of Sukhothai. The ancient town, formerly called ''Muang Chaliang,'' was named ''Si Satchanalai'' during the reign of Phra Ruang and 134 ruined monuments have been discovered within the park. Vist the main sites of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Wat Khao Suwan Khiri, Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo, Wat Suan Kaeo Utthayan Yai, Wat Nang Phaya, Wat Suan Kaeo Utthayan Noi and Celadon Kiln Site Study and Conservation Center at Ban Ko Noi, some 4 kilometres to the north of Si Satchanalai. Drive to Chiang Mai via Lampang, with a stop to visit Phra That Lampang Luang, and arrive in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon then transfer to your hotel and Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day5 Chiang Mai Sightseeing ( B )
Depart for a local farmhouse in Mae Rim on the outskirts of Chiang Mai where you will take a leisurely stroll around the grounds. Then board a long-tail boat and enjoy a 30-minute cruise along the rural Mae Ping River. Along the river banks, you will see traditional wooden houses and modern residences. Arrive at a boat landing and walk for about 10 minutes from the landing to Waroros fresh food market for a visit, experiencing the Northern Thai way of life. From the market you take a trishaw ride along Tapae Road past City Walls and along Ratchadamnoen Road to Wat Phra Singh. In the afternoon, explore ancient Chiang Mai, including its old city walls, gates, moat and markets. After visiting Wat Suan Dok, where the ashes of Chiang Mai’s royal family are interred, you continue to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the temple on the mountain, and the most sacred in Northern Thailand. Your experienced guide will explain the story of the temple, the white elephant and lead you around its impressive chedi and show its beautiful murals. In the late afternoon, the tourist masses have already left the temple grounds and dusk will give a very special atmosphere. After your private blessing ceremony, witness the magical evening chanting of the monks. End with the spectacularly romantic evening view over Chiang Mai with its millions of glittering lights and overnight in Chaing Mai .
Day6 Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang ( B )
After breakfast, free at leisure until transfer to Chiang Mai airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport, your guide will be waiting to greet you and transfer you to your hotel.This evening you will have a brief introduction to Luang Prabang. Climb the stairs of Mount Phousi and watch the sun set over the city and surrounding hills. Walk down the other side and explore the hill tribe evening market then back to your hotel and overnight in Luang Prabang .
Day7 Luang Prabang - Pakou Caves (B/L)
Start this morning with a visit to one of Lao’s most picturesque temples, Wat Xieng Thong. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong River, this temple was erected in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is deeply revered by the Lao people. Walk to the boat pier, near the temple, to board the Nava Mekong, a beautiful wooden river boat for a cruise up the Mekong to the Pak Ou Caves . The journey takes around 2 hours and along the way you will be surrounded by spectacular views, pass by small villages on the river banks and witness fishermen out for their daily catch. Upon reaching Pak Ou, disembark to explore the caves. Here you will see thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues crammed into two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. The statues range in size from a few centimetres tall to the size of a human, and the view from the mouth of the cave provides sweeping views of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The caves are as well a destination for local pilgrimages, especially during the Lao New Year period of Pii Mai. Back to the boat for having lunch at local restaurant on the opposite side at Pakou village before returning downstream to Luang Prabang and the rest of your day is free at leisure and overnight in Luang Prabang .
Day8 Luang Prabang - Kuangsi Waterfalls (B/L)
You have the option to wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks – an awe-inspiring sight. Please tell your guide a day in advance if you wish to make an offering so he/she can prepare some food for you to hand over to the monks. This early morning ritual dates back generations in Laos. Watch the town come to life in the morning then return to the hotel for breakfast. (If you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and observe the ritual in silence. Dress appropriately – shoulders, chest and legs should be covered).
Return to hotel for having breakfast then depart for a one hour drive south to one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the Kuang Si waterfall. Stop en route at Phosy market where you can observe the locals trading in fresh produce. On arrival, take a leisurely hike through the national park towards the Kuang Si waterfall. For the more adventurous, continue to the top of the main waterfall where you may choose to swim in a large pool. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the tranquil surroundings of the park before you transfer back to your hotel by private vehicle. It is recommended to wear proper walking attire if trekking to the top of the waterfall and overnight in Luang Prabang .
Day9 Luang Prabang - Elephant Riding Experience (B/L)
08:30 - 09:00 am. Departure from your Hotel in Luang Prabang town. Pick up by our English speaking tour guide. Arrival at the Elephant Village. Welcome and greeting by our Camp Manager and participate in short briefing. Ride the Elephant. Enjoy the impressive experience of approx. 1.5 hours elephant ride on the Howdah (Elephant seat) to the Elephant Jungle Camp. Enjoy approx. I.S hours walk through a unique natural jungle valley with limestone cascades. Lunch will be provided at the Elephant Jungle Camp (Picnic lunchbox and drinking water). Tad Sae Waterfall visit. Boat trip on the Khan River. Take a short boat trip from the Tad Sae Waterfall to our Elephant Village. Depart back to Luang Prabang town and drop offat your Hotel/GH, between 03:00 and 04:00 pm and you have the Optional One of the highlights of a visit to Luang Prabang is a performance of the Royal Ballet Theater. Founded in 2002 in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Research, the Ballet aims to preserve Laos’ cultural heritage. This evening, enjoy a spectacular performance which includes scenes from the Lao-Ramayana, traditional folk dances and tribal dances. The show begins at 6:00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Attention: subject to change without prior notice from the company and overnight in Luang Prabang .
Day10 Luang Prabang - Hanoi (B)
After breakfast, free time at leisure before transferring to the airport. Arrive in Hanoi where you will be met and transferred to your hotel and overnight in Hanoi .
Day11 Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise (B/L/D)
Following breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3hr30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board and overnight on Halong Bay .
Day12 Halong Bay Cruise - Hue (B)
Enjoy your fresh morning in the middle of the bay, the sun rises on Halong in the morning and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi or Haiphong. OPTION (extra cost, your own account): On the way back from Halong to Hanoi, stop en-route at a small village known as the birthplace of water puppetry in the Red River Delta. Enjoy beautiful views of rice fields and country life before meeting local artisans who specialize in the ancient art of water puppetry. Enjoy a water-puppet performance. Take a short city tour of Vietnam’s capital. Hanoi is a unique city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and oriental temples. The city tour includes a visit to the Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake and a walking tour of the Old Quarter. In the late afternoon transfer to airport for your hours flight to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. On arrival transfer to your hotel and Overnight in Hue.
Day13 Hue (B)
0830 depart from your hotel in Hue. Start at the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern (the Royal Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war) but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today. From here take a cyclo through dai noi ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax; full of lotus flowers in summer there are many local style coffee shops around the lake where university students come to study. Continue to visit Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River. Constructed in 1601, the 21-meter tall tower is the centerpiece of the pagoda and represents seven reincarnations of Buddha. In the grounds of the pagoda is the Austin car made famous in 1963, when a resident monk drove the vehicle to what was then Saigon to protest against the southern regime, the photo of his self immortalization was captured and is one of the most well known images of the war. In the afternoon see the tomb of the former emperor Minh Mang located in a tranquil setting of gardens and ponds. Journey on to Khai Dinh’s Tomb which is traditional Vietnamese in design with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue. End the day with a visit to the city’s vibrant Dong Ba Market to see the abundance of fresh produce. For something different and an optional extra discover the garden houses of Hue. The former feudal capital of Hue is known for its ancient citadel and extravagant tombs, and for its cultural houses with their beautiful gardens known locally as ‘nha vuon’. These houses are traditional, privately owned, and set in large and attractive formal gardens. Some have connections with the old Royal Imperial Court and the house’s traditional architecture has long been associated with the natural environment and the ancient belief of ‘feng-shui’ and Overnight in Hue.
Day14 Hue - Danang - Hoi An (B)
Leave Hue for Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. The scenic route passes through the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds. Drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world. In the afternoon take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colorful market and Overnight in Hoi An.
Day15 Hoi An - Free at leisure (B)
Free at leisure . As a suggestion head down to Hoi An’s Cua Dai Beach with its stunning stretch of long white sands, crystal clear waters and island views Or take an excursion to Tra Que Organic Herb Village (extra cost your own account) and overnight in Hoi An .
Day16 Hoi An – Danang - Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Transfer to Danang Airport after breakfast for the short flight to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals. On arrival take a tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City. Your program includes the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese tanks seized on the morning of April 30 1975, as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many. From there stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. After this historical visit continue to the War Remnants Museum where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and ‘American’ wars. Continue to the Jade Emperor Pagoda located on the fringes of district 1. Dating from 1909 and built by Cantonese Buddhists this quiet oasis was designed using feng shui principals showcasing ornate statues and effigies. Following your tour head back to your hotel. OPTION ((extra cost your own account): Late in the afternoon travel to visit Truc Mai House - a family of local artists and to hear a musical performance. Learn about traditional Vietnamese instruments through conversations with the artists and hear performances from each family member. Guests then have a memorable experience learning how to play the instruments themselves and Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City .
Day17 Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap (B)
This morning is free at leisure for last minute shopping or sightseeing before transferring to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap. Arrive in Siem Reap and transfer to hotel. Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire. This afternoon, visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This is the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII and the city is surrounded by an 8m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs and overnight in Siem Reap .
Day18 Siem Reap (B/L)
Embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonlé Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season, as it is swelling to about four times it size during the wet season. Board a local boat and visit Kampong Phluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water. Take a break by disembarking for a tasty picnic packed lunch served in a floating house and enjoy the views as the local community goes about its daily life (Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead). Return to Siem Reap for some time at leisure during the hottest time of the day. Later today, hop on a local ‘remok’ (similar to the Thai ‘tuk tuk’) that will take you to a special sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. You will be there during sunset time, when Angkor Wat is less visited and the Apsaras will shine in the most beautiful light and overnight in Siem Reap .
Day19 Siem Reap (B)
Today, explore the temples of the Small Circuit. The most illustrious of these is Ta Prohm, built in the mid 12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Your visit will also include Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Srah Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions” and overnight in Siem Reap .
Day20 Siem Reap Departure ( Clients own ticket ) (B)
Enjoy some time at leisure until it is time for your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
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