Discover the highlights of Thailand and Laos & Cambodia on a journey that will take you through the history and culture of three diverse countries.From bustling Bangkok to the stunning temples of Laos, exploring the history of Thailand’s infamous Golden Triangle, Cambodia’s ancient wonder of Angkor Wat.
Bangkok o Laos via Siem Reap in brief:
Day 1: Bangkok Arrival
Day 2: Bangkok - city tour
Day 3: Bangkok tour
Day 4: Bangkok - Flight to Luang Prabang
Day 5: Luang Prabang - city tour
Day 6: Luang Prabang - Flight to Vientiane
Day 7: Vientiane - Pakse - Vat Phou Cruise to Champasak
Day 8: Vat Phou Cruise
Day 9: Vat Phou Cruise - Pakse
Day 10: Pakse - Siem Reap
Day 11: Siem Reap - Angkor Complex
Day 12: Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake
Day 13: Siem Reap - Departure
Upon arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be met and greeted by our Indochinavalue Travel guide for transfer to your hotel for check in.
Overnight in Bangkok.
In the morning, you will visit the Grand Palace, Thailand tour’s most important landmark. Our guide will take you on an in-depth journey through Thailand’s history and royal heritage. You will be awed by the grandeur and majesty of the building and its throne halls. And, of course, marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand and continue to witness the magnificence of Royal Thai Family's private collection at Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall built in 1907 and is now open for the first time to the public. The impressive renaissance style building is decorated with gold and fresco domes with awe-inspiring paintings originally used only by high government officials or the royal family on the special occasion till very recently. Afterwards, depart for Thai buffet lunch at Sala Rim Nam, Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s famous riverside restaurant. In the afternoon drive to the Prasart Museum, a private collection of antiques, art and archaeology located in the far suburbs of east Bangkok. Visits are by appointment only and the museum is one of Bangkok’s great little secrets. Dr. Prasart is dedicated to keeping in Thailand antiques that may otherwise be sold overseas and his collections are unique and priceless.
(Note: Closed on Mondays).
Overnight in Bangkok
Today, we will take a trip back in time to discover the former Siamese capital of Ayutthaya. In the morning, depart from your hotel in Bangkok and drive directly to Bang Pa-In, the summer palace built by Rama IV. There you will see the contrasting palace buildings and surrounding temples inspired by European, Chinese and Thai designs. Also visit Wat Niwet Thammaprawat, the gothic inspired temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. After the visit, board the Thanatharee rice barge at Wat Kasatra pier, and enjoy your private lunch cruise on the Chao Phraya River. En route you will have beautiful views of Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Chai Wattanaram and local lifestyle on the riverside along the way. Ayutthaya, surrounded by rivers and a canal, flourished as the capital of Siam from 1350 until it was attacked by the Burmese in 1767. The remains of the temples and ruins of this great city have now been declared a World Heritage Site. Cruise back to Wat Kasatra pier, disembark and continue to visit the most important of the ruined temples in Ayutthaya historical park - Wat Yai Chaimongkol, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit and Wat Chai Wattanaram. Return to Bangkok by car.Dinner is at your leisure.
Overnight in Bangkok
After breakfast, transfer to Bangkok Airport to take a morning flight to Luang Prabang.Welcome to Luang Prabang world heritage city. Upon arrival we transfer to the hotel and check-in.In the afternoon you will tour Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang was the capital of Lan Xang from 1353 until 1545, when it was moved to Vientiane. Despite the move, Luang Prabang remained the seat of monarchical power, and when the kingdom broke up in 1694, one of the deceased king's grandsons established a rival kingdom to those in Vientiane and Champassak. Though weakened, the Luang Prabang royalty endured until 1975, when after the reign of 63 kings it was formally dissolved. Today Luang Prabang is a small, town on the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers surrounded by mountains – it is often described as one of the last true Shangri-Las in Asia.Your guide will take you on a walking tour to some of the most impressive sites including Wat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa and That Makmo, stylistically more Sri Lankalese than Lao. Continue to the nearby Wat Aham, one of the city’s major tutelary shrines dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors), then climb Phousi Hill for an outstanding overview of the city. Enjoy the sunset from Wat Prabaht Tai, located along the Mekong River.Dinner is at your leisure.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
In the morning rise early and participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black alms bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice.You return to the hotel for breakfast and later begin your exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, fittingly called one of the last Shangri-La’s of Southeast Asia, with a visit to Wat Xieng Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country. The main sanctuary represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha images, which were displayed in Paris in 1911.Near the East gate stands the royal funeral chapel. Inside you’ll see the impressive 40-foot high Royal funeral float and various funeral urns of several members of the former royal family.The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts a semi-erotic episode from the Hindu Ramayana.After Lunch, visit the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum. The Royal Palace was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family, and is now home to exhibits of art and jewels as well as the residence itself. From there, continue on foot to visit Wat Mai, with its unique 5 tiered roof and golden bas-reliefs. During Pimai, the Lao New Year, the small Buddha statue called Pra Bang normally housed in the Royal Palace Museum is brought and put on public display in this temple.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
In the late morning your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to the airport for your domestic flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos.Your private car and guide will meet you on arrival and luggage will be transferred separately while you enjoy lunch at Makphet.Supporting street children and helping them, their families and their community gain skills by working at the vocational Makphet restaurant that serves traditional Lao food prepared from fresh ingredients and no MSG. The restaurant meets the highest international standards of hygiene and is run by instructors and students themselves.Enjoy a half-day guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, whose name means ‘the city of sandal wood’. Vientiane is one of the quietest capital cities in the world, far away from the bustle and hustle of other Asian capitals.After lunch your tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.
Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace. Although you are not allowed to visit inside, it is a good glimpse in to the town’s colonial past as this building formerly served as the French governor’s palace.Stop at Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane, as it is considered the guardian of the spirit of the city. Upon its grounds, you will find an Angkorian-era pillar and it is a popular belief that if you circle it three times and make a wish, then that wish will come true.This afternoon, continue to the Patuxay monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where you can climb the stairs to the roof for sweeping panoramic views of the city. Next, your tour takes you to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos.Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun is shines upon its towering golden spire.End your tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River. Stroll along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink, or sample a snack from one of the many local food stalls.
Overnight in Vientiane.
After breakfast your guide and private car will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Pakse. Pakse is the provincial capital of Champasak, at the confluence of the Mekong and Sedon rivers, and is a canter for trading between Thailand and Vietnam. Your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to the pier to board the Vat Phou Cruise at 1030.The Vat Phou Cruise from Pakse for Champassak is a local long tail riverboat, zigzagging through mild rapids and sand banks, arriving at Champassak in time for a riverside lunch, followed by a guided tour of the pre-Angkorian 10th century temple of Vat Phou, the boat’s namesake.As dusk falls, enjoy a relaxing cruise down-river. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.
Overnight on board.
Breakfast is served on board as you set sail for the village of Huei Thamo, a few minutes’ walk away from the spectacular hidden forest temple of Oum Moung. Afterwards, rejoin the boat for a cruise southwards and lunch on the deck, while continuing further south to the wild paradise of the 4,000 islands. Visit Khong Island and the village of Muang Kong, where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries. Then return to the boat for a sunset cruise and dinner under the stars, serenaded by the songs of the buffalo toads.
Overnight on board.
Breakfast on deck, while cruising to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you will board a local car-ferry to reach the mainland and the amazingly scenic Khong Pha Peng waterfall situated close to the Cambodian border. On arrival at the small fishing village of Xieng Di, you will board a small long-tail boat to Khone Island, where you might see one of the rare river dolphins on the way! Have lunch amid the by-gone splendor of another age: colorful French colonial houses and an old customs post. Transfer to Pakse.
Overnight in Pakse.
Morning at leisure until transfer to Pakse airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to your hotel.
Free at leisure and overnight in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap is the last stop and a surprise for your Indochina Tours. Morning visit to the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphoun, Terrace of Elephant, Terrace of Leper King and Pimean Akas. Lunch at local restaurant.Afternoon visit to the famous temple of Cambodia, Angkor Wat then continue to visit the Bakheng Hill temple with Sun Set included from the top of this hill, back hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
This morning, we do another beautiful Siem Reap tour with a wonderful cruise on Tonle Sap Lake for 1hour, visit floating village and fisherman life, then back to visit Chantie Ecole-Artisan D’Angkor and Old Market. Lunch at local restaurant. This afternoon, transfer to visit the base of Silk Village Phauk, it’s the village of Marble work, silk weaving and silk sewing and back to visit West Baray.
Back to your hotel and overnight in Siem Reap.
• Domestic flights as indicated (Economy class)
• All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels
• Accommodations as indicated
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary
• Professional licensed English-speaking guide (other languages on request)
• Entrance fees to indicated sights and activities as stated
• Train tickets as indicated
• Boat trips as indicated
• Bottled mineral water during touring days
• Vietnam visa on arrival
• International FLIGHTS
• Other meals
• Personal expenses
• Expenses for any optional tours or activities during free time
Tour guides who worK with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our cultures and lifestyles ... with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. In some parts such as Sapa, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic hilltribes like H'Mong or Red Dao as they know about their land much better than anyone else and this is also the way that Indochinavalue helps the local people a better life.
Tour guide is one of the most inportant factors to a successful holiday. Indochinavalue understands that a good tour guide needs not only good knowledge on history, culture, good English, French... but also needs to have general requirements and follow our guidelines as below:
1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with work experience.
2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
6 - Clear speech and good hearing.
7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer because Indochinavalue's clients want to be entertained in extend, a friend...
9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
Kind of vehicle (offered on tour) depends on the size of your group size or your requirements.To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years of experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.
1 - Our drivers are professional and reliable with at least 5 years of experience, driving safely.
2 - Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
3 - Our drivers must be friendly, helpful with good behavior and attitude.
4 - Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
2 Stars from: US$35 -> US$40
The 2 star hotels are good for budget travelers and sometimes, we have no choice but stay in a guesthouse, mini hotel, 2 star hotel in the remote and mountainous areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms
3 Stars from: US$40 -> US$80
The 3 star hotels are good for many travelers because they offer basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.
4 Stars from: US$80 -> US$130
Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining andentertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.
5 Stars from: US$130 -> US$200 –> US$ 300
Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent experience. Multiple restaurants on siteand a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know when booking.
Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.
Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay with a local family, on cruise inHalong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but our tour guides will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.
If allergic to some food
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join themeal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Street food tour:
Street foods in Vietnam are very delicious and should you want to taste the specialities of each Vietnam holiday destination, we can arrange a street food tour for you. Please contact us at email@example.com for a detailed tour itinerary and quotation.
How to request a tour package?
To request for a free tour itinerary and quotation, you can just fill out the tour inquiry form at www.indochinavalue.com or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org then give us as much information as possible. One of our experienced travel consultants will get back to you shortly. All changes will be made (free of charge) until the your tour package meets your needs and personal interests.
How to book a tour package?
As soon as you agree on our proposal, please send us your full name, international flightinformation (if you have) and your special requirements. We will make reservations and arrange everything then confirm back to you when all done.
- Deposit is a "must". We request 30% of the tour cost. You can pay by wire transfer, creditcards, western union, onepay (online)
- Balance can be made before your arrival or on arrival in cash or by credit cards.
Changes are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you willhave to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)
In case of cancellation, we will not apply any charge if we are not charged by the third partiessuch as hotels, cruises, flights, trains...We will recalculate the costs and resend you the money as soon as possible.
Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected inTipping is not mandatory but it is expected in many circumstances for service. You can tip your driver/tour guide more or less or nothing. All depends on the services you receive.
- US$10 – US$ 15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 – US$ 10 per day for driver
- US$1 – US$ 3 per meal for waiter or waitress
- US$2 – US$ 5 for short boat trips/ cyclo/ tuktuk (1 – 2) hours
Note: Please check with your travel consultant before coming and your tour guide if you are to tip someone on tour.
What you get when booking a private tour with Indochinavalue?
1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually,or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.
2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.
3. Start the tour on any date you want.
4. Escort you from start to finish. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/ train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.
5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.
6. Considerate care and assistance, such as the old, the disabled or families with small kids and children.
7. You can save time and money when traveling with us or your wants meet you budget.
How do I get a visa?
Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the VietnameseImmigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/ border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.
Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa:
2) Passport number
3) Date of birth
5) Date of arrival
6) Date of issue
7) Date of expire
8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months.
Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?
Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can beused to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.
- You can use US dollar, Euro in all big cities or at major tourist sites, airports.
- If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.
Do I need to bring my medical record with me?
Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event ofan emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.
Note: You can buy medicines everywhere in Vietnam so do not need to bring medicines from home.
When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?
Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.
What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. Onemedium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need, and enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.
There are lots of consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of something. If you do forget something you can easily find it here. Before you leave home complete the following checklist:
- Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months, and warmer clothing for the winter months. As well, sun hat, swim suit, ultra lightweight rain jacket.
- Travel Documents: Passport, Visa, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets (you should scan them and email them to yourself in case you loose them).
- Health requirements, medications, and travel insurance arranged.
- Flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, small personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.
- Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and/ or credit card(s).
- Raincoat or umbrella, good hiking shoes are needed for all Footprint trekking trips.
- Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.
Are there any restrictions on the type of luggage that we bring? Domestic airlines have their weight restrictions. On most domestic and low-cost airlines You may only have one suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg, and one piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of (5 – 7)kg. An extra charge for overweight is applied.
There is no actual limit on our trips, but we would suggest you travel light with one suitcase or backpack and one small daypack or small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat, sunscreen, etc.
It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage. Without one, railway and airline staff and some hotels may refuse to handle it.
What is the best type of clothing we should bring?
Here is a short checklist of best type of clothing you should bring:
- Shorts and comfortable pants;
- Shirts, t-shirts and maybe some long sleeves shirts (for regions with mosquitos like the Mekong delta);
- Swim suits (for the beaches and Halong Bay);
- Good sandles as well as good shoes if trekking.
Nevertheless, it will really depend on where you travel to, when you plan on travelling, and what you plan on doing. Please note that the weather can be very cold during the winter in the Northern Vietnam (Nov to Mar) and quite cool in the central highlands (Dalat). You will need to bring a good jacket along for this time of the year, the avarage temperature is about 15 oC, but can get as cold as 3 oC.
Tip: Do not worry if you do not pack enough clothes or forget something because you can buy in Vietnam.
Shopping in Vietnam
Shopping in VietnamMany tourists can’t help but throw themselves head-first into shopping while in Vietnam. Why? Probably the variety of quality goods and the tempting prices have a lot to do with it. Many low-budget travelers considered Vietnam a heavenly place because in many shopping situations they can bargain the prices down to as much as a third of the original cost.
The list of Vietnamese bargains is seemingly endless and features bespoke tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles while many shoppers cannot get enough of the local handicraft, art and jewelry.
How to bargain?
Bargain is not common in some countries, but in Vietnam it really is. In Vietnam, bargaining isalways worthwhile. Yet, it is not always due to the fact that the local have a great deal of time and very little money. Bargaining is part of Vietnamese culture as through bargaining people communicate with others, create and build up their relationship, not to mention a form of entertainment.
Rule - 1: It's like the monster ride at the amusement park. If you're not having fun, get off.
Rule - 2: Don't bargain with the first person who approaches you (i.e., when looking for a taxi at the airport.) In general the further you go from the center of action, the cheaper the price.
Rule - 3: Don't be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.
Rule - 4: Don't let pride get in the way of coming back (or Rule #3 is useless).
Rule - 5: If you really want something and the price isn't coming down, give in gracefully. (It's that pride thing again.)
Rule - 6: Don't always assume you're getting ripped off just because you're in a third-world country. Sometimes the price they're asking is the real one.
Rule - 7: Bargaining is a time/ money tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, be prepared to pay for it.
Rule - 8: Ask (Vietnamese) fellow shoppers the price of an item before you begin bargaining.
Rule - 9: Always carry small bills. Otherwise all that work is likely to be for nothing.
Rule - 10: Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.
Rule - 11: If possible, keep going back to the same person until you've gotten to know him/ her. Most third world countries have a name for this kind of relationship. The deal is that you offer your business on a regular basis and the seller responds by saving you their best tomatoes
Rule - 12: No matter what your parents told you, when you're bargaining it's perfectly okay to lie