Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Indo China

19 days

from £3,960pp

With the simple markets and peaceful temples of Laos, the bustling cities and iconic vistas of Vietnam and Cambodia’s history, winding river journeys and endless beaches, a trip to Indo China takes in the highlights with some insider secrets.

  • Watching the Monks at Alms in Luang Prabang
  • Kayaking to remote islands in Halong Bay
  • Avoiding the crowds at Angkor
  • Cycling to traditional villages outside Hoi An
  • The peaceful river journey from Luang Prabang to Pak Ou Caves

This trip is suggested to highlight some key destinations within each of these fascinating countries but also including longer at Halong Bay to allow visits to remote islands. We’ve used a mixture of smart boutique properties such as La Residence Hue, La Residence Phou Vao in Luang Prabang, local river lodges and the Ginger Junk on Halong Bay.

Vietnam, being long and thin has two seasons but for this itinerary our suggestion would be to visit from December to March (January can have some rain in North Vietnam). This also coincides with the warm but dry season in Cambodia and Laos.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Bangkok

Day 2

Fly Bangkok to Hanoi

You will be staying at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Day 3

Half Day City Tour of Hanoi
Spend a few hours exploring this facinating city with the Ho Chi Minh Complex containing his Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's former home and the One Pillar Pagoda followed by the Temple of Literature and Hoan Kiem Lake finishing at the bustling Old Quarter.

You will be staying at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Day 4

Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay

A journey of about three hours.

Ginger - The Jewels of Halong Bay Cruise - Day 01
Welcome aboard and sail through the Halong Bay. Allow your eyes to swim through the azure waters of this magical place, where thousands of sculpted limestone and islands rise from the water like gigantic teeth of dragons. Pass through picturesque areas like the Mat Quy and Am islets. A delectable buffet lunch is served shortly upon boarding and you find yourself getting acquainted with the facilities of the boat. The boat starts to cruise into the Bay and within the first hour you can enjoy this World Heritage Site. A first visit will take our guests by tender to the Tien Ong Cave. The Cave is huge – about 2.000 sqm –and is peppered with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, formed out of ancient limestone karsts about 700,000 years ago. The cave is four meters above sea level. This visit will last approximately 20 minutes (we strongly recommend that you do not wear high heel shoes for this excursion). The voyage continues with the arrival at the Cua Van Fishing Village, the biggest and oldest fishing village in Halong Bay via a pleasant boat ride (a maximum of four persons per boat). You will pass by this ancient village which comprises floating houses and floating schools – simply irresistible. After returning to the boat in the late afternoon guests can sharpen their culinary skills at our cooking class performance conducted by our energetic chef. Surely you can give him a helping hand any time and try your skills in preparing special Vietnamese dishes. The boat cruises slowly with the evening sun to its mooring points. If not now when then it is time to enjoy a massage or at least to quaff a drink – in the miraculous descending sun – on our terrace deck. At approximately 19.00h guests can attend a presentation in the restaurant area about the Halong Bay before dinner is served. The night is yours – kick back on a comfy pillowed bench and inhale the surreal beauty whilst sipping a glass of wine. Not many places in the world offer those special feelings. The mooring place is a fantastic overnight spot with glittering lights from the other boats and a calm sea, perfect for your first dream in the middle of the Bay where once Dragons played amid sparkling jewels.

You will be staying at Ginger Junk

Day 5

Ginger - The Jewels of Halong Bay Cruise - Day 02
Today, all guests will embark on our day boat – the Sunset. You will cruise to the Bay’s untouched areas, deep in Lan Ha Bay. Take a light bike ride along the coast line of Cat Ba, through the rain forest to the Viet Hai village. A fantastic way to get in touch with the nature of the biggest Halong island. Please read below the options of this day: A. If weather conditions are good: In the morning, the Sunset crew welcomes all guests from Ginger, Jasmine and Violet. A breakfast is served in the cozy restaurant while the Sunset moves deeper into the Halong Bay straight to Cat Ba Island. The nature is simply marvellous in this area of the Bay. We arrive at Viet Hai dock and take a leisure bicycle ride along the water front, passing forests and a stone tunnel on the way to the Viet Hai Village. We explore the village with its traditional houses and its residents. Guests can take a short walk to the surrounding jungle. The journey continues to the local primary school (Heritage Line supports this school with teaching equipment). A memorable way of interacting with the children in the classroom is to become their substitute teacher or sing along with the kids – if you dare. After this, guests cycle back to the dock and board the junk. The cruise continues unhurried to Ho Ba Ham. During this slow trundle, lunch is served. At this secluded area guests kayak through water tunnels and close to stunning rock and islets. This beautiful lagoon allows as well to jump from the boat or at a quiet beach for a refreshing bath. Back on board take your seat or bench on the sun deck and simply dive into the nature on the way back to your mother junk for your second night. B. If weather conditions are not good (strong waves prohibit cruising to Viet Hai Village): In the morning, the Sunset crew welcomes all guests from Ginger, Jasmine and Violet. A breakfast is served in the cozy restaurant while the Sunset moves deeper into the Halong Bay straight to Cat Ba Island. Even the weather might not be that suitable but still the Bay offers mysterious views and photo objects from the sun deck. Kayak and swim at the Hai Quan lagoon area and get in close touch with the Bay. Before midday, we cruise to the “Surprise Cave”. Lunch will be served in the restaurant of the Sunset. After lunch, guests visit the “Surprise Cave” or they can engage in kayaking around the Luon cave tunnel. In the afternoon, the Sunset cruises back via several Halong Bay sights – Cua Van fishing village – Soi Sim – Dau Xuoi channel and Toad Islet – before boarding the mother junk again for the overnight. Preparation and inclusions on this day: Biking helmet, First aid kit, durable shoes, water bottle during cycling, torch for cave visit, rain coats (in case of light showers, in the event of heavy rain, biking will be cancelled), kayaks/paddles and life jackets. For guests who do not want to go cycling to Viet Hai: Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment on board or walk along the water front, fish at the dock or take a cooking lesson from the chef.

You will be staying at Ginger Junk

Day 6

Ginger - The Jewels of Halong Bay Cruise - Day 03
For early risers complimentary tea, coffee and pastries are served in the restaurant followed by – if you so desire – a Tai Chi Class on the terrace deck (7.00h). A great morning activity to feel one with this natural wonder. Then it is time for an early morning bath – in the Bay. By tender boat we bring the guests to a natural white sandy stretch of a beach with crystal clear water. Sporty ones can climb up to a hill top to have a last view from above over the Halong Bay before we return to the boat and cruise slowly back to Halong City, passing picturesque areas like the Ti Top island, the Tam Cung Cave and Poem Mountain. During our trundle, a buffet brunch is served before we arrive at the shore at around 11.00h. The crew will bid you farewell and you disembark with our tender boat to the Tuan Chau Pier.

Transfer from Halong Bay to Hanoi

A journey of about three hours.

Fly Hanoi to Danang

Travel from Danang to Hue

Between 1802 and 1945, Hue was the imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty's Vietnam. Picturesquely nestled at the mouth of the Perfume River, Hue today is a relatively tranquil city albeit still popular with tourists. Visitors are attracted by its World Heritage Site status, and though it is a city that more than nods to its past, it is unequivocally forward-looking.

You will be staying at La Residence, Hue

Day 7

Explore the Imperial Palace
Visit the remains of the Imperial City, currently undergoing a slow process of refurbishment and rebuilding, after being destroyed by the American bombers. It was built on the same principles as the Forbidden Palace in Beijing. Begun in 1804 at the instruction of emperor Gia Long its grounds incorporated eight villages and it was surrounded by a wall 7-10 metres thick. Continue with a visit to the local Dong Ba market returning to the hotel by cyclo.

You will be staying at La Residence, Hue

Day 8

Transfer from Hue to Hoi An

Travel by car to Hoi An, a journey time of three hours.

Hoi An is a picturesque and friendly old port town. Once a major port and trading centre, it is now altogether more laid-back. Despite a recent surge in popularity with tourists, its beautifully preserved old quarter - dating back to the 15th century - ensures the town maintains its calm and distinctive old atmosphere.

You will be staying at Anantara Hoi An Resort

Day 9

Walking tour of Hoi An
Hoi An is a pretty town with some wonderfully attractive river front restaurants serving delicious seafood. The inhabitants originally came from southern China and today their culture is reflected in the architecture of their houses and temples. Walk though Hoi An, visiting a Chinese Communal House or Hokkien Temple, ancient merchants’ houses, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the colourful local market. See local residents raising silkworms and producing silk for Hoi An’s burgeoning textile industry and visit a workshop where artisans make Hoi An’s famous lanterns. You may also include an optional visit to a practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine.

You will be staying at Anantara Hoi An Resort

Day 10

Transfer Hoi An to Danang

Driven from Hoi An to Danang.

Fly Danang to Ho Chi Minh

Still known to locals and much of the rest of the world as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh is an exhilarating city of culture, commerce and bikes. Vietnam's largest city, it is a sprawling and chaotic metropolis that pulsates with innovation and energy.

You will be staying at Park Hyatt Saigon

Day 11

City Tour
A city tour today will include the Reunification Palace, Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, War Remnants Museum an the Theatre.

You will be staying at Park Hyatt Saigon

Day 12

Fly Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap

Back in the 1960s, Siem Reap was the place to be in Southeast Asia and saw a steady stream of the rich and famous. Today it's well and truly back on the tourist map. Siem Reap is home to the wondrous Temples of Angkor, and the city itself exudes charm with old French shop-houses, Psar Chaa - an Aladdin's cave for silverware, silk, wood carvings and bargains galore, and contemporary dining, Khmer style with celeb chefs now an integral part of Siem Reaps' international scene.

You will be staying at Belmond La Residence d’Angkor

Day 13

Full Day Exploring Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm
Awake early in order to experience the beauty of sunrise at Angkor Wat. Embark upon a morning tour of the exquisite carvings, beginning with the stunning bas-reliefs that illustrate tales from Hindu mythology, as well as the glories of the Khmer Empire.

Afterwards, visit the ruins of Ta Prohm, a 12th century temple dedicated to King Jayavarman's mother. Decorated with carvings of nymphs, these ruins remain trapped in the clasp of giant roots that wrap themselves around the crumbling stonework.

You will be staying at Belmond La Residence d’Angkor

Day 14

Explore Tonle Sap Lake
The lake which is linked to Phnom Penh by a narrow waterway is the largest body of water in the country. During the rainy season the water level can rise by up to 10 metres meaning that local people live for part of the year on floating villages. By boat visit some of these villages and explore the lake.

You will be staying at Belmond La Residence d’Angkor

Day 15

Fly Siem Reap to Luang Prabang

The entire town of Luang Prabang, in landlocked Laos in Southeast Asia, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. An exotic former royal capital, it nestles in a peaceful valley on the edge of the Mekong River and represents Laos' spiritual heart and principle showpiece. It is a haven for nature and history enthusiasts.

You will be staying at Belmond La Residence Phou Vao

Day 16

Spend the Day Visiting Temples and the National Museum
Explore Luang Prabang's impressive selection of temples, including Wat Mai, Wat Wisunarat and Wat Xieng Thong.

One of the most celebrated religious structures in Laos, the 16th century Wat Xieng Thong is the quintessential Luang Prabang temple; it's graceful sweeping roof stretches almost to the floor and a unique 'tree of life' mosaic decorates its western wall. The temple is one of the few to not have been destroyed by successive invaders.

Afterwards visit the national museum, housed in Luang Prabang's former Royal Palace. Mixing traditional Lao and French architectural styles, this colonial building houses an array of historic and religious artefacts.

Finish by exploring the narrow alleys that crisscross the town, and stop to enjoy views over the Mekong River.

You will be staying at Belmond La Residence Phou Vao

Day 17

Explore Pak Ou caves
Take a boat up the Mekong River to the Pak Ou caves. The caves are accessed by some steep steps and are stacked with every conceivable size and shape of Budda image. Every corner is filled and the smell of joss sticks give the caves a very atmospheric feel. Continue up the steps to the highest cave, set deep in the limestone cliff, several small alters are scattered in the darkness. Stop at Ban Xanghai village, and observe how rice wine is made. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

You will be staying at Belmond La Residence Phou Vao

Day 18

Fly Luang Prabang to Bangkok

Day 19

Fly Bangkok to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

The Metropole Hotel, a French colonial building, has stood proudly in the heart of Hanoi since 1901....

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Park Hyatt Saigon

Park Hyatt Saigon

Experience the essence of the modern Vietnamese lifestyle at Park Hyatt Saigon, a 5-star hotel situated at Lam Son Square in Ho Chi Minh City centre....

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Anantara Hoi An Resort

Anantara Hoi An Resort

Located along the Thu Bon River, the Life Heritage Resort has 94 rooms and is right on the doorstep of Hoi An's colourful and bustling Ancient Town....

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La Residence, Hue

La Residence, Hue

Nestled on the banks of the Perfume River, this graceful Art Deco building was once the residence of the French governor of Central Vietnam....

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Belmond La Residence Phou Vao

Belmond La Residence Phou Vao

The Belmond La Residence Phou Vao sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, nestling on the Hill of Kites, overlooking the majestic Mekong and just a 10 mintute walk from the center of Luang Prabang....

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Belmond La Residence d’Angkor

Belmond La Residence d’Angkor

Featuring stunning Khmer architecture, La Residence d'Angkor is a small luxury hotel overlooking the Siem Reap River....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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