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Set Departures Indochina Overland Tour from Vietnam to Cambodia

Highlight: Hanoi - Hai Phong - Ha Long - Train - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi  An - Quy Nhon - Nha Trang - Sai  Gon - Moc Bai - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap.etc...

Summary


Introducing Vietnam
Welcome to a world where the colours are more vivid, where the landscapes are bolder, the coastline more dramatic, where the history is more compelling, where the tastes are more divine, where life is lived in the fast lane. This world is Vietnam, the latest Asian dragon to awake from its slumber.

 

Nature has blessed Vietnam with a bountiful harvest of soaring mountains, a killer coastline and radiant rice fields, Vietnam is a cracker. Inland, peasant women in conical hats still tend to their fields, children ride buffalos along country paths and minority people scratch out a living from impossible gradients.

 

Vietnam is a nation of determined optimists who have weathered war after war, survived colonialism and communism, and are now getting to grips with the wheeler-dealer world of capitalism. Fiercely protective of their independence and sovereignty, the Vietnamese are graciously welcoming of foreigners who come as guests not conquerors.

 

Don’t believe the hype. Or the propagandist party billboards that are as common as statues of ‘Uncle Ho’. Believe your senses, as you discover one of the most enriching, enlivening and exotic countries on earth.

 

To escape the buzz of millions of motorbikes, head west to the watery landscape of green fields and sleepy villages in the Mekong Delta. There’s adventure galore to be had on Phu Quoc Island and stunning white-sand beaches to relax on. Back on the east coast at Mui Ne Beach, you’ll be faced with a similar dilemma: action or inertia?

 

Hoi An might weigh you down - but in a good way - you’re bound to add kilos of made-to-order clothing to your luggage. With an estimated 300 to 500 tailors working in this beautiful city, this is fashionista heaven.

 

To feel the intellectual, cultural and spiritual heartbeat of Vietnam, make a stop in the old imperial capital, Hué. Home to palaces and pagodas, tombs and temples, and host of the biennial arts festival, the Festival of Hué, it’s the place to go for historical, cultural and culinary stimulation.

 

In Hanoi, the country’s captivating capital, rise early to watch the city exercise by Hoan Kiem Lake, then pay your respects in person to Uncle Ho at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (a truly surreal experience). See if you can locate ‘pickled fish street’ in the Old Quarter (it’s somewhere near ‘wooden bowls street’), and cool off with draught beer at ‘bia hoi junction’ (a truly rewarding experience).

 

Eventually you’ll be enticed out of the city by the stunning offerings of the country’s northern provinces. Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of Halong Bay and its 2000 limestone karsts, nor the experience of trekking around mountainous Sapa.

 

Vietnam has it all. Go expecting the unexpected, be ready for an adventure as much as a holiday, and Vietnam will deliver.

 

Introducing Laos

After years of war and isolation, Southeast Asia’s most pristine environment, intact cultures and quite possibly the most chilled-out people on earth mean destination Laos is fast earning cult status among travellers. It is developing quickly but still has much of the tradition that has sadly disappeared elsewhere in the region. Village life is refreshingly simple and even in Vientiane it’s hard to believe this sort of languid riverfront life exists in a national capital. Then, of course, there is the historic royal city of Luang Prabang, where watching as hundreds of saffron-robed monks move silently among centuries-old monasteries is as romantic a scene as you’ll experience anywhere in Asia.

 

Away from the cities, there is so much more to see; the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang Province, the forested mountains of Northern Laos, the gothic limestone karsts around the backpacker-haven Vang Vieng and in the deep south, past the market town Pakse, is Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands), where the mighty Mekong spreads out and all the hammocks are taken.

 

The Lao wilderness is drawing travellers looking for nature, adventure or both. Kayaking, rafting, rock-climbing and biking are all available, but it’s the community-based trekking that is most popular because it combines spectacular natural attractions with the chance to experience the ‘real Laos’ with a village homestay – while spending your money where it’s needed most.

 

There is undoubtedly a growing tourist trail in Laos, but that just means there’s plenty of roads off Rte 13 where you can make your own trail. After all, half the fun of travelling here is in the travel itself – the people you meet, chickens you share seats with, wrong turns you take and lào-láo you drink with the smiling family at the end of the road less travelled.

 

Introducing Thailand

Now a days the most preferred tour among the people of the world. Thailand tours would be a great pleasure to every category of the tourist as this Thailand tourism has a lot to offer to its visitors in terms of culture, tradition, hospitality, entertainment, adventure, nightlife, shopping and what not.

 

Thailand Tours
It is gradually recognized as a significant tourist destination not only among the Asians but also all over the world. Tours to Thailand would feature a lot of options for the tourists. Thailand hotels give a wide range of options for the guest’s stay. As on the one hand you will find the cheap Thailand hotels on the other hand you will have a wide range of luxury Thailand hotels. There is no limit to the Thailand tourist attractions on your vacations in Thailand. The tourists are hardly able to decide as what to watch and what to leave. From the zoological gardens to the beaches and from misty mountains to the plains Thailand is the destination to reckon with.

The local markets, the serpentine streets and the local people are a delight and a real charm to watch. The Grand Palace, Bangkok and the night bazaar, Chiang Mai are the two places that a tourist should not miss out. Thailand tours involves Pattaya as one of the proliferating tourist destinations in terms of popularity.

The great restaurants and the nightlife are the part and parcel of a good Thailand Tour. The temples and the shrines reflect the blend of Hinduism and Islam that is rarely found in other parts of the world. Watch the grandeur of the Royal palaces of Thailand and the museums that reflect the history of Thailand. The flower garden and the plenty of places of natural beauty make Thailand one of the most sought after destinations in the world.

 

Shopping in Thailand is yet another pleasure for the shop freaks on their Thailand tour Bangkok offers a lot of shopping points and malls where the guests can collect souvenirs and keep it as it is going to become the mark of their most memorable and pleasant memories of Thailand holidays. After a hard and tiresome day of shopping, sightseeing and adventure activities one is bound to get hungry.

Thailand tours features some of the best restaurants and food & beverage outlets for tourists. Taste the most delectable cuisines prepared using the finest condiments and spices. Menu offered includes Thai, Chinese, European and Japanese fare. In the evening take a stroll at the Phuket beach on your Thailand vacations. After a visit to this lovely place your tours to Thailand is sure to become the most endearing one.

Green Trail Tours provides the full information on Tours to Thailand . Make your Thailand travel a memorable with the handy information available about Thailand vacation. Thailand tourism has so much to offer that your Thailand holiday would be really enjoyable for you.

Introducing Cambodia
Cambodia, which was previously known as Kampuchea is located at the South East Asia. With a population of above thirteen million, this country is one of the most visited destinations of the world. The capital city of the country is Phnom Peh. The Geography of Cambodia is quite varied. This country borders with the neighboring countries like Thailand in the north and east, Laos in the north east and Vietnam in the east and southeastern part. Cambodia is distinctly marked by the special feature of lacustrine plain. The landscape of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong River. Rice cultivation in huge amount can be seen in this place. The climatic conditions and the landscape favor the growing of rice in this country.

Cambodia is marked by the tropical monsoons. The country is marked by the presence of two distinct seasons- rainy season and dry season. The rainy season is between May to October. The dry season can be experienced during November to April. The best season to visit Cambodia is between November to January, when the humidity level remains low. The wild life of Cambodia is quite rich and interesting. You can find wide array of flora and fauna in this place. The Kting Voar, which is the snake eating cow, is the special attraction of the place.

Cambodia includes a Constitutional monarchy. The Cambodian people speak Khmer language. The currency that is in use in this country is that of Riel.

The Culture of Cambodia is rich and varied. Cambodia shows characteristic styles of dance, sculpture and architecture. You can find numerous temples and historic sites in this country. The Angkor Vat temple depicts the architectural excellence of the craftsmen. Some other important sites include Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Choeung Ek and others. Sightseeing can be an important activity in Cambodia. Cambodia celebrates various festivals and occasions with great pomp and glory. Some of the popular games of Cambodia include cock fighting and soccer.

Cambodia is served by the presence of four major airports- Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Riep Angkor VAT International Airport, Sihanoukville Airport and Battambang Airport. The transportation system of Cambodia is very convenient and easy and draws large number of visitors from all over the world. The country has two major rail lines. The various modes of transportation connect Cambodia with various cities and countries.

Green Trail Tours provides authentic and complete information on Cambodia. Feel free to browse through the site.

Introducing Myanmar/Burma

‘This is Burma’, wrote Kipling. ‘It is quite unlike any place you know about.’ How right he was, and more than a century later Myanmar remains a world apart. Contemplate 4000 sacred stupas scattered across the plains of Bagan. Stare in disbelief at the golden rock teetering impossibly on the edge of a chasm. Encounter men wearing skirt-like longyi, women smothered in thanaka (traditional make-up) and betel-chewing grannies with blood red juices dripping from their mouths – and that’s just the airport! Meet the multitalented monks who have taught their cats to jump. Ride a Wild West stagecoach past grand British mansions. Trade jokes about the rulers who move capitals on the whim of a fortune teller. Indeed, this is Burma.

Isolated and ostracised by the international community, the country is in the grip of tyrants. Most travellers avoid a visit, backing the boycott, but the long-suffering people are everything the regime is not. Gentle, humorous, engaging, considerate and inquisitive, they want to play a part in the world, and deserve a brighter future. Turn back the clock with a trip to this time-warped country where the adventure travel of old lives on. This is the authentic Asia with creaking buses, potholed roads, locals who greet you like long lost family and not a 7-Eleven in sight. Forget the internet for a moment and connect with a culture where holy men are more revered than rock stars and golden buddhas are bathed every day at first light – in Mandalay, the Mahamuni Paya houses a buddha re-covered in gold leaf daily. Drift down the Ayeyarwady in an old river steamer, stake out a slice of Ngapali Beach or Ngwe Saung on the blissful Bay of Bengal, trek through pine forests to minority villages around Kalaw – there are so many experiences awaiting in Myanmar that one trip is simply never enough. It’s a country that fuels your emotions, stimulates your senses and stays in your soul.

 

Detailed Itinerary

Indochina Overland Tour (Vietnam to Cambodia)

Indochina Overland Tour (Vietnam to Cambodia)Itinerary in brief
Day 1:Hanoi
Day 2:Hanoi
Day 3:Hanoi - Hai Phong
Day 4:Hai Phong - Halong - Hanoi
Day 5:Hanoi - Train
Day 6:Hue
Day 7:Hue - Danang - Hoi An
Day 8:Hoi An
Day 9:Hoi An - Qui Nhon
Day 10:Qui Nhon - Nha Trang
Day 11:Nha Trang - Saigon
Day 12:Saigon
Day 13:Saigon
Day 14:Saigon - Moc Bai - Phnom Penh
Day 15:Phnom Penh
Day 16:Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
Day 17:Siem Reap
Day 18:Depart


Detail Itinerary

Day 1:Hanoi
Arrival in Hanoi. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2:Hanoi
Excursion to Perfume Pagoda (Chua Huong Pagoda). Journey first by road and then by boat along a scenic waterway. PERFUME PAGODA: a complex of pagodas and Buddhist shrines built into the limestone cliffs of Huong Tich Mountain. Among the better known sites here are Thien Chu (Pagoda Leading to Heaven) and Giai Oan Chu (Purgatorial Pagoda). Pilgrims and other visitors spend their time here boating, hiking and exploring the caves. Overnight in Hanoi. (B)

Day 3:Hanoi - Hai Phong
By vehicle from Hanoi via Chua But Thap Pagoda to Hai Phong. Journey northeast from Hanoi in Ha Bac Province. VAN PUC PAGODA: surrounded by hills considered noteworthy for their beauty, this pagoda was founded in 1037. BUT THAP PAGODA: also known as Ninh Phuc Pagoda, this pagoda is famous for its four story stone stupa dedicated to the monk Chuyet Cong. The pagoda was rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries according to a traditional layout. Sightseeing of Hai Phong, Vietnam's third most populous city. It is the north's main industrial center and one of the country's most important seaports. Time permitting, visit one or two of the most famous attractions in town. DINH HANG KENH: a communal house on Pho Hang Kenh known for its 500 relief sculptures in wood. The surrounding area was once part of the village of Kenh. DU HANG PAGODA: founded 3 centuries ago and rebuilt several times, this is a good example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Overnight in Hai Phong. (B)

Day 4:Hai Phong - Halong - Hanoi
Excursion by boat from Hai Phong through the Halong Bay. This boat trip around Halong Bay and past the islands of Trong, Mai, Am, Chen and Cong Troi (Heaven Gates) will include a stop at one of the following islands and a visit to one of the caves. BA TRAI DAO: "The three peaches" islands. HANG DAU GO: a huge three-chambered cave, which is reached via 90 steps. The cave derives its Vietnamese name from the third of the chambers, which is said to have been used by Trang Hung Dao during the 13th century to store bamboo stakes used against the Mongol invaders. BO NAU: 'Pelican' caves of interest. THIEN CUNG: "Heavenly Palace." HANH (DRY) CAVE: in the dry season it is possible to take a small boat to explore the Hanh (Dry) cave. By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi. Journey around Halong Bay to Hai Phong and west along Highway 5, across Hai Hung Province. Overnight in Hanoi. (B)

Day 5:Hanoi - Train
Full day sightseeing in Hanoi, a city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks, is the capital of Vietnam. It is a very attractive city with French style buildings and less traffic than other cities in Asia. Highlights: ONE PILLAR PAGODA: built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who ruled from 1028 to 1054. Constructed of wood on a single stone pillar, it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom. TEMPLE OF LITERATURE: founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, who dedicated it to Confucius in order to honor scholars and men of literary accomplishment. HOAN KIEM LAKE: right in the heart of Hanoi, this lake contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda, topped with a red star. HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM: in the tradition of Lenin and Stalin before him and Mao after him, the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh is a glass sarcophagus set deep in the bowels of a monumental edifice that has become a site of pilgrimage. (Closed Mondays and Fridays). OPERA HOUSE: a magnificent 900-seat opera house built in 1911. (May be viewed from the outside only). ST JOSEPH CATHEDRAL: a neo-Gothic cathedral finished in 1886, it is noteworthy for its square towers, elaborate altar and stained-glass windows. BAO TANG LICH: once the museum of the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, is a building constructed of reinforced concrete completed in 1930. Exhibits include artefacts from Vietnam's turbulent history including some from prehistory, proto-Vietnamese civilisations, the Dong Son culture, the Oc-Eo culture and the Khmer Kingdoms. By train from Hanoi to Hue *sleeping berth*. Journey south parallel to Highway 1 past Hanam, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Ha Tinh, Dong Hoi and Dong Ha. Overnight in Train. (B)

Day 6:Hue
Transfer to the hotel and sightseeing of the Old Imperial City located in the Citadel, it was built in the early 19th century and modeled after the Forbidden City in Peking. There are numerous palaces and temples within these walls, as well as towers, a library and a museum. Highlights: NGO MON GATE: the principal entrance to the Imperial Enclosure, facing the Flag Tower. The central passageway with its yellow doors was reserved for use by the emperor, as was the bridge across the lotus pond. THAI HOA PALACE: built in 1803 and moved to its present site in 1833, Thai Hoa Palace is a spacious hall with an ornate roof of huge timbers supported by 80 carved and lacquered columns. HALLS OF THE MANDARINS: these buildings, in which the mandarins prepared for court ceremonies held in the Can Chanh Reception Hall, were restored in 1977. NINE DYNASTIC URNS: these were cast in 1835-36. Traditional ornamentation was then chiseled into the sides of the urns, each dedicated to a different Nguyen sovereign. FORBIDDEN PURPLE CITY: this was reserved for the personal use of the emperor. The only servants allowed into the compound were eunuchs, who would pose no threat to the royal concubines. (Today the site is in ruins). Sightseeing of the Imperial Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh: TU DUC TOMB: Emperor Tu Duc, who ruled Hue more than 100 years ago, built his tomb when he was still alive and used it for meditation, reading and theater performances. There are pavilions in a tranquil setting of forested hills and lakes. The tomb was constructed between 1864 and 1867. Tu Duc, who was the longest reigning Emperor, lived a luxurious life. KHAI DINH: this was the last monument of the Nguyen dynasty and was constructed between 1920 and 1931. It sits magnificently on the slopes of Chau E Mountain in Chau Chau Village. It has a long staircase flanked by dragons. There are ceiling murals and ceramic frescoes. Overnight in Hue. (B)

Day 7:Hue - Danang - Hoi An
Excursion on Huong Giang River to the Thien Mu Pagoda with boat trip. THIEN MU PAGODA: just outside of Hue, on the bank of the Perfume River, this was a hotbed of anti-government protest during the early 1960s. Behind the main sanctuary of the pagoda is the Austin motorcar which transported the monk Thich Quang Duc to the site of his 1963 self-immolation. By vehicle from Hue to Danang. Journey south along Highway 1 past the Hai Van Pass and Lang Co. HAI VAN PASS: the pass crosses over a spur of the Truong Son Mountain Range that just into the South China Sea. It is an incredible mountainous stretch of highway with spectacular views. LANG CO: a pretty, island-like stretch of palm-shaded sand with a crystal-clear lagoon on one side and many km of beachfront facing the South China Sea. Sightseeing in Danang, China Beach and the Marble Mountains. Vietnam's fourth largest city marks the northern limits of Vietnam's tropical zone, boasting a pleasant year-round climate. CHAM MUSEUM: founded in 1915 by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, the open-air collection of Cham sculpture is the finest in the world. Many of the sandstone carvings are breathtaking. CHINA BEACH: made famous in the American TV series of the same name, it stretches for many kilometers north and south of the Marble Mountains. During the war, American soldiers were airlifted here for 'rest and relaxation'. MARBLE MOUNTAINS: five stone hillocks, once islands, made of marble. Each is said to represent one of the five elements of the universe. The largest and most famous, Thuy Son, has a number of natural caves in which Buddhist sanctuaries have been built over the centuries. When the Champas ruled this area, these same caves were used as Hindu shrines. By vehicle from Danang to Hoi An. Journey south past the Marble Mountains and small villages. Overnight in Hoi An. (B)

Day 8:Hoi An
Sightseeing Hoi An and boat trip on the Thu Bon River. Hoi An is a picturesque riverside town south of Danang. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It is best to visit some of the following sites of Hoi An by walking around and/or by cyclo. QUAN CONG TEMPLE: founded in 1653, this Chinese temple is dedicated to Quan Cong, whose partially gilt statue is in the central altar at the back of the sanctuary. Stone plaques on the walls list contributors to the contruction and repair of the temple. PHUOC KIEN PAGODA: Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and then restored and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese 'clans' that were established in the Hoi An area. The temple is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau (Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen). JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE: the first bridge on this site was constructed in 1593. It was built by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream. The bridge was provided with a roof so it could be used as a shelter from rain and sun. TRAN FAMILY CHAPEL: this house for worshipping ancestors was built about 200 years ago with donations from the family members. The Tran family traces its origins to China and moved to Vietnam around 1700. The architecture of the building reflects the influence of Chinese and Japanese styles. SA HUYNH MUSEUM: located near the Japanese covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history. PHUNG HUNG HOUSE: one family has been living here for already 8 generations. The house is a combination of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese style. QUANG DONG PAGODA: this pagoda was open to all Chinese traders or seamen and is dedicated to Thien Hau – it’s a small chinese style temple with a lintel gate, a rockery courtyard and lucky animals depicted in statuary. BOAT TRIP ON THE THU BON RIVER TO KIM BONG VILLAGE ON CAM KIM ISLAND: Kim Bong Village is a village of woodworkers and boatbuilding families. Overnight in Hoi An. (B)

Day 9:Hoi An - Qui Nhon
By vehicle from Hoi An to Qui Nhon. Journey south along the coast and Highway 1 past Tam Ky and Quang Ngai. This region is one of the most arid in Vietnam. The nearby plains are dominated by rocky, roundish mountains and support some marginal irrigated rice agriculture. Overnight in Qui Nhon. (B)

Day 10:Qui Nhon - Nha Trang
By vehicle from Qui Nhon to Nha Trang. Journey south along the coast and Highway 1 past Tuy Hoa and Ninh Hoa. This region is one of the most arid with nearby plains dominated by rocky, roundish mountains, supporting some marginal irrigated rice agriculture.Sightseeing in Nha Trang, the capital of Khanh Hoa Province with one of the most beautiful municipal beaches in Vietnam. High;ights: PO NAGAR CHAM TOWERS: built between the 7th and 12th centuries, the site was used for Hindu worship as early as the 2nd century AD. The towers serve as the Holy See honoring Goddess Yang Ino Po Nagar, the Goddess of the Dua clan which ruled over the southern part of the Cham Kingdom covering Kauthara and Pan Duranga. CHONG ROCKS: famous for its different sized rocks. PASTEUR INSTITUT: founded in 1895 by Dr Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943). Today the institute coordinates vaccination and hygiene programs for the country's southern coastal region. Dr.Yersin's library and office are now a museum. OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE: founded in 1923, it has an aquarium and specimen room open to the public. The 23 ground floor tanks are home to a variety of colorful local marine specimens, including seahorses. LANG SON PAGODA: was founded in the late 19th century and continues to have resident monks. The entrance and roof are decorated with mosaic dragons constructed of glass and ceramic tile. At the top of the hill behind the pagoda is the huge white Buddha seated on a lotus blossom. NHA TRANG CATHEDRAL: built in the French Gothic style and complete with medieval-style stained glass windows, it stands on a small hill overlooking the train station. Overnight in Nha Trang. (B)

Day 11:Nha Trang - Saigon
By vehicle from Nha Trang to Saigon. Journey south along the coast and Highway 1 past Dien Khanh, Lam, Phan Rang, Phan Tiet, Xuan Loc and Bien Hoa. Ninh Tuan Province, where Phan Rang is located, is home to tens of thousands of descendents of the Cham people. PO KLONG GARAI CHAM TOWERS: the four brick towers constructed at the end of the 13th century, during the reign of the Cham monarch Jaya Simhavarman III, were built as Hindu temples and stand on the top of a crumbly granite hill. Overnight in Saigon. (B)

Day 12:Saigon
Full day sightseeing in Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown). Saigon is the largest of Vietnamese cities, with the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life visible everywhere. There are street markets, sidewalk cafes and sleek new bars. The city churns and bubbles. Yet within this teeming metropolis are 300 years of timeless traditions and the beauty of an ancient culture. To the west of the city is District 5, the huge Chinese neighborhood called Cholon, which means 'Big Market'. Highlights: NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL: built between 1877 and 1883 and set in the heart of Saigon's government quarter. It has a neo-Romanesque form and two high square towers, tipped with iron spires. In front of the cathedral is a statue of the Virgin Mary. CENTRAL POST OFFICE: a French-style building with a glass canopy and iron frame, situated next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. The structure was built between 1886 and 1891 and is by far the largest post office in Vietnam. CITY HALL: completed in 1908, also known as “Hotel de Ville”, and located at the northern end of Nguyen Hue Boulevard. With its ornate gingerbread façade, it looks like the town hall of a French town. (May be viewed from the outside only). OPERA HOUSE: built around the turn of the century and first renovated in the 1940s, the building housed the lower division of the National Assembly. Today it is a Municipal Theatre and also known as the Saigon Concert Hall. (May be viewed from the outside only). JADE EMPEROR PAGODA: was a key meeting place for Chinese secret societies. It has very colorful and mysterious ambience. REUNIFICATION PALACE: this was the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president and was stormed by tanks on 30 April 1975, signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state. WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM: collections of weapons and photographs from two Indochina wars are exhibited along with the original French 'Guillotine' brought here in the early 20th century. BEN THANH MARKET: the central market of Saigon, its surrounding streets make up one of the city's liveliest areas. Everything commonly eaten, worn or used by the average resident of Saigon is available here. GIAC LAM PAGODA: the oldest pagoda in Saigon, built at the end of the 17th century. Because the last reconstruction here was in 1900, the architecture, layout and ornamentation remain almost unaltered by the modernist renovations that have transformed so many other religious structures in Vietnam. Ten monks live in this pagoda, which also incorporates aspects of Taoism and Confucianism. BINH TAY MARKET: Cholon's main marketplace, much of the business conducted here is wholesale. THIEN HAU PAGODA: built by the Cantonese congregation in the early 19th century. The pagoda is one of the most active in Cholon and is dedicated to Thien Hau. It is said that she can travel over the oceans on a mat and ride the clouds to wherever she pleases. Overnight in Saigon. (B)

Day 13:Saigon
Excursion to My Tho with boat trip on the Mekong. MY THO: capital of Tien Giang Province. The economy is based on fishing and the cultivation of rice, coconuts, bananas, mangoes, longans and citrus fruit. MEKONG DELTA: this is the southernmost region of Vietnam, formed by sediment deposited by the Mekong River. Silt deposits extend the delta shoreline at the mouth of the river by as much as 79m per year. The area is known as Vietnam's 'bread basket' and produces the rice which feeds the entire country. Visit one or two of the islands with traditional handcrafts, bee farms and coconut candy production. DRAGON ISLAND: the island has many longan orchards which can be visited and the lush, palm fringed shores of the island are lined with wooden fishing boats. PHOENIX ISLAND: until his imprisonment and the consequent dispersion of his flock, the coconut Monk (Ong Dao Dua) led a small community on this island. VINH TRANG PAGODA: a beautiful and well maintained sanctuary, this is the oldest pagoda in the delta. The charitable monks here provide a home to orphans, disabled and other needy children. Overnight in Saigon. (B)

Day 14:Saigon - Moc Bai - Phnom Penh
By vehicle from Saigon via Cu Chi Tunnels, an important base during the American War, because of its strategic location. The Vietcong built a 200km long network of tunnels connecting command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Dug out of hard laterite by hand tools without the use of cement, this amazing network was never discovered, to Moc Bai (border Vietnam / Cambodia) By vehicle from Moc Bai to Phnom Penh. Travel through south-eastern Cambodia passing through the towns of Svay Rieng, Kampong Tabek and Neak Loeang (ferry crossing on the Mekong River). SVAY RIENG: provincial capital town built along a small, slow, stream which feeds a tributary of the Mekong, the Tonle Vay Ko. Just a few km south of this town is the ruined temple of Prasat Prasat. NEAK LOEANG: town on the Mekong River of some historical interest. It was bombarded heavily by the USA in 1975, as depicted in the film 'The Killing Fields'. The ferry area has some interesting food: crickets, water beetles, turtles, frogs, snakes and all sorts of Mekong River fish. Overnight in Phnom Penh. (B)

Day 15:Phnom Penh
Sightseeing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital sitting at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers. Considered the loveliest of the French-built cities of Indochina, it was founded as a small monastery in 1372 by a rich Khmer woman called Penh after she found four Buddha statues in a tree trunk on the banks of the Mekong. She set up the monastery on a nearby hill " or " phnom" in Cambodian. Highlights: WAT PHNOM: a temple and location of the first pagoda on this site built in 1372 by "Penh" to house the four Buddha statues found on the banks of the Mekong. It is the only hill (27 meters) in the capital. WAT OUNALOM: a very important wat comprising 44 structures facing the Tonle Sap Lake and built in 1443 to house a hair of the Buddha. ROYAL PALACE AND SILVER PAGODA: the royal palace stands on the site of the former citadel, Bantey Kev (built in 1813). Visitors are not allowed in some portions of the grounds, as the palace is the official residence of King Sihanouk. The silver pagoda is often called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Preah Kaeo after the statue housed there. The wooden temple was originally built by King Norodom in 1892 and inside, its floor is comprised of more than 5000 silver blocks which together weigh nearly 6 tons. NATIONAL MUSEUM: designed by a French archeologist and painter, George Groslier, in Khmer style in 1920 to exhibit works previously scattered throughout the country. It contains a collection of Khmer art including the beautiful 6th century bronze statue of Vishnu. TUOL SLENG MUSEUM (Museum of Genocide): formerly the Tuol Svay Prey High School, in 1975 it became the Khmer Rouge's main torture and interrogation center. It was known as Security Prison 21 " or just S-21. CENTRAL MARKET: a covered market distinguished by its central dome (built in 1937). It is filled with shops selling jewelry, fabrics and all kinds of souvenirs. A great place for browsing. Overnight in Phnom Penh. (B)

Day 16:Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
By local boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Watch life go by on the banks of the river as you enjoy your journey north on the Tonle Sap River and Lake, exploring the lake's many fishing villages. TONLE SAP RIVER: a 100-km-long channel linking the Tonle Sap lake to the Mekong River. It is named after the lake it flows into and from (depending on the season). From mid-May to early October (the rainy season), the level of the Mekong River rises, backing up the Tonle Sap River and causing it to flow north-westward into the lake. As the water level of the Mekong River falls during the dry season, the Tonle Sap River reverses its flow, draining the waters of the lake back into the Mekong River. TONLE SAP LAKE: the extraordinary process of the Tonle Sap River reversing its flow in the rainy season makes this lake one of the world’s richest sources of freshwater fish. Transfer to Angkor and visit Angkor Wat, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, who reigned between 1131 and 1150. It was constructed over a period of 30 years and is world famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology. In 1992 the UNESCO declared the monument and the whole city of Angkor a World Heritage Site. Visit Phnom Bakheng a hilltop temple ruins which provide one of the best views of Angkor Wat, especially at sunset. Overnight in Siem Reap. (B)

Day 17:Siem Reap
Continue the sightseeing of Angkor. Visit Angkor Thom, a fortified Royal City (10 square kilometers) built by King Jayavarman VII, who ruled from 1181 to 1201. The city has five monumental gates and is encircled by a moat 100 meters wide. In the center of the walled city are the city's most important monuments including Bayon, Baphuon, the Terrace of Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and Phimeanakas with Royal Enclosure. BAYON: Jayavarman VII's temple mountain that stands at the center of Angkor Thom. It is one of the most popular of Angkor's monuments and a place of narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces. BAPHUON: the pyramid shape represents the mythical Mount Meru and marks the center of the city that was here before Angkor Thom. PHIMEANAKAS: near the center of what was once the royal palace within Angkor Thom. Phimeanakas means 'Celestial Palace', though today there is not much left to indicate its former splendour. FORMER ROYAL PALACE: nothing remains today except two pools that were used by royalty for washing. TERRACE OF ELEPHANTS: this terrace was used for viewing public ceremonies and was a base for the King's grand audience hall. The famous lines of elephants are at either end of the retaining walls. TERRACE OF THE LEPER KING: North of the Terrace of Elephants is a platform named "Terrace of the Leper King" On the platform is a nude statue – one of Angkor's mysteries. Visit Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. Visit Banteay Srei Temple built in the late 10th century, it is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. The temple is square with entrances on the east and west. Of main interest are the three central towers which are decorated with male and female divinities and beautiful filigree relief work. Overnight in Siem Reap. (B)

Day 18:Depart
Continue the sightseeing in Angkor. Visit Roluos Group Temples, these monuments mark the beginning of classical art, as some of the earliest great temples built by the Khmer. They served as the capital of Indravarman (who reigned from 877 to 889). LOLEI: built on an islet by Yasovarman I (who ruled from 889 to 910), the founder of the first city of Angkor. The sandstone carvings in the niches of the temples are notable as are the Sanskrit inscriptions on the doorposts. PREAH KO: erected by Indravarman I in the late 9th century in dedication to his defied ancestors in 880. There are inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorsteps of each temple.
BAKONG: built and dedicated to Shiva by Indravarman I, this is the largest and most interesting of the Roluos Group of temples and still has an active Buddhist monastery. Transfer to the airport - End of services. (B)

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10 Jan 11

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US$293

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08 Feb 11

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19 Mar 11

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15 Apr 11

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20May 11

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17 Jun 10

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12 Jul  11

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18 Aug 11

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14 Sept 11

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11 Oct 11

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28 Nov 11

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10 Dec 11

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US$293


INCLUDING

  • Accommodation based on double/twin share

  • All American breakfast served in hotels

  • All private vehicles with chauffeurs

  • All internal flights specified in the tour

  • Private local tour guides (on-spot)

  • Other meals included in the tour

  • Entrance and visiting fees

  • Boat trip if specified in the tour

  • Mineral water during the tour

 

NOT INCLUDING

 

  • Visa to Vietnam (tourists must obtain before traveling to Vietnam)

  • International flights to and from Vietnam

  • Airport departure tax if required

  • Travel insurance (trip, medical and personal)

  • Daily personal expenses

  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels

  • Tip and gratuity for local tour guides and drivers during the tour


Package 1 pax 2 - 3 pax 4 - 6 pax Over 7
Set Departures Indochina Overland Tour from Vietnam to Cambodia $ $ $ $ Book now !