Fly from London to Bangkok to begin your Indochina adventure.
After a short connecting flight from Bangkok, you’ll arrive in Chiang Rai and be driven to your comfortable riverside hotel. Chiang Rai is the northernmost province of Thailand. It shares borders with Myanmar and Laos and is in the heart of the Golden Triangle, a region where opium merchants used to trade free from any jurisdiction. Relax after your long journey by taking advantage of the facilities on offer at the Anantara in Chiang Rai.
After breakfast, head across the border into Laos and board the Luang Say. As you sail along the Mekong towards Luang Prabang, you’ll have the opportunity to observe everyday life on the riverbank. Spend the night in an atmospheric riverside lodge just outside Pakbeng.
Continue your journey down the mighty Mekong to Luang Prabang. Located at the confluence of the Mekong and the River Khan, Luang Prabang is the perfect place to explore the culture, traditions and crafts of Laos. Once you’ve disembarked, you’ll be driven to your hotel, the sumptuous Belmond La Residence Phou Vao.
It's worth getting up early today to witness the saffron-robed monks collecting their alms in the city streets. According to legend, the Buddha smiled when he rested in Luang Prabang during his travels, predicting it would be a rich and powerful city. The best way to appreciate the town’s many charms is to explore on foot. Spend the rest of your day discovering the temples, street food and markets here.
Explore the delights of Luang Prabang at your own pace. We recommend visiting nearby waterfalls and exploring the vibrant night market. A sunset boat trip on the Mekong is the perfect way to end your day.
After a relaxing morning, you'll be driven to the airport for the short flight to Vientiane, the sleepy capital of Laos. Spend the rest of the day as you choose. Explore the city’s museums, visit its temples and take a leisurely stroll along the Mekong as the sun sets.
Spend the morning exploring Vientiane. We recommend visiting the national monument of Pha That Luang. You’ll then travel to the airport for the short flight to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The city has a huge amount to explore. The best place to begin is the bustling old quarter. Spend your afternoon wandering the maze of streets, some of which date back to the 13th century.
A private guide will help you discover the sights and sounds of Hanoi today. You’ll explore the warren-like streets of the Vietnamese Quarter. Take in the bustling atmosphere of the city and visit the notorious Hao Lu Prison, once known as the Hanoi Hilton.
Enjoy a second day exploring Hanoi with your guide. Visit the Ho Chi Minh complex and its eponymous museum. You can also see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing piece of architecture inspired by Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow.
In the morning, we drive you to Halong Bay where you'll board a traditional Vietnamese junk. You’ll spend a relaxing afternoon cruising around the limestone islets and coves of picturesque Halong Bay. The azure bay contains almost two thousand islands, some home to villages, others uninhabited. The junk moors up for the night and you sleep on board.
Wake early to catch the sun rising over the bay as your junk continues to meander through the islands. You’ll return to Hanoi in the afternoon, and then catch a flight south to Hue. A small city located on the Perfume River, Hue was once the imperial capital of Vietnam and is home to a wealth of architectural treasures.
Today, you’ll take a slow boat down the Perfume River. Your destination is the tomb of Minh Mang and the Thien Mu Temple. The complex is dominated by the Phuoc Duyen Tower which has seven floors, each dedicated to a different Buddha. Spend the afternoon relaxing or visit the World Heritage Citadel Site, an important relic from the imperial era.
Drive over the dramatic Hai Van Pass to Hoi An. On the way, stop in the Marble Mountains, a group of five peaks named after the five elements. You’ll also visit a small museum in Danang to learn about the Cham people.
The best way to explore the narrow cobbled streets of Hoi An is on foot. The beautiful old town retains its history and charm despite the numerous civil wars that have destroyed much of Vietnam’s heritage. If you fancy adding to your wardrobe, there hundreds of tailors in town who will be happy to make a bespoke garment for you before you leave.
Enjoy a second day exploring the town. Hiring a bike and cycling through the verdant rice paddies that surround the town is a real highlight. You can also visit the nearby beaches and stroll through the charming streets, taking in the sights and sounds of Vietnamese life as you go.
Today we’ll drive you to Danang for a morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On the way into the city, we’ll stop to explore the infamous Cu Chi tunnels and learn how the Viet Cong lived and fought during the war. Spend the afternoon relaxing at your hotel or exploring the frenetic city streets.
The Mekong Delta is often referred to as the rice basket of Vietnam due to the vast yield of rice it produces. The region grows more than enough to feed the whole country. You’ll explore the gentle backwaters by boat, travelling slowly towards Can Tho.
It’s an early start today for a private tour of the Cai Rang floating market, the largest of its kind in the Mekong Delta. The waterway is transformed into a maze of boats, packed with colourful produce and plied by animated traders. In the afternoon, you’ll leave Can Tho and head for Chau Doc, on the border with Cambodia.
After an exhilarating speedboat ride across the border into Cambodia, you’ll arrive in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Lying on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh was founded in 1434 and is noted for its unique architecture. Spend the afternoon uncovering the city’s turbulent history with your private guide.
Spend the morning exploring Phnom Penh at your own pace. Browse the shops and traditional markets or learn about the country’s recent history during the Khmer Rouge era. In the afternoon, take the short flight to Siem Reap, where Raffle Grand Hotel d'Angkor will be your home for the remainder of your trip.
There are myriad temples at Angkor and you could spend several days exploring them. Just a few of the highlights include the jungle-clad Ta Prohm, the ancient complex of Angkor Thom and the colossal faces of the Bayon. In the evening, you can head to the majestic Angkor Wat temple itself, which you’ll experience in all its mystical glory as the sun sets.
Another day in Siem Reap to explore the town in your own time. You can spend the day browsing the French shop-houses and strolling the elegant tree-lined boulevards of Siem Reap. Alternatively, you can head back to the temples and explore some of the lesser-visited ones which attract far fewer tourists.
Your grand Indochina itinerary is finally over. Today we’ll drive you to Siem Reap airport for the short flight back to Bangkok and you interconnecting flight to London.