The saffron of the buddist monks, gorgeous silks and flowers, motor scooters, charming people, a recent history of war, heat and humidity and a determination to move forward.
Vietnam - rich in history, a diverse culture, World Heritage sites, natural scenery and charming innocence, plus frenetic Ho Chi Minh City,
traditional Hoi An and colonial Hanoi.
The Kingdom of Cambodia, more than UNESCO Heritage Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap Lake, offers an array of sleepy towns, faded colonial
architecture, memorable landscapes, a chequered history and friendly people.
Landlocked by five countries, mountainous and captivating, Laos defines itself as “Simply Beautiful.”
Its laid-back capital Vientiane on the banks of the Mekong will delight, while its rich history dates back 10,000 years.
You will return with an understanding of this area we used to call Indochina.
Our 17th tour to the region - a tried and true itinerary.
Depart Auckland mid-morning on Air New Zealand to arrive in Ho Chi Minh late evening. Transfer to a centrally situated hotel for an overnight stay.
This mornings’ city tour visits all the highlights of Ho Chi Minh including the
Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office.
After lunch, travel to District 5 to visit Cho Lon (China Town) and the agoda. This is followed by shopping at the famous Ben Thanh Market where the wide range of goods range from fake Nike shoes to beautiful silk Ao Dai.
Dinner is at a city restaurant with time to explore the highest building in Saigon – the Bitexco.
Option: Saigon after dark by Vespa This tour includes many stops for snacks, drinks at street restaurants and a visit to a coffee shop to experience live Vietnamese music and more. (approx. NZD179 per
A morning drive out of the city to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast network of tunnels where people lived and fought during the Vietnam War.
After lunch travel to the airport for the flight to Vientiane – the sleepy riverside
capital of Laos with its leafy boulevards.
On arrival transfer to your hotel for a two night stay.
This mornings’ tour includes the city’s oldest temple, the former royal temple
of the Lao monarchy with many Buddist sculptures.
After lunch travel into the countryside and visit a salt extraction plant and a village to see Lao rice whisky distillation. Embark on a long tail boat, visit fishing villages and stop to see the local lifestyle.Dinner and overnight in Vientiane.
This morning visit the Morning Market before transferring to the airport for flight to Luang Prabang a UNESCO city. Transfer to the hotel.
Later visit the stupa of Wat Visoun and climb to the top of Mount Phousi to enjoy the sunset over the Mekong River.
This evening, haggle for wares at the quaint Night Market and see a wonderful selection of handmade textiles made by the hill tribes.
An early start allows you to see the daily rituals of the saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of alms – Laos is the only nation Return to the hotel for breakfast before departing on a city tour and a cruise upstream on the Mekong River with views of the tranquil countryside. Explore the Pak
Ou Caves and stop at a village, well known for weaving.
Free time before departing on a midday flight to the French Colonial city of Hanoi.
After checking into your hotel enjoy a one hour cyclo tour of the French inspired ‘Old Quarter.’ A performance of the city’s famous Water Puppets show is included before dinner in a local restaurant.
This morning the city tour includes the Ho Chi Minh complex, the Ho Chi Minh
mausoleum, his former stilt-house, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar
Pagoda . After lunch, visit the infamous Hoa Loa Prison Museum also known as the ‘Hanoi Hilton.’ Time for shopping in the Old Quarter, including markets, designer boutiques and contemporary art galleries.
Begin the day with Tai Che exercises before breakfast! Cruise to the floating markets where we experience the lives of the local fishermen. Later explore the bay by kayak, enjoy a swim at a nearby beach or relax in this picturesque environment.
Return to our boat for lunch and continue cruising passing a fishing village and visit a pearl farm. Overnight on boat.
This morning return to Hanoi for an early afternoon flight to Danang and travel by coach to Hoi An for a three night stay.
This mornings’ walking tour of central Hoi An includes the Japanese Covered Bridge, the silk street of Hoi An, temples and pagodas of Chinese appearance.
After lunch, time to perhaps order some tailor made clothes or relax.
This evening enjoy dinner then be guided through ‘The Ancient Street’ to see the 1000’s of lanterns lit for the Full Moon Festival.
An early start for a visit to the country side and see the farmers preparing the land, using seaweed fertilizer and watering with huge tin cans carried on their backs.
Then cycle through the country side to see more country life. This is followed by a ride on an Eco-Tour boat for a river cruise. See and meet local fishermen and try a handson experience of traditional net fishing.
To conclude the morning, transfer to a Vietnamese bamboo basket boat for a short race down a coconut palm lined waterway!
Lunch includes vegetables picked earlier at Tra Que Village.
Afternoon free to collect your tailoring or relax.
Return to Danang for a noon flight to Ho Chi Minh and coach south to Can Tho and the Mekong River Delta for a two night stay.
An early morning boat trip to the famous Cai Rang floating market. Here all produce is sold off small boats - all action and is the largest floating market in the Delta.
This is followed by a visit to an orchard, a rice husking mill and a rice noodle making shop.
Rest of the day at leisure.
This morning drive to Chau Doc to visit Thoai Ngoc Hau Confession and Nui Sam Mountain. An optional walk to the summit of Sam Mountain for views of the Mekong River and the pancake-flat plain across to the Cambodian border. Overnight at Chau Doc.
This morning board a high speed hydrofoil to travel upriver to Phnom Penh – the capital city of Cambodia. On arrival transfer to your hotel for a two night stay and lunch.
In the afternoon visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum.
Morning visit to the sobering Genocide Museum and onto the ‘Killing Fields.’
En-route stop at the bustling market of Toul Tumpong – also known as the Russian Market.
Travel by coach through the countryside and villages from Laos to Cambodia. On arrival in Siem Reap, settle into the hotel for a two night stay.
A full day to visit Angkor Wat, the UNESCO site and last capital of the Khmer Empire, built in the 12th century. The complex looks much the same as it would have done when the French explorers came here 140 years ago – shrouded in undergrowth with huge roots of old Banyan tress growing over
and down the ruins. The Southern Gate is guarded by giant carvings of gods and demons. See the Royal enclosure, Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King, all preserved.
After lunch explore the architectural and artistic masterpiece of the Khmer Empire.
Sunset paints the temple in an orange light.
Tonight’s farewell dinner is at a local restaurant.
Check in for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, those continuing on the extension, transfer to Mui Ne Beach. Remainder check into hotel for an overnight stay.
|Cost Per Person * |
Auckland - Auckland
|Twin Share||Single Supplement|
|Land only cost (Start Ho Chi Minh 29 June / Depart 18 July)||$6,692|
|Business Class Upgrade||$2,870|
|Premium Economy Class Upgrade||$1,686|
|Early Booking Discount (01 December 2017 )||$100|
|Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount||$100|
*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment
Cancellations and Refunds
A good standard of health is required with the ability to walk on uneven, fairly steep surfaces for a period of time.
Climate / Temperatures
June in Indo China is summertime and it will be hot most of the time – max 35°c in Hanoi. We have planned rest time from the heat.
The hotels, coaches and the trains are airconditioned.
Lightweight, comfortable clothes are the order of the day – the laundry service in the hotels is inexpensive and efficient. Hats, sunglasses and comfortable sandals are a must. A scarf or pareu is handy for temples etc or for sun protection. A small umbrella is great for rain showers or sunshade.
Bottled water is available for purchase at all times.
Fruit and vegetables are plentiful. Due to the colonial influence, bread is of very good quality. Meals are reasonably priced, the cost of Western style food is more expensive, but still reasonable. Beer is the best alcohol option, local and international brands are available –
wine and spirits are relatively expensive.
Currency / Money
Vietnam - the Dong
Cambodia – Riel (Tourists only use USD)
Laos - Kip
These currencies are not available outside the three countries. US Dollar cash is widely used and the currency to travel with. ATM’s in Cambodia dispense USD
A budget of NZD40 per person per day will adequately cover extra meals, incidentals and tipping.
The scope is huge: silk, linen, lacquer-ware, tailor made clothes, children’s clothes, shoes to name a few. Remember to leave home with no more than 12 to 15 kg of luggage!!
Hawkers are everywhere, follow the guide’s advice and be prepared to bargain or ignore.
Photographic opportunities are plentiful – respect the local people and ask before taking photos.
Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change