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Inspiring Indochina - Summer 2022


tour code: A604M17
Inspiring Indochina - Summer 2022

Global Coach Tours» Luxury Gold » Asia


Be inspired across Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos during this 16-day guided tour. Take in the spectacular sight of Siem Reap’s ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus,' a theatre, music, dance, and acrobatics performance by the region’s youth — then after the show learn how it’s changed their lives. Explore Angkor Archaeological Park and watch the sun set over the ancient Angkor Wat. See the glittering skyscrapers of Ho Chi Minh from a speedboat. Travel to Ha Long Bay, through glistening emerald water as you step aboard a deluxe junk for a memorable overnight cruise. In Hue, enjoy a VIP visit to the Imperial Citadel; open just for you, you’ll have the royal court and its gardens all to yourself. Learn abou

16 Days from £5,195 per passenger

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Day 1 : Arrive Siem Reap.

Transfer to your elegant hotel, which was once the home of royalty. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Stroll through the manicured hotel gardens, relax under the frangipani trees beside the magni?cent architect-designed pool or perhaps enjoy a massage to ease your way into your holiday. At 19:00 meet your Travelling Concierge and fellow travel companions for your Welcome Dinner at Mahob, set in a traditional Khmer wooden house you will enjoy delicacies created from locally produced ingredients.

Accommodation : Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort, Siem Reap.

Day 2 : Angkor Wat in Style.

Explore Angkor Archaeological Park accompanied by a renowned archaeologist. Begin with Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, the temple is a perfect example of how nature crept in and reclaimed its land after the fall of the Angkorian empires. Finishing the day with a sunset over Angkor Wat, it is easy to see why it has become the symbol of Cambodia and took 30 years to build. Step outside for sunset and admire the views as the last light of day shines on the temple. This evening, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and attend a performance of ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus’. Set up in 1994 by young returnee Cambodians from the refugee camps who learned about using art as a means of coping with trauma. The hour long show mixes traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society. The theatre supports the lives of local at-risk youth through gainful employment in the arts. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant Malis. Malis was born out of a desire and passion to restore Cambodian cuisine to its former glory and put Cambodia back on the map as a culinary destination. Renowned for its fresh seasonal produce, delicate flavours, and generous hospitality, this flagship restaurant of Master Chef Luu Meng and his team offer cuisine from the past that has been adapted to the present.

Accommodation : Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort, Siem Reap.

Day 3 : Dynamic Ho Chi Minh City.

Fly to Ho Chi Min City to start the next part of your journey. Once you have checked in to your central hotel you will meet up with your fellow travellers. This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner in one of the busy rooftop restaurants of Saigon and watch the lights of the city from a perfect vantage point.

Accommodation : InterContinental Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 4 : Marvels of Saigon. Cruise

See the best of Saigon as you travel from the city’s glittering skyscrapers to the green paddy ?elds scattered along the Saigon River by speedboat. Your destination is the Cu Chi tunnels, which were dug in 1948 for guerrillas to hide from combatant forces during the Vietnam War. These extraordinary tunnels form part of a network of tunnels that cover most of the country. During your visit to these underground villages, meet a Viet Cong veteran who used to live here and find out how challenging the living conditions really were like. Back in the city, embark on a leisurely walking exploration that reveals highlights including Notre Dame Cathedral and Gustave Eiffel's Central Post Of?ce. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to meet a local coffee shop owner and learn about the Vietnamese coffee culture, then brew and taste your own. Alternatively, continue with your exploration at the War Remnants Museum and learn about country's troubled past.

Accommodation : InterContinental Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 5 : Cruise the Mekong Delta.

Travel to the Mekong Delta and board a private charter. At your first stop see coconut production and processing, then enjoy a taste of juice fresh from the fruit. Further along, stop to see where locals still use centuries-old methods to make bricks at a small brick kiln. Next you'll enjoy a ride on a tri-motorcycle along narrow village roads, arriving at a rice noodle factory to see the most popular breakfast in the region being produced. Continue your cruise to Mango Home for a tasty lunch of Mekong Delta specialties. Then walk along the shady village roads to the home of Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier who fought the deadly Khmer Rouge, known for orchestrating the Cambodian genocide. Learn how life in Vietnam has evolved for him and his wife since the 1960s and how they earn a living from making rice paper.

Accommodation : InterContinental Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 6 : Royal Refinement in Hue. Relaxed Start

Marvel at vistas of lush countryside, as you fly to Hue for the next chapter of your journey. Enjoy a cyclo's ride to Phu Mong village, take in a traditional garden house and craft houses, enjoy a serene life here. You will be impressed by green sceneries on the journey. This evening, take a visit to a special venue where it's not only a dining place but also a culture exchange experience - Ben Xuan Garden House Theatre. It is set in a magnificent structure built in Hue royal architectural style — located by the Perfume River between Thien Mu pagoda and the Temple of Literature Van Thanh.You are invited to meet with the owner Ms. Camille Huyen - a celebrated painter, singer and all-around renaissance woman with royal ancestry and her husband, a former Swiss banker. Combined, the two put on an intimate and welcoming hosted meal which includes a stroll of their own designed traditional house and a small concert that features Huyen on vocals, accompanied by local musicians playing traditional instruments, a scrumptious meal. Chat with the family about their career and life in the Western world and how the nostalgia brings them back to their hometown to nourish their dream and passion.

Accommodation : Pilgrimage Village, Hue.

Day 7 : Highlights of Hue.

Rise early for a private VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel, before it opens to the public. Enjoy an escorted journey on a state-of-the-art electric cart, as a renowned local historian guides you through the towering main gates and shows you the majestic architecture and splendid gardens of the former royal court. Return to your hotel for breakfast, then visit the royal tomb of Minh Mang, the second Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Lunch is served at a local restaurant on the Perfume River with views of the Thien Mu Pagoda. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy at an ancient temple. Learn about the intricate training activities of the practitioners and attend a performance showcasing the different martial arts techniques. Alternatively, take a boat ride to the private museum of Tran Dihn Son, whose great-grandfather was a high ranking mandarin during the Nguyen Dynasty, and see the vast collection of rare antiquities collected by him and his ancestors.The evening is at your leisure, perhaps ask your Travelling Concierge to make restaurant reservations for you.

Accommodation : Pilgrimage Village, Hue.

Day 8 : Romantic Hoi An.

Enjoy a scenic drive over the spectacular Hai Van Mountain pass to reach Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend a half day with a local guide, exploring the ancient town. Explore former merchants’ homes, colourful communal halls, narrow lanes lined with traditional houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. Leave the crowded venue behind and discover some untouched stories in the beautiful old town.Meander down the small alley to discover an ancient house where the art of healing through martial art is passed down through generations. This healing method is the master’s invention, combined between Qigong and traditional Vietnamese martial art. Have a chance to learn some basic steps under the guidance of the master. This evening, choose to dine at restaurants focusing on traditional local cuisine, modern Vietnamese or East-meets-West fusion.

Accommodation : Anantara Hoi An Resort, Hoi An.

Day 9 : The locals in Hoi An. Relaxed Start

Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the beautiful Cam Thanh Village with its dense coconut jungles that were once a shelter for local people and soldiers during the Vietnam War, but today the village is an important supplier of seafood, vegetables and rice to the region. Step into a traditional bamboo-basket boat and glide across the water to the Thanh Dong village where you learn from the villagers how they cultivate and harvest vegetables according to local customs. Continue your voyage through a peaceful water coconut forest to a riverside restaurant overlooking the rice fields. Enjoy and participate in a hands-on cooking class alongside a local chef and savour your creations for your lunch. Alternatively, visit the peaceful and cosy essential oil workshop, and learn how each smell and oil has a different use and effect on the mind and body. Create your personal mix, a ‘one-of-a-kind’, essential oil, before enjoying a light lunch.

Accommodation : Anantara Hoi An Resort, Hoi An.

Day 10 : Hanoi street-food tasting tour.

Board a morning ?ight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s glistening capital city known for colonial-style architecture, ancient temples and vibrant culture. Enjoy a ride aboard an electric cart to see the historic Opera House, avenues lined with French mansions, Sword Lake and the 18th century Jade Mountain Temple. Join a local foodie in the Old Quarter for an exploration of Hanoi’s robust street-food culture, that will delight all the senses. Learn what locals love to eat and taste the city’s very best dishes, including rice paper rolls, crab spring rolls, beef noodle soup, com cake and other delights. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax at your five-star hotel or ask your Travelling Concierge to recommend city-centre attractions nearby.

Accommodation : Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi.

Day 11 : Cruise along Ha Long Bay.

Travel to Ha Long Bay, known as the bay with a thousand islands and glistening emerald water. Step aboard a deluxe junk for a memorable overnight cruise. Visit the mysterious Tien Ong Cave, where human bones dating back to 10,000 B.C. were discovered by archaeologists, and explore the Cua Van area. In the evening you'll have the choice to learn more about local cuisine with an on-board cooking demonstration, or simply relax on the top deck as the sun gently dips beyond the horizon, before sitting down to dinner.

Accommodation : Paradise Cruise, Ha Long Bay.

Day 12 : Ha Long to Hanoi. Relaxed Start

Start the day with Tai Chi on the upper deck while cruising through the limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy a brunch on-board as you cruise to Ha Long City to disembark. Journey back to Hanoi where the evening is at leisure.

Accommodation : InterContinental Westlake, Hanoi.

Day 13 : The Temple of Literature. Relaxed Start

Visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076 as the ?rst university for the sons of mandarins. Meet a scholar who will share their insights into this famous institution. Learn about Hanoian culture and Vietnamese architecture before exploring the temple grounds. In the evening, join your travel companions and toast to your travels during your Celebration Dinner.

Accommodation : InterContinental Westlake, Hanoi.

Day 14 : Welcome to Laos.

Start the day with a flight to Luang Prabang, known as the centre of Lao culture and once the royal seat of the Lane Xang Kingdom. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sleepy town nestled in a mountain valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers. On arrival at the airport, you'll be welcomed and transferred to your hilltop luxury hotel, where there is free time to relax. In the evening, enjoy dinner at your beautiful resort.

Accommodation : The Luang Say Residence, Luang Prabang.

Day 15 : Luang Prabang and Sunset Cruise.

In the morning, you may wish to rise early and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks, a living Buddhist tradition going back generations. Then watch as the town comes to life at the morning market. Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, before walking to the top of Mount Phousi to admire spectacular views of the Mekong and Khan rivers and surrounding mountain ranges. Experience a delectable family style lunch at local restaurant, Khai Phaen, named after a popular Laotian snack that is unique to Luang Prabang. The restaurant focuses on vocational training with all profits re-invested in the trainees and their supporting social programs, enabling them to become skilled, productive professionals with a more secure future. During your free time, discover the secret alleyways and hidden gems as you explore Luang Prabang at will. Hear stories of the rural lifestyle of the local people as you travel to visit Wat Xiengthong. Known as the the Temple of the Golden City, it remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art for the locals. Your adventure culminates with a private sunset cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Witness the vibrancy of daily life along its banks and enjoy a cool drink as you toast your newfound friends.

Accommodation : The Luang Say Residence, Luang Prabang.

Day 16 : Depart Luang Prabang

Your journey draws to a close after breakfast, with private airport transfers timed to meet your onward flight.

Accommodation :


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