DAY 1 SAIGON
Arrival in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
On arrival, you are met and transferred to the hotel.
Rest of the day is at leisure
- Harmony Saigon Hotel
- Silverland Yen Hotel
- Park Hyatt Saigon
DAY 2 SAIGON (B)
This morning, you will enjoy a city tour of Saigon.
Ever-vibrant, ever-changing , this is the buzzing city of Saigon, where sleek skyscrapers loom over incense-infused temples and motorcycles rule the roads.
There’s classic European-style landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Opera House, the ornate City Hall and the art-deco Post Office. Reminders of a recent past can be seen in the Reunification Palace, famously stormed by tanks in 1975.
We’ll visit all the main sights of the city and make time to browse the stalls in the bustling Ben Thanh Market.
DAY 3 SAIGON TO MY THO (B/L/D)
Transfer from your hotel to the meeting point in Saigon and then continue to My Tho Port to board your cruise.
Cruising experience onboard
- Build 2003 in Yangon, refit 2013 | Length: 200ft / 60m
Beam: 36ft / 11m | Draft: 4ft / 1.5m
Berths: 48 pax , 18 upper deck, 6 main deck staterooms
170 square feet, finished in teak and bras.
Cruising experience onboard
- Build 2002 in Yangon, refit 2013 | Length: 180ft / 54.8m
Beam: 33.13ft / 10.10m |Draft: 4ft / 1.5m
Berths: 56 pax, 18 upper deck, 10 main deck staterooms
170 square feet, finished in teak and brass
After boarding your Pandaw we sail downstream to Ben Tre and anchor midstream.
In the afternoon, there is a lecture on Vietnamese life on the Mekong Delta. During cocktail hour passengers are entertained by an indigenous dance group and meet your key crew.
DAY 4 BEN TRE (B/L/D)
Travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. In these local artisans are at work and are invite visitors into their homes for tea, fruit and honey products made from their own honey. This is an area rich in bird life and on our return journey we travel by local transport through the lush countryside.
After lunch, the ship moors off Cho Lach island for pot making and further glimpses of Delta life, agriculture and local Viet hospitality including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo.
DAY 5 CON PHUOC ISLAND (B/L/D)
After breakfast, there is a short coach journey to the Gao Giong ‘green oasis’ with its bird sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water and egrets that gather in the tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowing boats traverse the canals to take us to see the principal nesting areas.
After returning to the boat we cruise upstream to Con Phuoc Island. We Moor in a small canal off Con Phuoc Island and go ashore to explore the island by Xi Loi seeing basket production and visiting a 100-year old Catholic Church as well as local woodworking artisans.
DAY 6 CAMBODIA BORDER(B/L/D)
Afternoon, explore the labyrinthine canal system around Tan Chau to visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read fortunes.
Continue through local villages by Xi Loi stopping off to help locals tend their fields before stopping off to visit a fish farm and earn merit by releasing fish back into the Mekong.
Border crossing formalities take up much of the afternoon and during this stationary period there is an optional tour of the working ship and fruit carving classes on deck.
DAY 7 PHNOM PENH (B/L/D)
Morning orientation of Phnom Penh by cyclo visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvelous collection of Angkorian statuary.
Afternoon optional visit to the Killing Fields and Genocide museum or take a tuk-tuk to explore the riverfront and finish with High Tea at Raffles Hotel.
Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and night life.
DAY 8 SILK ISLAND (B/L/D)
Sail up the Mekong/Tonle River convergence to visit Koh Okhna Tey, or ‘silk island’ to study the entire silk making process from worms to weavers. There will be a demonstration of the ancient Khmer martial art of Bokator.
Return to ship and cruise upstream towards Kampong Cham. Evening lecture on Angkor and Khmer culture.
DAY 8 WAT HANCHEY, OBT CHIRO VILLAGE & WAT NOKOR BACHEY (B/L/D)
Sunrise cruise to Wat Hanchey an important centre of worship during the Chenla period located on top of a hill above the mighty Mekong River with some of the best Mekong views in Cambodia.
Visit 8th century structures some destroyed by American bombings during the Vietnam War. Well noted for its bizarre Fruit and Animal statues.
We cruise back downstream to Kampong Cham where after lunch we travel by Bus to the local OBT Chiro Village where the education of local children is high on the agenda. Pre-Hospitality training courses, plastic recycling, bee keeping, farming and handicraft skill projects are set up to improve the skill set of local children.
We then travel to the Wat Nokor Bachey dating back to the Jayarvaman VII period. Built completely from Black Sandstone which makes it standout from other temples built during this period. Many legends surround this complex one being it was built by a king who accidently killed his father then married his mother as per Greek legend. This temple was built in penance for his crime.
DAY10 SIEM REAP (B/L/D)
Sail downstream to moor at Kampong Cham for disembarkation and we travel by road to Siem Reap.
When arrive in Siem Reap mid-afternoon and check into the hotel and rest of the day is free at leisure.
Saem Siemreap Hotel Deluxe Pool View
- Tara Angkor Hotel
- Anjali by Syphon Hotel
- Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa
Day 11 SIEM REAP (B) Sightseeing in Angkor
This morning, we start early to Angkor by Tuk Tuk. The crown jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings.
To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. Upon entering the main structure, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface of the temple, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted from the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones.
We continue to see the fortified city of Angkor Thom that covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats; the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga.
Stop at the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down from every angle.
We then go to Ta Prohm temple, 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.
Tonight, you may want to visit Angkor Night Market. The market consists of small huts built from natural materials and beautifully designed in Khmer style. There are 240 souvenirs shops which sell traditional Cambodian-made handicrafts such as clothing, silk, paintings, photographs, and jewellery, wood and stone carvings. After a tiring evening of shopping you can pamper yourselves with the original Dr. Fish massage, body and foot massage, spa or relax at the two bars. Angkor Night Market is a good place to shop and dine in a vibrant contemporary Khmer environment.
Day 12 SIEM REAP – HOI AN (B)
This morning, visit Roluos Group by e-bike and enjoy the freedom of a regular bicycle, but without the effort, on this fun tour of ancient temples.
So start up the eco-friendly e-bike and let’s set off into the stunning Angkor countryside. We’ll find rural villages, an ancient reservoir and a small 9th century temple nestled among trees. As this is off the usual tourist trail we may well have the entire temple to ourselves.
We’ll be transported back to the times of the early Khmer civilisation with a visit to the three temples that make up the Roluos Group. These are some of the earliest great temples and feature beautiful carvings and inscriptions.
Return to the town and balance of the day visit the Chantiers Ecoles (Artisans d Angkor)
Les Chantiers Ecoles vocational centre trains 650 apprentices a year including 160 in fine arts and crafts trades united in the Artisan d Angkor production network. Guided tours through the different workshops like stone sculpture, woodcarving, polychromie, and watch the artisan at work.
Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight to Danang.
Up on arrival in Danang, transfer by vehicle to Hoi An.
- Ancient House Resort & Spa
- Boutique Hoi An Resort
- Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An
Day 13 HOI AN (B)
Sightseeing in Hoi An with a boat trip on the Thu Bon River. The exquisitely preserved merchant town of Hoi An was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Its colourful shop houses and temples reflect a diverse heritage, dating back to the 16th and 17th century, when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. Today it is a thriving centre of traditional crafts and a shopper’s paradise, best explored on foot.
Wander through the cobbled streets, past low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central market and the small harbour where colourfully painted boats are moored. The walking tour will include visits to a private house, where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting; to one of the family chapels built by prominent merchants and official families as centres for ancestor worship; and to a typical Chinese-style Pagoda or assembly hall. Continue to Sa Huynh MUSEUM, located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history. Visit a handicraft workshop in Hoi An where local products are being made by the industry itself. Finally, continue to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream.
In the afternoon, board a local boat and cruise down the Thu Bon River, enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a pottery village and a woodcarving village before returning to Hoi An harbour.
Day 14 HOI AN (B)
Full day is free and relax.
Day 15 DANANG – HAIPHONG – HALONG (Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch/Dinner)
Fly from Danang to Haiphong early this morning and on arrival, transfer to Halong Bay in time to board your overnight Cruise.
Transfer with a tender to the comfortable junk and enjoy a welcome drink aboard. Begin the cruise through majestic Halong Bay while lunch is served. Enjoy the magical bay where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragon’s teeth. The junk continues cruising through a fishing village on the bay and passes the spectacular limestone caves dotted around the bay.
Soak up the sun on the top deck with optional on-board activities: sunbathing, and photo opportunities. In the evening the chef will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood dishes and other traditional dishes.
- Bhaya Cruise
- Paradise Cruise
Day 16 HALONG – HANOI (B)
Cruise aboard traditional junk through Halong Bay
Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise that offer a perfect opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, visit a beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock.
Check out and bid tidings to beautiful Halong Bay.
Transfer from Halong to Hanoi and on arrival, check into your hotel.
- Hanoi La Siesta Central Hotel
- Apricot Hotel
- Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake
Day 17 HANOI (B)
Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. Narrow lanes and traditional shop houses invite an exciting exploration by walking, while its many beautiful public spaces – lakes, parks, tree-lined boulevards and monuments – give the city an air of elegance and harmony with nature unique among Asian capitals.
Begin your day visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum then through the park to Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, the simple two-room dwelling where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days (1969). Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows.
Continue to the Temple Of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways; and one of the best serving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university.
Afterwards head to visit one of Hanoi’s famous museums, the Museum Of Ethnology (Closed on Mondays and Vietnamese New Year), which brings to life the astonishing ethnic diversity in Vietnam, with art and artefacts from the 54 different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. Inside the museum are detailed descriptions of minority groups, with examples of their traditional clothing and way of life. Outside are faithful reconstructions of traditional longhouses, cemeteries and other distinctive ethnic buildings.
In the afternoon, visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple, located in heart of Hanoi, which contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda. En route, pass other colonial landmarks such as the magnificent Opera House (may be seen from the outside only) and ST Joseph’s Cathedral.
Visit the Old Quarter , they have well over a thousand years of history and remain one of Vietnam’s most lively and unusual places, where one can buy anything from a gravestone to silk pajamas. Explore by walking to the maze of back streets with fascination wonderment at every turn and there are endless things to buy from wool clothes, cosmetics, gold and silver jewellery, silk clothes and herbal medicines.
Day 18 HANOI – LUANG PRABANG (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Luang Prbang. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, private transfer will take you to the hotel and rest of the day is free at leisure.
Set between the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, Luang Prabang is an enchanting town filled with historic temples and colonial style buildings. The entire town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
- Maison Dalabua
- Souphattra Hotel
- Belmond La Residence Phou Vao
Day 19 LUANG PRABANG (B)
Start the day at Wat Visoun (Wat Wisunalat), the oldest living temple in Luang Prabang, Wat dating back to 1513 and contains a collection of antique wooden Buddhas.
Visit the nearby Wat Aham before continuing to Wat Xieng Thong, the crowning jewel of all the monasteries and temples in the city. Its many ornate buildings feature exquisite mosaic and gold-stencilled murals. From there, stroll down the main street of Luang Prabang, stopping at some of the many temples that line its sides, including Wat Sibounheuang, Wat Si Moungkhoun, Wat Sop and Wat Sene.
Continue to the National Museum (Royal Palace), a modest but graceful building which combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts motifs. This turn-of-the century royal residence has been preserved as it was when the royal family last lived here and provides unique insights into the history of Laos. Then, visit Hor Phrabang. In the right front corner room of the Palace which opens to the outside, is a collection of the palace’s most prized art, including the Phrabang, cast of a gold, silver and bronze alloy. This Buddha stands at 83 cm tall and weighs around 50 kg. Afterwards, visit Wat Mai.Visit Mount Phousi for sunset
Climb 328 steps starting from the entrance on the opposite side of National Museum, or 410 steps on the other side of Khan River to the small temples atop Phou Si. The hill is 150m high and sits in the middle of the town, offering beautiful views over the temples and river.
Day 14 LUANG PRABANG (B)
Excursion by boat to Tham Pak Ou Caves. Travel up the Mekong River to the steep limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, home to the Tham Pak Ou Caves. These extraordinary caves are filled with Buddha images, of every style and material imaginable.
On the way to Pak Ou Cave, stop at Ban Xang Hai Village famous for the production of lao lao, the local rice wine whisky.
Visit the weaving village of Ban Xang Khong, a village near Luang Prabang well known for its traditional handwoven cotton and silk, as well as production of the local sa (mulberry) paper.
Day 20 LUANG PRABANG – CHIANG MAI (B)
Today’s journey start with Give alms to the monks (early morning). An early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession.
Return to the hotel for breakfast and rest of morning at leisure.
Check out from your hotel and take a leisure walk at the local market before transfer to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai.
Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel.
Balance of the day is free at leisure and tonight, enjoy a tour on your own to the night market.
Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique
- Yaang Come Village
- Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique
- Na Nirand Romantic Boutique
Day 21 CHIANG MAI – MANDALAY (B)
This morning, you will be met by your guide and to visit Doi Suthep, the most sacred temple in the North of Thailand.
Tucked away in the mountains at an elevation of 1,056 meters (3,520 feet), the temple can be reached by the carved mythical Naga Serpent Staircase. The temple offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai city and its surrounding countryside.
Drive back down to the city centre to visit some of the other impressive temples of Chiang Mai. Wat Suan Dok is one of them, and dates back to the 14th century when the Thai monarchy was taking leisure walks in its gardens. Nowadays, it houses several white Chedis, all containing the ashes of Chiang Mai’s former Royal family, and features one of the most famous Monk Schools in the whole locality of Chiang Mai. We will also visit Wat Jedyod, also known as The Temple of Seven Spires
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Mandalay.
On arrival, you are met and transfer to the hotel.
- Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel
- Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort
- Hotel by the Red Canal
DAY 22 MANDALAY (B)
This morning, start your visit of Mandalay, the name alone evokes the romance of old colonial Burma.
We’ll visit Mahamuni Paya, famous for its seated Buddha covered in gold leaf. We’ll wander into a workshop to see muscled workers hand-beating gold leaf with enormous hammers.
At Shwenandaw Kyaung, made entirely out of teak (even though it’s also known as the Golden Teak Monastery), we can see the beautifully intricate carvings. There’s a lot more to be enjoyed here, including Mandalay Hill, and other ornate temples and wooden monasteries such as the beautiful and peaceful Shwe Kyin Old Monastery.
Visit Mandalay Hill for sunset and take an easy climb up sheltered steps to experience panoramic views over the palace, Mandalay and the paya-studded countryside. The famous hermit monk, U Khanti, is credited with inspiring the construction of many of the buildings on and around the hill in the years after the founding of the city.
DAY 23 MANDALAY (B)
Today, we will take an excursion to Amarapura, Sagaing, and Inwa (Ava), just outside Mandalay, are not one, but three ancient royal capitals!
Sagaing is said to be the spiritual centre of Myanmar. Also known as a -‘living Bagan’, it is home to hundreds of stupas, monasteries, temples and nunneries.
Inwa (Ava) is a rural riverside oasis of crumbling monasteries and artisan workshops, and is best explored by horse and cart.
And then there’s Amarapura, where, every morning, you can see devout monks lining up for their daily alms.
At sunset we’ll take a walk alongside the monks across the picturesque U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world. We’ll see loads of incredible sights and learn tonnes of history about the old kings of Myanmar.
DAY 24 MANDALAY TO BAGAN (B)
Head off very early this morning to board a local boat for a full day cruise on the Irrawaddy. Sit back and relax as you observe life along the Irrawaddy: oxen working the fields, water buffalo wallowing in the mud, golden pagoda spires, fishermen, villagers bathing in the river and, of course, every type of boat and river craft that you can imagine.
Arrive in Bagan as the sun sets and transfer to your hotel.
NOTE: The cruise to Bagan is subject to cancellation if river conditions are unfavorable. In the event that this cruise is cancelled, transport to Bagan will be by flight. This may also necessitate some changes
- Bagan View Hotel
- The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate
- Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort
DAY 25 BAGAN (B)
Bagan is a true bucket-list destination! Thousands of crumbling temples, pagodas and stupas rise from the ancient desert plain. These beautiful, other-worldly structures were built by the kings of Bagan in the 11th and 12th centuries. Words don’t do this incredible landscape justice so let’s get out there and see them for ourselves.
We’ll visit renowned temples, and also discover some of the lesser known, but equally impressive pagodas. Each temple has its own story to tell so we’ll never tire of seeing more.
And in the evening, we’ll watch a panoramic view of the sun setting over the plain of Bagan from one of the sunset view hills.
DAY 26 BAGAN TO INLE LAKE (B)
This morning catch a flight to Heho airport, then drive to Nyaung Shwe beside glorious Inle Lake.
Stop at Shwe Yanghwe Kyaung (Shwe Yan Pyay) – the unique oval windows of its ancient teak ordination hall are the subject of hundreds of photographs – then board a local boat to start your exploration of Inle Lake.
Along the way you will gain a fascinating insight into life on the waterways of Inle Lake, passing fishermen famous for their curious ‘leg-rowing’ technique and lush ‘floating gardens’ where local farmers grow a surprising variety of fruit and vegetables.
Later, take a stroll through a village which straddles the water and shores of the lake then continue to some villages known for their local crafts such as the weaving village of Inpawkhone, a Silversmiths’ village and a community which specialises in the production of hand-made ‘cheroot’ (typical Burmese cigars).
- The Serenity Inle Resort
- Myanmar Treasure Resort Inle
- Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort
DAY 27 INLE LAKE (B/L)
Explore Inle Lake by boat today. Thousands of mysterious temples and stupas await at the end of a boat ride along a narrow creek cloaked in foliage. The indein complex is a collection of over 1,000 densely packed Shan-style stupas in varying states of decay. Part of its charm is that it has escaped restoration and the air of neglect just adds to the ethereal atmosphere.
In a beautiful bamboo forest, a luxurious picnic area complete with Belle Epoque hangings has been set up. We’ll tuck in to a delicious lunch of traditional Shan cuisine including the region’s signature tofu crackers, kneaded Shan rice and green tomato salad.
We get to see the famous one-legged rowers on Inle Lake! Inle is an enchanting world of villages on stilts and gardens that float on the surface of the lake (seriously!). One of the most photographed sights is the skilled Intha fishermen who balance on one leg, while using the other to manoeuvre the oar. We’ll take a relaxing boat ride across Inle Lake, stopping to see these sights along with some pagodas and lakeside villages.
DAY 28 INLE LAKE TO YANGON (B)
This morning, transfer to Heho for your flight to Yangon. Upon arrival in Yangon you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
- Rose Garden Hotel Yangon
- Sule Shangri-La Hotel
- Belmond Governor’s Residence
The afternoon is free for your own explorations.
DAY 29 YANGON (B)
Enjoy a full day sightseeing in Yangon.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is Yangon’s show stealer! The golden stupa rises 100-metres into the sky and is covered in gold leaf and rubies, and topped with a diamond. This sacred stupa is at its most beautiful during sunset, as the golden stupa reflects the changing colours of twilight.
It walls could talk, the gleaming octagonal exterior of the Sule Pagoda could write a bestseller (view from the outside only). Sitting proudly in the centre of the city, it has been the focal point for revolutions and rallies, as well as religious events.
We’ll visit both these pagodas plus National Museum. And of course, there’s time for shopping in the sprawling Bogyoke (Scott) Market, home to a staggering 2000 shops selling everything from souvenirs to snacks.
DAY 30 YANGON (B)
Transfer to the airport this morning for your onward flight.
- Low Season: $4995
- High Season: $5595
- Intertour flights on request
- Low Season: $5995
- High Season: $6795
- Intertour flights on request
- Low Season: $6950
- High Season: $7950
- Intertour flights on request
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