Our tribute is not only meant to say thanks to Anthony Bourdain, but it’s also a revisit to the trails, the Mekong River, the foods of his journeys in Indochina, all putting together into a 17-day package of the Anthony Bourdain Experience. An Indochina trip made for everyone who loves our hero, for travelers who expect sublime food experience and cultural immersion at the same time.
Fly to HCMC, VIETNAM
Welcome to Vietnam.
Upon arrival at HCMC Airport, obtain your Vietnam visa ( with pre-approval letter) , and then clear Immigration and Customs. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Asianway travel . He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it.
From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely hotel. Settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Evening enjoy a dinner at local restaurant.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in HCMC
Morning tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels: At 7.00, pick up at hotel & enjoy scenic drive through the countryside as people work on their rice paddies and thatched hut villages scattered along the way. Visit a local village making rice paper, a well-known product used to make the delicious spring rolls. Arriving at the Cu Chi Tunnels to explore part of the 151-mile underground network that zigzagged from the southern tip of the Ho Chi Minh Trail near Cambodia to the Saigon River. Cu Chi is a must for anyone interested in understanding a vital aspect of guerrilla warfare fought by the Vietnamese against both the French and the Americans.
These criss-crossing tunnels were begun in the late 1940s by local resistance fighters looking for a place to hide their weapons from the French. Discover secret trapdoors, field hospitals, command posts, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms.
Afternoon tour of HCMC: we’ll discover Saigon's historic landmarks including the War Remnants Museum, established in September 1975 in Ho Chi Minh City, it contains countless artifacts, photographs and pictures documenting some of the less heroic activities carried out by the US army in Vietnam. Planes, tanks, bombs and helicopters are also on display. Next visit the FITO Museum, it is the first museum of Vietnamese medicine.
On display are nearly 3,000 items dating back to the Stone Age. Exhibits include tools used to prepare medicine, knives, mortars and pestles, documents and objects from a traditional pharmacy. The museum regularly screens a documentary about the history of medicine. Continue visiting to the 1880's General Post Office and the late 19th century Notre Dame cathedral, located in a peaceful part of the city. Ending at Ben Thanh Market or House of Saigon for shopping and café.
In the afternoon you can disembark for a guided leisurely stroll through a village and the surrounding fruit orchards or rice fields. Meet the friendly locals and taste the local produce and fruits.
Get back on board and enjoy a drink at the bar or relax on deck as the sun sets over the magnificent water landscape of the Mekong river. The cruise boat will anchor for the night. The day ends with a delicious on-board dinner. You stay overnight on board your floating hotel in the Mekong Delta.
Wake up well rested to the sound of the river and get ready for another exciting day of sightseeing in the Mekong Delta. At 6.30 the cruise vessel sets off for a sunrise cruise. Watch the locals go about their daily work drying exotic fruits and building ships on the wooden yards while enjoying an early breakfast.
After breakfast, you will board a sampan boat to Cai Be or Cai Rang floating market, the region’s busiest and most lively markets. Marvel at the sheer abundance of exotic fruits, vegetables and skillfully handcrafted regional products. We will pull up to the boats for talking and bargaining with the merchants. We will also visit some of the local candy and cake making factories or boat through the green water landscape to see local houses, verdant orchards and ship-building yards.
On even dates, you will have lunch at the Mekong Rest Stop. On odd dates, lunch is served in Vinh Long City.
Drive back & arrive HCMC around 16:00 pm.
*Please note: The floating markets in the Mekong Delta are no tourist markets but wholesale markets where produce of the Mekong Delta like fruits and vegetables are traded. For this reason the number of boats on the market fluctuates depending on harvesting seasons and market demand. Furthermore, modern wholesale markets are becoming more popular in Vietnam. This can result in decreasing numbers of boats being present on the markets.
At 08:30 am, you'll be picked up at hotel & private transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Da Nang. Fly HCMC to Danang on Vietnam Airlines VN 112, departing 10:00, arriving 11:20.
Welcome to Da Nang. Upon arrival at Danang Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside your guide and driver before transfer to Hoi An to check in your lovely hotel.
Afternoon Hoi An city tour: You will discover how the traditions of the past are treasured in the present in Hoi An on the Thu Bon River, a key international trading port between the 15th and 19th centuries – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved, centuries-old streets, dwellings, temples and pagodas, touring Hoi An's historic highlights, explore its shop-lined streets, view the red-painted Japanese Covered Bridge - the three Chinese characters over the door mean "bridge for passers-by from afar" and tour the 200-year-old "Phung Hung" house, noted for its unique architecture. What you'll see there will reveal much about the lives of Hoi An merchants long ago. Visit the workshop of a traditional lantern maker for a demonstration of this time-honored craft; meet the artisans and try your skills as you create your own lantern to take home.
Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Hoian
A day of joining in a group with guided tour to discover Hoi An & Vietnam in special way. Among these tours below, please select one which you are wishing to experience most.
On this tour we provide an authentic social and cultural insight into the local Vietnamese way of life. As well you will take part in some hands-on activities that are fun, safe and interesting to people all of ages.
3. Wet market visit and cooking class at Red Bridge Restaurant & Cooking School ( 4.5 hours)
The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – the Red Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, we sit down and eat what we have cooked. Bring your swimsuit and after the cooking tour has finished relax and enjoy free use of our 20 metre swimming pool - towels and showers provided.
You will have free morning at leisure at your hotel.
In the afternoon, you will be picked up and transferred to Da Nang airport for flight to Hanoi. Flight code VN176, departure at 14.55 – arrival at 16.05. Up on arrival in Hanoi, your driver will be waiting for you at the entrance of the airport and take you to your hotel in Hanoi center.
Check in your hotel and relax the left time of this day.
Accommodation: Stay in Hanoi 3 nights in Hanoi
Wake to see the sunrise over the spectacular horizon, reflecting in the pristine waters of the bay, with a cup of tea or coffee. Then join a Tai Chi class on the sundeck if you wish before enjoying breakfast in the fresh air. Continue to sail around this natural wonder. Visit to the Sung Sot Cave by walking up about 100 steps to the cave entrance and tour the cave for approximately 45 minutes. Walk down about 100 steps and return to the boat. Proper shoes are highly recommended. Return to the boat then check-out of the cabin. Start cruising towards the harbor while an A la carte lunch is served. The crew will bid you farewell and you disembark with our tender boat to the Tuan Chau Pier.
Return your Hanoi hotel by cruise’s shuttle bus.
After a soft rest, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. Continue to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. If time permits, we will take a stroll around the city to visit Big Brother Mouse, which is the most famous bookshop in Laos. The next stop is Ock Pop Tock, meaning East Meets West, where you can learn about the traditional weaving in Laos.
A visit to Luang Prabang would be incomplete without ascending the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, wh ere you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hill-tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Luang Prabang
*Optional: Enjoy a private Baci ceremony after sunset at a local family. The Baci ceremony as a traditional ritual of the Lao people expresses the spirituality of the country and is a highly memorable experience and a deep insight into Lao culture for the participants.
After breakfast, we embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, firstly stopping at Xiengmene Village, where we visit Wat Long Khun temple and the limestone cave Tham Sakkarin, and a tour around Ban Xiengmene village. We then continue by boat up the Mekong which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well time to explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.
Afternoon, we return by road back to town. Along the way, we visit the village of Ban Xanghai, wh ere they make the local rice wine and continue to typical Lao villages at Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek, well known for its handmade Jute Sar paper.
This morning, your car and guide will take you to Elephant Village. On arrival at the camp, you can stroll around to make friends with some very big elephants before enjoying the elephant riding in about 30 minute to the nearby jungle.
We then transfer to Kuang Si Waterfalls where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails.
Along the way, we take a short visit to the tomb of the 19th century French explorer Henri Mouhot; the first European to rediscover Angkor Wat and to visit the Royal Kingdom of Luang Prabang. Before coming back to Luang Prabang, we stop to visit the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park, one of the must-visit spots, newly opened on January 2014. We will also stop to visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village, Ban Ou a Laoloum village and Ban Thapene, Khmu villages. Arriving in Luang Prabang, we transfer to Wat Siphouthabath to admire the sunset.
At the midday , you'll be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Cambodia. Fly Luang Prabang to Cambodia on Laos Airlines QV931, departing 14:20, arriving 16:20
Welcome to Cambodia.
Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, obtain your Cambodia visa and then clear Immigration and Customs. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside our driver. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely hotel. Settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Siem Reap
See the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, visit Bayon temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), Baphuon (recently re-opened after years of restoration), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, and the Terrace of the Leper King.
In the late afternoon and sunset hours, explore the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat’s five towers symbolize Meru’s five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Sunset at Angkor Wat.
After dusk, you'll be returned to your hotel with the evening free to relax or explore independently.
*Optional excursion: Please contact us if you interest.
- Enjoy an Elephant Ride : Enjoy a 20-minute ride on these majestic and good-natured animals from South Gate of Angkor Thom to Bayon or around Bayon Temple.
Next, you’ll visit Preah Khan with its labyrinth of grey, decaying stone courtyards that are slowly being reclaimed by the jungle.
Large kapok trees extend limbs and roots throughout the carved stonework, while raucous red-breasted parakeets screech and monkeys keep watch over the surreal setting. Return back to your resort and relax.
Afternoon tour of Banteay Srei: Later this afternoon, journey north to visit Banteay Srei. This petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women', thanks to the intricate detail here, considered too fine for the hands of a man. Originally believed to date from the latter part of the Angkor period, inscriptions at the site suggest it was built by a Brahman in 967. However, some architectural historians have suggested that the inscriptions may date from an earlier structure on this site and the temple is in fact later, marking a high-water mark in Khmer sculpture. Stop at a local village to visit families who are producing palm sugar.
This evening, walk up Phnom Bakheng for a sunset view of Angkor Wat and the surrounding areas. This view provides a wonderful overview of the entire area.
*Please note: The tour program is flexible. Your guide will be more than happy to adjust the tour itinerary to suit you. You can skip one site or add another if you so wish.
*Suggestion: If your departure flight is in the afternoon or evening, you can think about taking a morning tour to Lake Tonle Sap:
"This is an excursion to the floating village of Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap and then take a traditional wooden boat for a ride on the Tonle Sap Lake, the "Great Lake"of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia"
· Tour prices shown are 'per person', based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults, and sharing a room. If you intend to travel alone, the cost might be much higher.
· The 'Single supplement' applies for single travelers who require their own room and needs to be added to the tour price.
· Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements, but may incur price changes
· 14 nights at hotel based on Twin sharing room
· 01 night on cruise in Halong bay with 3 day 2 night program in private cabin
· 01 night on cruise in Mekong Delta with 3 day 2 night program in private cabin
· Breakfast at hotel
· Airfare 3 routes with local airlines (including 7kg hand luggage and 20 kg checked baggage)
* HCMC – Hanoi
* Hanoi – Luang Prabang
* Luang Prabang – Siem Reap
· English speaking guide with legal license
· Private car during the trip with experienced driver, Except shuttle bus:
* Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi
* HCMC – Mekong Delta – HCMC
· All Meals, Entrance fees and tour activities as dedicated in the program
· Service charges
· Bottled water & wet towel on van during trip
· Tip for Tour guide and driver (recommended)
· Bank fees for both sides
· Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Visa fee
· International flights
· Peak season surcharge (During Christmas and New Year)
· Early Check-in (before 14.00) and late check-out (after 12.00)
· Personal expenses
1. All of our itineraries can be tailor-made to suit your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Please click on the “Tailor this trip" button and complete the requested information for us. Upon receipt, our travel consultant will customize the best value vacation for your kind consideration. Please note: Changes CAN be made to the itinerary after our initial quote, but may result in a price change also!
2. We are aware that a good tour must have good hotels. In Indochina in particular (Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos) hotel prices make up the major expense of your holiday. Therefore, we would like to clarify how we define these charges:
· Boutique & character hotels: from $50-$80 USD per room/ per night
· Comfort = 3 star hotels from US$ 40 - US$ 60 per room/ per night
· Superior = 4 star hotels from US$ 80 - US$ 110 per room/ per night
· Deluxe = 5 star hotels from US$120 - US$ 190++ per room/ per night
· High-end = Best of the best hotels fr om US$ 250++ per room/ per night
3. Child policy:
· Ages 0-2 years at 5 % of adult price
· Ages 2-5 years at 30% of adult price
· Ages 6-11 at 70% of adult price
· 12 years and older = 100% (charged as an adult)
We’ll immerse you in the diverse cultures of Vietnam by showcasing the unique local flavors. And with the perfect balance of included sightseeing and free time, you can customize your dream vacation with the things you have always wanted to do.
Most countries in South East Asia require you to obtain a visa. Please check carefully with your travel specialist regarding specific visa requirements for each country you plan to visit as the legislation does change frequently. Thailand offers a free visa on arrival to most nationalities. Other countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar offer a “visa-on-arrival” service which requires you to pay a fee at the airport, or you may prefer to obtain this in advance through the relevant embassy or a visa agent. For visa-on-arrival in Vietnam, you must submit some paperwork before you arrive.
This is an option to get your visa for Vietnam instead of getting visa at the Vietnam consulate in your country.
Step 3: Send the visa approval letter via email to you after 2 working days
After we obtain the visa approval letter from the Immigration department for you, we will forward you a scanned copy of it by email (Your visa information then have been recorded to the Visa system of the Vietnam Immigration department).
Step 4: Get your visa stamp on your arrival
Just print the approval letter out, prepare 2 passport sized photos and an amount of USD for stamping fee ($45 for single entry visa; $65 for 1 month multiple entry visa and $95 for 3 multiple entry visa). Put all above mentioned things along with your passport in a package, then show them to Immigration officer at Vietnam arrival airports.
Upon arrival at Vietnam’s airport, expect a simple form to fill in (or you can download here to fill beforehand), present the visa approval letter, passport, photos to the Immigration officer inside the counter and look for a place to hear your name be called to get the passport back and pay for the stamping fee. The actual process takes around 15 minutes without hassle or trouble.
What are the differences between this process and getting visa at Vietnam embassies?
It is only applicable for those who travel to Vietnam by air. You only need fill out the visa application form online instead of visiting the Vietnam embassies or sending documents to Embassies over by post.The online visa application does not require sending your passport away.You get a visa approval letter issued by Vietnam Immigration Department indicating that you are allowed to enter Vietnam and have your visa stamped upon arrival at one of Vietnam international airports.
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