Simply Indochina

This 17 day tour explores Indochina's definitive highlights in a relatively short amount of time, but at a comfortable and enjoyable pace.

You'll visit Indochina's must-sees: magical Luang Prabang, the awesome Angkor Temples, and Halong Bay with its impressive limestone karsts; as well as finding time for city stops in Phnom Penh and Hanoi. It's not all about touring - R&R time is included in central Vietnam near the charming town of Hoi An, another of Indochina's greats.

At a glance
  • Learn how Cambodians are recovering from their horrific recent history
  • Discover the fabled Angkor temples
  • Enjoy in-depth city and temple tours
  • Watch the sunrise over Halong Bay from the deck of a junk
  • Weave between Ho Chi Minh's streetfood spots on the back of a Vespa
  • Immerse yourself in the beach life and vibrant culture of Hoi An
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Phnom Penh - 2 nights

Cambodia’s capital is one of Asia’s fastest growing cities, booming and blooming as the country recovers from its time under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime. Your stay will include a visit to key Khmer Rouge sites for a deeper understanding of the people you’ll meet during your stay in Cambodia

Day 1 - Arrive Phnom Penh, Street Food Explorer

Includes:

On arrival in Cambodia, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (e.g. boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

At 5pm your guide will arrive in a tuk-tuk for a food-focused tour of the city. First stop of the evening is a lively bar on Sisowath Quay. Find a spot on the balcony and your guide will leave you to enjoy a cocktail with views across the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers as the sun sets. Re-join your guide for a rather different experience - head down to the river, where roadside stalls sell a variety of edible bugs which you will have the opportunity to try. Your guide will be on hand to decipher the surprisingly tasty offerings. Continue by tuk-tuk to the Russian Market, where the food stalls draw local diners with typical Khmer food such as Banh Chheo, chicken rice porridge and beef skewers. Choose what you fancy, pull up a plastic stool alongside the locals, and soak up the atmosphere. Your final food stop for the evening will be freshly barbequed seafood, before you return to your hotel, again by tuk-tuk, and probably ready to loosen your waistband...

Day 2 - Tuol Sleng & Choeung Ek Tour

Includes:

This morning be prepared for a sombre experience: Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and the Cheung Ek ‘killing fields’ will open your eyes to the true brutality of the Pol Pot regime. There’s no sugar-coating this deeply disturbing insight into human capacity for cruelty - but it’s essential to understanding Cambodia and its people today. Your guide will have almost certainly lost loved ones to the regime, and will answer your questions as you try to comprehend what you’ve learnt.

Lunch will be at ‘Friends’, a restaurant which trains ex-street children and other vulnerable groups in the hospitality trade. The food also happens to be excellent!

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Siem Reap - 3 nights

Siem Reap is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, the ruined capital of a historic Cambodian empire, and one of the ancient wonders of the world. The town is booming thanks to these fabled ruins, but remains low-rise by royal decree, and retains much of its original charm. 100s of them lie scattered around Siem Reap, largely hidden by jungle. You’ll have plenty of time to discover them with a knowledgeable guide.

Day 3 - City Tour, Drive to Siem Reap

Includes:

In the morning your guide will escort you around the Royal Palace complex, with its lavish ceremonial buildings. You’ll also have the option to visit the National Museum, which is full of intriguing artefacts from several millennia of Cambodian culture. After your city tour depart Phnom Penh by car for Siem Reap, passing through provincial towns, villages and roadside hamlets offering an insight into life away from the cities.

Day 4 - Angkor Temples exploration

Includes:

Begin your exploration of Angkor Wat, and the complex of ruined temples and palaces around it. You’ll be driven between them, so you can fit quite a few in (if you want to), and our guides know when to see the ruins at uncrowded times. If you wish, start the day with the magical (but popular!) sunrise over Angkor Wat, and let your guide know what kind of pace you prefer, whether you want to fill your day with archaeology, or spend some of it on Tonlé Sap lake, or even back at your hotel pool.

Day 5 - Village Explorer

Includes:

Explore rural villages, and learn about the daily lives of the local people. You'll be a world away from Siem Reap - it's a perfect opportunity to get ‘off the beaten track’ and gain a better understanding of Cambodian rural life, along with insight into traditional Khmer culture; something few visitors are lucky enough to experience. You'll explore a local market and purchase supplies for your lunch, and travel by an (almost!) pollution-free ox and cart. Still widely used throughout Cambodia, the cart allows you to travel gently along the narrow sandy village roads. Spend time at the home of a local family, where there will be plenty of time to relax and chat (with your guide acting as interpreter) as they prepare lunch using your market produce. You can help if you wish; this is a fantastic opportunity to further your understanding of typical Khmer cuisine. You meal is likely to be very different from those offered in Siem Reap's more westerner-oriented restaurants! Explore the village before returning to Siem Reap via the workshops of Angkor Artwork - all products sold are produced using traditional methods, and the quality of craftsmanship is outstanding.

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Luang Prabang - 3 nights

Luang Prabang - the ‘Jewel of Indochina’ - is regularly voted one of Asia's top destinations. This ancient, UNESCO-listed royal city at a junction of two rivers is surrounded by mountains, with Mount Phousi at its core rewarding climbers with panoramic views. It offers a definitive example of the fusion between traditional Laotian architecture and more recent colonial structures; its unique, remarkably well-preserved townscape illustrating a key stage in the blending of these two eras. Immerse yourself in the city’s vivid riverside culture, taste some of the country’s best food, and listen to atmospheric echoes in ancient temples.

Day 6 - Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos

Includes:

Morning flight to Luang Prabang in Laos. You’ll meet your guide on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Having checked in to your hotel, the remainder of your day will be at leisure to begin exploring this stunning city. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, and we’d recommend the local river side stalls for some truly authentic Lao flavours, washed down (naturally!) with a Beer Lao.

Day 7 - Tak Bat, Walking Tour, Weaving Villages

Includes:

Rise before dawn to witness tak bat (the giving of alms to the monks who leave their pagodas to receive offerings of food from local residents) in a respectful and culturally sensitive manner. Get an overview of the country’s history at the Royal Palace National Museum, take in the city’s iconic temples, and get a deeper insight into Laos culture at the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre. See colourful woven textiles being made in the surrounding villages, then either opt to embark upon an energetic climb up Mount Phousi, visit Wat Prabath Tai for a more accessible sunset experience or head to Wat Aham’s colourful prayer hall in time for the daily chanting.

Day 8 - Relax and explore

Includes:

Take a day at leisure to relax or continue your exploration of Luang Prabang.

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Hanoi - 2 nights

Since becoming Vietnam’s first capital in 1010 AD, Hanoi has been infused with centuries of history which enrich its attractive surface. Now the capital once again, the city has flourished into a vibrant hub of modern Vietnamese culture.

Day 9 - Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam

Includes:

Take a flight to Hanoi in Vietnam. You’ll meet your guide on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Having checked in to your hotel, the remainder of your day will be at leisure to begin exploring the city.

Day 10 - 'Old & New' City Tour

Includes:

Start the day away from the city centre bustle with a cycle around the perimeter of West Lake. Spend time in the shade of Tran Quoc pagoda’s elegant tower, or watch the world go by from a lakeside cafe. As the sun rises to its highest, continue your journey into Hanoi’s past with a visit to the atmospheric halls of the Temple of Literature on the site of Vietnam’s first university. Tuck into some fast food, Vietnam style, with lunch on the famous Trang Tien Street, enjoying anything from pho to sweet treats, seated on a tiny plastic stool among the locals, with the grand Opera House just around the corner. Explore Hanoi’s contemporary culture with a Vietnamese coffee at Manzi Art Cafe, before heading back in time with a stroll past the workshops and pagodas in the narrow streets of the Old Quarter. Enjoy a beer and keep exploring, or head back to your hotel for a little downtime.

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Halong Bay - 1 night

One of Asia’s most famous natural wonders, not to mention being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is shrouded in myth. Explore the bay aboard a traditional junk – the same style of boat that has sailed the bay for 100s of years – meandering between jagged limestone karsts, venturing into hidden caves and stopping at floating fishing villages, while enjoying the leisurely pace of life on the water. Early risers might start the day with a Tai Chi class, as the sun rises over the bay and the sound of sea birds fills the air.

Day 11 - Halong Bay Cruise

Includes:

Local legend tells how the gods sent dragons to Halong to defend the country from invasion, and the dragons spat out gemstones that turned into islands, creating a wall against the enemy. The truth is almost as evocative as the legend, with the bay displaying one of the most beguiling natural scenes you will ever witness. Cruise at a gentle pace, disembark onto smaller boats to venture into grottos and caves, stop to explore floating fishing villages and picturesque lookout points, and dine on beautifully prepared fresh seafood. Each junk operates with a slightly different itinerary and on board facilities, so chat with us to choose the one that’s right for you.

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Hoi An - 3 nights

Hoi An, one of Asia’s most significant ports during the 1500s, has retained much of its original ambience despite the intervening centuries of weather, war and modern development, and is undoubtedly a highlight of any visit to Vietnam. Sample the city’s street food, find your favourite spot for Vietnamese coffee, and dine in style at the many restaurants exemplifying the town’s famous cuisine. Wander across the ancient Japanese Covered Bridge, explore former merchants’ homes, and buy silks, handicrafts, antiques, and immaculate tailored suits (with an astonishing 24 hr turnaround) at the colourful shops and markets.

Day 12 - Cruise back to the mainland, fly to Hoi An

Includes:

Wake early to the calls of Halong's seabirds nesting around the limestone karsts, and begin the day with a Tai Chi or cooking class on deck as the sun rises. While you enjoy brunch, the junk will slowly turn back towards the mainland where you’ll be driven to Hanoi to catch your flight to Danang. You’ll meet your guide on arrival and driven straight to Hoi An to check into your hotel.

Day 13 - Hoi An Walking Tour

Includes:

Join your guide for a morning walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An. Along with touring the old market, you'll visit popular sites such as the 16th Century Japanese Bridge and some of the town's important temples. You will also learn about some of the dishes that make Hoi An's cuisine so famous throughout Vietnam.

Day 14 - Relax and explore

Includes:

During your stay in Hoi An we ensure that you have plenty of free time as we feel it is a town that is easy, and for many preferable, to explore on foot and in your own time. However, in addition to exploring the Old Town - its galleries, boutiques and atmospheric morning market - there are a range of additional activities and day tours that we can organise. Speak to your Destination Specialist for inspiration.

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Ho Chi Minh City - 2 nights

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. The city centre is adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French-colonial buildings, alongside high-rise office towers which are starting to take their place in Vietnam’s modern economic centre. Explore a side of Ho Chi Minh City that few visitors know exists, let alone visit, by plunging into the heart of District 1’s hidden maze of bustling narrow alleyways and an evening of food and drink, mingling with the locals.

Day 15 - Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, evening Vespa tour

Includes:

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, where you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. Enjoy time at leisure until the evening when you’ll start a tour with a difference. Riding pillion on a Vespa, you’ll discover delicious Vietnamese specialities and hang out where the locals do. The evening culminates with a drink at the city’s leading live-music venue.

Day 16 - Delve into the Cu Chi Tunnels, City Tour

Includes:

Depart early from HCMC (to avoid the traffic and the crowds) to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels - an incredible underground network over 150 miles in length, constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters. The remaining tunnels have been opened to visitors, offering a unique insight into the ingenuity behind them, and a glimpse of underground life during the Vietnam war.

Return to the city and spend your afternoon visiting some of HCMC's key highlights, with your guide by your side to offer local insight.

Day 17 - Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Includes:

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 persons 3-4 5-6
Standard £2,572US$3,369 £2,336US$3,060 £2,113US$2,768

Anise Phnom Penh

Conveniently located in the very heart of Phnom Penh, and just minutes by foot from all the key sites and attractions, the Anise hotel allows you to... See more

The Moon Residence

Situated in the heart of Siem Reap, with the Old Market, shops and the river on its doorstep, The Moon Residence is a good value, locally owned and run hotel, in a brilliantly convenient location...

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Villa Chitdara

Brilliantly located on Khounsua Road - the quiet central street that slips between Luang Prabang's main night market and Mekong River Street - leafy Villa Chitdara is a small but charming guesthouse... See more

Essence Hotel

A firm favourite with the Selective Asia team (and past clients), The Essence Hotel enjoys a superb location in the centre of Hanoi's old quarter, just 10 minutes from serene Hoan Kiem Lake... See more

Bai Tho Junk

The long serving Bai Tho Junk company manage to deliver great value cruise experiences with safety at the forefront of everything they do. The company have been operating in the bay for years... See more

Boutique Hoi An Resort

The Boutique Hoi An Resort enjoys a superb location, directly on Cua Dai Beach and just a five minute drive from Hoi An's delightful Old Town. Couple this with stylish accommodation and superb service levels and it’s easy to see why... See more

Northern Hotel Saigon

A convenient location is top priority when choosing a city hotel, and the Northern Hotel Saigon ticks this box... See more
First Class £2,908US$3,810 £2,674US$3,503 £2,450US$3,209

VMansion Boutique Hotel

VMansion is a welcome breath of fresh air in one of the South-East Asia’s most exciting cities. Located within walking distance of many of Phnom Penh's key highlights... See more

Viroth's Hotel

Not to be confused with the original, smaller Viroth’s hotel, this fresher 1950’s inspired Viroth’s Hotel opened at the beginning of 2015... See more

Villa Maydou

Set in a pleasant garden in the very heart of the old town, the Villa Maydou consists of two wonderfully restored traditional Lao houses, both under the protection of the UNESCO world heritage programme... See more

La Siesta Classic Ma May

La Siesta Classic Ma May is a welcoming boutique property just a short stroll from Hoan Kiem Lake, within very easy reach of the many temptations of Old Quarter, and offers great facilities for a central Hanoi hotel...

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Dragons Pearl Junk

Modelled on traditional Chinese junks and an iconic sight on the waters of Vietnam’s beautiful Halong Bay, the Dragon’s Pearl is a lovely option for travellers keen to explore the region in comfort...

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Boutique Hoi An Resort

The Boutique Hoi An Resort enjoys a superb location, directly on Cua Dai Beach and just a five minute drive from Hoi An's delightful Old Town. Couple this with stylish accommodation and superb service levels and it’s easy to see why... See more

Liberty Central Saigon Riverside

Sister to the Liberty Central at Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh's latest riverside hotel, the Liberty Central Riverside doesn't disappoint... See more
Superior £3,347US$4,384 £3,107US$4,070 £2,883US$3,776

Palace Gate Hotel & Resort

Surrounding a beautifully restored French-Colonial villa, the Palace Gate Hotel & Resort serves up a well-balanced blend of classic luxury and modern chic...

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Shinta Mani Shack

Funky and stylish, the Shinta Mani Shack enjoys a location in the heart of Siem Reap’s French Quarter... See more

Maison Dalabua

This charming boutique hotel is located a short walk from Luang Prabang's historical centre and surrounded by UNESCO classified lotus ponds... See more

Movenpick Hanoi

Previously known as the Gouman Hotel, the Movenpick Hanoi is not only the seriously new-and-improved version - it has undergone the most outstanding transformation... See more

Peony Junk

The beautifully appointed Peony Junk cruises from Halong Bay into less-visited Lan Ha Bay, and with only 24 cabins and plenty of communal space, on-board life feels peaceful and relaxing… 

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Naman Retreat

Contemporary style meets eco-friendly architecture at this new beachfront resort. The designers have used plants, natural stone and bamboo to create something refreshingly different from the other properties that line the stretch of... See more

Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint

When researching a city hotel it’s all about a central location and the new Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint certainly ticks that box... See more
Deluxe £4,453US$5,834 £4,214US$5,520 £3,990US$5,226

Raffles le Royal

Sister hotel to the renowned Raffles in Singapore, the Le Royal is located in the heart of Phnom Penh, just yards from Wat Phnom - the founding place of the city - and within easy reach of many other key attractions, such as the Royal Palace and Central Market… See more

Shinta Mani Angkor

So much more than 'just another' deluxe hotel in Siem Reap, the Shinta Mani Angkor is very much part of the city's early heritage. Rebuilt from scratch in 2011, opening again in 2012... See more

Satri House

Previously a residence of Prince Soupha- Nouvong, Satri House underwent extensive renovation in 2008. The result is magnificent and for our money the hotel instantly became a serious contender for Luang Prabang’s boutique hotel crown... See more

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Opened in 1901 and once host to a roll-call of iconic 20th century guests, the Metropole Hanoi exudes historic charm like no other property in the city... See more

Heritage Line Ginger

Newly refurbished, the Heritage Line Ginger is one of the first junks to cruise beautiful, unspoilt Lan Ha Bay... See more

Fusion Maia Resort

Absolutely superb, the Fusion Maia is winning accolades all over. 30 minutes from Hoi An, moments from 19 miles of immaculate beach, this is secluded villa living at its best... See more

Hotel des Arts

New hotels are opening up in Ho Chi Minh City on a frequent basis and existing properties are investing in makeovers to compete, so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. Step in Hotel des Arts... See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

  • Enjoy a few days in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, cruising the serene waterways and visiting some of the regions bustling floating market.
  • Consider a stop in the south of Laos to see an entirely different side of this enigmatic country. The Si Phan Don, or 4000 Islands, is the ultimate in laid-back travel, and there are a number of more adventurous options to consider close by.
  • You may have heard about the large crowds in the Angkor temples at peak times. Whilst our experienced guides know a trick or two about avoiding these where possible, there are also a number of further-lying (and therefore quieter) temples that you may wish to consider.

     

    For example, Beng Mealea, which is the size and scale of Angkor Wat but utterly swallowed by the jungle; and the temple complex of Koh Ker, a 10th century capital abandoned for more than a thousand years. Both can easily be covered in a single day, in place of the existing programme or as an additional day.

At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.

The important stuff

Please note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will require a visa to enter Laos, Cambodia and possibly Vietnam. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on all your visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Kate – Indochina tailor-made specialist

'A perfect solution for anyone that wants to see it all in just one trip but has little more than two weeks to do it in. Simply Indochina delivers all the highlights without rushing you from one flight to the next.'

KateIndochina tailor-made specialist

Speak to Kate on 01273 670 001

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.