Unforgettable Travel Company

Ultimate Indochina

  • Duration14 Nights
  • StylePrivate Tour
  • When to GoOct - Apr
  • Price GuideFrom $5,705 Per Person
This complete tour showcases the very best of former Indochina – Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Privately guided throughout, you’ll enjoy fine food, great hotels, fantastic hospitality, a treasure trove of unforgettable travel memories. Start in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, the first of several colorful and characterful Southeast Asian cities to be explored on this trip. Continue down the Vietnamese coast, passing through Lan Ha Bay, imperial Hue, charming Hoi An, and pulsating Ho Chi Minh City. You then fly across to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, before landing in Siem Reap, home to the magnificent temples of Angkor. The trip then concludes in magical Luang Prabang, a laidback and endlessly captivating Laotian city that boats heritage, culture, gastronomy, and luxury in equal measure.

At a Glance

  • Days 1 - 2
    • Hanoi

      • Fast track airport arrival service and private transfer to your hotel
      • Private city tour including Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market, the Temple of Literature, and food tastings
      • Free afternoon to explore the Old Quarter independently
  • Day 3
    • Lan Ha Bay

      • Private road transfer to Tuan Chau Marina to board cruise
      • Overnight deluxe junk cruise with private balcony cabin
      • Excursions on board including cooking demo, squid fishing, kayaking, visiting small islets and caves
  • Days 4 - 5
    • Hoi An

      • Disembark cruise, and fly to Hoi An with private transfers
      • Private cycling tour in the Hoi An countryside
      • Free time to enjoy your hotel, visit the beach, or arrange cycling tours locally
  • Day 6
    • Hue

      • Transfer to Hue via the dramatic Hai Van Pass
      • Private city tour including the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, and a Perfume River cruise
  • Days 7 - 8
    • Ho Chi Minh City

      • Fly down to Ho Chi Minh City with private airport transfers
      • Private food & nightlife tour by vintage Vespa
      • Small group tour of the Cu Chi tunnels by speedboat
  • Day 9
    • Phnom Penh

      • Fly to Phnom Penh with private airport transfers & fast track arrival service
      • Private food tour of the Cambodian capital
      • Private city tour including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda
      • Optional afternoon tour of Tuol Sleng & the Killing Fields
  • Days 10 - 11
    • Siem Reap

      • Fly to Siem Reap with private airport transfers
      • Sunset gondola cruise on the moat of Angkor Thom with cocktails
      • Private tours of the outer Angkor complex: Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, the Bayon
      • Afternoon private boat tour of Lake Tonle Sap
  • Days 12 - 15
    • Luang Prabang

      • Sunrise tour of Angkor Wat
      • Fly to Luang Prabang with private airport transfers & fast track arrival service
      • Private city tour of Luang Prabang including Wat Xiengthong
      • Early morning ‘Tak Bat’ alms-giving ceremony, exclusive breakfast at Kuang Si falls, and visit to the Laos Buffalo Dairy
      • Optional extra day to include the Mandalao Elephant Sanctuary, a river cruise to the Pak Beng cave temples, hikes in the surrounding countryside, or more
      • Private departure transfer to Luang Prabang International Airport
  • Meet Our Expert

    Luke 257 246

    Luke Stapylton-Smith

    Asia Specialist

    I am totally captivated by Asia. Having lived in Singapore, Nepal, South Korea and Hong Kong, travelled extensively across all of our destinations in Asia, and worked in luxury travel for many years, curating exceptional trips comes naturally to me.

    CALL US ON: +1 844 879 7838
    Request a Quote

    What's Included

    • 14 nights in 4-star boutique hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
    • 1 night on-board deluxe boutique junk cruise with full board meals
    • 5x further lunches & 2x further dinners during mentioned tours and activities
    • Private arrival and departure airport transfers including fast track airport assistance on arrival in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos
    • All mentioned transfers and road transport on a private basis in air-conditioned minivans
    • Shared excursions onboard overnight junk cruise and speedboat to Cu Chi tunnels
    • All other mentioned tours and sightseeing on a private basis with private driver and English-speaking local guides
    • Entrance fees for any mentioned sightseeing, permits, local taxes, etc
    • All mentioned regional flights in economy class, inclusive minimum 20kg per person checked baggage
    • Comprehensive final itinerary and travel app
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
    • Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests

    What's not Included

    • International flights from your country of origin
    • Tourist visas for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Your consultant will advise on how to obtain these visas
    • Tips or gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel staff
    • Any meals, tours, or activities other than those specifically mentioned in itinerary
    • Incidental local expenses - souvenirs, laundry, taxis, etc
    • Travel insurance - we strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip

    Day by Day Itinerary

    • Day 1

      Hanoi: Fast track arrival service and transfer to your hotel

      D2 Hanoi VietnamUntitled 2023 08 29T153024.064 min

      Your begins with your arrival into Noi Bai International Airport. After landing in Hanoi you will be met off the airbridge and assisted with fast-track arrival service through immigration, baggage, and customs. You’ll then meet your local English-speaking guide and accompanying private driver and then taken straight to your downtown hotel. This will be a journey of around 45 minutes in typical traffic. Your guide will provide a brief introduction to the city during the transfer and after checking into your accommodation you’ll have the remainder of the day to relax, or to head out and discover plenty of places to drink, dine and shop.

      Located northwest of the Red River Delta, Hanoi translates as “the hinterland between the rivers.” It’s also a city of lakes, with 18 found here, the most prominent of which is the picturesque Hoan Kiem lake in the city center, just south of the bustling Old Quarter. A heady mix of Eastern and European styles, Hanoi is a fascinating and fun place to explore independently.

      Accommodation Options:

      • La Siesta Premium Hang Be, Hanoi Exterior

        La Siesta Premium Hang Be, Hanoi

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      • Apricot Hotel Exterior

        Apricot Hotel

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      • Untitled design 8 300x209 1

        Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi

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    • Day 2

      Hanoi: City tour of the Vietnamese capital

      Colourful houses in the Old Quarter Hanoi 1Ngoc Son Temple Hanoi Vietnam

      After breakfast you will meet your guide and head out for a private tour of the city. Start with a visit to the Temple of Literature, the first university in the country, built in 1070 instructing the teachings of Confucius. You’ll then enjoy a walking tour of the atmospheric and energetic Old Quarter, which includes a short stop inside a family home to learn more about local life and lifestyles. Continue to the highly photogenic Ngoc Son Temple which sits proudly in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake, before rounding out the morning with a lunch at a local restaurant. The afternoon is then yours to relax back at the hotel or continue exploring independently.

    • Day 3

      Lan Ha Bay: Transfer to Lan Ha Bay for an overnight cruise

      D4 Halong bay VietnamUntitled 2023 08 29T153349.967 min

      After an early breakfast you’ll be transferred out to the mouth of the Red River delta, making for Tuan Chau Marina, from where you’ll begin your overnight cruise in Lan Ha Bay. Lan Ha is the less-visited but equally stunning neighbor to Halong Bay (which has begun to suffer from over-tourism), made up of 100s of dramatic karst outcrops and islets. Your overnight cruise will pass through some truly breathtaking scenery, and will include excursions such as visits to small and sparsely populated islands, kayaking or swimming, and cooking demonstrations. Accommodation is in an extremely comfortable private cabin, with dining and service on board second-to-none. Please note that your local guide is not permitted to join you on board; all excursions will be led by cruise guides and shared with other passengers.

      • Orchid Premium Exterior

        Orchid Premium

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      • Ginger 1 Small 300x200 1

        Heritage Line Ginger

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    • Day 4

      Hoi An: Disembark and fly down to Hoi An

      D5 Hoi An VietnamHoi An Vietnam

      You have the option of an early start for an energizing Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck before the cruise begins its sail back to the mainland. Breakfast and a further excursion on board will be included before you disembark back in Tuan Chua. You’ll be met by your private guide and driver once more and then transferred to the airport for an onward flight down to Hoi An.

      Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port. It was most active between the 15th and 19th centuries, with much of the infrastructure dating back to the time still standing. The whole town is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

      On arrival, your private guide will take you for a walking tour of the Old Town, with its narrow (and pedestrianized) streets full of historic shophouses. Take in the Phuc Kien Pagoda, the Japanese wooden bridge, and the lively central market. You will also find a great many tailoring outlets; Hoi An is famous for its tailors and is a great place to pick up well-priced bespoke clothing. Please speak to your guide for a recommendation.

      Accommodation Options:

      • Untitled design 19 300x209 1

        La Siesta Resort Spa, Hoi An

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      • Untitled design 17 300x209 1

        Anantara Hoi An Resort

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    • Day 5

      Hoi An: Cycling tour around Hoi An

      Cycling in the countryside Hoi An 1My Son Vietnam

      Your guide will meet you after breakfast and together you will cycle out into the scenically and culturally rich countryside which surrounds Hoi An. Passing through paddy fields, coconut forests, farmland, and picturesque villages, you will cycle along quiet and flat tracks for approximately 6km, although this can be extended or shortened depending on your interests. The village lanes will bring you to an organic farm, where you will stop to spend some time learning about farming practices and get hands-on if you wish. You will also enjoy a basket boat ride along the Do River which finishes at the farm’s restaurant, where you will enjoy lunch.

      The rest of the day is then at leisure. There is a wealth of activity on offer in Hoi An: take in a cycling tour of the nearby countryside and villages, shop for clothes or crafts in the Old Town, ask your guide about a side tour to the rural My Son temples, or spend the day relaxing back at the hotel or on the nearby beach.

    • Day 6

      Hue: Scenic drive to Hue; afternoon Imperial sightseeing

      Hai Van Pass VietnamDay 7 1 scaled e1610204001279

      After breakfast, you will depart Hue and be driven back north up the coast to the former Imperial capital, Hue. First pass through the port city of Danang, then the famous Da Nang Beach which was an R&R center for American GIs, before turning to the spectacular Hai Van Pass, passing up through the clouds and following a snaking path between the Marble Mountains and the South China Sea.

      Arrive in Hue late morning. Set on the banks of the Perfume River, the city was the former home of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Although Hue suffered heavy bombing during the ‘American War’, most of its cultural treasures thankfully still stand, and it remains a pleasant, laidback city with an easy-to-explore center and enticing riverside night market.

      In the afternoon your guide will lead you around the city, starting at the Imperial Citadel. This sprawling complex covers an area of 520 hectares comprising three circles; the Hue Capital Citadel, the Royal Citadel, and the Forbidden Citadel. In the afternoon visit the Royal Mausoleums of former emperors Tu Duc and Minh Mang, built according to the laws of geomancy. Close the day with a sunset cruise on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, a working Buddhist monastery that dates to 1601, and remains a symbol of the city.

      Accommodation Options:

      • Untitled design 8 7 300x209 1

        Hotel Saigon Morin, Hue

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      • Untitled design 8 6 300x209 1

        Azerai La Residence, Hue

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    • Day 7

      HCMC: Fly down to Ho Chi Minh City; evening Vespa street food tour

      D1 Ho Chi Minh City1500 x 333 Ban Xeo Vietnam

      This morning you’ll be transferred to Hue Airport from where you’ll take a short domestic flight down to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Upon arrival you will be greeted by a new guide and driver who will transfer you to your downtown hotel.

      Ho Chi Minh City is among Asia’s most dynamic and enthralling cities. Older travelers will know it by its former name Saigon – it was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1976, although you’ll find many locals still use the former name. Today’s HCMC is a dynamic metropolis of skyscrapers and shopping malls, juxtaposed with sprawling traditional markets and ancient temples. The former colonial center is especially charming, with French institutions such as the Opera House, Post Office, and Cathedral still standing in all their gothic splendor.

      In the evening you will be picked up for a part-nocturnal excursion, part street food adventure – a tour of the city and its nightlife on the back of vintage Vespa scooters. Taking you through Chinatown and central Districts 1 and 4, the tour includes stops at several bars and cafes, with all food and drink included.

      Accommodation Options:

      • Mai House Saigon

        Mai House Saigon

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      • Hotel des Arts Saigon

        Hotel Des Arts Saigon

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      • Untitled design 30 300x200 1

        Caravelle Hotel Saigon

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    • Day 8

      HCMC: Cu Chi Tunnels by speedboat and city tour

      D3Cu Chi tunnelsHo Chi Minh City e1608303105149

      After breakfast you will be transferred to Bach Dang jetty, where you will board a shared speedboat boat to the Cu Chi tunnels. This river journey provides a glimpse of the changing faces of Vietnam – the glittering skyscrapers and busy commercial center give way to green paddy fields and pottery villages dotted along the Saigon River. The Cu Chi tunnel complex was initially started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as communication routes, storage facilities for food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American war.

      A visit to the underground villages will provide a better understanding of how the tunnels were constructed, the hardship of life in the tunnels, and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Note that the Cu Chi tunnels have been widened in places for visitors, however they can still be dark, hot, and claustrophobic inside so please bear this in mind if you do not like enclosed spaces.

    • Day 9

      Phnom Penh: Fly to the Cambodian capital; Evening food tour

      D7 Phnom Penh CambodiaiStock 472083095 e1608304377196

      This morning you’ll be transferred back to Saigon Airport and then board a short flight across the Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh.

      Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is one of Asia’s most exciting and fastest-growing cities. Get settled into your room and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. If you want to take a stroll, you’ll find many elegant colonial buildings and grand boulevards which saw Phnom Penh donned the “Paris of the East” during the 1920s. We highly recommend a visit to the Central Market, an astonishing piece of Art Deco architecture which contains vast hallways housing countless stalls selling all sorts of items.

      As the sun dips you will head back out to explore the vibrant Cambodian capital’s drinking and dining scene. Your guide will first take you to a rooftop bar for a sundowner accompanied by epic views. You’ll then be whisked away by ‘remork’ (as tuk-tuks are known in Cambodia) to a hidden back-alley restaurant, where you’ll whet your appetite on local Cambodian-style tapas. Next stop is main course at another fantastic hidden gem, well known by locals and expatriates but far from the tourist trail, where you will feast on Cambodian barbeque and locally-brewed beer. End the evening with coffee and dessert in the heart of Phnom Penh’s lively riverfront nightlife area. From here you can either be taken back to the hotel for a well-earned rest or – armed with suggestions from your guide – continue the night independently.

      Accommodation Options:

      • Baitong Hotel

        Baitong Hotel

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      • Hotel KVL Exterior

        Hotel KVL

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      • Raffles Le Royal

        Raffles Le Royal

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    • Day 10

      Siem Reap: Phnom Penh city tour, then fly to Siem Reap; sundowners at Angkor Thom

      iStock 607461446 e1608303954643iStock 638939664 scaled e1608304230440

      After breakfast you will meet your guide and head out for a private tour of the city. Begin at the attractive Royal Palace, and then the neighboring Silver Pagoda, covered in approximately 5,000 silver tiles. Afterward you’ll explore the massive collection of Khmer sculptures and artifacts in the National Museum which were recovered from the ancient Angkor Empire. You will then learn more about the sober recent history of Cambodia, visiting the infamous Tuol Sleng prison and then the “Killing Fields” of Choeng Ek where over 17,000 civilians were killed and buried in the 1970s. These visits can be skipped should you prefer – please discuss locally with your guide.

      After the sightseeing, you’ll be transferred to Phnom Penh Airport for your flight over to Siem Reap. While best-known for the temples and ruins of Angkor, once the world’s largest and greatest pre-industrial city, Siem Reap also offers opportunities to explore museums, markets, and buzzing nightlife. Once checked in you will have the remainder of the day free to rest and recuperate at the hotel, or jump in a tuk-tuk and head out to explore.

      In the late afternoon, you’ll be taken for your first taste of Angkorian temples, exploring the labyrinthine Banteay Kdei, with its intricately carved hall of Dancing Girls. You’ll then be taken to the moat of Angkor Thom, enjoying a leisurely boat ride as the sun sets, with cocktail in hand.

      Accommodation Options:

      • Treeline Urban Resort Exterior

        Treeline Urban Resort

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      • Jaya House River Park

        Jaya House River Park

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      • Shinta Mani Pool Icon 300x200 1

        Shinta Mani Angkor, Siem Reap

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    • Day 11

      Siem Reap: Temples of the forest tour; Afternoon cruise on Tonle Sap

      Srah Srang sunrise Angkor Siem ReapFriendly locals smiles Tonle Sap Siem Reap

      Wake early this morning to enjoy the lesser-visited corners of the Angkor complex at their quietest time of day. Head first to Srah Srang, Angkor’s expansive 700m x 350m reservoir, which glows a deep orange at sunrise. Continue to the legendary jungle temple Ta Prohm, its crumbling ruins now held together with roots and vines. A 15-minute walk through the forest north of Ta Prohm then takes you to Ta Nei where you’ll be served a delicious picnic breakfast. At this time of day you’re likely to have the entire temple site to yourselves. A short drive then brings you to the final stop of the morning – Ta Keo, known as the ‘Mountain of Bronze Peaks’, with its impressive five-tiered pyramid structure. You’ll be dropped back at your hotel in the mid-morning and have some time to relax.

      As the sun dips head out to the great Tonle Sap Lake: the richest freshwater fishing ground in the world and a Cambodian national treasure. A privately guided boat tour will introduce you to the communities that live around the margins of the lake, who adapt to the continual variation in water levels by building their homes on floating stilts. Take the opportunity to pause at the stilted houses to learn how a subsistence fishing family lives, before returning to shore, where you will find some cool sundowners have been prepared for you.

    • Day 12

      Luang Prabang: Sunrise at Angkor Wat, then fly to Luang Prabang

      iStock 544473722 scaled e1608304457762Overview of Luang Prabang city 1

      This morning you will visit Angkor Wat, the mother of all temples. Timings are flexible but we recommend visiting at dawn, seeing the sun climb over the temple and bathe it in the softest and best light of the day. Angkor Wat is reputed to be the largest religious complex in the world. Constructed over 30 years during the reign of Suryavarman II, it was originally a Hindu mountain temple, then later converted to Buddhist use in the 16th century, remaining in such use today. The sheer scale of Angkor Wat, coupled with the incredible complexity and detail of its bas reliefs, is difficult to comprehend.

      Freshen up back at your hotel, then head back to Siem Reap Airport for your flight over to Luang Prabang. Arrive in the late afternoon, and after an introduction to your Laotian driver and guide you’ll be transferred to your hotel and have the evening to relax. Your guide will give you a brief orientation of the ancient town with its many excellent options for shopping and dining later this evening.

      Magical does not begin to cover the experience of Luang Prabang, the former capital of Laos which sits at the confluence of the Nam Kha and Mekong rivers. This ancient, pocket-sized city has a population of just 50,000, around half of whom reside in a thin peninsula that falls wholly under UNESCO World Heritage Status thanks to a dazzling array of historic Buddhist sanctuaries and gorgeous traditional architecture. A UNESCO decree prevents any modern development within the Old Town, ensuring its atmosphere and character are remarkably well preserved. Spiritual nourishment is the order of the day here with many fine boutique hotels offering luxurious comfort, combined with an immersive array of activities which include food tours, photography walks, encounters with monks and former royalty, and a whole world of gorgeous mountain scenery to be discovered on all sides.

      Accommodation Options:

      • My Dream Boutique Exterior

        My Dream Boutique Resort

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      • Satri House Exterior

        Satri House

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      • La Residence Phu Vao Exterior

        La Residence Phu Vao

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    • Day 13

      Luang Prabang: Walking tour of the ancient city with private Baci ceremony

      Night market Luang PrabangSunset over the Mekong Luang Prabang

      Today you’ll embark on a full-day tour of alluring Luang Prabang. The quaint Royal Palace Museum provides an excellent starting point and an overview of the culture and history of the city. You’ll then walk through the quiet, tree-laden backstreets to the wonderfully-preserved Huan Chuan heritage house, taking in its historical items and architectural charms while learning about the connection it has with the Royal Palace. You’ll also enjoy a cooling ice tea in its gardens, drawing up the energy to then walk through Laos’s most storied and attractive temple, the gilded Wat Xiengthong, with its low-sweeping roof a true representation of the classic Luang Prabang style. You’ll then cross to the smaller Wat Khili, visiting its fascinating library which houses a beautiful exhibition of Buddhist photography.

      Break for lunch (payable locally) and then afterward continue to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, which provides a unique insight into the ethnic and cultural blend of Laos. You’ll then get in the car and transfer to a small village just outside of town. Here you’ll meet a village elder for a private ‘Baci’ ceremony. Baci are performed in celebration of an important event – such as weddings, births, or the arrival of important guests – and is a means of expressing goodwill and good luck to others. The ceremony will involve chanting and offerings to the spirits and concludes with tying a string bracelet around each other’s wrists to lock in the goodwill for your onward travels…both through the itinerary, and through life beyond.

    • Day 14

      Luang Prabang: Breakfast at Kuang Si Falls

      Kuang Si FallsLuang Prabang 1Elephants in Laos

      This morning you have the option of an exceptionally early start (05.30am) to witness and partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks. Observe as locals line the streets, offering small gifts of food to saffron-clad trainee monks as they make their way slowly through the old city. This procession is iconic to Luang Prabang and remains a deeply affecting ritual to locals. After witnessing alms-giving you will be taken to the local fresh market at its busiest time of day to continue seeing the city come to life.

      A 30-minute transfer then follows to the incredible multi-tiered Kuang Si waterfalls, which spill out of the lush jungle and down through a series of pools and terraces. Here your early start is rewarded: arriving around 8am, well before anyone else arrives, you will have the falls to yourself. You’ll find a luxury gourmet picnic breakfast laid out for you, which can be enjoyed overlooking the falls. After breakfast you can spend some time walking the forest trails which surround, or bring your swimwear for a refreshing dip! At the base of the falls you’ll find the small but valuable Bear Rescue Centre, which protects and rehabilitates the rare Asiatic Black Bear.

      Head back to your hotel to freshen up and then spend the rest of the day at leisure. There’s so much on offer in Luang Prabang, so make sure to ask your consultant how best to spend this day. For adventure enthusiasts, enquire about vigorous hikes or cycling in the surrounding hills, or kayaking adventures upriver to the revered Pak Ou Caves. For nature lovers, trips to a nearby elephant sanctuary or the beautiful Botanical Gardens are highly recommended. Families will enjoy an immersive rice-farming experience or a visit to the Lao Dairy, where you can get hands-on in producing Indochina’s best (and only!) buffalo cheese. Further cultural and spiritual immersion can be found via private audiences with monks or local artists.

    • Day 15

      Luang Prabang: Departure day

      Tak bat ceremony in Luang PrabangAirplane flying over Luang Prabang 1

      Sadly your adventures in Indochina must come to an end. At the appropriate time, you’ll be transferred privately from your hotel back to Luang Prabang Airport, arriving in good time to check in for your onward flight. Speak to your consultant for ideas on how to tailor or extend this sample tour.

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