Collette Explorations and Travel With Chardoul, Inc.
Present the following:
Kingdoms of Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
October 22 — November 10, 2018 • 20 Days • 36 Meals
Highlights of trip
Reunification Palace, Mekong Delta, Angkor Wat, Blessing Ceremony, Ta Prohm Temple, Hanoi, Water Puppet Theater, Halong Bay, Hoi An
- Meet the monks of a local monastery and participate in a private blessing ceremony.
- Journey to the famous Pak Ou Caves, home to hundreds of Buddhas.
- See the Cu Chi Tunnels, a maze of underground Viet Cong passageways.
Itinerary at a Glance
|Day 1||Overnight Flight|
|Day 2 – 4||New World Saigon Hotel, Ho Chi Minh|
|Day 5 – 7||Royal Angkor Resort, Siem Reap|
|Day 8 – 10||Sanctuary Hotel, Luang Prabang|
|Day 11 – 13||Movenpick Hotel Hanoi, Hanoi|
|Day 14||Bhaya Classic Halong Bay, Halong|
|Day 15||Pilgrimage Village Hue, Hue|
|Day 16 – 18||Almanity Hoi An Resort and Spa, Hoi An|
|Day 19||New World Saigon Hotel, Ho Chi Minh|
On some dates alternate hotels may be used.
DAY 1: Oct 22, 2018: Overnight Flight
- Journey to a region rich in culture and history. Take in three extraordinary countries: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
DAY 2: Oct 23, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Tour Begins
- Your tour opens in historic Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. For centuries, the city has been the commercial hub of the region, creating a cultural melting pot.
DAY 3: Oct 24, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City
- This morning, head to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a maze of underground passageways used as hideouts by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon you’ll get acquainted with the city’s colonial landmarks on a tour that features the Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral,* the Reunification Palace, and the Binh Tay Market. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner. (BLD)
DAY 4: Oct 25, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City
- Explore the famous Mekong Delta, rich with natural and cultural wonders, during a cruise along this bustling river. Be introduced to daily life during a visit to a home where coconut candy and rice paste are made. Enjoy a lunch of regional cuisine in a lush tropical garden. Visit a local residence to learn about their traditional way of life. Later, enjoy a visit to Cao Dai Temple and explore the region’s rich architectural style. (BL)
DAY 5: Oct 26, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Fly to Cambodia and the village of Siem Reap, our gateway to the wonders of Angkor. Siem Reap brings together colonial and Chinese architecture of days gone by. Today, this ancient place is home to chic hotels and a thriving culinary scene. (BD)
DAY 6:Oct 27, 2018: Siem Reap
- Begin your day exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Thom, known for its colossal stone-carved faces. Discover its famous Bayon temple, Baphoun; Phimeanakas, the Royal Palace, the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace. Next, explore the famous Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building and the symbol of Cambodia. Stand before the stone carvings and bas-reliefs that adorn the complex, the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire. Remain until evening for an opportunity to see a spectacular sunset over the monuments. Dinner this evening is accompanied by an Apsara show. (BD)
DAY 7: Oct 28, 2018: Siem Reap
- Set out to see three impressive Hindu temples: the towering 11th-century pyramid-shaped Temple of Shiva; Banteay Srei Temple with its remarkably intricate carvings; and the well-preserved Banteay Samre Temple. This afternoon, spend time at a local monastery where you’ll meet the monks who reside there and participate in a private blessing ceremony. Then we continue to the mystical Buddhist temple Ta Prohm, overgrown by the creeping jungle. (BD)
DAY 8: Oct 29, 2018: Siem Reap – Luang Prabang, Laos
- Your day begins at the JWOC Community Center** where you’ll meet local school children. Then we fly to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos. (B)
DAY 9: Oct 30, 2018: Luang Prabang
- This morning we are off to two of the most remarkable temples in Luang Prabang: Wat Sen or “Temple of 100,000 Treasures,” and Wat Visun, the city’s oldest and most beautiful. Continue through the countryside to the stunning Kuang Si waterfalls, passing rice fields and small villages along the way. Return to town in time to gaze over Luang Prabang from atop Mount Phousi. Later, immerse yourself in the Night Market to browse for textiles, garments and crafts made by local residents and people from surrounding hill tribes. (BD)
DAY 10: Oct 31, 2018: Luang Prabang
- Board a traditional riverboat for a cruise down the Mekong River. Our first stop is to see the Wat Xieng Thong temple with its colorful Tree of Life mosaic. Continue on, pausing along the way to get to know the rural way of life in the small villages of Ban Xieng Maen and Ban Chan. Head for Wat Long Khoun – or the “Monastery of the Happy” – once a sanctuary for people looking for spiritual rejuvenation. The next stop on our journey is at Pak Ou Caves, home to hundreds of Buddhas. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving back to the city. En route, learn about locally made rice wine called “lao lao” in Ban Xang Hai. Discover local artisan creations including jute paper with stops in Ban Xang Khong and Ban Xieng Lek. (BL)
DAY 11: Nov 01, 2018: Luang Prabang – Hanoi, Vietnam
- Wake before dawn and participate in the offering of alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks. Fly to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. From ancient Chinese to French Colonial, this diverse city blends many cultures. It is truly a place where the old meets the new. (B)
DAY 12: Nov 02, 2018: Hanoi
- Begin your day in Ba Dinh Square, home of the mausoleum built to honor Ho Chi Minh, a revered figure in Vietnam. Behind this impressive site and standing in stark contrast is Minh’s simple house on stilts. Admire the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda resting on a single stone pillar emerging from the water. Take in the well preserved traditional architecture at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, founded in the early 11th century. Enjoy lunch at a nonprofit restaurant that empowers underprivileged children by training them with new skills. Then, set out on a cyclo tour of Hanoi that takes you through its old quarter. Catch a glimpse of ancient Hanoi and see traditional Vietnamese architecture including the long house. End the day with a traditional water puppet performance. (BLD)
DAY 13: Nov 03, 2018: Hanoi – Ky Son – Hanoi
- Venture through the countryside to Ky Son Village. Come to know life here as you embark on a stroll through the village. Learn about local culinary traditions during a cooking demonstration with a local chef before a lunch highlighting regional cuisine. Next, head to Duong Lam village. Along the way, meet villagers and see their unique historic homes and communal places of worship. Enjoy a visit to the Mia Pagoda. Stop at the humble Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung temples, built by the locals in the 8th and 10th centuries to honor their kings. Return to Hanoi for an evening at leisure. (BL)
DAY 14: Nov 04, 2018: Hanoi – Halong Bay
- Journey to Halong Bay for your overnight cruise on a luxury junk boat. Travel through the rice paddy fields and stop in some of the villages. Marvel at the thousands of limestone islands that dot these waters. Enjoy a lunchtime seafood feast aboard; then go for a swim in the crystal clear waters of the bay. Overnight among the dramatic limestone peaks rising out of the sea. (BLD)
DAY 15: Nov 05, 2018: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue
- Wake as the fog lifts, revealing the morning light. Cruise through the emerald waters of Halong Bay back to the harbor. Then we return to Hanoi to board a flight to Hue, the Imperial capital city. (B)
DAY 16: Nov 06, 2018: Hue – Hoi An
- Travel to the shores of the Perfume River and embark on a cruise that reveals Hue’s Imperial past. Stop at Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest and most remarkable religious buildings in the country. Then it’s on to the sprawling Imperial Citadel that originally encompassed 148 buildings. After your cruise, continue through the countryside via the breathtaking Hai Van Pass. Pause to see the quaint Lang Co fishing village before arriving in Hoi An, an ancient merchant trading port and a UNESCO World Heritage site. (BLD)
DAY 17: Nov 07, 2018: Hoi An
- Learn about the local cuisine at today’s cooking class. Begin with a visit to a local market to interact with vendors and learn about traditional ingredients. Learn how each of the vegetables and herbs are used to create everyday Vietnamese cuisine and enjoy lunch after your class. Then, visit one of Hoi An’s famous lantern workshops and try your hand at lantern making. These colorful handmade creations are a part of the culture of the city and symbolize luck, happiness and wealth to the residents. Set out on a walking tour of this well-preserved town. Feel like you have stepped into the past as you stroll by the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, the ancient merchant house, and a 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge. Later, enjoy a peaceful boat trip along the Thu Bon River before time at leisure to explore the old town. (BL)
DAY 18: Nov 08, 2018: Hoi An
- Catch a glimpse into the Champa Kingdom at the remarkable ruins of My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated in a remote jungle valley. This once thriving epicenter of religion and politics dates back to the 4th century and has more than 20 well-preserved monuments to explore. Then it’s off to Tra Que Herb Village, a small farming community. En route, stop to see 17th-century Japanese tombs, the only ones of their kind outside of Japan. Arrive in town and observe the local farmers tending to their crops and sample some local delicacies. Relax as you soak your feet in an herbal bath before returning to Hoi An. Tonight, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. (BD)
DAY 19: Nov 09, 2018: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City
- Fly to Ho Chi Minh City this afternoon. Tonight, toast to the end of a remarkable trip while savoring your farewell dinner. (BD)
DAY 20: Nov 10, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City – Tour Ends
- Return home with a wealth of incredible memories. (B)
Our industry-leading cancellation waiver offers travellers a full cash refund for the price of the tour, right up to the day prior to departure, minus the small cost of the waiver. Travel worry-free knowing if anything changes, you’re protected.
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Plus, you’re covered on tour.
Our cancellation waiver and insurance plan covers you on tour. If you have to stop your trip or return home early, need medical assistance or evacuation, suffer a baggage loss or delay; or are delayed on tour for 12 hours or more, you’re covered.
Cancellation Waiver and Insurance is just $315 per person.
Save $300 per person*
* For bookings made after 3/23/2018 call for rates.
* Included in Price: Round Trip Air from Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR), Air Taxes and Fees/Surcharges, Hotel Transfers.
Lynne Erikson at Dolphin Vacations can assist you with air arrangements for departure cities other than Grand Rapids.
* Not Included in Price: Cancellation Waiver and Insurance of $315 per person
* All Rates are Per Person and are subject to change based on air inclusive package from GRR
Book Now rates valid until Mar 23, 2018, valid on air inclusive packages only.
Economy air rate and schedule are applicable for groups of 10 or more traveling on the same flights and dates.
Travel with just 24 passengers on this Explorations tour where a smaller group setting means a more personal travel experience.
Museum visits and shopping may be affected with observance of religious or local holidays.
Smaller buses, which may not be lavatory equipped, may be used on this program. In this case, frequent stops are made during travel periods.
It is recommended that you bring an overnight bag (rather than your large luggage) on the overnight Halong Bay cruise. This will afford you more room to move about your cruise cabin. Your large luggage will be stored on the bus in a secure location.
**In Cambodia, the Collette Foundation is supporting Journeys within Our Community (JWOC). JWOC works to improve the lives of community members in Siem Reap through educational programs, microloans and water projects. The foundation partnered with JWOC in 2009. In 2010, the foundation assisted in building a library for the center. You will have the opportunity to visit the library during your tour. Many past travelers have inquired about in-kind donations. The Collette Foundation does not accept in-kind donations directly; however, if you wish to bring items to the children, the following is a list of suggestions: crayons, craft materials, children’s books, markers and coloring books.
To complete your tour, we include roundtrip airport-to-hotel transfers when purchasing Explorations airfare with your tour. If you have arranged for your own air, we are pleased to provide you the option of purchasing these transfers. Please note that all transfers will leave at pre-scheduled times.
Not all vendors accept credit cards or travelers checks; therefore, it is recommended you bring small amounts of US dollars which are widely accepted for personal use.
The days and order of sightseeing may change to best utilize your time on tour.
Single accommodations are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Triple and child accommodations are not available.
*Saigon’s Notre Dame Cathedral will be viewed from the exterior.
Please note that Collette Foundation sites may not be available for visits due to school holidays, weekends or programming challenges.
Each guest is responsible for proper documentation and inoculations that may be required and/or recommended to participate on this tour. Please contact your local travel clinic or personal physician for specific details on the destinations you are traveling to and from.
Due to flight schedules, a pre and/or post night stay may be required in some gateway cities (at an additional cost). Please inquire at time of reservation.
Please be advised many airlines do not provide advance seat assignments until check-in at the airport. Advance seating will be subject to the airline’s terms and conditions.
The internal flights on this program are not included in the land price of your tour. These flights need to be arranged and purchased separately if you arrange your own air. Internal flights are included with the air portion of your tour if you purchase air through us. Internal flights that are purchased will be ticketed and distributed on tour by your Tour Manager.
VISAS ARE REQUIRED for this tour at your expense. The approximate cost for a one month MULTIPLE ENTRY VIETNAM VISA is 135 USD and MUST BE OBTAINED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. You can obtain the visa for Cambodia at the airport upon arrival. The cost is approximately 30 USD and two complete blank pages are required in your passport along with one passport photo. A Laos visa is required for this tour at your expense. This can be purchased upon arrival in Luang Prabang, Laos. The approximate cost is 36 USD. One blank page is required in your passport. Certain countries require a minimum of 6 months passport validity from the date of return home. Rates are approximate and can be changed at any time based on governing authority.
This tour is very active, requiring a great deal of physical fitness to fully enjoy all the experiences. This itinerary has more strenuous activities which may include such things as: extensive walking tours, transfers over uneven and dusty terrain, high altitudes, early morning departures, late night activities, or extreme temperatures. All conditions do not apply to all days so please read the itinerary carefully and speak to one of our travel counselors to determine if this tour is right for you. We recommend this program to individuals with a good level of physical fitness. Unfortunately, this tour is not appropriate for individuals who use either walkers or wheelchairs. If this trip is not ideally suited for you, our travel counselors can help determine the perfect trip for you.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact either:
- Travel with Chardoul • Paul Chardoul • (616) 975-9498 • email@example.com
- firstname.lastname@example.org Dolphin Vacations • Lynne Erikson • (616)954-2977