Immerse yourself in the historical, cultural and culinary treasures of four countries — Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand — on a single, comprehensive journey through Southeast Asia that includes watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat.
Day 1 - Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your colonial-style hotel.
Day 2 - Hanoi
Hanoi is the country’s cultural heart, bearing traces of centuries of changing dynasties. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s house, a simple structure that served as home to the revolutionary guerrilla leader. Continue to the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the first independent Vietnamese empire, and visit the Temple of Literature. After lunch at a local restaurant, set foot in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison, where American prisoners of war were once confined. Later, Ride Like a Local by cyclo through the city’s Old Quarter.
Day 3 - Ha Long Bay
Travel to Hai Phong, where you board ‘Orchid’ for a cruise of picturesque Ha Long Bay. Relax on deck as ‘Orchid’ snakes past the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan, their striking karsts (limestone formations) rising dramatically from the emerald waters. On a course less frequented by other cruises, wind past Thoi Quyt and Coc Ngoi islets. Disembark on Cat Ba Island and travel overland through a stunning karst landscape cloaked in verdant forests on your way to Trung Trang Cave. Admire the cave’s intricate features, formed over millennia. Back aboard ‘Orchid,’ cruise to Lan Ha Bay, a quiet corner of greater Ha Long Bay, where you view the sunset framed against the Gulf of Tonkin shoreline. Back on ‘Orchid,’ join a cooking demonstration led by a chef who prepares traditional Vietnamese cuisine, followed by dinner on board.
Day 4 - Ha Long Bay
Greet the sunrise with a tai chi lesson on deck, before enjoying a kayak excursion among the towering limestone pinnacles. Enjoy brunch back on board ‘Orchid,’ and then return to port to disembark. Set out on a city tour of Hai Phong, including Hang Kenh Temple, where you take in a private water puppet show, before transferring back to Hanoi and flying to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.
Day 5 - Ho Chi Minh City
Recently experiencing a resurgence of art and culture, lively, evocative Ho Chi Minh City is a hub of activity — a sharp contrast to the traditional ambience of Hanoi. Rise early this morning for a cyclo ride to experience the vibrant Tao Dan Park, explore the city’s wet markets and admire a secret bunker. Sip local coffee and sample pho for breakfast, before returning to the hotel for your morning at leisure. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. At lunch, try your hand at making banh khot, a savory Vietnamese pancake. Then visit the city’s Reunification Palace and stop by a Cao Dai temple to learn about a unique religion in Southern Vietnam.
Day 6 - Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, the underground paths used by the Vietcong. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:
Tour the War Remnants Museum to view photographs from Bunyo Ishikawa, a Vietnam War photojournalist.
Explore the City’s Bustling Culinary Scene, sampling traditional dishes prepared by local street-food vendors, as well as local craft beer.
Stroll Ben Thanh Market and Craft Boutiques to discover the latest in trendy shops and local market life.
Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 7 - Siem Reap, Cambodia
Fly to charming Siem Reap, the town nearest to the breathtaking ruins of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. In the afternoon, set out with your expert guide to explore the stunning ruins of Ta Prohm, where the roots of great trees seem to have spilled over the roof of this iconic stone temple. Later, check in to your hotel.
Day 8 - Siem Reap
Rise early and proceed by tuk-tuk to witness sunrise over Angkor Wat. This afternoon, visit Bayon Temple and the South Gate of Angkor Thom.
Day 9 - Siem Reap
Today, explore a less-visited temple — Banteay Srei, known as the “Citadel of Women.” Learn about the essential work of the Cambodia Clean Water Project, an A&K Philanthropy project that builds pumping wells in rural communities throughout the country. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before bidding farewell to Cambodia, as you fly to Luang Prabang, Laos.
Day 10 - Luang Prabang, Laos
Step back in time for a day. This morning, explore charming Luang Prabang. Begin with a visit to the National Museum, which was once a royal palace, for an overview of the history and culture of Luang Prabang. Then, follow the quiet back lanes to the beautiful Heuan Chan Heritage House. After a refreshing tea in the gardens, proceed to the enchanting Wat Xieng Thong, a Buddhist Temple noted for its “Tree of Life” wall mosaic. Then, explore Wat Khili, the “Temple of the Golden Mountain.” Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore on your own. Early this evening, board a private sunset cruise on the iconic Mekong River.
Day 11 - Luang Prabang
Rise very early to give alms to Buddhist monks, an optional activity that puts you in touch with the local culture and community, before returning to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, set off for the cascading waters of Kuang Si Waterfall Park. Explore a path that runs alongside a wide multi-tiered waterfall tumbling over limestone formations and take a moment to reflect on your journey. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and head to a nearby village to participate in a baci ceremony — a good luck ritual for a safe onward journey that is part of the local culture — before flying to Bangkok, Thailand’s vibrant capital.
Day 12 - Bangkok, Thailand
Depart the hotel by private boat, travelling along the Chao Phraya River, to explore the sprawling Grand Palace, site of the historic Siamese court and home to Thailand’s most important shrine, the green-jade Emerald Buddha. Also visit the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles to view its dazzling array of intricate handweavings. Return to your hotel by boat for an afternoon and evening at leisure.
Day 13 - Depart Bangkok
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departing flight.