Grand Tour of Indochina

30 days |34-38 days extension
Group size5-10
Reviews 6

Discover the heart and soul of Indochina on this tour of four very diverse countries. Encounter history, both ancient and modern, and witness the unbelievable splendour of Angkor Wat. Our tour will ensure your accommodation and transportation are covered-so you can choose the activities that interest you. Push through hectic city lanes and tap into the pulsing nightlife. And with other travellers your own age, you can be sure to get down with adventurers that'll keep up.

What’s Included:
• Flights indicated in the itinerary
• All accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
• Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
• English speaking guides
• Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
• Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
• Visa document to Vietnam

What’s Excluded:
• Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
• Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
• Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
• Tips for guides and drivers
• Personal travel insurance
• Vietnam & Cambodia Visa fees

Full Itinerary

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3 Nights: Day 1: arrive Bangkok

Upon your arrival at Bangkok airport, you will be welcomed by your guide, who will transfer you to your hotel. The remainder of your day is at leisure.

Day 2: Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple + Wat Pho + Wat Arun

09:00 - Pick up from hotel
09:45 - Visit Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple, continue by private van to Wat Pho
12:00 - Continue on long tail boat to weekend market and canal tour, you will have time to try local food at the market before back to the boat again to Wat Arun
13:45 - Visit Wat Arun, and cross the river by ferry to meet our driver.
and back 16:00 - Drop back at hotel.

Day 3: Ayutthaya Tour

The historic city was once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, so it’s no surprise that it is home to some of the most majestic palaces and ancient ruins in Thailand. One of the locations you’ll get to visit on this tour includes the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, a breathtaking complex situated beside the Chao Phraya River and was formerly used by the Thai kings. You’ll also explore several ruins at the Ayutthaya Historical Park and marvel at the area’s former glory from centuries past.

02 Nights: Day 4: Bangkok - Chiang Rai

Today, you are free to relax until transfer time to the airport where you will catch your flight to Chiang Mai.  Upon arrival you will meet your drive to be picked for the hotel. After reaching the hotel you can check in. The rest of the day is free for leisure at your own.


Day 5: Chiang Rai Full Day Tour

08:00 We will collect you from your ChiangRai hotel, visit historic Chiang Sean on the banks of the Mekong river, where we will see Wat Chedi luang a remnant temple from the kingdom which used to occupy this site.
A short drive further up the river will bring you to the famed Golden Triangle area meeting points on Burma, Laos and Thailand. Here you will have the option to ride a boat on the Mekong River to get a closer look at Myanmar and stop on the Laos island of Don Xao. Next is the Thai border town of Mae Sai and its bustling border market, then head back to hotel

02 Nights: Day 6: Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai

09:00 - Check out from ChiangRai hotel, visit Long Neck Village, Blue Temple and White temple then continue to ChiangMai.
17:30 - Drop at hotel in ChiangMai, free time

Day 7: Elephant Sanctuary Tour

06:30 – 07:00     Our driver will pick you up from your hotel
07:00     Drive approximately 1.5 hours South of Chiang Mai through rolling hills, forest, and local farming areas.
08:30     Arrive at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Learn about the elephants and change into traditional Karen clothing.
09:00     Meet the elephants. Feed, interact, and play with the elephants in a natural environment as you learn about their behavior and history. Take photos with the elephants.
09:45     Mud Spa with the elephants
10:30     Walk with the elephants to a river and bathe them.
11:30     Eat a traditional meal and then say goodbye to the elephants.
12:00     Leave the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.

03 Nights: Day 8: Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang

Today you will drive to Chiang Mai Airport flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival pick up & drive to your hotel in Luang Prabang.

Day 9: City Tour and Kuangsi Waterfall

We first stroll through the bustling Morning Market and see how the locals live. Then visit the National Museum, housed in the former Royal Palace, showcases many treasures of Laos' royal past and features the Prabang. Next, Wat Mai – the largest and most richly decorated temple in town. The monastery served as a temple for the royal family and is the residence of the Pra Sangkharat, the highest Laotian Buddhist dignitary. Continue to Wat Sene. Head to the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, a peaceful temple featuring the much-photographed Watermelon Stupa. Then Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang's largest and most splendid temple, is best known for its impressive Tree of Life mural depicting the Buddhist story
Enjoy your lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon: Drive out through beautiful landscapes of rice fields, hills and villages. You will stop to visit an ethnic minority village to learn about their traditions and culture. Continue to Khuang Si Waterfall, where water tumbles over tiered limestone formations into crystal clear pools ideal for escaping the heat. Between cooling off in the pools, you can explore the lush forest setting around the falls.
At the famous Khuang Si Waterfall, a short walk brings you down to the abrupt waterfall where you will have time for a swim or simply relaxing by the water’s edge.
On return, you stop to visit local villages of Ban Tha Pane (Khmu) and Ban Na Ouane (Hmong). You will learn more about the life style of these people.
Back to town, climb Phousi Hill to enjoy the view overlooking the city and watch the amazing sunset. From here you can see the magic Mekong and the small Nam Khan rivers.

Day 10: Cruise to Pak Ou Cave & Elephant Visit

We will cruise on the Mekong river to Pak Ou Caves, enjoy splendid natural scenery along the way and observing local fishermen and daily activities along the river. Pak Ou Caves, locally called Tam Ting, are filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of wooden Buddhist figures take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain and reclining (nirvana). Cross the river for lunch at local restaurant.
Continue a short walk to visit the Elephant Camp nearby.
On the way back, you will also have opportunity to visit the local riverside villages of Ban Xanghai, a popular stop-over producing some special varieties of Laolao, the local rice wine.
Second stop at Ban Xang Khong, known for its handmade paper and weaving craft.

02 Nights: Day 11: Luang Prabang – Hanoi

Today you leave Luang Prabang flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival pick up & transfer to your hotel.

Day 12: Hanoi City Tour

Today you’ll have an entire day to explore the beautiful sites of Hanoi. Starting at the Ho Chi Minh Complex (home to the final resting place of Vietnam’s revered Uncle Ho & his former “house of stilts), moving on to the One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature & Presidential Palace and finally exploring the beautiful Quan Thanh Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda & tranquil Tay Ho (West Lake) region, the day will be a fantastic overview of what the capital city has to offer. There will also be an option to visit either the Museum of Ethnology (giving guests a glimpse of the country’s various ethnic groups) or Vietnam’s Museum of History; based solely upon your interests. As you wander the tree-lined boulevards, soak in the charming French-style architecture and witness the area’s tranquil landscapes… you’ll be hard pressed to not fall in love with Hanoi!
That evening you’ll have the chance to witness a traditional show at the Water Puppet Theatre (one of Vietnam’s oldest forms of entertainment)


01 Night: Day 13: Hanoi - Sapa

You leave Hanoi drive to Sapa by private car & guide. It’s take about 5 hours. Upon arrival our local guide in SAPA will take you to a light mountain trek (2 hours total) through the Cat Cat and Sin Chai Minority Villages, immersing yourself in the iconic landscape and learning about local traditions, customs and daily habits along the way. The rest of the day is open for you to explore Sapa town.


01 Night: Day 14: Sapa Tour - Hanoi

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a full-day guided trek through Sapa’s idyllic landscape. Guests will have an option as to which trek they’d prefer to take: Light Trek (3 kilometers), Medium (6 kilometers) or Long (12 kilometers). Trekking through Sapa’s villages is an excellent way to get acquainted with not only the landscapes but also the minority groups inhabiting the areas. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the H’mong, Dzao & Dzay people during your hike, learning all about their daily lives, traditions and culture. Lunch will be held inside one of the hill tribe’s villages and you’ll be transfer back Hanoi.

01 Night: Day 15: Hanoi - Halong Bay

08h00 We will Pick you up & transfer to Halong bay.
11:30 - 12:15 : Arrive at Halong International Cruise Port.
12:30 - 13:00 : Embark on Victory Star. Check-in, enjoy welcome drinks and cruise briefing.
13:00 - 14:30 : Enjoy lunch while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay, admire the fascinating formations on the way.
15:30 - 16:30 : Explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son Cave.
17:00 - 17:30 : Return to boat – Swim or relax on sundeck.
18:00 : Anchor for overnight in Cong Do area.
18:15 : Pre-dinner cocktail party (complimentary "Halong sunset" cocktail with snacks).
18:30 - 19:00 : Cooking class in restaurant or outdoor.
19:30 - 21:00 : Savour a delicious set dinner in restaurant.
21:00 - 23:00 : Night time squid fishing or relax and enjoy fresh air. Overnight in Cong Do area.

02 Nights: Day 16: Halong bay - Hanoi - Hue

06:30 : Enjoy sunrise on the Bay. Morning Tai Chi session on sundeck.
06:45 - 07:45 : Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries served in restaurant.
08:00 - 08:30 : Transfer to bamboo sampan boat to visit Vung Vieng Fishing Village. Rowers are local people wearing traditional costume.
09:00 - 09:30 : Check out of cabins. Start cruising towards the port.
09:30 - 10:30 : International buffet brunch served in restaurant.
10:30 - 11:00 : Disembark. Get on my private car drive to airport flight to Hue. Upon arrival, we collect & transfer you to your hotel in Hue.  

Day 17: Hue City Tour

Today you’ll have the chance to explore Vietnam’s former royal capital. Once home to the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue is most famous for its Forbidden Purple City, or the Imperial Citadel (the Nguyen Dynasty’s private residence). Fashioned after China’s Forbidden City (back in the 19th century), this compounded fortress is home to a number of palaces, houses and temples that once were completely off limits to non-royalty. Our guide will bring you around this iconic site, explaining all the historical facts and destinations along the way. In the afternoon you’ll pay a visit to the Imperial Museum, Tu Hieu Pagoda and Hue’s Cho Dong Ba- the bustling riverside market.


03 Nights: Day 18: Hue - Hoi An

The morning you’ll enjoy a private boat cruise down Hue’s romantic Perfume River. Your guide will bring you through the Thien Mu Pagoda (Lady Pagoda) and ornate tomb of Minh Mang, followed by a memorable lunch along the riverside (at one of our favorite local restaurants). After lunch you will begin your trip south to the Ancient Town of Hoi An, passing Da Nang City and the picturesque Hai Van Pass along the way (one of the country & world’s most beautiful coastal roads… featured in Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear!). Stopping off in Da Nang city, you’ll have the chance to visit the Cham Museum (the only of its kind in Asia) and some handicraft villages located at the base of the mythical Marble Mountains.
Finally reaching Hoi An, you’ll be transported to your hotel (in the late afternoon), giving you some free time to explore the Ancient Town on your own.

Day 19: Exploring My Son Sanctuary and Ba Na Hills

Today you’ll be transported 40 kilometers south of Hoi An to the historic My Son Sanctuary (Vietnam’s version of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat & Thailand’s Ayutthaya). Home to a number of striking Cham temple ruins & statues, this UNESCO World Heritage Site will give you a glimpse into Vietnam’s rich cultural background in connection with the Champa Kingdom. That afternoon you’ll be transport to Bana hills
Upon arrive at the cable car station. Sitting in the cabin, in midair, looking upon the endless tree lone of the forest. Experiencing the pristine ecological system of the Ba Na mountain will leave you a sense of unforeseeable discovery.
+ Visit the Le Jardin, old wineries - remains of French Villas and Linh Ung pagoda with 27m high Buddha statue. Leave Le Jardin for Gare Debay, the second cable car station, to go to the top of Ba Na Hills.
+ Visit and play game at the Fantasy Park- Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park- the third largest indoor amusement park in the world ( There are some free games depending on limit of ticket).
+ Conquer the Peak of Chua mountain at the height of 1,487m. Enjoy the panorama view of the Da Nang from the top of Ba Na Hills. And then visit Golden Bridge.
After than we return to cable car station and transfer to Da Nang. Get on car drive back to your hotel.

Day 20: Hoi An Cooking Class

We start the day (8am) with a welcome drink at Hai Café (98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An Ancient Town, Tel: 3863210) – our meeting point.
Travel by minivan (10 mins) to Tra Que Organic Village, and walk through the market gardens where local farmers work their fields using the traditional methods of hundreds of years ago – no electrical machinery here. We pick fresh saw-tooth coriander and Vietnamese mint for our cooking lesson later, before trying a special herbal drink at a local home.
To the local village market and with shopping list in hand we purchase a range of local ingredients, including star anise, cardamom, sesame rice paper, water spinach and banana flower.
Arriving at Red Bridge Cooking School we have a chance to freshen up before beginning our class. Working together with our Red Bridge Chef we learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food from scratch. Using the freshest ingredients and traditional Vietnamese utensils (still in use today) we cook 4 famous dishes, including the national dish ‘Pho’.
After the class we sit down and a chance to savour the dishes we have prepared.
Leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River back to central Hoi An.
Bring your swimsuit and after the cooking tour has finished relax and enjoy free use of our 20 metre swimming pool.


03 Nights: Day 21: Da Nang Fly Siem Reap

You leave Da nang flight to Siem Reap, Upon arrival pick up & transfer to your hotel in Siem Reap.


Day 22: Angkor Wat Tour

Today you will explore the central complex and bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat [AD1113]. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. With many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water, carved low-reliefs about Ramayana Story and day-to-day life at the time of Angkor's construction. Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon: Angkor Thom – the world’s largest city in the 12th Century
Travel by road with our professional guide to the "Great City" of Angkor Thom, visits the Jayavarman’s state temple of Bayon Temple at the center of the city, then pass Phimeanakas with its beautiful lake and the imposing Baphoun, the state temple of King Udayadityavarman II Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King.

Day 23: Siem Reap – Banteay Srei – Ta Prohm – Tonle Sap Tour

Morning after breakfast, we travel to Banteay Srei temple (10th century) which is regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Art. Continue to visit Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern example remarkably well preserved. Two concentric walls enclose the ensemble. Our next destination is Ta Prohm - one of the area's most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Lunch at local restaurant
Take the private boat to visit the village of Kampong Pluk, the most beautiful village on Tonle Sap Lake. It is one of natural tourisms and a mangroves for hundreds species of fresh water fishes and birds and decorated with ethnic stilted houses line over the water surface up to the air. The villages are primarily Khmer and have about 3000 inhabitants between them, most of who live in stilted houses. You will have a great opportunity to learn about their lifestyle and how do they live on the lake.

03 Nights: Day 24: Siem Reap Fly to Saigon

You leave Siem Reap flight to Saigon, Upon arrival pick up & transfer to your hotel in Saigon.

Day 25: Saigon City Tour

09h00 Our Guide and car will meet you at your and start the tour to explore HCM city. The first place to visit in the tour will be the Reunification Palace, which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of the war in April 1975. After Reunification Palace, you can walk to see some French colonial structures including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Central Post Office.
Continue on to Chinatown, Thien Hau pagodas, which is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with intricate friezes, carved tableau and impressive incense coils make for some great photos. Then observe street life through the narrow streets to Binh Tay market that sells everything from clothes to dried squid.
12h00 Have Lunch at a local restaurant, then continue to visit War Remnants Museum where there is a vast display of the both the Indochina wars. In courtyard massive military vehicles are for exhibition as well as tiger cages for the visitor to get a feel on how it was to be a prisoner during wartime. In the museum building itself, each floor will represent a separate theme from the war and the war crimes committed towards the Vietnamese people. We end the city tour with Ben Thanh market where anything and everything is for sale.

Day 26: Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels

Today you travel outside of Saigon to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnels are an underground labyrinth of passageways, used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War (or “American War” as it’s referred to here) as protection against American air raids. Those inclined are invited to crawl through selections of the tunnels to better understand what life was like for the Vietnamese soldiers during wartime.

01 Night: Day 27: Saigon - Mekong delta

After taking breakfast at the hotel, you’ll begin the ride further south to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. You’ll first stop off in the riverside town of Cai Bai, where you’ll visit a local candy factory, fruit orchard and enjoy a beautiful cultural performance. We will have lunch here at a relaxing riverside restaurant before heading out onto the river via motorboat. From the boat you’ll be able to visit some local villages and have the opportunity to bike your way around the countryside. Our driver will meet you at the Vinh Long pier to continue your journey farther south (ending up in Can Tho by nightfall).

02 Nights: Day 28: Mekong Floating Market - Saigon

Today you’ll have the chance to explore another of Vietnam’s largest cities: Can Tho. Most famous for its floating markets, you’ll be able to embark on a morning riverboat ride to the iconic Cai Rang floating markets, where locals buy & sell everything from fruits and vegetables to breakfast, coffees and local delicacies. From here you’ll visit a local fruit orchard (where you can sample some of the delicious, exotic fruits), moving deeper into the countryside where you’ll have the chance to meet and greet some of the locals. Learn a bit about their daily life & customs before heading back to Can Tho. From Can Tho you’ll start the journey back north to Saigon, arriving to the city in late afternoon.

Day 29: Saigon Free & Leisure

You are free & leisure in Saigon.

Day 30: Saigon Departure

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.


Overall rating 5.0 out of 5

Based on 6 authentic traveler reviews


20/02/2023 by Andrea

We enjoyed our tour with you, touring golden triangle Langsay cruise Laos, Siem Reap, Phnom penh. All our guides were excellent, all our accommodation was fantastic. Next year we want to something similar taking in Burma.

Great trip

20/02/2023 by Sue

I have recently returned from a tour of Cambodia and Laos with Absolute Tours and I would like to pass on my thanks for a great trip. I will be recommending you company to my friends both vision impaired and sighted. Thank you!

Traveler photos

Travel tips for Grand Tour of Indochina trips

In general, Vietnam is a very safe place for travelers. Tourists might experience street vendors who are pushy or drivers who speed along busy streets, but as long as you practice common sense and street smarts, there is no reason for your trip to be unsafe. Make sure to mind your belongings and always use the recommended transportation.

Generally, the best time of year to visit Vietnam is December through February, when it tends to be pleasant and dry. However, bear in mind that the weather varies significantly throughout the country, with southern areas experiencing a tropical climate. Hanoi in the north tends to be much colder.

If your family loves to have new experiences together, Vietnam could be a perfect place for a family adventure holiday. There are many family-friendly activities and destinations around the country, including white sand beaches, action-packed cities, and historic sites.

All travelers entering Vietnam must have a valid passport and either a visa or pre-approval for a visa. The passport must be at least six months before the date of expiration or visitors will be denied entry. There must also be at least one blank page for a travel stamp.

Please note that if you are entering Vietnam on a cruise from Cambodia, you will need to have your visa stamped in your passport before embarkation. Otherwise, for most nationalities an e-Visa or visa on arrival are available.


Before you travel to Vietnam, you should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis. You should also get a rabies shot, since Vietnam is considered a high-risk country. Depending on where you will travel, you may also like to take malaria pills.

The city of Hoi An is an unmissable destination and worthy addition to any Vietnam vacation. A true highlight of the so-called classic Vietnam route, this ancient city is a hubbub of beautiful architecture, delicious food, and fascinating historic sites. It also has one of Vietnam’s best beaches.

The cuisine in Vietnam is a fascinating adventure for Westerners, who may not have tried authentic Vietnamese food before. The cities are a great place to begin your culinary education, with dozens of open-air markets and high-end restaurants from which to sample and savor the local fare.