Signature Indochina & Angkor Wat (2013)
Signature: The ideal private journey, ready to book.
- Day 1: Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your French colonial-style Hotel.Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
- 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 located among banyan, frangipani and milkweed trees. Continue to the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the first Vietnamese empire independent from China in the 11th century. Also visit the Quan Thanh Temple, the Temple of Literature and the National Museum of Fine Arts, with its excellent collection of folk art, sculpture and lacquerware by contemporary Vietnamese artists. Later, travel the way a local would — by cyclo — through the Old Quarter. You also visit Dr. Huong, a traditional medicine expert, for insight into an ancient form of medical treatments.Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi | Meals: B L
- Day 3: Hanoi/Ha Long Bay
Travel overland through the verdant Vietnamese countryside to Ha Long Bay, seeing a traditional way of life en route. Board your luxury junk (boat), your accommodations for the night. Sail through this magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waters. After lunch on the boat, disembark and trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the sail-dotted bay or swim by a secluded beach, or simply choose to stay on deck and sunbathe. Then visit a fishing village and meet third-generation fishermen before returning to the boat.'Halong Ginger' | Meals: B L D
- Day 4: Ha Long Bay/Hanoi/Danang
Greet the sunrise with a tai chi lesson on deck. After breakfast, sail to a spellbinding limestone grotto before heading back to shore. Return overland to Hanoi, visiting a pottery village along the way. This evening, fly to Danang and continue to your newly opened beachfront resort on Son Tra Peninsula near China Beach.InterContinental Danang Resort | Meals: B L
- Day 5: Danang/Hoi An/Danang
After breakfast, visit the lovely traditional town of Hoi An, which retains architectural styles of the many nations that used its port; this includes the Old House of Tan Ky, the Fujian Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge. Visit a local home to see how silkworms are raised, and how silk is produced. Afterward, visit a lantern artisan to learn how to make one of the silk lanterns for which Hoi An is known. Return to your resort for an afternoon at leisure.InterContinental Danang Resort | Meals: B L
- Day 6: Danang/Ho Chi Minh City
Fly this morning to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. The city has recently experienced a resurgence of art and culture; nowadays, it is a vibrant hub of activity, a sharp contrast to the traditional ambience of Hanoi. This afternoon, visit the 19th-century Thien Hau Pagoda, which serves as a site for prayers to Buddha as well as to the Chinese deity Thien Hau Thanh Mau. Explore the surrounding neighborhood of Cholon, the city’s Chinatown.InterContinental Asiana Saigon | Meals: B
- Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, head out of the city and into the countryside to explore the expansive Cu Chi Tunnel network, a key Vietcong resource during the Vietnam War. You have the opportunity to shoot a rifle, and squeeze into and crawl through the small tunnels, experiencing for yourself what it was like to live this way. Later, savor the unique, diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. In the afternoon, see the city’s colonial legacy, including the Central Post Office, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Opera House.InterContinental Asiana Saigon | Meals: B L
- Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City/Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Fly to Siem Reap, the town nearest to the ruins of Angkor Wat. Over the next few days, explore the region with your guide, who was born and raised in Cambodia and experienced firsthand the challenges under the Khmer Rouge and the country’s optimistic rise from that terrible era. Transfer to your hotel before setting off to explore the complex. Start with a visit to the Bayon Temple, with its 172 large-scale faces bearing beguiling smiles. Then visit the Elephant and Leper King Terraces. All are examples of masterful Khmer engineering and artistry.Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor | Meals: B
- Day 9: Angkor Wat
Early this morning, journey to Ta Prohm as it is bathed in the golden light of early morning. Explore it at leisure before other visitors arrive for the day. Return to the hotel for a late breakfast. In the afternoon, explore two less-visited areas: Banteay Srei, also known as the “Citadel of Women,” and Banteay Samre, one of the most complete temple complexes of Angkor. You also visit the Landmine Museum, an organization that promotes mine awareness and education.Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor | Meals: B L
- Day 10: Angkor Wat
Watch the sunrise over the main temple of Angkor Wat, an unforgettable and quintessential Southeast Asia experience. Then walk amid the moss-peppered pathways, gazing up at the intricately carved tower tops, or climb the steep, narrow temple steps that lead to wide courtyards. Contemplate the temple’s spiritual power while you walk in the cool shade of its hallways, stopping to take in the fragrance of burning incense. After lunch, visit Tonle Sap Lake to observe local life as it unfolds along the floating villages that dot the shoreline.Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor | Meals: B L
- Day 11: Angkor Wat/Bangkok, Thailand
This morning, fly to Bangkok, enjoying VIP airport assistance. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The remainder of your day is at leisure. You may choose to take advantage of your complimentary spa credit this afternoon.The Peninsula Bangkok | Meals: B
- Day 12: Bangkok
If you wish, rise early to give alms to monks at a little-visited temple. After breakfast, travel by boat to see life along the klongs, an ancient system of canals branching off the Chao Phraya River and still a vital part of many locals’ lives.
Afterward, visit the Grand Palace, one of the most beautiful legacies of the ancient Siamese court. The sprawling, garden-dotted compound includes ornate statues of mythological creatures and more than 100 colorful buildings. Also on the grounds is the 18th-century Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand’s most important shrine, which houses the Emerald Buddha. Made of green jade or jasper, it symbolizes the independence, strength and good fortune of the country.
Next, visit Wat Pho and its lovely gilded Reclining Buddha. The temple resonates with the musical sound of coins as they are dropped into brass offering bowls by the faithful, who circumambulate the giant statue.
The afternoon is at leisure to unwind in your hotel or peruse some of the nearby galleries and boutiques.The Peninsula Bangkok | Meals: B
- Day 13: Depart Bangkok
Transfer to the airport to board your homebound flight.Meals: B