Southeast Asia

“CONNOISSEUR’S INDOCHINE”

THAILAND, VIETNAM, CAMBODIA AND LAOS

 

Day One                            depart USA

Today you depart home by whatever air travel has been arranged.  Travel through the night and next day. (Meals on board aircraft)

Day Two                           Bangkok

Upon your arrival into Bangkok you will be met and transferred to my selected five-star hotel.  Rest!

Day Three                           Bangkok

Today we convene for a full day of sightseeing in Bangkok to include the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha Temple, the Jim Thompson House and the Jim Thompson Silk Shop.  Lunch will be at the Spice Market.  This evening we reunite for a welcome dinner on the Verandah of the hotel.  Selected Five-Star Hotel – superior rooms, River Wing (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day Four                               Bangkok

This morning we spend visiting the Floating Market.  We will stop for lunch at The Colonnade.  In the afternoon we will visit the Prasart Museum.  Later we will take a break from sightseeing and each other for a bit of leisure.  Perhaps a good time to enjoy some of the spa services and the beautiful shops in and near the hotel.  Selected Five-Star  Hotel – superior rooms, River Wing (breakfast, lunch)

Day Five                                  Hanoi

After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Hanoi.  Upon arrival we will be taken straight to the hotel.  We will reconvene for dinner at my selected Five-star Hotel – deluxe rooms, Old Wing (breakfast, dinner)

Day Six                             Hanoi

Today’s sightseeing to include Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, the Ho Chi Minh house, One Pillar Pagoda, Fine Arts Museum, a cyclo ride, the Old Quarter, and water puppets. We will squeeze in lunch at Namphoung.  By the evening you will be happy to have a bit of peace and quiet – on your own.  Selected Five-Star Hotel – deluxe rooms, Old Wing (breakfast, lunch)

Day Seven                                  Hanoi / Halong Bay / Hanoi

Today is taken up by our visit to Halong Bay by scheduled helicopter and private boat on the bay, including lunch at the Heritage Hotel.  Return to hotel. (breakfast, lunch)

Day Eight                            Hanoi / Hue / Danang

After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for the flight to Hue.  A full day of sightseeing here will include the Citadel, Mausoleums, a Perfume River trip and a stop for lunch.  Later this afternoon we will make the overland trip to Danang and our hotel.  Evening on your own to relax and recoup. My Selected Resort – ocean view rooms (breakfast, lunch)

Day Nine                           Danang

This morning visit the ancient city of Hoian, nestled on the banks of the Thu Bon River 3 miles inland from the coast.  This charming old town was once a flourishing port, the meeting place of eastern and western cultures in central Dai Viet under the Nguyen Lords.  The old quarter is a fascinating blend of temples, pagodas, community houses, shrines, clan houses and shops.  The remainder of the day will be at leisure.  Return to hotel (breakfast)

Day Ten                               Danang / Ho Chi Minh City

This morning we visit the Chaam Museum and Marble Mountain.  After lunch we will transfer to the airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City where we will be met and taken to the hotel.  This evening at leisure.  My Select Five-Star Hotel – Signature floor rooms (breakfast, lunch)

Day Eleven                         Ho Chi Minh City

Today’s sightseeing to include the Cu Chi tunnels, the Presidential Palace, the cathedral, Cholon, and the market, with lunch at the Vietnam House.  In the evening we will meet for cocktails and a gala dinner at Carmargue.  Return to Hotel – Signature floor rooms (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day Twelve                             Seam Reap

We are taken to the airport for our flight to Seam Reap.  Upon arrival we transfer to the hotel.  This afternoon our sightseeing will include Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and The Bayon.  My select Five Star Hotel – Landmark rooms (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day Thirteen                                         Seam Reap

Today is very full with sightseeing to include a Tonle Sap boat trip, the Rulous group of temples, Preah Kahn, and the Tapohm temple.  This evening we enjoy a private dance performance at Preah Kahn and dinner. Return to Hotel – Landmark rooms (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day Fourteen                             Seam Reap / Phnom Penh

This morning we visit Banteay Srei which stands apart from the other monuments of the Angkor region – and not only by being relatively isolated some 25 kms northeast of the main group.  It is built of red sandstone rather than the usual grey and it is one of the very few temples not endowed by royalty, but built instead by Yajnavaraha, a Brahmin priest and key figure at court in the 10th century.  Banteay Srei is a concentrated expression of an Angkorean temple – for once virtually complete in its decoration.  In the afternoon we transfer to the airport for the flight to Phnom Penh where we are met and taken to the hotel.  Evening at leisure.  My selected Hotel – Landmark rooms (breakfast, lunch)

Day Fifteen                                        Phnom Penh / Luang Prabang

This morning we visit the National Museum, the Royal Palace, and the Russian market.  In the afternoon we are on the move again: Transfer to the airport for the flight to Luang Prabang via Vientiane.  My selected Hotel – superior rooms (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day Sixteen                               Luang Prabang

We convene for a full day of sightseeing to include a trip on the Mekong River, the Pal Ou caves, Phoussy Hill and temples.  This evening we enjoy a Baci ceremony.  Return to Hotel – superior rooms (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day Seventeen                              Luang Prabang / Vientiane

This morning we visit the museum and the Talaat That Luang market with lunch.  In the afternoon we transfer to the airport for the flight to Vientiane.  Sightseeing to include the museum, the Carol Cassidy Textile Company, and the market there as well.  We are free to relax and dine on our own this evening.  My selected Hotel – deluxe rooms (breakfast, lunch)

Day Eighteen                          Vientiane / Bangkok

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for flight to Bangkok and back to the Oriental Hotel.  Time for some last-minute shopping.  This evening our farewell dinner will be at Lord Jim’s in the hotel.  My selected Hotel – superior rooms (breakfast, dinner)

Day Nineteen                             Bangkok

This morning, after breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our onward flights.  Note: Post tour extensions to Phuket and Chiang Mai are available upon request.

Flight schedules to be advised and are always subject to change.

Internal air (economy class): Bangkok / Hanoi / Halong Bay / Hanoi / Hue and Da Nang / Ho Chi Minh City / Seam Reap / Phnom Penh / Vientiane / Luang Prabang / Vientiane / Bangkok.

TOUR COSTS:

For cost details and terms of payment, contact Adamarie King at: ada@connoisseurstravel.com

The trip will operate with a minimum of 10 passengers plus Adamarie King plus our escort.  Maximum participation will be 16 passengers.  If we decide to operate the trip with fewer than 10 participants a surcharge will apply.  Supplements for hotel upgrades are available upon request.

PAYMENT TERMS:

A $1,500.00 per person non-refundable deposit is due within 10 days of booking and payable by check to Connoisseur’s Travel.  The balance of the trip cost is due 90 days prior to departure, also payable by check, and is non-refundable at that time.  Due to the small size of the group we are unable to refund payments at any time.  Therefore trip insurance is highly recommended.

INCLUSIONS:

* 17 nights at hotels and category of rooms as indicated in the itinerary including all applicable and current taxes.

* Meals as indicated in the itinerary, including alcoholic beverages with dinner on September 24th, October 2nd and 9th.

* One bottle of mineral water or soft drink per person with meals.

* Transportation by air-conditioned mini or large coach, private boats as well as transfers and sightseeing.

* Special events as described in the itinerary.

* Services of an English-speaking guide on sightseeing tours.

* Gratuities to guides, drivers, waiters and porters.

* Entry and still camera fees at monuments.

* Services of a professional tour manager September 24 – October 10 (his gratuity not included).

NOT INCLUDED:

International airfare, laundry, telephone and fax charges, internet usage fees, insurance, passport and visa fees, in-room minibar purchases, alcoholic beverages except where noted in the itinerary, tips for such beverages or any other personal services, charges for baggage in excess of airline allowances, gratuities to escort, meals and sightseeing not included in the itinerary.  Shopping….

INSURANCE:

Travelers should purchase baggage, medical, accident and trip cancellation and interruption insurance at a cost from approximately $400.00 per person (depending on age and total trip cost) to cover the entire trip including travel time.

PASSPORTS / VISAS

Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended departure date from Thailand.  Visas are required for Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Please also remember that the VISA STAMPS are each ONE FULL PAGE so be sure that you have a SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF BLANK PAGES for your visa stamps.

HEALTH:

Travel conditions in this region have improved markedly over the past few years but it still can be rigorous.  If you are using prescription medicines and your doctor says that you are fit to travel, make sure you have sufficient medication for the duration of your trip.  While no vaccinations are required for any of these countries, please make sure to see your doctor and check with the local health office for the latest requirements for travel to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.  Malaria can be a problem at all times of the year outside the major urban centres so make sure that you are aware of the current suggested medications recommended by physicians.

ARRIVAL AND CUSTOMS:

Upon arrival you will be met by our representative after you have passed through the airport’s secured passenger area.  On arrival there will most likely be a certain amount of confusion so we ask that you be patient with the uniquely local formalitie

Weather:

High/Low

Bangkok                90/75

Hanoi                              84/72

Ho Chi Minh City  88/73

Seam Reap             86/75

The above is not an exact weather forecast.  Unseasonable weather can and does occur so please do pack with a degree of flexibility.

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES:

While formal wear is not necessary, we do stay in some very lovely places which does tend to encourage us to get out our finery on occasion.  The gentlemen will want to bring a sports jacket for some of these evenings.  No tie required.  During the day casual shirts and slacks for men or blouses and skirts for the ladies made of lightweight cotton, “khaki” or linen are suggested.  Longer length “walking” shorts are acceptable.  Comfortable, soft-soled walking shoes are essential.  Footwear must be removed when entering places of worship so please bring cotton socks to keep your feet clean.  Sunglasses, sunscreen, sun hat, insect repellent, film, binoculars, flashlight, tissues, hard candies, and additional camera batteries or for any other such devices are strongly suggested.  Photographers please bring all equipment that you will need.  Prescription medications should always be carried in your hand luggage and in their labeled containers only.  Same day laundry service is available in most hotels throughout the trip.

BAGGAGE INFORMATION:

Domestic flights limit checked baggage weight which is subject to change and will be investigated thirty days prior to departure.  One carry-on flight bag is permitted on all flights.  Checked baggage should be locked and contain identification inside as well as outside.  Charges for excess baggage are the responsibility of the traveler.  Neither Adamarie King, Connoisseur’s Travel, nor our local ground operators can be held responsible for damaged or lost luggage.  We recommend that you purchase adequate luggage insurance.

FOOD AND DRINK:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, when included, are a la carte throughout.  As noted in the itinerary, occasionally we will have a pre-planned meal, or transportation logistics will require that we have a box lunch en route.  Throughout the trip please drink bottled mineral water.  Do not drink tap water and do avoid food sold by street vendors.

ELECTRICITY:

The current is 220 volts and adapters should be taken as they are unobtainable in these countries.  Be prepared for power failures.  A flashlight packed in your hand baggage is recommended for power failures and when visiting the Angkor temples sites in the early morning or late afternoon.  They are also useful when walking inside temple halls where little natural light can penetrate.

CURRENCY AND VALUABLES:

The US$ is the most convenient and practical for use in Indochina.  You are advised to carry at least some of your expense money in small notes (one, five and ten dollar notes) – this can be used for your incidentals and small purchases.

Credit cards (VISA, AMEX and MASTER CARD) are gaining acceptance and can be used in hotels, good shops and restaurants.  Banks will accept VISA cards to draw money on your card although they will charge between 5% – 7% for such service.

With respect to your valuables please exercise the same precautions throughout the trip as you would while travelling anywhere in the world, or in your home city, for that matter.

GRATUITIES:

Are included except for our escort.  You may wish to tip specifically for exceptional service.

SHOPPING:

There are some interesting goods to buy in Cambodia, especially lovely silver work and traditional silk textiles.  Vietnam also offers a variety of items including ceramics and lacquer ware.  The city markets generally contain a wide, if eclectic, assortment of handicraft items for sale.  Bargaining is still acceptable and even expected in the markets.  Please make sure to ask for receipts from shops for customs purposes.

TRAVEL CONDITIONS:

Please be aware that air travel in Indochina is always subject to delays and cancellations that may occur for no apparent reason.  Should this occur on our trip we ask for your patience.  Our escort is vastly experienced in these matters and generally finds an equal, more interesting or even a better solution.

You may rest assured that Adamarie King (Connoisseur’s Travel) and our ground operators have selected the best available accommodations for your trip and these well in advance.  However, while many of the hotels may boast five-star ratings, most of them can best be described as comfortable rather than luxurious.

While we do contract for the best possible air-conditioned vehicles for all transfers and sightseeing, sometimes inconsistencies may occur.  We also experience a considerable amount of auto and pedestrian traffic, which can at times make a short distance take a very long time to traverse.

In spite of, and sometimes because of, the above the pleasure of your trip will be enhanced.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s