FRANKO’S Tours - 2018
GRAND TOUR of INDOCHINA
(Tonkin - Annam - Cochinchina - Cambodge - Laos)
VIETNAM - CAMBODIA - LAOS
(27 DAYS - 26 NIGHTS)
Sai Gon - Vung Tau - Cu Chi - Mekong Delta - Nha Trang - Da Nang Hoi An - Hue - Ninh Binh - Ha Noi - Sa Pa - Ha Long Bay - Vientiane - Luang Prabang - Plain of Jars - Siem Reap (Angkor) - Phnom Penh
GRAND TOUR includes a tour of Vietnam
by PRIVATE TRAIN !
GRAND TOUR ITINERARY
DAYS 1 to 5. Our Grand Tour of Indochina begins in Vietnam with a series of mini-tours in and around Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and down to the Mekong Delta. Visits to most historical/cultural sites plus fantastic shopping & wonderful dining. Our tour also visits Tay Ninh, Cu Chi tunnels, My Tho (plus option of side tour to Vung Tau-Long Tan-Nui Dat).
Day 1. Arrive Saigon ...Continental Hotel. Check-in, lunch, then time to a short walk around the centre of Ho Chi Minh City and become familiar with location of hotel, shops, and the way to cross the busy roads. Lunch then Free time. L/D
Day 2. City Tour/Saigon Post Office/War Museum/Thien Hau Pagoda and busy Binh Tay markets at Cho Lon - Lunch then introductory tour of shopping venues. Dinner with a floor show at the Rex Hotel. B/L/D
Day 3. Coach tour to visit Cu Chi (tunnels), then continuing to Tay Ninh (ceremony at Great Cao Dai Temple) before taking a nice lunch at a local family-run restaurant in Tay Ninh. We return to Saigon via a stop at Ben Thanh Market and a pedestrian stroll back to our hotel. B/L
Day 4. Bus to My Tho on the delta and boat trip to Thoi Son Island for Lunch and a look at island life and a folk music show - return to Saigon and relax before a fantastic Dinner Cruise on the Saigon River. B/L/D
OR Day 4* for Long Tan visitors (Additional cost involved). My Tho trip (as above) followed by coach/car to Vung Tau. Dinner at our hotel then evening is free to discover Vungers ...a drink at the Ned Kelly’s Pub? B/L/D
Day 5. Visit Reunification Palace (former Presidential Palace) and a laquerware factory then Lunch and a shopping break before Dinner and transfer to Railway Station. O/night train to Nha Trang. B/L/D
OR Day 5* (Long Tan visitors). Early start on tour of Vung Tau then off to Long Tan, Nui Dat and Long Phuoc. Lunch in Baria before rejoining Rail Tour group in Saigon for Dinner then THE TRAIN!
DAYS 6 to 7. Arrive Nha Trang - visit offshore islands, the beach and local areas of interest. Seafood ...and eat it!
Day 6. Arrive Nha Trang - beachside hotel. Brekky then boat trip to visit Tri Nguyen Aquarium and Hon Tre (Bamboo Island) - Lunch on island. Afternoon relax before a wonderful beachfront dinner where you can eat what you want ...Open Menu! After dinner relax at one of the beachfront coffee houses opposite our hotel, or try a cyclo tour along the tree-lined promenade. B/L/D
Day 7. Early rise to practice Tai Chi with the locals on the beach before breakfast. Visit Long Son Pagoda/Po Na Gar Tower/City centre then Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner at local seafood restaurant before transferring to our train, ready for an o/night trip to Da Nang. B/L/D
DAYS 8 to 9. Arrive Da Nang and visit ancient Hoi An town and surrounding area. Superb dining at local restaurants. Fine silks!
Day 8. AM arrive Da Nang, brekky then transfer to hotel in Hoi An and some free time. Early evening visit a silk making enterprise, then a guided walk exploring the Old Town, including the Japanese Bridge, museum and market before dinner with a view. Still time to shop/stroll after dinner. B/L/D
Day 9. A free day to relax by the pool or the beach, wander Hoi An’s Old Town, or hit the shops (made-to-order clothes). A garden lunch in town and a rooftop dinner with a dance show (Cham culture) concludes a lazy, entertaining day. B/L/D
DAY 10. Depart Da Nang by train for breathtaking scenery en route to Hue, the former royal capital. Take a leisurely boat trip along the Perfume River before a convoy of cyclos pedal us around the streets of Hue.
Day 10. Transfer to train for a 4 hour trip via the super-scenic Hai Van Pass to Hue. Arrive at our hotel mid afternoon before a boat trip along the Perfume River to the wonderful Thien Mu Pagoda. A cyclo tour of Hue in the early evening takes us to an entertaining Dinner. Lunch on train. A BIG DAY ...coach-train-boat-cyclo! B/L/D
DAY 11. Visit the tombs of the emperors and the famous Citadel before farewelling Hue and resuming our rail journey into the North, across the 17th Parallel. Enjoy spectacular coastal and rural scenes, followed by an ’Aussie picnic dinner’ before retiring to bed as our train closes the distance to the capital, Ha Noi.
Day 11. Early start to visit The Citadel and the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc before returning to hotel; lunch, then on to Hue’s historic railway station. PM: All aboard to cross the Ben Hai River (17th Parallel) and into the North. Dinner on train (a party!) and an overnight trip before arrival in Hanoi the next morning. Spectacular scenery and sunsets! B/L/D
DAYS 12 to 18. Visit Ninh Binh before arriving in Hanoi to see the many famous historical/cultural sites in and around the capital. Includes overnight tours to Sa Pa in the NW mountain region alongside the Chinese Border; then to Ha Long Bay in the east. Shopping in the Old Quarter (Hanoi) and great entertainment await.
Day 12. Arrive at Ninh Binh Station (100km south of Hanoi) around 6.30AM and then breakfast at a local tourist restaurant. We’re here to have some fun in boats and visit the spectacular scenery in the region surrounding Hoa Lu and the Tam Coc caves …poetically (and aptly) called ”Halong Bay on the ricefields”. By mid morning our group resumes the journey north aboard a tour coach travelling through verdant rural countryside to the national capital, Ha Noi . Check-in to our hotel in the centre of the city’s famed Old Quarter then kick back with a nice lunch and a free afternoon and evening to wander/shop your way around the lake and stores in the city centre, or explore the scenes and bargains available in the fascinating Old Quarter. Dinner venues are easy to find ...or perhaps some room service and relaxation? B/L
Day 13. A coach tour around the city fringes on our way to visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and wartime home amid the expansive gardens surrounding the former residence of the French Governor of Indochina. Later we visit the famous One Pillar Pagoda and the ancient Temple of Literature before it’s time for lunch then a free afternoon. At 6PM we’re attending a performance of Hanoi’s celebrated Water Puppet Theatre and then the fun continues with dinner at a favourite restaurant. After dinner we transfer to Hanoi Railway Station ready for an overnight rail trip following the NW course of the Red River to Lao Cai and the mountain region near the China Border. B/L/D
Day 14. Arrive Lao Cai then scenic bus trip to Sa Pa (mountain resort/former hill station) and visit local sites. PM includes a tour in Russian jeeps and some easy trekking thru local H’Mong Villages Lunch and Dinner at our hotel. Open Menu for dinner! B/L/D
Day 15. Free morning to laze or experience the kaleidoscope of scenes in Sa Pa town. Midday checkout then lunch before starting on scenic downhill drive to Lao Cai (train) - includes visit to the China Border and a cold drink or two before the train departs. Dinner in Lao Cai before our last night on the train as we head back to Hanoi. B/L/D
Day 16. Arrive back in Hanoi, farewell our friendly rail crew, then transfer to coach for trip to Ha Long Bay ...brekky stop enroute. All aboard our JUNK for the start of a relaxing boat cruise around the islands and grottoes of this World Heritage attraction. Spend a day & night aboard our JUNK and enjoy wonderful seafood for lunch and dinner ...great dining! B/L/D.
Day 17. Morning coach trip back to Hanoi then lunch at local restaurant (another favourite!). Afternoon and evening is free time to rest/shop/walk in the Old Quarter, the museums or around the shops in central Hanoi. A Party at lunch to farewell our Vietnamese guide then it’s time to finish your shopping or party-on in Ha Noi ’s new, trendy nightspots. LAST NIGHT IN VIETNAM! B/L
Day 18. Morning free for final shopping before Airport transfer. We fly to Vientiane, meet our new guide, and check-in to our hotel for some relaxation before Dinner ...Laos style! Evening is totally free at leisure. Vientiane Hotel. B/D
DAYS 19 to 22 (LAOS). Marvel at the scenery and serenity of beautiful Laos. Visit the That Luang Stupa (national symbol) and Vientiane’s major sites of interest before flying further north to the enchanting Luang Prabang on the banks of the mighty Mekong River. Monks & markets in the mornings (not to be missed!) , elephant rides, waterfalls in the jungle, boat trips on the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, and lazy evenings ...so relaxing it will take a rooster to wake you! One of Lao’s main attractions is only seen when you sit at a dining table ...the food is fantastic. If you like Thai food, you will love Laotian!
Day 19. (See Day 2 Laos Tour: Luang Prabang hotel)
Day 20. (See Day 3 Laos Tour: Luang Prabang hotel)
Day 21. (See Day 4 Laos Tour: Luang Prabang hotel)
Day 22. (See Day 5 Laos Tour: Fly to Cambodia - Siem Reap hotel)
DAYS 23 to 27 (CAMBODIA). We arrive in Siem Reap to visit the majestics ruins of fabulous Angkor. Our guides will unravel the mysteries and histories of each of the sites we encounter while cameras run hot. We’ll also visit Ton Le Sap lake for a boat ride and see Angkor Wat from a hot-air balloon ...and have plenty of time to enjoy the hotel pool. After Angkor there’s a cross-country road trip that’s full of surprises until we reach Phnom Penh ...and catch up with Cambodia’s more recent history. Time for final shopping, relaxation and PARTY before our tour ends upon arrival at Phnom Penh airport .
Day 23. (See Day 2 Cambodia Tour: Siem Reap hotel)
Day 24. (See Day 3 Cambodia Tour: Siem Reap hotel)
Day 25. (See Day 4 Cambodia Tour: Phnom Penh hotel)
Day 26. (See Day 5 Cambodia Tour: Phnom Penh hotel)
Day 27. (See Day 6 Cambodia Tour: Phnom Penh - GRAND TOUR ENDS)
Sai Gon: Continental Hotel ****
Vung Tau: Grand Hotel ****
Nha Trang: Nha Trang Lodge or Novotel Hotel ****
Hoi An: Mercure Royal Hoi An or Riverside Resort ****
Hue: Green Hotel ****
Ha Noi: Golden Silk Hotel ****
Sa Pa: Chau Long Hotel ****
Ha Long Bay: BAI THO or HUONG HAI Junk ***/****
Siem Reap: Royal Ankor Resort ****
Phnom Penh: Phnom Penh or Sunway Hotel ****
Vientiane: Laos Plaza Hotel ****
Luang Prabang: Villa Santi Hotel ****
TOUR PACKAGE includes ALL hotels; ALL meals; ALL in-country travel (transfers, coach, boat, train and flights within Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia); ALL entry fees, and the services of the most experienced and best qualified guides in all 3 countries visited. All Rail Tours include the 24/7 services of an Australian Tour Escort and a Vietnamese National Guide.
TOUR PRICES for 27 Day GRAND TOUR of INDOCHINA in 2018 are:
a. $6790 pp/ts (w/Standard Class rail)
b. $7090pp/ts (w/Superior Class rail)
*Option with 5 star hotels and Superior Class rail is $9280pp/ts
TOUR PRICES for 29 Day GRAND TOUR of INDOCHINA are:
a. $7000pp/ts (w/Standard Class rail)
b. $7300pp/ts (w/Superior Class rail)
* Option with 5 star hotels and Superior Class rail is $9500pp/ts
* 29 Day GRAND Tour includes 2 day visit to Plain of Jars in Laos
Single Supplement costs:
4 star Hotels $1250pp (27 Days) or $1400pp (29 Days)
5 star Hotels $2080pp (27 Days) or $2280pp (29 Days)
Please see Tour Dates & Prices page for all
GRAND TOUR price options for 2018