The Experience

Experience the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia, from sailing over magical Ha Long Bay and sharing a sunrise over Angkor Wat to exploring evocative Ho Chi Minh City and the lively city of Bangkok. Day 1: Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your French colonial-style hotel. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Day 2: Hanoi | Asian Grace and Pace 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 and milkweed trees. Continue to the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the first Vietnamese empire independent from China. Also visit the Quan Thanh Temple, the Temple of Literature and the National Museum of Fine Arts, with its excellent collection of art. Later, travel by cyclo as a local would through the Old Quarter. This evening, see a traditional Vietnamese roi nuoc (water puppetry) performance, before gathering for a welcome dinner. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi | Meals: B L D Day 3: Ha Long Bay | Cua Van Fishing Village Travel overland through the verdant Vietnamese countryside to Ha Long Bay, seeing a traditional way of life en route. Board a luxury junk (boat), your accommodations for the night, and sail through this magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the water. After lunch, relax and sunbathe on deck or disembark to trek a nearby summit for panoramic views of the bay or a swim by a secluded beach. Later, visit Cua Van, the oldest fishing village in Ha Long Bay, and meet third-generation fishermen before returning to the boat. ‘Halong Jasmine’ | Meals: B L D Day 4: Ha Long Bay to Hanoi | Art by Nature 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 to Hoi An | Silk Trade 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 the silk is produced. Afterward, visit a lantern artist and learn how to make the silk lanterns for which Hoi An is known. Return to your resort for an afternoon at leisure. InterContinental Danang Resort | Meals: B L D Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City | Vibrant Saigon Fly this morning to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Recently experiencing a resurgence of art and culture, this lively, evocative city is a hub of activity a sharp contrast to the traditional ambience of Hanoi. This afternoon, visit Quan Am Pagoda and Binh Tay Market. Explore the surrounding neighborhood of Cholon, the city’s Chinatown. Tonight, gather for dinner at a culinary hot spot. InterContinental Asiana Saigon | Meals: B D Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City | Cu Chi Tunnels This morning, travel 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 once traversed by Viet Cong guerrillas, experiencing for yourself life here as it once was. After lunch on flavorful local cuisine, 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: Siem Reap, Cambodia | Ruins of Angkor Wat Fly to charming Siem Reap, the town nearest to the ruins of Angkor Wat, and transfer to your hotel. 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 above it. Set off to explore the temple and city of Angkor Wat, a breathtaking expression of Khmer architecture and Cambodia’s most prized national treasure. Visit the Bayon Temple, with its 172 large- scale faces bearing beguiling smiles, and the Elephant and Leper King Terraces. With every step, marvel at both Angkor Wat’s imposing grandeur as well as its remarkable detail. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor | Meals: B D Day 9: Angkor Wat | Temple of Treasures Journey to Ta Prohm temple as it rises in the golden light of early morning, exploring it at leisure before other visitors arrive. Later, attend a lecture on the Angkor complex by a noted authority on Khmer history and culture. 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 as well as the Angkor National Museum, which houses objects dating back to the golden era of the Khmer Kingdom. You also visit Sam’s Brothers Clean water project, an A&K Philanthropy project that provides local communities with clean water. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor | Meals: B L Day 10: Angkor Wat | Spiritual Reflection Watch the sunrise over the main temple of Angkor Wat, an unforgettable Southeast Asia experience. Then walk amid the moss-peppered pathways or climb the steep temple steps to wide courtyards. Contemplate the temple’s spiritual power while walking its shaded hallways wafting with incense. After lunch, visit Tonle Sap Lake to observe local life unfolding along its floating villages. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor | Meals: B L Day 11: Bangkok, Thailand | City of Life This morning, fly to lively Bangkok. Upon arrival, you are transferred to your luxurious hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The remainder of your day is at leisure, with the option to enjoy your complimentary spa credit. The Peninsula Bangkok | Meals: B Day 12: Bangkok | Chao Phraya River If you wish, rise early to give alms to monks at a little-visited temple. After breakfast, travel by boat to experience life along the klongs, an ancient yet still-vital system of canals off the Chao Phraya River. This afternoon, ride like a local on a tuk-tuk around the sprawling Grand Palace. While there, explore the ancient Siamese court and home to Thailand’s most important shrine, the entirely green-jade Emerald Buddha. You also discover Wat Pho temple, with its lovely gilded Reclining Buddha and the musical sound of coins dropping into brass offering bowls. Tonight, gather for a farewell dinner featuring classical Thai dancing. The Peninsula Bangkok | Meals: B D Day 13: Depart Bangkok After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart for home or begin a Chiang Rai & Chiang Mai Post-Tour Extension. Meals: B Luang Prabang Pre-Tour Extension 4 days, priced from $1,395; internal air priced from $835. Available on the Jan 12, Jan 19, Feb 2, Feb 9, Feb 16 Feb 23, Mar 2, Mar 9, Mar 23, Apr 27, Sep 28, Oct 19, Oct 26, Nov 9, Nov 16, Dec 7, Dec 14 and Dec 18 departures. DAY 1: Arrive in Bangkok. Novotel Suvarnabhumi Hotel DAY 2: Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos, and transfer to your hotel. See the monasteries of Wat Xiengthong, Wat Khili with its rare Xiengkhouang architecture and Wat Sene. Join a village baci ceremony. Luang Say Residence/Hotel De La Paix | Meals: B DAY 3: Join locals making food offerings to local monks. Later, visit a local farm and the Kuang Si Falls before a sunset cruise. Luang Say Residence/Hotel De La Paix | Meals: B L DAY 4: Today, enjoy tours of the Royal Palace, Phoussy Hill, and the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center. You also visit My Library, an A&K Philanthropy project. Meals: B L Chiang Rai & Chiang Mai Post-Tour Extension 5 days, priced from $3,295; internal air priced from $380. Available on the Jan 12, Jan 23, Feb 9, Feb 20, Mar 2, Mar 23, Sep 14, Sep 28, Oct 12, Oct 23, Oct 26, Nov 2, Nov 16, and Dec 18 departures. DAYS 1-2: Arrive in Chiang Rai and choose from daily activities that include a luxurious spa treatment, Thai cooking class, elephant training or a guided tour in three countries, including Tha Khi Lek (Myanmar) by tuk tuk. Anatara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa | Meals: Day 1, D; Day 2, B L D DAYS 3-4: Drive to Chiang Mai and explore Waroros Market and Wat Phrathad Doi Suthep. At dusk, experience a private blessing ceremony. Four Seasons Chiang Mai | Meals: Day 3, B L; Day 4, B DAY 5: Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Meals: B

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