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CHINA

Sapa

M YANMAR

VIETNAM

Dien Bien Phu Golden Triangle and Chiang Saen

Muang Ngoi

LAOS

Chiang Rai Mae Hong Son Chiang Mai

HANOI

Sam Nuea

Mai Chau Viengsay Cuc Phuong

Seuang River Vieng Thong Pak Ou Pak Beng Luang Prabang

Chiang Khong

Tam Dao

Halong Bay Cat Ba Island

Vang Vieng Lampang

VIENTIANE

Phrae

Nong Khai Sukhothai

Loei

Nakhon Phanom

Udon Thani

Quang Tri

Phitsanulok

Mae Sot

Savannakhet

Nakhon Sawan

THAILAND Sangkhlaburi

Da Nang

Khon Kaen

Hoang Sa Archipelago

Hoi An

Lop Buri

Pakse

Surin

Ubon Ratchathani

Ayutthaya Kanchanaburi

Hue

4000 Islands

Khao Yai

Kontum

Quang Ngai

BANGKOK

Petchaburi

Pattaya Rayong

Aranyaprathet

Stung Treng

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

Battambang Chanthaburi

Hua Hin Koh Samet Koh Chang

Quy Nhon

Angkor

Kompong Thom Kratie Kompong Cham

Koh Khong

PHNOM PENH

Sihanoukville

Ranong

Koh Pha Ngan Island Koh Samui Island Surat Thani

Phang Nga bay Krabi

Koh Yao Noi Island Koh Lanta Island Hat Yai

1

Kep Chau Doc

Koh Tao Island

Phuket

Nha Trang Dalat

Tay Ninh

Chumpon

Khao Sok

Buon Ma Thuot

MALAYSIA

Phu Quoc Island

Mui Ne Cu Chi Ho Chi Minh City Phan Thiet My Tho Vung Tau Can Tho

Soc Trang

Con Dao Island

Truong Sa Archipelago


From the Buffalo Tours Team Xin Chao, Sabai Di, Johm Riab Sua, Sawadi Krap, and Hello! Dear Partners and Industry Colleagues, It is a real pleasure to write this introduction page again as 2010 has been a special year for our team at Buffalo Tours. Never before have we seen such massive growth and expansion. Never before have we seen this level of excitement in the eyes of each Buffalo team member, and indeed our partners and clients. We have come a long way in such a short period of time. I can confidently say we are the top destination specialist in all the four countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. We have over 150 capable international and local staff in our 8 offices located in all the region’s key cities and destinations. We invested and upgraded our own fleet of boats and vehicles to be the best in the market and more than 200 of our tour guides and tour leaders are carefully selected and trained. We believe we have a unique team in the Indochina region that has expert knowledge, passion, enthusiasm and creativity. We enjoy what we do and who we work with. In addition, our two support offices in Sydney and London and our global representatives are adding great value for our partners and agents whilst breaking language, culture and time zone barriers. For 16 years we have been creating inspiring and bespoke itineraries and offering unforgettable adventures at excellent value for all of our clients and partners. The role of this brochure has changed significantly over the last ten years. The latest edition showcases some of the more popular touring options, along with some new and creative ideas to inspire you and your clients. For further ideas and immediate pricing you can call one of our offices or send us an email. Our ultimate goal is to support you in becoming experts in the region and subsequently, we have worked hard to ensure the brochure is easy to navigate and immediately inspiring and full of ideas. Our team of specialists are always available to offer innovative and specialist advice. Whether it is a luxury getaway in Southern Thailand, a family adventure in Vietnam or the majestic sights of Cambodia and Laos, we can help. We believe that each journey is unique and that your clients’ expectations will most definitely be exceeded. At Buffalo Tours we always take pride in being able to offer exceptional value to our partners. The recent expansion means an extensive network and infrastructure and better systems and technologies which allow us to offer even better value to the market. The value proposition of Buffalo Tours has thus been improved and that shows in this brochure and our 2011 agent tariffs. Last but definitely not least, we never forget where we come from and we will continue to run not just a great business, but the kind of business which helps protect our environment, improves people’s way of life and supports our communities. We are making sure sustainability is in all aspects of our operations. Several initiatives have been introduced and we are constantly improving “Buffalo Green” tours and Volunteering and Education travel services while continuing to support the Buffalo Foundation with 10% of our profits. By partnering with Buffalo Tours, you have indirectly contributed to hundreds of classroom projects where thousands of disadvantaged lives have been touched. I and the entire team of Buffalos look forward to working with you in 2011!

Tran Trong Kien CEO and Founder *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

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contents WELCOME

LAOS

THAILAND

1 Regional Map

25 Classic Laos Highlights

43 Thailand Culinary Adventure

2 Introduction

26 Lux Laos

45 Elephants and Beaches

3 Contents

27 Cycle the Grand Loop

47 Nature and Family Adventure

4 About Buffalo Tours

29 Seuang River Experience for Families

49 Community and Wildlife Experience

5 Agent Support

31 Southern Laos Cruise

51 Boutique Isaan - Undiscovered Thailand

6 Holiday Portfolio

30 Luang Prabang Cuisine and Culture

53 Thailand Resorts and Beaches

7 Website Information

32 Recommended Hotels

54 Recommended Hotels

CAMBODIA

multi-COUNTRY

34 Tuk Tuks and Temples

56 Northern Thailand and Laos Cruise

35 Classic Cambodia

57 Highlights of Indochina

37 Luxurious Cambodia

59 Undiscovered Laos and Cambodia

38 Temples and Wildlife

61 Luxury Vietnam to Cambodia River Cruise

39 Jungle Trekking on Bokor Mountain

63 Saigon to Angkor Cycling Adventure

40 Rural Battambang

65 Golfing Vietnam and Thailand

VIETNAM 9 Vietnam Highlights 11 Vietnam Beach Break 13 Gourmet Vietnam 15 Cycle Vietnam 17 Health and Harmony 19 Active Halong 20 Off the Beaten Track in Halong Bay 21 Vietnam Resorts and Beaches 23 Recommended Hotels

41 Recommended Hotels 67

TRAVEL 69

3 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*

VOLUNTEER AND EDUCATIONAL

USEFUL INFORMATION


ABOUT Buffalo Tours Our trips

All our trips are based on customised itineraries whether they are Classic Highlights, Adventure, Luxury, Beach breaks, Family holidays, Special Interest or Voluntourism. This travel brochure is designed to provide industry experts with inspirational ideas. It illustrates what we can offer and provides information on new experiences and services, together with useful information on Buffalo’s recommended hotel and cruise partners.

Our People

Buffalo Tours consists of a multinational and multicultural team of around 350 full time and part time staff hailing from the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, Thailand and Indochina. With our head office in Hanoi, our young and dynamic team stretches far and wide, with branch offices in Australia and the UK, and a Sales representative in Germany. Additionally, we have operations offices in Danang, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang and Bangkok. Buffalo Tours employs sales staff and tour guides that are fluent in English, French, German and Spanish. All of the guides that we employ are from Indochina and Thailand.

Peace of Mind

Our customer’s safety is paramount. All our guides are trained by an international medical clinic in first aid and carry a complete first aid kit, plus our expert operations team are on 24 hour standby to handle any emergency. Buffalo Tours has full public liability and professional indemnity insurance provided by QBE International.

Accommodation

Buffalo Tours recommends suitable accommodation based on client’s requirements, from luxury properties, boutique hotels and lodges to friendly home stays and locally owned guesthouses. Our team consistently endeavours to provide the most competitive hotel rates in the industry. Inside this brochure you will find a list of recommended hotels and some new accomodation options from the region.

Transportation

We own a modern fleet of well maintained air-conditioned vehicles including standard cars, luxury Mercedes sedans and 15 to 45 seat coaches. In addition to two standard and two deluxe junks in Halong Bay, we operate a Red River cruise boat in Hanoi. As an established Destination Management Company with years of experience in the region, Buffalo Tours has access to the best transport in the region at the most competitive rates.

Responsible Travel

Buffalo Tours is one of the leading responsible tour operators in Indochina and Thailand. Our guides are trained in the Buffalo Tours’ Responsible Travel Guidelines, available for downloading at www.buffalotours.com. Our dedicated full-time Volunteer and Educational Travel Department has introduced quality new projects and experiences spanning the region. Many of these initiatives are exclusive to Buffalo Tours or are a joint venture with Non-Governmental Organisations. We also contribute to the Binh Luc Orphanage Nutrition Program, the Blue Dragon Foundation Annual Summer Camp and Operation Smile.

Buffalo Green

green

Look out for our ‘Buffalo Green’ Responsible Travel Recommendation logo throughout this brochure, highlighting tours and experiences that satisfy our responsible travel guidelines. The Buffalo Green logo means you can expect the experience to be environmentally responsible, socially responsible and sustainable. In this way, the communities involved are helped in the sense that activities support and preserve cultural diversity while also creating livelihoods in a sustainable manner.

ACTIVITY GRADES

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*

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Buffalo Tours Sales & RepresentatIVE Offices: To better suit your requirements, we have set up offices around the globe and look to launch more in 2011. Headquarters: Hanoi Branch Offices & Operations: Ho Chi Minh City, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Bangkok and Danang. Sales Offices: Australia / New Zealand and the UK. Representative Office: Germany.

AGENT SUPPORT

Our online tariffs cover all the itineraries in our 2011 brochure, in addition to some ‘golden oldies’ from previous editions. A hotel and transfer tariff will also be available for downloading. In 2011 Buffalo Tours will continue to improve its support services with the launch of the Agent Customised Tool. This will allow agents to customise their own trips and directly access our wide range of services from transfers, to accommodation options, restaurants, guides and cruises. The system will enable agents to receive real time prices and even get confirmations.

Customise your tour At Buffalo Tours we literally have thousands of services available so you can pick and choose to build your ideal holiday. All the tours featured in this brochure can be completely customised and tailored to suit your needs. In this way, you are free to see what you want to and to travel in your chosen style . 5 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*


HOLIDAY Portfolio Buffalo Tours first began as an adventure specialist, and although this still remains one of our key strengths, we have expanded our range of services so that we can offer more innovative niche travel experiences.

Classic Highlights

Adventure Tours

Luxury Experiences

Cruises

Volunteer & Educational Travel

Special Interest Tours

Beach Breaks

Incentives

ADVENTURE HOLIDAY PORTFOLIO

Trekking

Cycling

Sailing

green Scuba Diving

Elephant Safaris & Mahout Training

Rafting

Rock Climbing

Kayaking

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*

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Website Information www.buffalotours.com

Our main website featuring our tours, contact details, promotions, recommendations, videos and more.

http://agents.buffalotours.com

The aim of this site is to provide up to date itineraries, tour and hotel tariffs for downloading, along with e-brochures and detailed information on our preferred hotels. A comprehensive photo library is also available offering high resolution images for promotional purposes. There are also some fantastic videos available for use. We hope you find this website to be a useful source of information.

7 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*


Vietnam

Vietnam is a country with immense geographic and cultural diversity. The country’s varied climate and landscape range from four seasons in the mountainous north, to year-round tropical temperatures in the lush south. Visitors to the country almost always comment on the friendly locals and the delicious cuisine. When visiting the country you can choose to travel at various levels of comfort, staying in anything from deluxe to budget accommodation, using various forms of transportation and dining in fine Vietnamese and international restaurants or in more local style eateries. www.buffalotours.com

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*

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HIGHLIGHTS HANOI SAPA ETHNIC MINORITY VILLAGES HALONG BAY HUE HOI AN HO CHI MINH CITY MEKONG DELTA

12 days

Sapa

VIETNAM Halong Bay

HANOI

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

Hue

THAILAND

Hoi An Pakse

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong Delta

VIETNAM HIGHLIGHtS Experience Vietnam’s highlights in just twelve days with flights in between each city, enabling you to make the most of your time in this fascinating destination. This is the perfect tour for those wishing to get a taste of the country whilst staying in comfort.

Day 1 Hanoi

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

Day 2

Hanoi – Sapa

Enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi. Having celebrated its 1000year anniversary in 2010, the city has a rich and fascinating

history. A traditional cyclo tour through the narrow, ancient streets of the exotic Old Quarter is a great way to soak up the sights and sounds. In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train to Lao Cai and the mountainous region near the Chinese border.

Day 3 Sapa

Arrive at Lao Cai station early in the morning and transfer to Sapa. Depending on your fitness level, you can arrange anything from gentle walks to challenging hikes to explore

Something Different... HOI AN – FARMER FOR A DAY AT TRA QUE VEGETABLE VILLAGE Tra Que is a charming little village on the edge of Hoi An, which is famous for its sweet scented green vegetables that spice up Hoi An’s famous delicacies such Cao Lau and Mi Quang. This excursion will give you an interesting insight into the lives of rural people in this peaceful part of Vietnam. Set off in the morning with a gentle bicycle ride to a local farm. On arrival you will be introduced to the history of the village and the cultivation of the vegetables. Continue with a walk around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing the land and planting some crops. Finish off your experience with a fun cooking demonstration.

9 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

the lush valleys and mountains that surround the town. With an expert local guide, you can navigate small paths through verdant, terraced fields of rice and corn, passing farmers and their water buffalo ploughing the land as they have for centuries. The ethnic-minority groups still maintain their traditions and way of life, including their own language and intricatelyembroidered, colorful clothing. In the evening, you can stay overnight with a local family in Ta Van village or return to the comfort of your hotel in Sapa.


Day 8

Hue – Hoi An

Day 4

Drive south along a beautiful stretch of coastline and over the scenic Hai Van Pass, to the picturesque riverside community of Hoi An. On arrival, enjoy a walking tour of this charming traditional town now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sapa – Hanoi

Start your morning with a hike to a beautiful waterfall before continuing on to a picturesque Red Dao village. Red Dao women wear giant red scarves around their heads, and their clothing is embellished with colourful red embroidery and coins. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Sapa before returning to Lao Cai to board the overnight train back to Hanoi.

Day 9 Hoi An

Spend the day at leisure on the beach or having clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors Hoi An is famous for. If you like to cook, you can spend a fabulous day exploring the local produce market with an expert chef who will teach you the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine.

Day 5

Hanoi – Halong Bay

Arrive in Hanoi at around 5 am. A day room will be available, so you can shower and freshen up before breakfast. At around 8 am start your journey to Halong Bay and arrive at around midday to board a traditional junk for an overnight cruise. Halong Bay is widely considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Thousands of towering pillars of sea and wind-carved limestone karst make the bay an unforgettable sight. After lunch, explore some of the huge limestone caves dotted around the bay and visit a floating fishing village. Then the captain will find a secluded spot where you can swim, soak up the sun on the top deck, or try your hand at kayaking. In the evening enjoy a seafood feast for dinner.

Day 10

Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and spend the afternoon on a guided tour of the highlights of this bustling, cosmopolitan city. In the evening, you may like to enjoy a fun cooking class or take a cruise down the Saigon River, complete with local entertainment and a fantastic traditional and international buffet dinner.

Day 11

Mekong Delta

Day 6

Halong Bay – Hanoi

Enjoy an early morning swim (during the summer), followed by breakfast as you cruise through more spectacular scenery. In the afternoon drive back to Hanoi, where you will have one more evening to sample its fabulous cuisine and explore the Old Quarter.

Day 7

Hanoi – Hue

In the morning, fly to the former Imperial Capital of Hue. This beautiful city is rich in history, culture and ancient temples. Spend the day exploring the Citadel, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, before relaxing on a sunset cruise on the Perfume River.

Explore the heart of the Mekong Delta on a traditional sampan cruise in Cai Be. Visit floating markets and get a feel for a way of life that has changed little for centuries. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a superb restaurant on the banks of the river before returning back to Ho Chi Minh City for some free time.

Day 12

Depart Ho Chi Minh City

You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 10


HIGHLIGHTS HANOI HALONG BAY HOI AN NHA TRANG HO CHI MINH CITY MEKONG DELTA MUI NE

14 days VIETNAM HANOI

Halong Bay

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

Hoi An Pakse

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA Nha Trang

PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

Mui Ne Mekong Delta

VIETNAM BEACH BREAK Soak up the culture of Vietnam whilst enjoying one of the most beautiful coastlines in Asia. This fourteen day trip includes stays in the capital Hanoi and cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City, with beautiful beaches and bays along the way.

Day 1 Hanoi

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

Day 2

Hanoi – Halong Bay

Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Halong Bay for an overnight cruise through thousands of limestone islands on a traditional ‘junk’. Explore caves, kayak in secluded lagoons and

sunbathe on the deck. In the evening enjoy a seafood dinner before retiring to your cabin for the night.

Day 3

Halong Bay – Hoi An

The next day cruise back to the mainland, arriving at around midday. You will then be transferred to the airport for a connecting flight to Danang and a short journey to the quaint, picturesque town of Hoi An. Spend your first evening in Hoi An strolling its romantic, silk lantern lit streets and dine in one of its fantastic riverside restaurants.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION VAN PHONG BAY ECOTOUR - NHA TRANG

green

This is a unique experience for those wanting to experience life in a traditional fishing community. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in this beautiful area of Central Vietnam, as you learn about the daily activities of the friendly locals. Discover the marine life with a snorkeling trip to Trao Reef, learn about the growing sustainable aquaculture industry and be treated to some traditional folk performances. Accommodation is available in friendly home stays, giving you a chance to truly experience local life. Alternatively, enjoy a daytrip and splash out with a stay at the stunning Six Senses Hideaway in Ninh Van Bay.

11 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

Day 4 -5 Hoi An

Over the next couple of days you have the options of a privately guided walking tour, a fun cooking class or an excursion to the ancient ruins of My Son. Alternatively, explore the picturesque countryside by bicycle or just laze on the beach.

Day 6

Hoi An – Nha Trang

Refreshed from your relaxing break in beautiful Hoi An, travel onwards to the beach town of Nha Trang, for the next few nights.


to go snorkeling and swimming. More adventurous types may wish to take advantage of the excellent kayaking or diving on offer.

Something Different... GARDEN HOUSES OF PHUOC TICH - HUE A visit to this historic settlement assists in preserving the areas important cultural heritage. Phuoc Tich is noted for its garden houses and their attached architectural, religious and historic value. Established in 1470, the village was ‘rediscovered’ in April 2003 and efforts are underway to preserve this historical site for future generations. Why not combine this excursion with a fun cyclo tour around the lesser visited parts of Hue? Get off the beaten track as you glide past timeless street scenes from the comfort of your very own cyclo; the perfect way to explore the former Imperial capital.

Day 7-8

Nha Trang

With its turquoise sea, golden sand and blue skies it is tempting to spend your days just relaxing on the beach. For those who can tear themselves away from their sun loungers, there are many options. You may enjoy a day trip to the offshore islands

Day 9

Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City

After a couple of nights in Nha Trang it is time to head further south to Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon you have the option of a private city tour or a visit to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels.

Day 10

The Mekong Delta

The next day make a journey to the Mekong Delta. Enjoy a cruise on a traditional sampan, taking in the floating markets and lush, tropical landscape. A fantastic lunch will be served in a villa on the banks of the river before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for some free time.

Day 11-13

HO CHI MINH CITY - Mui Ne - HO CHI MINH CITY

Your last few days in Vietnam will be spent in the peaceful town of Mui Ne, which is a four hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. A popular place for watersports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, Mui Ne is home to giant sand dunes perfect for jeep safaris. The area is also justifiably known for its cheap and fresh seafood. Inspiring photographic opportunities abound with the brightly coloured Vietnamese fishing boats bringing in their catch in the morning.

WHAT’S NEW? BOUTIQUE HOI AN RESORT Offering a total of 82 rooms and villas with private balconies that face the sea, this new resort is sure to impress. The centrepiece of this resort is the swimming pool which is surrounded by a peaceful tropical garden. If relaxing by the pool is not enough for you, then take advantage of the on-site spa. This new boutique property is located right next to Cua Dai beach, making it an ideal place to stay when in Hoi An.

Day 14

Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Spend the morning at leisure before you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 12


HIGHLIGHTS HO CHI MINH CITY MEKONG DELTA HOI AN HUE HANOI COOKING CLASSES

9 days VI ETNAM HANOI

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

Hue

THAILAND

Hoi An Pakse

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong Delta

GOURMET VIETNAM Vietnam is a gourmet paradise known for its fabulous, exotic cuisine that differs between the southern, central and northern regions of the country. Experience a Vietnam culinary tour that incorporates cultural highlights, cooking classes and dining in gourmet restaurants along the way. From lessons in a Saigon Cooking School, to classes in a beautiful villa set in lush tropical surroundings, this Vietnam culinary tour will be a gastronomic delight for the senses.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

The next morning experience a truly authentic cooking class at the Hoa Tuc Cooking Centre, which is housed in the old opium refinery. Go on a tour of the outdoor produce markets to shop for ingredients and learn all about the exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs on display. Return to the cooking centre where you will be shown the secrets to Vietnamese cooking. Afterwards sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

From cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City it is time to head to the Mekong Delta. Float down the Mekong River on a traditional sampan, sip green tea and taste exotic local fruits. Meander past floating markets and stop at interesting spots along the way. End your Mekong experience with a gourmet lunch at a superb restaurant which specialises in local delicacies such as ‘Elephant Ear’ fish.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

WHAT’S NEW? THE VILLA @ RED BRIDGE - HOI AN Located on the river between Hoi An ‘Ancient Town’ and the beaches of the South China Sea, this private villa is a true home away from home. The villa is complete with three master bedrooms, a living room, a dining area, a fully-equipped kitchen, a library and a fitness room. The airy open plan living design is complimented by a garden courtyard filled with tropical flora. Enjoy an in-house massage as you take in the spectacular views over the Thu Bon River. Relax by the pool with a drink and be treated to a private dinner carefully prepared by the chefs of the Red Bridge Restaurant.

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Mekong Delta


Day 4

Ho Chi Minh City - Hoi An

From Ho Chi Minh City fly to Danang on the central coast and drive to the quaint fishing town of Hoi An. Go on a walking tour, be inspired by its fascinating architecture, dine in its many gourmet restaurants and enjoy some shopping therapy at one of the many tailor shops.

Day 5 Hoi An

This morning take a tour of the markets before cruising down river to a villa set in lush tropical surroundings, where you will enjoy a fun cooking class. Relax with a glass of wine as you savour your wonderful creations. Spend the afternoon lazing on the beach or exploring town.

Day 6

Hoi An – Hue

Make the scenic journey to Hue and spend the afternoon on a guided tour of this former Imperial city. Explore the Citadel and catch a boat down the Perfume River to visit ancient temples and pagodas. This evening you will have the opportunity to chat with a chef from Hue who will explain the history of Hue’s cuisine and traditions. This engaging experience is followed by a fabulous authentic Hue dinner fit for an emperor.

Day 7

Hue – Hanoi

From Hue fly to Hanoi and set out on a street food and market tour with a local chef and learn all about the unique delicacies of Northern Vietnam. In the evening enjoy dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in Hanoi that specializes in the famous fish dish ‘Cha Ca’.

Day 8 Hanoi

The next day enjoy a class at our favorite cooking school in Hanoi. Afterwards, you will have the chance to enjoy the delicious lunch you have prepared. In the evening dine at a well known Hanoi restaurant, which acts as a hospitality training restaurant for underprivileged street kids. Offering a mix of Vietnamese

and Western fusion dishes you will be truly impressed by the gourmet cuisine and enthusiastic service of the staff.

Day 9

Depart Hanoi

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 14


HIGHLIGHTS HANOI HUE HOI AN QUANG NGAI KONTUM BUON ME THUOT DALAT NHA TRANG HO CHI MINH CITY CU CHI

15 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

Hue

THAILAND

Hoi An Pakse

BANGKOK

Kontum

Quang Ngai

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

Buon Ma Thuot Nha Trang Da Lat

PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

CYCLE VIETNAM See Vietnam at a slower pace with this exciting cycling adventure. Visit some of the country’s main sights whilst getting off the beaten track. From the capital Hanoi to the bright lights of Ho Chi Minh City, this rewarding experience will allow you to travel through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.

Day 1 Hanoi

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

Day 2

Hanoi - Overnight train to Hue

This morning, enjoy a comprehensive tour of Hanoi. The remainder of the day is free to explore the many interesting streets of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, an area that has changed little over the centuries. In the evening you will be transferred to the train station for the overnight train journey southwards to Hue.

Day 3 Hue

Early in the morning you will arrive in Hue and be transferred to the hotel. Later in the morning set out for your first ride in Vietnam through the former Imperial capital of Hue. First, there is a visit to the Citadel. In the afternoon you will see Emperors’ mausoleums, before continuing on to Thien Mu Pagoda, which is considered to be the unofficial symbol of Hue.

Day 4

Hue - Hoi An (30 km cycling with an optional extra 40km)

top of the Hai Van Pass, which is some 500 metres above sea level. You can either stop cycling at the top or continue down the other side before ending your journey in Hoi An. In the late afternoon take a short walking tour through the old streets of this picturesque town.

Day 5 Hoi An

The day is at leisure, with many things on offer to do. You may wish to have some clothes made in one of the towns’ many tailors or even enjoy a fun cooking class and learn how to prepare some sumptuous Vietnamese dishes. Alternatively, you could just spend the day lazing on the beach.

Today there is the option to challenge yourself by riding to the

Something Different... BA VI AND DUONG LAM CULTURAL ADVENTURE

green

Lying within easy reach of Hanoi, Ba Vi and Duong Lam make for a fascinating day’s escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Straddling a mountain range to the west of Hanoi, Ba Vi National Park has rich and diverse tropical and subtropical species of flora and fauna. On a clear day the views from the higher reaches of the park can be outstanding. Enjoy a relaxing trek through the park and make a stop at one of the tea plantations that the area is famous for. Situated a short drive from Ba Vi National Park is the historic settlement of Duong Lam. Listed as a national heritage area the village contains a variety of structures, some of which were constructed up to four centuries ago. Marvel at the ancient temples and pagodas that house some of the most beautiful collections of Buddha statues in the region.

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Day 6

Hoi An - Quang Ngai (30km cycling)

Day 10

Leaving Hoi An mid-morning take the bus to Chau O. Enjoy a picnic lunch and cycle through Chau O to a hamlet called My Lai. Here lies the evocative memorial for those villagers who died in the horrific massacre during the Vietnam War. After visiting the memorial and museum you will continue on to Quang Ngai.

Cycle around Dalat (50km cycling)

Day 7

Dalat - Nha Trang (100km cycling)

Quang Ngai - KonTum (60 km cycling)

Today is a more challenging day as you leave Highway 1 and head inland towards Quang Nam. Cycling will last only part of the day, along undulating roads with stunning photo opportunities. Ride past many remote villages, through tropical forests, over bridges and along quiet roads.

Day 8

KonTum - Buon Me Thuot (100km cycling)

Today’s cycling avoids the highway and passes through some exceptional scenery including rubber and tea plantations, and ethnic minority villages. The route is on paved roads and you will end your journey in the largest town in the Western Highlands.

Day 9

Cycle to Dalat (100km cycling)

Enjoy a full day of cycling today. Start off riding for 50km along the valley floors before taking in the mountainous route of Highway 27. The scenery along the way is simply breathtaking. Arrive in Dalat in the late afternoon.

Enjoy a comprehensive cycling tour of Dalat and take in the main sights of this relaxed mountain retreat. Your tour will include visits to Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace, Xuan Huong Lake and the vibrant town market.

Day 11

The cycling today is mostly downhill towards the coast and the city of Nha Trang. Pass through minority villages before you reach kilometres of pristine beaches. Nha Trang is a popular Vietnamese resort, due to its great climate and beautiful offshore islands.

Day 12

Nha Trang

Today is a cycle-free day so that you can enjoy the clear blue waters and relaxed ambience of this pleasant resort. Take an excursion by boat to explore the nearby islands for a day of swimming and snorkelling in the azure waters. On your return to Nha Trang, spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 13

Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon, walk through the heart of the city and past some of Ho Chi Minh City’s most famous sites. Visits will be made to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Colonial-era Post Office, the Presidential Palace (also known as the Reunification Palace) and the War Remnants Museum.

Day 14

Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning, make a visit to the remarkable Cu Chi tunnels, which was the scene of fierce fighting during the Vietnam War. The afternoon is at your leisure for you to explore the wonders of this frenetic metropolis. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 15

Depart Ho Chi Minh City

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward journey.

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HIGHLIGHTS HANOI HALONG BAY TAI CHI HOI AN COOKING CLASS NHA TRANG HO CHI MINH CITY

12 days VI ETNAM Halong Bay

HANOI

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

Hoi An Pakse

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

Nha Trang

PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

HEALTH AND HARMONY Experience pure Zen on a health and harmony relaxation getaway. This tour revolves around luxury resorts and spas, with time to learn Tai Chi in the most beautiful destinations around Vietnam. A perfect way to de-stress and soak up the flavours and culture of Vietnam in harmonious style. If desired, a private yoga instructor can be arranged to travel with you for daily classes.

Day 1 Hanoi

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

on the deck of your junk. In the late afternoon visit a floating village, kayak or take a bamboo row boat to explore a secluded lagoon. As the sun sets enjoy cocktails on the deck and a gourmet dinner.

Day 3

Halong Bay

Day 2

Hanoi – Halong bay

Depart Hanoi for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay for a 3 day / 2 night cruise through thousands of limestone peaks. Begin the cruise as lunch is served and later in the day take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay. You may wish to swim in a quiet bay or sunbathe

green WHAT’S NEW? Vedana Lagoon Resort and Spa Located between Hue and Hoi An on the edge of a peaceful and serene lagoon, the Vedana combines modern high end living with traditional and modern healing therapies. This 27 hectare property offers meditation, Reiki, Tai Chi and Yoga in a truly beautiful location. Let yourself unwind and reinvigorate your body and soul as you take in the picturesque landscape. 17 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

Enjoy an early morning tai chi class on deck, and after breakfast transfer to your ‘day trip boat’ with a private crew and cruise the bay’s lesser visited areas. Later in the day, visit water tunnels and fishing villages or go kayaking. All meals are served onboard by your private chef.

Day 4

Halong Bay – Hanoi

There is more tai chi this morning for those who wish to rise early. Later in the morning visit a limestone grotto and cruise leisurely through the bay before returning to the dock for the journey back to your hotel in Hanoi.

Day 5

Hanoi – Hoi An

Fly from Hanoi to Danang. You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Hoi An. The rest of the day is at leisure.


Day 6 Hoi An

Today you may wish to go on a walking tour of this beautiful town. You are sure to be inspired by its fascinating architecture and laid back atmosphere. Dine in its many gourmet restaurants and get some shopping therapy at one of the many tailor’s shops.

Day 7 Hoi An

This morning enjoy a fun cooking class. You will walk through Hoi An’s riverside market, always a hive of activity, before spending the morning with a chef teaching you how to cook traditional Vietnamese cuisine. The best part is enjoying it afterwards.

Day 8

Hoi An – Nha Trang

Today take a flight to Nha Trang. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your resort, with the last part of the journey by speed boat. On arrival at this private island, check into the luxurious Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay Resort.

Day 9-10

Nha Trang

With its turquoise sea, golden sand and blue skies it is tempting to spend your days just relaxing on the beach. For those who can tear themselves away from their sun loungers, there are many options. You may enjoy a day trip to the offshore islands to go snorkeling and swimming. More adventurous types may wish to take advantage of the excellent kayaking or diving on offer.

Day 11

Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh City

Travel back to Nha Trang in the afternoon and catch an evening flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival you will be met by a guide and accompanied to your hotel. The evening is at leisure to explore this frenetic metropolis.

Day 12

Depart Ho Chi Minh City

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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HIGHLIGHTS HANOI HALONG BAY ROCK CLIMBING HIKING CAT BA ISLAND

3 days VIETNAM Halong Bay

HANOI

Cat Ba Island

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

Hue

THAILAND

Hoi An Pakse

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

ACTIVE HALONG Halong Bay is widely considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Hundreds of towering pillars of sea and wind-carved limestone karst make the bay an unforgettable sight, and one of the premier rock-climbing destinations in South East Asia. There is a wide range of climbing here. Some climbs are suitable for complete beginners, while advanced climbers can find challenges to match their skills. Our three-day, two-night rock-climbing, trekking and kayaking tour explores Halong Bay’s famous Cat Ba archipelago.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Depart from Hanoi and journey to Halong Bay where you will board a ferry for the trip to spectacular Cat Ba Island, the largest of the islands in the Cat Ba archipelago. Spend the afternoon exploring the National Park by bicycle and visit a traditional Northern Vietnamese fishing village.

Cruise on a junk through beautiful Lan Ha Bay, an area of Halong Bay that most tourists overlook. Kayak into a serene, hidden lagoon where you can relax in the afternoon sun. Then, cruise through a maze of fantastic karst towers to a pristine beach on uninhabited Moody’s Island. After your cruise, our certified climbing guides will outfit you with safe UIAA-standard climbing harnesses and rock-climbing gear. With the coaching of our experienced guides, you can climb as high as you like to enjoy spectacular views across the emerald waters of Halong Bay.

Cruise back to Cat Ba Island for a hike through Cat Ba National Park. The Park differs from other national parks in Vietnam because of the great variety of landscapes and ecosystems. Abundant in diverse fauna and flora, with 896 plant and 548 animal species recorded, Cat Ba is considered one of the most beautiful areas in northern Vietnam. At the end of today you will be transferred to Hanoi.

Hanoi – Halong Bay - Cat Ba Island

Cruising and Climbing Halong Bay

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION BIRDWATCHING IN XUAN THUY NATIONAL PARK

green

Experience the peace of the Red River Delta with a unique daytrip from the capital. The highlights of any visit to the area are the opportunities to interact with the friendly locals and to observe the migratory birds that make the area their home for part of the year. You could extend your stay and gain a better understanding of life in the Red River Delta with an overnight stay in a local home. Alternatively, return to the capital and pamper yourself with a night in one of Hanoi’s luxury hotels.

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Hiking on Cat Ba Island - Hanoi


HIGHLIGHTS HANOI HALONG BAY BAI TU LONG BAY

3 days VI ETNA M Halong Bay

HANOI

Cat Ba Island

LA OS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

Hue

T H AI LA ND

Hoi An Pakse

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CA MB ODI A PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK IN HALONG BAY Halong Bay is widely considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world. This cruise on a traditional junk takes you from main routes to the remote and beautiful Bai Tu Long Bay. You have a choice of boats for your cruise; the Princess, which is a one-cabin private junk or the Prince, which has four cabins. Both junks can be either privately chartered or shared and provide a friendly, boutique atmosphere with an emphasis on great service and fine cuisine.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Leave Hanoi in the morning by either shared vehicle or private car for the four-hour drive to Halong Bay. A small boat will take you to your junk, which is anchored just offshore. Onboard, you will receive a welcome drink and cruise briefing before setting off for Bai Tu Long National Park. Cruise past floating villages, limestone peaks and hidden caves. Anchor and explore further by kayak. During the summer months you can go for a swim in the clear waters of the bay.

The next day, spend the morning at Bua Cua Beach where you can swim or sunbathe. Enjoy a typical Vietnamese BBQ on the beach and go for a kayak if you are feeling energetic. In the afternoon, visit floating fishing villages and return to the junk to watch the sunset over this incredible seascape.

On your last morning, take a traditional rowboat to visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng. Watch as the people go about daily lives shaped by the ageless rhythms of the sea. Cruise back to the dock while an early lunch is served. Return to your hotel in Hanoi, arriving in the capital in the late afternoon.

Hanoi – Halong bay - Bai Tu Long

Bai Tu Long bay

Bai Tu Long bay- Hanoi

Please note that for those wishing to do the 2 Day – 1 Night itinerary, Day 2 is omitted from the schedule.

Something Different... Hanoi Art Scene Our full day and evening art immersion tour is for serious art lovers. It entails more than just visiting a few galleries. You will get away from the main tourist scene and out into the countryside to meet with a local artist in his studio, and receive a private slide show by a Hanoi artist on the history of art in Vietnam since 1920. We also believe that food is art, which is why we have included lunch and dinner in two of our favourite restaurants in Hanoi.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 20


vietnam resorts & beaches Due to its long coastline, the country possesses a number of beautiful beaches that are easily accessible to the visitor. In recent years, the range of accommodation options in some of Vietnam’s premier beach destinations has improved enormously meaning that there is something for everyone. Obviously, what follows is not an exhaustive list of beach resorts in Vietnam, but rather a selection of our favourites. www.buffalotours.com

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HOI AN

A trip to Hoi An means more than just a relaxing time on the beach. Even though there are many fantastic resorts near Cua Dai beach, complete with spa and pool facilities, the town offers endless entertainment options. Visitors can enjoy cooking classes and excellent dining, not to mention the opportunity to have clothes tailored inexpensively. BEST TIME TO GO March – September Peak rainy season during October and November, when flooding may occur. Temperatures can be cool during the winter months from November to February.

THE NAM HAI - HOI AN NHA TRANG

With seven kilometres of golden beaches, Nha Trang is justifiably the premier beach resort in Vietnam. The islands just offshore offer excellent snorkeling and scuba diving sites. Alternatively, you can just sit back and relax with a cocktail and enjoy the fresh seafood on offer. BEST TIME TO GO February to September October to January is the rainy season and temperatures can be lower between November and January.

THE SHERATON HOTEL AND SPA - NHA TRANG MUI NE

Famous for its vast sand dunes and watersports facilities, Mui Ne is only a short drive from frenetic Ho Chi Minh City. Offering a wide range of accommodation options it is the perfect extension to a Vietnam tour. BEST TIME TO GO Year round, although November to April is the most popular time. During this period the conditions for windsurfing and sailing are near perfect. During the rainy season, from May to October, short bursts of rain occur but it is less windy and the surroundings are lush and green.

BLUE OCEAN RESORT - MUI NE

PHU QUOC

This beautiful island just off the Vietnamese and Cambodian coastlines is a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City. At the time in the year when resorts on the mainland are experiencing the rainy season, the weather in Phu Quoc is excellent. Even though there are plans for major development of the island, at present it is still relatively undeveloped. BEST TIME TO GO The period between November and June is generally the best to visit the island. October is generally the wettest month.

CHEN LA RESORT AND SPA - PHU QUOC

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recommended hotels NORTHERN VIETNAM

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi - Luxury

PILGRIMAGE VILLAGE Hue – Superior 130 Minh Mang Road, Hue, Vietnam www.pilgrimagevillage.com

50 Tran Phu Street, Nha Trang, Vietnam www.novotel.com

Maison D’Hanoi Hanova Hotel - Superior

The Nam Hai - Luxury

Princess D’Annam Resort and Spa - Luxury

15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam www.sofitel-legend.com

novotel nha trang – Superior

35-37 Hang Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam www.hanovahotel.com

Hamlet 1, Dien Duong Village, Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam www.ghmhotels.com

Hon Lan, Tan Thanh Commune, Ham Thuan Nam District, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam www.princessannam.com

Mai Chau Lodge – Superior

Ha An Hotel – Superior

Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon –– Deluxe

Mai Chau Town, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam www.maichaulodge.com

6-8 Phan Boi Chau street ,Hoi An Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam www.haanhotel.com

8-15 Ton Duc Thang, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam www.renaissancehotels.com

SOUTHERN VIETNAM

Victoria Sapa resort and spa – Superior Sapa District, Lao Cai province, Vietnam www.victoriahotels.asia

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay - Luxury

park hyatt saigon - Luxury

Evason Ana Mandara nha trang - Deluxe

Victoria Chau Doc Hotel – Superior

Ninh Van Bay, Ninh Hoa, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam www.sixsenses.com

CENTRAL VIETNAM

La Residence Hotel and Spa – Superior 5 Le Loi Street, Hue, Vietnam www.la-residence-hue.com

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Tran Phu Boulevard, Khanh Hoa Province, Nha Trang, Vietnam www.sixsenses.com

2 Lam Son Square, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam www.saigon.park.hyatt.com

32 Le Loi, Chau Doc, An Giang Province, Vietnam www.victoriahotels.asia


LAOS

Laos is a landlocked country of stunning natural beauty and strong spiritual traditions which remains relatively unexplored. The country has a population of roughly six million people, making it one of the least populated countries in the world. Much of the country is dominated by forested mountains, verdant valleys and broad snaking rivers. Laos is a welcoming country that is perfect for nature lovers, adventurers and those seeking a laid-back, relaxing holiday with rich cultural experiences. www.buffalotours.com

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 24


HIGHLIGHTS LUANG PRABANG PAK OU CAVES MEKONG CRUISE NIGHT MARKET VIENTIANE

5 days

VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS Luang Prabang

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

CLASSIC LAOS HIGHLIGHTS Experience the best of Luang Prabang and Vientiane in just a few days. This short trip can easily be added to the beginning or end of a tour through Vietnam, Thailand, or Cambodia.

Day 1

Luang Prabang

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town. Nestled in a stunning setting amid lush mountains, this sacred city of golden temples and saffron robed monks provides endless opportunities for sightseeing. Visit a number of Wats and some of this peaceful town’s main highlights.

Day 2

Luang Prabang

This morning, enjoy a cruise on the Mekong River and visit the sacred Pak Ou Caves. Since the 16th century, local people have

brought images of the Buddha to place in the caves – nowadays there are thousands to see. In the evening stroll through the night market to buy some local crafts and souvenirs.

Day 3

Luang Prabang

Today you can choose from many optional activities. You may wish to embark on a bicycle ride through spectacular scenery, visit an elephant camp where you can ride one of these magnificent creatures through the jungle or swim in a jungle waterfall. Alternatively, you could enjoy a delicious cooking class or even a lesson in the art of silk dyeing.

Day 4

Luang Prabang – Vientiane

You will be transferred to the airport for the short flight to Vientiane. This afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the capital’s main sights. In the evening, go for a stroll along the banks of the Mekong River and enjoy a drink as the sun sets.

Day 5

Vientiane

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

What’s new? Luang Prabang Hotels Following the success of their first hotel in Siem Reap, another Shinta Mani property is set to open its doors in the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang. The hotel will continue the traditions established in Siem Reap, with a commitment to community and education. Also, new on the Luang Prabang scene is the stylish Alila. Located on a heritage site, the property combines colonial charm with contemporary touches. Guests are sure to enjoy the layout of spacious courtyards and tranquil gardens, not to mention the on-site spa and gourmet dining options. In the second half of 2011, The Xieng Thong Palace Hotel is also set to open. Featuring 26 spacious rooms, the property will also offer 6 suites complete with plunge pools and jacuzzis. Indeed, these will be the only pools in Luang Prabang’s UNESCO listed town centre. Located next to Wat Xieng Thong, the hotel will boast views of the Mekong, a gourmet restaurant and dinner cruises for guests.

2011 * 25 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*


HIGHLIGHTS VIENTIANE LUANG PRABANG KUANG SI FALLS NIGHT MARKET BACI CEREMONY

5 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS Luang Prabang

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

LUX LAOS Experience stylish hotels, private plunge pools, idyllic water falls and divine gourmet resaurants. This itinerary enables you to see the sights of Luang Prabang and Vientiane while staying in luxury and comfort.

Day 1

Vientiane

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Later in the day, enjoy a walk along the city’s riverfront promenade and dine in a cozy restaurant overlooking Fountain Circle.

your way to your elegant hotel complete with your own private plunge pool. You may wish to spend the day being pampered in the hotel’s luxurious spa before browsing through the town’s night market.

Day 3

Luang Prabang

Day 2

Vientiane – Luang Prabang

This morning, enjoy a tour of the main temples and monuments in this quiet capital before your flight to Luang Prabang. Make

If you wish, you are welcome to participate in the morning rite of almsgiving to the several hundred monks that reside in the city. Later in the day, visit a few select temples and the Royal Palace before retreating from the heat for a delightful lunch of local specialties.

Day 4

Luang Prabang

Cool off in the clear blue pools of an idyllic waterfall along with a tasty catered lunch. In the evening receive Lao blessings of good luck in a traditional Baci ceremony inside a UNESCO World Heritage building.

Day 5

Depart Luang Prabang

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Something Different... 500 Candle Dinner at La Residence Phou Vao Located on a hilltop with stunning views of the surrounding jungle clad hills, La Residence Phou Vao is a magnificent property. Dine at a table for two surrounded by the flickering glow of five hundred candles. Savour Lao cuisine with a French twist, carefully prepared by the executive chef and served by your personal waiter. This extraordinary dining experience, complete with live music, creates a truly romantic atmosphere.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 26


HIGHLIGHTS LUANG PRABANG NONG KHIEW VIENG KHAM VIENG THONG ETHNIC MINORITY VILLAGES SAM NEUA VIENGSAY MUANG KHAM PLAIN OF JARS XIENG KHOUANG

13 days VIETNAM HANOI Nong Khiew

LAOS

Sam Nuea Viengxay

Vieng Thong Luang Prabang Phou Khoun Chiang Mai

Muang Kham

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

cycle THE GRAND LOOP Still relatively untouched by tourism, Laos is a glimpse of a traditional Asia that has all but disappeared. Explore this beautiful, tranquil country by bike during an adventurous, 13-day comprehensive tour. You will visit charming Luang Prabang, the mysterious Plain of Jars and numerous villages en route. This is an unforgettable way to experience a charming land that most travelers overlook.

Day 1

Luang Prabang

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

Day 2

Luang Prabang

This morning, enjoy a walking tour of this peaceful town and in the afternoon head to Kuang Si waterfall for a swim. In the evening, you may wish to browse through the towns’ night market.

Day 3

Luang Prabang – Nong Khiew (75 km Cycling)

Begin cycling north out of Luang Prabang. On arrival in Pak Ou village, cross the Mekong to visit the sacred Buddha Caves. Then continue north through rolling mountain scenery to Ban Huay Pene – a Leu ethnic minority village. Visit the town’s beautiful temple before continuing on to Nong Khiew by vehicle.

Something Different... Muang Ngoi

An enchanting sleepy hideaway on the Nam Ou River, this Lao town is located 170 kilometres North-East of Luang Prabang. The town’s main attraction is the surrounding karst mountains and the trekking options on offer. Interesting sights include the Tham Kang cave and Tham Pha Kaew cave which were used as bomb shelters during the Second Indochina War. Also of interest to visitors is a regular regional market where tribal villagers from the surrounding area come to trade.

Viengsay

Located in Houa Phan province, near the Vietnamese border, this quiet town is home to a fascinating cave complex. Set amongst beautiful limestone peaks, this ‘Hidden City’ was once at the centre of Lao history. During the war in the 1960s, both locals and the Pathet Lao used the caves to shelter from American bombardment. The complex was complete with a hospital, a school and shops. A visit to Viengsay provides the visitor with a chance to view a largely intact revolutionary base. 27 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

Day 4-5-6

Nong Khiew – Vieng Kham – Vieng Thong – Sam Neua (205 km Cycling) Cycle through charming villages and the forest of the Nam Et-Phou Loei National Protected Area. Continue on through mountainous scenery before arriving in Sam Neua, near the Vietnamese – Laos border.

Day 7-8

Sam Neua – Viengsay – Sam Neua – Nam Neun (70 km Cycling)

Explore the quaint morning market along the Xam River in this


mountainous town. Cycle to Viengsay, the cave city, and learn of its historical importance. Wander through the amazing karst landscape in the middle of town and visit some of the caves.

Day 9

Nam Neun – Muang Kham (cycling 96 km)

Today’s journey will pass through particularly remote territory. Take a short detour and visit the mysterious standing stones at Hintang. No one is quite sure who built them or why. Stop to visit the Tham Piu cave, a natural site with an interesting history. Then, continue on to Muang Kham, where you are free to soak in the relaxing hot springs and rest your tired muscles.

Later in the day, begin your final descent to Luang Prabang. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you descend through Hmong and Khmu villages, before arriving in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang.

Day 13

Depart Luang Prabang

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION

Day 10

Muang Kham – Xieng Khouang (53 km Cycling)

Cycle to Xieng Khouang and the mysterious Plain of Jars. Visit some of the jar sites and enjoy a trip to the historic capital of Muang Khoun.

Day 11

Xieng Khouang – Phou Khoun (50 km Cycling)

Venture out of town by bike to Muang Soui before continuing on by vehicle to Phou Khoun.

Day 12

Phou Khoun – Luang Prabang (90 km Cycling)

green TEXTILE GALLERY AND WEAVING CENTRE AT OCK POP TOK Meaning ‘East meets West’, this self-financed initiative was established in 2000. It now provides livelihoods for nearly 200 people both in Luang Prabang and six Northern provinces. The concept is to bring people together through textiles and to exchange knowledge and ideas. Check out the latest designs, meet the weavers, see the silkworms and learn about the silk production process. The centre offers classes in Indigenous weaving and natural dye techniques.

Explore the local produce market before driving to Kioukacham.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 28


HIGHLIGHTS LUANG PRABANG SEUANG RIVER TREKKING RAFTING VILLAGE HOMESTAY BACI CEREMONY PAK OU CAVES

5 days VIETNAM HANOI

Seung River

LAOS Luang Prabang

Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

SEUANG RIVER EXPERIENCE FOR FAMILIES Exclusive to Buffalo Tours, the Seuang River Experience is a sustainable community tourism project set up to both provide income to 12 villages in the region, and to encourage cultural exchange and interaction. Your accommodation will be in the simple houses of your host family, where you will cook meals alongside them. Build bamboo rafts and float downriver, visit a local school and participate in fun games arranged by the village and our staff. At the end of your stay experience a special ‘Baci’ blessing ceremony by the villagers. This is a truly authentic insight into the life of Laos’ ethnic minorities.

Day 1

Luang Prabang

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

Day 2

Luang Prabang – Seuang River

In the morning drive to the Seuang River Experience which is approximately two hours north of Luang Prabang. Enjoy a tour of the village and learn about local lifestyles. Later on you may

wish to visit one of the local homes for a fun cooking class. Your hosts will first provide an overview of the menu with a description of the ingredients. At the end of the class you will enjoy the meal you have prepared. Tonight you will be staying in a local family’s house.

Day 3

Seuang River Nature Trek – Bamboo Rafting In the morning, join villagers on a walk through community forest areas to learn of their importance. As you walk you will collect seeds of threatened trees that need protecting and

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION VIENTIANE ORCHID FARM

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Established in 2006, the farm is intended to assist in the conservation of Lao biodiversity while at the same time stimulating economic and social development. At the farm in Vientiane, you can view more than 2,000 plants, including 300 different orchid species. One aim of the project is to grow, market and export Lao orchids legally. A visit to the farm is not only pleasant, but also assists in the fight against the illegal orchid trade.

29 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

replanting. When you arrive back at the village prepare the seeds you collected for germination at the community tree nursery. These seedlings will be planted by villagers in the next rainy season. Embark on an adventure down the river on a bamboo raft passing waterfalls and towering mountains as you go. In the evening, spend some time assisting local school teachers at the community education centre.

Day 4

Seuang River – Pak Ou Caves – Cruise to Luang Prabang

In the morning you will say farewell to your hosts and mark the occasion with a traditional Baci blessing ceremony. Depart from the village and drive to Pak Ou, where you will begin a cruise that will take you to the nearby Buddha Caves. Explore the caves before returning to your boat and cruising to Luang Prabang.

Day 5

Depart Luang Prabang

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight


HIGHLIGHTS LUANG PRABANG COOKING CLASS SILK DYEING CLASS CYCLING TREKKING BACI CEREMONY KUANG SI FALLS

6 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS Luang Prabang

Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

LUANG PRABANG CUISINE AND CULTURE Culturally Laos has so much to offer the visitor. This six day culinary and cultural experience combines nature, cuisine and art to offer you an unforgettable experience. A great way to explore a side of the country that few visitors see.

Day 1

Luang Prabang

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day. Nestled in a stunning setting amid forested mountains, this sacred city of golden temples and saffron robed monks provides endless opportunities for sightseeing. In the evening, enjoy a special Baci ceremony before dinner.

Day 2

Luang Prabang Cooking Class

This morning you will learn the secrets of Lao cuisine. Begin by visiting the colourful and vibrant Phou Si Market with an expert chef, who will help you to select the ingredients you need for the lesson. Then, collect fresh herbs from an exotic jungle garden. The chef will explain the differences between the various cuisines of Southeast Asia and distribute printed recipes so you can impress your friends at home. After the class, enjoy the delicious feast you have prepared.

Day 3

Luang Prabang - Silk Dyeing Class

A visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center will give you an insight into the daily lives of the ethnic minorities in Northern Laos. After your visit, take a trip to a local weaving centre where you can experience a half-day traditional silk-dyeing lesson. Make your own souvenir hand-dyed silk scarf as a memento. After the lesson, you can enjoy a drink while watching the sun set over the Mekong.

Day 4

Luang Prabang - Cycling and Trekking – Ban Long Lao

Today, you will cycle south of Luang Prabang for approximately 20 kilometres to Ban Thin Som. There, you will begin a trek through the stunning countryside to visit a Kamu village. After lunch, hike through the mountains where you are sure to enjoy the spectacular views. At Ban Long Lao, gain an insight into everyday life in the village. This evening enjoy a traditional Hmong dance and dinner at the head man’s house.

Day 5

Luang Prabang - Waterfall Trek

Breakfast will be served at the headman’s house, after which

you have some free time to explore the village. Later in the morning begin trekking through a valley which contains a forest preserve. Hike for approximately three hours before arriving at Kuang Si waterfalls. The falls cascade over many calcified tiers and down several hundred feet into a series of cool, turquoise pools. The water here has a clear blue-green tint due to the high mineral content. Enjoy swimming if you wish. After lunch in front of the falls, you may wish to visit the nearby bear rescue centre. In the late afternoon drive back to Luang Prabang.

Day 6

Depart Luang Prabang

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION THE ROYAL BALLET THEATRE - luANG PRABANG

green

The Theatre is reviving traditional Lao dance and music with the help of previous Master Artists. A goal of the project is to create a new generation of artists, while preserving cultural heritage. Until 1975, the Royal Ballet troupe pleased audiences with a Lao version of the Ramayana. Neglected for years, the theatre was re-established in 2002. One of the main activities of the project is to teach traditional music and folksongs and encourage youth to master these art forms.

TUM TUM CHENG - LUANG PRABANG

Established in 2001, the centre is run by certified Chefs who teach traditional cooking techniques based on more than 30 years of experience in Asia and Europe. Guests can even learn variations of the recipes of Phia Sing, the Luang Prabang Chef to the Royal Family. A visit to the centre is not only fun but will enable you to impress dinner party guests on your return home. *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 30


HIGHLIGHTS PAKSE KHONE PHA PENG FALLS 4000 ISLANDS OUM MUONG CHAMPASAK VAT PHOU

3 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS Luang Prabang

Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND Pakse

Kanchanaburi

4000 Islands

Ayuthaya

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

SOUTHERN LAOS CRUISE This three day cruise departing from Pakse in southern Laos meanders through the 4000 islands, where life has changed little over the years. Visit preAngkorian ruins and observe life along this vast waterway as you cruise through this beautiful region.

Day 1

Day 3

Depart Pakse by Route 13 and travel to the historically significant Pha Pheng waterfalls, the “Niagara of the East”. You will then be driven to the fishing village of Xieng Di for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, you board small boats for a visit to Khone Island to see the old French railway and walk the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands. The boat drops you at the Khong Island village of Ban Veuthong, where you will board the waiting Vat Phou boat for a sunset cruise and dinner on the Mekong River.

While enjoying breakfast on board, the Vat Phou continues cruising to Champasak. The highlight this morning is the Vat Phou ruins - the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th century temple complex after which your vessel is named. You have time to visit the museum at the ruins and walk up to the highest temple. After lunch, a small boat will take you back to Pakse.

Pakse – 4000 Islands

Day 2

4000 Islands – Oum Moung

Breakfast is on board the Vat Phou boat as you cruise to Ban Deua Tia. Walk through this small Village, witnessing centuriesold traditions still being practiced. The Vat Phou boat then continues to cruise north on the Mekong, past the island of Don Xai, and many other small islets in the river archipelago. After lunch, you will visit the village of Huei Thamo and the mysterious Oum Muong forest temple.

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Oum Moung – Champasak – Pakse

Something Different... TAD FANE AND THE BOLAVEN PLATEAU Why not extend your stay in Southern Laos with a trip to the beautiful Bolaven Plateau? Make a visit to one of the region’s Tea and Coffee plantations and try some of the tasty local produce. Continue your ‘off the beaten track’ experience with a trek through the mountainous countryside to the ribbon like Tad Fane Waterfall.


RECOMMENDED HOTELS Luang Prabang

Vientiane

Amantaka - Luxury

Ban Viengxay, Luang Prabang, Laos www.amanresorts.com

La Residence Phou Vao - Luxury Ban Pongkham, Luang Prabang, Laos www.residencephouvao.com

Alila Luang Prabang

- Deluxe Ban Mano, Luang Prabang, Laos www.alilahotels.com

Shinta Mani Luang Prabang

- Deluxe Phou Maew, Luang Prabang, Laos www.shintamani.com

Apsara Rive Droite

- Superior Ban Phan Luang, Luang Prabang, Laos www.theapsara.com

The Belle Rive - Superior Ban Vat Nong, Luang Prabang, Laos www.thebellerive.com

Zen Nam Khan

- Superior Ban Xieng Lom, Luang Prabang Province, Laos www.zennamkhanresort.com

Villa Chitdara

-Standard Khounsua Road, Ban Vat Nong, Luang Prabang, Laos www.villachitdara.com

xieng thong palace - Deluxe Luang Prabang, Laos Opening in 2011

Satri House

- Deluxe Photisarath Road, Ban Thatluang, Luang Prabang, Laos www.satrihouse.com

Settha Palace hotel

- Deluxe 6 Pang Kham Street, Vientiane, Laos www.setthapalace.com

Ansara Hotel

- Deluxe Ban Vat Chan, Vientiane, Laos www.ansarahotel.com

Green Park

- Superior Ban Nong Chan, Vientiane, Laos www.greenparkvientiane.com

Novotel

- Superior Unit 9 Ban Khountathong, Samsenthai Road, Sikhotabong, Vientiane, Laos www.novotel.com

Hotel Beau Rivage Mekong - Standard Fa Ngum Road, Ban Seetarn Neua, Vientiane, Laos www.hbrm.com

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 32


CAMBODIA The Kingdom of Cambodia boasts some of the most spectacular sights on the planet. From massive ancient temple complexes to varied wildlife, dense rainforest and pristine beaches the country has a huge amount to offer the visitor. Having suffered a traumatic recent history, the country has set about reinventing itself and has opened its doors to visitors keen to experience this exotic destination.

www.buffalotours.com

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HIGHLIGHTS SIEM REAP BUFFALO TOURS’ TUK TUK ANGKOR THOM TA PROHM ANGKOR WAT BANTEAY SREI TONLE SAP LAKE

4 days

VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Angkor Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

Tuk Tuks and Temples Explore the ancient temples of Angkor in Buffalo Tours’ very own Tuk Tuk. Travel in style as your are shuttled around the highlights of the temple complex. Round off your experience with a ride to the Tonle Sap Lake and a fascinating boat trip around the lake’s floating communities.

Day 1

Siem REAp - Angkor Thom

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, ride in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to visit the city of Angkor Thom. Start at the South Gate and walk along the ancient city wall to see the lost temple of Prasat Chroung. Continue to the Bayon temple, where you will be surrounded by the smiling faces of numerous Buddhas. Also make visits to the Terrace of the Elephants, the Royal Palace and the Terrace of the Leper King.

Day 2

Ta ProHm - Angkor Wat - Pre Rup banteay srei

Rise early and travel in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to visit the jungle enveloped temple of Ta Prohm. Next, you will go to the magnificent Angkor Wat. Enjoy a guided tour around this huge structure and learn about the glories of the Kingdom of Angkor. Return to the hotel for a late breakfast and a rest. In the afternoon, head to the temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Citadel of the Women’. On your way back to Siem Reap, enjoy the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Day 3 Tonle Sap Lake

Tonle Sap. Board a boat and spend the rest of the morning at one of the largest floating villages on the lake which is called Kompong Phluk. In the village you will witness the fascinating daily lives of the local people who live on the water. The boat service is provided by local people, and the profit goes directly back to the community. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 4 Depart Siem ReAp

Spend the morning at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

This morning drive in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to the edge of Siem Reap. Enjoy a fun buffalo cart ride through the countryside until you reach the Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake; the

what’s new? the buffalo tours tuk tuk Visit the magnificent Temples of Angkor in style in Buffalo Tours new Tuk Tuk. Why travel in an air-conditioned vehicle when you can feel the breeze in your hair? Enjoy being driven around Angkor’s main sights in our very own stylishly designed Tuk Tuk. Just beware the other Tuk Tuk drivers may get jealous when they see your luxury vehicle cruising past.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 34


HIGHLIGHTS PHNOM PENH CYCLO TOUR UDONG BATTAMBANG ANGKOR WAT ANGKOR THOM BANTEAY SREI TONLE SAP LAKE KEP

10 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Angkor Battambang

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

Kep

Ho Chi Minh City

Classic Cambodia See all the highlights of this exotic country in ten days. Visit the vibrant capital of Phnom Penh and charming Siem Reap, the gateway to the majestic ruins of Angkor. You will take a cruise on beautiful Tonle Sap Lake, explore the wonders of Angkor Wat and visit one of our favourite ‘off-the-tourist-path’ jungle temples.

Day 1

Phnom Penh

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour in a cyclo with visits to the National Museum, the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. End your day with a boat trip as the sun sets over the capital.

Day 2 Phnom Penh

This morning, you will visit the genocide museum known as Toul Sleng and the Killing Fields. In the afternoon, visit the Sovann Phum office for a taste of traditional Khmer culture.

Something Different... STAY IN A MONASTERY A unique overnight tour that includes a visit to the famous Angkor Wat and accommodation in a local monastery. Meet the resident monks, learn about Buddhist philosophy and monastic life and rise early to the sound of drums for a half day of meditation practice. A truly spiritual experience.

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Day 3 Phnom Penh - Battambang

Depart the capital for the drive to Battambang. Along the way, you will stop at Udong, which is located 40 kilometres northwest of Phnom Penh. Cambodia’s Royal Capital from the early 17th to 19th centuries, it was abandoned 1866 when King Norodom moved his court to the current capital, Phnom Penh. Continue on to Kompong Chhnang, where you will make a stop to view some of the ceramic workshops that the city if famous for. Later in the afternoon you will arrive in the city of Battambang.

Day 4 Battambang – Phnom SampeAu

This morning discover the 11th century Ek Phnom Temple. Inside, you will be able to view some beautiful carvings which are still in remarkably good condition. After lunch, make a visit to Phnom Banan to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Then head to Phnom Sampeau, a natural rocky hill offering a series of caves to explore. Sadly many of them were used as “killing caves” during the Khmer Rouge period.


Day 5

Battambang - Siem Reap – Angkor Thom

Today, you will travel to Siem Reap where you will begin your exploration of the magnificent temples of Angkor. In the afternoon, ride in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to visit the city of Angkor Thom. Start at the South Gate and walk along the ancient city wall to see the lost temple of Prasat Chroung. Continue to the Bayon temple, where you will be surrounded by the smiling faces of tens of Buddhas. Also make visits to the Terrace of the Elephants, the Royal Palace and the Terrace of the Leper King.

Day 6 ta prohm - angkor wat - banteay srei

Rise early and travel in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to visit the jungle enveloped temple of Ta Prohm. Next, you will go to the magnificent Angkor Wat. Enjoy a guided tour around this huge structure and learn about the glories of the Kingdom of Angkor. Return to the hotel for a late breakfast and a rest. In the afternoon, head to the temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Citadel of the Women’. On your way back to Siem Reap, enjoy the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Day 7 Tonle Sap Lake

This morning drive in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to the edge of Siem Reap. Enjoy a fun buffalo cart ride through the countryside until you reach the Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake; the Tonle Sap. Board a boat and spend the rest of the morning at one of the largest floating villages on the lake which is called Kompong Phluk. In the village you will witness the fascinating daily lives of the local people who live on the water. The boat service is provided by local people, and the profit goes directly back to the community. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 8

Siem Reap - Phnom Penh - Kep

This morning depart Siem Reap and fly to Phnom Penh. On arrival, you will be driven to the coast and the charming resort of Kep. Once you have checked in, the rest of the day is free at leisure.

Day 9 Kep

Today is free at leisure for you to explore this pretty resort. You may wish to wander around the town to view some of the French colonial architecture or even take a trip out to Rabbit Island to enjoy the beautiful beaches that the island is famous for.

Day 10

Depart Phnom Penh

Spend the morning at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Something Different... CYCLE SILK ISLAND

Discover a different side of the capital with this fun cycling adventure to a less visited area of the city. Spend a relaxing half-day outside of Phnom Penh, cycling on Silk Island. Cross the Tonle Sap River and cycle along the bank past Cham communities, and catch a ferry to the island of Koh Oknyahtei for a gentle ride. The island has fertile farmland and small village communities. You will stop at a school to learn about the country’s educational system, visit a typical modern Khmer Wat and a silk weaving house to see how the beautiful silk scarves are produced. Continue along small trails and enjoy a picnic lunch before returning by a different route to the capital.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 36


HIGHLIGHTS PHNOM PENH SIEM REAP ANGKOR THOM TA PROHM ANGKOR WAT BANTEAY SREI TONLE SAP LAKE

6 days

VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Angkor Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

Luxurious Cambodia Combine a tour of the Kingdom’s highlights with luxury accommodation and fine dining. From the bustle of Phnom Penh to the awe-inspiring Temples of Angkor and the serenity of the Tonle Sap Lake you are sure to enjoy this luxurious experience.

Day 1

Phnom Penh

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour in a cyclo with visits to the National Museum, the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. End your day with a boat trip as the sun sets over the capital.

Day 2 Phnom Penh

This morning continue your exploration of the capital. You will visit the genocide museum known as Toul Sleng and the Killing

Fields. In the afternoon, visit the Sovann Phum office for a taste of traditional Khmer culture.

Day 3

Phnom Penh – Siem Reap – Angkor Thom

Take a short early morning flight to Siem Reap and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will ride in a Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to visit Angkor Thom. Continue on to the Bayon Temple, the Terrace of Elephants, the Royal Palace and the Terrace of the Leper King.

Day 4 TA PROHM - Angkor Wat - BANTEAY SREI

Rise early and travel in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to visit the jungle enveloped temple of Ta Prohm. Next, you will visit the magnificent Angkor Wat. Enjoy a guided tour around this huge structure and learn about the glories of the Kingdom of Angkor. Return to the hotel for a late breakfast and a rest. In the afternoon, head to the temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Citadel of the Women’. On your way back to Siem Reap, enjoy the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Day 5

Tonle Sap Lake

what’s new? The Four Rivers Floating Eco-Lodge Away from the tourist trail there is another country; a land of virgin forests, rare orchids and fragrant frangipani, startling colours and calls of birds of paradise. Relax in an environmentally friendly resort that captures the imagination while offering the luxury and high-end facilities of a four-star boutique resort. What better place to relax after a journey through the Kingdom?

37 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

This morning drive in the Buffalo Tours Tuk Tuk to the edge of Siem Reap. Enjoy a fun buffalo cart ride through the countryside until you reach Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake; the Tonle Sap. Board a boat and spend the rest of the morning at one of the largest floating villages on the lake which is called Kompong Phluk. In the village you will witness the fascinating daily lives of the local people who live on the water. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 6 Depart Siem REAp

Spend the morning at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.


HIGHLIGHTS SIEM REAP ROLUOS TEMPLE COMPLEX ANGKOR WAT ANGKOR THOM ANGKOR NATIONAL MUSEUM TRADITIONAL KHMER DANCING BANTEAY SREI KBAL SPEAN PREAH KHAN TONLE SAP LAKE BIRDWATCHING

5 days

VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Angkor Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

TEMPLES AND WILDLIFE IN ANGKOR This five day tour of Angkor and its surrounding temples is combined with a fascinating boat trip on the Tonle Sap Lake, where you will learn about its unique ecosystem and have the opportunity to enjoy some birdwatching in a protected sanctuary. Enjoy lunch with the locals and visit floating villages on the lake. On your last day, get off the main tourist path with a trip to our favourite hidden jungle temple.

Day 1

Siem Reap - Roluos Temple Complex Angkor Wat

The first morning is spent visiting the Roluos Temple Complex, the earliest of the Angkor temples. You will visit its three principal monuments; Bakong, Preah Ko and Lolei. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxed lunch in Siem Reap before heading to the majestic ruins of Angkor Wat, the most famous and best preserved of all the Angkor temples. You will have plenty time for a thorough exploration of this huge architectural wonder. At the end of the day, watch the sunset over the jungle from the top of a centuries-old temple.

Day 2

Angkor Thom - Angkor National Museum - Dinner Dance Show Begin your day at the South Gate of Angkor Thom and walk along the ancient city wall to see the lost temple of Prasat Chruong. On the walk you may be lucky enough to spot some of the birds that make the area their home such as thrushes, egrets, drongos and warblers. Next, you will start your exploration of the centerpiece of this ancient city, the Bayon. The Bayon is complete with 54 towers decorated with more than 200 enigmatically smiling stone faces. The morning tour also visits the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Terrace of Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, as well as Ta Prohm Temple which was made famous by the movie Tomb Raider. In the afternoon, visit the Angkor National Museum to

see displays of numerous artifacts and multimedia presentations of Angkorian history and culture. The day ends with a traditional Apsara dance show, bringing ancient Khmer culture to life in spectacular surroundings while you enjoy the very best in Cambodian cuisine.

Day 3

Banteay Srei – kbal spean - Preah Khan

Rise early to witness a beautiful sunrise over Sra Srang, the former Royal pond. After breakfast, you will explore the exquisite Banteay Srei, which roughly translates as “Citadel of the Women”. This architectural gem is home to some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. Continue your exploration of the area with a visit to Kbal Spean. Commonly referred to as the ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’, here you can see a beautifully carved riverbed. End your day with a visit to Preah Khan, which translates as“Sacred Sword”. The structure was originally built as a Buddhist monastery school in the late 12th century.

Day 4

Tonle Sap LAKE – Birdwatching – Floating Villages

This full-day ecotour begins early with a drive to the Tonle Sap Lake. Breakfast is served onboard your boat during a one and a half hour expedition across the lake and its flooded forest. Your guide will discuss the ecosystem and habitats of the local flora and fauna. After registration at the environmental station, climb aboard a local boat to glide through the waterways into the bird

sanctuary. The rest of the morning is dedicated to bird watching along the waterways, the lakeshore and from the top of the watching towers where local rangers guard the colonies. After lunch, visit the Tonle Sap’s famous floating villages by community paddleboat. Discover distinctive aspects of village life here from crocodile farming to the floating schools. Learn about the local Osmose project, which raises environmental awareness among the local population through the environmental education school. At the project there are also some beautiful floating gardens and a water hyacinth handicraft workshop.

Day 5

Beng Mealea

In the morning, you will be driven to Beng Mealea Temple, about 70 kilometres from Siem Reap. Beng Mealea is a true jungle temple and a must-see for the adventurous. Still largely submerged in lush vegetation, it is similar in structure and design to Angkor Wat. The rest of the day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Note: The paddleboat visit of the village is unavailable at certain times of the year when the water level is too low. Generally the itinerary can only be run between November and March.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 38


HIGHLIGHTS KAMPOT BOKOR NATIONAL PARK TREKKING POPOK VEL FALLS RIVER CRUISE

3 days

VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Angkor Siem Reap

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH Bokor

Ho Chi Minh City Kampot

Jungle Trekking on Bokor Mountain For the truly adventurous, this trip combines trekking in a national park with a gentle river cruise. Along the way, those lucky enough may even spot some of the region’s diverse fauna.

Day 1

Kampot – Bokor Mountain ( around 6 or 7 hours trekking)

Depart from Kampot and drive to the base of Bokor Mountain. Bokor National Park is located in the Elephant Mountain Range and is one of Cambodia’s largest protected areas. The ruined colonial resort town at the top of the mountain was built by the French in the 1920s as a retreat from the heat of the plains. The day is spent trekking through the pristine jungle as you make your ascent to the top. Once you reach the summit of the mountain in the late afternoon you will have time to explore this fascinating site. You will spend a basic but comfortable night at the Bokor National Park Guesthouse, which is located at the ranger station. This evening, enjoy a tasty barbeque dinner and a chance to reflect on the day’s adventure.

Day 2

Bokor – Popok Vel hours trekking)

(around 6 or 7

Continue your adventure with a descent through the forest to a village known locally as ‘100 rice fields’. The village gets its name from the view of the surrounding rice paddies from an opening in a nearby cave. Even though you would be extremely lucky to see any large animals, the National Park is an important nature reserve with large mammals and many bird species. However, you will be rewarded with some fantastic views of the

39 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

surrounding area. After a late picnic lunch, you will continue to the two-tiered Popok Vel Waterfalls. Depending on the weather you may like to take a refreshing dip. On arrival, you will set up camp for an atmospheric dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 3

Popok Vel – Kampot ( around 5 hours trekking)

Continue trekking through jungle and villages until you make a stop at the ‘Hornbill’ cave. After, make a visit to the pretty Teuk

Something Different... KEP COASTAL GETAWAY Cambodia is much more than just Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh. Kep is a little known treat. Once the premier beach destination in Cambodia, it is now a quiet, laid-back seaside town compared to the more touristy Sihanoukville. Easily reached by a four hour drive from Phnom Penh, Kep is scenic in a rugged way, with a short stretch of sand surrounded by mangrove forests and rocky coastal areas. You can even take a boat trip to Rabbit Island, where the white sand beaches make an ideal location for snorkeling or simply lazing on the beach.

Chou rapids, where you will pause for a picnic lunch break. You may like to enjoy a refreshing swim before boarding a boat for a sunset cruise to Kampot. The cruise departs at around 4pm just as local fishermen are departing for their afternoon trips to catch some of the crabs that Kampot is famous for. Also, you will pass by fascinating communities complete with floating houses. You will arrive in the pleasant riverside town of Kampot in the late evening. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure.


HIGHLIGHTS BATTAMBANG COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE WAT KOR VILLAGE WAT PHNOM BANAN PHNOM SAMPEAU WAT EK PHNOM

3 days

VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK Siem Reap Battambang

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

RURAL BATTAMBANG If you are the kind of traveler who likes to get off the beaten track, this rural Cambodia adventure is for you. Battambang is famous for its French colonial architecture, fertile soil and the rubies and garnets mined in the province. Only a three hour drive from Siem Reap and four from Phnom Penh, it is the perfect side trip. You will see sights most tourists miss and gain a fascinating insight into life in the countryside.

Day 1

Phnom Penh/Siem Reap – Battambang – Wat Kor Cultural Village

In the morning, drive to Battambang by private car. After lunch, enjoy a walking tour of Battambang which will include visits to some of the old French Colonial buildings along the river and a visit to the former Governor’s residence. Just two kilometers away from Battambang on the Sangker River is the village of Wat Kor. Here you will gain a fascinating insight into the Cambodian way of life in the province. Many of the structures in the town were constructed in the early 20th century. Locals give the visitors a short tour of the village and explain some of the history and show them around a traditional Khmer home. An

optional evening activity is offered on Thursday evenings only. You can assist in a circus show organized by the NGO Phare. The entertaining performance helps poor, handicapped children gain an education and improve their livelihoods.

Sampeau, which is a natural rock formation which contains a series of caves. The area was a former stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and some of the caves were used as “killing caves”. Your guide will be able to give you a history of the area.

Day 2

Day 3

Battambang - Wat Phnom Banan – Phnom SampeAU

This morning depart Battambang for a visit to Wat Phnom Banan, an 11th century temple built by King Jarvarman VII. Located on top of a 400 metre high hill, the views from the temple are simply breathtaking. The next destination is Phnom

Battambang – Siem Reap/Phnom Penh

Spend the morning exploring the Ek Phnom Temple, an 11th century Hindu temple built by Suryavarman I. It holds some beautiful carvings that have remained in remarkably good condition. After lunch you will return to Phnom Penh/Siem Reap.

Something Different... HORSE RIDING IN ANGKOR Enjoy half hour to half day explorations through Siem Reap’s surrounding countryside and temples on horseback. The experience is great for individuals or families, as there are horses suitable for all experience levels from placid ponies that are suitable for first time riders through to young lively geldings for experienced riders. Most of the horses are one hundred percent Cambodian bred. The ranch does their best to ensure you are given a horse that is most suited to your experience.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 40


recommended hotels Siem Reap

Hotel De La Paix - Deluxe

Sivutha Road, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.hoteldelapaix.com

La Residence D’angkor - Deluxe

Steung Siem Reap - Standard

Street 9, Mondul 1,Sangkat Svaydangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.steungsiemreaphotel.com

Amanjaya Hotel - Superior

1 Sisowath Quay, Corner Street 154, Phnom Penh, Cambodia www.amannjaya-pancam.com

Shinta Mani - Superior

The Quay Hotel - Superior

River Road, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.residentdangkor.com

Junction of Oum Khum & 14th Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.shintamani.com

Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, Cambodia www.thequayhotel.com

Angkor Village Resort - Superior

angkor century resort & spa - Superior

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra - Deluxe

Phum Traeng, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.angkorvillage.com

Komay Road, Khum Svay Dangkom, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.angkorcentury.com

Provinces

Phnom Penh

Victoria Angkor RESORT AND SPA - Deluxe

Central Park, P.O. Box 93145, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.victoriahotels-asia.com

La Maison D’angkor - Superior

No. 71, National Road 6, Siem Reap, Cambodia www.lamaisondangkor.com 41 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Opening in late 2010 www.sofitel.com

RaffleS Hotel Le Royal - Deluxe 92 Rukhak Vithei, Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia www.raffles.com

Villa Langka - Standard

No. 14, Street 282, Phnom Penh, Cambodia www.villalangka.com

La Villa - Standard

185 Pom Romchek 5-kom Ratanak Srok, Battambang, Cambodia www.lavilla-battamabang.com

Knai Bang Chatt - Superior

Phum They, Sangkat Prey Thum, Khan Kep, Kep, Cambodia www.knaibangchatt.com


ThaiLand

A destination that truly has something for everyone. Whether you want to go island hopping, enjoy world-class shopping or explore the country’s national parks, you are guaranteed a fantastic stay in the ‘Land of Smiles’. Justly famous for its beaches, there is another side to Thailand. The country offers rich cultural experiences as well as a divine cuisine. Allow us to design a more ‘complete’ tour that takes you into the heart of Thailand and show you more of what this special country has to offer. www.buffalotours.com

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2010 * CLASSIC 42


HIGHLIGHTS BANGKOK PAK KLONG TALAD MARKET COOKING CLASS BANG PA IN KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK KOH SAMET

13 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Khao Yai

CAMBODIA Koh Chang

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

THAILAND CULINARY ADVENTURE This gastronomic adventure in one of the best culinary countries in the world will leave your mouth watering and your taste buds tingling for Thai food forever. At the end of this experience you will be masters of Thai cuisine as we have included cooking classes at one of the Kingdom’s best cooking schools . Your expert guides will take you to markets to try obscure foods, guide you around vineyards for wine tasting and help spot animals in Khao Yai National Park. Top off your holiday on the beautiful island of Koh Samet and the chance to feast on fresh seafood.

Day 1

BANGKOK

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 2

BANGKOK

Spend the day exploring Bangkok’s magnificent temples including the Grand Palace and Wat Po. Cruise on a private boat through the klongs (canals) to witness local river life. In the evening enjoy dinner with Thai music and dancing.

Day 3

Day 4

BANGKOK

BANGKOK COOKING CLASS

Thailand is famous for its markets and today your senses will come alive as you explore Bangkok’s best markets. Spend the morning taking in Pak Klong Talad, the city’s biggest flower market. Continue to Chinatown to weave through the tiny networks of streets before enjoying lunch. If you catch Bangkok at the weekend you will visit Chatuchak Weekend Market that boasts over 9,000 booths selling everything under the sun and a great place to try some weird and wonderful food. Afterwards, head over the road to Aw Taw Kaw Market which is famous for its seafood and fruit.

Today is the first day of your three day gastronomic cooking class at the famous Blue Elephant Cooking School, housed in a charming neo-colonial building in the heart of the city. Begin the day by visiting Bang Rak morning market where you will learn about the use of Thai fruits, vegetables and spices. The rest of the morning is spent in the classroom and the kitchen with hands on instruction from their top chefs. For lunch enjoy the fruits of your labour. The afternoon is free for you to relax at your own leisure.

Something Different... Deluxe Isaan Mekong Cruise Adventure Cruise down the mighty Mekong River whilst experiencing the rarely visited region of Isaan. The fourteen wellappointed cabins and wide open decks of this large boutique Mekong cruise ship provide many opportunities to simply enjoy views of the region’s natural beauty. However, the vessel is also a perfect base for day trips so that you can experience the ancient seasonal rhythms of rural life. Although the poorest part of the Kingdom, Isaan retains strong traditions while at the same time the visitor can see the cultural hybrids that flourish alongside them. Briefings from your cruise director & local guides on daily excursions give context and perspective.

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Day 5

Day 9

Today you will learn how to prepare and cook four different Thai dishes and enjoy your creations.

Leave the hills for the six hour drive to the beach. On arrival at Rayong Pier take a short boat transfer to Samet Island.

BANGKOK COOKING CLASS

KHAO YAI – KOH SAMET

Day 6

Day 10-11

The day will be spent learning how to cook more delicious cuisine and in the afternoon you will have a fruit carving demonstration.

Spend two days on this tropical paradise soaking up the sun, swimming in the clear waters and dining on mouth watering seafood.

BANGKOK COOKING CLASS

KOH SAMET

Day 7

Day 12

Head north to the former capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, stopping off at Bang Pa-In Summer Palace to wander around the beautiful gardens. In Ayutthaya, soak up the ruins of magnificent temples and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue east to Khao Yai National Park to visit Khao Yai Winery, one of Thailand’s largest vineyards. Enjoy a guided tour of the estate with a chance for some wine tasting. In the late afternoon, transfer to your nearby hotel.

Transfer by boat and vehicle back to Bangkok.

BANGKOK – KHAO YAI

Day 8

KHAO YAI

Spend the day in the beautiful National Park hiking on an easy trail observing macaques, gibbons, several subspecies of rare hornbills and many other birds, insects, reptiles, orchids and ferns. Cool off at a stunning waterfall and admire the magnificent views over Khao Yai. Continue to a bat cave before feasting on a delicious dinner. After dinner, set out on a night drive through the forest to try and spot elephants, deer, civets, porcupine and other wildlife.

KOH SAMET – BANGkOK

Day 13

depart BANGKOK

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Something Different... OVERNIGHT HOMESTAY - AMPHAWA Travel two hours south of Bangkok to a region lush with coconut plantations and dotted with old wooden houses. Canals link the community together, and the locals prefer to get around by rowboat rather than by road. Catch a glimpse of the heart of this authentic Thai village by staying overnight with a family in their traditional house. Participate in the daily early-morning ritual of alms giving to monks and explore floating markets.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 44


HIGHLIGHTS BANGKOK COOKING CLASS KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK ELEPHANT CAMP KRABI

12 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND Pakse

BANGKOK Siem Reap

CAMBODIA Tonle Sap Lake

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

Khao Sok

Krabi

Elephants and beaches This adventure is designed for families, elephant lovers or anyone looking to combine nature and beaches in Thailand away from the crowds. Start your journey in Bangkok before heading south for an elephant experience of a lifetime where you will explore magnificent lakes and jungle by elephant, boat and on foot. When this all seems too much, enjoy some relaxation on one of the Kingdom’s finest beaches.

Day 1

BANGKOK

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your leisure in this bustling city.

Day 2

BANGKOK

After breakfast explore the golden, glittering temples at Bangkok’s most famous landmark, the Grand Palace. Walk up to Wat Sraked for panoramic views of Old Bangkok before

enjoying an exciting Tuk Tuk ride to Baan Baat. Visit Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing. For lunch, sample delicious Thai cuisine before visiting The Siam Discovery Museum. Relax back at your hotel before dinner and a cultural show at Siam Niramit, followed by a ‘Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom’ show.

Day 3

BANGKOK COOKING SCHOOL

Roll up your sleeves, don your apron and get ready for some fun. Today will be spent at a local cooking school creating a full traditional Thai meal. At the end you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Something Different... Sailing in The Andaman Sea Set sail on a beautiful 38 foot catamaran and explore the secluded beaches, hidden caves and serenity of Phang Nga Bay. Snorkel amongst brightly coloured fish and kayak into mysterious grottos. Alternatively, simply sip a gin and tonic as the sun goes down over this magnificent bay. Dine under the stars in the saloon using the unique retractable cabriolet roof or relocate the dining table to the cockpit for alfresco dining. Watch the sunset over the forested islands in complete peace as the waves lap against the bow of the boat. Explore rarely visited areas on kayaks and buy freshly caught seafood from the locals. Stay in Maya Bay, where the Beach was filmed, after the crowds have left and enjoy a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea.

45 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

Day 4

BANGKOK – ELEPHANT HILLS

Take an early morning flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani. Start your four day adventure with a scenic drive glimpsing rural life in southern Thailand before boarding a dinghy to navigate through the small channels spotting the plentiful birds found in this region. Follow the coast then board a traditional Burmese junk where you’ll feast on delicious Thai cuisine. The afternoon is spent on a deserted beach where you can swim, relax or paddle a canoe with the mangroves and banyan trees as a backdrop. Late afternoon bid farewell to the boat and transfer to Elephant Hills in Khao Sok, your home for the next few days.


forests and head to the paradise of Krabi.

Day 5

ELEPHANT HILLS

Early morning transfer to the Elephant Camp where you will not only see these magnificent beasts, but get a chance to touch and learn more about them. Your guide will explain the role of the Mahout, the person that trains and takes care of the elephants. You can then choose between an Elephant Experience where you will interact with the elephants and learn the secrets of Mahouts including feeding, scrubbing, cleaning and watching them bathe. The other option is an elephant back ride amongst beautiful limestone karst mountains to experience the differing ecological niches in this part of the world. After its time for a well deserved lunch followed by a jungle river canoe trip down the Sok River where you can experience a world that has changed little in thousands of years from the safety of your canoe. In the evening enjoy a delicious Thai dinner.

Day 6

Day 8-10 KRABI

After breakfast, you are free to enjoy the clear waters of the Andaman Sea. A variety of sea and land based activities are available for those who wish to explore more than the beach.

Day 11

KRABI - BANGKOK

In the afternoon fly from Krabi to Bangkok for an overnight stay, where you may have the chance to do some last minute shopping.

Day 12

depart BANGKOK

You will be transferred to Bangkok airport for your onward journey.

ELEPHANT HILLS

Today is exploration day. Board a local boat and visit a nearby incredible lake that very few have heard of, let alone visited. Surrounded by limestone cliffs covered in tropical rainforest this lake is home to over one hundred or so islands. There will be ample chance for swimming if you wish. After a relaxing day at the lake return to the camp for dinner.

Day 7

ELEPHANT HILLS - KRABI

Enjoy a hearty breakfast to prepare yourself for today’s amble through the jungle on foot to get closer to the sights and sounds of the forest. You will learn about the different trees, birds, gibbons and monkeys. Weather permitting lunch will be served in the rainforest cooked in bamboo, a tradition of jungle explorers for centuries past. In the afternoon leave the magical

Something Different... LANIJA ECOLODGE RETREAT – CHIANG RAI Extend your Thailand experience with a stay at a traditional Hmong-style lodge. Get off the beaten track and closer to the inhabitants in this rugged, mountainous area of Northern Thailand. Trek through the stunning scenery and learn about the local communities and their customs. This community-owned eco-friendly lodge is designed to improve the livelihoods of local villagers and promote community-based tourism.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 46


HIGHLIGHTS BANGKOK BANG PA IN KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK NAKORN PATHOM HUA HIN

13 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK Nakorn Pathom

Khao Yai

CAMBODIA

Hua Hin

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

Nature and Family Adventure Designed for families, but suitable for anyone, this adventure takes in culture, nature and beaches. After an action packed time in Bangkok, take in the ruins at Auytthaya before heading to Khao Yai National Park. Here, your guide will take you on an exploration through the forests in search of the many animals that can be found. End your journey at Hua Hin and a chance to relax on the beach.

Day 1

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

returning to the hotel to get ready for the evening continue your adventure with a trip to Siam Niramit for dinner and a cultural show, which is called ‘Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Thailand’.

Day 2

Day 3

Enjoy a guided tour of the Grand Palace and marvel at its magnificent temples before boarding your private long tail boat to explore the small canals and witness local river life in Bangkok. Taste some local Thai cuisine before boarding a public canal boat through the city’s canal to Siam Ocean World. After

Take to the saddle for a morning’s cycle in the countryside near Bangkok. This easy ride takes you along small pathways, past temples, schools, local villages and a delightful floating market. You will visit an incense workshop and an old temple before enjoying scrumptious local food. The afternoon is free for you to

BANGKOK

BANGKOK

BANGKOK

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION

green

Southern Thailand Elephant and Community Tourism Adventure This is perfect for any family wanting to do something a bit different in Thailand. The experience incorporates spending time with a local Thai family, learning how to cook Thai specialities and learning how to make selected Thai handicrafts. The highlight of this adventure may well be the chance to spend time with the elephants. However, there is something for everyone with jungle trekking and speedboat trips to the surrounding islands also on offer.

47 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

explore at your own leisure.

Day 4

BANGKOK – KHAO YAI

Head north to Ayutthaya, the former capital of the Kingdom, stopping off at Bang Pa-In to explore the European and Thai architecture in the lush gardens. In Ayutthaya you will explore the magnificent ruins of temples that date back several hundreds years. After a delicious lunch, continue your journey north east to Khao Yai National Park where you will stay for the night..


Day 5

KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK

Today stretch your legs with a five kilometre leisurely hike through one of the most scenic trails in the park. Your guide will help you to spot pig-tail monkeys and great hornbills, as well as some of the other amazing wildlife that can be found. Next, enjoy some time to cool off at Heiw Sawat Waterfall before heading back to your hotel for dinner. After dinner, head out on a night safari drive to search for Indian civet cats, porcupines, deer, wild dog and wild elephants.

Day 6

KHAO YAI – nakorn pathom

After breakfast travel west to The Rose Garden Riverside Hotel. Arrive in the afternoon to enjoy a spectacular cultural show at a theatre that is a replica of a typical village, complete with Thai houses. The lively animated show highlights traditions and representations of Thai life. The show finishes with an energetic combination of dances from Thailand’s four main regions including the skilful and rhythmic North-eastern Bamboo Dance. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.

Day 7

nakorn pathom – HUA HIN

Leave The Rose Garden Riverside Hotel and head south to the beautiful beach town of Hua Hin.

Day 8

HUA HIN

After breakfast, set off on a unique excursion to the mountain range between Thailand and Myanmar, where a half day nature

and culture experience awaits you.

Day 9 - 11 HUA HIN

Spend the next three days in Hua Hin, where you can relax on the beach or enjoy the facilities in and around the hotel.

Day 12

HUA HIN – BANGKOK

In the afternoon head back to Bangkok, where you can spend your last evening exploring at your own leisure.

Day 13

DEPARt bangkok

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward journey.

Something Different... TUSCANY IN THAILAND Enjoy a stay at the luxurious Kirimaya Resort in Khao Yai National Park, just two hours drive northeast of Bangkok. The resort boasts innovatively designed tented villas, superb spa facilities and a Jack Nicklaus golf course. The national park itself is the second largest in Thailand. If the jungle is not for you then pay a visit to a nearby Tuscan-style village. Stroll along cobblestone streets lined with gourmet food shops, cafes and art galleries. To add to the Italian flavour a number of wine estates have also cropped up including PB Valley, GranMonte and Village Farm. Indeed the region’s wines are regarded among the best in the country.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 48


HIGHLIGHTS PHUKET KURABURI VILLAGE ELEPHANT CAMP KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK KRABI

12 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

Khao Sok

Phuket

Krabi

Community and Wildlife EXPERIENCE Enjoy an unforgettable experience in the ‘Land of Smiles’ with your family. Working with a charity that focuses on sustainable tourism development and environmental awareness, you will spend two days learning more about Thai life by living among the locals. Follow this with an exciting elephant experience in Khao Sok National Park where you will spend a few days exploring the forests and lakes. Finish your holiday in Krabi, home to some of Thailand’s best beaches and resorts.

Day 1

You will be greeted at the airport and then driven north for about 3 hours to Kuraburi. The rest of the day is free for you to explore.

the beach and the site of the pre-tsunami village. Return to Ban Talae Nok to meet your host family, then, enjoy a walking tour of the village before eating lunch. In the afternoon, learn the art of Nipa Palm weaving followed by some time on the beach. In the evening, return to your host family for a delicious Thai dinner.

Day 2

Day 3

In the morning, your guide will take you to Ban Talae Nok, a local village that will be your home for the next two days. Visit

Enjoy breakfast with your host family. Spend the morning learning how to make soap with the local Soap Cooperative,

PHUKET

KURABURI - COMMUNITY VILLAGE EXPERIENCE

COMMUNITY VILLAGE EXPERIENCE – KURABURI

Something Different... HOUSEBOAT LAKE SAFARI Off the beaten track and nestled in the mountains next to Burma is Khao Laem Lake, home of the Lake Safari houseboat. Cast off from a tiny scenic fishing village and slowly cruise past hundreds of islands, rainforests and mountain landscapes. An on-board Thai cook provides delicious local cuisine whilst guests can swim, kayak or relax on the spacious outdoor deck as dramatic scenery rolls past.

49 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

using natural ingredients from the local area. Return to your homestay to help prepare lunch and learn how traditional Thai dishes are made. It is then time to say goodbye to your host family (if you prefer to spend a few nights longer, we can arrange it) and return to the local office. The evening will be spent in Kuraburi Town.

Day 4

KURABURI – KHAO SOK

Drive inland to Elephant Hills Camp in Khao Sok for a three day adventure. In the morning you will have a once-in-a-lifetime


chance to meet Asian Elephants. See, touch and learn about the life of Thai elephants as well as helping prepare their daily meal. After lunch, take a jungle river canoe trip down the Sok River. Drift along the jungle river to a world that has changed little in thousands of years. Return to the comfort of your tented camp for an evening in the forest.

Day 5

KHAO SOK

In the morning take a boat to explore an extraordinary lake which is home to over one hundred islands, and is over 60 kilometres from north to south. Have lunch on the boat and take a swim in the cool waters if you please. In the late afternoon return to Elephant Hills for dinner.

Day 6

KHAO SOK – KRABI

Today, you have an opportunity to explore the ecology of the rainforest. Colourful birds such as the hornbill forage high in the canopy, gibbons can often be heard calling to their mates and you might see a macaque or a leaf monkey swinging through the branches. Weather permitting; lunch will be served in the rainforest cooked in bamboo, a tradition of jungle explorers for centuries past. In the afternoon, you will return to Elephant Hills, then continue on to Krabi.

Day 7 KRABI

Enjoy a day of doing nothing on one of the world’s most scenic beaches or exploring the shops of Krabi Town.

Day 8 KRABI

Take a speedboat to Phra Nang Cave Beach on a secluded

peninsula, inaccessible by car, where you sunbathe, swim, take photos and explore the beautiful scenery. You will visit some islands and have a chance to snorkel in the calm, crystal clear waters. After lunch, return to your hotel for an evening free at leisure.

Day 9 - 11

sunning yourself, snorkeling in the sea and making the most out of this glorious part of Thailand.

Day 12

depart KRABI

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

KRABI

Spend the next three days in beautiful Krabi, one of the finest beach destinations for families in Thailand. Spend your days

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 50


HIGHLIGHTS BANGKOK KHON KAEN UDON THANI LOEI PAK CHOM DAN SAI PHITSANULOK

13 days VIETNAM HANOI

LAOS

VIENTIANE

Dansai

Loei

Udon Thani

Phitsanulok

THAILAND

Khon Kaen

BANGKOK

CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH

Ho Chi Minh City

Boutique Isaan – Undiscovered Thailand For those with an interest in archaeology and anthropology that want to explore remote areas of Thailand, this itinerary has it all. Explore Bangkok and head to Isaan, where you will visit National Parks, wander around deserted temples, explore colourful markets and learn about the history of human settlement in the region.

Day 1

BANGKOK

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax and recuperate with a one hour traditional Thai massage before dining on one of Bangkok’s best river cruises, as you soak up the skyline.

Day 2

BANGKOK

The day incorporates a visit to Wat Pho, the magnificent Grand Palace, Jim Thompson’s House and Museum, among other sights. In the afternoon you will visit Siam Square, a mecca for shopping.

Day 3

BANGKOK

Today is free for you to continue your exploration of this fabulous city at your own leisure.

Spend the day with your guide navigating Bangkok by different means of public transport, from boats, to tuk tuks to sky trains.

Something Different... Isaan Cultural Immersion Travel back in time and follow Khmer Emperor Jayavarman VIII’s “Royal Road to Phi Mai”; visiting three of the best examples of Khmer Temple architecture in Thailand. Enjoy the variety of Isaan delicacies, in markets and selected local restaurants, while getting a feel for contemporary life in the Thai countryside. Meet the Suay Tribal people and ride one of their elephants. Shop until your heart’s content for great value local textiles and silver. Explore the sacred cliff site above the Mekong River where pre-historic peoples painted graphic depictions of fish, elephants and scenes from daily life. Then cruise the Mighty Mekong River in a local boat as you head towards the town of Khong Jiam.

51 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

Day 4

BANGKOK – KHON KAEN

Take an early morning flight to Khon Kaen, where your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. In the afternoon take in the main sights to learn more about this region of Thailand, where the world’s first Bronze Age civilization was believed to have flourished over 5,000 years ago. Visit the National Museum, Hong Mun Mang and the Khon Kaen City Museum. Continue to Phra That Kham Kaen, which roughly translates as ‘the Stupa of Tamarind Heartwood’ before returning to your hotel.


Day 5

KHON KAEN

This morning visit Ban Kho Sa Nga to learn about traditional medicines and why king cobras are kept in each house. Continue to Non Mueang Ancient Town where archaeologists found evidence of human settlement dating back 2,500 years. Continue on to Phu Wiang National Park where in 1976 a uranium survey discovered a piece of fossil which was declared to be the left knee of a dinosaur.

Day 6

KHON KAEN – UDON THANI

An early morning drive takes you to Udon Thani. Once checked into your hotel spend the rest of the morning at Ban Chiang National Museum which exhibits artefacts from 4,000 – 7,000 years ago. The museum also houses the Fine Arts Department which dispays earthenware pots and other items that were buried along with the dead.

Day 7

UDON THANI – LOEI

Continue your journey to Nong Khai, stopping off on the way to visit Ban Na Kha which is a centre for cotton and silk trading. Then visit Sadet Market and Sala Keaw Ku, an open museum with religious statues. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit Phu Phra Bat Historical Park which contains a large number of ancient buildings and objects. Continue to Pak Chom District in Loei Province.

souvenirs and witness local life in this province before visiting Chateau de Loei Winery and Vineyard for some wine tasting.

Day 9 DAN SAI

This morning, make a visit to Phra That Sri Song Rak Pagoda and Wat Neramitt Vipatsana, where you will gain a deep understanding of local religious life. Wat Neramitt Vipatsana sits majestically on a hillside with views over Phra That Sri Song Rak. The beautiful hall and pagoda were both constructed of laterite and were the products of the imagination of monks and novices. Afterwards, return for an afternoon free at leisure.

Day 10

DAN SAI – PHITSANULOK

Today you will visit the historical battlefield site at Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park. For those wanting to have a swim, there are also some beautiful waterfalls in the National Park. The afternoon and evening is spent in Phitsanulok. Dinner this evening is at the riverfront and your transport will be local rickshaws.

Day 11

PHITSANULOK

Explore this fascinating town taking in temples, markets, local villages, a bronze image casting workshop and a folklore museum.

Day 8

Day 12

Today, make a visit to Phu Rua National Park. The park boasts spectacular viewpoints, waterfalls, rock gardens and caves. Continue to Ban Nong Bong Plant Market to pick up some

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

PAK CHOM – DAN SAI

DEPART PHITSANULOK - bangkok

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 * 52


CAPE PANWA HOTEL, PHUKET

thailand resorts & beaches Justifiably famous for its beach resorts, for many a visit to the Kingdom is about sand and sea. Visitors are attracted to the Thailand’s many white sand beaches, stunning limestone rock vistas and crystal-clear waters. What follows is just a short selection of our favourite resorts and destinations. www.buffalotours.com

krabi la playa resort

phuket

SAMAYA BURA, KOH SAMUI

Thailand’s largest island offers the visitor palm fringed beaches, beautiful limestone karst scenery and clear blue waters. Diving, sailing and fishing trips are available in abundance, but if you are seeking less activity, Phuket’s stunning beaches will keep you occupied. BEST TIME TO GO November to April. Phuket has two main seasons, although it is hot all year round. November to April is mainly dry, whilst May to October is wet. However, it is unusual for it to rain constantly for more that two to three days.

krabi

The beaches around Krabi are some of the most beautiful in the country. The province is famous for its looming limestone outcrops, stunning white sand beaches and warm clear waters. However, it’s not just about the beaches as there are many other activities on offer, from kayaking in tranquil bays to scuba diving in pristine coral reefs.

BEST TIME TO GO

November to April. Krabi has two main seasons, although it is hot all year round. November to April is mainly dry, whilst May to October is wet. However, it is unusual for it to rain constantly for more than two to three days.

53 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*

koh samui THE PARADISE KOH YAO BOUTIQUE BEACH RESORT & SPA

Until relatively recently, the island used to only offer accommodation in beach huts. However, over the past few years the island has developed to showcase many fine resorts. Indeed, it can be said that Samui is now one of the premier beach resorts in Thailand. BEST TIME TO GO The best time to go is between December and August. The ‘dry season’ falls between December and February


recommended hotels BANGKOK

Park Plaza Sukhumvit

- Superior 16 Rachadapisek Road, Klongtoey, Bangkok, Thailand www.parkplaza.com/bangkok

The Siam Heritage

- Superior 115/1 Surawong Road, Khet Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand www.thesiamheritage.com

hua hin

The Sukhothai Bangkok

- Deluxe 13/3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok, Thailand www.sukhothaihotel.com

Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa -

Deluxe 257 Charoennakorn Road, Samrae Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand www.marriott.com

Hua hin Marriott resort & spa

- Deluxe 107/1 Phetkasem Beach Road, Hua Hin, Thailand www.marriott.com

Sheraton Hua Hin Resort& Spa

- Deluxe 1573 Petchkasem Road, Cha-am, Hua Hin, Thailand www.starwoodhotels.com

CHIANG MAI

Rembrandt Hotel

- Superior 19 Sukhumvit, Soi 18, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Toei, Bangkok, Thailand www.rembrandtbkk.com

RATILANNA RIVERSIDE SPA RESORT - Deluxe 33 Changklan Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand www.ratilannachiangmai.com

CHIANG RAI

Salil Hotel Sukhumvit - Superior

44/14-17, Sukhumvit Soi 53 (Paidee-Madee), Kwang Klongton, Khet Wattana Bangkok, Thailand www.salilhotel.com

Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort

- Deluxe 221/2 Moo 20 Kwaewai Road, Tambon Robwieng, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai, Thailand www.lemeridien.com/chiangrai

Anatara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa - Deluxe 229 Moo 1, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai, Thailand www.goldentriangle.anantara.com

PHUKET

Courtyard by Marriott Phuket at Patong Beach - Superior 48 Ruam Jai Road, Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand www.phuket.com/courtyard-patong/

Courtyard by Marriott Phuket at Kamala Beach - Superior 100/10 Moo 3, Kamala Beach, Phuket, Thailand www.phuket.com/courtyard-kamala/

koh samui

Rocky’s Boutique Resort

- Superior T Maret Amphur, Koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand www.rockyresort.com

kanchanaburi

mida resorT

- Superior Ladya Sri Sawad Road, Amphur Muang, Kanchanaburi, Thailand *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 54


Multi Country At Buffalo Tours we believe the region of Indochina and Thailand is one of the most enthralling in the world. If you want to experience more than just one country then why not consider a trip which visits multiple countries? Travel in style across Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam with a customised tour that fully meets your needs and allows you to experience more of these fantastic countries. www.buffalotours.com

55 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*


HIGHLIGHTS CHIANG RAI CHIANG KHONG PAK BENG PAK OU CAVES LUANG PRABANG

5 days VI ETNA M HANOI Luang Prabang Pak Beng

LA OS

Chiang Rai

VIENTIANE

T H A I LA ND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CA MB ODI A PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

northern THAILAND AND LAOS cruise As an alternative to flying, why not consider a relaxing cruise between Northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai and Luang Prabang in Laos? This cruise down the mighty Mekong provides a tranquil alternative to flying. The cruise ends in the peaceful town of Luang Prabang, nestled in the jungle covered mountains of Northern Laos.

Day 1

Bangkok – Chiang Rai – Chiang Khong

Upon arrival in Chiang Rai visit a local ethnic minority village, the Golden Triangle and the fascinating Opium Museum. Overnight in Chiang Khong.

Day 2 Chiang Khong – Pak Beng

Rise early the following morning to reach the border and cross into Laos for a Mekong cruise to Pak Beng. Stop for a picnic lunch on the riverbank and visit to an ethnic minority village along the way.

Day 3 Pak Beng – Luang Prabang

The following morning visit Pak Beng market, where people from surrounding villages exchange their goods, then board a boat for the second leg of the cruise. Journey to Pak Ou Village at the mouth of the Nam Ou River. Explore the Pak Ou caves containing over a 1000 Buddha images of all sizes and shapes and observe the traditional process of producing local rice, which is creatively referred to as ‘Lao Lao’. You will arrive in Luang Prabang in the afternoon.

Day 4

Luang Prabang

Understand why Luang Prabang deserves its UNESCO World

Heritage title with a privately guided tour around this gem of a town. Cool off in the Kuang Si waterfalls, with cascading tiers of crystal blue water splashing down several feet into a series of pools. Participate in a cooking class including a shopping visit to the vibrant Phou Si Market to select ingredients. Create your Laotian dishes under a sunroof in the garden and enjoy your creations.

Day 5

Depart Luang Prabang

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Note: Occasional low water levels in the Mekong can affect cruise departures.

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HIGHLIGHTS HANOI HALONG BAY HOI AN HO CHI MINH CITY CU CHI MEKONG DELTA SIEM REAP PHNOM PENH VIENTIANE LUANG PRABANG

16 days VIETNAM HANOI

Ha long bay

Luang Prabang

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Hoi An

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH

Cu Chi Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong Delta

HIGHLIGHTS OF INDOCHINA Experience a sixteen day Classic Indochina highlights tour encompassing the very best of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Travel south through Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, before crossing into Cambodia to discover the majestic Angkor Wat complex and the capital Phnom Penh. The trip ends in magical Laos, with stays in laid-back Vientiane and Luang Prabang - the spiritual capital of this beautiful country.

Day 1 Hanoi

Day 3

Day 2

The following morning depart for Halong Bay, around a four hour drive from Hanoi. You are sure to enjoy an overnight cruise on a traditional junk through the thousands of limestone islands. Visit caves and floating fishing villages, go kayaking in secluded lagoons and swim during the summer months.

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel for a two night stay in this fascinating city.

Hanoi

Enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi, also known as the “Paris of the East.” Having celebrated its 1000 year anniversary in 2010, the city has rich and fascinating history. A traditional cyclo tour through the narrow, ancient streets of the exotic Old Quarter is a great way to soak up the sights and sounds.

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Hanoi – Halong Bay

Day 4

Halong Bay – Hoi An

Rise early for a swim and enjoy lunch as you cruise back to the harbour. Then drive to Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport for a late afternoon flight to Danang, which is located on the central coast. You will be greeted on arrival and transferred to the charming town of Hoi An.

Day 5 Hoi An

Enjoy a guided walking tour of Hoi An town to orient yourself with its quaint streets. Take a short boat trip to visit local


handicraft villages or experience a cooking class in a beautiful villa on the banks of the river. The afternoon is free to relax on the beach or take advantage of the many tailor shops.

Day 6

Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City

From Hoi An take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the cosmopolitan heart of Vietnam. Soak up the exotic atmosphere of this frenetic city with a guided tour of the main highlights. In the evening enjoy a dinner cruise on the Saigon River.

Day 7

Ho Chi Minh City – Cao Dai Temple Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning you will make a visit to the fascinating Cao Dai Temple, home to a unique religion. From the temple continue on to the infamous Cu Chi tunnels before returning to the city for a free afternoon.

Day 8

Mekong Delta

Today depart Ho Chi Minh City for the Mekong Delta. Enjoy a full day trip that includes a cruise in a traditional sampan, with stops at interesting sights along the way. Enjoy lunch at a French villa on the banks of the river before returning to Saigon in the late afternoon.

Day 9

Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap – Temples of Angkor

Fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia, your base for the next three days. Spend the afternoon visiting the amazing and aweinspiring temples of Angkor. There will be plenty of time to tour

Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples.

Day 10 -11

Siem Reap – Temples of Angkor

Spend the next two days exploring the Angkor temples. Each displays individual and unique architecture. Witness the splendour of these magnificent creations, with a surprise around every corner.

Day 12

Siem Reap – Phnom Penh

Fly to the capital, Phnom Penh and enjoy an afternoon city tour of the main sites.

Day 13

Phnom Penh - Vientiane

Bid farewell to Cambodia and fly to Vientiane. Enjoy a city tour taking in some of the main sights and watch the sunset over the Mekong River.

Day 14

Vientiane - Luang Prabang

Fly to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, set amongst forested mountains and dotted with golden temples that are home to saffron robed monks. This afternoon you will enjoy a historic walking tour of this quaint town.

Day 15

Luang Prabang

If you wish, rise early for the silent morning procession of monks collecting alms. Later in the morning enjoy a boat cruise on the Mekong River to the holy caves of Pak Ou. In the afternoon you may wish to visit the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. You will be well and truly relaxed after spending time in Luang Prabang, the perfect place to end your Indochina tour.

Day 16

Depart Luang Prabang

Spend the morning at leisure before you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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HIGHLIGHTS PAKSE TAD FANE FALLS 4000 ISLANDS RATANAKIRI VIRACHEY NATIONAL PARK ELEPHANT RIDE KRATIE DOLPHIN SPOTTING PHNOM PENH

12 days VIETNAM HANOI Luang Prabang

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND Pakse

BANGKOK

CAMBODIA

Ratanakiri

Stung Treng Kratie

PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

undiscovered LAOS AND CAMBODIA Get well and truly ‘off the beaten track’ in these two fascinating countries. Instead of flying between the major destinations, why not travel overland and cross the border near the 4000 islands area of the Mekong? After discovering ancient Khmer temples in southern Laos venture to remote Ratanakiri province in northeastern Cambodia. Enter a world of mountains, elephants and ethnic minorities before ending your adventure in Phnom Penh, the capital of the Kingdom.

Day 1

Day 3

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

Drive south to the famous UNESCO-protected Khmer Temple complex of Wat Phou. Afterwards, continue your adventure with an elephant ride to some mysterious ruins. Later in the day, travel to the 4000 Islands area where you will spend the night.

Pakse

Day 2 Pakse – Tad Fane

Spend the day venturing up onto the beautiful Bolaven Plateau for a look at another side of Laos. Coffee and Tea plantations abound, so enjoy a tasting whilst you are here. Then it is onward to visit the towering ribbon-like Tad Fane waterfall and the chance to trek through the area.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION

Tad Fane – 4000 Islands

Day 4

4000 Islands

The section of the Mekong River that runs through southern Laos boasts thousands of tiny islands. This morning, you will

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CHEUNG KOK ECOTOURISM VILLAGE - KOMPONG CHAM Developed with the assistance of a foreign Non-Governmental Organisation, this project helps villagers to earn additional income and gain new skills. Visitors to the community can take part in traditional village activities from learning how to process palm sugar to weaving the Cambodian scarves known as ‘Kramas’. This experience is a great way to get to know ordinary Khmers whilst supporting a sustainable tourism initiative.

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cruise through this tropical paradise to the largest waterfalls in Asia; Khone Phapeng and Li Phi Falls. If you are lucky, you might see some of the 50-100 Irrawaddy (freshwater) dolphins that make the 4000 Islands their home.

Day 5

4000 Islands – Ratanakiri

Upon arrival at the border, you will be greeted and transferred to Ratanakiri Province. The journey to the town of Ban Lung will take most of the day. Here you will stay for the night.


Day 6

Ban lung - Virachey National Park – Voen Sai - Yeak Loam Lake

This morning travel to Virachey National Park where, if you are lucky, you will see some of Cambodia’s wildlife. Later on make the trip to Voen Sai, one of the largest villages in the area. In the settlement you can see three different ethnic groups living together; Khmer, Chinese and Lao. Continue with a walk to the huge natural volcanic lake in the protected area of Yeak Loam and enjoy the rest of the day swimming in the pleasant waters.

Day 7

Ban lung - Borkeo – Andong Meas

Travel to Borkeo and explore the ethnic minority villages Cha Rai and Tampoun. Continue with a visit to one of the region’s active Gem mines. Next, head to Andong Meas where you will visit some fascinating ethnic minority communities. Afterwards, go on a forty minute boat ride to visit a cemetery of one of the region’s ethnic groups. There, you will learn about the fascinating funeral culture of the area’s inhabitants which has continued through the generations.

Day 8

Katieng - Elephant Ride

This morning make the journey to Katieng Waterfall, before continuing on to Lumphat where you will begin a fun elephant ride through the surrounding villages. The rest of the afternoon is dedicated to exploring the nearby villages. You will arrive back in Ban Lung in the early afternoon. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 9

Ratanakiri - Kratie

Depart Banlung for the journey to Kratie, which is located on the banks of the Mekong River. On arrival make the short trip by sampan to Koh Trong Island. Here you will stay overnight in this friendly riverside community.

Day 10

Kratie - Cycling around the island Dolphins at Kampi

This morning you are able to cycle around the village, where you will meet the locals and learn about a community development project. After lunch, you may be lucky enough to spot the rare Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins that make this stretch of river their home.

Day 11

Kratie - Phnom Penh

Depart from Kratie and travel through the beautiful countryside before reaching the settlement of Kompong Cham. Just outside the town is the kitsch temple of Wat Nokor. Enjoy a guided tour of the structure before continuing on to Phnom Penh, where you will spend the night.

Day 12

Depart Phnom Penh

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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HIGHLIGHTS FLOATING MARKETS PHONOM PENH TONLE SAP LAKE SIEM REAP

11 days VI ETNAM HANOI Luang Prabang

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

Sadec

LUXURY VIETNAM TO CAMBODIA RIVER CRUISE The world-famous temples of Angkor, a fascinating and chequered history, untouched tropical beaches, the mighty Mekong River and two vibrant cultures make this region one of the most enthralling destinations on the planet. During your Luxury Cruise, we take you from the magnificent Mekong Delta region of Vietnam to the very heart of Cambodia.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Board your luxurious vessel, La Marguerite, and be welcomed by the crew. The captain will then raise the anchor, sound the horn and begin cruising leisurely towards Cai Be. Along the way you will witness scenes that have changed little over the years. Cruise past bustling villages perched on the riverbank where children play in the river and fisherman mend their nets. This evening enjoy a gourmet dinner on board the boat followed by a live music performance.

Explore Cai Be’s bustling floating market for some fantastic photo opportunities. Next, make a trip ashore to visit the French Gothic Cathedral and the colourful port area. Enjoy lunch as you cruise towards Vinh Long, the second largest city in the Mekong Delta. On arrival visit the bustling afternoon market and enjoy a visually stunning boat ride. Return to your boat for dinner and a performance of Mekong Folk dancing.

Sadec was the setting for Marguerite Duras’s novel, ‘The Lover’. Indeed during your guided tour of the settlement you can visit the House of Huynh Thuy Le, now known as ‘The Lovers’ Museum’. Pass by the school where Marguerite’s mother taught and view the home of Marguerite from across the river. In the afternoon you will arrive in Tan Chau, a remote small town on the main branch of the Mekong River.

Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Cai Be

Cai Be – Vinh Long

Vinh Long - Sadec – Tan Chau

Something Different... SIEM REAP TO BANGKOK OVERLAND If you wish to extend your stay in the region then a great way to continue your adventure is an overland trip to Bangkok. Set out from Siem Reap and enjoy a scenic cruise through the Cambodia’s stunning North-Eastern wetland. Visit some of the regions fascinating temples and admire the verdant landscape before crossing the border into Thailand. End your journey in the Thai capital and enjoy some of the fantastic shopping options on offer.

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Day 4

Day 7

Tan Chau is famous for its silk and during your visit you may like to make a stop at a traditional silk making factory. The town is also renowned for its rattan mat production. Return to the boat and enjoy lunch as you cruise towards the border. In the afternoon, enjoy a cooking demonstration given by the Executive Chef at the Saigon Lounge. Later in the day the vessel will enter the Kingdom of Cambodia and head towards its capital, Phnom Penh.

Today you will enjoy a quintessential river excursion through the region’s floating villages, where you will get a glimpse of the local lifestyles on the Tonle Sap River. Towards the end of the day you will emerge onto the vast expanse of the lake, which is Cambodia’s largest. Enjoy a stop in one of the region’s numerous floating villages; some of which are complete with schools, health clinics and even floating pig farms. Return to the vessel and prepare for farewell cocktails and your last dinner.

Tan Chau – Border – Cambodia

Day 5

Phnom Penh

Once considered the most attractive of the cities that the French constructed in Indochina, the city is today recovering from its turbulent past. Today you will embark on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh. End the day with dinner on your vessel accompanied by a special Khmer musical performance.

Day 6

Chong Koh – Oudong – Kompong Tralach

Early in the morning the vessel will cruise on towards the little known village of Chong Koh. After breakfast, take a leisurely morning stroll through this silk weaving village. Return to the boat and continue on to Prek K’dam, where an afternoon tour of Oudong will commence. Depart Oudong for the journey to Kompong Tralach, where you will visit Wat Kompong Tralach Pleu. Continue your tour with a fun ox-cart ride to the Tonle Sap River as you travel through enchanting countryside punctuated by small villages, emerald green rice paddies and friendly locals.

Kompong Chhnang – Tonle Sap lake

Day 8

Siem Reap - Angkor wat

This morning you will arrive in Siem Reap, the gateway to the Temples of Angkor. After a rest, your local guide will take you to visit the Roluos Temple Complex, said to be the seat of Hariharalaya which was the first capital of the Khmer Empire north of the Tonle Sap.

Day 9 -10

Siem Reap - temples of angkor

Spend the next two days exploring the stunning Temples of Angkor; with plenty of free time to relax during the hottest parts of the day.

Day 11

Depart Siem Reap

The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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HIGHLIGHTS HO CHI MINH CITY CYCLING CAN THO CAI BE HA TIEN KEP SIHANOUKVILLE PHNOM PENH BATTAMBANG SIEM REAP

14 days VIETNAM HANOI Luang Prabang

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

Kep Sihanourville

Ha Tien Can Tho

SAIGON TO ANGKOR CYCLING ADVENTURE Taking advantage of the Ha Tien border crossing, this cycling adventure keeps cyclists away from the majority of the traffic whilst taking in some stunning scenery. From the highlights of Ho Chi Minh City to the emerald green rice paddies of the Mekong Delta, the picturesque Cambodian coastline and the atmospheric Temples of Angkor, this tour is an experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

Day 1

Ho Chi Minh City

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.

Day 2

Ho Chi Minh City (No cycling)

In the morning visit the Reunification Palace, which is one of the most important buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. The tour continues on to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office, built between 1877 and 1883. Both are excellent

examples of classical French colonial architecture. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit the History Museum and one of the most beautiful pagodas in the city – the Thien Hau Pagoda

Day 4

Day 3

Ho Chi Minh City – Vinh Long – Can Tho (40 km cycling) )

Depart Ho Chi Minh City for My Tho, which is where you will begin cycling. It is a 40 kilometre ride along paved, sand and dirt roads to the quiet town of Cai Be. Here you will enjoy a delicious lunch in a French colonial-style villa. After lunch, relax and enjoy the two hour boat trip from to Vinh Long. Along the way, you can observe life on the river, much of which has

what’s new? the forest floor lodge - cat tien national park

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Visit one of Vietnam’s foremost National Parks and stay in comfort at the new Forest Floor Lodge. The lodge features both deluxe tents and traditional Vietnamese style wooden houses. Tastefully decorated and equipped with westernstyle bathrooms, the accommodation here offers fantastic views of the Dong Nai River. During your stay you may wish to explore the National Park itself, which is home to some of the last populations of Indochinese tiger and Javan Rhinoceros in the world. Guests to the lodge can enjoy a wide range of activities from birdwatching to exciting night safaris. Stay in style whilst helping to conserve endangered wildlife and improving local communities’ livelihoods.

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remained largely unchanged for years. From Vinh Long, you will be driven to Can Tho.

Can Tho – Ha Tien (50 km cycling)

Start your morning with a boat trip to the Cai Rang floating market. After touring the market, you will have lunch and then be driven to Tri Ton to begin cycling. The 50 kilometre ride along the Vinh Te canal through the peaceful countryside to Ha Tien is very scenic.


Day 5

Ha Tien – Kompong Trach – Kep (40 km cycling)

Today, a car will take you across the border into Cambodia. New bicycles will be provided there, and you will have time to adjust them. Ride north to Kompong Trach and then on to Kep. You will begin to notice the many differences in architecture and in customs between Cambodia and Vietnam. In Kep, there will be ample time to explore this quiet town with its impressive French colonial architecture.

Day 6

Kep - Sihanoukville (83 km cycling)

The day starts early with a relaxing ride along the coast, past the lush scenery of Bokor Mountain, rice paddies and small fishing villages. You will have the chance to explore the secluded beaches, mangrove forests, tropical jungles and fishing villages of Ream National Park. Enjoy a boat trip through the mangroves to discover the incredible natural heritage of this protected area. You will reach Sihanoukville in the late afternoon.

Day 7

Sihanoukville – Phnom Penh (50 km cycling)

Depart in the early morning for the capital, Phnom Penh. On the way, you will stop for lunch at a quaint local restaurant, before continuing on through the open countryside and rice paddies. The evening is free to explore the city’ palaces, parks, and temples.

Day 8

Phnom Penh (no cycling)

Enjoy a comprehensive tour of this bustling, vibrant city with stops at the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum and Wat Phnom. In the afternoon, visit the sobering and poignant Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Later in the afternoon, enjoy some free time to explore the bustling Central Market.

Day 9

Phnom Penh – Battambang (92 km cycling

This morning, you will cycle to Udong to visit the temples and the three large stupas where the ashes of three former kings are preserved. A former capital of the Khmer Empire, Udong was founded by King Soryopor in 1601. Built on a hill forty kilometres north of Phnom Penh, Udong offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the vast sugar palm plantations. After lunch, ride on to Kompong Chhnang, which is famous for its clay pottery. From there, you will be driven to the city of Battambang.

Day 10

Battambang – Siem Reap (56 km cycling)

Battambang is famous for its French colonial architecture, fertile soil and the quality of the rubies and garnets mined in this province. Today, you will cycle to Wat Banan to view an 11th century temple built by King Jarvarman VII. The temple is perched at the top of a 400 metre hill, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. After enjoying the scenery, ride back to Battambang for lunch. In the afternoon, you will make the four hour journey to Siem Reap.

Day 11

Siem Reap – Angkor wat - Roluos Temple Complex (65 km cycling)

This morning, cycle to famous Angkor Wat – the best preserved of all the Angkorian temples. Explore this huge architectural wonder at your leisure before riding on through the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Later in the day, take small, tree-lined paths through the countryside to the Roulos Temple complex, which are the oldest of the Angkorian temples.

Day 12

Siem Reap – Banteay Srei – Beng Mealea (86 km cycling) Cycle to the exquisite Banteay Srei, “Citadel of the Woman”, which is home to some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. Your journey continues to the foot of Phnom Kulen, then east to the jungle temple of Beng Mealea. After exploring this impressive monument, return to Siem Reap.

Day 13

Siem Reap (No cycling)

This day is free for you to explore Siem Reap and its many shopping options. Alternatively, continue your exploration of the temples.

Day 14

Depart Siem Reap

Spend the morning at leisure before you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011 *

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HIGHLIGHTS HO CHI MINH CITY SONG BE GOLF COURSE PHAN THIET OCEAN DUNES GOLF COURSE DALAT PALACE GOLF COURSE HUA HIN IMPERIAL LAKE VIEW GOLF CLUB BLACK MOUNTAIN GOLF CLUB MAJESTIC CREEK GOLF COURSE MILFORD GOLF COURSE BANGKOK

14 days VIETNAM HANOI Luang Prabang

LAOS Chiang Mai

VIENTIANE

THAILAND

BANGKOK

Hua Hin

Siem Reap

CAMBODIA Da Lat

PHNOM PENH Ho Chi Minh City

Phan Thiet

GOLFING VIETNAM AND THAILAND This fourteen day tour is designed for passionate golf enthusiasts who want to play the best courses in Vietnam and Thailand, whilst enjoying a relaxing holiday. Although the primary focus is on golf, you will also get to visit some of the highlights of these beautiful countries you are playing in. There is plenty of time to unwind and relax on some to the most magnificent beaches in the world.

Day 1

Ho Chi Minh City

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time there may be time for a tour of the city’s main highlights.

Day 2

Ho Chi Minh City - SONG BE GOLF COURSE

Play a round of golf at the Song Be Golf Course, widely regarded as one of the most challenging in the country. The beautiful 100 hectare golf resort was designed to blend in with the natural landscape of fruit orchards and coconut palms and features at

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least ten lakes with tree-lined fairways. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore Vietnam’s most vibrant city.

Day 3

Ho Chi Minh City – Phan Thiet - OCEAN DUNES RESORT GOLF COURSE

Drive to the coastal resort of Phan Thiet. Tee off at the exquisite Ocean Dunes Resort Golf Course, which was designed by Nick Faldo. This is an outstanding natural site with sand dunes, sea breezes and fantastic views of the South China Sea.

Day 4

Phan Thiet – Dalat

Take a scenic drive inland through the lush Vietnamese countryside to the ‘City of Eternal Spring:’ Dalat. Nestled in the cool hills, Dalat is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam, and certainly has one of the best climates. In the evening, discover the busy night market in the city centre.

Day 5

Dalat Palace Golf Club

Start your day with a round of golf at the superb Dalat Palace Golf Club. The course gently blends into the rolling hills of


Dalat and overlooks the lovely Xuan Huong Lake. The fairways weave through huge specimen trees. In the afternoon, visit the enchanting Long Son Pagoda.

organise an excursion to Sam Roi Yod National Park; one of Thailand’s pristine coastal National Parks.

Day 10

Hua Hin – Majestic Creek Golf Course

Day 6

Tee off at the scenic Majestic Creek Golf Course. Set in the mountains to the west of Hua Hin, the course features the longest par 5 in Thailand, and its rolling hilly terrain and tricky greens are sure to provide a challenge.

Dalat – Ho chi minh city – Bangkok – Hua Hin Take an early morning flight from Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City, then on to Bangkok. You will be met on arrival and transferred to Hua Hin.

Day 11

Hua Hin – Milford Golf Course

Day 7

Hua Hin – Imperial Lake View Golf Club

Start your Thailand golfing experience at the Imperial Lake View Golf Club, designed by Roger Packard and Ronald Fream for experienced golfers. The club has four courses with 36 holes and a variety of designs that present golfers with a range of challenges, from the undulating surfaces of the ‘Mountain’ course to the wide, open spaces and long fairways of the ‘Links’ course. Afterwards, return to the hotel or go into town for drinks.

Day 8

Hua Hin – Black Mountain Golf Club

Today, you are in for a real treat. The Black Mountain Golf Club is arguably the best course in Southern Thailand. Featuring natural creeks and rocks, the design is made to look as natural as possible and is suitable for both novices and pros. The course offers spectacular views of this beautiful area of Thailand. Finish your day watching the sunset from the clubhouse.

Day 9

Hua Hin

Today you can relax in your hotel spa or by the pool as you get ready for more golf tomorrow. If you are interested, we can

what’s new? the fusion maia - danang This new resort offers accommodation in modern open plan suites and villas in a stunning beachside location. The suites and villas all come complete with courtyard gardens and private swimming pools. Guests at this tranquil resort are sure to enjoy the all inclusive spa, not to mention the fine dining on offer. Located on the beautiful My Khe beach, the resort is within easy reach of Danang and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An. For keen golfers the resort is in a perfect location. Within close proximity are the world-class Montgomerie Links Golf Course, designed by the Scotsman himself, and the Greg Norman inspired Danang Golf Course.

Your final tee-off will be at Milford Golf Course. This welldesigned course offers a change from the longer championship courses, with narrow fairways and fantastic sea views. It is a memorable end to the golfing portion of your trip.

Day 12 Hua Hin

Spend the day at leisure relaxing on the beach and enjoying the luxurious hotel facilities.

Day 13

Hua Hin – Bangkok

Drive back to Bangkok and enjoy a half-day tour of the main sights. Visits will be made to the magnificent Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Later enjoy a boat trip on the myriad of klongs (canals) that give the city the name; “Venice of the East.” In the evening you can explore more of this exciting city or just relax at your hotel.

Day 14

Depart Bangkok

Spend the morning at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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Volunteer & Educational Travel Our Volunteer and Educational travel department consists of a full-time team responsible for sourcing worthwhile and ethical volunteer projects and experiences, whilst operating them with compassion and professionalism. As the leading voluntourism specialist in Indochina and Thailand, Buffalo Tours offers a fantastic range of experiences. Our team of specialists are constantly developing exciting new options. www.educationaltravelasia.com

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VOLUNTEER & EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL Volunteer and Educational Travel is a unique opportunity for schools, universities and the ‘curious at heart’ of all ages to engage in community projects with unimaginable educational experiences. Our dedicated team of educators, development specialists and travel experts operate with compassion and ethical professionalism to provide you with the most rare of service learning, charity challenges and corporate incentive experiences throughout Indochina and Thailand.

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Buffalo Tours believes Responsible Tourism is one of the most effective tools for poverty alleviation, cultural preservation and environmental protection. That is why our Volunteer and Educational Travel products offer an innovative range of community-based experiences and development projects. Ecotourism (trekking, rafting, climbing, caving, kayaking and elephant riding) Cultural exchange (silk weaving, basketry, dancing, cooking, ethnic minority interaction) Service learning (volunteer projects, teaching, water supply and housing projects, medical care etc.) Educational (meaningful travel in historical & culturally significant locations)

Buffalo Tours’ Codes of ethical Volunteer and Educational Travel Poverty Alleviation

Travel that empowers the host community to reduce poverty through economic and non-economic benefits for ownership, income generation and improved education and health care.

Cultural Preservation

Travel that instills pride in the host community by providing respect and encouragement for the dynamic growth of local customs.

Environmental Protection

Travel that offers sensible alternatives to global and local impacts by providing guests with options for carbon, energy and waste reduction.

Community Involvement

Travel that allows guests in depth interaction within a community to create new perspectives of our world through the eyes of their hosts.

Curriculum Enhancement

Travel that creates learning opportunities that directly support a school, university or organisation’s learning objectives. For further information refer to our website: www.educationaltravelasia.com

* Volunteer in partnership with rural communities and development NGOs * Build infrastructure to support local initiatives that create a better way of life * Create new hope, new jobs and new ways of seeing our world * Design a raft using only natural materials and float past towering mountains * Trek to mountain tops to witness a way of life that has changed little for centuries * Lead a group through difficult tasks to discover new strengths * Conduct field studies and research to gain extra credit * Discover the world and discover yourself

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 68


useful information

Our Useful Information Section provides a convenient reference tool for information on weather, time zones, currencies, visas, festivals and events - all the basics you need to know right at your fingertips. www.buffalotours.com 69 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*


useful information

High Season November to March

Vietnam

Low Season April to October

Best Time to Go Vietnam’s elongated shape includes tropical and subtropical zones and is the reason for the varied climate in the country. Generally speaking the best time to travel in Vietnam is when there is a reduced chance of rain; that is during April-May and October-November.

Peak Season

Approximately 20th December – 10th January

Time

The South (Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet)

The South is hot year round and has two seasons: one wet and the other dry. The wet season lasts from May to October and you can expect daily downpours. These are usually brief and easy to predict. The dry season from November to April is generally sunny and humid.

The Centre (Nha Trang to Hue)

For most of the year Nha Trang is bathed in beautiful sunshine. However, between November and December the area has heavy rain. Dalat, at an altitude of 1,500 metres is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November through to March. Danang, Hoi An and Hue experience typhoon activity from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wetter.

GMT + 7 hours

Visas/passports

Visas are required for most nationalities and can be obtained in the guest’s home country or Buffalo Tours can arrange them in advance. Visitors can obtain a visa on arrival but must have a letter of approval. Otherwise, visitors must have a valid visa on arrival. Passports must be valid for 6 months after final departure date.

Airports

Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat airport is approximately 7 kilometres northwest from the city centre. Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport is approximately 35 kilometres north from the city centre.

The North (Hanoi to Sapa)

Summer in the north lasts from May to October when temperatures range between 30-35 degrees Celsius with high humidity and bursts of heavy rain. The temperature varies from 10-15 degrees in Winter (December to March). February and March can be damp with drizzle and overcast skies.

Festivals and Events Lim Festival Taking place every year on the 13th day of the first lunar month, tens of thousands of visitors attend in order to enjoy the dialogue performances between ‘Lien anh’ (male singers) and ‘lien chi’ (female singers). The country’s most skilled Quan Ho singers take centre stage. Held in Lim village just 18 kilometres outside of Hanoi, the event celebrates the ‘Quan Ho’ folk song which has become a part of the national culture.

Vietnamese New Year

Vietnamese New Year (Tet) will be on the 3rd February 2011. Buffalo Tours generally recommends avoiding travel one week either side of this date. Although the country is in a celebratory mood at this time, train, buses and flights are often booked out or very expensive; restaurants, shops, tailors, and some key sites are closed; and the floating markets in the Mekong do not operate for one week after Tet.

Hoi An Full Moon Festival

The Full Moon Festival in Hoi An is held every 14th day of the lunar month. Under the full moon, Hoi An becomes a hive of activity where locals participate in numerous cultural activities. The entire town is lit with colourful silk lanterns. This is a magical, romantic time to take a peaceful stroll around the old narrow streets.

hanoi (north)

MONTH

Sleepless in Moc Chau Love Festival

Mou Chau is a mountainous district approximately 60 kilometres from Mai Chau Lodge. On the 1st of September each year thousands of White Flower, Black, Yellow and Green H’mong ethnic minorities descend on Moc Chau for an annual festival that is essentially a ‘love rendezvous’.

Cau Ngu Festival

Organised annually on the 12th day of the first lunar month in memory of the Village tutelary genie Truong Quy Cong. The Cau Ngu festival is a celebration of Truong, a native of the north who came to the village which is located near Danang. There he settled and taught the locals how to fish and trade junks. Late at night the ‘fish worshipping ceremony’ occurs, where people pray for peace and the abundance of fish.

Tra Co Village Festival

The Tra Co Village festival will be held on June 30th 2011. Held in Quang Ninh Province, the festival is in memory of the establishment of the ancient fishing village which was founded 600 years ago.

danang (centre)

ho chi minh city (south)

average

rain

AVERAGE

rain

AVERAGE

rain

temp

(mm)

TEMP

(mm)

TEMP

(mm)

degrees Celcius

degrees Celcius

degrees Celcius

21/32

26

jan

12/30

26

17/25

21

feb

13/21

26

18/26

22

22/32

10

mar

16/23

60

20/28

23

23/33

15

apr

20/28

110

23/30

75

25/35

50

may

25/32

220

25/35

200

25/35

200

june

28/33

280

29/36

280

24/33

325

july

28/33

350

29/36

300

24/33

300

aug

28/33

340

25/34

280

24/33

300

sep

28/33

280

23/30

260

24/33

325

oct

23/28

160

23/28

260

23/32

225

NOV

18/27

80

21/28

80

23/32

100

DEC

15/21

10

20/27

40

22/32

50

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 70


useful information laos Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons: May to October is the rainy season and November to April is the dry season. It is hottest in March and April when temperatures can reach as high as 38C/100F. The lowest temperatures, usually in December, are around 15C/59F. The average temperature is between 25C/77F and 30C/84F. October to February is generally the best time to go to Laos.

Visas / Passports

Passports should be valid for six months after your planned date of departure from the country. Visas valid for 30 days can be easily obtained on arrival. Cost depends on nationality (from US $30-42). One passport-sized photograph is also required.

airport Departure Taxes

High Season

Airport departure taxes are already included.

October to April

AIRPORTS

Low Season

Vientiane Wattay Airport is located 3 kilometres from the centre of Vientiane Luang Prabang International Airport is located 4 kiloetres from the centre of Luang Prabang.

May to September

PEAK SEASON November to February

Time

GMT +7 hours

Festivals and Events Boun Khao Padabdin (Rice) and Boat Racing Festival at Luang Prabang Held in Luang Prabang, this festival takes place on the Khao Padabdin ceremony day. On this day, people visit temples to make offerings to ancestors. The festival takes place on the 25th to 26th August and includes boat racing on the Nam Khan River and a trade fair in Luang Prabang Town.

Laos New Year (Songkran)

Lao New Year or ‘Songkran’ (best celebrated in Luang Prabang) is between the 13th and the 18th April so be sure to book early to secure accommodation and internal flights. Please be advised that this is traditionally celebrated as a ‘water festival’, which is in effect a three day nationwide ‘water fight’. Please be advised that guests and their belongings will get wet.

Luang Prabang Fireboat Festival

The Fireboat Festival in Luang Prabang is held on the day of the full moon in October. The entire city is lit by paper lanterns and candles, as well as all the temples being decorated. Each village makes a vessel out of wood and banana leaves and decorates them with candles, before parading them through the streets and releasing them on the river. It is a magical sight to watch them float downriver at dusk.

LUANG PRABANG

MONTH

VIENTIANE

AVERAGE

RAIN

TEMP

(mm)

degrees Celsius

AVERAGE

RAIN

TEMP

(mm)

degrees Celsius

jan

13/28

15

14/28

5

feb

14/32

18

17/30

15

mar

17/34

31

19/33

38

apr

21/36

109

23/34

99

may

23/35

163

23/32

267

june

23/34

155

24/32

302

july

23/32

231

24/31

267

aug

23/32

300

24/31

292

sep

23/33

165

24/31

302

oct

21/32

79

21/31

109

NOV

18/29

31

18/29

15

DEC

15/27

13

16/28

3

71 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*


useful information Cambodia Visas/Passports

Best Time to Go The ideal time to visit Cambodia is between October and March. From November to February the cool, dry northeastern monsoon carries relatively little rain whereas the southwestern monsoon carries up to eighty percent of the country’s rainfall between the months of May and October. Maximum daily temperatures range from 31 degrees Celcisus in January to 34 degrees Celcius in April. Daily minimum temperatures are usually no less than 24 degrees.

A passport with at least six month validity is necessary. A visa is required for most nationalities and is available upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports. A tourist visa costs US $20 and is valid for 30 days. One passport-sized photograph is also required. To save time guests can arrange their visa on arrival in advance via http://cambodiaonarrival.com/ or http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/e-visa/vindex.aspx

Departure Airport Taxes

High Season

There is an airport departure tax for international flights of US $25.

October to March

Airports

Low Season

Phnom Penh Airport is approximately 8 kilometres west of the city centre. Siem Reap Airport is approximately 7km west of the city centre.

April to September

Peak Season

Approximately 20 Dec – 10 Jan

Time

GMT +7 hours

Festivals and Events Khmer New Year The Khmer New Year is a three-day celebration which occurs at the end of harvest time. It marks the New Year according to the Khmer Lunar calendar. This year the festival will take place on April 14th to April 16th. Every home is decorated with attractive decorations and shrines are full of food and beverages given as offerings to the Buddha. At this time offerings are also made to the ancestors. Many people attend Buddhist temples where traditional rituals are performed.

Water Festival

Celebrating the reversing of the current in the Tonle Sap River, this unique festival marks the beginning of the fishing season. Traditional long-boat races are held on the Tonle Sap River in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, offering a very colourful spectacle.

Angkor Wat International Half Marathon

The Angkor Wat International Half Day Marathon is held every December and is a truly inspiring experience, where locals with varying disabilities compete alongside other participants. It is a great way to experience Cambodia in a purposeful (and healthy) way. A large part of the registration fees are contributed to charitable activities managed by the NGO Hearts of Gold, whose main objective is to ‘share hope and courage through sports’.

PHNOM PENH

MONTH

AVERAGE

RAIN

TEMP

(mm)

degrees Celsius

jan feb mar apr may june july aug sep oct NOV DEC

SIEM REAP AVERAGE

RAIN

TEMP

(mm)

degrees Celsius

22/31

25

19/32

0.7

23/32

11

20/33

3

24/34

58

26/34

28

25/34

101

25/35

61

25/34

111

25/35

175

25/33

177

24/33

221

24/32

195

24/32

236

24/32

172

25/32

151

24/32

248

24/32

276

23/31

318

23/31

248

22/30

135

22/30

81

21/30

80

20/31

10

*BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011* 72


useful information

High Season

Thailand

Low Season

Best Time to Go

Peak Season

November to April

May to October

Thailand has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons. May to October is the rainy season and November to April is the dry season. It gets hottest in March and April when temperatures can reach as high as 38C/100F. The lowest temperatures, usually in December, are around 15C/59F. The average temperature is between 25C/77F and 30C/84F.

Approximately 20 Dec – 10 Jan

Time

GMT +7 hours

There are different advantages to travel at different times of the year; the dry season always enjoys good weather, but prices are higher because this is considered high season. The ‘green’ season (expect a bit of rain on most days), is also a great time to visit Thailand, as it is cooler and guests will enjoy a cost benefit too.

Visas/Passports

Guests can easily obtain a 30 day visa at the border ‘on arrival’ and it is free for most nationalities. No picture is required. Note that your passport must be must be valid for six months after your planned date of departure from the country. AIRPORTS Suvarnabhumi Airport is approximately 25 kilometres east of Bangkok.

Festivals and Events Fireboat Festival

Marking the end of the Buddhist Lent period, the “Lai Rua Fai” Festival (‘Fireboat’), is celebrated in Nakorn Phanom in early October. The climax of this dazzling event is on the final night. At dusk over a dozen unusual vessels with bamboo superstructures lumber into the river. Night falls, camouflaging the platoon of spider-men who light tens of thousands of small lanterns hung on the vessels. This results in a huge fire that can be seen for miles around. The local citizenry judge the designs and declare a “Best Fireboat”. Nakorn Phanom is ‘off the beaten track’ and this festival is very popular, so be sure to make travel arrangements well in advance.

Loi Kratong

Tides are highest and the moon brightest on the 1st full moon of the 12th lunar month (but celebrations begin a day before). Millions of Thais congregate near canals & rivers across the Kingdom to make wishes and resolutions for the coming twelve months. This is a time after the monsoon rains - the land has been renewed. To pay tribute & thanks to the ‘Mother of the Waters’, Thais fashion a small cup from banana-leaf to hold symbolic items (betel nuts, food, flowers, joss sticks, coins) and a burning candle. With ancient origins in Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism, this important festival is fun and is happening everywhere - from the traditional cultures along the Mekong to the urban Bangkok scene, where the candles of thousands of ‘kratongs’ on a river is a spectacle to behold.

BANGKOK AVERAGE TEMP Degrees MONTH

RAIN (mm)

Celsius

KO CHANG (Central)

Surin Elephant Round Up Taking place on the 3rd weekend of November, Surin is the home of the Kui tribal people. Hundreds of elephants and thousands of performers come from far and wide to participate in Surin’s Annual Elephant Round Up. The town is thick with elephants and a festival atmosphere prevails, both inside and outside the official venue. This is not a staged event, but reflects the rhythm of life in rural Thai villages and is governed by ancient local traditions. Dates are unlikely to change, but to ensure you have the most updated information, please reconfirm details prior to travel.

Thai New Year (Songkran) Water is the predominant theme during Thai New Year, or “Songkran”, which is celebrated annually on the 13th of April. This is a landmark festival time for Thai Buddhists and everyone takes a break and the Kingdom celebrates. On the surface, contemporary Songkran celebrations may seem to consist mainly of drenching-by-bucket or squirt-gun, and getting soaked with water. Prepare for that by putting wallets, cameras and phones etc. Traditionally, Songkran is a time of symbolic renewal, ‘merit making’ and ritual cleansing, characterized by gentle water splashing, which is less noticeable but more widespread. Travelling at this time guarantees an up-close and personal Songkran experience.

CHIANG MAI (Northern)

AVERAGE TEMP Degrees Celsius

RAIN (mm)

AVERAGE TEMP Degrees Celsius

RAIN (mm)

KO SAMUI (South East)

PHUKET (South West)

RAIN

RAIN

AVERAGE TEMP Degrees

(mm)

(mm)

Celsius

RAIN (mm)

jan

21/26

10

23/32

21

13/29

0

23/31

38

21/32

40

feb

21/28

28

23/34

15

14/32

10

23/32

8

23/33

25

mar

21/29

30

25/35

82

17/34

8

24/33

12

24/34

56

129

25/33

62

26/33

126

apr

22/30

70

25/36

may

23/30

190

26/35

266

23/34

122

25/31

186

25/32

320

june

23/29

150

26/34

118

23/32

112

25/31

113

24/31

289

july

23/29

160

26/34

111

23/31

213

25/31

143

24/31

295

175

24/31

123

24/31

276

269

24/30

210

23/30

361

aug

23/28

180

26/34

sep

23/28

320

25/34

73 *BUFFALO TOURS TRAVEL BROCHURE 2011*

22/36

23/31 23/31

36

193 249


Buffalos Around the World Tran Trong Kien

Petra Schweiggl

Kien graduated as a doctor in 1995 but left this behind to start Buffalo Tours, having run local tours for travellers to fund his way through medical school. With the rapid growth of Buffalo Tours, he feels it is vitally important for him to promote local empowerment and sustainable development. When he does get out of the office he thrives on adventure travel, particularly trekking. He has climbed Vietnam’s highest peak several times and now has his sights set on loftier peaks.

Originally from Italy, Petra worked in Germany for 7 years as well as Switzerland and the UK. Petra has been in Vietnam since the beginning of 2008, although a move to Bangkok is on the cards. She looks forward to supporting our partners to grow their business in Thailand and Indochina.

CEO

Michele Whealy

GENERAL MANAGER – INBOUND vietnam

Michele has recently been promoted to General Manager of the Inbound division. Having joined Buffalo Tours back in 2007, she now manages the sales, operations and the purchasing departments. She looks forward to meeting as many of our partners as possible during sales calls and tradeshows.

German Sales Manager

Deborah Youl

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - UK

Deborah first discovered Indochina and Thailand as a backpacker in 1996 and has been spellbound ever since. After 13 years experience in the UK travel industry she is proud to be one of the original UK Buffalos and loves promoting these extraordinary destinations.

Kenneth Joergensen

Sandrine Depeux

General Manager - Thailand

Spanish Sales Team Leader

Kenneth is originally from Denmark and has lived in Thailand for 13 years. He was previously Product Manager for a large European wholesaler based in Bangkok and has extensive experience in purchasing, contracting and product management. Kenneth is looking forward to showcasing new and exciting products in Thailand.

Vietnam has been Sandrine’s home for almost 5 years now. She thoroughly enjoys life in Vietnam, especially the food, people, and the fact that it’s possible to fly to the rest of Asia in less than 3 hours. Sandrine is fluent in French, Spanish and English.

Ray Petts

tran thu Trang

GENERAL MANAGER - AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

francophone Sales Manager

Jason Rolan

hanh

Jason is currently the Country Manger of Buffalo Tours in Laos. Hailing from the US, he landed in South East Asia 7 years ago. After a 2 year stint learning the ropes in Thailand, he was promoted to manage the Laos office and has been there ever since. Having mastered both Thai and Lao languages, he looks forward to showing you the best that the region has to offer.

Hanh, otherwise known as ‘Hanh Bike’, has been working as a full time cycling leader for Buffalo Tours for over two years. His wife also works for Buffalo Tours.

Ray has visited approximately 80 countries and gained extensive knowledge of the tourism Industry and in particular Indochina. He has a diploma of Business Management and was previously the General Manager of Tucan Travel. He has a large amount of international and cross-cultural leadership experience. www.buffalotours.com.au

Having graduated in tourism in France, Trang started her career at Buffalo Tours and has worked with us for more than 5 years. Trang loves travelling and has travelled a lot around Europe and Asia. She wishes to share her passion of Indochina and Thailand with fellow travellers.

Laos Country Manager

Cycling Tour Leader

Panya Thin

thanG

CAMBODIAN COUNTRY MANAGER

Although originally from Siem Reap, Panya launched his career in Phnom Penh working as an Operations Manager for a British and Dutch ground handling Tour Company. Panya completed his Degree in Business Management in Thailand. Buffalo Tours is proud to have such a talented local as the Cambodian Country Manager.

full time tour guide

Thang has worked for Buffalo Tours for 3 years as a full time guide and as a part time guide for even longer. He is one of around 200 full and part time guides and leaders working for us across the region.


Brochure 2011