Page 1

CITY BREAKS


The fragrances of Asia The bustling cities of South East Asia are some of the most vibrant and exciting in the world and can be fitted into any holiday itinerary. From old-world charm in Luang Prabang to the bustling streets of Ha Noi, these cities captivate in its multifaceted expressiveness. Traditions blend with modernity that blossom into cities with all the conveniences of technology while retaining their culture identity. From rickshaw riders’ trundle by fine dining restaurants to night markets thriving in front of towering skyscrapers, multiculturalism is evident within these cosmopolitan cities. This makes the warm friendliness of the locals all the more touching, sincere and welcoming. It’s not much use to choose the most touristy city you can find if you are only planning on a short break, but as a long as a city really excellent at one specific, two or three days will be enough to get the most out of your holiday. Here are our picks for the top 8 Indochina city breaks, for travelers who want a short holiday that packs a punch. Our dedicated product team is constantly discovering new and exciting accommodation and tour options throughout Indochina to bring you the very best in product range with abundance of choice.


SUMMARY

VIETNAM Hanoi………………………………………………………………………18 Hue…………………………………………………………………………25 Hoi An…………………………………………………………………...31 Ho Chi Minh City…………………………………………………….37

LAOS Luang Prabang………………………………………………………...43 Vientiane…………………………………………………………………49

CAMBODIA Siem Reap…….…………………………………………………………55 Phnom Penh……………………………………………………………61


The must-see sights are all included Sightseeing with TTB Travel&Tour is about much more than simply seeing the sights. We take you on an unforgettable discovery. Each of our city tour options is specifically designed to best showcase particular aspects of the cultural heritage of each city. You’ll see the secret places only the locals know about. You’ll experience the unique traditions that shape de diverse cultures of Indochina from an insider’s perspective. Sometimes, the most amazing sights are just around the corner, but how would you know where to look or that they were even there? With an intimate knowledge of Indochina, we take delight in revealing these hidden treasures to you on every option. In Hanoi, you may get to discover locals practicing the fine art of calligraphy in a very surprising pagoda. In Siem Reap, you may meet the last surviving Apsara dancer after the Khmer Rouge regime and understand her life.

Enjoy performances


Encounter talented artists

Visit world-class museums

Discover symbolic monuments


Make every moment count City break is all about freedom and discovery. You want to get amongst it. See more. Do more. Live more. And go home utterly and completely regret-free. Our experience options are the last ingredient to that perfect trip. We make sure that you get all the time you need so see Indochinese cities in your way. It means having the freedom to choose, relaxing at a cozy café in Luang Prabang or bargaining at a local market in Hanoi. Making the most of those personal moments that are unique to you is just as important as experiencing the big sights. They are the memorable moments that happen when you least expect them, when you really connect with the places you visit. If you really want to make every moment count, our range of “adds-on” experiences give you the chance to take your trip to a new level with unforgettable memories, unique to the cities you visit. That would be having a sunrise view over Angkor Wat or having a private dinner in a royal descendant family in Hue These special moments simply wouldn’t happen travelling on your own, and add an extra spark to an unforgettable holiday.

Bargain like an expert


Plant rice like locals

Take part in fantastic festivals

Alone at natural wonders


At your service, with a smile The first person you will meet on your arrival in Indochina is your local tour guide. At TTB Travel&Tour, we make sure that you are provided with guides that understand your customers’ habits and requirements when travelling. Imagine the travel buddy who knows Indochina inside out where to eat, play, shop&find authentic local experiences. Our tour guides are more than just walking , talking guidebooks. They are lifelong travellers whose sole passion is to make sure you have the time of your life. They are not only knowledgeable about the history and culture of the city you are visiting, they also have a good command of foreign languages. They will explain daily village and city life that you observe during the tour. Just as importantly, you can rely on our guide to look after your customers and solve any problems they may have along the way. MEET MR. LOC

Local guide (Hanoi) The Vietnamese culure is complex and has changed constantly. That’s why I’ve travelled up and down in the country in order to update my knowledge so that I can deliver appropriate notions to foreign visitors. And they appreciate such a vision of guiding. Cultural interactions are always at the heart of my profession


MEET MS. NOUT

Local guide (Luang Prabang) I love teaching my travellers all about the history&culture here in my own personal way. As well as being a local, I trained for 5 years& I know everything about the places we visit. I help my travellers find things that are special to Luang Prabang, the things they want to see or try. Like Luang Prabang’s food – it’s the best in Laos, including the amazing chili sauce

MEET MR. CHEN

Tour guide (Siem Reap) All travellers are different&want different things from their experience. So I help show them what they want to see. Because I’ve lived in Siem Reap all my life, it’s the place I know best. I know it like the back of my hand& I can help travellers experience more. I love showing travellers Siem Reap, especially my favorite spots like Angkor Wat temples


Feel the spices of Asia through culinary discovery The great Chinese philosopher Confucius emphasized that the art of cooking encompassed more than the food itself, it was also about sharing the meals with others. We embrace this philosophy with our exclusive eating experiences, giving you a unique opportunity to sample the authentic dishes of the region at exclusive venues. A true highlight during your stay in city, we’ve sourced the best local dining experiences that will leave you wanting more. While staying in cities, we offer the superb culinary delights of top restaurants within easy reach. Food in Indochina is inexpensive with most meals costing between $10 and $20, and even the finest restaurants are comparatively well priced. We have included some meals that are an integral part of the culture of each city, like sampling fresh amok curry in Siem Reap . Or in Hue, travel by traditional rickshaw to meet a royal descendant family who will welcome you into their garden-house and prepare a delicious lunch of local specialities.

Taste authentic flavors


Learn how to cook local

Enjoy world-class restaurants

Unique dining experience


A night to experience “amazing” All hotels are not the same, even if they are in the similar price range. We make a special effort to make sure that we use only the best quality hotels that are centrally located in city so that your customers can save time. Each hotel is hand-picked to suit city options, consistent high quality service , security and of course location. They are within easy reach of transportation and either shopping areas or main sights In this brochure, we generally select hotels from three to five stars that are up to international standard. From a restored Art Décor villa in Luang Prabang to a former royal residence transformed into a luxury hotel, where possible we have selected hotels with great local color. That is to say you don’t necessarily stay in great hotels, you also get to experience some amazing overnights like ecologe in Kamu village or safari tented cap near an Angkorian temple. But if that’s not enough, why not an overnight cruise? Yes, stay on a traditional junk boat floating on the emerald waters of Halong Bay, or stay on a restored rice barge while cruising through the labyrinth of canals in the Mekong Delta.

Sleep in cozy rooms


Enjoy excellent facilities

Welcome by friendly staff

Relax after touring days


HANOI

LUANG PRABANG

VIENTIANE

HUE

HOI AN

SIEM REAP PHNOM PENH

HO CHI MINH CITY


HANOI Paris of Asia

HUE

Grandeur of royal city

LUANG PRABANG City of temples

PHNOM PENH

Legacy of the past

VIENTIANE Laid-back capital

HO CHI MINH CITY Old&new mixture

HOI AN Charm of ancient port `

SIEM REAP

Legend of Angkor


Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Snapshot of Hanoi A city of tree-lined avenues and ornate architecture, which holds more cultural sites than any other city in the country, the Vietnamese capital still exudes all the colonial elegance of its French heritage. Lying besides the Red River it has enjoyed a prominent place in Vietnam’s turbulent history for nearly 1,000 years, a factor reflected in its wealth of pagodas and temples and the myriad artisans trading amongst its colourful and diverse network of back streets..... With the charming Old Quarter featuring architecture from the French-Colonial era, Hanoi cultivates a fusion of Parisian and Asian influences to become a city of colonial legacy and modern outlook.

Traditional rickshaw

Temple of litterature

Street vendors


Morning exercices

Iced black coffee

Street food

Dong Xuan market

French colonial buildings

Hoan Kiem lake


19

HANOI

Independent touring

ACCESSIBILITY

DistanceAfrom Noi Bai Airport : 35km Duration of transfer : 45mn LEGEND 1. Temple of litterature 2. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum 3. Hoan Kiem Lake 4. Hoa Lo Prison 5. Old Quarter

2

5

1

3

4

CLASSIC CITY TOUR (FULL DAY) Spend a day learning about the culture of Hanoi and taking in the city’s top sights. In the morning, start the tour with a visit Ho Chi Minh complex, the political heart of Hanoi. Next you will visit the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ – Hanoi’s former central prison made famous for the incarceration of US Air force pilots shot down over North Vietnam. Carry on to the Temple of Literature, the country’s first national university. After lunch, head to Hoan Kiem lake, located in heart of Hanoi, which contains an islet with the tiny tortoise pagoda. From the lake, it’s time for a leisurely tour of the city’s Old Quarter on board a traditional cyclo – a bicycle rickshaw combo

STREET FOOD (HALF DAY) Explore Hanoi's culture through a street food tour with the head of Hanoi Gastronomy's Club. The day starts off with breakfast, which is Pho, a beef and rice noodle soup. After enjoying this national specialty, you’ll continue on to the market where ,once again, you can learn about what ingredients make for the best local dishes. Then wander about the Old Quarter streets to enjoy aromas from local street food stalls. You can feel the traditional atmosphere of the most attractive part in Hanoi and witness local people enjoy their breakfast on the pavement along the ride.Then it’s time for a coffee or tea break at one of the many sidewalk cafes in Hanoi centre.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring OLD QUARTER WALKING TOUR (HALF DAY) The Old Quarter is the cultural heart of Hanoi where the pulse of life has constantly beat for nearly 2,000 years. This is a very interesting walk that can show you the idea and atmosphere of the Old Quarter during Hanoi’s past, when it was the trading center of the city. The walk in the open street, combined with the discovery of the small and narrow alleys and local houses, show you in the most detailed way about what goes on in the life of local people and the atmosphere of this area. After walking around and enjoy some local specialties, continue to Hoan Kiem Lake area where you can pay a visit Ngoc Son temple

ART TOUR (HALF DAY) Hanoi is fast becoming one of the most fashionable art centres in Asia. Designed to capture the real essence of Hanoi, this journey of art experience is a fascinating introduction to one of Vietnam's most captivating cities. Start with the stop at the Museum of National Fine Arts that allows you to get the overall idea of Vietnamese art through different periods. Then we will meet and discuss with various local artists : Mai Hien, expert in contemporary art of lacquer painting, Pham Luc, specializing in motherland and war subjects, and Anh Khanh famous for his studio in form of ethnic stilted house.

COOKING CLASS (HALF DAY) True immersion in local culture, the experience starts with a stroll in the local market accompanied by the Chef, to discover Vietnamese ingredients. Here you will be dazzled by the bright colours of the fruits and vegetables and smell the sweet and not so sweet smells as you’re guided around the market. This is followed by a cookery demonstration in the kitchen where everyone plays an active role. The typical dishes you will have the chance to make include : spring rolls or grilled chicken with lemon leave. After class, lunch is served to sample the different dishes prepared during the demonstration.

DUONG LAM ANCIENT VILLAGE (FULL DAY) Immerse in ancient Vietnamese culture with an excursion to Duong Lam, one of the country's few remaining ancient villages with many hundred-year-old houses. Stroll through the narrow alleys to see the old wooden houses made of laterite walls and gates, high threshold which make up this charming village. Have some talks with the locals in their ancient houses by visiting the ancient houses of Mr. Lam, Mr. Ha and Mr. Huyen. Enjoy lunch at an ancient house before visiting a few pagodas that represent the best example of Vietnamese Buddhism.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

HANOI

20


21

HANOI

Independent touring

HALONG BAY CRUISE (2 DAYS) Emerald waters, mist-shrouded bay, picturesque limestone caves and karsts towers carpeted in green – Ha Long Bay’s legendary beauty never fails to spark one’s imagination. In 1917, Emperor Khai Dinh plied the waters of Halong Bay in a wonderful wooden junk. Almost a century later you too embark on a voyage through time – in a ship recreated from the original designs and with impeccable service fit for a King. This is going to be your trip of a lifetime.

HANDICRAFT VILLAGES (FULL DAY) Discover the traditions and culture of Vietnam through local artisans on this day trip. Meet local artisans and witness the age-old methods behind the intricate process of lacquerware, wood carving, ceramics and furniture making as you wander through the villages. We’ll visit several villages including Bat Trang, famed for its production of high quality ceramics and pottery, Kieu Ky, best known for its decorative gold leaves and leather goods, Dong Ho, home of traditional Vietnamese woodcut paintings. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in the making process to make your own souvenir for friends.

PERFUME PAGODA (FULL DAY) Perfume Pagoda is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Vietnam and the sight of a yearly pilgrimage between February and March following the Vietnamese New Year. The pilgrims pray for good health and prosperity in the coming year. Hidden among lush paddy fields, limestone karsts and picturesque villages, this complex is the perfect trip for nature lovers. You will have the chance to glide along scenic waterways and walk up steep mountain paths visiting the pagodas and temples that were built in this area over the centuries.

HOA LU ANCIENT CAPITAL (FULL DAY) Delve deeper into Vietnam’s past with this visit to the first ancient capital of Vietnam, Hoa Lu. We visit the temples dedicated to emperors of the Le Dynasty dating back around 1000 years and view the remains of the ancient Hoa Lu Citadel. If time permits after visiting Hoa Lu, take a half-hour walk up one of the surrounding limestone karst hills, the climb is rewarding with spectacular views. After lunch, we move on to Tam Coc and board our rowboats for a leisurely meander amongst rugged pinnacles and lush green rice paddies. This area is considered as “Halong Bay on land” ,due to the similar topography.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring WATER PUPPET SHOW A visit to Hanoi’s Water Puppet Theatre is a real highlight of any visit to Hanoi. Enjoy this

North Vietnamese art which was created quite by accident when rural North Vietnam became flooded during performances. Since then, this unique art has been practised for generations. Folk legends from Vietnamese history are told by live musicians with wooden men, women and dragons, dancing and splashing on the face of the water. Standing waist-deep in the water, the master puppeteers are hidden behind a bamboo screen.

DRINK COFFEE LIKE HANOIANS For a truly authentic experience , don’t leave Hanoi without trying the local street coffee. Taking over a legacy from bygone years with the involvement of an irresistible French factor, the Vietnamese have embraced café culture in a great way. Soaking up the rhythms of the street and embracing Hanoi from all of its sides, you will tenderly recognize that, nothing can be better refresh us after hardworking hours than a cup of coffee on a street near Sword Lake (Hoan Kiem Lake)

GOOD MORNING HANOI Listening to the sounds of a morning in Hanoi, you will find how traditional and peaceful this capital city is. Start an unforgettable morning in a Vietnamese way while everyone else is asleep, and learn what harmonious life on earth is really all about. First we visit Nghi Tam flower market where hundreds of different kinds of flowers are being sold in bulk to all the flower shop keepers in Hanoi. From there we transfer to Long Bien bridge where, underneath is one of the biggest and busiest fruit markets in the country. Then, attend morning exercice scene at Hoan Kiem lake

SUNSET OVER LONG BIEN BRIDGE Long Bien Bridge is the best place to take a walk and enjoy sunset over the Red river. Built at French colonial time, the oldest bridge in Hanoi is still living and sharing the daily life with Hanoians silently. Surviving after Indochina War and American War, the left spans still remaining today remind us of an unforgettable past. Crossing this historical bridge, you’ll have the opportunity to taste mouthwatering desserts offered by vendors and see lots of Hanoians buying fresh vegetable or fish on the spot for dinner.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

HANOI

22


23

HANOI

Accommodation

SOFITEL METROPOLE ***** C'est magnifique! This feels like a small corner of France in Asia, with its Cote d'Azur-style façade and glass canopies, Parisian-style cafés serving fine wines, cheese and pastries and even Hermès room toiletries Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi offers an oasis of tranquility close to bustling Hanoi's Old Quarter. This richly historical French colonial masterpiece built in 1901 is one of Vietnam's finest hotels, with luxuriously appointed rooms, attentive staff and gracious service. It is ideally located in central Hanoi and houses a beautiful interior garden Capacity : 386 rooms and suites Address : 15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Website : www.sofitel.com

HILTON OPERA ***** Voted ‘Vietnam's Leading Hotel’ for five consecutive years at the prestigious World Travel Awards, Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel is a Hanoi landmark. The hotel distils the best of Hanoi – colonial accents in the architecture and theatrical interior design of jewel tone accents and classic opera motifs juxtaposed with contemporary spaces for dining and entertaining. Contrasting the colonial exterior and entering the hotel through the atrium lobby, summons a feeling of a grand theatre foyer where artists and personalities might mingle while brushing shoulders with stars. Capacity : 269 rooms and suites Address : 1 Le Thanh Tong St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Website : www3.hilton.com

SILK PATH HOTEL **** Over the centuries, silk merchants made their trade which is still very much evident nowadays. It is in this very prominent district where Silk Path Hotel is located, a sanctuary of convenience, connecting you directly with the charismatic grace of Indochina. The hotel bucks the trend with spacious rooms, a large marble reception and comfortable and attractive bedrooms. Unlike almost all other hotels in the old quarter, all the rooms have large windows, but the double glazing means the noise from outside is kept to a minimum. Capacity : 106 rooms Address : 195 -199 Hang Bong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Website : www.silkpathhotel.com


Accommodation HOTEL DE L’OPERA **** Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi, considered to be a boutique hotel, takes guests on a journey to the past. Exquisitely tasteful and with more than the odd theatrical flourish, the hotel is stylish and contemporary and offers a level of comfort and service that is sure to satisfy la bohème in you. Meticulously-designed guestrooms and suites have an ambiance which blends a touch of French décor with the luscious operatic settings and the plush comfort of a sumptuous hotel of the 21st Century. Capacity : 107 rooms and suites Address : 29 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Website : www.hoteldelopera.com

MAISON D’HANOI *** Hanoi's land distribution, particularly in the Old Quarter, is such that most city properties are located on narrow, oblong plots. This provides many challenges to architects when developing old properties - a challenge the Maison D'Hanoi has relished and pulled off with some panache. All the rooms are simply yet elegantly furnished with a great attention to detail, offering silk lamps and a tasteful colour scheme. The hotel keeps it's French Art Deco facade whilst the interior is a blend of colonial and Vietnamese influences. Capacity : 55 rooms and suites Address : 35-37 Hang Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Website : www.hanovahotel.com

HOTEL LE CARNOT *** Le Carnot is a brand new hotel in one of the cities very best locations – on Phan Dinh Phung Street. It is near one of the city’s best parks (Hang Dau Park) and within easy walking distance of Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter.The hotel is designed in a contemporary Asian style with neutral tones and tasteful fabrics throughout. You are always guaranteed personal service with a smile and will get to personally know the friendly staff even if only staying a couple of days. Capacity : 46 rooms and suites Address : 3A Phan Dinh Phung street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi Website : www.hotellecarnot.com

HANOI

24


Flavour of the Centre

Snapshot of Hue This ancient capital city was the cultural and intellectual centre of Vietnam. An imperial city, Hue today has regained it’s royal demeanour and is a calm, peaceful and relaxed place to visit. The remaining French colonial garden houses and villas, the quiet streets, the riverbanks, the outlying tombs and pagodas that escaped damage - all give Hue a unique atmosphere of tranquillity. The ruins of the Old Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritagelisted protected complex of courtyards and palaces surrounded by moats, impressive temples and libraries. Along the banks of the Perfume River are monumental tombs of former Emperors with a tranquil setting of forested-hills and lakes.

Perfume river

Forbidden city

Royal tombs


Royal court music

Traditional Ao Dai

Thanh Toan bridge

Turmoil of the past

Conical hats

Royal citadel


27

HUE

Independent touring

ACCESSIBILITY

DistanceAfrom Phu Bai Airport : 15km Duration of transfer : 30mn LEGEND 1. Imperial Citadel 2. Thien Mu Pagoda 3. Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb 4. Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb 5. Emperor Khai Dinh’s tomb 6.Thanh Toan bridge

1 6 2

3

4

5

CLASSIC CITY TOUR (FULL DAY) Exploring Hue is one of Vietnam’s greatest pleasures and this day tour reveals the fascinating history and spectacular beauty of this town. Travel back in time to Vietnam’s regal past with a visit to the Imperial Citadel. A knowledgeable private guide will show you around the imperial grounds of the former palace complex, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a short river cruise on the lovely Perfume River (Huong River), visit two of the Nguyen Emperors’ most magnificent tombs. You’ll learn about Hue’s royal history as you glimpse its majestic architecture.

COOKING CLASS (HALF DAY) Formerly the capital of Vietnam and the Kings’ City, Hue has a strong royal heritage. Hue food is unique to Vietnam and Hue offers a variety of “Royal” restaurant cuisine. In this cooking class, enjoy the taste of Hue’s local delicacies and learn how to prepare delicious Hue recipes. Start with a visit of the Dong Ba Market where the Chef will show you how to choose ingredients and discover local specialties. Then, go to a typical garden house and start an exclusive cooking class where you will learn how to prepare a Hue “Royal” meal. Finally, enjoy the delicious and beautiful dishes you just made.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring PERFUME RIVER BOAT TRIP (HALF DAY) Most of people once come to Hue think about Perfume River and wish to see why it is the inspiration of many poetry and song. Today, boat’s excursion for more than one hour upstream the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, Ming Mang and Tu Duc emperors’ Tombs become a must for all travelers to Hue. But Perfume River is worth to discover more, its beauty and the life of local people living on are a true charm for those who wish to visit it off the beaten track. Embarking a traditional dragon boat, it is a good chance for you to see the daily life of local people living along the river

OVERNIGHT CRUISE ON PERFUME RIVER (2 DAYS) Dotted with rowing boats, the citadel, town, gardens, pagodas, towers and temples, the poetic landscape along the Perfume riverbank has long mesmerized travelers. With an overnight on board a traditional wooden junk, we invite you to visit unexplored Hue countryside that sprouts all along the banks of Perfume River with cruising, biking, walking and cooking class. Our tours are all about getting into a meaningful connection with the nature and the people here.

DMZ TOUR (FULL DAY) The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) was the site of some of the fiercest and bloodiest battles during the American War and a tour through this historic region is an informative glimpse in to the war time history. This tour will take you back to the war sites and witness the scene of some of the bloodiest battles of conflict: Khe Sanh, Quang Tri, Con Tien, Doc Mieu… Especially, Vinh Moc tunnels are a net work that was dugged by local people’s hands. Only coming there and pass through the tunnels you can admire the ability of human beings during the war.

COUNTRYSIDE TOUR (FULL DAY) This trip introduces you to the lush countryside, rice fields, and farmers’ life, which has dominated Hue's culture for centuries. A relaxing bike tour through Hue’s countryside brings you face to face with friendly locals on a visit to Thanh Toan, a rural village known for its crafts and food market. You also visit the ancient village Phuoc Tich well-known for its traditional pottery crafts and ancient houses and temples that have been preserved for 500 years.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

HUE

28


29

HUE

Accommodation

LA RESIDENCE ***** The graceful Art Deco building was once the residence of the French governor of Central Vietnam and has been converted into a stunning hotel in a prime position on the banks of the Perfume River. Ideally located opposite the Imperial Palace, the hotel boasts outstanding views of both the Ancient Citadel and the Forbidden City. The guest rooms have been designed with a combination of Colonial charm, modern earthy shades, and Asian opulence. The hotel’s signature suites in the original mansion building are truly spectacular, each individually designed with four-poster beds, beautiful art deco furniture and spacious terraces.

Capacity : 122 rooms and suites Address : 5 Le Loi Street, Hue Website : www.la-residence-hue.com

SAIGON MORIN ***** Originally built in 1901, the hotel was the first of its kind in Central Vietnam and it still retains its French Colonial charm. With over a 100 years of history the Morin has played an active part in Vietnamese historical events, many of which are reflected in the fascinating black and white photographs displayed around the hotel. The property was the first choice of celebrities, intrepid adventurers and discerning travellers in the colonial era. After a significant renovation in 1997, the hotel has been restored to its former glory and now has a swimming pool and spacious rooms with high ceilings, dark wooden floors and period furniture.

Capacity : 184 rooms and suites Address : 30 Le Loi Street, Hue Website : www.morinhotel.com.vn

CENTURY RIVERSIDE **** The hotel features a harmonious blend of colonial elegance and traditional architectural style which is airy and luxurious touch, thus creating most relaxing feeling for holiday makers. The resort-like hotel features well-appointed deluxe rooms and suites, being situated in an area of 20,000 sqm, surrounded by greenness of the flower gardens and lawns, nested by the banks of charming Perfume River, next to the historic Truong Tien Bridge. The accommodation rooms are designed with simplicity yet extreme luxury and elegance

Capacity : 135 rooms and suites Address : 49 Le Loi Street, Hue Website : www.centuryriversidehue.com


Accommodation IMPERIAL HOTEL **** The hotel is a masterpiece on high-rise building architecture and an embodiment of Nguyen Dynasty’s architecture with the exposure of cubes, colorful patterns and restored antique materials, making the hotel the most luxurious in Vietnam style. The hotel interior is polished to perfect beauty, luxury and cozy. It is a combination of modern facilities and salient architecture values of the ancient capital city of Hue. Capacity : 194 rooms and suites Address : 8 Hung Vuong Boulevard, Hue Website : imperial-hotel.com.vn

CAMELIA HOTEL *** The Camellia Hue Hotel, located in Hue centre, is a spacious and modern hotel with the all the conveniences and comfort needed to accommodate a historic locale. Among the Camellia's conveniences are its proximity to the picturesque Perfume River, as well as the Citadel and Dong An Market. Capacity : 98 rooms Address : 57 Ben Nghe Street, Hue Website : www.camellia-hotels.com.vn

PARK VIEW *** Park View Hotel is the newest hotel strategically located in the heart of Hue with spectacular views of the whole city, nearby the tranquil and picturesque Perfume River, close to all the renowned tourist attractions, a mere 10-minute walk to Hue Citadel and the prime commercial, shopping and entertainment areas. Park View Hotel is a unique and perfect combination of Western and Oriental architecture, specially Hue traditional concept. Capacity : 120 rooms Address : 9 Ngo Quyen Street, Hue Website : www.parkviewhotelhue.com

HUE

30


Thu Bon river

Snapshot of Hoi An Hoi An is a picturesque town with a charmingly preserved collection of temples, Chinese-style wooden houses and a history that reflects the central role it played in the trade between Europe and Asia between the 15th and 19th centuries. With its cobbled back streets full of small tailor shops, cafes, Hoi An is the ideal place to combine culture and relaxation....

Colonial houses

Japanese covered bridge

Fresh fish market


Silk lantern

400-year old lanes

Buddhist faith

Chinese merchant assembly

Fusion food

Tailor shops


33

HOI AN

Independent touring

ACCESSIBILITY

DistanceAfrom Danang Airport : 35km Duration of transfer : 40mn LEGEND 1. Japanese covered bridge 2. Chaozhou Congregation 3. Hainan Congregation 4. Fujian Congregation 5.Tan Ky ancient house

4

3

2

1 5

CLASSIC CITY TOUR (FULL DAY) Take a walking tour in the Ancient Quarter of Hoi An, discover the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 17th to 18th centuries. Follow the narrow lanes lined with centuries-old houses influenced by Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures and visit its numerous places of interest: the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls, the local fish market ‌ Next you will have a brief introduction to the history, shape, and colour of the lanterns as well as the many stages of making them. After that you can make your own lantern, decorate, pack and keep it as a souvenir during the time in Hoian.

COOKING CLASS (HALF DAY) Become more familiar with the art of Vietnamese cooking with a start to finish cooking course. This tour combines a market tour, an overview of ingredients common in Vietnamese food, and a hands-on cooking class that ends with each participant making their own multi course meal. It is a great way to see all the nooks and crannies of a Vietnamese market and understand the secrets behind Vietnamese cooking. The class not only covers cooking techniques, but also herbal remedies, and tricks to using Vietnamese vegetable graters and knives.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring GO FISHING LIKE A LOCAL (FULL DAY) Join local fishermen and their families to learn about the lifestyle and social customs of this rural community, and gain cultural insight into this authentic Vietnamese way of life. Next, meet your friendly and safety-minded captain and crew aboard the boat as you embark on an eco-tour of the region, cruising along the Cua Dai River. As you explore the tranquil waterways flanked by mangroves and coconut palms, hear about the extreme conditions once endured here by soldiers on both sides of the Vietnam-American War. Then, join local fishermen and women on the river and take part in several interesting handsexperience fishing the traditional way

TRA QUE VILLAGE (HALF DAY) After a leisurelybike ride through the countryside, we head for Tra Que vegetable village which is named after a sweet scented herb they grow and use to flavour Hoi An specialties. Learn about the history and custom of this charming village before getting your hands dirty and venturing into the garden - you may like to borrow the farmers’ clothing provided by the villagers. Join the friendly farmers to learn the traditional gardening methods and how they cultivate vegetables. You will then be shown how to prepare tam huu, a local delicacy, before sitting down for a home cooked meal

CHAM ISLAND (FULL DAY) The Cham Islands, World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, make for a scenic day trip from the bustle of Hoi An. Take a speedboat about 15 kilometers outside of Cua Dai and enjoy the natural beauty of this group of eight small islands, set in the clear blue waters off the central coast of Vietnam. Stroll along quiet beaches and relax in the sand while enjoying a seafood lunch caught fresh from the crystal waters. Book a dive trip and explore the colorful coral and tropical marine life, or get up close with tropical fish on an afternoon snorkel excursion

MY SON RUINS (HALF DAY) This site is a must-see for those people who are interested in architecture and ancient civilizations. Known as the "Valley of Kings", My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century. Located in a lush valley surrounded by high mountains, the site still has some 20 remain out of more than 70 temples that once spread out over this beautiful valley. Your guide will lead you through the temple grounds and provides valuable information about their architectural, religious and cultural significance.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

HOI AN

34


35

HOI AN

Accommodation

ANANTARA ***** The hotel occupies a superb location by the scenic river, a short stroll from the colourful and bustling ancient town of Hoi An. Touches of French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese decor add to the distinct ambience and atmosphere in the resort. Each room is decorated with elegant blends of European and Asian styles and includes a private porch or terrace area with views over either the river or gardens. Designed with a fusion of graceful European and tropical Asian styles, a host of modern comforts provides a luxurious home away from home, full of enchanting local inspirations

Capacity : 93 rooms and suites Address : 1 Pham Hong Thai Street, Hoi An Website : www.hoi-an.anantara.com

THE NAM HAI RESORT

*****

The Nam Hai resort on an undisturbed stretch of Ha My Beach is a fusion of true luxury, modernity and Vietnamese spirit. Each occupies its own section of landscaped gardens and boasts views of the east sea and nearby Cham Islands. Inspired by thousands of years of history and tradition, The Nam Hai's villas are a breathtaking sight, spiced up with stunning interior design which plays on two of the Earth's main elements, wind and water. Elegant, subtle, and original, they create a magical, dream-like ambience which you will endlessly enjoy. .

Capacity : 100 rooms Address : Dien Duong Village, Dien Ban District, Hoi An Website : www.thenamhai.com

VICTORIA **** Set on the ivory sands of a paradise beach and conveniently located just a short drive away from Danang International Airport and the UNESCO heritage town of Hoi An, this top resort is ideal for couples seeking romance. Tastefully designed rooms reflect the Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese influence in the town's architecture. The resort replicates a traditional fishing village with intricate streets, small ponds and traditional style village houses with red clay-tiled roofs. The spacious rooms open out onto the gardens and it makes a really relaxing base to explore the city.

Capacity : 109 rooms and suites Address : Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An Website : www.victoriahotels.asia


Accommodation ANCIENT HOUSE **** Situated by the banks of the Thu Bon river, the hotel is modelled around a 200 year old ancient Chinese merchant's house. Basing on Hoi An's long history and mix of cultures, the Ancient House Resort is built with special style of the town's ancient houses giving impression of a village with its very natural landscape, houses roofed by claytile and decorated by round and rectangular Chinese lanterns. The house itself is located at the back of the resort and the Vietnamese family who live there still produce around 200 kilograms of rice noodles in the house a day using traditional methods.

Capacity : 52 rooms and suites Address : 377 Cua Dai Road, Hoi An Website : www.ancienthouseresort.com

HOI AN TRAILS **** Hoi An Trails Resort is located close to town and is in the vicinity well known for dining and entertainment, close by are many wonderful boutique shops and an abundant choice of tailors. Every room and suite has a panoramic view of either the superbly designed swimming pool and garden full of greens or the rice paddies and the Hoai River across the Cua Dai road. Capacity : 62 rooms and suites Address : 276 Cua Dai Road, Hoi An Website : www.hoiantrailsresort.com.vn

LOTUS HOTEL *** Conveniently located just a 5-minute drive away from Hoi An Ancient Town as well as Cua Dai Beach, Lotus Hoi An Hotel is an elegant resort-style hotel drawn from a range of styles and influences resulting in a perfect blend of Eastern culture and French architecture. All the rooms are immaculately furnished and equipped in a relaxing combination of Vietnamese , Japanese and French styles. Capacity : 60 rooms and suites Address : 330 Cua Dai Road, Hoi An Website : hoianlotushotel.com

HOI AN

36


City Hall

Snapshot of Saigon Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon (as it is still called by many) was once known as the “Paris of the East” and ranks among Asia’s great megacities, with towering sky scrapers, densely packed street markets, chic new clubs and sidewalk vendors jostling for business. In the country’s commercial hub, visitors are greeted by evidence of a dynamic growth over the past decade and a surge into contemporary life which ensures it stays the country’s largest city. Once you get used to the city's pace, you'll quickly enjoy the ride as you take a journey into the heart and soul of Vietnam, its people, history, culture and ambitious future.

Giac Lam Pagoda

Central Post Office

Reunification Palace


Flavor of local markets

Busy night life

Legacy of American War

Ben Thanh Market

Notre Dame Cathedral

Religious faith


39

SAIGON

Independent touring

ACCESSIBILITY

Nearest airport: Tan Son Nhat (06km) A Duration of transfer : 15mn LEGEND 1. Reunification Palace 2. Ben Thanh Market 3. City Hall 4. Opera House 5. Notre Dame Cathedral

5

1

3

2

CLASSIC CITY TOUR (HALF DAY) A walking tour to admire Saigon’s historic landmarks is a must. Old and new collide in this modern city as gleaming sky scrapers, glamorous restaurants and designer shops stand side-by-side with colonial era landmarks and post-war remnants. Highlights include the Opera House, the former Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office. Finally, the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war, is a short drive away and reveals the history of Saigon during its turbulent recent past.

OLD SAIGON TOUR (HALF DAY) This tour enables you to live in its good old days with the old quarter of Saigon. The sights and sounds of this “Asian” area are alive and well in the markets full of hustle and the buzz of motorbikes and voices amidst the heavy fragrance of spices and perfumes. The first stop is Giac Lam Pagoda, Saigon’s oldest and one of it’s most beautiful temples. Continue to the bustling Chinatown , home to the city's 400,000 Chinese and has many beautiful temples and pagodas. Next is Thien Hau temple, built in the early 19th century and dedicated to the Thien Hau the goddess of seafarers. Later on we take a journey through Vietnam’s medical history at the FITO Museum. Our last stop is Ben Thanh Market, where you can shop till you drop and master the art of haggling for just about anything

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

4


Independent touring

SAIGON

SAIGON BY NIGHT (HALF DAY) After having experienced the frenzy of Saigon by day, discover the lively local streets by night. The city also looks much different at night than it does in the daytime, from the lights of the red paper lanterns in Cholon to the amazing view of the Saigon River at night from Thu Thiem bridge. Hop on a motorbike with a female Vietnamese driver and and enjoy an authentic Vietnamese evening. Stops include a public park where locals practice dancing exercises, food tasting of five different street food dishes and a local live music bar.

DINNER CRUISE (3H) A romantic dinner cruise along the tranquil Saigon River is truly a short retreat from the bustling ambiance of Saigon. Enjoy live music and a dance performance, while dining on an extensive selection of Asian and Western cuisine. Enter the replica of the emperors dragon boat (Bonsai) for a magnificent and memorable dining and entertainment spectacle on the Saigon River. Start with canapes and drinks while cruising by central Ho Chi Minh City, then a European and Asian buffet will be served, accompanied by the in-house orchestra.

CU CHI TUNNELS (HALF DAY) Experience the world of the Cu Chi freedom fighters with a visit to their famous tunnel system. This network of over 200 km of tunnels became legendary during the 1960's when they played a vital part in the American War, allowing the Viet Cong to control a large rural area close to Ho Chi Minh City. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities. Today the remaining tunnels have become a tourist attraction, giving a feel of what underground life during the war must have been like. Explore the incredible maze of underground tunnels and their living areas, mantraps, weapon factories, …

MEKONG DELTA EXPLORATION (FULL DAY) Some of the most stunning scenery in the Mekong delta can be seen in Ben Tre province, known as “the Island of coconuts”. This excursion offers a truly unique insight into rural life in the Mekong Delta. You’ll board a boat in Tien Giang for a cruise that takes you out to the river islands that are aptly named Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle, and Phoenix. On the way you’ll stop to visit a small factory where handicrafts made of coconut are produced. Next is an adventure in a smaller rowing boat and a cruise on the Xep Canal, which is set in a forest of palm trees.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

40


41

SAIGON

Accommodation

CARAVELLE HOTEL ***** The Caravelle is located mere metres from The Opera House in Lam Son Square, many of the rooms have views of this French Colonial landmark. Originally opened on Christmas Eve 1959, The Caravelle was then and is still now, one of the premier hotels in the city. While the Caravelle played its part in Vietnam's war history and is still very atmospheric, after a complete overhaul in 1998, the only reminders of that time are pictures that decorate the hotel interior. All the rooms and suites are comfortably furnished decorated using a relaxing combinations of creams and greens, and most have wonderful views.

Capacity : 335 rooms and suites Address : 19-23 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Website : www.caravellehotel.com

PARK HYATT

*****

When you’re visiting a city as hectic as Saigon you need to know that you’re going to have a place to retreat to, a place that will help you recover from your explorations, a place just like the Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel. Overlooking the elegant Opera House, this relatively new hotel is a sparkling ivory-coloured oasis in the city. The bold exterior echoes the colonial architecture of the Opera House and fit harmoniously with the historical square. Muted

colours, soft lighting and rich silks combine with local art, with rooms designed to feel like a luxury Vietnam residence. Capacity : 244 rooms and suites Address : 2 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Website : www.saigon.park.hyatt.com

RENAISSANCE RIVERSIDE ***** Ideally located in the heart of Saigon's business and entertainment district, the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon offers warm hospitality, first-class amenities and incredible panoramic views of the Saigon River. Managed by Mariott Group, this hotel boasts the most stunning view of the river. Pamper yourself in a newly refurbished club room with sweeping views of the Saigon River or of the city you are getting to know. After a day of sightseeing, take a dip in our rooftop pool and relax on our sun-soaked poolside terrace.

Capacity : 336 rooms and suites Address : 8-15 Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Website : www.marriott.com


Accommodation MAJESTIC HOTEL ***** Opened in 1925 as the city’s finest abode, the hotel has gone through several reincarnations over the years - changes that reflect the tumultuous history of Vietnam. Overlooking the Saigon River with some of the best shopping in the city just round the corner, enjoy views of the river while eating breakfast on the 5th floor out door veranda. Seamless additions have been made to the original Majestic hotel and the rooms are generously sized, with high ceilings, many original art deco motifs and walk out balconies

Capacity : 175 rooms and suites Address : 1 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 , Ho Chi Minh City Website : www.majesticsaigon.com

DUXTON HOTEL **** The Duxton Saigon is a four star boutique hotel located right in the heart of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City and within easy walking distance of many of the city's famous attractions including Ben Thanh Market, the Opera House and Saigon River. The hotel offers a range of Deluxe Rooms, Executive Rooms and Suites featuring luxurious amenities. Located on our ground floor, The Grill is a smart casual restaurant offering daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both the a la carte and buffet menus offer a wide range of Asian and Western dishes using high-quality ingredients sourced both locally and internationally.

Capacity : 191 rooms and suites Address : 63 Nguyen Hue Boulevard, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Website : www.duxtonhotels.com

GRAND HOTEL **** Since 1930 the Grand Hotel has stood as a beacon of luxury living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and that same decadence is alive and well in the 21st century. Perfectly situated in the midst of Saigon, this popular property features an old and new wing, colonial architecture and corner location on Saigon’s most famous street, Dong Khoi. The unmistakeable architecture and the towering, illuminated pastel dome of this appropriately named hotel bursts from the scenery. One cannot help but be wowed by the lavish marble entrance hall and lobby, and this level of traditional sophistication extends into your room.

Capacity : 230 rooms and suites Address : 8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Website : www.grandsaigonhotel.com

SAIGON

42


Royal Palace

Snapshot of Luang Nestled in a stunning river valley in north-central Laos, Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East Asia, with some of the friendliest people you could hope to meet anywhere. This ancient capital of Laos offers a virtual kaleidoscope of minority hill tribes, temples and colonial architecture with breathtaking scenery. Magical and charming, it has preserved its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao cultures with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness.

Prabang

Phou Si Mount

Alms giving procession

Treasure of Buddhist Art


Khuang Si waterfalls

Gilded temple gate

Night handicraft market

Traditional tuk tuk

Pak Ou Caves

Novice monk’s labor


45

LUANG PRABANG

Independent touring

ACCESSIBILITY

Nearest airport: Luang Prabang(04km) A Duration of transfer : 05mn

3

LEGEND 1. Vat Mai Monastery 2. Royal Palace and National Museum 3. Vat Xieng Thong temple 4. Mount Phou Si 5. Vat Visoun temple

2

1 4

5

CLASSIC CITY TOUR (FULL DAY) With this tour, you can get the overall idea about cultural heritage of Luang Prabang. In the morning, visit National Museum, where you’ll explore the history of Laos. Continue on foot a series of important temples such as Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city and Wat Xieng Thong, a 16th century temple which epitomises all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture. Then visit Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, dedicated to rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities. End the day with sunset view from Phou Si mountain

ALMS GIVING PROCESSION (2H) For early risers, there is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting the alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring

LUANG PRABANG

KHUANG SI WATERFALLS (HALF DAY) Khuang Si is one of the most beautiful falls Luang Prabang has on offer. These beautiful falls cascade over many calcified tiers and down several hundred feet into a series of cool, turquoise pools. Here you will have the chance to swim and relax amidst stunning verdant jungle. For the adventurous, it is possible to walk to the top of the falls via a steep track where stunning views await you. Kuang Si waterfalls also hosts a rescue center for sunbears which aims to raise awareness for the protection of this endangered species.

PAK OU CAVE (FULL DAY) Enjoy an excursion down the Mekong to the limestone cliffs overlooking the rivers. The longtail-boat ride alone, is in itself a worthy day trip. Cruise along the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves, where you will discover gold-lacquered Buddha statues of all shapes and sizes nestled deep in the limestone caverns. On your return journey we will visit Ban Xang Khong village, well known for its traditional handwoven cotton and silk, as well as production of the local sa (mulberry) paper.

ELEPHANT CAMP (FULL DAY) Enjoy a new perspective and the wonderful surrounding nature on this elephant ride, through which you support the rescue of former logging Elephants. Ride your elephant through the jungle and even try your hand at bathing the creature if you wish, and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Nam Khan River. Finally, a short boat ride will bring you to the amazing Tad Sae waterfalls . It's a simple life close to the animals and close to nature

FARMING EXPERIENCE (HALF DAY) Rice is the most important crop throughout Laos and you will learn about the 13 steps of rice production with this tour. Enjoy a guided walk through the organic vegetable farm and learn all manner of trades, from thatched-roof making and basketry to noodle production and extracting the juice from sugarcane. You will experience the life of a farmer and try your hand at various activities, including ploughing the rice fields with one of the resident buffalo.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

46


47

LUANG PRABANG

Accommodation

AMANTAKA ***** The graceful French-colonial buildings that house Amantaka are steeped in history, previously the site was the old provincial hospital before Aman acquired the 32 buildings in 2005, ten of which are protected by UNESCO world heritage status. Now fully restored in line with UNESCO requirements, Amantaka is home to 24 sumptuous and well equipped suites clustered around a central, leafy courtyard. Each of the suites has access to private outside veranda space and some boast Luang Prabang's only private pools.

Capacity : 24 suites Address : Ban Thongchaleun, 55/53 Kingkitsarath Rd, Luang Prabang Website : www.amanresorts.com

MAISON SOUVANNAPHOUM

*****

Once home to Laotian royalty this boutique property, which is part of the Angsana group, offers a colonial style experience with a touch of the contemporary. Set in beautiful gardens yet just a short walk from the night market, temples and bars and restaurants of the town this hotel is perfect for those who love to explore. All rooms have been updated with a touch of the contemporary and bathrooms are now neutral and stylish. For a more historic feel, opt for one of the luxurious suites located in the original 'La Residence' building, all of which were formerly resided in by the Queen, the Prince and Princess.

Capacity : 25 rooms and suites Address : Chao Fa Ngum Street, Banthatluang, Luang Prabang Website : www.angsana.com

VILLA MALY **** The garden neighbourhood in Luang Prabang is where the boutique hotels blossom. One of the newest is Villa Maly, built round the 1938 residence of Prince Khamtam. The historic home Plumeria, which means 'frangipani' in Lao, has been painstakingly restored to retain its original colonial charm. You'll find all the classic colonial features here: wooden floors, four-poster beds, mahogany armoires and swirling ceiling fans. But there is also a large dose of Deco, in homage to the original mansion's heyday. All rooms come equipped with modern amenities, as well as small en-suite bathrooms with rain showers

Capacity : 33 rooms Address : Thatluang Road, Luang Prabang, Laos Website : www.villa-maly.com


Accommodation SATRI HOUSE **** This charming boutique hotel dates back to the turn of the 20th century when it was the royal residence of Prince Souphanouvong. Satri means 'House of Women' and it is a woman, Lamphoune Voravongsa who has put it all together. Returning from exile in France she set up a successful jewellery and silk business in Vientiane. This traditional Lao house has been furnished with antiques, carving and curios. Satri House is one of the most exquisite places in this ancient city, designed with a style inspired by Lao culture and set in a truly relaxing environment. Here you can enjoy private moments to yourself and really unwind or sit and watch the everyday life of local people from your balcony

Capacity : 31 rooms and suites Address : 057 Photisarath Road, Ban That Luang, Luanng Prabang Website : www.satrihouse.com

3 NAGAS **** Restored in 2003, the 3 Nagas is an elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of the city. It is set in 3 UNESCO World Heritage buildings and blends contemporary Asian decor with the buildings of original architecture. Each of spacious room and suite is individually styled with wood, silk and traditional weavings creating a warm ambiance. All rooms and suites open onto spacious private terraces or verandahs overlooking the gardens or street, an ideal place to watch Luang Prabang life unfold while enjoying breakfast or afternoon tea.

Capacity : 15 rooms Address : Ban Vatnong, Sakkaline Road, Luang Prabang Website : www.3-nagas.com

RAMAYANA HOTEL*** The Ramayana renovated from a large traditional Lao house, this grand old wooden house which is officially of ‘historical importance’ and protected by UNESCO was built in the 19th century by one of the early French settlers. It was later offered as a gift to Prince Khammao who used it as a meeting hall for the officials of Luang Prabang. This building, along with another traditional wooden house on the site is now being carefully restored by local craftsmen employing traditional building techniques and materials.

Capacity : 26 rooms Address : Ban Pha Kham, Luang Prabang Website : www.ramayana-laos.com

LUANG PRABANG

48


Patuxai

Snapshot of Siem Reap Located between rice paddies and flanking the Siem Reap River, Siem Reap serves as the gateway to the millennium-old temple ruins of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat. Being a tourist destination for over 100 years, the town is actually the result of a conglomeration of several small villages built around several pagodas and subsequently united under the French, and Siem Reap's architecture reflects this influence. Despite its rural location, the town has a healthy nightlife and good restaurants are not hard to find.

Water festival

Pha That Luang

Vat Sisakhet temple


Many temples

Tuk tuk in style

Laid-back atmosphere

Street vendors

Buddha water washing

Traditional dance


51

VIENTIANE

Independent touring

ACCESSIBILITY

1

Nearest airport: Wattay Airport (03km) A Duration of transfer : 05mn LEGEND 1. Pha That Luang temple 2. Patuxai Monument 3. Vat Sisakhet temple 4. Vat Phrakeo temple 5. Vat Si Muang temple

2

3 4

5

CLASSIC CITY TOUR (HALF DAY) Enjoy a guided tour to see the highlights of this capital city. Visit the enchanting Ho Prakeo Temple, built in the 16th century by the royal family to hold the Emerald Buddha and has an exquisite collection of religious art. Continue to the Siamese style Wat Sisaket and the That Luang Stupa, the bright golden monument which represents a lotus bud and is used as a symbol of the Lao nation. You will also visit Patouxay, the Victory Monument built in the 1960s to commemorate those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. The tour ends at the central market, which is full of exotic local produce.

BUDDHA PARK (HALF DAY) Here a renegade monk formed his own sect and began to carve magnificent, eerie statues out of concrete, based on Hindu, Buddhist and Brahman iconography. He began in 1958 and continued on until the Communist takeover of Laos in 1975, when he fled across the border to Nong Khai, Thailand and sculpted a new park. This is a surreal “Buddhisneyland� full of interesting photographic opportunities!

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring

VIENTIANE

BACI CEREMONY In the evening you will have the unique opportunity to experience one of Laos' oldest traditions: The Baci. The purpose of the Baci, which is a mix of Animist and Buddhist beliefs, is to call back escaped spirits to the body. The participants sit around a shrine decorated with flowers, folded bananas leaves, food and money as offerings to the spirits. During 30mn, in a home or temple, join locals for this traditional ceremony. The blessings and offerings will be explained by the guide.

COOKING CLASS (HALF DAY) One of the best ways to learn about Laos culture is to take a half-day cooking class. The focus on the class as well as the market tour is to give visitors to Vientiane and Laos an opportunity to learn about the Lao people and their culture through gastronomy. You’ll get a chance to experience shopping in a fresh market see the raw ingredients that make up Lao dishes inhale the smells prepare the food and finally to taste the fruits of your labour.

NAM NGUM LAKE (FULL DAY) This tour offers you the chance to be in nature, take a boat trip in one of the largest manmade lakes in South-East Asia. The lake is a scenic with many small islands that were formed when the Ngum River was dammed for hydroelectricity. Visit local villages and the ruins of a 8-11th Century Mon-Khmer site. It is a full day, filled with interesting things to do and see but at a relaxed pace.

LAOS TEXTILE TRADITION (HALF DAY) Visit a private textile museum and the gallery of American expert, Carol Cassidy to learn about the diversity of Laotian weaving motifs from her workshop. Today her textile studio employs over 40 weavers creating natural dyed, woven silk pieces reflecting traditional Lao design reinterpreted. Continue to the local Talat Sao market, a treasure trove of textiles, ready-made clothes and jewellery before returning to your hotel for relaxation.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

52


53

VIENTIANE

Accommodation

SETTHA PALACE ***** Providing an inviting alternative to the mass-produced chain hotel, the Settha Palace Hotel in central Vientiane welcomes guests into the beautifully restored elegance of the nineteen-thirties to enjoy today the craftsmanship, comfort and ambience of a luxury residence as it was at the height of French colonialism. This is one of those legendary hotels where its story is as enticing as its rooms. Built in 1932, it was once at the centre of French Colonial life in Vientiane; imagine elegant evenings and grand dances. The hotel has been refurbished at great personal expense to bring you the opulent Vientiane bolthole it is today - by far the most luxurious hotel in the city.

Capacity : 29 rooms and suites Address : 6 Pang Kham Street, Vientiane Website : www.setthapalace.com

LAO PLAZA HOTEL

****

Ideally located in heart of Vientiane, Lao Plaza Hotel is just a stroll away from Lao’s fastest growing commercial area and major tourist attractions. In a capital city which is famous for its temples and monuments, Lao Plaza Hotel has been created to dominate the growing skyline. The appeal of a decor strongly influenced by Lao culture is thoughtfully complemented by rooms with every conceivable modern convenience.

Capacity : 134 rooms and suites Address : 63 Samsenethai Road, Vientiane Website : www.laoplazahotel.com

GREEN PARK **** Green Park Hotel is a new luxurious boutique hotel. This pretty resort draws on traditional local architecture with teak buildings and a framed roofs. Made from a collection of low rise polished wooden structures and peacefully tinkling water features, it is the perfect place to enjoy the laid back city. The separate 2 storey blocks are built around rectangular gardens, a swimming pool and a reflection pool. The Asian decor blends historic and traditional touches with a chic modern style, and amenities ensure a comfortable stay. The hotel is a little out of the city centre which means it is especially quiet, although Vientiane isn't exactly a mad metropolis. All the main sites are just a short drive away.

Capacity : 34 rooms Address : 12 Khouvieng Road, Vientiane Website : www.greenparkvientiane.com


Accommodation ANSARA HOTEL **** The hotel is based in a charming building and has the feel of a private home. It’s in a great location tucked away down a small street yet in the heart of the city. The Ansara features just twelve rooms and two suites which are split into 3 quirkily named categories, the Savvy Rooms, Suite Affair & Suite Escape. Room design is a combination of traditional Laos and contemporary Asian style so the furniture is dark wood and the soft furnishings use woven silk with design features such as black and white photographs of Laos on the walls. Ansara is a great choice in Vientiane with welcoming staff, stylish rooms and a great location.

Capacity : 14 rooms and suites Address : Quai Fa Ngum, Ban Vat Chan Tha, Vientiane Website : www.ansarahotel.com

LAOS ORCHID HOTEL *** Next to the Mekong River, the Lao Orchid is one of a new breed of tastefully designed hotels beginning to pop up in Vientiane. The well-equipped rooms are fitted out with an emphasis on wood and silk, and the serviceis a step up from the standard

Capacity : 33 rooms Address : Chao Anou Road, Vat Chanh,Vientiane Website : www.lao-orchid.com

MANDALA HOTEL *** The Mandala Boutique Hotel is located in a small side road away from the busy streets of Vientiane, but within walking distance to the city centre. As Vientiane changes, so does the property. Originally built as a private residence for a French family in the 1960s, the site became a school with up to 500 children in 1992 before it was turned into a hotel at the beginning of this century. Despite the changes, guests still can feel the privacy and comforts of home in each corner of the hotel. The four original buildings host 23 newly designed rooms and are surrounded by a green and cozy garden with seats under large shady trees.

Capacity : 23 rooms Address : 33 Unit 10, Ban Phiawat, Sisattanak District, Vientiane Website : www.mandalahotel.asia

VIENTIANE

54


Stunning countryside

Snapshot of Siem Reap Located between rice paddies and flanking the Siem Reap River, Siem Reap serves as the gateway to the millennium-old temple ruins of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat. Being a tourist destination for over 100 years, the town is actually the result of a conglomeration of several small villages built around several pagodas and subsequently united under the French, and Siem Reap's architecture reflects this influence. Despite its rural location, the town has a healthy nightlife and good restaurants are not hard to find.

Elephant ride inside Angkor Wat

Mysterious statues

Sunset over Angkor temples


Tonle Sap Lake

Ta Phrom temple

Buddhist monks

Apsara dance Magnificient carvings

Treasure of Khmer art


57

SIEM REAP

Independent touring 5

ACCESSIBILITY

Nearest airport: Siem Reap (10km) A Duration of transfer : 15mn LEGEND 1. Angkor Thom walled city 2. Angkor Wat temple 3. Ta Phrom temple 4. Roluos temples 5. Bantaey Srei temple

1

3

2

4

CLASSIC TEMPLE TOUR (FULL DAY) Full day unforgettable trip visiting the most significant temples in Siem Reap into one-day trip. Angkor Wat, the best example of the classic style of Khmer architecture from the early 12th century, is a not-to-be-missed experience when visiting Cambodia. Then visit the incredible fortified city of Angkor Thom. The final stop is the fabulous Ta Promh Temple, undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin swallowed by the jungle

HIDDEN TREASURES (FULL DAY) With this tour, you can visit less crowded temples and yet they are also representative of the Khmer civilization. First, visit the fairytale red sandstone temple of Banteay Srei, also known as “the cidatel of women�. Then visit Banteay Samre, built in 12th century with with its well-preserved exceptional ornamentation. On the return journey, pass through local villages en route to a private dance foundation where a special display has been arranged. The final stop is at Pre Rup temple where you get a classic view of the Cambodian countryside.

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring

SIEM REAP

SUNSET BOAT RIDE Enjoy sunset drinks with a leisurely boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom and view hidden elements of the ancient Khmer water systems. The boat is a replica of the craft that used to ply these very same waters almost 1000 years ago during the Angkorian period. Just relax on board and enjoy the beautiful view over the great wall of Angkor Thom

SUNRISE OVER ANGKOR WAT This must be be the best view of Angkor Wat at sunrise because the sunshine behind the temple creates a reflection of the temple in the water. Just before sun breaks the sky reaches it's most intense colours . The key is to plan your day around early starts (4:30 AM), shoot in the first hour or two of sunlight and then retire to the comfort of your hotel.

APSARA DINNER No visit to Cambodia is complete without attending at least one traditional Khmer dance performance, often referred to as 'Apsara Dance'. Recognized by Unesco, this art form reflects one of the origin myths in Cambodia. Setting in a highly decorated theatre, enjoy a dinner while watching the most popular pieces of Khmer classical dance.

TONLE SAP LAKE (HALF DAY) Tonle Sap is Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake, the size of which quadruples during the wet season. Enjoy a boat ride to witness the fascinating human activity on its shores. You’ll visit Kampong Pluck floating village, nested in a stunning flooded forest. Explore the area to see the wooden house , pagodas , primary school , the three village of stilted house 6m up to the sky

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

58


59

SIEM REAP

Accommodation

RAFFLES GRAND HOTEL D’ANGKOR ***** Since the early 1930s, a visit to the ancient temples of Angkor has been synonymous with a stay at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor. Now sensitively restored, the hotel's renewed style and modernity complement the mystery and grandeur of Angkor as never before. Located in the heart of Siem Reap, guests will appreciate the old-world Cambodian grandeur infused with the best of modern comforts. The hotel has just 119 guest rooms and suites, each elegantly appointed with art-deco style furnishings and Cambodian objets d'art, reflecting the period architectural theme.

Capacity : 119 rooms and suites Address : 1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Siem Reap City Website : www.raffles.com

LA RESIDENCE D’ANGKOR

*****

A riverside haven of lush walled gardens and quiet luxury, just minutes from Angkor Wat, one of the world's greatest architectural wonders: This is La Résidence d'Angkor. Run by the Orient Express Hotels group and set amidst a landscape of lush gardens, Khmer-style La Residence d'Angkor's 63 spacious rooms and suites are decorated in cotton, bamboo, wood, and jewel-toned silk. They all boast floor-to-ceiling windows, large baths. All rooms have a terrace overlooking the pool, the river or tropical gardens

Capacity : 63 rooms and suites Address : River Road, Siem Reap City Website : www.residencedangkor.com

AMANSARA ***** This former royal retreat was built by French architect, Laurent Mondet, in 1962 for King Sihanouk to accommodate visitors unable to stay at the royal residence nearby. When Aman Resorts took over the former guest house of King Sihanouk, they raised the bar for hotels in Siem Reap to extraordinary levels. Quintessentially ’60s in character, it featured cool, low-slung chalets spaced around an irregular-shaped swimming pool and a shady lawn. All suites are spacious and open planned with a free standing bath and a sunbathed private courtyard - the ones with pools are particularly beautiful.

Capacity : 24 suites Address : Road to Angkor, Siem Reap City Website : www.amanresorts.com


Accommodation SOFITEL ANGKOR ***** The Sofitel is perhaps the most international of all properties in the area and will appeal to a highly specialised market. The resort is suited to those who prefer big properties. Cambodian influences can be felt throughout the design and decoration; however this is a more internationally themed property. Luxurious and distinguished, it has all the trimmings expected from the Sofitel brand. Rooms are large and beautifully furnished with all modern amenities.

Capacity : 238 rooms and suites Address : Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Siem Reap City Website : www.sofitel.com

VICTORIA ANGKOR **** This enchanting hotel has been designed to be in total harmony with its natural surroundings in the heart of Siem Reap, opposite the Royal Park. The hotel has a history dating back to the 1930's and there are many touches to remind you of bygone days around the place. All rooms and suites all have distinctive touches synonymous with the specialist Indochina Victoria Hotel chain. Each room has beautiful wooden floors, stylish furniture, exclusive fabrics and original decorative artefacts that give an incomparable feeling of relaxation.

Capacity : 129 rooms and suites Address : Central Park, Siem Reap City Website : www.victoriahotels.asia

TARA ANGKOR **** The Tara Angkor is a modern hotel with a traditional Cambodian twist. Opened in late 2007, the modern Tara Angkor is ideally located for exploring the temples of the ancient kingdom of Angkor. The hotel is located on the outskirts of Angkor en-route to the temple complex entrance, a short tuk-tuk ride from the centre of town. The property is functional, comfortable and excellent value for money.. All the rooms and suites are decorated in a sharp, modern Khmer style with all the usual amenities you would expect from a hotel of this size and quality.

Capacity : 206 rooms and suites Address : Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Siem Reap City Website : www.taraangkorhotel.com

SIEM REAP

60


Cyclo ride

Snapshot of Phnom Penh Once home to the king of the Khmer Empire and known as the 'Pearl of Asia', this French-built city's is a bustling capital. Lying at the confluence of three rivers it has been the country’s seat of political power since the 15th century and a wander through its streets reveals countless testaments to its sometimes turbulent past, including the horrors of Pol Pot and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.....The charming Phnom Penh offers the visitor a wealth of opportunities to explore both the ancient and modern day history. There are also vibrant and colourful markets, the banks of Tonle Sap and the Mekong River to explore as well as many fine bars and restaurants.

Legacy of French colonialism

Central Post Office

The National Museum


Quintessence of Khmer art

The genocide museum

Street vendors

Silver pagoda

Khmer Buddhism

Wat Phnom


63

PHNOM PENH

Independent touring

ACCESSIBILITY

Nearest airport: Phnom Penh (10km) A Duration of transfer : 15mn 3

LEGEND 1. Royal Palace 2. National Museum 3. Wat Phnom temple 4. Independence Monument 5. Genocide Museum

2 1 4

5

CLASSIC CITY TOUR (HALF DAY) With this tour, you can visit the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in half day. First you will visit Wat Phnom , which gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century. Continue along the riverfront to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, which are made up of a number of structures within a pagoda-style. The last stop is the National Museum, which houses Khmer art from different periods of Cambodian history, with 19th-century dance costumes, royal barges and palanquins. In the late afternoon, head to the riverside area of Phnom Penh and gaze upon the activities the people are taking part in such as excercises and dances.

LEGACY OF KHMER ROUGE (HALF DAY) Explore Phnom Penh’s past by seeing some of the classic buildings of the Khmer Rouge era. Learn about the tragic and fascinating recent history of Cambodia, walk through the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in a former school which was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as a detention and torture centre.Then visit the bone pagoda memorial at Choueng Ek, better known as the Killing Fields where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate


Independent touring

PHNOM PENH

COOKING CLASS (HALF DAY) By blending subtle flavors and spices, Khmer cuisine sets itself apart from the many other styles of food in Southeast Asia. With this tour, you can feel this slight difference. With a local chef, you’ll visit Kandal market to buy some fresh ingredients and then attend a cooking class at a well-known restaurant. You’ll learn how to cook the most popular dishes in Cambodia and find that Khmer food tends to contain a large variety of stir-fried vegetables, common curries and fish due to the large volume of freshwater rivers in the country

APSARA SCHOOL The Apsara Arts Association is a local NGO created by artists from the Royal University of Fine Arts to preserve classical and folkloric dance and teach the skills to Cambodian youth, especially orphans and children from less well off families. With this visit, you will have the chance to discover the process of becoming an apsara dancer and why this art is recognized by Unesco.

SHADOW PUPPET SHOW Spend a special evening at Sovanna Phum Theatre & Art Gallery, an independent arts association in Phnom Penh, for a traditional shadow puppet and classical dance performance. Absorb the remnants of the intense Cambodian culture, a heritage from the days of Angkor that was sought to be eradicated during the Khmer Rouge regime. Sovanna Phum aims to revive, preserve and promote shadow puppetry and classical dance

KAMPONG CHHNANG VILLAGE (FULL DAY) With this tour, you have the opportunity to discover typical river life in Cambodia. Located on the Tonle Sap river, Kampong Chhnang is surrounded by water for much of the year, meaning that many of the town’s buildings are either constructed on floating rafts or very high wooden stilts. Fishing is the main economic activity of the area so you can interact with local fishing families and visit their very rustic houses

*The options above are for suggestions only. Please contact us for a precise rate

64


65

PHNOM PENH

Accommodation

RAFFLES LE ROYAL ***** Raffles Hotel Le Royal is one of Phnom Penh's premier historic properties. First established in 1929, the hotel hosted an international clientele comprising globetrotters and adventurers, writers and journalists, royalty and dignitaries. Reopened in 1997 after a careful restoration, the grand historic hotel fulfils all the requirements of a modern worldclass hotel with its facilities and amenities, but imparts an old-world charm through its style and decor. The hotel has 170 rooms and suites, each tastefully appointed with art deco country style furnishings and Cambodian objet d’art, reflecting the period architectural theme.

Capacity : 170 rooms and suites Address : 92 Rukha Vithei Daun Penh, Phnom Penh Website : www.raffles.com

SOFITEL PHOKEETHRA

*****

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra is set riverside amongst landscaped gardens in the old quarter of the city. This stunning well located 12 storey colonial style hotel is close to key attractions, embassies and the central business district. The hotel is designed by Choochart Polakit with a French colonial flair mixed with Cambodian architecture and provides many facilities to exceed guests’ satisfaction. Hardwood floors and a colonialinfluenced aesthetic evoke a timeless refinement in each luxury hotel room and suite. Guests enjoy a riverside setting minutes from landmarks and attractions like the Royal Palace, National Museum and Sisowath Quay.

Capacity : 201 rooms and suites Address : 26 Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh Website : www.sofitel.com

AMANJAYA **** Amanjaya boasts one of the best locations in all of Phnom Penh with views from private balconies overlooking the Tonle River and Wat Ounalom. Step outside and you are in the heart of the bustling riverfront restaurant and bar region of the city that truly comes alive at night. The hotel features some of the largest rooms in all of Phnom Penh, all of which are decorated in traditional Khmer style with Cambodian artifacts, antiques, silk and teak furnishings.

Capacity : 21 suites Address : 1 Sisowath quay, corner street 154, Phnom Penh Website : www.amanjaya-pancam-hotel.com


Accommodation THE PLANTATION **** The hotel exudes a resort-like calm despite its central location. The Plantation is spread across two architectural styles. The reception area dates back to the 1930s and French colonial rule. The larger buildings where the rooms are located date from the 1950s or 60s. The cleverly designed rooms make the most of their compact space; the pool is one of the city’s most relaxing and lush; and the hotel’s location near the Royal Palace, popular Street 240 and the river makes it an unbeatable central choice.

Capacity : 70 rooms Address : 28 Samdach Preah Theamak Lethet Ouk, Phnom Penh Website : theplantation.asia

KABIKI HOTEL *** Named after a shade-tree, the hotel is a home away from home providing an affordable accommodation to the discerning traveler. The boutique hotel provides a tranquil atmosphere with its simplistic structure and serene surroundings certain to delight the guests. The hotel is designed in manner that it reflects the traditional nature of the place and presents a beholding beauty to the eyes. The most family-friendly place in town, the Kabiki offers an extensive garden and an inviting swimming pool with a kiddie pool.

Capacity : 18 rooms Address : 22, street 264, Phnom Penh Website : www.thekabiki.com

THE PAVILION *** The versatile mixture of international elements and Cambodian insertions, together with a good planning and general organization make The Pavilion one of the most popular accommodation solutions in Phnom Penh. The room offer is extensive and the general feeling is that you stay in a colonial house, yet benefiting from contemporary amenities. Queen Kossamak, King Sihanouk's mother, reportedly built the main villa in the midtwenties. Living here brought her closer to the Royal Pagoda, where she often liked to pray. Her villa has now been turned into an intimate 20 room hotel, where guests can feel the true essence of Khmer hospitality.

Capacity : 20 rooms Address : 227, Street 19, Phnom Penh Website : www.thepavilion.asia

PHNOM PENH

66


TTB Travel&Tour Head Office

4/56 Nguyen Phuc Lai, Dong Da District Hanoi, Vietnam Tel : (+84) 35144276 Fax : (+84) 39273335 info@ttb-tour.com www.ttb-tour.com www.linkedin.com/company/ttb-travel&tour vn.viadeo.com/fr/company/ttb-travel-tour

City breaks  
City breaks  
Advertisement