Indochina
Explore Indochina through its peaceful lifestyle​

Retreat to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam to experience the cultural diversity that inspires new ways of thinking about spaces and personal expression.

Indochina retreat

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel on your private vehicle.

Formerly known as “Saigon” prior to 1975, today the city is Vietnam’s commercial center. The city’s dynamic energy is apparent in the bustling street scenes with thousands of people on motorbikes constantly on the move.

Depart Saigon and drive south to Ben Tre, the land of coconut. Visit brick kilns to see how the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand. Also stop at coconut workshop to learn about multiple uses of coconut in daily life. Take a short cruise to a small family-run mat workshop and learn how to make sleeping mats.

Afterward, get on tuk-tuk (or hop on a local bicycle and ride of 3 km) and travel along the narrow shady village roads to admire the tranquility of the Mekong villages. Arrive at the Garden House of a tropical fruit farmer and enjoy a walk around his orchard. CAfter lunch, have a short break before getting on sampan for rowing through the idyllic water palm creek. Arrive at your main boat and cruise back to Hung Vuong Pier where your driver awaits for driving back to Saigon.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 08.00.
  • Duration: 08 hours.
  • Biking distance: approx. 3km
  • Advance notice required if using local bicycle.

Despite its modernity, Saigon maintains a strong link to the past and our walking tour takes in some of the city’s most historic landmarks. Appreciate the splendidly restored exteriors of the Saigon Opera House and the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires constructed from materials imported from France (entrance is only permitted when no services are being performed). Then head across the square to the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. Continue to Jade pagoda established in the early 1900s to get a glimpse of ancient history when a group of Chinese fled the new regime to Saigon around the end of 17th century under the reign of Lord Nguyen.

In the afternoon, take domestic flight to Hue.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 08:30
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Visit outside only at Notre Dame Cathedral due to the renovation until 2025

Hue was the imperial capital of the Nguyen Lords from the 17th to the 19th centuries, and its magnificent emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas, and the remains of the Citadel add to its undeniable royal charm. Explore the Imperial Citadel, which is located in the heart of the Complex of Hue Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As your guide explains the events and intrigue surrounding the former royal court, enter through the towering main gate and take in the magnificent architecture and gardens. Despite being heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, some sections are incredibly well-preserved and others are being carefully restored.

Drive to the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Built in 1601, the seven-storied tower pagoda, perched on top of on a hill overlooking the Perfume River, is one of Vietnam’s most recognizable icons. Return to your hotel.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 09:00, 14:00
  • Duration: 3.5 hours

Buddhism is the main religion in Hue, and Hue people practice Buddhism with all their hearts and spirits for thousand years. Therefore, Hue is also recognized as the sacred place for vegetarian cuisine. Stop at another small pagoda where you will witness how local monks practice and make offering with vegetarian dishes. Enjoy a mindfulness lunch with pagoda cooked vegetarian food.

Afternoon is free at leisure.

Free days to enjoy the wellness activities of the resort such as hot springs, yoga, onsen and spa.

Early morning transfer to Danang for flight to Siem Reap.

Visit Angkor Thom, the ancient royal city of the Khmer Empire, and its centerpiece, the Bayon temple. When you get closer, you’ll find the enigmatic faces of previous King Jayavarman VII smiling at you from every angle. Your guide will take you to the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform for the King to welcome back his triumphant troops, and the Terrace of the Leper King, which features elaborate sculptures twisting along a tight passageway leading to the Baphuon complex.

Continue on to Ta Prohm Temple, one of Angkor’s crown jewels that is overgrown with fig trees and thick vegetation, creating a melancholy yet fascinating ambiance. The majestic roots of the trees have mingled with the temple’s massive stone blocks throughout the centuries, emphasizing a ‘lost city’ impression. King Jayavarman VII commissioned the construction of the shrine to honor his mother. Take your time walking through the temple from the East to the West entrance (around 1-2 kilometers), where your vehicle will be waiting for you.

In the afternoon, spend time at one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Angkor Wat. See the immense scale of the temple and gain insight into the thriving Khmer Empire that existed during the 9th and 13th centuries, when Angkor Wat was constructed. Explore the narrow passageways, each displaying hundreds of exquisite carvings, and find the little shrines that are still in use by the locals today.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 08:00
  • Duration: 5hours

Get up early today, since you’re about to have a brand new beginning. Make your way to one of the town’s tranquil Buddhist temples for a traditional spiritual ceremony led by the resident monks. As soon as you arrive, you can have a short guided tour of the monastery grounds and experience the calming effects of the early morning chanting.  Get blessed by the monks in a time-honored ritual, then make your way to the yoga studio for a class. Talk to a seasoned instructor about the pace and tone of your ideal lesson. Come with her to discover the optimal method to inhale and exhale, and to bend your body through a potent synthesis of mental and spiritual contact.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 06:00
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Venue: Local Buddhist monastery and yoga center (depends on places availability)

Siem Reap is famous not just for the ancient temple remains of the Angkor complex, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also for its rural surroundings, where Khmer lifestyle has been effectively preserved prior to the hasty growth of modern life.  Take in the scenery and paddy fields, and participate in local life as it passes gently by. Discover the history and ancient customs of this picturesque Khmer village by strolling through the peaceful roads and observing daily activities such as rice growing, buffalo herding, fishing, and handicrafts, among others. Meet with a local farmer in his traditional home, which is surrounded by gardens and farms, to learn how to raise vegetables using traditional methods and without the use of pesticides. Participate in a hands-on cooking lesson with local chef, who will show you some secret techniques for presenting these delectable Khmer delicacies. Enjoy the food that you’ve cooked in a quiet setting surrounded by peaceful countryside surroundings.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 09:30
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Venue: Local Home in Krobei Riel Village

The rest of the day is free at own leisure.

Check out hotel, transfer to airport for flight to Hanoi.

Drive to Bat Trang Pottery village, a half-millennium old traditional Vietnamese hamlet which is located southeast of Hanoi in the Bat Trang Commune of Gia Lam District. The tour takes you across the Chuong Duong Bridge and past the Red River dike. You will have a thorough insight to the process of making Vietnamese ceramic as you meander around this historic village. After learning how to mould and carve clay pots, platters, and vases, put your talents and creativity to the test by creating your own pottery with the assistance of Bat Trang masters.

Notes:

  • Available time: Morning only
  • Suggested time: 09:00
  • Duration: 3 – 4 hours
  • Not available during Tet holidays

Explore charming Hanoi, the “Paris of the East,” with its yellow-ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards, and gorgeous lakes. Stop by the late-11th-century Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university. This well-preserved temple is featured at the back of the 100,000 dong Vietnamese note. the Museum of Ethnology, which houses a large collection of traditional costumes and artifacts from Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, ranging from simple, everyday objects like fishing tools to prized possessions like jewelry. Continue to central Hanoi for a cyclo ride through the scenic Old Quarter, where each street is named for its original wares, from silk to silver. Stroll through the interesting network of back alleyways, fronted by narrow “tunnels” or “tube houses” built to escape taxes depending on their street frontage, for a truly eclectic view into Hanoi street life.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 14:00
  • Duration: 3.5 hours

This morning, Depart for a 3.5 hour journey to Ha Long Bay. Make a stop en route for some refreshment (around 15-20 minutes). On arrival at Tuan Chau Marina, meet up with your private Butler and board on the luxurious Legend Cruises. Check-in to your elegant cabin and enjoy a Welcome Cocktail followed by a brief cruise introduction. Afterwards, prepare to savor a sumptuous Vietnamese lunch while cruising toward Bai Tu Long bay and then visit Thien Canh Son cave before return to the boat for the anchor area. A cooking demonstration with Vietnamese food on sundeck. The cruise will dock at Ho Dong Tien area where you can enjoy the private romantic dinner with amazing set up on sundeck. After dinner, retire to your cabin or join the squid fishing program.

Wake up early and partake in a Tai Chi demonstration which is held on the upper deck. Then sail to Vung Vieng Floating village by local rowing boat or kayak. Returning to your boat where a delicious brunch is waiting to be served. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Bay while the vessel cruises back to the harbor. Arrive at the jetty late morning and transfer back to Hanoi. Opt to visit a traditional pottery workshop en route. Drive back to Hanoi.

Get up early and attend practicing yoga in a peaceful pagoda located outskirt of Hanoi, nestled into the banks of Red River. Meet up with your yoga teacher with more than five years of expertise and an intense desire to shed light on the spiritual benefits of the practice. You can obtain mental peace and physical healing by discussing with her the approach and pacing you like during the session. Learn the most effective methods of inhaling and exhaling, bending your body through a synergistic use of your mind and spirit, and calming the way your brain works.

After the session, you can choose to eat a healthy vegan breakfast at one of the area’s finest vegan restaurants. 

In the late afternoon transfer to airport for flight to Luang Prabang.

Enjoy a half-day river cruise to the famed Pak Ou Caves. Board a long-tail boat and begin cruising past scenes of typical Laotian villages barely visible behind thick foliage, wooden canoes bobbing by the shore attached to bamboo poles and floats marking the location of nets and fish traps. Located next to the mighty Mekong and opposite the mouth of the Mekong and the Ou rivers, explore the two limestone grottoes which house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images which range from mere centimetres up to 2m (7ft) in height. Return to Luang Prabang by cruise with a stop en route at the village of Ban Muang Keo and observe local weavers and whisky distillers honouring their timeworn traditional crafts.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 08:30
  • Duration: 4.5 hours

Located at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan (Khan River), UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang is a beautiful mix of ancient gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, faded Indochinese villas and peaceful river scenery. Take a half-day walking tour exploring some of the highlights of this incredibly picturesque town. Start with a visit to the Royal Palace, which is now a National Museum housing precious artefacts that belonged to the Royal Family. Drive or enjoy a leisurely walk to explore some of Luang Prabang’s famed temples including: Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Notice its unusually shaped stupa designed to look like a lotus flower but referred to by locals as “the watermelon stupa”; Wat That Luang, traditionally the cremation site for Lao royalty; the gorgeous Wat Mai with its detailed golden reliefs depicting scenes from village life; and Wat Xieng Thong, built in the 17th century. Notice the stunning “tree of life” mosaic set on its western exterior wall. End the tour by climbing up to the top of Mount Phousi to admire the panoramic views across the Mekong and Khan rivers as well as the mountain range. Return to your hotel.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 13:30
  • Duration: 04 hours
  • Dress code: Please dress appropriately for visits to religious sites. Shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

Early in the morning, you will leave for the outskirts of Luang Prabang, where you will spend the day in a stunning natural hideaway, nestled into the riverbanks with panoramic views of the river and the surrounding mountains. This morning’s recuperation is set apart from any other by a refreshing handmade detox drink and the opportunity to be surrounded by a newly natural setting while practicing Chi Kung. Chi Kung is a centuries-old practice that translates to “cultivating energy” or “working with the life energy.” It is a great place to start if you’re looking to embark on a quest for spiritual enlightenment. Movement, breathing, and meditation all come together to help you bend your body in ways you never thought possible.

After a delicious veggie meal made from fresh organic products, enjoy 30-minute traditional Laos massage in a timeless and peaceful setting with surrounding lime stone hills and the sights and sounds of rural Laos all around.

Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for your flight back home.

Notes:

  • Suggested time: 07:00
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Venue: 5.5 km far away from downtown Luang Prabang
  • What to bring: comfortable clothes, towel and mosquito repellent.
Our signature experiences
Meet with local monks
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang on bicycles
Luang Prabang, Laos
Private sunset cruise on the Mekong
Luang Prabang, Laos
Other theme selections
Arts and Crafts
Colorful Prides
Photography
Romance
Family
Culture and Cuisine
Meet with local monks

Highlights:

  • Get to know about Buddhism with a face to face talk with monks, listen to their sharing about their daily life in the monastery.

Your experience:

In late afternoon, proceed to one of the serene monasteries in town, and arrive in time to hear the typical monk chanting. This is a daily ritual and quite interesting to experience. Later, meet with one or two monks and chat with them about their life as a monk, about Buddhism or about Laos in general. Your visit includes a small donation and depending on the monastery, we will offer products needed by the monks to them. This surely will be a visit to remember!

Quick notes:

  • Availability: Late Afternoon
  • Suggested Time: 16:00 – 17:00
  • Duration: 1 hour (Morning: 8:00am – 9:00am, afternoon; 4:00pm -5:00pm)
  • Max. capacity: 6 pax
  • Please dress appropriately – shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

Inclusions:

  • Private transfer
  • English speaking guide
  • Water and tissue
Explore Luang Prabang on moutain bike

Highlights:

  • Get on your bike and depart for a stunning ride through Luang Prabang’s surrounding countryside.
  • Ride to Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre, located on the bank of the Mekong River, for lunch and for learning some traditional weaving technique of Lao.

Your experience:

Explore a century old temple before leaving town behind for your first stop at a Blacksmith Village. Please note that as this is an authentic, local village there may be times such as on public holidays or during special festivals when the blacksmiths might not be working. Continue on to a village specialized in Saa Paper making. The paper is made from the Mulberry tree, which is a persistently growing perennial regenerating itself after harvest. The bark is soaked and boiled with wood ash, then it is pounded into pulp and often embedded with flower petals. Afterwards, ride to Ock Pop Tok, located on the bank of the Mekong River, for lunch. The Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre is a well-documented gallery where weaving and dyeing techniques of silk are showcased to curious visitors. Learn more about silkworms and receive a brief introduction to the different natural dying methods. After lunch, return to your hotel by bicycle.

Quick notes:

  • Suggested Time: 10:00 – 14:00
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Included Meal: Lunch
  • Cycling is over mostly easy terrain and suitable for those with an average level of fitness.

Inclusions:

  • Private transfer
  • Mountain bike and helmet
  • English speaking guide
  • Water and tissue
  • Entrance fee
Private sunset cruise on Mekong river

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a romantic cruise up and down stream of Mekong River under the dimming light of sunset together with a glass of wine and great photos opportunities.

Your experience:

Depart from Luang Prabang town in the late afternoon on the luxuriousBelmond Boat for a cruise up and down stream for 2 hours. The Mekong River plays an intrinsic role in everyday life for those living along its shores. From the boat, observe the local village and rural life along the tree-lined banks of the river. Enjoy the cool breeze off the water with a glass of wine and try to get the best photos of the sunset over the Mekong River.

Quick notes:

  • Availability: Late Afternoon only
  • Suggested Time: Depart about 45 minutes before sunset (exact time depending on season)
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Capacity: Min. 2 pax and max. 6 pax (extra charge will apply for more than 2 guests)

Inclusions:

  • Private Transfer
  • English speaking guide
  • Boat cruise
  • Water and tissue
Let's Plan Your Trip
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Your special interests
Hanoi countryside tales by traditional crafts

Today, drive an hour along the Red River to Ha Noi’s neighboring countryside through immense rice fields and fruit farms. Visit the village that birthed Vietnamese incense upon arrival. This village’s incense, made from over 30 herbs with skills passed down from generation to generation, is known for its pure, light scent. A guided stroll through the hamlet with older residents will take you to various family-run workshops to see the entire incense-making process and hear about the glory days of this traditional craft. Help the host make incense.

Take another short drive to a rural community behind endless rice fields and duck farms. The locals’ 200-year-old fish-pot crafting heritage includes bamboo weaving. Walk around the village to see the typical Northern countryside architecture: dark brown tiled roofs, three-room houses with elders sitting in front weaving fish-pots and chatting. Visit a local artisan who rode his bike across Vietnam to proudly promote his village’s unique traditional craft. Create your own fish pot with his help and give it as a present.

Notes:

  • Availability: Morning
  • Suggested time: 08:00
  • Duration: 6 hours

*Optional to add Nha Xa silk village
*Incense making at Thon Cao, Hung Yen. Fish-pot making village at Thu Sy, Hung Yen.
*Possible to have lunch at Hung Yen