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Story Land & Sea®

The Lost Kingdoms Tour spring to life on Story's southeast Asian adventure.

Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos Tour

True Small Group Discovery through Southeast Asia


Discover Southeast Asia's Story

Story Land & Sea®'s Lost Kingdoms Tour is not your typical big group tour experience through Asia. This powerful journey reveals the ancient and recent days of these lost kingdom's culture and people.

Vietnam
Vietnam, located in Southeast Asia on the South China Sea, today is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the nation's capital, pays homage to its iconic Communist-era leader of the same name.

Laos
Traversed by the Mekong River and known for its mountainous terrain, Laos boasts French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. Vientiane is its 'laid-back' capital city features markets, temples and other sites unique to the country.

Cambodia
Cambodia's landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and the Gulf of Thailand coastline. Its capital, Phnom Penh, is the bustling setting of an art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum's historical and archaeological exhibits. The country's sad past is manifest in the 'killing fields,' and her future is a struggle to learn from its past.

Find out why more and more travelers are opting to 'Leave the Herd Behind' while discovering the many authentic experiences and wonders of Southeast Asia on a Story Land & Sea® Tour.


Your journey through Southeast Asia is fully-hosted by our expert Story Tour Captain and complemented by our local, expert tour guides. Story's Lost Kingdoms Tour is the perfectly balanced adventure through this amazing region.

Hanoi •  Hue •  Cham Kingdom •  Luang Prabang •  Siem Reap •  Angkor Wat

  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Hoi An Market
  • Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Citadel in Hue
  • Angkor Wat Temple

Transpacific Flight

Day 1: Departure from USA

Our Transpacific flight, not included, from USA to Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN, Noibai Airport.)

Depart the USA and cross International dateline and lose one day, which is made up on your return.

Airfare is not included in your tour package, however, we can arrange your air travel through our Story® Air Service Department. We'll work with you to get the absolutely lowest fare available based on your travel preferences. We utilize both our own air department and online agencies to find the best rate.

Visit Air Service department by clicking here.


 

Welcome to Hanoi
Day 2: Arrival in Hanoi, Vietnam

food icon   Included Dining: The Story Land & Sea® Way of Dining debuts as you join your Tour Captain for the Welcome Dinner in Hanoi. Experience a night of the best cuisine and begin your introduction to Vietnamese cuisine.

Arrival at Hanoi, your transfers are included. Upon arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to our hotel. You will meet your Tour Captain at the hotel and be provided any necessary information. They will arrange a group orientation that afternoon after everyone has arrived.

You’ll have time to relax after your journey before a ‘Welcome Dinner” at a restaurant in a restored French colonial building. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry, an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, lighthearted introduction to its rural culture. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam Skyline

LODGING IN THE HEART OF THE CITY: There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story Land & Sea®'s Heart of City hotels.

ACCOMMODATION
Deluxe: Our 4- and 5-Star Deluxe hotels, with some 3-Star hotels in certain cities. Story Guarantee: Should our hotels not be available we will lodge you in comparable properties in both quality and location.

Golden Lotus Hotel in Hanoi for 2 nights.


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Hanoi

Day 3: Hanoi Immersion

food icon   Optional Dining: Join your Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore on your own.

We will explore Vietnam’s capital city with our expert Local Guide. Begin the day with our visit to Ho Chi Minh’s impressive Mausoleum and the creative and adventurous museum next door, which documents his life. In the afternoon, you’ll also explore the excellent Ethnology Museum for an overview of Vietnam's 54 distinct ethnic groups.

WE WALK ON OUR TOURS: THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE LOCAL CULTURE
We do walk on our small group tours. We walk a lot, so get ready for exploring the cities by foot. Our pace is unhurried. You must be physically capable of walking and experiencing stairs, hills and uneven surfaces.

Walking Level: Moderate, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Moderate

Dinner is on your own this evening. The Tour Captain and/or local Guide will invite you for wonderful dining experience (optional).

Time to try chopsticks or pho (noodle soup.) You will find French influences; it is very common to savor baguettes, pate and pastry!

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Ha Long Bay

Day 4: Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

food icon   Included Dining: Lunch and dinner.

After an early breakfast, we’ll leave for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karst’ landscape. There we’ll board our boat, a wooden junk built from the model of the old Vietnamese court vessels with sails, a wide transom and rectangular superstructure, that will take us first to the busy World Heritage area and then to some of the less well-known grottoes and a spectacular Sung Sot cave. Weather permitting, we’ll be able to swim, fish, climb a hill, (not a mountain!) for an overview of the Bay’s remarkable seascape. All our meals will be provided on board, based on the freshest seafood available.

Lunch and dinner are included this evening.

Accommodations for this night are aboard a private boat in a twin cabin with a private toilet and shower.

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To Hue

Day 5: Ha Long Bay Cruising and on to Hue

We’ll spend the morning cruising Ha Long Bay, and venture into some of the sea level caves in a small sampan. Enjoy lunch just before docking around noon. Back in Hanoi we have free time before going to Hanoi Airport for our included flight to Hue, where we are met by our local guide for central Vietnam, and check into our hotel for the evening.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay

Lunch is included aboard the boat.

Dinner is on your own this evening in Hue. The Tour Captain and/or local Guide will invite you for wonderful dining experience (optional).

Accommodations in Hue, 2 nights: The 4-star Saigon Morin or similar.

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Hue

Day 6: Hue Immersion

food icon   Optional Dining: Lunch and dinner are on your own. Join the Tour Captain and/or the local guide for their dining suggestions (optional).

Citadel in Hue

Citadel in Hue

After breakfast, we have an all day tour of Hue with our Local Guide. First we’ll visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue, where we will enjoy a performance of dance, music and theatre followed by a visit to the nearby Antiquity Museum. In the afternoon we visit Thien Mu, a tranquil pagoda in the banks of the Perfume River Pagoda, and then visit Emperor Tu Duc’s elaborate Tomb and also Minh Mang (1841). Our final stop is a visit to the monastery of Vietnams most famous living icon, the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Han.

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To Hoi An via Hai Van Pass

Day 7: Hoi An Immersion

food icon   Optional Dining: Join your Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore on your own.

After breakfast, we’ll be met by our local guide and driven to Hoi An via the Hai Van Pass. In Danang we stop for lunch, and also tour the Champa museum there, where statues from My Song are housed. After a stop at a local coffee shop for a taste of “Weasel Coffee,” travel on to Hoi An, a world Heritage site and An ancient trading port, once the largest in Indochina. Hoi An was a meeting point for many cultures that left their mark in the different architectural features of its wooden buildings.

The original traditional street pattern still exists, as does the quay that once welcomed ships from all over East Asia and beyond. Many remained there for months at a time, waiting for favorable trade winds to carry them home. We’ll have a guided walking tour of Old Hoi An, including homes, temples, market, neighborhood associations and workshops.

Lunch is included

Dinner is on your own this evening. The Tour Captain and/or local Guide will invite you for wonderful dining experience (optional).

Accommodations in Hoi An, 4 nights: The 3-star Ancient House Resort or similar

In some cities, we often choose small, family run boutique properties that we feel give you an authentic local experience, along with the best modern, international standard of service.

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Hoi An Immersion

Day 8: Hoi An Food, Dance, and Music

   Optional Dining: The Tour Captain and/or local Guide will invite you for wonderful dining experience (optional).

This morning we will enjoy a half-day gourmet cooking class, beginning with purchasing ingredients at the local market, culminating in a 5-course lunch. In the afternoon we observe a demonstration of local music and dance, then we are free to shop or continue to explore the ancient pagodas, temples and houses of Hoi An.

Lunch is included (you may be preparing it yourself!)

Dinner is on your own this evening. The Tour Captain and/or local Guide will invite you for wonderful dining experience (optional).

Hoi An Market

Market in Hoi An

 

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Cham Kingdom

Day 9: Hoi An  - Cham Kingdom

Early morning, we depart to visit the World Heritage My Son Sanctuary, once the spiritual capital of the Cham Kingdom that dominated SE Asia for nearly a thousand years. Its remarkable brick towers were badly bombed, but are still impressive, as is its remote valley setting in a quiet, richly forested area, bisected by a clear stream. We will be treated to an onsite performance by Champa ethnic dancers. You have a free afternoon to enjoy Hoi An.

Lunch and dinner are on your own. Join the Tour Captain and/or the local guide for their dining suggestions (optional).

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On to Laos

Day 10: From Hoi An/Danang/Hanoi/and flight to Luang Prabang, Laos

   Optional Dinner Tonight: Join your Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore on your own.

After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and board our transfer to the airport for a connecting flight to Luang Prabang, Laos, a beautiful French-Colonial style World Heritage town registered by UNESCO. We transfer to our Laotian hotel in the ancient capital of the Lao kingdom, beautifully situated between two rivers, and surrounded by forest-enshrined hills. Here time appears to have stood still, giving the visitor a vision of the old Asia.

Lunch and dinner are on your own. Join the Tour Captain and/or the local guide for their dining suggestions (optional).

Laotian food can be a bit spicier than Vietnamese. You can try dishes with coconut, lime and lemongrass, too!

Accommodation in Luang Prabang, Laos for 4 nights at Apsara Boutique Hotel or similar.

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Day 11: Luang Prabang Heights and Treasures

   Optional Dinner Tonight:  Join your Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore on your own.

After breakfast, we scale the Phousi mountain, climbing 238 steps, and providing an spectacular overview of Luang Prabang town and the Mekong River. There are temples along the way to stop and view, you can buy flowers to offer as blessings. On our decent, visit the National Museum housed in the former Royal Palace next door. The collection of sovereign artifacts and treasures reflect the richness of the Lao throne from the early Kings to last sovereign. After lunch, we visit a silversmith, then travel a short distance to a ethnic Hunan village of weavers. Enjoy an evening performance of dance and music at the Royal Palace.

Lunch and dinner are on your own. Join the Tour Captain and/or the local guide for their dining suggestions (optional).

Luang Prabang, Chile

Luang Prabang, Laos


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Luang Prabang

Day 12: Luang Prabang  - Alms Ceremony

   Optional Dinner Tonight: Join your Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore on your own.

This morning we start early--a predawn walk in the temple district to participate in the daily ceremony to earn merit by giving rice to the monks who file down the street with their begging bowls. This is a sacred Buddist tradition, highly revered by locals, and travelers are encouraged to participate. We return to the hotel for breakfast, followed by a visit to the morning market to discover what the locals are buying. Then we join our local guide for a tour of the architectural charms of the Old Town to discover why this charming town has been declared a “living museum.” Next, a visit to Wat Xieng Thong Temple, built by the local king in 1560, and considered the most beautiful in Laos. Our tour concludes with a great location for lunch overlooking the Mekong River. Your afternoon is free to explore Luang Prabang.

Lunch and dinner are on your own. Join the Tour Captain and/or the local guide for their dining suggestions (optional).

 

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Luang Prabang

Day 13: Luang Prabang Nature and Family

   Included Dinner Tonight: Join your Tour Captain tonight for an included dinner.

Start with a good breakfast before beginning our excursion overland on a beautiful short trek to the stunning Kuangsi waterfall. We have lunch there, then perhaps enjoy swimming in the falls. On return we stop at Ban Sangkong, a village making paper from mulberry trees. A special private evening meal is provided in the home of a local family, noted for their excellent cooking, and a traditional Baci ceremony to wish you luck and happiness in the coming year. What a fantastic way to connect with a local culture!

Dinner is included this evening.

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To Cambodia

Day 14: From Laos to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Depart Luang Prabang for our connecting flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, we are met by our local guide and transferred to the Steung Siem Reap Hotel. Then our touring begins, first visiting the main shrine of Preah Ang Chheck/Chhom temple and the Angkor National Museum. The museum gives us an insight into the ancient time of Cambodia, where there are artifacts from every region.

Lunch and dinner are on your own. Join the Tour Captain and/or the local guide for their dining suggestions (optional).

Cambodia's food is often about the contrasts—sweet and bitter, salty and sour, fresh and cooked. You may experience woks and charcoal grills with side plates of greens, herbs, peppers, limes or sauces that brings your dish together.

Accommodation in Siem Reap for 4 nights, Cambodia is the Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar.


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Siem Reap

Day 15: Siem Reap – Khmer Architecture and Art

In the morning we visit the ancient Khmer civilization site of Hariharalaya, which flourished in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. These are the oldest temples in the Angkor complex and are referred to as the Rolous group. We visit the he main temples, Lo Lei, Preah Koh, and Bakhong. We venture on to visit a shadow puppet maker, and a performance by local children. We continue with a trip to the rural village 35 km away from the Angkor area to visit the small but magnificent Banteay Srei Hindu temple from the 10th century, dedicated to Shiva. This temple was the birthplace of the Khmer classical style architecture, and the bas-relief work the best example of Khmer classical art. The pink sandstone sculptures resemble bears. You will marvel at a series of striking and beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. In Khmer culture it is said: “the temple must have been carved by women because the details are too fine for the hands of a man”. On the way back to Siem Reap we will visit the temple Banteay Samre, which is adorned with impressive reliefs and depicting scenes from the life of Vishnu and Krishna. At the end of the day, you can enjoy the sunset with a bottle of champagne in the rice paddies, before we head back to our accommodation in Siem Reap.

Lunch and dinner are on your own. Join the Tour Captain and/or the local guide for their dining suggestions (optional).

Khmer Red Curry is less spicy than the curries of neighboring Thailand. This Cambodian curry is coconut-milk-based but without the overpowering chili.

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Angkor Wat

Day 16: Siem Reap and the UNESCO site of Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Early morning, we will visit the picturesque temple Ta Prohm, which nearly disappears into the jungle. The magnificent roots of the trees push between huge stone blocks of the temple in a sort of embrace, create a unique lasting picture. After this amazing experience, it’s time for breakfast, and a breakfast box will be provided to consume at some nearby temples. The adventure continues with a visit of the famous temples at “Angkor Wat” - one of the world’s most impressive ruins. The next station of our journey through Angkor is the mysterious royal city of Angkor Thom. At the end we will show you the surrounding complex including the Baphou, Elephant Terraces, the Leper King Terrace and the Royal Place area, the last stop in our journey is the impressive temple Preah Khan which was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII.

Dinner is included this evening with a Khmer traditional dance performance in local restaurant.

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Siem Reap

Day 17: The countryside of Siem Reap

The “Village Walking Tour and Boat ride in a Floating Village” is one of the best opportunities to observe the life of the people in the countryside around Siem Reap. This tour gives you an exciting interactive experience, a lot of fun, and knowledge of Cambodia. We are picked up at our accommodations in a comfortable private vehicle and transferred out of town to a beautiful countryside village. Walking through the village, witness different activities in local daily life: how the locals wash vehicles, sell gasoline in whiskey bottles, and small shops where people sell food on side streets.

On the way, you can pick fruit from plants, viewing this wonderful area and interact with friendly villagers. We stop at one local house to see the family in daily activities: making rice wine and handicrafts. We will be offered fresh coconut juice and rice wine to taste. Continue walking, stopping at another house where we will help the family to cook an authentic Khmer lunch for us. Afterward, enjoy a 30-minute ox-cart ride through the rice paddies to reach our car, and transfer to Tonle Sap Lake. On arrival, we will board a local boat, which takes us to the amazing floating village where we will be welcomed by warm smiles from the humble local people living on the lake. Return to Siem Reap around 4pm where our guide will take you for last minute shopping as you wish.

Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Lunch is included at a local family house.

A truly unique experience with a local family brings insight into the culture like never before.

Later we return to our hotel for the balance of the day at leisure until our farewell experience tonight.

Story Way® Dining: Included Farewell to Southeast Asia Dining Experience One of our favorite nights of fun and celebration, as we toast one another to a wonderful journey together. This will make for the perfect finale to your vacation. It is a night of great cuisine with your new friends.

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Departure Day

Day 18: Departure Day back to the USA!

Enjoy a final breakfast at the hotel where you will be free until transfer to airport for departure. Arrival to USA same day as you re-cross the International Date Line.

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Heart of City Hotels mean your experience is like none other in the travel industry.

There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story's Heart of City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages. Our Deluxe tour hotels feature a full, hot breakfast included daily with cappuccino, tea, juice and an assortment of meats, fresh, local vegetables, fresh-baked pastries and fruit.

Hanoi, Vietnam - 2 Nights



Ha Long Bay - 1 Night



Hue, Vietnam - 2 Nights



Hoi An, Vietnam - 3 Nights



Luang Prabang, Laos - 4 Nights



Siem Reap, Cambodia - 4 Nights




18 Days Lost Kingdom's True Small-Group® Tour


  • We've tried to include everything! However, make note of the following:

    Arrival Transfers in Hanoi
    $69 per person (2 guest minimum)
    Departure Transfers in Siem Reap: $69 per person (2 guest minimum)

    4 Unique Dinners & 4 Lunches Included: Our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night even when dinner is optional.

    International Airfare is not included. International Airfare arrangements made by Story Land & Sea® are a completely separate booking from your land vacation. We highly recommend trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

  • Enjoy a True Small Group of never more than 16 Travelers. Guaranteed. No waiting on big groups on big buses.
  • Hotels in the heart of the cities and towns.
    Not on the outskirts of town so no shuttles or special transfers needed.
  • We Never Up-sell while On Tour.
    See any of the mainstream tour operator itineraries to the UK and Northern Ireland and you will see very quickly how their "tour directors" make extra revenue.
  • Story Land & Sea® provides gratuities for your Local City Tour Guides, Tour Drivers, Restaurant and Hotel Staff.
  • Customary gratuities for your Story Tour Captain are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis...
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path and unique Restaurants throughout the itinerary. 
    A authentic restaurants that fit our group size.
  • All Admissions and Sightseeing as defined on itinerary
  • Portage Included through your Small Group Tour.
  • Services of professional Tour director called a Tour Captain. 
    The Tour Captain serves as your host throughout the trip to ensure everything goes according to the journey's plan.
  • Services of Professional Guides
    We use professional, certified guides for our sightseeing at select venues and sites throughout the Small Group Tour. 

TOUR CONDITIONS:

Services of a full-time, experienced guides and professional Tour Captain.

SIGHTSEEING
Comprehensive daily sightseeing per itinerary via private transportation with experienced, local driver. Admission & entrance fees to all sightseeing as detailed per itinerary.

DAILY BREAKFAST, AND 5 DINNERS
Full, hot breakfast daily. 5 dinners included per itinerary. Coffee or tea included with breakfast only; all other beverages are extra. Select dinners are included at unique restaurants.

PORTAGE
Portage (one suitcase per person) and all tipping (driver, restaurant, hotel and guide staff) included. Extra bag portaged for $USD119 per bag. QueensLander luggage tags upon arrival first hotel.

SOLO TRAVELERS 
Single Supplement applies. See Dates & Rates Tab.

PASSPORTS & VISAS
Travel documents are your responsibility including compliance with customs' regulations. PASSPORTS: A valid passport is required and must be obtained in person by each tour member at a local passport office.

LODGING & ACCOMMODATIONS
Tour prices are per person, based on two persons sharing double or twin-bedded room with private bathroom with tub or shower. Single rooms subject to availability and at an additional cost (tour participants without a roommate will have to pay the single room surcharge). Hotels used are based on your itinerary.

SERVICE CHARGES AND TAXES: All departure taxes and tipping are included. 

INSURANCE
Story highly recommends trip cancellation and interruption coverage. We recommend www.Travelex-Insurance.com. Enter location code of 06-0051 to associate any purchase with your Story vacation.

 

Our Lost Kingdom's Tour:
Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia

NO BIG BUSES LIKE THE MAINSTREAM TOUR OPERATORS.

Prepare yourself for True Small Group Travel

2017 Departures

— Small Group Tour Prices —

Enjoy small group touring from 6 to 16 guests.
Guaranteed departures with official Story Tour Captain® or Story Local Host® for groups of 5 or less. Inquire for your departure.

Published Date Tour
Size
Price
Departures in January, 2017
Jan 5 Max 16 Guests $6579

2018 Departures

— Small Group Tour Prices —

Enjoy small group touring from 6 to 16 guests.
Guaranteed departures with official Story Tour Captain® or Story Local Host® for groups of 5 or less. Inquire for your departure.

Published Date Tour
Size
Price
Departures in January, 2018
Jan 8 Max 16 Guests $6879

 


 

Let's go find the Lost Kingdoms!

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