Take an unforgettable journey through the beautiful landscapes and captivating cities of Laos and Vietnam in 15 days. Discover the delights of Luang Prabang and Hoi An, visit revered Buddhist temples and ornate palaces, explore mystical caves and colourful markets, overnight cruise in Halong Bay and in the Mekong river and top off your adventure in Ho Chi Minh City!
From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely hotel. Settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night in Vientiane
*Option: After a soft rest at the hotel, if time permit, we can visit Wat Si Muang, which is very famous for its supernatural power. At the pagoda, we can ask the monk to bless you with health and happiness by tying your wrist with a string. This is the famous tradition of Laos
Vientiane is a charming and fascinating capital, with an interesting mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and American influences. Today, we start visiting the major sights of the capital; including Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. En route to Lao’s national icon, the precious and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
In the afternoon, we leave the capital early for our journey northbound to Vang Vieng; we will see some breathtaking scenery enroute as we pass through spectacular countryside towards the mountainous region. We reach our final destination Vang Vieng, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night in Vang Vieng
In the morning, we will first stroll around the town to visit the local market to catch a glimpse of everyday life in a typical Lao rural area.
After breakfast, we start our board through paddy field areas heading to Tham Phoukham caves, where your breath will be taken away seeing the most beautiful and famous limestone cavern, surrounded by natural forests. Along the way, you have chance to explore the local cultures by greeting the local villagers and learning about their daily lifestyle. There is a small natural pool in front of the caves where you can take a swim to refresh yourself from the hot climate or you could explore the nearby area.
We then transfer to visit the cave of Tham Jang, which was used in the early 19th century in defense against the Chinese invaders. We transfer to visit Ban Phathau, a very pleasant village where we can explore the different local lifestyles.
We then start our expedition on the new road to Luang Prabang, that is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The roads are well paved along the way for a smooth journey; we pass some stunning landscape scenery with a mixture of steep terraced fields and hill villages, we take a few photo stops at some small hill tribe village enroute. Each hill tribe village in Laos has a different feel, some are more prosperous than others but all have plenty of life. Before reaching Luang Prabang, we will make a short stop to visit the local school at Ban Ber Sip.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Luang Prabang
Today, you will first visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. Afterwards, we will visit magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on the a leisure cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.
Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xang Hai, where they make the local rice wine. On arrival back in the city, we visit Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts.
From there, we will transfer to visit Wat Siphouthabaht to admire the sunset; this is the really peaceful place to catch the last beauty of the day. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Option: if time permits, you may wish to visit the Kopnoi Promotion Center, and enjoy the Tea tasting Ceremony, where you can also have a small lecture about Lao culture.
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) fr om the faithful residents.
This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession.
From there, we will take a short visit to the morning local market near the Royal Palace.
At the market, you can find anything from rice, to fresh vegetables, to steamed fish, frogs, and anything else that might be the day’s catch, just set up on the ground, this is what the locals do every day. This is really the chance for you to get a real flavor of the local culture.
After breakfast at the hotel, we ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River.
From there, we will take a stroll around the city to visit Big Brother Mouse, which is the most famous bookshop in Laos.
The next stop is Ock Pop Tock, meaning East Meets West, where you can learn about the traditional weaving in Laos. We then visit Wat Visoun, dating back to 1513 during the reign of King Wisunarat (Visoun), this is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple and was once home to the Prabang Buddhas.
Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and today you will visit local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene. We then drive to the beautiful Kuangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. Before returning to Luang Prabang, we stop to visit the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park (closed on Tuesday), one of the must-visit spots, newly opened on January 2014.
Morning, you'll be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Vietnam . Fly Luang Prabang to Hanoi on Laos Airlines QV315, departing 08:50, arriving 09:50
Welcome to Vietnam. Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, obtain your Vietnam visa ( with pre-approval letter) , and then clear Immigration and Customs. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside our guide. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Fr om the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely hotel. Settle in and enjoy the few hours at your leisure.
Afternoon Hanoi tour, we drive through Colonial Hanoi, seeing the Opera House and other local sights. Go inside infamous Hoa Lo Prison (“Hanoi Hilton”), where Senator John McCain and Douglas “Pete” Wilson were once imprisoned, and continue to the Museum of Ethnology, wh ere we'll learn about the fascinating cultural diversity of this ancient land. Enjoy an hour cyclo tour through theHanoi’s Old Quarter, a network of narrow alleys and shop houses also known as “The 36 Streets.” This is a wonderful place to watch the local life, and peruse items from fabrics to crafts to exotic medicines.
End of the day by watching a traditionalVietnamese water puppet performance, a uniquely North Vietnamese art form celebrating rural life and folklore for over 1,000 years, this evening.
Accommodation: Stay 1 nights in Hanoi
*Please note: The city tour program is flexible. Your guide will be more than happy to adjust the tour itinerary to suit you. You can skip one site or add another if you so wish.
Overnight Halong Bay Cruise on traditional wooden Junk: After breakfast you will leave Hanoi for the 3.5 hour journey to Halong Bay, passing through a number of North Vietnamese towns and villages. Upon arrival you will be welcomed aboard your traditional junk; designed in the same style as those that have sailed the bay for 100’s of years. Begin a relaxing and unforgettable cruise around the breathtaking and unique limestone karsts and islets.
A delicious fresh seafood lunch will be served as you cruise this spectacular bay, a UNESCO listed site. After lunch you will explore some of Halong Bay's famous caves by bamboo boat or kayaking based on your preference. And then reach on the top of Soi Sim beach to have a panorama view of Halong Bay. All activities arranged by the cruise are on a shared basis.
Return to your junk boat to watch a cooking class or fruits & vegetable carving on sundeck – How to make spring rolls. Then enjoy Sunset Party together and Happy Hour (buys two drinks, gets one free from 18.00 to 19.00). It is time for chit chat and relaxing before enjoy your dinner and evening activities around the bar.
*Please note: Program may differ slightly base on cruise ships. An extra night can be added to the program. If your time is flexible, we highly recommend it.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night onboard, in a private cabin with en-suite bathroom.
Wake to see the sunrise over the spectacular horizon, reflecting in the pristine waters of the bay, with a cup of tea or coffee. Then join a Tai Chi class on the sundeck if you wish before enjoying breakfast in the fresh air. Continue to sail around this natural wonder. Visit to the Sung Sot Cave by walking up about 100 steps to the cave entrance and tour the cave for approximately 45 minutes. Walk down about 100 steps and return to the boat. Proper shoes are highly recommended. Return to the boat then check-out of the cabin. Start cruising towards the harbor while an A la carte lunch is served. The crew will bid you farewell and you disembark with our tender boat to the Tuan Chau Pier. Return your Hanoi hotel by cruise’s shuttle bus. Free at leisure until time take a private transfer to Railway station to take a night train to Hue.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night onboard the SE1 express train.
Air conditioner cabin of 4 berths (4 pax per cabin)
Morning tour of the Imperial Citadel & Thien Mu Pagoda: This morning visit the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City nearby. Modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing by the Nguyen emperors in the early 19th century, the city was badly damaged during the war but the imposing city walls surrounded by a large moat afford good views of Hué. The palace retains a feeling of its past scale and importance, with detailed stonework and pavilions and it is at the moment in the process of being restored to its former magnificence. Continue by a boat trip on Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, sitting on the riverbank outside the city, this octagonal seven tier stupa has long been regarded as the symbol of Hué and was founded in 1601. It is still a site of Buddhist worship and its huge bell is said to be audible from the city.
Afternoon tour of Royal Mausoleums: After lunch at local restaurant (on own account) you’ll continue to explore Emperors Tombs Hue’s environment is dotted with tombs of past emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Construction of the tombs was meticulous carried out starting whilst the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Most of the tombs have courtyards, a temple for worship, statues of elephants and figures and a pond, but the layout of each is different reflecting differing each king’s personality and style. They have a lovely peaceful atmosphere. Khai Dinh and the tomb of 19th-century emperor Tu Duc, considered the most beautiful mausoleums around Hue. Each ruler of the Imperial City built his own tomb during his reign.
Road journey from Hue to Hoian: After breakfast, you’ll be driven south along highway 1 to Hoian, a journey of approximately 3 hours with a short visit Cham architecture & art museum in Da Nang.
Afternoon tour of Hoi An: We discover how the traditions of the past are treasured in the present in Hoi An on the Thu Bon River, a key international trading port between the 15th and 19th centuries – now aUNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved, centuries-old streets, dwellings, temples and pagodas.
Visit Hoi An's historic highlights, explore its shop-lined streets, view the red-painted Japanese Covered Bridge - the three Chinese characters over the door mean "bridge for passers-by from afar".
Tour the 200-year-old "Phung Hung" house, noted for its unique architecture. What you'll see there will reveal much about the lives of Hoi An merchants long ago.
Visit the workshop of a traditional lantern maker for a demonstration of this time-honored craft; meet the artisans and try your skills as you create your own lantern to take home. Hoi An, the cobblestone streets in the old French Quarter are a delight to roam with many cafes, art galleries and handicraft shops. Hoi An is especially well known for its local artists and tailor made clothing, with over sixty shops providing this service in town. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Hoian
Today is free at leisure. We can also hire a bicycle to see the countryside of Hoi An or soak up the sun at the beautiful Cua Dai Beach. There is also a good chance to catch up with your tailor or search the numerous galleries for a masterpiece.
(Please contact us if you're interested)
1. Wet Rice Farmer OR Fishermen & Palm Paradise (4. 5hours )
2. Adventure Basket Boat & Buffalo Ride ( 2.5 hours )
3. Wet market visit and cooking class at Red Bridge ( 5 hours )
4. Cycling & cooking at Tra Que vegetable village ( 4.5 hour )
5. Sunrise or Sunset photo tour with Pro photographer ( 2.5 hours )
6. Hoian Sunrise or Sunset photo tour with Pro photographers (2.5 hours )
Morning, you'll be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Ho Chi Minh. Fly from Da Nang to HCMC on Vietnam Airlines VN 7129, departing 09:35, arriving 10:55
Welcome to HCMC. Upon arrival at HCMC Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside our guide. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely hotel.
Afternoon city tour : we’ll discover Saigon's historic landmarks including War Remnants Museum, established in September 1975 in Ho Chi Minh City, it contains countless artifacts, photographs and pictures documenting some of the less heroic activities carried out by the US army in Vietnam. Planes, tanks, bombs and helicopters are also on display. Next visit the FITO Museum, it is the first museum of Vietnamese medicine. On display are nearly 3,000 items dating back to the Stone Age. Exhibits include tools used to prepare medicine, knives, mortars and pestles, documents and objects from a traditional pharmacy. The museum regularly screens a documentary about the history of medicine. Continue visiting to the 1880's General Post Office and the late 19th century Notre Dame cathedral, located in a peaceful part of the city. Ending at Ben Thanh Market or House of Saigon for shopping and café.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in HCMC
In the morning, cruise’s bus will take you to Can Tho or Cai Be. You board your comfortable wooden river cruise vessel around noon. After a refreshing welcome drink we show you our on-board facilities and your cozy cabin. As lunch is served, the boat starts cruising. Sit back and watch the fantastic scenery and the daily life of the Mekong people.
In the afternoon you can disembark for a guided leisurely stroll through a village and the surrounding fruit orchards or rice fields. Meet the friendly locals and taste the local produce and fruits.
Get back on board and enjoy a drink at the bar or relax on deck as the sun sets over the magnificent water landscape of the Mekong river. The cruise boat will anchor for the night. The day ends with a delicious on-board dinner.
You stay overnight on board your floating hotel in the Mekong Delta.
Wake up well rested to the sound of the river and get ready for another exciting day of sightseeing in the Mekong Delta.
At 6.30h the cruise vessel sets off for a sunrise cruise. Watch the locals go about their daily work drying exotic fruits and building ships on the wooden yards while enjoying an early breakfast.
After breakfast, you will board a sampan boat to Cai Be or Cai Rang floating market, the region’s busiest and most lively markets.
Marvel at the sheer abundance of exotic fruits, vegetables and skillfully handcrafted regional products. We will pull up to the boats for talking and bargaining with the merchants.
We will also visit some of the local candy and cake making factories or boat through the green water landscape to see local houses, verdant orchards and ship-building yards.
On even dates, you will have lunch at the Mekong Rest Stop. On odd dates, lunch is served in Vinh Long City. Drive back & arrive HCMC around 16:00 pm.
*Please note: The floating markets in the Mekong Delta are no tourist markets but wholesale markets where produce of the Mekong Delta like fruits and vegetables are traded. For this reason the number of boats on the market fluctuates depending on harvesting seasons and market demand. Furthermore, modern wholesale markets are becoming more popular in Vietnam. This can result in decreasing numbers of boats being present on the markets.
Today is your final day. You are free to chill out and relax. Depending on your departure flight, your private driver will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the airport in time for your flight to the next destination. They will ensure you are the correct gate. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.
Suggestion: If your departure flight is in the afternoon or evening, you can think about taking a morning tour to Cu Chi Tunnel:
"This is an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels to explore part of the 151-mile underground network that zigzagged from the southern tip of the Ho Chi Minh Trail near Cambodia to the Saigon River. Discover secret trapdoors, field hospitals, command posts, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms.
· Tour prices shown are 'per person', based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults, and sharing a room. If you intend to travel alone, the cost might be much higher.
· The 'Single supplement' applies for single travelers who require their own room and needs to be added to the tour price.
· Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements, but may incur price changes
· 11 nights at hotel based on Twin sharing room
· 01 night on cruise in Halong bay with 2 day 1 night program in private cabin
· 01 night on cruise in Halong bay with 2 day 1 night program in private cabin
· 01 night on train Hanoi - Hue
· Breakfast at hotel
· Airfare 2 routes with local airlines (including 7kg hand luggage and 20 kg checked baggage)
* Luang Prabang - Hanoi
* Danang – Ho Chi Minh City
· English speaking guide with legal license
· Private car during the trip with experienced driver, Except shuttle bus Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi
· All Meals, Entrance fees and tour activities as dedicated in the program
· Service charges
· Bottled water & wet towel on van during trip
· Tip for Tour guide and driver (recommended)
· Bank fees for both sides
· Visa fee to Vietnam (US$25/person) and Laos (US$30/person)
· International airfare
· Peak season surcharge (During Christmas and New Year)
· Early Check-in (before 14.00) and late check-out (after 12.00)
· Personal expenses
1. All of our itineraries can be tailor-made to suit your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Please click on the “Tailor this trip" button and complete the requested information for us. Upon receipt, our travel consultant will customize the best value vacation for your kind consideration. Please note: Changes CAN be made to the itinerary after our initial quote, but may result in a price change also!
2. We are aware that a good tour must have good hotels. In Indochina in particular (Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos) hotel prices make up the major expense of your holiday. Therefore, we would like to clarify how we define these charges:
· Boutique & character hotels: from $50-$80 USD per room/ per night
· Comfort = 3 star hotels from US$ 40 - US$ 60 per room/ per night
· Superior = 4 star hotels from US$ 80 - US$ 110 per room/ per night
· Deluxe = 5 star hotels from US$120 - US$ 190++ per room/ per night
· High-end = Best of the best hotels fr om US$ 250++ per room/ per night
3. Child policy:
· Ages 0-2 years at 5 % of adult price
· Ages 2-5 years at 30% of adult price
· Ages 6-11 at 70% of adult price
· 12 years and older = 100% (charged as an adult)
We’ll immerse you in the diverse cultures of Vietnam by showcasing the unique local flavors. And with the perfect balance of included sightseeing and free time, you can customize your dream vacation with the things you have always wanted to do.
Most countries in South East Asia require you to obtain a visa. Please check carefully with your travel specialist regarding specific visa requirements for each country you plan to visit as the legislation does change frequently. Thailand offers a free visa on arrival to most nationalities. Other countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar offer a “visa-on-arrival” service which requires you to pay a fee at the airport, or you may prefer to obtain this in advance through the relevant embassy or a visa agent. For visa-on-arrival in Vietnam, you must submit some paperwork before you arrive.
This is an option to get your visa for Vietnam instead of getting visa at the Vietnam consulate in your country.
Step 3: Send the visa approval letter via email to you after 2 working days
After we obtain the visa approval letter from the Immigration department for you, we will forward you a scanned copy of it by email (Your visa information then have been recorded to the Visa system of the Vietnam Immigration department).
Step 4: Get your visa stamp on your arrival
Just print the approval letter out, prepare 2 passport sized photos and an amount of USD for stamping fee ($45 for single entry visa; $65 for 1 month multiple entry visa and $95 for 3 multiple entry visa). Put all above mentioned things along with your passport in a package, then show them to Immigration officer at Vietnam arrival airports.
Upon arrival at Vietnam’s airport, expect a simple form to fill in (or you can download here to fill beforehand), present the visa approval letter, passport, photos to the Immigration officer inside the counter and look for a place to hear your name be called to get the passport back and pay for the stamping fee. The actual process takes around 15 minutes without hassle or trouble.
What are the differences between this process and getting visa at Vietnam embassies?
It is only applicable for those who travel to Vietnam by air. You only need fill out the visa application form online instead of visiting the Vietnam embassies or sending documents to Embassies over by post.The online visa application does not require sending your passport away.You get a visa approval letter issued by Vietnam Immigration Department indicating that you are allowed to enter Vietnam and have your visa stamped upon arrival at one of Vietnam international airports.
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