Laos – Vietnam At A Glance 12 Days

Luang Prabang - Vientiane - Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hoi An - Hue - Ho Chi Minh City

Overview

Take a 12 day journey through two of Asia’s most diverse countries. Embrace the quiet, laid-back pace of Laos, filled with temples and golden spires. Ancient temples, enchanting culture and spectacular nature lure travellers to Laos. Explore the capital city with its sleepy charm and intoxicating blend of old and new. Head north to Hanoi to explore the charming capital city of Hanoi, cruise the jade waters of Halong Bay. Savour the unique heritage grace of riverside jewel Hoi An – highly traditional and hugely popular on account of its wonderful architecture. Trip ends in the bustling urban Ho Chi Minh City and hear the story of a war that changed the course of history and explore the waterways of the Mekong Delta

12 days / 11 nights
Small group, Private tour
Departure: Daily from Luang Prabang
Theme: Traditional culture, Relaxation
Suitable: Family with children, Travel with friends

Highlights

  • Experience local culture and heritage to gain a better understanding of Laos through culturally – focused activities and in-depth tours of ancient pagodas and colonial era sites
  • Discover hidden charms of the capital with looking beyond the modern buildings and busy street of Vientiane to discover the charms of this spiritual and historic city.
  • Be charmed by Central Vietnam with visiting the historic sites of Hue, wander Hoi An’s charming old town and drive along spectacular coastline.
  • Learn about Vietnam’s rich history: travel through time from the days of Hue’s imperial emperors to French Indochina and on to the American-Vietnam war.

Itinerary

Day 1: Luang Prabang Arrival

On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.

After a soft rest, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, a superb piece of Lao temple architecture, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall.

If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people, and visiting the traditional house of Heuan Chan, the Chantal wooden house dating back to 100 years old.

After that, you will visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family.

Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.

The welcome dinner will be served at the local restaurant with the traditional dance and folk song, the best chance to experience the local culture. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
  • Luang Prabang
Day 2: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves

Wake up as the sun rises, we will prepare to join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14th century. More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temple to gather their daily meal from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets. From there, we will visit the temporary morning market near the former Royal Palace. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, to vegetable, to fish, or chicken. This is the best chance to experience the local flavors.

Breakfast at the hotel, we will first visit the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene. After that, we embark on the leisurely cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, a 16th century cave monastery filled with thousands of Buddha images, which locates 25 Kilometers North of Luang Prabang in the limestone cliffs

overlooking the Mekong river.  En route, you will stop at Ban Muang Keo, a well-known village for its traditional Lao rice whisky distilling. You will arrive back in Luang Prabang.

On arrival back in the city, we visit Wat Mai, which is one of the most beautiful temple of Luang Prabang. We then continue to 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. Our last stop today is the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center (closed on Monday) to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
  • Pak Ou Caves
Day 3: Luang Prabang - Kuangsi Waterfall - Vientiane

After breakfast, we transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls which is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals

We will also take a short visit to the Bear Rescue Center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers. Before returning to Luang Prabang, we stop to visit the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park (closed from 15 APR – 30 JUN; 01-14 SEP, 01 JAN every year), whose mission is to create a research centre studying and publishing about Laos butterflies, host plants and preservation.

Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, we will take a short visit to the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, set serenely close to the Mekong, this beautiful, traditionally styled workshop, where weavers, spinners and batik makers produce top-quality fabrics, offers free tours every half-hour. We then transfer out to the airport to take the flight to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Vientiane.

QV104 LPQ VTE 18:45 19:30

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane
  • Kuang Si Waterfall
Day 4: Vientiane - Buddha Park

In the morning, we will first visit Wat Si Muang, which is very famous for its supernatural power. We then transfer out to see Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, close to the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life

and revealing his ideas about the universe.

In the afternoon, we see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national icon, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. A spectacular view over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane
  • Buddha Park
Day 5: Vientiane - Hanoi

You are free to stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight to Hanoi. Meet your tour guide on arrival at Hanoi international airport and join your fellow travellers in a coach transfer to the city centre for hotel check-in.

Located in the centre of the Northern Delta with a population of 6.2 million people and an area of 3,398 square km Hanoi is an ancient city which had been established and developed for over 1,000 years since 1010. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Historians liken the life-giving Red River with its banks crowded with green rice paddies and farms to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; a cradle of civilization. Hotel rooms may not be ready until 14:00 hrs but an early check-in would be guaranteed with a surcharge. The rest of the day is at leisure. Subject to your arrival time, you may want to venture out to explore the city on your own or join one of our wonderful optional excursions in and around Hanoi, such as a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter for you first impression of Vietnam’s capital city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
  • Vientiane
Day 6: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Be ready for pick-up at your hotel lobby at 08:00 hours.

Arriving at the cruise’ check in lounge in Halong City around noon, embark on the boat and start a relaxing and wonderful cruise through Halong Bay known in Vietnamese as “Dragon descending to the sea“. The picturesque Halong Bay has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water, many of them containing beautiful grottoes.

A lavish buffet lunch will be served on-board. Afterward have a short free and easy time before taking a guided excursion to Sung Sot Grotto (Surprise Grotto) and a floating village. Other activities in the afternoon include kayaking (optional and surcharge applies) or swimming (weather permitting) and a Vietnamese fresh spring roll demonstration on the sun deck Happy hour with complimentary canapés will be available at the sun deck bar. Then a scrumptious international buffet dinner will be served at the restaurant. After dinner, there is an evening Movie show on the sun deck.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight on board
  • Halong Bay
Day 7: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Wake up the next morning at sunrise, you are invited to practice Tai Chi on the sun deck. Enjoy the feel of the early morning salt water scent and bask in the early sun rising from behind the mountains. After an energizing western breakfast, check out your cabin at around 09:00 hrs and savour a memorable trip to Halong Bay on-board. Arriving at the pier at around 10:00 hrs, you will be picked up for transfer back to Hanoi with lunch served at a restaurant en route.

Back in Hanoi, enjoy an orientation tour with a visit to Vietnam’s first university: the Temple of Literature. Founded in 1076, Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. Continue with a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Nearby is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and his modest house on stilts. (Sites are viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov) Wrap up the morning with a visit to the picturesque West Lake and its sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism. Afterward check in your hotel and enjoy time at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Brunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
  • Halong Bay
Day 8: Hanoi - Da Nang - Hoi An

Your journey continues southbound today with a flight to Danang, a young and dynamic hub of the central region. From the Danang airport you will drive the short distance south past the famous Non Nuoc Beach onto the enchanting town of Hoi An listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage and was once a well-known trading centre in Southeast Asia from the 16th to 18th centuries. Its sizeable community of foreign merchants resulted in a unique architectural style with Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences.

Check in the hotel for some leisure time.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An
  • Hoi An
Day 9: Hoi An - Hue

Hoi An has been known for the exceptionally well preserved ancient town with the complex of old wooden frame buildings including the historical monuments and the fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures. Besides that, projects for preservation and promotion of local handicrafts have also been implemented. Hoi An Silk Village is one of those. Located just one kilometre away from the centre of Hoi An ancient town, the combination of eco-tourism and traditional handicraft product development has helped to preserve the cultural life of people in Quang Nam. In feature are the traditional house of Quang Nam, a mulberry garden, silk worm breeding and feeding techniques, including processing of silk worm cocoons in traditional way, the handicraft textile by Cham ethnic people and the show room. The morning is at leisure before departing for Hue. Afterwards drive to Hue, the former Imperial City of the last dynasty of Vietnam with a photo stop at the Marble Mountains, a scenic spot with caves, temples, shrines, pagodas and a great view of the surrounding area.

The journey to Hue will take you over the famous Hai Van Pass with a green view of the stretch of Truong Son mountain range on one side and a spectacular view of the East Sea on the other. Arrival in Hue will be in late afternoon. After hotel check-in, have leisure time.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue
  • Magical Hoi An at night
Day 10: Hue - Ho Chi Minh City

Located in Central Vietnam, Hue is the only place in the country where many historic, cultural, architectural as well as artistic values have been recognized internationally and listed by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritages. Hue is also the site where the northern and southern ecosystems meet, the area of river-hills, greenery and beautiful landscapes.

In the morning, a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River will take you to Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue. Situated 4 km upstream on the banks of the Perfume River, it is an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. Continue by car to visit the Imperial Citadel. Situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, the citadel covers an area of 500 ha and has a system of three circles of ramparts: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Your next stop will be at Dong Ba market which has been functioning as the main resource of food for the palaces, hospitals, army camps, dormitories of the national universities and local inhabitants. Even though the market has undergone several renovation since the beginning of the 20th century, it still embraces many old features.

In the late afternoon, you will take another domestic flight from Hue to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, todays Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrating economic centre of the South. Over the past few centuries, Saigon was called the “Pearl of the Far East” and was an important trading centre for Chinese, Japanese and Western merchants who travelled along the Saigon River. Check in your hotel and have free time in the evening to explore the city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh
  • Pham Ngu Lao Street
Day 11: Cu Chi Tunnels and City tour

Today morning you will drive 55 km out of Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi District famous for the amazing complex of underground tunnels. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch.

In the afternoon, gain an insight into the city’s development through a walking tour to the most significant landmarks including the Opera House, the Town Hall, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the old Post Office (all magnificent sights from the French colonial period. Your next stop will be the famous Ben Thanh Market, where you can purchase souvenirs for your beloved ones.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh
  • Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 12: Departure

Have leisure time before transfer to airport for your departure flight. Please note that hotel check-out time is at 12:00 hrs. A late check-out can be arranged subject to room availability and a surcharge will apply.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: NA

Important Notes:

  • PROGRAMS & SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE
  • In case of unpredictable bad conditions of weather in Halong Bay, please kindly understand that the cancellation will be made ONLY by the Management Board of Halong Bay and normally the announcement will be informed in short notice.

Price & Inclusion

Hotel (10 nights), Overnight on board (1 night) - Standard (2*)
Price for 2 Adults
US $3218
Discount
US $

Total
US $3218
Hotel (10 nights), Overnight on board (1 night) - Superior (3*)
Price for 2 Adults
US $3550
Discount
US $

Total
US $3550
Hotel (10 nights), Overnight on board (1 night) - First Class (4*)
Price for 2 Adults
US $3922
Discount
US $

Total
US $3922

Meals

11 Breakfast, 4 Lunch, 1 Brunch, 2 Dinner

Transportation

Airplane, Car

Price Includes

  • Overnight in shared Twin/ Double room with Air-condition (AC) at hotel.
  • Overnight on local train at a shared compartment with 4 soft berths (if any)
  • Overnight at local homestay in a shared room, private blanket and mosquito net (if any)
  • All transport during tour on air – conditioned vehicle as per itinerary (including airport pick up & see off)
  • All in-tour stationed local English speaking guide.
  • Meals as indicated in the program
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • 3 domestic flights Vientiane – Hanoi; Hanoi – Danang and Hue – Ho Chi Minh (20kg luggage inclusion)

Cancellation by Customer

  • 30% of total package price should be deposited once the booking is confirmed
  • More than 15 days prior to check-in: 10% of total rates
  • From 14 to 3 days prior to check-in: 50% of total rates
  • Less than 72 hours prior to check-in: 100% of total rates
  • No-Show: Charge 100% of total rates

Children Policy

  • For infant (<04 years old): FOC except domestic ticket cost
  • 04 – 11 years old without bed: 50% adult rate
  • 04 – 11 years old with extra bed: 75% adult rate
  • 04 – 11 years old in twin share: 90% adult rate