Best of Vietnam and Laos introduce with you the most attractive destinations in Vietnam and Laos, starting from Luang Prabang, across Laos route from north to south. Experience the unique culture and beauty of Laos with the UNESCO World Heritage Luang Prabang, peaceful Vientiane and Vang Vieng, wonderful Pakse and Khong Island. From south Vietnam northward to imperial ancient city of Hue in the Central, charming capital city of Hanoi and picturesque Ha Long Bay.
Upon arrival, meet our driver/tour guide and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is free at leisure
Wake up early before dawn (around 5:00 am) to catch up with traditional alms giving ceremony. The unique and must-see activities in Laos.
In the early hours of the morning each day, as the sun is rising, the local Buddhist monks pad softly around the streets barefoot in single file, accepting gifts from the locals. All around the town, locals kneel down on the street, offering the monks gifts of rice, fresh fruit and sweets to contribute to their one meal of the day.
Transfer back to hotel for breakfast. And then, we start to visit most of famous sites in Luang Prabang including Wat Visoun (known as the ‘Watermelon Stupa’ on account of its spherical shape), Wat Mai and Wat Xieng Thong, which epitomizes all the elegance and grace of the city’s architecture. Next stop is Royal Palace and National Museum.
After lunch by your own expense, we take one hour journey by private car (~30 km) to beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall. Enjoy landscape and swimming on natural and clean small lakes there before back to Luang Prabang center. The tour end with sunset view on Phousi moutain before drive to hotel.
After breakfast, we start exciting day by enjoy a 3-hour morning boat trip from Luang Prabang center to Pak Ou Caves. After discovery of Pak Ou Caves, cruise back and stop at “Ban Xang Hai” local village for tasting their unique homemade local rice whisky and rice wine. There is also an Elephant Camp at Ban Xang Hai village where you can have lunch at Camp’s restaurant.
Greeting from camp manager and learn short story about elephants. Enjoy the impressive experience of elephant ride on the howdah (elephant seat) or on your elephant’s neck. Back to Luang Prabang town.
After breakfast, we depart to Vang Vieng – the beautiful riverside town. Take around 4 hours en route before arrival in Vang Vieng. Have a lunch and short relax.
Afternoon is for kayaking tour and sunset view on Nam Song river. Transfer to the kayaking start point and do kayak or tubing downstream with support from local guide. This is also the best time to view sunset on the river.
After breakfast, we transfer to visit Tham Chang Cave (Freezing Cave), which is considered as the largest cave in Vang Vieng with very beautiful setting of the surrounding. You will take a relaxing time in a tranquil natural atmosphere outside the cave.
After lunch time, we will depart from Vang Vieng and follow the Road 13 toward South to Vientiane. We will stop at the archaeological site of Vang Xang which dates back to the Mon-Khmer period of the 8-11th century. Along the way, you will stop at Hmong village and arrive in Vientiane late afternoon.
After breakfast, meet our guide at the hotel lobby and start Vientiane discovery. Firstly, we transfer to visit Buddha Park – famous for being home to more than 200 religious statues, including a huge 40-meter Reclining Buddha image. And then, we visit Pha That Luang with its golden stupa – sympol of Laos.
After lunch time at local restaurant. We continue our trip to Wat Si Saket – which features remarkable frescoes and more than 6,000 Buddha images. Then steps to Wat Ho Phra Keo and Presidential Palace. After next stops at Wat Si Muang and That Dam – an old stupa whose gold covering was stolen by the Thai army during their 1828 invasion, we stop at the last site: Patuxai Victory Monument.
Transfer back to the hotel around 4:00 pm
Early morning, take morning flight to Pakse. Upon arrival, meet our guide and start tour in Pakse.
Today, we discover south of Laos by visiting Bolaven Plateau area, Tad Lo and Tad Fan waterfalls, surrounding minority villages.
After breakfast, transfer to visit Wat Phu (Kmer ruins dating tray 11th century and is considered the largest site of its kind after Angkor), World Cultural Heritage recognized by UNESCO in 2001.
And then take the road to Khong Island. On the way visit the waterfall Phasouay and minority villages such Alak and Katou. Continue our journey through the Mekong Delta to the island of Khong Island.
Afternoon, take a boat trip on 4,000 islands area. Overnight in Khong island.
After breakfast, you enjoy a visit to the surrounding countryside and embark on a long trail boat tour of the Don Khone area, which takes you to visit the remains of the French period, Liphi Waterfall or “the Corridor of the Devil”. You return to the mainland at the fishing village Ban Nakasang and drive further south to visit Khone Phapheng on the journey. Drive back and overnight in Pakse.
Morning, take flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, meet our guide/driver and transfer to the hotel.
Afternoon is for Saigon half day city tour. You will visit Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Post Office, two of the best highlights of old Saigon architecture. Walk to the nearby Reunification Palace, witness of the historic events of old Saigon and famous for its architectural characteristics. Discover the very popular War Remnants Museum, the one that gathers a comprehensive collection of the machinery, weapons, photographs and documentation of the Vietnam wars.
Stop by the Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the most spectacularly colorful temples, dedicated to King of Heaven and filled with exquisite and phantasmal statues.
Remember to take insect repellent today as mosquitoes are more common in the Cu chi district. Today will be a full day of sightseeing. After breakfast we transfer 2 hours (75 km) to Cu Chi. Sightseeing here involves 2 hours on foot on uneven mud paths through the bush and, if you choose, crawling through some of the tunnels. It is important to follow your guide’s directions to leave on time so as to arrive at Tay Ninh in time to see the midday service. Transfer one and a half hour (60 km) to Tay Ninh to the ‘Holy See’ and see the 30 minute Cao Dai service. Then we drive (minutes drive) to have lunch in a local restaurant; the meal is simple but this is the only suitable restaurant in the area. After lunch we transfer three hours back to Saigon with a stop en route at a charity center where the disabilities making handicrafts to earn their livings.
After breakfast, we depart from Saigon and head south to Ben Tre province (90km ~ 2.0 hours). Taek boat trip along the river to visit a brick kiln factory, a coconut processing workshop and a local mat-weaving house. Visit a quite village where you can have a short walk to experience real Delta village life and enjoy some local fresh fruits
Take Xe Loi ride (tuk tuk car) or cycling tour to explore around village under coconut row. Have lunch at a riverside restaurant. Rowing sampan along the water coconut canals with beautiful tropical scenery. Take boat back to pier and return to Saigon.
After breakfast, take morning flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival, meet our tour guide/driver and transfer to the hotel. Check in and have short relax.
Afternoon is for Hoi An Ancient Town walking tour. The tour includes stops at several famous landmarks. The first is Chua Ong Pagoda, dating back to 1653 and built in honor of the Chinese general Quan Cong, who is worshiped by many as a symbol of loyalty and justice.
Next, pop into Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, to see the Jinshang Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea and the protector of sailors. From there it’s a short walk to Tan Ky House, a 200 year old ancestral house and finally, stroll across the often photographed 17th century covered bridge built by Japanese craftsmen. The beautifully built bridge doubles as a temple and is a major landmark of Hoi An. End your afternoon with a boat trip along Thu Bon river with sunset view.
Begin the day by cycling (shuttle bus or bike are options to choose to go) past green rice paddies to the village of Tra Que. This charming little settlement, on the edge of Hoi An, is famous for its sweet scented green vegetables that spice up Hoi An’s famous delicacies such as Cao Lau and Mi Quang. Join them in the fields and learn about their planting and harvesting techniques.
Head back to Hoi An for a cruise along the river and to meet a fisherman who will show you the secrets of throwing the large nets. If you’re lucky you might catch some fish! Next up is a lesson in seamanship as you hop into a basket boat. These unusual round vessels are locally known as a coracle and are used widely. Have a go at paddling your basket across the water – it’s not as hard as it looks!
After breakfast, start the trip to Hue by private vehicle. En route you will stop at marvelous sites including Marble Mountain, Cham Museum, Hai Van Pass (cloudy check-in point). Swimming at Lang Co beach is also a good choice, but it’s optional.
Upon arrival in Hue, check in the hotel and free at leisure.
After breakfast, our tour guide will meet you at the hotel and start Hue discovery trip.
Firstly, we visit Hue Imperial Citadel, also called Forbidden Purple City, former home to the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 – 1945. And then, we visit Dong Ba market to know local normal life and shopping. Lunch today will be served at local restaurant with local special food.
Afternoon is for cruise trip along Perfume River (Huong River) – one of the most peaceful and beautiful river in Vietnam. First stop is Thien Mu pagoda – one of the best-loved pagodas in Vietnam and is considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of Hue. It is an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601.
We continue to hop on the boat and cruise to Tu Duc Mausoleum. Tour end by walking around 15 minutes to Vong Canh Hill for sunset view and photograph time. Finally, transfer back to the hotel.
After breakfast, take morning flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, meet our tour guide/driver and transfer to the hotel for check in.
Afternoon is for Hanoi Walking and Cyclo Tour. See historic Hanoi from street level on a private tour that combines walking with transport by cyclo, Hanoi’s colorful, bicycle-powered rickshaws. You’ll wind through the Old Quarter, stroll the Old Citadel, and visit a fascinating Taoist temple from the 11th century. With a private guide to share stories about Hanoi culture and history as you make your way through the city, browse a local market and taste some local treats—including unique Vietnamese wedding cakes and coffee—before finishing the day with drop-off at your hotel.
08:30: Pick up guests in Hanoi (Applicable for guests using our transfer service). Our shuttle bus will pick you up at the hotel in the Old Quarter area and depart to Ha Long.
11:30: Arrive at the waiting lounge at Tuan Chau International Marina port, our staffs will welcome you at the waiting lounge.
12:00 – 12:30: Transfer by speed boat from Tuan Chau port to Gia Luan port to board the cruise. Guests are invited to drink and use cold / warm towels by season. The management will give you a short briefing about the cruise and disseminate safety regulations before you check in.
13:00 – 14:30: Lunch is ready to be served at Fish Net restaurant area and admire the beauty of the majestic limestone mountains emerging from the emerald blue sea while the cruise moves to Lan Ha bay.
15:00 – 17:00: Van Ta area is inclusive of Dark and Bright Cave, border of Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay. And we invite you to visit this cave by bamboo boat rowed by local people through some floating houses where they are feeding fishes, clams and oysters. You also can explore this area in your own way by kayaking (depending on weather conditions). After rowing boat trip, you have a chance to swim in the green emerald and cool water before cruising to the boat to sleeping area.
17:30: Back on the cruise, you can choose a relaxing massage service to rejuvenate the body, or take a dip in the Jacuzzi while watching the sunset fall on Ha Long Bay and enjoy 5-star-quality cocktails as the “Happy Hour” promotion program.
• Please contact our staffs if you want to use massage services. (surcharge if request)
• “Happy Hour” program: buy 1 get 1 drink free at Sky Bar on the 3rd floor in the hour from 17:30 to 19:00.
18:00: After a relaxing time, you are welcomed to our demonstration with Vietnamese tradition liquor tasting and learn how to make the tradition cuisines made by fishmen. With the guidance of the chef, you will make “Ca Thinh” rolls – fermented fish – using traditional vinegar made from distiller’s grains, rice powder, fresh herbs and rice paper. Then cheer up with a Vietnamese traditional liquor tasting. Drinking and having a great time in the local style will be unforgettable memories of your trip.
19:15: Enjoy a delicious dinner at the restaurant. You can freely choose your favorite dishes according to the menu available at the restaurant.
20:30: Enjoy the nightlife of Lan Ha Bay. Immersing yourself in music, enjoy a drink from the bar when relax at Navy Club, take part in karaoke activities with the good sound equipment quality. In addition, you can relax on the Sundeck and admire the view of Lan Ha bay at night or manually catch the fresh squid or simply take a rest and watch Ha Long bay from the balcony in your room.
22:30: Return to your room, you enjoy your private rest time, fall asleep and get ready for a new day with lots of exciting activities.
Note: the program might be little different according to the cruise
06:30: Welcome the energetic new day with Vietnamese Martial Class – Vovinam activity on the deck and watch the sunrise.
07:15: A light breakfast is available to serve you at the restaurant with tea, coffee and cakes.
08:00: You will join the tour of Cat Ba World Biosphere by transhipment. It takes 30 minutes for transferring from Gia Luan to Hospital Cave – the limestone cave playing a great important role to the people of Cat Ba, Vietnam. This is a historic destination which is a hospital hidden in the mountain during the war against the US in the 20th century.
10:00: You return to the cruise after the time of sightseeing. This is the time you return to the room and recheck your personal belongings before checking out. Enjoy a buffet brunch at the restaurant while the cruise goes back to the dock.
11:00 – 11:30: You leave the yacht to cano to return to the waiting house in Tuan Chau and return to Hanoi.
Note: the program might be little different according to the cruise
Today, we will visit Hanoi with Ho Chi Minh Complex that completed in 1975. The complex includes Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, House-on-Stilts, and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. After that we will visit the Temple of Literature that was originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnam’s first University dating back to 1070. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society place then and now on education. Have lunch at a nice restaurant.
After lunch, we continue our trip to visit Museum of Ethnology: This museum is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. As well as the comprehensive array of exhibits inside, there are also traditional tribal houses reconstructed within the ground. And then, we visit Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake.
Free for shopping and relax in the Old Quarter. End of today is Water Puppet Show in Bong Sen theater.
Free at leisure until to transfer to the airport to take your departure flight.