Best of Vietnam and Laos 12Days/11Nights from Ho Chi Minh
Duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Start from: Ho Chi Minh City
Highlight TourDay 1: Arrival Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Day 2: Full day to Mekong Delta/River Boat Trip. (B, L)
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
Day 4: Full day sightseeing Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise stay overnight on Board (B, L, D)
Day 6: Halong Bay Cruise - Hanoi. (B, L)
Day 7: Hanoi Conclude/ Departure. Arrival - Luang Prabang. (B)
Day 8: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou cave - Khouangsi Waterfall. (B)
Day 9: Luang Prabang - Xiengkhouang. (B)
Day 10: Xiengkhouang - Vientiane. (B)
Day 11: Vientiane - City Tour. (B)
Day 12: Vientiane - Departure. (B)
Day 1: Arrival Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Today you’ll land in Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat International Airport). Warmly welcome by Tour Guide & Car Driver at airport then transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Full day to Mekong Delta/River Boat Trip. (B, L) Today takes you to My Tho, the capital of Tien Giang Province. Situated on the Mekong River, 75 kilometers southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, the city is surrounded by orchards and rice fields, which produce grain for the entire country. Visit one or two of the islands that produce traditional handcrafts, coconut candy and bee farms. Visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda, the oldest one in the delta on your boat trip on the Mekong River. Return to Ho Chi Minh City. Check in hotel & stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L) Today you will visit the largest Vietnamese city. There are street markets, sidewalk cafes and sleek new bars. This teeming metropolis offers 300 years of timeless traditions and the beauty of an ancient culture. To the west of the city is the huge Chinese neighborhood called Cho lon, which means "Big Market." Notre Dame Cathedral, in the heart of Saigon's government quarter, is of neo- Romanesque architecture with two high square tower and iron spires. The Central Post Office is French-style and City Hall, known as "Hotel de Ville," is typical of the French architecture that would be seen in any village in France. Visit the War Remnants Museum, featuring collections of weapons and photographs from the two Indochina wars. Leave Saigon for Cu Chi Tunnels to learn about Vietnam history & Vietnam War. After Cu Chi Tunnels you will take flight to Hanoi by Vietnam Airlines. Arrive Hanoi in the evening. Transfer to hotel for check in. Stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 4: Full day sightseeing Hanoi City Tour (B, L) Hanoi, a city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks, is the capital of Vietnam. It is a very attractive city with French-style architecture. You have a full day of sightseeing ahead, including a visit to One Pillar Pagoda, which was built by Ly Thai Tong and the Temple of Literature, founded by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. Stop in the heart of Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake, which contains an islet with a tiny Tortoise Pagoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Opera House and St. Joseph Cathedral. Conclude with a visit to Bao Tang Lich, once the museum of l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, which includes artifacts from Vietnam's turbulent history. Water Puppet Show, Cyclo visiting Old Quarter. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise stay overnight on Board (B, L, D) Early this morning, we’ll drive from Hanoi to one of the most magnificent scenic environments in the world, Halong Bay. Covering 577 square miles, this vast bay is filled with more than 3,000 limestone “peaks” or karsts that jut from the deep blue water as far as the eye can see. We’ll spend a day and a half, including an overnight with dinner and breakfast onboard, exploring this overwhelming seascape from the decks of a traditional Vietnamese boat. Comfortable and intimate, your boat features hand-crafted wooden interiors including a dining room and pleasant air-conditioned cabins with private baths. Since we’re overnight on the water, we’ll be able to explore Ha Long Bay’s most beautiful spots with time to swim and even visit some of the largest rock formations and caves. This promises to be one of your most memorable travel experiences in Asia. Stay overnight on Boat.
Day 6: Halong Bay Cruise - Hanoi. (B, L) Rising to the sound of lapping bay waters, we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water of the bay.
After breakfast, explore Sung Sot cave, swim and relax. Cruises back to the jetty while brunch is served while you are cruising through the bay, along the way seeing more of the fascinating formations. Cruise check-out. Rejoin car drive back to Hanoi for overnight. Arrive Hanoi at 3:00pm. Check in hotel & free time to go sightseeing in the Old Quarter. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi Conclude/ Departure. Arrival Luang Prabang. (B) On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. After a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai; we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as capture a beautiful view of the city and the watch the setting sun as it is reflected on the Mekong River. From there, we visit the Night Market, where you can browse a lovely selection of handmade textiles, made by the local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 8: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou cave – Khouangsi Waterfall. (B) 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) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. You will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
AM: After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a panaromic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of 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 small village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is distilled. We return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon, on the way we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a small village well known for its hand weaving.
PM: We continue our excursion toward Khouangsi Waterfall, en route, we visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk handweaving and for traditional Saa Paper making. We return to the city by late evening to observe the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 9: Luang Prabang - Xiengkhouang. (Road) (B) After breakfast we visit the The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artefacts, which reflect the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Today we leave this charming town and drive to Xieng Khouang, an area once devastated by American bombings between 1964 and 1973. These back roads are a great way to explore the real Laos. We see very few other travellers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. The drive is very long, but we can make many stops at our pleasure, to stretch our legs and take some wonderful photographs. In the afternoon there will be time to see the old capital of Muang Khoun Province and its' nearby villages.
Overnight in Xiengkhuang
Day 10: Xieng khouang - Vientiane by flight. (B) Following breakfast at Hotel, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site encompassing hundreds of large stone jars scattered throughout the plateau. We then board our short flight to the charming and fascinating Lao capital Vientiane. On arrival we check in to the hotel. After short rest, we will visit the Morning Market and the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong.
Overnight in Vientiane
Day 11: Vientiane - City Tour. (B) After breakfast, 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 precious heritage, 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.
In the afternoon we transfer out to see the Buddha Park, a scattered 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. A spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day.
Overnight in Vientiane
Day 12: Vientiane - Departure. (B) After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our departure flight.