Best of Vietnam and Laos 16Days/15Nights from Ho Chi Minh
Duration: 16 days / 15 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 - Pakou - Luang Prabang.(B)
Day 9: Luang Prabang - Khouangsi Waterfalls.(B)
Day 10: Luang Prabang - Xiengkhouang (Road).(B)
Day 11: Xiengkhouang - Vientiane (Flight).(B)
Day 12: Vientiane - City Tour.(B)
Day 13: Vientiane - Pakse - Don Khone Island (Flight).(B)
Day 14: Don Khone Island - Surrounding (Boat).(B)
Day 15: Don Khone Island - Tadlo - Pakse.(B)
Day 16: Pakse - 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) You have the morning free to relax before your flight to Luong Phrabang.
Upon 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 for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 8: Luang Prabang - Pakou - Luang Prabang.(B) After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local speciality of rice wine is produced. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving. We also have time to visit Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek, small villages well known for silk weavings and for Saa (jute) Papermaking
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 9: Luang Prabang - Khouangsi Waterfalls.(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. From there 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. 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. Time permitting you may also wish to drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Phanom, a well-known weaving village, and then return to the city by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 10: Luang Prabang - Xiengkhouang (Road).(B) After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. The National Museum and the Central Market are not to be missed. After visiting these sights. Today, we drive 306km uphill a mountain surrounded by wonderful natural scenery to Xiengkhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. They have an interesting local culture and a colorful history.
Overnight in Xiengkhuang
Day 11: Xiengkhouang - Vientiane (Flight).(B) Following breakfast, we visit the Central Market. After you will have free time to explore the town further before catching our flight back to Vientiane. After checking into the hotel, time permiting we continue our sightseeing tour of the surrounding areas of Vientiane; we visit the impressive Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and the Buddha Park, a 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 - City Tour.(B) AM: After breakfast, we continue to explore Vientiane capital by visiting the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. . Enroute to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
PM: We continue visiting the rest of Vientiane by foot, including Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. We pass by the major shopping area continuing to the Vientiane Central Market of Talad Sao and Talad Kouadin where various goods are displayed for sale; including fresh food, household goods, souvenirs, textiles, gold, silver and antiques. We return to the Mekong Riverside in the late afternoon for observing the sunset.
Overnight in Vientiane
Day 13: Vientiane - Pakse - Don Khone Island (Flight).(B) After breakfast, we catch an early flight to Pakse. On arrival, we drive on the National Road No. 13th south to Champassak and to visit the fascinating pre-angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. We have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. Wat Phu is one of the Lao World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001, this wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization dates back to the 10th century, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We continue our journey by long tail boat to Don Khong, the largest island in the South Mekong river region known as the 4000 islands, one of the most scenic areas in Laos.
Overnight in Don Khone Island
Day 14: Don Khone Island - Surrounding (Boat).(B) After an early breakfast, we explore the local villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with it’s locomotive. We continue discover the 4000 islands area by boat at our leisure to visit the Liphi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking the end of Lao border to Cambodia, also known as the Samphamith. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. We return to Ban Nakasang and drive to famous waterfalls of Khone Phapeng, the largest waterfall in South East Asia, known as Niagara of the east.
Overnight in Don Khone Island
Day 15: Don Khone Island - Tadlo - Pakse.(B) Upon leaving Done Khone Island, we continue our journey towards Tadlo, through Boloven plateau. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Rivers run off this high plateau in all directions and then plunge out to lush forests along in a series of spectacular surging waterfalls. A trip to the plateau provides a refreshing break from the heat and allows you to observe the cultivation of rich coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops that can be seen en route. This trip gives visitors the chance to venture off the beaten track and to discover some of the lesser-known areas of Laos, exploring the wild beauty of this southern region. Upon arrival at Tad Lo waterfall, we visit the villages of Alak, Nge, and Katu, populated by ethnic minority groups. We return to Pakse by late evening.
Overnight in Pakse
Day 16: Pakse - Departure.(B) After breakfast; there will be free time for your own exploration of Pakse Town before catching a flight to your country! Finish unforgettable Trip in Vietnam & Laos with Indochina Legend Travel. Good bye & see you again!