Vientiane Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 643

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 643 when enquiring for further details.

Alternatively you may like modify this trip with your own Holiday Wish List


Day 1: Siem Reap

Welcome to Cambodia! Upon arrival we will be there to pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel for the evening.

Day 2: Siem Reap

We visit the last capital of the Angkorian Empire – Angkor Thom. This monumental fortified city is encircled by a 100m wide moat and is famed for the huge statue heads that glare down from every angle. We continue to the monastic complex of Preah Khan before heading to the mother of all temples – Angkor Wat. This breathtaking monument of man’s devotion to his gods is believed to be the largest religious building in the world and contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. In the evening we enjoy a walking tour of the old market.

Day 3: Siem Reap

We head out to Banteay Srei temple, considered by many to be the art gallery of Angkor with some of the finest stone carvings in the world. Cut from stone of a pinkish hue, the Hindu temple is dedicated to Shiva and contains lavishly decorated libraries and stunning reliefs of divinities. The temple expedition continues with visits to Banteay Samre, East Mebon, Pre Rup, Preah Khan, Banteay Kdei and the atmospheric Ta Prohm. Swallowed by the jungle, vast muscular roots envelop the crumbling towers and walls whilst the trees’ foliage dapples the temple in shadow. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants in the compact city centre, easily navigated on foot.

Day 4: Siem Reap - Luang Prabang

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival we will be there to pick you up and you can enjoy a climb up Phousi Hill. Overnight Sengtawan Riverside Luang Prabang.

Day 5: Luang Prabang

Discover more of Luang Prabang’s holy sites with a morning visit to Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. Sit back and enjoy the views of tranquil countryside as we cruise upstream on the Mekong River to reach the mysterious Pak Ou caves. Crammed with Buddha images of all shapes and sizes, these two caves stand in the lower part of a limestone cliff overlooking the river. Along the way sample local rice wine at the village of Ban Xanghai and shop for local handicrafts at the village of Ban Phanom, known for its hand weaving. Overnight Sengtawan Riverside Luang Prabang.

Day 6: Luang Prabang

Consider rising early this morning to view the daily ritual of saffron-clad monks and their procession down the streets of Luang Prabang collecting alms from the residents. After we commence our sightseeing tour of this enchanting city, starting with a visit to the oldest temple in Luang Prabang, Wat Visoun, and the banyan tree graced grounds of Wat Aham, we stop at the Ock Pop Tok weaving centre. Later we marvel at the former Royal Palace, now a national museum and home to gilded rooms and Buddha artifacts. In the afternoon we stop at ethnic minority villages before arriving at the beautiful Khouangsi waterfall. Dip in the turquoise pools or take a walk along the forest trails. Overnight Sengtawan Riverside Luang Prabang.

Day 7: Luang Prabang - Vientiane

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival we will be there to pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight CM Hotel Vientiane.

Day 8: Vientiane

Today we visit the oldest Buddhist monastery temple in the country - Wat Si Saket. Today it serves as the national museum of religious art. Learn about Laos’ tragic past and present suffering at the COPE Centre, an organization that works with victims of unexploded bombs and mines. Next visit Pha That Luang, the most important monument in Laos and a symbol of both Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. We also stop to view the imposing Patuxay monument - Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe. Later in the afternoon enjoy time exploring the hundreds of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures scattered throughout Buddha Park. End the day with a sunset dinner besides the Mekong River. Overnight CM Hotel Vientiane.

Day 9: Vientiane - Hanoi

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival we will be there to pick you up and transfer you to your hotel.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 10: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Boarding our traditional wooden junk boat we cruise the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vista of the thousand or so karst limestone islands that stud the bay. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 11: Halong Bay - Hanoi

After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, we sail back to port. Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon an hour or so is spent exploring the quixotic web of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. The motorbike swarming narrow lanes are each named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. There is Silver Street, Silk Street, Comb Street, Paper Street and more. The maze of rambling streets are framed by narrow front tube houses and we may have a chance to sample the exotic fruits, sizzling noodle dishes and delightfully sticky snacks being offers by he pavement vendors. Our tour of the area is undertaken by a quintessentially Vietnamese experience from aboard a cyclo (rickshaw).

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 12: Hanoi

Today is a free day for your to relax or explore independently.

The Huc Bridge

Day 13: Hanoi - Saigon

This morning enjoy a tour of the Temple of Literature and then we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Saigon. Upon arrival we will be there to pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel for the evening.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 14: Saigon - Can Tho

Drive to the Mekong Delta. Often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as it fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 15: Can Tho - Saigon

Early today we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market. Watch as melons, pineapples, fresh greens, sacks of rice and children's toys get tossed from one sampan to another at great heights and speed before driving back to Saigon. Once called the Pearl of the Orient, modern Saigon is a thriving metropolis on the move. Sleek sky scrapers, gourmet restaurants, designer malls and swanky bars and spas are scattered between ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and lively street markets. Our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 16: Saigon

This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet-Cong in their struggle to keep control of the region during the 1960’s. As we walk the bush trails you’ll see trapdoors, booby traps, living areas, weapon factories and kitchens. We can also safely crawl sections of the tunnels, that have been widened for the tourists and fire weapons of the era (including the M16 ‘s and AK47) on the firing range.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 17: Saigon

Sadly your last day with us. Hotel check-out and your departure airport transfer.