Vientiane Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 715

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 715 when enquiring for further details.

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

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Airport to hotel arrival transfer. The remains of the day offer free time for you to explore the wide tree lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagoda’s and thriving, historic old city, all easily navigated on foot.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi

Spend today relaxing and exploring at leisure here in Hanoi.

Vietnamese Water Puppets

Day 3: 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 4: Halong Bay - Luang Prabang

Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, we sail back to port. Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon we are straight to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. Today we walk the 328 steps leading to Phousi Hill. Mount Phousi cuts a distinctive figure in the centre of Luang Prabang skyline. The hill, with spectacular 360 degree views, is a popular as a place to watch the sun rise or set. This evening we wander around the Prabang Night Market, where you can find an array of handmade textiles made by local villagers and the hill tribes of the area.

Halong Bay at sunset

Day 5: Luang Prabang

This morning we explore Luang Prabang by bicycle to visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, a peaceful temple featuring the much-photographed Watermelon Stupa; Wat Aham, the site of Luang Prabang's most important spirit shrine; Wat Xieng Thong. We then explore the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center before walking in Phone Say village, and then Ock Pop Tock weaving centre, run by an organization that offers local weavers the chance to earn a decent income with their weaving skills. You also visit Ban Xang Khong known for hand woven silk and traditional Saa Paper making.

Day 6: Luang Prabang

The exploration of Luang Prabang would be not complete without a visit to the National Museum, which is our first stop this morning. Then we drive out through beautiful landscapes of rice fields, hills and villages. You will stop to visit an ethnic minority village. Then at Kuang Si Waterfall, a short walk brings you down to the abrupt waterfall where you will have time for a swim or simply relaxing. Heading back to town we visit Hmong village of Ban Namai and a lowland Lao village of Ban Ou.

Day 7: Luang Prabang - Phonsavan

Today you'll be driven over the mountains toward Xieng Khouang, the province best-known for having been heavily bombed during the Indochina War, and famous for the Plain of Jars. Along the 8 hr journey, you will stop at some villages to see the local people, including ethnic minorities such as the Hmong. Arrival in Phonsavanh, the capital of Xiengkhouang province and check into your hotel.

Day 8: Phonsavan

Today we spend time exploring the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered across a plateau. We then visit Muang Khoun, the capital of Xieng Khuang before its total destruction during the war.

Day 9: Phonsavan - Vang Vieng

Today you will travel by road to Vang Vieng. The journey takes you through stunning landscapes of steep terraced fields and hill villages. Today we explore the famous Tham Jang Caves, once used by the local people as a hideout from Chinese invaders.

Day 10: Vang Vieng - Vientiane

This morning we drive to Vientiane and visit the COPE educational centre, a heartbreaking but compelling place that teaches us about Laos’ Hidden War. Later, take a tuk-tuk tour of Vientiane visiting - Wat Sisaket, one of the oldest temples and home to thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and also visiting the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo. En route to Lao’s national icon, That Luang Stupa, we pass the Patuxay Monument, known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.

Day 11: Vientiane - Pakse

This morning we head to Wattay airport for your flight to Pakse. Upon arrival in Pakse, you head out to Tad Fane, twin waterfalls plummeting into a deep gorge surrounded by flourishing vegetation and Bolaven Plateau, a place high above the Mekong known for its temperate climate, coffee plantations and mist-shrouded waterfalls. After, we visit Ban Kok Phoung Tai to meet the Katou, an indigenous Mon-Khmer ethnic group. Last stop of the day, the village of Tadlo, where you will enjoy swimming in the pool by Tadlo Waterfall.

Day 12: Pakse - Khong Island

Today we transfer by car and boat to Khong Island. Spend the day exploring at leisure here you can rent bicycles at the hotel.

Day 13: Khong Island

Today is all about the natural wonders, we explore Khone Phapheng Waterfall, Liphi Waterfall. Also called "Devil's Corridor" and Khone Phasoi Waterfall and witness how dangerous of fishermen with their fishing traps on Mekong River with many rapids.

Day 14: Khong Island - Siem Reap

After breakfast, say good bye to 4,000 islands you will transfer to Pakse airport to take the flight to Siem Reap. Here, meet our driver who will take you to your hotel.

Day 15: Siem Reap

This morning we set off to visit the Ta Prohm Temple, unlike most other Angkor temples, has been left just it was when rediscovered. We have a picnic lunch here in the center of the complex, which makes for a magical experience. We then spend the afternoon exploring Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. This evening we explore the NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS). PPS was founded in 1994 and is dedicated to taking care of vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the Battambang community.

Day 16: Siem Reap

Today is spent exploring many areas of Angkor Wat, including Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Angkor Wat complex.

Day 17: Siem Reap - Saigon

Morning we take a flight to Saigon. Arriving here, Our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 18: Saigon - Phan Thiet

This morning we catch the train to Phan Thiet beach. Arriving here, we drive you to your hotel.

Days 19-21: Phan Thiet

Spend the next days at leisure in Phan Thiet. The resort is ideal for scuba diving, snorkelling or simply relaxing on the sandy beach. Sample some of the delicious seafood in some of the many restaurants and perhaps enjoy a spot of retail therapy.

Day 22: Phan Thiet

Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you back to Saigon Airport in time for your afternoon/evening flight home.