Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Laos to Vietnam

17 days  |  Vientiane to Saigon  |  from USD $4,299  |   Guaranteed Departures 

Take an unforgettable journey through the beautiful landscapes and captivating cities of Laos and Vietnam. Discover the delights of Luang Prabang and Hoi An, visit revered Buddhist temples and ornate palaces, explore mystical caves and colourful markets, cruise Halong and the Mekong and top off your adventure in Saigon!
Countries Visited: Laos, Vietnam

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions

Itinerary

Please Note: from 01 Feb 2017 this tour will become 16 days in length. Please see our Laos to Vietnam - 16 day tour for details.

Day 1

Vientiane

Saturday. Welcome to Laos! Airport arrival transfer and hotel check in. Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Overnight: Vientiane

Day 2

Vientiane city tour

After breakfast we explore the charming capital on a city tour. Highlights include Wat Si Saket - the oldest Buddhist monastery temple in the country, the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaeo, Pha That Luang monument and the Buddha Park with its incredible array of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures. We also visit to the COPE Centre, a charity working with victims of unexploded bombs and mines. End the day with a spectacular sunset dinner besides the Mekong River.
Overnight: Vientiane  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Vang Vieng

Vientiane – Vang Vieng. This morning we journey north through breathtaking scenery to Vang Vieng. Along the way we visit Ban Keun, famous for its salt extraction plant and a village of local Lao rice wine whiskey distillation. A next stop is the busy and colourful market of Thalat market, where local hill tribes come to trade and shop and the 11th century archaeological site of Vang Xang. Upon arrival in picturesque Vang Vieng, spend the remains of the day at leisure or opt to explore the local caves, take a scenic bike ride or go tubing along the river.
Overnight: Vang Vieng  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4

Tham Jang Cave, Ban Huai Ngai village

Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang. We explore the famous caves of Tham Jang this morning and visit Ban Huai Ngai village before travelling north to the enchanting Luang Prabang.
Overnight: Luang Prabang  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Temples of 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. Then a morning tour, taking in the highlights of Luang Prapang - the fabulous UNESCO Listed former royal capital. Sightseeing includes the ancient temples of Wat Visoun and Wat Aham, the Ock Pop Tok weaving centre and the beautifully ornate former Royal Palace. In the afternoon we stop at ethnic minority villages before arriving at the beautiful Khouangsi waterfall.
Overnight: Luang Prabang  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Wat Sene & Wat Xieng Thong

Discover more of Luang Prabang’s holy sites with a morning visit to Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. Then we set sail on a scenic cruise up the Mekong River to visit the incredible Pak Ou caves, which are crammed with Buddha images of all shapes and sizes, stopping at villages en route to sample local rice wine and shop for local handicrafts.
Overnight: Luang Prabang  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Days 7-8

Fly Luang Prabang - Hanoi

Luang Prabang - Hanoi. Today offers free time for you to relax by the swimming pool or further explore Luang Prabang. Late this afternoon we fly from Luang Prabang to Hanoi in Vietnam. Day 8 offers free time for you to explore Vietnam’s gracious capital. Lively markets, beautiful lakes, ancient pagoda’s and the thriving, historic old city, are all easily navigated on foot.
Overnight: Hanoi  |  Breakfast x 2

    Hanoi
Day 9

Junk boat sailing

Hanoi – Halong Bay. A scenic drive early this morning 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 pristine waterway known as 'Dark & Bright Lagoon'. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Overnight: Deluxe Junk Boat  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Hidden grottoes, Halong Bay

Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. 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 return 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’ by cyclo (rickshaw). 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. We explore the maze of rambling streets framed by narrow front tube houses and may have a chance to sample the exotic fruits, sizzling noodle dishes and delightfully sticky snacks being offers by the pavement vendors. After time to freshen up we board our overnight train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
Overnight: Sleeper train  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Imperial Hue

Arriving into Hue we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21m high tower has become something of a symbol for Hue and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin.

In the countryside lies the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, here we’ll view the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River, beautifully illuminated at night.
Overnight: Hue  |  Breakfast, Lunch

    Imperial Hue
Day 12

Buddhist sanctuaries

Hue - Road of the Ocean Clouds - Hoi An. Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. En route we stop for a walk along China beach, featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey along the coast road to Hoi An.

The charming, old-world trading port of Hoi An with it cobbled streets, traditional homes and tiny shop houses is a perfect place to lose yourself in a by gone era. Boutique restaurants, hip cafes along the waterfront, delightful craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors (whose services come at a nominal price), all can be found here.

On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 13

Tra Que village

A bicycle ride into the countryside, leads us to Tra Que village. Here,we discover age old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14

Hoi An - at leisure

A free day for you relax or further sightsee. You may wish to take a relaxing rowboat journey along the river or spend the day lazing by the beach or hotel pool. It’s also possible to take an optional excursion to the most holiest and evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites, My Son or to Quang Ngai, the site of the My Lai massacre memorial. The massacre was a significant turning point in the Vietnam War and the story is told through photo presentation on a walk through the village.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 15

Crusing the Mekong

Hoi An - Saigon. Early morning flight to Saigon. 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 Cai Be’s maze of waterways visiting 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.
Overnight: Can Tho  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16

Mekong & Saigon

Can Tho - Saigon. Early today we visit colourful Cai Rang floating market and drive 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.
Overnight: Saigon  |  Breakfast

Day 17

Saigon

Monday. Today offers free time in Saigon till your departure transfer to the airport. Opt for a relaxing foot massage, shop for souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market or visit the grand Independence Palace, with its secret bunker and military command centre beneath!

If extending your stay consider joining us on a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Here you can go underground to explore the vast network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters, see booby traps, trap doors or test your skill with an AK 47 at the firing range.
Breakfast

Cu Chi Tunnels - Viet Cong HQ

Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels - a vast underground network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters during the 1960’s. Often lead by a relative of a Viet Cong fighter in green fatigues you’ll walk the bush trails discovering grass covered trapdoors, ingenious, yet gruesome booby traps and hidden underwater entrances in rivers. There is also an opportunity to go underground and pop off a few rounds at the firing range. Our Cu Chi Tunnels bolt-on includes return transportation to and from Cu Chi, guided tour and 1 night accommodation in Saigon.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged provided there is another single traveller booked on the tour date of your choosing.

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
USD $1900
-  
Post Tour Accommodation Saigon
USD $70
USD $70

This tour is also available on a private basis - for details please see the Supplementary Prices above.

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Mercure Hotel, Vientiane

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Renowned for offering travellers superb business and leisure conveniences in a pleasant surrounding, the fashionable rooms of this modern hotel are spacious and contemporary in design. Impeccable service is combined with superb amenities including a range of sporting facilities, entertainment services and a fitness centre.

Elephant Crossing Hotel, Vang Vieng

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Boasting breath-taking views of majestic limestone mountains, this boutique hotel creates a special Laotian ambience with a traditional open-air sala (pavilion) for relaxing, lounging and dining. The riverside restaurant and bar offers stunning views of the river and surrounding scenery whilst the beautifully furnished rooms each have a private balcony. The accommodation is situated on the banks of the Nam Song River, this hotel is perfectly located for stunning views of the unspoilt landscape of Vang Vieng.

Santi Resort and Spa, Luang Prabang

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Set just outside the main town of Luang Prabang, the Santi Resort and Spa is a modern property set in manicured gardens. Guest rooms are set on two levels and are spacious with excellent amenities. Meals are served in the main restaurant and the outdoor pool is perfect for a cooling afternoon dip. If you need to get into town then take advantage of the free shuttle service that runs nearly every hour. Located on the outskirts of Luang Prabang.

Sunway Hotel, Hanoi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This ambient, boutique hotel combines traditional appeal with modern pleasures. Rooms are furnished in a contemporary fashion with an array of amenities for added comfort. Its restaurant provides a great variety of Vietnamese cuisine and you are welcome to enjoy cocktails and live music in the Jazz Bar or relax in the hotel's health spa.

Bhaya Classic Junk Boat, Halong Bay

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Deluxe House Boat

This premier cruise boat offers 18 well appointed cabins with en suite amenities. Cabins are contemporary in design, whilst the finer touches have a distinct oriental influence. All cabins feature large windows creating a bright and airy atmosphere as well as scenic views. Facilities and services onboard include a dining room and bar, a sunbathing area on-deck, masseur and small library. This boat departs from the port of Halong City and plies its route through the karst peaks of Halong Bay during their journey and overnight stay on the water.

Mondial Hotel, Hue

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Just a 5 minute walk from the Ho Chi Minh museum, the Mondial Hotel is a contemporary hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms benefit from spacious interiors, comfortable beds and lots of mod-cons. There is complimentary Wi-Fi for guests, an outdoor pool and onsite spa - perfect for a re laxing massage. As well as the delicious Huong Xuan Restaurant there is also the Lobby Lounge - great for cocktails before dinner!

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort offers luxury and gracious hospitality in a traditional Vietnamese environment right on the banks of the Thu Bon river with top notch facilities.

Victoria Hotel Can Tho, Can Tho

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This attractive, colonial-style resort is tastefully decorated with well-appointed rooms and a wide range of facilities including a spa, tennis courts, open-air bar, restaurant and a gym. The hotel also offers sunrise and sunset cruises to the floating markets aboard the Lady Hau junk.

Northern Hotel, Saigon

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Located in Saigon's central business district, the Northern Hotel offers comfortable and stylish accommodation. Guest rooms are contemporary in style and are decorated with warming tones and excellent en suite facilities. The onsite restaurant offers a variety of European and Asian dishes set on the mezzanine floor. The hotel also offers complimentary use of computers in the lobby and a fully equipped gym for those who wish keep fit whilst staying in the city.

Trip Highlights

Vientiane - capital of Laos, Wat Sisaket, Wat Prakeo, the COPE Centre, That Luang Stupa, Patuxay Monument and the Buddha Park
Vang Xang - an 11th century archaeological site
Luang Prabang - the UNESCO Listed former royal capital, Temples of Visoun, Ahan and Sene, a weaving centre, the former Royal Palace, superb views from Mount Phousi
Hanoi - Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ancient Quarter
Hue - ancient citadel, Imperial Purple City, Royal Tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda and monastery
Saigon - Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office and War Remnants Museum
Cai Be waterways, cottage industries, mansion home and Dong Hoa Hiep Island
Thalat Market and ethnic minority villages
Vang Vieng - a picturesque riverside village, Tham Jang Caves, Ban Huai Ngai village
Pak Ou Caves - crammed with Buddha statues and Khouangsi Waterfall
Halong Bay - UNESCO Listed region with thousands of beautiful limestone peaks and islets
Hoi An - UNESCO Listed ancient town, famed for its beautifully preserved old city, tailors, handicrafts markets and nearby beaches
Mekong Delta - a maze of waterways, fertile farm land and floating villages
Can Tho - lively market town in the Mekong Delta and nearby Cai Rang floating market

Included

16 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinner
Economy class flights Luang Prabang - Hanoi and Danang - Saigon
Bicycle ride to Tra Que village and cooking demonstration
Airport arrival transfer day 1 and departure transfer day 17
Escorted by an English speaking Laotian and Vietnamese tour guides
Visa approval letter (excl. stamping fee required upon arrival)
14 nights 4 star and special class hotels, 1 night deluxe junk boat and 1 overnight sleeper train (Junk boat: private cabin, Sleeper train: basic, 4 berth cabin)
Halong Bay Junk boat cruise - opt to swim, kayak and explore caves
Sampan boat trips in the Mekong Delta
Guided sightseeing - Vientaine, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Mekong Delta and Saigon
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visas. Vietnam visa letter included - stamping fee required upon arrival
Entrance Fees: USD$100-110,paid in USD
Tip for your tour guides. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guides is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$55-65, paid in USD
Tour Details
Starts
Vientiane
Ends
Saigon
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 16, Lunch: 5, Dinner: 3

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Hoi An on a Vespa

USD $210 / half day

Cu Chi Tunnels

USD $215 / 2 days

Fly Hanoi to Hue

USD $275

Bangkok City Stay

USD $965 / 3 days

Cycle Hue And Hoi An

USD $765 / 4 days

The driver was outstanding - his courteousness and driving ability. The guide was thorough, knowledge of Buddhism and the Wats, courteous and considerate.

Tony & Kath Hannam
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