HO CHI MINH CITY - CU CHI TUNNELS - MEKONG DELTA - DA NANG - HOI AN - HUE - HA NOI - HA LONG BAY - VIEN TIANE - LUONG PRABANG - PAKOU CAVE
13 Days/ 12 Nights
This trip is carefully designed for those who are keen to explore the most interesting places of Vietnam and Laos. Travelling from the bustling Ho Chi Minh City to the delightful Luang Prabang Town you will have an forgettable experience including the colorful cultures of local people, scenic countryside of Mekong Delta, superb sceneries of Halong Bay and charm of Luang Prabang Town with various old age temples.
* BRIEF ITINERARY:
Day 1: Arrival – Hochiminh Sightseeing Tour
Day 2: Hochiminh City to Cuchi Tunnels
Day 3: Hochiminh City – Mekong Delta One Day
Day 4: Hochiminh City to Danang – Hoian Sightseeing Tour
Day 5: Hoian – Danang to Hue Citadel
Day 6: Hue Sightseeing Tour
Day 7: Hue to Hanoi Capital – Hanoi City Tour
Day 8: Hanoi – Halong Cruising Tour
Day 9: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Day 10: Hanoi to Laos – Vientiane Sightseeing Tour
Day 11: Vientiane to Luang Prabang City
Day 12: Luang Prabang City to Pak Ou Caves
Day 13: Luang Prabang City – Departure
DAY 1 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: ARRIVAL – HO CHI MINH SIGHTSEEING TOURS (-/-/-)
On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel for check in. The bustling Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This metropolis, contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping areas and sidewalk cafes. (If time permits) we stroll around the down town to explore the different local ways of life.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hochiminh City – Jade Emperor Pagoda
DAY 2 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HOCHIMINH TRAVEL PACKAGES TO CU CHI TUNNELS (B/-/-)
Today we spend a half day exploring the captivating Ho Chi Minh City. The most places of interest are located near the town center. We pass by the now-demolished wartime American Embassy on our way to the Reunification Palace. This famous edifice was a former residence of the President of Southern Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. We follow these with a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum with a wealth of images from the notorious conflicts. The sightseeing ends up with a walk around the retail Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale! Afternoon: Transfer about 30km north-west of Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi town. Cu Chi tunnels were used as the base from which the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The incredible underground network in Cu Chi stretched over 200 kilometers and became legendary during the American war. The extensive tunnels have been specially constructed with living areas, weapon factories, filed hospitals, command centers, plus accommodation. Today we have an excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels to visit an exposition hall and a widened section of the tunnels to get a feel of the underground life. There are also possibilities to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 3 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA CRUISE TOURS (B/L/-)
Heading out of town, we travel by roads to the Mekong Delta. This plain region boasts the largest rice bowl of Vietnam. On arrival in My Tho we board a boat navigating around the intricate small canals, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up and catch a view dotted by many islands. The exciting river trip will pass by the lush green vegetation towards the famous Unicorn Island where we have a chance to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits and see farmers at work. We navigate some narrower canals using small rowing boats to Ben Tre Province for an interesting visit to some local industries. The extra enjoyment is a lunch at one of the famous local eating spots. We drive back to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off en route to see the beautiful Ving Trang Pagoda and the Saigon’s Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon. This bustling area is crammed with sacred temples and mysterious, narrow lanes.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Cu Chi Tunnels – Mekong Delta
DAY 4 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HOCHIMINH CITY TO DANANG – HOIAN ANCEINT TOWN SIGHTSEEING TOURS (B/-/-)
After having breakfast in the hotel, our bus will pick you up in the hotel and transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight to Da Nang city. Then our bus will pick you up from airport transfer directly to Hoi An. Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market. We include these sites in an enchanting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the towns multi-cultural past.
O/N in Hoi An.
DAY 5 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HOI AN CITY TOUR TO DA NANG – HUE SIGHTSEEING TOUR (B/-/-)
In the morning, you will have breakfast at the hotel and get more free time before transferring to Hue. Upon leaving Hoi An we make our way northwards to Hue. The winding roads begin as we make our way up the spectacular Hai Van Pass. Here we make stop to admire the stunning view north to Lang Co village and south to Danang City. Once arriving at Lang Co, we have a pleasant break by the beach before we head towards Hue. This small and quiet town was once Vietnam’s feudal capital from 1802 to 1945. We visit the massive citadel, containing the Imperial City and the Purple Forbidden City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. The next stop is an elaborate mausoleum dedicated to Emperor Tu Duc. We see this masterpeice and enjoy a boat trip on the Perfume River giving us a chance to visit the beautiful riverside Thien Mu Pagoda and catch the spectacular sunset. The sightseeing also includes Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass by many fantastic eating spots, ideal places for visitors to sample some local delicacies.
O/N in Hue.
Hoian Ancient Town – Hue Imperial Citadel
DAY 6 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HUE CITY TOUR (B/-/-)
The beautiful riverside Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious work ship in Hue. We include this in a half day cruise on the Perfume River which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside and an enjoyable visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. This impressive landmark reflects the beautiful architecture, intricate decor and mysterious statues. Afterwards we take a short drive though the rolling hill to see the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the famous Tu Hieu Pagoda. The sightseeing tour of Hue also includes with a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass many fantastic eating spots, all ideal for visitors to sample some local delicacies.
O/N in Hue.
DAY 7 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HUE – FLY TO HANOI – HANOI SIGHTSEEING TOUR (B/-/-)
Upon leaving Hue we set off on a short drive to airport for flight to Hanoi. On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia’s most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere. Later on, We follow it with a visit to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam and the History Museum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history. Later on, we will take a short visit at Hilton Prison where Vietnamese soldiers did captured & detained American pilots from 1967 till 1973 to learn more about the history of Vietnam war against American Imperialists. Afterwards we drive to the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. They are some major highlights set by the beautiful West Lake. We also visit the old quarters and the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance. If time permits we enjoy a short cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places.
O/N in Ha Noi.
Hoan Kiem Lake – Temple of Literature
DAY 8 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HANOI – HALONG BAY CRUISING TOUR (B/-/-)
After having breakfast at hotel, you will be picked by our guide & driver at hotel then driven to Halong Bay – 170km from the East of Hanoi. On the way, you will have chances to stop by green paddies to see the Vietnamese farmers working on their fields or you might get by a Humanity Center where we are nursing the disabled Children who are left behind the War & they are victims of Agent Oranges caused by American troops. At around 12:00, you will reach to Halong Bay recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1994. The islands in Ha Long Bay are mainly limestone and schist islands most lying in the two main areas: the southeastern part of Bai Tu Long Bay and southwestern part of Ha Long Bay. They are the result of many times of rising and lowering processes of the continent to form a karst. The process of nearly full erosion and weathering of the karst created the unique Ha Long Bay in the world. In 2000, UNESCO recognized it as the World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values. On arrival at 12h30, We are welcome on the traditional boat and have welcome drink. Start the boat trip to visit Halong Bay with outstanding natural beauty of many Islands such as Con Cho Island, Dinh Huong Island, Canh Buom Island, Ga Choi Island and have fresh seafood lunch served on board. In the afternoon, you will have opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cave in Ha long Bay- Sung Sot Cave or Suprising Cave, then wimming on Titop or do kayak to visit Luon Cave. Fishing with seine and owing bamboo boat (on request)
Dinner and overnight on boat.
DAY 9 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HA LONG BAY CRUISES – HANOI PACKAGE TOURS (B/L/-)
The legendary Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. We board a traditional boat for a five hour trip around Halong Bay. This exciting cruise provides us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. These limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. We round off our excursion with a seafood lunch served on board and travel by roads back to Ha Noi, arriving in time to see an evening performance of Hanoi’s famous water puppets.
O/N in Ha Noi.
DAY 10 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: HANOI PACKAGE TOURS – VIEN TIANE SIGHTSEEING TOURS (B/-/-)
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, then checks out and our guide will take you to the airport for morning flight to Vien Tiane. Meet on arrival and you are welcome to Vientiane, the city of the moon – an ancient city, situated on the bend on the left bank of the Mekong as the largest city and the capital of Laos. Transfer to hotel for check-in. In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of Vientiane, to visit religious museums of Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple to have been survived from the Siamese war of 1828 and its cloister contains more than 8000 Buddha statues; Wat Ho Prakeo, the former home-temple of the Emerald Buddha statue or Pra Keo, but today it contains a collection of Buddha statues, antiques and all artifacts found in around Vientiane; That Luang Stupa, the single most important monument in Laos, which was built to cover the original small stupa containing a piece of the chest bone of Buddha; Patouxay (Arch de Triumph), built quite recently in commemoration of those who died during the wars in the past and it is today as the land-mark of Vientiane.
O/N in Vientiane.
DAY 11 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: VIEN TIANE PACKAGE TOURS – LUANG PRABANG SIGHTSEEING TOURS (B)
Breakfast at hotel, if time permits, we will visit the Morning Market, the biggest shopping center in Vientiane. We depart to Wattay airport for departure to Luang Prabang, the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom, the center of religious life in Laos and today the World Heritage City. Arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to our hotel for check-in. In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty temples still remain in the town and surrounding areas. Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana – Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple which, more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture; Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
Vientiane – Luang Prabang
DAY 12 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: LUANG PRABANG PACKAGE TOURS TO PAKOU CAVE (B/L/-)
After breakfast, we depart hotel to the boat landing, and take an excursion (a few hours) by boat, upstream on the Mekong to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimeter to two meters in height. En route, Lao typical villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore, bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Our first stop will be at Ban Muangkeo, a well-known village for Lao traditional rice whisky, namely Laoh-Khao to be distilled. We are welcome to taste it and also take away. Lunch is at a riverside restaurant. We arrive back at Luang Prabang in late afternoon, and continue by car to outskirt of town to visit Ban Xangkhong, a well-known village for its wood paper making and also Lao silk weavings with natural dyes.
O/N in Luang Prabang.
DAY 13 – ESSENCE OF LAOS AND VIETNAM TOUR: LAOS-VIETNAM TOURS: LUANG PRABANG – CITY TOUR – DEPARTURE
The third day in Luang Prabang , we take a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty temples still remain in the town and surrounding areas. Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana – Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple which, more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture; Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang. Then, we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays) at the former Royal Palace. It displays a collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. There will also be time for us to look around the Central Market. After visiting these sights, there may be free time (depending on your flight) to venture into town and stroll around the shopping area. The tour ends after your transfer to the airport for departure afternoon.
End of services !!
• Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Meal as mentioned: B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = dinner
• Accommodation: twin sharing room at mentioned hotels or similar one
• English or French speaking guide
• Entrance fee to indicated sights
• Boat trip in Mekong Delta, Hue, Halong Bay and Luang Prabang
• Regional and domestic flight Ho Chi Minh – Danang , Hue – Hanoi, Vientiane – Luang Prabang
• Water puppet show
• Pure bottled water & wipes
• Visa Approval Letter to Vietnam
Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room supplement, personal expenses, travel insurance, visa, flight in/ out of Indochina, any optional additional tours or activities during free time, surcharge for peak season, local holiday days and gala dinner
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