Essence of Vietnam and Laos
Saigon - Can Tho - Chau Doc - Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay - Luang Prabang
|Price/p Hotel||Twin Share||Single Traveller|
This 16 day tour takes you through two of the most beautiful countries in Asia area: Vietnam and Laos. Once satisfying with the interesting stories of war during the long lasting course of history of the bustling Ho Chi Minh city, you will wander around the waterways of the lush Mekong Delta and the enchanting capital of Hanoi. The breathtakingly beautiful nature of Halong bay as well as the laid – back atmosphere of Luang Prabang leaves deep impressions.
Click each to open or Expand All
Welcome to the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh. You will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. Take your time to explore the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh on your own. The city embodies for the great blend of the past and the present architecture, of the temples and skyscrapers lined on the streets. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
The morning is free to relax. Your exploration will be started in the afternoon. Make the first stop at the War Remnants Museum where you can explore the hidden stories of the country’s history in the dark period of war. There are several collections of military aircraft, weaponry and many photographs displayed in the museum. This is a great way for the next generations to memorize the harsh time of the country.
Afterwards, pay a visit to Reunification Palace which once played an important role in the South Vietnamese Government. Take your time to stroll through the war room, the banquet hall and the presidential office. Proceed to the Central Post Office to have a closer look at its stunning architecture designed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel. Take a few steps to the Notre Dame Cathedral – an impressive landmark of the city. It is also a favored place for Vietnamese couples to take their wedding photos.
Continue your journey with a walk along Dong Khoi Street. Your walking tour ends at the Saigon Opera House which was once served as a bomb shelter in the past and a theater nowadays. At the end of the day, enjoy a trip on speedboat on the ancient canals of the city where you can see unchanged lifestyle. Head back to the hotel. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Today, transfer to the pier for a speedboat trip along Sai Gon River to visit Cu Chi Tunnels – an exciting historical site. Along the way, you will observe the rustic life along the river banks. The fantastic network of Cu Chi stretches over 250 km and is the shelter of Vietnamese soldiers during the wars. The system was served as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living areas for Vietnamese fighters throughout the war. Take your time to descend into the tunnels to discover the wonderful tunnels and the harsh conditions of Vietcong guerrillas.
In the next experience, you will be driven through the countryside to visit a small cricket farm which is considered a local delicacy of the region. Once at the farm, you may see the various growing periods of crickets. You are also offered a great opportunity to taste this special dish. Do not miss the chance to capture some nice photos of this great land. After a stunning experience, transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City with a stop en-route for a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Try to wake up early this morning for a boat trip to Cai Rang town where you can explore the colorful and bustling floating market of Cai Rang. You will be amazed by the huge number of small boats gathering to sell different types of local produce. Enjoy coffee from one of the floating café. After the visit, take 3 hour drive to the port town of Chau Doc – a sleepy town situated near the Vietnam-Cambodia border.
In the afternoon, drive from Chau Doc to Tra Su Forest. Along the way, make a stop for a visit to a small Khmer village where you can learn about the local religion and interact with monks at a local monastery. As reaching the forest, you embark on a sampan and cruise through the small waterways filled with lush mangroves. If you are a nature lover, this is a great place to explore the rich ecosystem with diverse fauna and flora and hundreds of species of water birds. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Fertilized by the mighty Mekong River, the Mekong Delta features winding waterways, green paddy fields and fascinating floating markets. This early morning, board a small boat to visit the famous floating market of Chau Doc. You can observe the bustling atmosphere of the region with numerous small boats filled with different kinds of tropical fruits and vegetables. The boat then takes you through the floating fish farms to a local Cham Village where you can learn more the interesting culture of the region. Head back to the boat and cruise towards the beautiful Sam Mountain along the spectacular Vinh Te Canal. Once at the banks of Sam Mountain, you will explore two famous temples before having lunch at the beautiful Nui Sam Lodge in the stunning views of the countryside below.
If you wish to escape the hustle of the modern life, an excursion to the lush rice fields of Chau Doc is a great way to explore the authentic life of the Mekong Delta. Hop on your bike and cycle along the dirty village paths through small villages and fields with farmers at work. Make a stop for a picnic breakfast and a refreshment with a glass of ice tea or coffee. Then, hop back on your bike and continue your journey. En- route, stop for a small talk with friendly locals and take in the breathtaking views of Southern Vietnam. Transfer back to your hotel to relax. Meals on your own. Overnight in Chau Doc.
Today, travel to Can Tho Airport for a flight to Hanoi. Welcome on arrival by our local guide and transfer to your hotel for check in. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Today is spent exploring the charming capital of Hanoi. Start your city tour with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where the body of the grand Ho Chi Minh President is rested. Continue onto the imperial citadel which embodies the regional political power for million years. Stop for lunch time with Vietnamese cuisine before moving onto the Temple of Literature which is famous for being the first university of Vietnam. This is a popular place for Vietnamese students to visit and take some commemorative photos when graduating. Afterwards, go for a look of the iconic Long Bien Bridge – a fascinating structure built by the French between 1899 and 1902.
Continue your trip with a cyclo ride for around 30 minutes through the bustling streets of Old Quarter where you can find most of the products from food to handicrafts. It is interesting to see that the name of each street is the name of the products sold in the shops. After strolling through the shady alleyways, stop at a café overlooking the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake for a cup of strong coffee while enjoying the views of the city. Afterwards, transfer back to the hotel.
In the evening, our local guie will pick you up to Hanoi Station. Tonight you will take a night train to Sapa. Meals on your own. Overnight on train.
This morning, arrive early at Lao Cai Station. You will be met by our local guide and then have breakfast at a local restaurant. After breakfast, drive 30 km to your hotel in Sapa town. Room is at your disposal at 1.30pm.
After a short rest, head north of Sapa town to the village of O Quy Ho surrounded by the sleepy valleys of mountains. The winding valley nestles in the shadow of the highest peak of Indochina – Fanxipan Mountain. You will explore the region with a beautiful trek on less tourist routes, passing by oolong tea farms. Once reaching the rice terraces, trek gently down the valley with the grazing buffalos and working farmers en route. While walking along the stone paths, you will be introduced the ethnic group of Black H’mong and their unique culture, life style and languages as well. Stop to visit an authentic Black H’Mong house to get a true insight into this fascinating ethnic minority. In the early afternoon, head back to Sapa town. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
This morning, you will be picked up from your hotel for a walk south of Sapa to the beautiful village of Cat Cat. The winding valleys surrounding the village of Y Linh Ho offer some of the most beautiful scenery of the region. Following this route, you will explore one of the untouched areas in Sapa. Trek along a gentle incline, you will pass by the green paddy fields and a deep river gorge and reach the river bank. Take a short rest to stretch your legs and see local children fishing on the river. After that, venture into the villages of terraces of the Black H’mong. Take your time to explore the village at your own pace and enjoy the great views of the region. Stop at a local restaurant for lunch in a beautiful setting before continuing your trek to the village of Lao Chai.
Take a rest with a cup of tea and then learn the impressive art of Batik painting. This is an important part in H’mong traditional culture making its beautiful textiles famous around the world. Due to the impact of modernization, this traditional art is now only practiced by the skillful villagers. Try your hands with this fascinating art with the help of a local expert and create your own work. This is one of a good way to contribute to the development of this amazing art form.
After a great experience, make your way to Ta Van village where our driver awaits to take you back to the hotel in Sapa. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Today is free for you to relax in the cool air of the mountain or explore the region on your own. You could visit a local market to buy some beautiful handicrafts or climb to the top of Ham Rong Mountain for the panoramic views of Sapa. Check out your hotel around noon. In the evening, transfer to Lao Cai for an overnight train back to Hanoi.
Arrive Hanoi station in the early morning, you will be transferred to a small hotel for breakfast and have a short rest. You also can have a bath before take the shuttle bus to Halong Bay.
Today you will escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital city with a four hour drive to the dreamy land of Halong Bay. Once arrival, board a small tender boat to get our beautiful junk boat to explore the hidden charm of the bay. In the afternoon, the tender will take you to a secluded part of the bay where you can indulge yourself with a refreshing swim and kayak through the beautiful limestone karsts. Return to the main boat for a great sunset at the top deck before having a great dinner with delicious seafood on board.
You are recommended to wake up early this morning to take in the tranquil air of the bay and its breathtaking views at its best. You will visit the cave of Surprises –the biggest cave in Halong Bay to explore its magnificent stalagmites and stalactites along the lit paths. After the visit, cruise back to the harbor and transfer to Hanoi airport for a flight to Luang Prabang. Our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer to your hotel in Luang Prabang town for check in. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Today, set out your sightseeing tour of this atmospheric town of Luang Prabang. Your first stop is Wat Xieng Thong - the Golden monastery, which dates back to the 16th century and is considered to be the finest in Laos. You also explore the gilded carved facade of Wat Mai and visit the the National Museum where a wide collection of relics from Lao past still remains.
Continue your trip with a drive south to the Kuang Si Waterfall – an interesting attraction to explore. Along the way, make a stop to visit the Living Crafts Centre where you can learn about the traditional craft and meet the weavers. After reaching the waterfall, enjoy your time to take in the tranquility of the nature and the fresh air. If weather permits, you could even immerse into the nature with a swim in the astonishingly cool water given by the shade of the surrounding jungle. Afterwards, make your way to the nearby Sunbear Refuge where these endangered creatures are protected. In the early afternoon, transfer back to Luang Prabang. The rest of the day is free to relax. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
We recommend you to get up early this morning to observe or take part in the traditional Lao ritual of almsgiving. In this ritual, from the break of dawn, local people bring food with them and go to the temple. Here, they will offer different kinds of food to fill the bowls of monks. Our guide will explain and provide more information on this important ritual. After that, transfer to the morning market to soak up in the bustling atmosphere of the region. Head back to your hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, board the boat for a cruise along the Mekong River. The cruise will take you to the revered Pak Ou Caves. This cave is a popular destination which holds the historic and cultural values. Exploring the cave, you will amazed by the thousands of Buddha statues in different sizes and shapes. Along the way, make a stop to visit Ban Xang Khong to explore the traditional weaving technique used to make beautiful Lao textiles. After lunch, back on board for a cruise back to the town in the early afternoon. The balance of the day is at your leisure.
In the late afternoon, enjoy a leisurely walking tour to the colorful night market of Luang Prabang where you can find almost all the collections of traditional handicrafts including beautiful textiles, sumptuous quilts, carvings, basketry, ceramics, clothing, handmade paper goods. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
In the morning, drive outside the town to visit the Elephant Village. On arrival, the staff will provide you a brief of the village and the way the feed elephants. You also have a great opportunity to meet elephants for a short ride through the countryside. Make a quick stop for a cup of coffee or green tea along the Nam Khan River. In the early afternoon, arrive back in Luang Prabang. You will be then transferred to the airport for your departure flight. Meals on your own. Room is at your disposal until noon time. End of tour.
List of hotels we use: Best price, strategic locations, carefully-checked.
|Budget||3 - Star||4 - Star||5 - Star|
|Hanoi||L'Heritage||Quoc Hoa||May De Ville Old Quarter||Apricot|
|Halong Bay||V'Spirit Cruise||V'Spirit Cruise||Glory Cruise||Pelican Cruise|
|Sapa||Sunny Moutain||Amazing Sapa||Victoria Sapa|
|Saigon||Le Duy Grand||Ruby River||Muong Thanh Centre||Majestic Saigon|
|Can Tho||Fortuneland||Iris Hotel||Vic Can Tho|
|Budget||3 - Star||4 - Star||5 - Star|
|Luang Prabang||My Laos Home||Villa Chitdara||Maison Dalabua||Satri House|
|Halong Bay||V'Spirit Cruise|
|Saigon||Le Duy Grand|
|Halong Bay||V'Spirit Cruise|
|Hanoi||May De Ville Old Quarter|
|Halong Bay||Glory Cruise|
|Saigon||Muong Thanh Centre|
|Can Tho||Iris Hotel|
|Halong Bay||Pelican Cruise|
|Can Tho||Vic Can Tho|
This is a special tour for exploring Vietnam and Laos because you can travel all months around. In the South of Vietnam, the weather are warm and sunny. You may want to extend few days at the beautiful beaches in Southern Vietnam such as Nha Trang, Phu Quoc or Phan Thiet.
In the North of Vietnam, we give you a chance to discover Sapa and then have relaxing time on Halong Bay cruise. The amazing landscapes will open your eyes and help you have memorable moments.
At the end of the holidays, you will take few days to enjoy the peaceful and fresh air of Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is so charming and have too many things to enjoy by its delicious foods and colorful local culture.
Do not miss a chance to explore Vietnam and Laos!
Our prices are valid for daily departures (except some special case as explained below) for group from 1 to 6 pax. If your party has more than 6 adults, please send us an email, we will advise our best price for your group.
For children, please note:
+ Children under 2 years old: Free of charge (maximum 2 adults with 1 child under 2 years old)
+ Children from 2 to 5 years old: 50% price of adults
+ Children from 5 to 11 years old: 75% price of adults
+ Children from 12 years old: as adult
Our prices are not valid for some special occasions and peak season as below:
° Christmas and New Year (normally, there will be surcharge for Gala Dinner on 24.Dec and 31.Dec Eves – applied for 4 and 5 star hotels)
° Easter Holidays - from 11.Apr.2018 - 19.Apr.2018 – some 5-star hotels in Hoian will have surcharge for Easter Holidays
° Vietnam Lunar New Year – from 13.Feb.2018 – 18.Feb.2018 – if you travel during this period, there will have surcharge for some services – we will advise you clearly at the time of booking
- 16 day tour from the South of Vietnam to Luang Prabang.
- 15 nights' accommodation with 12 nights at the hotel, 1 night on Halong Bay Cruise and 2 nights on overnight train Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi.
- Delight your taste buds with Vietnamese and Laos cuisine with 23 meals included.
- Shuttle bus for Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi
- Local slow boat as mentioned
- Shared cabin on the overnight train Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi
- 2 x domestic/ regional flights: Can Tho - Hanoi and Hanoi - Luang Prabang (including 20 kg checked luggage and 7 kg handed luggage)
- All airport transfers
- English speaking guide (in each location you will have a different guide).
- Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
- VIETNAM VISA LETTER
- Service charges and government VAT tax
- International flight tickets – We would be happy to provide you with a quote for international flights. Flights from South Africa to Vietnam/ Laos are approximately $700-$1400 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw! Let’s contact us for more details.
- Vietnam visa stamp fee: 25USD per person
- Laos Visa fee: 30USD per person
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
- Travel insurance
You may like