Essence of Vietnam and Laos

Saigon - Can Tho - Chau Doc - Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay - Luang Prabang 

16

Days

From

R22245/pp

Price/p Hotel Twin Share Single Traveller
Budget
3-Star
4-Star
5-Star

Overview

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.

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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.

After breakfast, leave this vibrant city and depart for Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. After arriving at the pier, embark the boat and travel along the Chat Say River passing through various local working areas. You have time to witness first-hand the local economy and culture through some visits to the brick kilns. You could also taste fresh coconut and see the exciting way to turn coconut into daily products and foods.

Continue your boat trip through the small canal to observe the daily local life. Make a stop at a tranquil village where you enjoy a walk to get a real insight into the life of the delta region. You also visit a mat weaving house where the locals still use hand loom to weave straw mats. 

Your excursion will be continued with a xeloi ride or a bike ride to another village to explore the picturesque views of farms, rice fields and vegetation. There is a stop at a local house where a delicious lunch with regional specialties is served such as elephant-ear fish and river shrimp. After lunch, take a short rest.

In the afternoon, take a sampan boat to relax and float along narrow canals to return to the pier. Transfer to your hotel in Can Tho for check in. Dinner on your own and overnight at your 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.

♣ Please check our selected hotels in Hanoi for your reference.

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.

♣ Please check our selected cruises on Halong Bay for your reference

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.

In Vietnam

Hotel
Category
Destination
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

In Laos

Hotel
Category
Destination
Budget 3 - Star 4 - Star 5 - Star
Luang Prabang My Laos Home Villa Chitdara Maison Dalabua Satri House

In Vietnam

Hanoi L'Heritage
Halong Bay V'Spirit Cruise
Sapa
Saigon Le Duy Grand
Can Tho
Hanoi Quoc Hoa
Halong Bay V'Spirit Cruise
Sapa Sunny Moutain
Saigon Ruby River
Can Tho Fortuneland
Hanoi May De Ville Old Quarter
Halong Bay Glory Cruise
Sapa Amazing Sapa
Saigon Muong Thanh Centre
Can Tho Iris Hotel
Hanoi Apricot
Halong Bay Pelican Cruise
Sapa Victoria Sapa
Saigon Majestic Saigon
Can Tho Vic Can Tho

In Laos

Luang Prabang My Laos Home
Luang Prabang Villa Chitdara
Luang Prabang Maison Dalabua
Luang Prabang Satri House

 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

Inclusions

  • 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

Exclusions

  • 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

Customer Reviews

Based on 18 reviews

Jurgens M

Cape Town, South Africa

"Great long, multi-city trip"

Sept 2017

We have recently returned from a trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. 14 day tour that took us from Saigon to Hanoi then Cambodia was amazing. Everything was very well organized. The guides always showed up on time, very knowledgeable and personable. All hotels were super ... More +

Lee Ann

Cape Town, South Africa

"You made us an amazing honeymoon"

Sept 2017

Thank you Julie for your arrangement. Our whole trip went very smoothly. The drivers and guides on the tours were all reliable, helpful and friendly. We love Mekong Delta tour, Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An. We would turn around and recommend to anyone in ... More +

John Henry

Durban, South Africa

"A truly magical trip"

Sept 2017

The most wonderful 10 day trip of Vietnam. Everything was very well organized and ran so smoothly, including meeting me at my Hanoi hotel on my first day. All boutique hotels were beautiful with very friendly staff. We had the best transfer service. A big ... More +

Joddina Al

Johannesburg, South Africa

"Thank you, thank you"

July 2017

We just returned from a fantastic 3 week trip through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It was a long trip but everything worked very smoothly. At every location, we were met by a driver and guide to take us to our hotel and to take us ... More +

Patrick Ln

Johannesburg, South Africa

"Fantastic tour and lovely arrangements"

July 2017

We had enjoyed very much our first trip to Vietnam. It was an amazing experience in Hanoi with millions of motorcycles, traffic was crazy but safe. We did a walking tour, tried Bia Hoi (kind of local beer), and BBQ in Hanoi old quarter which ... More +

Sheila

Bloemfontein, South Africa

"Now I said traveling solo in Vietnam is easy"

June 2017

Our first trip to a country completely unknown to me. I did not have to worry about any transportation and got picked up and dropped off at the airport. The guide in Hanoi Ms Ha spoke excellent English and was really knowledgeable about the history ... More +

Steve Alan

Johannesburg, South Africa

"Great trip and excellent organisation"

June 2017

We were so impressed with how punctual and effortless the trip was. From the moment we arrived, we were picked up and everything went smoothly. The guides were outstanding, friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and a great credit to the company. We love Halong Bay and it ... More +

Amanda C

Cape Town, South Africa

"What a beautiful trip, fantastic tour guides"

Dec 2016

What a beautiful trip, we wouldn't have changed anything. This was our first holiday to Southeast Asia. We were met at the airport then taken around to see Hanoi by Jim. He even suggested us to try local street food and beer that was just ... More +

Lynne Elsabe

Cape Town, South Africa

"Amazing Vietnam & Cambodia holiday"

Dec 2016

We were very pleased with the services and everything went clock perfect? I actually still find it incredible. We can recommend everybody a visit to the charming Vietnam and magical Siem Reap in Cambodia. You have set such a high bench mark. I honestly wish ... More +

Tracy Cante

Bloemfontein, South Africa

"A holiday to remember"

Dec 2016

Everything about this experience was terrific.
- Sapa was just fantastic and the tour guide wonderful.
- Tour to Halong Bay was first class, food was delicious, amazing scenery.
- Hue visit to ancient temples was so informative.
- Resort we upgraded to in Hoi An was ... More +

Patricia HR

Johannesburg, South Africa

"A perfectly organised tour"

Sept 2016

Thanks Julie Le for all your hard work to organise our personalised tour. I and Thomas just wanted to let you know that the trip has been amazing. We had a most enjoyable time in Vietnam and Cambodia. Everything ran smoothly that we would always ... More +

Jennifer Whd

Durban, South Africa

"My best friend and I had a wonderful trip thanks"

Sept 2016

Thanks Tam Dang. Jenny and I had a wonderful and fun filled holiday. Absolutely no problems. The holiday began when met at the airport by an efficient friendly and welcoming driver. All the tours were punctual and well hassle free. Wonderful tour guides, nice and ... More +

Brian Joe

Centurion, South Africa

"Impressive and reliable"

Aug 2016

Vietnam and Cambodia were excellent because of the service me and my friends received. We only got to the Airport at Hanoi and the guide was at the terminal waiting for us. The tour guides had great knowledge of the areas and provided so much ... More +

Okicjoe

Pretoria, South Africa

"Exceptional services. We had a great time"

July 2016

The tour was really well organized. Each step was carefully executed and ran very smoothly. Our cruise in Ha Long Bay was a perfect arrangment to end our holiday. I wouldn't change an aspect of it. Good facilities used, quality transport and friendly, efficient and ... More +

Melanie Houley

Johannesburg, South Africa

"Just say woo excellent service and thank you"

July 2016

All our trips within Vietnam worked out perfectly. We thoroughly enjoyed it. All the meet and greet persons were on time, the guides were excellent especially Ms My in Hanoi and Tam in Hoian. We were lucky to get a free upgrade for room at ... More +

Linda Anne

Boksburg, South Africa

"Amazing tour, perfect organisation and services"

July 2016

Our group of six had an amazing time in Vietnam. The trip ran smoothly, from airport pick up to final airport drop off. The tour was a great balance of free time and tour activities. Everything from hotels, internal flights, guide and food was well ... More +

CarolineVp

Cape Town, South Africa

"Fantastic 12 day Vietnam and Cambodia"

June 2016

Thank you Alex for the great 12 day tour in Vietnam and Cambodia which you had tailor made for me and my husband. The trip was completely well planned, organised , exciting and so interesting! The guides were super friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Nothing was ... More +

Janise Lesch

Johannesburg, South Africa

"Brilliant, wonderful trip"

June 2016

Just arrived back from our holiday in Vietnam. We had a wonderful trip in Vietnam from the north down to the south. All the things from hotels, flights, car, guide etc. worked seamlessly. Thank you so much Candy and Seni Tours for all your outstanding ... More +

Showing 5 out of 18 reviews. Show all >

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Price/p Hotel Twin Share Single Traveller
Budget
3-Star
4-Star
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