GROUP TOUR: Essence of Vietnam and Laos
Saigon - Mekong Delta - Hoi An - Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay - Luang Prabang
CHECK RATE OF YOUR DEPARTURE
05 10 15 20
05 10 15 20
05 10 15 20
05 10 15 20
05 10 15 20
Note: The price doesn't include International flight tickets
Beyond our best Vietnam and Laos Tours, 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 the 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 by Vietnamtour.co.za's tour guide 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.
Take the morning trip to visit Independence Palace, also known at the Reunification palace, was built on the sight of the former Norodom palace. The Independence palace is a widely known landmark of Ho Chi Minh City and was designed by the architect Ngo Viet Thu. Continue seeing the beautiful structures from the French Colonial times such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office. Followed by the remarkable site of the War Remnants Museum, the museum has a vast display of both Indochina wars.
Have lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will transfer to Cu Chi Tunnels – the historic site where Vietnamese soldiers used as a shelter during wartime. This fantastic network 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. Back to the hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Depart from Ho Chi Minh at around 8-8.30am and head straight to Ben Tre, crossing the impressive Rach Mieu Cable-stayed Bridge. Board a small boat to visit typical workplaces including small brick factories, a coconut processing workshop and a local mat-weaving house.
Stop at a quiet village, take a short walk to experience local life and hop on your xe-lôi (a kind of motorized rickshaw) and stop at a riverside restaurant for a lunch with local food.
After lunch, take a short cycling tour to explore the surrounding fields before boarding a sampan for a tranquil trip along the picturesque canals. Come back to the port and return to Saigon. You will be dropped off at the hotel at around 5 PM. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Today is free for you to explore the bustling city on your own until being transferred (without the guide) to Ho Chi Minh airport for a flight to Da Nang.
Once arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to Hoi An. After reaching Hoi An, check in your hotel before taking a walk around the ancient town. As the national trading center in the 16th century, Hoi An is home to the diversity of ancient streets and homes. Stroll around the unusual cobblestone streets to admire the hundred-century-old Chinese houses.
The leisurely trip offers you a great chance to see the ancient houses built in Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures. There are some incredible places that you should not miss when visiting Hoi An including the hundred- year – old Japanese Bridge, the Phuc Kien Hall, and the local fish market. You also have a chance to stop at a tailor-made shop to get your favorite clothes. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Our tour guide will pick you up at your hotel to move to the meeting point. We will cycle through peaceful green paddies to reach the local market (Ba Le market).
(If you can’t cycle, the alternative options are available without any surcharge: car/ sit behind local motorbike driver).
The tour guide will show you where the ingredients of the cooking courses come from and you will have chance to capture the hustle and bustle trading lives of local people. After that, we head back to the restaurant where the chef and the cooking course are waiting for you.
Upon arrival, you will have a break with a Vietnamese coffee to cool down and relax. Then, let’s join a fun bamboo basket boat ride through small creeks in water coconut fields and the folk game “bit mat dap noi”
Once you get back, we will start to cook a variety of local dishes following the given menu. Our Chef and Tour Guide will instruct and assist you to cook during the class. Afterwards we enjoy our delicious and mindful dishes together.
After lunch, we will take a lazy boat back to Hoi An Ancient Town. Sit back and enjoy the scenery and local life of fisherman along the riverside. Back to your hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration: 7 hours
Menu: (vegetarian menu available upon request)
1. Fresh Spring Rolls
2. Rice pancake
3. Papaya Salad with Shrimp and Pork
4. Braised Chicken with Chili and Lemongrass
Free on your own to discover Hoi An. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Free at your leisure before being transferred to the airport (without tour guide) to take your domestic flight to Hanoi.
Welcome to Hanoi, you will be collected by our local guide at Hanoi Airport and transfer to hotel for check-in. The room is at your disposal from 14.00 onwards. The balance of the day is at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
In the morning, check out the hotel after breakfast. You will enjoy a walking tour to one of our most vibrant markets - Hang Be Market, nestled smack in the heart of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, 5 minutes’ walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. The market offers all a market in Vietnam kinds of goods that might be of need by the people of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, be it uncooked meat, cooked meat, fruits, dry food, worshiping items... It will bring you an interesting approach to the life of the people in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
Afterward, we transfer to Tran Quoc Pagoda - the oldest of its kind in Hanoi, dating back to the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De Dynasty (544 - 548). The Buddhist shrine has undergone several changes throughout the years, particularly it's renaming from An Quoc to Tran Quoc (protecting the country) by Emperor Le Huy Tong in the 17th century.
Then we will move to Temple of Literature - famous for being the first university of Vietnam. You will recognize that this is a popular place for Vietnamese students to take commemorative photographs when graduating.
In the afternoon, visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex where the great President Ho Chi Minh rests in peace. We will visit the traditional stilt house and the respected One-Pillar Pagoda, the special pagoda with a particular structure.
Take a short rest and then you will be transferred to Hanoi Railway station to take your overnight train to Lao Cai.
(There are 04 soft berths in 01 cabin, you will share the cabin with other customers)
The train SP3 will leave Hanoi at 22:00 and arrive in Lao Cai at 06.10 AM (next day)
The train arrives at about 6:00 am. Our guide will pick you up there. Take a morning drive through the clouds by car to Sapa, about 1.5 hours. When you arrive in Sapa you will be taken to a local restaurant for a morning shower, breakfast, a short rest and some last preparations before our inspiring trek.
At 10 am we start trekking. The first part is on the road but we soon turn to the right and walk on a small path down the valley to the Muong Hoa River along Y Linh Ho valley and from here lead to the Black H’mong village Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They are proud of their culture and keep their traditions and way of living. They have their own language and wear traditional indigo blue clothing. After this, you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam. The development has meant that some of their old customs have been lost but many women still wear traditional shirts with a purple, blue or green color. The Zay houses were built of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. We stay overnight with a local family in Ta Van and have our dinner here
After enjoying a lovely breakfast with your hosts, you will head off out to Giang Ta Chai village and meet the Red Dao people. You will visit the local waterfall and then be collected by private car to return to Sapa Town. On the journey back there will be plenty of photo opportunities and your driver will stop at the best spots. Back in the city and enjoy the dinner. You will be free in the evening to either relax or explore around the town center.
Overnight on the train to Hanoi and reach Hanoi in the early morning.
Arrival in Hanoi early in the morning. You will have a day-use hotel to have breakfast and take a rest before leaving for Halong Bay by shuttle bus, arriving around noon. Visiting the bay, you will experience the magic of the wonderful wonder of the world.
From the harbor, board our boat for a cruise among the numerous limestone karst rising from the emerald water. Make a stop en route to visit a grotto of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites and anchor for a relaxing swim in a hidden cave. Meals will be served on the cruise. Overnight on the cruise.
After breakfast, enjoy your time to swim, sunbathe and relax in the fascinating background of the bay. After lunch on board – around 11.30am, transfer back to Hanoi to check in the hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Free at your leisure before being transferred to the airport (without tour guide) to take your regional flight to Luang Prabang. The room is at your disposal until noon time.
Once arrival in Luang Prabang, you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to the hotel to check in. The balance of the day will be at your leisure, Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
For early risers, alms giving ceremony is good chance to learn about local culture. We suggest you enjoy the sunrise at the crossroads in town around 05.00 when you will also see monks in saffron robes from Luang Prabang’s many temples walking in long silent processions searching for offerings left to them by the faithful.
Then it’s time for sunrise moment on the Phousi Mountain where you also can have a nice panorama of the city.
Visit the morning market, a perfect place to meet the locals, dine on Lao food, and watch the people as they wander. Grab yourself a frosty bevy and a slice of blood sausage and check it out.
Enjoy a short drive to visit Vat Xieng Thong or Temple of the Royal City- one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art.
Afterward, we head to Kuang Sy Falls a stunning turquoise waterfall. On the way, you will pass through rice fields and beautiful small villages dotted along the country road. Make a stop at some of the villages before relaxing at the waterfall. Take a fresh swim to refresh yourself in many basins.
In the afternoon, we transfer back Luang Prabang and visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (closed on Monday) located in a historical building preserved by UNESCO. The exhibition here consists of traditional clothing, religious artifacts and daily working tools of Lao minorities that will help you understand more about their lifestyle and traditions.
Leaving here, one the way back to the hotel, we will stop to visit the H’mong Night Market where you can find a lot of souvenirs in the traditional style of Laos. This is also a paradise for any street food lover, and you can have dinner on your own. Our guide will suggest you a good place to enjoy Laos traditional food or hot pot at a nice restaurant at the river bank.
Back to the hotel. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Our tuk tuk driver will pick you up at your hotel this morning to have a departure to the boat jetty.
Embark on the Nava Mekong, a traditional river boat, for a shared cruise on the mighty Mekong River, departing around 1000. On the way, you will have a great opportunity to enjoy the dramatic yet peaceful scenery as well as see the simple lives of rural people living along the river.
During 2 – hour cruise upstream to the Pak Ou Caves, the village of Ban Xang Hai will be stopover along your way of discovering. Called by Pak Ou because of its special location - the caves themselves are very close to the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers. In these 2 caves, you will have chance to admire numerous ancient Buddha images, dating back from many centuries. Also, this is the most important religious site in Laos for pilgrimages during the Lao New Year festivities around mid-April.
On the way back downstream, you will be served with a selection of typical Lao dishes onboard.
The cruise will take about 1.5 hours to turn back Luang Prabang, and arrive around 1400. We will pick you up at the boat jetty and transfer you back to your hotel.
Free time at your leisure in the rest of the day. Dinner in your account. 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||Adamas||L'Heritage||May De Ville Old Quarter||Melia Hanoi|
|Halong Bay||Lavender Cruise||Oriental Sails||V'spirit Premier Cruise||Athena Luxury Cruise|
|Sapa||Ta Van Ecologic Homestay||Sunny Moutain||Amazing Sapa||Victoria Sapa|
|Hoi An||Kim An||Hoian River Green Boutique Hotel||Belle Maison Dahana Hoi An||Sunrise Hoian|
|Saigon||Le Duy||Park View Saigon||Muong Thanh Centre||Majestic Saigon|
|Budget||3 - Star||4 - Star||5 - Star|
|Luang Prabang||Sunway Hotel||Villa Chitdara||Maison Dalabua||Satri House|
|Halong Bay||Lavender Cruise|
|Sapa||Ta Van Ecologic Homestay|
|Hoi An||Kim An|
|Halong Bay||Oriental Sails|
|Hoi An||Hoian River Green Boutique Hotel|
|Saigon||Park View Saigon|
|Hanoi||May De Ville Old Quarter|
|Halong Bay||V'spirit Premier Cruise|
|Hoi An||Belle Maison Dahana Hoi An|
|Saigon||Muong Thanh Centre|
|Halong Bay||Athena Luxury Cruise|
|Hoi An||Sunrise Hoian|
This is a special tour for exploring Vietnam and Laos because you can travel all months around. In the South of Vietnam, the weather is warm and sunny. You may want to extend a 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 a few days to enjoy the peaceful and fresh air of Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is so charming and has 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 groups 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: some 5-star hotels in Hoian will have surcharged for Easter Holidays
° Vietnam Lunar New Year – from 25.Feb.2020 – 03.Mar.2020 – if you travel during this period, there will be surcharged 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
- 3 x domestic/ regional flights: Ho Chi Minh - Da Nang, Da Nang - 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: 35USD per person
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
- Travel insurance
Based on 54 reviews
"11 DAY UNFORGETTABLE VIETNAM TOUR"
"10 WONDERFUL DAYS IN VIETNAM"
Did a local boat trip on the Mekong Delta. We were introduced to the way of life there ... More +
"5-Star + Service!!"
"2 week holiday from South to North Vietnam"
Cape Town, South Africa
"Exceptional tour service"
"THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE"
"Time well spent"
Karen & Jennifer
"From North to South Vietnam"
"Amazing 2 Weeks in Vietnam & Cambodia by Ha Nguyen - Vietnamtours"
"Amazing 7-day trip to Vietnam"
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"Amazing Vietnam and Cambodia"
"Vietnam and Cambodia"
"16 Days Vietnam Tour"
Van Rensburg Bill
"Expectations exceeded on Private 12 day Vietnam Tour"
"10 wonderful days in Vietnam"
"Tailor made Tour"
5 days in Ho Chi Min City/Saigon
As we had a limited time in Saigon we wanted to ensure that our bucket list visits were arranged before we arrived and so booked a personalized tour with Ha Nguyen. The must-see Mekong Delta, Cu Chi tunnels, Military ... More +
"12 UNFORGETTABLE DAYS IN VIETNAM"
"15 day tour of Vietnam"
"Our two week family holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia"
Hello Vietnam Travel is far more than a travel agency. They were our virtual travel companions. This made life so much easier for us.
From compiling a draft travel itinerary through Vietnam and Cambodia, throwing in some ideas, booking hotels, flights, and excursions, to monitoring ... More +
"Personalized tour : Vietnam, South to North"
"11 Days VIETNAM Tour from NORTH to SOUTH"
"NORTH TO SOUTH VIETNAM TRIP"
Dirk Reindert Verbeek
"NORTH TO SOUTH TOUR AND PHU QUOC BEACH BREAK"
"SHORT BUT AWESOME"
Jonathan and Shanay
"VIETNAM & CAMBODIA TOUR"
We started off planning our trip around August 2018. Our travel consultant, Ha Nguyen, was very friendly, helpful and accommodating. We were initially undecided about how we wanted to do the trip and we had a lot of changes to the ... More +
Clara and Sinazo
"Our awesome experience in Vietnam"
Pienaar Keith Rowan
"North to South Vietnam Tour"
She was absolutely efficient, thorough, helpful and so loving to deal with. Especially when we landed in Hanoi (after a 27-hour journey ... More +
"Arlene, Rodney and Warren Dredge"
"Hanoi to Saigon tour"
We will always look back on our first trip to Vietnam with fond memories. A huge thank you to Ha Nguyen for arranging the most incredible holiday for us! Everything ran smoothly and on time as ... More +
2nd December 2018
Johannesburg, South Africa
"Thanks for a great trip"
25th September 2018
Stellenbosch, South Africa
"Tour of Vietnam and Cambodia"
"Awesome 5 Star 17 day tour of Vietnam & Cambodia"
Philip & Lynn Roux
"Ha and Vietnam Tours are the best!"
"Amazing 5 Star Luxury 17 tour to Vietnam & Cambodia"
Cameron Ashton Lazarus
"What an experience!"
"VIETNAM TOUR AND SENITOUR"
"Great and personally organization of excursions!"
Ashley was a wonderful consultant and gave me great advices. I was able to book just the parts ... More +
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Huizemark South Africa
"The experience was memorable and your assistance in getting everything done so seamlessly, invaluable. "
31 May 2018
The experience was memorable and ... More +
Cape Town, South Africa
"Seamless and effortless and magical"
26 May 2018
Howick, South Africa
"What a wonderful experience of Vietnam"
26 May 2018
Cape Town, South Africa
"Thank you for organising such a wonderful tour for us"
24 May 2018
This is just a note to THANK YOU for organising such a wonderful tour for us. It was a job well done. It was such a pity that we did not get to meeting you. But can assure you that what you have done ... More +
Johannesburg, South Africa
"Awesome 9 day honeymoon - Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia"
3 May 2018
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Kelly Berger & Hendrik Kapp
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Thanks so much Ms Alex for organising everything so well for us. Will definitely be recommending your company to everyone we know.
Cape Town (now Katrine is our representative in South Africa)
"A truly magical trip thanks to vietnamtour.co.za"
Namibia, Southern Africa
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