Overview

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.

Highlights

  • Ho Chi Minh city – our largest city with many popular destinations with rich history, French colonial buildings 
  • Enjoy many fun activities in Mekong Delta which is considered the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam, is carpeted in a dizzying variety of greens
  • Enjoy cycling and cooking class in Hoi An – our most beloved town in Vietnam
  • Explore our North with Hanoi capital to understand more about our culture, history and of course, our cuisine
  • Sa Pa lies among mountains and jungles to maintain a special cultural diversity in a combination of ethnic minority groups’ culture
  • Experience overnight cruise in Halong Bay to understand why it is considered “the should-not miss destination” in Vietnam
  • Discover Luang Prabang’s history, culture by visiting the most famous temples, museums
  • Enjoy the most breathtaking cascades of waterfall in Luang Prabang - Kuang Si waterfall
  • Explore one of the most respected holy sites in Laos with a history dating back thousands of years – Pak Ou Caves
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Trip Code: VNZA-793

Trip Duration: 16 Days

Starting: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Finishing: Luang Prabang, Lao

Destination: Vietnam & Laos

Type of trip: Classic

Theme: Nature, history, culture

Ages: All ages

Group Size: Variable upon your inquiry

Price from:

R 16,499 R 18,999

per person

13% OFF

Itinerary Expand All

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.

Useful Information

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
  • 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

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: 35USD per person
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance

Meals

  • Breakfast: 15
  • Lunch: 7
  • Brunch: 1
  • Dinner: 3

Transport

  • Private car 
  • Shuttle bus 
  • Airplane 
  • Boat 
  • Train

Included Activities

  • Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Day Trip to Mekong Delta
  • Hoian Sightseeing
  • Hoian EcoTour and Cooking Class
  • Hanoi City TOur
  • Trekking along Lao Chai & Ta Van Village
  • Exploring Giang Ta Chai Village
  • Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi (2D1N on non-private cruise)
  • Luang Prabang City Tour - Kuang Si Waterfall
  • Visiting Pak Ou Caves

Special Note:

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.

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

Please kindly note that the excursions included in this tour are not compulsory to join. You, perhaps, don’t want to take it at some point. In this case, please let your operator know and note that we are not able to provide any refunds.

Cancellation by Customer

Should you need to cancel your holiday once it has been confirmed, the party leader must immediately advise us in writing sent to us via fax or email. The following cancellation charges will be applied:

  • More than 21 days prior to departure: The total of deposit paid to us (30% of the Tour value).
  • 7- 21 days  prior to departure: 50% on total value of the trip charged, due to hotel charges for no-shows and organizing fees.
  • Within 1-6 days  prior to departure: 100% on total charged.
  • No-Show: 100% on total charged.

Note: Insurance premiums and amendment charges are not refundable in the event of cancellation.  

Cancellation of domestic or international flights:

If the cancellation occurs after a deposit was paid to the Airlines, a cancellation fees, of 25 – 40 % of the airfare for the domestic flight and USD30 – 50/pax for the international flight, is required (according to the policy of the Airlines).

Unused services:

No refunds or exchanges can be made with respect to accommodation, meals, sightseeing tours, transport or any other services, included in the tour price, but not utilized by the tour members. 

Children Policy

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

Reviews

Reviews from actual Seni travelers. We publish all reviews.

Excellent
5 out of 5

Based on 66 reviews. See some of the reviews here.

Judy da Silva

Guest Country: Umdloti, South Africa

Travel Dates: September 2019

Traveled To: Vietnam and Cambodia

Thank-you so much to Mark at Vietnam Tours for superb service, great advice and for all his amazing help in planning and organising our entire incredible Cambodia & Vietnam holiday.

We absolutely loved every part of it! Mark made this trip completely seamless and stress free. I gave Mark a list of the things we like and want to see and do and he tailor made a custom tour especially for us.

Our every dietary need was catered for and the food was absolutely delicious. Incredible sights and sounds from vibrant cities to rural countryside.

The wonderful tour guides and drivers were excellent.The hotels were excellent, every part of the holiday was perfect and amazing.

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Trip Rating:

Mukesh Harisunker

Guest Country: South Africa

Travel Dates: November 2019

Traveled To: Vietnam

This was the best trip ever organized by this tour group.Although our visas and Immigration took over 3 hours and our flight number being changed and a delay from our flight,we were met with smiling faces about 4 hours later which was wonderful and thereafter they were always on time always, all this preparations was done via WhatsApp.Although their payment was 30% deposit and balance 70% before daparture, I paid everything not knowing them and did not have any problems whatsoever. VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDABLE. THANK YOU, MUKESH HARISUNKER,SOUTH AFRICA

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Trip Rating:

Rondlopertjend

Guest Country: Montagu, South Africa

Travel Dates: October 2019

Traveled To: Vietnam

Vietnam completely blew us away - one of our best experiences ever! From the bustling of the Old Quarters in Hanoi in the north, thru beautiful Hoian with its thousand colorful lanterns in Center, down to Ho Chi Minh with the tunnels and Mekong river, this has just been one of the most scenic, most exquisite tours. The natural beauty of Halong Bay took our breaths away and it's one of the places we will definitely return to in future. Thank you so much to Trung Hoang who made this tour extra special - your assistance and guidance will hard to top! You were the best!!!

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Trip Rating:

Rosh & Betti

Guest Country: Durban, South Africa

Travel Dates: October 2019

Traveled To: Vietnam

Vietnam tours have been awesome, especially Ashley Trang, the agent assigned to us. After finding this tour company on Facebook and making contact with them, Ashley immediately responded to my query. She worked tirelessly and efficiently to make sure that she catered to our every need and requirement. With her advice and expertise we here able to put together an itinerary, that has allowed us to have the best experience of this beautiful country, people,food and sights.

Our trip went without hitches from being transferred to airports and awesome hotels, organised private tours with knowledgeable English speaking tour guides and plenty free time with the best advice to explore at our leasure.

Ashley paid us a personal visit at our hotel in Hanoi, a gesture beyond her scope of duty. We have left Vietnam with very pleasant memories and will definitely recommend Vietnam Tours to family and friends.

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Trip Rating:

Q&A’s

What information would you like to know? View more...
A Response from Seni World 30/08/2019

Not only is the first tour operator in Vietnam focusing only on travelers from South Africa but Vietnamtour.co.za also has been receiving a lot of positive reviews on TripAdvisor. Moreover, we also have a representative in South Africa  - Mrs. Katrine Putick. You can contact her to book and confirm your tour to Vietnam right in South Africa. 

Ms. KATRINE PUTTICK

  • Address: Bay Farm, Main Rd, Hout Bay Cape Province, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Phone: (+27 (83) 261 1693)
  • Email: kputtick@iafrica.com
A Response from Seni World 26/04/2019

Tipping is not customary in Vietnam but it's highly appreciated. Most the high-end services include a service fee but if you receive a service that exceeded your expectation, then a tip is highly recommended. Normally, you should tip at least 1-3 USD/pax/day for your guide and driver.

A Response from Seni World 18/07/2019

Vietnam's weather is tropical climate with high humidity creating a favorable condition for many insects especially mosquitoes. Whenever you head outside especially in mountainous areas, be sure to apply repellent to all areas of exposed skin. 

A Response from Seni World 15/04/2019

Depending on individual hotels, most of the hotels in Vietnam are equipped with all necessary amenities such as hair dryers, private bathroom, safety box, shampoo, body lotion and more. If you're not sure about the quality of these kinds of stuff, you can bring your own or buy outside.

A Response from Seni World 07/12/2018

You can easily find an ATM at any major cities across the country. Though, it's hard to find one in local areas, so make sure you prepare enough money for a journey out of the city.  Do not keep too much money along you to avoid the risk of theft. 

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