Mystery of Vietnam & Laos

Day 1: Arrive Luang Prabang Dec.

Upon arrival at the airport PG941 29Dec ETA 1150, you are met and transferred to the hotel. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. After lunch we visit Ban Phanom, a traditional weaving village where you can try your hand at the weavings. Here we will be able to appreciate the skill and design of the craftspeople in making these intricate cloths and hangings. Around 4 or 4:30 pm, back in the township, the monks in Wat Ho Siang begin to beat the drum and clang the cymbals high in the drum tower. The acoustics are incredible! For those who have an appreciation of foreign instruments it is certainly not to be missed. Phousi Hill, topped with a white stupa, offers an excellent view of the city and the winding Mekong River. Again – be prepared for some lengthy step climbing. At dusk we will have the option of venturing out tothe Wat Siphoutthabath to enjoy the sunset. Overnight at hotel in Luangprabang.

Day 2: Luang Prabang visit to Pak Ou caves (B)

Luang Prabang is the well-preserved ancient capital of the Lao Kingdom – the jewel in the crown of South East Asia for many who travel here. Today it is a delightful, tranquil village easily explored on foot. Wedged between the Mekong and Khan rivers, it has been nominated as a World Heritage site andis famous for its many Wats (temples) – 32 of the 66 that were built before French colonisation still stand. All of them are well kept and in use, with numerous monks in residence. The most beautiful Wat is Zieng Thong overlooking the Mekong. After breakfast we board our small boat and head to the holy caves of Pak Ou. This cave system is crammed with images made in the likeness of Buddha. It’s a good idea to bring along a head torch as the more adventurous of our party have the opportunity to head to the deep upper cave known as Tham Phum. On the way home we stop to visit the traditional home made rice wine village of Ban Xang Hai. On return, we also have time visiting Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek, villages of Jute Sar paper hand making, known for its hand made paper quality. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this charming town.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 3: Luangprabang (B)

Today we head to the unspoilt wildnerss of Kuang Xi National Park, around 30 minutes drive from Luang Prabang. A real highlight of this park is the scenic and popular waterfalls. It is a good idea towear shorts today, in case you get wet, and pack your swimming costume as we relax in the Park andhave the opportunity to swim in the clear water found here. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens by the falls and its clear blue pools before visiting a nearby Elephant camp and experiencing the junglefirst hand by hitching a ride on Elephant back! This is a great thrill, travelling through the jungle with our mighty new friends. Overnight at hotel in Luangprabang

Day 4: Luangprabang -  Phonsavane (B)

Today, we are driving 306KM overland on up Hill Mountain with splendid natural scenery to Xiengkhouang, where was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. If time permits, we are seeing the old capital of Muang Khoun [if time permits] and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. They have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. Overnight in Phonsavanh.

Day 5: Phonsavan – Vientiane(B)

Breakfast, visit Central Market, and Visit some ethnic minorities’ villages
(either Hmong, Phuan, Thai Neua, Thai Dam or Thai Lu). Afternoon transfer to airport for the
flight QV402, 14h40/1620  to Vientiane. Arrival transfer to Vientiane. After checking into hotel
[if time permits  we continue our sightseeing tour of Vientiane surrounding; visit the impressive Lao-Thai  Friendship Bridge and the Buddha Park, a display of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures created  by mystical monk on parkland located by the Mekong River. A view of the Atacular sunset over the Mekong River is perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane

Day 6:  Vientiane (B)

Breakfast, AM: you are met to continue exploring Vientiane capital city, we start to visit the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.  PM: continue to visit the rest of Vientiane by walk, visit Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. Then we pass by the major shopping area continuing to the Vientiane Central Market of Talad Sao and Talad Kouadin where the major goods display; including fresh food, household, textiles, gold, silver and ancient souvenir varied display and return to Mekong Riverside and late evening.  By late afternoon observing sunset by Mekong. Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 7: Flight to Hanoi

- Transfer to airport for the flight to Hanoi. Arrival transfer to our hotel in town. City tour to visit the city highlight including Ho Chi Minh Complex which includes the Vietnams first University, The Temple Of Literature, built in 1070. Visit  the Museum of Ethnology Enjoy one hour  cyclo tour through the Old Quarter. Evening water puppet for 2 persons.
- Overnight at hotel in Hanoi
 
Day 8: Hanoi – Halongbay Cruise

This morning pick up from your hotel in Hanoi at 8.30 am we will depart Hanoi at 0830 from your hotel in Hanoi for a four-hour drive through the Red River     Delta to Ha Long City. Arrival in Halong City we transfer to  a refurbished wooden sailing junk for a cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Halong Bay, giving us the chance to take in the stunning scenery of this World Heritage Site.
- 12h30: Board our junk  Junk, check-in registration
- 13h00: Have lunch with welcome wine.
- 14h00: A fantastic cruise in Ha Long bay
- 15h00. Optional  visit to Thien Cung cave , Dau Go cave, round over Tuan Chau island,  or Sungsot cave
- Optional swim at lovely beaches.  Afternoon tea with pastries on the sundeck or in the restaurant and drink  before dinner
- 18h00: Junk cruise ankor by the lagoon
- 19h00: Enjoy 4 course diner and overnight on Junk.

Day 9: Halong bay – Hanoi

Rising to the sound of ocean coming to life for another lovely day. We breakfast over sunset:
- 07h30 : Junk boat once again sets sail through breathtaking secluded Halong bay
- 08h00: Enjoy breakfast while cruising
- 9h00 : Visit Bai tu long Bay , Teapot island , Chopstiks island , Bai tho mountain.
- 11h00 : Return to Halong city and have lunch on board.
- 12h00 : Back to Halong wharf and disembark
Transfer back to Hanoi. Arrival Hanoi by 5pm. Drop off at your hotel. The trip concludes in Hanoi.

Day 10: Hanoi – Hue

Breakfast at hotel and transfer to the airport for the flight to Hue, the former capital of Vietnam (1802 -1945 under Nguyen Dynasty). Hue is known as ‘the city of peace and poetry. Arrival Hue transfer to our hotel. Visit Hue citadel,  and the famous Thien Mu Pagoda from here we take a boat trip on Perfume river to visit Tuduc royal tomb. Visit the famous Dong Ba market.  Overnight  at hotel in  Hue.

Day 11: Hue – Hoian

Transfer to Hoi An via Danang. Visit the Cham Museum containing the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world . Transfer to Hoian,  a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. We visit Hoian old houses and temples, bridges and markets . Take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 12: Hoian – Myson

Breakfast in the hotel
This morning, drive about 1 ½ hour to visit My Son, one of the most important Cham site in the country and it’s set amongst lovely hills. My Son is another of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Hoi An. At leisure to enjoy Hoian. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Danang – Saigon – Cuchi Tunnels

Fly Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City VN 315, 0810/0940 Upon arrival, you would be met and transferred to your hotel. Drive to visit  Cu Chi Tunnel – an amazing complex system of underground tunnel constructed during the Vietnam war by the Vietcong; return to HCM city. Overnight at hotel in HCM city.

Day 14: Saigon – Mekong – Delta

Leave Ho Chi Minh City after breakfast for Vinh Long. Arrive in Cai Be floating market, we will take a boat trip to explore the floating market, one of the most attractions in the Mekong Delta. Continue cruising to Vinh Long the capital of Vinh Long Province. What makes a trip to Vinh Long worthwhile is not the town itself but the beautiful small islands in the river. The islands are totally given to agriculture, especially the growing of tropical fruits, which are shipped to markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Visit Binh Hoa Phuoc Island where one of the fascinating things to be seen are the “monkey bridges”. These are makeshift footbridges built of uneven logs about 30 to 80 cm wide and from 2m to 10m above the canals. For lunch sample the local delicacy, the “Elephant’s Ear Fish” on Binh Hoa Phuoc Island. Return to Saigon .At  leisure. Overnight at hotel in Saigon.

Day 15: Departure

At leisure. Transfer to airport for the departure flight.

GroupCost: US$ per pax 1 pax Single Supplement
Superior 1,771 557

 

City Superior 4-Star
Luangparabang Villa Santi
Vientiane Novotel hotel
Hanoi Sunway hotel
Hue Huong Giang hotel
Hoian Hoian Hotel
Saigon Grand hotel

Trip includes

- All accommodation on double/twin  basis with daily breakfast
- Meals as indicated  (B = breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Diner). Special requirements  (vegetarian, diet etc.) could be arranged upon request
- All transfers/ transport
- Tours with entrance fees, boat cruise, transfers and  English speaking during guided time
- Private boat trip in Halong Bay for your use only + kayaking & Dragon boat in Hue
- Flight tickets from: Xiengkhouang – Vientiane – Hanoi – Hue – Saigon

Trip excludes

- International airfares & airport taxes
- Pre/post trip arrangement
- Visa and visa arrangement
- Travel insurance
- Meals not indicated
- Other personal expenses
- Tips and gratuities