North Vietnam and Laos Adventure

North Vietnam and Laos Adventure

Starts
Hanoi
Destinations
+ 7
Ends
Vientiane
Hanoi → Halong Bay → Mai Chau → Dien Bien → Nong Khiaw → Luang Prabang → Xieng Khuang → Vientiane

Highlights

  • Discover Hanoi City with many beautiful sites.
  • Mai Chau for discovering local ethnic minorities lifestyle.
  • Travel back in time to Dien Bien Phu – A famous site to learn about Vietnam war in the past.
  • Explore Nong Kiaw – A charming town of Laos in the side of Nam Song River.
  • Experience Alms Giving ceremony – A very famous activity of Theravada Buddhism.
  • Visit Wat Xieng Thong and many beautiful temples in Luang Prabang.
  • Visit Kuang Si waterfall – One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Laos.
Age range
Accommodation
3 / 4 / 5
Transportation

We’ve designed this tour to highlight two of Indochina’s most exceptional destinations. Discover Vietnam’s incredible diversity: Walk through the ancient city of Hanoi, enjoy a boat cruise on the picturesque Halong Bay, experience a homestay with the Thai tribe people of Mai Chau, visit the old French battle field in Dien Bien Phu, and marvel at the peaceful countryside of the Red River and Northwest hill tribes.
To discover the enchanting land of Laos, cross over from Vietnam via the newly opened border gate of Tay Trang, head to the rugged mountain town of Muang Khuon, and then down to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang. Visit the sacred Pak Ou Caves, local villages along the Mekong river, and the beautiful boulevards of the capital city – Vientiane. This breathtaking and inspiring journey through Indochina is sure to astound you at every turn.

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Itinerary

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  1. Day 1: Hanoi Arrival.

    Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam’s bustling colonial capital. Driver and guide of Laos Travel will meet you outside the baggage claim at Noi Bai Airport and take you to your hotel in the city center.
    Meals: Not available.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  2. Day 2: Hanoi – City Tour.

    Today you have a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, Hanoi is an eclectic mix that offers something for everyone. Your city tour will take you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and stilt house), the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Presidential Palace; the Temple of Literature; the Quan Thanh Temple, the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda & West Lake; and one of the city's museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum). In the evening enjoy a traditional Water Puppet Performance – a unique Vietnamese Art form hailing from Southeast Asia’s wet-rice culture.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  3. Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on Cruise.

    Pick up at the hotel for setting out on a drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Halong Bay. Spend 24 hours on a cruise in the amazing bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters. Arrive at the dock around noon and board your junk. Savor a gourmet lunch of fresh seafood onboard as we sail out into the mystical bay. In the afternoon, cruise around some of Halong’s many islands, including Dinh Huong and Ga Choi. Along the way visit one of the bay’s 3 largest caves (Thien Cung, Dau Go or Sung Sot). Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white-sand beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the Tonkin Gulf (weather permitting). Pass the night on your junk, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
    Accommodation: Private cabin on board.

  4. Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi.

    Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk for breakfast then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Bai Tu Long Bay as we navigate back to Halong City. Have brunch on board the boat before returning to Halong pier. Your driver will meet you at the dock and take you to Hanoi. Rest of the day is free at leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  5. Day 5: Hanoi – Mai Chau.

    Our driver and guide will meet you at your hotel and take you along highway 6 to Mai Chau: a small town nestled in the midst of a lush valley and surrounded by emerald-green rice fields. Enjoy picturesque views of the scenic landscape, sown with pagodas and rural villages. Stop along the way to visit the Muong tribe and then at Thung Khe Pass for a spectacular view of Mai Chau valley. Have an authentic lunch with a local family of the White Thai Tribe and enjoy some free time to acquaint yourself with the villagers. In the afternoon, trek through terraced rice paddies and small villages, discovering the natural beauty of the valley and encountering the culture of the ethnic minority Thai people on our visits to the Thai villages. Return to the home stay and help cook the evening meal. This is an opportunity to learn about the local cuisine and culture as you join the family to prepare a traditional dinner. In the evening, enjoy a live dance and music performance. Stay overnight in the traditional house.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
    Accommodation: Home stay in Mai Chau.

  6. Day 6: Mai Chau – Dien Bien Phu.

    Start the day with a simple breakfast with your host family. Then take a short drive through the surrounding countryside, before setting off on a long and nice drive to the tea plantations and plateau of Moc Chau. We then travel from Son La, all the way to Dien Bien Phu on the newly upgraded highway No.6. This gorgeous stretch of road is lined with stunning scenery. We will make frequent photo stops en route and visit the minority villages of the H’mong and Black Thai peoples. Then visiting a tea plantation on Moc Chau plateau—Vietnam’s premier tea-growing region. In the afternoon we continue along winding mountain roads through North Vietnam’s stunning countryside. The nice drive passing the impressive Pha Din pass—a highlight of the day. Pha Din sits 1,000 meter or 3,280 feet above the sea level. According to local legend, “Pha Din” means the connection between Heaven and Earth. We arrive Dien Bien Phu later in the afternoon.
    Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Dien Bien Phu.

  7. Day 7: Dien Bien Phu Tour.

    Nestled in a heart shaped basin near the border with Laos, lies Dien Bien Phu. The famous historical battle field, where the Vietnamese successfully defeated the French, marking the end of French colonial occupation in 1954.
    Start the day early with a visit to the local market where you will meet charming Thai tribes in their traditional costume purchasing their farm products.
    The next is military base and historical site of the First Indochina War. We drive 30 minutes out of city to the base of The Command of Dien Bien Phu Campaign (Muong Phang) – Located in a primitive forest in Muong Phang commune to the commanding bunker of General Commander-in-chief Vo Nguyen Giap and Hoang Van Thai.
    In the afternoon, we will visit Dien Bien Phu Museum – Built at 1984 on the occasion of the year 30th after Dien Bien Phu Victory before visiting A1 Hill - The most important camp of the French and Bunker of the French General De Castries.
    Some free time of your own in the afternoon relax by the hotel or strolling around the town.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Dien Bien Phu.

  8. Day 8: Cross border to Muang Khua – Drive to Nong Khiaw.

    After breakfast in the hotel, we drive down south through the peaceful Muong Thanh Valley to the Tay Trang border gate to Laos where our Laos guide and driver are await you.
    (It may take some 30 minutes for Immigration and customs processes)
    Crossing the border, we continue through one of Laos’ most remote regions to Muang Khua, a border town located on the banks of the Nam Ou River. Have an early lunch here in Muang Khua then we continue the journey to Nong Khiaw – a charming rustic little town on the bank of the Ou River. It is squeezed in between some of the most fantastic limestone mountains north of Laos.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Nong Khiaw.

  9. Day 9: Nong Khiaw – Pak Ou Caves – Luang Prabang.

    Have breakfast in the hotel then we ride a bicycle around the village enjoying the fresh air and peaceful scenery. Then we say goodbye to peaceful Nong Khiaw to drive to Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This exquisite town in Laos is not to be missed under any circumstances. Situated on the peninsula formed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan River, Luang Prabang is a perfect spot to unwind, eat good food and enjoy the scenery. This relatively small, palm fringed place is packed with fabulous colonial villas, top class restaurants, coffee shops and stunning Buddhist temples.
    On the way to old town we stop to visit Pak Ou Cave, a mysterious cave packed with hundreds of Buddha statue into the nooks of the limestone cliffs. Head to Ban Xang Hai. Stop here to learn how local make LauLao (Lao whisky) and LauHai (Lao wine. Drive to Luang Prabang and check in hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  10. Day 10: Luang Prabang – City Tour – Kuang Si Waterfall.

    This morning you will wake up early (05:30 AM) and take participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black Alms-giving bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice. Back to hotel for breakfast.
    Our visit will start with Royal Palace Museum which was built between 1904 and 1909 during the time of French colonial occupation as the residence of the Laos Royal Family. Then we head to Wat Xieng Thong, once known as “The Temple of the Golden City”. It’s the most historic and enchanting Buddhist monastery in the entire country.
    Next we will drive and take a hike to visit the Ban Ouay, Hmong Hill tribe and Ban Ou, Lowland Lao. Our next visit is Butterfly Park which is just 300m before the entry of Kuang Si Waterfall. Continue driving to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can splash around in the pools or walk along the forest paths. Back to Luang Prabang to climb on Phousi mountain to admire sunset over ancient town.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang.

  11. Day 11: Luang Prabang – Phonsavan.

    Today we drive from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan, passing through Laos’ pristine countryside. This 8 hours transfer with spectacular view of Laos forests and mountain ranges. Along the way we will stop for photo opportunities and visit various hill tribe villages. On arrival, we will visit First we will explore Site 1 where hundreds of large stone jars lie scattered about the enchanting plateau.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Phonsavan.

  12. Day 12: Phonsavan – Plain of Jars.

    Start the day with a trip to Phonsavan’s bustling central market. Visit the MAG exhibition before heading out to see the great stone wonders of Phonsavan, the Plain of Jars. Next, is the forested area of site 2 and a short scenic trek to Site 3. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the old capital Muang Khoun and nearby villages of the H’mong and Thai Dam peoples. In the afternoon we take a short domestic flight from Phonsavan to Vientiane. Meet the guide and transfer to hotel to relax.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane.

  13. Day 13: Vientiane – City Tour.

    We have a day to explore Vientiane- the charming and fascinating capital of Laos, one of the classic Indo Chinese cities which conjure up exotic images, with its intriguing mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, American and Soviet influences. Our visit will take you to the key sites: Wat Sisaket the city ‘s oldest surviving temple with thousands of silver and porcelain images in the gloriously authentic temple compound that offers you a glimpse into the Vientiane of the past, the next stop is Haw Phra Kaeo. This large temple is beautiful both interior and exterior, it was built to house the famed Emerald Buddha in courtyards filled with frangipani trees. Next is the visit Pha That Luang, the giant golden stupa is a sight to see as the bright gold holds a sharp contrast to the pure blue sky. Then you will go to climb the Arc De Triomphe of Laos, Patuxai. The massive arch has a beautiful mosaic tiled ceiling and once at the top you can see for miles around Vientiane. In the afternoon we visit Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan (as well as other variations of the spelling), is a sculpture park located 25 km southeast from Vientiane.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane.

  14. Day 14: Vientiane Departure.

    Have breakfast at the hotel and then enjoy a free morning at your leisure before driving to the airport to catch your departure flight home.
    Meals: Breakfast.

Detailed services

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Note:
      All the hotels/ cruise are subject to availability and can be changed. In case any of the listed hotels are fully booked, alternatives of equivalence will be taken.
    1. Guide

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Meals as mentioned in the itinerary:
      Daily breakfast at hotel.

    2. Meals

      Rated Excellent by past passengers
    3. Transport

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Private transportation with A/C.

    • Flights

      Phonsavan - Vientiane by Laos Airline.


      Note:
      Please note that airfares are subject to availability and to change without notice

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    Price Includes

    • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels.
    • Domestic flight: Phonsavan - Vientiane.
    • Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles.
    • Service of English speaking guides in every location.
    • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited.
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.

    Price Excludes

    • International flights.
    • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
    • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.).
    • Tips for guides and drivers.
    • Personal travel insurance.
    • Vietnam Visa.
    • Laos Visa (more at www.laostravel.com/visa).


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