Highlights of Vietnam and Laos
13 Days 12 Nights
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Luang Prabang
Day 1: Arrive Hanoi
Arrive at Hanoi airport, meet your local representative and transfer to hotel
Accommodation: La Belle Vie Hotel or similar
Day 2: Hanoi (B/L)
Today you will have the whole day to explore Vietnam’s capital city. First visit the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum from outside and his modest stilt house where he chose to live and work. We continue our visit to the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam dating back to the 11th century. Nowadays, students come and pray for good luck in their exams. Next, experience the Street Cuisine by foot. You will see other facets of local life in its authenticity. Then, take a walk to the old quarter to discover the most charming area of the city to see how locals live by their traditional work, generation by generation. Next, pass by a road-side market where you will see many fresh herbs, the local ingredients are bought here early in the morning by the farmers from out-skirt areas.
Hanoi Street food tour is symbolized as a meal with appetizers, main course and deserts. You will be amazed by the tastes of the local cuisine. Owners of food stalls will tell you how they prepare the dishes. Your lunch today includes some specials of Ha Noi such as Bun Cha, Banh Cuon or Pho (noodle soup). Don’t forget to take a seat on a small chair and try a glass of Bia Hoi – local draught beer at a small corner, and watch the local life moving around you, conclude the tour in a little Hanoi Old Quarter. Next, hop on a traditional bicycle rickshaw that moves at leisure pace, perfect for photos and slow-moving sightseeing. Sit back and relax while your driver weaves through the busy streets, dodging speeding motorbikes and rolling past the French colonial houses.
As the locals do, sit down at a local café by the St. Joseph Church and enjoy a cup of ‘Tra Chanh’ – green tea with lemon and chat with the youth. Return to your hotel after the tour and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
After breakfast, pick up by local guide, depart from your hotel for a three and half hour transfer to Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site – where there are thousands of spectacular limestone islets and grottoes rising from the clear emerald Gulf of Tonkin. Upon arrival, you will be served a welcome drink on board prior to your check-in. Lunch with fresh seafood will be served while the boat is cruising through many stone islets, floating villages and small beaches. Visit a floating fishing village, talk and meet with local villagers. Next, go for a swim or enjoy free time on your own on the sundeck. Dinner will be served on board. Overnight stay on board in Halong Bay.
Accommodation: Huong Hai Sealife Cruise or similar
Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hoi An (B)
Breakfast is served while the junk cruises around Ha Long Bay, passes by many islets named by their shapes. Stop for a while to explore one of the most beautiful ones of the bay. The junk then continues cruising towards the wharf. Ready to disembark at about 10.30am. Your vehicle is ready to take you back to Hanoi and then straight to the airport for a flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our guide and transferred to Hoi An town. Check in to your hotel and overnight stay in Hoi An.
Accommodation: Hadana Hotel or similar
Day 5: Hoi An (B/L)
After breakfast, take a bike to a local farm in Tra Que village. A short stroll will take you around the vegetable garden and then you can join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake. Following steps are raking the ground, sowing, watering, and picking vegetables and other gardening activities. After that, you will join the cooking demonstration with some local delicacies including ‘tam huu’ spring roll, banh xeo or local pancake of people in the middle region of Vietnam. Enjoy your lunch at Tra Que Village. In the afternoon, explore Hoi An Ancient Town, including the rich architectural fusion of a 300 years old Chinese temple, a 400 years old Japanese covered bridge, a 200 years old Vietnamese former merchant home influenced by visiting Hoi An narrow streets where each house façade dangles with lanterns. Return to your hotel after the tour and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 6: Hoi An – Hue (B)
After breakfast, pick up by a local guide and take a land journey to Hue Imperial City via the cloudy Hai Van Pass. Get a panoramic view of Vietnam’s central coast from the top of the cloudy Hai Van Pass. Upon arrival, take a boat trip on Huong River, or better known as the perfume river. The boat drops us off at the beautiful Thien Mu Pagoda which is also home to many young people who want to try out and learn from life as a monk. Continue the boat trip to visit Minh Mang Tomb.
Accommodation: Emm Hue Hotel or similar.
Day 7: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
After breakfast at hotel, you are free at leisure till check-out. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue – UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. After the tour, transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Upon arrival, meet by local representative and transfer to your hotel in the city for an overnight.
Day 8: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta (B/L)
Leave the bustling Saigon behind, head out to untouched areas not well-known by tourists in Ben Tre. Board the Apricot Cruise for a full day of interesting experiences: see how local traditional methods utilize every bit of the coconut, learn how to make local cakes, boat rowing through winding water-coconut canals, bike riding along the lush rural roads, sample tasty local cakes, tea with honey, and enjoy lunch served with Mekong specialties at Apricot Riverside Restaurant. Relax and enjoy the tour.
Accommodation: Bay Hotel or similar
Day 9 : Ho Chi Minh City (B)
After breakfast, explore Ho Chi Minh City’s history starting with a visit to the War Remnants Museum – originally opened in September 1975, it displays old military equipments and other related items from the Vietnam War. We continue to visit the Reunification Palace, the former residence of the Indochina Governor General and late President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in Apr 30, 1975. Walk down to see the Notre Dame Cathedral and General Post Office which are beautiful examples of architecture from the French colonial period and the last stop at the bustling Ben Thanh Market for shopping. Return to your hotel about noon time and rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City – Luang Prabang (B)
After breakfast, enjoy leisure time until your transfer to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, meet by a representative and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Santi Resort or similar
Day 11: Luang Prabang (B)
Meet friendly locals and have interesting experiences of Laos ethnic minorities. Start with a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (closed Mondays), a private museum devoted to Lao ethnography, provides an overview of the four main ethno linguistic families (Austroasiatic, Hmong-Yao, Tai-Kadai, Sino-Tibetan) and their distribution in the country. Traditional clothing and headdresses, religious artefacts, photography and handicrafts are also on display. Continue to Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts center to learn more about the fascinating world of Lao textiles and handicrafts in the beautiful gardens on the banks of the Mekong River (does not include any batik class). In the afternoon, visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, the impressive stupa of Wat Mai and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. Then you will climb up to the top of Phousi Mount for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the Street Night Bazaar, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 12: Luang Prabang (B)
Head out to Kuang Si Waterfall, en-route stop at the local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups. Follow the unpaved trail as it gradually climbs through the forest to reach different levels of natural blue pools, some are shallow and one central pool has a rope swing. Enjoy your leisure time and capture nice photos of Kuang Si. Also, visit the Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center, home to more than 20 Asiatic Black Bears rescued from dire circumstances. The bears live in an enclosure with lots of trees, swings, and other things to play with. From a viewing platform you can observe the animals as they play or search for food.
Day 13 (Sat): Luang Prabang -Departure (B)
After breakfast, transfer from the hotel to the airport for your return flight to Canada via Bangkok.
B – Breakfast L – Lunch D – Dinner
Tour Price per Person Double Occupancy – minimum 2 persons
|DAILY DEPARTURE||Land Package||Single Supp.|
|2020: April, October – December||3030||820|
|2020: May – September||2880||670|
|2021: January – March||3090||840|
LAND ONLY price includes Domestic airfare within Laos
HOTEL BLACK OUT DATES and FAIR/SEASONAL SURCHARGES MAY APPLY.
~~ ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE ~~
Your Tour Package Includes
• Domestic airfare between Vietnam and Laos.
• Return transfers between airport and hotel.
• Superior hotel accommodation with daily breakfast.
• Sightseeing tours with admission and meals as per itinerary.
• Professional English-speaking local guide service.
Your Tour Package Does NOT Include
• International airfare from Canada to Vietnam and Laos
• Any applicable weekend and other surcharges imposed by airlines.
• Any taxes, airport fees and fuel surcharge.
• Travel/medical/cancellation insurance, travel visa and all personal expenses.
• Tipping and gratuities to local guides, drivers and hotel staff.
• Any items not specified as included.
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