Royal Palace Luang Prabang

12 day escorted tour itinerary

Classic Vietnam and Laos tour

A journey through cultures and two countries of the Far East

Combine the laid back life of sleepy Luang Prabang and Hoi An with the bustling metropolis of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, a boat trip on the Mekong River with an overnight cruise on picturesque Halong Bay gliding among thousands of limestone islands. The result is a fantastic journey through two countries and cultures rich in heritage sites and natural beauty, add the genuine smiles of the people and delicious food for an unforgettable trip like no other. 

2018/2019 Tour Departures

Shared group basis departs every Saturday from Luang Prabang

Private basis departs daily from Luang Prabang

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Overnight cruise on Halong Bay
  • Night Bazaars of Laos
  • Historical sites and museums
  • Visit notorious landmarks such as the Opera House and Notre Dame Cathedral of Ho Chi Minh City

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
12 days
Guide Price
£2,589 per person
Price based on
Based on 14 June 19 departure from London Heathrow flying with Thai Airways, private tour- meal basis as per itinerary.
Our guide price gives you an idea of pricing which will vary depending on exchange rates, accommodation, duration, dates, airline and cabin class.
Destination Breakdown
Options
Private or Group basis, Escorted
Included
  • International and internal flights as detailed.
  • Air conditioned transfers in all resorts.
  • Accommodation or similar as detailed with private facilities.
  • Meals included as stated, mainly taken in local restaurants.
  • Services of an English-speaking local driver/guide.
  • All entrance fees.
  • If you have chosen the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue, a private four-berth cabin will be booked, however bathroom facilities are shared.
  • Drinking water and cold towels available in vehicles during the day.
Not included
  • Visa fees.
  • Optional excursions.
  • Compulsory Gala dinners during festive seasons and peak seasons, surcharges will be advised at time of booking.
  • Tips for the guide or driver, bellboys and maids.
  • Drinks during meals.

Itinerary Breakdown

Meet upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport by your local Lao tour guide and transfer to your hotel for check in. The rest of your day is at leisure. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Maison Dalabua Hotel or similar

Today in the morning you will start exploring Luang Prabang visiting temples, the National Museum, Vat Xieng Thong which is considered the most beautiful temple in Laos, Phousy Mountain and the TAEC Museum. After lunch transfer to Kuangsi Waterfalls, a multi-tiered limestone formation which is ideal for swimming and relaxing, spend time exploring the area before returning back to Luang Prabang.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Maison Dalabua Hotel or similar

Embark on a traditional longboat river cruise from Kamu Lodge Pier while enjoying refreshments and marvel at the thousands of gold Buddha statues placed in the sacred Pak Ou Caves. Continue cruising upstream, arriving at your lodge around noon for check in before enjoying lunch in an airy SALA settled in the middle of rice paddy fields. This afternoon you can choose to relax, or alternatively you can participate in and learn about the traditional Kamu lifestyle including harvesting the rice fields, gold panning, fishing techniques or join an archery contest. Dinner tonight is a feast by Kamu tribe standards.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Kamu Lodge (Tent) or similar

Breakfast and this morning is at leisure until you board the longboat at 14.00pm to cruise back to Luang Prabang, savour the landscape from the mighty Mekong and once back at the pier you will transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. It is recommended you visit the night market.

Points of Interest

  • Cruise back to Luang Prabang along the Mekong

Overnight Accommodation

  • Maison Dalabua Hotel or similar

Breakfast is at the hotel and you have time at leisure until your pick up time for your transfer to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. Accommodation will be in the Thien Thai Hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Optional tours (payable locally):

One hour cyclo tour

Walking tour through

Old Quarter Dinner with a Hanoi Family

Points of Interest

  • West Lake

Overnight Accommodation

  • Thien Thai Hotel or similar

After an early breakfast, depart your hotel for Halong Bay. After boarding the boat you will start a relaxing overnight cruise passing bizarre rock formations. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of outstanding natural beauty, known in Vietnamese as "Dragon descending to the sea". Itineraries vary depending on the boats programme. After lunch enjoy a guided excursion to Sung Sot Caves, the floating village, or enjoy swimming in the bay. Once the sun has set your boat will drop anchor for the night. A cooking demonstration may take place before dinner is served. After dinner, you may choose to enjoy the fresh air on the sundeck, or play board games or simply retire to your cabin for a comfortable night in the bay after a long day.

Note: our tour guide will not accompany you on-board, however each boat has their own knowledgeable guides.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Emeraude Classic Cruise or similar

You are welcome to join in an early morning Tai Chi session on the sundeck (depending on your boats programme) and watch the sunrise in the bay. Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking the boat and heading back to Hanoi. Here you will enjoy an orientation tour visiting the old quarter which is known as the city’s historical centre.

You have the choice to stay in Hanoi for another night or experience the Vietnam rail tracks overnight aboard the SE3 Reunification Express from Hanoi to Hue. The overnight train is based in a private four-berth compartment (two upper and two lower berths) with air-conditioning and shared restrooms.

If you are taking the overnight train dinner will be enjoyed at a restaurant before transferring to Hanoi railway station, if you are staying another night in Hanoi dinner is not included.

Notes when taking the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue:

Tour guide will not accompany those taking the overnight train option

Train schedule is subject to change (ETD: 22:00 hrs).

Shared restrooms only available at either end of the carriages

Points of Interest

  • Visit the narrow streets and see daily life of the Old Quarter
  • Morning Tai Chi while the sun rises

Overnight Accommodation

  • Thien Thai Hotel or similar

Spend the morning at leisure before checking out of your hotel and transferring to the airport for your flight to Hue or those that have taken the overnight train option will arrive in Hue around 10.35 am and be picked up from the train station to join the rest of the group for lunch before continuing with a half day tour of Hue. You will visit the Imperial Citadel, this royal complex has been officially recognised by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Continue by road to visit Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda an active Buddhist monastery originating from 1601, and afterwards take a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to the city pier.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Moonlight Hotel or similar

In the morning, visit Tu Duc Royal Tomb. Construction of the tomb was meticulously carried out, starting whilst the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Your journey continues southbound to Danang over the famous Hai Van Pass with a view of the Truong Son mountain range on one side and a spectacular sea view on the other followed by lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon visit Cham Museum and en route take a photo stop at the Marble Mountains before driving the short distance south past the famous Non Nuoc Beach onto the enchanting town of Hoi An listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Upon arrival in Hoi An, check in at the hotel and rest of the day will be at leisure. Be sure to make your way down to the river edge this evening to witness this magical area of Vietnam. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Hoi An Trails Resort or similar

In the morning, your guide will take you on a stroll through the exceptionally well-preserved ancient town of Hoi An. Most of the buildings still have their original wooden frames, including historical monuments and the fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures. Hoi An Silk Village is just one kilometre away from the centre of Hoi An. This ancient town is your next stop and where you will enjoy lunch. Drive to Danang airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrant economic centre of the south. Check in at your hotel and have free time in the evening to explore the city.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Bay Hotel or similar

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Cu Chi tunnels to visit the amazing complex of underground tunnels, see and learn how Vietnamese in the area lived during the Vietnam War. In the afternoon a walking tour will take you from the Saigon River past the Opera House, Town Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office. Spend some time shopping for souvenirs at the famous Ben Thanh Market before indulging in a well-earned foot massage. The evening is at leisure or an optional dinner cruise on the Saigon River is available charged locally.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Bay Hotel or similar

Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City airport for your onward journey, or alternatively extend your stay in Vietnam.

Optional excursion:

Good Morning Saigon Tour (payable locally)

  • Luang Prabang

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Stunning Temples
    • The sacred Phousy Mountain
    • Kuangsi Waterfalls
    • Experience traditional Kamu lifestyle
    • Explore the dark Pak Ou Caves
  • Hanoi

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Wander around the Old Quarter
    • City orientation tour
    • Centuries old architecture with Chinese and French influence
    • Home to over seven million Vietnamese
    • Spending the evening around West Lake
  • Halong Bay

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Panoramic views like no other
    • Turquoise waters
    • Thousands of limestone islets
    • Quaint cabins on board a traditional junk boat
    • Activities included such as Tai Chi
  • Hue

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Thien Mu Pagoda also known as Heavenly Lady pagoda
    • Boat trip on the Perfume River
    • Impressive Imperial Citadel complex
    • Tu Duc Royal Tomb
    • Active Buddhist monastery
  • Hoi An

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Japanese covered bridge
    • Narrow streets of an ancient Vietnamese town
    • Colourful lanterns line the streets
    • Hoi An Silk Village
    • A relaxed atmosphere to sit and watch the world go by
  • Ho Chi Minh City

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Vibrant economic centre of the south of Vietnam
    • Amazing Cu Chi tunnel complex
    • Walking tour of the city
    • Opera House of Ho Chi Minh City
    • Foot massage after a long day on your feet