Temple

11 day escorted tour itinerary

Classic Vietnam and Laos tour

Immerse yourself in the culture of Vietnam and Laos

*Tour available for travel from 1st October 2019*

Discover the fascinating history, diverse culture and exquisite charm of Vietnam and Laos on this 11 day adventure.

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Luang Prabang, Halong Bay and Hoi, visit beautiful Buddhist temples, and take in the enchanting natural attractions.

Journey along the scenic Mekong River and enjoy an overnight cruise on picturesque Halong Bay gliding among thousands of limestone islands.

This spectacular tour through two of Indochina's most interesting countries offers the perfect opportunity to experience 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.

Group Tour Departs every Sunday

Private Tour Departs Daily

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Sample a Hanoi speciality, egg coffee in Vietnam's capital
  • Cruise along the Mekong to Pak Ou Cave
  • Explore the ancient town of Hoi An
  • Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City

Sample Itinerary Summary

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

Duration
11 days
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

  • Santi Resort & Spa or similar

Take an early morning stroll through the morning market before returning to your hotel for breakfast.

Visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo which is sylistically more Srilankalese than Lao, before taking a walk to nearby Vat Aham, one of Luang Prabang's major tutelary shrines.

Climb up Vat Phousi hill for an outstanding view over the city before heading to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC). A museum dedicated to the ethnic arts of Laos, the TAEC is housed in a heritage building and exhibits ethnic clothing, household objects, religious artefacts and handicrafts.

In the afternoon visit the National Museum which is housed in the former King's Palace and displays a collection of personal artefacts belonging to the royal family.

Then visit the Ock Pop Tock weaving centre, a Loas based social enterprise working primarily in the field of textiles, handicrafts and design. Set in a tropical Mekong garden, it serves as a resource centre for learning about textiles, crafts and culture.

Enjoy sunset at Vat Phrabat Tai.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Santi Resort & Spa or similar

Embark on a traditional Lao riverboat cruise from Nava Mekong boat pier. While enjoying refreshments and marvel at the thousands of gold Buddha statues placed in the sacred Pak Ou Caves.

Continue cruising upstream, visit the Ban Xang Hai Village, famous for the distillation of traditional rice alcohol.

Enjoy lunch on board in front of Pha Enn Cliff before returning to Luang Prabang around 2:30 pm.

The rest of your day is free for you to explore the old town of Luang Prabang.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Santi Resort & Spa or similar

Travel by road for approximately one hour to the impressive Kuang Si Waterfalls. The waterfalls tumble over multi tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing.

On the way to the waterfalls, visit the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene for a glimpse into their lifestyle. 

Enjoy a picnic lunch near to the waterfalls and spend some time relaxing and exploring the area by foot.

Return by road to Luang Prabang, stopping along the way to visit Lao Buffalo Diary Farm. Then continue to visit Ban Phanom weaving village, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. 

Meet your tour guide on arrival at Hanoi International airport and join your fellow travellers in a coach transfer to your city centre hotel.

Located in the centre of the Northern Delta with a population of 6.2 million people and an area of 3,398 square km Hanoi is an ancient city which had been established and developed for over 1,000 years since 1010.

Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Historians liken the life-giving Red River with its banks crowded with green rice paddies and farms to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; a cradle of civilisation.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Thien Thai Hotel or similar

After an early breakfast, depart your hotel for Halong Bay and your overnight cruise.

After boarding the boat you will start a relaxing cruise passing bizarre rock formations. 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

  • Bhaya 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: 10:20 pm).

Shared restrooms only available at either end of the carriages

Overnight Accommodation

  • Thien Thai Hotel or similar

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before transferring to the airport for your flight to Hue. Those that have taken the overnight train option will arrive in Hue around 10.50 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

Explore the Ancient Town of Hoi An and its surroundings today.

Once one of the major trading centres of Southeast Asia, Hoi An has a mixed Chinese-Vietnamese atmosphere with low, tiled-roof houses and narrow streets; the original structure of some of these streets is still virtually intact.

Many of the houses are constructed of rare timbers and decorated with lacquer panels engraved with Chinese characters and pillars carved with ornamental designs.

Take a short boat ride across the river to a boat builder’s yard and woodcarvers, you will also have the chance to visit a pottery and brick-making village, before returning to the town for a discovery walking tour through Hoi An Ancient Town - enlisted as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1999.

You will visit some of the historic merchant and community houses, places of worship and the famous Japanese covered bridge.

Enjoy your free time in the afternoon, perfect for relaxation or for further discovery of the ancient town on your own.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Hoi An Trails Resort or similar

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. 

Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City airport, you will be transferred to the city centre for lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, take an orientation tour in the city centre.

You will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, both being the landmarks of the City’s colonial past.

Continue with visit to the photo gallery Couleurs d’Asie by Rehahn – the famous French photographer. On the show are two different sides of the artist’s works: images of Vietnam and his works from other countries as well as fine art photography.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Northern Hotel or similar

This morning you will drive 55km out of the city to the Cu Chi District, famous for the amazing complex of underground tunnerls,

There are more than 200km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels.

You will have the opportunity to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch.

After lunch at a local restaurant you will have some free time to explore before your transfer to Ho Chi Minh City airport and the end of your 11 day tour.

Points of Interest

  • Luang Prabang

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Stunning Buddhist temples
    • Visit the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre
    • See Kuang Si waterfall
    • Experience traditional Kamu lifestyle
    • Explore the dark Pak Ou Caves
  • Hanoi

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Explore the history Old Quarter
    • Try local speciality egg coffee
    • Enjoy the centuries old architecture with Chinese and French influence
  • Halong Bay

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Panoramic views over the UNESCO World Heritage site
    • Spectacular turquoise waters and limestone inlets
    • Quaint cabins on board a traditional junk boat
    • Activities included such as morning Tai Chi
  • Hue

    Itinerary Highlights

    • See the Thien Mu Pagoda also known as Heavenly Lady pagoda
    • Cruise along the Perfume River by boat
    • Visit the impressive Imperial Citadel complex
  • Hoi An

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Explore the narrow streets of this ancient Vietnamese town
    • Visit historic merchant and community house
    • Stroll across the Japanese covered bridge
    • Take a walking tour of Hoi An Ancient Town
  • Ho Chi Minh City

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Visit famous landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office
    • Crawl through part of the Cu Chi Tunnel system
    • Enjoy the photography installation at the Couleurs d'Asie by Rehahn gallery