VIETNAM & LAO DISCOVERY

Destination: Saigon – Cu Chi – Mekong – Danang – Hoian – Hue – Hanoi – Halong Bay - Luang Prabang - Khuang Xi Waterfalls - Pak Ou - Vientiane
Tour code: HA81VNLAODIS15D
Price from: $850.00
DAY 1: SAIGON ARRIVAL.
DAY 2: SAIGON – CU CHI TUNNELS.
DAY 3: SAIGON – MEKONG DELTA (MY THO).
DAY 4: SAIGON – HOI AN.
DAY 5: HOI AN.
DAY 6: HOI AN – HUE.
DAY 7: HUE – HANOI.
DAY 8: HANOI – HALONG BAY.
DAY 9: HALONG – HANOI.
DAY 10: HANOI – LUANG PRABANG.
DAY 11: LUANG PRABANG – KHUANG SI WATERFALL.
DAY 12: LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU.
DAY 13: LUANG PRABANG – VIENTIANE.
DAY 14: VIENTIANE DEPARTURE.
Tour starts from Saigon & ends at Vientiane.


Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you are warmly welcomed by our local guide and transfer to hotel in Saigon for check in. Free at leisure for your own activities. Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.



Meet in the lobby of your hotel and drive to Cu Chi Tunnels (70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City), an amazing complex of underground tunnels used during the Vietnam War. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels. For a more “thrilling” experience, you can even test your shooting skills on original AK47s and other guns from past war times (subject to a surcharge). Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Explore Saigon during the afternoon, you will visit Notre Dame Cathedral inaugurated in 1880 became the spiritual and cultural crucible of the French presence in the Orient as was the Post office designed by Gustav Eiffel and resembling a grand railway station. Visit the former Presidential Palace, renowned for its symbolic role in the fall of Saigon in 1975 and continue to visit the War Remnants Museum. Take in the city’s vibrant character during a one-hour cyclo ride. End the day at the famous Ben Thanh Market, where you can purchase souvenirs for your beloved ones and shopping. Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.



Morning meet our local guide in the lobby of your hotel and drive to My Tho the heart of the Mekong delta, famous for its vast rice fields and most beautiful landscapes. Visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda en route and stop by the bank of Tien Giang river. Take a boat trip on Mekong River to Phoenix Island where local handicrafts and sweets from coconut are being produced. Enjoy fresh seasonal fruits and traditional live music and songs performance. Take a short ride on a horse carriage to a typical local house to taste some homemade honey-tea. Proceed by small sampan boats through the small canals and side arms of the river to observe the daily life along the river banks with a stop and short leisurely walk at the Turtle Island. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before driving back Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the dinner.

Dinner on cruise through Saigon river. Escape the hustle & bustle of the city and cruise the waters of the Saigon River. Savour a sumptuous dinnerwhile floating past Ho Chi Minh’s enchanting night-time cityscape. Overnight at hotel in Hochiminh.

(DOMESTIC AIR FARE IS NOT INCLUDED. AS TODAY'S DATE, AIR FAIR FROM SAIGON TO DANANG IS 90 USD/ PAX)

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Tan Sat Nhat Airport for a domestic flight to Danang. Upon arrival, you will be warmly welcomed by our local guide and transfer to Hoian while passing Danang city - the fourth largest city in Vietnam, the gateway to the central provinces and a sea port with nice beaches and resort. En route, you vist the Cham Museum - The world's foremost collection of the sculpture of the ancient King-dom of Champa, and the Marble Mountain, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe en route then continue driving along Non Nuoc Beach to Hoi An. Arrival Hoian, lunch at local restaurant then check in the hotel.  Rest of the day free at leisure for your own activities. Overnight at hotel in Hoian.



Known to early Western merchants, Hoian was one of the major trading centres of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Hoi An has a mixed Chinese-Vietnamese atmosphere with low, tile-roof houses and narrow streets. Having been through many ups and downs in the past, the original structures, however, are still virtually intact. That was the reason to persuade the UNESCO to recognize Hoi An as a World Heritage in 1999. Besides, the surroundings of Hoi An, especially the countryside, are one of the most outstanding highlights that visitors should experience during their stay in Hoian.  One of the best ways to discover Hoian and its surroundings is by walking. During our 3 - 4 hours leisurely walk you will discover the daily life of the local people: green paddy fields, vegetable gardens, markets, temples, historic houses, fishermen, the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the bustling market and stunning countryside scenes will simply mesmerize you. We visit these sights on an exciting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past. This tour offers great photo opportunities and you may find yourself chatting with the locals and inhaling unforgettable memories. Lunch at local restaurant. Rest of day at leisure for your own activities or visit the renowned Hoi An tailors if you would like to have some clothing made. Accommodation at hotel in Hoi An.



After breakfast, start the journey to Hue - the former Imperial City of the last dynasty of Vietnam over the spectacular Hai Van Pass. Have a short stop on top of the pass – once regarded as the prime mountain pass on the North - South national road.  Continue further north to Hue – a charming town set on the banks of the Perfume River. Located in Central Vietnam, Hue is the only place in the country where many historic, cultural, architectural as well as artistic values have been preserved. Tangible cultural heritage - the system of historic monuments - and intangible cultural heritage - the Imperial court music - have their own national and international values that were acknowledged as World Cultural Heritages. Hue is also the site where the northern and southern ecosystems meet, the area of river-hills, greenery and beautiful landscapes.

Arrival Hue, explore the Imperial City of Hue. The Hue Citadel is situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River and built by Emperor Gia Long it was designed for the exclusive use of the Emperor and his household. The Citadel is a square 2 km wall  encompassing 3 walled enclosures; the Citadel, Kinh Thanh Hue, the Yellow  Imperial city, Hoang Thanh and in the centre the Forbidden Purple city Tu Cam Thanh where the Emperor lived. The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Tour continues to enjoy a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue. Then cruise upstream to visit the Minh Mang Royal tomb, set amidst a lush pine hill by the river and considered to be one of the most beautiful mausoleums. Each ruler of the Imperial City built his own tomb during his reign. Overnight at hotel in Hue.

(DOMESTIC AIR FARE IS NOT INCLUDED. AS TODAY'S DATE, AIR FAIR FROM HUE TO HANOI IS 80 USD/ PAX)

Located in Central Vietnam, Hue was the former capital of the last Dynasty of Vietnam and has an elegant setting on the banks of the Huong Giang or Perfume River surrounded by lush green hills. Founded as a Royal city in 1687, this small and quiet city is known for the magnificent architecture of its citadels, palaces, royal tombs, pagodas and temples built under the Nguyen dynasty. The city has preserved its cultural heritage including music, the arts and many other traditions and is probably the best place in Vietnam to get a sense of the past and imperial court life.  The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. You will visit one of the most beautiful mausoleums around Hue before transfer to Phu Bai Airport in Hue for a domestic flight to Hanoi
Tu Duc Royal Tomb.
Khai Dinh Royal Tomb.

Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are warmly welcomed by our local guide and transfer to hotel in Hanoi for check in. Free at leisure for your own activities. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.



Morning you begin your orientation of the city, we visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed on Monday, Friday and during the entire months of October & November) lies in Ba Dinh Square -  the scene of so much of Vietnam’s history, Ho Chi Minh’s former residence, One-Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, built in the 11th century as Vietnam’s first university.

Lunch at local restaurant then transfer to Halong Bay. Drive to through the countryside from Hanoi to Halong Bay (165 km east of Hanoi) - a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty, you will experience a rural area dotted with villages, rice fields and farms providing the many parts of the nation with rice, fruits and vegetables. Short rest stop en route, you will reach Halong city after 3.5 hours. Check in the hotel then free at your own. Overnight at hotel in Halong.



After breakfast in the hotel (6 -7AM), you will be transferred to the port. Embark and start a relaxing in a wonderful cruise through Halong Bay, passing bizarre rock formations. You will discover Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage of outstanding natural beauty, known in Vietnamese as “Dragon descending to the sea“. The picturesque Halong Bay has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water, many of them containing beautiful grottoes.

You will visit Thien Cung situated on the south-west side of the bay, 4 km from the wharf outside of Halong City. The way to Thien Cung grotto is covered on both sides by thick forest. After entering narrow gate, the grotto’s 130-meter-long girth opens up. Getting in you will be more astonished in front of the very animated and splendid beauty which is made from the stalactites. On the east wall of the grotto, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with characters of tales. Going out of the Thien Cung grotto, you will have a sensation of just watching a unique, meticulous, interesting fine-art museum which is made by nature. This grotto is one of the most beautiful ones in Halong Bay. Legend has it, that beautiful young lady named May (cloud), caught the eye of the Dragon Prince and he fell in love with her. They were betrothed, and their wedding lasted seven days and seven nights in the very centre of the grotto.  During the boat trip fresh seafood lunch will be served for your delights.

Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi, short rest at Dai Viet or Hong Ngoc or ABC shopping en route back.

Arrival Hanoi, you will visit the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. Hoan Kiem Lake was already considered the most beautiful lake in Hanoi when Ngoc Son Temple was built on an island in the 19th century. Initially, the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda and was later renamed Ngoc Son Temple, since temples are dedicated to saints. Saint Van Suong, considered to be one of the brightest stars in Vietnam's literary and intellectual circles, was worshipped there along with other National heroes. From here, you will have the opportunity to leisurely discovery tour on foot around Hanoi old quarter on 36 streets while doing some shopping.

Afterward you will enjoy a performance of the famous water puppet show. The Vietnamese traditional art of water puppetry has roots that date back to the 10th century when it originated in the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. The farmers in the region celebrated festivals and harvests by performing this unique art form. Learning to manipulate the puppets is usually a tradition that is passed on as a family secret. It takes a great deal of skill and because the puppeteer’s hands are underwater it is easy for them to hide their methods. The fascinating part is that the central stage is below the water line, and the puppeteers stand in the waist-deep water. A rattan curtain hides them, but they can see the stage and the audience through the bamboo slats. Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi.

(INTERNATIONAL AIR FARE IS NOT INCLUDED)

Free at leisure until transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for flight to Luang Prabang - the crown jewel of Laos and former Lanexang, Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East Asia. Magical and charming, it has preserved its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao culture with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City.

Upon arrival at Luang Prabang Aiport, you will be warmly welcomed by our local guide and transfer to the hotel for check in the hotel then you take TUK-TUK to visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo, stylistically more Srilankalese than Lao. Then walk to the nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the city’s major tutelary shrines, dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors). Climb Vat Phousi hill for an outstanding view over the city. Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796, famous for the five – tiered roof of its wooden sim built in the standard of Luang Prabang style. Sunset at Vat Prabaht Tai located along the Mekong River.  Accommodation at the hotel



Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by road to the Khuang Xi Waterfalls (30 kms, approx. 1 hour drive). 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.  Return to Luang Prabang. On the way, visit Ock Pop Tok weaving Centre. Accommodation at the hotel.



Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Vat Xieng Thong, considered as the most beautiful temple. The sim of the Vat represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha images, which were displayed in Paris in 1911. Near the East gate stands the Royal Funeral Chapel. Inside are an impressive 12-meter high funeral chariot and various funeral urns of each Royal Family’s member. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts a semi-erotic episode from Ramayana. Then board a traditional boat for a trip upstream the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou housing thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha. Return to Luang Prabang by boat and continue by car to visit Ban Phanom, a weaving village populated by Thai Lu that originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China. Accommodation at the hotel in Luang Prabang.

(DOMESTIC AIR FARE IS NOT INCLUDED. AS TODAY'S DATE, AIR FAIR FROM LUANG PRABANG TO VIENTIANE IS 99 USD/ PAX)

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. Turn back to Hotel for Breakfast at the hotel. Then visit the National Museum (former King’s Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts of the Royal Family. Then stroll through the lively Central Market where the ethnic minorities of the surroundings come daily.

Transfer to the Airport for domestic flight to Vientiane. Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport, transfer and check-in at the hotel Vientiane’s major attractions are the serene Buddhist monasteries that dominate the center of town. The city has kept its timeless charm with tree-lined avenues, brightly painted temples and quaint French architecture. P.M. Visit Vat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Built in 1818, Vat Sisaket is the sole survivor of an invasion in 1828. Vat Sisaket features remarkable frescoes and 6,840 Buddha images. Nearby is Ho Phra Keo, once the royal temple of Lao monarchy. Built in 1565, Ho Phra Keo has been used as a museum since 1970 and contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artifacts in the country. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok’s Wat Phra Keo. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Patousay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark is the That Luang Stupa. King Setthathirath built this great sacred stupa in 1566. Its central structure is 45 meters tall and echoes the curving lines of an elongated lotus. The original stupa was said to contain relics of Lord Buddha. Dinner at Koa Lao restaurant and enjoy a traditional music and dance show. Accommodation at the hotel in Vientiane.



After breakfast at the hotel. COPE visitor center and Morning Market (Talaat Sao), known for its superior silk weaving, metalwork, and woodcarving. Then Transfer to the airport for your international flight home!
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