Starting from Hanoi through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in 24 days discover the French-colonial heritage, rural villages and people in Vietnam to the Angkor Wat and Luang Prabang the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia
 

Duration: 24 days
Date: Your own plan
Tour type: Private tour
Tour Category: Indochina tours

BRIEF ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi city tour – Night train to Sapa
Day 3: Sapa trekking & home-stay
Day 4: Night train to Hanoi
Day 5: Halong Bay cruise & kayaking
Day 6: Hanoi – Fly to Danang, transfer to Hoi An
Day 7: Hoi An – Walking tour
Day 8: Farming and Fishing tour
Day 9: Danang – fly to Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi tunnel
Day 10: Cycling Mekong Delta & home-stay
Day 11: Can Tho
Day 12: Chau Doc
Day 13: Boat trip to Phnom Penh – Half day tour
Day 14: Cycling tour Phnom Penh
Day 15: Bus to Siem Reap
Day 16: Cycling to Angkor Temple
Day 17: Cycling to Floating Village & to Angkor Temples
Day 18: Fly to Pakse – Khong Islands
Day 19: Elephant ride at Phou Asa-Pakse
Day 20: Pakse – Boloven Plateau – Tadlo waterfall
Day 21: Tadlo waterfall – Pakse – Vientiane
Day 22: Vientiane – Luang Prabang
Day 23: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves
Day 24: Luang Prabang – Departure

 
  • Full Itinerary
  • Price & Inclusion
  • Accommodation
  • Photos
  •  
 

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Welcome upon arrival by local tour guide and driver, we then transfer to hotel. Relax for the rest of the day.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour – Night train to Sapa (B, L)
Today we visit Ho Chi Minh Complex, where we will spend a couple of hours to visit: Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and One pillar pagoda. Keep going to see the Temple of Literature which originally built as a temple to Confucius. This is the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society placed then and now on education.

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

In the afternoon, we will visit one of the most interesting museums in Vietnam; Museum of Ethnology, which is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority people.

Cyclo trip around the Old Quarter

Cyclo trip around the Old Quarter

After that; we get back to the city center where we take one-hour cyclo around the Old Quarter, known as the 36 streets, this bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Lastly, we will have a chance to enjoy the unique Water Puppet show to hear to know Vietnamese traditional instruments and singing from the live musicians who play throughout the show.
Tonight, we take a night train to Sapa.

Day 3: Sapa trekking & home-stay (B, L, D)
Meet up at our hotel in Sapa by the local guide and then we first sneak through the market and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, you will follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. You will stop by a waterfall and a hydroelectric station for a while before you trek on a dirt trail through rice paddy terraces. You will also enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest while you are served lunch nearby the river.

Cat Cat Village

Cat Cat Village

After lunch, you head Muong Hoa valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route. You will spend the night in the local house of Giay minority. You will be able to take a walk to enjoy the valley view as well as swim in the river nearby.

Muong Hoa valley

Muong Hoa Valley

Day 4: Night train to Hanoi (B)
Once you get energy for your last day trek by having a delicious breakfast, you leave for Giang Ta Chai village of Red Dao minority. You will trek through the bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park. On the way, you will pass by a waterfall where you will have time to take a rest and enjoy the surroundings. You will find a nice place to enjoy lunch.
After lunch, you continue toward Su Pan, a small village located by the road. Here you start your journey back to Sapa by car.

Children walking through the lush green rice paddies in Giang Ta Chai village

Children walking through the lush green rice paddies in Giang Ta Chai village

Back to Lao Cai for our night train to Hanoi.

Day 5: Halong Bay cruise & kayaking (B, L, D)
08:00: Transfer to Halong with 3.5 hours driving North East; the bus ride will take us over the Red River and through the countryside of our second biggest delta to reach Halong Bay.
We would be first dropped off at Tuan Chau International Marina – harbor of Halong’s biggest island. From which we will be tendered to our Halong Phoenix Cruiser, welcome drinks would be immediately served for our refreshment while we hand over our cabin’s key.

Cruise along the majestic Halong Bay

Cruise along the majestic Halong Bay

Afternoon:
When we are putting all of our stuff into our cabin, our boat starts gliding out to the center of the World Heritage Site. Our lunch, at the boat’s restaurant, it would be served with fresh local seafood, but the vegetable menu is always available at our request.
From the marina area, our cruiser passes by Dog Head and Swan Islands, Ba Hang Floating villages (with floating houses), Incense Burner then Thumb Islands before reaching Surprising (Sung Sot) Cave.
15:00: our boat will anchor for a short tender ride from the middle of the bay to an island for our visit to famous Sung Sot Cave. The cave visiting will take us about 1 hour (walking inside the limestone cave), then we tender to visit and swim on Titop Island, which is not far from the cave. Here we can still challenge yourself by climbing up to the top, for a panoramic view, before heading back to swim on its sandy beach.

Sung Sot Cave, Halong Bay

Sung Sot Cave, Halong Bay

As the sun sets over the bay, we head back to our cruise and relax. Coffee, tea, and fruits will be available on the sundeck or we can order our favorite drink from our bar.
Halong Phoenix Cruiser keeps cruising to Coconut anchorage area, which is away from the crowded center – where most other boats stay, for our overnight escape.
Dinner would be served with typically local seafood, we are then free to either drink or experience squid fishing before heading to our bed.

Day 6: Hanoi – Fly to Danang, transfer to Hoi An (B, L)
We would love to rise a bit early for a breathtaking and practicing Tai Chi on the sundeck, the stunning vista of the serene bay is always the best experience of staying overnight on boat.
07:30: enjoy buffet breakfast then gear up for one-hour kayaking around Luom Bo area (the provincial border between Quang Ninh province and Cat Ba National Park of Hai Phong).

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park

We practice some basic safety guidelines and techniques to paddle before helping us to sit on our brand new sit-on-top kayaks. Kayaking area is so quiet that we will feel like the bay is remaining untouched, we will see neither other boat nor other kayakers beyond our group and our Phoenix Cruiser.
On the cruising way back, we cruise on a different way so that we can see new areas and viewing islands from a different side.

Cooking demonstration in Halong Bay

Cooking demonstration in Halong Bay

10:00, joining a cooking demonstration on the boat, learn how to make real Vietnamese spring rolls, just before lunchtime: we will learn recipes and techniques that go into the most popular dish of the Vietnamese food.
Lunch would be served on the boat when you are close to the harbor.
12:00: goodbye to Halong Phoenix Cruiser, we take the tender back to the harbor.

Special note:
Vegetarian menu available on boat but it should be informed in advance

What to bring:
• Original passport
• Insect repellent, camera and sun gears (dry bags provided while kayaking)
• Swimming suits (warm clothes in winter)
• Money for drinks (on boat and at Cat Ba Eco Lodge)

We transfer directly to the airport to take a short domestic flight to Danang.

Day 7: Hoi An – Walking tour (B)
Free at leisure in the morning.
In the afternoon, we will start our walking tour around the ancient town to visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Pottery Museum, Tan Ky old house, the Cantonese congregation, the silk street of Hoi An, the temples and pagodas of Chinese appearance.

Walking tour in Hoi An

Walking tour in Hoi An

Day 8: Farming and Fishing tour (B, L)
Our Farming & Fishing Life Tour provides us with a close-up and intimate exposure to both the local farming and fishing communities. Accompanied by our tour guide, we commence the day leisurely cycling along country roads witnessing local Vietnamese rural life first hand, discovering all manner of photo opportunities – coming and visiting a beautiful organic vegetable village, watering and planting vegetable, hoeing a soil with local farmer, riding a water buffalo in a rice paddy field; seeing ducks swimming along the rice farm or farmers tending their crops. The photo opportunities are endless. As well we will experience the friendliness of the local people greeting us along the way. Later we will board our Hoi An Eco-tour boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fishermen and enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. We will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat while the waterways of coconut palm paradise. This tour provides us with a cultural window into the ways of life of both our farming and fishing communities.

Riding buffalo in Hoi An

Riding buffalo in Hoi An

Day 9: Danang – fly to Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi tunnel (B)
This morning, we transfer back to Danang for our flight to Ho Chi Minh city.

Welcome upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh city by local tour guide and driver, we then transfer to hotel.
In the afternoon, we visit Cu Chi tunnel, where are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underline much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968.

Discover the maze of tunnels

Discover the maze of Cu Chi tunnels

The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces and helped achieve ultimate military success.

Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels

On our way there we drive through the pleasant countryside; rubber plantations and rice paddies. At Cu Chi tunnel, we see a short introductory video showing how they were constructed, followed by an exploration of the maze of tunnels, some of which have been widened to allow tourist access. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank, as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500lb bombs, dropped by B52 bombers.

Day 10: Cycling Mekong Delta & home-stay – 20km (B, L, D)
Pick up at hotel in Sai Gon, drive to Cai Be, boat to see floating market, poprice, rice paper, coconut candy making, keep going by boat to An Binh island, stop at local house for lunch, start to ride around An Binh island(Vinh Long) on the cement road through fruit garden, in the shade of trees, along canals, check in homestay on the island. (L&D)

Cai Be Floating Market

Cai Be Floating Market

At night: cooking lesson and chatting with family.

Day 11: Cycling to Can Tho – 80 km (B, L, D)

After breakfast, boat to Vinh Long, ride for 40Km along countryside road, to see rice field, farmer’s daily activities, stop for lunch at local restaurant in Tam Binh district, ride 25 Km to Can Tho ferry, cross the river to Can Tho, check in hotel.

Boat trip around Vinh Long

Boat trip around Vinh Long

Day 12: Chau Doc (B)
Early morning boat to Cai Rang floating market, back to Can Tho, check out. Bus to Chau Doc.

Cai Rang Floating Market

Cai Rang Floating Market

Day 13: Day 13: Boat trip to Phnom Penh – Half day tour (B)
We take morning boat trip to Phnom Penh. Getting a visa to Cambodia at the border gate.
Upon your arrival in Phnom Penh, we will be met by our staff and transferred to our hotel for check-in. After checking in, we will have free time for leisure activities in Phnom Penh.

The city of Phnom Penh

The city of Phnom Penh

Day 14: Cycling tour Phnom Penh – 40 km (B, L)
After breakfast in the hotel, we set up our bikes for the first part of our tour to the Beoung Cheoung Ek Memorial Monument and to the Toul Sleng Museum. Then after a short lunch break, in the afternoon we cycle to the National Museum, the Royal Palace, and Silver Pagoda, as well as Wat Phnom and Independence Monument.

The Killing Fields Memorial Stupa in Phnom Penh

The Killing Fields Memorial Stupa in Phnom Penh

Day 15: Bus to Siem Reap (B)
This morning, we take a bus to Siem Reap.

Day 16: Cycling to Angkor Temple – 28 km (B, L)
In the morning after breakfast, we cycle to the jungle temple of Ta Prohm, and then to the Angkor Thom complex where we see the ornate entrances decorated by gods and demons. We also see the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, and then see the Bayon Temple with its smiling faces in the heart of the temple complex. In the afternoon, we cycle to the incredible Angkor Wat and explore this fascinating structure.

The gate of Angkor Thom

The gate of Angkor Thom

Day 17: Cycling to Floating Village & to Angkor Temples (B, L, D)
Today our vehicle will transfer us back to the airport for our flight to home. Trip ends.

Cycling in Siem Reap

Cycling in Siem Reap

Day 18: Fly to Pakse – Khong Islands (B)
We take a flight to Pakse today.
On arrival at the airport, we will be met and transferred directly onto a traditional boat for a 2-hour cruise to Champassak. Disembark at this ancient town, known as Champa Kingdom; continue by car to Wat Phou, another World Heritage Site in Laos, which became recognized by UNESCO in 2002. Vat Phou is the site of ruins which were once part of a temple built sometime before Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. It contains some of the most Ancient Khmer architectures which date back to between the 7-11th centuries. In the afternoon you will drive to Don Khone, an area of 4000 islands which is the widest point of the Mekong River during the rainy season, although during the dry months the river recedes, leaving behind thousands of islands and islets. This area of the river is also famous for being the home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. En route, we stop to visit the ruins of the Khmer temple of Oup Mong at Ban Houei Tomo and continue driving to Don Khone Island at Ban Nakasung pier to board a long-tailed motorboat to the peaceful Don Khone Island. Overnight on Don Khone Island.

The ruins of Wat Phou

The ruins of Wat Phou

Day 19: Elephant ride at Phou Asa-Pakse (B)
After an early morning breakfast, we begin by re-tracing the French colonial past at Ban Khone, where some old colonial houses still stand and glimpse the first Lao railway with its own locomotive. We continue our exploration of the area of the 4000 islands leisurely by boat and visit the most beautiful Liphi waterfall, also known as the Samphamith, which forms a natural border between Lao and Cambodia. If we have luck, we may catch a glimpse of the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. We return to Ban Nakasang and drive to the famous waterfall of Khone Phapeng – the largest waterfall in South East Asia, also known as the ‘Niagara of the east’. In the afternoon we drive to Pakse and on the way stop in Phou Asa to visit the vestiges of the temple dating back to the 18th century. [if time permits and elephants available] We may get a chance to experience elephant riding for 2hrs through forest paths. We reach Pakse before sunset; there we will be transferred to our hotel. Overnight in Pakse.

Elephant ride at Phou Asa-Pakse

Elephant ride at Phou Asa-Pakse

Day 20: Pakse – Boloven Plateau – Tadlo waterfall (B)
After breakfast, we make an excursion to Tadlo via the plateau of Boloven, where tea and coffee plantations produce the famous Lao coffee. You wil have the chance to observe the traditional coffee and tea makers. En route we visit the ethnic villages of Ban Tateng to experience the traditional lifestyles of the Alack, Katu and Nge tribes. We continue to visit the charming village of Tadlo where you will be transferred to the Tadlo resort. We can enjoy swimming in the pool of the Tadlo waterfall which is situated close to the resort. Overnight in Tadlo.

Scenic view from Tadlo waterfall

Scenic view of Tadlo waterfall

Day 21: Tadlo waterfall – Pakse – Vientiane (B)
In the early morning, we drive to Pakse to board a flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. A city tour acquaints us with the major sights of the capital. We visit the sacred Wat Sisaket the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We also visit the national icon of That Luang Stupa and stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. We enjoy a sunset by the Mekong Riverside in the evening. Overnight in Vientiane.

Buddha images in Wat Sisaket

Buddha images in Wat Sisaket

Day 22: Vientiane – Luang Prabang (B)
Today, we transfer to the airport for the short flight to Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. After checking into your hotel, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai, we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as have a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we explore the Night Market, where we can browse a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local people and hill tribes surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang Night Market

Luang Prabang Night Market

Day 23: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves (B)
Today, we enjoy a short-guided tour of the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its sweeping low roofs, which represents the classical architecture of Luang Prabang temple. We then embark on a boat journey upstream along the Mekong River, which also gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local specialty of rice wine is produced. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Wat Xiengthong

Wat Xiengthong

Day 24: Luang Prabang – Departure (B)
After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (closed Tuesdays), which was once a king’s palace. Displayed inside this museum is a collection of personal artifacts from the royal family, including photos, musical instruments, and many gifts received from the dignitaries of foreign countries. You are then transferred to the airport for your departure.

MEALS NOTE:

All meals are authentic Vietnamese food
American Buffet style at hotel for all breakfasts
Special meals up on request

B: Breakfast
L: Lunch
D: Dinner

REMARKS:
1. Rates are in U.S. funds, per person, based on double occupancy.
2. Transpacific Airfare are subject to change and any increase in airfare is not included in the tour fare. Depending on airfare class differences, the airfare may be non-refundable and subject to full cancellation penalties.
3. Air seats are limited, add-on airfares are subject to change until ticket issued. For add on from specific US domestic cities, please contact our agent.
4. All prices listed above are per person in U. S. dollars based on double occupancy. If three adults need to share one room and the third person asking for extra bed, the third person’s price will be the same as others.
5. Children under 2 years old who shares bed with parent will not be charged for land tour fare but 10% airfare; Children 11 years and under who share a room with two adults will be charged as 75% of the regular adult price. Children 12 and older will be charged at the regular adult price.
6. Price does not include Tour guide Tips and Vietnamese visa fee.

What’s included?

  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals as listed;
  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide (other languages up on request);
  • Accommodations as listed;
  • Domestic flights or high-speed train as listed;

What’s excluded?

  • Vietnam Entry Visa Fees;
  • Personal expenses;
  • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave Vietnam;
  • Tips to your tour guide and driver;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Any meals which are not specified in the tour itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Single Room Supplement.

Notes: We choose only centrally located hotels with Western standard service & breakfast. However, we can also arrange good location and clean local hotel with lower prices. Please inquiry for details