Day 1: Arrival - Ho Chi Minh City
Today you’ll land in Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat International Airport). Warmly welcome by VBT's Tour Guide & Car Driver at airport then transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta (B, L)
08:30: Viet Bamboo Travel's driver and guide will pick you up at hotel to drive to My Tho. Take a boat trip around four beautiful Islets: Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise and Phoenix on Tien River. Through Xep canel to visit Mekong traditional houses at Quoi An village (make all from coconut tree). See coconut collection set and how the locals make handicrafts from coconut trunk and shell. Enjoy seasonal fruits and listening to traditional music. Take the horse-cart on village path and stop at Ben Truc orchard, taste honey with tea or wine. See bees-breeding in wooden boxes at local farms. Take rowing-boat on water palm creek. Lunch on islets (if any). Boat to visit a coconut candy workshop, taste candy (Special products of Bentre province). Back to Ho Chi Minh city. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnels - Hanoi (B, L) - by flight
08:00: Pick you up at hotel. Transfer to the Cu Chi Tunnels (75 km from downtown). Visit Cu Chi tunnels with watching documentary film, witness hand-made weapon gallery (gun, land mine, bamboo traps,…), crawl into the real tunnels,… Back to Ho Chi Minh city. Have lunch.
In the afternoon: we will visit the Former Presidential Palace, the central complex of architecture: the Notre Dame Cathedral, the City Hall, the Municipal Theater. After that, we will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be transferred to hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 4: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
You are met at 08:30 am in the hotel lobby. There is a morning and afternoon schedule, as well as an organised lunch. Morning we will visit: Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum; The Temple of Literature. Lunch at A local Vietnamese. Afternoon we will visit: A traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets; Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake. A one-hour cyclo tour through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi! You will finish city tour round 17:00. Come back hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
07:30 - 07:45 Pick up from your hotel in Hanoi. Drive to Halong Bay. Enjoy the peaceful scenery as we travel through the countryside, farmlands and Red River delta.
10:30 Stopover on the way for short break
12:30 Arrive at Hon Gai wharf - Meet the captain, crews and join us for a welcome drink, cruise briefing, safety instructions and check-in cabins.
13:00 Lunch with fresh seafood is served while cruising towards Vong Vieng floating village, passing through extraordinary shaped-islands.
15:30 Drop anchor at Vong Vieng: visit local houses, fish farm, schools and have a chat with the friendly fish men. (You also swim here if you like) The other option is to travel by kayak (passenger row kayaks for themselves). The kayaking option is $10.00 per person unless pre-booked.
17:00 Back on board, enjoy the sunset and continue cruising to Luom Bo for anchoring.
19:00 Dinner is served.
21:00 Enjoy the comfort in your cabin or night fishing… Overnight on boat.
Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B)
06:30 Enjoy the bay’s morning landscape with a cup of tea or coffee.
07:30 Lightly breakfast is served.
08:30 Explore the mystery of Sung Sot cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Halong Bay.
09:30 Back on board, continue cruising, enjoy the stunning views of the Bay and relax.
10:30 Lunch is served on board while cruising back through Halong Bay to the pier.
12:00 Arrive Hon Gai wharf. Farewell.
12:30 Return from Halong to Hanoi.
14:30 Stop-over in Dong Trieu town to visit a ceramics workshop.
16:30 Arrive in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi - Luang Prabang (B, L) - by flight
You have the morning free to relax before your flight to Luong Phrabang. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After a short rest, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi 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 Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 8: Luang Prabang - Pakou - Luang Prabang (B, L)
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic 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 speciality of rice wine is produced. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving. We also have time to visit Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek, small villages well known for silk weavings and for Saa (jute) Papermaking. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 9: Luang Prabang - Khouangsi Waterfalls (B, L)
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. From there you will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and today you will visit local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene. Time permitting you may also wish to drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Phanom, a well-known weaving village, and then return to the city by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 10: Luang Prabang - Xieng Khouang (B, L)
After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace. The National Museum and the Central Market are not to be missed. After visiting these sights. Today, we drive 306km uphill a mountain surrounded by wonderful natural scenery to Xiengkhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. They have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. Overnight in Xieng Khuang.
Day 11: Xieng Khouang - Vientiane (B, L) - by flight
Following breakfast, we visit the Central Market. After you will have free time to explore the town further before catching our flight back to Vientiane. After checking into the hotel, time permiting we continue our sightseeing tour of the surrounding areas of Vientiane; we visit the impressive Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and the Buddha Park, a a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, close to the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. A spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 12: Vientiane City Tour (B, L)
AM: After breakfast, we continue to explore Vientiane capital by visiting the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Enroute to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. PM: We continue visiting the rest of Vientiane by foot, including Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. We pass by the major shopping area continuing to the Vientiane Central Market of Talad Sao and Talad Kouadin where various goods are displayed for sale; including fresh food, household goods, souvenirs, textiles, gold, silver and antiques. We return to the Mekong Riverside in the late afternoon for observing the sunset. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 13: Vientiane - Pakse - Don Khone Island (B, L) - by flight
After breakfast, we catch an early flight to Pakse. On arrival, we drive on the National Road No. 13th south to Champassak and to visit the fascinating pre-angkorian ruins of Wat Phu, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. We have time to explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at the base of Mount Phu Kao. Wat Phu is one of the Lao World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in 2001, this wonderful archeological site of Khmer civilization dates back to the 10th century, predating the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We continue our journey by long tail boat to Don Khong, the largest island in the South Mekong river region known as the 4000 islands, one of the most scenic areas in Laos.Overnight in Don Khone Island.
Day 14: Don Khone Island Surrounding (B, L)
After an early breakfast, we explore the local villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with it’s locomotive. We continue discover the 4000 islands area by boat at our leisure to visit the Liphi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking the end of Lao border to Cambodia, also known as the Samphamith. If we are lucky, we may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone. We return to Ban Nakasang and drive to famous waterfalls of Khone Phapeng, the largest waterfall in South East Asia, known as Niagara of the east. Overnight in Don Khone Island.
Day 15: Don Khone Island - Tadlo - Pakse (B, L)
Upon leaving Done Khone Island, we continue our journey towards Tadlo, through Boloven plateau. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Rivers run off this high plateau in all directions and then plunge out to lush forests along in a series of spectacular surging waterfalls. A trip to the plateau provides a refreshing break from the heat and allows you to observe the cultivation of rich coffee, tea, cardamom, bananas, and other crops that can be seen en route. This trip gives visitors the chance to venture off the beaten track and to discover some of the lesser-known areas of Laos, exploring the wild beauty of this southern region. Upon arrival at Tad Lo waterfall, we visit the villages of Alak, Nge, and Katu, populated by ethnic minority groups. We return to Pakse by late evening. Overnight in Pakse.
Day 16: Pakse - Departure (B)
After breakfast; there will be free time for your own exploration of Pakse Town before catching a flight to your country! Finish unforgettable trip in Vietnam & Laos with Viet Bamboo Travel. End of service!