Day 1: Arrival - Ho Chi Minh City
Today you’ll land in Ho Chi Minh City (Tan Son Nhat International Airport). Warmly welcome by 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)
08:00 Viet Bamboo Travel's guide will pick you up at your hotel and depart for Cai Be, stop for photos at Tan An town over the flat rice fields. On arriving in Cai Be, start the motorized boat ro visit the Cai Be Floating Market, experience how people exchanging goods, fruit and many other commodities on their vessels. Visitors then roam into the small villages to visit the orchard, fruit plantation... Keep cruising to Vinh Long through small canals to enjoy the charm of the Upper Mekong Delta. Visit some hand - made family business products such as the coconut candy mill, the crispy rice popcorn. Arrive in Binh Hoa Phuoc village - the green pearl of Vinh Long town where you can indulge yourself into the nature. Have lunch with fresh river food served in the heart of the garden. Enjoy the southern Vietnamese traditional folk music. Take a nice walk through the bonsai garden. Meet the car/van in Vinh Long. Return to Ho Chi Minh city. Finish the trip around 18:00 at your hotel. 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. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city. After that you will take flight to Hanoi by Vietnam Airlines. Arrive Hanoi in the evening. Transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 4: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
Today you have a full day of sightseeing ahead, including a visit to One Pillar Pagoda, which was built by Ly Thai Tong and the Temple of Literature, founded by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. Stop in the heart of Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake, which contains an islet with a tiny Tortoise Pagoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Opera House and St. Joseph Cathedral. Conclude with a visit to Bao Tang Lich, once the museum of l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, which includes artifacts from Vietnam's turbulent history. Water Puppet Show, Cyclo visiting Old Quarter. 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, L)
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 - Vientiane (B, L) - by flight
On arrival at Wattay Airport, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. A city tour acquaints us with the capital and after a short rest, we start visiting the major sights; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple 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. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 8: Vientiane - Vang Vieng (B, L)
We leave this wonderful town after breakfast for our journey northbound on route no. 13. We will see some breathtaking scenery enroute as we pass through spectacular countryside towards the mountainous region. We make a stop along the way at Vang Xang, a famous archeological site dating back to the 11th century. We reach our final destination in the afternoon, the small and tranquil village of Vang Vieng, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with a mixture of quiet water and limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. On arrival at Vang Vieng, we cross the Nam Song River to Tham Jang caves and then enjoy a short trek through breathtaking mountain landscape to explore the Tam None Cave and some hill villages. Today ends with a superb panorama of the sunset reflecting over the Nam Song River. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Day 9: Vang Vieng - Xieng Khoang (B, L)
Today we will set off early driving up route 13TH north to Xieng Khoang, an area once devastated by American bombings between 1964 and 1973. These back roads are a great way to explore the real Laos. We see very few other travelers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. The drive is very long, but we can make many stops at our pleasure, to stretch our legs and take some wonderful photographs. We arrive in the afternoon, we then visit the “Plan of Jars” is an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over a plateau. These huge jars are supposedly over 2,000 years old, but most of archaeologists still question their purpose. We have time today to explore the site and some nearby villages, populated by the Hmong hill tribe and Tai Dam people; they are very poor but possess a vibrant local culture and an interesting history. Overnight in Xieng Khoang.
Day 10: Xieng Khoang - Luang Prabang (B, L)
After breakfast at hotel, we drive to Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The roads are well paved along the way for a smooth journey; we pass some stunning landscape scenery with a mixture of steep terraced fields and hill villages, we take a few photo stops at some small hill tribe village enroute. Each hill tribe village in Laos has a different feel, some are more prosperous than others but all have plenty of life. The Muang Xieng Nguen village is our next stop and we spend a short amount of time observing the local lifestyle prior to reaching Luang Prabang. On arrival in Luang Prabang, we have enough time to explore some landmarks, including the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham, the city's oldest temple of Wat Sene and the Wat Mai with five tiered roofs. A visit to Luang Prabang would be incomplete with ascending 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. The zigzag path crosses over various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phou, another World Heritage Site, recognized by UNESCO in 2002. In the evening, we explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of souvenirs and handmade textile made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 11: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave - Khouangsi Waterfall - Luang Prabang (B, L)
Breakfast at hotel, today, we visit the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic pattern set in coloured glass. Its exterior architecture is remarkable with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, giving us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside. We take an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, which are two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xang Hai. In the afternoon, you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Hill tribe, Ban Ou, Lowland Lao and Ban Thapene of Khmu village. After we head towards the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can take a dip in the large turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 12: Luang Prabang - Departure (B, L)
Following breakfast, we visit The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. After we visit the silver smith’s and Fine Arts School and the Central Market, which is not to be missed. We then say farewell and depart this ancient city.