Laos and Vietnam 10 days tour
Destination: Luang Prabang/Pak Ou cave/Khuangsi waterfall/Hanoi/Ha Long/Sapa
You will start 11-day Indochina tour with Luang Prabang be an idyllic and serene destination, perfect for forgetting existence and floating away with the slow paced ambiance of this magnificent city and end with the north of Vietnam, is home to three treasures, Hanoi, the ‘Paris of the Orient’, the richly cultural hill tribe town of Sapa, and the World Heritage Site of Halong Bay.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner, G=Guide
Day 1: Luang Prabang arrival (D, G)
Arriving at the airport in Luang Prabang, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. If time permits, you’ll visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai ; we then climb up to the top of Phousi Mount 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 Street Night Bazaar, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. You’ll spend the night in Luang Prabang.
Day 2: Luang Prabang/Pak Ou cave (B, L, G)
After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city's oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represent the classical architecture of Luang Prabang temple. You’ll then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Along the way, you’ll stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the distillation of local rice wine. On return, you’ll take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving with natural dyes. You’ll then return to the city by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath. Your overnight stay will be in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Luang Prabang/Khuangsi Waterfall (B, L, G)
This morning you may want to wake up early and participate in the daily early morning ritual of saffron-clad monks with their black Alms-giving bowls being given offerings from the local people, including the ubiquitous sticky rice. Breakfast, you’ll then visit the National Museum 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 the last sovereign visit the morning Phousi 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 crafts, and today you will visit local village of Lao ethnic Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khuangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the pools or walk along the forest paths, return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon. You’ll spend the night in Luang Prabang.
Day 4: Luang Prabang/Hanoi (B, G)
After breakfast, you will have free time for your own exploration of the town and strolling around the shopping area before transferring to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey before a welcome dinner at a colonial building. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture). Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi City tour (B, L, G)
An all day city tour, possibly including the Temple of Literature, (the first university in Vietnam dating
back to the 11th C), the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Ethnology Museum and the centre of Hanoi, including the Hoan Kiem Lake, the Ngoc Son temple and the bustling Old Quarter with a complex of architecture - traditional tube houses, religious buildings and the colonial houses. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of Cheo (an traditional music typical for the northern Viet Nam). Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 6: Hanoi/Ha Long (B, L, D, G)
A morning drive to Ha Long Bay, (one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas - the world’s largest marine ‘karst’ landscape). Travel by traditional-style boat to some of the less well-known grottoes and caves. Includes swimming, fishing, hill (not mountain) climbing for Bay overviews, exploring sea level caves in a small sampan, etc. All meals will be provided on board and your accommodation will be on the boat in a twin room with en suite toilet and shower.
Day 7: Halong/Hanoi/Lao Cai (B, L, G see off)
Morning cruising Ha Long Bay, followed by lunch and then return to Hanoi for refreshment at a local hotel before board a overnight train to Lao Cai. Overnight on the train.
Day 8: Lao Cai/Sapa (B, L, G in Lao Cai)
Overnight train from the previous night and arrive in the early morning. You’ll be picked at the station to travel to a remote ethnic market. Afternoon return to Sa Pa town for overnight stay.
The trips to ethnic markets are a fascinating experience but must be on Tuesday (Coc Ly Market), Saturday (Can Cau Market) or Sunday (Muong Hum and Bac Ha Markets).
Day 9: Sapa/Lao Cai (B, L, G)
Morning stroll to the town busy market and then easy trek to ethnic villages of H’mong in a scenic valley. After stream-side picnic lunch, you’ll be picked up to visit other ethnic villages of the H’mong, Day and Red Dao people. Return to Sa Pa and then back to Lao Cai station for an overnight train to Hanoi.
Day 10: Hanoi departure (B, G)
On arrival, the car will take you to the local hotel for refreshment. The rest of the day will be your own until tranfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Price in US$ per person:
Our price includes:
Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned car as specified in the itinerary above
Travel by private, air-conditioned car with an experienced, safe driver.
International flight tickets: Luang Prabang-Hanoi with airport tax.
Return train tickets: Hanoi-Lao Cai–Hanoi, air-conditioned soft four-berth cabin, good local standard four-berth cabin.
Boat cruise as mentioned. For Ha Long Bay, you’ll join other passengers on a high quality wooden boat with comfortable accommodation, good facilities and an experienced crew. The boat will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary except leisure time
Lunches and dinners, as specified, in the good local restaurants, picnics where suitable restaurants are not available, and full board on the boat in Ha Long Bay.
Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
Our price does not include:
Other meals not mentioned.
Drinks, gratuities, tips and personal expenses.
Hotel list for Five Star standard:
Luang Prabang: La Residence Hotel (***** positioned atop a hill, with stunning mountain views) or similar
Hanoi: Melia Hotel (***** modern high-rise building in one of Hanoi’s leafy boulevards in the city centre) or similar
Sapa: Victoria Hotel (**** the best hotel in Sapa with separate building) or similar
Hotel list for Four Star standard:
Luang Prabang: Villa Santi Hotel (**** established in 1992 by Lao businessman Mr. Santi Inthavong in a royal residence) or similar
Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel (**** modern boutique hotel in the old quarter) or similar
Sapa: Chau Long Hotel (*** overlooking Muong Hoa valley & Mount Fansipan) or similar
Hotel list for Three Star standard:
Luang Prabang: Manoluck Hotel (*** combine modern international luxury with traditional Lao styles) or similar
Hanoi: Thang Long Opera hotel (*** city centre, walking distance to Hoan Kiem Lake) or similar
Sapa: Holiday Sapa (*** city centre, overlook the beautiful valley) or similar.
If, at the time of booking, any hotels or rooms in the list above are fully booked, we will endeavour to find accommodation of a similar standard elsewhere. If the only available accommodation is of a higher or lower standard, we will revise the price accordingly and consult you immediately.