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Classic Vietnam & Laos

12 nights from €1886

Combine the laid back life of sleepy Luang Prabang and Hoi An with the bustling metropolis of Hanoi and Saigon, a boat trip on the Mekong River with a cruise along picturesque Halong Bay and the result is a fantastic journey through two countries and cultures rich in heritage sites and natural beauty. Add the genuine smiles of the people and delicious food for an unforgettable trip.

Itinerary Highlights In Picture

Day to Day Itinerary

Classic Vietnam & Laos

Day 1

LUANG PRABANG

You will be met upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport and transferred to your hotel. The crown jewel of Laos, Luang Prabang is perhaps the best preserved traditional city in South East Asia and in 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage city. After lunch climb Vat Phousi Hill for an outstanding view over the city. Continue to visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, and That Makmo. Continue your walk to nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the city's major tutelary shrines dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) and Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors). In the evening watch the sunset at Vat Prabaht Tai located along the Mekong River.
Day 2

LUANG PRABANG

This morning visit Vat Xieng Thong, which is considered the most beautiful temple in Laos. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha images and near the East gate stands the Royal Funeral Chapel. Inside here are impressive 12-metre high funeral chariots and various the funeral urns of each Royal Family member. Continue your journey and board a traditional boat for a trip up the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou, which houses thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha. After lunch at a local restaurant in Pak Ou, return to Luang Prabang by boat and continue by car to visit Ban Xang Khong, a weaving village where traditional Sa paper is produced.
Day 3

LUANG PRABANG

After breakfast, depart by road to the Khuang Xi Waterfalls (30 kms, approx. 1 hr drive). The waterfalls tumble over multi-tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools that are ideal for swimming. On the way to the waterfalls, visit the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene for a glimpse into their lifestyle. Today you will have a picnic lunch near the waterfalls before returning by road (approximately 1 hr drive) to Luang Prabang. En route visit Ban Phanom weaving village, with the remainder of the afternoon free to explore the Night Bazaar if desired.
Day 4

LUANG PRABANG TO VIENTIANE

In the morning, prepare yourself for an early rise as you will need to be up for 5am to witness the age-old tradition of alms giving. Afterwards, take a stroll through the historic streets to visit the Morning Market, where the locals come daily to trade their goods. Return to your hotel for breakfast before a visit to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, which is a new museum about the cultures of Laos. After lunch at Tamnaklao restaurant, transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane. Meet upon arrival and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, visit Vat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane featuring 6,840 Buddha images. Then on to nearby Ho Phra Keo. Once the royal temple of Lao monarchy, it is now a museum and contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artefacts in the country. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Patousay, which is your next stop. The Victory Gate was constructed in 1958 and its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark which you will visit today is the That Luang Stupa. King Setthathirath built this great sacred stupa in 1566.
Day 5

VIENTIANE TO HANOI

In the morning visit the surroundings of Vientiane, including the Buddha Park and Friendship Bridge. The Buddha Park is a religious sculpture park located by the Mekong River and the Friendship Bridge links Laos and Thailand. In the afternoon visit the Morning Market (Talaat Sao).Then transfer to Vientiane airport for your flight to Hanoi. Meet on arrival and transfer to the hotel for check in. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or join an optional excursion.
Day 6

HANOI TO HALONG BAY FOR EMERAUDE CLASSIC CRUISE

Early pick up at your hotel in Hanoi and drive to Halong City. After boarding the boat you will start a relaxing cruise through World Nature Heritage Halong Bay, which is listed as a World Heritage site of outstanding natural beauty and comprises more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water. Enjoy a refreshing welcome cocktail upon check-in, followed by a buffet lunch. In the afternoon take a visit to see the Sung Sot Caves (Surprise Cave), weather permitting. You also have the option of kayaking or swimming near Hang Trong anchorage. Later, enjoy a Vietnamese cuisine demonstration as well as happy hour with complimentary canap├ęs before an international buffet dinner at the restaurant. In the evening watch a movie on the sun deck. Please note your guide will not accompany you on board.
Day 7

HALONG BAY TO HANOI

Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking the boat and heading back towards Hanoi. On arrival in Hanoi enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before an orientation tour of the city with a visit to the Temple of Literature, the historic Ba Dinh Square; see Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum from the outside and the One-pillar Pagoda. You have the choice to stay in Hanoi for another night or experience the Vietnam rail tracks overnight aboard the SE3 Reunification Express from Hanoi to Hue. The overnight train is based in a private 4-berth compartment (02 upper and 02 lower berths) with air-conditioning and shared restrooms. Dinner will be enjoyed at a restaurant before transferring to your hotel for the night or to Hanoi railway station.
Day 8

HANOI TO HUE

Spend the morning at leisure before checking out of your hotel and transferring to the airport for your flight to Hue or those that have taken the overnight train option will arrive in Hue around 10.35 and picked up to join the rest of the group for lunch before continuing with a half day tour of Hue. You will visit the Imperial Citadel, this royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Continue by road to visit Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda an active Buddhist monastery originating from 1601 and afterwards take a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to the city pier. Overnight in Hue.
Day 9

HUE TO DANANG TO HOI AN

In the morning, visit Tu Duc Royal Tomb, construction of the tomb was meticulously carried out starting whilst the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Your journey continues southbound to Danang over the famous Hai Van Pass with a green view of the stretch of Truong Son mountain range on one side and a spectacular sea view on the other followed by lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon visit Cham Museum and en route take a photo stop at Marble Mountains before driving the short distance south past the famous Non Nuoc Beach onto the enchanting town of Hoi An listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Upon arrival in Hoi An, check in the hotel and rest of the day will be at leisure
Day 10

HOI AN TO HO CHI MINH CITY

In the morning, your guide will take you on a stroll through the exceptionally well preserved ancient town of Hoi An, most of the buildings still have their original wooden frames including historical monuments and the fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures. Hoi An Silk Village is just one kilometre away from the centre of Hoi An ancient town this is your next stop and where you will enjoy lunch. Drive to Danang airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, todays Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrating economic centre of the South. Check in your hotel and have free time in the evening to explore the city.
Day 10

HO CHI MINH CITY

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Cu Chi tunnels to visit the amazing complex of underground tunnels. In the afternoon take a walking tour will take you from the Saigon River past the Opera House, Town Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral and the old Post Office. Afterwards experience a fantastic 360 degree view of Saigon City from the observation deck at Bitexco Financial Tower. Next stop is Ben Thanh Market where you can purchase souvenirs.
Day 12

HO CHI MINH CITY

Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City airport for your onward journey, or alternatively extend your stay in Vietnam.
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