Vietnam & Laos Highlights

Laos, Vietnam

On Request

Close  Laotian architecture developed after 14th century with strong attachment to Buddhism.

Vietnam & Laos Highlights

Vietnam & Laos Highlights
Vietnam and Laos are Southeast Asian countries with a common border along the Annamite Range. Both countries are mostly hilly, densely forested and have similar weather cycles. But since these are geographically elongated, it is difficult to explore both Laos and Vietnam in 2-3 weeks. Focussing on northern regions of both Vietnam and Laos, makes it a relaxed holiday. This tour is however designed to cover Vietnam with Luang Prabang, capital of Laos.

In Hanoi, visit the Temple of Literature (Temple of Confucius) or cycle around West Lake. Halong Bay, in the east of Vietnam is famous for Junk boat tours to the towering limestone islands around Cát Bà National Park. The Mekong River cruise, upstream to the Pak Ou caves, holds over 4,000 Buddha images, mostly the standing Buddha. Luang Prabang in Laos, a well-preserved townscape has a fusion of traditional and urban architecture.

TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 13-DAY VIETNAM AND LAOS TOUR…
And visit, Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Halong, Hanoi & Luang Prabang.
 

We Love
  • The tour includes your private English speaking guide and driver
  • Accommodation in shared twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast
  • Transfers and tours with local English guides (guides in other languages are on request and may be subject to supplements) in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees, boat fees and / or cyclo fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Bottled water and cold towels available on the vehicles
Need to Know
  • Your international airfare is not included. We can book your international and domestic flights.
  • When travelling in Asia things won't always be like they are in the West so it's best to come with an open mind. If you have some patience, you will find this is an unforgettable place with much to offer.
  • Most hotels in Laos and Cambodia accept credit cards and there are ATM machines in the country. However, cash is still king and credit cards something of a novelty item. Bring lots of money or hit the ATMs regularly.
  • You will require a visa to enter Laos. Please check with Laos Embassy for more details.

Vietnam & Laos Highlights

Vietnam is filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands and rainforest regions, team with exotic wildlife and islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is very possibly the most delicious.

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, located in the Red River Delta in the centre of North Vietnam has many ancient architectural features including over 600 pagodas, numerous lakes and parks. But travellers seem to have forgotten Laos. There are a few grand (but relatively unheard of) attractions.

Travellers who are drawn by the laid-back lifestyle and have the opportunity to watch sunsets on the Mekong will simply explain the attraction by revealing that the true meaning of "Lao PDR" is Lao - Please Don't Rush.

This private luxury tour visits the highlights of Vietnam and Laos. Stay at the best luxury hotels in Vietnam and Laos, and enjoy personalised private touring with your own guides and drivers.

Start in Saigon, the vociferous, crowded capital city whose colonial French boulevards contrast sharply with pagodas and roadside noodle stalls. Explore the vast underground network of tunnels, which the North Vietnamese used for guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam War.

Continue to Central Vietnam and visit the ancient merchant town of Hoi An, a world heritage site. Explore an Imperial city of the Champa Empire (4th-12th century), a large complex of over 70 religious architectural remains. Then take a spectacular overland coastal drive to Hue, the former Imperial Capital in central Vietnam.

Next, transfer to Halong Bay where you will board the luxurious Chinese style junk, the Emeraude. Named for a cruising vessel that plied these waters between 1906 and 1937, the Emeraude aspires to the magnificence of the bay itself. Its air-conditioned cabins, en suite bathrooms, award-winning cuisine and spacious deck space set the stage for the voyage of a lifetime.

In Laos you will visit the incredibly romantic Luang Prabang, a world Heritage Site with Buddhist temples, museums and cultural attractions. The best way to experience this charming city and its surrounding is on a bicycle. Your private guide will lead you to the most interesting places, nearby villages where you can meet charming Lao people and experience their unique culture and simple way of life. The tour concludes in Luang Prabang.
 

 
Vietnam & Laos Highlights Laos, Vietnam

Vietnam & Laos Highlights Visit the highlights of Vietnam and Laos on a private luxury tour and enjoy personalised private touring with your own guides and drivers.
Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Halong, Hanoi, Luang Prabang
(13 Days. Travel Any Day)


Day 1– Arrive
Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) Meet and greet on arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport After a warm reception, our representative will escort you to your hotel for 3 nights stay.
Meals: Nil
Overnight at Park Hyatt Hotel.

Day 2 – Explore Cu Chi Tunnels
Ho Chi Minh Your private tour starts with a drive to Cu Chi (70 km), an amazing complex of underground tunnels built first as a defence against the French, and later expanded during the American (Vietnam) war. Take a “thrilling” experience of crawling through this amazing system and later try your shooting skills on original AK47s and other guns from past war times (subject to a surcharge).

Return to Saigon and enjoy an afternoon tour of the city. After lunch, take a tour accompanied by your private guide to Visit the former Presidential Palace, which is now preserved as a museum, including the underground communications bunkers, headquarters for the Saigon Government during the Vietnam War. Continue to Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the centre of city, and Dong Khoi street, formerly the centre of haute couture in Saigon when it was known as Rue Catinat.
Meals: B
Overnight at Park Hyatt Hotel.

Day 3 – Mekong Delta On Cai Be Princess
Ho Chi Minh Transfer to Cai Be, two and half hour drive from HCM and embark the Cai Be Princess, an exclusive river junk to explore the fascinating life on the Mekong River. You will cruise through small floating markets, stop for photo shoots and visit local villages enroute to learn their way of life. Dine at a superb Indo Chinese villa located in a lush tropical garden by the river. Continue cruising, passing several islands and make  unscheduled stops on the way to see an ancient Church or a Bonsai Garden before returning to hotel.
Meals: B, L
Overnight at Park Hyatt Hotel.

Day 4 – Transfer via Danang
Hoi An Transfer to the airport for your flight to Danang. On arrival meet your private guide and tour the Cham sculpture museum in Danang that houses the largest and most impressive collection of Cham artefacts anywhere in the world, dating from the 4th to the 14th centuries. The Chams are descendents of the great kingdom of Champa and are known for their beautiful textiles and patterns.

Then explore the Marble Mountains and surrounding villages to discover the daily life of the local people. Enjoy the stunning countryside scenes that will simply mesmerise you. Transfer to Hoi An and check in.

Hoi An, is a UNESCO-listed riverfront town with colourful historic homes, charming cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets. In the afternoon, explore the beautiful backstreets and learn about the history of Hoi An. In the evening enjoy a sunset cruise on the river.
Meals: B
Overnight at The Nam Hai Resort, One bedroom villa.

Day 5 – Transfer & Explore
My Son With your private guide, take an early morning drive along a rolling countryside, passing through small towns, often journeying alongside the wide reaches of the Han River. The last few kilometres of the journey is rather bumpy and we walk the final 500m through lush hillsides, before emerging into the main site of My Son, which translates literally as "Beautiful Mountain".

My Son, is an Imperial city of the Champa Empire (4th-12th century). It is a large complex of over 70 religious architectural remains and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your private guide will offer full commentary on the Cham heritage of My Son while you wander around this most historic site.

Return to Hoi An and take a private guided tour of the ancient city and a boat trip to explore local villages famous for making pottery.
Meals: B
Overnight at The Nam Hai Resort, One bedroom villa.

Day 6 – Transfer & Explore
Hue Today we take a spectacular overland drive to Hue, the former Imperial Capital in central Vietnam. Visitors to Hue are often taken aback to discover that this sleepy provincial town was once the religious, economic and cultural epicentre of Vietnam, the mighty Imperial headquarters, and the political capital of the country until 1945. Hue today has regained its royal demeanour and is a calm, peaceful and relaxed place to visit.

The remaining French colonial garden houses and villas, the quiet streets, the riverbanks, the outlying tombs and pagodas that escaped damage – all give Hue a unique atmosphere of tranquillity. Enjoy a visit to the Imperial Citadel, the remainder of the afternoon may be spent wandering the stalls at the local Dong Ba market, or taking a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Perfume River.
Meals: B
Overnight at La Residence Hotel & Spa.

Day 7 – Transfer
Hanoi Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. Our representative will meet on arrival escort you to your hotel.

This evening, transfer to the theatre where the ancient and unique art form of water puppetry is enacted. The puppets, 16 inches high, attached to a long bamboo pole are dipped in and out of the water by a person behind a rattan curtain. But how to manipulate these puppets is usually a family held secret passed over generations. Try if you can unravel the mystery.
Meals: B
Overnight at Sofitel Legend Metropole.

Day 8 – Transfer & Cruise
Halong Bay Take a private transfer to Halong Bay and check-in the luxurious M/V Emeraude for an overnight cruise.  Few places anywhere rival the extreme natural beauty and serenity of Vietnam's Halong Bay. A noted Vietnamese poet and scholar described it as a "rock wonder in the sky". In modern times, it has been a backdrop for countless movies including the Oscar-winning French epic, Indochine.  Now, in the 21st century, it is universally acknowledged as an unmissable corner of Vietnam.

The cruise commences with and a lavish buffet lunch. Then weather permitting, visit the Sung Sot Cave (Cave of Surprises). Watch a Vietnamese cuisine demonstration will take place on the sundeck and attend a happy hour with complimentary canapés followed by an evening movie show. A scrumptious International buffet dinner is served at the restaurant.
Meals: B, L, D
Overnight at Emeraude Classic Cruise.

Day 9 – Cruise & Transfer
Hanoi Wake up at sunrise and practice Tai Chi on the sun deck with one of the instructors or spend your morning swimming in the clear waters of the Halong Bay. After an energizing western breakfast, check out from M/V Emeraude and transfer to Hanoi. Rest of the day at leisure.
Meals: B
Overnight at Sofitel Legend Metropole.

Day 10 – Transfer
Luang Prabang (Laos) Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Meet and greet on arrival. After a warm reception, our representative will escort you to your hotel for 3 nights stay.

Set at the confluence of two rivers that almost surround the town and beneath a temple-topped hill, Luang Prabang is a wonderful patchwork of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture - reminders of when Laos was part of the French colony of Indochine.

Climb Vat Phousi hill for an outstanding view over the city. Golden-roofed wats (temples), decorated with mosaics and murals of the life of Buddha sit under the gaze of wrap-around teak balconies and 19th century shuttered windows, against a backdrop of verdant greenery and rugged mountains. Sunset at Vat Prabaht Tai located along the Mekong River.
Meals:
Overnight at hotel.

Day 11 – Explore Khuang Xi Waterfalls
Luang Prabang With your private guide travel by road to the Khuang Xi Waterfalls (1 hour drive). The waterfalls tumble over multi – tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. On the way to the waterfalls, visit the Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene for a glimpse into their lifestyle.

After some time relaxing and exploring the area by foot, return to Luang Prabang and on the way visit Ban Phanom weaving village, with the remainder of the afternoon free to explore the Night Bazaar, if desired.
Meals: B
Overnight at hotel.

Day 12 – Explore Pak Ou Caves
Luang Prabang Begin your private tour with the 16th century Wat Xieng Thong (Golden Tree Monastery) is one of the most beautiful of Lao monasteries with over twenty structures on the grounds including shrines, pavilions and residences. The ornamental main entrance and gilded carvings from the Hindu epic Mahabharata are stunning. The Royal funeral chapel and chariots are beautifully carved and is worth seeing.

Then take boat cruise on the Mekong River, about 2-hr upstream to the Pak Ou caves, a famous tourist attraction outside Luang Prabang. The caves hold over 4,000 Buddha images, mostly the standing Buddha. The caves are a popular pilgrimage site and get crowded in April, during the Lao New Year. We visit local villages enroute including the one that is nick-named as “Whiskey Village”, which has for centuries made Lao wine. Nowadays, it specializes in producing a wide range of lau lao (Lao whisky) and lau hai (Lao wine). Be sure to try just a little!
Meals: B
Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 – Depart
Luang Prabang Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Meals: B
 

 

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199


When to go The climate in Laos and Vietnam remains tropical. The best time to visit the region is in the months between November and mid-March. During these months the days are pleasant and the nights are chilly. Thereafter the temperature begins to rise and March to May gets very hot. The monsoon arrives in the month of April-May and peak in August but continues until mid-October. Travel is difficult during these months. Avoid travelling during March-April and August.

Getting There There are few direct flights from Europe to Vietnam’s three main international airports but these are steadily increasing over the years. The majority of visitors take indirect flights routed through Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong. It can be cheaper if you fly to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or regular international carriers and from there take one of the low cost carriers to Vietnam.  

There are only three international airports in Laos. Wattay International Airport in Vientiane; Luang Prabang International airport and Pakse International airport. Lao Airlines is the national carrier and monopolises the majority of flights in and out of the country, though many code-share with other air carriers.  

Passport/Visa British, European and Americans require a visa for Laos and Vietnam. You can obtain a 30-day tourist visa on arrival in Laos and Vietnam provided your passport is valid for at least six months. Two passport sized photographs will be required. Travellers are advised to check with their nearest embassy or consulate.