Day 1: Luang Prabang
On arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After you have had time to rest and freshen up we will head off on bicycles to see some of the highlights of Luang Prabang including a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts from the Royal period in Luang Prabang. Cycling on, we are seeing the city’s oldest temples, the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Lao architecture, the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham. Your evening to free to explore the town and night market or relax at the hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si Falls (B)
After breakfast back at the hotel we begin our journey to Kuang Si Waterfall stopping along the way to visit the morning Phousi Market, this where all locals of Luang Prabang come to do their daily shopping. You will see a variety of local foodstuffs and products including dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, fish, vegetables and fruit, everything needed for daily life in Laos.
On arrival at the Kuang Si Falls you will have the opportunity to cool off with a refreshing swim in the topaz pools below the falls, walk along the forest trails and visit the Bear Sanctuary. You will also enjoy a picnic lunch below the falls.
Upon return to Luang Prabang we board our private boat for a pleasant and scenic cruise up on the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. These caves are an ancient pilgrimage site and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha images left there over hundreds of years.
Returning to Luang Prabang we disembark our boat and have the option of taking a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village famous for its hand weaving or returning to the hotel for free time to relax. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Siem Reap (B)
Morning breakfast at hotel then we check out. Drive to Luang Prabang airport for our flight to Siem Reap. On our arrival Siem Reap, we meet our guide and driver then they will take us around Siem Reap to visit to Angkor Wat complex.
This afternoon we take tour to Angkor Wat, one of the wonders of the world, just a quick stop at checking point to get our pass to visit the site for 2 days. Angkor Wat, a majestic temple was built in 11th century by Khmer Empire which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. Angkor was a mega city supporting at least 0.1% of the global population during 1010-1220. The Angkorian period began in AD 802, when the Khmer Hindu monarch Jayavarman II declared himself a "universal monarch" and "god-king", and lasted until the late 14th century, first falling under Ayutthayan suzerainty in 1351. Late afternoon we visit to Bkheng Mountain for sunset view then return our hotel.
Day 4: Siem Reap (B)
Breakfast at hotel, and then star to explore South Gate of Angkor Thom known as Big Angkor, 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire, The famous Bayon Temple was an architectural muddle, in part because it was constructed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion for over a century. Terrace of the Elephants is an impressive, two and a half meter tall, 300 meter long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants and gradual that spans the heart of Angkor Thom in front of Baphuon-huge temple mountain in the heart of Angkor Thom, Royal Palace Area and Phimeanakas-impressive rite and sandstone pyramid. Terrace of the Leper King is at the north end of the Terrace of the Elephants, a double terrace wall with deeply carved nag as, demons and other mythological beings. Lunch local restaurant.
Afternoon visit Ta Prohm Temple which is a wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty. Giant trees have grown here for centuries. Return to our hotel then we walk to Siem Reap market for dinner.
A night market in Siem Reap is very interesting things for us to stroll around, there are a lot of local restaurants, bars, pubs and souvenir shops open late at night.
Day 5: Siem Reap – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Today we take a short flight from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. On arrival you are met by our guide then she/he takes you to hotel for check in. It is much depending on your arrival time and if the time is permitted, you will take an orientation tour of Ho Chi Minh City and also visit some highlight buildings such as: Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, City Hall and Opera House, or just relax at your hotel.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi (B)
Today we drive out to Cu Chi tunnel which is the most complicated underground system in Vietnam built in early 1948 and completed its 250km long around 1960. This is an amazing place where we are absolutely admired the way of the guerrillas’ living and fighting for their mission. Before examining this historic site such as a private entrance of the tunnel, Commander Bunker, Fighting Bunker, Meeting Bunker and Health Care Bunker, we will watch a short documentary film about this special place to have an idea why it was named as an “Iron Land”. After that we walk to see the site. Our first place in our visiting list is original private entrance which is 25cm width and 30cm length then we head to Fighting bunker where we actually get down the tunnel. Next we will have a chance to view the booby trap gallery, all kinds of traps were used by guerrillas to stop the attack from their enemy. The smokeless Hoang Cam kitchen where we will have a chance to taste the guerrilla’s food, the steamed cassava associated with peanut, salt and sugar is an incredible bunker to visit. Mr. Hoang Cam designed this special kitchen during the French-Vietnam War in Dien Bien Phu battle field and it became very popular as its smokeless chimney system in a later war.
After finishing our visit to this site, we drive back Saigon for an afternoon city tour. The War Remnant Museum is a must for us to see and to learn more about the sorrow of this war that left unpleasant after- effect to the people and environment for years.
We finish our day with a visit to Thien Hau Temple in China town and Binh Tay Market.
Return our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho (B,L)
Today we will enjoy the beautiful scenery in Mekong Delta, hundreds of canal and river system and the most productive farm in Vietnam. We just take 2 hour drive to My Tho City, which is located on the bank of Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in the world then take the boat cruise to Thai Son Island for visiting fruit farm, bee farm and local handicraft. We not only enjoy the fruits at the farm and honey tea but also entertain the traditional music show, “Don Ca Tai Tu” which has been selected as the World Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Just enjoy a peaceful moment on our rowing sampan under a shady water coconut palm on both sides of canal, a fantastic view of the river, a cheerful smile and the hospitality of the local people, we are awarded to have them all. On the way back to Ho Chi Minh, we will have lunch at Mekong Rest Stop restaurant and enjoy local specialty.
Seat back and relax on our way back to the hotel.
Rest of the day is free at leisure.
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City – Hoi An (B)
A new exciting day for us to discover the World Cultural Heritage site, Hoi An ancient city, we just take a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang then proceed to our destination. Hoi An, a lovely ancient seaport city located on the bank of Thu Bon River is not only famous for its architecture, temples, pagodas, ancient trading houses, tailor shops but also the hospitality and friendly people of this place. This pleasant city is a great experience that will last lifetime, we just spend our day to troll along the streets, talking to local people, visiting some local attraction sites; Thien Hau Temple, Japanese Bridge and Tan Ky House. Late afternoon we take an hour boat ride on Thu Bon River and this is a time for us just relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
Rest of the day is free at leisure. If we are lucky enough to be in Hoi An on the full noon night, there will be a lantern festival which is very interesting to take part in. We also have a chance to join “Bai Choi” game, it is a kind of traditional folk game accompanying with singers, drummer and game conductors on the streets. You may find it similar to the game of bingo in some stages.
Day 9: Hoi An – My Son (B)
Morning we take a half day trip to a World Cultural Heritage site My Son Sanctuary of Champa Kingdom, which was very powerful and prosperous Kingdom in Southeast Asia from 4th century to 11th century. We drive 2 hours through rural area, rivers, paddy fields, mountains to this site for visiting these fantastic monuments of the Cham people and also have a chance to entertain Champa Traditional Dance show. After visiting this site we drive to Da Nang City for our lunch and then visit to Cham Museum which all artifacts were collected in My Son area and it is absolutely amazing collection of art and culture. We will end our day by stopping at Marble Mountains for our sightseeing. Taking steps up to Huyen Khong Cave, which was used as the hospital during the American and Vietnam War. It is actually the pagoda which has a giant marble Buddha statue seating on the rock and facing the main entrance inside the cave. Continuing our walk up the steps to Thien Phuoc Pagoda on the side of this mountain facing the ocean. It is a fabulous sea view from this site. Finishing our day with a stop at the stone carving village where we may have some souvenir gifts for our trip. Then we get back our hotel and free at leisure.
Day 10: Hoi An – Hue (B)
Today we will enjoy the most beautiful distance in Central part of Vietnam on our way to Hue, a World Cultural Heritage Site. It is only 140 km long but there are so many things for us to see. First we again have a chance to view The Marble Mountains, Non Nuoc beach and Da Nang City on our way to Hue. Second we will have the most scenic view of mountain and ocean as approaching to the top of Hai Van (Ocean and Cloud) Pass. Third a picturesque Lang Co fishing village in the bay as we are getting down the pass is a must for a photo stop. Next is Tam Giang lagoon and Hue City, a lovely and romantic city located on the bank of Huong (perfume) River. Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 and famous for the Citadel, Imperial City, Forbidden City and the Royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal regime of Vietnam. After check in our hotel we start our excursion by taking a boat trip on Huong River to Thien Mu Pagoda which was built in 17th century on the top of the hill overlooking the river and Truong Son mountain range. Then we drive to the Imperial and Forbidden City of Hue, most of the contraction sites of a heyday royal dynasty were destroyed during the turmoil of the war for many years but there is still the sense of grace and majestic of the rulers. Enjoy Vietnamese royal court music show, a World Intangible Heritage of Humanity (showtime is subject to availability) and then we drive to the royal tombs, the place were used during both the life and dead of the Nguyen Rulers. A lovely traditional architecture royal tomb of King Tu Duc built in three years from 1864-1867 is located outskirt of Hue among the fine forest, lakes and ponds meanwhile King Khai Dinh’s tomb is located on the hill step of Chau E mountain, the tomb is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture style and built in 1920.
Return to our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 11: Hue – Ha Noi (B)
Morning we take a short flight to Ha Noi Capital, a cradle of Vietnamese culture and the heart of all Vietnamese. This thousand year old city is definitely a great place for us to stroll around 36 ancient commercial streets in which each street is named basing on the produce that is sold as Hang Bac (Silver Street), Hang Giay (Shoes street), Hang Dieu (Tobacco street), Hang Đao (Silk street).. and countless culture and historic sites for us to discover. On our arrival we will take an hour cyclo (pedicab) to the ancient quarter of Ha Noi. It is an incredible way to discover this city and there are hundreds of photo opportunity; every corner of the street, shop keepers, vendors, street foods, a bustle and hustle of Dong Xuan Market and so on for us to take. We finish our ride at Thang Long theater and walk around Hoan Kiem Lake then visit to Ngoc Son Temple. Check in hotel then free at leisure.
Evening we will entertain the Water Puppet Show, a unique northern Vietnamese art performance that we cannot be missed on our schedule for today. We will have a chance to learn more about the rural life of Vietnamese peasants and national heroes via a series of history story which were beautifully demonstrated by the artists who play with the water puppets.
Day 12: Ha Noi (B)
Start our day with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, this is a very special place for all Vietnamese and also famous for foreigners around the world to see the whole complex, Uncle Ho’s house on stilt where he lived and worked from 1958-1969, his fishing pond and his garden. Then we just take a short walk to One Pillar Buddhist Pagoda built in 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 to 1054. Ly Thai Tong was childless and dreamt that he met the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshava, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. Ly Thai Tong then married a peasant girl that he had met and she bore him a son. The emperor constructed the temple for the gratitude for this miracle. Further on our excursion, we visit to Van Mieu, Temple of Literature to dedicate to Confucius and his four best disciples. This was also the first national university of Vietnam built in 1076 within the temple to educate Vietnamese bureaucrats, nobles, royalty and other members of the elite. This university remained open from 1076 to 1779. The interesting thing in this place is the collection of steles of doctorates whose names, birth place, year of the examination, and the rank of diploma were engraved onto the marble stone stele placing on the top of the turtle. There are 1307 graduated doctor names on 82 stele in this place.
After visiting this wonderful place, we will have lunch at local restaurant and refresh. Later in the day we visit to Ethnology Museum which is very rich culture collection of 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam. The simple agriculture stools, fish traps, hand weaving cloths, crafts, festivals, folk arts, traditional houses, and lively activities of each tribe are all here for us to discover. Finish our day at History Museum, we not only see the exhibits from stone age, bronze age and rehistoric era to prove that there were the ancient Vietnamese living in Ha Noi but also the modern artifacts to show how the vietnamese has been strugling for the independence, peace and love.
Return our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 13: Ha Noi – Ha Long (B,L,D)
A new exciting day waiting us to discover, we depart for Ha Long, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islands and islets in all sides reflecting on turquoise water. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.
There are a lot of photo opportunities on our way to Ha Long as we drive through the rural area, street markets, paddy fields, vegetable farms, poultry farms and lotus farms. We take a rest stop after 2 hour drive for a coffee break then continue to Ha Long Bay. At midday we board the overnight junk for the cruise. A welcome drink is well prepared for us as we get on board then check in and enjoy a pleasant cruise on the bay. Seafood lunch is served on board while the junk is slowly going among the islands and islets. There are some activities for us to join in in this afternoon; visiting to the cave, swimming at Ti Top beach, climbing up the top of Ti Top Island for panoramic view of the bay, kayaking in late afternoon or joining squids finishing at night. The junk is anchored in a quiet bay for overnight. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 14: Ha Long – Ha Noi (B)
Morning just join the Tai Chi Class on sundeck for half an hour and then we will have breakfast. We keep on our excursion and visit to Sung Sot cave, fantastic stalactites and stalagmites in all different sides with beautiful natural color. Return to our junk and check out. Enjoy a pleasant cruise back to the pier for disembarkation then return Ha Noi. Rest of the day is free at leisure
Day 15: Ha Noi – Departure (B)
Breakfast at hotel; free at leisure until time transfer to airport for departure.
All accommodation basing on double/twin room with daily breakfast
Private transportation as specified in itinerary
English speaking guide for day tour
All entrance fee for sightseeing
All boat trips as specified in itinerary
Meals as specified in itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Drinking water on coach
International air ticket to/from Vietnam
Visa fee to Vietnam/Laos/ Cambodia
Domestic air tickets
Things are not indicated in itinerary