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DESTINATION VIETNAM TRIP DETAILS
DETAILED ITINERARY | TRIP NOTES | | | TRIP MAP  
 

HIGHLIGHTS
. Ho Chi Minh
. Cu Chi Tunnels
. Mekong Delta
. Hue
. Hoi An
. Da Nang
. Hanoi
. Halong Bay
. Vientiane
. Luang Prabang
LENGTH : 14 DAYS
GRADE :
ACTIVITY
essence of vietnam and laos
This trip is carefully is designed for those who are keen to explore the most interesting places of Vietnam and Laos. Travelling from the bustling Ho Chi Minh City to the delightful Luang Prabang Town you will have an forgettable experience including the colorful cultures of local people, scenic countryside of Mekong Delta, superb sceneries of Halong Bay and charm of Luang Prabang Town with various old age temples.
Essence of Vietnam Laos,  Travel Package Tours Booking Hotels in Ho Chi Minh , Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi , Halong Bay , Vientiane, Luang Prabang
DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival - Ho Chi Minh
On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The bustling Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This metropolis ,contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping areas and sidewalk cafes. ( If time permits) we stroll around the down town to explore the different local ways of life. O/N in Ho Chi Minh.

Day 2 : Ho Chi Minh - Cu Chi - Ho Chi Minh
The incredible underground network in Cu Chi stretched over 200 kilometres and became legendary during the American war. The extensive tunnels have been specially constructed with living areas, storage facilities, weapon factories, filed hospitals, command centres, plus accommodation. Today we have an excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels to visit an exposition hall and a widened section of the tunnels to get a feel of the underground life. There are also possibilities to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range. The following programme is a sightseeing of major sights in Ho Chi Minh City. We drive past many lively streets on our way to the Reunification Palace. This mansion was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. We see these before going to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War remnant exhibit. The final stop is Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale!. O/N in Ho Chi Minh. (B)

Day 3 : Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh
Heading out of town, we travel by roads to the Mekong Delta. This plain region boasts the largest rice bowl of Vietnam. On arrival in My Tho we board a boat navigating around the intricate small canals, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up and catch a view dotted by many islands. The exciting river trip will pass by the lush green vegetation towards the famous Unicorn Island where we have a chance to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits and see farmers at work. We navigate some narrower canals using small rowing boats to Ben Tre Province for an interesting visit to some local industries. The extra enjoyment is a lunch at one of the famous local eating spots. We drive back to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off en route to see the beautiful Ving Trang Pagoda and the Saigonís Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon. This bustling area is crammed with sacred temples and mysterious, narrow lanes. O/N in Ho Chi Minh. (B,L)

Day 4 : Ho Chi Minh - Hue
The northbound journey continues with a short flight to Hue. This ancient capital of Vietnam however has left its legacy in magnificent architecture, pagodas and royal tombs, which are laid in many small villages and surrounding hills. On arrival at Hue Airport you are greeted by our guide and driven to hotel. We spend this afternoon, seeing the massive citadel, containing the Imperial City and the Purple Forbidden City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. The sightseeing also includes a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass many fantastic eating spots, all ideal for visitors to sample some local delicacies. O/N in Hue. (B)

Day 5: Hue - Hoian
The beautiful riverside Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious workship in Hue. We include this in a cruise on the Perfume River, giving us an enjoyable visit to the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. Upon leaving Hue we travel southwards to Hoian. The winding road begins as we make our way up the spectacular Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam's most impressive panoramic scenes. Today we also catch a chance to visit the China Beach and the Marble Mountain, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe on our way to Hoian. This tranquil town was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. O/N in Hoian. (B)

Day 6: Hoian - Danang - Hanoi - Halong
The ancient architecture of Hoian is a fascinating combination of Vietnamese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. There are plenty to see in this delightful and tranquil town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tam Ky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda, the vibrant market. We visit these on our morning walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past. We leave Hoian for Danang, stopping en route to visit the famous Cham Museum which boasts the largest collection of Cham treasure in Vietnam. The following destination is Hanoi via a short flight from Danang. On arrival at Hanoi airport we are met by our guide and driven to Halong Bay past the scenic countryside. O/N in Halong Bay. (B).

Day 7: Halong - Hanoi
The legendary Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. We embark a traditional boat for a five hour trip around Halong Bay. The exciting cruise provides us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands, which rise amazingly from the clear and emerald water. These limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. We round off our excursion with a seafood lunch served on board and make our way back to Ha Noi. After checking into hotel we enjoy a short cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. O/N in Ha Noi. (B,L)

Day 8: Ha Noi
Today we enjoy a full day city tour starting with the Ho Chi Minh Complex containing the mausoleum of the nation's founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. We follow this with the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam and the impressive Ethnologic Museum, dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups. The beautiful West Lake and the History Museum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history are also highlight of our trip . We visit these sights before continuing to the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance. O/N in Ha Noi. (B)

Day 9: Ha Noi - Perfume Pagoda - Ha Noi
The famous pilgrimage site in Vietnam is Perfume Pagoda. This complex is not just one pagoda but more Buddhist shrines and sanctuaries built into mountainsides. Heading out of town we make our way through the rich farming land of the Red River Delta to the Perfume Pagoda. The relaxing pace begins as we board a boat for an excursion along the Yen River past the spectacular landscape of flooded rice fields and undulating mountains. On arrival at Thien Tru pier we embark on a walk uphill to explore some of the many pagodas and the sacred grotto of Huong Tich. By mid afternoon we drive back to Hanoi, stopping en route at Ha Dong Silk village. Here is a chance for shoppers to tray their hand at bargaining. O/N in Ha Noi. (B)

Day 10: Hanoi - Vientiane
An early morning transfer to airport for flight to Vientiane. On arrival at Wattay Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to our centrally located hotel. The charming and fascinating capital of Laos, Vientiane is a small city conjuring up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences. We start our half day city tour with Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. Close to this masterwork is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Afterwards we continue driving to Patouxai. This imposing monument standing in Lane Xang Avenue, is well known as Vientianeís own Arc de Triomphe and provides a stunning views of the city. We round off our day with a visit to the great sacred masterpiece and symbol of Laos, That Luang Stupa. O/N in Vientiane. (B)

Day 11: Vientiane - Luang Prabang
The vibrant central market in the heart of Vientiane, sells a wide away of local treasures. We include this famous trading center in a walking tour around the town center before we board a flight to Luang Prabang. The royal capital of the former Lane Xang Kingdom, Luang Prabang with its gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop, retains an unique charm rarely found in all Asia. There are plenty to see in this delightful town, some of which are the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the Srilankalese styled temple of That Marko, the shrine of Wat Aham and the five tiered roof Wat Mai. We visit these sites in a half day guided tour and embark on a climb up to Phousi Hill for a beautiful panorama view from the town center to the mighty Mekong River. There are 329 steps leading us on zigzag way past various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phousi at the summit. O/N in Luang Prabang. (B)

Day 12: Luang Prabang - Pakou Caves - Luang Prabang
Today we continue seeing this charming town with the famous Wat Xieng Thong, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes ,doorways and marvellous tree life mosaic pattern on an outer wall, representing the ancient temple architecture of Luang Prabang. We board a boat for a leisurely trip on the Mekong River, stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai to visit the distillation of potent local rice wine. Upon leaving this riverside village we wave our way through the stunning mountain landscape to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. They are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devout villagers. We explore these famous grottos and cruise back to Luang Prabang Town. On arrival we catch a short drive to Ban Phanom , a well known weaving village of the Tai Lue people who used to make royal silk weaving textiles for the Lao former royal family. O/N in Luang Prabang. (B,L)

Day 13: Luang Prabang - Khouang Si Waterfall - Luang Prabang
The mountainous areas around Luang Prabang Town are also home of many ethnic groups and various stunning waterfalls dispersed in secluded jungle. Today we catch a drive southwards to Phosi Market that sells a wide array of local goods and handicrafts. Upon leaving this lively market we make our way through the verdant and rugged scenery to Ban Thapene, Ban Xom and Ban Namai which are conquered by the Lao Loum, Khmu and Hmong people. They are very poor but have interesting culture and colorful history. These tribal groups have originally settled in mountain side therefore it may involve some short walks to visit their villages. We arrives at Khouang Si Fall and spend the time relaxing in marvellous setting of waterfall and lush forest. The waterfall tumbles over multi tiered limestone formations into the cool and clear pools ideal for anyone seeking an enjoyable escape. O/N in Luang Prabang. (B)

Day 14: Luang Prabang - Departure
The former Royal Palace has been turned into a national museum. This interesting structure displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. We spend our time to see this museum and enjoy a walk around the nearby old quarter streets or simply relax at riverside bar. The trip ends after your transfer to Luang Prabang Airport for departure. (B)

 
ESSENCE OF VIETNAM AND LAOS -  DAILY PRIVATE DEPARTURE
(Prices per person valid from 1 nov., 2007 to 31 oct., 2008 )
Group Size of Standard Class First Class Superior Class Deluxe Class
2 - 3 Pers. US$1,449 US$1,596 US$1,917 US$1,917
4 - 6 Pers. US$1,271 US$1,418 US$1,739 US$1,739
7 - 10 Pers. US$1,065 US$1,213 US$1,533 US$1,923
11 Pers. & up US$989 US$1,137 US$1,458 US$1,458
Single room sup. US$222/pers US$339/pers US$605/pers US$919/pers
Full board sup. US$201/pers US$225/pers US$246/pers US$270/pers
PRICE NOTES
- The compulsory gala dinner on 24 Dec. and 31 Dec. and the surcharge for the peak season from 23 Dec. to 4 Jan. may be applied depending on hotel conditions however you are advised to contact our sale team to get the full information if you plan a trip in this period.

WHAT SPECIAL?
The above tour cost is available for private daily departure.  We also offer cheaper tour options with fixed departure date, you just click VIETNAM HOT DEALS to get all affordable offers for joined group tours or click CUSTOMIZED TRIP to build a holiday for your own interest and budget.
 
INCLUSIONS: Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver + Meal as mentioned: B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = dinner + Accommodation: twin sharing room at mentioned hotels or similar one + English or French speaking guide + Entrance fee to indicated sights + Boat trip in Mekong Delta, Hue, Halong Bay and Luang Prabang + Regional and domestic flight Ho Chi Minh - Dang , Hue - Hanoi - Vientiane - Luang Prabang
 
EXCLUSIONS: Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room supplement, personal expenses, travel insurance, visa, flight in/ out of Indochina, any optional additional tours or activities during free time, surcharge for peak season, local holiday days and gala dinner

LIST OF HOTELS USED ON THIS TRIP
( Click To View Your Hotels)
STANDARD CLASS FIRST CLASS SUPERIOR CLASS DELUXE CLASS
Ho Chi Minh
Dai Nam Hotel(ROH),Empress Hotel(ROH),Chancery Hotel(Sta. room),Thanh Lien Hotel(ROH) or similar one Saigon Riverside Hotel(Del.room),Tan Hoang Ngoc Hotel(Sta.room),Vien Dong Hotel(ROH),Elios Hotel(ROH) or similar one Rex Hotel(Sup.room),Kim Do Hotel(Del.room),Norfolk Hotel(ROH) or similar one New World Saigon Hotel(Del.room),Renaissance Riverside Hotel(Del.city view room) or similar one
Hoi An
Sea And Sand Hotel( Sup. room),Vinh Hung Ii Hotel(ROH),Thanh Binh Ii Hotel(ROH),Indochine Hotel(ROH) or similar one Glory Hotel(ROH),Ancient House Resort(ROH) or similar one Hoi An Beach Resort(del. room),Hoi An Hotel(Junior del. room),River Beach Resort(Del.room) or similar one Golden Sand Resort(Sup.room),Palm Garden Resort(Sup.garden view room) or similar one
Hue
Hoa Hong Hotel(ROH),Duy Tan Hotel(ROH) or similar one Heritage Hue Hotel(ROH),Queen Hotel(First class room) or similar one Huong Giang Hotel(Sup. river view room),Century Riverside Hotel(Del. river view room),Green Hotel(Del. plus room) or similar one Saigon Morin Hotel(Del.room) or similar one
Halong
Halong Post Hotel(ROH),Halong Bay Hotel(ROH),Van Hai Hotel(ROH) or similar one Halong Pearl Hotel(Sup.room) or similar one Halong Dream Hotel(Sup.room) or similar one Saigon Halong Hotel(Del.room),Halong Plaza Hotel(Sup.room) or similar one
Hanoi
Ats Hotel( Sup. room),Chain First Eden Hotel( Standard room)or similar one Hoa Binh Hotel(ROH),Thang Long Opera( Sup. room),Sunny Hotel( Executive room) Guonman Hotel(ROH),Sunway HotelSup. room,Zephyr Hotel(Del.room) or similar one Melia Hotel(Del.rom),Hanoi Horison Hotel(ROH),Nikko Hotel(ROH) or similar one
Vientiane
Inter City Hotel,Laos Orchid Hotel  or similar one Novotel Hotel,Don Chan Palace Hotel  or similar one Laos Plaza Hotel(Sup.room),Green Park Hotel(Del.room) or similar one Settha Palace Hotel(Del.room) or similar one
Luang Prabang
Manoluck Hotel(ROH),Haysoke Hotel  or similar one Muang Luang Hotel(ROH),Le Parasol Blanc Hotel(ROH),Phousi Hotel(Del.room) or similar one Grand Luang Prabang Hotel(Del.room),Villa Santi Resort(Del.room),Villa Santi Hotel(Del.room) or similar one Maison Souvanaphoum Hotel(Verandah room) or similar one
Hotel Notes
 

 

LAOS AND CAMBODIA ARE A DEVELOPPING COUNTRY WHOSE INFRASTRUCTURE MAY DIFFER FROM WHAT YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR HOME LAND. THE ROAD CONDITIONS ARE POOR IN CERTAIN AREAS.

THE ITINERARY IS CORRECTED AT THE TIME OF VIEWING. OCCASIONALLY, THE PROGRAMME CHANGES AS WE MAKE IMPROVEMENT STEMING FROM OUR PAST TRAVELLERS' COMMENTS AND OUR OWN RESEARCH OR DUE TO LOCAL CONDITIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL. THIS INCLUDES FESTIVAL, PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, WEATHER AND FLIGHT DELAY,.. THAT MAY EFFECT THE ITINERARY.

THE TRIP INCLUDES SOME MEALS AS MENTIONED AT THE ITINERARY: BREAKFAST ( B) , LUNCH ( L), DINNER (D). HOWEVER OUR GUIDE WILL BE ON HAND TO ADVISE YOU AS FAR THE AVAILABLE RESTAURANTS WHERE YOU CAN ENJOY LOCAL FOOD ON FREE MEALS. THE PACKAGE TOUR WITH FULL BOARD MEAL IS ARRANGED UPON REQUEST .

THE DRESS STANDARDS ARE CONSERVATIVE THROUGHOUT ASIA. LOOSE , LIGHTWEIGHT, LONG CLOTHING ARE ALL RESPECTFUL AND COOL IN ASIAN HOT CLIMATE. IN ADDITION TO YOUR ITEMS OF PERSONAL CLOTHING, WE SUGGEST YOU TO BRING TRAINER OR SNEAKER SHOES, JACKET FOR COLD WEATHER, TORCH/FLASH LIGHT, HAT, RAIN COAT FOR WET SEASON, SUN CREAM, SUNGLASSES, DAYPACK, TOILETRIES AND SMALL TOWER, INSECT REPELLENT.