Essential Vietnam & Laos

  • icon-date12 DAYS
  • icon-date16 Meals

The journey starts in Sai Gon and ends in Luang Prabang! With Ftrip, you have a 12 days tour package taking you through Saigon City, the Mekong Delta, the spectacular middle to magnificent Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, and many other worth-to-visit destinations in Laos. Essential Vietnam & Laos – 12 Days includes accommodation in a hotel as well as flights, an expert guide, meals, transport, and more.

Day 1: Welcome to Sai Gon (D)!

Upon arriving at Tan Son Nhat airport, our guide and driver will be there to pick you up and then drive you to your hotel. Relax after your long flight and enjoy a delicious welcome dinner at a local restaurant in town (Our first-day schedule could be modified to meet your time of arrival).

Day 2: Explore Sai Gon – Cu Chi Tunnels (B)

Our first destination in the city is the War Remnants Museum where we can be informed about the US invasion of Vietnam, and its absorbing exhibits give visitors an invaluable insight into a defining chapter in the Vietnam war’s history. Departure to Reunification Palace was named in global history in 1975 and built for the South Vietnam Government during the Vietnam-American War. After that, we will visit the famous French architecture Notre Dame Cathedral, and the General Post Office. Cu Chi tunnel is one of the best things to do while we are in the South, not only for its location but also for its location with extraordinary history. Allow half an hour for the introduction to the history of Cu Chi and its creation and purposes. Enjoy a guided walk in the jungle, crawl into the tunnels and visit some permitted areas of the systems including living areas and martial facilities before heading back to Sai Gon.

vietnam-maps

Day 3: Mekong Delta- Ben Tre- Back to Sai Gon (B, L)

After having breakfast, we will travel to Hung Vuong Pier in Ben Tre. Take a boat at Ben Tre River for sight-seeing lively activities along the river such as fishing, and water transfer. We will stop at the most popular places for handicraft workshops including a craft brickyard where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to handmade bricks, process coconut into many different forms, and weave mats with the aid of dried reeds and a huge loom. A local Xe Loi (motorized rickshaw) will take us into a tropical garden where we can taste the exotic tropical fruit and enjoy our homemade lunch. Return to Saigon in the afternoon. The rest of the day is in your free time.

Day 4: Sai Gon – Hue Imperial City (B)

The northbound journey continues with a short flight to Hue. If you are passionate about Vietnamese cultures and heritages, Hue is the place for you. This ancient capital of Vietnam 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 the hotel. We will spend this afternoon, seeing the massive citadel, containing the Imperial City and the Purple Forbidden City. The sightseeing also includes a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market which sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts.

Day 5: Hue – Danang – Hoi An – the culture and heritage destination (B, L)

The day starts with a boat trip along the Perfume River, from here, we will be on and off the boat to see different places, starting with Thien Mu Pagoda which is one of the oldest ancient architectural, religious structures in Hue, located on a hill overlooking The Famous Perfume River built-in 1601 by the first founder of the Nguyen Family in Central Vietnam, then Kim Long village. By the afternoon, we will head to Hoi An via the Hai Van pass along the coastline and through the jungle-covered mountains. Along the way, we will stop at Lang Co beach, Cham Museum, and Marble Mountain, the mountain is a group of five limestone peaks situated seven kilometers from downtown Da Nang and is a network of caves, tunnels, towers, and pagodas built by Mahayana Buddhists and the Nguyen Dynasty Kings. Arrive in Hoi An at the end of the day.

Lantern releasing in Hue, Vietnam

Day 6: Farewell Hoi An- Fly from Danang to Hanoi (B)

The ancient architecture of Hoi An is a fascinating combination of Vietnamese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. Get lost with us on a morning walk around Hoi An town to see remarkably well-preserved traditional houses that have withstood 200 years of weather and war. Visit a Japanese Covered Bridge which was first constructed in the 1590s by linking it with the Chinese quarters. Following Tran Phu Street, we will get to The Assembly Halls. There are 4 Assembly Halls in Hoi An, each of those Halls belongs to a Chinese community that has its own beliefs, different assembly halls worship different gods and goddesses. We leave Hoi An to Da Nang international airport for a short flight to Hanoi. On arrival at Hanoi airport, our guide and driver will pick you up and drive you to Ha Long Bay, the wonder of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Day 7: Spectacular Ha Long Bay – Return to Hanoi (B, L)

The legendary Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. We embark on a traditional boat for cruising around the spectacular landscapes with approximately 1600 limestone islands scattering the emerald green water surface and numerous natural 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 the 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. 

Day 8: Farewell Hanoi – Hello Vientiane (B)

An early morning transfer to the airport for a flight to Vientiane. After arriving in Vientiane and checking into the hotel, we will start our half-day city tour with Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. Close to this masterwork is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew. Afterward, we will continue driving to Patouxai. This imposing monument standing in Lane Xang Avenue is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe and provides a stunning view of the city. We round off our day with a visit to the great sacred masterpiece and symbol of Laos, The Luang Stupa. Return to our hotel for dinner and relax.

Day 9: Vientiane to Luang Prabang (B)

Our day starts with a visit to the vibrant central market in the heart of Vientiane that sells a wide range 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. There is plenty to see in this delightful town, some of which are the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the Srilanka Lease-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. Return to a hotel where we spend our night before starting another exciting day in Luang Prabang.

Day 10: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves (B, L)

After breakfast, we will leave Luang Prabang by boat for the picturesque Ban Chan village, then the ethnic minority groups by visiting H’mong’s Ban Ouray village, then Laoloum’s Ban Ou village, and Khmu’s Ban Thapene village. Return to Luang Prabang by the afternoon and embark on a course upstream on the Mekong River which offers a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside to get to Pak Ou Caves. The two linked caves are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Stop at Ban Xanghai villages to see how locals make rice wine before taking a short drive to Ban Phanom. Return to Luang Prabang by the same means for the night.

Day 11: Luang Prabang- Kuang Si Waterfall (B)

The mountainous areas around Luang Prabang Town are also home to many ethnic groups and various stunning waterfalls dispersed in the secluded jungle. Today we will drive southward to Phosi Market which sells a wide array of local goods and handicrafts. Then we make our way to Khouang Si waterfall and spend the time relaxing in the marvelous setting of the 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. Return to the hotel and the rest of your day is in your free time.

Day 12: Farewell Luang Prabang (B)

Enjoy your last hearty breakfast and some free time to wander on your own or get stuck into some souvenir shopping until we take you to the airport and fly home with wonderful memories (not including late check-out for the hotel).