PRIVATE TOUR – CODE: VIM11

As the name “Glimpse”, the itinerary brings you over the destinations within 1-2 nights. For travelers with a limited time in Vietnam and Laos, the tour suits you best. Deeply enjoy a trip in Vietnam from the colonial Hanoi and beautiful Halong bay to exotic Saigon before discover the magical Laos, with experience the best of Luang Prabang in just a few days.

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Travel route: Saigon – Hanoi – Halong – Luang Prabang – Departure

BRIEF ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Saigon arrival
  • Day 2: Saigon – Cu Chi – Rong Vang water puppet theatre – Dinner on Saigon river (B,L,D)
  • Day 3: Saigon – Flight to Hanoi – Cycling around West Lake (B,L)
  • Day 4: Hanoi – Halong bay – Hanoi (B,L) Group tour
  • Day 5: Hanoi – Flight to Luang Prabang (B,D)
  • Day 6: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou caves (B,L)
  • Day 7: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si waterfalls (B,L)
  • Day 8: Luang Prabang – Departure (B)

DETAIL ITINERARY

Day 1: Saigon arrival

Upon arrival at the Airport, you will meet our guide and transfer to hotel for check-in. Enjoy welcome dinner at a nice restaurant. Overnight in Saigon.

Day 2: Saigon – Cu Chi – Rong Vang water puppet theatre – Private Dinner on Saigon river (B,L,D)

We start the trip by visiting Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office, followed by exploring the Reunification Palace, and the remarkable site of the War Remnants Museum.

In the afternoon, you will visit Cu Chi tunnels. Located 60km from HCMC, Cu Chi is now a popular spot for both Vietnamese & foreign tourists – the network of over 200km of tunnels became legendary when they played a vital role in the War. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities including numerous trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers & kitchens.

Today, ducks and water buffalos happily co-exist in the rivers along the side of the road. However, the peaceful rural rice paddy scenery belies the area’s violent history. Visitors will find it hard to imagine the destruction, damage & defoliation over this whole area, caused by bombing and mines. There is plenty of evidence of the fierce battle that took place here during the 1960s when Cu Chi was a “Free Target Zone”.

Start our tour in the morning, before entering the tunnels visitors can watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. You will spend the next hour exploring the tunnels. Afterwards, enjoy tea, cassava (guerrilla’s food during the war). Return to Sai Gon.

In the evening, you’re private transferred to Rong Vang water puppet theatre, enjoying the show imitating the culture and history of Vietnam. Return to your hotel for refreshment and enjoy dinner on Indochina Junk on Saigon river, casting your views at the splendid city at night. Overnight in Saigon.

Day 3: Saigon – Flight to Hanoi – Cycling around West Lake (B,L)

Morning flight to Hanoi (transfer with driver only). After 2-hour flight, you meet our tour guide at Hanoi airport and private transfer to your hotel to check in.

The tour continues with a Vietnamese set-menu in a restaurant near from your hotel. Afternoon take an easy cycle from your hotel to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh historical square. Our tour guide will tell you more about the Independence ceremony when the former President Ho Chi Minh declared the Independence of Vietnam. Cycle to West Lake nearby, the largest lake of Hanoi. During 1 hour ride, you will stop to visit Lotus ponds, Tao Sach pagoda, Yen Thai village, West Lake palace. See the contrast picture of skyscrapers standing next to ancient pagoda. See the locals returning from work and women doing aerobic exercises in the parks around West Lake. Many chances for sunset photohunting. Cycle back to your hotel.

Day 4: Hanoi – Halong bay – Hanoi (B,L) Group tour

Join 1-day excursion from Hanoi to Halong including picking-up & seeing-off from your hotel. Land transfer to Halong tourist wharf then welcome on boat. Enjoy set-lunch while the boat is crusing through the symbol islets of Dog islet, Burning Incense, Duck islet, Fighting Cocks islet. Visit Thien Cung cave, the largest of Halong bay and Ba Hang fishing village, home to 80 households among the ocean. Know more about the watery life, the floating school and the formation of rock islets in Halong by rattan boating. Drive back to your hotel in Hanoi. Arrive at your hotel at around 20:00. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 5: Hanoi – Flight to Luang Prabang (B,D)

Free morning at leisure in Hanoi.

Check out and private transfer to Hanoi international airport for your onwards flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, you’re welcome by our Laos guide and check in your hotel. Start the Buddhism trip in a new Buddhism country. It’s better to begin your trip with a vegetarian buffet dinner in the night market on the corner of Wat Mai. Large selection of dishes include tofu, veggies, and rice paper rolls. Free to explore the Night market in Sisavangvong Road. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 6: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou caves (B,L)

After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local speciality of rice wine is produced. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving. We also have time to visit Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek, small villages well known for silk weavings and for Saa (Jute) Papermaking. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 7: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si waterfalls (B,L)

An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there you will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and today you will visit local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene. Time permitting you may also wish to drive to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Phanom, a well-known weaving village, and then return to the city by late evening for observing the sunset at Wat Phabath.

Day 8: Luang Prabang – Departure (B)

Breakfast & free leisure till private transfer to Luang Prabang international airport for your departure flight. End of the journey. End of services.

INCLUSION

  • Air-conditioned land transfer with experience drivers
  • Local English speaking guides with rich knowledge
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Saigon
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Hanoi
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Luang Prabang
  • Group Saigon city tour
  • Group boating in Halong bay with rattan boat, cave exploration
  • Private boating excursion to Pak Ou caves
  • Water puppet show tickets in Rong Vang theatre
  • Meals as indicated: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
  • Admissions to indicated sites
  • Bottled water during transfer

EXCLUSION

  • Vietnam visa arrangement
  • Laos visa stamp fee (US$ 30/ person – you pay directly upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport)
  • Meals not mentioned, drinks and personal expenses (eg. laundry, telephone call etc).
  • International & Domestic airfares
  • Tips (eg. Driver, guide,..)