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A journey through Vietnam and Laos will leave you energized and inspired. Be moved by the smiling faces of the enduring people and enlightened by an encounter with Buddhist monks in Luang Prabang.
Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi (-/-/-)
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B/-/-)
Day 3: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Overnight On Cruise (B/L/D)
Day 4: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - Night Train to Dong Hoi (B/Br/-)
Day 5: Dong Hoi - Nha Trang Cave (B/-/-)
Day 6: Hue Sightseeing (B/-/-)
Day 7: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (B/-/-)
Day 8: Hoi An - My Son Sanctuary (B/-/-)
Day 9: Da Nang - Luang Prabang (B/-/-)
Day 10: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave (B/-/-)
Day 11: Luang Prabang - Khouang Si Waterfall (B/-/-)
Day 12: Luang Prabang – Departure (B/-/-)
Right after landing on Noi Bai Airport, you are picked up and transferred to hotel.
The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old world charm and some Asia’s most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere. If time permits, we enjoy a short cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Overnight in Hanoi.
Following breakfast, today we commence our exploration of Hanoi with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which contains 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 it with a visit to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam and the History Museum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history. Later on, we will take a short visit at Hilton Prison where Vietnamese soldiers did captured & detained American pilots from 1967 till 1973 to learn more about the history of Vietnam war against American Imperialists.
In this afternoon, visiting the outlaying Ethnologic Museum is also a major part of our sightseeing. This gleaming mansion is dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. Afterwards we drive to the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. They are some major highlights set by the beautiful West Lake. We also visit the old quarters and the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance. Overnight in Hanoi.
After having breakfast at hotel, you will be picked by our guide & driver at hotel then driven to Halong Bay – 170km from the East of Hanoi. On the way, you will have chances to stop by green paddies to see the Vietnamese farmers working on their fields or you might get by a Humanity Center where we are nursing the disabled Children who are left behind the War & they are victims of Agent Oranges caused by American troops. At around 12:00, you will reach to Halong Bay recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1994. The islands in Ha Long Bay are mainly limestone and schist islands most lying in the two main areas: the southeastern part of Bai Tu Long Bay and southwestern part of Ha Long Bay. They are the result of many times of rising and lowering processes of the continent to form a karst. The process of nearly full erosion and weathering of the karst created the unique Ha Long Bay in the world. In 2000, UNESCO recognized it as the World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values. On arrival at noon, we are welcome on the traditional boat and have welcome drink. Start the boat trip to visit Halong Bay with outstanding natural beauty of many Islands such as Con Cho Island, Dinh Huong Island, Canh Buom Island, Ga Choi Island and have fresh seafood lunch served on board. In the afternoon, you will have opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful karst limestone on the bay. Watching sunset and joining the evening activities on board.
Following breakfast, continue to explore more islands & natural beauties of Halong Bay. After the visit, enjoy a brunch served on cruise before reaching to Halong Harbour. Right here our car will be at disposal to pick you up then drive back to Hanoi. Arrival Hanoi, the rest of time you will be free on your own until your bus will pick you to go Hanoi Railways Station for the Night train to Dong Hoi.
Arrive in Dong Hoi, our guide and driver will pick you & transfer to have breakfast. Then we start the tour to visit Phong Nha caves. Boat trip to visit one of UNESCO Natural World Heritages with beautiful limestone formations, grottoes and caves, and boasts lush forestland covering 95 percent of the park area
In the evening, depart for Hue. Arrive in Hue in the late afternoon, check in hotel and overnight in Hue.
After breakfast at hotel, we enjoy a boat trip on the Perfumes River to visit the beautiful riverside Thien Mu Pagoda – one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious work ship in Hue. Then we continue to discover Imperial Citadel from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945 including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and Forbidden Purple City. The city tour in Hue includes with a chance to see a Royal musical performance of Hue (which is listed also as one of cultural UNESCO World Heritages). In the afternoon visit the elaborate mausoleums of emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh.
Overnight in Hue.
Departure to Danang and enjoy the scenic 4-hour drive via Hai Van Pass spectacular views of mountains, the sea, idyllic beaches and villages (we can choose the shorter way by driving through the tunnel). Arrive to Hoi An, which was which was originally one of major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Hoian town is now not only an UNESCO World Heritage, but a real live museum.
Visit of Hoi An Town with its low tiled houses of Chinese appearance, Japanese covered bridge, brightly painted temples and pagodas make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. Overnight in Hoian.
Today, we have a half-day trip in the morning to visit the capital and religious centre of the former Champa Kingdom of My Son, the last UNESCO World Heritage on the trip. Here, 40km southwest of Hoi An, in a lush green valley, are dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from between the seventh and thirteenth centuries. Afternoon free for shopping and further discovery of Hoian. Overnight in Hoi An.
This morning, we enjoy our last morning relaxing and shoping in Hoi An. After lunch time, our guide and driver transfer to Da Nang airport for connecting flight to Luang Prabang. Although the flight makes us transit through Hanoi, It is really comfortable. Depart for Luang Prabang in the afternoon, we are met and transferred to hotel for check – in and dinner. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
After breakfast, depart hotel to the boat landing, and take an excursion (a few hours) by boat, upstream on the Mekong to visit Pak Ou cave in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimeter to two meters in height.
En route, Lao typical villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore, bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Our first stop will be at Ban Muangkeo, a well-known village for Lao traditional rice whisky, namely Laoh-Khao to be distilled. We are welcome to taste it and also take away. Lunch is at a riverside restaurant.
We arrive back at Luang Prabang in late afternoon, and continue by car to outskirt of town to visit Ban Xangkhong, a well-known village for its wood paper making and also Lao silk weavings with natural dyes.
A morning breakfast, before we take a drive (30 km South) to visit Kuangsi Waterfall, which, though not very high, is spectacular and really beautiful with its green surroundings as the preserved National park. We stop en-route, to visit a fresh produced market namely Talad Phosy, and also visit Ban Na Oune, a small village of a hill-tribe group “Hmong”, probably the best-known minority group in Laos. Just before arriving at Kuangsi waterfall, there is another village of Khmu minority group, namely Ban Tha Pane that we will visit.
Our picnic lunch is served at the shady park nearby Kuangsi waterfall. There is plenty of time for relaxing and a swim in cool water, before we head back to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is spent by visiting various craft-shops, including silver smiths’ and also Hmong market in town, where some skilled embroidery-works of Hmong ladies can be seen.
Luang Prabang – the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom, the center of religious life in Laos and today the World Heritage City. We enjoy our last minutes for visiting the National Museum, the former Royal Palace which houses the collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue, gifts received from foreign dignitaries…etc, if time permits, the rest of the day is spent free for own experience in this charming town, till transfer to Luang Prabang airport for departure to next destination.
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