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Code: ICT250

Duration: 19 Days

Travel Route: Luang Prabang (Laos) - Hanoi - Dong Van Karst Plateau Geo-park - Ba Be Lake - Bac Ninh - Halong Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)

Private Tour | Operate all year around  |  Can be tailored to suite your requirements

       Tour Highlights

  • Observe the morning alms giving ceremony and charmed by the friendly atmosphere of the ancient town of Luang Prabang (LAOS) - UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • The bustling markets, tree-lined boulevards and peaceful lakes of Hanoi are a great introduction to modern Vietnam.

  • Meeting interesting hill tribe minorities & Amazing rocky highland Geopark of Dong Van, Ha Giang

  • Hike amongst the limestone mountains and green rice fields in Dong Van, Ha Giang

  • Cruising on the intoxicating landscapes of Ba Be lake, located right inside the virgin National Park of Vietnam

  • Experience a typical Vietnames rustics's daily life at a homestay in Bac Ninh and witness the local techniques of making beautiful pottery.

  • Cruise around the mystical landscape of Halong Bay and kayaking around toweing islands of the bay. Overnight on board in between thounsands of karst islands.

  • Visit the Forbidden Purple City of Hue, constructed in the early 19th century by Emperor Gia Long

  • Go back in time at the ancient trading port of Hoi An. Experience the blend of influences from the West and East, nice beach, peaceful countryside & interesting markets

  • Admire the amazing UNESCO's heritage of Angkor Wat: the largest religious monument in the world, the symbol of Cambodia, the Temple City of the Khmer Empire.

 

    Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LUANG PRABANG

Fly to Luang Prabang a charming town set amidst lush mountains. This sacred city of golden temples and glittering spires is has been recognized by UNESCO for its artful mix of traditional Laos and colonial architecture. Check into your hotel and relax for the remainder of the day.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Included meals: N/A 

 

DAY 2: LUANG PRABANG SIGHTSEEING 

Today, visit Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai with their sweeping roofs and decorative features. Then cruise the green waters of the Mekong River to reach Pak Ou caves, filled with thousands of Buddha images left by pilgrims. Later in the afternoon return to Luang Prabang and wander the halls of the former palace which is now a museum and watch the sun set from the top of Mount Phousi.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch  

 

DAY 3: KUANG SI WATERFALL – FLY TO HANOI

Rise early to the sounds of the temple gong and watch the daily ritual of monks collecting their daily alms.  This important part of Buddhist culture is not to be missed!  Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village, Ban Ou a Laoloum village and Ban Thapene, a Khmu village.  This then takes us to the beautiful Khuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. Followed by the return drive to Luang Prabang for lunch. After lunch, transfer to the airport for the short flight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital and gateway to the north.

Overnight in Hanoi

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

DAY 4: CITY TOUR OF HANOI

At 8:30 AM, you will set out with your private tour guide and driver for the full-day tour of the capital city. Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. The first place is the Temple of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, and one of the best serving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university. Next we visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, which are both a research center and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. A Vietnamese lunch is served at a restaurant in the city. In the afternoon, continue to Ba Dinh Square where you will view the Mausoleum (outside) and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. On walking here, you will call at the famous One Pillar Pagoda, dating from the 11th century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1947. Folowed by a short transfer to the West Lake to visit the Old Tran Quoc Pagoda and take a easy walk along Youth Road to view the two beautiful lakes: Truc Bach and Ho Tay.  Back to the Hotel and relax.

Overnight in Hanoi

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch 

 

DAY 5: HANOI – HA GIANG CITY

With your guide and driver, depart Hanoi for the 7-hour drive to Ha Giang. As you leave the Red River Delta the scenery will start to change as you enter the mountains of Northern Vietnam. You will arrive in Tuyen Quang around noon and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. After your meal, continue the drive to Ha Giang which is the northernmost province in Vietnam, consisting of breathtaking scenery, a colorful array of hill tribes and vibrant local markets (these rotate on a daily basis). As this is a remote area, accommodation and facilities are of basic level however we’ll make sure your journey is as comfortable as possible. On arrival in Ha Giang check into hotel to refresh then take an afternoon walk to a Tay Hill Tribe village, beautifully set in a stunning valley close to town. Return to your hotel for an evening free at leisure.

Overnight in Ha Giang City

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 

DAY 6: HA GIANG CITY – DONG VAN KARST PLATEAU GEO-PARK

After your breakfast at the accommodation, check out and pack up for the morning drive to Yen Minh little town, a gateway to the famous Dong Van's Karst Geo-park. The drive via Quan Ba Heaven Gate, Yen Minh Town offers you beautiful sceneries with some stops on the way for taking photographs. The lunch break is at a local food store in Yen Minh today. In the afternoon, you are really inside the Geo-park with scenic drive in between the limestone mountains. More stops to be made before finishing your day journey. Some of these are at Pho Cao, Pho Bang or just by the road at Sung La Valley, H’mong King Palace…

Overnight at a basic hotel in Saphin

Inlcuded meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 7: DONG VAN KARST PLATEAU GEO-PARK

This morning, you will get a short transfer by car from the hotel to a trekking point, Together with the local way leader, you will explore the geo-park and local daily life of the mountaineers in close up. The stunning trek takes you about 3 hours (10km). After that, get picked up by car again and head for Lung Cu flag Pole. Lunch is at a local food store near the flag tower. Lung Cu Flagpole is built on the top of Lung Cu Mount which is liken as “The high forehead of Vietnam”. It marks the extreme North of the country. After lunch, climb to the top of the tower for the bird-eye view over the valley. Your location is now just a stone’s throw from the border with China. The afternoon drive takes you back to the core of the geo-park, via Dong Van town and onward to Ma Pi Leng Pass. Stop to enjoy the scenery over the pass then checking into your hotel in Meo Vac.

Overnight in Meo Vac

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

 

DAY 8: DONG VAN KARST PLATEAU GEO-PARK – BA BE LAKE

Depart Meo Vac at 8:30 AM after the breakfast. The downhill drive to Bac Kan Province via a part of Cao Bang takes you almost the whole day. Your destination today is Ba Be Lake, a famous giant fresh-water body located inside Ba Be National Park. Arriving at Cho Ra town, check in a local guesthouse and rest for the remainder of the day. 

Overnight in Cho Ra town

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: BA BE LAKE – HANOI

At 8:30, you get transferred to Buoc Lom boat dock, a gateway to Ba Be National Park, for the morning motorized boat trip along beautiful Nang River. Moving downstream, you will reach Puong Limestone Cave (Bat Cave), stop for a short walk to visit the cave which is the shelter of thousand bats and watch the river running into the park. Continue on your cruise to enjoy the evergreen scenery of mountains and rainforest. The soft cruise on the tranquil lake of Ba Be is definitely offers you a great mood before ending the morning. Lunch at a local house in a village nearby the lake. After lunch and rest, you will embark on the afternoon drive back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi early in the evening. Check-in and rest.

Overnight in Hanoi

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 10: HANOI – BAC NINH

This morning, you are able to slow down a bit with the easy morning. Check out of the hoel at mid-day and get yourself something for lunch. At 1:30 PM, your tour guide and driver will meet you again and take the afternoon drive to the neighboring province, Bac Ninh. After around 90 minute drive, you will stop to visit Phu Lang Pottery Village. Here, you can learn the local techniques of making beautiful ceramic products from the raw reddish clay. After that, you will drive to Phu Lao Village, a typical Vietnamese rustic village near a branch of the Red River, where you will experience a homestay at a local house. Dinner and overnight at the homestay.

Overnihgt at a homestay

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

 

DAY 11: BAC NINH – HALONG BAY

This morning, you may be woken up early by the village roosters. Have breakfast at the family before getting back on road. The morning drive takes you to the well-known Halong Bay, which has been recognized by UNESCO for its limestone karst outcrops and unique natural scenery. Board a traditional junk for an overnight cruise in crystalline emerald waters. Take a kayak and paddle through secluded bays, sea arches and caves that have been formed through erosion. All meals are served aboard.

Overnight on board

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner  

DAY 12: HALONG BAY - HUE

This morning get up early this morning for some fresh-air on the open deck and join the Tai-chi class for some gentle moves if you wish. Otherwise, you are able to remain in your cabin until breakfast time. After breakfast, the crew will pull up the anchor, start the engine again for more cruising to other part of the bay. After visiting a big limestone cave, the boat is gently heading back to the pier. The early lunch (Brunch) will be served aboard. Around noon, you are ferried in and take about 4-hour drive to Noi Bai airport for the short flight to Hue City in Central Vietnam. Get picked up at the airport and check into your hotel in Hue City for the night.

Overnight in Hue  

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch  

 

DAY 13: CITY TOUR OF HUE

Start your day with a cyclo ride (local rickshaw) through a part of the city of Hue to observe the excitement of Vietnam’s last capital. Get dropped off and walk to visit the UNESCO listed Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Enter through the towering main gate and you will appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your tour guide explains about the events and the intrigue of the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily during the Tet Offensive, there are some well-preserved sections still intact and others which are being restored. After visiting the complex of Hue Monuments, you will move on to visit Ming Mang Royal Tomb which is a few minutes to drive from the city. Minh Mang was the second Nguyen Emperor whose interest in architecture brought major new construction to the Imperial City of Hue. His tomb is set in a large garden on the west bank of the Perfume River, with lakes and pavilions built in the old Chinese traditional style. Followed by another stop at Thien Mu pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument, which stands on the riverbank with its impressive seven-storey tower. Thence, take a boat trip along the romantically named Perfume River for the way back to town.

Overnight in Hue

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

DAY 14: HUE – HOI AN 

Packing up and have the breakfast at the hotel before checking out for the morning drive to Hoi An ancient city. When you get out of the city, the scenery gets beautiful along the drive, especially while you are getting over Hai Van Pass - a scenic mountainous stretch of highway with views across Lang Co beach. You are able to have some stops for taking photographs. Arrive at your hotel in Hoi An, check in and take a short rest. After lunch, accompany your tour guide for a walking tour to visit the ancient town with major sites of Hoi An. including an historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. You will notice a distinctly Chinese appearance to the pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. In the evening you will be taken to a cooking class to experience making typical Vietnamese food and enjoy your work after that. (This is a join-group class, maximum of 10 people. If you'd prefer a private class, please let your travel specialist know in advance as there will be extra cost involved)

Overnight in Hoi An

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner  

DAY 15: HOI AN COUNTRYSIDE ON BICYCLE

Meeting your personal guide again at the lobby this morning and get your bicycle and set out for the 4-hour bicycling tour to Cam Kim Island. Hop on your bike and head to a jetty for about 10-minute ferry ride across the Thu Bon River. Get back on your bike and pedal through some picturesque villages and along rice paddies. You have a stop at the famous carpentry village of Kim Bong to learn how the local wooden river boats are made and you also have chance to see some amazing pieces of wood carving art produced by the locals.  The ride continues on to Duy Vinh, the beautiful rural area that soaks up the landscape and the local way of life.  We will take a visit Mr Dau's family – a veteran who came back from the war with a leg lost in 1985, and now-a-day, he is a very popular rice wine maker. Learn his incredible history and taste traditional sprit of Rice Wine is one of the highlights of our trip. Carry on, we come to see another family making sleeping mat - the traditional mats that we use regularly to sleep on even now-a-day. Lunch time, we will arrive in one of family who making My Quang – a local rice noodle. You get a chance to see how rice noodle made in Vietnam then enjoy a tasty bowl of noodle for your lunch. Back to the bike for another pleasant ride to Hoi An.  You will also get some time to visit a kindergartener right before the return trip back to your hotel in Hoi An. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or doing your own things.

Overnight in Hoi An

Included meals: Breakfast, and soft lunch 

 

DAY 16: HOI AN – SIEM REAP

Hoi An was once a flourishing port under the Nguyen lords. Today, the charming town retains the spirit of a bygone era, with tile-roofed wooden buildings and ancient winding streets. Strolling through this pedestrianized town, losing ourselves in the potpourri of vendors selling colorful handmade lanterns (a Hoi An specialty), tailor shops with local fashions on display and the intoxicating aroma of Vietnam’s undeniable cuisine. So, a free day is a great time for you to do your own things: Joining a cooking class; visiting some tailor-made silk shops or just relaxing on the nearby sandy beach of Cua Dai until getting picked up for the late afternoon flight (VN823 @17:00) to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Included meals: Breakfast 

 

DAY 17: ANGKOR DISCOVERY

Have breakfast at the hotel then you will start to explore wondrous ancient ruins with the South Gate of Angkor Thom, which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King, then continue to Preah Khan was built in 1191 during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. In the afternoon, you will visit the jungle-covered temple of Ta Prohm, it is an incredible sight. There are enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers which embrace themselves in the stone foundations of the structure giving the impression of man’s creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature. Later this afternoon, we will complete our temple tours to the most complete temple of Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. We stroll around this massive edifice, seeing the many galleries with Columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple.  

Overnight: Siem Reap  

Included meals: breakfast, lunch 

DAY 18: MORE TEMPLES WITH TONLE SAP LAKE 

This morning, heading out of town you make your way by traveling on a newly paved road to the intricately carved and well preserved temple of Banteay Srei. Along the way, you will make a stop and pay a visit to Preah Dark village. Followed by a visit to the Banteay Samre Temple adorned with impressive relief’s depicting scenes of Vishunu as well as Krishna legends. In the afternoon, you will be driven to the floating village of Choueng Kneas village, where you will have a boat ride to learn the daily life of the poor villagers in this part of Cambodia, on the great lake of Tonle Sap. You may even see enterprising children floating in buckets selling soft drinks and floating pig pen. Early evening, you will be taken by Tuk Tuk, a small open-sided taxi common in Cambodia, to cruise around the suburb of Siem Reap town and for a blessing ceremony by Buddhist monks for happiness, prosperity and safety for your journey.  

Overnight in Siem Reap  

Included meals: breakfast, lunch     

 

DAY 19: DEPARTURE FROM SIEM REAP

You will have free time till our guide meet you and escort you to the airport for the departure flight.

Included meals: Breakfast

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TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • Private A/c transportation per itinerary

  • All airport transfers

  • Regional English speaking tour guides

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast during the trip

  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

  • Local way leaders (If any att trekking places)

  • Sightseeing tickets/ Entrance fee and permits

  • Boat ride in Mekong River & Tonle Sap Lake

  • Motorized boat trip in Ba Be Lake and Perfume River

  • Boat Cruise trip in Halong Bay

  • Bottled water on the vehicle

  • Government taxes

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

  • Travel insurance

  • International flights (in/out Vietnam)

  • Visa arrangements

  • Domestic flights (quoted saparately)

  • Drinks and other meals

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Personal expenditures & others not mentioned clearly above.

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