This tour takes you to two very different SE Asian countries. Enjoy the excitement and magnificence of Vietnam and the extraordinary splendor of gentle Laos. You will visit cities, ancient towns, unique natural landscapes, spectacular historical and spiritual architectures and the natural friendliness of the peoples of both countries.
- Personal attention to detail by all HGH from the time of your initial enquiry through to the end of your tour
- 24 hour support available during the tour
- Enjoy the degree of historical and cultural information throughout your tour from our local and knowledgeable tour hosts to the degree that you and your group are interested.
- We focus on sustainable tourism by creating the very best experience for you as the tourist while supporting our local environment and local people
On your arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will be picked up and transferred to check into your hotel (early check-in is subject to the hotel’s availability). Ho Chi Minh is the heart and soul of the south of Vietnam and is a bustling, dynamic and industrious city. It is not only the largest city but also the economic capital and trendsetter of Vietnam. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture. The city streets of Ho Chi Minh come to life as you experience a myriad of street markets, shops, pavements, cafes, stands-on-wheels and vendors all with their wares spread out on the sidewalks.Read More
This morning takes out of the city for a beautiful scenic drive through the Mekong River Delta, home to the richest agricultural lands in Vietnam. Enjoy a boat trip to an island with orchard gardens and visit the beautiful Cai Be floating market- a famous place in the Mekong Delta. The Cai Be floating market is a magnificent site to see as hundreds of small merchant boats anchor alongside the banks of the river, trading their commodities to locals and tourists alike. We continue with our cruise through the maze of canals that crisscross around An Binh island.Read More
After breakfast, there is a half-day tour around the city and a visit to the Thien Hau Temple. Thien Hau is a 16th century Chinese temple in Cho Lon and dedicated to Thien Hau or the ‘goddess of the sea’ who is said to protect fishermen and sailors. The War Remnants Museum is a tribute to the Vietnam War and displays aspects of culture and history relating to that period. Especially touching are the examples of damage caused by agent orange and pictures taken by war correspondents of many nationationalies, who risked their lives (and some lost their lives) telling the story of the war.
Lunch at Chateau One Restaurant.Read More
Today starts with a boat trip down the romantic Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda,one of the oldest and most beautiful pagodas in Hue after which we go to see the Minh Mang Tomb. Ming Mang was emperor of Vietnam from 1820 to 1841. Enjoy a vegetarian lunch and take the chance to chat with the nuns to learn more about Buddhism or gain insight into their daily lives and their calligraphy art.
The afternoon takes us to the outskirts of Hue to explore the peaceful surroundings of the Tu Duc Tomb. On the way back we will stop at a traditional village where they make conical hats and incense. Enjoy dinner and relax to traditional folk music on the mystic dragon boat as it glides down the beautiful Perfume River.
Hotel in Hue.
Leaving Hue, we head south to the more modern setting of Da Nang then onto the exotic Hoi An. Along the way, take the opportunity for panoramic photographs at the Hai Van Pass of Lang Co Beach. We will also stop to visit the Cham Museum located in Da Nang City. The museum offers the most extensive collection of Cham art sculptures found throughout the world. The sculptures date from the 7th to the 15th century.
Finally, you arrive in the charming World Cultural Heritage Site Hoi An. Dinner at Sakura Restaurant, a popular Japanese – Vietnamese restaurant on the banks of the Thu Bon River.
Hotel in Hoi An.
Enjoy a walking tour through the narrow and ancient streets of this charming town. Perhaps more than any other places in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of centuries past. Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an influential port along the Silk Road. For over 500 years, merchants from China, Japan, France and Portugal settled in the prosperous town resulting in a distinctive blend of culture, cuisine, religions and architecture. The town has the status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, listed for having the ‘most unique’ architecture in Southeast Asia.It has been restored and protected by both the UNESCO funding and proud locals ever since. The tour takes in the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 400-year-oldJapanese Covered Bridge and old family houses.
Lunch at the Cargo Restaurant.Read More
After breakfast, you leave Hoi An and head back to Da Nang to catch the flight to Ha Noi. From the airport, we travel 80 km south to the Ninh Binh Province. This is an area of outstanding beauty, unrivaled historical and religious sites. Often known as the ‘Ha Long Bay on Land’, the area has large rock structures jutting out of the water and the land that are reminiscent of the Bay.Read More
After breakfast, we drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, one of the most beautiful and mystical places in Southeast Asia. The day starts with a leisurely boat ride through the breathtaking Ha Long Bay where you will see unique mountainous rock formations (karsts) reaching majestically out of the water. We can enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh seafood cooked in a characteristically Vietnamese style while cruising to Bai Tu Long Bay, Teapot Islet, Blockhouse Islet, and Goat Head Islet.Read More
The cruise continues explore karsts. Some of which display fantastic shapes, many of which have ancient stories connected to them. We also pass Hoa Cuong and Ga Choi Islands on the way to visit the Luon Cave. Back onboard, we have an early lunch before saying goodbye to the boat and to the crew. On the way back to Ha Noi, we have a short stop at the Bat Trang ceramics and pottery village where they make and sell all kinds of ceramics, embroidery and marble statues.
We will enjoy dinner at the “Rung” Restaurant before going to see the unique and intriguing Water Puppet Show, a traditional folk performance held on the Red River Delta.
Hotel in Ha Noi.
A city tour of Hanoi starts with a visit to the Hoan Kiem Lake where you will see the Ngoc Son Temple. The temple worships Saint Van Xuong and Tran Hung Dao, a former general commander. We will then take a short drive to visit the Temple of Literature. Built in October 1073 to worship Confucius, it is the first known university in Vietnam.
The former king’s Palace is now the National Museum and is the first stop of the day on our tour of Luang Prabang. French architects used existing Palace foundations to create the current building in 1909. At the museum, you will see a blend of French's and Lao's art such as the paintings and murals of the royal family. In the reception area, you can see busts of all the past Lao's kings.
After the museum, we visit the peaceful Wat Visoun, a 16th century temple that served as a small museum for religious artifacts. Following the Wat Visoun, you see Wat Aham, built in the 19th century. This temple houses two guardian figures at the foot of the steps. The figures represent two characters from the Ramayana – Hanuman, the Monkey god and a fierce Yaksa.Read More
After breakfast, we visit the 450-year-old World Heritage Site of Wat Xieng Thong, which has survived Chinese sieges as well the wear and tear of time. It is a great place to visit to experience and gain insights into the Buddhist religion. After Wat Zieng Thong, we take a 2-hour riverboat cruise up the Mekong River towards the Pak Ou, at the confluence of the Nam Ou, and Mekong Rivers. Here you will visit the sacred caves of Tham Ting and Tham Phum, home to hundreds of Buddha Statues.
After breakfast, you go to the airport to catch the flight to the capital city of Vientiane. Our guide is waiting to welcome you and take you to your hotel. (Early check-in is NOT included and is subject to hotels availability).
The city tour will take you to the city’s major historic sites including, Wat Si Saket - the oldest standing temple in Vientiane and among the most atmospheric. Built in 1818 by Chao Anou Wat Saket, it is in the Bangkok style. Within the cloister walls are hundreds of niches housing Buddha images large and small, made of wood, stone, silver and bronze. Wat Haw Pha Kaew (opposite Wat Si Saket) is King Setthathirat's former royal temple and housed the magical Emerald Buddha (Pha Kaew) after it was taken from Lanna (Chiang Mai). The interior is now a small jumbled museum housing Buddha images. Look out for the beautiful tall, lithe, long-armed Buddha in the hands-down "calling for rain" pose.