SMILES OF NORTHERN INDOCHINA – VIETNAM & LAOS

Duration

12 days

Tour Type

Overview

Itinerary: Hanoi (3 nights) - Sapa (2 nights) -  Halong Bay (1 night on junk) - Ninh Binh (1 night) - flight to Luang Prabang (3 nights)....👇👇👇

Included/Exclude

  • Hotel
  • Van
  • Domestic flights
  • Visits
  • Guide
  • Meals
  • International flights
  • Tips for guide & driver
  • Personal spending
  • Drinks in the meal

Tour Plan

Arrival in Hanoi, reception by the local English-speaking tour guide and transfer to the hotel in the center of the city. (The rooms are available after 2:00 pm).

Meals at leisure. Night at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel. 

To start the trip, visit the museum of ethnic minorities, to understand more about the country's 54 ethnic groups. In its garden you can discover representations of the typical houses of the most important ethnic groups. (Closed on Mondays).

Then, visit the temple of Literature, built in the 1070, a symbol of the education in the country, that represents the traditional Vietnamese architecture.

Lunch in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, walk in the surroundings of the Ba Dinh square. Pictures in front of the impressive Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, place of eternal rest of the greatest leader of the Vietnamese people. Visit the One Pillar pagoda, known for its original construction in teak, emerging from water.

Finish the day with a rickshaw ride in the center of the city that allows you to discover the main centers of interests of the Vietnamese capital: the neighborhood of the “36 corporations”, the quarter of the embassies, the surroundings of the lake …

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel. 

Experience 1 (see price in the experience table at the end of the document): Walking tour in Hanoi old town with degustation of a local delicacy and a vietnamese cappuccino (with beaten sweetened yolks) or a local beer in a pavement bar.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Early departure on the new beautiful road to Lao Cai, a city in the north of Vietnam, on the border with China.

Lunch at a local restaurant on transfer.

Then we continue on our way to Sapa, at the foot of Mount FanSiPan, the highest point in Vietnam.

In Sapa, discover on foot the Muong Hoa Valley, the most beautiful in the region. The road to the Ta Vang village is charming, with the houses of the Black Hmong and Dzay ethnics, the work of the flooded rice terraces and incredible natural landscapes.

Visit of a Dzay family in the village of Ta Van, time for a warm encounter with its local inhabitants.

Return to Sapa at the end of the day.

For those who want it, time for an evening walk to discover the city: the stone church, the market ...

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Start the day with a walk through beautiful valleys, between mountains and rice paddies, to discover local life in the towns of Ma Tra (Hmong ethnic group) and Ta Phin (Dzao ethnic group), the two majority ethnic groups of the Sapa region (approximately 2 to 4 hours, depending on what the group chooses).

Lunch in a family house in the village.

In the afternoon, continue the walk in the villages and with the visit to a typical house of the minority ethnic groups, there you will have the opportunity to learn more about the life of the ethnic groups of the mountain and share a warm moment with its inhabitants.

Towards the end of the afternoon, transfer back to the hotel in Sapa.

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.

Colorful ethnic minority market in the mountains of Bac HaBreakfast at the hotel.

Visit a weekly market where all ethnicities are present. You can discover the Hmong Flores, the Black Dzao, the Tay, the Black Hmong in their traditional costumes. 

Visit to the neighboring villages, where the Hmong, the Phula live… A walk in the villages, mainly populated by the colorful Hmong, in a fascinating valley.

The markets change villages depending on the day of the week: Coc Ly (Tuesday), Can Cau (Saturday) or Bac Ha (Sunday). The visits will be adapted according to the dates of the trip.

Lunch in a restaurant or in a family home, depending on the day.

Transfer to the Sino-Vietnamese border to assist incessant activities of merchants.

Depart for Hanoi through mountainous landscapes. Upon arrival, installation at the hotel in Hanoi.

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Road to Halong Bay through the Red River Delta.

Arrival in Halong, boarding in a traditional junk, where you will navigate through imposing mountains and about 3000 islands and islets emerging from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. 

Welcome drink and installation in your cabin.

The junks are a unique way to discover Halong Bay.  The cabins are equipped with AC, a private bathroom with shower, toilet, and hot water.

Lunch on board, and departure for a fantastic cruise in Halong Bay: undoubtedly one of the most beautiful landscapes in Asia.

Discover one of the most beautiful natural caves.

Small introduction to Vietnamese cuisine on board.

Dinner on board with specialties of the bay.

Night on the junk, an unforgettable memory.

To finish the day and if weather permits, a night fishing session of squid will be organized.

ninh binh vietnamIf weather permits, the sunrise is the best moment to photograph the Halong Bay and also for a Tai Chi lesson on the upper deck with nature.

Breakfast on board.

Continuation of the cruise towards a floating village, discover a different way of life, fish farms, floating houses and community buildings. Each year more and more people move to land seeking for a better life but the culture and traditions are still strong among “the people of the sea”.

Early lunch on board as a "brunch".

Disembark and transfer by road to the Ninh Binh region, also known as the terrenal Halong Bay, due to its incredible scenery. Along the route you will see many villages and various settings. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.

To start the day, walk or bike through the nearby rice plantations and villages, time to meet the locals. Then, a ride in a flat-bottomed rowing boat, on a small river surrounded by rice fields and karstic mountains, an exceptional natural landscape. 

Lunch in a local restaurant: Roasted goat and puffed rice, a local delicacy.

In the afternoon, transfer by road to Hanoi airport to take the flight to Luang Prabang (19:10).

Arrival at Luang Prabang airport, the city of culture in Laos, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Reception by the Laos guide and transfer to the hotel.

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Start your day with the visit to the Royal Palace of Haw Kham, built in 1904 during the colonial period, by order of King Sisavang.

Cruise on the majestic Mekong River, starting the navigation in the middle of the morning mist, surrounded by the jungle, you can enjoy the authentic Laos and its peaceful lifestyle. Arrival to the caves of Pak Ou. These are two excavated caves at the foot of the cliff, where thousands of statues of Buddhas (more than 8,000) are found. Exploration of the caves.

Lunch in a restaurant on the river banks.

Return to Luang Prabang and on the way, visit the village of Ban Xang Hai, known for its production of rice liquor.  Back in town, visit the Vat Xieng Thong temple, a vast combination of sacred buildings, jewels of Lao art, the most beautiful temple in the city.

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel. 

Experience 2 (see price in the experience table at the end of the document): Traditional Baci ceremony, this important ritual is important in Laotian culture. This mix of animism and buddhism is held for the most important events of the local’s lives such as weddings and births.

Around 6:00, the monk parades through the streets of their district in search of offerings. If you wish, you get up early and participate in this beautiful spiritual show in Luang Prabang. 

Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning, transfer by road to the Kuang Si waterfalls, incredible jumps of turquoise water, forming stunning natural pools.

On the road, stop at the Phosy market and then visit the village of Ban Sing for a short walk through this authentic hamlet. Walk up to the local pagoda with views of the Mekong River.

Continue towards the National Park that houses the waterfalls. Start a walk through the Park, contemplating the different waterfalls and visit an Asian Bears rescue centre. Possibility to swim in the natural pools of the waterfalls during the visit. 

Lunch in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center, to discover the local culture and its numerous ethnic minorities.

Possibility to visit Mount Phousi, which after climbing its 328 steps, offers spectacular views over the city with the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.

Free time in the night market, where the ethnic minority groups of the mountains trade their handicrafts and typical products. 

Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.

Time at leisure for personal activities.

According to the flight schedule, transfer to the airport to take the return flight.

Meals free. Night in the plane.

End of our services.

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