11 DAYS ROUNDTRIP VIETNAM – LAOS
- Ha Noi- Halong Bucht- LuangPrabang- Saigon- Mekong Delta – Can Tho – Chau Doc
|Hanoi||Sunway Hotel Hanoi||Superior||www.sunway-hotel.com/vietnam/hotel_overview.jsp|
|Luang Prabang||Victoria Xieng Thong Palace||Palace||www.xiengthongpalace.com|
|Ho Chi Minh City||Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel||Deluxe||www.libertycentralhotel.com|
|Can Tho||Victoria Can Tho Resort||Superior||www.victoriahotels-asia.com|
|Chau Doc||Victoria Chau Doc Hotel||Superior||www.victoriahotels.asia|
Hanoi Arrival (No meal)
Upon arrival, our local guide is waiting to transfer guests to the hotel.
Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Hanoi (B/L)
Halong Bay’s limestone island formations are majestic and beautiful – a must-see for any visitor to Vietnam! Spend the day experiencing the splendor of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, cruising on a deluxe wooden junk.
Depart Hanoi by 8.30am for the 3-hour ride to Halong Bay, with a short break in Hai Duong city along the way. Arrive in Halong at 11:30am, board the boat and enjoy a seafood lunch onboard. Spend the next four hours touring the bay, including Thien Cung and Dau Go caves and a floating bamboo village. Other caves may be visited depending on the weather and tides. The boat docks at a suitable swimming spot for a quick dip before heading back to harbour. The bus takes the group back to Hanoi, arriving about 7pm.
Hanoi – Flight to Luang Prabang (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to airport for flight to Luang Prabang the spiritual capital of Laos and visit the temples Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai, and see the former Royal Palace which is now the National Museum with its halls containing rare religious and cultural artefacts. Then walk up the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi, for panoramic views of the city as the sun sets.
Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Buddha Caves (B)
Cruise up the Mekong River to the mouth of the Ou River. Visit the sacred Pak Ou Buddha Caves, long considered a holy spot for the Lao people. Locals make pilgrimages to this site to place Buddha images inside the caves to make merit. On the way, stop to visit Ban Xang Khong, where the weaving of Lao textiles still takes place on ancient wooden looms. Enjoy lunch before your return cruise back to the town early afternoon. The rest of your day is at leisure.
Luang Prabang Almsgiving – Cooking demonstration at Tamarind (B/L)
Today you will get up very early (6:00am or so) and go watch or participate in the traditional Lao rite of Almsgiving to the monks. In the city, some 300+ monks file through silently collecting alms. This is an amazing sight and your guide will be on hand to demonstrate and explain this important ritual. Afterwards, visit the Morning Market and see an array of meats, vegetables and spices the locals use in their cooking. Return to your hotel for breakfast.
This morning you will learn the secrets of Lao cuisine. Begin by visiting the colorful and vibrant Phou Si Market with an expert chef, who will help you to select the ingredients you need for the lesson. Then, collect fresh herbs from an exotic jungle garden. The chef will explain the differences between the various cuisines of Southeast Asia and distribute printed recipes so you can impress your friends at home. After the class, enjoy the delicious feast you have prepared.
Luang Prabang – Flight to Saigon (B)
The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for the flight to Saigon. Up on arrival at the airport you will meet up our local Guide and following with Transfer to Hotel. Overnight in Saigon.
Saigon – Le Jarai Cruise trip – Can Tho (B/L)
Head to the town of Ben Tre, a gateway to the Delta. Board a small boat to begin touring a region known as Vietnam’s rice bowl. The country is among the world’s top rice exporters, and the Mekong’s climate allows farmers to produce two or even three rice crops per year. The other major export is seafood, especially shrimp and catfish.
Your boat arrives at a small home-based factory where workers process coconuts by separating their oil, flesh and husks to be used in products like matting and candy. Learn how it all works! Then you will transfer to Le Jarai, a converted rice barge, to continue your cruise along the Mekong River. Here you can join in a demonstration of Vietnamese cooking before enjoying a sumptuous three-course lunch of Mekong specialties of spring rolls and claypot! After lunch take in the river scenery as you return to Ben Tre where you will be will be transferred to Can Tho, the delta’s economic hub.
Can Tho – Chau Doc (B/L)
Rise early and go by boat to the township of Cai Rang to see the hustle and bustle of a floating market. Then, drive approximately three hours to the township of Chau Doc, a colourful and sleepy town near the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Arrival in Chau Doc checks in to Victoria Chau Doc and having lunch there.
The afternoon features a boat ride on Mekong waterways, where you’ll see fishermen hauling nets, wooden barges transporting rice and vendors gathering on riverbanks to sell their wares. Cruise the Vinh Te Canal, constructed in 1824 by more than 80,000 Vietnamese and Cambodian workers. Today the canal helps define the two countries’ mutual border. After the cruise, head to Nui Sam Mountain for breathtaking sunset views over a checkered patchwork of rice fields and earthen dikes.
Chau Doc (B/L)
This morning travel by xe loi – the delta’s version of a Cyclo – through the countryside around Chau Doc. Keep your camera handy as you pass field after field of rice paddies and duck farms. Stop for a glass of sugar cane juice or iced coffee in a local café before returning to the city centre.
Now comes an eclectic afternoon. First, you will visit a small village of ethnic Cambodians who have made the area home. The centerpiece of the village is the temple where you will have the opportunity to have a chat with the monks. Then continue to Tra Su Melaleuca Forest, an ecological reserve spanning 850 hectares. Glide quietly by sampan, through the thick mangroves and keep an eye out for the myriad of bird life. Overnight in Chau Doc.
Chau Doc- Ho Chi Minh City ( B/L)
Today your Heart of the Delta tour ends with a transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City, a roughly six-hour drive with plenty of rest stops.
Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
You will have free time till transferred to airport for departure flight.