DAY 1: VIENTIANE – ARRIVAL (D)

On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.

 

After a soft rest, we see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national icon, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. A spectacular view over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day. Overnight in Vientiane

 

Meals: Dinner

Overnight: Vientiane

 

DAY 2: VIENTIANE - CITY TOUR - LUANG PRABANG

(DOMESTIC FLIGHT TICKET VTE - LPQ IS INCLUDED)

In the morning, we will first visit Wat Si Muang, which is very famous for its supernatural power. After that drive to Buddha Park which takes around 45 minutes away. On the way, stop and take photos of the Friendship Bridge which was built by the Australian government in 1994 and links Laos and Thailand.

 

Arrive at Buddha Park and enjoy a stroll around the park.  Also known as Xieng Khuan, this unusual park is filled with over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. The quiet and tranquil setting along the Mekong River is a contrast to the slightly eccentric sculptures which were built in 1958 by a Laos’s shaman. The concrete sculptures are bizarre but intriguing, sitting majestically in the peaceful park. After visiting Buddha Park, start the drive back to Vientiane. En route, stop at Mai Savanh to explore the traditional textiles of the Lao people. This shop specializes in high quality silk products and involves several families in their process, from the northern province of Luang Nam Tha Province and the southern provinces of Attapeu and Sekong. (Note: Mai Savanh is closed on Saturday & Sunday)

 

In the afternoon, visit COPE Visitor Center, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the center provides in-depth information about the history of the American/Vietnam war and the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances (UXO) in the area and the efforts underway to clear them.

 

If time permits, we pass by the major shopping area continuing to the Vientiane Central Market of Talad Sao and Talad Kouadin where various goods are displayed for sale; including fresh food, household goods, souvenirs, textiles, gold, silver and antiques.

 

We then transfer out to the airport to take the flight to Luang Prabang

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Luang Prabang

 

DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG

Today, you will first visit Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. We then embark on a leisure cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.  Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine.

 

On arrival back in the city, we will visit magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture.  Afterwards, we will visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center (closed on Monday) to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. From there, we will transfer to visit Wat Prabath to admire the sunset; this is the really peaceful place to catch the last beauty of the day. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang

 

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Overnight: Luang Prabang

 

DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG - KUANG SI WATERFALLS – HANOI

(International FLIGHT TICKET LPQ - han IS INCLUDED)

An early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there, we will take a short visit to the morning local market near the Royal Palace. At the market, you can find anything from rice, to fresh vegetables, to steamed fish, frogs, and anything else that might be the day’s catch, just set up on the ground, this is what the locals do every day. This is really the chance for you to get a real flavor of the local culture.

 

After breakfast at the hotel, we ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River. We then visit Wat Visoun, dating back to 1513 during the reign of King Wisunarat (Visoun), this is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple and was once home to the Prabang Buddhas. 

 

We then transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. You can also see up close Asiatic bears at the Bear Rescue Centre along the jungle walk to the waterfall.

 

Before returning to Luang Prabang, we stop to visit the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park (closed on Tuesday, and from 03rd May to 19th June every year), one of the must-visit spots, where you can have an optional 15-minute tour to learn about butterflies and local flora.

 

Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, we will take a short visit to the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, where you will have a short tour so you get information about Silk, about weaver, about the Women that work in the Centre.

 

We then transfer out to the airport to take the flight to Hanoi

 

Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are warmly welcomed by our local guide and transfer to hotel in Hanoi for check in. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Hanoi  

 

DAY 5: HANOI - HALONG BAY OVERNIGHT ON JUNK

In the morning, transfer from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by shuttle bus. The transfer is approximately 3 hours. You may stop on the way to admire the local scenery.

 

Arrive in Ha Long City at 11:30 AM and check in aboard the booked junk when your journey across Ha Long Bay starts. Ha Long Bay meaning Descending Dragon Bay in Vietnamese as legend has it that it was where a holly dragon landed down from sky. The bay, famous as one of the world’s wonders and heritage sites whose formation dates back 500 million years, consists of around 2,000 karst islands and islets scattered over an area of 1,553 km2.

 

After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails, go swimming on a quiet beach or sunbath on the sundeck. Later in the afternoon, you will visit an interesting fishing village with an opportunity to interact with local people who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. An optional kayaking trip is available weather permitting. Back onboard enjoy a lavish dinner and enjoy the bay view at sunset. Spend a night on board.

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Overnight: Halong on cruise

 

DAY 6: HALONG BAY - HANOI

In the morning, refresh your body and mind with a Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck at the break of dawn. Have tea and coffee onboard and continue exploring Ha Long Bay sailing across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights. Normally, check out at 09:30, have a buffet brunch while cruising back to shore. Disembark at 11:00 AM to transfer to Hanoi capital.

 

Arrival Hanoi, check in the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi

 

Note:

  • The above itinerary is for your reference only as each cruise will have its own different itinerary and will be slightly different

  • The cruise itinerary is subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions without prior notice

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch or brunch

Overnight: Hanoi 

 

DAY 7: HANOI - FULL DAY CITY

The city tour begins with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex which features the life of Ho Chi Minh, the nation’s founder. At the complex, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the nation’s founder’s body is preserved (closed on Monday, Friday and through October - November), the colonial Presidential Palace, originally the French Governor Office and a fine example of French architecture in Hanoi, and the rural style Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked.

 

Stop by one of Hanoi’s icons, the One Pillar Pagoda, built in the 11th Century in dedication to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara or Buddha of Compassion and reminiscent of a lotus blossom rising from a pond.

 

Continue to the Temple of Literature, known as the first university of Vietnam built in 1070 by the Ly Dynasty to honor Confucius, sages and outstanding Vietnamese scholars.

 

Afternoon, continue the tour to one of the following museums of choice namely the Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the Museum of Revolution, the Museum of Military History or the Museum of Ethnology.

 

Next, head for Hoan Kiem Lake, the center point of Hanoi whose name “The Return Sword Lake” originated from a legend of a sacred sword and home to a rare endangered giant turtle species and visit Ngoc Son Temple on the lake.

 

Finish the tour at the Thang Long Opera Theatre with a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Hanoi 

 

DAY 8: HANOI – COOKING CLASS – HO CHI MINH

(DOMESTIC FLIGHT TICKET HAN-SGN IS INCLUDED)

This morning you will enjoy the cooking class. The course begins with a brief introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, highlighting the ingredients of traditional Vietnamese dishes. Afterwards, walk to the Chau Long Market and enjoy a market tour with the Hanoi Cooking Centre chefs who will highlight some of the daily produce sold, such fruits, vegetables, meat, silk worms, etc. Surely, this market visit will provide you with endless photo opportunities. Return to the Hanoi Cooking Centre and get started. The chefs will explain how to prepare the various dishes on the menu. Printed recipes as well as samples of some local fruits, green bean cake, quail eggs, etc. can be taken home after the class. Enjoy the meal you prepared and visit the Hanoi Cooking Centre shop where you may find useful cooking utensils, recipe books, spices, etc.

 

Note: Up to 9 guests, you will attend in a joining (shared) - cooking class. From 10 guests up, you will participate in a private class, maximum of 32 attendees for one class

 

Afternoon proceed to Noi Bai Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport by our local driver then transfer to check in the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Saigon

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Saigon  

 

DAY 9: HO CHI MINH - TAY NINH CAO DAI TEMPLE – CU CHI TUNNELS

After breakfast at hotel, guide will meet in the lobby of your hotel and enjoy the tour to Tay Ninh, the scenery changes as you leave the city behind to views of rice paddies, villagers drying noodles by the side of the road and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam. Visit the Cao Dai great temple at Tay Ninh with its flamboyant architecture, where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious mosaic. You will have the opportunity to watch the worshippers in their white long tunics during noon mass.

 

Afterward transfer to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels (50km from Tay Ninh) to enjoy the lunch at local restaurant

 

After lunch you will explore Cu Chi Tunnels - an complex of an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels. For a more “thrilling” experience, you can even test your shooting skills on original AK47s and other guns from past war times (subject to a surcharge). Journey back to Ho Chi Minh. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Saigon

 

DAY 10: HOCHIMINH - MEKONG DELTA (CAI BE - VINH LONG)

Today, meet with your hotel to transfer about 136 km to Vinh Long, a riverside town in the vast Mekong Delta, the world’s largest delta. Embark a boat cruise to lively Cai Be floating market where sellers and buyers bargain and exchange goods from their boats. Proceed through a fascinating maze of shady canals to Hoa Binh Phuoc Island. Beautiful landscape of zigzag canals, lush vegetation, peaceful villages and activities of rural life will make you a delightful sight. There on the island, visit some local farmers’ homes, interact with warm-hearted hosts and learn about their trades of bonsai gardening, tile and ceramic production and rice paper and coconut candy making. After tour, we transfer back to Ho Chi Minh. Overnight at hotel in Saigon

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Saigon

 

DAY 11: HOCHIMINH DISCOVERY

Discover District 5, also known as Cholon, Saigon’s former Chinatown. Our next stop is the museum of Vietnamese traditional medicine (FITO), the only museum of its kind in Vietnam. The FITO has more than 3,000 items including traditional tools and medicine books as well as miniatures of typical northern and southern medicine houses on display. The museum building and its interior reflect the skillfulness of local artisans. Continue to visit Binh Tay Market, the central market of Cholon, trading daily goods coming from all directions of Southern Vietnam, Thien Hau Pagoda and a stop at a local medicine vendor to learn more about the traditional way of healing. Lunch at local restaurant

 

In the afternoon, return to Saigon and tour continues to visit the former Presidential Palace, renowned for its symbolic role in the fall of Saigon in 1975 and continue to visit the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral inaugurated in 1880 became the spiritual and cultural crucible of the French presence in the Orient as was the Post office designed by Gustav Eiffel and resembling a grand railway station, the people’s Committee Hall, Old Saigon Post Office. End the day at the famous Ben Thanh Market, where you can purchase souvenirs for your beloved ones and shopping before transfer back to your hotel. Overnight at hotel in Saigon

 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Saigon  

 

DAY 12: HOCHIMINH - DEPARTURE (B)

Breakfast at hotel, free at your own leisure until transfer to Tan San Nhat International Airport for your international flight home. We hope you had an exciting holiday with us. Making it an affair to remember!

 

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: N/A

©2019 by Benaras International. ABN 967 908 852 66

Terms & Policy

Career With Us

Contact Us