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Vietnam and Laos Mythical Land Expedition

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City.

Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 02: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City.

A morning city tour including the former Presidential Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Saigon Post Office and Thien Hau Pagoda in the city’s bustling Chinatown. In the afternoon, visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the war. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 03: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City.

After having breakfast at hotel, we will leave Ho Chi Minh City for Vinh Long. On arrival at Cai Be, we will embark on a boat to experience the floating market. Then we take a boat to Binh Hoa Phuoc Island where we will visit orchards of tropical fruits. Your lunch will be provided in a Bonsai garden (if included). After lunch, we will continue by boat to Vinh Long Town for transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 04: Ho Chi Minh City - Danang - Hoi An.

Transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for the short flight to Danang. On arrival in Danang transfer to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market. Overnight in Hoian.

Day 05: Hoian - Hue.

Leave Hoi An early for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. The scenic route passes through Danang before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the fishing village of Lang Co. Arrive in Hue at noon and transfer to hotel. Lunch in a local restaurant. Spend the afternoon for a boat trip on the Perfume River, Thien Mu Pagoda, and the mausoleum of former emperor Tu Duc (or Khai Dinh’s). Overnight in Hue.

Day 06: Hue - Hanoi.

Transfer to Hue Airport after breakfast for the short flight to Hanoi, the modern day capital of Vietnam. Pick up at Noibai airport and transfer to your hotel. A half day tour of Hanoi including to the Museum of Ethnology and the Old Quarter.Overnight in Ha Hanoi.

Day 07: Hanoi - Halong Bay.

Travel to Ha Long city for about 3 hours drive. Upon arrival, transfer to Halong tourist pier and embark on Bai Tho Junk for a cruise around Ha Long Bay with a delicious local seafood lunch served on board. Passing Dog Island, Incense Urn Island, Ga Choi Island, Finger Island, Hoa Cuong Island, and visit Surprise cave and short swim at Titov beach (if weather permitted). Have dinner on board. In the evening, enjoy the night fishing (optional) and later over night on board.

Day 08: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi.

In the morning, cruising to Bai Tu long bay, Fire Island, Bo Nau Island, fishing village. Having lunch on boat and arrive at Ha long wharf about 11.00. Return to Hanoi by car. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 09: Hanoi – Maichau.

Breakfast at hotel. A half day city tour of Vietnam's capital. Hanoi is a unique city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and oriental temples. The city tour includes such sights as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature – The first National University of Vietnam. In the afternoon, depart Hanoi for Hoa Binh province and up then to Mai Chau valley. This scenic drive takes around four hours. Along the way we pass fields of tapioca and sugar cane as well as rice paddies. Upon arriving in Mai Chau valley, we take a short walk around Lac & Poom Coong villages to have the first sights of the White Thai community culture. In the evening, assist to the traditional music and dance show which is performed by The Thai young girls and boys. They all come from this village. Try also some rice alcohol made of traditional plants and local sticky rice. Overnight at stilt-house.

Day 10: Maichau full day trekking.

Breakfast at the Thai stilt house then we leave the village for a full day hiking around. We will pass many different Thai hamlets, through rice fields, hill sides…Stop sometimes to visit local houses and talk with local people. And one of the highlight on this walk is to experience the everyday life and culture white Thai people and stay in their traditional house on stilts as honoured guests.

Day 11: Maichau – Ninhbinh.

Breakfast then we say good bye to the warm-hearted Thai people. Depart for Ninhbinh. We will arrive at Kenh Ga around noon. Have your lunch in a local restaurant and try some specialty of the region. After lunch, the car will drive you to Kenh Ga floating village where you will take the boat trip along the beautiful river. Set on the banks of the Hoang Long River, Kenh Ga is a remarkable place, not only because it is surrounded by the same massive rocks that dominate Hoa Lu, but also because for most of the year the entire community lives on the water itself. The floating village of Kenh Ga receives relatively few visitors compared to nearby Hoa Lu and the peoples' aquatic way of life has changed little over the centuries. After the boat trip, continue our journey to Ninhbinh town where we stop for overnight.
Overnight at local guest-house.

Day 12: Ninhbinh (Tam coc) – Vinh.

The river trip in Tam coc is wonderful for photo hunters, especially when local people come to harvest the water rice planted along the river, or when they transplant some seedling for the next crops. The tourists often compare the place with Guilin - China, or more closely, to the limestone islets of Halong Bay in the Tonkin Gulf for their similar geological structures and shapes. Thus Tam Coc is also called Halong-Bay-On-Land. We move on to Tam Coc for a 3-hour boat trip along the Boi river. Along the way we will visit caves and ancient temples. After lunch we drive to Vinh town. Overnight in Vinh.

Day 13: Vinh - Nam Kanh  - Xieng Khouang  (by road).

Arrival Nam Kanh border (Vietnam – Laos) met tour guide, we drive 145km uphill a mountain surrounded by wonderful natural scenery to Xiengkhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. Upon arrival, we transfer out to visit the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, we see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. They have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. Overnight in Phonsavanh.

Day 14: Xieng Khouang - Luang Prabnag  (by road).

Early morning, we visit the Central Market of Phonsavanh to watch the different hilltribe people barter and exchange merchandises. We then head out this small town towards Luang Prabang, enroute we stop off to see the Buddha images in Thampra, a site more than 200 years old, and various Hmong and hilltribe minority villages along the way. Really nice and friendly people welcome you to their villages. After a photo stop, we continue driving uphill, enjoying the splendid natural scenery of the mountains, the forest and landscape. After a tea or coffee break at Sala Phoukhoun, where the borders of Vientiane-Xiengkhouang-Luang Prabang meet as a T-Junction. The journey will take us over mountainous regions until we approach Luang Prabang.

The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos. After checking into hotel, if time permits, we visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai; we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as capture a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we visit the Night Market, where you can browse a lovely selection of handmade textiles, made by the local people and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight at Luang Prabang.

Day 15: Luang Prabang – Lao Spirit Resort (Rafting, elephant riding).

This is a full day trip combining a rafting tour out of town with some sightseeing and an exciting elephant ride to/from Tad Sae Waterfall (or alternative route in dry season). After pick up from your Hotel (8:30-9:00 a.m) we proceed to the Adventure and Elephant camp located 15 km out of town in the middle of unspoiled, natural green surroundings. After crossing the small river you are introduced to our Asian Elephants and venture on a 1hr - 1hr 30 mins scenic journey through forests, plantations and fields. This activity programe provides you with a breathtaking and unique experience as you make your way through the forests and along the Nam Khan River up to the waterfalls of Tad Sae. (In dry season we ride a village trail) After visiting the waterfall, lunch is served before a relaxing 30 minute rafting tour along the river back to the resort and then we return to Luang Prabang for civilization by sunset. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 16: Luang Prabang -Vang Vieng (by road).

The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace displays a lovely collection of artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. The National Museum and the Central market are places of interest to many people and are not to be missed.  Then we travel by roads to Vang Vieng. Our intrepid journey will be strenuous as we drive along one of the most scenic but also one of the roughest routes in Asia. In the afternoon we arrive in Vang Vieng, a small and tranquil town, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with a mixture of quiet water and limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. We will embark on a boat for a well-paced trip along the Nam Song River, exploring the breathtaking mountain landscape. Overnight in Vang Vieng.

Day 17: Vang Vieng (Kayaking, Trekking).

The limestone cliffs and valleys surrounding the resort complex of Vang Vieng are home to numerous caves and caverns. Today our appointments meet 9:00 AM. We will begin kayaking to Pha None Village down stream on Nam Song River by following fishing boat. When you tire, you can ride the motor boat. On the way you will enjoy beautiful landscape of Nam Song River and paddle through fund rapid, Picnic lunch on the way. The most famous of these caves is Tham Jang, which was used by the local people as a refuge from Chinese invaders 200 years ago. We visit the beautiful caves this morning before taking a walk to the Tai Deang and the Souay hill tribe villages. The hill tribe people are unfailingly friendly; welcoming you with waving hands and smilling faces. The remainder of the day is free for your own exploration of the town and relaxation. Over night in Vang Vieng.

Day 18: Vang Vieng – Vientiane (by road).

Early morning, we drive out of town to the faboulous capital, Vientiane. Along the way we make a stop to visit Vang Xang, a famous archeological site dating back 11th century. Vientiane is the charming and fascinating capital of Laos. This small town conjures up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences. This afternoon we explore the town; with Wat Sisaket which is the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha images. We continue sightseeing by visiting Haw Prakeo, the former royal temple of Laos monarchy, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Statue. We then visit the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane's own Arc de Triumph before continuing to the famous That Luang Stupa. Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 19: Vientiane - Departure.

Breakfast, transfer to airport for departure QV512 VTE-REP 0600-0925. End tour.

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Registered Add
1 Co Nhue, Tu Liem district, Hanoi.
Phone: (+84.4) 22494668
Fax: (+84.4) 37668617

Operations Office
190 Phu Vien str., Bo De, Long Bien district, Hanoi.
Phone: (+84.4) 37101309
Fax: (+84.4) 37668617

E-mail:
info(at)lotussiatravel.com
travel(at)lotussia.com
 
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