North Vietnam & Laos

OVERVIEW


Feel your senses come alive as we explore the beauty of northern Vietnam and Laos.

Halong Bay

Mingle with gentle, welcoming locals when we visit villages and markets. Absorb colonial charm left by the French as well as UNESCO world heritage sights. Draw/paint your memories of people, villages and views as we move through these ancient countries.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit bustling local markets of Dzao and H’mong people in the Sa Pa mountain district.
  • Explore UNESCO sites and the tomb of King Ming Mang.
  • Sail the Perfume River by royal dragon boat and tour the forbidden Purple City.
  • Observe unique rituals of saffron clad monks in jungle covered hills.
  • Travel in long tailed canoes amid local villages, green fields and limestone peaks.
  • Visit mysterious Pak Ou caves and turquoise pools of the Khouangsi Waterfall.
  • Traditional Saa paper making and silk hand weaving in Ban Xangkhong.
  • Dinh and Le Kingsâ Temples; Bich Dong Cave.

Sapa Town

 

TOUR LEADER

Cilla Campbell

I am a graduate of the National Art School and conduct courses at the WEA, Sydney in drawing and relief printmaking.

Throughout the year, I lead national and international art tours (check tour testimonials).

Cilla Campbell

ITINERARY
Saturday 5th April / DAY 1 / Hanoi
Our private guide will transfer you from the airport to the Elegance Diamond Hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

 

Sunday 6th April / DAY 2 / Hanoi – Tam Coc – Dich Dong – Lao Cai
Depart 8:00am after breakfast for Ninh Binh Province (2 hours by car). Visit the former capital Hoa Lu for the Dinh and Le Kingsâ temple. Lunch in a local Tam Coc restaurant.

We’ll glide in small rowing boats along canals through local villages, green fields, limestone peaks and caves. Then a 2km ride to Bich Dong cave to climb the Truon Yen (Buddha’s palm) and marvel at surrounding mountains, rivers and pagodas. Return to Ha Noi and shower at the Silk Path Hotel.

Depart 9.15pm on Fanxipan sleeper train to Lao Cai (arrive 6.15am) – destination Sapa

Bich Dong

Monday 7th April / DAY 3 / Lao Cai – Sapa
Arrive Lao Cai (6.15am) with private guide transfer to Sapa by road through terraced hillsides to Chau Long Hotel. After breakfast, a morning walking tour of Sapa to the local markets and rural life in Lao Chai – Ta Van Village. Free time till lunch. We’ll trek through hilltribe villages and return to our hotel before dark.

 

Tuesday 8th April / DAY 4 / Sapa – Lao Cai
Embrace dawn in this unforgettable setting and after breakfast drive to Silver Waterfall, Heaven Gate and Tafin; village of Dzao and H’mong people. We’ll picnic lunch en route. Depart Lao Cai 9.00pm by overnight sleeper train (arrive 5.05am Hanoi).

 Lao Cai

Wednesday 9th April / DAY 5 / Hanoi – Danang – Hoian
Arrive Hanoi (5.05am). Our guide will collect and transfer the group to the hotel for breakfast and shower. Then transfer by air from Hanoi to Danang with 30 min. drive to our overnight stay in Hoian. Day at leisure.
Accommodation: Ancient River House

 

Thursday 10th April / DAY 6 / Hoi An 
Morning tour of Hoian including 400 yr. old Japanese Bridge; 300 yr old Chinese Temple and 200 yr. old Vietnamese former merchants’ house. Afternoon at leisure.
Accommodation: Ancient River House

BN_Bridge

Friday 11th April / DAY 7 / Hoi An – Hue via Danang
After breakfast we’ll see the coast and Danang from the top of Hai Van Pass as we drive to Hue. We’ll visit Marble Mountain with lunch en route.
Accommodation: Camellia Hue Hotel

 

Saturday 12th April / DAY 8 / Hue
Visit the majestic tomb of King Ming Mang; sail the Perfume River by royal dragon boat to Thien Mu Pagoda and walk on cobbled paths through the grounds of the Imperial Citadel to the Forbidden Purple City. Overnight in Hue.

waterfall

Sunday 13th April / DAY 9 / Hue – Hanoi – Luang Prabang
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi and ongoing flight to Luang Prabang (Laos). (NB: we will fly Hanoi-Laos/return with Vietnam Airlines,  NOT Laos Airlines.)
Transfer to our hotel on arrival with the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Accommodation: My Dream

 

Monday 14th April / DAY 10 / Luang Prabang – Kuang Si Waterfall
(optional) 5.00am morning ritual of saffron clad monks collecting offerings of Alms. Return to hotel for breakfast. Depart 8.00am by boat to Pak Ou Caves and lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer by minivan to Khuang Xi Waterfall and local villages. Return to hotel approx 6.00pm.
Accommodation: My Dream

 Offering alms

Tuesday 15th April / DAY 11 / Luang Prabang
After breakfast we’ll visit Wat Visoun, (a 16th century temple); Wat Aham, an early 19th century temple and Wat Xieng Thong. 328 steps lead to the summit of Phousi Hill with a panoramic view over the whole town. After lunch we’ll transfer to the airport for 5.00pm return flight to Hanoi.
Accommodation: Hanoi Elegance Hotel

 

Wednesday 16th April / DAY 12 / Hanoi
After breakfast our guide will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight. Hanoi is vibrant, full of interesting history and a wonderful place to shop. You may wish to explore by cyclops through old and new Hanoi. Bargaining is the way of life and you can buy almost anything, especially arts and crafts.

 

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