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LAOS – VIETNAM 14 Days

LAOS – VIETNAM 14 Days

General Information

Vietnam with laos

 

VIETNAM & LAOS

VIETNAM

Vietnam officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam , is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 87.8 million inhabitants as of 2011, it is the world’s 13th-most-populous country, and the eighth-most-populous Asian country. The name Vietnam translates as “South Viet”, and was officially adopted in 1945. The country is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east.[9] Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976.

The Vietnamese became independent from Imperial China in 938 AD, following the Battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive Vietnamese royal dynasties flourished as the nation expanded geographically and politically into Southeast Asia, until the Indochina Peninsula was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. The First Indochina War eventually led to the expulsion of the French in 1954, leaving Vietnam divided politically into two states, North and South Vietnam. Conflict between the two sides intensified, with heavy foreign intervention, during the Vietnam War, which ended with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975.

Vietnam was then unified under a Communist government, but was politically isolated and impoverished. In 1986, the government initiated a series of economic and political reforms, which began Vietnam’s path towards integration into the world economy.By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth has been among the highest in the world since 2000, and according to Citigroup, such high growth is set to continue. Vietnam has the highest Global Growth Generators Index among 11 major economies, and its successful economic reforms resulted in it joining the World Trade Organization in 2007. However, the country still suffers from relatively high levels of income inequality, disparities in healthcare provision, and poor gender equality.

Climate

Because of differences in latitude and the marked variety in topographical relief, the climate tends to vary considerably from place to place. During the winter or dry season, extending roughly from November to April, the monsoon winds usually blow from the northeast along the Chinese coast and across the Gulf of Tonkin, picking up considerable moisture. Consequently, the winter season in most parts of the country is dry only by comparison with the rainy or summer season. The average annual temperature is generally higher in the plains than in the mountains, and higher in the south than in the north. Temperatures vary less in the southern plains around Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, ranging between 21 and 28 °C (69.8 and 82.4 °F) over the course of the year. Seasonal variations in the mountains and plateaus and in the north are much more dramatic, with temperatures varying from 5 °C (41.0 °F) in December and January to 37 °C (98.6 °F) in July and August.

LAOS

Laos  officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west. Its population was estimated to be around 6.5 million in 2012.

Laos traces its history to the kingdom of Lan Xang, which existed from the 14th to the 18th century when it split into three separate kingdoms. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three kingdoms, Luang Phrabang, Vientiane and Champasak, uniting to form what is now known as Laos. It briefly gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but returned to French rule until it was granted autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong. Shortly after independence, a long civil war ended the monarchy, when the Communist Pathet Lao movement came to power in 1975.

Laos is a single-party socialist republic. The capital city is Vientiane. Other large cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse. The official language is Lao. Laos is a multiethnic country with the politically and culturally dominant Lao people making up approximately sixty percent of the population, mostly in the lowlands. Various Mon-Khmer groups, the Hmong, and other indigenous hill tribes, accounting for forty percent of the population, live in the foothills and mountains. Laos’ “strategy for development is based on generating electricity from its rivers and selling the power to its neighbours”, namely Thailand, China, and Vietnam. Its economy is accelerating rapidly with the demands for its metals. It is a member of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asia Summit, and La Francophonie. Laos applied for membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1997, but as of 2012 the country is only an observer state

Tourism

The tourism sector has grown rapidly, from 80,000 international visitors in 1990, to 1.876 million in 2010. Tourism is expected to contribute US$679.1 million to gross national product in 2010, rising to US$1,585.7 million by 2020. In 2010, one in every 10.9 jobs was in the tourism sector. Export earnings from international visitors and tourism goods are expected to generate 15.5% of total exports or US$270.3 million in 2010, growing in nominal terms to US$484.2 million (12.5% of total) in 2020.

Hmong girls on the Plain of Jars

Laos has become popular with tourists for its relaxed style of living and for retaining elements of the “original Asia” lost elsewhere. The official tourism slogan is “Simply Beautiful”. The main attractions for tourists include Buddhist culture and colonial architecture in Luang Prabang; gastronomy and ancient temples in the capital of Vientiane; backpacking in Muang Ngoi Neua and Vang Vieng; ancient and modern culture and history in The Plain of Jars region (main article: Phonsavan); Laos Civil War history in Sam Neua; Trekking and visiting hill tribes in a number of areas including Phongsaly and Luang Namtha; spotting tigers and other wildlife in Nam Et-Phou Louey; caves and waterfalls near Thakhek; relaxation, the Irrawaddy dolphin and Khone Phapheng Falls at Si Phan Don or, as they are known in English, the Four Thousand Islands; Wat Phu, an ancient Khmer temple complex; and the Bolaven Plateau for waterfalls and coffee.

Luang Prabang and Wat Phu are both UNESCO World Heritage sites, with the Plain of Jars expected to join them once more work to clear UXO has been completed. Major festivals include Laos New Year which is celebrated around 13–15 April and involves a water festival similar but more subdued than that of Thailand and other South-East Asian countries.

The Lao National Tourism Administration, related government agencies and the private sector are working together to realise the vision put forth in the country’s National Ecotourism Strategy and Action Plan. This includes decreasing the environmental and cultural impact of tourism; increasing awareness in the importance of ethnic groups and biological diversity; providing a source of income to conserve, sustain and manage the Lao protected area network and cultural heritage sites; and emphasising the need for tourism zoning and management plans for sites that will be developed as ecotourism destinations.

Laos is known for its silk and local handicraft product, both of which are on display in Luang Prabang’s night market, among other places. Another speciality is mulberry tea.

Itinerary

1N Vientiane – 3N Luang Prabang -2N Hanoi –1N  Halong Bay –2N Hoian – 1N Hue – 3N Hochiminh

Day 01

VIENTIANE ARRIVAL (D)
On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. We then head to where you will learn about the UXO problem in Lao PDR and the work undertaken by COPE and the PMRC to provide disability services for people affected by UXOs. As part of the exhibition you can watch a number of excellent documentary films about UXOs and COPE. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Vientiane

Day 02

VIENTIANE – FULL DAY CITY TOUR – LUANG PRABANG (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we explore Vientiane capital by visiting its major sights including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. . En route to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Lunch at local restaurant In the afternoon we continue visiting the rest of Vientiane by foot, including Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. 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 to the airport for your late afternoon flight to Luang Prabang. Here you will be met and transferred to your hotel, where you have the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 03

LUANG PRABANG – BIG BROTHER MOUSE – BAN KHIA LUANG – PAK OU CAVES (B/L/D)
The day starts with a visit to the Big Brother Mouse shop to select some books for the village visit. We then head north by car along route 13, before taking a unpaved road to Ban Khia Luang village. We then have ample time to visit the school, play with the kids and watch them enjoy their new books. We also take some time to explore the rest of the village, where you can see weaving and visit the local temple. We stop for lunch at the village, which can either be a western picnic lunch, or traditional Lao food such as sticky rice, laap and fresh vegetables cooked by the villagers. Lunch at local restaurant After lunch we say good bye to the village and drive to Ban Khoklin, which takes us through some beautiful scenery of mountains and paddy fields. At Ban Khoklin we then board a private boat down the Nam Ou river for 30 minutes to Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Continuing down the Mekong River back to Luang Prabang, arriving back there by late afternoon. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 04

LUANG PRABANG – KHOUANG SI WATERFALLS AND BAN CHAN (B/L/D)
Today we cross the Mekong River by boat, to the picturesque village of Ban Chan, a pottery village. We then visit the morning Phousi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village, Ban Ou a Laoloum village and Ban Thapene, a Khmu village. This then takes us to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. Lunch at local restaurant We then return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 05

LUANG PRABANG – HANOI (B/L/D)
ABF, there will also be time for us to visit Ock Pop Tock, which means East Meets West in Lao language. At Ock Pop Tock, you can take a glance and learn a little bit about the Lao textile production. The tour ends after your transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi by … On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, welcome to Vietnam by our guide and transferred to hotel for check in. Ha Noi, Vietnam’s capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia ‘s most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere. Depending on arrival time optional activities can be arranged on this day. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi

Day 06

HANOI (B/L/D)
Morning, full day sightseeing in Hanoi to visit Hochiminh Complex containing the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh (closed on Monday, Friday and the whole months of October-November), the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s former home and the One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam built in 1070. Lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon, continue to visit the Ethnological Museum, the most interesting museum in Hanoi, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hoan Kiem with Ngoc Son Temple, take 1-hour Cyclo trip around with 36 streets of Ha Noi old quarter and enjoy the performance of the famous Vietnamese traditional art of water puppetry at Thang Long theatre. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel in Hanoi

Day 07

HANOI – HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
You will be picked up at 8am for your private transfer to Halong City. This takes roughly 3,5 hours. You may stop en route to admire the local scenery. Arrive at the port around 11:30am and board the ship. Begin sailing and pass through magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. 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. Back on board enjoy a lavish dinner. Overnight Stay on board in Ha Long

Day 08

HALONG BAY – HANOI – DANANG – HOIAN (Brunch/L/D)
Wake up to Tai Chi exercises on the sun deck and continue cruising the bays. Breakfast buffet will be served in the restaurant. Then you will visit the limestone grotto. Disembark in Halong City around 11am and transfer back by private vehicle to Hanoi & Airport for flight to Danang by…Arrival Danang, you are met our tour guide and driver south to Hoian which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel in Hoian

Day 09

HOIAN TOWN (B/L/D)
Morning, walking tour of Hoi An, discover the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 16th to 18th centuries. Visit Hoi An’s colourful local market, Tan Ky old house, Fukien Assembly Hall, and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge.Travelers can also see local residents raise silkworms and produce silk for Hoi An’s burgeoning textile industry. Afternoon, relax at hotel or on the beach Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel in Hoian

Day 10

HOIAN – HUE (B/L/D)
Morning, leave Hoian we drive south to Hue – was the capitol of Vietnam, from 1744 until 1945, when the last emperor abdicated. The scenic road is hugging the coastline before crossing over the winding Hai Van pass. On the way, stop to visit Cham Museum in Danang city – founded in 1915 as the Musée Henri Parmentier during the colonial French era to preserve the finds of the ancient Champa kingdom and is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to this era. It houses the largest collection of Cham sculpture.Arrival Hue, take a boat cruise along the Perfume River. Enjoy this romantic cruise and visit the Minh Mang Tomb and Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue.Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel in Hue

Day 11

HUE– HOCHIMINH (FLIGHT 1HR) (B/L/D)
Morning, transfer to visit Hue Citadel – Vietnam’s former imperial capital and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. With an area of 500ha and a system of three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel) and Khai Dinh Tomb _ is the result of the interminglement of many architectural trends: European and Asian, as well as ancient and modern. Stop to visit Tu Duc Tomb and Dong Ba market for shopping.Afternoon, free at leisure until transfer to airport for flight to Hochiminh by …Arrival Hochiminh, meet our guide at airport and transfer to hotel for check in. Lunch at local restaurant After lunch, take a short time to visit visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Sai Gon Post Office , a neo-Romanesque cathedral constructed between 1877 and 1883 using bricks from Marseilles and stained-glass windows from Chartres; Cholon, the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel in Hochiminh

Day 12

HOCHIMINH – CUCHI TUNNELS (B/L/D)
Morning, transfer to visit Cu Chi Tunnels _ an important base during the American War, because of its strategic location. The Viet cong built a 200km long network of tunnels connecting command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Dug out of hard laterite by hand tools without the use of cement, this amazing network was never discovered. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Lunch at restaurant. Afternoon, continue to visit War Remnants Museum, which features a comprehensive collection of the machinery, weapons, photos, and documentation of Vietnam’s wars with the both the French and Americans. Then, take a photo and visit the Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Stop at Ben Thanh market for shopping. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel in Hochiminh

Day 13

HOCHIMINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA (MYTHO) (B/L/D)
After breakfast, full day tour traveling south from Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho, the gateway to the Mekong Delta. Known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, the Delta is the most fertile region in the country, and the main producer of rice and tropical fruits. From My Tho, you board your boat and travel to one of the islands located in the middle of the Mekong River. On the island visit a fruit orchard and sample some of the local produce, before boarding a smaller sampan that winds along narrow canals. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit a local family’s house and enjoy their hospitality and share with them some tea or rice wine. After lunch in My Tho return to Ho Chi Minh. Free at leisure. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at at hotel in Hochiminh city

Day 14

HOCHIMINH – DEPARTURE (B)
Breakfast then Leisure time until transfer to airport for departure flight by…!

Price / Inclusion

PRICE CHART

PRICE FROM USD STANDARD USD FIRST USD SUPERIOR USD DELUXE USD LUXURY
Adult (Sharing 2) $ 1756 $ 1781 $ 2040 $ 2490 $ 3107
Child with Bed $ 1141 $ 1168 $ 1326 $ 1619 $2019
Infants 0-23 Months $ 240 $ 240 $ 240 $ 240 $ 240
Single Traveller $ 2174 $ 2225 $ 2759 $ 3649 $ 4832

Hotel List

CITY NAME HOTEL NAME HOTEL NAME HOTEL NAME HOTEL NAME HOTEL NAME
Hanoi Boutique 2 Camelia Hotel Royal Gate Luxor Hotel Sunway Hotel Lan Vien Hotel Nikko Hotel Melia Hotel Sofitel Plaza  Hilton Hotel
Halong bay Golden Halong/ Bai Tho Junk Halong Spring/ Bai Tho Junk Royal Halong/ Victory Cruise Saigon Halong/ Indochina Sails Novotel Halong/ Jasmine Cruises
Hue Mondial Hue Mondial Hue Green View Mercure Gerbera Imperial Hotel
Hoian Van Loi Hotel Ancient House Hoian Trails Hoian Beach Palm Garden
Hochiminh Hoang Phu Gia Gia Linh Hotel Hoang Hai Long  Kingston Hotel Golden Central Grand Silverland Grand Hotel Rex Hotel Majestic Hotel New World Hotel
Vientiene Phasouk Residence D'Rose Hotel Ansara Hotel Green Park Boutique Hotel Settha Palace Hotel

Inclusions

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast (Based on Twin Sharing).
  • One night accommodation on board in Halong based on twin sharing
  • Private transportation and tours with English speaking guide
  • Private boat for sightseeing in Hue.
  • Entrances fees + sightseeing as indicated.
  • Indian & vegetarian food at restaurant as specified in the program. (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Bottle of water available on coach (02 bottle/pax/day)

Exclusions
  • Flight from Vientiane – Luang Prabang: US$ 110 per person
  • Flight from Luang Prabang – Hanoi : US$ 185 per person
  • Flight from Hanoi – Danang: US$ 99 per person
  • Flight from Hue – Saigon: US$ 99 per person
  • International & domestic air ticket with taxes
  • Visa to Vietnam (Approval letter at US$ 30 per person and US$ 25 for stamping fees at the airport)
  • Visa to Laos (US$ 35 payable at the airport)
  • Insurance, drinks, personal expenses, others not mentioned in details, suggested tips $3 to $4 per day per person.

Note
  • 1USD = 58.
  • All rates are based on minimum 2Pax traveling together at all tours.
  • Child age between 2-11 years.
  • Above 11 years is considered as an adult.
  • All rates and availability are subject to change at the time of booking.
  • Hotel Check in 4pm & Check out 11am, Breakfast time: 6:30 Am to 9:30 Am
  • Early check in and late check-out subject to availability.
  • Breakfast As provided by Hotel, Dinner Indian / International (Set Menu at Restaurant or Delivery at Hotel if the hotel is away from Restaurant). Dinners are pre-arranged and will not be change or refunded for missing any meals.
  • Dinner provided will be a 3 course meal (1 appetizer, 1 Entrée, 1 Dessert).
  • Any Additional menu must be paid by clients
  • Above price is not applicable during Convention Period, High season, Festivals or Fairs. Surcharge may be applicable.
  • We reserve the right to use alternative accommodation, sightseeing tours and transfer of equal or higher standers.
  • No refunds either in part or full will be made for any unused services in above package like ground transportation, meals, accommodation, sightseeing tours.
  • The passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure.
  • We are not holding any air seats and hotel bookings at this point of time
  • Confirmation of Hotels and other services is subject to availability.
  • We are not responsible for any missed breakfast due to flight timings.
  • No Intercity surface transfers are included unless specified in the package.
  • We are not responsible for any baggage charges by any airlines for the clients.
  • Payment for the tour must be made as per the invoice & payment terms & conditions

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     Itinerary : LAOS & VIETNAM EXCLUSIVE TOUR  14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS

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