Start: Ho Chi Minh City Finish: Luang Prabang
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact Luxury Gold with any specific dietary requirements
Tour code: A606M16
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Fall in love with Laos and Vietnam on this 2-week guided tour. Zip along the Saigon River in a speedboat, cruising past the city’s glittering skyscrapers to the Cu Chi tunnels. Here, walk through the tunnels dug during the Vietnam War and meet a Viet Cong veteran, who will share what it was like serving in the war. Board a private charter on the Mekong Delta and cruise to a coconut production plant, where you can taste the freshest-possible coconut juice. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel in Hue before it officially opens. See the ancient town of Hoi An, walking its narrow lanes and over its iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. Ascend to the top of Mount Phousi in Luang Prabang for a panoramic view of the city below.
Accommodation: InterContinental Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.
On arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will be greeted and escorted to your hotel. At 19:00, join your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers to enjoy a Welcome Dinner in one of the rooftop restaurants of Saigon while you watch the lights of the city from a perfect vantage point.
See the best of Saigon as you travel from the city’s glittering skyscrapers to the green paddy ﬁelds scattered along the Saigon River by speedboat. Your destination is the Cu Chi tunnels, which were dug in 1948 for guerrillas to hide from combatant forces during the Vietnam War. These extraordinary tunnels form part of a network of tunnels that cover most of the country. During your visit to these underground villages, meet a Viet Cong veteran who used to live here and find out how challenging the living conditions really were like. Back in the city, embark on a leisurely walking exploration that reveals highlights including Notre Dame Cathedral and Gustave Eiffel's Central Post Ofﬁce. Over a cup of Vietnamese coffee, gain an appreciation for local street-side cafe culture.
Travel to the Mekong Delta and board a private charter. At your first stop see coconut production and processing, then enjoy a taste of juice fresh from the fruit. Further along, stop to see where locals still use centuries-old methods to make bricks at a small brick kiln. Next you'll enjoy a ride on a tri-motorcycle along narrow village roads, arriving at a rice noodle factory to see the most popular breakfast in the region being produced. Continue your cruise to Mango Home for a tasty lunch of Mekong Delta specialties. Then walk along the shady village roads to the home of Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier who fought the deadly Khmer Rouge, known for orchestrating the Cambodian genocide. Learn how life in Vietnam has evolved for him and his wife since the 1960s and how they earn a living from making rice paper.
Accommodation: Pilgrimage Village, Hue.
Marvel at vistas of lush countryside, as you fly to Hue for the next chapter of your journey. Enjoy a cyclo's ride to Phu Mong village, take in a traditional garden house and craft houses, enjoy a serene life here. You will be impressed by green sceneries on the journey. This evening, take a visit to a special venue where it's not only a dining place but also a culture exchange experience - Ben Xuan Garden House Theatre. It is set in a magnificent structure built in Hue royal architectural style — located by the Perfume River between Thien Mu pagoda and the Temple of Literature Van Thanh.You are invited to meet with the owner Ms. Camille Huyen - a celebrated painter, singer and all-around renaissance woman with royal ancestry and her husband, a former Swiss banker. Combined, the two put on an intimate and welcoming hosted meal which includes a stroll of their own designed traditional house and a small concert that features Huyen on vocals, accompanied by local musicians playing traditional instruments, a scrumptious meal. Chat with the family about their career and life in the Western world and how the nostalgia brings them back to their hometown to nourish their dream and passion.
Rise early for a private VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel, before it opens to the public. Enjoy an escorted journey on a state-of-the-art electric cart, as a renowned local historian guides you through the towering main gates and shows you the majestic architecture and splendid gardens of the former royal court. Return to your hotel for breakfast, then visit the royal tomb of Minh Mang, the second Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant on the Perfume River with views of the Thien Mu Pagoda. After lunch you will meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy at an ancient temple. Learn about the intricate training activities of the practitioners and attend a performance showcasing the different martial arts techniques. The evening is at your leisure, perhaps ask your Travelling Concierge to make restaurant reservations for you.
Accommodation: Anantara Hoi An Resort, Hoi An.
Enjoy a scenic drive over the spectacular Hai Van Mountain pass to reach Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend a half day with a local guide, exploring the ancient town. Explore former merchants’ homes, colourful communal halls, narrow lanes lined with traditional houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. Leave the crowded venue behind and discover some untouched stories in the beautiful old town.Meander down the small alley to discover an ancient house where the art of healing through martial art is passed down through generations. This healing method is the master’s invention, combined between Qigong and traditional Vietnamese martial art. Have a chance to learn some basic steps under the guidance of the master. This evening, choose to dine at restaurants focusing on traditional local cuisine, modern Vietnamese or East-meets-West fusion.
Visit the beautiful Cam Thanh Village with its dense coconut jungles that were once a shelter for local people and soldiers during the Vietnam War. Today the village is an important supplier of seafood, vegetables and rice to the region. Step into a traditional bamboo-basket boat and glide across the water to the Thanh Dong village where you'll learn from the villagers how they cultivate and harvest vegetables according to local customs. Continue your voyage through a peaceful water coconut forest to a riverside restaurant overlooking the rice fields. Enjoy traditional Vietnamese folk games and participate in a hands-on cooking class alongside a local chef. Savour your creations for your Highlight Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi.
Board a morning ﬂight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s glistening capital city known for colonial-style architecture, ancient temples and vibrant culture. Enjoy a ride aboard an electric cart to see the historic Opera House, avenues lined with French mansions, Sword Lake and the 18th century Jade Mountain Temple. Join a local foodie in the Old Quarter for an exploration of Hanoi’s robust street-food culture, that will delight all the senses. Learn what locals love to eat and taste the city’s very best dishes, including rice paper rolls, crab spring rolls, beef noodle soup, com cake and other delights. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax at your five-star hotel or ask your Travelling Concierge to recommend city-centre attractions nearby.
Accommodation: Paradise Cruise, Ha Long Bay.
Travel to Ha Long Bay, known as the bay with a thousand islands and glistening emerald water. Step aboard a deluxe junk for a memorable overnight cruise. Visit the mysterious Tien Ong Cave, where human bones dating back to 10,000 B.C. were discovered by archaeologists, and explore the Cua Van area. In the evening you'll have the choice to learn more about local cuisine with an on-board cooking demonstration, or simply relax on the top deck as the sun gently dips beyond the horizon, before sitting down to dinner.
Accommodation: InterContinental Westlake, Hanoi.
Start the day with Tai Chi on the upper deck while cruising through the limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy a brunch on-board as you cruise to Ha Long City to disembark. Journey back to Hanoi where the evening is at leisure.
Visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076 as the ﬁrst university for the sons of mandarins. Meet a scholar who will share their insights into this famous institution. Learn about Hanoian culture and Vietnamese architecture before exploring the temple grounds. In the evening, join your travel companions and toast to your travels during your Celebration Dinner.
Accommodation: The Luang Say Residence, Luang Prabang.
Start the day with a flight to Luang Prabang, known as the centre of Lao culture and once the royal seat of the Lane Xang Kingdom. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sleepy town nestled in a mountain valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers. On arrival at the airport, you'll be welcomed and transferred to your hilltop luxury hotel, where there is free time to relax. In the evening, enjoy dinner at your beautiful resort.
In the morning, you may wish to rise early and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks, a living Buddhist tradition going back generations. Then watch as the town comes to life at the morning market. Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, before walking to the top of Mount Phousi to admire spectacular views of the Mekong and Khan rivers and surrounding mountain ranges. Experience a delectable family style lunch at local restaurant, Khai Phaen, named after a popular Laotian snack that is unique to Luang Prabang. The restaurant focuses on vocational training with all profits re-invested in the trainees and their supporting social programs, enabling them to become skilled, productive professionals with a more secure future. During your free time, discover the secret alleyways and hidden gems as you explore Luang Prabang at will. Hear stories of the rural lifestyle of the local people as you travel to visit Wat Xiengthong. Known as the the Temple of the Golden City, it remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art for the locals. Your adventure culminates with a private sunset cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Witness the vibrancy of daily life along its banks and enjoy a cool drink as you toast your newfound friends.
Your journey draws to a close after breakfast, with private airport transfers timed to meet your onward flight.
You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Luxury Gold is proud to offer various modes of transportation, from luxury coach to included flight to overnight cruise and more, so that you always travel in comfort and experience your journey and destination in the best possible and most appropriate way.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available, does not apply to Halong Bay Cruise).
Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates, when flights are included within the itinerary and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight.
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Multiple Room Types
Multiple room types available. Choose your preferred room type when you book.
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