A Week In Vietnam And Laos



Tour code



Luang Prabang ancient town – Elephant village – Thang Long imperial citadel – Halong bay – Hanoi.

You have seven days' leave, and you wonder where to go. Then "A Week in Vietnam and Laos" is one of our ideal suggestions for people who love culture, nature, and animals. You have three first days to learn about the magic of Luang Prabang and its natural surroundings, then two full days in the 1000-year-old capital of Hanoi, and you finish the trip by cruising the mythical Halong Bay. For further information, please check out:

Trip highlights:
  • Visit 3 world heritage sites in a week
  • Be enchanted by Luang Prabang ancient town
  • Discover Hanoi, the capital of thousand years of civilization
  • Cruise a mythical Halong bay with one night onboard.
  • Do a trek and make friends with elephants

Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

A warm greeting awaits at Luang Prabang International Airport; your private guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals lounge and transfer you to your hotel in downtown Luang Prabang. While every effort is made to have your room available upon arrival, check-in time is at 2:00 pm, and your room may or may not be ready before this time. The welcome dinner will be at the local restaurant with traditional dance and folk songs, the best way to experience Lao culture. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

You get up as the sun rises to join the daily morning almsgiving, the most sacred tradition in Laos. In the early morning, more than 200 Buddhist monks depart from temples for the old quarter of Luang Prabang to receive alms from devotees. The monks meditate while moving lightly on their bare feet. The Buddhists prepared offerings such as sticky rice, fruit (mainly bananas), sweets, and some other food and put them in the monk's bowl. Next, you will visit the temporary morning market, where the locals exchange their daily catch for rice, vegetables, fish, or chicken. It is the best chance to experience the flavor of local life.

After breakfast, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, a superb piece of Laos' architectural temple, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics, including a beautiful tree of life, glass montage on the rear temple wall. Next, you will visit the Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. Enjoy lunch at Tamarind, offering some of the best local food in Luang Prabang. Drive along the Mekong to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre to explore the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities with many traditional costumes, tools, and artifacts on display. In the late afternoon, you conquer the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of a gilded stupa and a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. 

The dinner will be at the local restaurant with traditional dance and folk songs, the best way to experience Lao culture. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

After having breakfast, you drive 15 kilometers out of the town to see elephants in the Elephant Village Camp. Upon arrival, you receive a warm greeting from the local tour guide. He provides you with a short briefing about Lao elephants and their special herd. Then you meet up with your own elephants and do the following things to take care of them:

  • Elephant Feeding: Get up close and personal with elephants
  • Explore Elephant Village: Visit our elephant hospital, museum, gallery, and dung paper-making facility!
  • One-on-One Experience: Enjoy the impressive experience of being a Mahout! 1 person per elephant
  • Trail of Falls Trek: Enjoy a 2 km trek on foot through the diverse jungle landscape of our exclusive Trail of Falls.
  • Lunch: Enjoy a freshly prepared picnic lunch in the forest. Vegetarian options are available. 
  • Continue the Trail of Falls: Enjoy another 1 km trek on foot along our exclusive Trail of Falls leading up to Tad Sae Waterfalls, where you can relax or swim in its natural pools (water levels vary with seasonal conditions).
  • Ride a traditional longtail boat from the waterfall back to the Elephant Camp, giving you a chance to observe the traditional fishing and the local river life.

In the mid-afternoon, you travel back to your hotel downtown. The rest of the day is free for leisure. Stay overnight in Luang Prabang.

Following the hotel breakfast, you will be taken to the Luang Prabang airport for a short flight to Hanoi, the next country on your tour.

Welcome to the eclectic city of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You are met at the airport by your private transfer and taken to your accommodations, located within the center of the city. The variance of the city is felt in its streets. The sound of bustling motorbikes brings a sense of the modern world to the traditional neighborhoods, where the whir of bicycles and jovial conversation in small restaurants are also heard.

In the evening, you will delight in your first taste of Vietnam at a charming restaurant within a French Colonial building before doing the night tour of Thang Long Imperial Citadel. You will begin your 1.5-hour tour at Doan Mon (Main Gate), the entrance to Cam Thanh (forbidden area) - the king’s residence, and learn about the site’s history, architecture, and functions there. Next, you will enjoy an old dance right on the glass covering the archaeological excavation area and gain insight into this dig, which contains vestiges of the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties, via the tour guides’ introduction. You will also visit an exhibition hall of rare antiquities, some dating back over 1,000 years.

At Kinh Thien Palace, you can offer incense to King Ly Thai To, who moved the country’s capital from Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh province to Dai La which he renamed Thang Long in 1010, as well as other kings who contributed to the capital’s development.

The last destination of this trip is the archaeological site at No. 18 Hoang Dieu Street, where you will experience a laser light show of outstanding antiquities from the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. You can take part in a game in which you have to identify typical objects from feudal dynasties in the past.

Overnight in Hanoi.

You see your private tour guide and driver in the hotel lobby. Get started on the tour at the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (closed on Mondays and Fridays) to pay respects to Uncle Ho and learn about his incredible life. Visitors are required to wear clothes covering their knees and shoulders. Next to the Mausoleum is the Presidential Garden, and the One Pillar Pagoda takes 30 minutes to visit. Next, you will discuss the next tourist attraction and what you love seeing with your guide. We are happy to provide some suggestions, selecting two from them; the Temple of Literature, the Fine Arts Museum, Hoa Lo prison, Military Museum, and the Ethnology Museum. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

You start the afternoon tour with a visit to Hidden Gem, a Vietnamese Coffee Shop. The coffee shop is impressive because the furniture was created by taking advantage of discarded products such as plastic bottles, tires, paint containers, and some parts of motorbikes and tractors. This activity aims to protect the environment. A cup of Vietnamese egg coffee is a must-try there.

In the late afternoon, you start your walking tour at Hanoi’s largest covered market, Dong Xuan. Along the market, dozens of street hawkers sell a variety of produce, from fresh seafood to exotic fruits and spices. Your expert English-speaking local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture, including details on the ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. Step out of the market to be back on the streets for more daily local snacks in food stalls along the roadside. Stop to taste a piece of fresh spring roll or a crispy pancake before wandering through narrow streets to the corner with the full flavor of bun cha, fresh rice noodles with grilled pork. Continue to savor the Vietnamese dessert with traditional sweet cakes made from local herbs or a little cup of fresh fruit mixed with greasy coconut milk. With a better understanding of Hanoi street food, return to the hotel. Overnight in Hanoi

The scenery of Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone islands jut out of the emerald sea, in bizarre shapes, is truly an iconic image for Vietnam. An overnight boat trip is the best way to enjoy this Vietnamese must-see. 

Saying goodbye to Hanoi, you drive through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay. It takes you 3 hours, including a 20-minute stop. Arrive at the jetty in Halong City toward noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After a welcome onboard, enjoy a tasty lunch while cruising to the mythical bay. Around mid-afternoon, you participate in some activities to discover every corner of the bay. Each cruise operates a different itinerary, and caving, kayaking, rowing boats, and swimming are the most popular ones. Towards the end of the day, the cruise sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is on board, and you will spend the night in Halong Bay.

Get up early and don't miss the chance to watch the sunrise at one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Participating in a tai chi class on the sundeck is a way to welcome a new day full of energy. At the end of the gentle training session, you move to the restaurant and enjoy a hot breakfast with a cup of fragrant coffee. Some gentle activities on the bay will be arranged and announced by the cruise’s staff. If you don't want to participate, you can choose to relax on board: watching movies, reading books, or sightseeing are also attractive options. After all, a buffet brunch is served while sailing slowly back toward the port. Disembark and transfer back to Noi Bai international airport. Be ready for a flight back home.

Tour info

This sample itinerary was created by our travel experts as inspiration for your next trip. Ready for your customization. You pick to suit your budget, desires, and cultural experiences. The price of this trip will vary, depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on Inquire Now (above) and give us the necessary information to enable us to send you a FREE personalized quote within 48 hours if not sooner!

Our Service Include:
  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English or French speaking guide (for other languages and a national guide supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinking water while touring
  • All flights within Vietnam and Laos
  • Tax & service charge
Our Service exclude:
  • Other non-mentioned meals
  • Other non-mentioned services
  • International Flights to Luang Prabang, from Hanoi
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures
  • Tips, Travel insurance
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