Phong Nha En Cave Champasak Si Phan Don islands
Multi-Country

Natural beauty in Vietnam & Laos 15-day marvelous tour

Duration
15D14N
Tour Code
VIM.12
Tour Style
Adventure, Culture, Wildlife

Overview

location_on Hanoi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong – Cuc Phuong National Park – Tu Lan Cave – Ho Chi Minh City – Bolevan Plateu – Wat Phou Unesco site – Ban Khiet Ngong – Khong Island

The natural beauty of Vietnam and Laos has captivated tourists from all over the world. Vietnam has been blessed with over 3,000 km of coastline, pristine forests, mountain ranges, and some of the planet’s most impressive limestone pinnacles and plateaus. In the meantime, Laos is famous for its peaceful countryside scenery, ethnic villages, and unexplored lands. Shut down your computer, and accompany Viland on this 15-day journey back to Mother Nature. Let’s explore the beauty of the two countries and learn how to protect nature against the impact of urbanization. Book a “Vietnam and Laos: The Call Of Nature” tour with Viland now, or send us a request, we will be back within 24 hours.

Trip highlights

  • Explore the unknown – parts of Hanoi on antique Minsks.
  • Visit the remote villages in Mai Chau & Pu Luong.
  • Discover Cuc Phuong Asia’s leading national park.
  • Challenge yourself with a cave adventure tour in Phong Nha.
  • Explore southern Laos, the homeland of waterfalls and 4000 islands.

Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

Xin chào Việt Nam! Hello Vietnam!

A warm greeting awaits at Noi Bai International Airport; your private guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals lounge and transfer you to your hotel in Hanoi. While every effort is made to have your room available upon arrival, check-in time is at 2:00 pm; your room may or may not be ready before this time.

Hanoi is a window into a world from long ago that has been dragged into the present. Motorbikes whizz around, ladies haggle over the price of bread being sold from a bicycle, and business deals are struck over a cup of green tea whilst sitting on little plastic stools by the side of the road. Prepare to be amazed by this frantic yet incredibly charming slice of real Asia.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: none.

 


Ha Noi Flower street vendors

Our tour starts at your hotel in and around Hanoi Old Quarter. You will be greeted by our guide and driver at your hotel lobby or our meeting point for a safety briefing, and we will then begin our adventure!

In the first part of our Hanoi motorcycle tour, we expose you to the REAL HANOI with a day in the life experience, featuring the parts-unknown of the city with slices of life in the maze of backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, random markets, and the black market, experiencing where and how locals live, work, and play. On Hanoi Backstreet Tours’ journeys, we not only show you the good, but we also expose the bad and the weird of your destinations for what they are. For us, the run-of-the-mill tourist sites are only the tip of the iceberg, the majority of your destinations remain hidden in parts unknown.

In the second part of our Hanoi Motorcycle Tour, we pass by & stop at the  MUST-SEE places of our beautiful city, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum—the Mecca of Vietnamese, the 1000-year-old Buddhist and Taoist temples of Tran Quoc, the Temple of Literature, the historical training track, the enchanting French Quarter, the hustling and bustling Old Quarter, the romantic lakes of Hoan Kiem and West Lake; the Hanoi Opera House; the famous Long Bien bridge, etc.

In the third part of our Hanoi motorcycle tour, we also take you to the poetic and peaceful villages and floating communities along the Red River to enrich your experience of the contrast in the harmony of life between the city and the countryside of Hanoi.

In the last part of our Hanoi motorcycle tour en route, you’re going to stop at different authentic local restaurants, eateries, and food stalls. So you can savor the tastiest of the tasty dishes of Hanoi, including family heirloom and secret recipe dishes, local delicacies, and specialties.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Hanoi Ta Hien street

Set in an idyllic valley, hemmed in by hills, the Mai Chau area is a world away from Hanoi’s hustle. The small town of Mai Chau itself is unappealing, but just outside, the patchwork of rice fields rolls out, speckled by tiny Thai villages where visitors doze down for the night in traditional stilt houses and wake up to a rural soundtrack defined by gurgling irrigation streams and birdsong. You can also watch the local farmers and how they work in the rice fields.

Get started at 8 a.m. with a private pickup and head out for Mai Chau. Stop along the way to visit the Muong tribe and admire a spectacular view of Mai Chau Valley at Thung Khe Pass. Have a traditional lunch with a White Thai Tribe family and use your free time to get to know the other villagers.

In the afternoon, ride a bike to the remote villages of Pom Coong and Na Phon, where you’ll discover the natural beauty and culture of the ethnic minority Thai people. Return to your stay for relaxation. Have dinner and then enjoy a traditional dance and music performance by the villagers.

Stay overnight at a homestay in Mai Chau or upgrade to your resort in Mai Chau.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Mai Chau ecolodge

You get up among the peaceful and beautiful mountainous setting. Have a tasty breakfast with your local host before departing for Pu Luong. You will have a breathtaking mountain pass with panoramic views of the valley. Spend some free time exploring the beautiful retreat before having lunch in the restaurant.

In the afternoon, you have a short drive to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you will begin a walk in search of stunning water wheels. You move closer to each wheel, discovering how water is moved from rivers to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes. (approximately 3 km, an easy walk).

The tour continues with a visit to a local fisherman’s house before taking a short rest to gear up for the bamboo river rafting. Float along the calm river and enjoy the views while learning how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts. (about 800 meters of river rafting). The rafting trip brings you to the scenic Tan Lap Bridge, where you meet up with your private driver and transfer back to Pu Luong Retreat.

Dining and overnighting in Pu Luong. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Pu Luong rice field

After breakfast, you will join a half-day hike to the local villages nearby. This 6.5-kilometer hike is a popular activity at an easy level to discover the most beautiful rice terraces in the area. Get started by descending into the beautiful valley; and strolling around tumbling rice terraces. Continue to walk through small paths shrouded in vegetation to slowly reveal a picturesque Uoi village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Make sure your camera is fully charged, as you will get great photos with the panoramic view of the village from above. Keep walking downhill to Lan village.

If time permits, you will visit a local family to learn about their traditional brocade weaving (not guaranteed). Walk through the rice paddies again to get back to the main road and the car pickup point. Return to Pu Luong Retreat at lunchtime.

After a tasty lunch, it will be a two-hour ride to the Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh. The National Park covers an area of 25000 ha and is also the first national forest in Vietnam. Cuc Phuong has the features of a tropical rainforest, all year it is covered in a beautiful green color. The park is also extremely rich and has diverse fauna and flora. Many highly endangered species have been discovered and preserved here, which helps protect the environment very well. Upon arrival, check-in at your accommodation and relax.

Overnight at Cuc Phuong.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Pu Luong paddy field

Wake up in the park and enjoy breakfast. Then, you will visit the langurs and Endangered Primate Rescue Center, learn from the professional staff how to protect monkeys and langurs from becoming extinct, and keep the environment as close to its natural habitat as possible.

Afterward, enjoy a typical lunch at a local restaurant, recommended by your guide. In the afternoon, you take a hiking trip into the heart of the jungle. As you hike, observe the rare flora and fauna surrounding you. You can listen to the exotic birds as they sing and stand in the middle of the jungle to breathe fresh air and immerse yourself 100% in nature. Continue to walk the trail, taking photos along the way. There are many natural wonders that will absolutely impress you. (You have the option of cycling if you want to.)

Late into the day, you will return to your stay and enjoy the second night in Cuc Phuong.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Cuc Phuong national park

Check out of the hotel and drive to Ninh Binh Railway Station for a day train to Dong Hoi. The train ride is 9 hours, and you have a shared, four-berth soft sleeper compartment with air conditioning; it’s nice and comfy.

You are arriving at Dong Hoi in the evening. Your private guide and driver will greet you at the train exit and transfer you to Chay Lap Farmstay and Resort, where you will enjoy two lovely nights. Nestled between breathtaking karst mountains away from the tourist trails, Chay Lap is a true gem in Phong Nha and Ke Bang National Park.

Overnight in Phong Nha.

Meals: Breakfast.


07:30 – 08:00 Pick up and a one-hour drive on Day 1 to the Oxalis Adventure office in Tan Hoa, located 70 km from Phong Nha, you will have a tour safety briefing, sign the release form, and receive the required equipment for the tour.

The trek starts with a flat path past peanut fields and grazing buffalo and cows. A river crossing leads to a short but steep and rocky uphill section, followed by a downhill descent into the next valley. Cross the valley on a flat path to enjoy a picnic lunch at the entrance of Hung Ton Cave. More hills and jungle trekking before you drop down to Tu Lan Valley and your camp for the night. Finish off the day with a swim into Ken Cave.

Dinner is prepared and served by the porter team. After dinner, enjoy the evening games before sleeping in your comfortable tent. Composting toilets are provided at camp.

Overnight in Tu Lan.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Phong Nha trekking cave

The following day, you will trek and swim through Tu Lan Cave and Kim Cave to arrive at the magnificent To Mo Valley. Enjoy some snacks in the valley, then continue the journey by taking another swim through Hung Ton Cave. In Hung Ton Cave, you will climb a 10-meter metal ladder with the extra protection of a safety line. Beautiful views from the entrances into the jungle, refreshing swims, dry passages, and amazing formations will give you many opportunities for photos. After the third cave, the return is the same as the first morning. Snacks will be provided at To Mo Valley, and lunch in the village is served at a local restaurant after a welcome shower.

After a transfer to Phong Nha, you will arrive at around 18:00, and stay overnight in Phong Nha.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Phong Nha trekking cave

It’s time to say goodbye to Phong Nha, a paradise of caving activities. Today, you transfer back to Dong Hoi, taking an hour-and-a-half flight to Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon. Upon arrival, you will get a warm welcome from your local guide and driver. A 45-minute drive will bring you downtown.

In the evening, you are picked up and transferred to The Noir: Dining in the Dark restaurant for a culinary journey through taste, smell, touch, and sound. Let’s imagine: You are dining in a completely dark room, and your eyes can’t see anything. Then, your senses of touch become more delicate, your taste buds more refined, and your senses of smell and hearing are more sensitive than ever. It is not simply a dining experience but a uniquely mind-altering one.

Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.


Ho Chi Minh city landscape view in sunset

Discover the natural beauty in Laos…

You fly to Pakse, the biggest town in southern Laos. Then, depart for the Bolaven Plateau, famous for its dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls, and coffee and tea plantations.

The first stop is Tad Lo Waterfalls, a beautiful formation of three separate falls. The most impressive of the three is Tad Suong, located a further 10 km upriver. From Tad Suong, you will drive to the small village of Ban Houay Houn, famous for its Katu textiles. Here, you will have the chance to observe the women weaving without a traditional loom but using their legs to stretch the fabric. Continue your journey through the Paksong and Boloven Plateaus. The Boloven Plateau is known for its cool temperature. Rivers run off this high plateau in all directions and then plunge out into lush forests along with a series of spectacular surging waterfalls.

Stay overnight on the Bolaven Plateau.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Pakse Bolaven plateau Alak hill tribe women

At 9:00 am, you meet the Jeep tour specialist at Chai Coffee and discuss with him while enjoying a cup of coffee. You will hop on the Jeep and drive 30 minutes to Tad Moun waterfalls to enjoy the crystal water and visit the vegetable farm nearby. From the waterfalls, drive one hour through a 10 km bumpy and muddy road to the coffee farm of Mr. Khamsone. Upon arrival, Mr. Khamsone will give you a demonstration about the coffee roasting step and finish with a coffee cupping to savor the different kinds of coffee (Robusta, Arabica, and Typica). You have a picnic lunch on the farm around 13:30.

Drive to Laven village to observe the daily life of the villagers and visit paddies. Then, in the Suay village, visit many traditional longhouses where a family of many generations lives together.

Transfer back to your hotel downtown for the second night on the Bolaven Plateau. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Pakse Bolaven plateau Tad Moun waterfall

It will be a soft day with an easy move from Bolaven Plateau to Champasak, another city in southern Laos. Just 32 km southwest of the Bolaven Plateau, the ancient Wat Phou is today’s first attraction. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst rice fields and waterways in southern Laos. You spend one hour exploring three levels of structure there: the bottom level of the temple is the baray (water reservoir) and promenade, the second level features quadrangular pavilions and galleries of carvings, and the highest one is the sanctuary itself.

Then, passing through the small town of Champasak, see many French colonial buildings along the way before having lunch in the woodcarving village of Ban Nong Bune. Check in at the King Fisher Eco-Lodge in Ban Khiet Ngon Village. You have the whole afternoon to relax and enjoy the view of the paddy field surrounding the lodge. Contact the receptionist for some activities that are free for the guest in residence.

Overnight in Ban Khiet Ngong.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Pakse Wat Phou

Enjoy a fresh early morning at King Fisher Eco-Lodge. Have breakfast with a cup of hot coffee. Check out and be ready for a two-hour drive to Khong Island, the largest island in a 4000-island area and the final destination of the journey back to nature.

Upon arrival, you take a long-tail boat into the widest reach of the Mekong River. During the dry season, the water level recedes and leaves behind thousands of islets, giving this area the lovely name Si Phan Don. Explore the peaceful village of Ban Khone, seeing an array of relics from the French colonial era, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive. Jump on a tuk-tuk to visit the marvelous Liphi waterfall, also called the Corridor of the Devil, one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking the Laos border with Cambodia. Try your luck seeing the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone.

Return to the mainland at the fishing village of Ban Nakasang and drive further south to visit Khone Phapheng, the largest waterfall by volume in South East Asia; this is an impressive spot near the Lao-Cambodian border, set within an area teaming with wildlife, making this area one of the most breathtaking destinations in Laos. Afterward, you drive back to Khong island.

Overnight on Khong island.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Champasak Si Phan Don islands

From the island, you can choose to either continue via Dom Kralor border to Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonders; or return to Pakse to take the departure flight for your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast.


Pakse Buddha on the cliff viewpoint

Useful Information

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.
  • 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 Hanoi, from Pakse.
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures.

This trip is not what you are looking for?

Let's customize it now