Luang Prabang Tad Sae waterfall Hoi An ancient town
Multi-Country

Vietnam and Laos 17-day Family Adventure

Duration
17D16N
Tour Code
VIM.16
Tour Style
Adventure, Beaches, Cruises, Culinary, Culture, Honeymoon, Private, Wildlife

Overview

location_on Luang Prabang – Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong – Phong Nha – Da Nang/ Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels - Mekong Delta

Vietnam and Laos have been the go-to spots for many family trips. Based on the terrain factor, Viland Travel’s destination experts have designed a tour product that allows you to visit the most breathtaking landscapes of Vietnam and Laos within 17 days.

Get started in Luang Prabang, where you can learn about the Buddhist culture and the local life along the banks of the mighty Mekong River; where you can also get back to nature, trekking through the jungle, swimming in the crystal water of the picturesque Kuangsi waterfalls, and then interacting with elephants as a professional mahout.

Then, you take a flight to Vietnam for a southbound journey: you visit the thousand-year-old capital of Hanoi, cruise the legendary Halong Bay, explore the spectacular cave system in Phong Nha, and relax at one of the beautiful beaches in Hoi An before returning to city life in the hustle and bustle of Saigon.

You can enter your dream trip in the next column, our travel experts will get back to you within 24 hours!

Trip highlights

  • Explore 5 Unesco sites & all other highlights of Vietnam and Laos.
  • Experience a fun tuk-tuk tour in Luang Prabang ancient town.
  • Learn how to communicate with elephants in Mandalao Conservation.
  • Cruise a mythical Halong Bay to discover its garden of karst.
  • Trek through jungles to admire waterfalls and learn more about the vegetation.
  • Explore Tu Lan’s wilderness with many enjoyable minigames and activities.
  • Relax at one of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches.

Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

On arrival at the Luang Prabang airport, your family will be met and transferred to check-in at the hotel. Situated in the center of northern Laos, Luang Prabang is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural, historic, and architectural values and the harmonious relationship between the natural and built environments. You are free to stroll around the city for your first impression of this ancient city.

In the late afternoon, join a private Baci ceremony at a local family. The Baci ceremony, as a traditional ritual of the Lao people, expresses the spirituality of the country and is a highly memorable experience and a deep insight into Lao culture for the participants. Dinner will be served after that for you to share with the host family. This is the best chance for you to have your first experience of local life and culture.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: A welcome dinner.


Luang Prabang Baci ceremony

You see your private tour guide and driver in the lobby for a full-day city tour in Luang Prabang. The first stop is the Royal Palace Museum, built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family.

Afterward, board a private longtail boat for a Mekong River cruise to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the caves are filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues, and come in a wide range of sizes. During the boat ride, take note of the fishermen and villagers going about their daily life on the river. For many, the Mekong plays an integral role in life and represents one of the only means of transportation and commerce.

After visiting the caves, cruise back to Luang Prabang. If time permits, stop at Ban Xang Hay, which specializes in making rice wine. Once back in Luang Prabang, enjoy lunch at one of the town’s most celebrated restaurants: Tamarind (closed on Sundays).

In the afternoon, visit 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. Drive along the Mekong to the Traditional Arts & 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 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Luang Prabang royal palace museum

Leave the city behind and head to the peaceful countryside. The beautiful drive ends at The Kuang Si Waterfalls; which are a series of cascading turquoise pools surrounded by lush forests. You spend time exploring the falls and enjoying the pristine nature.

For further insight into the Natural Wonders of Laos, you can stop at the Asiatic Black Bear Sanctuary nearby the waterfalls. The sanctuary houses endangered bears rescued from poachers, showing the efforts of passionate animal lovers; who are working to stop the poachers and preserve the Bear’s natural living environment.

Next, you pay a visit to the unique Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, a social enterprise that produces sustainable and delicious cheese while giving back to the community and environment. While the buffalo may be the stars here, there are also playful pigs, cheeky chickens, and rollicking rabbits that are just as fun to interact with for the young and the young at heart. Enjoy a homemade ice cream at the cafe before saying goodbye to the Buffaloes and the team.

Return to Luang Prabang and have lunch independently.

In the afternoon, you visit the village of Xieng Lom to see the elephants. Upon arrival, you receive a warm greeting from a local tour guide. He will provide an in-depth introduction to elephant behavior and the best means of interacting with them.

Continue with a short ride across the Nam Khan River, where the elephants await. Feed them some healthy snacks and enjoy bathing them. Continue the experience with the trekking portion of the trip. After crossing through a stretch of beautiful Lao gardens, head into the jungle-covered Huay Nok stream. You walk alongside the elephants, crisscrossing through the waters, and develop a profound sense of understanding, respect, and care for these animals. After completing the trek, you walk back and bid farewell to the elephants.

Return to the town for a free evening.

Note: The MandaLao does not allow customers to bathe the Elephants; it falls in line with WAP-World Animal Protection Guidelines, with which we are working closely. The elephants are free to choose if they enter the river or not. And the only people that will wash the elephants will be their mahout.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Luang Prabang Nam Ou River viewpoint

The Tuk-Tuk Library is a mobile library that includes library books for rural schools for the students to borrow. The library is supported by both the Lao Government and foreign charities.

Today your family will have a unique opportunity to join this Tuk-Tuk Library on a visit to a village school. The goal of this enterprising mobile library is to supply schools and their students in poor rural communities with much-needed books.

During the visit, you will be able t see the Tuk-Tuk librarians and volunteers hand over a full book bag of 100 books to the students, loaned for a period of two to six weeks. This means the schools get a continual supply of new books to read. The Tuk-Tuk team also spends the day with the children, conducting fun reading games, teaching them how to respect books, teaching singing games, etc. They also play games with the students to teach teamwork, coordination, group involvement, and other skills – all conveyed through play.

After lunch head to Suan Phao Petanque playground, where locals gather to play their favorite game, Petanque. This game originated in the South of France in the early 1900s and is played widely across the country. Petanque is a game whereby players toss or roll heavy steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball, a cochonnet (literally, “piglet”). Players must also stand inside a circle with both feet on the ground. While watching the locals play Petanque, your guide explains the game strategy and shares some welcome tips before commencing play.

Finish the game and return to your hotel in the late afternoon, where the balance of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Luang Prabang suan phao petanque playground

Following the hotel breakfast, you drive to the Luang Prabang airport for a short flight to Vietnam, the second country on your family 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 downtown. The variance of the city is within 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.

Next, you will enjoy an old dance on the glass covering the archaeological excavation area and gain an 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 the outstanding antiquities of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. You can take part in a game in which they have to identify typical objects from feudal dynasties in the past.

Stay overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.


Hanoi the imperial citadel of Thang Long

Kickstart your new day with tasty foods for better stamina and more energy. A daily hot breakfast is prepared and served at the hotel’s restaurant.

At 8:30, meet up with your tour guide in the lobby for a full-day city tour of Hanoi. On this tour, you will explore many ancient architectures, delectable cuisine, and picturesque natural landscapes.

The first attraction is Ba Dinh Square, where Uncle Ho read the Declaration of Independence, declaring the birth of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. To learn more about Vietnamese history, you will visit some of the architecture in this area, such as the Ho Chi Minh MausoleumUncle Ho’s stilt house, and the one-pillar pagoda.

Next, you take a short drive to the outskirts of Hanoi to visit the fascinating Museum of Ethnology. From the outside, you will be attracted by the presentation and layout, from the form to the displayed content, which is very scientific and logical. It involves grasping the cultural colors of each ethnic group.

Lunchtime is coming! You will enjoy Chả Cá Lã Vọng, the perfect combination of fresh noodles, grilled fish, sweet and sour sauce, and fresh vegetables, known as the Hanoian specialty since 1871. Following Lunch, you visit Hidden Gem Coffee Shop, 95% of the items in the shop are recycled furniture to protect the environment. A cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee, especially coffee with eggs, is highly recommended there.

Continue to visit the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam, famous for its beautiful architecture, and provide further information about the Vietnamese education system. Another exciting activity awaits you! Our guide and driver will take you to Long Bien Bridge to admire the panorama river view. While walking on the 120-year-old bridge, your tour guide will tell you some stories about history, Red River Delta culture, and local daily life; the walking tour also includes a discovery of Banana Island right at the foot of the bridge.

Embark on a fun cyclo to explore 36 streets in Hanoi Old Quarter. While swaying on a Cyclo, you can enjoy the cool air, admire the Old French-style villas, observe locals’ activities, and listen to the sounds of vehicles. All create a unique experience in the journey to Vietnam.

At 5 pm, you finish the cyclo tour, meet your guide at Dong Xuan Market and start the evening street food tour. The street food tour will be a taste adventure, as Hanoi cuisine is always the kind of dish that surprises every visitor to Vietnam because of its ingredients and prices. After the tour, you will learn that more than just a list of typical Vietnamese meals sold on the streets, they also convey the beauty of the Vietnamese culture, lifestyle, feelings, and thoughts. Any dietary requirements or allergies will be notified to the guide before the tour departs.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Hanoi cyclo tour

After a tasty breakfast, you get started on a new and wonderful day tour. It will be a two-hour ride to the Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh.

Upon your arrival, 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. You will return to the car and transfer back to your Hanoi hotel late into the day.

Overnight in Hanoi.


Cuc Phuong National Park

The scenery of Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone islands jut out of the emerald sea, in bizarre shapes, is truly an iconic image of 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.

Overnight cruise on the bay.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Ha Long Bay landscape view

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 Airport for a 1-hour, 20-minute flight to Dong Hoi.

Upon arrival, your private tour guide and driver will meet you and transfer you to Chay Lap Farmstay to check-in. The rest of the day will be yours.

Overnight in Chay Lap farmstay.

Meals: Breakfast, Brunch.


Ha Long Bay landscape view

07:00 – 07:30 Pick up at your hotel in Phong Nha and take a one-hour drive to the Oxalis Adventure office in Tan Hoa, located 70 km from Phong Nha. Here, you’ll get a safety briefing about the tour, sign the release form, and get the gear you need for the tour.

The trek starts with a 2.5-kilometer walk on a flat path past peanut fields and grazing buffalo and cows. A river crossing leads to a 60-meter climb up Baby Hill, followed by a downhill descent into Laken Valley. Cross the valley to explore Little Rat Cave, where many challenges await.

Enjoy a picnic lunch in the cave and keep moving to Rat Waterfall. Here you will have time to wade, take a plunge into the refreshing stream of Tu Lan, and participate in fascinating family games such as setting up tents and hammocks.

Finish off the day with a short trek back to the camp inside Little Rat Cave and have a dinner prepared and served by the porter team. After dinner, enjoy the evening games before sleeping in your comfortable tent.

Camp inside Little Rate Cave.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Phong Nha Tu Lan campsite

After breakfast, the day follows with packing up and walking out of the camp. More treks along the river lead you to Rat Cave, a small cave full of extraordinary formations.

Enjoy the beautiful views from the entrances and explore the 300-meter length of Rat Cave. After the second cave, the return is the same route as the first morning. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Tan Hoa after a welcome shower.

Transfer to Chay Lap Farmstay, arriving at around 14:30–15:00.

Overnight at Chay Lap Farmstay.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Phong Nha trekking cave

Early morning check out from Chay Lap Farmstay, you then drive from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi, it takes you 1 hour to cover the 45 km. When you get to Dong Hoi station, hop on the train and travel to Da Nang city, which takes approximately 6 hours. Once you arrive at Da Nang train station, you will be picked up by your private guide and driver and taken to the hotel in Hoi An, an ancient town, for check-in. Lunch and dinner are by your arrangement.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.


Hoi An ancient town

You have two full days to relax in the town, at the beach, or book one of the many optional tours such as a cooking class, bicycle tour, history tours of the My Son Ruins and Marble Mountain, and a day of snorkeling at Cham Island. Just let us know, and all the things can be arranged.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.


My Son Sanctuary

Another day to be free in Hoi An beach town as we promise.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.


Hoi An and Fukien essembly hall

After breakfast, you are transferred to Da Nang airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you are welcomed by your private tour guide and driver.

Lunch is served in a local restaurant before exploring the wartime legacy of Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by the Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence.

This vast network of tunnels played a huge part in the Viet Cong’s victory over the Americans, allowing them to control a large rural area surrounding HCM City. At the Cu Chi Tunnels, you will watch a brief introductory video, followed by a walk through the reserve. If you are feeling brave, you can crawl inside the Cu Chi Tunnels to experience how difficult life must have been, and discover the 3 underground levels. There will also be a chilling exhibition of the traps and weapons used against the American GIs.

After the visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, head back to the city center for check-in. The rest of the day is free for leisure.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Ho Chi Minh city Cu Chi tunnel

Be picked up at your hotel at 8:00; you depart for Cai Be by road and arrive at the Cai Be jetty by 10:00 am. The crew welcomes you aboard with cold towels and a refreshing drink while the Cai Be Princess Sampan sets off for its leisurely cruise on the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta.

On the river, all sorts of boats ply the water, from small fishing boats to cargo barges loaded with fruit and vegetables. From the comfort of your sampan, you can observe local life on the riverbanks and admire the stunning landscapes while your attentive crew serves you tea and seasonal fruit.

At Tan Phong Islet, board a small rowboat to get a better exploration of the canal’s hidden mangroves. Return to your sampan to visit an ancient house built in the 19th century. We’ll make stops along the way to explore local cottage industries, including the making of coconut candy and puffed rice (the local equivalent of popcorn). Your cruise ends at Le Longanier Restaurant. You are having lunch in this exquisite colonial-style villa set in a lush tropical garden by the river and surrounded by fruit trees, giving you a privileged life during Indochinese times.

After lunch, at around 2:30 pm, take a short walk along a small canal towards the Ba Bon Bridge, where your vehicle awaits to drive you approximately 2 hours to Ho Chi Minh City.

*Notes: Actual itineraries may vary depending on river tides, arrival times, or other conditions.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

 


Mekong delta food vendor on floating market

At 8:00, let’s start the morning tour in the most dynamic city in Vietnam.

You get started on the city tour to explore great architecture in one of the largest cities in Vietnam. The architecture of Ho Chi Minh City is a splendid mix of Vietnam’s historical heritage, from French colonial villas to modern steel and glass monuments. The top architectural sights for tourists date back to when Saigon, the Pearl of Indochina, was the capital of French Indochina. More has been added to the cultural heritage since then, and we see exciting times ahead in modern architecture.

Our guide would be happy to bring you to the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace. If time permits, visit the Saigon Opera House, Saigon’s city hall.

After lunch, transfer to Ho Chi Minh City airport for your onward departure. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Ho Chi Minh city street food and cafe vendor

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 24 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.
  • All flights within Vietnam and Laos.
  • Drinking water while touring.
  • Tax & service charge.

Our Service exclude:

  • Visa to Vietnam and Laos
  • Other non-mentioned meals
  • Other non-mentioned services
  • International Flights to Luang Prabang/from Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures
  • Tips, Travel insurance

This trip is not what you are looking for?

Let's customize it now