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Exploring Laos

The Best of Laos & Vietnam

This tour will take you to the very best of Laos and Vietnam and starts in the capital of Vietnam where you can explore the traditional charm of Hanoi and its Old Quarter with our innovative walking tour before heading to Halong Bay to discover the tranquility of staying on a junk boat surrounded by limestone karsts for two nights. From there we fly you to Laos to discover the best of this sleepy, scenic country where life runs at a slower pace than its neighbouring countries. Land in the UNESCO town of Luang Prabang before flying south to the tranquil 4,000 islands and coffee plantations. We can’t think of a more perfect place to finish your trip!

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Hanoi!

Your private driver and English-speaking guide will give you a warm welcome when you land in Hanoi. They will then drive you through the bustling capital to your central hotel in the Old Quarter. where you can relax and enjoy the evening at your leisure. We adore Meracus 2 – it is everything a boutique hotel should be – quirky and charming! (Junior Suite).

Day 2 - Explore Hanoi Like a Local

Begin your day observing the locals at Hoan Kiem lake as they enjoy a spot of Tai Chi before going for a traditional Vietnamese coffee and walk of the Old Quarter that will take you into all the nooks and crannies of this fascination city. Plenty of food stops along the way before visiting the “Hilton Hanoi” (Hoa Lo Prison) and ancient Temple of Literature. The day finishes with a walk along the railway tracks and glass of local brewed beer.

Day 3 - Begin your Halong Bay Adventure

Today you will be driven out to Halong Bay (four hours east of Hanoi) with your cruise companions. Here you will board your traditional junk and enjoy a delicious as you cruise through the emerald bay surrounded by islets. You can kayak through a small fishing village or visit on a bamboo boat before returning on board for a cookery demonstration and a slap-up dinner. We love Indochina Sails’ traditional style junks. (Standard Cabin).

Day 4 - Enjoy a Full Day in the Bay

Rise early for Tai Chi on the sundeck if you wish before transferring to the Indochina Sails Day Boat, which will cruise to a less crowded areas of the bay for swimming, kayaking and other activities. Lunch is served on board mid-day and you will return to the main boat later in the afternoon before dinner. You can even try your hand at squid fishing off the back of the boat tonight. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 5 - Travel to Luang Prabang, Laos

This morning you will visit an island, where you can climb up the steps to the peak for a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Bay before returning to the boat for breakfast as you motor back to the mainland. You will return to Hanoi by shuttle bus and catch the short flight to Luang Prabang, Laos, where you will check into the lovely Maison Dalabua hotel. (Deluxe room)

Day 6 - The Highlights of Luang Prabang

This morning we will show you the key sites that have made Luang Prabang the cultural capital of Laos including the quaint Royal Palace Museum, the picturesque temple of Wat Visoun and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground. We also visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre before you enjoy the afternoon at leisure to soak up this idyllic town.

Day 7 - Monks at sunrise & a Gourmet Breakfast at Kuang Si

Rise early this morning and partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks. Have a walk with your guide through the local morning market and then drive to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall arriving before anyone else arrives. A luxury gourmet picnic breakfast will be served overlooking the falls, which is next to the excellent Bear Rescue Centre (well worth a look). Return to Luang Prabang by car and enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Day 8 - Begin Your Southern Laos Adventures

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Pakse, which is the gateway of southern Laos. From here your driver and guide will take you to the hilltop Buddha at Phou Salao for great views over the surrounding area. Transfer 45 minutes to Champasak and the beautiful River Resort. In the afternoon, visit Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century.  This dramatically sited temple is one of the highlights of any trip to Laos. (Riverfront Villa)

Day 9 - Explore the Bolaven Plateau Coffee Region

Today you will explore the Bolaven Plateau, where Laos’ rich coffee grows. Visit picturesque twin-chute Tad Fan Waterfall then continue to a village to meet your local coffee guide and change to a vintage Jeep for the next leg of the trip. Travel a backroad to Tad Moan Waterfall and stop for a swim before carrying on to your guide’s coffee plantation. Explore the plantation and learn about the coffee process before enjoying a home-cooked lunch. Return to River Resort in the early evening.

Day 10 - Tour of the 4,000 islands

After an early morning breakfast, transfer south to board a local private boat for a boat tour of the 4,000 Islands. Reach the picturesque island of Don Khone by lunchtime, and in the afternoon explore the island by local tuk-tuk, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings, and the beautiful Liphi Waterfall. Visit the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls before driving back to the River Resort for the night.

Day 11 - Free Day

We have left today completely free so you can enjoy the beauty of your riverside hotel in South Laos and reflect on the last 10 days of culture and activity. The resort has two riverside pools so it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind. We really recommend you sign up to the River Resort’s sunset cruise tonight with nibbles and wine, it will make this final night one to remember!

Day 12 - Bon Voyage!

Following breakfast your driver will transfer you about one hour to Pakse, where you can board your flight home – there are regular flights to Bangkok from Pakse. Check-out is at 12 noon so you can spend the morning relaxing at the River Resort if you have a later flight booked. Safe travels!


This itinerary costs from £2,280 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.

You can get flights from as little as £600 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £2,280 per person
  • Hotel accommodation on B&B basis
  • Cruise has breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Private transfers (air-conditioned vehicle)
  • All entrance fees with service of English speaking guide for excursions
  • Lunch on Days 2 and 9
  • Two flights: between Hanoi and Luang Prabang, and onto Pakse
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
Make a booking
Luang Prabang
This delightful Unesco-heritage protected town has some of the finest architecture, food and temples of all of Laos (as well as lots of cute boutique shops!) You could spend days in this delightful town, which has two rivers running through it, whilst exploring nearby caves, waterfalls and elephant camps.
Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands)
This cluster of islands caught in the middle of the mighty flowing Mekong is the perfect place to chill for a couple of days. Cycling to waterfalls, spotting rare river dolphins, chilling in hammocks and watching the sunset over the Mekong are all in the order of the day here.
Champasak & The Bolaven Plateau
The Bolaven Plateau is not to be missed by any die-hard coffee fans! This idyllic, hilly region is where the finest coffee in Laos grows and we have some wonderful day tours on offer here - you can even spend the night at a family home on a traditional coffee plantation. Nearby Champasak has some wonderful luxurious riverside accommodation (some of the best in Laos) and a sunrise trip to Wat Phou Temple must not be missed.
The riverside capital of Laos is home to some of the country's finest restaurants, spas and cafes, not to mention a fantastic collection of boutique hotels... it is the perfect place to indulge your tastebuds and senses for a day or two. Nearby there are a number of impressive temples and cultural sights which are ideal to explore by bicycle.
Vang Vieng
Something of an outdoor lover's paradise, Vang Vieng, which is set on Nam Song River, is the perfect place for anyone seeking nature based activities - as well as some more adrenalin-seeking adventures. It's backdrop of serene cliffs and vibrant green paddy fields, coupled with an excellent selection of boutique hotels, make it the ideal place to chill for a day or two.
Vieng Xai Caves
This fascinating wartime cave hideout is set in beautiful gardens backed by delightful karst scenery. It is ideal for those who are travelling onwards to Vietnam and crossing at the land border - or vice versa.

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