This 16-day family tour of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam is very interesting for all family members as it includes the main highlights including World Heritage sites of three countries, with suitable activities which everyone can join, such as boating, kayaking, jungle village hiking and trekking, biking, elephant caring, motorbike experience and boat cruise … As you’re travelling tailor-made, the tour will be at your own pace, and you can make as many changes to the itinerary as you wish. We’ll reorganise the programme accordingly to fit your arrangements.
On arrival, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be your own. Your overnight accommodation will be in Luang Prabang.
Leaving Luang Prabang with your private guide and driver, you travel for around one hour and twenty minutes out of the town. On the way you pass through beautiful scenery and rural landscapes with rice terraces and pineapple fields. You visit Ban Longlao a local H'mong village where the culture, customs and language are all different to mainstream Laos. Your trek starts from the H'mong village and takes between two and three hours through primary forest and jungle before reaching the top as spectacular Kuang Si Waterfall. Lunch can be taken at the falls with time for relaxation, swimming and the possibility to climb to the top of the waterfall. Afterwards you return to Luang Prabang in time to catch the sun setting over the Mekong.
Then at around 05:30PM, meet up again with your guide and drive to take part in a Baci ceremony with local people at a local home to wish for safety, happiness and prosperity. After the ceremony, enjoy beautiful classical and folk dances, and take part in Laos social dance "Lamvong" with local people. You’re also invited to try some Laos local food such as sticky rice, local canapés & tea and then be transferred to a local restaurant in downtown for dinner – your own account.
Note: moderate trekking; wear suitable footwear, especially important if traveling between June and November. (If heavy rain it’s too slippery)
Today you will drive to on Road N 13, 55 Km 1 hour to Ban Done Nguen where are going to get on board cruise down on Nam Ou river which takes us through some beautiful scenery of mountains to Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. And continue cruise down the Mekong River to the picturesque village of Ban Chan, a pottery village. You then arrive back in Luang Prabang, arriving back there by late afternoon. Overnight in Luang Prabang
(Dry season it’s available to have lunch on sand beach)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession.
Following breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the boat pier. Here you board your private boat for a short cruise to the ancient Royal temple of Wat Long Khoun, that was formerly used by past Kings and Queens for meditation purposes. We then cycle for approximately 30 minutes to the village of Xienmene, where you can pause to explore the quiet village, including a visit to the local school.
You then continue by bicycle along quiet unpaved roads to the unknown but beautiful Hoy Khua Waterfall. En route, you make a short stop at a Khmu village.
You then cycle to the riverside village of Ban Pak Leuang and board our boat, enjoying a picnic lunch on board while following the Mekong upstream to the village of Ban Chan, famous for its pottery making. Here we will meet the locals and learn about their daily lifestyle. Following this visit we continue by private boat to Luang Prabang, arriving back in the town at approximately 3.30-4pm.
8:30 - Tour guides will pick you up from hotels.
Arrive at MandaLao – Get an in-depth introduction into elephant behavior and communication.
Meet the Elephants – Cross the river for first introduction to elephants
Bathing – Begin our spa like bathing experience with the elephants
Begin Trek – Pass beautiful Lao gardens before exploring the jungle covered Huay Nok stream.
Lunch – A traditional Lao lunch will be served in banana leaves in the jungle.
Tad Kuang Song Waterfall – Visit this hidden treasure and take a cool refreshing dip.
Ban Hua Tad Village – Walk through a Khmu village and see local life.
Mahout Demonstration – Watch and learn as the mahouts demonstrate how they communicate. with their elephants. Use what you learn to try the same.
Walk back to Feeding Grounds – Take the elephants to their night time resting area.
Contemplation – Enjoy a drink and snack as you recollect on the day.
Depart – Leave for Luang Prabang. Drop off at your hotel or guesthouse approximately 4:00pm.
Your time is your own until your car arrives to take you to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. If time permit” you can have a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artefacts. You can enjoy a short-guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We visit the Arts and Ethnology Centre to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures.
Then transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. On arrival, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel.
Upon your arrival in Siem Reap, you will pick up to hotel for check in, your overnight accommodation in Siem Reap.
Today you will wake up at 5.00AM and head out to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat, followed by a traditional breakfast of noodle soup with the locals at a local stall.
After breakfast, your day will be devoted to the Temple complex, of which Angkor Wat is a key element. You will explore Angkor Wat itself, then continue a visit to Angkor Thom, starting with the Bayon, a bizarre structure of several architectural changes reflecting a switch from Hinduism (the foundations) to Buddhism (the superstructure).
Your next visit will be to the Elephant and Leper King Terraces followed by the Baphoun Temple, which is now nearing the end of an eight-year multi-million-dollar restoration programme. Then we visit Ta Prohm, strangled by massive tree roots and typical of the condition of the whole complex when it was discovered in 1860 by French naturalist Henri Mouhot. Your overnight accommodation will be in Siem Reap.
We journey northeast from Siem Reap to the massive jungle temple of Beng Mealea, the size and scale of Angkor Wat but utterly swallowed by the jungle. We clamber about this titanic of temples that feels just like it would have when discovered by the first explorers. We continue to Koh Ker, a 10th century capital abandoned in the remote north of Cambodia for more than a thousand years. Our team set up camp for us, while we enjoy a visit to the pyramid temple of Prasat Thom and we continue to explore the many temples at this incredible site, including the beautiful Prasat Krahom, covered by jungle, and some of the smaller structures such as Prasat Neang Khmau before we return to Siem Reap in late afternoon. And your overnight at hotel in Siem Reap
The morning will be at your leisure.
In the afternoon, your driver will drive you to Siem Reap International Airport for your afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
After breakfast, your guide will arrive to show you around Ho Chi Minh City. You’ll visit the History Museum where there is a special exhibition of the 5th century ‘Oc Eo’ civilisation. (Alternatively, you’ll visit the Fito Museum (First Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine) is host to a large collection of relics, including traditional Vietnamese medicinal implements, and chronicles the history of medical practice in Vietnam from 2000 BC). The Museum of War Remnants provides a very partial, but riveting, perspective of the ‘American War’: not for the squeamish! The Binh Tay market is located in China Town which is the biggest one in Ho Chi Minh City.
You’ll also call in at the Jade Emperor Temple. It’s one of the best Taoist temples in Vietnam, with superb effigies, remarkable carved panels of the descent to Hell and somewhat incongruous terrapin and tortoise sanctuaries. You’ll then return your hotel for freshen up or wander around the huge Ben Thanh market, one of the liveliest areas of Ho Chi Minh City, is packed with every conceivable commodity.
In the evening, you’ll then be picked up at hotel for Vespa tour. Your first stop is to Café zoom to "watch the world goes by" (quoted by The Lonely Planet) and enjoy cocktail and appetizer (inclusive) before adventuring into favorite local eating spot. You’ll experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. Then the tour will continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop to have a taste of Vietnamese music (live) as a local. Your overnight stay will be in Ho Chi Minh City.
The tour will start with a ride to part Chinatown and then heading to District 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the night life of locals and enjoy street sea- food and cold drinks, places that foreigner won't be found. Leaving district 4 to district 3 the tour pass through downtown district 1 to take in the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, specialty of Saigon, and southern food with the locals.
After escaping from Ho Chi Minh City’s urban sprawl, you’ll travel to Cai Be where a Mekong River cruise will take you to visit the fruit orchards, a traditional family-run brick kiln, and some long established cottage industries. Later, a rowing boat will carry you through the maze of the Mekong Delta’s myriad channels to connect with the real life of the local people, visiting a local house and listening to live music performed by local artists. You’ll then drive deeper into the Mekong Delta to Can Tho. Upon arrival you’ll call in at the Munir Ansay – an ancient Khmer style pagoda renowned for its unique structural decorations. You’ll then continue to your hotel in Can Tho where you’ll spend the night.
Munir Ansay Pagoda has many statues and pillars with sophisticated decoration; the main gate was built in the shape of the towers illustrative of Angkor architecture.
After breakfast and a boat cruise, you’ll arrive at Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong Delta. Both the journey and the market provide insights into the rural Mekong Delta lifestyle. After check-out at noon, you will be driven to Can Tho airport to fly to Hanoi.
On arrival, you’ll met and driven to your hotel in the city centre. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.
You’ll have the whole day to explore Vietnam’s capital city on the back of a motorbike. Your guide will first take you to the Women’s Museum – small, but a fascinating narrative of the role of women in Vietnam, particularly during the war. Your next stop will Ngoc Ha Market to stroll around this huge, bustling place taking in the vibrant atmosphere that typifies Ha Noi, and then followed by the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam dating back to the 11th century.
After lunch, you will set off for a ride through the city’s iconic narrow streets and head into the heart of the historic Old Quarter to the railway tracks on Phung Hung street, you can see how the locals live and work, just centimetres from the train tracks, in tall narrow houses.
Your next stop will be Long Bien Bridge, a magnificent structure built over a hundred years ago which spans the Red River and connects the Hoan Kiem and Long Bien districts, and provides shelter to locals living on boats underneath.
Returning to the Old Quarter, the day will include a ‘Street Life’ experience, also on the back of a motorbike. You’ll spend a couple of hours wandering around the back streets in and nearby the Old Quarter. A street food brunch is included – take your pick from traditional Hanoi Pho (beef noodle soup), Nom (green papaya salad with seasoned beef), Banh Goi (pillow-shaped rice pastry with minced pork and mushroom), Banh Cuon (hot rice paper with pork and fried onion) or Bun Cha (fresh noodle with grilled pork). If you’re hungry, try two or three varieties – they’re snacks rather than a meal.
After breakfast, you’ll leave for Bai Tu Long Bay, which is every bit as beautiful as its famous neighbour, Halong Bay; or actually more stunning as many traveller’s feedbacks. There you’ll board a wooden junk to take you through Bai Tu Long Bay area, admire the fascinating limestone karsts on the way. After lunch, you will cruise to Vung Dang – Cong Dam area to swim or relax on a white sandy beach; or paddle kayaking through the mystery Karst Mountains in Vung Dang area. The Dragon Legend Cruise will then head to Tra San while refreshing yourself in Mineral Seawater Pool, Fitness Room or the Spa and Massage Services (Spa and Massage services are excluded) before dinner. The route is designed to avoid the busy areas and includes a very quiet location in Tra San area for your overnight stay.
You’ll wake in the fresh air of the bay for a Taichi session on the large sundeck (beginners welcome!). After breakfast, you’ll continue your cruise to visit Thien Canh Son cave in Cong Do area. You will check out of the cabin and cruise towards the harbor while a buffet lunch is served.
You’ll arrive back the dock around noon whereupon you’ll be picked up to return to Hanoi. You can stop at Yen Duc village in Dong Trieu province to enjoy a water puppet show performed by local artists (inclusive). After that you will be driven to Hanoi. You will be arriving at your hotel in the late-afternoon. Your overnight accommodation will be in Hanoi.
After breakfast, you’ll be free until your driver arrives to take you to Noi Bai airport for your departure flight.