Best of Vietnam and Laos

Take a 14 day journey through two of Asia’s most diverse countries. Start in the bustling urban Ho Chi Minh City and hear the story of a war that changed the course of history. Explore the waterways of the mighty Mekong Delta, travel up north along our beautiful coastline to the charming capital city of Hanoi. Experience a romantic cruise on the world UNESCO Heritage of Halong Bay. Embrace the quiet, laid-back pace of Luang Prabang, filled with temples and golden spires.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City arrival 
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, also called as Saigon by many locals. Upon arrival, our guide and driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the city centre. Check-in and spend the rest of the day free at your leisure.

Meal: None
Accommodation: hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 2: Story of Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels (B,L)
Today, meet up with our guide at your hotel’s lobby, set out for a half day city tour around Ho Chi Minh City - the former capital of French Indochina. Historic landmarks include the Old Saigon post office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House. Continue your tour by visiting the Reunification Palace which was used as the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war in the 60s. After that visit the ethnic Chinese district of Cholon with Binh Tay market.

This afternoon, set out to the countryside to visit the amazing tunnel network of Cu Chi (60km - 1.5 hours driving). This incredible system, covering almost 250km in length was shelter to over 16,000 Vietcong guerrillas during the wars. Initially started in 1948 to provide shelter against the French air and ground sweeps, the network went on to serve as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for Vietnamese fighters throughout the American war.  If you are interested (and game) you can even descend into the tunnels to learn more about the harsh conditions faced by Vietcong guerrillas who lived there. Return to your hotel later this afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Fly to Hue – City tour (B,L)
Bid farewell to Saigon, at a good time, transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Hue.
Upon arrival, our guide will welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel in the city centre. Between 1802 and 1945, Hue was Vietnam’s Imperial City, serving as the seat of 13 Nguyen emperors. Today, the city is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Today, you’ll take a tour to visit the Imperial city of Hue, the iconic Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) pagoda, wrap your day by a sunset cruise along the beautiful Perfume River.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

Day 4: Hue – Danang – Hoi An via the Pass of Ocean Clouds (B,L)
In the morning, we will drive over the mighty Hai Van Pass, take in the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and famous Lang Co fishing village.  On the way, we also visit the Cham Museum where remains evidence of the fascinating Champa civilization and then visit the Marble Mountain, which is a maze of caves and temples, hidden with five sacred marble rocks. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Day 5: Xin Chao Hoi An (B,L)
At good time, take a stroll to visit Hoi An town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site because of its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes. Set out to explore the quaint cobblestone streets of the town with the more than two-century-old Chinese houses. Sites include the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Phung Hung Chinese-trading house. After the visit, free to wander around, our guide is happy to suggest some best tailor shops in town for you. Or if you are looking for a relaxing end, try out a cup of tea or coffee at "Reaching Out Tea House" - a very special and unique ancient house that offers fabulous drinks served by impaired staff. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel for relaxation. The rest of day is then free at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Day 6: Hoi An - Danang – Hanoi (B,L)
Following your breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. When arriving, you will be met by our local guide and transfer to your hotel in the Old Quarter. Check-in and spend the rest of the day free to relax in your room or stroll down the Walking Street to enjoy the ambience of Hanoi.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 7: Hanoi City Tour (B,L)
After a refreshing night’s sleep, begin your journey to the highlights and hidden gems of Hanoi with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This imposing structure houses the remains of the revered former president who led Vietnam’s campaign for independent from colonial rule. Next, head onward to the Temple of Literature, an ancient collection of courtyards, gardens and Chinese-styled architecture built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. Considered the oldest university in Vietnam, the Temple of Literature dates back nearly one thousand years!

Have lunch with Pho bo Hanoi or Hanoi Noodle soup with beef and served with Hanoi flavorful spring roll.

Follow your guide’s lead while you weave through some of the Quarter’s 36 streets named for the products historically sold here. Along the way, pass by some of the only remaining streets that continue selling the goods of their namesake, including Tin and Bamboo street. Head through labyrinthine back alleys well off the tourist trail and see Hanoi at its authentic best. Peer into temples and traditional houses, hear the stories of the ancient city and meet the people who call this fascinating city home. Wrap up your guided walk with a strong Vietnamese coffee at a café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake - an important symbol of Vietnamese folklore - before heading to your final stop at Ngoc Son Temple on the tiny island on the lake. Enjoy a water puppet show for a look at traditional performance art in Vietnam before heading back to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 8: Hanoi – Halong Bay overnight cruise (B,L,D)
This morning, depart Hanoi through the Red River Delta for Halong Bay (around 3.5 hours driving). Upon arrival, embark on the cruise then start cruising among the limestone islands. Keep cruising to the quiet area while enjoy breath-taking seascape along the way, until enjoy sunset party on sundeck and admire the best moments of the day when the sun starts to set. Dinner is served around 19.00 then it’s time for you to socialize with other guests, to take part in board games, fishing for squid or just to laze around.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Halong Bay Overnight Cruise

Day 9: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B,L)
Early this morning, start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt. Then, breakfast will be served on board while you immerse into the peaceful morning of Halong Bay. After check out of your cabin, continue your cruise exploring the Bay. While heading back to the harbor, watch the fruit carving demonstration and participate in the cooking class before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Disembark around 12.00 then your driver will wait for you to take you back to your hotel in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 10: Hanoi – fly to Luang Prabang (B,L)
At a good time, say good bye to charming Hanoi, we will take you to the airport for your flight onward to Luang Prabang. 
Upon arrival, be welcomed by our guide and driver, transferred to your hotel in the centre. The remainder of the day is free at your leisure.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

Day 11: Luang Prabang – Morning Alms Giving – City tour (B,L)
Note: With the Morning Alms Giving, if you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and observe the ritual in silence. Dress appropriately – shoulder, chest and legs should be covered.

You have the option to wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks – an awe-inspiring sight for many travelers. Please tell your guide if you wish to make an offer so he/she can prepare some food for you. This early morning ritual dates back generations in Laos. Watch the town come to life in the morning and then return to hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast we will visit this sacred city of temples with a visit to the National Museum (closed on Tue), the former Royal Palace housing a collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue and gifts from foreign dignitaries. Other must-see places include Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple that served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple said to be the most beautiful temple in town, epitomizing all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture. Late afternoon, visit to Phousi Hill climbing up 328 steps to the summit of Phousi Hill which dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang providing the finest panoramic view in the whole city.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

Day 12: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves and traditional village Ban Xangkhong (B,L)
After breakfast, then travel on a long-tailed boat for a few hours on the Mekong River to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves in the side of a lime stone cliff and opposite of the mouth of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The sanctuaries at Pak Ou consist of two large caves, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimetres to two metres in height. En route, typical Laotian villages are barely visible behind a screen of foliage. Slender canoes bobbing by the shore and bamboo poles and floats mark the location of nets and fish traps. Lunch is at a local restaurant on the bank of the Mekong River. Return to Luang Prabang by the same boat; continue by car to visit Ban Xangkhong, a village well-known for its wood paper making and also Laotian silk weavings with natural dyes. Transfer back to town. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

Day 13: Luang Prabang – Kuangsi Waterfall – local hill tribes (B,L)
After breakfast, take a rural drive (30 km South) to visit Kuangsi Waterfall, though not very high but spectacular and really beautiful with its green surroundings as the preserved National park. We stop en-route to visit a fresh produced market namely Talad Phosy, and also visit Ban Na Oune, a small village of a hill-tribe group “Hmong”, probably the best-known minority group in Laos. Just before arriving at Kuangsi waterfall, there is another village of Khmu minority group, namely Ban Tha Pane that we will visit. Our picnic lunch is served at the shady park nearby Kuangsi waterfall. There is plenty of time for relaxing and a swim in cool water, before heading back to Luang Prabang. Afternoon is free at leisure.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

Day 14: Depart Luang Prabang (B)
This morning you might like to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the market before your transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Meal: Breakfast

Tour ends.

This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services.

The prices are quoted in US Dollars per person based on 2 pax/room


2 pax

4 pax

6 - 8 pax

Single Sup.
















Child from 4 – 10 years old: 75%

Please click on CUSTOMIZE YOUR TRIPS and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!

Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements, but may incur price changes

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels or similar 
Private vehicles and drivers
Transport from Hanoi to Halong and return by shuttle bus
Private English speaking guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Drinking water available on the vehicles.
Vietnam visa approval letter
Service Charge & Government Taxes

International flights and domestic flights
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Any bank fees or charges at your end
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Personal Travel Insurance
Tips for tour guide and driver in each region
Peak season or public holidays surcharge if any
Compulsory Gala dinner on X-Mas or New Year if any
Vietnam visa stamp fee and Cambodia visa fee
Other services not mentioned above


The hotels listed below are our suggestions for the best value on this tour.  However, Asia Essence Tours offers many more options of hand-picked hotels, with different "star ratings", allowing you to customize the vacation to meet your taste and budget.






 HM Boutique

The Chi


Halong Bay


La Vela Classic

Aphrodite Luxury


Emm Hue

Alba Spa


Hoi An


Little Hoi An Boutique Centre

Palm Garden Resort

HCM City

Le Duy

Paragon Saigon

Majestic Saigon

Luang Prabang

Villa Chitdara

Vila Santi

Luang Prabang View


We, at Asia Essence Tours, are aware that a good tour must have good hotels. As the hotel cost will be the major expense of your vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, it is essential that all of the hotels chosen by us are the highest quality for the price paid. All of our prices are based on twin, double or queen shared rooms.



Superior/ 3 Star (from US$ 40 - US$ 60 per room/night)

The Superior/ 3 Star Hotels are good value and normally centrally located. They all have comfortable en-suite rooms, good amenities and public areas to relax in. They are usually family run hotels, so offer great personalized service for your enjoyment and comfort. Most first class properties offer an in-house restaurant, and some may even have a swimming pool!

First-Class/ 4 star (from US$ 80 - US$ 110/ per room/night)

The 4* First-Class Hotels offer a wide range of services. Many superior hotels feature a choice of several in-house restaurants. In addition virtually all of them have a swimming pool. Some may even feature a spa or health club. This grade of hotel offers more for your enjoyment and comfort, while still remaining affordable.

Deluxe/ 5 Star (from US$120 - US$ 180++/ per room/night)

These 5* Deluxe hotels are usually owned by Worldwide, well known Hotel chains. The deluxe hotels feature excellent locations, offer the highest standards of service and facilities, and are known as the best hotels in each region. Facilities such as swimming pools and spas are the norm, and guest rooms are luxurious. These hotels offer first class service and amenities throughout.


Flexibility: The sample itinerary can be modified to suit your interests, budget as well as your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.

Tailor-Made Journey: This trip can be tailor made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more individual trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments, with the flexibility to plan a trip at your own pace. Quality and value are the hallmark of the trips, with most services being provided on a private basis.

Commitment to Excellence: We enjoys excellent relationships with all of the highly regarded hotels and finest properties in our destinations as well as with service suppliers so that we are able to negotiate the most attractive prices for our clients, which enables us to provide exclusive holidays and affordable special offers. We create one-of-a-kind vacations for groups and individuals. We love our destinations and do our best to make sure that our customers feel the same way. Our job is to make sure that everyone gets the right balance of comfort and excitement to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

Extend This Tour With...

Vietnam and Angkor Tour

Indochina Heritage

Highlights of Indochina

Vietnam and Myanmar tour