Day 1: Luang Prabang-Nong Khiaw-Muong Ngoi Kao. After breakfast, we take boat up the Mekong River. On the way, we stop at paper making village, Lao sticky rice wine making village and Pak Ou Cave (1000 Buddha Cave). At the confluence of the Mekong and the Nam Ou, we continue up the Nam Ou River and stop for lunch at Pha Lai restaurant. Nam Ou is the longest inland river in Laos. The cruise along the Nam Ou offers us an enjoyable time of viewing the beautiful scenic landscape and stunning mountain. We arrive in Muang Ngoi around 5:00 pm, a full enjoyable day of river trip. The night will be spent in a guest house in Muong Ngoi Kao. Approximately: 6 hours boat. Accommodation: Ning Ning Guesthouse. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 2: Muong Ngoi Kao-Muong Khua. It is worth an early wake up to watch beautiful sunrise over lime stone mountain and wonder around the Ngoi village. After breakfast we embark to continue our journey up the Nam Ou past picturesque scenery. We stop for lunch served with local food on the river bank. We continue to Muang Khua for over night in a guest house. Muong Khua is a small town inhabited by Yunanese, Vietnamese and Lao. There are some colonial building can be found. The town is 45 km from Laos – Vietnam border, recently open to foreigner. From here, we’ll enter Vietnam end start the infamous North West loop. Approximately: 4 hours boating. Accommodation: Sinary Guest house. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Muong Khua-Tay Trang Border-Dien Bien Phu (100 km). After breakfast, we travel through one of the most remote area of Northern Laos toward Lao–Vietnam border. In the rainy season, there will be several river crossings along this bumpy ride! Our guide from Vietnam will pick you up at Tay Trang border and transfer you to Dien Bien Phu for check-in. Dien Bien Phu is well known through out the world as a battle field in the first Indochina War. The city, 45 km from the Laos border, locates in Muong Thanh Valley famous for its tasty rice and Thai minority traditional dance. After lunch, we visit the historical sites such as De Castrie’s bunker, the Dien Bien Phu museum, the A1 hill. Approximately: 3 hours drive. Accommodation: Muong Thanh Hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: Dien Bien Phu-Sin Ho-Muong Lay-Paso (195 km). After breakfast, we drive to Sin Ho. The road twists and passes through the picturesque sceneries. Moreover, we’ll have chance to encounter with the minorities people as White Thai, White Hmong. We arrive in Sin Ho around lunch time. Sin Ho now day is famous for its medical plantation and its tropical orchid variety. After lunch, we continue the ride on a winding road to Paso, a little town lies on a confluence of Black River, famous for its giant cat fish. We arrive to Paso by late afternoon for check-in. The night will be spent in the hotel on the river. Accommodation: Lan Anh Hotel. Approximately: 5 hours drive. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Paso-Lai Chau-Tam Duong-Sapa (130 km). The drive from Paso to Sapa is one of the most scenery and mountainous stretch of road in the whole of Viet Nam. We pass by many small villages of Red and White Hmong, Black Dao and White Thai ethnic minorities. We stop at Tam Duong for lunch. After lunch, the road weaves its way through the picturesque valley and mountain. We will drive uphill to the highest pass “Heavens Gate Pass” which is in a height of 2000 meter. If the weather is clear the views here are magnificent. There are plenty of possibilities for making photo stops. We arrive in Sapa in the afternoon. Approximately: 3 hours drive. Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Sapa-Ta Van Village. Today we get well and truly off the beaten track as we trek into this beautiful mountain region. On the way we pass by the hill villages of San Sa Ho and Lao Chai which are home of the Black Hmong hill-tribe people. They still retain their age old cultural traditions and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress. We finish our walking day on arrival at Ta Van village where we are guest of a Zay family. The accommodation is very simple and dormitory style, no western facilities. Overnight at Ta Van village. Accommodation: Home stay. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Ta Van-Den Thang Village. The majority of local trails follows undulating mountainsides therefore our trek will involve some uphill and downhill walking, but it is still an unforgettable experience. A part of the pleasure of our adventure is the simple joy of seeing the verdant and rugged mountain scenery and the lifestyle of local people. We ascend a very steep slope before arriving at Den Thang. This remote village is conquered by the Hmong hill tribe people who are very poor, but have an interesting history and a colorful culture. Overnight at Den Thang Village. Accommodation: Home stay. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Den Thang-Ban Ho Village. Upon leaving the village of our previous night we set off on a full day walk towards Ban Ho. The trekking of today is also challenging; however some physical preparation will allow you to maximize enjoyment from the walk. Along the way we pass through several hamlets, and are sure to attraction attention as this part of the country receives very few visitors. On arrival at Ban Ho village by mid afternoon we will have time to walk around this charming village, enabling us to understand a little more about their culture and lifestyle. Overnight at Ban Ho village. Accommodation: Home stay. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Ban Ho-Thanh Phu Village. The extremely beautiful mountain region around Sapa is ideal for anyone seeking a true adventure and trekking expedition. We continue venturing into the lowland with stopover at the Xa Pho, Tay hill tribe villages, just some of Vietnam's most colorful ethnic minority groups. After a full walking day, we reach our final destination, the Tay hill tribe village of Thanh Phu which is situated in a picturesque valley. Here we will be toasted as honored guests and will be sample some of their homemade rice wine! Overnight at Thanh Phu village. Accommodation: Home stay. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Than Phu-Ben Den-Hanoi. The impressive way to complete our trekking expeditions is a few hour walk along the local path. On arrival at the small village of Ben Den, we meet up with our local transport and take a short drive to Pho Lu for a night train back to Ha Noi. The train conditions are basic; however this journey is in keeping with the adventurous nature of our trips and allows you to experience a taste of the "real Vietnam". The food on board is not the best you will have in Vietnam, so we recommend you to prepare some foods, water, snack. Overnight on board. Overnight on train. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Hanoi-Ha Long Bay. An early morning arrival in Hanoi. We enjoy a shower before traveling by roads to Halong Bay. We make stop en route in Hai Phong, the biggest port town of northern Vietnam. This charming town has plenty of interesting sights, some of which are the Hang Kenh Communal House, the Du Hang Pagoda, the Hang Kenh Carpet Factory and the vibrant Sat Market. A drive through tree lined boulevards punctuated with many striking French colonial architecture, will deliver us to some of these landmarks. We continue our journey Halong Bay and spend the remainder of the day for a well-earned rest on Bai Chay Beach. Overnight in Ha Long. Accommodation: Hotel in Ha Long Bay. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Ha Long Bay-Hanoi. The legendary Ha Long Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. Today we embark on a sailing boat for an exploration of this wondrous bay, which is dotted with some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. After a seafood lunch on board we make our way back to Ha Noi, arriving in time to see an evening performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets. Overnight in Ha Noi. Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Hanoi-Departure. There is a free time for you to relax or further explore Ha Noi. The trip ends after your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure. Includes: (B).
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Asia Laos Vietnam Local Culture Cultural Journey
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