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12 DAYS ALONG THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL – FROM LAOS TO VIETNAM

12 Days 11 Nights

Private tour (LAHCMT12): Daily departure from Vientiane with local English-speaking guide (other language speaking guides at surcharge)

DAY 1: VIENTIANE – ARRIVAL (-/L/D)
Arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport or at the Friendship Bridge and transfer to your hotel.
Lunch at Sabai Eli Restaurant.


Vientiane’s major attractions are the serene Buddhist monasteries that dominate the center of town. The city has kept its timeless charm with tree-lined avenues, brightly painted temples and quaint French architecture. In the afternoon, visit Vat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Built in 1818, Vat Sisaket is the sole survivor of an invasion in 1828. Vat Sisaket features remarkable frescoes and 6,840 Buddha images. Nearby is Ho Phra Keo, once the royal temple of Lao monarchy. Built in 1565, Ho Phra Keo has been used as a museum since 1970 and contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artifacts in the country. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok’s Wat Phra Keo. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Patousay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark is the That Luang Stupa. King Setthathirath built this great sacred stupa, considered as the national symbol, in 1566. Dinner and accommodation at hotel in Vientiane.

Meals included: Lunch at Sabai Eli Restaurant
Dinner

DAY 2: VIENTIANE – LUANG PRABANG (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. If time permits, visit the Morning Market. Then, transfer to the airport for flight to Luang Prabang.

Meet upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport, transfer and check-in at the hotel. The crown jewel of Laos and former Lanexang, Luang Prabang, is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East Asia. Magical and charming, it has preserved its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao culture with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City.

Lunch at Un Petit Nid Restaurant.

Visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo, stylistically more Srilankalese than Lao. Then walk to the nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the city’s major tutelary shrines. Climb Vat Phousi hill for an outstanding view of the city. Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796, famous for the five–tiered roof of its wooden sim. Sunset at Vat Prabaht Tai located along the Mekong River.
Dinner and accommodation at hotel in Luang Prabang.

Meals included: Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Today, visit Vat Xieng Thong, considered as the most beautiful temple. The sim of the Vat represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha image which was displayed in Paris in 1911, and the Royal Funeral Chapel. Then board a traditional boat for a trip upstream the Mekong River to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou housing thousands of statues representing Lord Buddha.

Lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the confluence between the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers.

Return to Luang Prabang by boat and continue by car to visit Ban Phanom, a weaving village populated by Thai Lu that originally came from Sipsongpanna in Southern China. Dinner and accommodation at hotel in Luang Prabang.

Meals included: Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 4: LUANG PRABANG – VIENTIANE (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit the National Museum (former King’s Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts of the Royal Family. Then stroll through the lively Central Market where the ethnic minorities of the surroundings come daily.

Lunch at Pakhouay Mixay Restaurant.

Transfer to the airport for flight to Vientiane. Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport, transfer and check-in at the hotel. If time permits, visit Xiang Khouan, a religious sculpture park located by the Mekong River about 24 kms South of Vientiane. Also make a short stop to admire the impressive Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River which links Laos and Thailand. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Vientiane.

Meals included: Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 5: VIENTIANE – SAVANNAKHET (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Then, depart Vientiane and drive to Savannakhet (470 km), the second largest town in Laos. Located on the Mekong River, where the borders of Laos, Vietnam and Thailand meet, Savannakhet is a bustling trade center. On the way, admire the beautiful landscape and visit Vat Prabath Phoneson (Temple of the Footprint of Buddha). On the way stop in Thakek and visit the ancient city wall made of stone and the Sikhotthabong Stupa.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Continuing towards Savannakhet, visit Ban Nateuy and Inghan Stupa, located 15 kms from Savannakhet, a holy relic that attracts a number of pilgrims. Dinner and accommodation at hotel in Savannakhet.

Meals included: Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 6: SAVANNAKHET – LAO BAO – HUE (B/L/-)

Breakfast at the hotel. Depart to Lao Bao immigration checkpoint. En route, visit the Lao-Vietnamese War Memorial in Muang Phin. The monument was erected in 1990 to commemorate the soldiers who participated in a local battle for the National Revolution. Continue to Xepone and visit the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the former battlefield of Lamxeunh. Visitors can see the wreckage of war equipment such as tanks, cannons and other armaments.

Lunch at local restaurant

Arrival at Lao Bao immigration checkpoint (border crossing to Vietnam; Note: Vietnamese visa must be obtained and stamped in the passport by a Vietnamese embassy or consulate abroad prior to traveling) and continue to Hue.

Meals included: Breakfast
Lunch

DAY 7: HUE (B/L/D)
FULL DAY HUE CITY TOUR

Enjoy a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue.
Visit the Hue Citadel. The Hue Citadel is situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River and built by Emperor Gia Long it was designed for the exclusive use of the Emperor and his household. The Citadel is a square 2 km wall  encompassing 3 walled enclosures; the Citadel, Kinh Thanh Hue, the Yellow  Imperial city, Hoang Thanh and in the centre the Forbidden Purple city Tu Cam Thanh where the Emperor lived. The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Continue your tour with a visit to Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Royal Tombs, considered to be two of the three most beautiful mausoleums around Hue. Construction of the tombs was meticulous carried out starting whilst the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Most of the tombs have courtyards, a temple for worship, statues of elephants and figures and a pond, but the layout of each is different reflecting differing each king’s personality and style.
Accommodation at hotel in Hue

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
Dinner at local restaurant

DAY 8: HUE – DANANG – HOI AN (B/L/D)
Departure to Danang along a scenic road, passing through the fishing village of Lang Co, Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Ocean of Clouds) and pretty red-tiled villages with fruit orchards. Visit the Cham Museum in Danang, displaying a unique collection of Cham sculpture, and then Marble Mountains – a scenic spot with caves, temples, shrines, pagodas and a great view of the surrounding area. The caves can be reached by climbing steep steps.
Proceed to the ancient city of Hoi An, 32 km south of Danang. This charming little town lies on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Occupied by early western traders, Hoi An was one of the major trading centres of South-East Asia in the 16th century. Hoi An has a distinct Chinese character with low, tiled-roof houses and narrow streets. By food, discover this lovely town. You will visit some of the historic merchant and community houses, places of worship and famous bridges.
Accommodation at hotel in Hoi An

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
Dinner at local restaurant

DAY 9: HOI AN – DANANG – HANOI (B/L/D)
Transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Hanoi. Meet upon arrival in Hanoi airport and transfer to the hotel.
As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered to be the cultural centre of Vietnam, where every dynasty has left behind their imprint. Hanoi is located in the centre of the Northern Delta with a population 6.2 million people and an area 3,398 square km. Hanoi is an ancient city which had been established and developed for almost 1,000 years since 1010. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Historians liken the life-giving Red River with its banks crowded with green rice paddies and farms to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; a cradle of civilization.
Visit the Temple of Literature, built during the 11th century and dedicated to Confucius. Continue to see the Fine Arts Museum and the Quan Thanh Temple nearby Westlake.
Accommodation at the hotel in Hanoi



Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
Dinner at local restaurant

DAY 10: HANOI – HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed on Monday, Friday and during the entire months of September & October) and his former residence (closed on Monday and Friday). Proceed to One-Pillar Pagoda. Visit one of the following museums (Note that museums are closed on Mondays.):
• History Museum
• Revolutionary Museum
• War Museum
• Hoa Lo Prison Museum

Take a one-hour cyclo tour through Hanoi. Visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple and then drive to Halong Bay (165 km east of Hanoi).

Accommodation at the hotel in Halong

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
Dinner at hotel

DAY 11: HALONG BAY – HANOI (B/L/D)
Have breakfast at the hotel and start the day with a relaxing and wonderful 04-hour cruise through Halong Bay, passing bizarre rock formations. You will discover Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage of outstanding natural beauty, known in Vietnamese as “Dragon descending to the sea“. The picturesque Halong Bay has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water, many of them containing beautiful grottoes, of which you will visit one of the most stunning ones. During the boat trip fresh seafood fingertips will be served for your delights (please let us know if you do not eat seafood).
Return to Hanoi and attend a performance of the famous water puppetry, a traditional Vietnamese art form dating back to the 11th century. Afterwards, you may have some free time to explore Hanoi.

Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Seafood lunch
Dinner at local restaurant

DAY 12: HANOI – DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Time at leisure until transfer to Hanoi / Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight.

If departure is in the afternoon or evening, you are welcome to join our interesting optional excursions in and around Hanoi at surcharge.

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel

“WE WISH YOU AN ENJOYABLE JOURNEY”

OUR PRICE IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING HOTELS

Deluxe: Settha Palace Hotel (Vientiane), Maison Souvannaphoum (Luang Prabang), Dao Savang Resort & Spa (Savannakhet), La Residence Hotel & Spa – Superior room (Hue), Victoria Hoian Beach Resort & Spa – Superior room (Hoi An), Hilton Hanoi Opera (Hanoi) , Novotel Halong – Superior Bay View (Halong)
First: Lao Plaza Hotel (Vientiane), Villa Santi Hotel (Luang Prabang), Dao Savang Resort & Spa (Savannakhet), Saigon Morin Hotel (Hue), Hoi An Historic Hotel – Deluxe room (Hoi An), Silk Path Hotel - Deluxe room (Hanoi), Royal Lotus Hotel (Halong)

Superior: Mercure Vientiane Hotel (Vientiane), Vang Tong Hotel (Luang Prabang), Da Savang Resort & Spa (Savannakhet), Festival Hotel (Hue), Ancient House Resort (Hoi An), Boutique Hotel (Hanoi), Mithrin Hotel – Superior room (Halong)
Please contact us for rates based on different hotels.

TOUR PRICE

 

Price in USD per full paying guest in shared twin/double
room occupancy in a party of

Service Description

1 guest

2 guests

3-5 guests

6-9 guests

Child (*)

Single room supplement

Category Deluxe

5,199.00

2,908.00

2,440.00

2,230.00

 

962.00

Category First

4,359.00

2,450.00

1,982.00

1,773.00

 

584.00

Category Superior

3,873.00

2,162.00

1,694.00

1,484.00

 

392.00

All categories, Vietnam domestic airfare DAD-HAN on economy class

105.00

105.00

105.00

105.00

 

 

All categories, Laos domestic airfare LPQ-VTE on economy class

191.00

191.00

191.00

191.00

 

 

(*)  Child policy:
Discounted rates are applicable for 1 child (from 2 – 11 years of age) accompanied by 2 full-paying passengers (in other words, for every 2 full-paying participants 1 child is entitled to the special child rate).

OUR TOUR PRICES ARE INCLUSIVE OF
Accommodation in shared twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
• Transfers and tours with local English-speaking guides in air-conditioned vehicles
All entrance fees, boat fees and / or cyclo fees as mentioned in the programme
Drinking water and cold towels available on the vehicles

NOT INCLUDED ARE
• Domestic airfare (quoted separately)
• International airfare to / from Vietnam (quoted separately)
• Optional tours
• Surcharges for other language guides
• Surcharges for Lunar New Year (TET) holiday
• Personal travel insurance
• Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
• Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
• Drinks with meals
• Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
• Laotian visa and visa application fee (compulsory for most nationalities)
• Visa application and visa stamp fees at Vietnamese embassies overseas and/ or upon arrival (Please note that a visa is compulsory for most nationalities.)
• Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme

CANCELLATIONS
• Refunds will not be given for unused or cancelled services after the tour arrangements have commenced.

• FIT (Individuals): Cancellation charges are calculated from the day the written notification is received by the company or agent as a percentage of the net total tour price as shown plus any surcharges (e.g. ticketed air sectors, other penalties imposed by suppliers such as hotels):
• Between 29- 21 days before departure:  According to the costs incurred will be charged
• Between 20 days and 15 days prior to departure: 25% of package price
• Between 14 days and 8 days prior to departure: 50% of package price
• Between 07 days and 2 days prior to departure: 75% of package price
• 1 day prior to departure or no show:   100% of package price

• GIT (Groups): Cancellation of tours due to minimum number of participants will be advised 6 weeks before departure of the tour; in which case Happy Go Travel will offer an alternative tour of a similar standard or a full refund. Cancellation policy for GIT bookings will be advised separately case by case.

• HOTEL ONLY
• Between 29- 21 days before departure:  no charge
• Between 20 days and 15 days prior to departure: 60% of accommodation price
• Between 14 days and 0 days prior to departure: 100% of accommodation price
• Certain Hotels impose stricter cancellation policies which will be advised separately.

PLEASE NOTE
• For air ticket reservations, we require the guests’ full names AS THEY APPEAR IN THEIR PASSPORTS. Airfares and reservations are always subject to change until paid in full and ticketed.
• Airfares are subject to increase without prior notice.
• Please be advised that prices will be adjusted periodically in case of fuel price increase by our suppliers.
• This is a quotation only and neither reservations for services nor hotel bookings have been made.
• Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.

CONTACT INFORMATION OF HAPPY GO TRAVEL
HAPPY GO TRAVEL - HANOI HEAD OFFICE:
Address:  5th floor,  130F Thai Thinh str, Trung Liet, Dong Da,  Hanoi, Vietnam
Telephone during office hours:  +84 24 32 686 686; +84 24 32 898 898
Fax:  +84 24 32 171 783

EMERCENCY CONTACTS (ENGLISH AND GERMAN-SPEAKING)
Mobile: Mr. Thang (Managing Director) (+84) 934556056

IMPORTANT NOTICE
 Certain parts of the tours on offer are provided by independent third parties, such as airlines, hotels, transport operators and local tourist offices. Happy Go Travel is therefore not responsible for any loss, injury or damage caused thereby to the tourists, including those occurring outside of the normal touring programmes. Additional expenses incurred due to delay, accident, natural disaster, political actions and unrest shall be borne by the tourists.
 Programmes, prices, services and conditions are based on those valid at the time of proposal submission and are subject to change thereafter without advance notice until all services have been paid in full.
 We strongly advise to leave valuable items (money, passport, credit cards, jewellery, sensitive documents, laptop computer, etc.) in the hotel safe. During excursions and roundtrips, personal belongings, especially money and valuables should NEVER be left on vehicles, even during short breaks, and carried around at all times. Happy Go Travel is not responsible for any loss or theft.
 Vietnam being a developing country is in full process of upgrading its infrastructure. Therefore, driving overland can be cumbersome due to ongoing road constructions.

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