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Vietnam & Laos on a Shoestring
This trip has alternate itineraries available. Please select your preferred option to see itinerary and pricing.
From Jan 20

Explore some of Southeast Asia’s greatest highlights on this 20-day tour. Start your adventure in Ho Chi Minh City and spend some time getting to know your CEO and group. Make your way from city to city, exploring local markets, relaxing on the beach, or visiting historical sites (or all of it if you’re really ambitious). You’ll get the chance to hike in Vang Vieng, cruise the Mekong, visit the Doi Suthep temple, or catch a Thai boxing match before you go home. We promise you’ll find time to sleep.

  • Duration: 20 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: AVSC.B/255460
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Finishes: Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Age requirement: 18 - 39
You will Visit
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Nha Trang
  • Da Nang
  • Hoi An
  • Huế
  • Phong Nha
  • Hanoi
  • Ha Long
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Vientiane
  • Vang Vieng
  • Luang Prabang
  • Muang Pakbèng
  • Chiang Khong
  • Chiang Mai

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Arrive at any time.
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. Once the capital of South Vietnam, this sprawling metropolis is now the country's commercial centre.

Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Relax, explore the city, and adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Ho Chi Minh City.

02

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City/Nha Trang

Discover the energy of Vietnam's biggest city on a CEO-led orientation walk and continue exploring with free time. Overnight train to Nha Trang.

03

Day 3: Nha Trang

Arrive in Nha Trang in the morning with plenty of time to explore local shops and markets, relax on the beach or visit nearby historical sites.

This evening, go on a street food crawl with the group and CEO to get to know more about the delicious local specialties.
Optional activities in Nha Trang include a boat trip to nearby islands for some snorkelling or, perhaps, a fun-filled all-day beach party.

04

Day 4: Nha Trang/Da Nang

Free time in Nha Trang. Overnight train to Hoi An.
In the evening, take an overnight train to Da Nang, then transfer to Hoi An.

05

Day 5: Da Nang/Hoi An

Get your bearings with an orientation walk before free time in the afternoon. Opt to take a cooking class, cycle to the beach, visit a tailor, or explore the old town.
From Danang, it is only a short drive to the picturesque port town of Hoi An. Once known as Faifo, it was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections.

06

Day 6: Hoi An

Enjoy a noodle-making demonstration and local lunch at the G Adventures-supported Oodles of Noodles Project. Later, opt to take a cooking class, cycle to the beach, visit a tailor, or explore the old town with free time.

07

Day 7: Hoi An/Huế

Continue the journey north to the city of Hue. Opt to visit the Royal Citadel and tombs, or take a cruise along the Perfume River.
Opt to pre-book the "Hue Motorbike Tour" on the checkout page ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour.

08

Day 8: Huế/Phong Nha

Enjoy free time in Hue. This afternoon, we drive to Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park.

09

Day 9: Phong Nha/Hanoi

Enjoy free time to explore the magnificent caves of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. Tonight, take an overnight train to Hanoi.

10

Day 10: Hanoi/Ha Long

Visit Halong Bay for a seafood lunch cruise and cave visit.
Arrive early morning to bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Transfer to a private bus and head to the beautiful and famous Halong Bay.

11

Day 11: Ha Long Bay/Hanoi

Get to know Hanoi with an orientation walk through the Old Quarter. Opt to see Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Hoa Lo Prison, or shop in the Old Quarter.
Opt to pre-book the "Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour" activity on the checkout page ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour.

12

Day 12: Hanoi/Vientiane

A short flight brings the group to the capital city of Laos. Opt to visit temples, see the golden stupa of That Luang, or scour the markets.
Explore a bit of Hanoi in the morning before an afternoon flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. There is a wealth of cultural delights to discover - on foot, by bicycle or, for the less energetic, by tuk-tuk.

Visit Laos' most important national monument, Phat That Luang, or meander down the dusty riverside tracks to find villages full of friendly children, dogs and chickens. A visit to Vientiane's vibrant, colourful morning market (which incidentally is open all day!) is worthwhile, to find plenty of local treasures. A great way to round off the day is to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Mekong.

13

Day 13: Vientiane/Vang Vieng

Enjoy the beautiful limestone karsts surrounding Vang Vieng. Go on a guided hike to Pha Ngeun, the town's highest viewpoint, for incredible views of the Vang Vieng valley.
A picturesque drive north takes us to beautiful Vang Vieng. This quiet town is set along the Nam Song river amidst rice fields and limestone karsts.

14

Day 14: Vang Vieng

Free time to explore Vang Vieng. Opt to explore some of the caves by bicycle or take an invigorating walk. In the evening, soak in the natural beauty of the countryside as the sun sets over the river.
Opt to pre-book the "Vang Vieng Adrenaline Bundle" on the checkout page ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour.

15

Day 15: Vang Vieng/Luang Prabang

This morning travel from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. Get your bearings with a CEO-led orientation walk. This evening, enjoy a leisurely cruise as the sun sets over the Mekong River.

16

Day 16: Luang Prabang

Opt to rise before dawn and watch the monks walk through town in saffron robes receiving alms from local residents. Visit the Kuang Si waterfalls on a guided excursion. Enjoy free time this evening.
Traditional Laotian culture is to give daily alms to monks. Monks are only allowed to eat food which has been donated to them before noon. On one of your mornings here, you may decide to rise with the sun, and watch one of the most important religious ceremonies in Laos. This is simply an unforgettable Southeast Asian experience.

17

Day 17: Luang Prabang/Pak Beng

Cruise the Mekong on a long houseboat before arriving at a village homestay for the night.
We board our boat for the two-day journey up the mighty Mekong River making our way to Chiang Khong.

18

Day 18: Pak Beng/Chiang Khong

Mekong River travel day. Cross into Thailand.
This morning we re-board our boat and continue our leisurely cruise along the river before arriving at the Laos/Thai border and crossing to Chiang Khong in the late afternoon.

19

Day 19: Chiang Khong/Chiang Mai

Drive to Chiang Mai. Opt to visit Doi Suthep temple, catch a Thai boxing match or grab a bargain at the famous night market.
Departing Chiang Khong after breakfast, we drive to Chiang Mai where you have the afternoon free to explore this fascinating city, once the capital of the Kingdom of Lan.

20

Day 20: Chiang Mai

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Your G for Good Moment: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An Your G for Good Moment: Mekong River Homestay & Baci Ceremony, Muang Pakbèng Your Discover Moment: Ho Chi Minh City Your Discover Moment: Luang Prabang
    • Halong Bay boat cruise with lunch
    • Street food crawl (Hoi An)
    • Orientation walk around Hanoi's Old Quarter
    • Slow boat on the Mekong
    • Temples of Luang Prabang
    • Witness the giving of alms (Luang Prabang)
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels (twin-share) (2 nts), hostels (multi-share) (13 nts), sleeper trains (3 nts), homestay (1 nt)
    • 15 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
    Transport
    • Local bus, air-con bus, train, walking, tuk tuk, local boat, junk boat, plane
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Explore vibrant cities
  • Shop in quaint Hoi An
  • Float among the karsts of Halong Bay
  • Explore Phong Nha's underground cave and river network
  • Discover sleepy Laos
  • Cruise the mighty Mekong River
  • Learn how to make noodles at a G Adventures-supported enterprise
  • Spend the night at a local village homestay
  • Visit the stunning temples of Luang Prabang
  • Sample local fare on a street food crawl through Hanoi