Nam Ou River. Image (c) Ben Klocek/Creative Commons
A 15-day/14-night journey from Viet Nam to Laos that will take you on all local modes of transportation in pursuit of the region's amazing cultural experiences
Imagine the wide range of adventures you can have throughout Laos and Viet Nam with fifteen days.
In Viet Nam’s scooter-packed capital of Hanoi, you’ll spend the afternoon taking in the sights of the Old Quarter from a cyclo, after visiting the lovely Hoan Kiem Lake nearby.
In the ancient town of Hoa Lua, you'll make the rounds of its temples and the country’s biggest pagoda before enjoying a hand-rowed sampan ride on Ngo Dong River to gaze at limestone cliffs set against a backdrop of rice paddies.
In Halong Bay, you'll board a “junk” to go on a cruise amidst the picturesque limestone islands - to swim, explore the bay, relax, kayak to a floating fishing village, enjoy a Tai Chi lesson during sunrise, even join a cooking class!
In Sapa, you'll disembark from an overnight train from Hanoi to dive head-first into a mountain town called home by different ethnicities – the H'mong and Zay among them – who can be seen in their traditional clothing selling their handwoven pieces at the local market.
Near the Viet Nam and Laos border, you'll take on an epic road and river trip that takes you on a boat down the Nam Na River to Dien Bien, where you'll experience more of Vietnam's unique ethnic minority villages; cruise up the Nam Ou river in Laos to enjoy home-cooked meals with local villagers; hike through the forest to the H’mong village of Ban Pha Yong; and have a swim and a picnic near the village of Sop Khan.
And in Luang Prabang, you’ll see why this ancient royal capital of Laos is considered one of the loveliest in Southeast Asia. Stroll along picturesque alleys, tree-lined boulevards with French colonial villas, and take in the dreamy mood. Pay visit to the waterfall of Kuang Si, more handicraft villages, and take the stairs up the sacred mountain of Phousi to get an eyeful of the magnificent view.
One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi, Viet Nam. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino
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