$8150pp twin/double | solo traveller please add $1900
Our 19 day holiday in Vietnam and Laos is loosely based on the fabled Ho Chi Minh Trail travelling overland from Hoi An via Laos to Hanoi. This journey is remote, travelling through spectacular countryside on back roads staying mostly off the tourist trail.
We begin in the World Cultural Heritage town of Hoi An with its ancient streets and rich trading history then travel north across what was once known as the DMZ where Vietnam was divided into north and south. In the coastal town of Dong Hoi we visit the world renowned Phong Nha cave by small boat, the river seemingly disappearing into the mouth of the cave. We travel due west to the birth place of Hoi Chi Minh at Kim Lien village then onto the picturesque town of Con Cuong nestled in mountains near the Lao border. From here we make the crossing and visit the Plain of jars then continue north to the small Lao town of Sam Neua. A fascinating stop on our journey at Vieng Xai caves where the Lao communist party had its genesis under fire during the American war .The roads are narrow and winding as we cross back into Vietnam for a few days in the Mai Chau valley with the local White Tai people, living simply in their stilt houses. In Dien Bien Phu we learn how the French army came to grief during a siege that lasted two months and ended their colonial time in Vietnam before driving onto Lai Chau at the foot of Vietnam’s highest mountain.
We conclude our travels in Hanoi – the Paris of the east.
*Flights with Vietnam Airlines in Economy Class
*Quality accommodation for 18 nights
*Private vehicles (always a ratio of two seats to one)
*Private transfers airport/hotel/airport
*All touring and entrance fees
*Tour director - Ross Goddard
Our favorite things on this journey - the bridge across the Ben Hai river at the 17th parallel. Travelling north into karst mountains and beyond to the Plain of Jars in Laos. The hard to get to Vieng Xai caves where the Pathet Lao had its genesis. The back roads of northern Vietnam into Mai Chau and further to Dien Bien Phu. Vietnams highest mountain near Sapa and the elegance of Hanoi.