Laos and Vietnam vacation, Luang Prabang to Hanoi

“A two week, small group vacation to explore remote northern Laos and Vietnam, meeting ethnic hill tribes and soaking up this region’s unspoiled, dramatic scenery.”

Highlights

Laos: Luang Prabang | Kuang Si Waterfalls | Plain of Jars at Phonsavan | Mines Action Group | Mouang Khoun (formerly Xieng Khouang) | Hmong and Khmu settlements | Sam Neua | Vieng Xai Caves | Black Tai villages | Vietnam: Pu Luong National Park | stay at White Tai village | Tonkinese Alps | Mu Cang Chai rice paddies | Pa So | Sapa Hill station | Fansipan Mountain | Cat Cat waterfall | sleeper train to Hanoi

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

Toll free 1-866-821-6866 Calling from outside the US?

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
23 Oct 2020
US $1775
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Oct 2020 departure
24 Nov 2020
US $1775
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Nov 2020 departure
25 Dec 2020
US $1775
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Dec 2020 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

This is a 'small group adventure' - you will be sharing your experiences with like minded people. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 12 persons, a genuinely small group. Experience has taught us that smaller groups are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level it proves to be fun. Whether you are traveling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Our aim is to provide a genuinely small group, low impact tour including a mixture of popular and off the beaten track sites on our itinerary. By limiting groups to small sizes (maximum 12 persons) we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater interaction with said communities.
It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

By combining the well-known tourist sites with rarely visited destinations this diverts tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited. Rarely visited sites and districts on this tour include: Luang Nam Tha, Nam Ha Protected National Biodiversity Area, Xieng Khouang ancient city, Sam Nuea and Viengxay Caves, (all Laos) plus Pu Luong National Park, Tu Le and Nghia Lo districts, Vietnam.

Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes is also a key element of this tour.

As with all our tours national park visits are included and activities such as birdwatching offered which we hope will encourage protection of the natural environment and provide financial incentives for doing so.

All hotels are small and independently owned with proven responsible travel credentials and all (fully-licensed) guides and drivers are locally employed.

Meals are provided in either locally-run restaurants or local-style cafes, market and street stalls. All products are locally sourced and all staff are local residents. The emphasis is also very much on traditional Thai, Lao and Vietnamese food which we hope increases an interest and pride in the region’s cuisine.

Additional food products - for takeaway lunches, picnics etc – are deliberately purchased from local bakeries and /or fresh produce markets rather than chain supermarkets.

All transport is locally owned – whether minibuses or boats and tuk-tuks for shorter journeys.

With regards souvenirs our clients are also encouraged to buy from either markets or outlets attached to aid and educational organizations such as Luang Prabang’s Ock Top Pop for example rather than the large, purpose-built souvenir stores.

We ensure to the best of our ability that all accommodation used on this tour employs sound environmental and social practices in terms of recycling, water conservation and product sourcing as well as employment policies.

By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

This tour covers a lot of kilometres - from Luang Prabang in northern Laos via Sapa to Hanoi – without, we’re happy to say, using a single domestic or regional flight. All journeys are either by road or rail and in the former case we use, where available, vehicles run on LPG. All road vehicles are hired at the destination points to avoid long haul journeys.

Furthermore, accommodation is specifically chosen with location in mind so that at any given destination on the tour most key sites are within easy walking or cycling distance thus keeping vehicle use to a minimum on the itinerary. This also negates the need for any form of taxis during free time as guests can walk or cycle to any points of interest.

To reduce transport all staff are locally employed. Lunches and dinners are all Vietnamese style and taken in local eateries which use 100% locally sourced products. Again, any inclusive meals consist of traditional Vietnamese fare so are heavy on vegetables and sustainably-sourced fish, light on meat and lack any dairy products.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

This tour includes visits to the following projects: Free the Bears and Ock Top Pop (both Luang Prabang) and Mines Advisory Group (Phonsavan).

Entrance fees and/or donations help the following aid projects: Free the Bears (Luang Prabang), Ock Top Pop sustainable silk weaving organisation, Mines Advisory Group (Phonsavan) while a portion of ticket fees at: The Plain of Jars, Luang Prabang Fine Arts Centre, Luang Prabang National Museum, Kuang Si Waterfall, Viengxay Caves and numerous other sites goes towards restoration, conservation and local development as well as providing revenue and employment.

On a general level, leaders and guides provide suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning; genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travelers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices.

Climate

2 Reviews of Laos and Vietnam vacation, Luang Prabang to Hanoi

4 out of 5 stars
SHOW
1
0
1
0
0

Reviewed on 09 Dec 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Drinking home made "Happy Water" with our guide at his Homestay in a tiny village amongst the Sapa rice terraces.
Sitting in the remote Golden Buddha cave temple near the Nong Thao Lake when 4 monks came in and chanted for some time.


2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for long stretches of time spent on the road in Laos due to the distances between the key stopovers with not much opportunity to exercise

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Difficult to say. Certainly the cash we were spending went directly to local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Laos does not have the "Wow" impact that Vietnam and Cambodia have on first visiting . However it is very easy and safe to travel and the people are
incredibly friendly and welcoming. They do not (yet) see tourists as walking ATMs :-)

Reviewed on 28 Nov 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Visiting a cave which had become a shrine due to a tragedy that happened there during the Vietnam war.....the place was thickly populated by the most incredible butterflies it was a deeply spiritual and moving experience. Our guides were lovely kind thoughtful and patient

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't bring too many clothes you won't need them and laundry can be done easily and cheaply in Laos and Vietnam

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes we were pretty Eco and ate with locals everywhere which was a big part of the fun

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


AWESOME

Popular similar vacations

Laos vacations, tailor made

Laos vacations, tailor made

Explore the beautiful Golden Triangle area

From £2980 12 days including UK flights

Laos vacation, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars

Laos vacation, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars

Highlights and off the beaten track Northern Laos

From US $1150 7 days excluding flights

Cambodia & Laos tailor made tour

Cambodia & Laos tailor made tour

A soft adventure vacation to discover Cambodia and Laos

From US $3150 13 days excluding flights

Indochina overland vacation

Indochina overland vacation

The ultimate discovery of South East Asia

From US $4649 - US $4849 28 days excluding flights

Convert currencies