Published on November 29, 2017
Hoa Lu gateway, Viet Nam. Image © TTAIYO/Creative Commons
What You’ll Get
This wide-ranging 15-day/14-night itinerary takes you down Viet Nam and Laos' far-flung roads and rivers on an adventure you won't soon forget
Traveling to villages by riverboat; riding a cyclo through busy cities; and driving through winding roads overlooking dramatic mountain views – this itinerary answers your need for adventure!
You'll start at Hanoi in Viet Nam, touring the thousand-year-old city and its highlights: the Ethnology Museum, which gives you an introduction to Viet Nam’s recognized ethnic groups; Hoan Kiem Lake, whose wide promenade surrounding the waters are an endless hub of activity, among others. Beyond Hanoi, you'll learn about the local history at the ancient town of Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh.
At Halong Bay, you'll board the Halong Majestic Cruise to see the many limestone islets towering over the emerald waters. You can swim and explore the bay, kayak to a nearby fishing village, visit a pearl farm, or just watch the sun set and rise over this magical place.
More magic awaits in Sapa. The mountain town of terraced rice fields is home to many ethnic minorities. You’ll stop at Muong Hoa, considered Sapa’s most beautiful valley, to visit the Ta Van village of Zay people. Visits to more tribal villages and driving through dramatic landscapes of mountain ranges are in store on the way to the historic towns of Phong Tho and Dien Bien.
After crossing the border to Laos, your adventure will take you sailing and visiting the countryside, while participating in the daily activities of the villagers. You’ll also get to spend some time on a beach and have a picnic as you make your way to Nong Khiew, a small town on the Nam Ou River that offers a gorgeous views of limestone mountains.
You will end your journey in the lovely city of Luang Prabang, where time seems to have stopped. You can explore the city at your leisure on your first day and then head up to Mount Phousi, where you can see the UNESCO World Heritage Site spread out below you.
Shores of Nong Khiew, Laos. Image © Thierry LeClerc/Creative Commons