Aah, Luang Prabang Laos & Hanoi Vietnam 11 – 19 March 2022

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Aah, Luang Prabang Laos & Hanoi Vietnam 11 – 19 March 2022 2020-09-09T14:05:09+10:00

Join #glamgirlsluxtravels on this 8 night escape to Luang Prabang and Hanoi

11 – 19 March 2022

Laos, landlocked country of northeast-central mainland Southeast Asia. It consists of an irregularly round portion in the north that narrows into a peninsula-like region stretching to the southeast. Overall, the country extends about 650 miles (1,050 km) from northwest to southeast. The capital is Vientiane, located on the Mekong River in the northern portion of the country.

Colonization by the French from the late 19th to the mid-20th century infused Laos with a European cultural element, which intensified throughout the country’s embroilment in World War II and the Indochina wars, as well as a civil war of its own in the second half of the 20th century.

Luang Prabang is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural, historic and architectural values and its harmonious relationship between the natural and built environment

Laos is bounded to the north by China, to the northeast and east by Vietnam, to the south by Cambodia, to the west by Thailand, and to the northwest by Myanmar (Burma).

The dry season (November to April) is dominated by the northeast monsoon. Minimum temperatures average between 60 and 70 °F (16 and 21 °C) in the cool months of December through February. Perfect time to be in Laos!

Laos has the lowest population density of any country of Southwest Asia, and its population is also one of the most youthful.

Vietnam – Hanoi. Hanoi is sometimes dubbed the Paris of the East for its French influences. With its tree-fringed boulevards, more than two dozen lakes and thousands of French colonial-era buildings, Hanoi is a popular tourist destination. It is the second largest city in Vietnam, with over eight million residents within its city.

The Old Quarter, near Hoàn Kiếm Lake, maintains most of the original street layout and some of the architecture of old Hanoi are still evident today.

Highlights

  • Accommodation 05 nights
  • Hotel accommodation, shared in Twin room with breakfast
  • All private transfer & transportation
  • English speaking guide
  • All entrance fees & Admission fee to indicated sights
  • Most meals as stated in program
  • Experience Luang Si waterfalls
  • Butterfly Park
  • Tamarind Garden Cookery class
  • Royal Palace Museum
  • Royal Ballet performance – Royal Palace
  • Wat Mai, most beautiful temples in town
  • Mount Phousi hike to the top of the mountain
  • Visit Luang Prabang Orphanage/School
  • Weaving class
  • 1 hour traditional Lao massage
  • Architectural walking tour of Laung Prabang – an UNESCO expert insight
  • Exclusive shopping insider notes
  • Alms giving early morning tradition
  • Accommodation superior five star hotels Laos & Vietnam
  • Domestic economy flight Luang Prabang to Hanoi
  • Cruise overnight world UNESCO heritage Ha Long/Lan Ha Bay
  • Shopping in famous Hang Gai – Silk Street, Hanoi
  • Farewell dinner Spices Restaurant Sofitel Metropole

Itinerary

Day 1: Friday, March 11th 2022 (D)

On arrival at the Luang Prabang airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.
Situated in the center of northern Laos, Luang Prabang is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural, historic and architectural values and its harmonious relationship between the natural and built environment.

If time permits, our guide will walk you through the small streets of Luang Prabang to admire the local life. We will make a stop at one of the petanque courts, where we will join a game with a local team.

Overnight in Luang Prabang –Rosewood hotel – Riverside Room https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/luang-prabang

Welcome dinner will then be served at Rosewood hotel.

Hidden in the lush green jungle that surrounds the historic royal settlement of Luang Prabang, a river—emanating from a flowing waterfall—runs through the heart of this exotic retreat. Taking its cue from the French-Lao architecture for which the town is known, the interiors of the Luang Prabang resort reflect the influences of ancient temples, while luxurious tented villas celebrate the explorer spirit.

 

 

Day 2: Saturday, March 12th 2022 (B, D)

Around 10:00AM transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si, which is the biggest waterfall in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals

There is also the chance to walk to the nearby village of Ban Thapene, and explore the hidden waterfalls, which is rarely visited by other tourists

If you wish, take a short visit to the Bear Rescue Center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers.

After visiting Kuang Si waterfalls, you can visit the nearby Butterflies Park, where you can enjoy the afternoon tea with the homemade cookies whilst relaxing inside the green peaceful garden full of colorful butterflies.

Transfer back to your hotel to refresh before transferring to the restaurant for the dinner out at L’Elephant Restaurant

Overnight in Luang Prabang – Rosewood Laung Prabang.

https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/luang-prabang

 

 

Day 3:  Sunday, March 13th 2022 (B/L)

After breakfast at hotel, you will take part in the cooking class at Tamarind Garden.
We start with a visit to the major food market; explain what the foods are and what they are used for.
We then transfer back to Tamarind Garden to cook and eat. What you experience should be:

  • Varieties of jeow: the fundamental Lao spicy dipping sauces
  • Mok Pa: a popular dish of herbed fish steamed in banana leaves
  • Tamarind’s specialty: lemongrass stuffed with chicken & herbs
  • Laap/koy: a minced meat salad, fragrant with herbs
  • Dessert course: a surprise!
  • Of course you’ll learn the art to perfect sticky rice and its eating etiquette.

The lunch should be finished at around 2:30.

The afternoon will be dedicated to some most famous sites inside city center starting with a visit to Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts.

Continue to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, which is one of the most beautiful temples in town.

If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people.

Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.
From there, we will come back to the National Museum to watch the show of Royal Ballet Theatre, which perform Phra-Lak Phra-Lam, the Lao version of the sacred poem, the Ramayana, in the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang.

Note: Royal Ballet Shows are held every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 1800h in high season (October to March) and 18h30 in low season (March to September)

Transfer back to your hotel after the show. Satri House – Deluxe room

http://www.satrihouse.com/index.php/english/home/

Overnight Satri House

Built as a residence for a branch of the Lao royal family in the late 1900s, Satri House was once the childhood home of Prince Souphanouvong. Once again it is fit for the aristocracy after an extensive renovation. The original house is the centerpiece of masterful design, somehow managing to be intimate and homely yet striking and grand all at once. This is a glorious tribute to a bygone era.

‘A History of Laos’ by Martin Stuart-Fox will be sure to get you into the mood of things to come, suggested reading.

Day 4:  Monday, March 14th 2022 (B)

In the morning, we will visit Luang Prabang Orphanage School, which is home to more than 500 orphanages. (Gifts and donations will be prepared by the clients)

In the afternoon, we will join a weaving class at Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center.

Start with an introduction to silks, dyeing and weaving techniques. Each student is assigned a loom — a guide and a weaver will help you learn the art of weaving.

You will get to take home the product items at the end of the class. Silk colors can be customized!

We’ll return to our Hotel to enjoy a 1-hour traditional Lao massage. http://www.satrihouse.com/index.php/english/home/

Overnight in Luang Prabang Satri House is one of the most exquisite places in this ancient city, designed with a style inspired by Lao culture and set in a truly relaxing environment. Here you can enjoy private moments to yourself and really unwind or sit and watch the everyday life of local people from your balcony.

The 28 Rooms and 3 Suites are furnished with superior crafted wood furniture, oversized balconies, spacious bath rooms with rain shower and separate toilet room, and bath tubs in the Suites. Facilities include a restaurant, garden bar, library, outdoor swimming pools and spa.

 

Day 5:  Tuesday, March 15th 2022 (B, D)

After breakfast, we will meet Mr. Francis Engelmann, the former UNESCO expert. After a short brief, continue with an in-depth walking tour of the city.

The walk is oriented towards the lesser known parts of the town including charming lanes showing the more traditional atmosphere of the heritage town.

Along the way, we will see the four different types of buildings categorized by UNESCO.
The first one is the traditional Lao house which is made from tropical hardwood or bamboo and built on stilts.

The second is a half wood and half cement house built after the arrival of the French. The third is the traditional French colonial building that are similar to those found in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The last form of architecture you will see is the old Chinese shop houses that were built to be used for both commercial and residential purposes.

The afternoon will be dedicated to some of the best Arts & Crafts Shop in Luang Prabang including Naga Creation, Ma Te Sai, Caruso Lao, and Pathana Boupha.

Farewell dinner will be served at the famous 3 Nagas Restaurant with traditional Lao food. – Alas, all too soon, our tour of beautiful Laos has come to an end.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 6: Wednesday, March, 16th (B)

Wake up as the sun rises, we will prepare to join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14th century.

More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temple to gather their daily meal from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets.

Breakfast at the hotel before transferring out to the airport to take the 1 hour flight to Hanoi.

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel to take some rest. Free at leisure. There’s much exploring of Hanoi to be done – shopping on the famous Ha

Overnight in Hanoi. Sofitel Metropole Hotel Hanoi Premium room

Hanoi is a magical and charming city. The character, history and romance of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi will certainly add a little extra special something to your journey here. Savour our French art de vivre blended with elegant Vietnamese touches and please enjoy this wonderful place.

364 rooms & suites, in which the original colonial grandeur is preserved in the historical Metropole Wing, while the newer Opera Wing offers a stylish neo-classical elegance. All accommodations are equipped with Sofitel’s MyBed, broadband Internet, LCD televisions as well as Hermes & Lanvin bathroom amenities.

https://www.sofitel-legend-metropole-hanoi.com/

 

Day 7: Thursday, March, 17th (B, L, D)

Breakfast at hotel and then you will depart from hotel follow the new highway to Got Ferry Terminal, Cat Hai Town, Haiphong City (arrive about 11:30). You will travel on the longest bridge in Southeast Asia and be greeted at our lounge before boarding.

12:15 Board the Heritage Cruises boat and enjoy a welcome drink as you receive a cruise briefing, safety instructions and check in to your suite. Lunch is served at L’Indochine Restaurant.

12:40 Cruise to Da Chong islet, where you can see a heritage lighthouse built by the French more than 100 years ago. After lunch, cruise to Gia Luan Lagoon where limestone karst formations rise out of the sea. This quiet bay is untouched and remote, as not many cruise ships visit.

15:00 The cruise vessel approaches the Ba Trai Dao or Three Peach beaches in Lan Ha Bay, a natural frontier between the provinces of Halong and Haiphong. This secret hideaway has beaches, caves and coves, plus the spectacular natural beauty of about 400 islands. Guests can try kayaking or simply swim in the clear waters of the bay.

17:30 Back on Heritage Cruises, enjoy life aboard the vessel or in your suite, and with cocktail in hand watch the sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. Activities include afternoon tea and wine tasting, and the chef will lead a Vietnamese cookery class.

19:30 A memorable dining experience will be offered at the restaurant, with local food in an intimate and romantic setting.

21:30 Enjoy evening views of the bay at the bar on the top deck. Try your hand squid fishing, or watch a movie in the restaurant. The bars are open until late.

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay is between September to April.

Heritage Cruises provides ultimate service levels. Every detail is taken into consideration. ‘No request is too large, no detail too small’ – this is the credo of Heritage Cruises staff, who go above and beyond to create an extraordinary experience for every discerning guest.

Each Heritage Cruises boutique cruise ship, is one-of-a-kind, equisitely appointed heritage vessel, drawing on the arts, tradtions and culture of the region. With menus designed by an Iron Chef, Heritage Cruises has crafted culinary treats for the most discerning of palettes.

Heritage Cruises – Delta Suite Cabin

https://heritagecruises.com/

 

 

Day 8: Friday, March, 18th (B, L, D)

6:00 Start the day with a session of Vovinam on the sundeck, followed by a light breakfast. Then take the bamboo boats to explore the Dark and Bright Cave.

9:30 Return to the ship for checkout.

10:00 Enjoy brunch while cruising back to harbour.

11:35 Return to Got Harbour and Departure to Hanoi.

Free at leisure and overnight in Hanoi – check into hotel.

Enjoy farewell dinner with Vietnamese Cuisine at Spices restaurant in Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel Hanoi.

Vietnamese culinary tradition redefined with French flair. Enjoy views of the lush garden courtyard and swimming pool. Embark on an adventure of the palette at Spices Garden with the exotic flavours from Hanoi’s bustling cuisine, with “pho” noodle soup, tender spicy barbequed pork, exquisite seafood and the freshest of garden vegetables, spices and herbs.

Sofitel Metropole Hanoi – Premium room

https://www.sofitel-legend-metropole-hanoi.com/

 

Day 9: Saturday, March, 19th (B)

You are free to stroll around the town – last minute shopping, before taking the departure flight home.

 

Trip Cost

USD$2,975 per person (twin share) and USD$1,522 single supplement (Laos segment)

USD$1479 per person (twin share) and USD$ 670 single supplement (Vietnam segment) 

 

Guides: Jean Wethmar #havehatwilltravel –remember to pack your Panama hat for this exclusive tour of delightful Luang Prabang and Hanoi – it is very French influenced and we’ve included Hanoi with an overnight cruise on famous Ha long Bay as well.  Jean has a formidable black book of delightful shopping experiences to share. Think Hang Gai (silk street), and Hang Bac (silver street) and those delightful Colonial shop houses brimming full of bargains galore.

This UNESCO heritage town will be sure to delight us. We’ll be in awe of its golden roofed temples and the vestiges of French colonial architecture that Luang Prabang brings us. Fabulous arts and crafts shops to pop into, as well as a very authentic night market will be sure to tick our retail therapy list off, but consider our shopping will be a philanthropy experience as well. Tick!

Rose petal tea, filigree silver handmade jewelry, buffalo horn products, as well as finest of brightly colored silks are sure to fill our suitcase. Not to mention those antique calligraphy brushes!

We’ll collect many travel stories.  Each one written into our hearts, by the Lao and Vietnamese beautiful smiling, friendly people that we will meet.

These Indochine countries, with their exquisite, spicy cuisines, will have us swooning at every meal, guaranteed! Escape the mundane!

What’s included?

  • Everything stated in itinerary above
  • Plus beer, or wine with dinners supplied.
  • All guides, museums, tastings, classes & market visits
  • Domestic economy air flight Luang Prabang – Hanoi

What’s Not Included?

  • Round trip International airfare to Laos and Vietnam Hanoi.
  • Any personal souvenirs or purchases.
  • Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and room service charges.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended) and trip medical coverage (required for travelers over 50 years of age).