(13 days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis) Saigon, Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi, Luang Prabang
This tour combines two of Indochina’s most popular destinations: a comprehensive tour of Vietnam, plus a few fascinating days in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Begin in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam’s most dynamic city. With an expert private guide and driver, learn about the city’s history while touring French colonial-era landmarks, as well as the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. Experience the best of Cholon, Saigon’s Chinatown, including a local market and busy temples. Sample local culinary specialties and see daily life in vibrant markets overflowing with spices, flowers, clothing, housewares and more. Perhaps stop for a refreshing Vietnamese iced coffee, or dine on a typical Vietnamese banh mi (baguette sandwich). Another option is browsing the boutiques of Vietnamese designers and renowned art galleries and museums. One day, opt to take an excursion into the countryside to tour the Cu Chi Tunnels and observe a colorful religious ceremony at the Cao Dai Temple. Upon request, we can also arrange activities such as meeting with historians, visits to private homes, private musical performances, cyclo tours through backstreets, a private excursion to the Mekong Delta, and private cooking classes or culinary tours.
Continue to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Tour the Imperial Citadel, a large complex that includes the Forbidden Purple City, where the emperor and his family once lived. See the beautiful gardens and traditional architecture at the royal tombs along the Perfume River. Also visit colorful Dong Ba Market and, if desired, sample Hue's famed vegetarian and royal cuisine. Upon request, we can also arrange philanthropic experiences in the Hue region, as well as a visit to an ancient Buddhist pagoda to enjoy a vegetarian lunch with monks and learn about the monastic lifestyle in Hue.
Next, transfer to Hoi An, an atmospheric port town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stay at a luxury beachfront resort, and experience the best of this centuries-old town during private touring. Visit the vibrant morning market, where stalls are piled high with fresh fish and produce. Explore the colorful backstreets, and tour well-preserved historic homes, temples, the Japanese Covered Bridge and other interesting attractions. Perhaps visit a local tailor for custom-made silk clothing, a Hoi An specialty. Upon request, we can arrange additional activities in and near Hoi An, such as a visit to the nearby Museum of Cham Sculpture, as well as the Marble Mountains, which contain Buddhist cave temples; a visit to a village that specializes in making Hoi An’s colorful lanterns; a visit to a local farm to learn about Vietnamese food and ingredients; a cooking class focused on local specialties such as fresh spring rolls or cao lau noodles; an excursion to My Son, the ancient ruins of the once-powerful Cham civilization; biking through the countryside; and taking a sunset boat ride on the river. There will also be time to relax and enjoy your resort’s beautiful architecture, spa and beach.
Spend the next three nights in Hanoi, Vietnam’s fascinating capital and intellectual center. During private touring with your expert local guide and private driver, visit the city’s most important historical attractions, such as the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, House on Stilts and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Take an in-depth tour of Hanoi’s incredible Old Quarter, where each street was historically dedicated to a specific trade or material, such as bamboo, silk and lacquer. While touring the narrow streets, learn about the history of the Old Quarter and its traditional architecture, and see how it has transformed into a fashionable district with cafes, art galleries and boutiques featuring the finest Vietnamese design and style. Also tour around Hoan Kiem Lake and leafy backstreets where beautiful French colonial-era buildings have been transformed into upscale restaurants. Other options include visiting museums such as the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology or the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. One day, enjoy a market tour with a renowned chef, followed by a Vietnamese cooking class. Learn to prepare local dishes such as fish marinated with beer and herbs, lemon chicken, and banana flower salad. Also see Hanoi’s renowned water puppet show, or attend a performance at the landmark Hanoi Opera House. Additional special interest touring can be arranged upon request, such as cyclo rides, cooking classes, in-depth street food tours and other culinary tours, meetings with prominent artists and art gallery owners, biking through the nearby countryside, a visit to a local village filled with beautiful historic architecture, meetings with prominent historians, private meditation sessions in an ancient temple, and more.
Next, fly to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town along the Mekong River in northern Laos. With your own expert guide and driver, experience the best of the town and surrounding region. Explore streets lined with a unique blend of traditional Lao and French colonial architecture. Visit cultural attractions, including museums and important temples. Learn about the Buddhism and its central role in Laos' culture. Explore markets. Visit hill tribe villages, meet silk weavers and contemporary textile designers, and take a memorable boat excursion that spends the day visiting craft villages and nearby caves filled with Buddha statues. Upon request, we are also happy to incorporate special touring such as hiking, biking, kayaking, a cooking class, a visit to a private home, photography excursions, attending alms processions, an elephant-back excursion in the jungle, and more.
Arrive Saigon, Vietnam
VIP fast-track assistance through immigration. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights
Full-day private city tour
Full-day private city tour or full-day private excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple
Saigon – Hue
Private transfer to airport for flight to Hue. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night. Half-day private tour
Hue – Hoi An
Morning private tour of royal tombs and pagodas. Private transfer to Hoi An resort for 2 nights
Morning private walking tour
Hoi An – Hanoi
Private transfer to Danang airport for flight to Hanoi. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights
Full-day private city tour, including touring by cyclo. Evening water puppet performance
Morning private market tour and cooking lesson
Hanoi – Luang Prabang, Laos
Private transfer to airport for flight to Luang Prabang. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights. Private dinner and traditional welcome ceremony
Option for sunrise alms-giving. Half-day private city tour
Morning private cruise to villages and Buddhist caves
Depart Luang Prabang
Private airport transfer
Park Hyatt Saigon
La Residence Hotel & Spa
The Nam Hai
Sofitel Metropole Legend
Per person (double occupancy)
The Artisans of Leisure Style of Travel:
Private touring with your own personal guides and drivers
Preferred rooms in the very best luxury hotels
Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our travel specialists
Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and schedule
Artisans of Leisure upgrades and amenities
A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, skipping lines during touring, restaurant and spa reservations, performance tickets, private airport transfers, internal transportation, VIP and fast-track airport assistance in many destinations
Around-the-clock support in each destination during your trip
Unique, insider travel experiences and access to the Artisans of Leisure network of experts around the world
All Artisans of Leisure tours are private and depart daily.
Please Contact Us for more information regarding the above tour, or to begin customizing your own itinerary.