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View Price & Dates
$2,349 AUD

* Please click here to read our payment terms

** Prices subject to change

  • $2,349 AUD
  • $2,739 AUD
  • $3,449 AUD
Laos & Vietnam - 11 Lovely, Leisurely and Special Days in Laos & North Vietnam - is currently on backorder. You may still purchase now though and we'll ship as soon as more become available.
Travelbay Vietnam Tours -  Inclusions - meals

17 x Meals
10 breakfasts, 1 brunch,
3 lunches, 3 dinners

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Inclusions - domestic flights

1 x Internal flight
Luang Prabang (Laos)
to Hanoi (Vietnam)

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Inclusions - accommodation

Accommodation
10 nights - 9 in hotels / lodges,
1 on Lan Ha Bay cruise

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Inclusions - tour guides

Tour guides
English speaking tour guide in each location


Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Inclusions - included activities

Included activities
Luang Prabang sightseeing ~ Boat trip to Pak Ou Caves ~ Visit to Kuang Si Waterfalls ~ Hidden highlights of Hanoi day tour ~ Walking street food tour in Hanoi Old Quarter ~ 1 night Lan Ha Bay cruise with excursion to Cat Ba Island including Trung Trang cave and Kim Giao forest


Itinerary

Click on the headings below to see details for each day.

Intro

This 11 Day holiday offers you a gorgeous, leisurely and slightly different tour of Laos and North Vietnam. Enjoy the lovely town of Luang Prabang - relax, see the sights and stay overnight in the countryside at Kamu Lodge. Fly to Hanoi and enjoy street life as the locals do. Spend a night cruising in Lan Ha Bay (the Southern part of Ha Long Bay only with less tourists) and explore Cat Ba Island. A rather special laid back holiday in a wonderful part of the world.

Day 1: LAOS - Arrive Luang Prabang  

On arrival in Luang Prabang you will be welcomed at the airport by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.

Overnight in Luang Prabang: Villa Chitdara - Standard Room (Standard); Villa Santi Hotel - Deluxe Room (Deluxe); Satri House - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Day 2: LAOS - At leisure in Luang Prabang

Travelbay Laos Tours - Lunag Prabang

Spend the day discovering Luang Prabang at your own pace.

Take a walk along the Nam Khan and Mekong River, try out some local cafes or street food, visit hidden temples, hire a bike, take a tuk tuk, shop at the night markets... the town is yours to explore.

Overnight in Luang Prabang: Villa Chitdara - Standard Room (Standard); Villa Santi Hotel - Deluxe Room (Deluxe); Satri House - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3: LAOS - Sightseeing in Luang Prabang, a foot massage and night markets

Enjoy the morning at your leisure.

At around 1 pm your guide and tuk tuk driver will collect you for a city tour. Drive to Vat Xieng Thong or Temple of the Royal City and visit Vat Senna - literally meaning "Temple of a 100,000 treasures" - also one of the most beautiful temples of Luang Prabang.

Travelbay Laos Tours - Mount  Phousi, Lunag Prabang

In the afternoon, in time for the sunset, climb to the top of Mount Phousi - home to a gilded stupa where you can enjoy views of the city and Mekong River (please note: there are around 329 steps to reach the top).

Return to the town and enjoy a 1 hour relaxing foot massage.

In the evening you might like to wander the Hmong Night Market - a great place for shopping and local cuisine.

Overnight in Luang Prabang: Villa Chitdara - Standard Room (Standard); Villa Santi Hotel - Deluxe Room (Deluxe); Satri House - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4: LAOS - Visit the Pak Ou Caves and travel to Kamu Lodge

Travelbay Laos Tours - Pak Ou Caves, Lunag Prabang

Around 8.30am board a traditional long river boat at Kamu Lodge pier and take a leisurely cruise upstream on the Mekong River. Along the way you will get a glimpse of typical Laotian villages. Arrive at Pak Ou Caves and explore the sanctuaries.

There are two large caves - both are home to thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimetres to two meters in height.

Continue upriver to reach Kamu Lodge around noon. This is a private eco-lodge located in a remote village surrounded by rice fields - a great way to experience local life in Laos.

Check-in to your safari tents with modern bathroom amenities and facilities (the tents also have thick walls) and enjoy lunch set amongst the rice paddies.

After lunch, you can choose to either relax or take part in the traditional Kamu lifestyles and activities such as rice planting and harvesting in the surrounding rice fields, gold panning in the Mekong (anything you find is yours!), traditional fishing techniques (you can sample your catch for dinner) or watch the Kamu Village archery contest.

Enjoy the local dinner - a feast by local standards and after dinner, retire to your tent.

Overnight in Luang Prabang: Kamu Lodge – Double bed tent (Standard, Deluxe & Super Deluxe options)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: LAOS - Enjoy Kamu Lodge and travel back to Luang Prabang

Travelbay Laos Tours - Kamu Lodge, Lunag Prabang

Enjoy your morning at the lodge and after lunch, around 2pm board your boat and cruise back to Luang Prabang.

Overnight in Luang Prabang: Villa Chitdara - Standard Room (Standard); Villa Santi Hotel - Deluxe Room (Deluxe); Satri House - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 6: LAOS and VIETNAM - Kuang Si Falls and fly to Hanoi

Start your day with a visit to the Phosi Market where you will see diverse offerings such as dried buffalo skin and local tea amongst the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Don't miss the chance to sample delicious Lao food.

Travelbay Laos Tours - Kuang Si Waterfalls

Continue on to Kuang Si Waterfall - a beautiful waterfall made up of limestone formations and numerous turquoise coloured pools - a highlight for many when visiting Luang Prabang. Here you can enjoy the cooling freshness and leafy green shade of the area and bathe in some of the pools at the lower level of the waterfall (reminder to take your swimmers!).

Transfer back to Luang Prabang airport for your 5.10 pm departure flight to Hanoi (arriving at 6.30 pm). On arrival in Hanoi your guide will welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi: L'Heritage Hotel - Deluxe Room (Standard); Hanoi Pearl Hotel - Deluxe Window Room (Deluxe); Melia Hanoi - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7: VIETNAM - The hidden highlights of Hanoi

Start your day with a tour of Hanoi and get a feel for local life with a visit to the bustling Hang Be market, one of the most famous markets of Hanoi. Whilst there, sample some of the many delights on offer from the street food stalls.

From here you will be taken to visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was the hub of Vietnamese military power for over 1000 years. See artefacts excavated in 2004 that date back to between the 6th and 20th centuries including foundations of old palaces, ancient roads, ponds and wells.

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Hanoi railway tracks

In the afternoon take a guided walk by the railway line observing local life along the way - see traders selling their goods, elders playing chess and children playing amongst other things. From here, catch the 3:20 pm train from Hanoi station. Sit back and relax on the 20 minute ride crossing the Red River while watching more local activity.

Your guide will be with you to explain and answer any questions.

After your adventures you will be collected by car from Gia Lam train station for the journey home. Pass through the Old Quarter of Hanoi and stop off at a hidden gem of a café, one that serves the famous Egg Coffee.

Please note: The train ride is only available on Saturdays and Sundays and the dates listed for this tour coincide with Day 7 falling on a Saturday. If you wish to choose your own dates, please bear this in mind.

Overnight in Hanoi: Gondola Hotel - Deluxe Room (Standard); Hanoi Pearl Hotel - Deluxe Window Room (Deluxe); Melia Hanoi - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8: VIETNAM - At leisure in Hanoi and an evening street food tour

Enjoy the day at leisure.

At around 4.00 pm, your guide will collect you for a walking street food tour in the Old Quarter. Eat as you go, walking through the maze of bustling streets, trying seasonal fruit and sampling tasty French-inspired snacks from a street cart. Try the famed Hanoi dishes such as Bun Cha Ta (a grilled pork and noodle dish) and Banh Cuon at a local eatery and watch as the skilled chefs demonstrate how this tasty dish is put together.

The next two snack stops are at outdoor BBQ stalls. Sit down with the Hanoi locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties that are flame grilled over hot coals for extra flavour. It’s now time for dessert!

Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets - Banh My Hanoi - a hidden street food restaurant where you can taste the top street foods in Hanoi and a glass of beer if you wish.

Please note: If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know so that we can accommodate your needs and wishes.

Overnight in Hanoi: Gondola Hotel - Deluxe Room (Standard); Hanoi Pearl Hotel - Deluxe Window Room (Deluxe); Melia Hanoi - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 9: VIETNAM - Travel to Lan Ha Bay for your overnight cruise 

This morning at 9 am you will be collected and taken to the ferry terminal in Hai Phong (approximately a 2 hour drive).  

Once you’ve checked-in, lunch will be served before you begin your voyage. See the amazing limestone karst formations as they rise up and out of the sea – a spectacular view. This area is untouched, as not many cruise ships use the route via Cat Ba Island, Thoi Quyt, Coc Ngoi islet and through Gia Luan area.

Explore the area of the bay where Ao Ech is situated - you have the option to kayak here. Continue on to visit Tra Bau Bay where you may like to take a swim.

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Lan Ha Bay

Return to your cruise boat for a cooking class before dinner.

After dinner relax on the top deck and watch as the evening sun descends over the bay. There are also optional onboard activities such as night time squid fishing or watching a movie.

Overnight in Lan Ha Bay: Peony Cruise - Deluxe Cabin (Standard, Deluxe & Super Deluxe options)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10: VIETNAM - Cat Ba Island and return to Hanoi

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island

This morning you have the option to participate in a Tai Chi session on the sundeck after which breakfast will be served.

Cruise to Cat Ba Island and travel overland to Trung Trang cave located in the middle of Cat Ba National Park surrounded by the Kim Giao forest.

Head back to the cruise boat to check out and have brunch. A Tea Ceremony is held at the restaurant where the crew will join you. Return to the shore and after disembarking from the boat you will be taken back to your hotel in Hanoi by shuttle bus.

Overnight in Hanoi: Gondola Hotel - Deluxe Room (Standard); Hanoi Pearl Hotel - Deluxe Window Room (Deluxe); Melia Hanoi - Deluxe Room (Super Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast and brunch

Day 11: Time to go home or onto your next adventure

Today is a day free at leisure in Hanoi before your departure. You will be collected 3 hours prior to your flight and taken to the airport by your driver.

Meals included: Breakfast

Additional details

*All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard will be booked.

On arrival you will be met by your guide and in each location you will have a different guide.

We like to leave a little bit of space in the itinerary for leisure and for people to do their own thing. However, if you would like to participate in more tours or excursions during your leisure time, you can find some examples of day tours here. Please note you will need to pay for any additional tours you choose to book that are not part of the existing itinerary. We can provide you with a quote.

If you would like a quote for your international flights to and from Vietnam, please let us know. Likewise, if you would like any stopovers or travel insurance, we would be happy to provide you with a quote.

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - 11 Day  Laos & Vietnam Map

Click here to download printable itinerary.

This is a Small Group Tour with a maximum of 10 people. If you would prefer a Private Tour contact us for a quote.

View more Vietnam Tours here.

Want to customise this tour?

If you would like to change anything on this tour or customise it in any way, please contact us and we can assist you and provide a quote.


Dates, Availability & Pricing

This tour can start on virtually any day of the year.

When booking online you will have the option to specify the date you would like to commence your tour. Please do not book any flights until you have received confirmation from us.

There is a small surcharge over Christmas and New Year dates (including Vietnam New Year). If your holiday coincides with these dates we will let you know at the time of your booking or enquiring.

Apart from the above, the stated pricing is valid for travel until 20th December 2020. If you plan to travel after this date, please contact us for a quote.

The above pricing options for Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe are per person based on twin share (2 people per room). In most cases triple share is also available at the same per person price.

If you would like a single room or if you are a single traveller, please contact us for a quote.

Hotel Information

All hotels are in central locations with Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe options.
Click below to see names of the selected hotels.

Hotel details

Luang Prabang

Standard: Villa Chitdara - Standard Room
Deluxe: Villa Santi Hotel - Deluxe Room
Super Deluxe: Satri House - Deluxe Room

Kamu lodge

Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe: Kamu Lodge - double bed tent

Hanoi

Standard: Gondola Hotel - Deluxe Room
Deluxe: Hanoi Pearl Hotel - Deluxe Window Room
Super Deluxe: Melia Hotel - Deluxe Room

Lan Ha Bay

Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe: Peony Cruise - Deluxe Cabin

*All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard will be booked.

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email: team@travelbay.com
freecall: 1800 020 020
phone: +61 2 6619 2020

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email: team@travelbay.com
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phone: +61 2 6619 2020

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews

What a fantastic holiday we have had. Cannot fault anything. A wonderful itinerary with the best of guides. We really feel we have experienced the best possible. The organising and pick ups were spot on all the time.

Wonderful. All the hotels were excellent and situated near to sights when we had free time to wander on our own. Thank you to everyone at Travelbay.

 

Pauline J

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews

I loved Luang Prabang as I hoped I would. Was so much more peaceful than most Asian cities and had a wonderful mix of stunning architecture, gardens, great food and of course lovely people.

Overall a very relaxed, pleasant holiday.

 

B H

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews

In the many years of travelling, I have never had the prompt attention to my enquiries, relaying of information and action that you have done for me.

So, huge thanks again.

 

Lucia D

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews

Everything about the trip to Vietnam was tremendous.

From the people, places, food, accommodation, standard of service/facilities, etc.

I loved it all and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and Travelbay to friends.

 

Rob

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews
Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews
Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews
Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews

Booking process

Upon purchase of your tour online you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 48 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport.

Very Important:

It is extremely rare for any of these tours to not have availability (as we remove them when full) however, it is important to note that your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received booking confirmation from us.

In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment.


Terms & Conditions

Click on the heading below to see the Specific Terms and Conditions for this tour.

Specific Terms & Conditions

Booking Information:

  • Quoted prices are per person.
  • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
  • Please book at least 45 days prior to your desired date of travel.
  • Bookings are subject to availability.
  • Child prices: Please contact us for rates.
  • Minimum group size is 2.
  • The pricing options are per person based on twin share (2 people per room). In most cases triple share is also available at the same per person price. If you would like a single room or if you are a single traveller, please contact us for a quote.
  • High season surcharge applies on certain dates, please contact us for details.
  • If you would like to arrive before the start of tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you at very reasonable rates.
  • Prior to completion of your booking we take great care to go through all the details together with you until we get everything exactly as you would like it. At that point we confirm your booking and the details and you pay for it. If after payment, you decide to make further changes we will do what we can to accommodate them and will also need to charge an additional $50 administration fee.

Inclusions:

  • 10 nights' accommodation - 9 in hotels, 1 night on Lan Ha Bay cruise.
    • Check-in & check-out time: generally, check in is after 2 pm and check out before 12 pm. Early check-in and late check-out are subject to room availability and may generate additional full day room rate.
  • 17 meals as per itinerary - 10 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 3 lunches, 3 dinners.
  • 1 internal flight: Luang Prabang – Hanoi.
    • 23kg checked baggage, 7kg hand baggage.
  • All airport transfers - by private car. When you arrive in Luang Prabang and Hanoi you will be met by a guide and driver at the airport. When taken to the airport for departure from each city, you will be with your driver only (no guide).
    Please note: There is one airport transfer on arrival and one airport transfer on departure for the group booked. If within your group you will be arriving separately, please contact us for a quote.
  • All transport as per itinerary.
  • English speaking guides (in each location you will have a different guide).
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
  • Free wifi available at the hotel lobby.
  • Mineral water on tour days.
  • Taxes and service fees.

Exclusions:

  • International airfares to and from Vietnam.
  • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
  • Drinks for all meals.
  • Travel insurance. Please contact us if you would like a quote.
  • Visas for Vietnam and Laos.
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
  • Compulsory dinner on 24 Dec and 31 Dec surcharge will be advised by the tour operator.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
  • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the tour?

You can pretty much choose any date (subject to availability) and we can usually accommodate everyone including short notice and long term bookings.

Is my departure guaranteed?

Once you have paid for your booking and received confirmation of your travel dates from Travelbay, your holiday is guaranteed on your chosen departure date - except in cases of major weather events and alike in which case we do our best to adjust your holiday accordingly.

How much is the tour?

Travelbay provides Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe pricing options, based on twin share (2 people per room). Please see the pricing at the top of the page.

In most cases triple share is also available at the same per person price. If you would like a single room or if you are a single traveller, please contact us for a quote.

Can I add extra nights?

Yes, of course. Just let us know how many extra nights you would like either before or after and we will arrange for you to stay at the same hotel and let you know the cost of the extra nights.

Arriving early or staying on won't affect your airport transfers - if you're staying at the same hotel and we book it for you, we'll collect you when you arrive and take you to the airport when it's time for your departure flight.

If you want to add on extra tours on your additional days, click here for a selection of Vietnam day tours.

Can I change the itinerary?

Yes, we can alter the itinerary for you so that you get exactly what you are after.

We can provide you with a quote for any changes you wish to make.

If you want to add on extra day tours to your free days, click here for a selection of Vietnam day tours.

What is the size of the group?

This tour is a Small Group Tour with a maximum of 10 people. Often the groups are smaller but there will be no more than 10 people.

The exception to this is your pick up and cruise in Lan Ha Bay which is managed by the cruise company and will include more people.

Do you have single traveller pricing?

Yes, please contact us for a quote.

Can we do triple share?

Yes, triple share is available at most hotels.

Do I need any vaccinations?

We recommend you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels. Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information.

Do I need a visa for Vietnam or Laos?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have obtained a valid visa prior to travel. Vietnam and Laos have different requirements depending on the nationality of the passport you are travelling on.

To find out the visa requirements for Vietnam and Laos, you can check here with Visalink.

If a visa is required you can use the services on the same link, or you may wish to apply directly yourself.

In addition to the above link, we have provided some more information on visas for Vietnam and Laos here: Visa Information page.

Please note: We attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.

Is tipping customary and how much do I tip?

Tipping is entirely at your discretion.

However, it is usual to tip the guides, drivers, porters and waiters.

Tipping is not necessary for taxis or for cheaper restaurants. Remember, it’s a good idea to check if service charges are included in your restaurant bill. If not, a tip of 10% of the total bill is normal.

Below are a few general guidelines to support you with tipping, however please be aware that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received.

  • Guides: USD 3-5 per person per day
  • Drivers: USD 2-3 per person per day

You may wish to check if you will have the same guide and driver for the duration of your time in one location and tip them on your last day with them.

Tipping tip: It can be handy to have small notes for tipping.

What is internet access like in Vietnam and Laos?

WIFI is common in many hotels in the main tourist areas and big cities as are internet cafes. Internet access is less frequent in the more rural and remote areas of Vietnam, including Ha Long Bay.

Can I use my mobile phone or should I get a local SIM card?

Mobile reception is good in the urban areas and big cities. Mountainous and more remote areas may not have network coverage.

You will need to check with your mobile carrier at home about roaming and charges and make sure global roaming is activated before you leave home.

You can also buy a local SIM when there and use the local network - both for phone calls and mobile data. (This is what we do and find it very easy).

What currency do they use and can I get money out of an ATM?

The currency used in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong and in Laos the Lao Kip.

What currency to take over there is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines readily available in Vietnam and Laos. Occasionally the older ATM's do not accept Australian debit cards and you may need to try a different ATM.

Major credit cards are accepted in larger shops, restaurants and hotels. At smaller family type restaurants, market stalls and in small towns, it's not likely you'll be able to use your credit card.

We recommend letting your bank know that you will be using your card in Vietnam and Laos to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

Is the traffic really scary?

There are lots of scooters in Vietnam and the roads in the main cities are very busy!

The road rules in Vietnam are very different to those in the Western World and because of this some people find it scary. In Vietnam it is more about flow and rhythm and all the traffic moving in the same flow, which then leads to order.

In Vietnam they drive on the right side of the road.

What type of adaptor plug do I need for Vietnam?

Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type C (European 2-pin).

A useful resource to find out what plug or adaptor you might need for any country can be found by clicking here: https://whatplug.info/to/ and then selecting the country or countries you are visiting.

Travel tip: Take a power board with multiple outlets. This way you can use the one adaptor and plug in multiple devices or electronics.

What happens on arrival?

When you arrive into Laos there will be someone waiting for you after you clear customs at the airport with a sign with your name on it. If you can’t see them inside the arrival lounge, they will be waiting just outside the doors. Sometimes they have the Travelbay logo but it is your name that you will most likely notice.

Do I need travel insurance for Vietnam and Laos?

Travelbay strongly recommend travel insurance – we are very happy to provide you with a free quote.

Can I contact you?

You most certainly can.

Whilst our official office hours are Monday to Friday - 9am to 5.30pm AET (Sydney time) we are regularly in the office outside of these hours and at weekends.

Feel free to ring at any time before 7:30pm - 7 days a week - 365 days a year. If we are busy on other calls or not available please leave a message including your phone number and area code and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

You are also very welcome to email us on team@travelbay.com 24/7 - we check our emails regularly. We look forward to hearing from you.


Vietnam & Laos Holiday Information

Vietnam & Laos Facts

Capital City: Hanoi (Vietnam) / Vientiane (Laos)

Population: 96.5 million (Vietnam) / 7.17 million (Laos)

Language: Vietnamese / Lao

Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND) / Lao Kip (LAK)

Time Zone: (GMT + 7) Indochina time

Dialling code: +844 (Vietnam) / +856 (Laos)

Religion: In Vietnam 81% of the population has no religion followed by 9% Buddhist. In Laos the predominant religion is Buddhism.


Vietnam & Laos weather

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Vietnam weathernam Holiday Information -

Vietnam

Vietnam is a destination that you can visit year round.

Below we have attempted to give you an idea of what you might expect in different areas at different times of the year. Of course nobody can truly predict the weather – weather is weather and often has its own ideas. However, with all that in mind late February to May and September seem to have the best odds weather wise!

Winter: Winter in Vietnam is from December through to early February. In the North (Hanoi – Ha Long Bay area) it can be cool and Sapa in the hills North of Hanoi can sometimes see snow. In Central Vietnam (Hoi An area) it can be cool-ish and not such great beach weather. In the South (Ho Chi Minh City area) the weather is still warm.

Spring: March – May is a wonderful time to visit Vietnam and the weather will be getting hotter as you head towards the summer months.

Summer: Summer is from June through to August. At this time of year it can be hot, particularly in the South.

Autumn: September – November the temperature is milder but it can rain substantially in the Central parts (around Hoi An) in October and November, particularly November which is the wettest month.

Rainy season: Different parts of the country see rains at different times. In the North the rains come from April to September, in the Central area in October and November and in the South, from May to September.

We have visited Vietnam at many different times of the year and always loved it!

Laos

The climate in Laos is classified as tropical monsoon. What that means is that the weather is tropical and the wet season generally sees a fair amount of rain.

Dry season: November to February (cool dry) and March to April (hot dry)
Wet season: May to October


How to get there

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - How to get there

This tour starts in Luang Prabang and ends in Hanoi.

Flights from Australia to Vietnam are approximately $900-$1100 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw!

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and we would be happy to provide you with a free quote.

If you choose to book your flights with Travelbay, we charge a $50 booking fee for this service.


Interesting facts on Vietnam & Laos

  • Laos has been conquered by the Thai, the French and the Japanese. It gained its independence in 1949 from the French.

  • Laos has been labelled the most bombed country in the world. It is estimated that during the Vietnam war, more than all the bombs dropped on Europe during World War II were dropped in Laos.

  • Luang Prabang has a curfew of 11.30 pm. All businesses are required to be closed by this time except for the bowling alley.

  • The Vietnamese language has six different tones. A change in tone changes the meaning of the word making the language somewhat difficult to learn (but English is widely spoken and the friendly locals are more than happy to help you with your Vietnamese pronunciation).

  • Vietnam is one of the world’s last surviving one-party Communist states.

  • Around 70% of the 93 million plus people that live in Vietnam, live in the countryside and over half the population are under 25.

Visa information

Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to Vietnam & Laos.

For Vietnam, you need to apply for and receive your visa before you leave Australia. This can be done up to 6 months in advance.

For Laos you can obtain your visa either on arrival or in advance.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have obtained a valid visa prior to travel.

To find out the visa requirements for Vietnam and Laos, you can check here with Visalink.

If a visa is required you can use the services on the same link, or you may wish to apply directly yourself.

In addition to the above link, we have provided some more information on visas for Vietnam here: Visa Information page.

Please note: We attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.


Tipping

Tipping is entirely at your discretion.

In response to some customers questions here are a few guidelines:

It is usual to tip the guides, drivers, porters and waiters.

Tipping is not necessary for taxis or for cheaper restaurants. Remember, it’s a good idea to check if service charges are included in your restaurant bill. If not, a tip of 10% of the total bill is normal.

Below are a few general guidelines to support you with tipping, however please be aware that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received.

  • Guides: USD 3-5 per person per day
  • Drivers: USD 2-3 per person per day

You may wish to check if you will have the same guide and driver for the duration of your time in one location and tip them on your last day with them.

Tipping tip: It can be handy to have small notes for tipping.


Currency

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Holiday Information -  Currency

The currency used in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong and in Laos the Lao Kip.

What currency to take over there is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines readily available in Vietnam and Laod. Occasionally the older ATM's do not accept Australian debit cards and you may need to try a different ATM.

We recommend letting your bank know that you will be using your card in Vietnam and Laos to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.


Shopping in Vietnam & Laos

There is some wonderful shopping in Vietnam and Laos and you may wish to leave space in your luggage so you can fit your shopping in.

We personally recommend:

  • Visiting a tailor - they make great copies of existing pieces so if you have a favourite, you can bring it with you and have the tailor copy it.
  • Scarf shopping - you can find the most wonderful silk and cashmere scarves in Vietnam. If you like scarves, Vietnam is a great place to build up your collection :)
  • Handicrafts - you'll find great markets and souvenir shops where you can get all sorts of things from jewellery to lacquerware, lanterns, leather goods and much more!
  • The night markets in Luang Prabang - these markets are on every night in the centre of Luang Prabang and are fantastic for shopping!


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