Rejser til Vietnam

Et smukt og frodigt land med en lang og dramatisk historie, der har sat sit præg på befolkningens krop og sjæl i mange generationer. En dramatisk historie som stadig trækker spor i vietnamesernes hverdag og det smukke landskab.

Det var først da Vietnams tætteste allierede, Sovjetunionen, kollapsede i starten af 1990´erne, at Vietnam åbnede sine grænser for turister og for samhandel med omverdenen med en særegen form for kommunistisk kapitalisme. Et kommunistisk ledet samfund styret af frie markedskræfter.

Siden har Vietnam udviklet sig eksplosivt og er blevet et af Asiens største turistmål med en eksplosiv økonomi. Ikke desto mindre er Vietnam et meget traditionsrigt land, og i dets bjergrige indre lever farverige og gæstfrie stammefolk, som de altid har gjort det.

Happy Lama Travels spændende grupperejse til Vietnam og Laos besøger disse farverige stammefolk i det nordlige Vietnam og giver dig et godt indblik i, hvordan man kan holde fast i en traditionel levevis, mens udviklingen af samfundet buldrer derudad.

Du vil også opleve en af verdens ikoniske hovedstæder, Hanoi, som på den ene side er helt autentisk og på den anden side er moderne og står i skærende kontrast til det liv, der leves på landet og i bjergene.

Grupperejse 1 ► Laos og Vietnam – Skatkammeret i nord

Generel information om grupperejser i Vietnam

Happy Lama Travels eksklusive grupperejser i Vietnam foregår i små internationale grupper med lokal engelsktalende rejseleder. Derfor er rejsebeskrivelserne på engelsk.

En lokal rejseleder kender sit land bedre end en dansk rejseleder. Det er desuden vores erfaring at en lokal rejseleder giver dig et bedre indblik i, hvordan livet leves i Vietnam.

Passer rejsedatoerne dig ikke eller vil du selv have maksimal indflydelse på dit rejseprogram – Kontakt os hvis du ønsker et tilbud på en individuel rejse i Vietnam.

Denne rejse kombinerer Vietnam med Laos.

Trip Summary

A unique tour to South East Asia’s best kept secret, Laos, where we get well beyond the tourist trail up North exploring hill tribe villages and taking an unforgettable river journey into Phou Louey National Protected Area to look for flora and fauna. After exploring the amazing former Indochina war caves of Viengsay we cross into Vietnam experiencing the rich culture of the North and staying with local families before ending our journey in Hanoi.

Fitness*** | Adventure*** | Culture**** | History**** | Wildlife***

Day 1 – Arrive Luang Prabang

Arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to the hotel. If you arrive during the day then take a walk down to the riverside and soak up the atmosphere with a cold drink and later visit the atmospheric night market. Overnight Le Sen Hotel or similar

Luang Prabang
Colour is the first of Luang Prabang’s virtues to greet travellers. Pearly frangipanis with their heady perfume, banks of overgrown trees peppered with scarlet flowers, the burnt sienna robes of hundreds of monks and their novices, and resplendent gold and claret wats. The scent of fresh coffee, river activity, produce markets and spicy food soon follows. And then the broader aesthetics begin to unfold. Encircled by mountains, and set 700m above sea level at the confluence of the Nam Khan (Khan River) and the Mekong River, Luang Prabang is Laos’ foremost showpiece. The brew of gleaming temple roofs, crumbling French provincial architecture and multi-ethnic inhabitants captivates even the most jaded travellers, and the quiet benevolence of the city’s residents lulls them into somnambulant bliss.

Day 2 – Villages around Luang Prabang

We start the day with a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre to give an insight into some of the ethnic minorities of Laos which you will come across on the journey ahead. We then drive into the peaceful countryside to explore several small villages where you will be shown how local people live and work by local guides. You will get the chance to see their houses from the inside, traditional dress and explanations of traditional cultural practices. Continue on to the Kuang Si Waterfall, where crystal water cascades into idyllic turquoise pools. Bring a bathing suit if you would like to swim. Also take some time to visit the nearby Sunbear Refuge Centre to learn more about the poaching of these endangered creatures. Overnight Le Sen Hotel or similar (BL)

Day 3 – Luang Prabang

A full day to experience the delights of Luang Prabang. For early risers witness the sacred ritual of townsfolk offering rice to the monks on their alms rounds. Afterwards walk to the nearby morning market to see an array of produce on sale. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Later explore Luang Prabang including Wat Xieng Thong. This 500 year old temple is exquisite and is the best example of the classic Luang Prabang style. From here, explore small side streets, along back alleys and through temples – a city that could have been designed with slow travel in mind. Visit the National Museum, which is the former Royal Palace. Relics from Laos’ royalist past remain here. Overlooking the palace is Phousi Mountain. It is said that those who do not climb the 328 steps up have not really made it to the city. Venture up the hill and be rewarded with remarkable views of the area. Overnight Le Sen Hotel or similar (B)

Day 4 – Luang Prabang - Nong Khiew

This morning we journey up the Mekong River stopping at a local village on the way. We then stop at Pak Ou Caves, a mystical pilgrimage site perched high up above the Mekong. Peering into dark corners, your eyes gradually adjust to reveal the serene faces and figures of more than 3,000 Buddha images, some inlaid with semi-precious stones. That these remain undisturbed in this remote site in one of the world’s poorest countries is a testament to the devotion of the people. After visiting the caves we continue the journey to picturesque Nong Khiew. Overnight Nong Khiew Riverside or similar (B)

Day 5 – Nong Khiew

Leave Nong Khiew and cruise up the river on a traditional long boat. We stop to visit several different ethnic villages. The village of Ban Sop Jam is famous for its traditional Lao silk and cotton weaving. After spending some time in the village we turn around and return back downstream to Muang Ngoi. Upon arrival we take a small trek of around 2 hours which takes us through some gorgeous scenery consisting of limestone cliffs, mountains and rice paddy fields. We visit a historical cave which was used as bomb shelter by locals during the second Indochina war. Return to Nong Khiew by boat hopefully enjoying a nice sunset and arriving back just before dark. Overnight Nong Khiew Riverside or similar (BL)

Day 6 – Nong Khiew - Viengthong

This morning we take a walk along the Nam Ou River to visit a local market before travelling to Viengthong, our jumping off point for an expedition into nature. On arrival in Viengthong we take a walk around the town before settling into the guesthouse. Overnight local guesthouse (BLD)

Day 7 – Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area

An early start for a two day/one night expedition in Nam Et/Phou Louey NPA (National Protected Area). We drive 1.5 hours along a winding road through lovely forested, mountainous landscape before we arrive in Son Koua Village; an ethnic Khmu village were we will be welcomed by the village guide and boatmen. They will take you on a short tour of the village where you will learn about the animist tradition of appeasing the village spirit. After that take lunch in the village. We then embark on a 1.5-hour journey to the park substation on the Nam Nern River by long-tail boat, along the way learning about upland rice cultivation and hopefully having opportunities to spot monitor lizards and an abundance of bird life. After arriving at the park substation, you will receive a briefing by park staff about the on-the-ground efforts in protecting tigers and their prey. Later take a night safari. Stopping near a salt lick, we hike into the forest. The local guide, a skilled hunter and tracker, explains how local people track deer and other wild ungulates. Our boats continue upriver to the dinner site, a sandy, flat bank, where you will enjoy a picnic around a campfire. After dinner listen as the guides regale Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife, and ghosts. Depending on the amount of moonlight available, you will depart after dinner for some night spotlighting 2-3 hours after dark, floating down river with the engines off in order not to disturb wildlife. We may see Sambar deer, otters, barking deer, various species of civets, slow loris, porcupine and owls. At the end of the spotlighting the boats arrive at the evening camp. Overnight local Eco lodge. (BLD)

Please note that the Eco-Lodge has basic facilities. You will sleep in a bed under cover with a mosquito net. No private bathroom facilities.

Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area
Nam Et – Phou Louey National Protected Area is located in the north east of Laos and covers 7 districts and three provinces. The area has primary forest, a high level of biodiversity, and a number of species including gaur, clouded leopard, Asian golden cat and white-cheeked gibbon, turtles, frogs and lizards. Significantly, the area has the most important populations of Indochinese tigers (Panthera Tigris corbetti) in the world. It is estimated that there are 7 – 23 tigers in the area. Tigers represent the overall health of the ecosystem, as only the healthiest ecosystem can support enough prey to support this spectacular but vulnerable carnivore.

Day 8 – Nam Et Phou Louey NPA - Sam Neua

Rise early to the sound of the forest and take an early walk in the jungle learning about the use of medicinal plants and the history of the area, which was once a major settlement during the Indochina War. Before returning to Son Koua village by boat you will be able to record your wildlife sightings in the camp educational facility. We then continue through the mountains affording wonderful views to arrive in Sam Neua by late afternoon. Overnight at Phetmeuangsam Hotel or similar (BLD)

Day 9 – Sam Neua - Viengsay - Mai Chau (Vietnam)

Take a walk through the morning market along the Xam River and view the interesting produce available. We then travel to Viengsay. Marvel at the amazing karst landscape in the middle of town! Visit the information centre near the guesthouse to learn more about the interesting historical significance of the area during the Indochina War. With the help of a local guide and an audio tour, travel to some of the nearby caves to see how the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party lived during the war. This is an incredible experience. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. We continue across the border into Vietnam towards Mai Chau. Overnight in a local homestay (BLD)

Day 10 – Mai Chau

Today travel by motorbike to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, 35km from Mai Chau. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is an area of outstanding beauty, cultural interest and great biodiversity, with a rich forest, limestone panoramas, rice terraces and breath-taking scenery. After a local lunch in Hang village, spend the afternoon trekking in the reserve. Visit a minority village before returning to Mai Chau. Overnight in a local homestay (BLD)

Day 11 – Mai Chau - Son La

This morning travel to Son La. On the way visit Blue H’Mong village in Nong Luong, and stop for a coffee break in Moc Chau, the biggest plateau in Vietnam. After crossing the suspension bridge visit a Black Thai village and then continue on to Son La. Later in the afternoon visit Son La prison and the museum of Ethnology. Overnight at Hanoi Hotel or similar (B)

Day 12 – Son La - Dien Bien Phu

Today we make our way to Dien Bien Phu, located in the largest valley in Northern Vietnam. On the way, visit a Black Thai village and take a walk through the biggest daily hill tribe market to view the different ethnic minorities and produce available. Continue to the spectacular Pha Din Pass and visit a Green H’Mong village. Continue the drive to Dien Bien Phu, visiting a local Black Thai village. Overnight at Muong Thanh Hotel or similar (B)

Day 13 – Dien Bien Phu - Phong Pho - Lai Chau

This morning visit Dien Bien Phu’s local museum and the former battlefield, the scene of the decisive battle between the Vietminh troops and French forces during the First Indochina War, which is considered to be one of the most important events in Vietnamese history. Continue to Muong Lay, formerly known as Lai Chau. Visit the minority villages of the Flower H’Mong and Red Zao people. Overnight at Muong Thanh Hotel or similar (B)

Day 14 – Lai Chau - Sapa

Drive to Sapa over the scenic Hoang Lien pass, the highest mountainpass of Vietnam, where you will arrive in Sapa late in the afternoon. Overnight at Sapa Paradise Hotel or similar (B)

Sapa, formerly known as Cha Pa, is at the foot of the Fanispan Mountain, the highest mountain of Vietnam. The majority of inhabitants of the Lao Cai province are ethnic minorities, such as Hmong, Thai, Giay, Nung, Tay, As Pho, Lolo, Xa Mang and Phu La.

Day 15 – Sapa - Ma Tra Village - Hanoi

Start your day with a short walk through the town of Sapa, through beautiful gardens and pine forests. Pass through the Black H’Mong ethnic minority village of Ma Tra, a very small village away from civilization. Continue your walk through paddy fields and spectacular scenery, and you may also get the chance to visit a local school. Head to the church of Ta Phin where you will be transferred back to Sapa. Take the open bus to Hanoi. Overnight at Hanoi Boutique 1 Hotel or similar (B)

Day 16 – Hanoi

Transfer to the airport for your departure/onward flight (B)

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