Vietnam & Laos: Coffee & Culinary Adventure8 days & 7 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Upon arrival in Vietnam and after clearing immigration procedures, you will be welcomed by yourSofitel Metropole - 3 Nights
Cox & Kings representative and accompanied to your hotel.
In the morning, visit outside Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the former President's stilt house where Uncle Ho lived from 1958 to 1969. Continue touring the park by visiting the iconic One-Pillar Pagoda. Visit the Temple of Literature, originally built as a temple to Confucius; this is the site of Vietnam's first university dating back to 1070. Continue to Hoa Loa Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton" by US military interred there, used by the French colonists for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for prisoners during the Vietnam War. Most of the complex was demolished in the 1990s, though the gatehouse remains as a museum. Enjoy a cyclo (bicycle rickshaw) tour of the old quarter and the lake in the afternoon followed by a visit of Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake. Right at one corner of the lake you will stop for a Water Puppet Show, the unique Vietnamese traditional art. This art originates from rural festivals in Vietnam. The artists-men and women-stand waist-deep in the water to manipulate the puppets, making them move about, talk and laugh and even dance on the surface of the water. Take a fun stroll around the Old Quarter of Hanoi, with 36 old streets before heading to typical Hanoi local coffee shop where you settle down for refreshment with local Vietnamese coffee.Sofitel Metropole (D)
Today you will enjoy a three hour intensive food tour of Hanoi, led by a local expert. Van Cong Tu is a food blogger and local hospitality industry insider from Nha Trang currently living in Hanoi. He is an expert on the cuisine of the south-central coast, having grown up in Nha Trang, but Hanoi is where he dwells and its chaotic web of lanes and alleys are where he eats most. Tu's blog, cheekily named Vietnamese God, is where he started to document his food and culture adventures in 2005. Tu's food writing has been featured in many English language food magazines in the region. His experience managing some of Hanoi's finest dining establishments and street food knowledge make him a true expert.Sofitel Metropole (B, L, D dependent on tour timing)
Day 4Hanoi - Luang Prabang, Laos
After a morning at leisure, you will be transferred to your mid-day flight to Luang Prabang. After you clear immigration and customs procedures, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.Avani+ Luang Prabang - 4 Nights (B)
Day 5Luang Prabang
In the morning before sunrise, participate in tak bat, alms giving to the local monks. A truly spiritual and humbling experience, provide sticky rice for the streams of flowing saffron robed monks as the shuffle by in silence. After this ritual walk down the street to visit the Luang Prabang morning market, one of the most authentic in the region, and still the primary way most locals still buy their produce and meat. Return to your hotel for breakfast.Avani+ Luang Prabang (B, L)
After breakfast set out just down the main road for a full day tour of this charming town. You'll be picked at your hotel's lobby and then visit the National Museum (former King's Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts of the Royal Family then visit Vat Xieng Thong, the most beautiful temple of Luang Prabang dating back from the 16th-century, and Vat Sene. Enjoy lunch at Silk Road, a restaurant run by the town's well known traditional silk brand, Ock Pop Tok. You'll be transferred to a local pier right after your lunch to embark on traditional boat and cruise upstream on the Mekong River to visit the sacred Buddha caves. Visit Tham Ting and Tham Phoum caves in which you find hundreds of Buddha statues.
Return to the town. On the way, you'll stop at Xang Hai village, where is the specialist in Lao whisky production and from there you'll continue to the town by car and take a walk Hmong market, where you could buy some souvenirs.
Day 6Luang Prabang
Today you will enjoy an afternoon local buffalo cheese farm experience. This join-in class provides you a fun unique day seeing how Lao water buffaloes are used to make western cheese like buffalo mozzarella. This dairy provides cheese for many of the top hotels in Laos. At 3 PM you'll be picked up at your hotel's lobby and transferred to Laos Buffalo Dairy. You will be provided farmer overalls and boots, don't forget to wear socks. The small group allows for an in-depth look at the history and running of the farm and production facility with one of the co-founders of the farm. Help move the herd to the milking stalls and watch the team in action. Of course there will be some hands on milking practice whilst you discover all the benefits of buffalo milk. After milking it's time to wash and scrub the buffalo. Then it's time to feed these voracious giants. One of your jobs will be distributing bananas or bottle feed for cuddly calves still in the nursery. Visit maternity and perhaps see a new calf only hours old. End with a mozzarella making class with the chef. After your class, enjoy a delicious dinner of local ingredients, such as: ricotta stuffed tomatoes; deep fried mozzarella; green salad with feta; home-made cake; ice-cream trio.Avani+ Luang Prabang (B)
Day 7Luang Prabang
Today you will enjoy a coffee tour. Tour option dependent on seasonality and availability.Avani+ Luang Prabang (B)
Option 1: Half day Saffron Coffee Tastings & Tours (Join-in tour, minimum 2 pax)
(Available Tuesdays & Wednesdays, between December to March only)
You will be picked up at your hotel and escorted to Saffron cafe, located in town. Delve into the world of coffee production from cherry to cup. Embark on an interactive coffee tour that provides insight into Luang Prabang's original Arabica coffee. You will have the opportunity to see the various stages of growing and processing coffee, grading and sorting green beans, and roasting specialty coffee. At the end of the tour you will be escorted back to your hotel.
Option 2: Siphon Coffee Class at Cafe De Lao
(Available daily, between 10:00AM and 6:00PM )
Take a one hour coffee making class about siphon coffee. Siphon or vacuum coffee is experiencing a renaissance among discerning coffee drinkers. Learn how to make delicious coffee that is more science experiment than daily breakfast routine. Learn how siphon coffee works, how to choose the right beans and try it yourself. Savor your creation with included snacks.
Day 8Depart Luang Prabang
Spend the morning at leisure until it is time to transfer you to airport for your onward flight.(B)
Internal Flights / Delays / Insurance: Almost all the internal flights in this brochure use jet airliners, with some internal airlines in Southeast Asia using turboprop aircraft.
Because of increased air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with your travel arrangements, and additional costs may well be involved. This may be in the form of added accommodation costs, transfers and/or onward tickets. If this should occur, everything possible will be done to minimize the inconvenience. Cox & Kings will endeavor to ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible. As services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays and/or schedule changes are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances, and we strongly advise that you purchase insurance against such eventualities.
Airport Departure Taxes: The cost of our tours does not always include airport departure taxes or overland departure taxes; it is necessary for you to pay these locally and in local currency. Please ensure that you retain enough local currency to cover these taxes. Departure taxes vary in each country and you will be advised when possible of the rates before your departure from the U.S.A. These taxes are always subject to change, and if they do so when you are traveling, your guide or our ground handler will advise you.
The majority of the roads to and from major tourist destinations are paved and in reasonable condition. Although many of the city roads are now 4 to 6-lane highways and have had a large amount of investment in recent years, many of the narrower ones and smaller highways are bumpy and pot-holed. In Vietnam and Cambodia, many of the roads are in poor condition, but most of the main highways are paved. For longer journeys, we will nearly always advise you to fly. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour. Generally, the following can be used as a guideline for the size of transportation provided: 1-3 passengers, sedan car; 4-6 passengers, minivan; 6-19 passengers, small bus; 20-28 passengers, medium bus.
A number of flights within Asia & the Pacific arrive/depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives/departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in/check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Asia & the Pacific; however, in most of the major cities the hotels are of a good standard. Standards will vary much more in some of the smaller cities and rural areas.
For our tours in Asia & the Pacific, we have chosen hotels primarily for their location and the facilities available. We will endeavor to supply any extra information that you may require about these hotels. The hotels listed in the tour itineraries may occasionally be unavailable for the required dates. In this event, we will advise you of the alternative hotels, which will, where possible, be of the same or of a higher standard than those featured in the itineraries. There are many new hotels being built in Asia & the Pacific, and we may upgrade those featured in the brochure if better options in the same category become available. In Mongolia we use traditional tents or “gers”.
Please note all rooms reserved on your tour are standard, unless noted otherwise; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g., to a lake view or suite, etc.), please speak to your tour consultant who will be able to advise you about options and applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in time is normally 14:00 and check-out time is normally 12:00, but this does vary between hotels. Early check-ins and late check-outs cannot be pre-booked without extra payment.
In some cases, prices for individual arrangements and tour extensions are quoted excluding a guide. In this case, the supplement for a guide is available on request. For logistical reasons, some extensions are on a shared basis based upon a minimum of two passengers and not on a private basis.
Visiting many of the sites in Asia require a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. While the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at ancient monuments there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Cruise boats may vary their itineraries with little or no notice if water levels become unusually low, or to avoid areas of dense traffic. Such changes are generally very rare, but you should check the final itinerary at reception when you embark. Cruise itineraries include full board, but all drinks will be charged as extras.
Vietnam & Laos: Coffee & Culinary Adventure
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.