Vietnam Cambodia Laos Itinerary 10 Days

by Meghdut

Ready for an unforgettable adventure through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos? Get ready to embark on a 10-day itinerary that will take you on a whirlwind exploration of these three beautiful countries. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the iconic temples of Angkor Wat, and the serene landscapes of Luang Prabang, this journey promises to immerse you in the rich cultures, history, and natural beauty of Southeast Asia. So pack your bags, get your camera ready, and let’s dive into this incredible Vietnam Cambodia Laos itinerary!

Vietnam Cambodia Laos Itinerary 10 Days

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Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi, Vietnam

Arrival at Noi Bai International Airport

Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam! As you step off the plane and make your way through customs, you’ll be greeted by the warm and bustling atmosphere of Noi Bai International Airport. After collecting your luggage, make your way to the designated meeting point where your tour guide will be waiting to welcome you.

Transfer to hotel in Hanoi

Once you meet your tour guide, they will assist you in transferring to your hotel in Hanoi. The journey from the airport to your accommodation will give you a taste of the vibrant city life and the beautiful surroundings of Hanoi. Get ready to embrace the rich culture and history this city has to offer.

Explore Hanoi Old Quarter

After freshening up and settling into your hotel, it’s time to begin your adventure in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. This historic district is known for its narrow alleyways, French colonial architecture, and bustling markets. Take a leisurely stroll through the streets, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the local life.

Visit Hoan Kiem Lake

No visit to Hanoi is complete without a visit to Hoan Kiem Lake, a serene oasis in the heart of the city. Legend says that a magical sword was bestowed upon Emperor Le Loi by a divine turtle in this very lake. Explore the tranquil surroundings, admire the iconic red bridge leading to Ngoc Son Temple, and maybe even spot some giant turtles swimming in the lake.

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

Morning visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Start your second day in Hanoi with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to the revered Vietnamese leader. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to see Ho Chi Minh’s preserved body and learn about his life and contributions to Vietnam’s history.

Tour the Presidential Palace and One Pillar Pagoda

Next on the agenda is a tour of the Presidential Palace and a visit to the One Pillar Pagoda. The Presidential Palace is a grand French colonial building where the Ho Chi Minh Museum is located. Dive deeper into Vietnam’s history as you explore the exhibits and learn about the country’s struggle for independence. Just a short walk away lies the One Pillar Pagoda, a unique and charming Buddhist temple known for its distinctive architecture.

Explore the Temple of Literature

Continue your exploration of Hanoi’s historical sites with a visit to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. This well-preserved complex is a testament to the nation’s rich educational traditions and Confucian values. Walk through the peaceful courtyards, admire the intricately carved altars, and soak up the educational atmosphere that has been thriving here for centuries.

Enjoy a traditional Water Puppet Show

End your day on a cultural high note by attending a traditional Water Puppet Show. This captivating art form originated in the flooded rice fields of the Red River Delta and has been entertaining audiences for over a thousand years. Be amazed as intricately carved wooden puppets dance and glide across the water, telling stories of Vietnamese folklore and traditions.

Vietnam Cambodia Laos Itinerary 10 Days

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Day 3: Halong Bay Cruise

Embark on a cruise in Halong Bay

On the third day of your journey, prepare for a breathtaking excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay. You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Hanoi and driven to the picturesque Halong Bay, where you’ll board your overnight cruise. As you set sail, marvel at the mesmerizing limestone karsts jutting out of the emerald waters, creating a mystical landscape unlike any other.

Explore limestone caves and islands

As your cruise glides through the bay, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the stunning limestone caves and islands that make this area famous. Venture into the depths of the Thien Cung Cave or Dau Go Cave, where you’ll be awestruck by the intricate rock formations and otherworldly beauty.

Enjoy swimming or kayaking

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a refreshing dip in the warm waters of Halong Bay or hop in a kayak and paddle among the limestone karsts? Feel the cool breeze on your face as you navigate through hidden lagoons and discover secluded beaches. This is the perfect opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural surroundings.

Overnight stay on the cruise

As the sun sets over the tranquil waters of Halong Bay, enjoy a delicious dinner on board the cruise, accompanied by stunning views of the shimmering bay. After dinner, you can relax on the deck, stargaze, or even try your hand at squid fishing. Retreat to your comfortable cabin for a restful night’s sleep, knowing that tomorrow holds more adventures in store.

Day 4: Hue, Vietnam

Fly to Hue

Wake up to the gentle rocking of the cruise and savor a delectable breakfast as you sail back to the harbor. From there, you’ll be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by your local guide and taken to your hotel to freshen up before exploring this historically rich city.

Visit the Imperial Citadel

Step into the past as you visit the Imperial Citadel, the former seat of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors. Explore the vast complex, which includes temples, palaces, pavilions, and gardens, all surrounded by imposing walls. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the royal past as you walk along the pathways and learn about the fascinating history of Hue.

Explore the Thien Mu Pagoda

Next, head to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-story temple perched on the banks of the Perfume River. Admire the stunning architecture and intricate details of this sacred site, which has become one of the symbols of the city. Take in the serene atmosphere and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Try Hue’s famous cuisine

No visit to Hue is complete without indulging in its famous cuisine. Known for its imperial heritage and delicious dishes, Hue offers a wide array of traditional specialties. From mouthwatering banh khoai (Hue-style savory pancakes) to delicate banh beo (steamed rice cakes), you’ll have the chance to taste the unique flavors that make Hue’s cuisine so renowned.

Vietnam Cambodia Laos Itinerary 10 Days

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Day 5: Hoi An Ancient Town

Travel to Hoi An

Bid farewell to Hue as you embark on a scenic journey to the charming town of Hoi An. Sit back and enjoy the picturesque landscapes as you traverse through the central region of Vietnam. Upon arrival, you’ll be enchanted by the well-preserved architecture and the relaxed atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge

Begin your exploration of Hoi An with a visit to the Japanese Covered Bridge, one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. This beautiful bridge, with its unique blend of Japanese and Vietnamese architectural styles, has been captivating visitors for centuries. Take a leisurely stroll across the bridge, admiring the intricate designs and the serene views of the Thu Bon River.

Explore the Ancient Town

Step back in time as you wander through the enchanting streets of Hoi An’s Ancient Town. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of this trading port, which flourished between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the well-preserved merchant houses, ornate pagodas, and atmospheric lantern-lit streets. Don’t forget to indulge in some retail therapy as you explore the bustling markets and boutique shops filled with local handicrafts and tailor-made clothing.

Try traditional Vietnamese lantern making

Hoi An is renowned for its lantern-making traditions, and what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than by trying your hand at lantern making? Join a workshop and learn the techniques of crafting these vibrant and whimsical lanterns. You’ll have the opportunity to choose your own colors and designs, creating a unique souvenir to take home.

Day 6: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Fly to Siem Reap

Today, you’ll bid farewell to Vietnam as you embark on a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Siem Reap is best known as the gateway to the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex, but it also boasts its own unique charm and cultural heritage. Upon arriving in Siem Reap, you’ll be greeted by your local guide and transferred to your hotel.

Visit Angkor Wat

Prepare to be awe-inspired as you explore the crown jewel of Cambodia, Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest religious monument in the world and a true testament to the Khmer civilization. Marvel at the intricate carvings, iconic stone towers, and expansive complex that houses stunning temples, galleries, and courtyards. As you explore Angkor Wat, allow yourself to be transported back in time to the pinnacle of Khmer architecture and spiritual devotion.

Explore the Angkor Thom complex

After Angkor Wat, venture to the nearby Angkor Thom complex, a fortified city that was once the capital of the Khmer Empire. Enter through the imposing South Gate and make your way to the Bayon Temple, famous for its serene and enigmatic stone faces. Explore the other structures within the complex, such as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, each showcasing the grandeur and splendor of the Khmer Empire.

Enjoy a traditional Apsara dance performance

In the evening, treat yourself to a mesmerizing traditional Apsara dance performance. Apsara dance is a classical Khmer dance form that originated in the royal courts of Angkor. Marvel at the graceful movements and intricate costumes as the dancers bring ancient legends and stories to life through their performance. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia and be captivated by the beauty and elegance of this traditional art form.

Vietnam Cambodia Laos Itinerary 10 Days

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Day 7: Angkor Temples

Discover the Bayon Temple

On day seven, continue your exploration of the Angkor temple complex with a visit to the Bayon Temple. This temple is known for its striking stone faces, which can be found on the towers throughout the complex. Take your time to wander through the maze-like corridors and soak up the mystical atmosphere as you uncover the secrets and symbolism behind the intricate carvings.

Explore Ta Prohm, the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple

Next, venture into the enchanting ruins of Ta Prohm, famously known as the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple. This temple is a true testament to the power of nature, as enormous trees have taken root within the ancient walls, creating a mesmerizing and romantic scene. Channel your inner explorer as you navigate the labyrinthine corridors and discover the hidden nooks and crannies of this atmospheric temple.

Visit Banteay Srei, the ‘Citadel of Women’

In the afternoon, head to Banteay Srei, often referred to as the ‘Citadel of Women.’ This temple is renowned for its intricate and delicate carvings, which showcase the exceptional skill and craftsmanship of the Khmer artisans. Marvel at the detailed bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and be captivated by the pink sandstone structures that give this temple its unique charm.

Sunset at Pre Rup temple

As the day draws to a close, make your way to Pre Rup temple to witness a magical sunset over the ancient city. This temple, with its red-brick towers and stunning views, provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable sunset experience. As the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow upon the temples, take a moment to reflect on the awe-inspiring beauty and rich history that surrounds you.

Day 8: Luang Prabang, Laos

Fly to Luang Prabang

It’s time to bid farewell to Cambodia and set off on a new adventure as you fly to the charming city of Luang Prabang in Laos. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by your local guide and escorted to your hotel. Luang Prabang, nestled between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, Buddhist temples, and serene natural beauty.

Visit the Royal Palace Museum

Begin your exploration of Luang Prabang with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, also known as the Haw Kham. This former royal residence showcases a beautiful blend of traditional Lao and French colonial architecture. Take a fascinating journey through the history of Laos as you browse the museum’s exhibits, which include royal artifacts, religious relics, and traditional costumes.

Explore the Wat Xieng Thong temple

Next, immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance of Luang Prabang with a visit to the iconic Wat Xieng Thong temple. This breathtaking temple complex is a prime example of classic Lao architecture, with its sweeping roofs, intricate mosaics, and ornate gilded stenciling. Wander through the beautifully manicured grounds, marvel at the golden Buddha statues, and soak up the serene atmosphere of this sacred site.

Climb Mount Phousi for panoramic views

To end the day on a high note, embark on a leisurely climb up Mount Phousi to witness panoramic views of Luang Prabang. As you ascend the steps, take in the lush greenery and the surrounding landscape, with the Mekong River winding through the city. Once at the top, be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the city, the surrounding mountains, and the glowing sunset. This is the perfect spot to reflect on your journey and appreciate the beauty of Laos.

Vietnam Cambodia Laos Itinerary 10 Days

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Day 9: Kuang Si Waterfalls

Visit the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls

Start your penultimate day with a visit to the picturesque Kuang Si Waterfalls, one of the most stunning natural wonders in Laos. Admire the vibrant turquoise pools, cascading waterfalls, and lush jungle surroundings. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters or simply relax and soak up the beauty of this tranquil oasis. Don’t forget your camera to capture the breathtaking views and picturesque moments.

Explore the Bear Rescue Center

Within the Kuang Si Waterfall Park, you’ll find the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center. This sanctuary is dedicated to the rehabilitation and protection of endangered Asiatic black bears, also known as moon bears. Take some time to learn about the important conservation efforts being made to protect these magnificent creatures and observe them in their natural habitat.

Participate in a traditional Baci ceremony

Experience the traditional culture of Laos as you participate in a Baci ceremony, a powerful and meaningful ritual believed to bring good luck, health, and prosperity. During the ceremony, a cotton thread is tied around your wrist while blessings are recited. This is a deeply spiritual and personal experience that offers insight into the Lao people’s strong belief in the interconnectedness of the spiritual and physical worlds.

Enjoy the night market in Luang Prabang

As evening falls, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Luang Prabang’s night market. Stroll through the bustling stalls, browse through a wide array of handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs, and perhaps pick up a few treasures to remind you of your time in Laos. Don’t forget to sample some delicious street food, such as sticky rice or barbecued skewers, as you take in the sights, sounds, and aromas of this lively market.

Day 10: Departure from Laos

Transfer to the airport

Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to the captivating beauty of Laos. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Luang Prabang Airport, where you’ll bid farewell to your guide and make your way to your departure gate. Take one last look at the serene landscapes and cultural wonders you’ve experienced over the past 10 days, knowing that the memories will stay with you forever.

Departure from Luang Prabang

As you board your flight, reminisce on the incredible journey you’ve embarked upon and the diverse cultures and landscapes you’ve encountered. Whether it’s the bustling streets of Vietnam, the ancient temples of Cambodia, or the peaceful charm of Laos, this 10-day itinerary has offered you a glimpse into the enchanting world of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

End of the itinerary

As your plane takes off, you can reflect on the incredible highlights, the immersive experiences, and the lifelong memories created during this unforgettable adventure through three Southeast Asian countries. This 10-day itinerary has offered you a perfect balance of history, culture, natural wonders, and culinary delights in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Farewell to this captivating corner of the world, but remember, Southeast Asia is always ready to welcome you back with open arms.

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