From Hanoi to Hidden Laos
4-day Hanoi to Laos Scenery Tour - Vietnam & Laos
Explore the rarely-visited backroads between Hanoi and hidden Laos, stopping for a heartwarming homestay on the way. It’s a journey of a million turns with staggering scenery, secret local spots, short mountain treks and a huge helping of local hospitality. Authentic and atmospheric, it’s one of our favourite trips. You’ll spend two nights in a traditional stilted house in Mai Chau as guests of a tribal family. It might be simple but it’s steeped in rural charm. During the stay, you’ll trek through remote nature reserves and visit minority villages. Next, you’ll cross into Laos to hear your footsteps echo across vast limestone caves before continuing to Phonsovan, home to the surreal Plain of Jars.
- Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
- Guide on Day 2
- Dinner on Day 1
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on day 2
- Breakfast on day 3
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Your day-by-day itinerary
The journey from Hanoi to Mai Chau is packed with panoramic views. Simply sit back, gaze out of the window and take it all in. On arrival, you’ll be served a tasty lunch by your local White Tai hosts and stay in a stilted house with basic amenities. While it’s far from fancy, it’s high on charm. On day 2, you’ll hop on the back of a motorbike and head for Pu Luong Nature Reserve, a jumble of thick forests, towering limestone mountains and rice terraces.
Mai Chau - Vieng Xai - Sam Neua
Setting off early, you’ll travel towards the remote Vietnam-Laos border-crossing. You’ll arrange your visa on arrival (between $30-$45 and you will need one passport photo) before meeting your Laos driver on the other side. From the border, you’ll head for Vieng Xai, a narrow valley that plunges between limestone peaks. The mountains here are criss-crossed with caves that were once the headquarters of the Pathet Laos leaders and over 23,000 of their followers. Finally, you’ll continue to Sam Neua and stay in a simple guesthouse.
Sam Neua to Phonsovan
From Sam Neua, you’ll take a gorgeous twisting trip towards Phonsovan, capital of the Xieng Khuong Province. Known for producing maize, it’s a patchwork of yellow and green fields broken up with forested hills and deep valleys. This is some of the most rarely-visited scenery in South East Asia, often described as a “journey of a million turns”. The road winds all the way to Phonsovan, where this part of your adventure ends.
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From 15 days / 14 nights (flexible)
Vietnam, Hanoi - Bai Tu Long Bay - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap & Angkor Wat (also available in reverse!)