- Asia & The Pacific
- Private Journeys
- Vietnam & Laos: Coffee & Culinary Adventure (8 days, 7 nights)
8 days & 7 nights, Private Journey Vietnam & Laos: Coffee & Tasty Culinary Adventure. 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.
Hanoi & Luang Prabang
On this journey through Vietnam and Laos, cultural sightseeing meets with culinary experiences to give an intimate view of life in the cities. Start your journey in Hanoi, Vietnam. There, explore the country through important sites, traditional entertainment and local cuisine. Tour the old quarter and lake by cyclo (bicycle rickshaw) before taking in a traditional water puppet show and enjoy a Vietnamese coffee. In Luang Prabang, Laos, meet a specialist in the local form of whiskey making, visit a water buffalo cheese farm and see their coffee production process in action.
Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Upon arrival in Vietnam and after clearing immigration procedures, you will be welcomed by your
Cox & Kings representative and accompanied to your hotel.
Sofitel Metropole – 3 Nights
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)
Hanoi – 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)
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.
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.
Avani+ Luang Prabang (B, L)
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)
Today you will enjoy a coffee tour. Tour option dependent on seasonality and availability.
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.
Avani+ Luang Prabang (B)
Depart Luang Prabang
Spend the morning at leisure until it is time to transfer you to airport for your onward flight.