44 days in Vietnam, Chiang Rai & Laos Itinerary

44 days in Vietnam, Chiang Rai & Laos Itinerary

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Route & dates

44 days in Vietnam, Chiang Rai & Laos Itinerary

Start: Melbourne, Australia
Fly:  13 h
1
Chiang Rai, Thailand
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
2
Huay Xai, Laos
— 2 nights
Drive:  7 h 30 min
3
Luang Prabang, Laos
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h
4
Nong Khiaw, Laos
— 2 nights
Drive:  6 h 15 min
5
Phonsavan, Laos
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
6
Vang Vieng, Laos
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
7
Vientiane, Laos
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h 45 min
8
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  1 h 30 min
9
Da Lat, Vietnam
— 2 nights
Fly:  2 h 15 min
10
Da Nang, Vietnam
— 21 nights
Fly:  11 h 45 min
End: Melbourne, Australia


Learn more about your trip

2
nights
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Chiang Rai ©
Enjoy a cultural and relaxing vacation in Chiang Rai, the capital city of an eponymous province.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): walk around Singha Park and then make a trip to Clock Tower Chiang Rai. On your second day here, stroll through Elephant Valley Thailand, don't miss a visit to Wat Huay Pla Kang, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Chiang Rai online itinerary planner .

Melbourne, Australia to Chiang Rai is an approximately 13-hour flight. You can also do a combination of shuttle and flight. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Melbourne to Chiang Rai due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Melbourne in July, things will get much warmer in Chiang Rai: highs are around 35°C and lows about 28°C. On the 17th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Huay Xai.

Things to do in Chiang Rai

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Singha Park
Highlights from your plan
Singha Park ©
Singha Park
Elephant Valley Thailand ©
Elephant Valley Thailand

2
nights
Huay Xai, Laos

Huay Xai ©
Overlooking the mighty Mekong River, Huay Xai serves as an important entry and exit point from Thailand into Laos.
To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Huay Xai online vacation planner .

Getting from Chiang Rai to Huay Xai by car takes about 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to drive to Luang Prabang.

Things to do in Huay Xai

Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Gibbon Experience Office ©
Gibbon Experience Office
Wat Chomkao Manilat ©
Wat Chomkao Manilat

3
nights
Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang ©
Designated a World Heritage Site in 1995, Luang Prabang sits at the meeting point of two rivers and offers numerous opportunities for sailing, climbing, and exploring scenic caves and waterfalls.
Luang Prabang is known for nature, shopping, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the sheer force of Kuang Si Waterfall, identify plant and animal life at MandaLao Elephant Conservation, take in the spiritual surroundings of Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, and admire the landmark architecture of Wat Xieng Thong.

Before you visit Luang Prabang, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Getting from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang by car takes about 7.5 hours. Other options: ride a ferry; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Luang Prabang can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to catcht the bus to Nong Khiaw.

Things to do in Luang Prabang

Parks Nature Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
MandaLao Elephant Conservation ©
MandaLao Elephant Conservation
Kuang Si Waterfall ©
Kuang Si Waterfall
Mount Phousi ©
Mount Phousi

2
nights
Nong Khiaw, Laos

Nong Khiaw ©
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): explore the fascinating underground world of Patok Cave and then take some stellar pictures from Viewpoint Nong Khiaw/Ban Sop Houn. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll around 100 Waterfalls.

To find photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Nong Khiaw trip builder site .

Traveling by bus from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in July, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to Phonsavan.

Things to do in Nong Khiaw

Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
100 Waterfalls ©
100 Waterfalls
Viewpoint Nong Khiaw/Ban Sop Houn ©
Viewpoint Nong Khiaw/Ban Sop Houn
Patok Cave ©
Patok Cave

3
nights
Phonsavan, Laos

Phonsavan ©
A base for explorations, the town of Phonsavan sits surrounded by impressive scenery and offers easy access to an abundance of cultural and historic sites.
Explore Phonsavan's surroundings by going to Xieng Khouang (That Foun, Wat Phiawat, & more). The adventure continues: take an unorthodox tour of The Plain of Jars Laos, ponder the world of politics at Uxo Lao, contemplate the long history of Xieng Khouang Phonsavan Official Tourist Information Center, and stroll the grounds of Vietnam War Memorial.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Phonsavan day trip planner.

You can drive from Nong Khiaw to Phonsavan in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will leave for Vang Vieng on the 27th (Mon).

Things to do in Phonsavan

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Xieng Khouang
Highlights from your plan
The Plain of Jars ©
The Plain of Jars
Tham Piu Cave ©
Tham Piu Cave
MAG UXO Visitor Information Centre ©
MAG UXO Visitor Information Centre

3
nights
Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng ©
Lying 150 km (93 mi) from Vientiane en route to Luang Prabang, and perched on the Song River, Vang Vieng attracts eco-tourists for the bizarre limestone hills surrounding the town.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): get your game on at ShootUpVV Paintball. Keep things going the next day: explore the fascinating underground world of Tham Nam (Water cave), identify plant and animal life at Vang Vieng Elephant Sanctuary, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Wat Kang.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Vang Vieng journey website .

You can drive from Phonsavan to Vang Vieng in 5.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Vientiane.

Things to do in Vang Vieng

Parks Nature Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Tham Nam (Water cave) ©
Tham Nam (Water cave)
ShootUpVV Paintball ©
ShootUpVV Paintball
Wat That ©
Wat That

2
nights
Vientiane, Laos

Vientiane ©
The riverside capital of Laos, Vientiane still has a relatively small urban area and a laid-back, relaxed feel to it.
On the 30th (Thu), take an in-depth tour of Lao National History Museum, appreciate the history behind Black Stupa (That Dam), take in the spiritual surroundings of Wat Ho Phra Keo, then appreciate the history behind Patuxai, then contemplate the long history of Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang), and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Wat Si Saket. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Fri): stroll around Buddha Park, browse the eclectic array of goods at Morning Market, then walk around Mekong Riverside Park, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Wat Si Muang.

To see reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Vientiane day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Vang Vieng to Vientiane takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can travel to Ho Chi Minh City.

Things to do in Vientiane

Historic Sites Shopping Museums
Highlights from your plan
Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang) ©
Buddha Park ©
Buddha Park
Wat Si Saket ©
Wat Si Saket

2
nights
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City ©
Formerly known in the West as Saigon and affectionately referred to as the "Pearl of the Far East," Ho Chi Minh City is a study of old and new, woven and piled together in a fast-paced urban hub.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): don't miss a visit to Cu Chi Tunnels, pause for some serene contemplation at Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, then get a sense of history and politics at Central Post Office, and finally get engrossed in the history at War Remnants Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun): browse the eclectic array of goods at Ben Thanh Market and then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To see where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Ho Chi Minh City online trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Vientiane to Ho Chi Minh City in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car, bus, and flight; or drive. In August, daily temperatures in Ho Chi Minh City can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 29°C. You'll have a few hours on the 3rd (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Da Lat.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Tours Adventure Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Cu Chi Tunnels ©
Cu Chi Tunnels
War Remnants Museum ©
War Remnants Museum
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Da Lat, Vietnam

While often referred to as "City of a Thousand Flowers," "City of a Thousand Pines," and "City of a Thousand Palms," you'd be right in thinking that numbers far greater than a thousand have given Da Lat its reputation as a fertile agricultural heartland.
On the 3rd (Mon), skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour. On the 4th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Linh Phuoc Pagoda, push the limits with an extreme tour, and then don't miss a visit to Lam Vien Square.

For other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Da Lat attractions planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to Da Nang.

Things to do in Da Lat

Tours Outdoors Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Linh Phuoc Pagoda ©
Linh Phuoc Pagoda

21
nights
Da Nang, Vietnam

Da Nang ©
A curious mix of developed beachfront tourism and untouched local city life, Da Nang presents an often-overlooked but authentic and welcoming picture of central Vietnam.
Change things up with these side-trips from Da Nang: Hai Van Pass (in Phu Tho), Hoi An (Chuc Thanh Pagoda, Cua Dai Beach, & more) and Hue (Gakka Art Gallery, Tomb of Tu Duc, & more). There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape at The Marble Mountains, capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, don't miss a visit to Lady Buddha, and see the interesting displays at Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture.

To see other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Da Nang trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Da Lat to Da Nang takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 40°C in August, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Da Nang

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Hoi An, Hue, Hai Van Pass
Highlights from your plan
Hoi An Ancient Town ©
Hoi An Ancient Town
Imperial City ©
Imperial City
The Marble Mountains ©
The Marble Mountains

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