16 Days Yunnan-Vietnam and Laos Minorities Discovery and Rice Terraces Wonders Tour

Day 1 Arrive in Kunming
Day 2 Kunming-Shilin-Jianshui
Day 3 Jianshui-Yuanyang
Day 4 Yuanyang
Day 5 Yuanyang-Hekou-Sapa

Day 6 Sapa
Views over the rice terraces of Sapa, Vietnam Hmong girl with Water buffalo, Coc Ly Market, Bac Ha Local Girl, Coc Ly Market, Bac Ha Another lovely drive today, to get to Sapa. Please be aware that some of the roads earlier on in the journey are untarmacked mountain roads. Some of the valleys you pass through are absolutely stunning. It’s a full day’s driving with stops. Tonight stay at the gorgeous Topas Ecolodge, with great views out to the mountains.

Day 7 Sapa
Young Red Dzao Child, Thanh Kim Valley, Vietnam Red Dzao Woman, Thanh Kim Valley, Sapa, Vietnam Stunning mountain views, Sapa Today your guide will take you out to visit minority villages in the area. In the afternoon you can take the cable car up to the top of Fan Si Pan, the tallest mountain in Indochina.

Day 8 Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam One hundred year-old woman, Sapa Valley, Vietnam Ladies in Sapa Today a full day’s driving (with stops, as usual) to get to Dien Bien Phu, the site of a very important battle between the French and the Vietnamese that led to the French moving out of Vietnam.

Day 9 Muang Khua
River travel from Muang La to Nong Khiaw River travel between Muang Khua and Nong Khiaw This morning you have touring of the museum and key sites on the battlefield. Afterwards you have a couple of hours’ driving to get to the little-used border with Laos. Meet your Laotian guide and driver and drive through pretty mountain scenery to Muang Khua, situated on the stunning Nam Ou River.

Day 10 Phongsali
Trekking towards an Akha Village, Phongsaly Village on a mountain top, Phongsaly Mountains of Phongsaly, Laos Today you have a combination of road and boat transfers to reach Phongsali in northern Laos. The boat journeys are incredible – very few tourists get up to this part of the Nam Ou, it feels quite wild and remote. The travelling will take most of the day, but as usual there will be stops along the way. Phongsali is one of the least visited parts of Laos, it is a mountainous area populated by many ethnic minorities (including the Akha) and where tea is grown. It is close to the border with China.

Day 11 Phongsali
Boat travel in northern Laos, Phongsaly View from Viphaphone Hotel View over Phongsali Today your private guide will help you explore Phongsali and surrounds, including tea plantations and processing plants. The procedure for “curing” the tea once picked is fascinating.

Day 12 Muang La
Local minority hill tribe village, Muang La, Laos Lady of the Akha tribe, Laos Laos tribal women From Phongsali you have a full day’s driving to get to Muang La – and a very special property indeed. Muang La Lodge is a luxury property, set up by a French couple, that is perfectly in harmony with its surroundings and the local community. All meals are included here and the food is really quite special. The lodge has an excellent spa and hot springs on site!

Day 13 Muang La
Local ladies in minority villages, Northern Laos River journeys are the lifeblood of Laos Colourful ethnic groups of northern Laos A full day to explore the local area and learn about the ethnic minorities here.

Day 14 Luang Prabang
Monk in temple grounds, Luang Prabang Novice Monk Luang Prabang Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang The last leg of your incredible overland journey takes you, over about half a day, to charming Luang Prabang. Enjoy the atmospheric night market.

Day 15 Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang,Laos Night market in Luang Prabang, Laos Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos Today you have about half the day to explore the attractions of Luang Prabang with your private guide. We strongly recommend visiting the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, a very well maintained museum dedicated to the tribal culture of Laos. This will help you process much of what you saw on your journey over from Vietnam.

Day 16 Return home
Children fishing in the Nam Ou Local fisherman on the Nam Ou Monks at Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang We will transfer you to the airport ahead of your international flight out.