14 Days in Vietnam and Laos: Everything You Need to Know

Winding rivers, spires of enchanting temples, bustling street markets, and the aromas of Pho and Sticky rice in the air: Laos and Vietnam are more than just destinations, they are experiences waiting to be lived. Between the tranquil landscapes and the dynamic rhythm of the cities of these two Southeast Asia jewels, a journey of 14 days in Vietnam and Laos promises a mix of adventure, serenity, and cultural immersion.

Join us to discover essential information about this adventure and answer questions that any intrepid traveler is likely to ask, to ensure that you do more than just visit, but truly live the experience of Vietnam and Laos in 14 days.

Why Spending 14 Days in Vietnam and Laos?

Southeast Asia beckons us, and at its heart, Laos and Vietnam promise enduring adventures. Beyond the beauty of the landscapes, it’s the fusion of ancient traditions and captivating stories that draw travelers. From the serene Mekong of Laos to the bustling streets of Hanoi in Vietnam, every corner tells a story.

Spending 14 days in Vietnam and Laos offers an unparalleled travel experience in terms of depth and diversity. Here’s what makes it a choice itinerary:

  • Balanced Exploration: 14 days is the ideal duration to immerse in the unique ambiance of both countries without being overwhelmed.
  • Cultural and Natural Harmony: Engage in the rich tapestry of local traditions while discovering varied landscapes, from serene riverbanks to majestic mountains.
  • Historical Perspectives: Uncover the deep history of these nations, understanding the significant events of their past and their influence on contemporary life.
  • Cost-effective Adventure: Two weeks ensure a memorable journey at a very advantageous price, combining luxury experiences with moderate travel costs.

Where to Explore in Vietnam and Laos in 14 Days

Embarking on a 14-day journey to Laos and Vietnam is like diving into a treasure trove of experiences. With such diverse landscapes and rich cultures, the challenge lies in choosing where to go! But fear not, we’ve compiled a list to help you make the most of your two-week odyssey.

Explore Vietnam

Beautiful Vietnam

Beautiful Vietnam

Northern Vietnam: The heart of culture with Hanoi as its crown jewel. Surrounding areas, like the terraced fields of Sapa and the iconic Halong Bay, offer breathtaking natural beauty.

Central Vietnam: A historical and cultural melting pot. Cities like Hue and Hoi An reflect the country’s imperial past and architectural wonders. Coastal regions, like Da Nang, offer pristine beaches and modern amenities.

Southern Vietnam: Anchored by the bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Venture into the Mekong Delta for a glimpse of river life, or explore remnants of the war in places like the Cu Chi Tunnels.

>>> Check out the Vietnam Travel Guide for more information.

Explore Laos

Lovely Landscape in Laos

Lovely Landscape in Laos

Northern Laos: This mountainous region is home to the enchanting city of Luang Prabang with its temples and the serenity of the Mekong. Further into the highlands, you can meet various ethnic groups and explore lush landscapes.

Central Laos: Dominated by the limestone karsts of Vang Vieng, it’s a paradise for adventurers. Beyond adventure, it’s a region with serene rivers and vibrant local culture.

Southern Laos: Characterized by Pakse and the Bolaven Plateau, it stands out for its waterfalls, coffee plantations, and the 4,000 Islands region, perfect for those seeking relaxation by the Mekong.

>>> Consult the Laos Travel Guide for more information.

Suggested Itineraries for 14 Days in Vietnam and Laos

Itinerary 1: Panorama of Vietnam and Laos in 14 Days

Panorama of Vietnam and Laos in 14 Days

Day 1 – Ho Chi Minh City Arrival and Welcome Dinner: Arrival in Saigon, exploration, and welcome dinner.

Day 2 – Saigon’s Historical Exploration: Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels and exploration of Saigon’s highlights, including China Town, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace.

Day 3 – Mekong Delta Adventure: Excursion to My Tho in the Mekong Delta with a boat tour and visits to local farms. Stop at Long An for the Cao Dai Temple.

Day 4 – Journey from Saigon to Hoi An: Morning in Saigon, then flight to Da Nang and transfer to Hoi An. Exploration of China Beach, Ngu Hanh Son Stone Village, and Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO-listed site.

Day 5 – From Hoi An to Hue: Discovery of Hoi An’s historical sites. Departure for Hue via Danang with a stop at the Cham Museum and panoramic views at Hai Van Pass.

Day 6 – Hue’s Imperial and Cultural Sites: Exploration of Hue’s historical sites with a river cruise to Thien Mu Pagoda and visits to the tombs of Emperors Minh Mang and Tu Duc, the Imperial City, and Dong Ba Market.

Day 7 – Fly to Hanoi: Flight to Hanoi. Visit Hanoi’s attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, and the Old Quarter. Finish the day with a water puppet show.

Day 8 – Ha Long Bay Cruise Experience: Transfer to Ha Long Bay for a cruise, exploration of the “Surprising Cave” and swimming at Titov Island.

Day 9 – Ha Long Bay to Hanoi: Exploration of Ha Long Bay. Return to Hanoi in the evening.

Day 10 – Head to Vientiane: Morning in Hanoi, then flight to Vientiane. Visit Vat Sisakhet, Ho Prakeo, and the Great Stupa That Luang.

Day 11 – Discovering Luang Prabang: Flight to Luang Prabang. Exploration of the city and its monasteries.

Day 12 – Luang Prabang’s Cultural and Historical Sites: Discovery of Luang Prabang’s attractions, including Mount Phousy, Wat Xieng Thong, and the Museum of the Former Royal Palace.

Day 13 – Natural Wonders of Luang Prabang: Visit the Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls.

Day 14 – Farewell to Luang Prabang: Free time in Luang Prabang before departure.

>>> Check here for the detailed tour program.

Itinerary 2: Adventures to Northern Vietnam and Laos in 2 Weeks

Adventures to Northern Vietnam and Laos in 2 Weeks

Day 1 – Arrival in Hanoi: Local dinner experience

Day 2 – Hanoi City Tour: Exploring Hanoi: Ho Chi Minh Complex, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Quan Thanh Temple, West Lake, and choice between Vietnam History Museum and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, followed by a traditional water puppet show.

Day 3 – Transfer to Ha Long Bay: Journey to Ha Long Bay for a 2-day cruise. Evening activities include sunset watching, a Vietnamese cooking class, and entertainment.

Day 4 – Ha Long Bay and Return to Hanoi: Morning Tai Chi and island exploration by boat in Ha Long Bay. Return to Hanoi.

Day 5 – Journey to Mai Chau: Travel to Mai Chau. Visit the Muong tribe and Thung Khe Pass. Afternoon trekking in Thai ethnic villages. Evening cultural show with dance and music.

Day 6 – Travel to Moc Chau and Dien Bien Phu: Head to Moc Chau for a tour of Vietnamese tea gardens. Continue to Dien Bien Phu.

Day 7 – Exploring Dien Bien Phu: Discover Dien Bien Phu’s historical sites: local Thai tribes market, campaign command post, Dien Bien Phu Museum, and A1 Hill.

Day 8 – Transfer to Laos via Tay Trang: Travel to the Tay Trang border for entry into Laos. Journey to Muang Khua and then to Nong Khiaw.

Day 9 – Cycling Excursion and Transfer to Luang Prabang: Bike tour exploring villages. Transfer to Luang Prabang. Visit Pak Ou Caves and Ban Xang Hai, known for whisky and wine production.

Day 10 – Luang Prabang Exploration: Participate in monks’ alms-giving ritual. Explore the Royal Palace Museum and Wat XiengThong in Luang Prabang. Trek to Ban Ouay, a Hmong mountain tribe. Visit the Butterfly Park and Kuang Si Falls. Sunset at Mount Phousi.

Day 11 – Transfer to Phonsavan: Travel to Phonsavan with scenic views along the way.

Day 12 – Phonsavan Exploration: Visit Phonsavan’s central market, MAG exhibition, Plain of Jars, Muang Khoun, and nearby Hmong and Tai Dam villages.

Day 13 – Flight to Vientiane: City tour in Vientiane: Wat Si Saket, Haw Pha Kaew, Pha That Luang, and Patuxai (Victory Gate).

Day 14 – Free Time in Vientiane and Departure: Leisure time in Vientiane followed by a transfer to Wattay International Airport for departure.

>>> Let’s check out our Explore the Northern Regions of Vietnam and Laos in 14 Days for the comprehensive itinerary.

Itinerary 3: Combined Trip in 2 Weeks to Vietnam – Laos – Cambodia

Combined Trip in 2 Weeks to Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia

Day 1 – Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City: Arrive in Saigon, and transfer from the airport to the hotel for rest.

Day 2 – Ho Chi Minh City Tour: Explore Saigon including the Presidential Palace, War Remnants Museum, and Cu Chi Tunnels.

Day 3 – My Tho Excursion: Boat tour in My Tho, explore Turtle Island, and visit local plantations.

Day 4 – Phong Dien Floating Market and Flight to Hoi An: Explore Phong Dien Floating Market, visit a rice noodle village, and fly to Hoi An via Danang.

Day 5 – Hoi An City Visit: Tour Hoi An including Chua Ong Pagoda, Tam Ky House, Japanese Covered Bridge, and Cua Dai Beach.

Day 6 – Departure to Hue: Travel to Hue with stops at Lang Co and Cua Dai beaches. Boat trip on the Perfume River, visit Thien Mu Pagoda and royal tombs.

Day 7 – Hue Citadel Exploration and Flight to Hanoi: Explore Hue Citadel, the Imperial City, and fly to Hanoi.

Day 8 – Hanoi City Tour: Visit Hanoi’s highlights including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Old Quarter, and Ethnology Museum.

Day 9 – Transfer to Ha Long Bay: Embark on a cruise in Halong Bay to explore karst formations, Luon and Trong caves.

Day 10 – Ha Long Bay Exploration and Flight to Luang Prabang: Continue exploring Halong Bay, including Sung Sot Cave and Titop Beach. Fly to Luang Prabang.

Day 11 – Luang Prabang Monk’s Alms and Temples: Participate in local monks’ alms-giving, visit Luang Prabang temples, and climb Phousi Hill for panoramic views.

Day 12 – Khouang Si Waterfall and Flight to Siem Reap: Immersive Experience at Khouang Si Waterfall and Transition to the Wonders of Siem Reap

Day 13 – Angkor Temples Discovery: Explore Angkor temples, including Angkor Thom, Bayon, and Angkor Wat.

Day 14 – Free Time in Siem Reap and Departure: Leisure time in Siem Reap followed by a transfer to the airport for departure.

>>> Want to find out more about this tour, let’s check here. Or, refer to our well-planned Vietnam – Laos tours for more itineraries of your preference.

Cuisine Highlights to Savor during 2 Weeks in Vietnam and Laos

Vietnamese Specialties


Vietnamese Specialties

  • Pho: Fragrant noodle soup with beef or chicken, enhanced with herbs and spices.
  • Banh Mi: A Vietnamese sandwich that is a delicious fusion of meats, vegetables, and condiments in a crispy baguette.
  • Goi Cuon: Fresh spring rolls filled with shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli, and other ingredients, served with a spicy dipping sauce.
  • Bun Cha: Grilled pork (often shredded) over vermicelli noodles, usually topped with nuts, fresh herbs, and fried shallots.

Vietnamese cuisine offers several savory dishes other than the abovementioned food. If you fancy exploring more of the diverse cuisine in this S-shaped country, why not check out 30 Popular Vietnamese Dishes beyond Pho?

Laotian Specialties

Laotian Specialties

Laotian Specialties

  • Laap (or Larb): Spicy meat salad is considered the national dish, made with minced meat flavored with lime juice, chili, and fresh herbs.
  • Sticky Rice (Khao Niew): A staple of Laotian cuisine, often served in small baskets and eaten with hands. It is usually accompanied by other dishes.
  • Tam Mak Hoong: Spicy green papaya salad with chilies, garlic, lime, fish sauce, and palm sugar.
  • Mok Pa: Steamed fish in banana leaves with herbs and spices, giving it a unique flavor and aroma.

Perfect Time for 14 Days in Vietnam and Laos

Determining the ideal time to spend 2 weeks in Vietnam and Laos can significantly enhance your travel experience. Both countries, with their tropical climate, have distinct seasons that influence various activities.

For Beach Holidays

  • Vietnam: The coastline is best visited from February to August. This period is the sunniest, especially in the central regions, ensuring sunbathing enthusiasts golden sands and clear blue skies.
  • Laos: Although landlocked, looking for a waterside retreat? The serene shores of the Mekong are best during the dry season, between November and March.

For Nature Adventures

  • Vietnam: The period from October to early December is most favorable, particularly in the northern mountainous regions. Temperatures are moderate, and the landscape is lush after the monsoons.
  • Laos: Trekking enthusiasts should plan their hikes between October and February. During these months, trails are less muddy, and the weather is cooler.

For Cultural Immersion

Cultural festivals and events are spread throughout the year. To experience traditional celebrations, consider visiting during the Lunar New Year (usually late January or early February) or the Mid-Autumn Festival (around September).

For Budget-Friendly Travel

The off-peak months, between May and September, are usually less crowded with tourists. Although you might encounter occasional showers, you will benefit from lower accommodation rates and fewer crowds at popular sites.

As the journey through 14 Days in Vietnam and Laos comes to a close, it’s clear that these two countries offer a tapestry of experiences rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. This guide has aimed to provide a comprehensive overview, but remember, the true essence of travel lies in the unexpected discoveries and personal connections you make along the way. So, why hesitate? Plan your trip today and explore the magnificence yourself! If there is any difficulty, feel free to contact IDC Travel for the best assistance.

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Yes, both Vietnam and Laos are generally safe for travelers. However, as with any travel, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas. Petty theft can occur, so keep your valuables secure. Also, follow local traffic rules and be cautious when crossing streets, as traffic can be chaotic.

While major hotels, restaurants, and stores in cities accept credit cards, cash is still king, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. ATMs are widely available in urban areas, but it’s a good idea to carry a sufficient amount of local currency (Vietnamese Dong and Lao Kip) for smaller purchases and in places where cards are not accepted.

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Phuong Khanh

Hello, my name is Khanh, I'm a travel blogger at IDC Travel. After my adventures and what I've learned on my trips and from my research, I will help you with planning your trip to Vietnam & Southeast Asia and make your journey remarkable.


    1. Hi Daniel,
      The convenience of traveling between Vietnam and Laos largely depends on your starting point, intended destinations, and the availability of transport options. However, generally, both routes – from Vietnam to Laos and from Laos to Vietnam – are quite comparable in terms of convenience.
      You can consider the flight connectivity from major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang with direct flights to Vientiane or Luang Prabang in Laos. If you travel by car, consider the key border crossings like Lao Bao (Vietnam) – Dansavanh (Laos) and Cau Treo (Vietnam) – Nam Phao (Laos).
      Best regards,
      IDC Travel Team.

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