The North of Vietnam has so many things to offer from more than 1,000 year-old Hanoi to scenic Sapa, not to mention the must-not-miss Halong Bay World Heritage. Well programmed in more than a week, you will have chance to visit historical city icons of Hanoi, meet up with colorful mountainous hill tribes, explore local street food and try your hands on learning to cook Vietnamese traditional dishes. Trip ends with relaxing time on board an amazing Halong cruise.
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – Food on Foot in Old Quarter “36 pho phuong”
Day 3: Hanoi – Bai Dinh – Trang An
Day 4: Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Mua Cave – Hanoi – Train to Lao Cai
Day 5: Lao Cai – Sapa – Lao Chai – Tavan
Day 6: Sapa – Taphin Village – Train to Hanoi
Day 7: Hanoi – Halong
Day 8: Halong – Hanoi
Day 9: Hanoi Departure
Hanoi Arrival (-/-/D)
Upon landing in at the airport, greeted by our guide and driver; transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city. Enjoy the Water Puppet show, dinner. Overnight in Hanoi.
Hanoi City tour (L)
Breakfast at your hotel. By 8.30 am, start our full day tour to Hanoi’s highlights sites including the Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh Museum and his stilt house, Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda (Note: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closes on every Monday and Friday. Remember to wear clothes that’s over you knee and covers your shoulder when visiting Ho Chi Minh complex or the pagoda). You also have chance to visit historic University – The Temple of Literature, that dates back to the 11th century.
In the afternoon, continue to the Ethnology Museum where you can learn about all ethnic groups in Vietnam. Head back to Hoan Kiem lake for a leisure walk around of which Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge will be the must not miss.
Start for a food on foot trip, walking around 4km in the Old quarter “36 streets” to visit some famous and specialized- food families or stalls/ local restaurants, shops where they run their business every day, certainly you will watch and taste some particular dishes (We can customize vegetarian food or special requirement). It is very difficult to find some local food on your own in hidden alleys or sidewalks. This tour is combined by street food stalls and lovely mini restaurants (not luxury restaurants), certainly they are experienced and appreciated by our local experts every day, you”ll keep on ordering food as long as you keep eating, suggestion that you should taste a little bit each place, then foot & food.
Back to hotel after tour. Overnight in Hanoi.
Hanoi – Bai Dinh – Trang An (L)
By 8.00 am, picked up at your hotel in Hanoi, depart for Ninh Binh province (120km) with private guide and driver. Today we visit Trang An Grottoes and Bai Dinh Pagoda. After 2.5 hours, arrive in Buddha Prayer place in Bai Dinh Pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Vietnam with 500 La Han statues, biggest bronze Buddha statue in Vietnam with 10 meters in height, 100 tons in weight. Have lunch in local restaurant with some local special dishes. After lunch, visit Trang An attraction – the new UNESCO World Heritage. You will get on a rowing boat while enjoying the scenery of cave complex, in mystery and wildness. Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Mua Cave – Hanoi – Train to Lao Cai (L/D)
Breakfast at your hotel. This morning, leisure explore the city.
Breakfast at your hotel. This morning, we will visit Hoa Lu, which is once depicted the ancient capital of Viet Nam, settled up in the 10th century. Visit temples of two dynasties of Dinh and Le with a very unique architecture in the old time. Visit the excavation area beside the Le Dai Hanh temple. You experience the vestiges of Royal Palaces ground dated back 10th century. Then proceed to Bich Dong Pagoda and Mua Cave – This place attracts visitors with its many interesting stories. From on the top of the cave, you can see all the way to Tam Coc the boat trip going. Climb 500 stone steps to the top of the mountain to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and the wonderful Ngo Dong river. Enjoy the spectacular view! After lunch at local restaurant with some specialties. Board the sampan boats (2 people share a boat) in Tam Coc dock to drift down the river among the villages, mountains and lush rice fields. Passing through 3 caves & Hang Ca – First cave, Hang Hai -Second cave, Hang Ba – Third cave to get a strange feeling. Bring you back to Hanoi after tour. Tour ends at your hotel in Hanoi in the afternoon
After tour, guide and driver bring you to Hanoi Railway Station for an overnight train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.
Lao Cai – Sapa – Lao Chai & Tavan villages (B/L)
Early arrive in Lao Cai station; you will get tour private transfer to Sapa, which is about 30km away from Station. Nice drive with passes and rice terraces. Upon arrival, store your luggage and have breakfast at hotel. After breakfast, leave Sapa market town. This morning, visit Lao Chai & Ta Van. You will commence your short journey by driving south toward Muong Hoa valley. You will then start your walk by descending into the valley, which is the largest rice paddy terraced among Sapa area. The guide can provide you interesting information about rice. If you visit the valley sometime in between May and October, you will be able to observe and experience how the local do planting and harvesting, one of the most important activities in the daily life. The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority to Ta Van village of Giay minority including a visit to the local Catholic Church. After visiting Ta Van the car will return you to Sapa. Check in hotel. Free time in the afternoon to explore Sapa town. Overnight in Sapa.
Sapa – Taphin – Bus to Hanoi (L)
Breakfast at your hotel. This morning, around 9.00 am, depart for Taphin village. Your journey will be mostly driving downhill toward Lao Cai, before taking a left turn into a small paved road leading to Taphin village. Here you can experience the unmixed cultural life of Black Hmong and Red Dao minorities, 2 largest ethnic groups in the area. They live happily together while maintaining their own tradition from generation to generation. You can recognise them by dressing while they are both very famous of handicraft. You will enjoy walking among local people. The trip also offers you the opportunity to visit the local houses. You will return Sapa by car.
Leisure till 15.00 pm, guide and driver bring group to 105 Thach Son, Sapa to catch Good Morning Sapa bus; get-on-bus time is 15.30 PM. Tonight, you can expect to arrive Hanoi around 21.00 pm. Bring you back to your hotel in the Old Quarter. Tour ends at your hotel.
Hanoi – Halong on Cruise (-/L/D)
After breakfast, driver comes to pick you up for 3.5 hours ride through the countryside of the Red River Delta to Ha Long City. Water buffaloes, paddy fields and daily Vietnamese farmer life are on both sides of the way. Arrive Halong by mid-day. Embark your cruise, enjoy a lovely welcome drink and short introduction about the cruise, program and the crews. Enjoy lunch while cruising to magnificent parts of Halong bay, admire the fascinating formations on the way. This afternoon, you will have chance to visit a fishing village, do some kayaking, swimming or cave exploring. Back to boat for a drink on top deck while enjoying beautiful sunset over the bay. Tonight, a delicious dinner is served. Evening time is free at leisure, you can join squid fishing with the crews, playing board games or leisurely relax. Overnight on cruise.
*Note: Activities and cruising program varied depending on the cruise you choose
Halong – Hanoi (B/L/-)
This morning, early birds may want to join a Tai Chi class on the sun deck. Take in fresh air and morning view of the bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. We keep cruising to other parts of the bay before enjoy lunch while cruising back to the dock. Farewell to the lovely crews and disembark the cruise by mid-day. Driver will bring you back to Hanoi. Arrive at your hotel in late afternoon and rest at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Hanoi Departure (-/-/-)
Breakfast at your hotel. Free time this morning until check out time. Based on your departure flight, our driver comes to bring you to airport. See you again in Vietnam!
Price: on request
- Expert English speaking tour guides
- Shared and private transfers while on tour (A/C)
- Entrance fees during guided time
- Meals as indicated on itinerary: B – Breakfast; L – Lunch; D – Dinner
- Train tickets Hanoi – Lao Cai
- Bus ticket Sapa – Hanoi
- Visa and visa arrangement fee
- Accommodation (please contact us for price of hotels)
- Cruise trip in Halong (please contact us for price of cruise)
- International airfare and airport taxes
- Meals not indicated on itinerary
- Transfer not mentioned
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses (tips, gratuities, …)
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