|DURATION||12 days / 11 nights|
Day 01: Hanoi Arrival
Welcome to Vietnam? In Hanoi, after immigration and customs formalities, you’ll be met by your personal Guide and driver, then transfer into the city. After lunch at a local restaurant, your guide will take you on a tour of the city’s Old Quarter aboard bicycle rickshaws called cyclos (1hrs). You will be pedaled amongst the quaint French buildings along shoe Street, Silk Street and Banner Street (to name just a few)
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 02: Hanoi City Tour (B)
After breakfast, depart for a full day tour of Hanoi including Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (if open) and simple stilted house, the Confucian Temple of Literature, site of the first university in Vietnam, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Quan Thanh Temple and lovely Tran Quoc Pagoda. Afternoon, you will visit the Ethnology museum and ending at historic Hoan Kiem Lake, the social center of Hanoi. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a Water Puppet Show
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 03: Hanoi - Van Phuc village - Thay Pagoda - Mai Chau (B,L,D)
Morning, depart for Ha Tay Province. Stop on the way for a look at some typical countryside villages of northern Vietnam. Pay a visit to Tay Phuong Pagoda. Continue to visit Thay Pagoda and Van Phuc village, Van Phuc is famous for its Silk which is sold throughout Viet Nam and increasingly to overseas markets. Spend one or two hours wandering about the village watching professionals and shopping. Afternoon, transfer to Mai Chau valley “area of the White Thai people”. Arrive in Mai Chau late afternoon and Installation at house-on-stilt.
Overnight at house-on stilt in Mai Chau
Day 04: Mai Chau - Son La (B,L,D)
The chickens and roasters in the village will wake you up in the early morning. After breakfast, prepared by our guest family, we walk around town to experience the true essence of daily life in the tribe. We continue our trip by car towards Son La. On the way you will see many more traditional settlements on the slopes of different hillsides. A stop is scheduled at the tea plantation of Moc Chau, to sip tea with members of the H’Mong tribe. On arrival in Son La, we visit the old Son La Prison where the French used to imprison Vietnamese revolutionaries in the latter part of the colonial area.
Overnight in Son La
Day 05: Son La - Dien Bien Phu (B,L,D)
Today we travel to Dien Bien Phu, crossing over the Phan Din Pass, known as the highest and longest pass in Viet Nam with an altitude of 1,500m. At the middle of the pass, we visit a multi-ethnic primary school and a village of White H’mong hill tribe where children in colorful traditional clothing welcome us with warm smiles. We continue to Dien Bien Phu, the site of decisive battle in Viet Nam’s struggle for independence from the French in 1954. On arrival we visit famous sites of Indochina War, the Elian Hill and the War museum which details the events that took place. On display are relics from the battle including old French tanks and artillery pieces. Of special interest is the reconstruction of the bunker where the French commander, Colonel de Castries, surrendered to Viet Minh forces
Overnight in Dien Bien Phu
Day 06: Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau (B,L,D)
The picturesque road from Dien Bien Phu to Lai Chau goes along the Chinese border and the Nam Na River. We visit some Black Thai villages, famous for their wooden houses on stilts. On the way we cross a beautiful footbridge leading us to a Kh’Mu village, an important hill tribe similar to the Laotians in terms of language and tradition.
Overnight in Lai Chau
Day 07: Lai Chau - Sapa (B,L,D)
This morning a visit to the Tam Duong multi-ethnic market is planned, an ideal opportunity to meet the locals. Hill tribes from every part of the region come here to exchange their agricultural and handicraft goods. After this cross-cultural experience we leave for Sapa. We make a stop on the way to visit the Lu tribe village of ‘Ban Hon’. The people here have a bizarre custom, they dye their teeth black! Having black teeth here is considered as a symbol of beauty. During a hike we will again be exposed to local life and the daily activities. We cross magnificent bridges, cornfields and terraced rice fields on the way to Sapa. Arrive Sapa at noon and the rest of day is free for exploring the town of Sapa.
Overnight in Sapa
Day 08: Sapa Visit (B,L,D)
Cruise down the beautiful Sapa valley on motorbike, with stops to trek in to visit peaceful villages. For many travelers this is another trip highlight. The trekking to the Lao Chai village (Black H’mong people) and the Zay village – Ta Van – where we ascend the mountain and cross a pass in the altitude of 1700 m. From here we have a magnificent view to the minority villages and terraced rice fields beneath us. The walk is about 12 km along the track that the Vietnamese used for fleeing, when the Chinese invaded Sa Pa in 1979.
Overnight in Sapa
Day 09: Sapa - Colourful market - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B,L,D)
Transfer in the morning to Cao Son market (Wednesday morning market) or Lung Khau Nhin market (Thursday morning market) or Can Cau market (Saturday morning market) or Muong Khuong market (Sunday morning market) by car, arriving in time to enjoy the very colorful H’mong market in Northern Vietnam. This weekly outdoor gathering isn’t just a chance to buy and sell goods; it’s also the social highlight of the week for ethnic groups from all over the area. After the market, transfer to Lao Cai Station for overnight train back to Hanoi.
Overnight on train
Day 10: Hanoi - Ha Long (B,L,D)
Arrive in Hanoi early morning. Pick up by your Guide & driver, then transfer to flowers market “one of the beautiful markets in Hanoi, opened very early in the morning”. After breakfast at local restaurant, you’ll be driven about 3hrs to famous and magnificent Ha Long Bay. Upon arrival, you will board on a charming Junk for 24 hours cruise where you’ll have lunch as you set cruise for Titop Island. Spend the afternoon cruising through the 3,000 limestone pinnacles piercing the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most incredible natural wonders and was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You’ll anchor at Titop this evening before an on-deck candlelight dinner featuring gourmet cuisine.
The cabins on board are simple, comfortable, clean, air-conditioned, and outfitted with their own and hot shower.
This is a join-in cruise.
ay 11: Ha Long - Hanoi (B,L)
You will begin this morning with a sunrise breakfast before your exploration of Luon Cave (Tunnel cave) by sampan. Then continue to visit another part of Bay (Bai Tu Long Bay). Lunch on board. You will disembark the Junk and return to Hanoi via Dong Trieu ceramic village, Dong Trieu is famous for its ceramic pottery which is sold throughout Viet Nam and increasingly to overseas markets. Arrive Hanoi and drop off at hotel.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 12: Hanoi Departure (B)
Free at leisure until transfer to Hanoi airport for your international flight.
Tariff includes Services:
- Accommodation in hotels with daily breakfast (hotels can be upgraded upon request).
- Transfer and transportation with private vehicle.
- English/French/Italian/German/Spanish speaking Guide upon your request.
- Boat trip as the mentioned program “private boat”
- Sightseeing and entrance fees
- Meals as indicated (B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Diner)
Tariff excludes Services:
- Domestic & International air-tickets and airport departure tax.
- Meals and drink not mentioned
- Tip and personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- All the others not mentioned in the program