The north of Vietnam is home to three treasures, Hanoi, the ‘Paris of the Orient’, the richly cultural hill tribe town of Sapa, and the World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. This tour takes in all of these in just 6 days, the perfect way to experience Northern Vietnam at its best.
Day 1: Hanoi arrival – Hanoi at a glance – train to Lao Cai
Welcomed at Noi Bai International airport by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Relax after a long journey before exploring Vietnam daily life with a city walk that commences at the fountain at the north end of Hoan Kiem lake at the southern end of Hang Dao St. Travels through some of the streets of the Old Quarter, highlighting the concept of the ‘36 trade streets’ where each street is named after the original product or service of the individual trade guilds. You see examples of traditional, French and Art Deco architecture. Also visit a communal house and pagoda, the famous Bach Ma Temple and see the house where Ho Chi Minh drafted the Declaration of Independence.
Free time and take night train around 08:45 – 09:15pm to Lao Cai. Overnight on train, compartment of 4 people sharing, soft beds, A/C.
Day 2: Lao Cai – Sapa – walking to minority village
Arrive at Lao Cai railways station at about 6.30AM and take a drive uphill to the mountainous town of Sapa where the monotony of the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the color of its hill tribes. Have a rest and breakfast at a local restaurant after a long journey on train.
Depart at 9:00 AM, you are transferred 4km out of Sa Pa to Ma Tra. This valley is close to the town but very quiet and the peoples here are still living their own way without influence of tourism. Walk through for 2 hours through several hamlets of the Hmong scattering on hill-sides. Continue gradually downhill 1 hour to Ta Phin village which is home to Red Dzao people. Carpick up and transfer you back to Sa Pa in the afternoon. Overnight at your hotel in Sapa.
Day 3: Sapa hill tribe villages visit – Lao Cai – train to Hanoi
After breakfast time, meet your tour guide at your hotel and take a short drive to the quite valley and gorges surrounding the village of O Quy Ho. The valley sits in the shadow of Indochina’s highest peak, Fanxipan Mountain and on clear days you can enjoy magnificent views from the top of O Quy Ho pass.
Away from major tourist routes, this trek is the perfect escape. Start to walk down hill, pass by Oolong tea farms and into the local footpath to the rice terraces. Take a closer to the water buffalo and say hello to working farmers. The trek lead you to an authentic Black H’mong house and you are welcome to visit their house, enjoy a cup of tea and hear the story of their daily life and custom. Say goodbye to the host, walk to the main road where your driver is waiting and take you back to Sapa. Arrive at your hotel in mid-afternoon. In the evening, leave to Lao Cai town for the overnight train to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
Day 4: Hanoi – Halong Bay cruise
Arrive in Hanoi very early in the morning (round 04:40am) you will be guided to mini hotel, just some minutes walk from Hanoi Railway Station. Check in your room for freshen up and have breakfast before pick up for Halong trip (08:00 am).
Depart from your hotel and drive 3.5 hours through the Red River Delta on your way to Halong city. Upon arrival, the crew will greet us abroad the traditional style junk with a refreshing welcome drink and then our cruise begins! As navigating the way through the emerald waters and limestone islands you are served a delicious lunch of fresh seafood (vegetarians are also catered for). While cruising through the bay, you marvel at the amazing karst scenery with different formations. Halong Bay is littered with hidden caves and grottoes and we’ll take some time to explore one of these. For those felling active you then can explore the bay by sea kayak. After your first evening’s dinner, night fishing is available from the boat. Overnight on boat.
Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of Halong Bay’s landscape. Continue cruising to explore more of the bay and enjoy the brunch breakfast before returning to the Jetty at noon time. Transfer back to Hanoi city. Rest of day is your leisure time. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 6: Hanoi – Departure
Free time for last minute shopping or optional visit before transferring to Noi Bai airport for departure flight.
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