Day 1: Hanoi Half day City tour
Morning or afternoon departure depend on availabilitiy
Half day Hanoi city tour (by car or by motorbike – upon client’s interest) - Routes can change subject to client’s interest.
Begin the first day of the trip with a tour of Hanoi. Depart from the hotel for a visit to Vietnam’s first university: the Temple of Literature. Founded in 1076, Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite.
Continue with a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Nearby is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and his modest house on stilts. (Sites are viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Jun - Aug)
Visit the picturesque West Lake and its sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda.Tran Quoc Pagoda is regarded as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with its history line of more than 1,500 years.
After visiting, you will have a meal at an authentic Vietnamese Restaurant. Free time at leisure for rest of the day.
Optional: We introduce two one-of-a-kind traditional performances which are found nowhere else than in Vietnam. You can choose one of below options:
If you're interested in the shows, please contact our travel consultants to book.
- Water Puppet Show where puppets are performed on water stage with folk music, presenting ancient tales, folklores and daily life in Vietnamese countryside.
- Tu Phu (Four Palaces) Show - a very unique show about ritual of spirit practiced in the Vietnamese indigenous religion with music, colors and lively dance performance. The Four Palaces Shows take place on Thursday and Saturday every week.
Hotel in Hanoi
Ride around the city, outside of the Old Quarter. Take a number of short stops to learn about the history of the sites . Having lunch at an authentic Vietnamese restaurant.
- City tour by car is available at customer's request
Day 2: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Hanoi - Night train to Lao Cai
Just a couple hours’ drive outside of Hanoi and the tour heads deep into Vietnam’s picturesque countryside. Discover Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam during the Dinh and Le dynasties, before taking a sampan trip down the Tam Coc River. Also called the ‘Halong Bay on Land,’ this region is famous for its charming grottoes and limestone karst mountains.
Depart from the hotel around 08:00 for the 2-hour drive through rural northern Vietnam. Stop off at Hoa Lu, where there are temples dedicated to Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang of the Dinh Dynasty (968-80) and Emperor Le Dai Hanh of the Le Dynasty (980-1009).
If time permits after visiting Hoa Lu, take a half-hour walk up one of the surrounding limestone karst hills; a difficult but highly rewarding climb with spectacular views. (A moderate level of physical fitness is required.)
Continue on for Tam Coc Town where a Vietnamese-style lunch will be waiting; there will be ample opportunity to stop for photographs of the villages and landscapes along the way.
For those feeling adventurous, climb up to the 15th century Bich Dong Pagoda on nearby Ngu Nhac Mountain, comprising three structures: Ha, Trung, and Thuong Pagodas (in ascending order).
Then get on bus and our driver will take you back to Hanoi.
Meet at your hotel in Hanoi at around 20:00 hrs and transfer to Hanoi train station. Overnight train trip to Lao Cai in shared sleeping compartments (sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment). Train departs at approximately 21:15 hrs.
- Our tour guide will not accompany during the train trip
- Train schedule is subject to change.
- Private compartments on request at surcharge.
- Train journeys are part of a great local experience. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless private cabin is requested and all berths paid for - with supplement). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience.
Overnight train to Lao Cai
Day trip Ninh Binh, visit Hoa Lu ancient capital, enjoy a boat trip exploring Tam Coc "Halong Bay on land" and ride a bike to Bich Dong Pagoda. In the evening, transfer to the train station to catch a night train to Lao Cai.
Day 3: Lao Cai – Road transfer to Sapa – Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Sapa
05:30 ~ 06:00
Arrive at Lao Cai Train Station. Pick up at the train station and transfer to Sapa. Early check in upon arrival is possible upon room occupancy (Surcharge applicable). Relax for a while to get ready for our full day tour.
Meet up your local guide and start trekking. The first part is on the road but we soon turn to the right and walk on a small path down the valley to Y Linh Ho village settled down by the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They have their own language and wear traditional indigo blue clothing. The H’mong peoples have just recently changed their living way from sifting style into the sedentary one. So there are still a lot traces of the past time can be seen: rudimentary houses, stone wall around homes… After this you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam.
After visiting Ta Van village the car will return you to Sapa. Free at leisure the rest of the day. Overnight at Sapa Hotel.
Overnight in Sapa
Full day soft trekking, pass along dirt tracks as well as through several villages of ethnic minority groups. Experience the culture of the local daily life styles and exclusion custom in Sapa
Day 4: Sapa - Cat Cat - Sin Chai - Sapa - Hanoi - Road transfer
In the morning, have breakfast at the hotel and then check out.
Take a walk down to the South-west of Sapa (around 3 km) to visit Cat Cat Village of the Black H’mong, one of the more well-known ethnic village of Sapa. Relax at the foot of the stunning waterfall and the vestige of a hydroelectric power station that was constructed by the French during the colonial time in Vietnam.
Enjoy picnic lunch by the side of the river, and then continue trekking to 3 km to Sin Chai Village, located at the foot of Fansipan Mountain - “the Roof of Indochina”, where you enjoy a stunning landscapes of the mountain.
Then come back to the main road to be transferred to Sapa town on a jeep for 3km.
15:00 - 15:30
Driver will pick you up & transfer 5 hours to Hanoi.
Hotel in Hanoi
Join on a soft trekking tour to discover the untouched beauty of the villages in Sapa before heading back to Hanoi by bus.
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay - Overnight on cruise
Halong Bay is listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage
and voted as a Wonder of Nature by the New7Wonders Foundation. You will have a night staying in this world famous bay.
After breakfast in Hanoi, depart the capital for the 3hr 30mins drive to Halong Bay. Arrive to Halong City’s jetty (around noon) and proceed with check-in formalities. After a welcome onboard, lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay. In the afternoon, enjoy some sightseeing, on-board activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on the vessel. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Cruise in Halong Bay
Leave the city behind, drive through fascinating countryside to the dock where this Halong Bay adventure truly starts. Climb aboard a traditional junk boat – with its beautiful woodwork and beaming crew – and venture out into emerald waters of the bay. Our tour guide will not accompany aboard the cruise in Halong Bay. Resident English speaking guide on board available.
Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Early risers can enjoy a memorable sunrise over the karst formations of Halong Bay. Breakfast will be served shortly thereafter.
Enjoy breakfast (brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations back towards port. Arriving at the harbor, you will be picked up for transferring back to Hanoi.
Drop off at your hotel (hotel in Hanoi is not included)
Spend the morning on cruise in Halong Bay and drive back to Hanoi.