Best of North Vietnam 8 Days

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
You will be greeted by a guide upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel for check-in in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, which celebrated its 1000 year anniversary in 2010. With its emphasis on the arts and learning, local law stipulates that buildings in Hanoi remain small, simple and in harmony with nature. The rest of day is free at leisure.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour – Overnight train to Sapa (B/L)
You will have a full day to visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Closed on Mon & Fri) wand Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, Ethnology Museum (Closed on Monday) and the Temple of Literature (Vietnam’s very first university).

Hochiminh Mausoleum

Hochiminh Mausoleum

Your tour will also include the Buddist Tran Quoc pagoda on West lake (one of the oldest in Vietnam) and Quan Thanh temple ( Taoist , dating from the Ly Dynasty) You will also visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple, ending your day with a cyclo tour around the fascinating Old Quarter.  The quarter showcases hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquer ware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more.

In the evening your guide will take you to the Hanoi Train station for the overnight train to Lao Cai.

Day 3: Lao Cai – Bac Ha Flower Hmong market – Sapa (B/L/D)
You will arrive at 06:30 and be met by a local guide at Lao Cai railway station to drive to Bac Ha town. You have breakfast on half way.

Sapa valley

Sapa valley

Located at 110km from Sapa, Bac Ha mountain town is well-known by travelers with the most colorful market of the hill tribes in the North of Vietnam. This every-Sunday-market attended by at least 8 ethnic groups and last from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM. It is also chance for tourists to discover the H’mong King’s palace (old building built by the French & Chinese).

In the afternoon, we go for a light trek to visit Ban Pho, the village is home to Flower H’mong minority. We are invited to enter several local houses to have some green tea, corn wine, listen to the host talking about their family, talk to them… and then enjoy landscapes on a roundabout way to Bac Ha for get back to Lao Cai to continue up to Sapa.

Overnight at the hotel in Sa Pa.

Day 4: Sapa – Lao Chai/ Ta Van village – Overnight train back Hanoi (B/L/D)
Following breakfast, you will explore the Sapa daily market and then set out on our 2-3 hour trek that will take you along buffalo paths and trails.  You will travel through the hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Tavan, home to H’mong, and Dzay people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery, inhabited by some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. You will have lunch along the way at a local restaurant on the way.  From the village, you will rejoin car for a transfer to Lao Cai for an overnight train journey back to Hanoi.

Day 5: Hanoi – Halong World Heritage (B/L/D)
Once you arrive in Hanoi, your guide and driver will meet you and transfer you a local restaurant to have breakfast before departing for an overnight cruise of Halong Bay. The magical bay is home to thousands of limestone islands rising from the waves like dragons’ teeth.

Cock fighting island in Halong

Cock fighting island in Halong

Later in the afternoon, you will visit an interesting fishing village with opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. Back on board, you’ll enjoy cocktails or cooking classes while watching the sunset, before indulging in a lavish dinner onshore. Afterwards, you can choose to do anything from joining movie night, playing board games, or relaxing at the beauty spa before retiring for the evening.

Day 6: Halong – Hanoi (Brunch)
You’ll start the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise and an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, you will be taken to a beautiful limestone grotto before returning to the junk for a final glimpse of Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. You’ll then have free time to enjoy the Hanoi nightlife and staying overnight.

Day 7: Hanoi
Free at leisure to explore the city by your own. Optional tour to Duong Lam village

Day 8: Hanoi – Departure (B)
There is no activity planned for today, so you can enjoy your free time to go souvenir shopping until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Included:
English speaking guide
All entrance fees
3 star hotel with daily breakfast
All private transportation with guide
Train tickets Hanoi-LaoCai-Hanoi, shared in 4-berth cabin.
Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner)
Tissues and water on car.
Vietnam Visa On Arrival pre-approved letter
Halong Bay cruise program with in-house guide on board
Service charges and government tax

Excluded:

International flights & departure taxes
Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
Travel insurance
Beverage
Vietnam visa stamp fee (US$ 45 & 02 passport photos per person)
Other services not mentioned above.

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