Custom Itineraries * Private Tours * Join a Group * Great Value * Luxury to Mid-Range * Families

Southeast Asia

13-Day Northern Vietnam Adventure

Northern Vietnam Adventure -- Trip Photo of Southeast Asia tour  Southeast Asia map

Overview Itinerary Pricing

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival

Visiting: Hanoi

Pick up at airport and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day on your own.

  • Meals:
  • Standard Lodging: Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Silk Path Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 2 : Mai Chau Cycling Tour

Visiting: Hanoi - Mai Chau

8 am Ppick-up at your hotel and depart for Mai Chau through picturesque scenery with stunning views of the northwestern mountains. Located in Hoa Binh province, approximately 135 km from Hanoi, Mai Chau is surrounded by a green valley with a patchwork of rice paddies and stilt houses. The area is home of many ethnic minorities, including the Muong and the Thai.

After lunch embark on a 20 km (12 mile) cycle tour along the Ma River. You will get off your bikes at parts to walk along the river which can swell during the rainy season. Along the way you can observe local life along the river.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Mai Chau Ecolodge, ROH room

Day 3 : Mai Chau Cycling Tour

Visiting: Mai Chau - Hanoi

After an early breakfast, enjoy a 14 km (8 mile) cycling tour through the beautiful valley of Mai Chau. You will meet the local hill tribes pursuing their daily routine, such as planting/harvesting rice, herding buffalos or building houses. The tour takes approximately 2 hours. Return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, return to hotel in Hanoi and rest of the day is at leisure.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Silk Path Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 4 : Hanoi city touring by car and bicycle / Night train to Lao Cai

Visiting: Hanoi - Lao Cai

Embark on a day tour of this buzzing city.

Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his former residence (closed on Mondays and Fridays and during the months from September to November for annual maintenance). Then visit One-Pillar Pagoda (under renovation until end of February 2015) and the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university. You will also have the chance to visit the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays).

After lunch enjoy a one-hour cyclo tour of Hanoi. You can also visit the Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.

You will be met by your driver around 20:00 hrs. and transfer to the train station for the overnight train trip to Lao Cai in a private sleeping compartment (for bookings with 2, 4, 6, etc. travelers; solo travelers would share). The train departs at approximately 21:15 hrs.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: King Express carriage or similar

Day 5 : Sapa Area Villages

Visiting: Sapa - Lao Chai

You'll arrive around 6:15 am in Lao Cai, the border town to Yunnan, China. The journey starts with a 38 km drive on winding roads up the mountains to Sapa.

After breakfast at the hotel, drive from Sapa town down to Lao Chai village. Views of the Muong Hoa Valley and magnificent surroundings of mountains and rice terrace fields can be seen from this road.

Turn off the main road to take a path to the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai, where you will experience the daily life of the villagers. Continue walking from Lao Chai to Ta Van village, where the Zay hill tribes live. Here you take a rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your local guide in a local house.

After lunch return to the vehicle to transfer back to Sapa. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Bamboo Sapa Hotel, Superior room
  • Luxury Lodging: U Sapa Hotel, Superior room

Day 6 : Sapa Treks and Villages

Visiting: Sapa - My Son Village

Travel by car for one and half hours to Ban Ho village where you can see the stunning views of the Muong Bo valley and terraced rice fields. Explore a house on stilts and the traditional costume and culture of the Tay ethnic group before crossing a suspension bridge over Lave Stream. You will walk through rice fields to the Red Dao Village of Nam Toong. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Village, then trek up and downhill to My Son Village, inhabited by the Xa Pho minority, one of the smallest ethnic groups in Viet Nam. We will then transfer back to Sa Pa.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Bamboo Sapa, Superior room
  • Luxury Lodging: U Sapa Hotel, Superior room

Day 7 : Trung Do and Bao Nhai Village / Return to Hanoi

Visiting: Sapa - Bac Ha Market - Hanoi

Leaving Sapa early in the morning, we drive to Bac Ha (approximately 2.5 hours). Arriving at Bac Ha, we visit the big market (on Sundays only) where colorful ethnic people of the Flower H'mong, Phu La and Dao Tuyen minorities gather to buy and sell their handicraft products. After spending the morning exploring the market, your lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After lunch, drive to Hanoi by the new highway. Sit back and enjoy a smooth drive with great view or landscape along the way.

On weekdays, drive to Bac Ha, visit Ban Pho village where the best local wine is brewed, and visit the palace of the former H’mong lord, then leave Bac Ha for a short walk to Trung Do Village which is home to the Tay minority. Here you can visit a traditional Tay house. We will then travel by boat through amazing countryside to Bao Nhai Village. Pick up and drive to Hanoi by the new highway. Sit back and enjoy a smooth drive with great views of the countryside along the way. Arrive in Hanoi early evening, check in the hotel and rest of the day is at leisure.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Silk Path Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 8 : Halong Bay Cruise

Visiting: Hanoi - Halong Bay

8 am pick up at your hotel for a 4-hour journey to Halong City. Arrive in Halong City, embark on your wooden junk at Hon Gai pier. Have a welcome drink during your cruise briefing before checking into your private cabin, all of which feature private bath and air-conditioning. Your boat will then start cruising to the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay with countless number of small islets of different sizes and shapes. Lunch will be served on board.

Cruise to Cap La, enjoy paddling around Cap La fishing village by kayak and then return back to the junk for swimming or relaxation. Have dinner and overnight onboard in Cong Do. After dinner, have time to relax, taking in the fresh air and the sunset.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: 3- or 4-cabin Prince Junk

Day 9 : Halong Bay Cruise

Visiting: Halong Bay

Enjoy a stunning sunrise on Halong Bay. Then have breakfast in the fresh air. Afterwards you'll start cruising to Ba Cua beach while discovering the geological wonders of Bai Tu Long Bay. Later explore Vung Ha and Bo Hung Island by kayak or go swimming (weather permitting) or relax on the beach. A BBQ lunch will be served on a wild beach or in Bo Cau Cave. Continue cruising to visit Vung Vieng fishing village by rustic row-boat. You will have chance to meet and interact with the local people living their traditional life. Have dinner and overnight on board.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Luxury Lodging: 3- or 4-cabin Prince Junk

Day 10 : Halong Bay Cruise - Water Puppet Show

Visiting: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Enjoy fresh air and morning breeze of the bay and have breakfast onboard.

Visit Thien Canh Son Cave or have more swimming or relaxation on Hon Co beach before cruising back to the pier. A la carte lunch will be served onboard.

11:45 hrs. Disembark at Hon Gai pier. Pick up and drive back to Hanoi with a stop-over in Yen Duc Village for a village walk and a water puppet show by the local farmers/artists. The Vietnamese traditional art of water puppetry has roots that date back to the 10th century when it originated in the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. The farmers in the region celebrated festivals and harvests by performing this unique art form. The puppets are made of wood and usually stand sixteen inches high, but can be as tall as three feet.

Later, arrive back in Hanoi, check in the hotel and rest of the evening at leisure.

  • Meals: B
  • Standard Lodging: Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Silk Path Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 11 : Perfume Pagoda

Visiting: Hanoi - Perfume Pagoda

At 8:00 a.m your car and guide will pick you up at the hotel and then drive to the Perfume Pagoda (70 km). Enjoy a scenic boat trip on the Yen stream vanishing into rice fields and hills to get to the mountains. Then take a 2-hour pilgrimage to a famous Buddhist pagoda situated inside of a cave.

This site is very popular with locals during the Pagoda festival lasting through the first three lunar spring months and attracting hundreds of thousands of Buddhist pilgrims.

Walk back to the pier for return boat trip on Yen stream. Pick up and transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Silk Path Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 12 : Dry Halong Bay

Visiting: Hanoi - Dry Halong Bay

Drive to Ninh Binh, situated 92 km south of Hanoi. Your journey takes you to Tam Coc, often called “Dry Halong Bay”. Limestone karsts rise from rice fields and winding streams. Enjoy the spectacular scenery during a leisurely boat ride in traditional local sampans paddling through “Three Caves” (Tam Coc in Vietnamese).

After lunch at local restaurant, visit Bich Dong Pagoda and proceed to Hoa Lu - the ancient capital - to visit some temples of the Dinh and Le Dynasties.

  • Meals: BL
  • Standard Lodging: Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel, Deluxe room
  • Luxury Lodging: Silk Path Hotel, Deluxe room

Day 13 : Departure

Visiting: Hanoi

Transfer to the airport in time for your departing flight.

  • Meals: B

Request Information

# of People Traveling: First Name:
Start of Trip (mm/dd/yyyy): Pick a Date Last Name:
More Details
to help us provide better
information for you:
Phone:
Email:
   
AWR Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth
National Geographic Traveler