In an area as diverse as Northern Vietnam, its always a good idea to include a good range of sights, activities and experiences in your trip there, as its the only way to get some real insight into the history and culture of the country, and the daily life of its local population. This tour is designed with this exact purpose in mind, bringing you to diverse locations like the bustling heart of Hanoi, the peaceful and green valleys filled with minority villages of Sapa, and the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. Youll spend five days getting a true taste of the country and region, and we can guarantee it will leave you wanting more!
Day 1: Day 1: Hanoi city tour (L)
Stop At: Tran Quoc Pagoda, Thanh Niên, Yên Phụ, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
We start the tour by picking you up at your hotel to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, a national heritage which lies on the shores of West Lake housing numerous Buddhist relics. We continue our tour by paying a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his former residence which now serves as a museum documenting the life of Vietnams father and greatest national hero.
Next up is the Temple of Literature, which houses the oldest university in Vietnam, founded in 1070AD. The temple is dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars and occupies a vast structure filled with peaceful gardens.
After lunch at a local restaurant, well spend our afternoon exploring Bat Trang; a local handicraft village specialized in pottery. Around 15:30 our driver will take us back to the centre of the city and a walk around the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. While were here well cross the charming little bridge over to the serene Ngoc Son Temple, situated on an island in the lake. The lake is also surrounded by stunning colonial architecture, so there are things to look at in every direction. Following our tour of the lake well take you back to your hotel where youre free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, 2 Hung Vuong Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi 100000 Vietnam
the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his former residence which now serves as a museum documenting the life of Vietnams father and greatest national hero.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Accommodation included: Hotel in Hanoi
Day 2: Day 2: Hanoi - Sapa (B/L/D)
Stop At: Ta Van Village, Sapa 330000 Vietnam
Following breakfast at the hotel, our driver will pick you up and transfer you to Sa Pa, where youll arrive around 12:30PM. On arrival, our tour guide will welcome you and take you for lunch in a local restaurant.
You will commence your journey from Sapa by walking to Lao Chai village. Views of Muong Hoa Valley and its magnificent surroundings are great here, featuring stunning mountains and sprawling rice terraces.
Youre likely to meet people from the various ethnic minorities in the area (Hmong, Zay, and Red Dao) as you walk along this route, and there will be plenty of stalls along the way serving tea, fruits and sweets should you be in need of some refreshments.
Eventually well leave the main road and start taking a local path. Here is where youll truly get to experience the local life of the Black Hmong, as you finally reach the village of Lao Chai. Once weve had our fill here, we keep walking to Ta Van, where its the Zay peoples turn to fascinate you. We will have dinner and stay overnight with a local family in a homestay here.
This day includes a 7-10km trek.
Duration: 3 hours
Accommodation included: Homestay in Sapa
Day 3: Day 3: Sapa - Hanoi (B/L)
Stop At: Giang Ta Chai Village, Ta Van Commune, Sapa 008420 Vietnam
After breakfast, you will set out on a 3-4 hour trek that will take you along buffalo paths and trails to Giang Ta Chai Village of the Black Hmong. You can relax at the foot of the stunning waterfall and see the vestige of a hydroelectric power station that was constructed by the French during colonial times in Vietnam.
We will then return to Sapa town for lunch at a restaurant and then the remaining afternoon (until 15:00) is free to spend at your leisure, at which time you will be driven back to Hanoi and arrive at your hotel around 20:30. This day includes a 7-10km trek.
Duration: 3 hours
Accommodation included: Hotel in Hanoi
Day 4: Day 4: Hanoi Ha Long Bay (B/L/D)
Stop At: Halong Bay Vietnam
On the fourth day we depart for Ha Long Bay at around 8:00-8:30 for a 3.5 hour drive to Hong Gai Tourist Wharf, where well check in at Oriental Sails JSCs private waiting hall, the OS Lounge. Here we can relax until embarkation around 12:30-13:00 followed by a quick briefing. Well spend our first few hours on-board enjoying the views of the limestone islands of Bai Tu Long Bay and savouring a delectable lunch, until at 15:30-16:00 you are free to choose between two activities:
Option 1: Fishing village visit
For those that are interested in learning about local life in the bay. Take a bamboo rowing boat trip lasting roughly 45 minutes, around Vung Vieng fishing village, one of the largest of its kind in Ha Long Bay. The village is set inside a closed lagoon, surrounded by mountains, which makes it a great place for photos in addition to the cultural experience.
Option 2: Beach and kayaking
For the more active travellers and beach-bums, you can be taken in a small boat to Ban Chan beach, where you can sunbathe, swim, play volleyball or try your hands at some kayaking in the magnificent setting of the bay.
Youll arrive back at the cruise around 16:30, with enough time to get cleaned up and relax before the sun starts to set. At 17:30 you can enjoy happy hour at the bar on the sun deck, enjoying the sunset with a drink in hand, and also take part in a cooking class with the resident Chef.
At 19:00 dinner will be served, and the rest of the evening can be spent socializing with other guests, night squid fishing or just lazing around. There will also be singing and dancing activities until 22:00.
Overnight on-board with the ship anchored in the Cong Do Area of the bay.
Duration: 5 hours
Accommodation included: On cruise
Day 5: Day 5: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi (B/L)
Stop At: Thien Canh Son Cave, Halong Bay Vietnam
Early risers can enjoy a 30 minute Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck at 06:30 before enjoying the view of the surrounding seascape with your breakfast as you cruise towards Thien Canh Son Cave. Youll arrive at the cave at 9am and spend about half an hour exploring this medium sized and less visited cave situated in Bai Tu Long Bay.
After your cave visit its time to check out of your room at the boat and return to port, docking at noon after having early lunch on-board. Our driver will be waiting for you at the pier and will transfer you back to Hanoi for an arrival at your hotel around 16:30. At this point its time to say goodbye to your guide, driver and group, hopefully with life-long memories gained and friendships made.
Duration: 1 hour
No accommodation included on this day.
Commences in:Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
City:Quang Ninh Province
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