Capture the Warm Hospitality, Rich Culture & Unique Flavors of Vietnam
On this 8-day excursion, you will visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature. You will also visit Sapa, a mountain village near the Chinese border. There, you will visit local markets where hill tribe minorities (including Hmong, Red Dao, Tay, Xa Pho and Giay) trade their goods. You’ll see amazing waterfalls and drive through mountain valleys before going on to your next stop at Halong Bay. Aboard your junk boat, you will cruise the waterways, thousands of limestone rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea and numerous grottoes have created an ephemeral, fantastic landscape.
IncludedAccommondationAll Museum TicketsMealsPersonal GuideTransportation/CarTypical Souvenir
Day 1: Arrive Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. After freshening up, you will have dinner at one of the old French colonial villas which have been converted into gourmet restaurants. Then you can experience a performance at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater before retiring for an overnight stay in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour - Lao Cai by night train
On day two, you’ll be able to explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops, selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. You can take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, enjoy people-watching at one of the numerous stylish cafes or shop for modern art in the city's myriad galleries. You’ll also have the chance to visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature. You’ll sleep soundly in preparation for your trip to Sapa on the next day.
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa (B)
Departing from Lao Cai Station at around 6.30 a.m., you will meet your driver and transfer to Sapa. It will take approximately 2 hours to reach the town, where a delicious breakfast will be awaiting you. Then, you will have free time in the morning to stroll around town or enjoy the comfort of your hotel. In the afternoon you will trek to Cat Cat village, home of Black H'mong. After exploring the area and viewing the waterfalls, you retire for an overnight stay in Sapa.
Day 4: Sapa Villages Walk (B/L)
Following breakfast, you will explore the Sapa market and then set out on our 3-4 hour trek that will take you along buffalo paths and trails and through several hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Tavan. These are home to H'mong, and Dzay people and offer a spectacular walk through the areas stunning scenery, inhabited by some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. You will also be treated to a picnic lunch on the way to Ta Van village. You will have a restful overnight stay in Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa - Lao Cai for the train to Hanoi (B/L)
In the morning, you will climb Ham Rong Mountain, which boasts a panoramic view over Sapa and its surrounding areas. You will also get to explore local orchid gardens before check out. Next, you will travel to Ta Phin valley, where the Red Dao and H'mong minorities live. After that, you will be driven to Lao Cai Station for an overnight train ride back to Hanoi.
Day 6: Lao Cai - Hanoi - Halong Bay with overnight cruise stay (L/D)
You will arrive in Hanoi at approximately 5 a.m., where you will be picked up and escorted to a local restaurant for breakfast. You’ll then leave Hanoi and head for Halong Bay via the Red River Delta. You will delight in a cruise along the crystal waters, giving you the chance to take in the stunning scenery of this UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. While on board, you will be served a sumptuous fresh, local seafood lunch, followed by a swim. You will also have the chance to explore some of the limestone caves in the area and spend the evening on board the junk.
Day 7: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B)
Rising to the sound of the lapping waters of the bay, you will have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water. You’ll then cruise around Bai Tu Long bay, passing by Bai Tho Mountain, before sailing back to the harbor at noon where your car will be waiting to transfer you back to Hanoi where you will spend the night.
Day 8: Depart Vietnam (B)
There are no activities planned for your final day, so you can unwind and plan for the next leg of your journey or opt to take in even more of the city’s offerings before being escorted to the airport for your onward flight.