Day 1: Arrive - Hanoi
Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B, L, D)
You are met at 08:30 am in the hotel lobby. There is a morning and afternoon schedule, as well as an organised lunch.
- Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum
- The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070
- A local Vietnamese lunch
- Hanoi Hilton museum (Hoa Lo prison)
- Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake - the Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dating back to the 13th century
- A one-hour cyclo tour through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi!
- A traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets.
18:30 We start Hanoi street food tour. We will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. We eat as we go, trying seasonal fruits and sampling a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart.
Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we tempt our tastebuds with the famed Hanoi dishes such as Bun Cha Ta, Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, we wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago.
Our next two snack stops are at outdoor barbeque stalls. We sit down with the Hanoi locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties that are flame grilled over hot coals for extra flavour. It’s then time for dessert as we venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk – this speciality is one not to be missed!
Our guide will take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets, a hidden street food restaurant to taste top ten street foods in Hanoi is Banh My Hanoi, Vietnamese Rice Wine and famous Egg Coffee. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the narrow street inside the old quarter of Hanoi. Or, if coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits!
Back to hotel and relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi - Nghia Lo (B, L, D) - by car
Breakfast at hotel.
07:30 Departing Ha Noi northwest towards Nghia Lo town on 32 highway, this journey passes through stunning mountainous landscape, featuring with fertile hilly area covered with green tea plantations, the mountains get higher and higher.
Along the way you can see thick forests cover high mountains with stops at many scenic spots in Thu Cuc and Van Cha
- First stop to to visit nice Bonsai garden with huge bonsai on Phuc Tho district
- Stop to visit and tea farm and Thai village in Tan Son
- Stop to visit hilltribe village in Deo Khe (Khe Pass)
- Stop to take photo of many tea terraces in Ba Khe
- Stop at to see local farming in Muong Lo valley
Arriving in Nghia Lo, a pretty mountainous town, we spend the remaining hours of the day wandering the town including the market area, we will check in the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Nghia Lo.
Day 4: Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai - Sapa (B, L)
After breakfast, we transfer from Nghia Lo to Tu Le. The road ride today takes only 2 hours so we have a lot of time exploring the area for real mountainous life of the local ethnic minority people. Fancy a four hour trekking along a trail which connect villages to villages, meeting different tribal people such as White Thai, Black Zao, Red H’mong…who seem very surprise, staring at you for the first moment and turn out very friendly and inviting you to their homes in which you will be hosted with tea or home made wine. Next to Mu Cang Chai, we enjoy another home staying in a large Thai village, which offers fantastic hours for your culture discovery. At the bottom of the valley you’ll arrive in the town of Than Uyen for lunch break.
From Than Uyen, the road follows the Hoang Lien Son mountains and winds through tea plantations and rice terraces as it hugs the Nam Ma river. This stunning valley is dotted with Tay, Dzao and H’mong hill tribe villages. Drive up the highest mountain pass in Viet Nam named Tram Ton pass at 2,047 meters, the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous town of Sa Pa. Stop at Heavens Gate, the highest stretch of road in Vietnam as well as the provincial border of Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces and Silver Waterfall. The Silver Waterfall is located about a half hour from Sapa town which offers stunning views over surrounding mountains and lush forests belonging to Hoang Lien National Park. Check in hotel on arrival. Relax and overnight in Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa - Fanxipan - Lao Chai - Ta Van (B, L)
After breakfast, we drive to Silver Waterfall. The Silver Waterfall is located about a half hour from Sapa town which offers stunning views over surrounding mountains and lush forests belonging to Hoang Lien National Park. You are advised to stop by a farm for a cup of tea and talk with people to understand their local life. Then we continue our drive uphill to the Heavens Gate, the highest stretch of road in Vietnam as well as the provincial border of Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces. Enjoy fantastic view over the valley!
Then take a cable car to Fansipan mountain. Currently the highest point of Fansipan is at 3,143m high. As you know the cable car in Sapa is the world’s longest and highest cable car, running up from sleepy Sapa Town in Lao Cai Province to the peak of Fansipan Mountain, known as Indochina’s rooftop. Enjoy the view from the highest point of this incredible mountain. The lush green and subtropical vegetation makes this mountain really very beautiful. Take some pictures for unforgettable experience from the top. After taking scenery then get cable car back to Sapa.
Then we 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 the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H’mong village Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They are proud of their culture and keep their traditions and way of living. They have their own language and wear traditional indigio blue clothing. 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. The development has meant that some of their old customs have been lost but many women still wear traditional shirts with a purple, blue or green color. The Zay houses are build of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 6: Sapa - Bac Ha market - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L) - by car
After the breakfast, we go to the Bac Ha market for two hours by a private car (AC). This is the largest market in the region, a place where many ethnic groups gather to buy and sell, eat and drink together. There are 10 minority groups in the Bac Ha region. You can buy homemade handicrafts and clothes. In the afternoon we will have a 2 hour trek to Ban Pho village (Flower H’Mong people). In the village we can have a look in their house and understand little more about their lifestyle and traditional customs. Especially, we can try homemade wine from corn. Then transfer to the station in Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi at 20:15pm, arrive around 05:00am. Overnight on train.
- Note: Bac Ha market only takes place on Sunday. This itinerary can be changed upon your departure date.
Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
7.30 - 08.10 Depart from Hanoi to Halong bay by shuttle van.
11.30 Upon arrival at Vinashin Tourist Harbor, You are welcomed at our waiting room before enjoying the cruise.
12.15 - 12.30 Embark on Huong Hai Sealife. Enjoy welcome drink as Cruise Manager gives you a brief overview of the itinerary and important safety guideline. Check in your cabin.
13.00 Start cruisingamong famous Islets (Indochina studio, Am Islet…) of Bai Tu Long Bay, the wildest beauty with the panoramic natural views. Admire the grace of the bay while enjoying the delicious lunch in the restaurant at the first deck.
14.30 Explore the well-hidden Co Cave (known as Thien Canh Son Cave). Relax on white sandy beach or walk along the beach at Hon Co Island (no swimming).
15.45 Return to Huong Hai Sealife and enjoy Happy hour. You will have 30% discount off from the special drinks list; including of cocktail, mocktail and mixed drinks (from 16.30 pm to 19.00 pm). Treasure the wonderful beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay at sunset, admire the striking islands and islets, savor the fresh and peaceful atmosphere which could hardly be found in landwhile cruising to Cong Do sleeping area.
16.30 Enjoy kayaking at Cong Do or relaxing on the cruise.
18.00 Onboard the vessel, surrounded by a stunning, setting in motion, attend our chef’s cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking (spring roll) on the sundeck.
19.15 Dinner is served in the restaurant at the first desk. You can enjoy the charm of Bai Tu Long Bay at night.
21.00 Evening activities: relax at leisure; enjoy our Movie Night, Board Games or our Massage & Spa services (massage and spa fee is not included in the price), squid fishing. Overnight on Bai Tu Long Bay.
Day 8: Halong Bay (B, L ,D)
06.00 - 06.30: Welcome a new day with an amazing dawn on Bai Tu Long Bay with a Tai-chi session on the sundeck.
07.00 - 07.45: Catch the morning view of seascape while enjoying the breakfast in the restaurant. 08.00-08.15: Transfer to Day Junk (Day Boat) and start cruising to admire the widest beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay.
08.30 - 10.00: Visit Cong Dam Area - Deep into Bai Tu Long Bay, the famous hidden lagoons covered by majestic limestone islands and islets with wild beaches.
10.00 - 12.00: Kayak through lagoons at Geological park in Cong Dam and relax on wide beach.
12.30 - 13.30: Enjoy the lunch in the restaurant on day boat while cruising to Thay Cave.
14.00 - 15.30: Kayak and discover Thay Cave - one of the most large & well-hidden cave in Bai Tu Long Bay.
16.00 - 16.30: Transfer from Day Junk (Day Boat) back to main boat - Huong Hai Sealife Cruise.
17.00 - 19.00: Enjoy Happy hour on sundeck & attend our chef’s cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking (spring roll).
19.00 - 22.00: Have dinner, enjoy evening activity (squid fishing) or relax at leisure then overnight on board in Cong Do area.
Day 9: Halong Bay - Hanoi (BR)
06.30 - 07.00: Welcome a new day with an amazing dawn on Bai Tu Long Bay. Refresh your body and soul with a Tai-chi session on the sundeck.
07.00 - 07.30: Catch the morning view of seascape while enjoying the breakfast with cookies and tea, café in the restaurant.
07.30 - 08.30: Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat or kayaking, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms. (No swimming).
08.30 - 09.30: Pack up the luggage and check out of the cabin.
09.30 - 10.40: Enjoy the brunch in the restaurant while cruising back to Vinashin tourist harbor.
11.00: Disembark from boat.
12.00: Your driver takes you back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 10: Hanoi - Depart (B)
Breakfast at hotel. Then our driver will pick you up and drive to the airport for your flight. End of services.