Day 1: Arrival Hanoi (D)
Pick-up at Noi Bai airport by Viet Bamboo Travel's guide and driver. Transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner at a lovely restaurant in the Old French Quarter in Hanoi. Free evening of leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
This full day tour takes you around Hanoi's most interesting sights, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and his Stilt House, Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda nearby, and the Old Quarter also known as the 36 streets and guilds. Also on the tour - the Lake of the Restored Sword and Ngoc Son Temple, the Temple of Literature, peaceful West Lake along lovers' street Thanh Nien, the tranquil Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple and one of the city's museums, either the History Museum or the Ethnology Museum. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi - Halong - Cat Ba Island (B, L)
08:30 Meet our guide at your hotel and travel to Halong Bay through the beautiful and lush countryside of Red River Delta. 12:30 We will arrive at Halong City where we board a traditional wooden boat and cruise around one of the most beautiful bays in the world. We will be served a delicious seafood lunch on board. Exploration of caves and swimming at a secluded lagoon or beach also are included. After 5 hours cruising the bay, we arrive at Cat Ba island for our overnight stay.
Day 4: Cat Ba - Hai Phong - Ninh Ninh (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will have free time to explore the island. If you want, you can rent a sampan for a one-hour cruise around a floating fishing village. Ferry to Hai Phong sea port city and drive to Ninh Binh via Thai Binh, the heart of the Red River Delta. Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Day 5: Full day in Ninh Binh (B, L)
Cruise by sampan on Ngo Dong River, Halong Bay on land. Visit Binh Dong Pagoda. Have lunch in a local restaurant and drive to the Phat Diem Cathedral. Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Day 6: Ninh Binh - Mai Chau (B, L, D)
Visit Dinh and Le Temple and drive forward to the valley Mai Chau. Stroll around Pomg Cong and Lac Villages. Stay overnight with Thai ethnic minority people on their traditional long house on stilts
Day 7: Mai Chau - Hoa Binh - Hanoi - Lao Cai (B, L)
Leave Mai Chau to Hoa Binh, visit Muong Village and have lunch in Hoa Binh. Back to Hanoi. Free time in the afternoon to shop in the Old Quarter, gallery hop or simply enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the cafes on Nha Tho (Cathedral Street). 20:00 Meet Viet Bamboo Travel's guide at Tran Quy Cap Railway Station. Take soft sleeper, first class on overnight train to Lao Cai - Sapa.
Day 8: Lao Cai - Sapa - Cat Cat (B, L)
AM: Meet driver at Lao Cai Railway station and transfer to Sapa (35km). Check in our hotel, and you are free to explore the misty town. PM: Trek to Cat Cat village, home of the H'mong people and visit a waterfall near the village. Back to Sapa town for overnight.
Day 9: Sapa - Ta Van - Lao Chai - Cau May (B, L)
Light trek in the stunning valleys of Ta Van and Lao Chai, where the H'mong, Dao and Day people live. Visit Cau May suspension bridge that spans the unspoiled river Muong Hoa. A picnic lunch is recommended for this excursion. Stay at a hotel in Sapa.
Day 10: Sapa - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L)
AM: Visit Ham Rong Mountain, which offers you a great view of Sapa and the surrounding area. Visit orchids gardens. Free time for lunch. PM: check-out from your hotel and drive to Ta Phin village, home to the Red Dao minority people, and then transfer to Lao Cai Railway Station.Train to Hanoi at 21:15. Overnight on train.
Day 11: Hanoi - Perfume Pagoda (B, L)
Arrival Hanoi Railway Station at 05:00. Meet driver and transfer to Perfume Pagoda. Have breakfast and coffee before taking a cruise along a river to an area considered by Vietnamese Buddhists as a holy. Climbing up to the mountain, visit beautiful temples and pagodas built on cliffs. It will provide you a nice balance of cultural exploration and physical exercise. Lunch at a local restaurant before we cruise back to the dock. Drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 12: Departure Hanoi (B)
Following breakfast, free time in Hanoi. We transfer you to the airport for your flight. End of services.