Day 1 – Hanoi
Arrive at Hanoi airport where you will be met by your guide on the other side of the Immigration/ Arrival check point. If time permits, enjoy a brief driving orientation tour of Hoan Kiem Lake, the French Quarter and Old Quarter of Hanoi en – route to your hotel.
You can use the next few hours to rest or explore the surroundings at your own pace, or take a Cyclo ride through the ancient Old Quarter of Hanoi.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Day 2 – Hanoi (B )
For the early risers, we suggest a stroll along the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Where early each morning, groups of locals gather to do their exercises along the lovely tree lined promenade. You may cross over the red bridge at the northern end to Ngoc Son Temple, and see the Tortoise Tower on a small island.
After breakfast, you will have a full day of your own to explore the city, so good walking shoes are a must. You have many options to choose from:
- Temple of Literature, built in 11th Century and the country’s first University
- Ho Chi Minh’s (HCM) Mausoleum and Presidential Palace
- HCM’s Stilt House
- One Pillar Pagoda
- Ethnology Museum
- Opera House
- Hoa Lo prison, which is also known as the “Hanoi Hilton”
- West Lake & Pagoda
Attend a Water Puppet show this evening (a Vietnamese traditional art), you have a leisurely dinner while waiting for the 21:00pm departure of the deluxe Night train to Lao Cai.
Overnight on train in air conditioned sleeper cabin.
Accommodation: Soft Sleeper Cabin with A/C
Day 3 – Lao Cai – Sapa (B)
The train will pull in around 6:00am at Lao Cai station, near the border of China, you will be met by your driver for the 45 minute drive to Sapa, the premier destination of northwest Vietnam.
Enjoy your breakfast while waiting for your hotel check-in, then catch a few hours of rest or venture out to discover the beautiful mountain landscapes and ethic minority groups of Sapa. Your guide will take you on a 2 hour trekking excursion to the village of Cat Cat & Sin Chai and from here you will trek down the valley, amongst the terraced fields and meet the hill tribe people, get to know their way of life, cultures and traditions. Returning to Sapa town in the afternoon.
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa
Day 4- Sapa (B/L)
A whole day for discovering the natural surrounds as well as the different cultures of the hill-tribe people, on a new trek in Sapa and its surrounds with a H’mong guide who speaks excellent English
We will begin with a walking tour of Sapa market, then trekking down hill from village to village around Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai and Ta Van area which is extraordinarily beautiful, and decorated by terraced-fields and the houses of H’mong, Red Zao and Zay people. You have several levels for your trekking today from soft trek 4-6kms, medium trek (5-7kms) and hard trek (9kms +)
You have a great opportunity for taking photos of breathtaking landscapes, meeting friendly hill-tribe people at home and work…
Have a home hosted lunch in a village of Dzay people.
Later in the afternoon a Jeep or Van will return you to Sapa for refreshment, then transfer you to Lao Cai for the night train to Hanoi.
Accommodation: Soft Sleeper Cabin with AC
Day 5 Hanoi – Halong (B/L/D)
You will be met by your guide early this morning at Hanoi’s railway station. After breakfast you will have a 3 hours drive through the country side of the Red River Delta to the UNESCO world’s heritage site of Halong Bay.
A traditional style Vietnamese Junk, with tastefully decorated air-conditioned cabins, is awaiting your arrival, and will set sail at noon. Lunch will be served on board amidst spectacular views of the bay.
Today you will visit one of the largest caves in Halong Bay, and enjoy a beach stop where perhaps you may want to take a swim or dip in the water of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Tonight enjoy a fresh seafood dinner onboard the Junk.
Accommodation: On board
Day 6 – Halong – Hanoi
Participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply watch the sunrise over the magnificent bay. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee or juice before setting out to a near-by cave in a row boat. Watch for monkeys high on the cliff tops. Return to the junk, where breakfast is served, while sailing around Tu Long Bay where the film “Indochine” was made.
Your cruise will end at noon and you will be met by your guide & driver for your return to Hanoi.
The journey ends in Hanoi at 3PM. After arrival to Hanoi you may want to catch your onward flight, or enjoy an extension of your visit to Hanoi.