Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi. Arrive at Noi Bai Airport. Pick up and transfer to a hotel. Hanoi, Vietnam's capital city, boasts tree-lined streets and centuries-old temples. An afternoon sightseeing tour features both cultural and historical highlights, comprising the Temple of Literature, the Ethnology Museum, the old quarters and a downtown pedicab ride (1 hour). Overnight in Hanoi. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Hanoi-Bac Ha. Spend the whole day on coach relishing the geographical diversity of Tonkin from Hanoito Bac Ha (320 km) with rice fields in the Red River Delta, palm-tree hills in the midlands and pine forests on the limestone plateau of Bac Ha, home to the Flower H'mong tribe. There are opportunities to enjoy the friendliness of the Nung and Black Yao tribes en route. Overnight in Bac Ha. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Bac Ha-Can Cau-Sapa. Leave for Can Cau (20 km) via a winding road with breath-taking mountain views. Visit Can Cau Fair (on Saturday only) with thousands of Flower Hmong gathering and trading farm products and colourful clothing in natural surroundings. It is no doubt one of the most attractive places for photo hunters in Vietnam. Leave Can Cau by road for an interesting trip to Sapa (130 km). Nestling on Mount Fansipan, Sapa offers spectacular scenery and is home to different hill-tribes. The evening entertainment is a tribal folk show at a bar. Overnight in Sapa. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Sapa-Tam Duong. The morning is leisure to wander around Sapa Fair (on Sunday only) with hundreds of Black H'mong and Red Yao gathering. Socialize with the tribesmen and enjoy bargaining for unique souvenirs. Travel on a winding road to Tam Duong (70 km) across Hoang Lien Son, the highest pass in Vietnam (2,047 meters). Overnight in Tam Duong. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Tam Duong-Muong So-Lai Chau. Leave for Lai Chau (130 km) via a picturesque road along the Nam Na River. Stop by Muong So Fair (on Monday only), rarely visited by travelers, with throngs of Hmong, Day, Yaoand Thai coming and going merrily in their distinctive traditional costumes. Admire the beautiful Lai Ha Suspension Bridge and Hang Tom Suspension Bridge near Lai Chau Town. Overnight in Lai Chau. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Lai Chau-Pa Uon-Son La. Enjoy a boat ride down to Pa Uon (7 hours). View the spectacular scenery of the gorges on the Da River. With precipitous cliffs towering over river sides and hill-tribe villages (Black Thai, Xa, White Hmong) scattered on sandy bank, the boat trip ranks among the best in Vietnam. Have picnic lunch en route. Onwards to Son La (65 km). Overnight in Son La. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Son La-Xa Linh-Hang Kia. Leave for Xa Linh (120 km) via a scenic road past Black Thai villages and lush rice field valleys. Have lunch at a Black H'mong home at Xa Linh. Trek to Hang Kia (8 km), a Red H'mong hamlet. H'mong people used to be well-known for planting poppy trees, but now live on brocade weaving and cereal cultivation. Majestic mountains and the simple lifestyle of the locals amaze all tastes. Have dinner at a Red H'mong home at Hang Kia. Overnight at the home. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Hang Kia-Cun Pheo. Travel down to Cun Pheo (15 km), a picturesque Muong hamlet, via a trekking trail over forested mountains and through villages with houses-on-stilts among rice and corn fields. Have picnic lunch en route. In the evening, stroll around the hamlet with torches to get to know the activities of Muong people at night time. Share dinner and accommodation at a local home at Cun Pheo. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Cun Pheo-Xam Khoe-Hoa Binh. Continue to trek to Xam Khoe (7 km) on a trail through peaceful villages and lush rice fields. Xam Khoe is home to the White Thai tribe whose girls boast soft manners and most graceful costumes. Stop at a local home for lunch. Transfer to Hoa Binh by car (90 km). Enjoy a tribal folk show performed at a traditional house-on-stilts. Overnight in Hoa Binh. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Hoa Binh-Hanoi. Leave for Hanoi (75 km) via a pleasant road. The rest of the day is leisure for personal pursuits in Hanoi. The evening entertainment is a water puppet show, a theatrical genre reflecting the agricultural civilization of thousands of years ago. Overnight in Hanoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Departure from Hanoi. Spend last minutes for downtown shopping (ceramics, silver-carvings, silk) or at leisure before check-out. Transfer to the airport for departure. Includes: (B).
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Asia Vietnam Local Culture Cultural Journey
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