Day 1: Hanoi Arrival. Arrive at Noi Bai Airport. Pick up and transfer to a hotel. Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, 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-Son La. Spend the whole day on coach relishing the new road through Hoang Lien Son Mountains to Son La (320 km). Take a stop-over at Ta Khoa Bridge on Da River Lake with panoramic views of lake, forest and mountain. There are opportunities to enjoy the friendliness of the H'mong tribe en route. In the evening, enjoy a cultural show of Black Thai at Bo village. Overnight in Son La. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 3: Son La-Dien Bien Phu. Before leaving for Dien Bien Phu (170 km), visit Thuan Chau Market where Black Thai women gather to exchange all kinds of farm products and hand-weaving brocades. Stop by at Pha Din Pass, famous for its magnificent mountain scenery. In the afternoon, travel via Muong Phang, enjoy a short trek through dense forest (1 km) to visit General Giap's legendary tunnels. Thai villages surrounded by paddy fields are worth visiting en route. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 4: Dien Bien Phu-Lai Chau. Dien Bien Phu, a famous valley at an elevation of 550 m by the Vietnam's Laos border. In the morning, explore Dien Bien Market and former battle field: Dien Bien Phu Museum, Eliance Hill (A1 Hill), Nam Rom River and De Castries' bunker. Transfer to Lai Chau (105 km), a small town along Nam Lay Stream, encounter Red H’mong village en route. Overnight in Lai Chau. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 5: Lai Chau-Sapa. Admire the beautiful Lai Ha Suspension Bridge and Hang Tom Suspension Bridge near Lai Chau Town. Leave for Sapa (180 km) via a picturesque road along the Nam Na River and across Hoang Lien Son, the highest pass in Vietnam (2,047 meters). The rest of the day is free time to wander around Sapa Town, home to different hill-tribes. The evening entertainment is a tribal folk show at a bar. Overnight in Sapa. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 6: Sapa. Take a morning trek (6 km) to visit hill-tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van along picturesque Muong Hoa Valley. A trekking trail is over magnificent rice terraced fields, green valley, river and white roof-dotted houses by mountain sides. Get to know more about the daily life of local people (Black H'mong and Day), their ways of living and simple working tools. In the afternoon, transfer to Ta Phin village, see Red Yao at work in their distinctive colourful dress. Overnight in Sapa. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 7: Sapa-Bac Ha-Hanoi. Leave for Bac Ha (105 km) via a winding road with breath-taking mountain views. Visit Bac Ha Fair (on Sunday only), considered the most lively and crowded in the region. It attracts a large number of Flower H'mong and other hill-tribe groups (Nung, Phu La, Tay). Transfer to Lao Cai (70 km). Board the night train to Hanoi (370 km). Berths in air-conditioned compartments are provided. Overnight on board. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 8: Hanoi-Ha Long. After a 10 hours ride, arrive at the Hanoi Railway Station early in the morning. Pick up and transfer to Ha Long (170 km). The rest of the day is leisure for personal pursuits: relaxing on the sandy beach of Tuan Chau Island, walking on stone steps to Mt. Bai Tho (200 m) which offers a panoramic view of Ha Long Bay and shopping for souvenirs on Ha Long Road (coal carvings, embroideries, ceramics). Overnight in Ha Long. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 9: Ha Long. Take a private boat in Ha Long Bay (8 hours). Spend the whole day viewing the spectacular scenery of countless rock formations, paddling kayaks around picturesque coves with the schooner tagging behind and relaxing on wild sandy beach. Lunch of fresh seafood are served on board. Overnight in Ha Long. Includes: (B), (D), (L).
Day 10: Departure from Hanoi. Transfer to Hanoi (170 km). 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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