Your luxury holiday starts as we collect you at Ha Noi airport (Noi Bai), and you’re taken directly to your hotel. Hanoi is a stylish and exciting city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia‘s most striking colonial architecture. The lakes and parks provide pleasant and relaxing escapes from the bustle of the city. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour – Lao Cai (Breakfast at hotel).
Your Northern Tour continues on day 2 in Hanoi with breakfast, followed by a full day city tour starting with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts. Close to this site is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origin dates back to the foundation of Hanoi a thousand years ago. Your tour of Hanoi continues with a trip to the remarkable Temple of Literature, well known as Vietnam’s first university. After your own lunch, you’ll enjoy a walk around the peaceful Hoan Kiem Lake and through the less peaceful Old Quarter, a bewildering maze of shopping streets and restaurants with an amazing assortment of architecture – traditional tube houses, countless pagodas, artisans’ workshops and cottages, colonial houses and modern concrete edifices. You will see an evening performance of Hanoi’s famous water puppets before having a transfer to Hanoi Railway Station for a night train to Lao Cai with your tour guide escort. Overnight on train.
Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa (Breakfast at local restaurant).
The train arrives at around 6AM after which you’ll be transferred by private car to Sapa, one and a half hours away. At an elevation of 1,500 meters, Sapa was once a hill resort of French administrators when the summer heat became unbearable. Getting to meet the ethnic minority people is a highlight of visiting Sapa, although their living conditions are basic. After settling into your hotel you will take a soft trek to Cat Cat village about 3 kilometres away from town take you about 3 hours walking to visit H’Mong minority people who first lived in Vietnam in the 17th & 18th centuries, then you’ll walk to Ham Rong mountain about 2 hours for a fabulous overview of Sapa town. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 4: Sapa – Lao Cai (Breakfast at hotel).
Breakfast at the hotel, visit to Lao Chai and Ta Van villages home of the H’mong and Dzay people will take you an hour drive and 3 hours walking in the village. You’ll be driven through on a breathtaking landscape leading to these villages head off the beaten track to explore. In the late afternoon you’ll return to Lao Cai train station for the return overnight train to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong bay over night cruise ( Breakfast at local restaurant, lunch and dinner on board).
You’ll be met at the Railway Station early this morning and you’ll have the chance to see early morning life in Hanoi as the locals do their morning exercises and Tai Chi. You’ll also get to see the unique flower market before heading for Vietnam’s number one destination – Halong bay. Arriving just before lunch, you’ll embark on a traditional Vietnamese junk. Take lunch on board and enjoy the afternoon and overnight cruise as it provides you with fantastic views of the fabulous scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands which amazingly rise from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves, some of which you’ll visit. Overnight on board in Halong Bay.
Day 6: Halong bay – Hanoi (Breakfast and brunch on board).
The tour continues with a morning spent cruising on to the Man’s Head, Tortoise islands and then Luon Cave by small bamboo boat. After an brunch check out and continue to travel though Bai Tu Long to Bai Chay for disembark, meet the driver and guide to transfer you back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi - Depart.
After breakfast, you are free to relax until your transfer to Noi Bai airport for your departure flight.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
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