Day 2: Hanoi Full Day City Tour – Lao Cai ( B/L/D). Today we spend a full day exploring the charming Hanoi City. The first stop is Ho Chi Minh Complex containing the mausoleum of the nation's founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. We follow it with a visit to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam and the HistoryMuseum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history. The sightseeing also includes the outlaying Ethnologic Museum, dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups. We drive back to the town center, stopping at the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. They are some major highlights set by the beautiful West Lake. We see these sights before continuing to the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance. Transfer to Railway station catch a night train to Lao Cai ( train with 4 people in a cabin, soft sleeper with air conditioner) O/N on train.
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sa Pa Hiking ( B/L/D). Arrive Lao Cai station in the early morning, you will meet our guide with signboard write your name on it transfer to Sapa breakfast after that we visit the bustling Sa Pa Market where the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay and Xa Pho ethnic minorities converge from the nearby mountainsides and valleys to trade their goods and buy provisions. Heading out of town we embark on a walk, using the local tracks to Lao Chai village, home of the Black H'Mong people. The footpath traverses some terraced rice fields, giving us a chance to see many mountaineers doing their daily works such as logging, herding buffalo and tilling the field. The blend of verdant mountain backdrop and colourful population makes for a fantastic view. We arrive at Ta Van hamlet and visit the Zay ethnic minorities. They still retain their age old cultural traditions and wear distinctive costumes. O/N in Sa Pa.
Day 4: Sa Pa - Bac Ha ( Sunday) - Lao Cai - Ha Noi ( B/L/D). Upon leaving Sa Pa we set off on a rough but scenic drive through the border town of Lao Cai to Bac Ha. This remote hill town is a world famous site with the lively and colourful Sunday market. There are various ethnic minority groups including Dao, Phu La, La Chi and Tay but the dominants are the Flower Hmong people. These ethnic minorities are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress and come in town for trade on every Sunday. On arrival we stroll around this colourful congregation to see the different hill tribe groups and their amazing trading way. Today we have time to explore the surrounding areas on a walking tour past Hmong King’s former residence and Ban Pho Village where they make the potent local maize alcohol. The trip finish until transfer to Lao Cai station to get a night train to Ha Noi (train with 4 people in a cabin, soft sleeper with air conditioner) O/Non train.
Day 5: Hanoi - Perfume Pagoda - Ninh Binh (B/L/D). Arrival Ha Noi in early morning, breakfast in Ha Noi before transfer to Perfume Pagoda. This complex is not just one pagoda but more Buddhist shrines and sanctuaries built into mountainsides. Heading out of town we make our way through the rich farming land of the Red River Delta to the Perfume Pagoda. The relaxing pace begins as we board a boat for an excursion along the Yen River past the spectacular landscape of flooded rice fields and undulating mountains. On arrival at Thien Tru boat landing we embark on a walk uphill to explore some of the many pagodas and the sacred grotto of Huong Tich. By mid afternoon we continue travelling towards Ninh Binh past the interesting karst formations and the various charming villages. O/N in Ninh Binh.
Day 6: Ninh Binh - Hai Phong (B/L/D). Heading out of town we catch a short drive to Hoa Lu. This ancient capital of Vietnam during the Dinh and early Le Dynasties has left its legacy in the form of two small temples, each one nearly a thousand years old. We visit these two remaining structures, dedicated to the Dinh and Le Rulers and climb 200 steps to the top of Ma Yen mount for a fantastic view over the surrounding areas. The next stop is Tam Coc which is surnamed "InlandHalong Bay". Here, we board a sampan for a leisurely trip through the quiet and peaceful landscape of rice fields surrounded by towering limestone cliffs to the grottoes of Tam Coc. Afterwards we continue travelling by roads to Hai Phong, the biggest port town of northern Vietnam. O/N in Hai Phong.
Day 7: Hai Phong - Halong ( B/L/D). The following destination of our trip is Halong Bay, truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. On arrival we board a traditional boat for a seven hour trip around Halong Bay. The exciting cruise provides us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. These limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an interesting visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. The extra enjoyment is a huge seafood lunch served on board. You spend the time after lunch, for your own pleasure; admiring the landscape, lazing around the deck or simply soaking up the sunshine. O/N in Ha Long.
Day 8: Halong - Bat Trang - Hanoi ( B/L/D). The wonderful time in beach ends as we embark our vehicle and drive past the scenic rural landscape. En route we make stop to visit the riverside craftvillage of Bat Trang, where distinctive ceramics are made and used throughout the delta region for over 500 years. The vitality of this village is still blown up by the hundreds of pottery kilns on fire day and night. We stroll around various cottage industries and watch craftsmen forming, painting and glazing their products in traditional ways. The reminder of day will be free for your own exploration of Hanoi's older quarters or simply relaxation. O/N in Hanoi. (B)
Day 9: Hanoi - Departure (B). There is a free time for you to relax or further explore Hanoi. The trip ends after your transfer to Noibai Airport for departure.
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Accommodation: twin sharing room
- Entrance fee to indicated sights
- Meals as indicated : B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner + Water puppet show
- Cyclo trip
- Boat trip in Perfume Pagoda, Tam Coc and Halong Bay.
- Other meals,
- airport tax,
- single room supplement,
- personal expenses,
- travel insurance,
- flight in / out of Vietnam,
- any optional additional tours or activities during free time,
- surcharge for peak season,
- local holiday days and gala dinner.
flight in / out of Vietnam
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