Duration: 8 Days/ 7 Nights
Tour Type: Standard
Tour Categories: Vietnam Classic Tours
Starts/ Ends: Hanoi/ Hanoi
Tour Route: Hanoi city – Hanoi outskirt – Halong Bay – Sapa
Tour Customizable: Definitely! (Tell us what you wish to do in the inquiring form)
Highlights of 8-day Northern Vietnam Tour:
Visit Hanoi – the capital of long-established cultures and history
Relax at rural homestay in the Vietnamese countryside
Behold the greatness of Halong Bay
Take a deeper understanding of ethnic minorities and nature in Sapa
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
Day 3: Hanoi – Village Tour
Day 4: Halong Bay (overnight on junk cruise)
Day 5: Hanoi – Night train to Sapa
Day 6: Sapa
Day 7: Sapa – Night train to Hanoi
Day 8: Hanoi Departure
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D)
Welcome upon arrival by local tour guide and the driver then transfer to hotel. Relax in the rest of the day until dinner time; we will meet the tour guide again and have our welcome dinner at a local restaurant in town.
Transfer via: International flight – your arrangement
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
Breakfast at hotel then meet tour guide and driver and start our tour to Hanoi.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and is the first and foremost destination in the North Vietnam tour. We will start visiting Ho Chi Minh Complex with Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and one pillar pagoda.
Keep going to see the Temple of Literature: Originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society placed then and now on education.
Lunch is at K.O.T.O restaurant, founded by Vietnamese Australian Jimmy Pham, is a non-profit organization which is run by local children who Jimmy recruited from the streets.
In the afternoon, we visit one of the most interesting museums in the North Vietnam; Museum of Ethnology, which is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples.
Following by that, we will take one-hour cycle around the Old Quarter, known as the 36 streets, this bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Originally, each of the 36 streets names’ was related to the products being sold there.
Lastly, we have a chance to enjoy the unique Water Puppet show. Hear the Vietnamese traditional instruments and singing from the live musicians who play throughout the show. The trip will be finished after the show at the hotel.
Day 3: Hanoi – Village Tour with Bike (B, L, D)
After breakfast at hotel, we meet tour guide and driver again then start for our tour to Hanoi outskirt village at Ky Son, a hamlet of the historic Duong Lam Village that is home to many traditional houses and some are over 200 years old.
10:00: Arrive at Moon Garden Homestay in Ky Son village. Welcome drink with local fresh green tea. Free time for discovering Moon garden Homestay and Ky Son village like a local market, kindergarten…
11:00: Attend a cooking class
13:30: Hand Spa- Enjoy having our fingers dipped in a fragrant lime bowl and the traditional herbal hand massage. Then, free time for relaxing or further conversation with the host family about local snacks, sharing cultures and learning about traditional customs. If we want to learn Vietnamese, one of the family members can teach us.
15:00: You can have a choice of a short ride of 6 km or a long ride of 12 km round trip:
- Short ride: Take a bicycle ride to discover the Ky Son, Tam Son, Van Minh, and Cham farming communities to and stop at any home we like for a cup of tea. Visit the kindergarten (if open). Chat with local people about their daily life and farming. We can help with plowing or making rice beds, transplanting seedlings, harvesting rice (or cassava, corn, sweet potatoes…) depending on the harvest season.
- Long ride: Take a bicycle ride with a local guide to discover the Ky Son, Tam Son, Van Minh, and Cham, farming communities, Duong Lam ancient village and visit Mia Pagoda, Mong Phu Communal House… Then ride back along the ritual paths of Thang Thac village to discover the Ngo Quyen tomb, Phung Hung temple.
18:00 Return to the Moon Garden for happy hour. While waiting for our steam bath to be prepared, we can enjoy our local drink and taste some of the local products such as maize, sweet potato, cassava, peanuts…(depending on season) or some traditional desserts.
18:30: Relax yourself in the traditional, refreshing steam bath with fragrant herbs (Lemongrass, pomelo leaves, holy basil leaves).
19:15: Observe the evening Buddha worship.
19:30: Enjoy dinner then immerse your feet in warm water with ginger, salt, and mugwort medicinal herbs before bedtime, which brings us a deeper sleep.
Day 4: Halong Bay (overnight on junk cruise) (B, L, D)
7:00 Join Yijinjing traditional exercises
7:30 Breakfast then we leave Ky Son village for Halong Bay. Halong Bay is ranked as one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an endless natural beauty, making North Vietnam become increasingly outstanding.
We drive along the Red River Delta that is a large land limited by a lower stream of Red River in the North Vietnam and countryside about 3,5 hours to see Halong Bay and stay on the deluxe junk cruise. We arrive at Halong Bay at around midday then we check in Halong Sail with crew’s welcome. Our seafood lunch will be served at 13:00 while Halong Sails is a peaceful passing Burn of Incense islet, Dog Islet, Fighting cock islets and Halong Fishing village.
We finish our lunch is the time the Halong Sails stop at Sung Sot cave where we will have 1-hour walk up and explore one of the most magical and beautiful Sung Sot (Amazing) cave. After that, we are back to the Sails and start kayaking, trekking or swimming at Titov Island area. It is really wonderful to be at the bay at the sunset time and we can see different Halong time by time….
Finish our interesting day by tasteful seafood dinner. We enjoy our meal in a floating restaurant and see the “city bay” in the evening. We will enjoy film or squid fishing if request in the rest of the night.
Day 5: Hanoi – Night train to Sapa (B, L)
Getting up at early morning we will have a chance to see the sunrise on the sundeck with some hot coffee or tea. Then we enjoy our breakfast at the restaurant. A small boat will transfer us to Luon Cave to visit a smaller lake in a big bay. Here we can see many natural monkey’s families fed by bread and food from tourists. We are back to the Halong Sails to visit more Halong Bay with Man Head islets, Tortoise Island. We will check out the cabin at around 09:00 then relax on sundeck or restaurant until lunch time. We may have our lunch on a boat or delicious Cua Vang restaurant in Tuan Chau Island.
We transfer back to Hanoi; stop at a mini hotel for our short break before taking a night train to Sapa, considered as the wonderland in the North Vietnam with majestic natural beauty. Overnight on train.
Day 6: Sapa – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Ta Van (B, L)
Arriving at Lao Cai Railways station in the early morning, we transfer to Sapa Town for our breakfast and short relax. Then we first sneak through the market and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, we will follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village, stop at a waterfall and a hydroelectric station for a while before trekking on a dirt trail through rice paddy terraces. We also enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. We arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where we take a rest and have lunch.
After lunch, we head Muong Hoa Valley which is the largest farmland for rice growing in Sapa and is one of the most must-see popular places for breathtaking scenery in the North Vietnam tour. Then, pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and Ta Van village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route. Stop and stay overnight in the local house of Giay minority. Free time for walking around or swimming in the river nearby.
Approx: 5 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Day 7: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Sapa – Night train to Hanoi (B, D)
Having breakast at home-stay we then leave for Giang Ta Chai village of Red Dao minority, trek through the bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park. On the way, we will pass by a waterfall where we have time to take a rest and enjoy the surroundings.
After lunch, we continue toward Su Pan, a small village located by the road where we start our journey back to Sapa by car. Tonight we transfer back to Lao Cai Railways station and take a night train to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
Approx: 1-hour driving/ 3 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Day 8: Hanoi Departure (B)
Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning; we transfer a mini hotel for our short relax before transferring to the airport for our flight to home. The special North Vietnam Tour now ends.
Transfer via: International flight – your arrangement