Duration: 27 Days
Starts / Ends: Hanoi / Hanoi
Day 1: Arrival Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi walking tour – Recover from Jet Lag
Day 3: Hanoi tour – overnight to Sapa
Day 4: Sapa – Ham Rong mountain – Sapa Market + town
Day 5: Sapa – Sin Chai – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Sapa
Day 6: Sapa – Lao Chai – Tavan
Day 7: Tavan – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Sapa
Day 8: Sapa – Taphin – Silver fall – Heaven gate pass-Bac Ha
Day 9: Bac Ha Sunday market
Day 10: Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi (160 km)
Day 11: Hoang Su Phi – Hagiang – Quang Ba (120 km)
Day 12: Quang Ba – Yen Minh – Dong Van (100 km)
Day 13: Dong Van – Meo Vac (50 km)
Day 14: Meo Vac – Yen Minh – Quang Ba (100 km)
Day 15: Quang Ba – Ha Giang (50 km)
Day 16: Ha Giang – Hanoi (300 km)
Day 17: Hanoi – free day or day in country side
Day 18: Halong Bay – overnight on boat
Day 19: Halong Bay
Day 20: Halong – back to Hanoi
Day 21: Hanoi – photo tour morning; flight to Da Nang – Hoi An
Day 22: Hoi An tour AM; Da Nang marble village PM
Day 23: Hoi An – flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon); tour afternoon
Day 24: Saigon photo tour
Day 25: Saigon – Vinh Long – Mekong delta (Can Tho) over night in Can Tho
Day 26: Visit Cai Rang floating market
Day 27: Saigon – Hanoi Departure
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival we will be welcomed by our guide and transferred to the hotel. In the evening we will enjoy the unique Water Puppet performance; and we will have our welcome dinner at one of the finest restaurants in town
Day 2: Hanoi walking tour – Recover from Jet Lag (B, D)
Today we do Hanoi walking tour full day – relax. Tonight we will have chance to see the unique water puppet show. Over night in the hotel
Breakfast & Dinner included.
Day 3: Sun, October 05, 2008 Hanoi tour – overnight to Sapa (B)
Hanoi – has shaken off its once hostile attitude to travelers to become one of the most beguiling cities in Southeast Asia. It’s slow-paced yet quick to charm, with a lovely landscape of lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and French-colonial architecture. Hanoi personifies the spirit of historic Vietnam in the temples, monuments and pockets of ancient culture along the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, yet perfectly reflects the rapid changes sweeping the country as Hanoian Yuppies sip cappuccinos in roadside cafes and compare cell phones.
This trip is started at around 08:00AM and ended at around 07:00PM. We will visit Ho Chi Minh complex with Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, The Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda and outside Ho Chi Minh Museum; the Temple of Literature then we stop for our lunch at a local fine restaurant. This afternoon, we visit Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan and Hang Be Market. We have 2 hour walking to explore the old quarter of Hanoi to see the daily Life of Hanoian and one more hour to watch The Water Puppet show in the Theater on the bank of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Tonight we take train to Sapa – 4 soft sleeper berth cabin with air conditioning.
Day 4: Sapa – Ham Rong Mountain – Sapa Market + town (B)
Today we have chance to go to Hamrong Mountain to get the panoramic view of the area of Sapa. After that we will visit the town and the Sapa market. We spend tonight in Sapa town.
Day 5: Sapa – Sin Chai – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Sapa (B)
In the morning we embark on a walk into the nearby Sinchai and Cat Cat valley, passing through some H’mong villages along the route to the neighboring village of Y Linh Ho. We have picnic lunch and here we go up hill to the road where our vehicle waiting for us to transfer to Sapa town. We spend tonight in Sapa town.
Day 6: Sapa – Lao Chai – Tavan (B, L, D)
At 10 am we leave the hotel and start trekking. The first part is on the road but we soon turn to the right and walk on a small path down the valley to the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H’mong village Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They are proud of their culture and keep their traditions and way of living. They have their own language and wear traditional indigo blue clothing. After this you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam. The development has meant that some of their old customs have been lost but many women still wear traditional shirts with a purple, blue or green color. The Zay houses are built of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. We stay overnight with a local family in Ta Van and have our dinner here. Trekking distance: 15 km.
Day 7: Tavan – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Sapa (B, L)
After the breakfast we continue to visit Red Dao people at Giang Ta Chai where we also see a waterfall. The Red Dao women have very colorful red embroidery and coins on their clothing. On their head they wear a red scarf. Some of the women have shaved off their eyebrows because of a nice Red Zao Legend. We continue along small paths in the rice fields, cross the Muong Hoa River and trek up to Su pan where you will meet the jeep and transfer back to our hotel in Sapa. The rest of the day at our leisure.
Day 8: Sapa – Taphin – Silver fall – Heaven gate pass (Tram Ton Pass) – Bac Ha (B)
Today we are going to visit Ta Phin village, the village belong to Red DZao people and then we are going to Silver water fall and Tram Ton pass, which is also called: the Heaven Gate where we can enjoy the panoramic view of the hilly area before departing for Bac Ha town. Over night in the hotel in Bac Ha town.
Day 9: Bac Ha Sunday market (B)
Bac Ha is the largest market in the region, a place where many ethnic groups gather to buy and sell, eat and drink together. There are 10 minority groups in the Bac Ha region. You can buy homemade handicrafts and clothes. In the afternoon we will have a 2 hour trek to Ban Pho village (Flower H’mong people).In the village we can have a look in their house and understand little more about their lifestyle and traditional customs. Especially, we can try homemade wine from corn…Overnight in the hotel in Bac Ha.
Day 10: Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi (160 km) (B)
The second half of this drive is much easier but one will have to be careful not to get lost in the dense woods. We drive via Xin Man and the area’s tortuous roadways. More picturesque Vietnam countryside and landscapes, as well as meeting and talking with local ethnic families. Arrive in the town of Hoang Su Phi at about 5:00 pm, dinner and sleep in town. Over night in the guess house.
Day 11: Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang – Quang Ba (120 km) (B)
Today we will double back to Bac Quang then depart for Ha Giang. The ride is a pleasant one with countless meandering turns and winding sections on our way to Quang Ba. This is your trip and we encourage you to stop as many times as you wish to meet local people or to take those once in a lifetime photographs. We will arrive in the town of Quang Ba at about 4:00 pm for dinner and sleep.
Day 12: Quang Ba – Yen Minh – Dong Van (100 km) (B)
At a leisurely pace we will ride on from Quan Ba to Dong Van. Today we will visit the infamous Vuong Palace, where a Hmong family of high rank lived during French colonial rule. This palace attracts keen interest from architecturally minded visitors due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture. We then hop back on our car and back to Dong Van for our overnight. Note: Quan Ba Sunday market is worth an arrangement!
Day 13: Dong Van – Meo Vac (50 km) (B)
After breakfast, We will depart Dong Van to Meo Vac on the way we have extra time to wonder the ancient streets lined with Hmong homes of clay bricks and tiles roofs built centuries ago we will first take some time to climb over the Ma Pi Leng Pass. Here is yet another amazing place, with incredible mountain ranges and the Nho Que River winding off in the distance. We will continue to zigzag our way to Meo Vac, visiting remote areas and the hard working local people here. It is inspiring to see how they survive as they manage their environment. Meo Vac is very close to the Chinese border,
Over night at the guess house.
Day 14: Meo Vac – Yen Minh – Quang Ba (100 km) (B)
After having breakfast then we down the road again, camera ready! All of our guides will have to agree that this is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. The “mother nature will never get enough credit” scenery and the “I cannot believe that that is actually the road” routes will absolutely and positively astound you!
There will be ample opportunity to see the ethnic minorities and even visit their traditional homes. We will stop in Yen Minh town for lunch and then continue on our journey climbing to a nearby pass and then descending into the Quang Ba valley. Over night in the guess house.
Day 15: Quang Ba – Ha Giang (50 km) (B)
The adventure begins as soon as we leave town and enter a land of colorful mountain hill tribes and seemingly impossible landscapes. All around you limestone rock faces will rise straight up perpendicular to the valley bellow and hill tribe people will be smiling and waving you onward.
We will pass Heaven’s Gate pass, then on to Ha Giang town for lunch. Afternoon will include more riding and some stops to walk through some nearby ethnic villages. We will return to Ha Giang town for dinner and to retire for the night.
Day 16: Ha Giang – Hanoi (300 km)
Today, there is not much to see en route, well prepared and fully briefed we will head north to Tuyen Quang province, visit the historic Tan Trao area then on the way we will drive through Thai Nguyen city, and break at the Museum of Ethnology. This is an important stop as we will be visiting many of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities and hill tribe people. Take some extra time to learn about the Dao, Hmong, Muong, Thai, and Bo Y minorities.
We should be back to Hanoi at about 5:00 pm.
Day 17: Hanoi – free day or day in country side (B)
Today our guide and driver will go upon our request to the country side area of Bac Ninh Province or other neighboring area like Ha Tay or …
Day 18: Halong bay – overnight on boat (B, L, D)
At 8.30, we depart for the journey passing the lust green field in the Red River delta to the coast and the wonderful Ha Long bay which named as the ascending dragon. Arriving at the Halong Bay Wharf at around lunch time, we transfer from our vehicle to our deluxe junk, join our fantastic seafood lunch, and cruise around this tranquil bay, marvel at 3000 limestone peaks that emerge from the emerald water. We have opportunity to visit spectacular Amazing cave crammed with stalactites and stalagmites; and if the weather permits we will swim from our boat. After our delicious dinner we will join together with and may drink Vietnamese wine and chatting. Spending the night on the junk.
Day 19: Halong bay (B, L, D)
Our breakfast at 07:00 AM, we then prepare to continue on kayaking to explore the Bay. We paddle from Luon Cave toward islets in shape of Man’s head, Tortoise and the last destination is Cua Van fishing village. We will be back to our boat for lunch at around 11:00. In the afternoon, we once again kayak to the three tunnels lake (selected according to the tides). And why we are not relax on the desktop to see the sun sets and drink some beers and enjoy the fresh atmosphere on the one of tranquil Bay that was recognized as a World Natural Heritage in Vietnam. This evening, another tasty seafood dinner will be served on board.
Day 20: Halong – back to Hanoi (B, L)
Breakfast at 07:00, after that we or relax on the junk or keep on kayaking one or two hours more. Around 10:00 we pack our luggage and take out of our cabin (for crew members prepare rooms for coming passengers). Our lunch today will be served sooner than usual as we will return to the main harbor at around midday. We then transfer to our awaiting vehicle for around 3 hour driving back to Hanoi. The rest of the day will be at our leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 21: Hanoi – photo tour morning; flight to Da Nang-Hoi An (B)
This morning we enjoy the walking tour in Hanoi. In the afternoon we take a short flight to Da Nang.. Upon arrival we will transfer to Hoi An town. Over night in Hoi An town.
Day 22: Hoi An tour AM; Da Nang marble village PM (B)
This morning we enjoy the walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Old town visit Phu Kien assembly hall, the 200 year old Tan Ky house, the Japanese cover bridge, Hoi An Museum, and the handcrafts workshops. After that we also visit Hoi An’s colorful market and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. In the afternoon we are going to Marble handy craft village and the Marble Mountain near by.
Day 23: Hoi An – flight to Ho Chi Minh City; tour afternoon (B)
In the morning we transfer to Da Nang. air port to take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival we will be welcome and transfer to our center located hotel. In the afternoon we will do the orientation tour of Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 24: Ho Chi Minh City photo tour to Chinatown, Binh Tay market, Chinese temple (B)
Many centuries ago, Saigon was already a busy commercial center. Merchants from China, Japan and many European countries would sail upstream the Saigon River to reach the islet of Pho, a trading center. In the year of 1874, Cho Lon merged with Saigon, forming the largest city in the Indochina. It had been many times celebrated as the Pearl of the Far East. After the reunification of the country, the 6th National Assembly in its meeting of the 2nd of July, 1976, has officially robotized Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City. The history of city relates closely with the struggle for the independence and freedom of Vietnam. This city tour unravels Saigon’s turbulent past and also provides a glimpse into the fascinating variety the city has to offer.
In the morning we depart our hotel for the Reunification Palace, the former
Presidential Palace for the president of the South of Vietnam, after that we will visit War Remnant Museum, where you can see countless artifacts, photographs and pictures documenting about the second Indochina war. Before our lunch we stop at Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post office to get our good shots for our memory of the biggest city in Vietnam. Our delicious lunch will be served at a “Pho 2000” restaurant in the central city. In the afternoon we will visit: Ben Thanh market, Cho Lon, Chinese town and market. Here you can experience our Vietnamese Southern daily life. We will be back our hotel after visiting Giac Lam pagoda, one of the oldest and finest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City. Over night in the hotel .
Day 25: Ho Chi Minh City – Vinh Long – Mekong delta (Can Tho) over night in Can Tho city (B)
This morning we set off for a drive through the Mekong Delta to the town of Vinh Long. Here we will board our private boat for a cruise along the maze of waterways and canals to Vinh Long. We will stop at the home of a Bonsai gardener for a sumptuous Delta lunch, including the popular dish of ‘Elephant ear fish’, before continuing our exploration of the tributaries and canals of the delta. We also have chance to visit some local cottage industries. Then from Vinh Long we get our private boat to go to Can Tho. Along the way we have plenty of chance to take picture of the local life in the Mekong Delta. Overnight in the hotel in Can Tho City.
Day 26: Visit Cai Rang floating market (B)
Rising early to the sounds of the Delta coming to life for another day, we have breakfast before boarding our riverboat once more for a cruise to well-known floating market of Cai Rang. We spend time for taking picture here. After that we are going back to Ho Chi Minh City along the way. Following this we will rendezvous with our vehicle for the drive to the town of My Tho, where we will visit the Dong Tam snake farm and the Vinh Trang pagoda, before our return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 27: Fly home from Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi – USA (B)
Back to Hanoi; Depart for USA at 11:55 PM – Early flight Saigon – Hanoi