Vietnam Northern Highlights (9 days/8 nights)
Day 01: Hanoi arrival (D)
You will be welcomed by our guide by arrival at Hanoi Airport. We transfer you with a comfortable vehicle to the city center of Hanoi to check-in in your hotel. This day is scheduled to take some rest after your long flight. You have the opportunity to get some first impressions of the city by yourself and of course our tour guide is always available at your request. Tonight you have dinner in a local restaurant and you overnight in your hotel in Hanoi.
Day 02: Hanoi city tour, train to Lao Cai (B, L, D)
Today we have plenty of time to discover the pearl of South-East Asia; Hanoi. With charming streets, lined with dozens of old trees, beautiful lakes, colonial architecture and countless interesting monuments, this city will impress you with its lively character. We begin our city-trip at the Restored Sword Lake, famous of the legend of the tortoise and the sword of 15th century . After the bombardment of this lake by the Americans in 1968 the huge turtle was killed and the little pagoda in the water is the final resting place of this legendary animal. We will continue our way with a visit to the Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius and his disciples. This temple used to be Vietnam\\\'s first university founded in 1076. After visiting this historical sight the we invite you to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the house of the hero Ho Chi Minh, who lives in the heart of every Vietnamese. We also bring a visit to the Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Quan Thanh Temple. We finish our city-tour by participating in an one-hour ride in a traditional rickshaw (bike) around Hanoi’s old quarter. After dining in a local restaurant, we will catch the train towards Lao Cai. We overnight in our wagon to sleep out the journey that will lasts for at least 10 hours.
Day 03: Lao Cai - Sapa (B, L, D)
We arrive at Lao Cai railway station in the early morning where our driver is waiting for us. You will be transferred to the Sapa Hill Station on a stunning mountainous road surrounded by hill terraced rice fields and heavily forested mountains.
The temperature begins to change as we come higher and higher in altitude. At the altitude of 1,650 m we reach Sapa. Sapa is not only an ideal place for retreat with its moderate climate, it is also a place of cultural value and breathtaking mountainous scenery. The town is inhabited by colorful hill tribes, which are based on the foot of Fan Xi Pan Mount (3143m) and other surrounding valleys. Here we spend our time trekking around, crossing magnificent bridges and witnessing green rice terraces. During our trek we will be exposed to local life and the daily activities. The rest of the day will be scheduled for leisure time to explore Sapa Town on your own with its scattering colonial houses and bonsais gardens. Tonight we have dinner in a tranquil restaurant where we taste some typical local specialties like the ‘Sapa Peach Wine’. We spend the night in a hotel in town.
Day 04 : Sapa - Lao Cai train to Hanoi (B, L, D)
After breakfast in our hotel we will climb up to Ham Rong Mount. From here, we have a fantastic panoramic view over Sapa Town, which is often covered in dense mist. The setting is extremely beautiful with its mysterious character. Great opportunity to make some snapshots! We bring a visit to the Sapa Market, crowded by countless colorful hill tribes where you can buy some souvenirs for the loved-ones at home. In the late afternoon we drive back to Lao Cai to take a look at the Cau Kieu (Beauty Bridge) situated over the Red River which forms the boarder to neighboring China. From here out you can see Hekou, a Chinese Town, with its high-rises and daily activity. By train we return to Hanoi. We overnight in our wagon to sleep during the journey and wake up at Hanoi Railway Station tomorrow morning.
Day 05: Hanoi - (B, L, D)
We arrive in Hanoi at 5 AM in the morning. It offers you the great opportunity to experience the awakening of the city. People drive to their work by motorbike, others exercise ‘Taichi’ around the Restored Sword Lake or find a little restaurant to have a breakfast. The rest of the day is scheduled for leisure time. Tonight we bring a visit to the famous water puppet show and listen to traditional folk music. We spend the night in a hotel in Hanoi.
Day 06: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
After a Vietnamese style breakfast we take you to one of the wonders of nature; Halong Bay. During our way we pass magnificent green rice paddies tended by peasant women with conical hats. The entire rice paddy strip is like a beautifully designed patchwork which leads us to the heart of the Red River Delta. In Halong City we enter our private boat for a full afternoon of cruising in the bay of the dragon, with more than 3000 limestone islands scattering up from the emerald water. An environment of sublime beauty and serenity. Ha Long Bay was recognized as Natural World Heritage by UNESCO in 1994 and is worldwide known for its unique landscape endowed by wind and water. We visit some of the most beautiful grottos and have the opportunity to get a panoramic view of the bay as we climb the Ti Top Mount. In the evening you enjoy a meal of fresh seafood, including shrimps, squids, fishes and other delicious bites prepared by our professional cooks. After watching the sun go down in this fairytale-like environment we sleep on board of our boat. By night the emerald water even glows up when you paddle through it by hand!
Day 07 : Halong - Haiphong - Ninh Binh (B ,L)
We return to Hanoi by car and drive via Hai Phong to Ninh Binh. Hai Phong is one of the most important economic centers of the north. During a trip around town we will visit the impressing Communal House and the Du Hang Pagoda. Via Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, the two main provinces of the Red River Delta, we drive to Ninh Binh. In Thai Binh we visit the Keo Pagoda, a beautifully designed pagoda constructed of wood, built in the 18th century. After our arrival we check-in in our hotel and have dinner in Ninh Binh.
Day 08 : Ninh Binh - Tam Coc - Kenh Ga floating village - Hanoi (B, L, D)
After breakfast in our hotel we continue our trip towards Tam Coc. Tam Coc is situated in a wonderful and spectacular setting of lime stone rocks rising between the magnificent green rice paddies. This place is also called the \\\"Halong Bay of the Land\\\". While making a site-seeing tour per boat downstream the river, you will immediately recognize why this place deserves this name. By boat we will sail through stunning tunnel grottos where you can enjoy the serenity of the environment. In the afternoon, we bring a visit to Kenh Ga floating village by boat. The sightseeing is fantastic, we witness an isolated village in a vast flooded field surrounded by water canals. A visit to this region allows us to explore the ‘life on the water’ of the local people who adapted their lives to the water. Experience their floating houses, floating schools and floating mini-supermarkets. You will be overwhelmed with tranquility of this pure authentic site.Tonight we enjoy our last dinner in Vietnam (our farewell diner) and spend the night in a hotel.
Day 09 : Hanoi - Departure (B)
You will have free time until we transfer you to Hanoi Airport for your departure.View More : Hue - Da nang - Hoi An or Hue - Danang - HoiAn