On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Ha Noi, Vietnam's capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia 's most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere. If time permits, we enjoy a short cyclo excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tours (Breakfast)
The sightseeing tour of Hanoi begins with 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. The complex also comprises the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. We follow this with a trip to the Temple of Literature well known as Vietnam's first university and the History Museum which displays an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history. A next stop is the impressive Ethnologic Museum, dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic minorities, some of which we will see on our forthcoming days. We also visit the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem and the vibrant Dong Xuan Market before we enjoy a performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Hang Kia (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Heading out of the town we travel by road to Mai Chau. This mountainous region is populated by the Muong, H'mong, Dao, White Thai ethnic minority groups, some of which we will see on our forthcoming adventure. After lunch at Poong Coong Village near Mai Chau Town, we drive for an hour to Xa Linh to begin our trekking. We walk through the breathtaking mountain landscape and several hill villages before arriving at Hang Kia. This remote village is conquered by the H'mong hill tribe people. They are very poor, but have an interesting history and a colorful culture. Overnight at Hang Kia village. more about Mai Chau
Day 4: Hang Kia - Cun Pheo - Van (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
An early morning start to trek mountainsides to Cun Pheo. Today, we get well and truly off the beaten track as we trek through tropical rain forest, using the local track. The trek is difficult at times, with some steep uphill and downhill walking; however some physical preparation will enable you to fully appreciate the walk. We arrive at Van village by late afternoon and have time to walk around this charming village, enabling us to understand a little more about their culture and lifestyle. Overnight at Van village.
Day 5: Vam Sam Khoe - Poong Coong (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
The verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population make for an forgettable experience. On our today's trek to Sam Khoe, we pass through several White Thai villages, and are sure to attract attention since this part of the country receive very few visitors. At the small village of Khoe, we meet up with our vehicle and drive back towards Mai Chau. A highlight of this evening is to enjoy a traditional music show followed with local rice wine. This performance is held by the young White Thai minorities, reflecting the rich culture of this ethnic group. Overnight at Pong Coom village.
Day 6: Mai Chau - Cuc Phuong (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
After breakfast we walk on the valley floor, seeing many villagers on their daily works such as logging, herding buffalo, tilling the field or weaving brocade. Here is a chance for the shoppers to try their at bargaining. We then make our way following the winding roads to Man Duc. This area is populated by the Muong Hilltribe people who have settled there long time ago. A two hour trek will enable us to explore their home land. Departing Man Duc we continue on to Cuc Phuong National Park, our final destination. Overnight at Cuc Phuong village.
Day 7: Cuc Phuong - Ninh Binh (Breakfast/Lunch)
The national park of Cuc Phuong boats one of the best preserved tropical forests in Vietnam. This morning we take a short drive to the park headquarter before we set off on a half day walk in the jungle. This is home to many species of plant and rare animals, several of which we may see on our trekking. After a picnic lunch we visit one of the famous caves, Nguoi Xua which still retains some vestiges of primitive man, and transfer to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu. There are not much to see in this place besides two remaining temples. The first one is dedicated to Dinh Tien Hoang Emperor. The second commemorates the rulers of the Le Dynasty. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Ninh Binh - Haiphong - Halong Bay (Breakfast)
Upon leaving the town, we take a short drive to Tam Coc which is surnamed " Inland Halong Bay". On arrival we board a tiny boat rowing us along a river through the quiet and peaceful landscape of rice fields surrounded by limestone formations to the grottoes of Tam Coc. After the impressive boat trip we continue our journey across the Red River Delta to Ha Long Bay. The drive is long and roads are bumpy at times, but it is still a memorable experience. A part of the pleasure of travelling in this region is the simple joy of seeing the spectacular rural landscape the smiling faces of the people. Overnight at hotel. more about hai phong city
Day 9: Halong Bay - Cat Ba (Breakfast/Lunch)
The legendary Ha Long Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. We spend this day out on a boat cruising around the legendary Ha Long Bay. Views of sailing junks navigating past over 3,000 limestone islands and out crops jutting out of the clear and emerald water of the bay are nothing short of spectacular. The limestone karsts 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 enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. A huge seafood lunch on board is some excitement of our trip. We weave our way to Cat Ba Island, passing by a vibrant floating village. Overnight in Cat Ba. more about Halong
Day 10: Cat Ba - Haiphong - Hanoi (Breakfast/Lunch)
An impressive way to catch your first glimpse of Cat Ba is a walk along the seaside at dawn. Today you have a half free day to explore Cat Ba Island on your own pace. There are various options to choose from, some of which are rowing a tiny boat, kayaking or visiting the national park. These optional activities are not included; however our guide is on hand to advise you with invaluable information. We regroup at our hotel in the early afternoon and travel by ferry to Hai Phong, the biggest port town of northern Vietnam. On arrival in this town we board our awaiting vehicle for a two hour drive back to Hanoi, arriving in time to see a performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Hanoi Departure (Breakfast)
There is a free time to relax or further explore Ha Noi. The trip ends after your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure.
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
Any parts of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Accommodation in hotels, guesthouses (twin shared room), village huts
Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
English or French speaking guide and local guide for trekking
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