North-west and Halong bay tour 12 Days / 11 Nights
While following the less well-trodden paths of Northwest Vietnam , visiters will find a country that has an enchanting atmosphere; dynamic peoples who feel comfortable in their own skin, place and time, regardless of the pace of the West; genuine hospitality; and mountain landscapes so breathtaking that words won’t be able to do them justice.
- Short visite of Hanoi and the mythical province of Mai Chau with overnight at homestay- good occation to discover life style of local people
- Adventure travel in the stunning mountainous area with majestic landscape from Son La, Dien Bien to Lai Chau.
- Continue this unique excursion with a visit to beautiful Sapa town and colorfull market Bac Ha.
- End of trip with 1 night relax on boat in the middle of the spectacular Ha Long Bay.
Itinerary in brief :
||Meals included||Interactive map|
|Day 1 : Hanoi – Arrival||Hotel||D||
|Day 2 : Hanoi – Hoa Binh – Mai Chau||Homestay||B ; L ; D|
|Day 3 : Mai Chau – Son La||Hotel||B ; L|
|Day 4 : Son La – Dien Bien Phu||Hotel||B ; L|
|Day 5 : Dien Bien Phu – Phong Tho||Hotel||B ; L ; D|
|Day 6 : Phong Tho – Sapa||Hotel||B ; L|
|Day 7 : Sapa – Cat Cat – Lao Chai – Ta Van||Homestay||B ; L ; D|
|Day 8 : Sapa – Giang Ta Chai – Bac Ha||Hotel||B ; L|
|Day 9 : Bac Ha market - Lao Cai – Hanoi (by train)||Hotel||B ; L|
|Day 10 : Hanoi – Halong||Junk||B ; L ; D|
|Day 11 : Halong – Hanoi||Hotel||B ; L|
|Day 12 : Hanoi - Departure||B|
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D)
- Arrive at Noi Bai Airport. Pick up and transfer to a hotel. Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, boasts tree-lined streets and centuries-old temples.
- An afternoon sightseeing tour features both cultural and historical highlights, comprising:
- the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first national university where offering ceremonies, study sessions and the strict exams of the Dai Viet took place. Built in 1070 at the time of King Lý Nhân Tông, tt is one of several temples in Vietnam which are dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. Nowerday, just before the Vietnamese New Year celebration Tết, calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and write wishes in Han-Nom.
- the Ethnology Museum, which focuses on the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam.
- Discover Hoan Kiem Lake, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword", where emperor Lê Lợi was boating on the lake when his magic sword, Heaven's Will, was grabbed by a turtle who quickly disappeared into the depths
- Ngoc Son Temple, being built on the Jade Islet and dedicated to Confucian and Taoist philosophers and the national hero, Trần Hưng Đạo
- and enjoy a rickshaw tour in the Ancient Quarter with its antique shops.
- Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi – Hoabinh - Maichau (B, L, D)
- Pick up at your hotel and drive to the Thai minority village of Mai Chau through Hoa Binh in the heart of Northern Vienam. Mai Chau is a mountainous region located in Hoa Binh province, approximately 135 km from Hanoi and 65 km from Hoa Binh, is well known for its stilt houses. The type of stilt houses, or pile dwellings, they construct are called Thai stilt houses and are made of bamboo and timber
- Visit to Muong and Dao minorities’ villages and learn about the traditional life of the local people.
- Lunch en route.
- In the afternoon, continue to Mai Chau.
- Dinner and overnight in a house on stilts.
Day 3: Maichau - Sonla (B, L)
- After breakfast, drive to Son La (200 km). Son La is a province in the Northwest region of Vietnam. It borders Laos to the south, and is home of such ethnic minorities as Hmong, Black Thai and White Thai.
- Lunch en route
- When arriving, visit the Old French Prison and its museum, which was a French penal colony where anticolonial revolutionaries were incarcerated. It was destroyed by the ‘off-loading’ of unused ammunition by US warplanes after bombing raids, but is now partially restored.
- The Lookout Tower and stroll through villages in the south of the town.
- Overnight in Son La.
Day 4: Son La – Dien Bien Phu (B, L)
- After breakfast, depart at 7h00 and drive to Dien Bien Phu through the Pha Din pass and its beautiful landscapes (170Km, more than 6- hour drive). Điện Biên Phủ (About this sound listen) is a city in the Northwest region of Vietnam. It is the capital of Điện Biên Province. The city is best known for the events which occurred there during the First Indochina War, the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, during which the region was a breadbasket for the Việt Minh.
- Going from Ha noi to Dien Bien Phu if not using airplane,people must travel on land and pass hundreds kilometers of sloping mountain pathways,especially the mountain pass Pha Din of 32- kilometre length.In the local language Pha Din means Heaven- Eart and according to local legend it was the frontier between Heaven and Eart.
- On the way, stop at Thuan Chau market, 40km from Son La, an authentic, not for tourists market where the locals come to buy and sell and we were ready. Time for some minority interaction, the focus of this N.W. Vietnam trip before continuing on to Dien Bien Phu a very important site in Vietnamese history.
- When arriving, have lunch in a local restaurant before visiting Dien Bien Phu Museum (closed on Monday and Tuesday).
- Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
Day 5: Dien Bien Phu - Phong Tho (Lai Chau) (B, L, D)
- Dien Bien Phu, a famous valley at an elevation of 550m by the Vietnam ' Laos border.
- In the morning, explore Dien Bien Market and former battle field:
- Eliance Hill (A1 Hill), this height stands block the way to the northeast sub-section. It has a significant role, controlling the whole battle of Dien Bien Phu. During 36 nights and days, the fierce battle claimed the lives of 2516 Vietnamese soldiers. Only until the night of May 6th, 1954 did Vietnamese soldiers win this decisive battle.
- Nam Rom River, runs across the valley, which is why the Dien Bien Phu valley is so fertile. After 1953, French expeditionary corps occupied Dien Bien Phu and set up a group of fortresses equipped with many state-of-the-art weapons.
- and De Castries' bunker, The underground shelter of French General De Castries is located in the center of the Dien Bien Phu garrison in Muong Thanh, Dien Bien. Even though it was severely damaged during the combat in 1945, nowadays, the bunker’s structure and arrangement still remain. Standing on any high hill in the garrison, we can see this famous bunker, which took the Viet Minh army 55 days and nights to win over it.
- Transfer to Phong Tho (105km), a small town along Nam Lay Stream, encounter Red H’mong village en route, a rural district of Lai Châu Province in the Northwest region of Vietnam.
- Overnight in Phong Tho.
Day 6: Phong Tho - Sapa (B, L)
- Admire the beautiful Lai Ha Suspension Bridge and Hang Tom Suspension Bridge near Lai Chau Town.
- Leave for Sapa (180km) via a picturesque road along the Nam Na River and across Hoang Lien Son, the highest pass in Vietnam (2,047 metres). The rest of the day is free time to wander around Sapa Town, home to different hill-tribes.
- The evening entertainment is a tribal folk show at a bar.
- Overnight in Sapa.
Day 7: Sapa – Catcat – Lao Chai – Ta Van (B, L,D)
- After breakfast at your hotel, trekking (2 hours) to the first village of the black H'mong (Catcat), walk around to visit villagers and the hydroelectric power station built by the French in the old days.
- Have lunch in a restaurant.
- In the afternoon, take the path along the valley between mountains to get to Laochai village (4 hours of trek).
- Enjoy the panorama of villages among terraces.
- Visit H'mong people living in wooden and bamboo houses.
- Continue going to Tavan village to visit the Dzay minority.
- Dinner at the home-stay.
- Overnight in Tavan village at a Dzay family.
Day 8: Sapa – Giang Ta Chai - Bac Ha (B, L)
- Continue to Giang Ta Chai with a discovery of Red Dzao.
- Back to Sapa for lunch by car.
- Leave for Bac Ha (105km) via a winding road with breath-taking mountain views. On the way, visit of Ta Phin village.
- Arrive in Bac Ha and check in hotel.
- Dinner on your own.
- Overnight in Bac Ha.
Day 9: Bac Ha market – Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L)
- Visit Bac Ha Fair (on Sunday only) or Can Cau Fair (on Saturday only), considered the most lively and crowded in the region. It attracts a large number of Flower H'mong and other hill-tribe groups (Nung, Phu La, Tay). Transfer to Lao Cai (70km).
- Board the night train to Hanoi (370km).
- Berths in air-conditioned compartments are provided.
- Overnight on a Train.
Day 10: Hanoi - Ha Long – Overnight on Boat (B, L, D)
- After a 10 hours' ride, arrive at the Hanoi Railway Station early in the morning.
- We enjoy breakfast before travelling by roads to Halong Bay (170km).. We make stop en route in Sao Do. We continue our journey Halong Bay and spend the remainder of the day for a well - earned rest on Bai Chay Beach.
- Arrive in Bai Chay warf. Welcome on board with welcome drink then check in deluxe cabin
- Experience our fresh sea food set lunch while cruising
- Heading to Bai Tu Long Bay
- Visiting Vung Vieng Floating Fishing Village
- Unique trip by traditional rowing boat to visit one destination with two great sites as Vung Vieng – Floating Fishing Village and Thung Cave (Cao Cave)
- Free to swim at blue and clear sea water
- Heading to Ho Dong Tien (Fairy Lake) area to anchorage.
- Enjoy trim class of flowers from fruits and roots (Book in advance)
- Relax and enjoy sunset with cocktails.
- Enjoy set fresh sea food dinner
- Film collections or Karaoke Collection (Charter only).
- Overnight on boat.
Day 11: Ha Long - Hanoi (B, L)
- Sunrise time
- Visit Sung Sot Cave (Surprising Cave - the most beautiful in Halong bay.
- Check out and clear the bills.
- Book and magazines collections
- Cutting flower from fruits and roots class
- Transfer to Cua Vang restaurant for set Asian lunch (with fresh sea food).
- Enjoy lunch.
- Transferring back to Hanoi by private car.
- Arrive at your hotel around 4PM.
- Dinner on your own.
- Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 12: Departure from Hanoi (B)
- Transfer to the airport for departure.
End of our services !
- Transfer by private air-conditioned vehicle
- English speaking guide
- Accommodation in twin or double shared rooms including breakfasts and overnight at homestay.
- Train tickets Lao Cai - Hanoi (soft sleeper with air-conditioner)
- Boat for cruise.
- Entrance fees
- Lunches and dinners (L/D) mentioned
- Government taxes (VAT, etc.)
- Personal expenses and all services not clearly mentioned, etc.
- Travel insurance.
- Beverage, tips, etc.
Comments on program
- Local agent - without an intermediate
- 24/7 availability
- Quick reply
- Guaranteed quality service
- Safety & Security
- Flexible & Professional staff
Please discover the testimonials of our travelers. They came back from the trip and share their reviews and impressions.
- Offer "the visa approval letter" for fee
- Accepting online payment conveniently and quickly
Comments on program
- Wow.. a nice routine passing the most cities in Vietnam along the ...
- I like this program, not too fast, not too slow pace in a suitable ...
- Yes, Justine. I've back from the junk in Halong. It's a fantastic ...
- You are so good at making itinerary. Perfect time, activities and ...
- Sounds great! A nice combination of accommodations which may bring ...