Sapa Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 219

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 219 when enquiring for further details.

Alternatively you may like modify this trip with your own Holiday Wish List

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Good morning Vietnam! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Hanoi is the charming capital and cultural heart of Vietnam. Spend the remains of the day at leisure. Overnight - Hanoi

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi - Sapa

This morning head to Hoan Kiem Lake the very heart of Hanoi. Enjoy a Tai Chi lesson with the locals and take a stroll around the lake. After breakfast prepare yourself for a truly unique cooking experience! Begin with a quick stop at the Chau Long market, where you learn about the local ingredients. The cooking class is held in small groups. Afterwards enjoy your own Vietnamese creations. This afternoon, enjoy a guided city tour. Sightseeing includes the Museum of Ethnology, containing an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s ethnic minority peoples and the Temple of Literature. This evening at approx 9pm, board an overnight train to Lao Cai. Overnight - Sleeper Train (4 berth shared cabin)

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 3: Sapa

The train pulls into Lao Cai at approximately 06:00am this morning, transfer to Sapa for breakfast. Located 1500m above sea level, Sapa is a former French hill station, nestled in the rugged Tonkinese Alps and surrounded by lush valleys and verdant rice paddy fields. This morning take a light trek to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cau May. Walking to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, you meet some of the local ethnic minority people on their way to and from Sapa. These minority people, including the Red Zao, Hmong and Tay people, walk to Sapa to trade at the markets. Tonight you spend the night at the hotel in Sapa town Overnight - Sapa.

A local child in Sapa

Day 4: Sapa - Hanoi

Start your morning with a hike to a beautiful waterfall before continuing on to a picturesque Red Dao village. Red Dao women wear giant red scarves around their heads and their clothing is embellished with colourful red embroidery and coins. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Sapa before returning to Lao Cai to board the overnight train back to Hanoi. Overnight - Sleeper Train (4 berth shared cabin)

The Huc Bridge

Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Upon arrival in Hanoi, freshen up before driving to Halong City (approx 4 hours), stopping for refreshments en route. At UNESCO Listed Halong Bay limestone peaks and forest clad islets, hidden coves and beautiful beaches await discovery! Board your Junk boat and cruise to the famous islands of Halong Bay and onto Bai Tu Long Bay, stopping to visit a cave and swim in the warm waters. There is a chance to explore more this stunning area by sea kayak. Return to the Junk boat for a tasty dinner and a memorable night in beautiful surrounds. Overnight - Halong Bay - Junk boat

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hue

Wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over the bay! This morning cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng - where you'll gain a fascinating insight into local life. Cruising back to the dock arrive into Halong City around noon then transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight – Hue Please note: Cruise itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, tidal conditions

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 7: Hue - Hoi An

Hue was the Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty and ruins of the city’s past can still be seen inside the Citadel. Created in the 19th century, the Imperial City was modelled on the Forbidden City and holds many palaces and temples inside its giant walls. Many of the buildings were damaged by French aerial bombing and the Tet Offensive. Your tour begins after breakfast with the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. Spend the morning wandering through the enclosure before lunch and a trip into the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors at two of the most impressive Royal Tombs. This evening, take a scenic boat cruise along the Perfume River. Overnight - Hue

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 8: Hoi An

Continuing south to the riverside town of Hoi An. This trip hugs the coastline along the South China Sea with breathtaking views particularly as the road winds its way up Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Clouds”). From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for many countries merchants. Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, renowned for its silk and popular with tourists. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Assembly Hall, Tam Ky house and the Japanese Covered Bridge. Overnight - Hoi An

A bridge in Hoi An

Days 9-10: Hoi An

Spend the next 2 days at leisure on the beach or having clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors that Hoi An is famous for. In the evening, you might want to stroll Hoi An's romantic, silk latern lit streets and dine in one of its fantastic riverside restaurants. Overnight - Hoi An

An old lady farming at Tra Que Organic Farm near Hoi An

Day 11: Hoi An - Saigon

After breakfast, free for your leisure. Around noon, transfer to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure in this lively and cosmopolitan metropolis with its gleaming sky scrapers, expensive restaurants, bars and designer shops, which stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and ramshackle markets. Overnight - Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 12: Saigon

In the morning travel north west to visit the historic Cu Chi Tunnels which were a key battleground in the Vietnam War. The vast expanse of underground tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas, as a communication and supply route into Saigon. Upon arrival watch a short introductory video on the construction of the tunnels before spending an hour exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by a guide. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters. Returning to Ho Chi Minh City early afternoon and enjoy lunch before embarking on a city tour. Major attractions include the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. Overnight - Ho Chi Minh City

A street trader in Saigon

Day 13: Saigon

Understanding the food is a great way to experience the culture of this fascinating country. Today enjoy a half day cooking class, which includes a hands-on lesson on how to shop for and cook authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The day begins with a visit to Ben Thanh Market with your chef. Ben Thanh is centrally located and known as one of liveliest and busiest in Saigon. Here you will learn more about the ingredients, and start collecting vegetables for your lesson. After the market visit, transfer to Vietnam Cookery Centre where you will learn the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine during a cooking class. After you have completed your lesson, you can sit down and enjoy the tasty fruits of your labour! Overnight - Saigon

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 14: Saigon

Today enjoy a full day cruise excursion on the beautiful Mekong Delta, one of the world's greatest river systems. Known as the ‘rice bowl of Vietnam’ the Mekong Delta has lush rice paddy fields, enchanting villages and bustling floating markets. Early morning transfer to Cai Be - Phu An where you board the cruise. First stop is the colourful floating market at Cai Be. Then visit some local home factories to discover traditional rice paste making and longans drying processing. The cruise continues along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island where you can observe the typical Mekong delta rural life. Lunch awaits you at Le Longanier restaurant before disembarking mid-afternoon and returning to Saigon. Overnight - Saigon

A street trader in Saigon by William Cho

Day 15: Saigon

Grab some of those last minute gift ideas before you are transferred to the airport in time for your departure flight to your onward destination.