See the sights of Hanoi and take a day trip to the Red River Delta before heading north to the picturesque highland town of Sapa where you’ll trek through scenic valleys, encounter the Red Dao and Black Hmong ethnic hill tribes and cruise the Chay River.
Sunday. Welcome to Hanoi. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day trip to Ninh Binh
This morning we transfer to Ninh Binh where we visit Hoa Lu, the erstwhile capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries, home to palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions. From here we cycle to Tam Coc, passing through rice paddy fields and beautiful landscapes en route, and stopping for lunch upon arrival at a local restaurant. This afternoon we drive to Trang An, where we’ll take a boat through a remarkable cave system. Returning to Hanoi we’ll embark on a walking tour of the city.
Overnight: Hanoi | Breakfast, Lunch
Hanoi - Lao Cai. Today we start with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, followed by a stop at Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda. Next up is a visit to the Museum of Ethnology, which provides an excellent overview of the country’s ethnic groups, their customs and ways of life. After time to freshen up we take the overnight train to Lao Cai (soft sleeper).
Overnight: Sleeper train | Breakfast
Lao Cai - Sapa. Early this morning we arrive into Lao Cai, a province in mountainous northern Vietnam. After enjoying breakfast in a local restaurant, we drive uphill through the Muong Khuong district onto Cao Son commune, passing terraced rice paddies, tea farms and pine plantations along the way. At Cao Son local market, we browse the wares on offer. Leaving the market, we take a short walk to Flower Hmong village before a break for lunch. The road then takes us along the Chay River through mountains, valleys and hamlets before we arrive at the Coc Ly Bridge. Boarding a local boat, we cruise along the Chay River to Trung Do village before continuing onto Sapa.
Overnight: Sapa | Breakfast, Lunch
Northern hill tribes
Sapa - Hanoi. On day 5 we meet the ethnic hill tribes of northern Vietnam with a visit to the Black Hmong minority village and Dzay hill tribe. After our picnic lunch, we walk through the bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao minority village and take a break at the waterfall.
On the morning of day 6 we enjoy a trek through the scenic Ma Tra Valley, with views of verdant terraced rice paddies on steep hillsides, to the Ta Phin Village of the Red Dao group. Returning to Sapa there's free time before taking the overnight train back to Hanoi (soft sleeper).
Overnight: Sapa (1), Sleeper train (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Saturday. Arriving into Hanoi we visit the Quang Ba Flower Market and Truc Bach Lake before breakfast at a local restaurant. From here you’ll be taken to the start hotel of your next tour booked with us, or to await your departure transfer to the airport. If departing Vietnam today, please ensure that you book a flight departing Hanoi after 12 noon.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Sunway Hotel, Hanoi
This ambient, boutique hotel combines traditional appeal with modern pleasures. Rooms are furnished in a contemporary fashion with an array of amenities for added comfort. Its restaurant provides a great variety of Vietnamese cuisine and you are welcome to enjoy cocktails and live music in the Jazz Bar or relax in the hotel's health spa.
The Ann Hotel, Hanoi
In the centre of Hanoi sits the contemporary and sophisticated The Ann hotel. Guest rooms are spacious and well appointed with delightful en suite facilities including bath and shower. The hotel boasts both a bar and restaurant. The swanky A lounge offers a wonderful selection of beverages and diners can enjoy the Onyx house for delicious local and international dishes on A la carte or buffet style. Our top tip is to head to the roof top pool for a refreshing dip and wonderful views across the city.
Sunny Mountain Hotel, Sapa
In the heart of Sapa town, the Sunny Mountain Hotel offers great accommodation with fantastic views of the surrounding area. The deluxe guest rooms have either a garden or mountain view and are beautifully designed with excellent amenities. The hotel has an onsite restaurant which serves up an array of local and international cuisine as well as tasty beverages. There is also a spa at the hotel as well as a heated swimming pool and gym.