7 days 6 nights
Winding around Northern Vietnam with “Best Northern Vietnam in 7 days 6 nights”, you will have a great opportunity to explore the most highlighted attractions in the area. Starting with discovering the 1000-year-old capital of Hanoi, then we head to the roughest mountainous area in Vietnam to visit Sapa which is believed to be the meeting point between the sky and the earth. The grand finale of the journey is Halong Bay which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Welcome to Hanoi. After you arrive at Noi Bai International Airport, you will meet our tour guide and driver at the arrival gate who will be holding your name board. Therefore, once you get out of the hall of the arrival gate, you should look for your name board. Then, you will be transferred to the city center for hotel check-in. It is kindly noted that the standard check-in time is after 14.00, and early check-in will follow the hotel policy for a surcharge.
After check-in, you can relax for a while before our tour guide will come to your hotel to pick you up. In the afternoon, you will join a
cyclo tour driving through 36 ancient streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Cyclo was very popular in the early 20th century that only wealthy people at high social status could afford. The cyclo goes slowly that is opposite to the pace of life in the hustle and bustle city of Hanoi, nevertheless, it’s a great opportunity for you to explore the unique sidewalk culture and local lifestyle in the most complete way. After that, you will stop at the Water Puppet Theatre to enjoy a traditional performance in which artists will play these lovely puppets like farmers, sacred animals, so on to deliver legendary stories and daily farmworks in the Tonkin village.
When the show is finished, our driver will take you to a restaurant where you will have a cozy welcome dinner. Then, we go back to the hotel for a rest.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Note: If your arrival time in Hanoi is late, the Puppet Show will be moved to the day after.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Night Train to Lao Cai
8.00-8.30: Having breakfast at your hotel, then you will be picked up by our tour guide and driver to depart Hanoi one day city tour.
Notes: In the city tour, we will visit several holy places, therefore, it is recommended for you to dress properly to show your respect. Your shoulders and knees should be covered.
8.30-10.30: The first place is the Ho Chi Minh Complex, built to honor the great contribution of Ho Chi Minh, also known as Uncle Ho, to the nation. Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Vietnamese Revolution, spent the whole life helping Vietnam break the occupation of the enemy and lead people to freedom.
Firstly, you will visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh has been preserved from 1975 until now. It is kindly noted that the Mausoleum is opened to visitors in the morning only, except Monday and Friday morning. Moreover, it is closed annually for 2 months from June to August to maintenance. Otherwise, we will visit outside the Mausoleum and other sites of the complex as usual.
The area in front of the Mausoleum is called Ba Dinh Square where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on 2 September 1945. Passing the Square, you will see the Presidential Palace which was built by French from 1900-1906 to house General Indochina Governor, it is now used to welcome international delegates visiting Vietnam at the national level. Following the pathway, you will next visit House 54 and House on stilt, both of which are very as simple as the life of Ho Chi Minh. After refusing to live in the Presidential Palace nearby, Uncle Ho stayed in these houses until his death in 1969. When you reach there, you will be surprised at the simple and humble life of Uncle Ho. The more you know about Uncle Ho, the more you love him. Also, you know why every Vietnamese citizen calls him the "Old Father" of the nation.
On the way out, we stop at the One Pillar Pagoda which was built in 1049 in the shape of a lotus flower. You will know more about Buddhism, Karma, and religious practices such as praying ceremony, burning votive paper, animal releasing, so on.
10.30-12.00: Next, the city tour continues visiting the Temple of Literature which was built in the 1070s to worship Confucius whose philosophy of Confucianism had affected the whole society as the standard at that time. Moreover, it also was served as an Imperial Academy for sons of the Kings and talented students to study. Hence, the Temple of Literature is believed to be the first university in Vietnam. Each year, there are thousands of candidates coming here to wish they would pass their upcoming examination.
What’s more, is that there is Khue Van pavilion in the Temple of Literature which has been recognized as Hanoi’s symbol for such a long time.
12.15: Lunch is served at KOTO restaurant (Know One. Teach One), which is right next to the Temple of Literature. The KOTO restaurant is a not-for-profit social enterprise empowering at-risk and disadvantaged youth by providing hospitality training program.
13.30: After lunchtime, you will visit one of these museums which are up to your preference.
Hoa Lo prison: Being built by French colonialists, Hoa Lo prison (or French name of Maison Centrale) housed a variety of people, including political prisoners, patriots against the French colonial government. During the Vietnam War, the prison was used to keep US pilots who were attacking Hanoi by air bomber from 1968 to 1973. The American pilots put a new name for Hoa Lo prison as “Hanoi Hilton” because the way they were treated didn’t look like in a prison, instead, it was a “5-star hotel”
Ethnology Museum: It focuses on displaying insight into almost every distinctive feature of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam as an effective way to preserve cultural heritage and promote social-cultural diversity in the country. The highlight of the Ethnology Museum is the outdoor display area exhibiting a variety of Vietnamese homes as full-scale replicas, with great attention paid to the varying architectural styles set within the authentic and tranquil gardens.
Vietnam Military History Museum: housing an extensive collection of weaponry that was used throughout all Vietnamese resistance wars. It is an ideal for history buffs looking to know more about the country, there are plenty of authentic war relics, weapons such as the wreckage of B-52 air bomber, military tanks, various guns. Especially, there are four national treasures that are being displayed in this museum.
15.00-15.30: You will be back in the Old Quarter where we join a short walking tour to typical streets, each of which sells a particular product. Moreover, you also have a chance to explore what is called “House in House” in this area, as well as visit a traditional market nearby. Then, we will walk to Beer Street to try a cup of beer before going back to your hotel.
You have free time to have dinner and prepare your luggage.
20.00: Our tour guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel lobby to transfer you to the train station to take a night train to Lao Cai Station. It will take you around 8 hours on the train that would probably an interesting experience.
Overnight on the train.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa
5.30 - 6.30: After reaching Lao Cai Station in the early morning, you will be picked up by our tour guide and driver, followed by a 1-hour transfer from Lao Cai Station to Sapa Town for breakfast.
Sapa is situated in the massive Hoang Lien Son mountain range and overlooks the valley below which is filled with rice terraces that change from bright green to yellow depending on the time of year that you visit. Sapa’s landscape, along with its nice weather, has been one of the best places in Vietnam for the gorgeous mountain scenery.
In the morning, we do easy trekking on well-maintained footpaths to Lao Chai and Ta Van village for about 2 to 3 hours. Trekking is certainly one of the best choices to discover the pristine region of Sapa. Starting the trekking route by visiting Muong Hoa Valley where you can admire a magnificent panorama of the endless terraced rice fields on the side of mountains. Due to the mountainous topography, local people have to establish the terraced rice fields, one after another, from the foot to nearly top of the mountains.
Leaving the rice field behind, we continue going to Lao Chai and Ta Van village of Giay minority. Lying between two mountain ranges, these villages are built on flat land down to the valley, creating a living space extremely exciting, attractive. You will have a chance to learn about the life of ethnic tribes who still keep the farming and livestock lifestyle inherited from their previous generations like raising armpits, growing cotton, weaving brocade, so on.
Along the way, we stop at a local restaurant to taste local specialties for lunch.
In the afternoon, continuing the trekking route, you will reach Giang Ta Chai village belonged to Red Dao ethnic people. Here, you will go through the bamboo forest in the Hoang Lien Son national park. Along the way, you will see a natural waterfall where we take a rest before coming back to the downtown of Sapa.
Have dinner in town. The rest of the day you can spend on hanging around the town to visit: Sapa Square, Stone Church, Sapa Lake, Sapa market.
Stay overnight in Sapa.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Night train to Hanoi
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Then, our tour guide and driver will pick you up for a leisure trip to explore O Quy Ho Pass which is one of the 4 greatest passes in Vietnam. The drive uphill gives you a chance to see the diverse and lively beauty of Sapa. Along the way, you will admire the endless mountain ranges featured by the breathtaking pine forests, rubber farms, and other plants. On another side of the road, you will be amazed at the terraced rice fields which you never see its ending point.
After driving about 15 km from the town, we will stop at Silver Waterfall located at the foothill of O Quy Ho Pass. Originating from an admirable height of 1800m altitude, the silver water of the waterfall strongly flows down the cliff, splashing and growling, creating magnificent waves with white foams and refreshing vibe. Moreover, Silver Waterfall has been recognized as one of the coldest places in Vietnam because there was a time when the snow was 15 meters thick.
Afterward, we continue driving through a winding pass called Tram Ton locally to reach the Heaven Gate which is at the height of 2228 meters above the sea level. From the height, you can get the whole spectacular view of Fansipan Mountain, which is called the roof of Indochina including Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Likewise, a wide range of primitive forests and beautiful terraced rice fields down the mountain are entirely viewed, revealing their mysteries that have not been discovered.
On the way back to the town, we will pay a visit to some local farm where various types of vegetables and medical herbs are being grown. Some of the herbs are used to create a special foot bathing treatment of Red Dao people.
We will have lunch at the restaurant in town.
In the afternoon, after finishing the hotel check-out, you will have free time to explore Sapa on your own. It is recommended for you to discover Fansipan Peak which is the highest mountain peak in Indochina. Thanks to the cable car system, reaching a peak at 3134m becomes much easier than in the past. Otherwise, you can do climbing to the “Ham Rong” Mountain located in the center of Sapa town. from the top of the mountain, you can admire the panorama of the town.
In the late afternoon, the driver will transfer you back to Lao Cai Station to take a night train to Hanoi.
Overnight on the train.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Cruise in Halong Bay
8.00: Our driver and tour guide will pick you up for Halong Bay 2-day 1-night trip. The distance from Hanoi to Halong Bay is around 165 km. Along the way, you will have a chance to see the rural areas of the Red River Delta. In the middle of the route, we will have a short break so that you can go to the bathroom.
Halong Bay which is recorded as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites is famous for thousands of islets and dozens of caves creating the aesthetic value of the Bay.
12.00: At noon, we will arrive at the harbor where the cruise is waiting for you. Firstly, you will stay at the waiting house to do check-in while the staff is finishing the last steps of preparation.
Welcome on board. You will be invited welcome drinks, followed by a short introduction to cruise and briefing of safety instruction.
Afterward, lunch will be served in the dining room. There are various drinks available at the bar (additional charge). While you are enjoying lunch, the cruise is sailing into the heart of Halong Bay. After lunch, there will be time for you to rest in your own cabin.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy several sightseeing spots in the Bay, and join some on-board activities like Sunset Party, Cooking Demonstration, Kayaking, Swimming (It depends on the itinerary of the cruise you choose). The most beautiful moment in the day is definitely the sunset in the late afternoon. When the dusk comes, you will be amazed at the magnificent landscape which absolutely keeps you away from the hustle and bustle in the city. You should go up to the sundeck to enjoy this “millions dollar moment”
The cruise will go to the sleeping area where it drops its anchor for a night.
19.00: Dinner will be served in the dining room or on the deck (if possible).
After dinner, it’s time to socialize with other guests by dancing, singing, or playing games together which is a great chance to make new friends from all over the world.
In the late evening, you can join the activity of squid night fishing under the crew’s instruction. At the end of fishing time, you can taste fresh delicious food cooked from what you have caught so far.
Overnight on the cruise.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
6.30: You can join a Tai Chi session on the sundeck for morning exercises while the dawn is coming
7.00-8.00: Breakfast is served in the dining room.
After breakfast, the cruise will take you to the hidden corners and scenic parts in the Bay. You will follow the cruise itinerary such as do kayaking or bamboo boat to visit some caves which are inaccessible to larger boats. Then, you come back to the boat and prepare your luggage for check-out.
10.30: A early lunch will be served before you leave the cruise.
12.00: After the cruise reaches the harbor, you disembark and say goodbye Halong Bay.
You will be escorted back to Hanoi. The rest of the day is your own time.
In the evening, you can go around the Old Quarter to sample famous local food such as Pho (noodles soup with beef or chicken), Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich), Bun Cha (noodles with grilled pork), so on.
Stay overnight in Hanoi.
NOTE: The itinerary in Halong Bay may be changed slightly according to the cruise we will stay in. Basically, it will include kayaking, cave visiting, swimming, sunset party, cooking demonstration, squid fishing.
In the morning, breakfast is served at your hotel. You can relax before our driver will pick you up for a transfer to Noi Bai International Airport. You will take a flight back to your sweet home. Our tour will end here.
Thank you so much for giving us the chance to be the tour operator for your trip to Vietnam. We wish you all the best. See you on your next trip.