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Essence of Northern Vietnam 9 days

This package is an in-depth exploration of the culture, people and landscapes of Northern Vietnam. Leaving the graceful boulevards of Hanoi behind, we explore rural Ba Be Lake and the amazing limestone landscape of Tam Coc, by bike and by boat. We continue to Sapa and take a step back in time to visit remote hill tribe villages surrounded by rolling green hills and mountain streams overlooked by dramatic limestone karsts. The trip’s grand finale is at Halong Bay. We’ll stay overnight on a comfortable junk boat, with island visits, delicious food, swimming, sunbathing and kayaking. A perfect end to our showcase of the cultural and scenic charms of northern Vietnam!


Trek through the rolling rice terraces, waterfalls, mountains and lush green hills of Sapa and get in touch with people from ethnic minority groups .

Cast away on a traditional junk boat and set sail through hundreds of limestone karsts that rise dramatically from the emerald waters of Halong Bay.

Experience Ba Be Lake, cycle around the village; enjoy the boat trip, swimming and kayaking . Get a glimpse of life in countryside in Northern Vietnam, enjoy the peace with rice fields and fresh air.

Essence of Northern Vietnam 9 days

Day 1: Hanoi arrival

The car/van will pick you up from Noi Bai airport (in Hanoi) and will take you in the heart of the city. Arrive at the hotel after a 40-minute drive, check in and have a free day to walk around Old Quarter, night market in Hanoi down town.

Overnight in Hanoi hotel located in the old quarter.

Meal: No

Accommodation: 3 star hotel

Day 2: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Hanoi

07:45 – 8:30 Picking up from hotel/stay.

08:30 Starting drive to Ninh Binh Province.

10:30 Arriving at Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.

10:45 Visiting King Dinh and King Le’s temples.

12:15 Arriving in Tam Coc Wharf.

12:30 Having buffet lunch with Vietnamese Cuisine.

13:30 Getting on Sampan boats through caves and visiting countryside landscape.

15:00 Back to Tam Coc Wharf to chill out.

15:15 Biking on country roads around the village.

16:00 Getting on the shuttle bus to go back to Hanoi.

18:30 – 18:45 Saying goodbye to you at your hotel/stay.

Dinner on your own and overnight at hotel.

Meal: B, L

Accommodation: 3 star hotel

Day 3: Hanoi – Ba Be Lake

06h20: Pick up from Hanoi Opera House in Hanoi to Ba Be National Park.

12h30: Lunch in Ba Be Lake View homestay, the highest homestay in our village.

14h00: Take a walk to boat station in Pac Ngoi village (1km).

14h30: Enjoy 2 hour boat trip around the lake to Fairy Pond, An Ma temple.

16h30: Swimming in the lake – the most special activity in Ba Be Lake.

17h30: Hiking back to the homestay and have dinner here.

21h00: Overnight at homestay of Tay people’ traditional house-on-stilt.

Meal: B, L, D

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 4: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi

07h30: Breakfast at our homestay.

08h00: Cycling to visit to Hua Ma Cave (6km), biggest one in Ba Be National Park.

11h00: Come back to homestay. Check out and have lunch here.

13h00: Get in the van then come back to Hanoi.

19h30: Drop off at Hanoi Opera House in Hanoi. Free time to leisure and dinner on your own.

20h30: Pickup from hotel in Hanoi and transfer to Hanoi train station. Overnight train trip to Lao Cai in shared sleeping compartments (sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment). Train departs at approximately 21:30.

Meal: B, L

Accommodation: Overnight train

Day 5: Lao Cai – Sapa – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Sapa

Pick you up from train station when you arrive.

07:00: Enjoy your breakfast and relax at our restaurant while your luggage is arranged.

08:30: Start 4 hours trekking to Lao Chai Village – Home of Black H’mong minority. Trekking through Muong Hoa Valley with a lot of beautiful sceneries along the river.

12:00: Having lunch at a local restaurant before reaching Ta Van village to make friend with a Giáy family homestay.

13:30: Be picked up by car to gets back to Sa Pa for checking in the hotel. The rest of the day will be at your leisure to discover to town (Dragon Mount, Orchid garden, the market).

18:30: Have diner and overnight at hotel (2*).

Day 6: Sapa – Cat Cat – Hanoi

08:00: Having breakfast. Half day trekking through lush rice terraces towards villages, experience Black H’Mong people’s daily life. Visiting Cat Cat village.

12:00: Having lunch. Free afternoon to discover Sa Pa town, fresh up and make friend with friendly local.

17:00: Transfer to Lao Cai Railway Station for the return train ride to Hanoi.

Dinner on your own and take overnight train to Hanoi.

Meal: B, L

Accommodation: Overnight train

Day 7: Hanoi – Halong Bay

05:00: Arrive at Hanoi. Take a taxi to hotel. Take a rest and have a breakfast.

8h15 – 8h45: Shuttle bus and Tour guide will pick you up at your hotel in Ha Noi Old Quarter.

9h00: Departure to Halong Bay. Have a short break for 20 minutes to relax.

12h00: Arrive to Tuan Chau Harbor.

12h30: Welcome to Cruise and Enjoy welcome to drink and get a brief introduction about cruise and safety guidelines.

Check- in your cabin with Air-Conditioning.

13h00: Enjoy a special lunch with Vietnamese traditional dishes, while cruising in the magnificent Halong Bay, admiring the fascinating rock formations in the bay.


15h00: Visiting Sung Sot Cave (Surprising cave).

16h00: Our cruise will take you to the Titop Island, it is noted for having a viewpoint at its peak which affords splendid views all around Halong Bay or you can enjoy your swimming on romance sandy beach.

17h15: Come back to Cruise then take a shower, relax on sundeck, sunset watching in comfortable lounge chairs while drinking a cocktail or reading a book in the most magical moment.


19h00: Enjoy your dinner when sitting by overlooking sea view window in the night romantic Bay.

20h30: Playing some sports games like: Squid Fishing, singing karaoke, or relax on sundeck.

Overnight on boat: clean air-conditioning room.

Meal: B, L, D

Accommodation: Overnight on boat

Day 8: Halong Bay – Hanoi

6h00: Wake up in the early morning to see sunrise on sundeck.

7h00: Morning view of bay with a cup of tea of coffee. Have breakfast!

7h40: Start visiting Halong Bay Pearl farm. The pearls in Halong are the most renowned in Vietnam. The process of farming and retrieving pearls takes years.

8h30: Do kayaking in Halong Bay, exploring Halong Bay in your own.

10h00: Check-out and enjoy a fantastic cruise on the bay.

10h45: Enjoy the lunch while cruising back to Tuan Chau Harbor.

12h00: Cruise is landing Halong Bay harbor, tourist say goodbye to sailors and finish the cruise.

12h30: Return to Hanoi by Shuttle Bus. Have a short break for 20 minutes to relax.

15h30: Arrive in Hanoi. Drop off at the Hotel.

Dinner on your own and overnight at hotel.

Meal: B, L

Accommodation: 3 star hotel

Day 9: Hanoi departure

After having breakfast at your hotel, you have free time until we pick you up to transfer to the airport.

Meal: B

Accommodation: No

Essence of Northern Vietnam 9 days

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in TWN/ DBL sharing accommodation at hotel, except overnight on train and homestay (if any)
  • English speaking guide.
  • Overnight train ticket Hanoi – Lao Cai (4 soft berth sharing cabin with air conditon)
  • Entrance fees for Vietnam attractions, as per itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the program

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