Northern Vietnam is a treasure trove of wonders, from the fantastic hills of Sapa to the mystical waters of Halong Bay. Your Essential Northern Vietnam tour starts from the charismatic city of Hanoi where you will explore the historical sites, winding streets, and serene lakes of the city. Then visit the charms of Halong Bay on-board a traditional wooden junk, cruise through hundreds of limestone karsts. Feast on seafood, visit mystical caves, and swim in the turquoise waters of the Bay. For those with energy remaining, kayak through the calm waters for a different viewpoint of the towering karsts.
End your journey with two day trekking through the Sapa region filled with ethnic minorities who maintain their own local culture, traditions, and dress. Explore waterfalls, rice paddies, high mountain passes, and welcoming local villagers.
ESSENTIAL NORTHERN VIETNAM TOUR ITINERARY
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN HANOI
Arrive in Hanoi (Noi Bai airport), you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel in downtown Hanoi for check-in (hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in).
The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the tree-lined boulevards, French Indochinese architecture and tranquil lakes of this unique city.
Stay overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR (B, L)
Our guide & driver will pick you up at your hotel around 08h00 for a full day tour of Hanoi. Your first visit will be the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the former president’s house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. (Viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov).
Close by is the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi.
Continue to visit the Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda on picturesque West lake (One of the oldest in Vietnam).
Bat Trang pottery village will be visited on Mon, Wed & Fri (without Ethnology Museum). Ethnology Museum will be visited on Sun, Tue, Thu & Sat (without Bat Trang pottery village).
Have lunch at local restaurant. After lunch proceed to visit the Temple of Literature. In 1076, Vietnam’s first university Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Then visit Bat Trang Pottery Village – the most ancient and famous pottery village of Vietnam.
After that, we will take you past Hoan Kiem Lake to see the peaceful waters and visit Ngoc Son Temple. For the last part of the tour journey through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where you’ll have a chance for shopping and exploration.
Return to your hotel at around 16h00.
Stay overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 3: HANOI – HALONG BAY – V’SPIRIT CLASSIC CRUISE (B, L, D)
08h00 – 08h30 Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter area and start the scenic 3.5 hour drive to Halong Bay. Enjoy the landscape of the Red River Delta country side and have a short break on the way.
12h30 – 13h00 Embark on V’Spirit Classic Cruise followed by a short cruise briefing.
13h30 – 14h30 Savor a delectable lunch as V’Spirit Classic cruises among the limestone islands.
15h00 – 16h00 Explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay.
16h00 – 17h00 Cruising to Titop island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Titop or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay.
17h00 – 17h30 Return to the main boat and continue cruising to the quiet area while enjoy beautiful seascape on the way.
17h30 – 19h00 Enjoy Sunset Party on sundeck and admire the best moments of the day when the sun starts to set.
19h00 Dinner is served. Socialize with other guests, take part in board games, fish for squid, or just laze around.
Stay overnight on board, V’Spirit Classic Cruise.
DAY 4: HALONG BAY – HANOI – NIGHT TRAIN TO LAO CAI (B, L)
06h30 – 07h15 Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt.
07h30 – 08h30 Have breakfast on board and enjoy the peaceful morning of Halong Bay.
09h00 – 10h00 Kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Man’s Head Islet area.
10h15 Return to the boat. Freshen up and check out of your cabin.
10h15 – 11h00 Continue your cruise exploring the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more.
11h00 – 12h15 While heading back to the harbor, watch the fruit carving demonstration and participate in the Cooking Class before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch.
12h15 – 12h30 Disembark V’Spirit Classic.
12h30 – 13h00 Transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi city center with 30 minute break en route to stretch the legs.
16h30 – 17h00: Arrive at your hotel.
17h00 – 20h30: Free time for refreshment and dinner on your own.
20h30: Pick up from your hotel lobby by our representative for short transfer the train station to board the night train to Lao Cai (scheduled to leave at 21h30).
Stay overnight on board in comfortable soft sleeper compartments (4 berth compartments).
DAY 5: LAO CAI – SAPA – Y LINH HO – LAO CHAI & TA VAN VILLAGES (B, L, D)
05h35: Arrive in Lao Cai train station. Welcome by your local guide and driver then take a drive of 40km for over an hour drive uphill to Sapa. This town is a former French hill resort and home to some of Vietnam’s most colorful ethnic groups.
07h30: Arrive at your hotel (hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in only. Early check-in can be arranged subject to availability on your arrival. Otherwise we will provide you a basic hotel room where you can have shower or relax).
Freshen up and have breakfast at hotel.
09h30: Depart from your hotel for 6km of walking down to the South-east of Sapa along the side of Muong Hoa valley to visit Y Linh Ho village of the Black H’mong. Continue a 2km-trekking down to visit Lao Chai village.
12h30: Stop for a rest and light picnic lunch in a local village. It gives you a worth chance to learn about the local house architecture which is full of their daily life styles and exclusive custom.
After lunch and a relaxing break, gear up for another trek through rice paddy fields and spectacular scenery to visit Ta Van village of the Dzay minority people.
At the end of the trek, transfer by road back to Sapa.
15h30: Arrive at your hotel and check in. Time to relax or wander around the town and visit Sapa ethnic market on your own.
19h00: Dinner served at the hotel. The evening is at leisure.
Stay overnight at hotel in Sapa town, Panorama Hotel, Superior room.
(Trekking: approximately 10 Kilometers, 8 Kilometers driving from Ta Van village back to Sapa).
DAY 6: SAPA – CAT CAT & SIN CHAI VILLAGE – NIGHT TRAIN TO HANOI (B, L, D)
07h00-09h00: Have breakfast at hotel and check out.
09h30: Take a walk down to the South-west of Sapa (around 4km) to visit Cat Cat village of the Black H’mong. Relax at the foot of the stunning waterfall and the vestige of a hydroelectric power station that was constructed by the French during the colonial time in Vietnam.
12h30: Enjoy picnic lunch by the side of the river.
After lunch and break journey on 6km trekking to Sin Chai village – located at the foot of Fansipan Mountain known as “the roof of Vietnam and Indochina”. Visit the village, where community based tourism in Sapa takes place is inhabited by the black Hmong minority.
14h30: Transfer back to Sapa town. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
16h30: Take a shower at hotel and have dinner before transfer downhill to Lao Cai for the night train to Hanoi (scheduled to leave at 20h35).
Stay overnight on board in comfortable soft sleeper compartments (4 berth compartments).
(Trekking: approximately 7 Kilometers, 3 Kilometers driving from Cat Cat back to Sapa).
DAY 7: HANOI ARRIVAL – DEPARTURE
04h45 Arrive in Hanoi early this morning (no room included).
The day is at your leisure for last minute sight-seeing or shopping until your transfer to Hanoi airport for your onward flight.
If hotel and other travel arrangements are required, please contact us.
The tour ends.
ESSENTIAL NORTHERN VIETNAM TOUR PRICE: 325 US$ per person based on twin share
– Prices are in US dollars based on twin share. Conditions apply.
– Full transportation by air conditioned vehicle (shared minibus) as tour program indicated;
– Airport transfer in Hanoi – two ways by private car;
– Entrance and sightseeing fees;
– English speaking guide;
– Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner);
– Halong Bay 2 day 1 night trip with V’Spirit Classic Cruise (incl welcome drinks on board, Deluxe cabins with air-conditioner and en-suite bathrooms, kayaking, cooking demonstration, visits to Titop Island and the amazing Sung Sot cave);
– Return train ticket Hanoi-Lao Cai-Hanoi (air conditioned soft sleeper 4 berth compartment. If you want a 2 berth cabin the surcharge US$ 45/person will be applied);
– 2 nights at Hanoi Moment hotel in a Superior Room or similar standard if fully booked;
– 1 night on V’Spirit Classic Cruise in a Deluxe room;
– 1 night at Sapa Panorama Hotel in a Superior room;
– 2 nights overnight return rail in selected cabin grade (shared cabin, 4 people/ cabin).
– Flight to and from Vietnam;
– Other meals not mentioned in program;
– Tips and emergency transfers;
– Optional tours;
– Surcharges for other language guides;
– Personal travel insurance;
– Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, and camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc…;
– Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program;
– Single supplement of 120 US$ applies to solo travellers;
– Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply;
– Extra nights may be required at passenger expense due to flight schedules.
NOTES ON OUR PRICES:
– Prices shown are based on group tour and two people travelling together and sharing a room. Single supplement applies to solo travellers who occupy a single room.
Private tour can be arranged for you, your family or your friends exclusively. Prices may vary according to number of guests. Please contact us to get the best possible price.
– Prices may vary according to your travel time and are higher in the high season, e.g. Christmas period (Dec 24-26), New Year period (Dec 31-Jan 02) and Public holidays of Vietnam.
– For additional hotel night cost to the packages, please contact us for the rates.
– Listed hotels/cruise subject to change to others of similar standard if fully booked.
– Upgrades available to stay at a 4-star or 5-star hotel, please contact us for more details. Additional costs will be applied.
– This tour package can be fully customizable to fit your travel plan. You can also disregard full package tours and choose whatever travel items you need we can quote the tours you really want. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.
– Itinerary Change to the confirmed itinerary may happen because of traffic, weather, or any other conditions not under our control such as war, strike, fire, acts of government, riot, etc. We will do our best to make sure that all the travel will be similar. Go Viet Travel can substitute the itinerary upon your agreement.
– Transportation and Restaurants: The cars, vans or coaches for the land transportation should be in good shape with air conditioner. All restaurants should be tidy and clean.