Essence Of Northern Vietnam 8 Days

8 Days Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Mai Chau - Sapa - Halong Bay - Hanoi

Only From $715

Tour Style: Northern Vietnam Tours, Adventure Tours

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Overview

This itinerary is an in-depth exploration of the culture, people and landscapes of northern Vietnam. Leaving the graceful boulevards of Hanoi behind, we explore rural Mai Chau 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!

Grab The Most Delectable Cuisine All Through Vietnam

Highlights

  • 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 Mai Chau on 2 wheels, cycle around the valley; enjoy the stunning lush landscape and Thai culture by visiting the nearby villages. Get a glimpse of life in countryside in Vietnam, enjoy the peace with endless rice paddy fields and fresh air.
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Tour itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi Half Day City Tour MEAL: L
Motorbike Car

Half day Hanoi city tour (by car or by motorbike – upon client’s interest) - Routes can change subject to client’s interest.


Begin the first day of the trip with a tour of Hanoi. Depart from the hotel at 08:30 for a visit to Vietnam’s first university: the Temple of Literature. Founded in 1076, Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite.

Continue with a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Nearby is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and his modest house on stilts. (Sites are viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov)

Wrap up the morning with a visit to the picturesque West Lake and its sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda.Tran Quoc Pagoda is regarded as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with its history line of more than 1,500 years.

Have lunch at an authentic Vietnamese Restaurant.

Around noon you will have the option for your Tour Guide to take you to any location in the Old Quarter or to your hotel. Free time at leisure for rest of the day.

Optional: We introduce two one-of-a-kind traditional performances which are found nowhere else than in Vietnam. You can choose one of below options:

- Water Puppet Show where puppets are performed on water stage with folk music, presenting ancient tales, folklores and daily life in Vietnamese countryside.

- Tu Phu (Four Palaces) Show - a very unique show about ritual of spirit practiced in the Vietnamese indigenous religion with music, colors and lively dance performance. The Four Palaces Shows take place on Thursday and Saturday every week.

If you're interested in the shows, please contact our travel consultants to book.ư


Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Activities: City tour half day

Day 2: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu - Tam Coc MEAL: B/L
Bicycle Car

In the morning, our driver and tour guide pick you up at your hotel then depart for Ninh Binh.

Arrive in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, visit two temples of King Dinh Bo Linh and King Le Hoan.

Then our driver will transfer you from Hoa Lu to Tam Coc to have lunch in a local restaurant in Tam Coc and enjoy famous specialties of Ancient Capital area.

In the afternoon, Take a 5 minute walk to the wharf and start the 2 hour boat trip to visit 3 caves: Hang Ca (First Cave), Hang Hai (Second Cave) and Hang Ba (Third Cave). Each cave owns an unique scenery which will dazzle you as you get in.

Afterwards, cycle for an hour to Bich Dong Pagoda and sight see beautiful scenic pagodas, lush paddy fields, mountains, river and caves. Then get on bus and our driver will take you back to Hanoi. When arrive in Hanoi, you will be dropped-off at your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure

 

Optional: Hanoi Walkie Foodie Tour

You will join in a walkie foodie tour. We will take you to go inside the small lane and alleys inside the Hanoi Old Quarter and show you how real Hanoians live, work and eat. By far our most popular tour, this tour is great fun and perfect way to discover some of the lesser known dishes that the locals lover to eat. From Bun Bo (Sauteed Beef Rice Vermicelli), Banh Cuon (Steamed rice rolls), “Banh Mi” and end with unique Ca Phe Trung (Egg Coffee) which will round off our four courses perfectly. Local life, local stories; local food and local drink tasting. It's the little things that make all the difference in your travel experience!


Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Activities: Day trip Ninh Binh, visit Hoa Lu ancient capital, enjoy a boat trip exploring Tam Coc "Halong Bay on land" andride a bike to Bich Dong Pagoda.

Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau MEAL: B/L
Mini Bus

In the morning, pickup at your hotel and head to Mai Chau by van with a short break along the way.


Mid day, arrive in Mai Chau, enjoy welcome drink. Then enjoy traditional lunch in village (vegetarian available).

In the afternoon, bicycle ride with your tour guide, see farmers working in fields, locals weaving scarves and visit surrounding peaceful villages. Then you will have free time for bicycling, walking, shopping

Late afternoon, return to the accommodation. Enjoy the outdoor BBQ party in the garden and watch the Thai’s traditional dance and drink the traditional liquor “ruou can”. Overnight in the communal stilt house or Valley View Bungalow


Accommodation: Communal stilt house or Valley View Bungalow in Mai Chau
Activities: Leave Hanoi for Mai Chau town. In the afternoon, follow tour guide ride bicycle around the villages and meet friendly Thai people.

Day 4: Mai Chau - Hanoi - Night Train To Lao Cai MEAL: B/L
Mini Bus Train Car

After breakfast, go with local tour guide to visit more remote rural villages Na Meo and Na Mo villages to understand more about their culture and customs. Mid day, back to the home stay for lunch and check-out. Free time for shopping and relaxing.

15:00 – 15:30 Say goodbye to the family to get on the bus to drive back to Hanoi (3.5 ~ 4 hours drive). Arrive in Hanoi, drop you off at your hotel.

Free time till picked up at hotel for transferring to train station for night train to Lao Cai.

Meet at your hotel in Hanoi at around 20:00 hrs 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 21:15 hrs.

 

Notes:

- Our tour guide will not accompany during the train trip

- Train schedule is subject to change.

- Private compartments on request at surcharge.

- Train journeys are part of a great local experience. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless private cabin is requested and all berths paid for - with supplement). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience.

 
Accommodation: Overnight on train
Activities: In the morning, follow tour guide walk to remote rural villages in Mai Chau valley. Transfer back to Hanoi. and Relax until drive to the train station for night train to Lao Cai.

Day 5: Lao Cai - Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Ta Van MEAL: B/L
Trekking Mini Bus Car

Arrive in Lao Cai Train Station at around 05:00. Then take an one hour bus ride up hill to the beautiful town of Sapa. The ride gives you a glimpse of the stunning vistas and impressive rice terraces that make Sapa famous with travelers. Early check in is possible when you arrive if the room available (with surcharge).


9.30am: Meet up your local guide and start trekking. The first part is on the road but we soon turn to the right and walk on a small path down the valley to Y Linh Ho village settled down by the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They have their own language and wear traditional indigo blue clothing. The H’mong peoples have just recently changed their living way from sifting style into the sedentary one. So there are still a lot traces of the past time can be seen: rudimentary houses, stone wall around homes… After this you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam.

After visiting Ta Van village the car will return you to Sapa. Free at leisure the rest of the day. Overnight at Sapa Hotel.


Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa
Activities: Full day soft trekking, pass along dirt tracks as well as through several villages of ethnic minority groups.

Day 6: Black H’Mong Hill Tribe Village - Sapa - Hanoi - Road Transfer MEAL: B/L
Trekking Car

Locating just a bout 5km southeast of Sapa town, Ma Tra valley attracts visitors for its stunning scenery highlighted with impressive terraced rice fields. The Hmong peoples has changed from sifting lifestyle into sedentary one form early 20th Century and built terraced field to ensure their permanent earning by farming wet rice.


Trip commences from Sapa at 08.30am or 01.30pm by a 5km road transfer out of Sapa town. Then walk starts from here downhill and cross the stream to the other bank where Suoi Ho village beautifully sits on the top of a low hill. Spend half an hour to visit several local homes for understanding of local life before continue walking along a large path on hillsides which is paved with rock to get through Ma Tra village. This portion of the walk offers beautiful scenery of the valley and terraced paddies as well as flower farm. Transfer back to Sapa.

15:00 - 15:30 Driver will pick you up & transfer 5 hours to Hanoi.


Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Activities: Join a trekking tour to discover the untouched beauty of the villages in Sapa before heading back to Hanoi by bus.

Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Overnight On Cruise MEAL: B/L/D
Mini Bus Cruise

Halong Bay is listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage and voted as a Wonder of Nature by the New7Wonders Foundation. You will have a night staying in this world famous bay.


After breakfast in Hanoi, depart the capital for the 3hr 30mins drive to Halong Bay. Arrive to Halong City’s jetty (around noon) and proceed with check-in formalities.

After a welcome onboard, lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay. In the afternoon, enjoy some sightseeing, on-board activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on the vessel. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.


Accommodation: Cruise in Halong Bay
Activities: Leave the city behind, drive through fascinating countryside to the dock where this Halong Bay adventure truly starts. Climb aboard a traditional junk boat – with its beautiful woodwork and beaming crew – and venture out into emerald waters of the bay.
Our tour guide will not accompany aboard the cruise in Halong Bay. Resident English speaking guide on board available.

Day 8: Halong Bay - Hanoi MEAL: B/Br
Mini Bus Cruise

Wake up the next morning at sunrise, you are invited to practice Tai Chi on the sun deck. Enjoy the feel of the early morning salt water scent and bask in the early sun rising from behind the mountains. Continue sightseeing in the wonderful bay, enjoy brunch on board while cruising back to mainland. Arriving at the harbor, you will be picked up for transferring back to Hanoi.


Drop off at your hotel in Hanoi (owned arrangement)


Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi is not included
Activities: Spend the morning on cruise in Halong Bay and drive back to Hanoi.
Hotel in Hanoi is at clients owned arrangement

Price & Inclusion

Tour Class Price Booking
2 pax
First Class (4*) USD $950
Superior (3*) USD $799
Standard (2*) USD $715

NOTE: PRICE PER PERSON

* Please contact our travel consultants at sales@ultimateodyssey.com to get discount for big group OR special price for children (under 10 years old).

* Private tour for a solo traveler is also available with a surcharge. Single supplement: applies for those who travelling with others but requires an single room for him/herself.

* The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this detailed program which has been handcrafted by our product experts to include the best of every destination. Our travel consultants are also happy to customize this journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel: longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades, or add an extension to additional places of interes

 

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Communal stilt house or Valley View Bungalow in Mai Chau (1 night), Overnight on train (1 night), Cruise in Halong Bay (1 night)

Meals

7 Breakfast, 5 Lunch, 1 Brunch, 1 Dinner

Transportation

Car, Train, Cruise, Trekking

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in TWN/ DBL sharing accommodation at hotel, except overnight on train and homestay (if any)
  • All in-tour stationed local 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

Price Excludes

  • Hotel EARLY check in & LATE check out
  • Peak season surcharge & compulsory dinner at the hotel (if any)
  • International flights to or from Vietnam with taxes
  • Visa or Passport Fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips, laundry and gratuities
  • Meals not marked on itinerary, and water during meals

Tailoring your trip _ _ _ _ _ _Tailoring

Tailoring

Any part of this itinerary can be altered to fit your need, e.g.accommodation, add/skip city, tour length...

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