Northern Vietnam Trails 14 Days

14 Days Hanoi - Sapa - Dien Bien - Son La - Pu Luong - Ninh Binh - Halong Bay - Hanoi

Only From $745

Tour Style: Adventure Tours

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Overview

The northwestern part of Vietnam is one of the most interesting and beautiful areas of Southeast AsiaVietnam is home to 54 ethnic groups and the northwestern part of the country is an exciting place to see the lives, customs and cultures of some of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. We are taking you to reveal one of the most diverse travelling in Vietnam in an amazing journey through Northwest Vietnam.  This journey explores highlights from Sapa to Sin Ho and Muong Lay, Dien Bien Phu and Son La, through the hill tribe villages of Mai Chau and the Red River Delta to spectacular islands in Bai Tu Long Bay.

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Tour itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival - Night Train To Lao Cai MEAL: D
Train Car

Meet your tour guide on arrival at Noi Bai International Airport. Transfer to the hotel in city center and check-in.

Hotel rooms may not be ready until 14:00 but an early check-in would be guaranteed with a surcharge. The rest of the day is at leisure. Subject to your arrival time, you may want to venture out to explore the city on your own or join one of our wonderful optional excursions in and around Hanoi.

Free time at leisure until guide and driver pick up and transfer to Hanoi train station.

Meet at your hotel in Hanoi at around 20:00 - 20:30 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.

Accommodation: Overnight on train

Hanoi city tour by car is available at customer's request

Day 2: Sapa Trekking MEAL: B/L/D


Upon our arrival in Lao Cai railway station in the early morning, we have a scenic drive to Sapa town, which is only 35 km away.
After shower and a simple breakfast, we head out to discover Sapa and its nearby villages of Sa Seng and Hau Thao, located in an idyllic valley and home to Black H'mong people. We have ample chances to obtain wonderful insights into their daily life.

Along the way, we stop at a delightful villages and enjoy a picnic lunch. Finally, we arrive in the Giang Ta Chai village, nestled in a stunning region. Tonight we spend a memorable night in the house-on-stilts of a Zay family. 

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 3: Giang Ta Chai - Thanh Phu Village MEAL: B/L/D


The beautiful Giang Ta Chai is surrounded by verdant hills and rice terraces. We enjoy a hike through lush rice terraces and along verdant hills, before we return to Sapa. In free time, why not wander through a local market and appreciate the laidback lifestyle in this beautiful township. 

Afternoon finds us in the villages of Hau Thao and Thanh Phu, situated in a region of sculpted rice terraces and home to Black H’mong people, we walk around peaceful villages and farmlands at an easy and leisurely pace to suit everybody. 

At night we stay over in a home stay in the village of Thanh Phu, home to Tay ethnic minority people.

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 4: Sapa - Binh Lu - Lai Chau - Sin Ho MEAL: B/L/D


The day begins by crossing hills and hiking through rice terraces, passing peaceful villages. This is followed by a short drive to Binh Lu. Here we take a delightful hike around villages and along towering stunning mountains. 

En route we meet local villagers going about their daily life. Arriving in Sin Ho, we explore the charm of the township and nearby villages. Tonight we spend the night in a hotel. 

Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa 

Day 5: Sin Ho - Dien Bien Phu MEAL: B/L/D
Car

After breakfast we take a hike along beautiful towering mountains, through lush rice terraces and around tiny villages. Later in the morning we walk to our waiting vehicle and make our way to Dien Bien Phu. The night is spent at a comfortable hotel. 

Accommodation: Hotel in Dien Bien 

Day 6: Dien Bien Phu - Son La MEAL: B/L/D
Car

We continue our journey due north to Son La province by car, viewing spectacular mountain scenery, we break our journey with some stops along the way to explore some beautiful villages, home to Black Thai and Hmong people. 

Arriving in Son La we enjoy this town's laid-back atmosphere and retire to a comfortable hotel for a good night's rest.

Accommodation: Hotel in Son La 

Day 7: Son La - Black River MEAL: B/L/D
Car

The day begins with a scenic drive from Son La to Black River. En route we take a beautiful hike through the tiers of splendid rice terraces and past several idyllic villages.

This is followed by an enjoyable bicycle ride around a spectacular area, which features verdant hillocks, lush farmlands and beautiful mountains. 

Finally, we descend to the Xom Moi village, located by the Black River and home to the Muong people.

Tonight we settle in with a Muong family in a traditional wooden house to experience their way of life. 

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 8: Black River - Pu Luong MEAL: B/L/D
Car

The Pu Luong Nature Reserve is an area of outstanding beauty, cultural interest and high biodiversity value stretching from Mai Chau in the northwest to Cuc Phuong National Park in the south east. The region is blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking scenery. 

We depart from Black River and hike along paths amid verdant hills and pictursque villages, before arriving at the reserve where we begin our hike to the Thai village of Hang.

We relax in the cool climate, enjoy their hospitality and culture over our dinner. We spend the night in our lodge. 

Day 9: Pu Luong - Ninh Binh MEAL: B/L/D
Car

We take a hike through farmlands and rice terraces, along verdant hills. We see the villages and local people going about their day.

Later in the morning we hike to our waiting vehicle and journey alongside the beautiful Ma river. We head out into the countryside to a typical village in the Red River Delta. Here, we retire to a local family for the night. 

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 10: Discover Ninh Binh MEAL: B/L/D
Car

We take a short drive to to Ninh Xuan area, a firm favourite with walkers, we enjoy a wonderful boat ride along a scenic canal. This is followed by a delightful hike through spectacular scenery, and dramatic limestone peaks rising up from open rice fields. 

Those who are more interested in local cuisine than just sightseeing can settle in with a local family and learn how to make some authentic Vietnamese food. Dishes include succulent Spring Rolls, zesty sauce dips and sticky rice. We then enjoy the family’s gracious hospitality as they share lunch with us.

After lunch we cycle around several villages and witness the tight-knit community at work. We learn about agriculture, such as rice cultivation, and the growing of peanuts and assorted vegetables. There is plenty of time for us to experience the way of life in the delta. 

We also observe the various steps required to make rice noodles, which are time-consuming and labour-intensive. The night is spent in the same local family. 

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 11: Ninh Binh - Halong Bay MEAL: B/L/D
Cruise Car

The fantastic beauty of the bays has given rise to many legends, some of them dating back to the ancient past. It is said that a dragon descended into the deep water spitting out gems as he did so. And thus the rocky islands were formed.

Departing our local family we journey to Ha Long City. Upon our arrival we embark on a boat trip among some of the spectacular limestone peaks – time to relax and appreciate the sublime beauty of the bay. Time is also spent kayaking among towering rock formations.

In the evening we indulge in the uniquely fascinating nature as we stay overnight on our boat. 

Accommodation: Halong bay cruise 

Day 12: Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay MEAL: B/L/D
Cruise

A morning boat trip brings us to some of the bay’s truly awesome scenery – vertical and unusual rocks and islets emerge from the sea. Weather permitting, there will be an opportunity to swim in the clear waters.

This is followed by a drive to Cai Rong Island. Here, we embark on a boat trip among the spectacular limestone peaks. Weather permitting, there is an opportunity to enjoy a kayaking ride through stunning rock formations and fishing villages.

Arriving on Van Don Island, a serene and beautiful island, we head to our lodge for the night. 

Accommodation: Hotel in Van Don Island

Day 13: Bai Tu Long Bay - Hanoi MEAL: B/L
Car

Van Don is located in Bai Tu Long Bay. The island is blessed with stunning beaches, scenic hills, sand dunes and surroundings sprinkled with tiny villages. 

After a quiet morning strolling around the picturesque village of Quan Lan and watching the day unfold on the island, we board our boat to discover further northern reaches of Bai Tu Long Bay - time to appreciate the sublime beauty of the bay. 

This is followed by our journey back to Hanoi, arriving there at about 6pm.

Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 14: Hanoi Departure MEAL: B
Car

Have leisure time before your departure. You are welcome to join our interesting optional excursions in and around Hanoi City. 

Please note that hotel check-out time is at 12:00. A late check-out can be arranged subject to room availability and a surcharge will be applied.

Transfer to the airport in Noi Bai Airport for your onward flight. Tour ends after arriving at the airport.

 
Accommodation: NA
Activities: Free at leisure until be picked up for departure flight (optional excursions available) . Hope to have a chance to serve you again!

Price & Inclusion

Tour Class Price Booking
Deluxe USD $798USD $745

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

Overnight train (1 night)

Home stays (5 nights)

Lodges (2 nights)

Boat (1 night)

Hotels (3 nights)

Clean and comfortable homestays with mosquito nets provided

Meals

12 breakfasts

12 lunches

11 dinners

We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, markets or homes.

We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking. 

Transportation

Overnight train

Vehicle

Bicycle

Kayak

Boat

Price Includes

  • Accommodation at listed in the itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the program
  • Travel in appropriate air-conditioned vehicles with an experienced driver
  • 2-ways train ticket Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi 
  • The services of experienced English-speaking local guides
  • All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the program
  • VAT and other taxes

Price Excludes

  • International flight tickets and airport tax
  • Visa stamp fee
  • Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses
  • Surcharge in peak season (Christmas & New Year)
  • Individual Insurance
  • Single Sup 

Important Notes

  • We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation) for trips to Vietnam.
  • Prices are valid 30 days from date of offer. Past this date price and conditions may be readjusted.
  • The cost of air tickets is subject to change without prior notice by the airlines.
  • Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges.
  • Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
  • Please note that all the above services & tours have yet to be booked, they are proposed for your information only and we will not make any reservations before we receive your confirmation to do so.
  • If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program. 

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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