Discover the Treasures of Northern Vietnam
Fast Facts
  Duration: 10 DAYS/9 NIGHTS STYLE: Classic Travel

Discover the Treasures of Northern Vietnam

Overview
Tour Program
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Discover the breathtaking scenery, warm friendly greetings from many different local ethnic minority groups and a wide variety of activities that form the core part of this trip. You will discover the treasures of Hanoi,  the capital city of Vietnam.  You will enjoy wandering through the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, sitting and relaxing in the shade of the trees by the lovely and historical Hoan Kiem Lake, strolling along the wide tree lined streets of the French Quarter and visiting the many cultural and historical sites in this charming city. 

Leaving Hanoi, you will get to explore a whole different world. There are 54 Ethnic groups of people living in Vietnam. As you head to the more Northern parts of Vietnam, you will meet people from many of these groups each with their unique way of life, style of dress and language. Your first stop is in the adorable village of Mai Chau where you will meet the warm and hospitable Thai people.  Four different groups of people around the town of SaPa with the main group being the H'mong people.  

A night train from the SaPa area takes you back to Hanoi and then onto a very different but equally spectacular area of Northern Vietnam.  Ha Long Bay has been recognized as one of the natural wonders of the world and is well deserved of the accolade. As you Cruise around the unique and mystical rock formations that spring out of the water in the Bay you will discover the hidden treasures of caves, beaches and communities of people living on the Bay.  

If you love mountains, spectacular views, meeting different groups of local people, visiting sites that are known as being natural wonders of the world and having the opportunity to explore the treasures of one of the most exciting and engaging cities in SE Asia, this is the perfect trip for you.  

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WHY YOU SHOULD BOOK THIS TOUR WITH US?
  • Personal attention to detail by all HGH from the time of your initial enquiry through to the end of your tour
  • 24 hour support available during the tour
  • Enjoy the degree of historical and cultural information throughout your tour from our local and knowledgeable tour hosts to the degree that you and your group are interested.
  • We focus on sustainable tourism by creating the very best experience for you as the tourist while supporting our local environment and local people
Itinerary Highlights
Day 1: Ha Noi

Your arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport marks the start of your tour. Our guide is waiting to welcome you and take you into 1000-year-old city of Ha Noi, the capital of Vietnam, and the commercial, political, and cultural heart of the country.

The city tour takes you on a drive around the city while visiting the main tourist hotspots. After the One-Pillar Pagoda, we go to the Temple of Literature. The templewas built in October 1073 to worship Confucius and is considered the first university in Vietnam. If Ha Noi is the heart of the country, Hoan Kiem Lake is the heart of Ha Noi. To the north of the lake is the Old Quarter with its many small streets, tiny buildings with vendors selling all manner of goods and an abundance of character. Later in the afternoon, you will be able to take a 1-hour cyclo ride around the 36 streets. Contrast this with the wide tree lined boulevards and splendid buildings of the French quarter including the Opera House, the State Bank, the former Governor's palace, and the Hanoi Cathedral (Saint Joseph’s built in the late 19th century). In the centre of the lake is the Ngoc Son Temple, our next stop.

A welcome dinner is at one of the many local restaurants. After that, you can explore on your own or simply relax in your hotel.

Hotel in Hanoi for the night.

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Day 2: Ha Noi – Hoa Binh – Mai Chau

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, we travel through the calm and beautiful landscape of rural Vietnam. En route to Mai Chau, we stop over at the Muong tribe village of Hoa Binh. Our final destination today is Mai Chau Village, where you will meet the Thai ethnic minority people. You will be able to see how the local people live and work while marveling at the peaceful beauty of the valley in which Mai Chau nestles. 

After lunch, we take a leisurely walk around the Lac and Poom Coong Villages. Yousee the stilt houses where the Tai people live, see the farmers working in fields, local women weaving scarves and meet these warm and friendly locals as they go about their daily lives. In the evening, you have the opportunity to see performances of traditional dance and Thai folk songs.  You will be guests of local people for the night in one of the traditional stilt houses in Mai Chau, enjoying a delicious dinner in spectacular surroundings. 

Homestay in Mai Chau

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Day 3: Mai Chau – Son La

Travelling north, you will go to the awe-inspiring journey to Son La via Moc Chau Plateau where there are tea hills, waterfalls and beautiful terraced rice fields. We will meet the people from various ethnic groups including Black Thai, White Thai, Hmong and Muong Tribes. There are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam of which 88% are of the Kinh or Viet group. Each of the minority groups has their own language, own culture, dress codes and ways of life.

We will take a short tour through Son La Town to visit the Son La Museum, and prison as well enjoying a dip in the local hot springs.

Hotel in Son La

Day 4: Son La – Lai Chau

After breakfast, we will take you to Lai Chau. Here you will enjoy the picturesque scenery of Northern Vietnam which is on the way to visit Tuan Giao market. You will check into the hotel in Lai Chau where you will spend the night.

Day 5: Lai Chau – Sapa

Day 5 takes us to Sapa, a town that snuggles high in the mountains and was established by the French as a retreat for westerners to use during the hot and humid summers of Hanoi. En route, we will stop to visit the Tam Duong and Binh Lu markets where you will meet many different ethnic minority communities. The ethnic minority people in these areas are different than the ones in Sapa

The ancestors of these people were believed to have originated from Laos. The groups in this area are called Black Zao, Zao with coins, Red H’mong, and especially Lu & Lao. All Ethnic minority groups have their own way of life and style of dress. While in the areas, we will go trekking through the rice terraces and villages of the red H’mong and Red Dzao. And then on to Sapa where we will check into the hotel. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the adorable town of Sapa. There are markets that offer great shopping for fresh produce and handicrafts available from many of the local hill tribes that are selling their wares. You will spend the rest of the night in Sapa.

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Day 6: Sapa

The first excursion from the centre of Sapa is to Ham Rong (Dragon Raw) to see the panoramic view of the town and a spectacular overview of the terraced rice paddy fields carved out of the side of the mountain in just the same way as they have been for centuries. Moving on, we see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sapa, the Silver Waterfall.

The afternoon, takes us outside of town to Lao Chai then to visit the Black H’mong Villages.The H’mong people are Chinese descendants who immigrated to Vietnam approximately 300 years ago. You will get to learn about the many different traditions and beliefs of the H’mong people. We then travel 12 km’s before starting our walk to Ta Van to visit the Dzay people. Experience the picturesque panoramas along the way and meet other people from the different ethnic minority groups of the area. We return for dinner in Sapa.

Hotel in Sapa

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Day 7: Sapa – Bac Ha – Lao Cai – Night train to Ha Noi

Leaving Sapa, we travel to Bac Ha. Bac Ha is the largest market in the region and is where you will see the most diverse groups of ethnic minority peoples in one place at the same time. This is definitely the most colorful and exotic market in Vietnam. At the market, you will get the enjoy the Bac Ha people’s simple but unique kinds of food along with special wines made from rice, cassavas, corn. You can also taste different local grown fruits such as plums, apples, and peaches. Your guide will offer interpretation for you to engage with local people.

Leave the market for the H’mong King’s house (King Hoang A Tuong) built by French colonists and the Chinese in 1920. Afterwards we will travel down the mountain to the Lao Cai train station to catch the night train back to Ha Noi.

Soft berth on the train.

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Day 8: Ha Noi – Ha Long

After breakfast, we drive to one of the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia, Ha Long Bay. The Bay is a UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The day starts with a leisure boat ride through the breathtaking Ha Long Bay where you will see mountain peaks reaching majestically out of the water. Lunch will be served onboard while cruising to Bai Tu Long Bay, Teapot Islet, Blockhouse Islet, and Goat Head Islet. Fresh local seafood will be served in the characteristically delicious style of the Vietnamese. 

We will explore the mystery of Sung Sot Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Ha Long Bay before getting the opportunity to relax at a beautiful beach where you can also enjoy swimming & kayaking and explore the bay. Later we will head back to the boat to enjoy a relaxing sunset while cruising to the Hang Trong area to anchor at Ho Dong Tien, near Trong cave. During the evening, relax to the casual and comfortable atmosphere on the luxury boat where you will have an elegant dining experience. If we are in the right season, we can see fresh squid being caught the traditional way.

You can then relax under the clear, starry sky, enjoying the peace and quiet of the Bay before retiring to your cabin at your leisure. 

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Day 9: Ha Long – Ha Noi

After breakfast, we continue to cruise through the karsts some of which display fantastic and mystical shapes that lead rise to many legends about dragons and by gone days. We visit to the Luon Cave before an early lunch on board and then a sad farewell to the boat and crew. On the road back to Hanoi, we stop at the Bat Trang ceramics and pottery village where they sell many kinds of ceramics, embroidery and marble statues. Dinner is at the “Rung” Restaurant.

Hotel in Ha Noi.

Day 10: Ha Noi – Departure

In the morning, we explore the multi-color features of the 54 ethnic groups in the Vietnam Ethnology Museum before travelling back to the centre of Ha Noi to the Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi. Located beside the dazzling West Lake in Hanoi, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. After lunch, you are free to shop, relax and do whatever you would like at your own leisure until your transfer time to Noi Bai International Airport for the departure flight. This is the end of the service.

 

 

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