From USD 1,315 p/p
Vietnam Trail Explorer – Explore the trails and stunning mountainous landscape of northern Vietnam on this extended trekking tour for the fit and adventurous. Accommodation is basic but the people are friendly and the scenery is outstanding.
On arrival at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Ha Noi is the 1000 year old capital of Vietnam, a rapidly growing and changing city that still retains some of its old world charm as well as many striking examples French colonial architecture. The many lakes, parks and beautiful trees provide a welcome green break from the hustle and bustle of this developing modern metropolis and create a relaxing atmosphere to stroll around. If time permits, you can take a traditional cyclo ride through the famous, hectic Old Quarter with its streets named after the specific goods they once offered for sale such as Silk Street, Paper Street, and Drum Street.
Hanoi Old Quarter
After breakfast at your hotel, begin your sightseeing tour of Hanoi at the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, and the simple, elegant house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked during much of his time in Hanoi. The complex also comprises the One Pillar Pagoda, with origins dating back to the foundation of city. Continue on to the ancient Temple of Literature, established as Vietnam’s first Confucius Institute in 1076, and the Vietnam History Museum displaying an excellent collection of artifacts from all periods of Vietnamese history.
Hanoi – Temple of Literature
The next stop is the world-class Museum of Ethnology dedicated to the 54 ethnic minority groups in Vietnam, some of which you will see during your upcoming trip in northern Vietnam. You will also visit the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake and the vibrant Dong Xuan Market, the largest in Hanoi, before enjoying a performance of Hanoi’s famous water puppets. Have the evening free to explore the city on your own and dine in one of the city’s hundreds of restaurants that serve food from all over the world. Overnight in Hanoi.
If you are an early riser, a fascinating way to start your day is with a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake at dawn, where hundreds of local people (and even some foreigners) come to do their morning exercises.
After breakfast you will have free time to walk around or do some shopping until you are transferred to the airport for a short flight over the mountainous regions of northern Vietnam to Dien Bien Phu, the site of the decisive 1954 battle in Vietnam’s struggle for independence from the French.
After checking into your hotel you can walk around the town and see how the area is developing. The main stop on the tour is the Dien Bien Phu Museum which is dedicated to the historical events that occurred here. You will also visit the old battlefield where the lush vegetation has grown around the many war relics that still remain, including old French tanks and artillery pieces.
Enjoy dinner at the hotel and have the evening free. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
Dien Bien Phu
Leaving Dien Bien Phu after breakfast at the hotel and driving to Lai Chau on the road that is the main trade route between towns in northeastern Vietnam. As you head out of Dien Bien Phu, the roads begin to deteriorate but the fantastic views and intriguing hill villages along the way make for an unforgettable journey and some great photo opportunities.
After half day travelling, we arrive in Lai Chau, which will be your base for exploring the surrounding area. A highlight is a boat trip on the mighty Da River that passes through stunning mountain landscapes. The pace of life in Lai Chau is very relaxed and perfect for observing the local lifestyle up close. Have free time to explore the town in the evening and pack for the trekking days ahead.
Overnight in Lai Chau.
The beautiful remote mountain region of Lai Chau is ideal for those looking for outstanding trekking and true adventure. In the morning after breakfast at the hotel, take a short drive to where we will begin a full day of trekking on the local paths. We will pass through over several hill villages populated by the Hmong and Dao ethnic people, two of Vietnam’s most colorful ethnic minority groups that settled in this area long ago.
Stay overnight in Ta Co Ping village.
Lai Chau – Rice Terrace
Now you will go well and truly off the beaten track as we trek deeper into this mountainous region. We will walk through different villages where you will be sure to attract attention because this part of the country sees very few outside visitors. The trek lasts around seven hours and it is quite steep in places, but the scenery and landscape are worth it. Our day of walking ends when we arrive at Nam Pe Ping village where you will be the guests of a local Thai ethnic family. The accommodation in Nam Pe Ping is very basic, dormitory style, and there are no modern western-style facilities.
Overnight in Nam Pe village.
Rice Field Terrace
Today’s walk begins as we depart Nam Pe village and follow the path used by the local people to the small village of Nam Trang. There we will board a local boat for a leisurely trip downstream to Pa Ha village, our final destination for the evening. Upon arrival in Pa Ha you will have free time to wander around this seldom visited village and learn a little more about their culture and lifestyle.
Overnight in Pa Ha village.
Red Dao Minorities
We will get an early morning start to ascend Pu Sam Cap Mountain. The trekking is difficult at times walking up steep hills, but the rugged, verdant mountain scenery and the colorful friendly local population offers you a unique and unforgettable experience. You will arrive at the remote Hmong village of Pu Sam Cap after a full day of strenuous walking. The Hmong hill tribe people have a very colorful culture and a long and interesting history. You will have free time to explore the village and learn more about their lives and culture in the evening.
Overnight in Pu Sam Cap.
Hmong Hill Tribe People
The scenery in northern Vietnam is unequaled although conditions are very basic.
After breakfast we continue venturing into this stunning region stopping next at Dong Pao village. The trekking is less arduous as we will be walking downhill, encountering local villagers along the way going about their daily business logging, herding buffalo, and tilling their fields. The ethnic groups in this area are the Lao, Lu, Hmong and Dao, who have maintained their ancient cultural traditions and their distinctive, exotic costumes.
Overnight in Dong Pao village.
Your trek continues from Dong Pao, hiking along the local track past undulating terrain and rustic villages belonging to a number of different ethnic minorities. The main pleasure of trekking in this region is enjoying the untouched mountain landscape and exploring the cultures of the local people. It is also an outstanding opportunity for photographers. We arrive at Ban Bo village in the late afternoon and spend the night as guests of some of the villagers. The facilities are very basic, but the experience offers a unique insight into life in a very different culture.
Overnight in Ban Bo village.
This is the last day of the trekking expedition as we say goodbye to Ban Bo and walk a few more hours to the small village of Than Thuoc where we meet our vehicle and drive to the popular town of Sa Pa.
Sapa is 1500 meters above sea level and was founded in the early 20th century as a hill resort for French administrators who wanted to escape from the summer heat of the lowland plains. It is a lovely market hill town with architectural evidence of its French colonial heritage and it is frequented by many colorful ethnic minority groups.
After checking into your hotel, you will have free time to wander around the town, soak up the atmosphere, shop in the numerous markets and try some of the interesting local cuisine.
The Phan Si Pang range boasts Vietnams highest mountain and lends an alpine feel to the area surrounding this hill station. After breakfast we explore the bustling Sa Pa Market where the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay, Xa Pho ethnic minorities converge from the surrounding the mountainsides and valleys to trade their goods and buy provisions. We follow this with a walk into this mountainous region. Departing the town we get well off the beaten track and pass through many hill villages and beautiful mountain landscape.
Take night train to Hanoi
Overnight on train.
Sapa – Rice Terrace
After an early morning arrival in Hanoi, you will have time to freshen up before leaving the city to drive to Ha Long Bay, recently voted as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world and truly one of the most impressive sights in Vietnam. Arriving around noon.
Our crew in Ha Long will welcome you aboard a junk with a complimentary drink and help you check into your cabin. A seafood lunch will be served and at 13:00 the 3.5 hour cruise on Ha Long Bay begins, visiting the famous karsts including Mat Qui (Monsters’ face) islet, But Moc islet, and Cap De islet, as well as Trong (Drum) and Trinh Nu caves and a floating fishing village for insight into a unique way of life. Explore Luon cave from 16:40 to 17:30 and enjoy plenty of time for swimming and sun bathing. Savour a beautiful sunset dinner and relax under the starlit sky before retiring to the comfort of your cabin.
Early risers can enjoy a morning view of Ha Long Bay’s landscapes with a cup of tea or coffee and fresh fruit. From the upper deck of the junk you will be amazed at the breathtaking beauty of the rocky islands rising up from the crystal-clear water. The quiet is quite eerie; you can hear birds singing and cicadas chirping onshore accompanied by the gentle lapping of the waves against the boat; the perfect soundtrack to the fresh air and gentle breezes.
Sunset In Halong Bay
Explore the Sung Sot (Amazing) cave for an hour, then swim and relax at Titop beach before cruising back to the mainland at 09:30 while enjoying a brunch buffet from 10:30 to 11:30. Return to in the harbor around noon then drive back to Hanoi, arriving around 16:00
Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
Have breakfast at your hotel then free time to relax, do some shopping or explore Hanoi a bit further before you are driven to Noi Bai international airport for your departure.
Hoan Kiem Lake – Hanoi
Prices are in USD, per person.
|Hotel / Group||2 guests||3~4 guests||5~6 guests||7~8 guests||9~12 guests||Single surcharge|
I am interested in the tour itinerary and looking to ask about or change some aspects.