Trip Description & Detailed Itinerary
The 11-day north Vietnam tour, provided in the northern Vietnam includes such travel highlights as Hanoi sightseeing tour, Cao Son market, trekking Sapa villages, Halong bay junk cruise with sea kayaking. You will be lodged in mid-range three star hotels, basic, simple homestay in village and on board junk in Halong bay. The north Vietnam road trip is customized for individuals, small groups holidays, family travel and those seeking a fun, active, soft adventure holiday to the northern Vietnam.
North Vietnam tour itinerary
Day 1: Hanoi – Laocai by train.
In the evening, transfer to Hanoi Railways Station for overnight train to Laocai. Departure at 21:00 (TBA).
Day 2: Arrive Lao Cai. Travel to Cao Son. Trek Cao Son villages.
Arrive Lao Cai Railway Station early this morning. You will be met up by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to a local restaurant for breakfast. After few minutes resting, the driver will take you to Muong Khuong district, via tea plantation and forest of pine. You might encounter Giay tribe in their traditional dress in Ban Lau or Thanh Binh. Reaching Cao Son about 10.am. Check in Cao Son lodge and relax.
In the afternoon you will commence your walk to the most secluded yet peaceful village – Tin Thang. In this village, people still distill the wine from corn, making bacon in the most basic way and offering special corn cake to anyone who drop by their house.
Back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Visit Cao Son market. Travel to Sapa.
After having breakfast in the Cao son lodge, you will walk on a good paved road with local ethnic minority people to go to Cao Son market. Pine trees forests and villages surround the tinny market. Flower H’mong, Tu Di, Tay, Giay ethnic minorities come to buy and sell local products such as food and material for agriculture and fabric. People coming to the market not only for selling or buying something but also importantly to meet friends, relative and to sip some cups of wine until the dawn comes. No where else but here, Flower H’mong people greet you with a temptation of corn wine and endless hospitality. After exploring the market, you will be able to visit a village of Flower H’mong or a village of Tay people. You will then head back to Muong Khuong and have lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, you get on the car for journey to Sapa.
Overnight in Sapa.
Day 4: Trekking Sapa (Tavan village).
After breakfast, start your Sapa trek through the market and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, you follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. You will stop by a waterfall and a hydroelectric station for a while before you trek on a dirt trail through rice paddy terraces. You also will enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest while you are served lunch nearby the river.
After lunch, you head Muong Hoa valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route. You will spend the night in local house of Giay minority. You will be able to take a walk to enjoy the valley view as well as swim in the river nearby.
Day 5: Continue trekking Sapa (Tavan – Seomity)
After having breakfast, you start today’s trek, which is mostly uphill until lunchtime. Whenever you stop for a rest, you will be able to enjoy valley view. Before noon, you stop again at a nice spot for lunch.
The trek will be softer in the afternoon. But the scenery becomes even more beautiful. You pass by
Seomity village of Black Hmong minority before you arrive in a campsite, which locates nearby a
river outside the village. While porters put up tents and cook dinner, you can take a walk to stretch
Day 6: Continue hiking Sapa (Seomity – Ta Trung Ho)
The trek today takes you through beautiful rice paddies and over old suspension bridges. You will trek on small trail sneaking through rainforest. You arrive in Den Thang village of Black Hmong by noon. Here you stop for lunch either nearby a river or in a local school according to the weather.
After lunch, the trek will becomes tough on tinny footpath going up and down, which requires a lot of concentration. You will reach to Ta Trung Ho village of Red Dao minority where you spend the night in local house. Both the valley and the village have just received foreign visitors. The night will be even more interesting when you are in the wonderful hospitable atmosphere of the Red Dao.
Day 7: Continue trekking Sapa hilltribe villages (Ta Trung Ho – Thanh Phu)
You are now at the fringe of the rain forest by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina with its 3143 m, is located in this mountain range. You will start the trek today by ascending to Nam Toong village of Red Dao minority. Here your lunch will be prepared in a local school.
After lunchtime, you descend to the valley where locates My Son village of Xa Pho minority, one of the smallest groups ethnic in Northern Vietnam. From there you take a short walk to Thanh Phu village of Tay minority. Here you spend the night in traditional house of the Tay. You can take a walk to explore local daily life while your dinner will be served with Vietnamese dishes.
Day 8: Continue hiking Sapa villages (Thanh Phu – Su Pan). Return Sapa town. Travel to Laocai. Overnight train back to Hanoi.
Today’s trek is relatively short compared to other days. On the last day of the trek you will cross several suspension bridges. You will be able to stop by a waterfall and have time to swim in the river before arriving in Ban Ho village of Tay minority. Here you stop for lunch in a traditional Tay house.
In the afternoon, you start climbing uphill. On the last hours you can enjoy the valley one final time while heading to Su Pan. Here your car takes you on the journey back to Sapa where you can have a short rest before travelling to Laocai to take night train back to Hanoi.
Day 9: Arrive Hanoi. Travel to Halong bay. Boat junk cruise with kayaking tour.
Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning, transfer to a local restaurant in town for breakfast.
Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Halong Bay at any spot that you wish to visit or take a kayaking trip to explore the Bay. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner.
Overnight on board junk.
Day 10: Continue cruising and kayaking Halong bay.
Breakfast on board. Then we continue cruise. Lunch will be provided on board. In the afternoon, enjoy one more hour kayaking towards the Islands of Rocks or Ba Men temple (kayaking routes may change due to weather or other circumstances. Further details will be informed by our local guide before the trip).
Dinner and Overnight on board.
Day 11: Halong bay – Hanoi.
Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City. En route the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons.
Disembark at the dock at Halong City at 11:00 and return to Hanoi.
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