Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Then, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from as you enjoy your first day. Maybe you’ll want to take a cyclo ride to dinner at one of the French colonial villas which have been converted into gourmet restaurants. Following that, you may wish to attend a traditional water puppet performance. The sky is the limit and there is plenty to keep you busy before retiring for the evening.
Arrive Hanoi (-/-D)
You will be picked up at 09:00 at your hotel lobby and then driven about 65 km from Hanoi to visit Duong Lam ancient village in Son Tay Province. Duong Lam is a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River Delta. On arrival, you will take a walk on the village path to visit Mong Phu Temple (which is dedicated to national heroes), King Ngo Quyen Temple and King Phung Hung Temple.
You will enjoy lunch in an ancient house and also join the local people in producing local specialties such as soft green-lentil cake and rice cake filled with brown onion (depending on the season of the year). You will continue on and visit Mia Pagoda (built in the 15th century and home to 287 statues of all sizes) before transferring back to your hotel in Hanoi.
Hanoi Countryside (B/L/-)
Hanoi is Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. You will have a full day to visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum, the Temple of Literature and the Ethnology Museum. You will explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops, selling silk clothing, lacquer ware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Then, enjoy people watching in one of the city’s many stylish cafes. Your adventure trip to Sapa will then begin with an overnight train trip from Vietnam's capital city to the border town of Lao Cai.
Hanoi City Tour – Night train to Laocai/Sapa (B/L)
The train will arrive at Lao Cai Station early in the morning and your car will pick you up and transfer you to Sapa, where you will enjoy breakfast at a local restaurant. At 09:00 you will be transferred uphill to Heaven’s Gate (Tram Ton Pass), the highest pass in Vietnam. From here, you will have a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking Muong Hoa Valley, where you will have the opportunity to take a cycling trip. After leaving Sapa town by bike, you will follow a dirt road to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai.
From Lao Chai, the road will take you to a village inhabited by the Giay tribe. You will stop in a local house where you will enjoy lunch and then have time to explore the village. After lunch, you will continue your ride along the valley and arrive at Topas Ecolodge in the mid afternoon. You will check in to your bungalow for an overnight stay and enjoy the view over the valley and the surrounding mountains.
Lao Cai-Topas Eco-Lodge Sapa (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will start the cycling trip by following the main road for three kilometers to reach Lech Village, home to the Red Dao minority people. Here, you will leave your bikes and take a short walk on a dirt road to visit a traditional Red Dao family and witness a way of life that has not changed for generations. Next, you will take a further ride to the new Lech village, where you will take a longer break to learn how the women in their doorways make their famous embroidery works. You will head back to the lodge for lunch and have the afternoon free before dinner and an overnight stay at Topas Ecolodge.
Biking to Lech Dao village – Topas Ecolodge (B/L/D)
Following breakfast, you will take a drive on a scenic road to a local ethnic minority market. Local farm produce, Tho cam (indigo clothes) dogs, cats, pigs, horses and more are on sale here. This where young men and girls come from many of the surrounding villages in order to meet, and it is a golden opportunity for photographers, as the diverse people and colors on display are truly magnificent. After lunch, you will transfer to Lao Cai Train Station for the overnight train back to Hanoi.
Topas Ecolodge – Hill tribe market- Lao Cai (B/L/D)
You will arrive in Hanoi at around 05:00 and be picked up and transferred to a restaurant for breakfast and morning coffee. You will leave Hanoi by private vehicle at 08:30 and arrive at the jetty around 12:00. You will board the boat, check in, have a welcome drink and a cruise briefing. After lunch, you will go cruising in magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay, admiring the fascinating rock formations. You will enjoy swimming in the crystal clear water and later explore secluded Thien Canh Son Cave. You’ll next take a short cruise to Hon Co Island, where you can relax on a white sandy beach, swim or kayak. Then, its back to the junk for relaxation, before dinner and an overnight stay on board.
Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)
You will start off with an early breakfast in the open air, then at 08:30 you will leave to visit Vung Vieng fishing village in a rustic row boat. You will meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms. You will board a different boat and head to Cat Ba Island, where a bus will take you to visit Cat Ba National Park, home to 32 types of animals and about 2,000 species of flora. You will have lunch and check in before having leisure time to explore the beaches or local markets before an overnight stay on the island.
Halong Bay-Cat Ba National Park trekking (B/L/D)
Breakfast will be served at the hotel before check out and departure to Hai Phong City by high speed boat. On your arrival in Hai Phong, your guide and driver will take you to visit some of its most beautiful historic sites, such as Du Hang Pagoda and Hang Kenh Pagoda. Lunch will be served before an afternoon drive to Ninh Binh Province, stop to visit Keo Pagoda on the way when passing by Thai Binh Province. After that, you will head to Ninh Binh Town for check in, dinner and an overnight stay.
Cat Ba Island – Hai Phong - Ninh Binh (B/L/-)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will drive to the Tam Coc Caves, which you will explore while rowing in a sampan. Next, you will drive to visit the Dinh Le Temples and Bai Dinh Pagoda before leaving for Mai Chau with lunch served en route. You will enjoy your home stay with a local family, dinner, traditional wine and a performance of the traditional dancing of the White Thai people.
Ninh Binh - Mai Chau valley (B/L/D)
Following breakfast, you will begin a leisurely trek through the beautiful valley, going from one village to another and having a chance to get in touch with local villagers going about their daily business tilling the fields, logging or herding buffalo. You will then drive back to Hanoi airport for your short flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Phu Bai Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel and have free time before an overnight stay in Hue.
Mai Chau - Hanoi - Hue. (B/L/-)
At 08:30, you will be greeted at the hotel by a driver and guide who will take you to board the Dragon Boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded with historic tombs of emperors past, and a visit to the most beautiful tombs will be on the itinerary for today.
The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. You will enjoy a great view on the Perfume River and surrounding area before heading to Thien Mu Pagoda, which is considered the symbol of Hue, and of Buddhism in Vietnam. From here, you will go by car to visit King Minh Mang's Tomb and King Tu Duc's Tomb. You will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to visit Hue Citadel and Dong Ba Market. Tonight, you will have a chance to enjoy a Hue royal style dinner at a local restaurant before an overnight stay in Hue.
Hue Imperial City tour (B/-/D)
This trip introduces you to the lush countryside, rice fields, and farmers’ life, which has dominated Hue's culture for centuries. You will visit the ancient village of Phuoc Tich, a national cultural heritage site on the banks of the O Lau River, 40 kilometers to the north of Hue. The ancient village is well-known for its traditional pottery crafts and ancient houses and temples that have been preserved for 500 years in the traditional style that makes them invaluable. From Phuoc Tich Village, you will drive to the arched Thanh Toan Bridge, built 200 years ago over the Nhu Y River, which flows around Thanh Toan Village, about ten kilometers from Hue. You can visit a local market and a small village museum before visiting Phu Cam Conical Hat Village, where you can buy typical souvenirs prior to an overnight stay in Hue.
Ancient Phuoc Tich village & Thanh Toan village (B/L/-)
You will go to Hoi An over the Hai Van Pass. You will stop in Danang for a visit to Cham Museum and handicraft villages at the foot of the Marble Mountain before arriving in the charming river town. You will enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200 year old Tam Ky ancestral house, and the Japanese Bridge. You will stay overnight in Hoi An.
Hue – Danang - Hoian (B/L/-)
Your Farming & Fishing Life Tour will provide you with close up and intimate exposure to both the local farming and fishing communities. Accompanied by your tour guide, you will start the day with a leisurely cycling tour along country roads, witnessing local Vietnamese rural life first hand, and discovering all manner of photo opportunities. Later, you will board our Hoi An Eco Tour boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fishermen and enjoy the hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat while exploring coconut palm flanked waterways.
Farming & Fishing life in Hoi An Ancient town (B/L/-)
You will be picked up at your hotel and then transfer to Cua Dai harbor for an 08:00 departure for a 1 1/4 hour cruise. A complimentary drink will be served as you board, and be sure to bring along your camera to capture the spectacular monument views while cruising to Cham Island. You will arrive at Lang Village and the tour guide will help you understand more about Cham Island’s history. You will visit the Marine Protected Area, the boat shelter, Hai Tang Pagoda, a traditional fishing village and a local market, and then trek for 20 minutes to Chong Village. The way there is a long winding road with an amazing view of the sea, and you can sometimes can see wild monkeys on the way if you are lucky enough. You can then go swimming, snorkeling and have a seafood lunch. You will go back to the boat at 14:00 and cruise back to Cua Dai and your hotel.
Hoian - Cu Lao Cham Island Discovery (B/L/-)
In the early morning, you will take a short domestic flight from Danang to Dalat at 06:10, arriving at 07:20. Upon arrival at Dalat, you will leave for a tour of Da Lat and the surrounding areas, including a visit to Bao Dai Palace. You will also visit the rather bizarre (and very aptly named) “Crazy House”, a brightly painted concrete house, which winds itself around trees, mimicking their shapes and which now functions as a guesthouse. Next, you will visit Truc Lam Thien Vien and Pagoda. This afternoon, for those interested, you can take the short train ride on the Cremaillere railway to the village of Trai Mat. In the evening, you will enjoy fine cuisine at a local restaurant before an overnight stay in Dalat.
Danang – Dalat (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and set off for the 4 hour drive south to Nam Cat Tien National Park. The Park was established in 1998 and is actually comprised of two separate areas, Nam Cat Tien and Cat Loc, which are linked by the Dong Nai River. Together they cover around 185,000 acres of evergreen rainforest which is home to an amazing array of flora and fauna. Arriving at around 12:00, you will enter the park and the staff of the Forest Floor Lodge will welcome you and take you to the resort via electric car. After check in, you will have lunch at the restaurant in the lodge, which faces the river and jungle. There will be a walking tour into the jungle to discover the plant and animal life. Next, you will have free time to explore on your own, go biking or just relax. After dinner, you will have a private jeep take you for an hour of animal watching before returning for an overnight stay at the lodge.
Dalat – Nam Cat Tien National Park (B/L/-)
Rising early to the sounds of the forest, you will have breakfast before meeting your driver at 07:30. You will leave for a trip to Bau Sau (or “Crocodile Lake”). The jeep takes you 20 minutes (10km) from the lodge to the trekking point, where you will start a 1 hour trek for about 5 km. Bau Sau is a beautiful lake surrounded by the jungle and home to many crocodiles. You will board your boat and paddle around the lake for an hour. You’ll have the chance to see birds, crocodiles and wild lotus before heading back to the lodge for lunch. At 14:00, you will commence your return journey to Ho Chi Minh City, where you will arrive at 18:00 and have free time before an overnight stay in HCMC.
Nam Cat Tien – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/-)
This is a new and exotic day tour for HCMC based travelers. You will discover the National Biosphere Reserve of Can Gio and be among nature and wild life. Located 120km from Ho Chi Minh City, the trip takes about 3 hours by car. You can visit Monkey Island, situated in Can Gio Mangrove Forest, which UNESCO has recognized as International Biosphere Reserve on January 21st, 2000. You can also visit Can Gio Museum, where research is done on archaeological relics, as well as the flora and fauna system. You can also visit Rung Sac Guerilla Base by canoe, and see crocodiles and monkeys. There is a wide array of wildlife, including, wild cats, otters, pythons, deer, foxes and large groups of wild monkeys, who are very playful and love interacting with humans. Lastly, there is the Purebred Crocodile Reserve Park, home to more than 80 crocs. You will return to HCMC for an overnight stay.
The National Biosphere Reserve of Can Gio (B/L/-)
There is no activity planned for today so you are free to enjoy your free time and go souvenir shopping and relax until transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B/-/-)