North Vietnam – 7 Days / 6 Nights

DAY 1 – HANOI ARRIVAL
Noi Bai airport – Hanoi (38km): 1 hour

Upon arrival to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 2 – HANOI – LAO CAI [B]
Hanoi – Lao Cai (300km): 9 hours by train

Begin the day around 08:30 for a departure for the Temple of Literature: Vietnam’s first university. Founded in 1076, Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite.
Continue next to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. Nearby is the mausoleum of the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov) and his modest house on stilts.
Next head on towards the picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh which is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism.
In the afternoon, visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Wrap up the day with a visit to Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake, a bustling area home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers.
Mid evening proceed to Hanoi Train Station for the night train to Lao Cai.
Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment.

DAY 3 – LAO CAI – SAPA [B|L]
Lao Cai – Sapa (40km): 1 hour 30 minutes

Upon arrival to the border town of Lao Cai, transfer to the former hill station of Sapa.
The verdant, terraced hills and mountains of the area are offset by the vibrant colours of its hill tribe population – flashes of shining silver jewellery from the necks and wrists of indigo-clad H’mong and the scarlet hues of the turbans worn by the Red Dao are prevalent throughout.
Set out on a morning walk through Sapa, visiting one of its bustling local markets where Red Dao, Black H’Mong, Tay and other ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding countryside to sell their silverware and handicrafts, and to buy provisions. Afterwards, take a light trek to discover Sapa’s quaint hill tribe villages set against the stunning Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range and Indochina’s highest peak, Mt. Fansipan. Enjoy a picnic lunch during the trek.
Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon free at leisure.
Appropriate footwear must be worn on treks in Sapa. Note that if conditions are wet, programs may be diverted.
Overnight in Sapa.

DAY 4 – SAPA – LAO CAI – HANOI [B|L]
Sapa – Lao Cai (40km): 1 hour 30 minutes Lao Cai – Hanoi (300km): 9 hours by train

Enjoy breakfast before taking off to visit a local market (Ban Cam on Tuesday/ Cao Son on Wednesday/ Lung Khau Nhin on Thursday / Can Cau on Saturday/ Bac Ha on Sunday.)
Please Note: The market visit may be held on the arrival day instead, depending on the market day.
This market will be home to mostly Flower Hmong, however Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, Nung hill tribe groups also gather here. The market offers a variety of local products, many of which are found nowhere else in the region. Of particular interest is the animal market here, selling everything from pot-bellied pigs and cows to buffaloes.
Continue the tour with a short walk to a hill-tribe village. Here there will be the opportunity to visit some local homes for some unique insight into the daily life of these tribes as well as their culture and traditions. Afterwards, head back to Lao Cai.
In the late afternoon, transfer back to Lao Cai before catching the night train back to Hanoi. There will be day use of a hotel room available in Lao Cao to freshen up before taking the overnight train trip.
Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment.

DAY 5 – HANOI – HALONG BAY [B|L|D]
Hanoi – Halong (200km):3.5 hours

Arrive into Hanoi in the early morning followed by breakfast before heading to Halong Bay by road on a 3.5-hours drive. The journey there runs through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta, where the everyday life of local Vietnamese villagers can be observed. Arrive into Halong City around noon and proceed with check in formalities.
After checking in, board the vessel and start the overnight cruise. Lunch will be served on board as the ship makes its way into the Bay, passing through the iconic limestone formations. Towards the end of the day, set anchor for the night as the sun sets. Dinner will be soon to follow.
Overnight on Halong Bay.

DAY 6 – HALONG BAY – HANOI  [B]
Halong – Hanoi (200km):3.5 hours

Enjoy a refreshing morning on Halong bay followed by breakfast on board (brunch on some boats). Soak in the scenery one final time as the boat makes its way back to the pier, weaving through the limestone formations. Upon disembarkation, the driver will be waiting to provide transport back to Hanoi.
Enjoy the afternoon free at leisure with the guide and driver available throughout. Soak in the many charms that the city has to offer, from its stunning tree lined boulevards to bustling coffee shops.
Wrap up the day’s experience with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.
(Another option for the afternoon is visiting one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam ‘But Thap’ on the route back to Hanoi)
Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 7 – HANOI – DEPARTURE [B]
Exo TravelHanoi – Noi Bai airport (38km): 1 hour
Enjoy the morning free at leisure until transport (provided) to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport for the departing flight.

Our services include:
– Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room with daily breakfast
– Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
– English or French speaking guide (for other languages and a national guide supplements apply)
– Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
– Entrance fees for mentioned visits
– Water and tissue during tour
– 2D1N Cruise Halong (seat in coach)
– Victoria night train Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi (superior ticket, sharing 4 berth cabin)

Our services do not include:
– Other meals than mentioned
– Other services than mentioned
– International and Domestic Flights
– Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
– Tips, Travel insurance