Best of Northwest Vietnam in 8 Day
Itinerary: See the Best of Northern Vietnam with a 8-day tour, a jam-packed tour, that'll take you from Hanoi to Sapa and see the stunning scenery of Halong bay. Explore the famous sights of each area, experience Sapa villages, overnight onboard and island in Halong bay with most meals included.
Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival – Evening Food Tour
Day 2: Hanoi Morning City Tour – Afternoon Shopping
Day 3: Hanoi – Hoa Lu & Tam Coc – train to Sapa
Day 4: Sapa – Cat Cat Village – Fansipan
Day 5: Sapa – Explore Ma Tra & Ta Phin – Hanoi
Day 6: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Overnight onboard
Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Evening at leisure
Day 8: Hanoi City – Departure
DAY 1: HANOI – ARRIVAL – EVENING FOOD TOUR AND NIGHTLIFE EXPERIENCE
From Noi Bai International Airport , your private tour guide and driver from Charming Vietnam Travel will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim/ custom area to transfer you in a private vehicle to the hotel in downtown.
While every effort is made to have your room available upon arrival, check in time is at 02:00pm; your room may or may not be ready before this time. Your tour guide will provide additional details regarding your stay, and you will be able to ask any questions you may have. Have a rest before the exciting evening food adventure and nightlife experience at 18.00.
Your English-speaking expert local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. Eat as you go, trying seasonal fruits and sampling a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart. Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter will tempt your taste-buds with the famed Hanoi dishes such as Bun Cha Ta, Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago.
The next two snack stops are at outdoor barbecue stalls. Sit down with the locals and sample various meats, vegetables, and bread specialties that are flame grilled over hot coals for extra flavor. It’s then time for dessert as you venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk. This specialty is one not to be missed.
Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets, a hidden street food restaurant, to taste some of the top street foods in Hanoi such as Banh my Hanoi, Banh Cuon and the famous egg coffee. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the narrow street inside the old quarter of Hanoi. Or, if coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits. At the end of the trip you are free to continue exploring the area or your guide will assist you with directions, or a taxi back to your hotel (at own expense).
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 2: HANOI MORNING CITY TOUR – AFTERNOON SHOPPING SPREE
The second day in Vietnam begins as your private tour guide picks you up and takes you on a full-day city tour of Hanoi, famed for its tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, and a thousand years of history. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Thang Long Citadel (the most recent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vietnam), built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet (former Vietnam)
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace
– One Pillar Pagoda, one of the most iconic temples in Vietnam
– Temple of Literature (a Confucius temple considered the first National University of Vietnam)
Today you will have Pho for lunch at a Vietnamese Noodle local shop. At the restaurant your tour guide will explain the routine during Vietnamese meal times, and also tell you which special ingredients are needed for you.
After lunch, return your hotel for some rest before strolling along the iconic Hoan Kiem lake and the most exciting shopping part of the Old Quarter including Hang Gai– Hang Bong – NhaTho street, the best place to pick up some high quality, fashionable silk items, lacquer ware, embroidered goods, and ethnic-minority crafts; Hang Dau (Shoes street), where hundreds of shoe-sellers lining. Most of the footwear consists of brand names made at Vietnamese factories that have been rejected as seconds, making them a great purchase with usually only a small imperfection. There are also plenty of fake North Face items, Samsonite bags where Hang Dau Street meets Lo Su.
15.00 – 15.30
Be picked up by the private car for a 20-minute drive to Japanese retail giant AEON Shopping Mall. Here you can spend 1 – 2 hours at the huge Japanese food court, shopping for local brand clothes (Nha Be, The Blue Exchange, May 10, Genviet etc.) at remarkable good price, as well as households and other stuffs. Finish your shopping and get back to the hotel at about 18.00.
Note: The city tour program is flexible. Our guide would be more than happy to adjust the tour itinerary at your needs. You can skip one site or add another if you so wish.
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 3: HANOI – DAY TRIP TO HOA LU & TAM COC – OVERNIGHT TRAIN TO LAO CAI (SAPA)
Meet your tour guide at your hotel and start a 2 hour road trip toward Ninh Binh Province.
Around 10:00am, you will arrive at Hoa Lu. Here you will visit the Ancient Capital with the remaining two temples of Dinh King and Le King. This visit offers you a chance to learn more about part of feudal dynasties in Vietnamese history, as well as the old feudal architecture of Vietnamese Temples. Leaving Hoa Lu you proceed to Tam Coc. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant (service local specialties. Vegetarian meal is upon request).
After lunch you will take a 5 minute-walk to the docks to embark on a three hour-boat trip to visit Tam Coc (you will sit on a sampan boat with local rower). Known as “Halong Bay on land”, Tam Coc are three limestone caves stretching along the splendid Ngo Dong River. During the boat trip you will enjoy the majestic and impressive natural landscapes reflexing from the spectacular Limestone Mountains, rice paddies and temples. You also explore three caves including Hang Ca (first cave), Hang Hai (second cave) and Hang Ba (third cave).
Return to the docks you will enjoy a leisure bicycle ride through the village lanes. Arrive at a mountain where you will climb a few hundred steps to visit Mua Cave and a small temple of Quan Am (the Goddess of Mercy. From the top you can enjoy the panorama view of the amazing rice paddies and the Ngo Dong River below.
After the tour you will drive back to Hanoi where your great day trip ends at around 18:00
Tonight your guide and driver will transfer you Hanoi Train Station at Tran Qui Cap Street to board the night train to Lao Cai. The train leaves around 21:00 and arrives in Lao Cai City at 06:00 in the next morning where you travel 1 hour to Sapa.
Overnight on A/C train
DAY 4: SAPA ARRIVAL – VISIT CAT CAT VILLAGE
Following a pick-up from Lao Cai Station on arrival, transfer to Sapa on the dramatic mountain roads of the Hoang Lien Son range. Check into your hotel on arrival in Sapa town center, and freshen up before breakfast. Then, start a walking tour to the hill tribe village of Cat Cat, home of the H'mong minority people. Discover H’mong villages nestled in the valley, and meet some of the hill tribes going about their daily lives. Learn about their traditional cultures and meet local families. Return to your hotel in Sapa for your overnight stay.
Overnight in Sapa
*Note: Overnight in a Hotel or Homestay upon your request.
DAY 5: SAPA – EXPLORE MA TRA & TA PHIN VILLAGE – TRANSFER TO HANOI
Following breakfast at your hotel, embark on a lovely trek along the buffalo trails of the surrounding hills. Pass several tribal villages, including Lao Chai and Ta Van, home to the Black H'mong, Dzao and Dzay minority peoples. Marvel at the spectacular scenery, inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can ever meet. Once on the valley floor, appreciate the beauty of the surrounding valley, walled by the multi-layered rice terraces and scattered villages. Return to Sapa for transfer to Lao Cai Railway Station after dinner at the hotel, the return train ride to Hanoi. Tour services end at Hanoi Train Station, from where you can easily catch a taxi to hotels in the Old Quarter.
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 6: HANOI – TRANSFER TO HA LONG BAY – OVERNIGHT ONBOARD
In the morning, your Halong Bay experience begins with pickup at hotels in Hanoi for the 3.5-hour drive to Hong Gai Tourist Wharf, where you'll check in at the Lounge, the private waiting area to board your boat. Just after midday, embark and listen to a cruise briefing before enjoying lunch on board while you cruise through the limestone islands of Bai Tu Long Bay. In the afternoon, you are free to choose one of the following activity options. Option 1: Fishing village visit If you're interested in a glimpse of daily life here, take a bamboo boat trip (about 45 minutes) around Vung Vieng, one of the largest fishing villages in Halong Bay. See local fishermen at work, and admire the setting in a closed lagoon, surrounded by mountains. Option 2: Beach and kayaking If you prefer water and sand, board the tender for the ride to Ban Chan beach, where you can relax on the beach, go swimming, play some volleyball, or try kayaking. In the early evening, return to Oriental Sails to freshen up, watch the sunset, and purchase a drink at the bar during happy hour, if you wish. A cooking class with the onboard chef is offered before dinner is served. Then go night squid fishing, if you're interested, or participate in singing and dancing activities before bedtime.
Overnight on the traditional junk.
Meals: Lunch/ Dinner
DAY 7: HA LONG BAY – HANOI
In the early morning, begin the day with Tai Chi on the sundeck, and enjoy the views with a cup of tea or coffee. You'll eat breakfast while cruising to Thien Canh Son Cave, a medium-sized, less-visited cave in Bai Tu Long Bay. Then check out of your room, leaving your luggage at reception while you eat lunch on board. When you return to the harbor at midday, disembark the boat for the transfer back to Hanoi, where your tour ends with hotel drop-off in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 8: HANOI CITY – DEPARTURE
Today is on your own leisure. Breakfast is still included and check out is at mid-day.
Depending on your departure time a private driver will collect you from the hotel and transfer you back to the airport for your departure flight.
- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can customize this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL PRICES (VALID: MAY 01. 2018 – OCT 31.2018)
|Your private party of||1pax||2pax||3pax||4pax||5pax||6pax||Single Sup|
|Price Before (USD)|
|Price Now (45% OFF- USD)||$1,025||$695||$637||$587||$561||$547||$169|
Inclusions & Options
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vihicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- All domestic flights
- Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Your International Flights Vietnam and Cambodia entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
- From 30 to 7 days prior to check-in: 10% of total rates
- From 6 to 3 days prior to check in: 50% of total rates.
- Less than 3 days prior to check-in: 100% of total rates.
- No-Show: 100% of total rates.
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