Vietnam is located in South East Asia, it is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, and Cambodia to the Southwest.
Vietnam is rich in culture and soaked with tradition. There is a warmth to the people and the layers of culture are diverse. Inspiring landscapes are around every corner. History of war and foreign occupation is now history and can only be found in museums.
At the beginning of the Bronze Age, the Viet tribe groups had settled in the North and North-Centre Vietnam
. There were about 15 groups of Lac Viet tribesmen living mainly in the northern highlands and delta, and a dozen Au Viet groups living in Viet Bac, the northern region of old Vietnam
. At that time, the two ethnic tribes of the Lac Viet and Au Viet lived together in many areas with other inhabitants.
In terms of meaning, there are many theories that prove the words Vietnam are created by combining two racial and geographic elements, which is understood as Viet people from the south. During the reign of King Minh Mang (1820-1840), the name of the country was changed to Dai Nam, but Vietnam was still widely used in many literary works, civil business affairs, and social relations.
Arrival in Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival in Hanoi international airport, you will be met and transfered to the hotel. Relax for the rest of the day.
In the afternoon, you will take one-hour cycling around the Old Quarter, known as the 36 streets; this bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Originally, each of the 36 streets names’ was related to the products being sold there.
Before you go back to the hotel, you will have chance enjoy the unique Water Puppet show. Hear the Vietnamese traditional instruments and singing from the live musicians who play throughout the show. In the evening, you will be met again for your welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant in town.
Overnight at the Hotel.
Hanoi – City tour – Night train to Sapa (B, L, D)
Today you start our one day city tour from the lobby of the hotel. You will drive to Ho Chi Minh Complex, where you will spend a couple of hours to visit: Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh museum and one pillar pagoda. Keep going to see the Temple of Literature: Originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society placed then and now on education. Lunch will be at a fine local restaurant in Hanoi.
In the afternoon, you will visit one of the most interesting museums in Vietnam; Museum of Ethnology, which is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. Following that, you will wander around the city by car to see the real life of Hanoian as well as the difference parts the city.
In the evening you transfer to Hanoi Railways station for your night train to Sapa. Overnight on train.
Sapa- Tram Ton – Sin Chai (B, L, D)
Arriving at Lao Cai Railways station very early morning. You transfer to Sapa for our breakfast. After that, you transfer to the Silver Waterfall where you will be able to take a short walk to the waterfall. You will then be driven further to Heaven Gate, the highest peak of roads in Vietnam. From there you can see Fansipan, the highest peak of Indochina mountains as well as enjoy stunning views. You start descending nearby the waterfall. The trail takes you all the way downhill through bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park. Your lunch will be served at a nice spot nearby a river.
After lunch, you continue the trek to Sin Chai village of Black H’mong minority, where Community Based Tourism in Sapa takes place. You will have opportunity to explore daily life of one of the largest group ethnic minorities in Sapa area. Here you spend the night in local house/ Camp.
Approx: 40 minutes driving/ 4 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch
Sin Chai – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho (B, L, D)
After having breakfast, you start heading up the mountain. Once we get to the top, you will trek on a small trail with spectacular view and then gradually descend to Cat village, where you will have lunch nearby a waterfall. In the afternoon, you take a trail sneaking through mountain. 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 in a nice spot nearby the beautiful river before climbing toward a road, where you return Sapa by car.
Approx: 5 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch
Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Tavan (B, L, D)
Today’s trek will continue along Hoang Lien mountain range, which offers you many opportunities to enjoy view over huge rice paddy terraces in Muong Hoa valley, the largest one in the area.
After lunch at a nice spot, you descend into the bottom of the 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 spend the night in a traditional 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.
Approx: 4 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch
Tavan – Seomity (B, L, D)
After having breakfast, you start today’s trek, which is mostly uphill until lunch time. 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 the legs.
Approx: 4 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch
Seomity – Den Thang – Ta Trung Ho (B, L, D)
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 become 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.
Approx: 6 hours walking, 1-hour lunch
Ta Trung Ho – Nam Toong – My Son – Thanh Phu (B, L, D)
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.
Approx: 7 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Thanh Phu – Nam Cum – Sin Chai (B, L, D)
Today’s trek will be relatively short and soft. Once leaving Thanh Phu, you follow the trekking route built in the bottom of the valley, which offers the best view to the surrounding mountains. You stop at a nice spot for lunch. After lunchtime, you continue the walk toward Sin Chai village of Red Dao minority where the night will be spent in a bamboo hut in the village.
Approx: 3 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch
Sin Chai – Nam Ket –Ben Den – Lao Cai – Night train to Hanoi (B, L, )
You wake up for an early breakfast and repack our luggage for the long trek heading toward Lao Cai. Once we leave Sin Chai, the trip takes us into a fabulously mountainous area, the most remote part of Sapa. On route you meet children’ curious eyes as you are very first tourists passing by. Red Dao ethnic minority inhabits the entire area. You will enjoy the fresh of bamboo forest and jungle until you make a stop at Nam Ket for lunch. After lunch, your trek will be mostly downhill. After about half an hour, you will have a opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful view of days over a green valley lying along the Red River. You eventually arrive in Ta Thang village of Tay minority. Here you will be transferred by car to Lao Cai.Tonight you take night train back to Hanoi.
Approx: 7.5 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Hanoi – Free day at easy(B)
Arriving in Hanoi early morning, you will transfer to hotel for your relax. Check in up on arrival and breakfast at the hotel. Relax all day in Hanoi.
Hanoi – Halong Bay for kayaking (overnight on deluxe junk) (B, L, D)
Depart for Halong Bay in an air-conditioned shuttle bus from 8:00 – 8:30. Arrive in Halong around 12:30pm. The crew welcomes you on board the CLASSIC SAIL. Enjoy welcome drink, check-in to your cabin. Lunch with fresh seafood is served at 1:30pm. Starting cruise into mystic Halong Bay to see the amazing karsts with different formations: Incense Burner, Finger Islet, Fighting Cock, Stone Dog…Stop in floating fishing village- Van Gia village with its unique way of life for kayaking under trolling around the cave. Then head to the island for swimming, sun bathing, kayaking through Bright and Dark Caves. There will be traditional games available for evening entertainment.
Dinner and overnight on CLASSIC SAIL junk.
Halong Bay – Hanoi (B, L, D)
Enjoy sunrise in the bay with a cup of tea or coffee with light breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the crystal-clear water of the bay. After breakfast take 1 hour walking around one of the biggest and most beautiful cave in Ha Long Bay.: Amazing Cave. Check out from 10:00 to 10:30. Cruising back to the jetty while brunch is served from 10:30 to 11:30. We continue cruising through the bay, along the way seeing more of the fascinating formations. Board arrives at habour by 12:00 for the drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Hanoi – Departure (B)
Transfer via: International flight – your arrangement.Today you will be transfered back to Hanoi airport for your flight to home.