Welcome to a world where the colours are more vivid, where the landscapes are bolder, the coastline more dramatic, where the history is more compelling, where the tastes are more divine, where life is lived in the fast lane. This world is Vietnam, the latest Asian dragon to awake from its slumber.
Nature has blessed Vietnam with a bountiful harvest of soaring mountains, a killer coastline and radiant rice fields, Vietnam is a cracker. Inland, peasant women in conical hats still tend to their fields, children ride buffalos along country paths and minority people scratch out a living from impossible gradients.
Vietnam is a nation of determined optimists who have weathered war after war, survived colonialism and communism, and are now getting to grips with the wheeler-dealer world of capitalism. Fiercely protective of their independence and sovereignty, the Vietnamese are graciously welcoming of foreigners who come as guests not conquerors.
Don’t believe the hype. Or the propagandist party billboards that are as common as statues of ‘Uncle Ho’. Believe your senses, as you discover one of the most enriching, enlivening and exotic countries on earth
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, you will be welcomed at the airport then transfered to Hanoi. Relax for the rest of the day.
In the afternoon, you will take one-hour cycle 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 our welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant in town. Overnight in Hanoi.
Hanoi – City tour – Night train to Sapa(B, L, D)
Today you will start your one day city tour from the lobby of the hotel. You will be driven 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 by 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 will be transfered to Hanoi Railways station for our night train to Sapa. Overnight on train.
Sapa – Tram Ton – 2800m (L, D)
You are having a couple of interesting days waiting ahead. You travel by car toward 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. The trek will be relatively soft until lunchtime. After a couple of hours of hiking, you will have a break at a nice spot in the forest and enjoy a good lunch.
With new energy you start ascending as well as descending towards the campsite. On rout you have many opportunities to enjoy the scenery and magnificent views to Sapa area and beautiful landscape of Lai Chau province. You will arrive to the campsite at 2800m ASL in the late afternoon. Now it is time to relax and enjoy a well prepared dinner.
Approx: 5 hour driving/ 6 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch.
2800m – the top of Fansipan – 2200m (B, L, D)
After having breakfast, you climb to the top, where you can celebrate your victory. From there, you can enjoy the best view to beautiful sceneries. You will then start descending. You stop on the way at a nice spot for lunch.
After lunch, you start the tough trek, which is all the way downhill through rainforest. This part requires a great concentration to step on steep trail until you meet the campsite at 2200m ASL. Here you spend another night in a tent.
Approx: 8 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch.
2200m – Sin Chai – Sapa (B, L)
You wake up in the fresh and pure morning in wild nature, before heading back to civilization. You trek downhill through well-protected forest and after two hours of hiking, you stop for lunch.
You will then continue descending toward Sin Chai village of Back Hmong minority. On the way you will be able to enjoy valley views and beautiful surrounding. You stop at the village for a while before you go by car back to Sapa, where you can celebrate your achievement and relax.
Approx: 5 hour driving/ 4 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch.
Sapa – Free day – Night train to Hanoi
You are free at your leisure today. In the afternoon, you will be transfered back to Lao Cai for your night train to Sapa. Overnight on the train.
Hanoi – Departure
Arriving in Hanoi in the early morning, you will be transfered to a mini hotel for your relax and breakfast, then you will be driven back to Hanoi airport for your flight back home.