Day 1 HANOI ARRIVAL (-/-/-)
Upon arrival, meet & greet by Water Buffalo guide at Hanoi airport and transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Note: Rooms are available from 2pm.
Discover the District of 36 Corporations, a maze of streets composing the old town centre of the capital, bringing together several traditional crafts such as making and selling votive papers, bamboo products, etc..
The day is at leisure in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2 HANOI, FULL DAY CITY TOUR (B/L/-)
In the morning, tour starting by explore the capital, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the remains of the national revolution leader, the father of the nation rest (closed on Mondays and Fridays), and his former residence. Then visit the one-Pillar Pagoda, a historic Buddhist temple, built of wood on a single stone pillar, and Tran Quoc Pagoda, regarded as the most ancient pagoda of the city built in the 6th century and a cultural symbol of Vietnamese.
Transfer to the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Monday) which focuses on the 54 difference ethnic groups in Vietnam.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, continue to visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Then, enjoy a one-hour rickshaw tour of the capital and spend some time wandering in the old quarter and its antique shops. Then visit Ngoc Son Temple beautifully situated on Hoan Kiem Lake, and which is reached by a charming wooden bridge.
Overnight in Hanoi.
OPTIONAL: Water Puppet show.
Discover this Vietnamese ancestral art and witness a show composed of sketches representing the daily life and the beliefs of the rural environment. This will certainly amaze both children and adults alike!
Duration: 1 hour.
Day 3 HANOI-HA LONG, OVERNIGHT CRUISE (B/L/D)
In the morning, travel with our guide by road to Ha Long Bay, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Arrive in Ha Long by midday and board on a boat for a memorable cruise through the mystical Ha Long Bay.
In the afternoon, navigation between the karts, some of which display extraordinary shapes, if time and weather allow, stop for a swim in the jade-coloured waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
The day tour will be concludes with a cooking demonstration and preparation of tasty spring rolls. At nightfall, fishing for squid is open, the opportunity to discover Vietnamese fishing techniques!
Dinner and overnight on the junk.
Day 4 HALONG-HANOI/LAO CAI, O/N ON TRAIN( by minivan if you wish to go by freeway in the morning) (B/Br/-)
After the breakfast, junk resumes its course. During the morning, it crosses the bay and stop to visit a natural cave.
Brunch will be served on board before returning on the coast around 11h00 and transfer by road to Hanoi.
On the way, stop at the traditional ceramics factory at Phu Lang Village in Bac Ninh for a short walk along the street lined with varieties of workshops of home-made ceramic products. (Recommended with our guide).
On arrival at Hanoi, free for the rest of day.
In the evening transfer to the railway station to catch the night train to Lao Cai.
Overnight on the train.
Note: Any bus over 30 seats cannot enter the village of Phu Lang. This visit will be replaced by Dinh Bang village (on the way to Noi Bai) or Bat Trang village (on the way to Ha Noi).
Day 5 LAO CAI-HILL TRIBE MARKET-SA PA (B/L/-)
Arrive at Lao Cai railway station early in the morning. Depart to one of the minority markets of the region. Depending on the day of the week, this market could take place in different villages. Here different hill tribes gather to sell, buy or exchange daily life goods or handicraft. They also take the opportunity to get news from the neighbouring valleys.
Lunch during excursion.
In the afternoon, drive to Sapa and check-in at the hotel. Sapa is home to over 30 ethnic minorities and of the highest peak of Vietnam, Mount Fansipan (over 3000m high)
The evening is at leisure. Overnight in Sapa.
Sapa is a town of altitude, it is not uncommon to experience temperatures below 10 degrees during the winter (November to February); only few hotels offer in-room heating.
Due to the early arrival in Lao Cai, we recommend travellers to book a day use room upon arrival.
Day 6 SA PA-HILL TRIBE VILLAGES-LAO CAI/HANOI, O/N ON TRAIN (B/L/-)
After breakfast,meet our guide from the hotel lobby depart in the early morning for a full-day discovery of the minority villages located in the Sapa Valley.
First stop in Cat Cat village inhabited by a community of H’Mong. Then continue to get to Muong Hoa valley where you can take a walk from Lao Chai village (H’mong) through rice terrace to Ta Van village (4 km) to meet the Giay ethnic.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, continue the trekking toward the bamboo forest of Giang Ta Chai. This part of the trip is fascinating because of its picturesque sceneries and colourful ethnic minorities such as the Red Dao.
After a rest at the edge of a waterfall, climb a small hill before driving back to Lao Cai where you check in at a 3 star hotel near the train station for refreshment until transfer to Lao Cai train station to catch the overnight train back to Hanoi. (Hotel for day use is included)
Overnight on the train.
Note: The hike between Ta Van and Giang Ta Chai through the bamboo forest is quite sporting and the foot-path could be slippery. Depending on your health and climatic condition, this one can be replaced by an easier way to get to Giang Ta Chai village
Day 7 HANOI DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Arrival in Hanoi at early morning, met by our driver and transfer to your hotel for breakfast then free at leisure until transfer without guide to Hanoi airport for your flight home or next destination.
End of our services.