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Northern Vietnam tour – 10 days / 9 nights
Tour Code: AD1
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Day 1; Hanoi city tour -Night train to Lao Cai
We will meet for a team briefing and embark on a tour of Hanoi City.
Hanoi is a city with a unique mix of French colonial architecture and Southeast Asian hubbub. You will see the beautiful tree-lined boulevards, the peaceful lake and ancient temples, as well as the busy markets, shops and cafes.
Your tour will include well-known sites like Ho Chi Minh‟s Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda (A small but significant pagoda with a Buddhist representation of the world), the Temple of Literature which was originally built in 1070, and the Old Quarter.
In the late afternoon you can enjoy the amazing water puppet theatre. We will have dinner before boarding the Night Train to Lao Cai. This train is a special experience and you will be rocked to sleep with the gentle rhythm.
Includes: Lunch & dinner
Accommodation: Overnight: train / sleeping car


Day 2; Lao Cai, BAC Ha market - Sapa
When the train arrives in Lao Cai early morning we will be met by our guide and transferred to a hotel to freshen up and enjoy a Vietnamese breakfast.Today we will visit the Bac Ha market (Sunday) and drive about 60km along the border between Vietnam and China, with ample time to take photos of the green tea plantation and the amazing landscape of rice terraces. You will have the opportunity to see the local people making noodles.On visiting the local market our guide will explain all about the local produce and the many different colorful hill tribe ethnic groups such as the flower H‟mong, the Tay and the Phu La.You will then continue for a short walk to the animal market where they sell Buffalo, pig, swans and dogs.We will have lunch in a local restaurant before departing back to Sapa where you have free time to explore this interesting town and hopefully make friends with the local black H‟mong tribe.We will overnight in a comfortable hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 3; Sapa - Matra and Taphin village
The third day begins with a short vehicle ride until we get out of the town to the start of the trek.
We trek along the valley to Matra village where we visit a local house of the Black H‟mong ethnic tribe and see how they dye their cloth from indigo and weaving cloth from hemp.We continue along the valley to Taphin village passing 1000‟s of rice terraces and a beautiful lush green landscape to where we will stay the night in a local house of the red Dzao tribe.On arrival we will take a walk with the owner of the house and pick up some fresh medicinal herbs to boil up and put inside a wooden tub. You will then lay your body in a herbal tub to relax after your days walking. Sheer pleasure and what better way to end the day before dinner!We will share a family dinner and stories with our local host before retiring to bed.
Accommodation: Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Day 4; Taphin-Trung trai -Sapa
There will be no chance to sleep in due to our early morning wakeup call from the sounds of the water buffalo and roosters. What better way to enjoy a cup of coffee and local pancake with Sapa honey for breakfast.
After saying goodbye to our new found friends we will start our trek with a 2 km walk along a dirt road to get out of the village then follow the singer trail to Trung Chai village. We are rewarded with our walk of spectacular views of the valley and the surrounding mountain range. Upon reaching the main road our guide will prepare a delicious picnic at a local house.
After lunch we will transfer back to Sapa by car, arriving about 2pm.There will be time to rest and relax after preparing our mountain bikes for our cycle ride the following day.After dinner we will be entertained by a local ethnic group with music and dancing. You will have a chance to join in with the locals and also perform an item in appreciation.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 5; Sapa - heaven gate -Than Uyen cycling
After breakfast our support vehicle will transfer you out of town to the Silver Waterfall where we start our cycle ride climbing out of Sapa to Heaven‟s Gate.
From there it‟s a 3km climb up to the highest mountain pass in Indochina where we will stop to marvel at the spectacular view of the Hoang Lien Mountains before free wheeling down 27km to Binh Lu junction.
Heading off the main road, it is 25kms of sometimes rocky road to Than Thuoc, a charming little tea town where you we‟ll stop, rest and enjoy a cup of green tea.
After tea and depending on your energy level, you can bike for another 40km or climb in the support vehicle for the transfer to Than Uyen town to spend the night in a local guest house.
Accommodation: Guest house
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 6; Than Uyen - Muong Kim - Van Ban cycling
After breakfast we continue our cycle ride with a 10kms up and down hill ride to Muong Kim village where we will have time to visit and discover the daily life of the Thai hill tribe.
From here our support vehicles will transfer us up a steep mountain pass where you can cycle (or stay in the support vehicle) and glide down 20km into the Minh Luong valley with the surrounding area being forest and verdant rice paddies.
After lunch in Minh Luong we will explore some single track trails to visit local ethnic minority villages where we will meet the interesting Lu people with their distinctively black teeth.
Our day ends when we arrive in Van Ban town have dinner and a well-earned rest.
Accommodation: Guest house
Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 7; Van Ban ,Tang Loong Lao Cai cycling
After a good breakfast we ride approximately 40 km around to the other side of the stunning Minh Luong valley, stopping to take photos along the way of the local hill tribe people and the beautiful scenery.
After arriving in Vo Lao we will take a swim in the river and eat a delicious lunch before climbing on board our support vehicle to drive back to Lao Cai.
In Lao Cai there is a time for a hot shower before having dinner and boarding our overnight train back to Hanoi.
Accommodation: Overnight: train / sleeping car
Includes: Breakfast, Lunch & dinner


Day 8; Hanoi Halong Bay
After arriving in Hanoi we will be transferred to our hotel to relax, shower and have breakfast.
After breakfast a vehicle will pick us up from our hotel for a drive 3 hour to arrive in Halong city.
Here we will get on a small junk and cruise for about 30 minutes to the mother junk (3 star junk) check in and enjoy a very yummy lunch of fresh sea food while the junk cruises along the green bay with thousands of limestone Islands.
We will visit the floating village and enjoy the spectacular view of this amazing bay, visit the Sung Sot cave
Your guide will give basic instruction in kayaking so we can enjoy one hour of kayak through the luon cave (kayak under the stone) as well as kayak along the fishing village.
We will rejoin the mother junk and cruise through the bay to Gia Luan harbour where you will spend the night on board.
Here you have time for swimming and watching the sunset before dinner. This will be a great night on board with a million stars in the night sky
Accommodation: On board traditional junk
Includes: Breakfast, Lunch & dinner


Day 9; Halong Bay -Cat Ba Island - Monkey island resort
We will enjoy an early morning swim at sunrise with the local sea life and have breakfast before saying good bye to the mother junk.
We will then transfer through the Cat Ba National Park to Cat Ba Island. From here we will get on the small junk and cruise through the bay with different scenery for about 45 minutes to the Monkey island resort where you will spend the second night in a sea view bungalow.
Lunch will be served at the resort and in the afternoon there will be an option for more kayaking, a one hour trek on the rock trail to visit the wild monkeys or just kick back and relax. After returning from our walk to the resort we will enjoy a buffet dinner with delicious sea food
Accommodation: Resort sea view bungalow
Includes: Breakfast, Lunch & dinner


Day 10; Monkey island resort - Cat Ba - Hanoi
After breakfast and enjoying a swim we unfortunately have to leave our resort and transfer via a small junk (approx. 30minute) through the bay back to Cat Ba central.
Leaving Halong Bay and the junk behind us we will ride on the bus back to Hanoi.
Along the way back you will have time to stop and mix with the local people on their farm planting vegetables, picking up the sweet potato, plowing the farm etc.
The tour ends in Hanoi about 4 pm.
Incudes: Breakfast & lunch

 
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