13 days / Year Round
Pricing is based on group size and seasonality, please check with us to secure the best pricing.
• Spend two days on the water in Ha Long, kayaking and cruising on a beautiful wooden junk. You’ll see myriad limestone karsts, tiny islands, deserted beaches, and countless caves and lagoons, as well as floating villages.
• Explore the Bac Ha’s market, the most colorful in the region.
• You’ll get to see a dozen different ethnic groups and sample the wares of their skilled craftsmen.
• Seize the chance to really immerse yourself in the culture through a morning spent farming and cooking at Tra Que, a vegetable village renowned for its exceptionally aromatic and flavorful herbs.
• Discover the history and culture of Hanoi through its monuments, museums, and markets.
Day 1: HANOI
Your guide will meet you at the airport and you can settle into your hotel. Meals are on your own.
Day 2: HANOI CITY TOUR AND NIGHT TRAIN TO LAO CAI
Take a full-day tour of Hanoi. Highlights include Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, his former residence (a lovely wooden house on stilts), the nearby One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature, which was founded in the year 1070 AD and is famous for being the first University of Vietnam. After lunch, we’ll visit the Hoa Lo prison museum – also known as the “the Hanoi Hilton.” Later, we will explore Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple, built on an islet in the middle of the lake. We may also have time to wander the downtown area, visiting the colorful Hanoi market and the market district, where each street hosts vendors of a particular trade, including metal workers, funerary wreaths, and electronics. After dinner on your own, we’ll take you to the Hanoi railway station for a night train to Sa Pa.
Day 3: ARRIVE IN LAO CAI – SAPA TREKKING LAO CHAI – Y LINH HO – CAT CAT
After disembarking and taking a drive to SaPa, we’ll check in, have breakfast, and take a short rest. Then we’ll take another drive to Lao Chai village to start your trek, passing Y Linh Ho and Cat Cat villages. Beautiful scenery is waiting for you along the way. We’ll eat an al fresco lunch en route and return to Sa Pa for dinner on your own.
Day 4: SA PA – TREKKING MA TRA AND TA PHIN
From Sa Pa, we travel by car to the ethnic villages of Ma Tra and Ta Phin. Here you can take a gentle hike to experience the lifestyle of the H’Mong and Red Dzao, the two largest ethnic groups in the area. You will learn to recognize their distinctive clothing and learn to appreciate their stunning artistry and handicrafts. Enjoy a picnic lunch and then have the afternoon at your leisure to explore Sa Pa before having dinner on your own.
Day 5: SA PA – BAC HA TREKKING – LAO CAI NIGHT TRAIN TO HANOI
We leave Sa Pa town early in the morning for Bac Ha, moving along the beautiful mountain road. You will explore the Bac Ha market, the most colorful market in Northwest of Vietnam, where you can meet several different ethnic minorities and revel in the convivial atmosphere. In the afternoon, we continue to trek through some Tay villages and beautiful rainforest to visit Thai Giang Pho, the village of Flower Hmong people. You will learn about their daily lives, visit with local children, and enjoy the lovely views along the trail. Then we’ll head back to Lao Cai to catch the overnight train to Hanoi.
Day 6: ARRIVE IN HANOI – HA LONG
We arrive in Hanoi early in the morning and disembark to hotel for breakfast and a shower. After a short rest, we’ll head out to Ha Long, passing through large rice fields of the Red River Delta. Then we’ll board a beautiful wooden junk for a cruise on the bay and a fresh seafood dinner.
Day 7: HA LONG
Enjoy the spectacular aquamarine water as we spend the whole day kayaking through the area’s limestone karsts, tiny islands, deserted beaches, and countless caves and lagoons.
Day 8: HA LONG – HANOI – HUE
You will want to wake up early in the morning to enjoy the emerald water of the bay at its best. After breakfast, we will continue kayaking to an isolated beach and floating village, where we’ll explore a little before we meet up on the junket again for a light lunch while cruising back to the harbor. We’ll drive back to the airport in Hanoi, passing lively and colorful villages along the way, and then fly to Phu Bai airport and checking into our hotel.
Day 9: HUE CITY
In the morning, take a tour of the citadel city and enjoy the refined and distinct atmosphere of the town before visiting the Imperial Citadel. Then you will be taken to a typical garden house to discover the wondrous culinary arts of Hue. Lead by a master chef and his assistants, you’ll learn to make a variety of traditional dishes. Lunch will include your own creations as well as some delicious feasts by your chef. In the afternoon, we’ll discover Tu Duc mausoleum and Tu Hieu pagoda. Dinner on your own.
Day 10: HUE CITY – DANANG, VISITING CHAM MUSEUM - HOI AN
We’ll take the scenic Hai Van Pass to enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramas in Vietnam. You will also pass the quiet, white sandy beach of Lang Co along the way. On your arrival in Danang, visit the Cham Museum and its beautifully preserved collection of Khmer statues. We’ll continue driving to Hoi An and check into the hotel. In the afternoon, stroll through Hoi An town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site thanks to its well-preserved ancient streets and homes. Explore the quaint cobblestone streets of the town with Chinese houses that are more than 200 years old. Highlights of the tour include the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Phung Hung Chinese-style trading house. You will enjoy meals on your own.
Day 11: HOI AN – TRA QUE VEGETABLE VILLAGE - ANCIENT TOWN
We’ll bike through the rural scenery of Hoi An to a small vegetable planting village located on the banks of Tra Que lagoon. Tra Que village is well known for its special aromatic herbs, mint and basil. Although those plants are smaller than usual, they have an exceptional and intoxicating aroma. Get your hands dirty by helping the local farmers plant and water their crops. Then we’ll learn to cook some local specialties like Tam Huu, a combination of shrimp, pork, and aromatic herbs, which we’ll eat for lunch. We’ll return to Hoi An in the afternoon where you can spend your afternoon at your leisure.
Day 12: HOI AN – DANANG – SAIGON. VISIT SAIGON
We’ll catch a morning flight to Saigon before exploring the city’s historical sites: War Remnant Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office. After we check into our hotel, we’ll visit to the ethnic Chinese quarter of Cho Lon with the Binh Tay market and Thien Hau Pagoda. Meals on your own.
Day 13: SAIGON
Enjoy a morning at your leisure before boarding your return flight.
Purchasing local handicrafts from minority ethnic groups provides monetary support for their way of life. By supporting vegetable villages like Tra Que, we not only keep our money in the local economy, but we help preserve traditional farming and culinary practices.