NORTHERN VIETNAM HIGHLIGHTS
Tour code: NOVIH
Duration: 7 Days 6 Nights
DAY 01: HANOI - MAI CHAU - SONLA (L/ D)
Drive to Mai Chau, approximately 150 km from Hanoi, home to several ethnic minorities, particularly the White Thai and Muong ethnic group. Their traditional stilt houses are large structures with palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo floors. The kitchen is located in the center of the house; the cooking as well as the weaving of the colorful tho cam, the material used to make their clothes, takes place there. Visit Thai ethnic minority village. Lunch en route. Continue to Son La with stopover at Xaling ethnic village of Flower H’Mong and Green H’Mong. Arrive in Son La and check–in. Dinner and accommodation at simple hotel.
DAY 02: SON LA - DIEN BIEN PHU (B/ L/ D)
Visit Son La Penitentiary before departing to Dien Bien with visit of Thuan Chau market. On the approach to Thuan Chau, large groups of ethnic people may be seen making their way to and from the market, laden with baskets of goods. Continue to Dien Bien, crossing the most spectacular pass in Vietnam, which is famously named by local people as Pha Din Pass meaning “the Heaven and the Earth”. Lunch at local restaurant. Along the way to Dien Bien Phu, visit some local ethnic families and villages. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
DAY 03: DIEN BIEN PHU – LAI CHAU – PHONG THO (B/ L/ D)
Visit Dien Bien Phu Museum and A1 hill, then continue to Dien Bien Phu Cemetery to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the heroes who devoted their lives for the victory of the historical Dien Bien Phu Campaign. Visit General De Castries’s Bunker, Old Muong Thanh Bridge and Nam Rom river. Lunch at local restaurant. Proceed to Lai Chau along the bumpy road (approx 180 km), passing a series of ethnic villages of Kho Mu (Xa), Huoi Chan, and Bung Giat. Continue to Phong Tho on scenic roads, crossing the junctions of Da and Na rivers by the way of the Chinese built Hang Tom suspension bridge. From here the road weaves its way northwards through the picturesque and steadily more spectacular Na River valley, past more ethnic villages of White Thai, Kho Mu and later Red and White H’mong minorities. Arrive in Phong Tho. Dinner and accommodation at simple hotel.
DAY 04: PHONG THO - TAM DUONG - BINH LU - SAPA (B/ L/ D)
Depart Phong Tho town to Sapa along the most spectacular scenery on the way leading to Sapa. The National Road 4D climbs steadily, affording spectacular views of the surrounding hills. Once over the summit, the road begins its descent towards the town of Binh Lu, immediately you will begin to see groups of Black Dao people, whose villages are located in the surrounding hills. Arrive in Sapa and check in at hotel. Lunch at local restaurant. The afternoon is free for own activities. Dinner and accommodation at hotel.
DAY 05: SAPA - FULL DAY TOUR (B/ L/ D)
In the morning, short trek to Ham Rong Mountain; enjoy the minority show performed by the young minority ladies and men. On clear days you get a beautiful overview of Sapa town and will visit the so-called “stone forest” here. Trek back to Sapa, then visit the market. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon, take a short drive to Cat Cat village, home to Hmong people. Walk around the village and share the daily lives of the locals for a rare glimpse into their culture and customs. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at hotel.
DAY 06: SAPA - LAO CAI - NIGHT TRAIN TO HANOI (B/ L/ D)
Morning at leisure for own activities. Lunch at local restaurant. A scenic 6km drive brings you to Ta Phin village, lying in a hillside meadow. The village is home to Red Dzao and Hmong people. Late afternoon, drive to Lao Cai with dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight train trip to Hanoi in shared sleeping compartments of local train (sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment). Train departs at approximately 20:15hrs.
Note: Victoria Carriage (sharing comfortable sleeping compartments, superior 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment with air-condition) available on request for clients staying at Victoria hotel with surcharge.
DAY 07: ARRIVAL HANOI (B)
Arrive Hanoi train station morning at around 04:30hrs. Leave the train and transfer to your hotel in Hanoi (accommodation in Hanoi not included) or transfer to Hanoi Noi Noi Bai airport for onward flight (airport transfer at surcharge).
PRICE: USD/ PERSON
- All transfers and excursion per tour programs
- Good English speaking guide
- Sightseeing fees & boat rides as mentioned in itinerary
- Roundtrip train ticket Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi
- Meals as specified in program
- Water puppet show in Hanoi
- Hotels as listed with breakfast daily
- International airfares
- Personal expenese, drinks, ... and the others not mentioned above.