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The Essential North

The Essential North

Duration: 7 Days 6 Nights

• Highlights: Day 1: Hanoi Arrival / Day 2: Hanoi City tour / Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu, Tam Coc, Bich Dong) / Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa / Day 5: Sapa trekking – Lao Cai / Day 6: Hanoi – Halong Bay / Day 7: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure.

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D) 

Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be welcomed by our guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. You will have a chance to discover Hanoi which is one of Asia's most charming cities, with romantic boulevards and colonial houses.

Day 2: Hanoi City tour (B)
In the second day spend your whole day visiting the city with beautiful and historical places. You will have a list of options to choose from: - Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Presidential Palace- Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House- One Pillar Pagoda- The Temple of Literature- Vietnam Museum of Ethnology- Tran Quoc pagoda. Enjoy a performance of traditional Water Puppet show, the unique of traditional art in Southeast Asia. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu, Tam Coc, Bich Dong) – Night train to Lao Cai (B,L)
In the morning, you will leave Hanoi for Ninh Binh to travel to Hoa Lu, Vietnam's first capital.- Take sampan boat to Tam Coc Caves.- Climb up Bich Dong Pagoda.Return to Hanoi in the afternoon. A leisurely dinner before transferring to Hanoi railway station for night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on board train with A/C. 

Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa (visit the tribe villages) (B,L)
Arrive at Lao Cai railway station in the early morning (6.00 am) and start with a 38-km-drive on winding roads up the mountains to Sapa. Visit Lao Chai village, Muong Hoa Valley and the magnificent surroundings of mountains and rice terrace fields. Next to visit the Black H’mong village in Lao Chai, walk to Ta Van village and back to Sapa town by car in the afternoon. Free time at leisure to discover Sapa town in the evening. Overnight in Sapa. 

Day 5: Sapa trekking – Lao Cai – Night train back to Hanoi (B,L)
Breakfast at your hotel and start visiting Suoi Ho village, the hospitable villages of the Black Hmong ethnic minority people of Ma Tra and trek to Ta Phin village where you will meet the Red Dao people.In the late afternoon, we will drive you to Lao Cai railway station for night train back to Hanoi. 

Day 6: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Arrive at Hanoi railway station in the early morning. Simple breakfast and we will drive to travel to Halong Bay, one of Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong and embark the traditional Vietnamese junk boat. Sea-food lunch as you cruise among hundreds of islets to discover Halong Bay with “Sung Sot”, one of the most beautiful and largest grottos of the Bay. Evening enjoy a delicious fresh seafood dinner and some activities on board Junk. 

Day 7: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure (B,L)
Simply watch the sunrise over the magnificent bay or participate in Tai Chi on top deck and enjoy your morning cup of coffee or juice before setting out to the nearby cave on row boat. Cruising for beautiful islands and has brunch before disembarkation for the transfer back to Hanoi to catch your flight home.