The tour lets you experience the cultural tapestry of Hanoi, the natural heritage of Halong Bay and the scenic mountains of Sapa. Relax with great cuisine and shopping on your own while you explore Vietnam's capital before heading to Halong Bay for a unique overnight cruise in one of our traditional wooden junks.
Curl up on a night train to Sapa, one of Vietnam's most intriguing destinations, set high in the mountains near the China border; it is most famous for its terraced rice paddies and colorful local markets.
• Hanoi, the 1000-year-old capital, and a true gem of Asia• The natural grandeur of the World Heritage Halong Bay archipelago• Sapa - its valleys and mountain dwellers
• Wandering the medieval maze of streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter. Watch daily life. Find a good bargain. Pause for something cold to drink.• Peaceful cruise in the waters of Halong and Bai Tu Long bays• A light but scenic trek through Sapa's valleys and villages
[Day 1] Hanoi ArrivalMeals: N/A | Accommodation: hotel
You'll be greeted at the Noi Bai airport and transferred to your hotel at the city centre. Time will be free for your refreshment.
Overnight in Hanoi
[Day 2] Hanoi Free and EasyMeals: breakfast | Accommodation: hotel
A free day and night to discover our 1000 – year - old capital. In the afternoon, you'll have ticket for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam and a good light-hearted introduction to stories from its rural culture).
For a small additional cost, we offer day trip choices such as:- Full day guided Hanoi City tour- Cycling in Tam Coc, known as 'Halong Bay on land'
[Day 3] Hanoi – Halong BayMeals: breakfast, lunch and dinner | Accommodation: traditional junk
8.00 am - Depart from our Sales office (78 Ma May) for a 3.5 hour drive to Halong City through the Red River Delta. Transfer to a traditional wooden junk, for lunch with fresh seafood (vegetarians catered for) while you embark on a 4-hour cruise into the bay to see the incredible karst formations.
The cruise into the grand Bai Tu Long Bay through the limestone cliffs rising up from the emerald water gives endless photo opportunities. Our junk will reach a floating village and offers you a closer look at local life. We will then start cruising by another scenic route to the overnight anchorage spot.
[Day 4] Halong Bay – Hanoi – Lao CaiMeals: breakfast and lunch | Accommodation: cozy cabin on train
7.00 am: An early breakfast with tea and coffee will be available before a short walking tour to visit one of the most famous caves of Halong Bay. More gentle cruising before lunch on the boat.
Check out and return to the pier around 11.00 am and board the minibus for the ride back to Hanoi. Tour ends at the Handspan office around 4.00 pm. Free time for dinner.
8:00 pm: Handspan's minibus will take you to the Hanoi railway station to catch the night train to Lao Cai (9.20 pm – 5.30 am).
[Day 5] Lao Cai - SapaMeals: breakfast, lunch and dinner | Accommodation: hotel
5.00 am: Arrive in Lao Cai and be transferred by shuttle bus to Sapa. The bus ride uphill to Sapa takes a little over an hour giving you a glimpse of the stunning vistas and impressive rice terraces.
On arrival, you will stop by our office and leave your luggage and possibly take a shower in our partner hotel’s waiting room.
7.00 am: Have breakfast at a local restaurant.
9.00 am: Start trekking from Sapa to Ta Phin valley. We start from Sapa and walk through the town for about 20 minutes before turning to a dirt road to Ma Tra, a black H’mong village. The trekking route offers a breathtaking view of vegetable gardens and rice terraces with green mountains rising above. There will be time for visiting with local families and learning about their traditional fiber processing. We continue trekking to Ta Phin village of the Red Dzao setting in one of the most scenic valleys. Here we’ll stop for a simple picnic lunch before exploring the village.
3.00 pm: Return to Sapa by private vehicle to check in your hotel. You’re free to explore the town, its market and sloping streets decorated with many colorful handicrafts.
Tip from Handspan:At your free time, you could go up to Ham Rong peak where you are able to experience a stunning vista over the charming Sapa town. This is a great chance for some unforgettable photos! This is recommended for the good weather afternoon only (Entrance fee is not included).
[Day 6] Sapa Treking – Lao CaiMeals: breakfast and lunch | Accommodation: cozy cabin on train
You meet your guide and depart at 8.00 am and start trekking. The first part we will mostly trek down hill Y Linh Ho hamlet. The trek offers some stunning views of the rice terraces, gardens and Fan Si Pan mountain ranges. After going through a suspension bridge, we start walking up to Lao Chai San village. The scenery is great here as you will enjoy the view from a higher point of the rice terraces and small villages. Walk down through the village to the Golden Stream Valley, stopping at Lao Chai village for lunch. After lunch, we explore the villages of Lao Chai (Black H’mong) and Ta Van (Dzay) villages. This trek is relatively trouble-free though the trail can be quite slippery if it rains, so good footwear is recommended. You will visit some local families and learn about their daily life and fascinating culture.
After chatting one of the families in the village, we walk to the main road to meet up with our driver and return to Sapa town. Shower is available at our partner hotel’s waiting room.
In the afternoon, you’re free to explore the town, its market and sloping streets decorated with many colorful handicrafts.
6.00 pm: Bus departs Handspan’s Office in Sapa for Lao Cai.8.20 pm: Night train back to Hanoi.
[Day 7] Back to HanoiMeals: N/A | Accommodation: N/A
5.00 am: Trip ends at Hanoi railway station
Note: Transfer from Hanoi Railway Station to Handspan office or your hotel is not included in the tour price.
PRICE PER PERSON
01 Jan–31 Dec 2013
• Visa on arrival arrangement fee to Vietnam• Accommodation at all destinations• Meals as specified in the program• Water puppet show ticket• Travel in an appropriate air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced driver• Boat cruise on Halong Bay• Return train tickets Hanoi - Lao Cai in 4-berth, soft-sleeper cabin• The services of an experienced English-speaking guide• All entrance fees• VAT and other taxes
• International flight tickets and airport tax.• Visa stamp fee• Visa on arrival arrangement for passport holder from India; Sri Lanka; Pakistan; Middle East countries; Turkey; African countries... that needs special arrangement.• Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses.• Camera fees (if any)• Gala dinner (if any)• Insurance• Surcharge in peak season (Christmas and New Year)
Mid-range• Hanoi: Le Foyer hotel – Superior view• Halong Bay: Treasure Junk – Superior cabin• Sapa: Chau Long Sapa New Wing - Superior room
Superior• Hanoi: Serenade hotel – Junior Twin room• Halong Bay: Treasure Junk – Superior cabin• Sapa: Chau Long Sapa New Wing - Superior room
Deluxe• Hanoi: Lan Vien hotel - Deluxe room• Halong Bay: Treasure Junk – Suite cabin• Sapa: Victoria Sapa resort - Suite room
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