In the Heart of Vietnam > 11 days North Vietnam

Ninh Binh, Vietnam
  • Discover the romantic landscapes of the high mountains of the North
  • Learn about the traditions and lifestyle of ethnic minorities
  • Introduce yourself to craftsmanship by admiring ancestral techniques
  • Travel off the beaten track in the heart of Vietnam
  • Smell the scents and savor the sweets of Vietnamese gastronomy
  • Experience a magical cruise in the famous Lan Ha Bay

In the Heart of Vietnam: 11 days North Vietnam

Song Voyages wants to take our guests deep into the heart of Vietnam. During the trip, you will get closer to Vietnamese culture for a more immersive local experience. From the frenzy of the capital to the mountains populated by minorities you will discover an interesting, intriguing as well as surprising facet of Vietnam but don’t forget about the ultimate reward: a magnificent sail in Lan Ha Bay, Halong Bay’s younger sister.

You will go on an intensive voyage of sensations and emotions through must-see and also lesser-known locations that are nevertheless interesting. An alternative to Sapa, which has welcomed mass tourism with open arms, go to Hoang Su Phi instead where the rice fields are endless. Furthermore, if seeing the two bays, Halong Bay on Land and Lan Ha – is on your “must do” list, a stay in Nam Dinh Province, renowned for the talents of artisans, will immerse you in another Vietnam. It is also a gastronomic journey that will awaken your taste buds. Accordingly, each province, even municipality, offers its specialties. Between land and sea, both in terms of landscapes and food, this trip will excite all your senses!

The Heart of Vietnam 11 days North

  • Day 1: Hanoi
  • Day 2: Hanoi – Lao Cai
  • Day 3: Lao Cai – Nam Dich – Ho Tau
  • Day 4: Ho Tau – Suoi Thau
  • Day 5: Suoi Thau – Su Phi – Xin Man
  • Day 6: Xin Man – Lao Cai – Hanoi
  • Day 7: Hanoi – Ninh Binh
  • Day 8: Ninh Binh – Hai Hau
  • Day 9: Hai Hau
  • Day 10: Hai Hau – Lan Ha Bay
  • Day 11: Lan Ha Bay – Hanoi
  • Day 1: Hanoi
  • Arrival at the airport, welcome and transfer to your hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight.
  • Day 2: Hanoi – Lao Cai
  • duong-lam_smallDeparture for the exciting local market of Ngoc Ha, stroll in the narrow alleys which make the characteristic of Hanoi. Break to enjoy a fresh fruit juice by the B52 lake, rich in history with the wreckage of an American fighter jet emerging from the water. Emblem of a Vietnamese victory over the enemy. Direction then the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, sacred place of Vietnam. After a local lunch, head to the Ethnology Museum to learn about the 54 ethnic groups scattered across the country. Stop at Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest in Hanoi, located on the shores of West Lake. Back in the Old Quarter, it will be time to start a gastronomic tour of street specialties. Then transfer to Hanoi train station to take the sleeper train to Lao Cai
  • Day 3: Lao Cai – Nam Dich – Ho Tau
  • tam-coc_smallArrival at the station, local breakfast and transfer for the first stage which will take you to Nam Dich , in the district of Hoang Su Phi. On the way, short break in the village of Bac Ha (visit of the market on Sunday morning) and end of the road to Nam Dich for lunch with the Flower H'mongs . In the afternoon, you will begin a trek in the mountains to contemplate among the most beautiful terraced rice fields in Vietnam and cross villages of the Daos with long tunics and the Nungs. You will dine and sleep with the Man Pa Tan minority.
  • Day 4: Ho Tau – Suoi Thau
  • After breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye to your hosts and resume the hike that will take you to the village of Ban Vam . The path will pass through bamboo forests, rivers, waterfalls and the "Ban Luoc Heaven's Gate ". Of course, the endless landscapes of espalier rice fields will take shape in front of you as the trek progresses. This is also the time to admire the locals working and living in their natural habitat. Lunch will be either with a Man Pa Tan family or at the “Ban Luoc gate ”. You will then arrive at Suoi Thau, located near the most impressive rice fields in the Hoang Su Phi district. The dinner and the night will be spent with a family of Daos with long tunics.
  • Day 5: Suoi Thau – Su Phi – Xin Man
  • After a 2h30 walk, you will reach Su Phi where the car will pick you up to start the transfer to Xin Man, the poorest district but of rare beauty. Arrive for lunch which you will share with the Tay minority host family. The afternoon will be devoted to discovering the places, enjoying the delicious mountainous landscapes and the local life. The dinner and the night will be spent in the company of the host family
  • Day 6: Xin Man – Lao Cai – Hanoi
  • In the morning, you will continue to explore this very untouristy town by hiking on lost trails. Lunch will be taken at the locals' before taking the road towards Lao Cai via a scenic route where stops will be made to take the time to soak up the air of the high mountains of the North before leaving them. . Once in Lao Cai, you will be invited to try the traditional Daos herbal bath to relax after long days of trekking. Dinner will be taken at a local restaurant before taking the overnight train to Hanoi.
  • Day 7: Hanoi – Ninh Binh
  • Arrived at Hanoi train station, you will have breakfast in a local restaurant then take the road towards Halong Bay land. Along the way, you will visit Vietnam's former capital, Hoa Lu, to learn about the country's history. You will then be driven to your guest house to freshen up and have lunch. The afternoon bike ride will pass through local villages through rice paddies and karst peaks to reach Tam Coc. You will board a sampan, a traditional boat, and sail on the river winding between mountains and rice fields. Back on the bike, you will go up to the Mua cave, which you can explore. But the main interest of the site remains the climb to the dragon temple to admire the splendid view. Local dinner.
  • Day 8: Ninh Binh – Hai Hau
  • The day will be dedicated to the exploration and discovery of local crafts. We will pass through the villages of Kim Son, Van Lam , Phu Loc , Ba Bot to try our hand at pottery, sewing and many others. The visit will also pass by the cathedral of Phat Diem, an impressive building dating from the 19th century. Lunch will be taken during the visit in a local restaurant. At the end of the afternoon, you will be transferred to Hai Hau , in the province of Nam Dinh. You will be welcomed in the charming Ecohost guesthouse . You will enjoy dinner to savor some specialties. Take advantage of the coolness of the evening to stroll through the streets of the city before spending the night.
  • Day 9: Hai Hau
  • In the surroundings of Hai Hau , some 70 villages of craftsmen are referenced and you will have the opportunity during this day to discover some of them. Wake up at 5am to catch the sunrise and watch the bustle during the seafood market after the fishermen return. Return to the Homestay for breakfast. After breakfast, you go to the village of Sa Chau fish sauce – which has been known for a very long time. It is an indispensable spice for the noble kings of the past. Sa Chau fish sauce has a good smell, pleasant unlike many others. The materials and production steps are also different from other sauces on the market. This village still provides fish sauce for kings and nobles. Departure to Xuan Thuy National Park. This park has an extremely diverse mangrove ecosystem with rare mangrove and bird species. The main asset of this park is being able to have lunch in the “clam pavilion”. You can experience clam fishing in the area around the lodge or in the Ngan and Lu dune areas of the national park. Arrival at the Clam Pavilion, rest and lunch with fresh seafood. Arrival in Hai Hau , where there are ancient churches such as Pham Phao , or the Ngoi Bridge existing since the 15th century. Afterward, you will proceed to Pham Phao Copper Trumpet Making Village – the first village that made and repaired western trumpets in Vietnam. Late afternoon at leisure before having dinner at a local restaurant and a quiet night at the guesthouse.
  • Day 10: Hai Hau – Lan Ha Bay
  • After breakfast, transfer to the magical bay of Lan Ha . Once at the pontoon, a small shuttle will take you to the main boat to start the cruise to Lan Ha Bay. Lunch will be served as the boat leisurely sails through the calm waters. The spectacle is dazzling as much by the beauty of the karst peaks gushing out of the water as by the color of the sea. You will beach the anchor for the first time for the first activities (depending on the cruise chosen). Back on the boat to enjoy a cocktail or a massage, the junk will sail to its home base for the night. Dinner served on board and quiet night lulled by the waves.
  • Day 11: Lan Ha Bay – Hanoi
  • Early in the morning before lunch, try your hand at a Tai Chi class on the upper pontoon. The cruise continues with the visit of the isolated village of Viet Hai. This fishing village is only accessible by sea or a long walk through Cat Ba National Park. You will learn the history of Halong Bay and the making of rice wine. A tasting will be offered. During the drive back to Halong pontoon , brunch will be served. Upon arrival, you will be picked up by the vehicle to return to Hanoi. Break at the ecotourism village of Yen duc on the way. Arrive in Hanoi around 5 p.m. Transfer to the airport or your hotel according to your schedule.
Sample Description
    Included:
  • Private comfortable car with air conditionning
  • Transportation mentioned (night train Lao Cai – Hanoi, Lan Ha Bay cruise)
  • Professional english-speaking tour guide
  • Local tour guide in remote areas
  • Accomodation
  • Entrance fees
  • All activities mentioned
  • Water
  • Excluded:
  • Visa
  • International flights
  • Drinks
  • Extra ctivities
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses