Day 1. 12 Sep 23 Arrival in Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi, the national capital and the heart of Vietnam’s growing economy. At 14:00, after dealing with immigration formalities at the airport, meet the local guide and drive to the city center to check-in the hotel. If time permits, take a first orientation tour around the city. Travel atop a traditional cyclo for a tour of the old city, then walk by the picturesque Ngoc Son Temple (the Temple of the Blue Mountain) built over a small islet at the heart of the Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword). Late in the evening, travel to the hotel for the night.
Day 2. 13 Sep 23 Hanoi – Moc Chau
Leave Hanoi for the approximately three hours’ drive to Moc Chau. Commonly dubbed as the Vietnamese “capital of tea”, Moc Chau is famed for the tea plantations that beautifully ornate the region’s rolling hills. Upon arrival at Moc Chau, disembark the car and join the locals for a walk amid the terraces as they pick the tea leaves. Stop by a local tea production center to learn about processing the leaves and packaging them to be sent and consumed by tea lovers worldwide.
Day 3. 14 Sep 23 Moc Chau – Mu Cang Chai
Leave Moc Chau and get into a region dominated by rice terraces carved into the mountainsides and the land of colorfully dressed minorities. En route, stop at one of Vietnam’s most beautiful mountain passes to enjoy the picturesque view of colorful fields carpeting the valleys perched below. Continue driving while occasionally stopping at minority villages for an up-close glance into their dwellings, vegetable plots, and daily lives. Late in the afternoon, arrive at a simple but cozy lodge located on a high hill overlooking the rice paddies, and set here for the night.
Day 4. 15 Sep 23 Mu Cang Chai – Sapa
After breakfast in the lodge’s restaurant, with a fantastic view over rice terraces, drive out of the lodge to a nearby village. Hop onto a back of a motorcycle (driven by a local) for a wild ride up the mountain to enjoy the view over the most iconic terraces in the region. Enjoy a stroll through the terraces while capturing images and indulging in the serene environment. This time of the year is when the rice is ready to be picked. The paddies are dried, and the terraces slowly shift from lush green to golden-yellow. Get down the hill and back to the vehicle for a ride along a road dotted with small towns and villages mostly inhabited by minority groups. Arrive in Sapa in the afternoon to enjoy a magnificent cable car ride to the top of Fanxipan, the highest peak on the Indochina Peninsula. This 20 minutes’ ride takes passengers to the peak at 3,413 meters, revealing the beautiful ridges and hidden valleys surrounding Sapa. Late in the evening, enjoy a walk through the lively center of town.
Day 5. 16 Sep 23 Sapa – Bac Ha
Prior to 1912, when the French built a sanatorium for sick officers, this area was solely inhabited by hill tribes, mainly the Hmong, the Yao, the Tay, and the Giay. Nestling at the foot of Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak, the Sapa region enjoys a very agreeable climate unlike that in the Vietnamese lowlands, which are hot and humid. This northern area attracted French people of all walks of life, among them missionaries and biologists. Over time, the French army’s growing presence stabilized the political borders with neighboring China, which made Sapa into a significant trading town. Drive out of town for a day’s walk through tranquil villages and rice paddies. In the afternoon, take the approximately three hours’ drive to Bac Ha, and set-in the very simple hotel for the night.
Day 6. 17 Sep 23 Bac Ha – Hoang Su Phi
Very early in the morning, walk to the famous Bac Ha weekly tribal market. The locals, from different ethnic groups, gather to trade mostly agricultural produce and a variety of handicrafts and purchase their own supplies. This is a unique opportunity to see a great variety of ethnic groups in one place, some of whom live up in the mountains where it is nearly impossible to visit them. Walk through the bustling market amid colorful booths, and see the locals as they sit for a cup of tea and exchange information on who has married whom, whose child has left for the city, and other essential news items. Later in the morning, return to the hotel, have a quick breakfast, and leave Bac Ha as early as possible. Two more minority markets await along the long and winding road planned for the day. These two markets are little known to outsiders, and thus, very few tourists ever make it that far. Late in the evening, arrive in a unique lodge at Hoang So Phi, and set in for the night.
Day 7. 18 Sep 23 Hiking Around Hoang Su Phi
After breakfast, hop aboard the car for a 30 minutes’ drive to the top of the ridge. Stop at a home of a Red Zao minority family for a morning tea before embarking on a few hours’ hike (mostly downhill) on a trail meandering between cultivated terraces, vegetable gardens, and the wild jungle. This is where an ongoing epic battle between the locals, on the one hand, and the wild jungle, on the other hand, takes place. Both sides are trying to reclaim lands for their expansion at the expense of the other party. While trekking, stop for a traditional lunch with a local family. In the afternoon, arrive back in the lodge for a relaxed evening in the serene environment.
Day 8. 19 Sep 23 Hoang Su Phi – Hanoi
In the morning hours, take another easy hike through the rice terraces of Hoang Su Phi, justifiably known as one of the most picturesque regions throughout northern Vietnam. Around noon, board the vehicle for the approximately five hours’ drive back to Hanoi, arriving back in the bustling town late in the evening.
Day 9. 20 Sep 23 Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
Depart Hanoi in the morning for the 3-4 hours’ drive towards the Gulf of Tonkin. On arriving, board a ship for a relaxing overnight cruise and exploration of magical Lan Ha Bay. This is the less known and less visited part of Ha Long Bay, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its landscape and geology. During the cruise, be served with mouth-watering fresh seafood while enjoying the bay’s breathtaking landscapes. Overnight in a private cabin aboard the ship.
Note: Visits and activities of the cruise might slightly differ depending on each ship’s itinerary. Your tour guide will be replaced by a local guide on board the ship.
Day 10. 21 Sep 23 Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Departure
In the morning hours, continue cruising around the magnificent bay. For those waking up early, a morning Tai Chi session awaits aboard the deck. Around eleven o’clock, disembark the ship and board the vehicle to drive back to Hanoi airport for the departing flight out of Vietnam
Note: Do make sure to book an evening flight out of Vietnam, or alternatively, contact us to book an extra night in Hanoi in case your flight departs the next morning.
Dates & Pricing
12th September, 2023–21st September, 2023
- $1,052 Per Person (For a group of 6 or more)
- $473 Single Room Supplement
North Vietnam private tour prices are quoted in US Dollar.
[email protected] reserves the right to change Vietnam private tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.
Prices are based on twin share occupancy.
Rates for private groups of 2 travelers and above:
2 travelers- US$1,540/ person
4 travelers- US$1,149/ person
- Accommodation at selected hotels
- Transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle
- Private cabin in a shared junk in Halong Bay
- English speaking guides
- Entry fees to all sites included in the program
- Meals as indicated in the program
- International flights to/from Hanoi
- Vietnamese tourist visa
- Travel/health insurance
- PCR/COVID tests, or any tests that might be required for international or domestic travel
- Expenses that might incur due to the results of COVID tests before, during or after the tour
- Expenses of personal nature (food and drinks beyond those provided, laundry, etc.)
- Anything not clearly mentioned in the program
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