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Untouched Charm of the North Vietnam

12/Days  Flexible & Private Tour
 HanoiPu LuongNinh BinhSapaHalong BayHanoi
Only From
$1139 $968
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Untouched Charm of the North Vietnam Untouched Charm of the North Vietnam Untouched Charm of the North Vietnam See all 161 photos
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This 12 day tour in Vietnam allows you to get insights into the North of Vietnam: from the beautiful regions of Pu Luong Natural Reserve – to the breathtaking mountain views of Sapa. You also have chance to experience daily life and culture of ethnic minority people and stay in traditional homestay and interact with local people in scenic villages during your visit. Explore the indeed local life, discover off the beaten tracks with a private trip with our guide and driver will definitely bring you an amazing overview about the magnificent nature and authentic interactions with local ethnic minorities of Northern Vietnam.

Highlights

  Experience challenging trek through magnificent landscapes of Pu Luong Natural Reserve.

  Trekking in the remote areas of Sapa that you cannot meet in other tours.

  Be warmly welcome by local host and overnight in homestay to experience the local life and learn the customs of some ethnic groups.

  Admire the majestic and unspoiled scenery with the colorful ethnic life in the mountainous areas of the Northern Vietnam.

  Get lots of funs and laugh when experiencing the busy traffic of Hanoi capital by a traditional cyclo ride.

  Joining the overnight cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay to avoid the crowd and fulfill your trip by tons of exciting activities: kayaking, visiting caves, watching sunrise in Taichi class.

Tour Summary

By Day Transfer Destinations Activities Meals
Day 1 Hanoi, Pu Luong Arrive at Noi Bai Airport, Transfer to Pu Luong, Enjoy handcrafted... L, D
Day 2 Pu Luong Trekking to the valley and through fields B, L, D
Day 3 Pu Luong, Ninh Binh Transfer from Pu Luong to Ninh Binh, Take a boat trip in Van Long B, L
Day 4 Ninh Binh, Hanoi Explore Hoa Lu and Thung Nham with visiting cave and watching bird B, L
Day 5 Hanoi, Sapa Drive from Hanoi to Sapa, Trek to some villages B, L
Day 6 Sapa Trekking through the remote villages B, L, D
Day 7 Sapa Drive to Muong Hum and trekking around B, L, D
Day 8 Sapa, Hanoi Enjoy Muong Hum Market (only opens on Sunday) and drive back to Hanoi B, L
Day 9 Hanoi Join city tour: Visit Ho Chi Minh Complex, Museum of Ethnology,... B, L
Day 10 Hanoi, Halong Bay Transfer to Bai Tu Long Bay, Explore the World Natural Heritage, Stay... B, L, D
Day 11 Halong Bay, Hanoi Enjoy last moments on the bay, Transfer back to Hanoi B, Br
Day 12 Hanoi Tranfer to the airport for your next flight B
  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Arrive at Noi Bai Airport, Transfer to Pu Luong, Enjoy handcrafted rafts on the river

Welcome to Hanoi, the heart and also the capital of Vietnam. After you get your luggage and pass the exit, you will receive the warmest greeting from our guide. Then, we will drive directly to Pu Luong via a breathtaking mountain pass giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley. Arriving Pu Luong, you will have lunch and take a rest.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of stunning water wheels. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes.
Arriving at a local fisherman’s house, you have a short rest to gear up for the bamboo river rafting with Dinh and his team. Float along the calm river and enjoy the views, in between learning how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts.
Arriving at scenic Tan Lap Bridge, you disembark to be transferred back to Pu Luong Retreat for dinner.
Overnight in Pu Luong.

Traditional bamboo rafting on Cham River

Immerse yourself in the nature by cruising down a calm river on traditional bamboo rafts and watch local farming life by on either side.This peaceful way of floating through the Cham River is unique experience and this is the best way to relax and explore beautiful scenery around you. If you want to be active, you can join in with your own paddle and experience the daily journey of the local fishermen. You also can combine this activity with the Water Wheels walk.

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  • Meals:

    Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Trekking to the valley and through fields

At 7:30AM: Start to descend into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you walk around tumbling rice terraces. Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation to slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. 
Continuing to the base of the valley, you will trek through villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open land to Hieu Village
Then, we come back to the Retreat and you will have free time to discover the area by yourself.
Overnight in Pu Luong.

Discover amazing Pu Luong Nature Reserve

The Pu Luong limestone landscape is an area of outstanding beauty, culture interest and high biodiversity value stretching from Mai Chau in the North to West to Cuc Phuong national park in the South East. It is blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking scenery. On this tour, you will experience the everyday life and culture of Thai and Muong people, stay in scenic villages and in traditional homestay accommodation.Pu Luong Nature Reserve offers opportunities for easy to moderate trekking, ranging from one to several days’ visits. Visit the bat cave at Kho Muong, raft on Ma River, journey to pleasant Thai villages or camp on the Pu luong mountain for stunning panorama are waiting for you to experience.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Transfer from Pu Luong to Ninh Binh, Take a boat trip in Van Long

After having breakfast we may relax or we will visit around then take the trekking to around the village nearby. We will get back to our car for the transfer to Ninh Binh along Ho Chi Minh road. Today, we will visit Van Long Nature Reserve and board a bamboo rowboat as soon as we arrive for 1 hour rowing along this beautiful wetland of Van Long, enjoying spectacular scenery surrounded by rice paddies and towering limestone mountain peaks.

Afterwards, we transfer to our hotel in Ninh Binh to check in. Have your free time to discover. 

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Explore the unique Van Long Nature Reserve

Far about 82 km from Hanoi capital to the south, Van Long Nature Reserve is situated in the north of Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh province.As the transition region between the plain and the mountainous region, the reserve retains the diverse and varied terrain, including a tropical forest ecosystem in karst and the vast system of marshes. Heaving rock islands standing in immense waters has turn Van Long into a unique complex and charming landscapes, a great potential land in Ninh Binh tourism. You will have chance to  admire the reserve will have the opportunity to view rich flora and fauna within the most bio-diversified wetland in Vietnam, according to research by national and international scientists.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

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    Explore Hoa Lu and Thung Nham with visiting cave and watching bird

At 8:00AM: we will start our tour with the very first stop is the ancient capital Hoa Lu the capital of the Dinh and Early Le dynasties. Inside the place, we will see the Dinh - Le sanctuary, statues of the Emperors and many others historical relics.
Continue to Thung Nham bird park. The best time for the bird park in late afternoon, sit quietly on a boat and slowly paddle through Thung Chim (Thung Nham), discover the most features of this area with more than 4,000 birds of 40 species flying to inhabit every day. Your best chance to take nice photos and immerse yourself in the wild and nature.
At noon, we drive back to Hanoi. Free time to relax in Hanoi.  
Overnight in Hanoi.

Explore Thung Nham Bird Park

Thung Nham belongs to Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district in Ninh Binh province and is surrounded by tropical forests over limestone mountain chains with a lot of valleys and caves. Thung Nham is well-known as a home of various species of birds such as stork, heron, mallard, Forktail, etc. Especially, there are also two rare species in the Red Data Book: flamingo and Phoenix. The best time to visit Thung Nham is autumn in the afternoon (around 5:00pm) because at this time, the birds often get back to their nests after searching for foods. This timing may vary depending on each season (earlier in winter and later in summer).Besides, take a boat trip on river and enjoy the peaceful and poetic scenery here with monumental limestone mountains reflected on the blue water with the flock of birds is also a relaxing experience. 

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Explore Hoa Lu - The first ancient capital of Vietnam

Situated in Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province, far about 100 km from Hanoi capital to the south, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is specially the national-level important cultural-historical relics. This is also the first capital of the centralized feudal state in Vietnam with numerous historical landmarks. Though having been chosen as the capital of Dai Co Viet (an old name of Vietnam) for a short time - within 42 years, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital witnessed such significantly important events related to the destiny of the country.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Drive from Hanoi to Sapa, Trek to some villages

Around 7:30AM: Our guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel and then we drive to Sapa.

Around 13:00: We arrive in your accommodation in Sapa. Let’s check in hotel and then you will have lunch and take short rest. In the afternoon, we can drive to visit Lech Village to explore local life of the ethnic minority like Dzao, Mong. Then back to your accommodation and it’s your free time to relax and time for dinner. 

Overnight in Sapa. 


Trekking in Lech Village

Lech Village is located in Thanh Kim Commune – one of the few areas that have not been impacted so much by the tourists. A walk through the villages there brings you an amazing experience. During the walk you will witness the stunning views of the valleys and rice paddy terraces.Walk slowly and immerse yourself in the nature: breath-taking view, fresh air and unspoiled scenery. Don’t miss the chance to refresh and learn about minority tribes and their way of living!

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

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  • Activities:

    Trekking through the remote villages

In the morning, we will check out hotel and drive to Nam Sai village. You will trek for 2 hours through Nam Nhiu Village. Take a short rest and you will trek for 2 hours to reach Nam Than village. Our guide will prepare a picnic lunch for you. After lunch you continue trekking for 2 hours to Nam Cang Village. 
After that, you will take the car and drive about 2 hours to go your homestay/ hotel in Nam Cang. Check in hotel and it’s your free time to relax. 
Overnight in Nam Cang.
Note: The total distance for trekking is 14 km. 

Trekking through the most remote villages in Sapa

The trekking route via the chains of villages such as Nam Sai, Nam Nhiu, Nam Than and Nam Cang villages. With this trekking route, you will enjoy beautiful views of high mountains, waterfalls and the deep valley. Accompanied by your guide, you will explore around the villages and interact with local people. Meeting the Blue H’mong village of Nam Than then reach the small and remote Red Dao minority village of Nam Cang. Nam Cang village locates at the most remote area of Sapa. The Red Dao women wear some of the most colorful and diverse costumes of all Vietnam’s ethnic groups. Herbal bath, local medicine and embroidery are some of the things that the Red Dao are very skilled at. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the natural life of ethnic minority groups living in the mountains. The locals will look with big eyes and followed by happy smiles as this is “off the beaten track”.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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  • Activities:

    Drive to Muong Hum and trekking around

In the morning, drive from Nam Cang to Ban Khoang passing O Quy Ho pass one of the most majestic passes in Vietnam's northwestern region. We will stop at O Quy Ho pass and you can take some photos here. Arriving Ban Khoang, you will walk to visit Ban Khoang and explore Dzao people’s life. Then we will drive to Ta Giang Phing village to visit the Red Dzao and Blue H'mong people, have picnic lunch in the local family before keep driving to Muong Hum. After check in the home stay we can walk around the village or even we can go for swimming in the lake nearby.

 Overnight in Muong Hum.

Conquer the daunting O Quy Ho mountain pass

O Quy Ho Pass is the king of pass at Vietnam and stand at the first of “4 great pass of Vietnam” which connects two Northern provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau. Coming through the pass, it is quite interesting to experience different weather types at almost same time (the side of Lao Cai is misty, the side of Lai Chau is sunny). From the pass, we can admire the imposing panorama of Fansipan mountain and Lai Chau’s beautiful valleys below blessed by nature. Come and see the majestic and hardly comparable beauty the pass has to offer.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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  • Activities:

    Enjoy Muong Hum Market (only opens on Sunday) and drive back to Hanoi

After breakfast we will walk from the home stay to visit the weekly market of Muong Hum (only on Sunday) where you can see all the difference ethnic minorities people like Ha Nhi, Red Dzao, White H'mong, Dzay...  All peoples in their best traditional costume. Women go to the market mainly for shopping and Men go to the market mainly for socializing.
After visit the market we drive to Lao Cai city for lunch before driving back to Ha Noi.
Overnight in Hanoi. 

Explore the colorful market of Muong Hum

Muong Hum market is located about 45 kilometers from Sapa town. It is opening on every Sunday where you can see the most colorful costumes of many ethnic minorities. Muong Hum market is organized on an open flat area at the bottom of a large & scenic valley by a small river and surrounded by the rice terraces.The journey to this market is offered with very nice landscapes of stunning mountains & beautiful valleys as well. This market is less touristic & intactly authentic in local cultures so if you want to stay away from the touristic markets, Muong Hum is good option for your trip. 

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

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  • Activities:

    Join city tour: Visit Ho Chi Minh Complex, Museum of Ethnology, Temple of Literature

08.00 AM: After breakfast at the hotel, our tour guide will come to the hotel and pick you up, then you will start the Hanoi city tour.

You will start with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Complex. Here you can visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where the corpse of Uncle Ho kept there. Next you will visit the Presidential Palace - a nice French architecture in the garden and Ho Chi Minh House on stilt. Visiting the house you will see the simple life of Ho Chi Minh - the president in Vietnamese's spirit forever. You will finish this area with One Pillar Pagoda - one of the most attractions in Hanoi you cannot miss with the special in architecture.

Having lunch and you will continue to the Temple of Literature - The first University of Vietnam. The next destination will be Museum of Ethnology to learn more about Vietnam Culture. Next you will explore Hanoi by traveling through the Old Quarter with 36 ancient streets in a traditional cyclo. This slow - speed tour will give your great chance to fully enjoy the classic and modern of the capital. The tour will end at about 04.00 PM then it is your free time to go shopping, relax in Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi. 

Traditional Cyclo Trip around the Old Quarter

To epxlore the Old Quarter in Hanoi, nothing can compare to a trip by the traditional cyclo. Traditional cyclo driver will transport you around the streets at a very leisurely pace whilst the busy traffic flows around you. Through the fascinating experience of rickshaws driving around the Old Quarter, you will experience the daily life of the local. It will be a very relaxing way to see the inner city and old quarter as well as travelling around the lake and french quarter. This slow - speed tour with extremely comfortable cyclo in good condition will give your great memory for you holiday to fully enjoy the classic and modern of the capital.

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Great time to exploring the rich history and culture of Capital Hanoi

Hanoi - a blend between the traditional and the modern beauties - a sedate capital with rich history and the unique architecture from East to West welcomes you. Ho Chi Minh complex with the Mausoleum, Stilt House, One Pillar Pagoda, etc is one of the most important sites which will help you to learn more about history, arts and architecture. Don't miss the trip to Temple of Literature - the first university in Vietnam and you will have chance to learn more about the education and history of Vietnam. If you are interested in the rich culture of the minorities, how about visiting Museum of Ethnology. The lively exhibition, informative messages and many interesting stories of traditions and costume will give you a fascinating glimpse into  many ethnic groups. Your visit will surely be an ideal choice in the holiday in Vietnam to to calm down from the hustle and bustle Hanoi.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Transfer to Bai Tu Long Bay, Explore the World Natural Heritage, Stay overnight on cruise

08.00 AM: The driver will pick you up at the hotel, departing 3.5 hours to Halong Bay – the World Natural Heritage recognized by UNESCO twice. Upon arrival, embark the cruise and enjoy welcome drink while having tour briefing. A sumptuous lunch will be served on board while the ship sailing further to the Bay, make your time to admire its dramatic limestone islands. 
You can rest at your leisure on the sundeck or relax in your cabin. In the afternoon, you will have time to swim in the warm and calm water or get on kayaks of your choice. Kayaking is very easy for all levels and ages to do. Our expert and experienced guide surely instruct you basic paddling steps before leading you to explore the extraordinary beauty of Halong Bay. After 01 hour exploring the bay, you will get back to the cruise for relaxation before attending Cooking class in the late afternoon.
Enjoy the superb dinner and stay overnight on board.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Enjoy last moments on the bay, Transfer back to Hanoi

We will continue our journey on Halong Bay in early morning. A Tai Chi Class on the sun deck is a must that you should not miss when on cruise. 
Sitting on the upper deck; you can relax, sight-seeing while taking photos of the magnificent beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water of the bay.
After breakfast, we will explore Thien Canh Son cave. Next keep cruising and passing the fishing village with its unique way of life.
At 10.30 AM, our boat cruises back to the jetty, and you will enjoy the last moment in the bay before having a traditional Vietnamese lunch.
You leave the boat around 12:00 at noon, we go ashore and transfer back to Hanoi.
About 04.30 PM, you will arrive at your hotel in the Old Quarter. Enjoy the last night in Hanoi.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Brunch