Highlights of the north

 

7 days

highlights

. Boat cruise in spectacular Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island

. Sapa overnight train

. Sapa hilltribe homestay and trekking

itinerary disclaimer

The itinerary attached is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in reality. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Please note that our brochure is usually released by the end of each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to improve the itinerary. It is very important that you print a final copy of your Trip Dossier to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans

 

DETAIL ITINERARY

Hanoi - Halong bay – Cat Ba Island – Hai Phong - Sapa

 

Day 1 Halong Bay, Junk overnight

This morning you are collected at around 8.30am by your guide for the 4 hour drive to Halong Bay . En route there will be a short stop at the Sao Do centre run for and by handicapped children. On arrival we board our deluxe junk, this traditional wooden sailing junk boat offers a unique way of navigating the limestone karsts of Halong Bay with all the comforts of a motorised, floating hotel. Once settled in, you start your cruise  round the majestic Halong Bay while enjoying a delicious lunch. After lunch you have the chance to explore some of the limestone caves dotted around the bay. Then, the captain will find a secluded spot where you can swim in the clear water of the bay, soak up the sun on the top deck. In the evening the cook prepares a sumptuous meal as the boat weighs anchor in the heart of the bay. For those who are interested, there is the opportunity to do some night fishing.

Overnight: On board deluxe junk boat

Meals included: lunch and dinner

 

Day 2 Halong Bay exploration

After breakfast, you are transfered to a day – trip boat with private crew and another wonderful cruise to the bay’s most untouched areas to visit Tortoise island , Man's head island, Dong Tien Lake, Van Gia floating villages..., if the tides are low, we have a chance to visit Ba Ham Lakes, Three Peach Island. Lunch is served on board by your chef, your cruise continues as you move around the bay finding more secluded lagoons for swimming or kayaking. Late in the afternoon we return to the mother boat for the night

Overnight: On board deluxe junk boat

Meals included: lunch and dinner

 

Day 3 Halong Bay - Cat Ba Island

Rising to the tranquil beauty of the bay you have time for an early morning swim followed by breakfast. This morning we continue to discover the natural beauty of the Bay along the way to Cat Ba island where you have the options of visiting the national park, cycling around town, taking a boat trip to Monkey island or simply lazing the day away on nearby beaches. We spend the night in the island

Overnight: Holiday View hotel or similar

Meals included: breakfast

 

Day 4 Cat Ba Island  - Hai Phong, overnight train to Sapa

We spend the mornig free at your leisure, a popular option is taking a bike trip around this beautiful island. After lunch we are ferried by hydrofoil to the sea port city of Hai Phong. There is time afterwards to take in some more sights of Hai Phong before transfer back to Ha Noi for the night train to Sapa, we travel in air-conditioned comfort in our soft sleeper cabins! (approx 10 hours)

Overnight: Sapa night train - private cabin

Meals included: breakfasts

 

Day 5 Sapa

You are met on arrival into Lao Cao in the early morning and transferred to Sapa by minibus, driving through dramatic and breathtaking scenery. The remainder of your day is at leisure to explore this fascinating town. You can take some exercise with a walk to Cat Cat village, set in a beautiful valley just outside Sapa. As you walk to the village nestled in the valley below Sapa, you will meet some of the local minority people on their way to and from Sapa. These minority people walk to Sapa to trade at the markets - always an exciting place.

Remember that the weather gets cold particularly in January and February so don't forget some warm clothing.

Overnight: Holiday hotel or similar

Meals included: none

 

ETHNIC MINORITIES OF VIETNAM

There is nothing better than walking amongst the rice paddy patchwork that makes up the mountains of northwest Vietnam . To awake and wander off from the village among the clouds and watch as the mist rises from the mountaintops is unforgettable. Vietnam is home to 54 ethnic minorities and a number of these have made the mountainous region of the north their base. During our time here we’ll meet many of these fascinating people and have the privilege of staying as guests in their villages. As we wander through the mountains we're constantly met by the delighted squeals and smiles of children and we'll see many members of the ethnic groups who still wear their traditional dress. We'll meet people dressed in exquisite hand-embroidered clothes,and others weaving fabrics, embroidering ancient patterns, dying cloth with indigo and using beeswax to create a batik design. The ethnic groups are well adapted to the harsh life on

hillsides, and you will see many terraces built into the slopes where rice and vegetables are grown.

 

Day 6 Sapa trek- Ta Van homestay

Following breakfast you embark on a six hour trek which takes you along buffalo paths and trails and through several hilltribe villages. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can hope to meet. Stopping for a picnic lunch along the way, you spend the night with a family in Ta Van Village, inhabited by the Zay people. These people have become very adept at rice cultivation, in marked contrast to the H'mong, and have a higher living standard as a result.

Overnight: homestay (multi share)

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

TREKKING

The mountains and valleys of Sapa offer spectacular scenery, clear air and fascinating hilltribe villages. The trek consists of a combination of walking and moderate hiking. For the most part, we walk along established tracks used by local people and the trek is led throughout by a qualified guide. Although everyone can walk at his or her own pace, there are some steep ascents and descents, which can be tough on your legs. We recommend that you bring hiking boots with ankle support as footing can be treacherous. You will only require a small amount of luggage during the trek, and you can leave the vast majority of your belongings in storage at our hotel in Hanoi , leaving you with only a small daypack to carry. Our accommodation will be in village houses. Basic bedding is provided, but we recommend you bring your own sleeping sheet. As we are trekking through one of Vietnam ’s most remote regions, please be prepared for very basic washing facilities

 

Day 7 Sapa trek- overnight train back to Ha Noi

After breakfast, you set off for a two hour walk to Giang Ta Chai village where you meet up with your vehicle to take you back to Sapa town. Arriving back in Sapa around lunchtime, you have a free afternoon to further explore the town before your transfer to the train station for the an overnight trip back to Hanoi

Meals included: breakfast

 

Your adventure ends upon arrival in Hanoi . If you do not have other arrangements in Vietnam , Cheap Vietnam Holidays can book additional nights for you at the starting point hotel

 

Tour includes:
• Accommodation with daily breakfasts
• Extra meals as per the itinerary
• All transfers and transportation as dedicated in the itinerary
• Tours and excursions as described in the program
• Local English speaking tour guide
• Entrance fees and permits where applicable during guided time
Tour excludes:
• International flights and visas
• Pre & post trip arrangements
• Transfers beyond the itinerary
• Entrance fees and permits during free time
• Travel insurance (compulsory)
• Food & drinks not mentioned within the itinerary
• Tips and gratuities
• Expenses of a personal nature such as bar bills, laundry and telephone charges
• Other services not clearly described in the program

 

General Notes:
• Cheap Vietnam Holidays reserves the right to alter or revise the prices and the itinerary when circumstances beyond the company's control deem it necessary.
• Accommodation in hotels is subject to availability. If the listed hotels are fully booked, alternate accommodation will be offered at the same level.
• If there are any requests regarding special meals, dietary requirements, early check in, late check out, adjoining room and so on, please inform the company when booking. Such requests are subject to confirmation and availability.

 

Before you travel it is essential that you read carefully this dossier which you can download from our website.

We regularly update our dossiers. Please check our website to ensure that you have the most up to date copy

The itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and DOES NOT form part of a contract between the client and Cheap Vietnam Holidays