Day 1: Hanoi and Arrival (D)
Upon arrival Noi Bai international airport, Cool Travel's guide will welcome you and then be transferred to your hotel in the city center. It is time for you to relax after long journey and overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B, L, D)
Hanoi is one of Asia's most enchanting cities. This northern capital is a quiet, contradiction of its southern counterpart. The many lakes, parks and cafes provide enjoyable escapes. We take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying homage to Vietnam's most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. The afternoon is free but as you are heading in a region inhabited by hill tribe people, we highly recommend that you catch a taxi out to visit the excellent Museum of Ethnology, situated on the outskirts of town. This museum is very child friendly with an outdoor section and many “hands on” exhibits.
We then travel on an eight-hour overnight sleeper-class train journey up towards the Chinese border in the remote north of Vietnam. The beds on board come with a pillow and sheets, although some people may wish to bring their own sleeping sheet (purely optional and not a necessity). Also, breakfast tomorrow will not be available on board, so it is recommended that you purchase some snacks before boarding in Hanoi.
Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat village Short Adventure Tour (B, L, D)
Arrive Lao Cai at 06:00 am, we will be picked up by our private vehicle then enjoy a comfortable drive cross the scenic pass of Sapa which is 1600 m high and 33 km long. The ride uphill takes a little over an hour giving you a glimpse of the stunning vistas and impressive rice terraces. Breakfast in a local restaurant as soon as we arrive Sapa then have some free time for a stroll around the town while waiting for check in.
In the afternoon, take a nice Adventure Tour to Cat Cat village to visit Black H’Mong minority people. Return to Sa Pa.Ending the first Day Trip in Sapa at the hotel .Overnight at the Hotel in Sapa
Trekking distance: 6 km/3 hours
Day 4: Sapa Town - Seo Trung Ho Village Real Adventure Tour (B, L, D)
Breakfast at the hotel then take a scenic drive for the second Day Trip into the lush valley of Muong Hoa to visit the Red Dzao people in Giang Ta Chai village. From here we start trekking for six hours just up and down through the forests of Hoang Lien mountain range, pass many beautiful terraced fields and totally untouched villages of various hilltribes before reaching our first homestay in Seo Trung Ho village, the home to the Red Dzao minority. You will have time to stroll around this beautiful village to get aquanted to the locals and visit the most beautiful waterfall in Sapa. Ending the third Day Trip at the homstay. Dinner and overnight in the homestay of a Dzao family.
Trekking distance: 18 km/6-7 hours.
Day 5: Seo Trung Ho - Ta Trung Ho – Ban Ho Village Real Adventure Tour (B, L, D)
Enjoy our breakfast with the family then start our fourth Day Trip as we depart for a climb over the pass via Ta Trung Ho village at the height of 1450m above the sea with great panoramic views of the vast valleys. Picnic lunch on the way before descending into Ban Ho village which is home to Tay minority and we will experience another night in the homestay here. Ending the fifth Day Trip at the homestay.
Dinner and overnight on house on stilts.
Trekking distance: 17 km/6 hours.
Day 6: Ban Ho – Sapa – Hanoi (B, L)
After breakfast with the family, begin our sixth Day Trip as we take a walk to a waterfall called Lavie which was discovered and named by the French. We leave Ban Ho and trek up the pass to Supan village where we will be picked up by our vihicle and return to Sapa town.
We have a free afternoon to explore Sapa town with great shopping at the market place before transfering to Lao Cai for a night train back to Ha Noi. Train leaves at 20:15 pm.
Trekking distance: 7 km /2 hours.
Day 7: Hanoi - Halong (B, L, D)
Train arrives in Hanoi around 06: 00am. Pick up at railway station and drive towards Halong Bay, truly one of Vietnam‘s most scenic impressive sights. On arrival in Halong, we embark on a boat for an exploration of the legendary Halong Bay. Along the trip we learn some kayak orientation and instruction in paddling techniques. We begin our first kayaking experience to discover the limestone karsts formations which are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Visit one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. At the end of afternoon, we return to our escorted boat for relaxation and dinner. The night paddle is available for kayaking fervor. Overnight on board.
Day 8 - 10: Hoi An (B, L, D)
In the morning you can wake early for a kayaking trip on the bay, if the weather is kind, before sailing back to the port. At Bai Chay, we disembark and drive back to Hanoi airport where we will board our afternoon flight to Danang. From there, we transfer by road an hour into Hoi An and settle in for our three-night stay in this historical "oasis". Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Hoi An was once a bustling port in centuries gone by, before the river silted up.
Today it is a delightful backwater town with an air of liveliness about it. The tranquility and charm of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. It is a constant favorite of our travelers and staff. The following morning a walking tour takes us to see a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. From there on in you will have free time to enjoy this idyllic location. Your tour leader will be on hand should your require assistance in booking any optional tours such as a bike ride to the nearby beach or a boat trip on the Thu Bon river.
Day 11: Lak Lake (B, L, D)
Leaving Hoi An, we continue north for further sightseeing. East Sea, enjoyed as an "R & R" spot during the Vietnam War, lies against a backdrop of the sensational Marble Mountains. The five peaks, which are actually limestone with marble outcrops, are also seen to epitomize the five elements: fire, water, earth, wood and metal. The history of the mountains is a rich one. They were once used by the Chams for religious purposes, but in more recent times became a haven for the Viet Cong, with its clear view of the Danang air base - at one time the busiest airport in the world. Good footwear is essential, as the path between the rocks are sometime slippery. The walk takes about an hour and involves climbing approximately 200 steps.
This afternoon, we board the flight from Danang to Buon Ma Thuot, the coffee capital of Vietnam, before transferring to Lak Lake late afternoon. On arrival we enjoy an evening boat ride in a dugout canoe on the picturesque lake. We stay overnight with the local M’nong people in their village long house where they will prepare a meal for us and then perform a traditional musical and dancing show. The M’nong are very poor and their lifestyle is quite simple and basic, however, this journey is in keeping with the adventurous nature of our trips and allows you to experience a taste of the "real" Vietnam. Please take with you a towel as there are none available at the long house. Bedding and a mosquito net are provided, however, you may wish to bring their own sleeping sheet.
Day 12: Lak Lake - Dalat (B, L, D)
This morning we start the day with an early morning elephant ride into the jungle surrounding the lake. There will be 2 passengers on each elephant and a mahout to guide you. Mid morning, we start our southbound journey with the first stop being Dalat, one of Vietnam's most charming towns. The three to four hour drive offers fantastic views as we wind through the highlands. The influence of the French is prevalent as Dalat was founded as a hill station to enable the colonials to escape the heat and chaos of Saigon. The city is set around a lake and surrounded by forests, waterfalls and rolling countryside. As the altitude is about 1, 500m above sea level you will find the climate refreshingly cool.
Day 13: Dalat (B, L, D)
We have a free day to enjoy the sights in and around Dalat. A pleasant way to get around is by bicycle and tandem bicycles are the latest trend. This is also a great place for sitting in cafes, relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere or for the more active, there are adventure activities such as abseiling and mountain bike riding that can be booked locally. Close to Dalat are local Lat and Chill tribal villages which we sometimes have the option to visit. However, we must purchase special permits, which our tour leader can help, us to obtain
Day 14: Da Lat - Nha Trang (B, L)
After breakfast we bid the Highlands farewell and take our bus for a drive to Xong Pha pass to Nha Trang, Vietnam’s premier beach city. There are many optional activities to pick up including a boat trip to one of the islands, a relaxing massage, a swim in the pristine waters, or a cool beer by the sea. Overnight in Nha Trang
Day 15: Nha Trang (B)
Days at leisure to sunbathe on the beach, enjoy your resort spa facilities or take an optional snorkeling and boat cruise day trip around the islands
Breakfast and accommodation at hotel.
Day 16: Nha Trang – Sai Gon (B, L, D)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Ho Chi Minh City for visit the largest Vietnamese city of 10 millions habitants. This teeming metropolis offers 300 years of timeless traditions and the beauty of an ancient culture. We visit Notre Dame Cathedral, The Central Post Office, City Hall, known as "Hotel de Ville", Opera house are Romanesque architecture. This evening enjoy your dinner on Saigon River. Overnight in Saigon
Day 17: Saigon Departure (B)
Breakfast. You are at leisure today for shopping until transferred to the airport for your flight home
Cool Travel can arrange additional customized trips if the above itinerary does not match your expectations.
Please click on the blue text that shows you the Video clips of the itinerary of this tour