Focus on Activity

Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong – Sapa – Hue – Hoi An

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VIETNAM, CAMBODIA, LAOS, MYANMAR, THAILAND, INDONESIA & YUNNAN

Name Focus on Activity
Code FOCUS ON ACTIVITY-SEP14 ST
FOCUS ON ACTIVITY-SEP14 SUP
FOCUS ON ACTIVITY-SEP14 DLX
Validity
Duration 10 Days/ 09 nights
Tour Type Private round trip
Tour Start Daily
Destinations Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong – Sapa – Hue – Hoi An

Highlights

  1. Explore the alley ways and lanes of beautiful Hanoi
  2. Discover the majesty of Halong Bay
  3. Experience the culture and history of Hue and Hoi An

Day 1: Hanoi (-)

In the morning, arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city of tree-lined streets, colonial houses and centuries-old temples. Pick up and transfer to a hotel.

With its millennium-long history, Hanoi is a city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks dotted with French-style buildings and historical monuments. During this half-day city tour you’ll see cultural and historical highlights, comprising Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh’s former residence, Presidential Palace (for outside photo taken), One-pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, and Ngoc Son Temple. The tour gives you time for shopping and socializing with local people.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (B,L,D) “Cycling”

We depart Hanoi from your hotel at 8:00 am and head south for a 2-hour scenic drive. As soon as we arrive in Hoa Lu, we ready our bicycles and start cycling to the two remaining temples of the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu. Our morning continues with a 1-hour pedal to Tam Coc (12 km), passing scenes of local village life, rice paddies and ethnic villages. Our goal for the morning will be to make it to Tam Coc just in time for lunch.

After lunch we will spend some time relaxing on a 3-hour boat trip then its back on the bicycles to Ninh Binh for check-in at our hotel.

Dinner and overnight in Ninh Binh.

Day 3: Ninh Binh – Cuc Phuong – Hanoi (B,L,-) “Cycling”

Wake for sunrise and breakfast, then load our luggage onto the van and it’s back on the bikes. Today we cycle to Cuc Phuong National Park, only 50 km away. Lunch in Cuc Phuong followed by a visit to the Endangered Species Centre, a prehistoric cave, and the thousand years old ancient tree. Then a short coffee break before boarding the bus back to Hanoi. We should be back in town at 7: 00 pm.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 4: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D) “Cruise”

In the morning, transfer to Halong (170km), a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO in 1994. Upon arrival, board a traditional Vietnamese junk at midday and enjoy a welcome drink. A sumptuous lunch is served on board as the cruise commences. The afternoon tour of this world-renowned bay takes you past towering limestone karst cliffs and several islands; in late afternoon relax and enjoy the sunset and then tuck into dinner on board.

Overnight on board.

Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B,-,-)

In the morning, after breakfast, we will head back to Halong wharf for the trip’s conclusion. In the late morning, we will drive back to Hanoi to deposit your luggage in a hotel and you will have the rest of the day free for leisure.

In the evening we will transfer from the hotel to the train station where you will take an overnight train to Sapa.

Overnight on the train.

Day 6: Sapa – Mong Sen – Taphin (B,L,D) “Trekking/Walking”

You will be picked up from the train station in Sapa by a local guide and transferred downhill to Mong Sen, where you start trekking through mountainous area. While walking, enjoy the spectacular view over rice paddy terraces and cornfields; a picnic lunch will be provided on the spot.

After lunch, we will continue our trek downhill towards Taphin village where you will meet Red Dao and Black Hmong minorities, two largest ethnic groups in Sapa area. Stop by a house to talk with local people to discover a bit more about their daily life, their customs and tradition. Have dinner and overnight in the village.

Overnight in Taphin village.

Day 7: Taphin – Marta – Sapa (B,L, -) “Trekking/Walking”

After breakfast we will start our trek towards Sapa, passing through several minority villages, rice paddy terraces along the way. Upon arriving in Matra village, inhabited by Black Hmong people, we will stop for our lunch. Then we continue our walk to Sapa.

Overnight on train to Hanoi.

Day 8: Hanoi – Hue (B,L,-) “Cycling”

Transfer from the train station to the airport and take the early morning flight to Hue.Check in to your hotel, freshen yourself up and get ready for the bicycle tour through ancient Hue.

In the morning you will meet with your tour guide at a hotel in the centre of Hue and start cycling along Le Loi Street. After crossing the Truong Tien Bridge, you will experience the real life of the locals at Dong Ba Market. Proceed by cycling along Dong Ba River; you can see the ancient waterways by which the Kings entered and exited the Citadel. We will then continue cycling to Bao Vinh, a former trading port of the Ancient Hue.

After cycling through the green fields we will stop to visit the Imperial Citadel, built in 1804 on a site chosen in accordance with the principles of geomancy. We’ll visit the palaces and temples of the Imperial City, created in the 19th century and modelled after Beijing’s Forbidden City.

After the visit, we will cycle along the famous Perfume River to visit An Hien Garden House, a typical wooden home among a variety of flowers and trees can be found.Leaving the garden house, we will continue to Thien Mu pagoda. The front of the Pagoda houses the seven-storey octagonal Phuoc Duyen tower, which has become the symbol of Hue. The other section of the pagoda is its rear portion, where the monks of the temple live and practice Buddhism. The Pagoda was the centre of Buddhism in central Vietnam. In 1963, in an act of defiance against the Diem regime, Thich Quang Duc torched himself in downtown Saigon.

From here, you will get on board a Dragon boat and cruise along Perfume River to return to the city in the stunning sunset scene. After arrival at the pier, you’ll cycle back to the hotel in the centre of Hue.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B,-,-) “Walking”

In the morning you will transfer to Hoi An, enjoying the stunning views along the coast while crossing the Hai Van Pass before checking in at your hotel.

Hoi An is an ancient trading post of seafaring Chinese, Japanese and European merchants. This picturesque town with colourful shops and temples was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Start your walking tour at the Culture and History Museum where you will learn about the history of this charming and peaceful town before walking around the market regarded as more authentic than many other markets in Vietnam’s big cities.

Walk along the main street to the Chinese Assembly Hall of Fujien Chinese community. The hall, built in 1697, was used as the worship place dedicated to Thien Hau (the Goddess of the Sea or Holy Mother) and also the meeting place for the Fujien Chinese community. Continue to the riverbank along narrow streets – on both sides are old houses transformed into beautifully decorated shops with colourful lanterns in different shapes. Next stop is to see the Japanese Covered Bridge built in the early 17th century by Japanese traders who settled eventually in the town. The special pagoda-shaped bridge is now the official symbol of Hoi An.

In the afternoon, embark on a public boat for a visit to Cam Kim – a small carpentry village. One can watch the locals building fishing boats and furniture using techniques dating back to as early as the 18th century. Continue to the pottery village of Thanh Ha, where clay objects for the everyday use are produced.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: Hoi An (B,L,-) “cooking”

In the morning, the local guide will see you at your hotel with your bicycle. You will cycle to a local farm in Tra Que village. A short stroll will take you around the vegetable garden and then you can join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake. After this you can take part in raking the ground, sowing, watering, picking vegetables and many other gardening activities. After all these activities, you will take a short rest and enjoy a footbath before preparing lunch with a local family.

Your lunch will consist of many local delicacies including ‘Tam Huu’ spring roll, Banh Xeo or local pancake of people in Vietnam middle region. You can join the cooking with the chef on these meals. After your morning excursion and your lunch, you will take a Vietnamese traditional post-prandial nap before learning how to harvest and wrap the vegetables. An excellent lunch and a quick nap; what could be better?

In the early afternoon we will bid farewell to your host family before riding back to Hoi An.

Transfer from Hotel to Danang airport, Take evening flight to Hanoi for departure.

Or book a relaxing beach extension in one of the Beach Hotels in Hoi An or Danang (recommended April to August).

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