Trekking North-Western Vietnam and Sea kayaking Halong bay (15 days)

1.1 – Itinerary at a glance

Day 01: Arrival in Hanoi. Pickup at airport & transfer to hotel in town. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 02: Hanoi full day city tour. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 03: Ha noi – Mai Chau. Trekking. Homestay in house-on-stilts.
Day 04: Mai Chau – Suoi Lon. Trekking. Homestay at village
Day 05: Suoi Lon – Bac Yen – Thu Cuc . Trekking. Homestay at village.
Day 06: Thu Cuc – Nghia Lo. Trekking. Overnight at local guesthouse.
Day 07: Nghia Lo – Tu Le. Trekking. Homestay at village.
Day 08: Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen. Trekking. Overnight at local guesthouse.
Day 09: Than Uyen – Binh Lu – Sapa. Trekking. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Sapa – Cao Son Wednsday Market – Laocai – Hanoi. Overnight train.
Day 11: Arrival in Hanoi. Hanoi – Halong Bay. Cruise + kayaking (pm). Overnight on board
Day 12: Halong Bay cruise + kayaking. Overnight on board
Day 13: Cruise. Halong Bay – Hanoi. Overnight at hotel
Day 14: Hanoi full day free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Departure

1.2 – Day-by-day Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Hanoi. Pickup at airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

Upon your arrival at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you will be greeted by Lotussia Travel guide, driver and then escorted to your hotel in town. Check-in hotel and stay free at leisure (check in from 12h00). Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 02: Hanoi full day city tour. Overnight in Hanoi.

Breakfast at hotel. Then we will have a full day tour of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. Hanoi is a unique city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and oriental temples. The city tour includes such sights as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed on Monday and Friday), One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature – The first National University of Vietnam.

In the afternoon, continue to visit the Ethnology museum where you can find the biggest object collection of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. In the evening, attend to the water puppet show, one of famous Vietnamese traditional art. Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day 03:    Ha noi – Mai Chau. Trekking. Homestay in house-on-stilts.

Transfer to Mai Chau. Mai Chau is in a valley just over the biggest hump, about 10km from the Song Da river and only 150 metres above sea level. The village, nestled between two towering cliffs and surrounded by emerald green paddies, is an enchanting sight as you wind down the cliff side. On the way, trek some kilometers through ethnic villages (Muong and Thai). Lunch will be providd in Mai Chau. Dinner and overnight in Lac village.

Day 04: Mai Chau – Suoi Lon. Trekking. Homestay at village

After breakfast, transfer 17 kilometers then we start trekking in an area of inhabitants of ethnic minority Thai, Muong the villages of Cun Pheo and Hang Kia. On arriving at Bai Sang wharf, we will take a boat to cruise on the Black river. Arrive at Suoi Lon for overnight in Muong’ Village.

Day 05: Suoi Lon – Bac Yen – Thu Cuc. Trekking. Homestay at village.

Transfer to Ta Sua plateau, you can contemplate the highland scenery of it. Visit some villages of ethnic Black H’mong and discover the daily life and custom of local inhabitants here, especially you can enjoy the local specialties: Ta Sua Tea and agriculture products then come back the mountain town for lunch. After having lunch, visit the local market, the handicraft and farming products made by many ethnics are available here. Then continue to trek over 5 Kilometers through villages of Thai and Muong village. During the trekking you can take a rest and enjoy the local wine distillated by ethnics. Transfer to Thu cuc. Overnight in Muong Village.

Day 06: Thu Cuc – Nghia Lo. Trekking. Overnight at local guesthouse.

Trek through Thai, Dao, Mong visit the water wheel. It is used to scoop the water for the rice fields near the streams. Continue going to Nghia Lo through the direction of Lung Lo pass. Arrive at Nghia Lo, check in hotel then take a visit the local market at the moment of decline of day.

Day 07: Nghia Lo – Tu Le. Trekking. Homestay at village.

Leave Nghia Lo for the itinerary, trek and visit some villages of ethnic’s minorities along the road: black Dzao, H’mong, white Thai, etc. They are very kind, honest and plain. Arrive at Tu Le village, dinner and overnight in house on stilt of inhabitants here. You can discover the daily life activities of this village in particular and the Thai ethnic in general in Vietnam. Overnight in Thai Village.

Day 08: Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen. Trekking. Overnight at local guesthouse.

Take leave of inhabitants of Tu Le, it takes 2 Km to village center, you can visit lots of activity on the early market day and it is typical colorful ethnics of this high mountain regions. Transfer to the the footing of Kau Pha pass for us to start trekking about 9 Km through the forest and ethnic villages. This trail runs parallel with the famous and beautiful Kau Pha pass. We finish the trail at the peak of the pass (1800m above sea level). Transfer to Mu Cang Chai for lunch. Visit the local market and go on to Than Uyen. Arrive at Than Uyen, check in local guest house.

Day 09: Than Uyen – Binh Lu – Sapa. Trekking. Overnight at hotel.

Transfer to Sapa, on the way, we can take trek to visit lots of beautiful villages of ethnic. Especially, you can meet the most typical ethics as: Lao, Lu (Xa Pho). They wear the long traditional and colorful costumes with jeweler hand made. Moreover, you can discover the kind face in black dyed teeth of ethnics here. Arrive at  Sa Pa. Check in and rest of the day at leisure or visit Sa Pa famous tourist town in Northern Vietnam . You can visit and go shopping, market for buying souvenirs such as handicraft made by ethics, ethics’ traditional costumes, etc before ending the days in North West Vietnam.

Day 10: Sapa – Cao Son Wednsday Market – Laocai – Hanoi. Overnight train.

Drive to Muong Khuong district, via tea plantation and forest of pine. You might encounter
Giay tribe in their traditional dress in Ban Lau or Thanh Binh. Reaching Cao Son about 10.am, enjoy
the excitement of this weekly market. The shining dress of colorful Hmong girls attracts you much as
you fall down to a new world , a world of interest and fun. Having lunch in Cao Son lodge. In the afternoon, commence your walk to the most secluded yet peaceful village- Tin Thang. In this village,
people still distill the wine from corn, making bacon in the most basic way and offering special corn
cake to anyone who drop by their house. Transfer to Lao Cai Railways Station for overnight train back to Hanoi.

Day 11: Arrival in Hanoi. Hanoi – Halong Bay. Cruise + kayaking (pm). Overnight on board

Upon your arrival at Hanoi Railways Station, you will be greeted by Lotussia Travel local guide and driver then transferred to a small hotel in town for breakfast and quick shower. Depart to Halong Bay.

Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk. Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Take a kayaking trip to explore the Bay or enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Halong Bay at any spot that you wish to visit. Watch the sunset over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner.

Day 12: Halong Bay cruise + kayaking. Overnight on board

Breakfast on board. Then we continue kayaking zigzagging through many small islets of different shapes. We will kayak to the Black Grottoe and The lake of Three Grottoe. The journey is really wonderfull and adventurous! Back to the support boat for our lunch which will be provided on board.

In the afternoon, we cruise towards the Islands of Rocks and visit the Fishermen floating village. We will kayak in Ba Men temple area which is also a important highlight of our journey. Swimming at the sandy Three Peach beach if weather permits and enjoy the great view of Halong bay sunset. Dinner and Overnight on board.

Day 13: Cruise. Halong Bay – Hanoi. Overnight at hotel

Breakfast on board. Then we continue our cruise in Halong bay before going back to shore. Arrive at Ha long wharf about 11h00 and take our car for journey back to Hanoi.

Arrive in Hanoi at around 15h00. Enjoy a short cyclo excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sales at these places.

Day 14: Hanoi full day free. Overnight at hotel.

Full day stay free at leisure or personal discovery or shopping in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 15:    Departure

Breakfast at hotel. Free time till transfer to the airport for your onward flight back home. End tour.