Day 1: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau
8h00: A Lotussia Travel guide & driver will meet you at your hotel in Dien Bien Phu and drive then to Lai Chau. Stop en route to visit local hill tribe villages or taking beautiful photographs. Arrival in Laichau town around noon. After lunch (at your own account), start a soft trek to a local village around Lai Chau. Free dinner and overnight in Laichau.
Day 2: Lai Chau – Tam Duong (B)
The picturesque road from Lai Chau to Tam Duong goes along the Chinese Border and the Nam Na River. We visit some Black Thai villages, which are famous by their on-stilts wooden houses. During the way we cross a footbridge leading us to Kh’Mu Village, an important hill-tribe similar to the Laos people in terms of language and traditions. Before arrival in Tam Duong, a stop at Man Tien Village is scheduled. We spend the night in a guest-house in Tam Duong.
Day 3: Tam Duong trekking (B)
Tam Duong is a frontier town situated in a beautiful valley between limestone rocks. This place is the home of many hill tribes such as the H’Mong, Man Tien, Lu and Cu Chu people. Authentic in lifestyle and colorful in costumes, most of the tribes were emigrated from South China during the 17th – 18th century. A full day of trekking through their villages, hidden behind mountains and hills, enables us to learn how self-sufficient life is. A picnic is prepared for lunch. We will continue our trip with visiting a home-run tea factory as the area is famous for its tea plantation. Also this night is spent in the Tam Duong guest-house.
Day 4: Tam Duong – Sapa (B)
This morning we are going to visit the Tam Duong Multi-Ethnic Market, an ideal place to meet local people. Ethnic groups from every part of the region come here to exchange their agricultural and handicraft products. After this interesting experience of interacting with the local people, we make a promenade to Pa Pe, a village of the Lu minority. The people here are famous because of their black teeth. When girls have the age of 10 they have to chew a certain type of plant (growing in the woods) which causes black moisture upon the teeth. Having black teeth is considered as a symbol of beauty in this tribe. After this amazing visit we continue our way to Sapa. Stop at Tram Ton Pass -the highest pass in Vietnam, 1900m, view the heaven gate and large valley and nice Silver Waterfall. We come higher and higher in altitude as we reach Sapa where we spend the night in a hotel.
Day 5: Trekking in Sapa (B)
Sapa is not only an ideal place for retreat with its moderate climate, it is also a place of cultural value and breathtaking mountainous scenery. The town of Sapa is inhabited by colorful hill tribes, which are based on the foot of Fan Xi Pan Mount and other surrounding valleys. Here we spend our whole day trekking around the river of Sapa Valley, crossing suspension bridges and witnessing green rice terraces. During our trek we will again be exposed to local life and the daily activities. We trek up and down and through bamboo forest, see three different ethnic minorities until we stop at a nice waterfall in Giang Ta Chai Village of the Red-Dzao to spend the night in the house of a local family.
Day 6: Sapa – Bac Ha – Lao Cai – Hanoi (B)
Have breakfast and then drive to Bac Ha. During this ride we pass the Chinese border (Lao Cai) where you can get a glimpse of the Chinese town of Hekou, and visit a nice temple there, located just at the other side of the Red River. Bac Ha is situated in the highlands and is mostly populated by the beautifully dressed Flower H’mong minority (famous for its multi-ethnic market). The environment is paved with plum trees. Visit the Sunday market and have lunch in town (at your own account). After lunch, transfer to Coc Ly to take a boat trip on Chay River. After the boat trip, our car and guide drive you back to Laocai station where you will catch the night train to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
Day 7: Hanoi – Ha Long City (L,D)
8h30: A Lotussia Travel car and guide will pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi (please inform us your hotel information). Heading out of town we make our way 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 technique. We begin our first kayaking experience to discover the limestone karst formations which are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves, and 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. O/N on board
Day 8: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi (B,L)
The views of sailing junks navigating past over 3,000 limestone islands and outcrops jutting out of the clear and emerald water of the bay are nothing short of spectacular. After breakfast on board we continue cruising and make stop for second paddle. We circumnavigate the island, observing some secluded lagoons and enjoying last swimming opportunity. In late morning we regroup at our escorted boat for two hour cruise to Halong Pier. Have a delicious lunch on board before disembarking and return to Hanoi. Upon arrival in Hanoi, transfer to your hotel in town. End of our services.