8 days Secrets of North Vietnam

Hanoi, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Trang An, Halong Bay, Hanoi

This trip provides a fantastic combination of the majestic splendour of Hanoi, the lush rice terraces and the ethnic diversity of Sapa, the sublime beauty of the Red River Delta and Halong Bay. This is an adventure to remember!

Day 1 Arrival
Upon our arrival at Hanoi airport our driver greets us and transfers us to our hotel. There are no other activities planned today.

Day 2 Hanoi / Overnight train to Lao Cai
Let's get a feel for this lovely country we are in, starting the day with a little sightseeing around Hanoi.

The complex dedicated to Vietnam's hero Ho Chi Minh, honoured for his role in liberating Vietnam from colonial rule is where we start. 

This gives us some insights into Vietnam's recent history. The Museum of Ethnology then we whet our appetite for some of the costume and textile traditions we see on our journey. 

Lunch is at one of local restaurants then onto the Temple of Literature. Founded in 1070, this beautiful temple was Vietnam's first University.

Let us share dinner together in one of the best restaurants in the Old Quarter before we board our sleeper train to Lao Cai. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 3 Lao Cai / Sapa
On arrival in Lao Cai railway station in the early morning, we are picked up by our driver. This is followed by a short drive to Sapa town, which is 35 km away by car.

After shower and breakfast we set off to explore its neighbourhood, the villages of Sa Seng and Hau Thao await. 

Here, villagers are the Black H’mong and Giay who speak their own languages, terraced fields fill the hilly cultivated land. 

The Sa Seng and Hau Thao trails are narrow trails winding through small villages and open rice terraces.

We return to Sapa for an overnight in a comfortable hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 4 Sapa / Overnight train back to Hanoi
Sin Chai is situated in a region of breathtaking beauty. We spend whole day hiking along sculpted rice terraces and through small villages.

We head around the rolling farmlands and past several villages of Black Hmong and Red Dao people. 

Here, we learn about the intrigue of tribal life. In the late afternoon we board our vehicle and drive back to Lao Cai railway station. From there we have dinner in a local restaurant before we board an overnight train back to Hanoi, arriving there at about 5:30am the following day. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 5 Hanoi / Trang An / The Red River Delta
Upon our arrival at Hanoi raiway station we check in our hotel for having shower and breakfast.

This is followed by our journey into the countryside to the very picturesque area around Trang An.

Trang An is famed for its magnificent limestone mountains. After our leisurely bicycle ride we take a beautiful day walk into twisted rock formations and nearby villages. 

Having time for some peaceful boating on the river and a visit to the family home and farm of local people is a beautiful way to spend an afternoon.

At night we retire to a local family for an overnight stay. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 6 The Red River Delta / Halong Bay 
Departing The Red River Delta we journey to Halong City. We follow its fertile road through flatlands of the Delta flanked by green carpets of rice paddies. 

We then head north to Halong City. Here, we embark on a boat trip which navigates among some of the spectacular limestone peaks of Halong Bay – time to relax and appreciate the sublime beauty of the bay, while enjoying lunch on the boat. 

After we explore one of the most magnificent caves and take a kayak ride among towering rock formations, our boat finds a peaceful spot for an overnight stay. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 7 Halong / Hanoi 
We continue exploring some of the Bay’s truly awesome scenery vertical and unusual rocks and islets emerge from the sea.

There is so much to see and something to do here, from exploring a cave, paddling our kayaks around scenic rock formations or visiting some floating fishing villages, before we return to Halong City.

From here we board our vehicle for our return journey to Hanoi, arriving there at about 4pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included).

Day 8 Hanoi 
We can depart at any time today. (Breakfast is included).

The facts…

Physical activities: 

Our itinerary includes easy walks, hikes, kayaks and bicycles with:

- a 7-12 km hike on Day 3.

- a 12-15 km walk on Day 4. 

- a 6-8 km bicycle ride.

- a 2-4 km walk on Day 5.

- a 1-2 hour kayak ride on Day 6 and Day 7. 


- vehicle.

- boat.

- bicycle.

- kayak.

- overnight train.

Tour Guides: 

Our experienced and friendly local tour guides speak fluent English. 

They are knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.


- hotels (3 nights).

- homestay (1 night). 

- overnight boat (1 night).

- overnight trains (2 nights).

Comfortable and clean trains with soft berths.


- 7 breakfasts.

- 6 lunches.

- 5 dinners. 

We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, markets or homes. 

We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking.

Trip cost: 

- $496USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people.

- $388USD per person for a group of 7 to 12 people.

The cost of the trip includes: 

- accommodation.

- transportation.

- tour guides.

- meals listed on the itinerary. 

- admission fees.

- permits where applicable. 

The cost of the trip does not include:

- travel insurance.

- drinks (soft drinks, alcohol and bottled water).

- other personal expenses.

What to take: 

Pack essentials for a few days away from Hanoi, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, jacket for evenings.

It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.

Take a small day pack for walking, hiking and cycling. 

We also recommend packing: comfortable hiking shoes, rain coat, sun hat, insect repellent and torch.

Have a great journey!!!