vietnam13The Red River Delta in northern Vietnam is home to many ethnic groups in the valleys and to hill tribes in the mountainous region of the wild northwest. This is a tour focusing on culture and handicraft of the diverse ethnic communities as we traverse striking terrain and human habitation. Hanoi is thoroughly covered in our sightseeing and discovering the many vignettes of life in this capital city.

Route: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Phu Lang, Mai Chau, Xa Linh and Ninh Binh

 

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 Inclusive:

• Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Accommodation: 9 nights with daily breakfast in hotels
• English or French speaking guide
• Entrance fees to stated sights
• Meals of 1 lunch as indicated
• Water Puppet Show
• Traditional dance
• Boat trip

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 Exclusive:

• Other meals
• Tips, drinks
• Airport departure tax
• Personal expenses
• Travel insurance
• International flights
• Visa fee

 

noteItinerary:

Day : Hanoi - Arrival

On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old-world charm and some of Asia's most striking colonial architecture. A favourite activity is to sit in a cyclo and be slowly paddled about in the Old Quarter to drink in the sights and smells of this bustling enclave. Overnight in hotel, Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Today we enjoy a full-day city tour starting with the Ho Chi Minh Complex. This famous site contains the mausoleum of the nation's founder, Ho Chi Minh; the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts; and the Presidential Palace. Close to this complex is the One-Pillar Pagoda whose origin dates back to the founding of the city. We follow this with a trip to the Temple of Literature well-known as the first university of Vietnam since 1076 and the impressive Ethnological Museum dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups. The beautiful West Lake and the History Museum with an excellent collection of artefacts illustrating Vietnamese history are not to be missed. We visit these sights before continuing to the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance.
Overnight in hotel, Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong (Breakfast/Lunch)

Breakfast at the hotel. Upon leaving the town we set off on a three-hour drive to Halong Bay, stopping at Dong Trieu pottery village on the way. On arrival in Halong Bay, we embark on a Junk cruise for an exploration of the legendary Halong Bay. This exciting five-hour cruise will provide us with a fantastic view of the picturesque seascape blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. After a seafood lunch on board, we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and make an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. Overnight in hotel, Halong.

Day 4: Halong - Phu Lang - Hanoi (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. The return trip begins as we depart Halong. Along the way we make stops at the handicraft center of Hong Ngoc and at Phu Lang village which is well known for its earthenware. The ceramic kilns are built one after another along the dykes and on the low hills near Luc Dau Giang, facing the Cau River. Here you have a chance to observe craftsmen at work and try your hand at making something. The final stop of our trip is Dong Ky village.
Overnight in hotel, Hanoi.

Day 5: Hanoi - Mai Chau (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. The spectacular countryside and the simple lifestyle of the hill tribe people make Mai Chau one of northern Vietnam's most attractive destinations. We head north towards this mountainous region 135km from Hanoi. On arrival in Mai Chau, take a walk through the ricefields to Ban Pom Coong, Ban Lac and Ban Van where the villagers weave their traditional brocades. You can see real Montagnard villages in Mai Chau - which is a cluster of villages, farms and huts strung out along a wide valley inhabited by ethnic White Thai. Plenty of pleasant walks in Mai Chau. The highlight of this evening is a traditional musical show followed by dinner with local rice wine drinking. This performance is done by the young White Thai minority, reflecting the rich culture of this ethnic group.
Overnight in hotel, Mai Chau.

Day 6: Mai Chau - Xa Linh - Hanoi (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Upon leaving Mai Chau we drive through the undulating terrains of tea plantations and the many timeless villages linked to the road which is the main artery of trade between the northwestern region and the capital city. We stop at Xa Linh village, home of the Hmong hill tribe people. They are very poor, but have an interesting local culture and handmade clothing the sale of which they rely on for their livelihood. After a two-hour walk we drive back to Hanoi, stopping en route at the rattan and bamboo furniture making village of Phu Yen and the silk weaving village of Van Phuc. Overnight in hotel, Hanoi.

Day 7: Hanoi - Ninh Binh (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. The ancient capital of Hoa Lu with its two remaining temples of the Dinh and Le dynasties was founded in the late 10th century. Despite their turbulent history these temples still preserve their original structure. After visiting this site, we climb the 200 steps to the top of Ma Yen mountain where we can see a fantastic view over the surrounding area. Our trip continues to Tam Coc which is named "Inland Halong Bay". Here we have the chance to take a row-boat trip on the river through the quiet and peaceful landscape of ricefields surrounded by limestone formations to the grottoes of Tam Coc. We then stroll around Van Lam village to visit the embroidery making households.
Overnight in hotel, Ninh Binh.

Day 8: Ninh Binh - Nam Dinh - Hanoi (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. The next stop of our trip is La Xuyen village in Nam Dinh Province. The fine wood products and woodcarvings make this village famous all over northern Vietnam. We stroll around this craft centre before getting back to our vehicle for the return journey, making a stop en route at Chuyen My village to see some production of lacquerware. Overnight in hotel, Hanoi.

Day 9: Hanoi (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Heading out of town we observe the rural landscape and visit the riverside village of Bat Trang, where distinctive ceramics are made and used throughout the delta region for over 500 years. The vitality of this village is still bouyed up by the hundreds of pottery kilns on fire, day and night. We stroll around various cottage industries and watch craftsmen forming, painting and glazing their products in the traditional way. The remainder of today is free for your own exploration of the town and catching up on some shopping. Overnight in hotel, Hanoi.

Day 10: Hanoi - Departure (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. There is free time to relax before the transfer to Noi Bai Airport for your departure flight.

End of Programme