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Hike, Bike & Cave Explorer:

In two weeks visit the best of Northern and Central Vietnam. Visit Hanoi, Vietnam's modern capital, an exotic city that offers the traveler a fusion of cultures from old French to its traditional Chinese flavours. Explore the Sapa Valley, known for its unspoiled beauty, and Hoi An, Vietnam's most charming city. Then off to the ancient capital of Hue that still resonates with the glories of Imperial Vietnam. Explore the Dong Hue Caves and head back north for a memorable cruise to Halong Bay, rated one of the Seven Natural Wonders.


Day-01 Arrive – HANOI 
Arrive at the Hanoi Airport, where our guide will welcome you and will assist you to your hotel. You will have time to relax, catch up with your sleep or maybe taking a walk along the streets of the old French Quarter to see this busy and exotic part of town.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day-02 HANOI – SAPA VALLEY
After breakfast at the hotel, you are free to roam around and explore the busy markets near your hotel. Our staff will assist you after checking out from the hotel by taking you to the train station. Your train will leave this evening to Sapa Valley. If you are a train lover your adventure begins here. Meals (B)
Day-03 SAPA VALLEY
Early morning arrive at the Lao Cai Station (about 6 am). This is the last station before the Chinese border. From here you will join your guide, who will take you to the Sapa Valley. Your drive will take you through spectacular scenery of terraced rice paddies to our rest stop where you can freshen up and take your breakfast. It is time to start your adventure through the land of the Black H'mong and Red Dao hill tribe people. These hill tribe people are typically dressed in their colourful attire, as they go about doing their daily chores alongside the road. Continue to hike from Cat Cat to Sinchai village before returning back to Sapa town. Take a break for lunch. After lunch, hop onto our transport, and drive further north of Sapa. Here you visit the Heaven Gate and Silver Waterfall. Get your cameras ready for some of the best views of the valley. This afternoon you start heading to your overnight destination an ethnic local village in Ta Van. Here the local family will host you with the help of our staff. Get ready for a really unique experience. Meals (B+L+D)
Day-04 SAPA VALLEY HANOI
After breakfast, we embark on a pleasant trek sharing the same path that buffalos take. We follow these trails through several hill tribe villages of Black H'mong and Dao people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk with stunning scenery. Here meeting the friendly local people is surely an enriching experience. Once on the valley floor, enjoy the panoramic scenery surrounding you. The valleys are covered with multi-layered terraced rice fields dotted with traditional villages. Return to the trail head. On the way back we will stop at a local hotel in Sapa to freshen up and get ready to head back to Hanoi. This afternoon you will take the local bus that takes about 4 hours to Hanoi. Once at the local station in Hanoi, you can take a local taxi to your hotel. (It's very easy). Meals (B+L)
Day-05 HANOI
Today we embark on an exciting tour of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and a truly exotic city. Today's Hanoi is an infusion of old and new, with a touch of its Parisian past and its modern day Viet-Chinese influences, unique is the best word to describe this city. The narrow streets of its old quarter are swarmed with people and almost as many motorbikes with an assortment of other traffic. The streets are lined with a variety of vendors from fruit sellers to chic brand name outlets. We start our tour with its most revered landmark the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of modern Vietnam and the Chairman of the Communist Party from 1951 till 1969. The mausoleum is inspired by Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow. Nearby is the Presidential Palace, with its typical colonial style architecture, constructed in the early nineteen hundreds for the French Governor General of Indo-China. Ho Chi Minh built a stilt house within the Palace gardens where he lived until his final days.
Next we visit the One Pillar Pagoda, built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong in 1028. The temple resembles a Lotus flower bloom and is a symbol of purity and peace. Unfortunately, the original was destroyed by French forces before they left Vietnam. Luckily it was rebuilt by the Vietnamese people after their independence. Our next stop is The Temple of Literature. Built in the eleventh century AD and dedicated to Confucius, the Temple of Literature is probably the oldest university of this part of the world. Next we visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda, originally built in the sixth century AD, considered to be the oldest in Hanoi. Nearby is the Quan Thanh, a Taoist Temple, dedicated to the Xuan Wu, the mysterious warrior and a high ranking Taoist Deity. Later this afternoon you have the option to take a Cyclo (cycle rickshaw) tour of Old Hanoi. Once you are done your tour you can take a walk around the Hoan Kiem lake and visit the Jade Mountain Temple-Ngoc Son Temple. There are lots of places to dine here around the lake. The lake is lit up at night giving Hanoi's best views of the night. Next stop is at the Army museum where different kinds of US, Russian aircraft and tanks from Vietnam-US wars are on display. Your lunch will be served at one of the famous local traditional restaurants where you can try some specialties of Hanoi. After lunch, we continue our visit to Hoa Lo or Hanoi Hilton Prison where all US pilots were confined during the years of bombing north Vietnam from 1964-1972. OK enough with history, time for some adventure: try an hour of cycling to explore Hanoi's old quarters. This is one of the best ways to discover Hanoi's busy yet very interesting old quarter.
Optional: As an option we strongly suggest that you visit Hanoi's French Quarter at night and watch the water puppet show. The tradition of this puppet show goes back to Vietnam's rice farmers. Standing knee deep, the farmers and their puppets transformed the flooded rice paddies into a stage for this unique form of entertainment. Overnight in Hanoi. Meals (B+L)
Day-06 HANOI - HOI AN
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Danang. Once you arrive, meet with our guide who will assist you with your transfer. Hoi An is one of the most impressive cities in Vietnam. Surrounded by the lush green sugar loaf range, this is where the rice paddies meet the ocean. The core of the city is preserved as a World Heritage Site. You can stroll down its narrow streets that are lined with colourful stalls and shops that sell anything from unique local souvenirs to Tailor Made Suits. Yes, they can stich one for you in 24 hours.
Overnight in Hoi An. Meals (B)
Day-07 HOI AN
Morning: This morning, after breakfast, explore at your own pace, take a walk to explore the nearby beach or the local market. Take time to explore the city and its surroundings. Step back in time in Hoi An, where the ancient streets and buildings of this Cham city are preserved today as a World Heritage site. Walk up to the Covered Japanese Bridge, which marked ethnic divisions in this multicultural city. Cross the bridge to enter the path to the past. Here merchants once thrived from the spice trade and left their hallmarks like the Chinese Temple and the Tan Ky Chinese-style trading house.
Evening: This afternoon at 02:00 pm we'll meet up with our guide and start our cycling tour to the Hoi-An countryside. Visit Kim Bong Carpentry village, a boat-making workshop and Cam Kim market. Visit Duy Vinh sleeping mat village, rice paper factory, and tropical fruit garden and rice field. Tour ends around 05:00 pm. This evening try out some of the best Hoi An local food. Overnight in Hanoi. Meals (B)
Day-08 HOI AN - HUE
After breakfast this morning, your driver will pick you up at the hotel and we head off to the Imperial capital Hue. The drive will take about anywhere between two to three hours. Upon arrival in Hue, we can start our biking adventure to tour this charming city. We start with the Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda). Here you can enjoy great views on the Perfume River and the surrounding area. Thien Mu Pagoda is considered the symbol of Buddhism in Vietnam. From here we bike downhill to visit the one of the most impressive sites in Hue and the seat of the Imperial dynasty - the Nguyen Imperial city. The city is inside the citadel, you pass through a series of gates, each decorated in typical décor. Within the imperial city is the Purple Forbidden City, much like the Forbidden City of Beijing. After a visit to this remarkable palace we will take a break for lunch. After lunch we continue to visit King Minh Mang’s tomb. Here we end the tour and return to the hotel to rest and relax. Overnight at Hotel. Meals: (B+L)
Day-09 HUE - DONG HOI
After an early morning breakfast we will start our drive towards the North for Quang Tri province. Along the way you can visit the small town of Dong Ha which was once the location on a strategically important U.S. Marine Combat Base. This is where the surveillance of troop's movements across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was carried out. Doc Mieu base: One part of an elaborate electronic system (McNamara's wall) intended to prevent infiltration across the DMZ. We will stop at Hien Luong bridge: known as the "Peace Bridge", built by French in 1950. Ben Hai river: an important landmark in the partition of the country into a northern and a southern zone along the 17th parallel by the Geneva Accords of 1954.
Visit Paradise cave - one of the longest dry caves in Southeast Asia. After driving with a golf car and walking up 524 steps, you will reach the huge cave named Paradise. You can easily spend a few hours here. For cave lovers this is truly Paradise: hidden in limestone, protected by the tropical forests. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant. After lunch we head to our destination in Dong Hoi and check in at your hotel. Relax on the beach and enjoy your free time swimming. You have free time to explore the Dong Hoi city.
Overnight in Dong Hoi. Meals: (B+L)
Day-10 DONG HOI - HONAI
After a relaxed breakfast, this afternoon we will drive you to the nearby airport for your flight back to Hanoi. In Hanoi you will be transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day is free.
Overnight at hotel. Meals: (B)
Day-11 HANOI - HALONG BAY
After breakfast you will join our exciting overnight adventure to the famous Halong Bay. At Halong pier we will board our cruise to head east towards the Gulf of Tonkin. Here in the heart of the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay (where dragons descend into the sea) are its hundreds of limestone islands, together they create one of nature's most breathtaking vistas. The bay and its mystical islets are all part of UNESCO's world heritage site as a natural wonder. Our boat will slowly cruise around its many islands till it finally arrives at a pristine spot, where we anchor for the night. Later this afternoon we will visit the mysterious caves. These caves hold the secret of their natural formation that has been going on for thousands of years. You can take part in a short cooking course on making Vietnamese spring rolls. Enjoy watching the sunset and later the star-filled night. Lunch and dinner are both served on board the cruise. Evening activities like night squid fishing, karaoke and dancing are all possible.
Overnight on board the Cruise.
Here is an hourly snapshot of your day :
7.30 AM You will be picked up from your hotel
11.30 PM Arrive at the Vinashin Harbour.
12.15 PM Board your Cruise. Enjoy a welcome drink as Cruise Captain/Guide gives you a brief overview of the itinerary and important safety guidelines. Check into your cabin.
13.00 PM Start cruising among famous Islets (Indochina studio, Am Islet) of Bai Tu Long Bay. Admire the panoramic views while enjoying the delicious lunch in the restaurant.
15.00 PM Explore the-hidden Co Caves (also known as Thien Canh Son Cave). Relax on white sandy beach or walk along the beach at Hon Co Island (no swimming allowed here).
16.00 PM Return to your boat, cruise to a serene spot where your boat will anchor for the night. Enjoy a magnificent sunset in the heart of the Bai Tu Long Bay.
18.00 PM Our chef will show you how to make a flower from many kinds of fruit.
19.00 PM Dinner is served in the restaurant.
21.00 PM Evening activities: relax at leisure; board games; squid fishing.
Meals: (B/L/D)
Day-12 BAI TU LONG BAY - CONG DAM - THAY CAVE
7.30 AM Awaken your body and soul with a Tai-chi session on the sundeck.
7.30 AM Catch the morning sunrise view while enjoying the breakfast in the restaurant.
10.00 AM Visit Cong Dam - the famous hidden lagoons covered by majestic limestone islands and islets and wild beaches in Bai Tu Long Bay.
11.00 AM Kayak through lagoons at geological park in Cong Dam. Relax at one of the most beautiful beaches in Bai Tu Long Bay.
12.00 PM Enjoy lunch in the restaurant and admire the views while cruising to Thay cave.
14.00 PM Kayak and discover Thay cave, one of the many hidden caves in Ha Long Bay.
16.30 PM Return to your boat and start sailing to Cong Do area where your boat docks for overnight.
19.00 PM Dinner is served in the restaurant.
21.00 PM Evening activities: relax at leisure; Board Games; squid fishing. Overnight in Halong Bay.

Meals : (B+L+D)
Day-13 BAI TU LONG BAY - CONG DAM - THAY CAVE
CONG DO - VUNG VIEN - HALONG BAY - HANOI
6.30 AM Welcome a new day with an amazing dawn on Ha Long Bay. Refresh your body and soul with a Tai-chi session on the sundeck.
7.00 AM Catch the morning sunrise view while enjoying the breakfast in the restaurantCatch the morning view of seascape while enjoying your breakfast.
7.30 AM AM Visit Vung Vieng village - the famous fishing farm by bamboo boat and discover the local life.
8.45 AM Return to your cruise.
9.00 PM Pack up your luggage and check out of the cabin.
10.30 PM Enjoy the brunch in the restaurant while cruising back to Vinashin tourist harbor.
11.15 PM Disembark.
12.00 PM Your driver takes you back to Hanoi, on arrival back in Hanoi, check in hotel. Overnight Hanoi.

Return to Hanoi and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at hotel. Meals: (B+L)
Day-14 HANOI - DEPARTURE
After breakfast at hotel transfer to the airport for your international flight. 
Meals: (B)


Hanoi's French Quarters, Halong Bay, Summer Palace of Hue, picturesque Sapa Valley and the vibrant markets of Hoi An.

Moderate Walks in the towns and bazaars. Short hikes in protected areas and reserves. Moderate walks along the trails and to explore the cave networks. Easy-Moderate bicycle rides.

Moderate
 
 
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