8D Best of Vietnam (Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay)

In this itinerary, you will visit the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi and the picturesque rice terraces of Sapa and world UNESCO site Halong Bay located only hours away. Each destination on this itinerary carries its own history, culture and beauty that leaves you in no doubt that you are immersed in the wonder of Vietnam.

Exceptional Experiences:

  • Explore Hanoi's hidden alleys, and get to know the city's best delicacies on a Secret Food Walking tour

 

  • Take a luxury overnight train to Sapa. This luxury train – harkening back to the romantic, golden age of travel in Indochina with its dark wooden fixtures, cosy sleeping cabins, and spacious lounge

 

  • Sleep overnight in a Certified Unique Lodge of the World by National Geographic at Topas Ecolodge in Sapa

 

  • Interact and visit local communities and villages on your half-day hike in Sapa.

 

  • Go on board overnight cruise to explore Halong Bay

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Itinerary:

Day 1: SINGAPORE - HANOI (-/D) 

Welcome to Hanoi – Vietnam!

Upon arrival to Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, you will be welcomed by your local guide and driver holding a sign with your name on it. Your guide will lead you through fast-track security services and after you have collected your luggage, will lead the way to your awaiting guide and vehicle. You will be privately transferred between your accommodations and Hanoi Airport by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide.

Hanoi is a bustling and fascinating place – a whirlwind of colours, smells and sounds and a wonderful place to get a real flavour of life in Vietnam.

Evening street food tour

Go on a culinary whirlwind tour in the evening, sinking your teeth into the flavours of the North on a street food tour through the alleys of the Old Quarter. Meet your guide at your hotel, before strolling to a secret eco-friendly coffee shop to get your briefing pitch. Here, you will also enjoy a demonstration of the preparation of an iconic drink: Vietnamese egg coffee (with a twist). Then, set off into the maze of alleys and eat a fried nem, standing on the street amongst the busy workers. Continue and stop at a famous pho stall to slurp up this world-renowned beef noodle soup. Next, try some banh ran (sweet fried sticky rice) and a real exotic experience: fried chicken legs (or wings for the less daring travellers). From these unique delights you can enjoy a cultural stop at Hang Ma Street. This street is a key place for all Vietnamese: all year round, locals buy votive paper, lanterns, Christmas decorations, and more. You will continue to the 'bamboo corner', a spot that has been around for decades. Complete your foodie tour with a classic Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi), at one of the most famous addresses for locals and travellers alike. Finally, your local gastronomy immersion will end with the most social activity in Vietnam: bia hoi. Grab a stool at the neighbouring Bia Hoi Corner and watch the commotion as this spot comes to life in the evening, while sipping a tall glass of cold local draft beer. After your refreshing drink, your tour guide will bring you back to your hotel, or feel free to stay and enjoy more of Ta Hien Street by yourself for a fun evening out.

Return to your accommodation to rest for the night.

Accommodation: 5* Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

 

Day 2: HANOI full-day city tour - Overnight train to Sapa (B/L/D)

This morning after breakfast, start your day on the outskirts of the city with your private driver and English-speaking guide by visiting the Museum of Ethnology.

The museum provides an insightful glimpse into the country’s lengthy history, with more than 15,000 photos and 10,000 objects and artefacts depicting a historical perspective of the lives, activities, customs, and habits of the 54 recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam.

Drive back into central Hanoi, stopping at the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. Enjoy a local Vietnamese lunch at Banh Tom Ho Tay, a restaurant famous for its shrimp cakes in the West Lake area.

After lunch, visit Truc Bach Lake, featuring a monument to the late US Senator John McCain, commemorating the spot where he parachuted to safety after his plane was shot down over the lakes. At the nearby Huu Tiep Lake, the wreckage of an American B-52 bomber lies as a memorial to the war. From here, visit Hoa Lo Prison, constructed in 1896 by the French to house Vietnamese political prisoners. Under the French regime, it was known as the Maison Centrale and was an important symbol of colonialist exploitation of the era. Continue to Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda situated on a small island in Hoan Kiem Lake accessible by a classically painted wooden bridge. The view of the city from the pagoda is particularly popular.

This evening, visit the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre for a traditional theatrical performance, followed by a delicious traditional Vietnamese dinner

At night, head to the train station to board your overnight local train to Sapa. This train will offer you the experience on the Indochina railway built in the last 19th century. Next morning, arrive. in Lao Cai at 6:10am, allowing travellers to have a restful night before embarking on the day’s adventure.

Accommodation: Overnight on Express Train to Sapa (private cabin)

 

Day 3: SAPA arrival - Half day Trekking to Red Dao Village (B/L)

This morning upon arrival in Sapa, meet your driver and proceed for some local breakfast. Drive to your hotel to drop the luggage. You will stay in Topas Ecolodge, a Certified Unique Lodge of the World by National Geographic. Topas Ecolodge is a boutique ecolodge situated atop a beautiful hillside deep in the mountains of Hoang Lien National Park, just 45 minutes outside Sapa in northern Vietnam.

Nominated as one of the best places to stay if you care about the Earth, Topas Ecolodge provides the perfect setting to indulge in guilt-free modern convenience all while protecting the surrounding environment and local cultures.

Start your morning trekking tour to Lech village. The walk will lead you to a quiet road with a great view of the rice terrace below. You then take a slightly ascent to Lech village –where people live in the wooden local houses, meet the friendly Red Dao hosts and experience their daily way of life.  The Red Dao women, as their ancestors, having hair and eyes brows shaved and wearing very colourful customs.  They are famous for beautiful handmade embroidery.  Continue to walk on small trails passing rice terraces and cross a suspension bridge, where you can take some great pictures of the nature landscape and listen to your guide explaining about the cultivating culture of local farmer in the North of Vietnam. Return to the lodge for having lunch and checking in the bungalow for relaxing at the rest of the day

Accommodation: 5* Topas Ecolodge

 

Day 4:  SAPA full day trekking (B/L)   

In this morning, awake among the majestic mountain and wild nature sound. Breakfast is serving when you enjoy viewing to the green valley.

Spend your day to explore the off – beaten track area where you will be amazed with the beautiful views of high mountains, and the deep valleys. The trail will lead you to Nam Nhiu home of Red Dzao and get a glimpse of the life of locals throughout the explanation from your tour guide. Leaving the village behind, you will turn into a small dirt trail and soon be inspired by the marvellous view of the rice valley dotted with bamboo huts, which used by local farmers as overnight lodge in harvesting days. Having a simple lunch on the trekking way. Afternoon, walking around Nam Cang village, where you will see local villagers making the Jewlery & paper or hand embroidery.

Late afternoon, car will transfer you back to the lodge for relaxing

Accommodation: 5* Topas Ecolodge

 

Day 5: SAPA - HANOI (B)

Morning free at leisure.

After lunch by your own account, you will be privately transferred from Sapa to Hanoi via the Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide. Approximate travel time is five hours.

Accommodation: 5* Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

 

Day 6: HANOI - HALONG BAY (B/L/D)

Leave the noise of the city behind as you board your traditional junk boat and set sail through UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay. Let the vacation begin with a buffet lunch whilst meandering through the towering limestone cliffs and emerald, green waters of Halong Bay. Stop to explore the inner workings of a cave and discover the bizarrely shaped stalagmite and stalactite formations there.

Indulging in a sumptuous dinner in the dining hall. Spend the rest of the evening as you’d like: watch a movie in the dining area, relax on the deck with a cocktail, or go squid fishing under the cover of night.

Accommodation: Overnight on board Cruise

 

Day 7: HALONG BAY - HANOI (Brunch)

Wake early to start your day with Tai Chi on the sundeck, as the sun rises over the bay. Spend your last few hours drifting through the bay as you enjoy a final extravagant brunch before sailing back to the harbour, where you will continue to on Hanoi. You will then be transferred back to Hanoi

Accommodation: 5* Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

 

Day 8: HANOI - SINGAPORE (B)

Today marks the end of your Vietnam tour. Transfer to the airport by private car for your flight back home. We hope you've enjoyed your trip to Hanoi and return home with lifelong memories and unforgettable impressions. We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future trips!

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Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect on the tour but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored based on the interests of the group.


This itinerary and its package inclusions might be changed later in time, subject to availability.

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