Day 1 – Welcome to Vietnam – Arrive Hanoi
Upon arrival at Noi Bai airport, our tour guide & driver will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. On your first day in Vietnam you have free at your leisure to rest or explore, discovering your own first impression of Vietnam with Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem lake … Overnight in Hanoi.
Pick up at your hotel and leave at 8:00 this morning. The road from Hanoi to Hoa Binh on highway 6 has been upgraded. The pretty landscape is dotted with churches, pagodas and villages. You will stop to visit the Muong tribe en-route, then another break at Thung Khe Pass for the spectacular view of Mai Chau valley.
Have lunch in Mai Chau. Spend the afternoon for trekking away from the tourist track, close to Song Ma River. Here, you will discover the beauty of this valley and the culture of Thai people who is living in this area.
Tonight, you will have dinner and stay with a Thai family. Home Stay in Mai Chau.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Son La (180 km) ( B /L/ D )
Have breakfast at the home-stay before embark on a beautiful drive north to Son La. This good stretch of road is filled with stunning sceneries; you will make frequent photo stops and visit to the minority villages of the H’mong and Black Thai.
Lunch is served at a local restaurant en-route. The highlight on your drive today will be a visit of a tea plantation in Moc Chau plateau. Here, you will find the best Vietnam teagrowing region, along the roads and on the hillsides. You will reach Son La in the afternoon. Dinner and stay overnight in Son La.
Day 4: Son La – Dien Bien Phu (170 km) ( B /L /D )
Today you will travel on more winding & stunning roads, longer passes and see more colorful minority groups. Just as in the previous day, you may want to stop more often for pictures and visits the villagers to learn more about their rich cultures.
After lunch, the drive to the impressive Pha Din pass will be the highlight of the day.
Pha Din pass sits 1,000 meter or 3280 feet above the sea level. According to local legend, Pha Din means the connection between Heaven and Earth. Climbing and descending the slopes with the many bends and deep gorges is an unforgettable experience. You will reach Dien Bien Phu early in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day visiting the historical site of the Vietnamese / French war. Dien Bien Phu Museum and A 1 Hill are on the list to see. Dinner and stay overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
Day 5: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau (200 km) ( B /L /D )
After breakfast, you will have some free time before we begin another spectacular drive, passing the stunning gorges and the Nam Na River. There will be stops to visit the H’mong and ZDao villages on the way. Arrive in Lai Chau in early afternoon, have lunch & free rest of the afternoon in Lai Chau town to ralax. Dinner and stay overnight in Lai Chau.
Day 6: Lai Chau – Sapa (90km) ( B /L /D )
The drive today is the highlight of this trip. The road is a bit bumpy at times but it compensates by the magnificent scenery of the surrounding fertile valley, pristine rivers and high mountains - the photographer’s dream. The 25 miles drive to Sapa goes up the ChinCo pass and Tram Son pass, the highest pass in Vietnam with the view to Fansipan Peak – The roof of “Indochine”. En-route is the beautiful areas of Heaven’s Gate and Silver Waterfall.
Nested in the spectacular valley near the border of China, Sapa is the premier destination of Northwest Vietnam. Built in 1922 it was the former hill station for the French colonists. Today, Sapa is a paradise for trekkers, thanks to its beautiful trekking routes, stunning rice terrace, colorful minority groups and the back drop of mountain Fansipan. At 3143 meters or 10,311 feet from sealevel, it is Vietnam’s highest peak.
You will reach Sapa in the afternoon and the rest of the day is free to explore on your own.
Dinner and stay overnight in Sapa.
Note: The colorful Sunday market in Tam Duong is very interesting to see, with lots of colorful ethnic minorities. Today we will visit the Fair market en route. (Twice a week on Thu and Sun)
Day 7: Sapa ( B/L )
After breakfast at the hotel, you will start the great trekking day downhill to the Muong Hoa valley. To begin the most beautiful trekking route in Vietnam. You will trek on dirt path away from tourist tracks, through pine forest, terraces and Hmong villages. You will visit a school in the village and have a picnic lunch by the river. In the afternoon, you will hike through the village of Zay and end of the hike today, Driver will pickup at Ta Van Bridge for the drive back to Sapa.
Evening, relax in the hotel area and have dinner on your own. Overnight in Sa Pa
Day 8: Sapa – Hanoi. Night train to Hanoi ( B / L / D )
After breakfast, Trek on the road from Sa Pa winds through hilly terrain and pass cross terraced rice fields to reach Cat Cat cultural village - home of H'mong Ethnics, about 3kms far away from Sapa town. Have an overview of the traditional customs of the ethnic Black H’mong minority.Stun at the waterfall and the vestige of a hydroelectric power station, constructed by the French during the colonial era in Viet Nam.
Trek to visit Ham Rong Mountain (Jaw of Dragon) – an attractive tourist area in the center of Sa Pa townlet. Enjoy free leisure time for relaxation and shopping in the afternoon. Depart from the train station of Lao Cai at 8.50pm in an air-conditioned soft sleeper cabin to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi at 5am.
Day 9: Departure Hanoi
Free time for shopping or optional visit before transfer to Noi Bai airport for departure. End of explore the north west loops tour. See you again next trip!
What to Bring:
Passport, change of clothes, su-glasses & hat, sun-block, insect repellent, flashlights, good shoes, personal first aid kit & medicines, small VND notes for buying drinks. If you feel the need then sleeping bags, cable lock for your bags is recommended.
- As indicated: A/C= Air-conditioning, O/N= Overnight, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
- Itinerary is subject to change depending on flights, road condition and room availability
- Rates are subjected to changed without prior notice.
· Hotel: twin/double shared room. Upgrade is available on request. Check in: 14:00, check out: 12:00 noon. Early check in if it is subject to availability.
· SS: single Supplement. The extra charge for person would like to have a single room.
· Site Closed: Ho Chi Minh mausoleum is closed on Monday, Friday and the whole September and November for the maintenance. No short or informal wear is allowed in the Mausoleum, temple and pagoda.
· Meals: Vietnam food
· Time to travel: Good to travel year round but best from September to April.
· Booking Terms & Conditions: Tour itinerary and tour prices are subject to change without notice.
· Surcharge 3% if pay by credit card or 2% on traveler cheque.