If you’re looking for a Geography tour with beautiful landscape for your school/college, then this 9-day itinerary should be your first choice.
The tour takes us to a cultural village in the outskirt of Hanoi, to the Karst ‘Tam Coc” – Three Grottoes or normally called ‘Halong bay inland’, to the amazing limestone standing in emerald water Halong Bay and finally, to the picturesque mountainous area Sapa in the Northwest Vietnam.
Day 1: Arrival at Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, teacher and students will be greeted then transferred to hotel. After a short rest, we enjoy a 1-hour cycle tour of the French inspired “old quarter”. We will then sit down to enjoy a performance of the city’s famous Water Puppets. After the show, we will have welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant in town.
Day 2: Dong Ngac Cultural Village with bike – ½ Day (B, L, D)
Today we travel to Dong Ngac Cultural Village, which is, located about 15 km from Hanoi center. This is an ancient village and a Cultural Heritage Site in honor of its educated and heroic people recognized by the kings of Vietnam. Here we embark on an interesting market tour, experience the bustling market and local life as the host; try to purchase all the ingredients which we need to cook for our lunch today with the help of tour guides. After that, we transfer to the traditional house for welcome drink and leaving all stuffs we had bought at local market.
Take our bikes and venture deeper into the village: Visit Dong Ngac Communal House, the grounds and architecture of which are built in the shape of a dragon, the oldest house in the village belongs to the Do family and is more than 300 years old and Nguyen family with a house given by the King. Back to the traditional house, it is time for our private cooking demonstration. After watching our host then practice ourselves and then the best part of all, try our dishes! After all our efforts we can reward ourselves and rest back into some reclining chairs in the fragrant retreat of our host’s village garden. All too soon, it is mid-afternoon and time to say good bye to our new friends back to Hanoi.
Day 3: Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Van Long (B, L, D)
The Hoa Lu Tam Coc is a popular tourist destination in the North of Vietnam, nearby the city of Ninh Binh. Tam Coc means three caves, which is along the Ngo Dong River which beginning at the village of Van Lam and proceeding through a scenic landscape dominated by rice fields and karst towers. The route includes floating through three natural caves (Hang Cả, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba), the largest of which is 125m long with its ceiling about 2m high above the water. The boats are typically rowed by one or two local women who also sell embroidered goods.
Hoa Lu was Vietnam’s capital city in the 10th and 11th centuries. The area is one of rice fields broken by picturesque limestone mountains, and is approximately 90 km south of Hanoi. It features several dozen monuments, including King Dinh and King Le Temple & Tombs….
Morning, we meet tour guide and driver at 8h00 then travel to the Southward of Hanoi to Ninh Binh province. We first visit Hoa Lu ancient capital then stop at a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we take sampan along the Ngo Dong River to visit three caves Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba (Tam Coc). In the afternoon, we will drive 6 Km to Van Long and check in a resort that located by Van Long Nature Reserve where we will spend the night.
Day 4: Van Long – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay (B, L, D)
Today we set off to the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Vietnam’; Halong Bay. Arriving before lunch we will board our boat and then set sail, cruising amongst thousands of extraordinary limestone karst formations. Halong Bay was voted one of ‘The New 7 Wonders of Nature’ in 2011, and once here you will know why it was included in this group.
On arrival in Halong, we will embark on V’Spirit Classic Cruise followed by a short cruise briefing. We will then savor a delectable lunch while V’Spirit Classic cruises among the limestone islands. In the mid-afternoon, we will kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Bo Nau Cave area before going back to the V’Spirit Classic and continue cruising to Soi Sim Island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay.
In the evening, we will cruise back to the main boat for a shower before having dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 5: Halong – Hanoi – Sa pa (B, L)
Wake up early in the morning and start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt before having breakfast. After that, we will explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the nicest cave in Halong Bay. After that, we will return to the boat, freshen up and check out of our cabin. Continue our cruise exploring the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more. While heading back to the harbor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch. We will disembark at round noon and find our car is waiting and take us back to Hanoi.
We will have time for refresh and dinner in a local restaurant before our car takes us to Hanoi Railway Station to board the overnight train to Sapa.
Day 6: Sapa – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Ta Van Home-stay (B, L, D)
Arrival at Lao Cai Station in the early morning, students and teacher will be welcomed by our local guide and transfer to Sapa. On arrival, we will have breakfast in a nice restaurant in the town centre and leave luggage at the hotel.
After that, we will sneak through the market, and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, we will follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. We will stop by a waterfall and a hydroelectric station for a while before you trek on a dirt trail through rice paddy terraces. We will also enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. We eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where we can take a rest while lunch are served nearby the river.
After lunch, we head to Muong Hoa valley. We will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route. We will spend the night in local house of Giay minority. We will be able to take a walk to enjoy the valley view as well as swim in the river nearby.
Approx: 5 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Day 7: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Lao Cai (B, L, D)
Once we get energy for our last day trek by having a delicious breakfast, we leave for Giang Ta Chai village of Red Dao minority. We will trek through bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park. On the way, we will pass by a waterfall where we will have time to take a rest and enjoy the surroundings. We will find a nice place to enjoy lunch.
After lunch, we continue toward Su Pan, a small village located by the road. Here we start our journey back to Sapa by car and have free time for shower and relax before our car arrives to take us back to Lao Cai Station in good time to board the overnight train back to Hanoi.
Approx: 1-hour driving/ 3 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Day 8: Hanoi departure (B)
Arriving in Hanoi in the early morning, we will be met and driven to our hotel for early check in and breakfast. Our time will be free until our driver arrives to take us to Noi Bai airport in good time for departure flight. Tour ends.