Northern Highlights

Routing: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Sapa - Hanoi

Trip Duration:

10 days 9 nights


Physical Grading:

Northern Vietnam is a captivating blend of stunning landscapes, enchanting people and dynamic cities. Capture the spirit of the north in this quick-paced adventure from the delightful city of Hanoi to the amazing World Heritage Site of Halong Bay and to the hill station of Sapa. The tour offers a great opportunity to explore the unique culture and beautiful nature of northern Vietnam in an active way.

Tour Highlights
  • City tour of Hanoi
  • Kayaking in the amazing Halong Bay
  • Trek & homestay in Sapa

Day by Day Program:

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Day 2: City tour of Hanoi
Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay
Day 4: Kayaking Halong Bay
Day 5: Cruise/drive back to Hanoi. Overnight train to Lao Cai
Day 6: Trek in Sapa
Day 7: Trek and home stay in Sapa
Day 8: Overnight train back to Hanoi
Day 9: Free time
Day 10: Departure

Services and Activities included:

AC vehicles
Overnight train two way to Lao Cai
Hotels based on twin shared
Twin shared AC cabin on junk
Water puppet show
Sit-on-top double kayak
Homestay permission
English or French speaking guide
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Water & Snack
Entrance & Sightseeing fees

Tour Exclusions:

Travel insurance
Personal expenses


If none of our package tours satisfy you, let our travel experts tailor make a tour for you based on our answers for following questions:

1. When will you travel?
2. Length of your stay?
3. Number of traveler?
4. What is the field of your interest? Please specify: Kayaking / Biking / Trekking / Motorcycling / Multi-sport
5. Any extra interest you want to combine? Please specify: Culture experience / Beach holiday
6. Grade of adventure activities: Introductory / Moderate / Challenging
7. Any extra information that help us to identify your travel need?

Please use our Contact form to send the above information. You will get our answer within 12 hours. Thank you and Happy travels!

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi

Arrival in Noi Bai airport. You’ll be greeted at the airport and transferred downtown to check into your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to explore a little of downtown and enjoy a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake.

In the evening, enjoy a special Water Puppet show and have welcome dinner with local delights. Overnight Hanoi. 

Transfer:  45 mins 
Transportation: AC vehicle
Activities:  Water puppet show
Meal:    Welcome Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Day 2: City tour of Hanoi

After breakfast in the hotel you will take an interesting guided city tour of Hanoi including Ho Chi Minh complex (the mausoleum, the house & garden and the museum) and One Pillar Pagoda, a unique ancient architecture. After here we move to Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam’s first university, dates back to 1070. Its peaceful gardens and pavilions offer a relaxing respite from Hanoi’s busy streets. Lunch in local restaurant. 

In the afternoon, we enjoy a relaxing cyclo tour in the ancient part of Hanoi. Walking down some small and lively street to see busy local market then join locals for green tea or coffee in local café. Free time for shopping. Overnight in Hanoi

“Cyclo is three wheeled rickshaws, operated by pedal-power, with a seat attached to the front. 

Activities:  Full-day city tour
Transportation: AC vehicle
Meals:    Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Day 3: Hanoi -  Halong Bay

Leave Hanoi for Halong Bay at 8.30am. 
On the way we will have a short break for refreshment at a handicraft centre. Upon arrival in Halong City we board a wooden boat for a fine seafood lunch and a short cruise to Thien Cung Cave. After a short exploration of the cave we board the junk again for a great cruise through an amazing area of limestone islets. We will pass a floating village to reach Luon Cave, which is a tunnel thrusting through a mountain. Dinner and overnight on the junk.

Transfer Hanoi – Halong:  3.5 hrs
Transportation:   AC vehicle
Activities:   Cruising
Meals:     Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Accommodation:   Twin shared cabin
Day 4: Kayaking Halong Bay

After breakfast we start paddling to Van Chai Floating village and then continue paddling to Dark Cave. Tide permitting, we explore this amazing cave by kayak. The cave is a 200m long, dark tunnel thrusting through a limestone mountain. The tunnel is the only entry to a secluded and beautiful lagoon. Lunch on support boat in front of the cave. After lunch we paddle to Ba Trai Dao Lagoon, along a stunning and fairly rough sea channel, to explore its beautiful beaches. Continue paddling to Lan Ha Bay, which is smaller than Halong bay but much more interesting with lots of secluded beaches. Cruise back to Halong Bay for dinner and overnight on mother boat

Activities:   5 hr kayaking 
Transportation: Boat, Kayak
Meals:    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:  Twin shared cabin
Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Take overnight train to Lao Cai

Breakfast on the junk and enjoy the sundeck of the junk while she navigates amazing rock formations of Bai Tu Long Bay to get back to Halong City. Lunch on the junk before reach Halong Harbor for a drive back to Hanoi. On the way back to Hanoi we will have a stop in Dong Trieu Town for refreshment and visiting to a ceramic factory. 

Arrive in Hanoi we then have time to shop around the Old Quarter and have dinner before being transferred to Hanoi Railway station to catch the night train to Lao Cai (9.30pm – 5.30am). Overnight on train

Transfer Halong – Hanoi:  3.5 hrs 
Transportation:  AC vehicle, Junk, Overnight train
Activities:    Sightseeing
Meals:     Breakfast, Lunch 
Accommodation:  AC, soft sleeper cabin on train
Day 6: Trekking Sapa 

Arrival in Lao Cai and take a 1.5 hour drive up the stunning mountain range sculpted with tiered rice terraces to the charming little town of Sa Pa, which nestles at 1632 meters. Lots of sightseeing en route. After checking into your hotel you'll have free time to explore the town and its great market.

After a lunch of Vietnamese food in a local restaurant you’ll take a 3 hour trek down the valley to visit a H’mong hill tribe village. Return to Sapa and overnight in hotel. 

Transfer Lao Cai – Sapa:  1.5 hrs 
Transportation:  Bus (or van), On foot
Activities:    3-hr easy trek
Meals:     Breakfast, Lunch 
Accommodation:  Hotel
Day 7: Trekking & home-stay

After breakfast you begin your trek around 9am. You first descend the valley on tarmac then hit a beautiful dirt path which runs through rice terraces and minority villages. You will have a break in Lao Chai Village to visit the local H'mong minority group. You’ll stop beside a stream and enjoy a picnic lunch.  After lunch you continue trekking to Ta Van village, home of the Dzay hill tribe. You will spend to night with a Dzay family. Your dinner will be cooked by your local guide and the hosts.

Transportation:  On foot
Activities:    5-hr intermediate trek
Meals:     Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Accommodation:  Home-stay
Day 8: Sapa – Lao Cai – Overnight train to Hanoi 

Breakfast at the home stay. We say goodbye to the hosts and head to the main road where you will be transferred back to Sapa town. Lunch in local restaurant and then spend the rest of the day for shopping or walking the beautiful Ham Rong Park. In the late afternoon you will be transferred to Lao Cai for overnight train back to Hanoi.

Transfer village – Sapa:  35 mins 
Transfer Sapa – Lao Cai:  1.5 hrs 
Transportation:  Bus (or van)
Activities:    Sightseeing
Meals:     Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:  AC, soft sleeper cabin on train
Day 9:  Free day in Hanoi

Arrive in Ha Noi 4.30 am. Check into your hotel. You’ll welcome this free day to relax and recover from you journey north. Lots of time to explore more of Ha Noi and pick up some of those last minute souvenirs. Overnight in hotel  

Activities:    Free time
Meals:     Breakfast
Accommodation:  Hotel
Day 10: Departure 

Breakfast and free until you are transferred to the airport for the flight to onward destination. 

Transfer Hanoi – Airport: 45 mins
Transportation:  AC vehicle
Meals:     Breakfast
Note on client safety
We reserve the right to deviate from this itinerary for any reasons, including road and weather conditions, frequency of visits to a village, or for any other factor which may influence client safety.
Group size Price guide (USD/person)
Duration: 10 days, 9 nights 
Group size:  08 persons  
Arrival:  Hanoi
Departure:  Hanoi
When:   Year round
Activities:  Kayaking, Trekking, Culture expedition
Grade:  Introductory
Transportation:  AC vehicle, Junk, Overnight train, Kayak
Accommodation:  5 nights hotel, 2 nights junk, 2 night train, 1 night homestay
Tour guide:  English or French speaking tour guide 
- Day 1: Welcome dinner
- Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch
- Day 3-4: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Day 5-6: Breakfast, Lunch
- Day 7: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Day 8: Breakfast, Lunch
- Day 9-10: Breakfast
All meals, which are indicated in the itinerary, are included in the price of this trip. While in big towns we will enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in fine restaurants. Once we travel away from big towns, the emphasis will be on healthy and nutritious fresh local produce.
Hotel & homestay
In cities we use the finest 3-star hotels with centre location. Please contact us if you prefer higher hotel categories.
Homestay in villages is simple in term of bedding condition and amenities. We will sleep on beds with mattress, clean sheet, pillows and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.
The junk  
The beautiful Chinese junk functions as a hotel and we would share it with other travelers. We will get twin shared cabin with AC and restroom.
The next day when we go kayaking a smaller wooden boat will support us the whole day. 
The kayak
On this trip we use hard-cell, tandem kayak. Paddle, life-jacket and dry bag are available   
The trekking day
A typical trekking day start at about 8.30 am after breakfast. Lunch times can vary depending on the terrain. We aim to reach the next overnight stop by 4.30 or 5. During the trek we will have short breaks for rest, snack and photographing.  
Our tour guide
The tour will be led by one of our tour guides who are experienced in guiding outdoor tours in northern Vietnam. He has been carefully trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding by the government. In addition, he has been trained in first-aid by SOS International and he knows how to deal with difficult situations. You will have a great time traveling with him.
What to bring 
Trekking boot, sun block, hat, anti-insect repellent, sunglasses, sleeping bag (optional), rain coat, flashlight, toiletries, original passport,
Note on client safety
We reserve the right to deviate from this itinerary for any reasons, including road and weather conditions, frequency of visits to a village, or for any other factor which may influence client safety.

Halong Bay Adventure Travel & Tours

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