Hanoi, Sapa Valley Trek & Halong Bay10 Days & 9 Nights 5 Read 3 reviews
- Exploring the historic city of Hanoi, described by Lonely Planet as 'Asia's most atmospheric capital'
- Trekking in the lush Sapa valley with its dramatic mountains and terraced rice fields
- Meeting fascinating hill tribe villages and experiencing local cultures
- Enjoying mouth-watering Vietnamese cuisine and sampling the delicious street food of Hanoi
- Taking in the spectacular mountain views from your private bungalow at Topas Ecolodge
- Cruising on a luxury steamship through the limestone karts and clear waters of Halong Bay
What To Expect
Private Guided | Alone or with your chosen companion(s), benefit from a private guide throughout most of your trip.
Walking, Sea Kayaking, Cultural Activities | Walking as part of a multi activity trip., Sea Kayaking as part of a multi-activity trip, Trip includes cultural activities in the itinerary
Activity Level & Terrain
The four days trekking on this trip are graded as moderate and include 4-5 hours of trekking per day. To get the most from this trip you should be comfortable walking for up to six hours through hilly terrain. You follow well-maintained paths and tracks and some sections can be steep.
You will stay in 9 nights of carefully selected accommodations including a 3* hotel, 4-berth cabins in overnight trains, a riverside lodge, an ecolodge and a superior cabin on board the steamship.
If the hotels detailed in the itinerary are not available we will book hotels of the same or better standard.
Single rooms are available, there is a supplement payable. Unfortunately, this tour is not available to solo travellers.
9 breakfasts, 7 evening meals and 7 lunches are included.
- 9 Nights accommodation—3 nights 3* hotel, 1 night in a 4-berth cabin on overnight trains, 1 night in a homestay, 1 night in a riverside lodge, 2 nights in an ecolodge, 1 night in a superior cabin on a
- 9 Breakfasts
- 6 Dinners & 6 Lunches
- Transfers as per itinerary
- English speaking adventure guide throughout except on boat in Halong Bay where you have a local guide
- Local guide in Sapa
- Snacks, water and local fruits during trekking days
- Sightseeing tickets and zone entrance fees where mentioned in the itinerary.
- Airport transfers.
- Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, telephone bills and airport tax.
- Lunches on Days 1,7, 9 and 10, Dinners on Day 2, 7 and 9
- Tips to drivers, guides and staff at your discretion.
- Travel insurance
- Flights to/from Vietnam
- Upgrade to 2-berth cabin on overnight train
- Hotel upgrades for Hanoi
When To Go
The North of Vietnam tends to be cooler than the rest of the country. During the winter, from November to February, the day time temperature is pleasantly cool. It beings to warm up in March and stays dry and warm until May. From June to October, it is hot and rainy so we recommend the best time to travel on this trip as anytime between November and April.
Getting to the Start
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.
Drivers & Guides
You will be accompanied by an English-speaking certified adventure guide throughout your trip except on the boat in Halong Bay where you will have a local guide, and you will also have a local guide in Sapa.
Please be prepared by packing all the necessary items, for example, proper rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for the warmer months, and a day pack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for cancellation, curtailment, the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the accommodation offered within this tour is extremely popular. Please note you can start this tour on any day of the week.
You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
Most tourists visiting Vietnam require a Tourist Visa to enter the country and all travellers must have a passport valid for 6 months after their planned exit from Vietnam.
British, French, German, Italian and Spanish passport holders can enter Vietnam without a visa for up to 15 days (single entry only). This policy is currently in place until 30 June 2016. If the visit is longer than 15 days these nationalities will still need to apply for a visa. If the above nationalities have visited Vietnam before, the new entry date must be over 30 days since the previous exit in order to re-enter with visa exemption.
We have partnered with Visa Swift (for UK clients) and PVS Global (for US clients). You can visit their websites to find out the latest requirements for your destination or to make general enquiries. Please see more details here - http://www.macsadventure.com/visas
The four days trekking on this trip are graded moderate and include 4-6 hours of trekking per day. To get the most from this trip you should be comfortable walking for up to six hours through hilly terrain. You follow well-maintained paths and tracks and some short sections can be steep.
Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
The North of Vietnam tends to be cooler than the rest of the country. During the winter, from November to February, the daytime temperature is pleasantly cool and weather often damp. It beings to warm up in March and stays dry and warm until May. From June to October, the north of Vietnam is hot and rainy. Overall the best time to visit is from November to April.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Hanoi
On arrival at Hanoi’s international airport, our representative will meet you and transfer to your hotel. After you have checked in the day is yours to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of ancient and modern Asia, before meeting at the hotel lobby to go for a welcome dinner and your trip orientation.
Activity: Free time in Hanoi, welcome dinner
The capital city of Hanoi blends the old world charm of French colonialism with the trademark features of a bustling Asian city. Today your guide will take you on a full city tour, exploring the Temple of Literature, one of Vietnam's most iconic temples The One Pillar Pagoda, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Ethnology Museum. Lunch is included at one of the city's finest restaurants.
In the evening you are transferred to the railway station for your overnight train to Sapa. Travel overnight on the Livitrans Express. Compartments offer soft berths, air-conditioning, reading lights, baggage storage and non-private bathroom facilities. Your guide will also travel on the train with you.
Activity: Full-Day sightseeing tour of Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
You will arrive in Lao Cai, a border town to China, by early morning where you will have time to have breakfast and repack your bag for your 3-day trek into the Sapa valley. Porters will carry your luggage needed for the next 3 days and the rest will be transferred to Topas Ecolodge, where you will stay after the trek. A short drive takes you to Ta Thang, inhabited by the Tay minority, where your trek starts. Continue uphill with views over the green valley lying along the Red River and onwards towards the Red Dao village of Sin Chai. The trail leads you through small minority villages and bamboo forests in this fabulously mountainous area and most remote part of Sapa. Be prepared for curious wide-eyed children as this area is largely untouched by tourism. On arriving at Sin Chai village, you will have a short 1-hour transfer to Nam Cang village.
Activity: 4-4.5 hours walking/2 hours 20 min driving
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
An ascent of half an hour with amazing aerial views takes you to the cardamom fields on top of the nearby mountains this morning. The Red Dao earn their living growing cardamom, used for making Vietnamese and Chinese traditional medicine. Enjoy a picnic lunch by a picturesque waterfall before returning to the lodge. For the rest of the afternoon, you can enjoy relaxing by the river at the lodge or have a walk around Nam Cang village. During your walk, you can learn how the local villagers make writing paper, jewelry and embroidery.
Activity: 4 hours of walking
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Crossing the river, you follow a steep trail up to the Red Dao village of Nam Ngan. Here you can explore the village whilst lunch is prepared, before enjoying an easy walk in the afternoon to My Son village, home to one of the smallest minorities in Vietnam, the Xa Pho, who still maintain a nomadic lifestyle.
Your final destination for this evening, reached by a car transfer to take you up to 1000m, is the Topas Ecolodge which sits in a wonderful location on a hilltop right in the middle of the valley.
Activity: 4-4.5 hours walking/1 hour driving
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walk straight from the doorstep of the ecolodge today through lush valleys and rice paddy terraces to explore Lech village, inhabited by the Black h’mong. You will have another opportunity to visit a village school if it is a class day, before returning via the beautiful Muong Bo river to Topas Ecolodge in the afternoon where you can relax before dinner.
Activity: 5-6 hours walking
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today can be as active or as easy-going as you wish. You can enjoy relaxing in your bungalow taking in the surrounding views of the Sapa valley.
If you prefer, take a trip to Sapa town to explore the busy market. Or there is also the option to do some more walking in the Muong Hoa Valley and through Cat Cat village at the foot of Fansipan Mountain. In the late afternoon leave Sapa on a comfortable shared shuttle transfer back to Hanoi (approx 5 hours).
Activity: Optional 4-5 hours of walking
Depart for Halong Bay first thing this morning. Check-in at the Emeraude Café around lunchtime and feel as if you are stepping back into French Indochina as you board this wonderful replica of one of the classic steamships of the era. Have lunch as you cruise among hundreds of islets to discover unspoilt pockets of Halong Bay, and visit ‘Sung Sot’, one of the most imposing grottos of the bay.
As the boat cruises through the limestone karsts and clear waters in the afternoon, there are several options available including onboard kayaks, swimming off the boat’s platform, or even a Vietnamese spring roll cooking demonstration. After the sun sets, enjoy a delicious Vietnamese buffet dinner and a screening of award-winning film Indochine on the deck before retiring to your cabin.
Activity: Optional kayaking, swimming or a cooking demonstration
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
For early risers, complimentary tea and coffee are served on the sundeck followed by a Tai Chi class. As you return to Halong City, enjoy a wholesome brunch on deck before arriving back at Emeraude’s exclusive private pier for disembarkation where your driver awaits you for your transfer back to Hanoi.
Enjoy a final night at leisure in Hanoi to finish off your wonderful Vietnamese adventure.
After breakfast, transfer to Hanoi airport for your onward flight.
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