Day 1: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (L,D).
8:00: You will be met up with Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi (Please advise your hotel).
Depart for Ninh Binh. Enjoy beautiful landscape of the Red River Delta and firstly visit Hoa Lu old capital (968-1009) with two temples of two Kings. After visiting these two temples, you start cycling to Tam Coc through the beautiful villages and landscapes.
You will arrive in Tam Coc around noon. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in Tam Coc.
After lunch take the boat trip to see Tam Coc that means ”three lakes” and is called ” Halong Bay on land ”, really amazing with the rocky mountains, and you will be completely dazzle when paddling through the green paddy fields on two sides of the lakes and more interesting to go through three caves. It takes about 2 and a half hour to discover the beauty of the nature here before getting off boat to visit an old temple (Thaivi Temples), That is located on a nice scenery and more interesting to know about its history.
Check in hotel. Take the rest before cycling through the rice fields and beautiful rocky mountains to visit Bich Dong pagoda and a cave.
Overnight in Tam Coc in a hotel.
Day 2: Ninh Binh – Kenh Ga - Mai Chau (B,L,D).
Transfer to Kenh Ga – “The Chicken Canal” for another boat trip along the Hoang Long river to experience the real life of a Vietnamese catholic community. Set on the banks of the Hoang Long River, Kenh Ga is a remarkable place, not only because it is surrounded by the same massive rocks that dominate Hoa Lu, but also because for most of the year the entire community lives on the water itself. The floating village of Kenh Ga receives relatively few visitors compared to nearby Hoa Lu and the peoples' aquatic way of life has changed little over the centuries.
After the boat trip, you have lunch in a local restaurant. Then continue the journey to Mai Chau valley where you stop for overnight.
In the evening, assist to the traditional music and dance show which is performed by the Thai young girls and boys who all come from the village. Try also some rice alcohol which is made of traditional plants and local sticky rice.
Overnight in a house on stilts.
Day 3: Mai Chau - Hanoi – Laocai (B,L).
Breakfast at the Thai stilt house then you leave the village for a half day walking around. You pass by different Thai hamlets, through rice fields, hill sides…You will stop by some local houses to talk with local people to understand their customs and culture. Walk back to Mai Chau around noon for lunch.
After lunch, drive back to Hanoi. Stay free at leisure until taking the overnight train to Lao Cai. Train??? Departure at ??? Overnight on board train.
Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa. Trek Mong Sen, Ta Phin villages (B,L,D).
Arrive Laocai train station early this morning. You will be greeted by Lotussia local team and transferred to Sapa. Breakfast will be provided in a local restaurant in town.
After breakfast and a short rest, you will be transferred downhill to Mong Sen village, where you start trekking uphill through mountainous area. Enjoy while walking the spectacular view over rice paddy terraces, corn fields.
Your picnic lunch will be provided on the spot.
After lunch, we continue our trek downhill towards Taphin village where you will meet Red Dao and Black Hmong minorities, two largest ethnic groups in Sapa area. Stop by a house to talk with local people to know a bit more about their daily life, their customs and tradition. Have dinner and overnight in the village.
Day 5: Continue trekking. Return Sapa town (B,L).
After breakfast, we start our trek towards Sapa. We will pass through several minority villages, rice paddy terraces along the way. Upon arriving in Matra village inhabited by Black Hmong people, we will stop for our lunch. Then, we continue our walk to Sapa.
Arrive back in Sapa town in the afternoon. Check into a local hotel for overnight (free dinner).
Day 6: Travel to Cao Son. Visit Cao Son market. Overnight train back to Hanoi (B,L).
Depart for Muong Khuong district. We will travel via tea plantation and forest of pine. You might encounter Giay tribe in their traditional dress in Ban Lau or Thanh Binh. Reaching Cao Son about 10.am, enjoy the excitement of this weekly market. The shining dress of colorful Hmong girls attracts you much as you fall down to a new world, a world of interest and fun. Having lunch in Cao Son lodge.
In the afternoon, commence your walk to the most secluded yet peaceful village - Tin Thang. In this village, people still distill the wine from corn, making bacon in the most basic way and offering special corn
cake to anyone who drop by their house.
Transfer to Laocai train station for taking the overnight train back to Hanoi. Train??? Departure at ???? (to be advised). Overnight on the train.
Day 7: Arrive Hanoi. Travel to Halong bay. Cruise. Kayaking (B,L,D).
Arrive Hanoi Train Station early this morning at ??? (to be advised). You will be greeted again by Lotussia Travel team and transferred to a local restaurant for breakfast.
At 8:30: Depart for Halong bay. Enjoy the journey through the scenery of rice fields and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong around noon and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Round over Thien Cung cave (palace of heaven), Dau Go ( grotto of wood ), Tuan Chau island, Dog island, Dinh Huong, Ga Choi (fighting cock mountain), Turtle island.
Enjoy a two-hour kayak paddling on the emerald waters of Halong bay.
Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.
Day 8: Transfer Halong bay – Cat Ba island. Visit Cat Ba National Park (B,L).
After breakfast, we leave the boat-house joining a small wooden boat for another cruise towards Catba island.
Upon arrival in Catba island pier, you will be picked up by local motor-taxi (“xe om”) and transferred to Cat Ba town.
In the afternoon, enjoy a half day trekking to Cat Ba national park. We will trek through jungle and have a chance to see the panorama of Halong Bay from one of the mountain summits we would conquer during the trek.
Return Catba town. Check into a local hotel for overnight (free dinner).
Day 9: Free morning. Cat Ba island - Hai Phong by speed boat. Return to Hanoi (B).
The whole morning will be let free at leisure. Free lunch in town.
In the afternoon, take a speed boat to travel to Haiphong where our vehicle will wait for us for the drive back to Hanoi. End trip.
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