DAY 1: ARRIVE IN HA NOI – VIET NAM (D)
Upon arrival in Noi Bai Airport – Ha Noi Capital, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred by coach to your hotel in Ha Noi. This day is free at your leisure.
DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR – NIGHT TRAIN TO LAO CAO PROVINCE (VICTORIA EXPRESS) (B/L/D)
Tour guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you to Ho Chi Minh Complex, at which you visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidents Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s House on which President Ho Chi Minh lived until his last breath. Continue the trip by admiring the unique One Pillar Pagoda, which lies in the campus of the complex. Take a walk to Tran Quoc Pagoda, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and charming beauty of one of the oldest pagoda in Hanoi.
Lunch at a local restaurant with local Vietnamese cuisine. Continue your tour at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), the first Imperial University in Vietnam which was built in 1070. Leave the Temple of Literature, you will visit Vietnamese Women’s Museum – this Museum is dedicated to the Vietnamese Women. More than 1000 materials, photos and objects displayed in the permanent exhibition show the role the Vietnamese women played in the History and currently play in Arts and in the Family life. After that, take a cycle trip to the Old Quarter, through Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House and stop at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Return to your hotel in Hanoi. Have dinner before get to Ha Noi Train Station for a night train to Lao Cai Province on Victoria Express Train.
DAY 3: ARRIVING IN SAPA – TREKKING TO MA TRA, LU KHAU AND TA PHIN VILLAGE (B/L/D)
(Trekking Distance: Approx. 08 kilometers)
Our tour guide will welcome you at Lao Cai railway station. You will have breakfast before moving to Sa Pa Town and check in your hotel. Departure at 09.00 am. Heading northeast of the town, walk 15 minutes through the peaceful newly developed area of the town, then follow a narrow dirt trail for downhill through the Suoi Ho Valley, keep trekking along the stream to Ma Cha Village of the Black H’mong. Spend half an hour paying visit to local homes of the Black H’mong, then continue walking up and down hills through the Ma Cha Valley for 2 hours to Lu Khau, another hamlet of the H’mong, explore the hamlet before lunch break. Afternoon walk takes about 2,5 hours around the Ta Phin Valley, spending lot of time contacting with the Red Zao peoples who live in larger village and very good at handicraft: Silver work for men and embroidery for women. Picked up in mid-afternoon and transfer back to Sapa by road.
DAY 4: SA PA – HARD BIKING TO SU PAN AND BAN HO VILLAGE. (B/L/D)
(Biking Distance: Approx. 28 kilometers)
You will cycle into the Sapa valley and experience the fantastic scenery of mountains and rice paddy fields along the way. You will visit the Black Hmong village of Su Pan and then continue mostly downhill to the Tay village of Ban Ho, where you will enjoy lunch and have time to explore the village and take a swim in the river. After lunch you will be able to take a walk up to Red Dao village of Nam Toong. Here you have time to visit the local school and a Red Dao house. After exploring Nam Toong you walk back to Ban Ho where your car is waiting to take you back to Sapa. After a short rest, check out of Victoria Resort, tour guide and coach will take you back to Lao Cai city. Have dinner at a local restaurant till the Victoria Express Train leave for Ha Noi.
DAY 5: HA NOI – HALONG BAY & LAN HA BAY (B/L/D)
The train arrives in Ha Noi Train Station at early morning. Have a breakfast at hotel before transferring to Halong City.
12.30: Arrive in Halong Bay. Check-in at the cruise centre. Depart from Tuan Chau Island, meet the onboard team and receive the safety briefing. Acquaint yourself with the five elements cuisine with lunch on board, while the boat cruises leisurely towards Lan Ha Bay area. Visit Three Peaches Beach – Ba Trai Dao for swimming, kayaking and other water activities. Take part in the Vietnamese food cooking demonstration. Savor our five elements signature dinner of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water while the boat is anchored for our overnight stop. Relax with a drink at bar or join our crew and try squid fishing on the deck.
DAY 6: HALONG BAY, LAN HA BAY and CAT BA ISLAND (B/L/D)
07.00: Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or enjoy the breathtaking views of the bay while the ship begins slowly cruising. Have breakfast onboard while the boat cruises in Ha Long Bay. Visit the famous Surprise Cave, Hang Sung Sot. Enjoy lunch in Ha Long restaurant while the boat cruises towards Cat Ba Island.
13.45: Join a guided biking or hiking excursion through the national park of Cat Ba Island and visit The Au Co organic farm in Viet Hai Village (6-kilometer biking). After this activity, you will have time for kayaking & swimming in the Viet Hai Lagoon. End the day with a drink at the boat’s bar or join our crew and try squid fishing on the deck. Join our kitchen staff for the fruit carving sessions.
DAY 7: BAI TU LONG BAY (B/L/D) – HANOI – HOI AN
06.30: Start the day with a Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck or enjoy the breath-taking views of the bay while The Au Co cruises leisurely in Bai Tu Long Bay. Take your time over breakfast. Visit Vung Vieng floating fishing village by traditional bamboo boat. Prepare for check out: passenger’s bags must be put in the corridor. Join a Vietnamese traditional tea ceremony then check-out. Disembark in Tuan Chau and leave for Hanoi.
15.00: Return to Hanoi. Transfer to Noi Bai airport and fly to Da Nang city. Upon arrival, our tour guide and coach will welcome and take you to Hoi An. Check in hotel.
DAY 8: HOI AN SUBURBAN – BIKING TO TRA NHIEU VILLAGE. (B/L/D)
(Total Biking Distance: Approx. 08 kilometers)
Our tour guide will meet you at the hotel lobby, then biking to Thu Bon pier, board on a boat and cruise along Thu Bon River to Cam Kim Pier (15-minute cruise). From here, we start biking to the Kim Bong carpentry village for a visit. Then, continue to bike to Tra Nhieu Village (4 kilometers) to visit traditional handicraft of the village such as: farming, fishing, poultry and livestock breeding, mattress making. You will have a chance to learn how to row a traditional bamboo boat along the water coconut forest and feeling the freshness (named as “Thung Chai”). This activity promises for exciting unforgettable moments. After having lunch with special dishes at the village and taking a short rest, we bike back to Cam Kim Pier (4 kilometers), get on boat and head back to Hoi An town.
DAY 9: HOI AN SUBURBAN (B/L/D)
Experiencing a unique adventure in Hoi An, joining the Wet Rice Farmer Tour. Learn hands on about the whole process of how rice reaches its finished product. Start the day by riding a water buffalo and then take part in plough, raking, sowing, planting, grinding and separating the rice and making rice flour. At the end of the tour you will have the opportunity to cook and eat beautiful crispy pancakes which will be served with a cool drink. This whole experience is held on a family farm and will be something you will never forget.
DAY 10: HO CHI MINH CITY – CU CHI TUNNELS SIGHTSEEING. (B/L/D)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel in Hoi An, transfer to Da Nang Airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, our tour guide and coach will welcome and take you to the city center. Check in hotel. Having lunch. Afternoon, joining the sightseeing tour of Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. Dinner at local restaurant. Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 11: COOKING CLASS IN MAI HOME COOKING SCHOOL (B/L/D)
The courses start by visiting to a colorful market with Chef. Back to Cookery Center, we begin to approach to culinary aspect and the culture of Vietnamese gastronomy. The Chef introduces the dishes to make and the ingredients used as well. Then, apron on, everybody put their hands on. Throughout the course, you have an opportunity to observe all the skill of Chefs and the trick that can achieve any recipe, even dishes that seems the most difficult. However, if only observe, it’s not enough. Chef would like you to make yourself to repeat the same gestures! Carving fruit or vegetables is also offered by Chef to amaze your presentation to the plate! Finally, savoring your own creation. Enjoy this moment for sharing experience with Chef. Highlight your performance by a “Certificate of Recognition”. You also win a book of recipes to renew your performance and amaze your guests.
DAY 12: MEKONG ONE DAY (B/L/D)
Leaving the bustle and hustle Ho Chi Minh city for My Tho, enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields, stopping to see how the rice is cultivated an take pictures of the rice farms in the Mekong River Delta. On arrival at My Tho, take a leisurely boat trip to Tortoise Island. Then disembark and go for a gentle stroll through the picturesque orchards and fruit garden. Head back to Ho Chi Minh City at the late afternoon. Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 13: DEPARTURE
After breakfast, your free time before getting to Tan Son Nhat Airport for home flight.