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  • Ha Noi - Ha Noi
  • 9 Nights / 10 days

Northern Highlights of Vietnam 9 nights/10days

You can visit the main cultural sites of Ha Noi including the magnificent area of Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum. Travelling to Sa Pa offers the opportunity for some scenic trekking (to the degree that matches your fitness level). Back on level ground, you are off to Ninh Binh Province and the lovely village and surrounding area of Tam Coc. Here you can visit caves and travel on small rowing boats propelled by local ladies. And onto the jewel in the crown, Ha Long Bay where you have an overnight cruise, go kayaking, caving, swimming or simply relaxaing.
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Tour Highlights

  • Ha Noi is a vibrant city with narrow streets of the Old Quarter and wide boulevards of the French Q.
  • Relax on the spectacular Ha Long Bay cruise where you can enjoy splendid food, swimming and kayaking
  • Take a day trip to the lovely area of Ninh Binh to explore by small boats and by road.
  • Stay in Sa Pa in the Northern Highlands and see magnificent scenery and meet local ethnic people.
Tour Route - Where you'll visit
1 Ha Noi
Vibrant and exciting Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, is a buzzing city that oozes self-assurance. Because it was bombed far less during the war, its Old Quarter remains intact - with each street devoted to different wares, from shoes to chicken's feet, conical hats and deities. Sit back in the elegant French quarter and observe the city on parade; watch traditional water puppetry, or join a  public Tai Chi session on the shores of the Hoan Kiem Lake. In the centre of the lake is a beautiful Chinese temple, reached by crossing an ornate red bridge. You may also wish to visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex and the Temple of Literature. 
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2 Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh Province is a rural area just 2 hours by road from the capital city of Ha Noi. Ninh Binh town is a local town with limited to offer the tourist except perhaps as a base for exploring the fascintating and beautiful countryside surrounding it. The most famous and most popular destination in Ninh Binh is Tam Coc. Tam Coc is famous for being the core starting point for joining a river trip. You will board a small rowing man that is propelled by a local lady. You travel through glorious countryside dotted with kimestone Karsts and travel through caves carved out by nature. 

The Province also has an intriguing Pagoda carved into the core of a karst, an ancient Palace from days of former glory, the first National Park ever designated in Vietnam and ample space to relax and revel in what nature does when left to her own devises. 
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3 Sa Pa
Gateway to China and the Tonkinese Alps, the Sapa Highlands promises dramatic scenery and a refreshing breather after Vietnam's bustling city. Sa Pa was developed by the French during the period of Colonialism to escape to during the hot and humid summers of Ha Noi. It continues to be a popular place to visit. The town itself has many excellent restaurants, bars, shops and a thriving local market. Travel outside the edges of this small town and you are straight into glorious mountain scenery of tiered rice paddies often epitimised in photographs of Vietnam. Here you can see people farming in the same way as their ancestors with wooden hoes and water buffalo. Treks from the town will take you to local villages where you can choose to stay with an ethnic minority family if you choose to. 

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4 Ha Long Bay
As you sail in the area of Ha Long Bay, you will pass close to enourmous limestone Karsts that explode out of the water in majestic shapes. Adjoinng Ha Long Bay is a quieter, more beautiful Bay called Bay Tu Long. We are one of a few companies that have liccense to take our travellers into this area. Here you can enjoy kayaking around the Karsts marvelling at their majesty and splendour. You can visit one of the man made beaches  or explore a natural cave situated high in one of the Karsts. Or you can simply relax onboard enjoying the peace and tranquility of Bay Tu Long. 
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Detailed Itinerary

Day ONE +-
  • Day 1 - Arrival in Ha Noi
You will be greeted at the airport by our Vietnam Travel Centre representativeand taken directly to your hotel to rest or explore as you choose. Ha Noi isthe capital city of Vietnam and the second largest city next to Ho Chi MinhCity (Saigon).  It is a 1000 year old city that is packed full ofdiversity, character and vitality. The heart of the city is Hoan Kiem Lakewhere locals and tourists alike sit, walk or join in with daily Tai Chi andexercise groups. To the north of the city is the Old Quarter where anancient style of living among the narrow streets and tiny buildings dominates.To the south of the Lake is the elegant French Quarter with its wide tree linedboulevards and Colonial style architecture. After a rest and lunch, enjoy a relaxing Cyclo ride around the central area to get a snap shot of this vibrant and busy city. After the cyclo rid, you can enjoythe unique Water Puppet show accompanied by talented local musicians playingtraditional instruments. The rest of the evening is at your leisure. Overnightin Ha Noi.
Day TWO +-
  • Day 2 - Ha Noi

After breakfast, you guide will take you on a tour of the major historical and cultural sites of the city starting with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh was the revered Vietnamese leader who still commands huge great respect throughout the country.  The Mausoleum is in a commanding and impressive setting adjoining the Palace and government buildings. In the same development there are also the Museum, some lovely gardens, a Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh's last house before he died.

You will next visit the Temple of Literature, the oldest university in Vietnam. It was established in honour of Confucius and, for 6 centuries was the centre of learning for the Mandarins, the intellectuals, the administrators and politicians of the day when Vietnam was strongly connected with China.

For lunch, you will be taken to a local restaurant to try the famous Ha Noi Pho, a delicious noodle soup.

After lunch, the next stop is at the Trấn Quoc Pagoda situated on the largest lake in Ha Noi called Ho Tay or West Lake. The Pagoda is the oldest one in Ha Noi, Originally constructed in the sixth century.  The last stop for the day brings you back to Hoan Kiem Lake to visit the lovely Ngoc Son Temple which was built on an island on the Hoan Kiem Lake in the 19th century. Here you will learn about the story of the soft shelled turtle and the sword that was reputed to have been recovered to save Ha Noi from destruction. It is said that turtles still live in the lake and to see one brings luck!

Day THREE +-
  • Day 3 - Ha Noi -  Ninh Binh (Tam Coc)
After breakfast you will leave Ha Noi for Ninh Binh Province and especially to the lovely rural area of Tam Coc, an ideal base from which to explore the southern part of the Red River Delta. After a 2.5 hour drive through picturesque countryside, you will arrive at the river where you will board a small boat for the dramatic tour of the river and caves. Lunch will be served  before heading to your hotel for the night, 

This area is often dubbed inland Ha Long Bay as it is dotted with the same rock formations seen on the Bay but this time you experience them alongside the Red River and get to travel through the cave structures under the Karsts. 

Overnight in Tam Coc
Day FOUR +-
  • Day 4 - Ninh Binh  -  Ha Noi - Sa Pa
After a leisurely breakfast, your guide and driver will take you on a tour of the area including the a visit to the charming Bich Dong Pagado, set on a number of levels inside one of the larger land based Karsts. You can also visit the Cuc Phuong National Park. This is the oldest national park in Vietnam and has lovely country walks through the ancient forests. You can also visit the primates centre where rare breeds rescued from the wild when injured and taken care of. When possible they are released into the wild or into a semi wild space where they are free to roam in a protected, fenced area. 

You will then head back to Ha Noi where you can get something to eat before boarding the overnight train to Sa Pa. 
Overnight on the train. 

If you choose to book at the Victoria Sa Pa Hotel, they have their own rail carriage that is a much higher standard than the other tourist carriages. 
Day FIVE +-
  • Day 5 - Sapa
Your train will arrive in the town of Lao Cai around 6.00am. Lao Cai is located on the Vietnam- China border. From here, you travel for an hour by road 1500 metres above sea level to the old French town of Sa Pa. A guide and driver willbe waiting to receive you at the station.

You can sit back and enjoy the spectacular views of the mountain road. On arrival in Sa Pa, you will be taken to your hotel where you can stop to have a shower, have some breakfast and take a short rest before setting out on a trek. Your trek will take your through captivating mountains, terraced rice fields and enchanting bamboo forests.

En route you will encounter splendidly dressed traditional hill tribes at the local markets and villages where time seems to have stood still for centuries. There are anumber of local tribes in this area including Red Dao, Black H'Mong and Thai. You can decide on the length of the tour depending on your level of fitness.

Overnight in Hotel in SaPa.

Day SIX +-
  • Day 6 - Sapa - Lao Cai - Ha Noi (o/n train)
Spend your morning in Sapa where your guide can escort you on visits to the lively local markets. You can also visit the orchid gardens at Dragon Mountain or enjoy yet another cultural trek to nearby tribal villages. Early evening youwill be transferred back to the Lao Cai train station for your train to Hanoi.

You will arrive in Ha Noi from the train at 5.00am where your driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel for an early check in. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Ha Noi.
Day SEVEN +-
  • Day 7 - Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay

This morning, after breakfast you will depart for Ha Long Bay. The four hour drive to the bay passes through Vietnamese countryside and lush rice paddy fields. When you arrive at the port around noon, the boat’s (Junk Red Dragon) crew will be ready to welcome you on board. Check-in, enjoy a welcome drink & attend the cruise briefing.

Enjoy a cruise along this fascinating bay that features thousands of limestone karts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Savour a fresh, local seafood lunch while cruising on to Bai Tu Long Bay. Stop in between for a swim, visit the mysterious Thien Canh cave and relax on a secluded beach. You will also get the opportunity to kayak and explore the bay up close. Back on the boat to enjoy a relaxing sunset dinner. Overnight on board.

Day EIGHT +-
  • Day 8 - Ha Long Bay

The boat will re resume it’s cruising before sunrise. Early risers can take benefit from seeing the lovely sun risers over the water before heading for breakfast.  As the boat heads slowly towards the docks, you will have the opportunity to go swimming at Hon Co Island and exploring the hidden Thien Canh Son Cave. It’s a steep walk to get to the opening but well worth the effort.

Back on board, lunch will be ready. You’ll arrive back on land around midday where your driver will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Ha Noi.
Day NINE +-
  • Day 9 - Ha Noi
Spend your day at leisure in Hanoi. Explore the old quarter, shop for artefacts, visit some of the wonderful museums in Ha Noi or try the local cuisine. Alternatively, we can arrange a visit to a rural area approximately 1 hour from Ha Noi centre to visit the Ancient Village to see how life was lived before modernisation.  Overnight in Hanoi
Day TEN +-
  • Day 10 - Ha Noi - Outbound Flight
Your driver will arrive in good time for your  transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for you outbound flight.
Select a Destination
  • 3nts
Resort Ratting
Select a hotel for more information
Destination Nights Standard Superior Deluxe
Ha Noi 3 Skylark Sunway Sheraton Ha Noi
Ninh Binh 1 Limestone Homestay Tam Coc Gardens Tam Coc Gardens
Ha Long Bay 2 Dragon Pearl Junk Dragon Pearl Junk Dragon Legend Junk


Skylark Hotel is located on one of the most beautiful streets in Hanoi – the Phan Dinh Phung Street, named after a Vietnamese revolutionary who led the rebel army against French colonists. The Hanoi Ancient Citadel, Cua Bac Church, Old Quarter, Dong Xuan Market, Weekend Night Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and other city attractions are within easy walking distance. The hotel has a health club, a roof top indoor pool and a well equipped gymnasium. Skylark Hotel has a well equipped Conference room with facilities like LCD projector, high quality audio systems, DVD players and large screen. The rooms are bright, spacious, well-appointed, fitted with modern interiors and appropriately warm lighted make for a true home-away-from-home experience.

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