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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

The spectacular valleys and mountains of Vietnam were simply made for active exploration. On this 11-day adventure, you'll put on your hiking shoes and get ready for an immersive journey that gets away from the bright lights of Hanoi and under the skin of Vietnam's bucolic countryside. In between trekking and cycling through lush landscapes, you'll stop in at local villages and learn about traditional life, spending the night in rural homestays. After cycling through the valleys of Mai Chau and Ninh Binh and getting your heart rate up on Sapa's hiking trails, you'll head to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cat Ba Island and kayak across the turquoise waters of Lan Ha Bay. Spend a night in a waterside resort in the bay and make the most of every sunset, before heading back to Hanoi and indulging in street food.

Countries Visited

Vietnam

Cities Visited

Hanoi , Lao Cai , Mai Chau , Sapa

  1. Day 1
    Hanoi
    Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins in Hanoi with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, why not head out and discover Hanoi at your own pace. Take a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple, start sampling the delicious street food or visit the Museum of Ethnology to find out more about the homes and lives of Vietnam’s ethnic communities. After the welcome meeting, you might like to join your group for an optional dinner at one of Hanoi's fantastic restaurants or streetside eateries.
  2. Day 2
    Khau Pha Community Stay
    After breakfast this morning, escape the city and board a private minibus to the small village of Khau Pha – a community-based tourism project designed to empower and bring positive impact for Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. Located just below the spectacular Khau Ph? Pass in an area of natural beauty, this area has all of the best features of Northern Vietnam – think green terraced rice paddies, clear streams, towering hills and few tourists. After lunch, go on a relaxed walk around the village to see the rich cultural heritage of Khau Pha, like how the locals create traditional Thai fabric and cloth. After the walk, you’ll head to dinner and then settle in for the night in one of the four stilt houses that have been redesigned by local families.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    Hiking in Sapa/Lao Chai
    Start the day early and drive to the town of Sapa, the starting point for today’s trek. You’ll stop for lunch and photo ops along the way before arriving in Lao Chai. From here, join your local guide and start your hike into the heart of the Vuon Quoc via Hoang Lien State Park, trekking through the dramatic landscapes of rural Vietnam on a trek to Ta Van. Along the way, you'll pass by terraced farms ripe with corn and rice, over brooks and through villages. When you arrive in the small village, sit down for a well-earned home-cooked dinner and settle into your local family homestay.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Hiking in Su Pan
    This morning you’ll trek to Su Pan before taking some time to rest your feet on a bus ride back to Sapa. In the afternoon, the group returns to Hanoi, giving you a chance to rest, take a nap or play some road trip games with your fellow travellers. When you arrive back in Hanoi, maybe seek a bird's eye view of the city from one of the popular rooftop bars or stop street side for dinner and unwind with one of the famed iced coffees.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Cycling in Hanoi
    Vietnam's capital is best explored on foot, so this morning your group will head out on a city walking tour. See the final resting place of Vietnam's revered revolutionary at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum before stopping by the Temple of Literature. Although the shrine was originally built in the 11th century and is therefore considered to be the city's oldest temple, the current structure and shrine to Confucius date back to the 18th century. This afternoon, jump on a bike for a leisurely cycling trip around Hanoi's West Lake. Tonight you’ll have free time to grab some Bahn Mi or Bun Cha (noodles with grilled meat) for dinner.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Cycling in Mai Chau
    Leave Hanoi behind this morning and jump on your bike for a cycling trip to the Mai Chau Valley. There are some great photo opportunities along the way, including the viewpoint of Mai Chau – home to a variety of minority groups with their own unique cultures and languages. You’ll also have the opportunity to help local farmers plant rice seeds into the fields! Arrive in Mai Chau and head to the village of Pom Coong, where your local guide will introduce you to your hosts for lunch, and provide information on the region's people, lifestyles, customs and culture. This is a great opportunity to experience the local area, chat with your hosts and gain a real insight into life in this region. After lunch, you’ll have some free time before saddling up for another cycling trip to the nearby villages. Back at the homestay tonight, relax with a cold drink while watching the sun set over the mountains.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Cycling in Ninh Binh
    After breakfast this morning, you’ll set out again on your bike on a cycling trip from Mai Chau to Ninh Binh – a region?well known for its lush green valleys, karst mountains and conservation areas. Ride through more paddy fields, testing your riding skills (or suspension) with shallow potholes and passing farmers drawn by water buffalo. After a day riding through green fields, small villages and waterways, you’ll have a free evening to recharge.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Cat Ba Island
    Catch a bus this morning from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong, then jump on a ferry to Cat Ba Island. This island sits at the southeastern edge of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ha Long Bay. Lan Ha Bay, where Cat Ba can be found, is part of Ha Long Bay but with the additional attraction of white-sand beaches. When you arrive, check in to your peaceful hilltop accommodation and soak up a free afternoon by taking it easy in a hammock. Alternatively, you can opt to keep your heart rate up with a hike or a trip to the beach.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Kayaking around Cat Ba Island
    Explore the waters and limestone karsts of Lan Ha Bay on a full-day boat trip today. Get up close to the karsts on a short kayak paddle in the still waters beside the tree-clad outcrops – Ha Long Bay's World Heritage designation was extended to the Cat Ba archipelago due to its similar aesthetic of turquoise water and junk boats that are a quintessential picture of Vietnam – and, there are less tourists here, too! You’ll have lunch aboard the boat, with plenty of opportunities for a cheeky selfie. Spend a second night on Cat Ba Island tonight, with the evening free to visit the local restaurants and bars.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Hanoi
    Say goodbye to Cat Ba Island this morning and head back to Hanoi. Arrive in the late afternoon and make the most of your free time – maybe head down to the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping or visit one of the city's many museums or historical sites. The Fine Arts Museum and Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison are good options. In the evening, why not head out for a farewell dinner with your group and toast the end of this amazing active adventure.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Hanoi
    There are no activities planned after breakfast today and your adventure comes to an end. You're free to leave at any time after check out. If you'd like to extend your stay, just get in touch with your booking agent ahead of time to organise additional accommodation. There's plenty to see if you'd like to continue exploring Hanoi or further afield – maybe hop onto an Urban Adventure tonight and discover more of Hanoi's street food scene.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Traditional Thai Cloth making demonstration
  • Khau Pha Community Village Walk
  • Khau Pha Community Village Homestay
  • Sapa - Lao Chai to Ta Van trek & Homestay
  • Sapa - Ta Van to Su Pan trek
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - West Lake bike ride
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex
  • Mai Chau - Pom Coong Village visit & traditional lunch
  • Mai Chau - Cycling
  • Mai Chau to Ninh Binh cycling
  • Cat Ba Island - Kayaking

Meals
10 Breakfast(s) Included
5 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

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Accommodations

Hotel (5 nights), Homestay (3 nights), Lodge (2 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.7

Ratings based off 212 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Intrepid is awesome. Our guide was superb. Everything went smoothly!

Our tour guide was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, fun, energetic, and made our week run very smoothly. The trip itself was fantastic! We saw a lot and the islands are absolutely beautiful. Great food, great new friends made on the tour, and would absolutely book with Intrepid again.

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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