Vietnam Northern Loop, 11 days

Tour Overview

Tour the best of rural and urban Northern Vietnam over eleven days. In Vietnam’s charming capital, Hanoi, we will tour some of the city’s most interesting cultural and historic attractions, including the residence and mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the Temple of Literature and a water puppet show. We will weave through sleepy villages, dramatic mountains and terraced rice fields towards the idyllic Mai Chau Valley, homeland of the White Thai ethnic community, where we explore by bicycle and stay overnight in the home of a local family. We will walk the mountain paths around Xa Linh, passing rustic villages, fruit gardens and tea plantations, before reaching Dien Bien Phu - notorious as the setting for a dramatic battle in 1954. We will journey on to the jewel of Northern Vietnam, the hill town of Sapa, trekking past sensational steeply terraced rice fields and visiting ethnic minority villages on foot. We will visit the vibrant Muong Khuong Market where we can see regional hill-tribe people in traditional dress selling colourful produce. Our trip will climax with a two day boat trip around the remarkable Halong Bay, taking in the spectacular limestone islands jutting from the emerald waters and visiting a majestic cave.

Tour Information

Tour HighLight

+Tour the historic sites of Hanoi, learning about the city’s culture and heritage

+Enjoy free time in Hanoi to soak up the atmosphere and try local food

+Visit the peaceful Mai Chau Valley, staying the night with a White Thai family  and exploring the picturesque region by bicycle

+Meet several ethnic minority hill-tribe communities and learn about their way of life

+Walk the mountainous paths around Xa Linh, passing rustic villages, fruit gardens and tea plantations

+ Discover the town of Dien Bien Phu which is famous for being the scene of a fierce battle for Vietnamese independence from the French in the 1950’s

+Discover the delightful hill town of Sapa and trek through the surrounding hills, taking in the sensational scenery

+Shop at the vibrant Muong Khuong Market, with a huge variety of products being sold by villagers from the region

+Enjoy an overnight boat cruise through the gorgeous vistas of Halong Bay, discovering magical caves and with opportunities for swimming, kayaking and cooking

+Private airport transfers and experienced, knowledgeable local guides ensure that you will get the most out of your trip

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival – Hanoi

Greeted  at airport by our guide and driven to hotel. Check in hotel and have free time.


On arrival at Hanoi Airport, you are greeted  by our guide and taken to your hotel by private transfer. You may have free time to relax and catch your first glimpse of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. This treasured city is a fascinating blend of East and West, combining traditional Sino-Vietnamese motifs with French flair. The building boom has made Hanoi a rapidly developing city in Southeast Asia. However, it still retains an old charm brought from a thousand year of history, with many interesting cultural and historic monuments, beautiful lakes, shady parks, bustling street markets, funny shops and open air eating spots jostled in ancient houses, and historic temples adjoining colonial style structures. They offer both local and foreigner visitors an endless exploration. You can stroll through the fascinating old quarter containing many vibrant streets which are named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. The lively atmosphere in Hanoi old quarter runs from the early hours until late at night  with many street vendors calling, horns honking, and chaotic traffic with waves of motorbikes you’ve never experienced.

Day 2

Hanoi City Tour

Spend a day to explore Hanoi, seeing Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum ( close on Mon. and Fri) and  Ho Chi Minh House , One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of  Literature  and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.  Take a walk around the old quarter and enjoy a water puppet show.

OVERNIGHT: Hanoi MEALS: Breakfast

Day 3

Hanoi – Hoa Binh – Mai Chau

Start the journey in northern Vietnam and drive from Hanoi to Mai Chau. En route, visit the beautiful scenery , hill tribe villages. Arriving in Mai Chau, ride a bike to explore the Thai village and the local life style. Tonight, stay at a Thai family house.

OVERNIGHT: Mai Chau MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Mai Chau – Xa Linh – Moc Chau – Son La – Dien Bien Phu

Keep driving up to Xa Linh and make stop for 2 hour walk through the homeland of the Hmong People and explore the  mountain scenery.  Venture into the most mountainous region of Vietnam as drive past Moc Chau Plateau and Pha Din Pass to Dien Bien Phu.

OVERNIGHT: Dien Bien Phu MEALS: Breakfast

Day 5

Dien Bien Phu – Sin Ho – Lai Chau

Pay a quick look at Dien Bien Town and some war remnants in Muong Thanh Valley. Set off on journey through Sin Ho to Lai Chau and have impressive views of hill tribe people and mountain landscape. 

OVERNIGHT: Lai Chau MEALS: Breakfast

Day 6

Lai Chau – Tam Duong – Sapa

Keep driving along the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range to Tam Duong. Venture into local tracks and visit the homeland of the Lao and Lu Hilltribe people.  Head up O Quy Ho Pass to Sapa and have free time to relax and explore.

OVERNIGHT: Sapa MEALS: Breakfast

Day 7

Sapa Walking – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van

Go on trek to explore the extremely beautiful region around Sapa Town. Walk down Muong Hoa Valley and pass by Y Linh Ho and Lao Chai Villages, see many hill tribe people doing their homework. Check a local house of Giay family in Ta Van.

OVERNIGHT: Sapa MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Walking Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Sapa – Hanoi

Continue waling down to the lowland of Sapa and see the Red Zao people. Drive back to Sapa Town and check out for your journey back to Hanoi.

OVERNIGHT: Hanoi MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9

Hanoi – Halong Bay

Take a drive through the countryside to  Halong Bay. Embark a cruise for two day trip in Halong Bay, visit the scenic stone landscape and enjoy sea activities.

OVERNIGHT: Halong MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Halong Bay – Hanoi

Get up early to join the Tai Chi exercise or explore the bay at dawn. Visit Surprise cave and have brunch on cruise before heading back to Hanoi.

OVERNIGHT: Hanoi MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11

Hanoi – Departure

Check out hotel and transfer to airport for departure.



What are Included?

Tour Transport:

Car, minivan or bus, private or joint boat , train,  mentioned  flights ( 20kg luggage allowance )

Tour Accommodation:

7 nights at hotel and 1 night on cruise  on twin sharing basis , 2 night homestay

Included Meals:

9 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (L), 3 dinners (D) and 1 brunch (B)


English speaking guide. French , Germany , Spanish, Italian, Russian  speaking guide can be arranged with on request.

Tour Activities:

Sightseeing tour of Hanoi  with entrance fee

Water puppet show in Hanoi

Biking trip in Mai Chau

Trekking trip in Sapa

Boat trip in Halong Bay with entrance fee

What are Excluded?


Transport  to/from Ho Chi Minh

Optional services ( extra activities, pre /post night)

Visa fee to Vietnam and  travel insurance

Tipping for tour guide/ leader, driver and local service

Single room on request and personal expenses

How are Hotels?


Tour document

To make your trip more convenient, we would like to provide quick facts to ensure that you have the right travel documents.


The passport must have six-months validity remaining and one blank page for entry stamp. To enter Vietnam, foreigners require a valid visa, except  nationals of certain countries, which may visit Vietnam without visa for a period of time. You are required to contact our sales dep. to get the update visa exemption.


At this time, no vaccination is required, but you should check with your doctor the health  information of Vietnam.


Based on the current custom regulation of Vietnam, visitors can get free import : 200 cigarettes, or 20 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco, 1,5 liters liquor at 20% volumes and above or 2 liters liquor below 20% volume or 3 liters of alcoholic beverages (excl. wines) and soft drinks, 5 kilograms of tea in maximum, 3 kilograms of coffee in maximum, a reasonable quantity of perfume and personal belongings, and other goods, total value of which is not exceeding ten million VND.

Import and export of firearms and ammunition is prohibited. Transit transportation of firearms, ammunition, explosives and highly dangerous goods is subject to prior approval from the government of Viet Nam.

No restriction of currency is applied for entry or exit Vietnam. However you must make the declaration if you bring along  Vietnamese Dong in excess of VND 150,000,000 or foreign currency in excess of 5,000 U.S. dollars or equivalent.  



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