based on 10 nights & selected experiences
* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
Price based on two people sharing one room with private transfers, selected tours and daily breakfast. Please note around public holidays and festive seasons this price will increase.
The most remote areas are unsuitable May – September due to heavy rain. At other times of year, the weather in Sapa can be unpredictable and much cooler than the lower altitudes. You will need to pack waterproofs, sweatshirts, sensible boots, t-shirts and sun cream as the weather can change swiftly without warning.
Sapa is the beautiful mountain town north of Hanoi, famous for its terraced rice paddy fields. Growing more and more popular each year, we recommend combining Sapa with the lesser known areas of Ninh Binh and Mai Chau for the best hiking trails and most authentic experience.
Ninh Binh is a province west of Hanoi with dramatic limestone scenery, a great alternative to going to Halong Bay.
Mai Chau is home to rolling hills and verdant rice paddies, so make sure to bring a camera!
Vietnam's quaint capital, Hanoi, is the perfect place to base yourself as you head out into the countryside. A major international airport is easily accessed directly from many locations in Europe and Asia.
For nature lovers and keen hikers, this 10-day itinerary is the perfect way to stretch your legs on some of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful hiking routes. From the terraced rice paddies of Sapa, to the verdant fields of Mai Chau, and the dramatic mountain scenery of Ninh Binh, this is a wonderful introduction to rural Vietnam.
Your adventure starts in Hanoi, the picturesque capital of Vietnam. Two nights here can be happily spent exploring the city. Your guide will stay with you for the duration of your trip, and you will spend your first day together exploring key landmarks such as the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, emerging from its lake like a lotus flower. In your spare time, take a walk into the intriguing Old Quarter, home to crumbling old coffee houses, colourful markets and narrow lanes along which food vendors and gemstone dealers alike jostle for space.
An early start for the picturesque 5-hour drive north into the mountains, or alternatively you could take the overnight train. Arriving in Sapa, you will be able to embark on a series of exciting treks, passing through villages belonging to hilltribes such as the Red Dzao, Black Hmong and Xa Pho. Two nights will be enough to enjoy the panoramic views and famous terraced rice paddies, before heading on to pastures new.
A brief stop back in Hanoi will be well needed after a long drive back from the hills. We suggest enjoying a water puppet show on your way back into the centre, a traditional village pastime. If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch the wonderful Hanoi weekend market that runs nightly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here people flock to the central Hoan Kiem lake to sing, dance, shop, and generally see and be seen. You can usually pick up some fascinating souvenirs and delicious street food here.
A shorter two-hour drive takes you west, to the craggy province of Ninh Binh, dominated by its spectacular limestone karsts. Often described as the ‘Halong Bay on land’, we invite you to take a boat trip around the flooded landscape of Tam Coc, trying to spot endangered langur monkeys living on the precipitous ledges above your head. You can also visit the abandoned capital where the intricately decorated Dinh and Le Dynasty temples still remain. A 6km (4 miles) walk in the Cuc Phuong National Park is the perfect way to experience the unique scenery, and you can also visit a tree that is over 1000 years old.
From Ninh Binh you travel by road to Mai Chau, home to luminous rice paddies and broad valleys. Stay in one of the excellent eco-lodges in the area, perhaps taking one of the complimentary bicycles out in the evening to explore the local area. Your last trek of your trip is from Pu Long, a truly untouched area of Vietnam. The mostly downhill route will be greatly appreciated after your time trekking in the mountains, and you will finish up at Kho Muong village where you’ll find an interesting bat cave.
Your final day in Vietnam is spent back in Hanoi, after a four-hour drive back into the city from Mai Chau. We definitely recommend taking it easy today, perhaps treat yourself to a well earned massage at your hotel spa, or toast your last night with a celebratory cocktail at one of Hanoi’s fabulous rooftop bars.
From Sapa, head approximately 1hr to Ban Ho village, with stunning views of the valley and terraced rice fields along the way. Enjoy 12km of trekking through the area, stopping at different minority groups along the way. A fascinating trek.
Start this fascinating historical tour at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite, and where the preserved body of 'Uncle Ho' resides. You will then visit Ho Chi Minh's House, where he lived and worked.
Due to its mountainous scenery acting as a barrier against invaders, Ninh Binh was once the capital province of Vietnam. Whilst little remains of the ancient capital city of Hoa Lu, two small but intricate temples stand on the site.
Eating on the street is a very typical activity for Hanoians and makes up an important part of the city’s unique culture. Enjoy strolling the bustling alleys and streets and savour regional specialties in favourite local spots.
This wonderful journey by road and on foot is a fantastic option for those wanting to learn about the myriad of hill tribe communities in Vietnam including Black Hmong, Red Zao and Xa Pho, all of whom have their own distinct identities.
From Mai Chau, head deeper into rural Vietnam and onto to Pu Luong. Known for its remote hill tribes, luminous paddy fields and traditional villages you'll trek 6km (3.7miles) through glorious scenery, stopping at villages along the way.
Tam Coc is an area within Ninh Binh Province, often referred to as 'Halong Bay on Land'. A local rower will take you on a leisurely two-hour boat trip along the Ngo Dong River, which winds its way between dramatic limestone karsts.
Completely unique to Vietnam, water puppetry is a wonderful example of this country’s vibrant cultural heritage. During this exclusive experience, you will meet one of the country's best puppet artisans and enjoy a private 30-minute show.
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Sapa, The Far North, Vietnam
Ninh Binh, The Far North, Vietnam
Mai Chau, The Far North, Vietnam
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