Hanoi, Halong & Sapa Tour
- Active Adventure
- Culture & Heritage
- Off The Beaten Path
Day 1 – 2: Hanoi
- Arrive in Hanoi. Experience a day as a local farmer in a village near Hanoi.
Day 3 – 4 – 5: Sapa
- Take the night train to Sapa. Trek to see the spectacular landscape of Sapa and visit the villages of the ethnic groups like the Red Dzao and the Black H’Mong.
Day 6 – 7 – 8: Halong Bay - Hanoi
- Return to Hanoi.
- Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Board a traditional junk boat. Explore the islets & caves in the bay. Practice Tai Chi. Enjoy sunset onboard. Go kayaking and swimming.
- Depart from Hanoi to your next destination.
Explore the best destinations of Northern Vietnam with us in 8 days! Discover the farmlands and be a farmer for the day in a rural village of Hanoi. In Sapa, you will trek through the lush forests to Sa Seng village, Muong Hoa valley and other remote villages, where you will meet and get to know more about the hill tribe people. Admire the wonderful scenery of limestone karsts and spectacular caves in Halong Bay while enjoying a delicious fresh seafood meal on the cruise deck.
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Hanoi. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast and check out of the hotel your private guide and driver will collect you from the lobby and transfer a farming village in the Red River Delta on the outskirt of Hanoi.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a local family and you will be their guests for the night.
After checking into the bungalow and changing your clothes, it’s time to become a real local farmer in the fields. Take a tour around their property as they describe their daily tasks. Through the guidance of the family hosts, you will learn the traditional methods for tilling the soil, planting and watering the organic farms. Certainly, you will have a chance for some hands-on fun.
After the farming section, a delicious lunch will be served at the local home. Then enjoy your rest afterward. You may want to take a nap during midday.
Get a feel for life in the countryside with a leisurely bike ride for 6km (4 miles) through quaint villages and agriculture fields, along the quiet, paved paths. Make stops along the way to enjoy the beauty of the green fruits garden, chat with the local people and observe their way of life. You also pay a visit to a local ancient temple and pass through the VIP area to see a different side of Hanoi, the Beverly Hills of Vietnam.
At the end of the day, join a fun game with future football stars in the village playground and see how passionate the kids are for sports.
Ride back to the local family for your free time. Roll into the kitchen to prepare a traditional Vietnamese meal with your hosts.
After a hot and nice shower, you will enjoy the meal and engage in lively conversations with the family. Tonight you will spend the night at the Riverside bungalow owned by the family.
Overnight in the Village
Get up early to do some morning exercises with the local people, then your guide will take you to visit a local market where you will meet the local people and see how they make tofu and bread. Get back to the local home for your breakfast.
Later, you can either go visit the Primary school where you can teach the children an English lesson or you can enjoy your free time going fishing on the river.
If you are keen, again you can help the family to prepare your delicious lunch. This will definitely be an unforgettable experience for you during the time in Vietnam!
After finishing up your meal, bid a fond farewell to the family and drive back to your hotel in Hanoi where you will have the rest of the day at leisure. Pack up your bags for the train trip tonight.
Your guide and driver will transfer you Hanoi Railway Station at Tran Qui Cap Street where you will board the night train to Lao Cai. Accommodation on the train will be on a shared basis in a four-berth soft sleeper compartment with air-conditioning. The train leaves around 21:00 and arrives in Lao Cai City at 06:00 the next morning where you’ll travel 1 hour to Sapa.
Overnight on A/C train
Early morning arrival at Lao Cai Railway station, your private guide and driver will greet you and transfer to your hotel in Sapa. Early check-in for your comforts and breakfast will be arranged.
Established as a hill station by the French in 1922, Sapa today is a must-visit destination in the Northwest. This is northern Vietnam’s premier trekking base, from where hikers launch themselves into a surrounding countryside of cascading rice terraces and tiny hill-tribe villages that seem a world apart.
After breakfast and some rest, your guide and driver will meet you again and transfer you to Hau Thao village, home to the Black H’mong minority. Here you will embark on a medium trek for 2,5 – 3 hours. Along the way, you will get to see the farms, orchards and rice paddies carved into the mountains enjoy the breathtaking view and endless photo opportunities.
After a picnic lunch (prepared by your guide) you continue to trek towards Sa Seng Village. Tucked away in the beautiful Muong Hoa Valley, Sa Seng is home to the H’mong people who live their own way without any influence from the modern life of Sapa town.
Walk along the length of the valley you will pass the other two hamlets. Continue your trek until you reach the top of a hill. From the high elevation, the panorama of the Muong Hoa Valley opens wide under your footpath. Enjoy a long break here before proceeding to the main road where your driver is waiting for you and take you back to your hotel in Sapa town.
The remainder of the day is free at your leisure. You can stroll around the town and dine in one of many great restaurants.
Overnight in Sapa
After breakfast, you will meet your tour guide again and begin the day with a 3km-trek through the breathtaking landscape to the village of Suoi Ho.
Continue your hike toward the stunning village of Matra. You will pass the impressive ruins of a French Catholic church built in the early twentieth century. Take a few minutes to explore this intriguing sight and take some photos as you wish.
Your hike will grow deeper until your arrival at Ta Phin Village, inhabited by the Red Dzao ethnic minority tribe, with their beautiful traditionally embroidered outfits and practice of shaving their hair and eyebrows as a sign of respect. Ta Phin village is also home to the Black H’mong minority who live their own way with no cultural mixture.
Pause at a Red Dzao family and over a cup of tea, have a chat with them learning about their lifestyle. Enjoy a delicious lunch cooked and served by the family.
After lunch, you have time to stroll around the village, take pictures and do some fun shopping. The Red Dao people are known for their expertise in herbal medicine as well as the usage of plants from the land to treat many illnesses. If you’re a bit sore from the activities of the day, sample a traditional herbal bath made by a local Dzao specialist, famous for its therapeutic qualities.
Leaving Ta Phin you will be picked by your private driver and taken back to Sapa town. After that, you will catch the limousine bus for five hours back to Hanoi.
Arrive and check into your hotel in Hanoi. Pack up your small bags for the overnight trip to Halong Bay tomorrow.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay where you will board a traditional-style Vietnamese Junk Boat that is your home for the evening. The limestone karsts and tropical islets rising up from the emerald waters of the bay provide an ethereal backdrop for your leisurely cruise.
Upon arrival you’ll be welcomed aboard your Stylish Junk boat, each with its own individual route, to begin your cruise around the bay’s thousands of limestone islets and caves.
After a delicious lunch on board, you will spend time to sunbathe on the sundeck and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the bay.
Later you will visit Sung Sot Cave “Grotte des Surprises” a hidden gem of mother nature. Float peacefully through magnificent limestone formations containing thousands of stalagmites and stalactites.
Continue to cruise. As you weave your way through the islands, you’ll come across secluded bays, white sandy beaches, and floating villages.
There is plenty of leisure time to enjoy activities both onboard and around the fantastical scenery of the Bay. Pamper yourself at the cruise spa or swim in the emerald waters.
Toward the end of the day, you will sail to the overnight mooring area. During this time – the magical “blue hour” – Halong Bay reveals its true, magnificent beauty. You have a chance to attend the chef’s cooking demonstration or enjoy a mesmerising sunset on the top deck before a scrumptious dinner.
The rest of the evening will be at leisure. You can watch a movie or join the crew for squid fishing before retiring to your room for a restful sleep.
Note: If your time permits, we would highly recommend an additional night on board which gives you a lot more time to relax and take in the amazing landscape. You’ll get to cruise deeper into the Bay where it’s more beautiful and less crowded.
Overnight on board in Halong Bay
The graceful practice of Tai Chi eases you into your day as is the local custom. Join a ‘Local Specialist’ on the deck of the Junk boat for a morning class in exquisite natural surrounds. You’ll have time for an early morning swim at one of Halong Bay’s quiet beaches and, if you’re feeling energetic, hop on a kayak and paddle through the Dark and Bright Caves admiring the glittering stone walls.
Back to the Junk boat. Check out of the cabin and then enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to port. Disembark around midday for your return drive to Hanoi.
Arrive at your hotel in Hanoi where you spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening at your leisure. You may head to Bong Sen theater to attend the unique traditional Water Puppet Show dating back for a thousand years.
Overnight in Hanoi
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Hanoi International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
- Spend a day being a farmer on the outskirt of Hanoi and experience the local culture
- Take an overnight train ride to Sapa. Discover the Hill tribe villages
- View the thousands of limestone islands rising out of the sea during the Halong Bay Excursion
- 7 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 3 dinners and 6 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C train, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Vietnam, the entry visa to Vietnam, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
Free service. No credit card required
Reviews on Our Service
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
Vietnam Luxury Vacation Review: Sightseeing, Culture, 12-Day Travel
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sightseeing, Rice Fields, Boat Rides, 18-Day Trip
We started searching for our tour for Vietnam / Cambodia back in October 2022 to start the tour in the first week of January 2023. We selected this travel agency, and contact name provided to us was Elly. She was extraordinary with her communication with us. Excellent English speaking language capability & excellent in communication on Whats app and email communication. We went back & forth few times to arrange the tour we wanted. She was very accommodating in arranging our schedule. We requested automobile tour for both countries, just for two of us.
We requested SUV FOR OUR COMFORT AND WE GOT IT!
We requested to get the high end hotel in each city and she gave us choices and not only that but send videos of each hotel for each City and then waited for us to decide which hotel we select. All the Hotels turned out to be one of the best we would expect to be. M/s Elly, personally came to visit with us on the evening of our first day tour. Very respectful and asked if she could do anything for us.I had requested before in our communication, if she would arrange for power converter for us, since my camera chargers are all in 110. So brought two power converters for us! Something, not everyone will do this kind of service. So all the kiddos to her!
as to the drivers in each city were very courteous, very professional and very careful in how and where they have to do driving.
our Guides in each city were so friendly, courteous and knowledgeable in where ever we visited. How ever wish two guides in Hue An and Ho Chi Minh City spoke English more clearly.
We only wish we had one extra day in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, , however, there is so much to see in the world! Perhaps next time will visit Vietnam.
As to Cambodia, same thing to express about site seeing and our Guide and drivers. Guides and drivers really made our travel thro’ the countries where we do not speak that language, made it so comfortable and enjoyable.
Hi Lam…hope you don’t mind me contacting you directly. My wife Barb & I (Paul) have just arrived home after completing a great tour of Vietnam which was organised through your company Asia Pioneer Travel.
We want to tell you personally how impressed were were with the level of service that we received…it was amazing and the best that we have experienced anywhere. After we made initial contact with you, you handed us over to Chloe to arrange the trip which she did in very quick time and the amount of detail that she went to was fantastic. From the moment that we walked out of Hanoi airport on arrival to see our guide waiting, we knew that we were in for a great trip. The drivers & guides were fantastic and Chloe was in contact by email constantly making sure that everything was going to plan & that we were happy. At one stage we need to vary the itinerary by extending accommodation & changing air tickets and Chloe did that without any fuss or bother.
We also met some wonderful Vietnamese people along the way and Ive got to say that they are our kind of people, very generous & friendly.
Enough of my ramblings, thanks for a great visit to Vietnam, and a special thank you to Chloe for looking after us in such a terrific manner…she is a very special caring lady.
Kind regards & I hope that we have the opportunity to use Asia Pioneer Travel again….Paul & Barb Little from Newcastle Australia
Superbly organised and very flexible
We travelled to Vietnam for two weeks, booking the whole trip through Lizzie at Asia Pioneer, including hotels, excursions, trips, guides and internal flights. Lizzie was so helpful and flexible, accommodating changes to our schedule until the last minute, especially as we missed our connecting flight in Dubai and arrived a day later than planned (our fault). Nothing was too much trouble, including getting my wallet back to me after I left it in the car taking us to the airport.
We started in Hanoi in the North and worked our way south to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), taking in Ha Long with its amazing sea stacks and sleeping on a boat, then to Sa Pa on the overnight sleeper train from Hanoi, with its wonderful countryside and rice terraces. Afterwards, we went to Hoi An for three days of relaxation. Hoi An probably my favourite place and three days are enough to cover it. Then onto Hue, the original capital, my least favourite place and then finally on to HMC, which was a real contrast to the North.
The 3-star hotels that Lizzie picked were very good and comfortable, and the guides were very knowledgeable. I would definitely use Asia Pioneer again for future Asia trips.