Wander through the bustling Hanoi's Old Quarter, paddle the bammboo boat through caves along rice field and stunning karst landscapes of Ninh Binh, cyling the green valley of Mai Chau and more. From spectacular terraces of Mu Cang Chai and august mountains of Sapa to the magificient landscape of Halong Bay, this is really a treat of nature beauties and unique culture. Travel off the beaten track, enjoy first hand experience of local lifestyle and get insight into the treasure of north Vietnam.  

  • Hanoi street food adventure
  • Water puppet show
  • Boat rowing through karst landscapes of Ninh Binh
  • Cycling Mai Chau valley
  • Tea plantation of Moc Chau
  • Stunning terraces of Mu Cang Chai & Sapa
  • Local villages visit and interaction
  • Home stay traditional house
  • Hill tribe market explore
  • Overnight cruise Halong Bay
Trip Length: 12 days | Trip Style: Off the beaten track | Trip Theme: Nature, Local life & culture | Physical Rating: | Start/End city: Hanoi/Hanoi
Places visited: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Mai Chau - Moc Chau - Tu Le - Mu Cang Chai - Lai Chau - Sa Pa - Halong Bay
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This trip map is to help you to imagine how your trip goes. Please click on destination marks to view travel guides for each place.

Itinerary Details

Hanoi, Vietnam
food tour hanoi, vietnam

Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam!
Get pick up at the airport upon arrival and transfer to the downtown of Hanoi for hotel check-in (hotel check in time is 14.00).
This afternoon, you will take an orientation walking tour of Hanoi Old Quarter to sightsee local street life, traditional guilds, food market, shopping areas, food venues, ancient houses and temples.
It is also the chance for you to get adapted to local atmosphere and enjoying food tasting of Hanoi specialty.
End the day with a special cup of egg coffee in a hundred year old family shop.

Summary of inclusions

Private airport transfer
Orientation walk & food tasting tour
Street food dinner
Hotel in Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam

After breakfast, start your day tour of Hanoi’s featured sights with visit to the memorial complex for the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh that consists of the Presidential palace, Uncle Ho's house on stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda.
Next, spend time to explore the ancient excavation site of the Ancient Citadel of Thang long where you will have a visit to learn about the history of the city and its glorious, vicissitudinous history. Continue to Temple of Literature - Vietnam's first university that built from 1076.

In the afternoon, take visit to the fascinating Ethnology Museum, the Hoan Kiem Lake with Ngoc Son Temple where a legendary turtle is reserved.
Finish the day with a Water Puppet show, a unique Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life.
Remainder of the day is free for you to wander around, sightseeing and shopping at your own pace.  

Summary of inclusions

Private vehicle
Sightseeing hanoi
Hotel in hanoi
Boat rowing in Tam Coc, Ninh Binh, Vietnam
Mai Chau valley, Hoa Binh, Vietnam

Breakfast at the hotel then depart Hanoi for a 2 hour drive to drive to Ninh Binh province, the land that is famous with spectacular karst landscapes and rustic countryside.
Visit to Hoa Lu ancient capital with temples dedicated to National heroes and Kings of the Dinh and Early Le Dynasties dated back the 10th and 11th centuries. 
After that, get transfer to the boat dock for fascinating boat rowing on stream amongst jutting mountains of Trang An, visiting little temples dotted along the way on mountain sides. The scenery along the gentle row is stunning and it is deserved to be the highlight activities of the day.
In the afternoon, leave Ninh Binh for a scenic drive along jagged mountains and rustic villages to Mai Chau, the valley home to beautiful White Thai minority villages. Along the way you will have some stops for photos and sightseeing of local farming.
Check in home stay upon arrival and later, take a cycling tour around village paths and mountain trails for sightseeing, visit local homes, enjoy local interaction and perhaps join with locals at their work.
Dinner and overnight home stay in Mai Chau.

Summary of inclusions

Private vehicle
boat rowing tam coc
cycling mai chau
Breakfast & dinner
Homestay local house
son la, vietnam
Mountain north of Vietnam

After breakfast, leave Mai Chau for Nghia Lo via Moc Chau highlands. Moc Chau is home to fruit and flowers in Son La province and is said to be one of the best land for tea in Vietnam. On the way you will have chance to visit villages of the Hmong who live on hillsides in wooden houses surrounded by farms of peaches, plum, corn and dry rice and the Thai people living along streams growing wet rice.
Visit to Moc Chau tea plantation and take a sit down by a local tea shop enjoying a cup of green tea.
Continue your way up higher then cross the Black River by ferry and pass the little town of Phu Yen, Van Chan before you get to Nghia Lo town that lies in the luxuriant Muong Lo valley, home to 12 groups of people including Thai, Viet, Tay, Nung, Muong… This off- beaten-track driving provides you stunning sceneries and spectacular view of local life.
Check in hotel and the rest of the day is free to wander and explore around this laidback mountain town.
Overnight in hotel in Nghia Lo.

Summary of inclusions

Private vehicle
moc chau tea plantation visit
Sightseeing en route
Hotel in nghia lo
Rice terraces, Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam
Rice harvesting, Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam

After breakfast, say goodbye Nghia Lo for your drive to Mu Cang Chai, the place with terraced fields that designated as national heritage. Along the way you will have some stops for visiting to local home and some local cottage industries. Stop near Tu Le for a walk around one of the hill tribe villages.

After lunch, driving up and get the spectacular view of mountain and terraces from the Khau Pha pass.
At Mu Cang Chai, you will wander around to visit terrace fields, taking for you some best photos and learn about local traditional works as well as how they can create such fascinating landscapes by hand.

Overnight in hotel in Mu Cang Chai.

Summary of inclusions

Private vehicle
mu cang chai terraces explore
Hotel in mu cang chai
Paper wood drying, Lai chau, Vietnam
Lu Hilltribe women, Lai chau, Vietnam

Get up early in the morning for stunning photos of Mu Cang Chai terraces at dawn.
Later, leave Mu Cang Chai and drive toward Sapa passing the Tan Uyen and Than Uyen.
Stop in Binh Lu where we will have a visit to a village of Lu people who still preserve strong traditions with their typical customs and appearance. Take a walk around the villages, visit local home and take picture of local people in their houses.

Continue to drive up mountain passing the highest pass of Vietnam at elevation of 200m above sea level. Stop for the view and photos of the pass from the top.
Check in hotel upon arrival in Sapa and remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore this lovely mountain town at your own pace.

Overnight in hotel in Sapa.

Summary of inclusions

Private vehicle
hill tribe villages visit
love waterfalls explore
Hotel in sapa
sapa, vietnam
Hilltribe people, Sapa, Vietnam

After breakfast, get transferred to the trekking point for your trek through the fascinating landscapes of the Muong Hoa River valley along towering mountains, terraced fields, bamboo forest and rustic hill tribe villages of Black Hmong, Dzao and Dzay people.
On the way you will have chance to observe locals working on their land and perhaps joining with locals at their farm work, visiting local houses to learn about their life style and traditions, getting for you some best photos of landscapes and daily life scenes.
Depending on your fitness level, you can choose to take easy trek along the main stream or get onto more challenging one along rolling hills through hidden villages.

Check in homestay around mid-afternoon and remainder of the day is to wander around for sightseeing, local interaction.
Home dinner is served with local tastes and overnight at local home stay on stilts.

Summary of inclusions

sapa mountain & terraces trekking
hill tribe villages visit
Breakfast & dinner
homestay local house
trekking sapa, vietnam
trekking sapa, vietnam

After a local home breakfast, say goodbye to your local hosts and continue on for another wonderful trekking day.
Today you will take about 8 km trek on the dirt trail from Ta Van village of Dzay to Giang Ta Chai village of Dzao, along rolling hills, passing bamboo forests and jungle.

Lunch break at a local restaurant en route then get picked up by van and transferred to Ban Ho village.
Check in home stay in Ban Ho and spend the afternoon for sightseeing around and visiting, swimming at the village waterfall – Lavie waterfalls.
Dinner and overnight at a Tay local home.

Summary of inclusions

sapa trekking
waterfalls visit
Breakfast& dinner
Homestay local house
bacha market, vietnam
bacha market, vietnam

After breakfast, say goodbye to the host and get pick up by private vehicle for a drive downhill then uphill toward Bac Ha district for your visit to one of fascinating and colorful hill tribe markets of the area.
Here you’ll see local people from different mountains gather to exchange their products, showing up their best costume and find their partners in the event that organized once a week in certain parts of the highland.
Apart from shops with plenty of beautiful local handicrafts, herbs, exotic foods, there’s also a livestock market where the locals trade horses, cattle, pigs, dogs and so on. 
Wander through, enjoy the atmosphere, try some local specialties and get for you some best photos.

Drive back down to Lao Cai then along the highway back to Hanoi. Arrive back in Hanoi in the late afternoon. Trip ends. 

Summary of inclusions

Private vehicle
hill tribe market explore
hotel in hanoi
Halong bay, Vietnam
Halong bay, Vietnam

Breakfast is at the hotel. 
08.30AM - 09.00AM: Get picked up from hotel and leave Hanoi for a more than 2 hour drive to Halong Bay, the World Heritage by UNESCO and dubbed one of the most beautiful places on earth. 
Check in on board upon arrival at noon time and cruise your way amongst thousands of dramatic lime stone islands jutting off from emerald water surface.
In the afternoon you will spend time to visit a limestone cave and do some kayaking and swimming (depending on the weather).
Take part in a brief cooking demonstration with Vietnamese spring rolls then enjoy dinner on board when the light are on. 
Sleeping on board surrounded by high limestone karsts under star live sky.

Note: the cruise itinerary can be different depending on tide condition, boat and route assigned.

Summary of inclusions

bus transfer
halong bay cruise
halong kayaking
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
o/n on board cruiser
Halong bay, Vietnam
Halong bay, Vietnam

Wake up early in the morning if you wish to catch the sunrise over the Bay’s spectacular landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. 
After breakfast, take a rowing boat tour around to visit to explore a tunnel. Later, you will cruise to visit another part of the Halong Bay.
Lunch is served on your way cruising back to the harbor. Disembark the boat at early noon (11.00 – 11.30 depending on boat and tide). Drive back to Hanoi.
Remainder of the day is free at your leisure for exploring the city and shopping at your own pace.

Summary of inclusions

halong bay cruise
boat rowing & tunnels visit
Breakfast & lunch
bus transfer
Hotel in hanoi

Breakfast is at the hotel. Free at your leisure until check out time (12.00)
Get private transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Safe travel and see you again!

Summary of inclusions

Private airport transfer

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Number of Persons 2 3 - 4 5 - 6 7 - 8 9 - 10 11 - 12 13 - 15 Single supp
Price Please contact us for best price upon your travel date, number of travelers and specific needs


  • Accommodation in a shared twin/double room.
  • Meals as mentioned.
  • English/French speaking guide
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Water & cold tissue in car
  • Government taxes & Service charges


  • Other services than mentioned
  • Visa & International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • Bank transfer fee if any

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Tour itinerary: This tour itinerary is designed based on local travel conditions, logistics and availabilitis of transportation between visited destinations. It is for you to see how the trip should go, what you can do, see and enjoy during the trip. The itinerary can be tailored by adding more of desired visitng destinations, activities or removing any you do not like to meet your travel time frame, style, budget and expectation the best.

Tour price: Travel Authentic Asia focus on quality and affordable package prices with the best value. The price is based on number of traveler taking the trip, the accommodation category you wish to stay, the mode of transportation, meals provided….

Payment: A deposit of 30% of total price is needed to initiate the tour booking after the itinerary is finalized. The balance for the trip is due 15 days prior to your arrival.

Arrival and departure flights: You are advised to make your own booking for international flights from/back your home country. This allows you to determine better the travel time frame, budget and to deal with insurance claim when needed. Travel Authentic Asia team will base on your flight schedule to work out the best itinerary for you or/and to modify the itinerary to get it matches.

Travel documents: You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all of the appropriate visas, permits and certificates for the countries in which you will visit during your trip. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the duration of the trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct visas, permits and certificates for your trip. Travel Authentic Asia accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the failure of clients to obtain appropriate documentation.

Travel insurance: It is your responsibility to get your own international travel insurance and read the insurance policy before you travel and ensure that the insurance scheme provides with the requisite level of cover. Insurance should cover personal accident and medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation, baggage loss, and cancellation or curtailment of vacation. In some cases, travelers may have pre-existing medical conditions which their travel insurance company will not cover.
Other than local travel insurance(s) included in sightseeing tickets at sites, Travel Authentic Asia does not provide any kind of travel insurance on the trip except required and paid separately from the tour price.

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