On your arrival, you are met local guide and driver who will take you to hotel. Then you have your free time.
Evening we enjoy the Water Puppet Show, a unique northern Vietnamese art performance that we cannot be missed on our schedule for today. We will have a chance to learn more about the rural life of Vietnamese peasants and national heroes via a series of history story which were beautifully demonstrated by the artists.
Day 2: Ha Noi – Cycling tour (Bike) (B)
Morning breakfast at hotel then we start our cycling day around Ha Noi and also visit to some of the highlights of Ha Noi; Temple of Literature, Ethnology Museum, and Women Museum. We will have a light lunch at Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho) and then ride around the ancient quarter of Ha Noi. After that we ride outskirt of Ha Noi along the dike to Bat Trang pottery village which is very well known for its ceramic art and porcelain for our exploring this Vietnamese traditional craft village. Visiting this site and we also join with the artist do make your own pot, cup or dish as a good souvenir gift to take home, we start to ride back our hotel.
Day 3: Ha Noi – Ha Long – Kayaking (Bus and Cruise) (B)
A new exciting day waiting us to discover, we depart for Ha Long, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islands and islets in all sides reflecting on turquoise water. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.
There are a lot of photo opportunities on our way to Ha Long as we drive through the rural area, street markets, paddy fields, vegetable farms, poultry farms and lotus farms. We take a rest stop Hong Ngoc shop after 2 hour drive for a coffee break then continue to Ha Long Bay. At midday we board the overnight junk for the cruise. A welcome drink is well prepared for us as we get on board then check in and enjoy a pleasant cruise on the bay. Seafood lunch is served on board while the junk is slowly going among the islands and islets. There are some activities for us to join in in this afternoon; visiting to the cave, swimming at Ti Top beach, climbing up the top of Ti Top Island for panoramic view of the bay, kayaking in late afternoon or joining squids finishing at night. The junk is anchored in a quiet bay for overnight. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 4: Ha Long – Ninh Binh (Bus) (B)
Morning just join the Tai Chi Class on sundeck for half an hour and then we will have breakfast. We keep on our excursion and visit to Sung Sot cave, fantastic stalactites and stalagmites in all different sides with beautiful natural color. Return to our junk and check out. Enjoy a pleasant cruise back to the pier for disembarkation then drive to Ninh Binh.
Day 5: Ninh Binh (Bike) (B)
Start our beautiful day to cycle around and visit this World Heritage Site and our first visit is Hoa Lu ancient capital which was the economic, political and culture center of Dai Co Viet, an independent Vietnamese polity founded in 968 AD by the local warlord Dinh Bo Linh who was known as Dinh Tien Hoang, the first Dinh Emperor. This site consists of Dinh and Le temple dedicated to Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh Emperors. Continue our cycling to Bai Dinh pagoda, a complex of Buddhist temples on Bai Dinh Mountain in. The compound consists of the original old temple and a newly created larger temple. It is considered the largest complex of Buddhist temples in Vietnam and has become a popular site for Buddhist pilgrimages from across Vietnam.
Cycling from Bai Dinh to the pier for a boat trip to Tam Coc, picturesque scenery which is known as Ha Long on land. The Tam Coc (“three caves”) portion is a three-hour excursion by small boat along the Ngo Dong River beginning at the village of Van Lam and proceeding through a scenic landscape dominated by rice fields and karst towers. The route includes floating through three natural caves (Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba), the largest of which is 125m long with its ceiling about 2m high above the water.
Return to our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 6: Ninh Binh (B)
Morning enjoy our breakfast at hotel then we cycle to Cuc Phuong National Park, Cuc Phuong boasts an engaging cultural and will dlife heritage and enchanting scenery. Magnificent Limestone Mountains rise up majestically from the green rice-terraces and traditional stilt houses of the Muong hill-tribe. Covered in a dense forest, this landscape forms the habitat for some of Asia's rarest animal and plant species. It is no wonder that researchers, naturalists, enthusiasts and conservationists alike are drawn to this corner of the world. The ancient forest harbours over 2234 vascular and non-vascular plants, 122 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 135 species mammals, including the Clouded Leopard, Delacour's Langur, Owston's Civet and Asian Black Bear. There are also an incredible 336 documented bird species. Visitors in April and May should be blessed with the chance to see literally thousands of vibrant butterflies. On our arrival we meet local guide then do 3 hour trekking to in this Park. Late afternoon we drive back our hotel.
Day 7: Ninh Binh – Son La (B)
Morning coach departure to transport you to Son La, your starting point for seven days of cycling adventure. The scenery along the way will whet your appetite for what’s in store. Plenty of stops are scheduled along the way and a great opportunity to get to know your fellow cyclists. O/N in Son La.
Day 8: Son La – Tuan Giao (B)
Cycle Son La to Tuan Giao (90 km). A stunning day of cycling through a region populated by the Black Thai mountain people. An early climb in will d rugged terrain gradually transforms into a meander through cultivated crops and friendly villages. A late afternoon climb will reward you with mountain vistas that go on forever and a final exhilarating descent to Tuan Giao. O/N in Tuan Giao.
Day 9: Tuan Giao – Dien Bien Phu (B)
Cycle Tuan Giao to Dien Bien Phu (81 km). Just when you thought the cycling couldn’t get better it does. We cycle through picturesque gorges, lush forest and farming communities with plenty of chances to greet the locals. One word of warning though, is wary of a challenge to ‘drag race’. This is where the barefooted young boys and girls on their rickety single speed bikes put us to shame. However their cheeky grins will remain a treasured memory long after the pain of defeat has subsided. O/N in Dien Bien Phu.
Day 10: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau (B)
Cycle Dien Bien Phu to Lai Chau (100 km). In 1954 Vietnamese nationalists overran the French Garrison stationed here and effectively drove the French out of Vietnam. An early morning excursion to the war museum is definitely recommended, especially when the tour is given from the personal perspective of our guide, Tran. Day after day of fabulous cycling continues with a late arrival into Lai Chau. Dinner and drinks are served at local hotel. O/N in Lai Chau.
Day 11: Lai Chau – Tam Duong (B)
Cycle Lai Chau to Tam Duong (106 km's). Today’s ride has some of the most spectacular scenery in Vietnam as you follow the Nam Na River. A great day to get lost in your thoughts and the rhythm of cycling. We spend the night at the simple Phuong Thanh Hotel with some of the most charming and friendly staff we have been lucky to meet in Vietnam. O/N in Tam Duong.
Day 12: Tam Duong – Sa Pa (B)
Cycle Tam Duong to Sa Pa (73km). An amazing day of touring is in front of you, with sections that have been voted the ‘best downhill’ and the ‘toughest climb’ on tour. The final climb is breathtaking in its grandeur, length and sense of remoteness. It will take you over the highest pass in South East Asia with glorious views of Mt Fansipan, the tallest mountain in Vietnam. At the top we take a short break and as you gaze into the distant valley below you will be filled with a sense of achievement that does not come often or easily. An oasis in the form of the luxurious Victoria Sa Pa Hotel awaits you in Sa Pa. O/N in Sa Pa.
Day 13: Sa Pa (B)
Rest day in Sa Pa, truly unique and it would be unforgivable to not spend a full day here. A former French hill station, you will marvel at the towering mist covered hills, terraced rice paddies and alpine streams. Combine this with the hill tribe people, particularly the delightful H’mong girls selling handmade silver jewellery, and bustling markets, and you will understand why it is our favourite destination in Vietnam. Explore, laze around the indoor pool or hike to one of the minority villages, the choice is yours. O/N in Sa Pa.
Day 14: Sa Pa – Lao Cai (B)
Sa Pa to Lao Cai (35km). After all the mountains you have climbed, this day of complete downhill will almost (but not quite) make you feel guilty. Once in Lao Cai we travel to the border crossing with China where in 1979 the Chinese invaded Vietnam before being driven out. We have dinner in town before travelling overnight on the private luxury Victoria Express train back to Ha Noi. Stay up late in the dining car sipping on Sa Pa wine and swapping stories and experiences with you new best friends.
Day 15: Ha Noi (B)
Saddle up for a cycle tour of Ha Noi (20 km) exploring many of the small back streets and merchants of the Old Quarter. Prepare to be swept up in the sea of riders and motorcycles circling Hoan Kiem Lake in the center of Ha Noi, and cycle respectfully past Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. This night a celebratory dinner is held at ‘Indochine’ one of Ha Noi’s finest Vietnamese restaurants. O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 16: Ha Noi – Departure B)
Free time for shopping or at leisure until your flight home.
All accommodation basing on double/twin room with daily breakfast
Private transportation as specified in itinerary
English speaking guide for day tour
All entrance fee for sightseeing
All boat trips as specified in itinerary
Meals as specified in itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Drinking water on coach
International air ticket to/from Vietnam
Visa fee to Vietnam
Domestic air tickets
Things are not indicated in itinerary