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Tours from Hanoi:

HANOI FULL DAY CITY TOUR

At 8 am, our guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and begin the full-day city tour with Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and “House on stilt”, the same area where the Presidential Palace and the famous One Pillar Pagoda are located. We explore the Presidential Palace before venturing to the Hoa Lo Prison, ironically referred to as the “Hanoi Hilton”—a Prisoners of War (POW) prison turned into a museum. Next stop is the Temple of Literature, built in 11th century as the first university of the country, now standing as one of Hanoi’s best-preserved monuments.

Enjoy lunch with authentic, delicious Vietnamese cuisine before visiting the Fine Art Museum. Afterwards it is time for Hanoi Old Quarter and the Hoan Kiem Lake with a stop at the Ngoc Son Temple.

At the end of the day we will watch the famous water puppet show at Thang Long Opera Theatre.

Services included:

  • Private air conditioned transportation
  • English speaking guide
  • Lunch at local restaurant
  • Entrance fees and permits where applicable
  • Tickets for the Water Puppet Show

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HANOI COUNTRYSIDE AND PAGODAS     

In the morning at 8 am, you will be picked up at your hotel and drive to Ha Tay province (40km) to visit Thay (Master) Pagoda Temple, which is a large relic complex of high artistic and architectural values with a scenic landscape. The people of the Thay Pagoda worship the venerable monk Tu Dao Hanh, who is said to have been reincarnated three times –  as the son of King Lý Nhân Tông, as Buddha in the form of Sakhyamuni and as a monk who saved the King. Tu Dao Hahn is also a famous choreographer of Vietnamese Water Puppetry. Water puppetry performances take place here at festival time, particularly in the third lunar month, when pilgrims rush in. We drive to the Tay Phuong Pagoda, where 76 carved Buddha statues have been kept since the 17th & 18th centuries. The pagoda is famous for the statues, the magnificent wooden sculptures representing Buddhas as well as Vajrapanis (Kim Cuong) and Arhats (La Han), who are middle-ranking Buddhist deities. The Tay Phuong Pagoda is not only an historical site with valuable architecture, but also a scenic place in Hanoi.

Leaving the pilgrimage places, we drive to the ancient village of Duong Lam. From the 16th century, the houses and walls were made of unprocessed Laterite blocks. The long-standing community has a dense population and houses nestle cozily next to one another. The stones used for building appear everywhere, both under and above ground. We wander down the lanes where the moss covered Laterite walls and closed gates create a poetic atmosphere. It is easy to recognize the cultural value and the unique beauty of the Duong Lam village. Talk with the locals in front of the ancient houses and visit inside the houses, while having a Vietnamese lunch.

After having tea with the host, we continue our trip to Mia Pagoda, known as the Museum of Buddhist Statues due to the 287 relics on display. We will then visit the Ngo Quyen Temple and the Phung Hung Temple, both places dedicated to two national heroes – Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung. We then driving back to Hanoi in the late afternoon. Drop off at hotel and end of the services provided by Indochina Travel Service.

Services included:

  • Private air conditioned transportation
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees and permits where applicable
  • Lunch with a local family
  • 1 bottle of mineral water

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PERFUME PAGODA

Departing from your hotel at 8 am, we will take a 2.5 hour road trip through the rich farm land of the Red River Delta to one of Northern Vietnam’s holiest sites. Reaching Yen dock, we will enjoy a one hour cruise on a private row boat down the Yen River, surrounded by the spectacular scenery of mountains, rivers and rice paddies. We will pass the Trinh Pagoda and continue to Thien Tru Habour, where we will start trekking uphill to the main cave pagoda – the Perfume Pagoda. The visit to this pagoda will give us more understanding of Buddhism in Vietnam. When you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a beautiful view. This day we will have a late and simple lunch at one of the little food stalls near Thien Tru Habour, before we go visit to the most beautiful Thien Tru Pagoda.

Enjoy a one-hour sampan (a wooden boat) ride back to our vehicle. We arrive in Hanoi around 6 pm.

Services included:

  • Private air conditioned transportation from and to your hotel in Hanoi
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees and permits where applicable
  • 1 way cable car ride down
  • Private sampan with rowers
  • Lunch
  • Mineral water

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HOA LU – TRANG AN, AN ECOTOURISM COMPLEX

Pick up at hotel and depart for Ninh Binh in the morning. It is a two and half hour drive southeast of Hanoi to the former Vietnamese capital – Hoa Lu (968 – 1009). The ancient Hoa Lu Citadel (most of which has since been destroyed) once covered an area of 3 km². Visit Hoa Lu with the Dinh and Le Temples as well as citadel traces. From the historical sites, we move towards Tam Coc town for lunch. Along the way we can stop, if you would like to take pictures of local villages and the stunning landscape.

After lunch, we drive to Trang An – an ecological tourist site situated near Tam Coc. This area is a nature reserve similar to Tam Coc, however currently less visited. Limestone hills surround a peaceful river, which passes through a series of caves (one which takes 15 minutes to pass in darkness). At this ecotourism area, the only interruptions are the sound of birds and the gentle paddle of the oar through the crystal clear river. Board your private sampan to discover the marvelous ecotourism complex, where a system of unique grottoes like Ba Giot, Dia Linh, Toi (Dark cave), Sang (Bright cave), Ao Trai cave, Seo cave etc., makes this place mysterious and attractive. As the boat gently floats through the water, notice the enormous limestone karsts and take a thorough look at dramatic scenery. Return to Hanoi approximately at 6 pm.

Services included:

  • Private air conditioned transportation from and to Hanoi
  • English speaking guide
  • Lunch at local restaurant
  • Entrance fees and permits where applicable
  • Private Sampan with rower

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Sapa Tavan homestay
Duration: 2 days/1 night

Day 1: Lao Cai – Sapa – Lao Chai – Ta Van (B, L, D)
Early pick-up at Lao Cai Station from where over an-hours drive is waiting uphill by car to Sapa. After freshening up there is breakfast at a local restaurant. You can enjoy a walk around this charming town, visit the Sapa Market and the old cathedral, where you can meet local ethnic minority people such as the Black H’mong and Red Zao wearing their traditional colorful dresses, selling their farming products and handicrafts for souvenirs.
After lunch, we leave Sapa Town and drive to Lao Chai village, following the hill downwards. The views of the Muong Hoa valley and the magnificent surroundings of mountains and rice terrace fields can be seen from the road. People from many ethnic groups (H’mong, Zay, and Red Dao) are likely to be met, and there are stalls along the way serving tea, fruits and sweets. Soon after turning off the main road and taking a local path, we arrive in the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai, where you will experience the daily life of the villagers. We walk from Lao Chai to Ta Van village, where the Zay hill tribes live. The trail continues uphill and downhill for about two hours before reaching Lao Chai, a large village of the H’mong. Following the river bank we go to the Ta Van village, where the Zay people live. We visit the local homes and village schools.  You get to enjoy the culture of the local ethnic peoples as well as the breathtaking scenery of the Muong Hoa Valley. We settle down in Ta Van village for an overnight home stay.

Day 2: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Sapa (B, L)
After breakfast in the local house, we leave the Ta Van Village, taking the trail uphill, passing fascinating terraced rice fields and some small hamlets of the H’mong, before walking through a bamboo forest to a waterfall. We enjoy a break with magnificent scenery and continue walking for half an hour to the Giang Ta Chai Village of the Red Zao people. The village is located on top of a hill  looking down on the  Muong Hoa River. After spending time visiting the village, making friends with the Zao and experiencing the hospitality, you will cross the river by a suspension bridge and walk uphill again to the Hau Thao village. We will visit a local handicraft center, where H’mong and Zao women gather, exchanging experiences and skills of making handicrafts. A late lunch will be prepared nearby the center and afterwards you can relax or get to know some of the local school boys, girls and their teachers. Later a short drive will take you back to your hotel in Sapa.
End of services.

Trip includes:

  • One way railway transfer between Sapa and Lao Cai
  • Air conditioned transportation to Lao Chai and pick up at Giang Ta Chai to Sapa
  • One overnight home stay in the Ta Van village (basic local standard)
  • Meals as described in the program (B= Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees and permits where applicable
  • Complimentary 1 bottle of mineral water

Trip does not include:

  • Beverages during meals
  • Transfers beyond the itinerary
  • Train tickets
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Any bank charges, bank fees

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MAI CHAU TREK

Day 1: Hanoi –Lac Village (L, D)

Departing at 8.30 am from Hanoi we drive for three-and-a-half hours through Hoa Binh Town. We gradually climb the beginning of the Truong Son mountain range to Man Duc town, a town with spectacular karst scenery. Upon arrival in the Lac village, Mai Chau, the friendly White Thai family will welcome us. You will have a chance to communicate with the Thai minority people and enjoy a simple lunch with them – The Thai minority people have their own language, dress, customs, traditions and singular blend of beliefs and myths.

After lunch, we will trek for two and a half hours to the three White Thai villages of La Poon, La Thia and Poom Coong. In the afternoon, we get back to the Lac village for refreshments and an overnight stay at a Thai home.

Option: In the evening, enjoy the performance of the minority dances and drink Ruou Can.

Day 2: Lac Village –Van Village –Hanoi (B)

After breakfast, we start a 2-hour trek to the Van Village, one of the most beautiful villages in the Mai Chau area. A spectacular scenery of mountains, forest, a waterfall and rice paddies is waiting. If there is time, we will visit a local market before heading back to Hanoi.

Services included:

  • Private air conditioned transportation within the itinerary
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Home stay in the Lac village
  • Meals as described in the program (B=breakfast; L =lunch; D=dinner)
  • Entrance fees and sightseeing fees where applicable
  • 1 bottle of water per day for trekking

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SAPA EASY TREK TO VILLAGES – Hotel Option

Day 1: Hanoi –night train to Lao Cai

We will pick you up at your hotel and transfer to the Hanoi Railway Station for an overnight train ride to Lao Cai.

Overnight on board (shared air conditioned cabin of 4 soft sleepers)

Day 2: Lao Cai –Sapa –Ta Van – Sapa (B)

Arrival to the Lao Cai Railways Station around 6 am, followed by a 45-minute drive to Sapa. Check-in at the hotel before refreshments and breakfast are served. In mid morning, we drive from Sapa town to the Lao Chai village, following the road downhill. The view of the Muong Hoa valley and the magnificent surroundings of mountains and rice terrace fields can be seen from the road. People from many ethnic groups (H’mong, Zay, and Red Dao) are likely to be met and there are stalls along the way serving tea, fruits and sweets. Soon after turning off the main road and taking a local path, we will arrive in the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai, where you will experience the daily life of the villagers. Afterwards we walk from Lao Chai to the Ta Van village, where the Zay hill tribes live. Here you can rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your local guide in a local house. After lunch we are going to trek up and downhill and through bamboo forest before it is time for a well-deserved rest by the waterfall. Explore the Red Dao village of Giang Ta Chai where you will also have the chance to see their daily activities. In the afternoon the car will pick you up for the return journey to Sa Pa.

Overnight at hotel in Sapa

Day 3: Cat Cat –Sapa

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