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Best of the North (Vietnam)

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Cruise stunning Halong Bay in a traditional junkboat

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Rice fields near NinhBinh, Vietnam

11 days from £1849pp

Northern Vietnam is a heady mixture of thronging cities, fascinating histories and eye-catching landscapes.


Its bays are dotted with towering karst islets, its capital speckled with tranquil lakes and its rugged mountains peppered with remote hilltribes. Experience it all on this compact journey covering the very best of this sensational region.

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Taste the delicious street food of Hanoi on a Street Eats tour
  • Cruise stunning Halong Bay in a traditional junkboat
  • Discover more about northern Vietnam’s colourful hilltribes
  • Hike to remote mountain villages in picturesque Sapa

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What's included
  • Indirect international flights.
  • 6 nights in 4* hotels & hand-picked accommodation.
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Hanoi Street Eats tour
  • Story of Sapa half-day private tour
  • 1 night on board the overnight train from Sapa to Hanoi
  • Private full-day tour of Ninh Binh
  • 1 night on board a Junkboat (L'Azalee Cruises)
  • All transfers
Need to know
  • Arrives: Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)
  • Time difference: GMT+7
  • Visa requirements: British passport holders require a tourist visa; please ask your travel consultant for more information
  • Language: Vietnamese
  • Currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)
  • Flying time from UK: Around 20 hours
  • Plug type: 2 round pins or 2 flat pins
  • Voltage: 220V
Your route


Day 1
Fly from UK to
Days 2-3

Soak up the colonial charm of elegant Hanoi and take part in a Street Eats tour to sample the delicious street food, make using fresh ingredients cooked with light aromatic flavours. Hanoi is one of Vietnam’s most attractive cities, with a delightful mix of old fashioned architecture, modern hotels and streets filled with bicycles and street hawkers. Visit the regal Presidential Palace and the manicured gardens of the Temple of Literature, and if it’s peace and tranquillity you are after, find one of the city’s lakes, popular spots to practice Tai Chi.

4* Silk Path Hotel

Street Eats tour

Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi, CJ - Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
Days 4-5
Sa Pa

Drive from Hanoi to the French hill station at Sapa and soak up the stunning mountain views. The hills around Sapa are home to a number of ethnic minority groups, each with their own customs and traditions. Join a Story of Sapa tour and take a look at their handicrafts, tools and colourful costumes, and learn about the town’s military past. Wander around the local market, where you are likely to encounter some of the local hilltribes, usually in their traditional dress. Trek into the mountains along a gentle pathway, a two hour walk that takes you along the river to photogenic Tien Sa waterfall.

3* Bamboo Sapa Hotel

Story of Sapa half-day private tour

Sapa, Vietnam
Days 6-7
Ninh Binh

Spend the morning trekking through Sapa’s beautiful forests and valleys, calling in at a Hmong village and soaking up the mountain views. Later, take the overnight train from Sapa back to Hanoi, arriving early morning. You’ll have time for breakfast and to freshen up, then you’ll continue on to Ninh Binh where you’ll enjoy a private full-day tour. Take in the spectacular karst scenery and emerald rice paddies by bike, then join the locals for a lesson in rice cracker cooking, and enjoy them with some rice wine.

4* Emeralda Ninh Binh

Rice fields near NinhBinh, Vietnam
Day 8
Halong Bay

Head for Halong Bay, where you’ll spend the night on a traditional junkboat, cruising the emerald green waters and admiring the picturesque scenery. Halong Bay, whose name means ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’, is one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, and is a World Heritage site. Explore the many grottoes found in this pretty area, cool off with a dip in the sea and top up your tan on deck.

1 night on board a Junkboat (L'Azalee Cruises)

Sunset at Halong Bay, Vietnam
Day 9

The boat will sail to Surprise Cave, where you can explore the dramatic rock formations before cruising back to port and returning to Hanoi by road for your final night, arriving the afternoon. You’ll have some time for some last-minute souvenir shopping or sightseeing, and sampling one of the city’s many excellent restaurants.

Days 10-11
Depart Hanoi and return to the UK

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