Day 1 - Hanoi
Xin chao. Welcome to Vietnam! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. The meeting is generally followed by an optional group meal out at one of Hanoi's fantastic eating spots. If you have time before the meeting, head out and discover Hanoi. It's a good idea to take a hotel business card so you can find your way back.
Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive to the meeting in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Day 2 - Sapa
After breakfast climb board a private bus to Sa Pa, a town in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of northwest Vietnam. This journey will take approximately 5 hours. From the Sa Pa market, venture out on a short trek (approximately 2.5 hours) through the surrounding valleys to visit a hill-tribe village called Cat Cat. This is home to the H’mong people, who emigrated from China 300 years ago. In the evening, settle into your hotel in Sapa for the night.
Day 3 - Sapa Trek - Ta Van
Savour the dramatic landscapes and panoramic views of rural Vietnam on a trek from Lao Chai to Ta Van. You'll pass by terraced farms ripe with corn and rice, over bubbling brooks and through bucolic villages. Stop for a picnic lunch before heading on to our home stay with a local family in the evening. The total trek today is around 10 kilometres.
Day 4 - Hanoi
This morning trek to Su Pan before taking some time to rest your feet on a bus ride back to Sa Pa. In the afternoon the group returns to Hanoi (approximately 5 hours). Maybe get a bird's eye view of the city from a rooftop bar and unwind with an iced coffee.
Day 5 - Hanoi
Vietnam's capital is best explored on foot, which is why the group will head out on a city walking tour. See the final resting place of Vietnam's revered revolutionary at Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum and Museum before stopping by Bach Ma Temple in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Although the shrine was originally built in the 11th century, and is therefore considered to be the city's oldest temple, the current structure and shrine to Confucius actually dates from the 18th century. In the afternoon, have a practice on your bike with a warm up cycling trip around Hanoi's West Lake.
Day 6 - Mai Chau
Leave behind the Hanoi hustle and journey to the clean air of the Mai Chau valley (approximately 3 hours). There are great photo opportunities along the way – stop at a vantage point to take in the view of Mai Chau, home to a variety of minority groups with their own unique culture and languages. Along the way, there's also the opportunity to help local farmers plant rice seeds into the fields. Arrive in Mai Chau and head to the village of Pom Coong, where your local guide will introduce you to your hosts for lunch, and provide information on the region's people, their lifestyles, customs and culture. Lunch is a traditional affair with examples of local cuisine on offer. This is a great opportunity to experience the local area, chat with your hosts, and gain a real insight into life in this fascinating and picturesque region. After lunch, take some time to relax before saddling up for a cycle trip to nearby villages. Back at the homestay, relax with a cold drink while watching the sun set over the peaceful mountains. Alternatively, for the food lovers, why not help the landlady cook dinner!
Notes: At the homestay you’ll sleep on mattresses in a communal room. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities are basic.
Day 7 - Ninh Binh
After breakfast set out again on your bike on a cycle from Mai Chau to Ninh Binh, a region well-known for its green valleys, karst mountains and conservation areas. Todays ride will cover approximately 70 kilometres in total.
Day 8 - Halong Bay
In the morning catch a bus from Ninh Binh to the spectacular Halong Bay, with its towering limestone islands topped with rainforests and gold-sailed junk boats cruising along the water. Grab a kayak and spend the day paddling across the bay's turquoise waters before climbing aboard a boat for an overnight stay.
Day 9 - Hanoi
Take the chance to discover more of Halong Bay's secret caves and lagoons on a morning kayak expedition. Later, catch the bus back to bustling Hanoi. Arrive in the late afternoon. Perhaps head down to the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping or pay a visit to one of the city's many fascinating museums, such as the Fine Art Museum or Museum of Ethnology. Toast the end of this active adventure with an optional farewell dinner with your group.
Day 10 - Hanoi
This active adventure comes to an end today. You are free to depart at any time. Perhaps consider exploring further on the Village Discovery By Bike Urban Adventure or the Hanoi Street Food by Night.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money