The warm friendliness of the people and the sheer variety of scenery on offer in Northern Vietnam make this a fascinating and unusual destination for a family holiday.
This itinerary starts out in the bustling city of Hanoi before heading into the lush green hills for a gentle adventure meeting local hilltribe people and staying overnight in a very comfortable lodge. Then spend two nights cruising the unforgettable seascape of Halong Bay where you'll have plenty of time for swimming, kayaking, visiting floating villages, exploring caves and tiny deserted beaches.
Wind up your adventure with an overnight train journey (or you can fly if you prefer!) to the charming, ancient city of Hoi An where you can explore the local shops, enjoy dining by the river or simply relax on the beach.
As with all our trips, this itinerary is easily customisable so if you'd like to add another few days at one of Vietnam's charming beach resorts or maybe end up with a night or two in Ho Chi Minh City... you have only to ask... and we'll be pleased to come up with some suggestions accordingly.
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Day 1: Arrival Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi and settle into your hotel. The evening is free to dine at one of Hanoi's many wonderful restaurants.
Day 2: Hanoi
Enjoy a morning cyclo tour of Hanoi, exploring the magical Old Quarter and French Colonial District. Spend the afternoon exploring the city on your own before meeting your guide for dinner and a water puppet performance.
Day 3: Hanoi /Mai Chau Lodge
Mai Chau is only four hours away from bustling Hanoi but feels like another world as you drive into the lush mountains, home to remote hill tribes and visited by surprisingly few tourists. You'll arrive in time for lunch, after which you may choose to take an optional afternoon cycling tour through the valley or simply relax at the lodge. Dinner will be followed by a traditional dance performance.
Day 4: Mai Chau Lodge
In the morning visit a former soldiers' cave which was used to store equipment during the Vietnam War. Then, walk to a local ethnic H'Mong village to learn about local village life. After lunch transfer back to the lodge. Spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool or take a walk through the emerald green rice paddies and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Day 5: Mai Chau Lodge - Hanoi
After breakfast, take a walk to two nearby Thai villages - Pom Coong and Lac, to see traditional village life and meet the locals. Lunch will be served back at the lodge before returning to Hanoi in the late afternoon.
Day 6: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Traditional Junk
In the morning, transfer from the hotel in Hanoi to Halong Bay - about 4 hours with a refreshment break en route. Upon boarding the traditional wooden junk which will be your home for the next 3 days,meet the crew and then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards secluded Bai Tu Long Bay. Visit ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming if the weather permits. Return to the junk refreshed and invigorated before relaxing on deck with a drink to watch the sunset, and then enjoy a freshly prepared seafood dinner under the stars.
Day 7: Bai Tu Long
Spend the morning at Bua Cua beach for swimming, sunbathing etc. Lunch will be a delicious barbecue on the beach and there will be plenty of opportunities for kayaking. In the afternoon visit floating villages and a local school before returning to the junk for the night.
Day 8: Halong Bay – Hanoi - Train to Danang
After relaxing all morning cruising through the bay, transfer back to Hanoi in the afternoon to take an overnight sleeper train to the quaint, picturesque fishing village of Hoi An.
Day 9: Train Arrival - Afternoon Hoi An half day tour
Upon arrival in Danang, drive to your hotel to relax and freshen up.
In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An's ancient streets, relax in a riverside café or take a walk down the beach.
Days 10 to 12: Hoi AnFree days to enjoy the beach, get clothes tailor made or enjoy a traditional cooking class- fun for the whole family!
Day 13: Hoi An - Danang – Depart
Transfer to the airport in Danang for your flight onwards.
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Prices start from around GBP 1200 per person based on 2 adults travelling together.
Price includes accommodation, transfers, most meals and activities.
We can arrange this itinerary at ANY time of year, subject to availability.
This itinerary can be tailor-made to suit your particular interests.