Twin (Superior)from AUD $940.00.00
Twin (Deluxe) from AUD $1130.00Prices per person
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Day 1 – Hanoi Arrival – On arrival at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport, you will be greeted by our airport representative who will provide the private vehicle transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 2 – Hanoi full day tour and overnight train to Lao Cai – After an early breakfast at your hotel meet your guide and embark on a full-day sightseeing tour of Hanoi. Commence the tour with a visit to the Temple of Literature. Built in 1076, The Temple of Literature was Vietnam’s first university and was established to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years. Its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Proceed to Hanoi’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The Citadel was constructed on a Chinese fortress dating back from the 7th century and re-built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty. The historical site and remains represent a unique fusion of traits, with influences from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south. Your next visit is to The One Pillar Pagoda, which was founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure is one of Vietnam’s smallest but most iconic temples. Close by is the Mausoleum of the historic Father Figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the Former President’s House on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary
(The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed Mondays & Fridays and from Oct.-Nov, you can only view from the outside)
In the afternoon you will visit the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. Hoan Kiem Lake was already considered the most beautiful lake in Hanoi when Ngoc Son Temple was built on an island in the 19th century. Initially, the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda and was later renamed Ngoc Son Temple, since temples are dedicated to saints. Saint Van Suong, considered to be one of the brightest stars in Vietnam’s literary and intellectual circles, was worshipped there along with other National heroes. In the late afternoon enjoy a leisurely one-hour buggy tour through the streets of this fascinating city, you will come face to face with the daily lives and activities of Hanoi’s streets as you pass through the congested, but delightful, Old Quarter. Ride pass the fascinating streets, which still bear the names of the shops that could be found in them in the 15th to 18th centuries. In the early evening attend a performance of the famous water puppet show. The Vietnamese traditional art of water puppetry has roots that date back to the 10th century when it originated in the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. The farmers in the region celebrated festivals and harvests by performing this unique art form. Learning to manipulate the puppets is usually a tradition that is passed on as a family secret. It takes a great deal of skill and because the puppeteer’s hands are underwater, it is easy for them to hide their methods. The fascinating part is that the central stage is below the waterline, and the puppeteers stand in the waist-deep water. A rattan curtain hides them, but they can see the stage and the audience through the bamboo slats. At approx 20:00 hrs you will be transferred to Hanoi Railway Station where you will board the overnight train to Lao Cai in superior 4-berth compartments sharing with other passengers. The train departs at approximately 21:50 hrs. (B & L)
Notes: The train schedule is subject to change. Train journeys are part of a great local experience. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless a private cabin is requested and all berths paid for – with supplement). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience.
2 ways private compartments on request at surcharge of US$ 160/ pax/ (1 pax in 1 private cabin), US$ 110/ pax/ (2 paxs in 1 private cabin), US$ 60/ pax/ (3 pax in 1 private cabin)
Day 3 – Lao Cai to SaPa – In the early morning (approximately 06:00 hrs) you will arrive at Lao Cai, the border town to Yunnan, China. A car journey now commences with a 38 km drive on winding roads up the mountains to SaPa, located approx. 1,500 m above sea level. On clear days you can see the highest mountain in Vietnam, the Fansipan. After enjoying breakfast at a local restaurant, drive from SaPa town down to enjoy a morning walking tour of SaPa for a visit to the local market. It is here that the Red Dao, Black H’Mong, Tay and other ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding countryside to sell their silverware and handicrafts, and to buy provisions.
Enjoy a short drive to Cat Cat village of the Hmong people, here you will enjoy a light trek around and then share their daily lives for a rare glimpse into their culture and customs. In the mid-afternoon return to SaPa town for lunch. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are at your leisure. Appropriate footwear must be worn on treks in Sapa. Note that if conditions are wet, programs may be diverted. (B & L)
Day 4 – SaPa tp Ban Khoang – Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before you meet your local guide in the hotel lobby who will provide the private vehicle transfer to Ban Khoang Valley, a 30-minute winding road journey. Along the way enjoy the breathtaking views of Hoag Lien Mountain Range.
The first stop is at Lu Khau Village in Ban Khoang Valley. The Lu Khau Village is home to Blue Hmong and Red Dao minorities. Explore the village on foot, meet the friendly local people, and learn about their colorful culture and lifestyle in the countryside. Depart from Ban Khoang Valley on a 8-km road transfer to Ta Giang Phinh Valley and enjoy a local lunch there. This afternoon take a leisurely walk through the charming Ta Giang Phinh Valley. Walk on the village path which winds down the impressive valley, home to Blue Hmong ethnic minority people. Visit local houses to see some handicrafts workshops and observe villagers working in the fields tending their crops with buffalos. Appropriate footwear must be worn on treks in Sapa. Note that if conditions are wet, programs may be changed. In the mid-late afternoon transfer back to SaPa town and the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure. (B & L)
Day 5 – SaPa to Ma Tra and then onto Lao Cai – Enjoy a full day of trekking. Visit Suoi Ho village with tea plantations and cardamom gardens. Follow the buffalo trails to visit the hospitable villages of the Black Hmong minority people in Ma Tra. After passing a school and scenic views en route, a picnic lunch will be served. Once you have completed lunch continue trekking to Ta Phin village where you will meet Red Dao people who are famous for their weaving skills. Proceed to the meeting point and transfer back to SaPa. After a short rest (time permitting), transfer to Lao Cai Railway Station where you will board the overnight train to Hanoi at around 20:15 hrs (shared sleeping compartments, sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment). (B & L)
Notes: The train schedule is subject to change. Private compartments on request at a surcharge. Train journeys are part of a great local experience. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless a private cabin is requested, and all berths paid for – with supplement). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience.
Day 6 – Hanoi Departure – Arrive at Hanoi Railway Station early this morning where you will meet your driver and then enjoy breakfast & a special Vietnamese coffee at a local restaurant. After breakfast, you will enjoy a steam bath, sauna with one hour of body treatment (massage), and thereafter a bowl of noodles with a fresh fruit platter before proceeding to the airport for your international flight home. (B)
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