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CLASSIC NORTHERN & CENTRAL VIETNAM TOUR 12D11N

This is one of Get Up And Go Vietnam's specially designed and inspected tours that will give you the best tour selections that Northern and Central Vietnam has to offer. Discover Hanoi, the jewel of Asia, and get a feel of it's fascinating street life and deli... View more
Destinations: Hanoi, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Ha Long, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Hue
Duration: 12 Days and 11 nights
$729.00
$669.00

Day 1 : HANOI - WALK & FOOD TOUR (Snacks on the way)

Picture of HANOI - WALK & FOOD TOUR

Itinerary Details Day 1: Hanoi

On arrival on your first day your private airport pick-up service will be ready with a sign with your name on it to take you to your hotel right in the middle of the old quarter in Hanoi.After check-in you’ll be given some time to relax and or explore the old quarter by yourself.

At 5 pm your private tour guide will meet you at your hotel to start your Food & Walking Tour through the most interesting streets of the 36 streets of the Old Quarter of Hanoi. He will give you a brief introduction about the route of the tour and about the places you will be visiting before we set off to explore Hanoi’s buzz ling Old Quarter at night.

Some of the typical local foods that you can be offered (the route and type of street food might differ based on your personal preferences or eating restrictions) are; pillow cakes, famous Vietnamese spring rolls, chicken noodle, bun cha, banh cuon, fruit salad, rice cake and local beer (bia hoi).

Highlights:

  •       Spend most time on tasting Vietnamese cuisine around Hanoi
  •       A nice relaxed experience walking around the Old Quarter while enjoying the company of your tour guide who will inform you about the history and local customs while soaking up the nightlife of Hanoi

Schedule details:

  •     Duration: around 3-3.5 hours. Starting point: Your hotel in the center of the old quarter in Hanoi (pick up at your hotel by our tour guide)
  •     Departure time: 5 pm (drop off location: at your hotel)

What’s included per person?

Food, snacks and drinks during tour.

Tour guide – Entrance fees (if applicable)

What’s not included per person?

Tip to Tour Guide - Any items not mentioned above and other personal expenses

  

Transportation: Private car/ driver for airport pick up.

Meals: Food, snacks and drinks during Food & Walking Tour

Accommodation: 2*+ star hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Day 2 : HANOI CITY TOUR (Breakfast & Lunch)

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Itinerary Details Day 2: Hanoi – City Tour

8.00 Today we start early because the first stop is the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and this place can get very busy later in the morning. Your tour guide for today will pick you up from your hotel and after a short drive we’ll arrive at the Mausoleum, the final resting place of Vietnam’s greatest father. Walk beside Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house where he lived and worked from 1958 to 1969. The vast gardens boast over 250 different species of plants & flowers from all over Vietnam. Next stop is the One Pillar Pagoda, modeled on the lotus flower - a striking symbol of Hanoi city.

10:00 We continue our tour with a short drive towards the campus of the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature, the most famous temple in Hanoi that also served as Vietnam’s first university. It was constructed in 1070 under King Ly Nhan Tong and dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. This vastly significant structure incorporates an interior realm of 5 courtyards, ancient trees and manicured lawns.

11:00 We continue our tour with a short drive to visit the exquisite Tran Quoc pagoda, an ancient Buddhist temple and national heritage site, located at the West Lake.

12:00 We then drive you to the area around the West Lake to have lunch at a local Bia Hoi (local, daily fresh brewed beer with no artificial additives and or preservatives) restaurant for lunch and taste some of the traditional local dishes.

13.30 Next and last stop for today is the Viet Nam Military History Museum, which was set up on July 17th 1956 It is one of seven national museums in Vietnam. It covers 12,800 m2. It is situated in central Hanoi, opposite the Lenin Park and near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

15:00 Your tour guide for today will take you back to your hotel where the tour ends. The further afternoon and evening are at your own interpretation to explore Hanoi’s old quarter by yourself.

 

Transportation: Private

Meals: Breakfast & lunch

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: 2*+ star hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi

Day 3 : SAPA TREKKING (Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner)

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Itinerary Details Day 3: Hanoi – Sapa – Y Linh Ho - Ta Van

Today we checkout early in the morning and you can enjoy breakfast before we start your Sapa adventure! Please let us remind you that you can leave your unnecessary luggage (for your Sapa tour) safely at the hotel at all times.

6.30 – 7.00 Pick-up from your hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi, transfer to the luxury bus and departure for Sapa Town.

9.30 We follow the highway to Lao Cai with the first comfort break.

11.00 Second comfort break at Lao Cai city before approaching Sapa.

13.00 We arrive in Sapa Town with colorful traditional costumes of Hmong, Dzao and Tay ethnic people.

- Welcome drink and itinerary briefing

- Enjoy the lunch with local Vietnamese dishes 

14.15 We take a short drive to Y Linh Ho and then trek through the rice terraces and along the Muong Hoa stream to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai to see the spectacular landscape of Hoang Lien Son Mountain and approach Ta Van village, which is inhabited by Zay ethnic people late in the afternoon. Trekking distance is about 9km and it takes around 3.5 hours.

17.45 Check in at the homestay and introduction to the Dzay family.We spend time to enjoy the mountain life at sunset. You may attend cooking local dishes with the family and enjoy dinner in peace. In the evening, you can join the local bar nearby with music and socialize with other tourists. We overnight at the homestay.

 

Transportation: Luxury A/C bus

Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: Homestay

Day 4 : SAPA TREKKING (Breakfast & Lunch)

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Itinerary Details Day 4: Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai – Sapa – Hanoi

8.00 We have breakfast prepared by the family and start a new day with more interesting trekking.

8.45 Keep walking to the rice paddies where you have a nice photo opportunity of the amazing surrounding landscapes. We trek through the bamboo forest and stop to have a panorama view of Giang Ta Chai village – home to red Dzao People. Trekking distance is about 4km and it takes around 2 hours.

11.00 We trek over the Giang Ta Chai Bridge to main road where the bus picks you up to go back Sapa Town.

12.00 Have a shower at hotel, enjoy lunch and take some free time to leisure.

15.00 Meet all group members at the hotel to get ready the trip back to Hanoi.

15.15 Get on bus to go back to Hanoi with two comfort breaks.

21.15 We drop you of at your hotel for check-in. The further evening is at your own interpretation.

 

Transportation: Luxury A/C bus

Meals: Breakfast & lunch

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: 2*+ star hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi

Day 5 : HANOI - COOKING CLASS (Breakfast and lunch)

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Itinerary Details Day 5: Hanoi – Cooking Class

You will be picked up at around 8.30am from your hotel for this wonderful cooking experience. 

Joining a cooking class is a joyful experience to learn about Vietnamese food but also a great way to learn more about the country. Vietnamese food is healthy, simple to cook, delicious and forms a large part of the culture. This half-day tour gives you a hands-on lesson on how to shop for fresh ingredients and cook authentic Vietnamese food.

The cooking classes are an interactive and fun way to learn new cooking skills and experience the tastes and textures of Vietnamese cuisine.

You will prepare dishes under the guidance of experienced chefs at your own work station and each workshop will conclude with tasting the food you have prepared, accompanied by local beer or wine, in our comfortable dining area. 

Of course you’ll receive a detailed recipe card and a certificate to take home at the end of the class. The cooking class and lunch will end at around 12.30pm and you will be dropped of at your hotel.

Transportation: Pick-up and drop off

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Guide: English speaking guide and cook

Accommodation: 2*+ star hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi

Day 6 : NINH BINH - HOA LU TAM COC (Breakfast & Lunch)

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Itinerary Details Day 6: Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc – Hanoi

8.00 Pick up at your hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi.

8.30 Depart from Hanoi on the way to Ninh Binh Province (on the way there will be a stop of about 20 minutes).

10:00 Arriving at Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.

10.15 Visit the temples of the two kings of the Dinh and Le dynasties.

11.40 Arriving at Tam Coc Wharf at around lunchtime.

12:00 Great lunch at a local restaurant over looking the Ngo Dong river. You’ll have the chance to enjoy Ninh Binh’s specialty of goat meat and elderberry.

13:00 Board the sampan boats, rowed by locals as you gently make your way along the Ngo Dong river. Take in the breathtaking scenery of karst hills, villages and seasonal rice fields while passing through three caves, Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba.

15.00 Back to Tam Coc Wharf to take a leisurely cycling trip around the village.

16.00 We take the shuttle bus back to Hanoi and drop you off at your hotel around 18.30 where the further evening is at your own interpretation.

 

Transportation: Luxury A/C bus

Meals: Breakfast & lunch

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: 2*+ star hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi

Day 7 : HALONG BAY (Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner)

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Itinerary Details Day 7: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Today we checkout early in the morning and you can enjoy breakfast before we start your Halong Bay (mid-range) Cruise! Please let us remind you that you can leave your unnecessary luggage (for your Halong Bay tour) safely at the hotel at all times.

Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in the old quarter in Hanoi for the 3,5 hours drive to Halong Bay and you will board your cruise in Halong Bay, Bai Chay Harbor for 2 days & 1 night. Explore the fascinating and breathtaking peaceful view on this unique location as well as start cruising and enjoying our special feast of Vietnamese Cuisine while the boat slowly slides on the romantic waves of Halong Bay.

Enjoy the breath-taking scenery of Ha Long Bay while being served by our friendly and professional staff on board of your cruise.

You will immediately feel like home when you board this upper mid-range cruise thanks to the smile and well caring gestures of the tour guide and the cruise crew.

8 – 8.30 Pick-up.

12 – 12.30 Arrive in Halong Bay and board your cruise while enjoying a welcome drink. Check in to your cabin and set sail through the Bay while lunch is served

14.30 – 16:00 Visiting Halong floating village by kayak or local rowing boat. We drop anchor in the calm water surrounded by beautiful islets. Visit Titop Island for a short trek to the top of island which provides a fantastic overview of Halong bay, relax on the beach or have a refreshing swim.

17:00 Enjoy the complimentary sunset party on the sundeck with local wine and fresh fruits and join the Cooking demonstrations right after that.

19:00 Enjoy a specially prepared evening dinner in a romantic atmosphere.

21:30 Retire to your cabin or join squid fishing or socialize with other guest at the bar or enjoy the further evening on the upper sundeck with a nice cocktail. Overnight on board

 

Transportation: AC (mini) van

Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: Mid-range cruise, private cabin (twin or double).

Day 8 : HALONG BAY (Breakfast & Lunch)

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Itinerary Details Day 8: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Overnight Train to Dong Hoi

Wake up at the sound of waves and seabirds and see the beautiful sunrise with your new friends and begin the day with a light but healthy Tai Chi exercise.

7.30 Breakfast, coffee and tea served, while sailing to Sung Sot cave.

8.30 We drop anchor to explore Sung Sot cave (Surprising cave).

9.30 Back to our boat, relax before checking out while we cruise to explore the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet and more.

11:00 Traditional Vietnamese Lunch is served on board.

- Disembark at the harbor of Halong city.

- Take our shuttle bus to return to Hanoi.

16.30 – 17:00 Your tour guide will drop you off at the hotel where you stayed in the old quarter.

You’ll have some time to enjoy dinner in the Old Quarter.

19:00 Your guidance service for the overnight train to Dong Hoi will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the train station for your overnight journey.

Note: The train we standardly use leaves at 20.10pm. In case this one is not available we will have to take a later train. We will of course inform you if this is the case.

 

Transportation: AC (mini) van

Meals: Breakfast & lunch

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: Soft sleeper berth on overnight train

Day 9 : PHONG NHA KE BANG NP - DARK AND PARADISE CAVE (Breakfast & Lunch)

Picture of PHONG NHA KE BANG NP - DARK AND PARADISE CAVE

Itinerary Details Day 9: Dong Hoi – Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park – Dong Hoi

From the train station (arrival time depending on your train) our driver (he will show a sign with your name(s)) will pick you up and take you to the hotel for breakfast. You can leave your luggage that you don’t want to take on this day safely behind! At around 8.30 a.m. we’ll start this beautiful and adventurous day to the 2 most impressive caves in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

The first exploration of this day will beDark cave (located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, about 20km from Phong Nha cave and 65km from Dong Hoi (around 1h10 minutes driving). The second cave, after lunch, is Paradise cave and is about 25km from Phong Nha cave and 75km from Dong Hoi (around 1h20 minutes driving).

Dark cave is a true experience, kayaking over the river to get there, walking through the dark with only the head touch on your mining helmet, having a mud fight in the mud baths deep in the cave and then washing yourself clean with a swim in the lake inside the cave.

Activities: Muddy bath, zip lining, swimming, kayaking

Paradise cave is the longest dry cave in Asia!

At around 5 – 5.30 p.m. we will be back in Dong Hoi city at your hotel.

Please bring: swimwear and towel for swimming: April up to September

The rest of the evening will be at your own interpretation and overnight will be at the hotel. Depending on your booking this will be based either on dorm or hotel room.

 

Transportation: A/C minivan/ bus

Meals: Breakfast & lunch

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: 2* star hotel in Dong Hoi

Day 10 : HUE - FREE DAY (Breakfast)

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Itinerary Details Day 10: Dong Hoi – Hue

After breakfast we will take you to the train station for your day train (soft seat) to Hue where you will arrive around noon.

From the train station in Hue (arrival time depending on your train) our driver (he will show a sign with your name(s)) will pick you up and take you to the hotel to check-in. The rest of the day and evening is at your own interpretation.

 

Transportation: Private train station pick-up service

Meals: N/A

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: 3* star hotel in Hue

Day 11 : HUE - CITY TOUR (Breakfast & Lunch)

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Itinerary Details Day 11: Hue – City Tour

MORNING: After breakfast, at 9.00 a.m., your tour guide will greet you at your hotel to take you to the boat landing for our visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, by dragon boat. Along this famous river you’ll have chance to enjoy the beautiful landscape flanking the river. Step off to visit the most ancient pagoda of Viet Nam, lying to the North of Hue city. We’ll continue our adventure, visiting the complex of Nguyen Emperors mausoleums and the in-credible ancient architecture of the Emperors, with three of the mausoleums retaining their original architecture of which we will visit two today, Tu Duc (before lunch) and Khai Dinh (after lunch). There will also be the chance to see more of the unique specialties of Hue in the handicraft villages, such as the making of conical hats and in-cense. We’ll break for lunch.

AFTERNOON: We’ll continue our adventure, visiting the complex of Khai Dinh before we make our way to see The Royal Citadel in the heart of Hue, where Nguyen Emperors resided in the past, including the Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and the Purple Forbidden City.

We’ll return to the hotel at about 5.30 p.m. and the further evening is at your own interpretation.

 

Transportation: A/C minivan/ bus

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Guide: English speaking tour guide

Accommodation: 3* star hotel in Hue

Day 12 : HUE - FREE DAY (Breakfast)

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Itinerary Details Day 12: Hoi An – Free Day – End Of Tour

This morning the tour unfortunately ends according to checkout time of the hotel but we are sure that this tour made an indelible memory that you will cherish for the rest of your life!

Depending on your further travelling today can be as follows:

If you have a connecting flight today either back home or to another destination we can easily arrange your private transportation that will pick you up at a later given time at your hotel and take you to the airport. If you travel onwards by yourself the tour ends according to the hotel check out time.

Remember, our customer service will be at your disposal for advice and or information at all times.

Options:

You can easily extend this tour with quality selections of other day and or multi-day tours starting from any location in Vietnam or even an extra day off is easily implemented in the program. Our customer service is at your disposal at any time to provide you the best possible information, assistance, service and or advice. Do not hesitate to contact us.

The given price per person on our website is based on 2 people (sharing room)

What’s included in the tour?

  • Private airport pick-up
  • Comfortable transportation during the whole tour.
  • All tours as mentioned in the overview
  • 2*+ hotel on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6st and 9th night
  • 3* hotels on the 10th and 11nd
  • Homestay in Ta Van
  • Deluxe cabin on Halong Bay cruise
  • Soft sleeper berth on overnight train
  • All meals as indicated in the specific day programs
  • Entrance fees, Taxes and Service Charges
  • Complementary mineral water if indicated
  • English speaking tour guide during all tours 

What’s excluded?

  • Beverages, Tips and Personal Expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • All not indicated in our itinerary

What do I need to bring?

  • Booking Invoice from us
  • Valid Passport with valid visa
  • Cash for personal expense

It is always possible to leave some of your luggage at your hotels but if you feel more comfortable to take it all it will not be a problem.

Thanks to its geographic condition, the north (especially Sapa) has one of the most favorable climates in Vietnam. The temperature remains stably cool throughout the year though winter may see more severe changes, with frost and even snow for a few days per year (mostly from mid-December to mid-January). In the valley near Sapa for example the altitude is 1000 meters and temperatures won’t go under 6 degrees Celsius.

Trying to predict the weather in the north unfortunately is almost impossible. However, here is our best attempt:

The weather is characterized by sub-tropical climate. However, as a result of the high altitude, weather in the north is somewhat cooler all year round. In the summer it does not suffer the harsh heat like that in coastal plains.
Temperature in summer fluctuates from 10-18°C at night and 20-28°C during the day (some days are hotter!).

When the sun shines, it can be harsh, even on cloudy days so expect to need sun protection. Rain and fog is possible throughout the year.

In winter for instance Sapa Town can often be blanketed by fog and cold air. Temperatures may drop below zero degrees Celsius for some days.

Luggage and bags:

A daypack to bring on your treks is a good idea. These can be easily bought in Hanoi or Sapa.

Clothing/ Shoes/ Weather Gear:

Bring clothes to suit the local weather. Please check our website; www.getupandgovietnam.com for weather guidelines.

Always keep your spare clothes in a watertight bag to ensure they stay dry if there is a sudden downpour. The northern climate is totally unlike the rest of Vietnam.

Essential items to have for the trek are some layers of warm & light clothing (morning can be cold but get pretty warm during the day as you trek). A pair of sturdy trekking shoes is essential.

In January to March it can be quite cold, foggy and rainy. A fleece and raincoat/ poncho is advisable and gumboots.

These items again, are available in Hanoi or Sapa at good prices.

Bring your camera! Any camera will do. You will regret it if not bringing one.

Recommended kit list for homestays

Long-sleeved shirt/ T-shirt – Fleece for the cooler evenings - Trousers (such as lightweight cargo trousers, avoid jeans) - Shorts optional – Swimwear optional - Lightweight water & wind proof (jacket & trousers, especially during winter) - Walking shoes (sturdy, with good grip) - Gumboots (for the wet and wintery periods) - Sun hat and sun protection - Toothbrush & toothpaste,ear plugs & eye mask optional, flashlight.

Dietary or special food request

In order to take care of your special food requests we would like you to inform us by email in advance.

Get Up and Go Vietnam is doing all possible to make your journey and travel experience an unforgettable one. Weather conditions, we unfortunately cannot control. Our apologies for that!