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Start our day with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, this is a very special place for all Vietnamese and also famous for foreigners around the world to see the whole complex, Uncle Ho’s house on stilt where he lived and worked from 1958 -1969, his fishing pond and his garden.
Then head to One Pillar Buddhist Pagoda built in 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 to 1054. Ly Thai Tong was childless and dreamt that he met the bodhisattva Avalokiteshava, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. Ly Thai Tong then married a peasant girl that he had met and she bore him a son. The emperor constructed the temple for the gratitude for this miracle.
Further on our excursion, we visit to Van Mieu, temple of literature to dedicate to Confucius and his four best disciples. This was also the first national university of Vietnam built in 1076 within the temple to educate Vietnamese bureaucrats, nobles, royalty and other members of the elite. This university remained open from 1076 to 1779.
The interest thing in this place is the collection of steles of doctorates whose names, birth place, year of the examination, and the rank were engraved onto the marble stone stele placing on the top of the turtle. There are 1307 graduated doctor names on 82 stele in this place.
After visiting this wonderful place, we will have lunch at restaurant in old quarter with specialty food of Hanoian - Cha Ca (Grilled Fish) and refresh.
Later in the day we visit to Ethnology Museum which is very rich culture collection of 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam. The simple agriculture stools, fish traps, hand weaving cloths, crafts, festivals, folk arts, traditional houses, and lively activities of each tribe are all here for us to discover.
Finish our day we continue to Hanoi’s picturesque West Lake area and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism. Return our hotel then free at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
A new exciting day waiting us to discover, we depart for Ha Long, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Halong Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960 - 2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islands and islets in all sides reflecting on turquoise water. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.
7.30-08.10 Depart from Hanoi to Ha Long bay by private car. There are a lot of photo opportunity on our way to Ha Long as we drive through the rural area, street markets, paddy fields, vegetable farms, poultry farms and lotus farms. We take a rest stop after 2 hour drive for a coffee break then continue to Ha Long Bay.
11.30 Upon arrival at Vinashin Tourist Harbor, you are welcomed at our waiting room before enjoying the cruise.
12.15-12.30 Embark on the junk. Enjoy welcome drink as cruise manager gives you a brief overview of the itinerary and important safety guideline. Check in your cabin.
13.00 Start sailing among famous Islets (Indochina studio, Am Islet…) ofBai Tu Long Bay, the wildest beauty with the panoramic natural views. Admire the grace of the bay while enjoying the delicious lunch in the restaurant at the first deck.
14.30 Explore the well-hidden Co Cave (known as Thien Canh Son Cave).
Enjoy relaxing on white sandy beach, walking along the beach or swimming at Hon Co Island.
15.45 Return to the junk. Treasure the wonderful beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay at sunset, admire the striking islands and islets, savor the fresh and peaceful atmosphere which could hardly be found in land while cruising to Cong Do sleeping area.
16.30 Enjoy kayaking at Cong Do or relaxing on the cruise.
18.00 Onboard the vessel, surrounded by a stunning setting in motion, attend our chef’s fruit carving demonstration.
19.15 Dinner is served in the restaurant at the first desk. You can enjoy the charm of Bai Tu Long Bay at night.
21.00 Evening activities: relax at leisure; enjoy our Movie Night, Board Games or our Massage & Spa services (massage and spa fee is not included in the price), squid fishing.
Hanoi to Halong: 200km (4 hours)
Overnight in cruise on Ha Long Bay
Early morning get to Lao Cai Railway Station then transfer to Sapa town. Sapa is a hill station resort built during the French in 1880s and a lovely town located at 1600m above the sea level.
Sapa is very famous for hill tribe markets, mountainous and fabulous Hoang Lien Son mountain range in which Fan Si Pan, at a height of 3314 meters above the sea level is considered as the highest peak of Indochina peninsula.
Enjoy breakfast at hotel where we can leave our luggage and refresh before discover the roof of Indochina - Fansipan.
At 9:00 AM, you will commence from hotel for a short transfer to nearby Fansipan Cable Car Station at Muong Hoa Valley (away from Sapa town about 8km). The Fansipan cable car holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s longest.
It normally takes people one or two days to reach the peak of Fansipan mountain on foot. The three-rope cable car system will carry passengers from the base of the 3,143-metre Fansipan mountain to its highest point within 15 to 20 minutes. The world’s longest three-rope cable car system, extending from the northern Lao Cai Province’s Sapa Town to Fansipan peak.
From the cable car, visitors can admire views of Muong Hoa valley and Hoang Lien National Forest from above. Thereafter take about 600 steps to get to the summit. From the top you can hopefully enjoy the marvelous view of whole Sapa valley and the bordering mountain areas on the sunny day.
Back to Sapa town, visit the old Catholic Church, the local market and learn more about the history of the town by visiting Sapa Museum. It is now time to explore the town on your own and enjoy lunch in one of many restaurants on your own budget.
Approx: 2,5 hours driving/ 2 hours visit Fansipan/ 1hour city tour
Lao Cai Station to Sapa: 35km (1 hour)
Overnight in Sapa
Breakfast at hotel then check out before starting the tour to tribe hills for the last journey in Sapa. We will walk from Sapa market down the valley toward Cat Cat village for about 4 km. While walking you will see an old French hydro-electric power station which was built in the early 20th century.
On the way to Cat Cat village of Black hmong people, you have the opportunity to see the villagers working on the paddy fields, their children playing around and the animal, such as water-buffaloes, pot-bellied pigs and chickens after crossing a vilage. We will arive to a beautiful waterfall wich is a good place for resting & taking pictures.
Later we will hike to Sin Chai Village that situated on the bottom of phanxipang mountain. A picnic lunch is servered in Sin Chai, enjoy peaceful scenery and transfer ahead to Lao Cai Station to get in night train back to Hanoi.
Overnight on train
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Any part of this itinerary can be altered to fit your need, e.g.accommodation, tour length...