Ninh Binh - Halong bay - Sapa


9 days





Ninh Binh - Halong Bay - Sapa tour

Welcome to Active Travel Indochina...As we travel through Vietnam,we look forward to sharing our passion for this beautiful destination with you. the short vacation will take you from  the colonial elegance of Ha Noi to the tranquil rural scenery of Ninh Binh, the World heritage Ha Long Bay, cruise on a junk, Savour delicious food on deck, Swim amid stunning karst scenery, Explore Sapa hilltribe villages and mingle with colourful ethnic minorities. This trip does it all...


Tour highlights:

• Hanoi’s beautiful colonial streets and Water Puppet Show

• Boat cruise and kayaking in spectacular Halong Bay

• Sampan riding and cycling through lush green paddy fields of Ninh Binh

• Hilltribes markets and short treks through montagnard villages of Sapa




Day 1 Hanoi arrival

Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, our guide and driver will welcome you and transfer you to hotel in Hanoi.

The rest of your day is at leisure for independent exploration – just catch a sight of Hoan Kiem lake or explore the maze of streets in the city's fascinating Old Quarter where you are certain to find something unique to buy.

Overnight at Hanoi A1 hotel in Hanoi (2 superior rooms)

Meal inclusions: None



Day 2 Ha Noi city tour, Water puppet performance. Overnight train to Sapa

On the morning of day 2 we take a city tour to Ho Chi Minh complex, his house on stilts and the museum and One Pillar Pagoda. We also make a visit to the Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam, which is now dedicated to Confucian worship and “Hanoi Hilton” –a nick name given by US pilots during the war.

In the afternoon we attend a performance of traditional water puppetry before boarding our overnight train for Lao Cai. We travel in air-conditioned comfort in our soft sleeper cabins!

Meal inclusions: Breakfast

Overnight: Soft sleeper train (private AC First class cabin)


Day 3 Sapa exploration

The train arrives in Lao Cai at about 6:00 am where our guide will welcome you. Look for the sign bearing your name when you exit the train station. Then take a morning drive through the clouds by car to Sapa (about 1.5 hours)

In the afternoon our guide will pick you up for a short walk to Cat Cat Village, set in a beautiful valley just outside Sapa. Cat Cat is home to the H'mong people who originated from China about 3,000 years ago. The H'mong people are easily recognisable by their dark blue or black clothing, dyed using the juice of indigo plants, which are native to the area. H'mong women wear long aprons with embroidered waistcoats and have their hair rolled up into a turban-like hat, while the men wear black skullcaps, long waistcoats and loose trousers.

The remainder of your day is at leisure to explore this fascinating hillside town.

Meals included: breakfast

Overnight: Gold Sea Hotel (2 deluxe rooms)


Day 4 Sapa short trekking into villages

Wake up in Sapa town, breakfast at the hotel then our guide will pick you up for a short walk along buffalo paths and trails through several hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van, home to H'mong, and Dzay people. This is a absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet


Meals included: breakfast

Overnight: Gold Sea Hotel (2 deluxe rooms)



Day 5 Sapa free time, overnight train back to Hanoi

At an elevation of 1500 meters, Sapa was founded in the early years of the last century as a hill resort for French administrators in summer time. Just soak up the fresh climate by spending our time wandering this famous hill town. The ethnic people are frequently seen on the main street of Sapa and small vendors along the street selling local textiles and handicraft


In the afternoon we depart for the Lao Cai train station. We have dinner here before boarding the train back to Hanoi. 

Meal inclusions: Breakfast

Overnight: Soft sleeper train (private AC First class cabin)


Day 6 Ha Long Bay Cruise, Cat Ba island

Early arrive in Hanoi by 4:30 am, our representative will welcome you and transfer to your hotel for breakfast before going to Halong Bay.

You are collected at around 8.00am for the 4 hour drive to Halong Bay. En route there will be a short stop at the Sao Do centre run for and by handicapped children. On arrival we board our Chinese junk for a day cruise, this traditional wooden sailing junk boat offers a unique way of navigating the limestone karsts of Halong Bay. Once settled in, you start your cruise  round the majestic Halong Bay while enjoying a delicious lunch. After lunch you have the chance to explore some of the limestone caves dotted around the bay. Then, the captain will find a secluded spot where you can swim and kayak in the clear water of the bay, soak up the sun on the top deck. In the late afternoon we sail to Cat Ba island We get picked up and transfer by car to the town, we stop on the way at the Cat Ba national park for a short walk in the park.

We spend the night on Cat Ba island

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

Overnight: Holiday View hotel (2 superior rooms)


Day 7 Cat Ba island – Hai Phong – Ninh Binh

We spend the morning free at leisure, A popular option is to hire a motorbike and take a photographic trip around the Island or taking a boat trip to Monkey island or simply lazing away on nearby beaches before boarding a hydrofoil for the sea port city of Hai Phong. Here we transfer to our vehicle for a 3.5-hour journey to Ninh Binh


Meals included: Brunch

Overnight: Nam Hoa Hotel (2 superior rooms)



Day 8 Ninh Binh sightseeing, return to Hanoi

Located in one of the most beautiful parts of Vietnam. With its dramatic scenery, historical intrigues, Ninh Binh is an ideal base to venture out on short small day trips.

Our excusion kicks off after lunch with a rowing boat trip for 2 hours on Ngo Dong river, crossing beautiful rice paddy and through mountain tunnels of Tam Coc. This is an ideal place for natural lovers.

Leaving the river, we move on to Hoa Lu ,the ancient capital of Vietnam (968-1009) with two temples of two Kings. The trip offers spectacular scenery with opportunity to meet a host of smiling children a long the way.

After lunch at a local restaurant in Ninh Binh, we jump on our van for a 3 hour drive back to Hanoi, we arrive in Hanoi around 5pm.

Overnight at Hanoi A1 hotel in Hanoi (2 superior rooms)

Meal inclusions: Breakfast and lunch


Day 9 Departure

Today is your departure, you are free at your leisure until transferred to Noi Bai airport for the flight home.









Ha Noi

Hanoi A1 Hotel

Ninh Binh

Nam Hoa Hotel

Cat Ba island

Holiday View Hotel


Gold Sea hotel

Sapa night trains

TSC first class private cabins


Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation with daily breakfasts

  • Visa processing

  • Extra meals as per the itinerary

  • Private transportation

  • Tours and excursions as described in the program

  • Local English speaking tour guide

  • Entrance fees and permits where applicable during guided time

Tour does not include:

  • Other airfares and taxes

  • Visa stamping fee on arrival

  • Transfers beyond the itinerary

  • Entrance fees and permits during free time

  • Personal expenses such as: Telephone, laundry, and bar bills.

  • Food & drinks not mentioned within the itinerary

  • Tips & Personal expenses

  • Travel insurance








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