North and Centre Vietnam


15 days




North and Centre Vietnam tour




Welcome to Active Travel Indochina...As we travel through Vietnam, we look forward to sharing our passion for this beautiful destination with you. As you explore this historic country you will marvel at the warmth of the people and the sheer beauty of the countryside. The faded ochre colonial buildings and wide tree lined boulevards make Hanoi a most attractive city, Halong Bay takes you away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy cruising between the limestone peaks for an overnight stay on board. The imperial splendour of Hue, enchanting Hoi An, the hilltribe villages and colourful ethnic minorities of Sapa combine to make this a most memorable trip. Finishing in capital city Ha Noi, don't miss the maze of narrow streets in the Old Quarter for some fantastic shopping...




Tour highlights:
* Hanoi’s beautiful colonial streets and Water Puppet Show

* Boat cruise in spectacular Halong Bay

* Hilltribes markets and short treks through montagnard villages of Sapa

* Imperial city of Hue

* The historical trading town of Hoi An





Hanoi – Sapa – Halong Bay– Hue – Hoi An


Day 1 Hanoi arrival

Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, our representative 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 Ho Chi Minh mausoleum or explore the maze of streets in the city's fascinating Old Quarter where you are certain to find something unique to buy.

Meal inclusions: None

Overnight: At hotel in Hanoi



Day 2 Hanoi free exploration, Water puppet performance. Overnight train to Sapa

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a charming city of about 5 million people, famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks. The city centre is an architectural museum piece, its blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a provincial French town of the 1930s, contrary to the fast living and bustling air of Saigon. As Vietnam develops to compete with other South East Asian countries, Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake reflects the modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and tangle of ancient streets. The city hums with the never ending flow of bicycles, cyclos, latest model Mercedes Benz and everything from the racy new Honda Dreams to 30-year-old Russian motor bikes.

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 superior class cabin)


Day 3 Bac Ha market

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 Bac Ha (about 2.5 hours).

Just before reaching the market we will see colorful activity. Beautiful Flower Hmong people carrying hand crafted products or pulling dogs or buffalos, all on their way to the market. You are free to wonder around the market and become a part of the trading activities. Try some typical “Thang Co” at one of the market stalls for more of a traditional taste. In the afternoon we transfer to Sapa town

Overnight: at hotel in Sapa

Meals inclusions: breakfast and lunch


Day 4 Sapa exploration

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

On the morning of day 4 our guide will come to hotel and pick you up for a short walk along buffalo paths and trails through several hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Tavan, 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. The remainder of your day is at leisure to explore this fascinating hillside town.

Overnight: at hotel in Sapa

Meals inclusions: breakfast


Day 5 Sapa free time, overnight train back to Ha Noi

Wake up in Sapa town, breakfast at the hotel then enjoy the morning at your leisure, consider taking some exercise with a 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.

In the afternoon we depart for the Lao Cai train station. We have dinner here before boarding the train at 8:30 pm back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi by 4:30 am, our representative will welcome you and transfer to your hotel for breakfast before going to Halong Bay.

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

Meals inclusions: breakfast


Day 6 Ha Long Bay Cruise, Junk overnight

This morning we take a 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 deluxe junk, this traditional wooden sailing junk boat offers a unique way of navigating the limestone karsts of Halong Bay with all the comforts of a motorised, floating hotel. 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 in the clear water of the bay, soak up the sun on the top deck. In the evening the cook prepares a sumptuous meal as the boat weighs anchor in the heart of the bay.

Overnight on Huong Hai Deluxe Junk

Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 7 Return to Hanoi

On the morning of day 7 we may be able to visit Dong Trieu ceramic village as we make our way to Hanoi. We should be back in Hanoi at around 3pm.

Meal inclusions: Breakfast

Overnight: At hotel in Hanoi






Days 8-9 Hue Sightseeing

A short flight brings us to the imperial city of Hue, you are welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel.

Founded as a royal city in 1687, Hue is the gateway to the treasures of Vietnam's royal past. Today Hue remains one of Vietnam's major tourist attractions. This quiet city is widely known for the magnificent architecture of its citadels, palaces, royal tombs, pagodas and temples built under the Nguyen dynasty in a poetic background of greenery on the banks of the Perfume river. We have the opportunity to visit the Imperial Citadel, one of the Nguyen emperors' tombs, the famed Thien Mu Pagoda and also enjoy a dragon boat cruise on the Perfume River. A coffee at one of the riverside coffee shops at sunset is also an experience not to be missed.

Overnight at hotel in Hue

Meal inclusions: Breakfasts


Days 10-13 Hoi An Exploration

Leaving Hue, our journey takes us south through rural countryside and the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co before ascending the dramatic Hai Van Pass, past stunning rural and coastal scenery, to the town of Danang. We drive the short distance south to famous Sandy Beach and then to the enchanting town of Hoi An - declared World Heritage Site (approx. 4 hours). Once a thriving river port, the town's architecture has been preserved and restored. This small town is a favourite with Active Travel Indochina travellers, and wandering the streets and narrow alleyways brings hours of pleasure and discovery. Today's trade is in ceramics, wood-ware, paintings and tailoring. There is something here for everyone and it is the perfect place to pick up gifts for those at home. There are options here for a visit to the World Heritage My Son Sanctuary, the traditional handicraft villages of Kim Bong carpentry, Thanh Ha ceramics or simply lazing the day away on a neaby beach.

Overnight at hotel in Hoi An

Meal inclusions: Breakfasts


Day 14 Return to Hanoi

We transfer to Danang Airport for a 1 hour flight back to Hanoi, you are met and transferred to your hotel in Ha Noi.

Overnight at hotel in Hanoi

Meal inclusions: Breakfast


Day 15 Departure

Today is at your leisure until our transfer brings you to the airport for the flight home. Tour ends.

Meal inclusions: Breakfast









Ha Noi

Gold Spring Hotel


Gold Sea Hotel

Sapa night train

Private A/C cabin on Livitrans Express

Halong Bay

Huong Hai Deluxe junk boat


Asia Hotel

Hoi An

Agribank Resort


Tour Includes:

            All accommodation on twin share basis with daily breakfast

            Extra meals as per the itinerary

            Transportation in private 7 seater with A/C

            Other transfers within the journey as described in the program

            Deluxe Junk boat for Halong Bay

            Superior class cabin train for Sapa

            Local English speaking tour guides during daily tours and excursions

            Entrance fees and permits where applicable during guided time

            Domestic flight tickets: Hanoi – Hue; Danang – Hanoi (economy class)

Tour does not include:

            Other airfares and taxes

            Visa fees on arrival in Vietnam

            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 (compulsory)









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