On your arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport, you will be welcomed by our guide and driver who will bring you to Hanoi City. Hanoi is over 1000 years old and is currently the capital of Vietnam as well the commercial, political, and cultural heart of the country.
A city tour of Hanoi starts with a visit to the One-Pillar Pagoda. We will then take a drive to visit the Temple of Literature. The temple was built in October 1073 to worship Confucius and is considered to be the first university in Vietnam. We will then drive to Hoan Kiem Lake where you will see Ngoc Son Temple which worships Van Xuong saint and Tran Hung Dao, a former general commander. Hanoi is one of the few places found in this part of the world that has such elegance. Walk down the tree lined boulevards where we see many French influences such as Hanoi Opera House, the State Bank, the former Governor's palace, and the Hanoi Cathedral (Saint Joseph’s built in the late 19th century).
Later in the afternoon, you will get a chance to enjoy a 1-hour cyclo ride around the 36 streets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi followed by a welcome dinner at one of the many local restaurants. After that, you are free to explore on your own or take it easy and relax in your hotel room. You will spend the night in Hanoi.
Leaving the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, we get into the calm and beautiful landscape of rural Vietnam. En route to Mai Chau, we stop over at the Muong tribe village of Hoa Binh. In Mai Chau Village, you will experience the Thai Ethnic minority people in their natural surroundings as well bask in the beauty of the unbelievable view of Mai Chau nestled in the scenic valley. After lunch, we will take a leisurely walk around the Lac and Poom Coong Village. You will see farmers working in fields, locals weaving scarves and meet locals in the peaceful villages. In the evening, we will have the opportunity to enjoy the traditional dance performances as well folk songs of the Thai people. You will have dinner and spend the night in a stilt-house of Thai Community in Mai Chau.
Today we will take you to Son La via Moc Chau Plateau where there are tea hills, waterfalls and beautiful terrace rice fields. We will have the chance to meet the black Thai, White Thai, Hmong and Muong Tribes. We will take a short tour through Son La Town to visit the Son La Museum, and prison as well enjoying a dip in the local hot springs. We will spend the night in Son La.
After breakfast, we will take you to Lai Chau. Here you will enjoy the picturesque scenery of Northern Vietnam which is on the way to visit Tuan Giao market. You will check into the hotel in Lai Chai where you will spend the night.
Day 5 takes us to Sapa, a town that snuggles high in the mountains and was established by the French as a retreat for westerners to use during the hot and humid summers of Hanoi. En route, we will stop to visit the Tam Duong and Binh Lu markets where you will meet many different ethnic minority communities. The ethnic minority people in these areas are different than the ones in Sapa. The ancestors of these people were believed to have originated from Laos. The groups in this area are called Black Zao, Zao with coins, Red H’mong, and especially Lu & Lao. All Ethnic minority groups have their own way of life and style of dress. While in the areas, we will go trekking through the rice terraces and villages of the red H’mong and Red Dzao. And then on to Sapa where we will check into the hotel. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the adorable town of Sapa. There are markets that offer great shopping for fresh produce and handicrafts available from many of the local hill tribes that are selling their wares. You will spend the rest of the night in Sapa.
Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hoa
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