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Northern Highlights 7 days
Duration: 7 days/6 nights
Tour prices: $353 - $1,408
Start: On request
Transport: Car, coach, train
Depart from: Ha Noi - Vietnam
Destination: Dien Bien Phu - Vietnam
Private tour: Departure on MON, FRI & SUN from Hanoi with English or French speaking guide (German speaking guide at surcharge) Ethnic minorities and mountain regions of northwestern Vietnam
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ITINERARY:
 

HANOI - MAI CHAU - SONLA       (-/L/D)

Day 01 Drive to Mai Chau, approximately 150 km from Hanoi, home to several ethnic minorities, particularly the White Thai and Muong ethnic group. Their traditional stilt houses are large structures with palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo floors. The kitchen is located in the center of the house; the cooking as well as the weaving of the colorful tho cam, the material used to make their clothes, takes place there. Visit Thai ethnic minority village. Lunch en route. Continue to Son La with stopover at Xaling ethnic village of Flower H’Mong and Green H’Mong. Arrive in Son La and check–in. Dinner and accommodation at simple hotel.

 

SON LA - DIEN BIEN PHU (B/L/D)

Day 02Visit Son La Penitentiary before departing to Dien Bien with visit of Thuan Chau market. On the approach to Thuan Chau, large groups of ethnic people may be seen making their way to and from the market, laden with baskets of goods. Continue to Dien Bien, crossing the most spectacular pass in Vietnam, which is famously named by local people as Pha Din Pass meaning “the Heaven and the Earth”. Lunch at local restaurant. Along the way to Dien Bien Phu, visit some local ethnic families and villages. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

 

DIEN BIEN PHU – LAI CHAU – PHONG THO (B/L/D)

Day 03Visit Dien Bien Phu Museum and A1 hill, then continue to Dien Bien Phu Cemetery to observe a minutes silence in memory of the heroes who devoted their lives for the victory of the historical Dien Bien Phu Campaign. Visit General De Castriess Bunker, Old Muong Thanh Bridge and Nam Rom river. Lunch at local restaurant. Proceed to Lai Chau along the bumpy road (approx 180 km), passing a series of ethnic villages of Kho Mu (Xa), Huoi Chan, and Bung Giat. Continue to Phong Tho on scenic roads, crossing the junctions of Da and Na rivers by the way of the Chinese built Hang Tom suspension bridge. From here the road weaves its way northwards through the picturesque and steadily more spectacular Na River valley, past more ethnic villages of White Thai, Kho Mu and later Red and White Hmong minorities. Arrive in Phong Tho. Dinner and accommodation at simple hotel.

 

PHONG THO - TAM DUONG - BINH LU - SAPA (B/L/D)

Day 04Depart Phong Tho town to Sapa along the most spectacular scenery on the way leading to Sapa. The National Road 4D climbs steadily, affording spectacular views of the surrounding hills. Once over the summit, the road begins its descent towards the town of Binh Lu, immediately you will begin to see groups of Black Dao people, whose villages are located in the surrounding hills. Arrive in Sapa and check in at hotel. Lunch at local restaurant. The afternoon is free for own activities. Dinner and accommodation at hotel.

 
SAPA - FULL DAY TOUR (B/L/D)

DAY 05In the morning, short trek to Ham Rong Mountain; enjoy the minority show performed by the young minority ladies and men. On clear days you get a beautiful overview of Sapa town and will visit the so-called “stone forest” here. Trek back to Sapa, then visit the market. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon, take a short drive to Cat Cat village, home to Hmong people. Walk around the village and share the daily lives of the locals for a rare glimpse into their culture and customs. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at hotel.

 
SAPA - LAO CAI - NIGHT TRAIN TO HANOI (B/L/D)

Day 06Morning at leisure for own activities. Lunch at local restaurant. A scenic 6km drive brings you to Ta Phin village, lying in a hillside meadow. The village is home to Red Dzao and Hmong people. Late afternoon, drive to Lao Cai with dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight train trip to Hanoi in shared sleeping compartments of local train (sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment). Train departs at approximately 20:15hrs.

 

Note: Victoria Carriage (sharing comfortable sleeping compartments, superior 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment with air-condition) available on request for clients staying at Victoria hotel with surcharge.

 
ARRIVAL HANOI (-/-/-)

Day 07Arrive Hanoi train station morning at around 04:30hrs. Leave the train and transfer to your hotel in Hanoi (accommodation in Hanoi not included) or transfer to Hanoi Noi Noi Bai airport for onward flight (airport transfer at surcharge).

 

 DS7

ALL RATES ARE NET IN US$ (01/11/09 - 31/10/10)

Tour by private car/coach with private guide per person in a party of

HOTEL CATEGORY

1

2

3-5

6-9

10-14

15 +1

20 +1

Sgl-Sur

Tourist

1112

646

527

420

353

RQ

RQ

84

Superior in Sapa/Best available in other area

1189

692

573

466

397

RQ

RQ

116

First in Sapa/Best available in other area

1325

757

638

532

459

RQ

RQ

185

Deluxe in Sapa/Best available in other area

1408

798

679

573

499

RQ

RQ

227

Surcharge for German SG

20

10

7

3

2

RQ

RQ

0

Tour leader of group minimum of 15 full paying pax is free of charge in half twin
Tour leader of group minimum of 20 full paying pax is free of charge in single room

 

Our tour prices are inclusive of transfers and tours with English or French speaking guide, accommodation in shared twin rooms with air-condition and private bath room, meals as specified in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), train ticket Lao Cai - Hanoi in shared compartment with 4 soft berths, entrance fees, boat fees.

 

Not included are surcharges for other language guides, compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges, which will be advised at time of booking.

 

NOTES: The train trip is a local experience. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless private cabin is requested and all berths paid for). Communal rest rooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience. Train schedule is subject to change without prior notice.

Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.

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