Essence of the North 9 days

Code tour:  T88NPG06
Duration:  9 days/8 nights
Itinerary:  Noi Bai - Hanoi - Sapa - Halong - Cat Ba - Hanoi

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Tour information:

  • Tour code: T88NPG06
  • Duration: 9 days/8 nights 
  • Departure: Every Friday
  • Tour type: Weekly group tour
  • Transport: car, train, cyclo, boat
  • Route: Noi Bai – Hanoi city tour – Sapa – Halong Bay – Cat Ba – Hanoi Departure

Itinerary in brief:

  • Day 1: Noi Bai Arrival 
  • Day 2: Hanoi City tour – Night train to Lao Cai
  • Day 3: Lao Cai – Bac Ha – Sapa 
  • Day 4: Sapa visit 
  • Day 5: Sapa – Night train to Hanoi
  • Day 6: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise
  • Day 7: Halong Bay – Cat Ba
  • Day 8: Cat Ba – Halong Bay – Hanoi 
  • Day 9: Hanoi – Departure


  • Visit the most famous beauty spots of Hanoi.
  • Enjoy a water puppet show in Thang Long Water puppet Thearter
  • An amazing trip to the world heritage site of Halong Bay & Cat Ba Island 
  • Exciting trip to Sapa to explore coloful ethnic minorities in the Northwest of Vietnam 
  • Visit the most coloful ethnic market in Bac Ha


Day 1- Friday: Noi Bai Arrival (D)

  • Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, our tour guide will pick you up and transfer to Hanoi center. Check in hotel and then free time at your leisure.
  • Welcome dinner and followed by a water puppet show. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 2- Saturday: Hanoi City tour – Night Train to Lao Cai (B/L)

  • 08:00-08:30 Pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter. Start visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum and One Pillar Pagoda. Continue to visit the Quan Thanh Temple and Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda on West lake. Local lunch in the restaurant.
  • After lunch, visit the Ethnology Museum then the Temple of Literature and Quoc Tu Giam. Stop by Hoan Kiem Lake to visit Ngoc Son temple. For the end of the tour journey visit by coach trip along the Hanoi Old Quarter. Free for shopping on your own.
  • 20.00 Pick up at your hotel & heading to Hanoi Railway station for the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.

Day 3- Sunday: Lao Cai – Bac Ha – Sapa (B,L,D)

  • 05.30 Arrive early in the morning, our tour guide picks up at the station. Have a short for showering and having breakfast before the tour begins.
  • Transfer to visit Bac Ha Market. Bac Ha is the largest Sunday market in the area as well as the most colorful one. Here you can meet mostly Flower Hmong and then Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, Nung minorities. The market offers a variety of local products, which could not be found in others areas. The animal market will be also very interesting.
  • Enjoy local lunch then visit the H’Mong King’s house (King Hoang A Tuong). Visit Ban Pho village before going to Sapa. Stop over for see the Vietnamese and Chinese Harbor Mouth in Lao Cai.
  • Overnight at hotel in Sapa.

Day 4- Monday: Sapa –Trekking 6h, 12km (B,L,D)

  • 09.00: Start trekking to Cat Cat valley and visit hydroelectric power station. Local lunch in the village.
  • PM: Continue our trek to visit Lao Chai and Ta Van Village, explore the daily life of Dzay minority.
  • Overnight at the homestay in the village.

Day 5- Tuesday: Sapa – Lao Cai – Trekking 5h, 14 km (B, L,D)

  • After breakfast, trekking to Giang Ta Chai Village, visit a small waterfall and a rattan bridge, then explore Muong Hoa River and visit H’Mong village before returning to Sapa.
  • Free time to explore Sapa Town before heading to Lao Cai Station. Taking a shower before getting on the train. Sleep on the train.

Day 6- Wednesday: Hanoi – Halong (-, L, D)

  • Early arrive in Hanoi, pick up and transfer to a restaurant to have a shower and short break (on your own account)
  • 08.00 – 08.30 Pick up at the restaurant and depart for Halong city. Arrive in Hanoi Harbor at noon. Welcome on board with fruits and drinks. Check in your cabin and savoring seafood lunch while cruising on the bay through thousand amazing islands and islet passing by Stone Dog Islet, Floating fishing Village, Incense Burner Islet, Fighting Cocks Islet…
  • Visit Surprising Cave (the most beautiful one in Halong Bay) and then climbing up Titop mountain to have a panoramic view of Halong Bay or swimming on the beach.
  • Back to the cruise and relaxing on the sundeck with complementary drink. Join a cooking demonstration before enjoy the dinner onboard.
  • Evening go fishing or enjoy the entertainment on the boat before retiring at your cabin.

Day 7- Thursday: Halong Bay – Cat Ba (B,L,D)

  • Have breakfast on boat while cruising toward Cat Ba Island. Stop at Van Gia Village along the way to transfer to the day boat and cruise toward to Viet Hai Wharf belonging to Cat Ba National Park. Taking a 5km ride to Viet Hai village to explore the lifestyle of local residents.
  • Back to the boat then enjoy a kayaking trip (around 1 hour and a half) to explore Tai Keo Lagoon and some sandy beaches.
  • Relax on the sundeck before lunch with seafood and Vietnamese specialties while cruising to Beo Wharf. Disembark and check in your hotel in Cat Ba Island. Free to explore Cat Ba town for your own activities.
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel in Cat Ba Island.

Day 8- Friday: Cat Ba Island – Halong Bay – Hanoi (B/L/-)

  • After breakfast, transfer to Beo Wharf. Get on the day trip boat and cruise along Lan Ha Bay then transfer to our awaiting cruise on the bay.
  • Cruise stops over for swimming, snorkeling (equipment provided) and taking photos before cruising back to the harbor. On the way, witness the beauties of Dinh Huong Island (incense burner), Cho Da Island (stone dog), and Ga Choi Island (fighting cocks).
  • Disembark and take a bus to Halong City for lunch. Return to Hanoi with short break on the way. Arrive in Hanoi around 5:00 pm. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 9- Saturday: Hanoi – Departure (B)

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Free time on your own activities before transfer to the airport for for the onward flight. End of services.


Tour price for joining a group tour: USD/pax

Tour Price: USD/pax (valid until Dec 31st 2015)
Adult(s) 1 2 - 3 4 - 5 6 - 7 8 +
Price/pax 598 585 580 575 570
Single supplement: 140


  • Pick up and see off services
  • Welcome dinner
  • Water puppet show
  • Water and wet tissue
  • All transfers per program (A/C vehicles)
  • Train tickets Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi (wooden deluxe cabin of 4 pax)
  • Hotels accommodation (3 star hotels) Hanoi, Cat Ba and Sapa
  • Overnight cruise in Halong Bay (twin/double sharing cabins)
  • Kayaking trip in Halong Bay
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B: breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
  • English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees


  • VAT & bank charge 
  • Extra food and beverages
  • Phone and laundry, tips and personal expenses

Tour Notes:

  • Hotels in Hanoi: May De Ville Old Quarters Hotel, Asia Ruby Hotel, An Hung Hotel, Amanda Hotel
  • Hotels in Sapa: Casablanca Hotel, Sapa View Hotel, Elegance Hotel, Bontique Hotel
  • Hotels in Cat Ba: Hung Long Hotel, Holiday View Hotel
  • Bring walking shoes, raincoat, jacket, extra clothes, torch, insect repellent and sunscreen…
  • Train departure from Hanoi at 9:15PM and from Lao Cai at 20’45PM
  • Bring your passport to check in hotel.
  • Beware of your luggage and money
  • Inform in advance if you are vegetarian.
  • All customers should follow tour guide’s instruction for your safety.
  • Passengers are advised not to take along big luggage for convenience.
  • The itinerary can be changed due to weather, time flight and operating conditions.