Charms of Cambodia
We take a cross-border bus to Cambodia and Siem Reap, our base for visiting the fabulous temples of Angkor - unique complex of walled cities and stone temples hidden in the jungle. We take a boat (seasonal) across the tranquil waters of the vast Tonle Sap lake to Battambong and then by bus to Phnom Penh on the banks of the Mekong. We recommend visits to the Royal Palace and museum of Tuol Sleng and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek which provides a disturbing yet essential insight into Cambodia's recent past.
Saigon to Hanoi - Reunification express
The Vietnamese part of our adventure kicks off with a walking tour of the vibrant streets of Saigon. There's the option to visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels - an underground base that hid 10,000 Viet Cong troops, or to travel by boat along the waterways of the Mekong Delta. Next we enjoy the tropical delights of the Nha Trang's white sandy beaches and offshore islands before arriving in the tranquil haven of Hoi An. This historic port has a laid back vibe, great shops and the opportunity for bike rides. In Imperial Hué, we can visit the Citadel before boarding the famous 'Reunification Express' train to Hanoi. We continue to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise on a traditional yet quite luxurious junk among the awesome limestone cliffs and clear waters. In Hanoi we explore the atmospheric markets and streets of the Old Quarter and there's time to visit Ho Chi Minh's humble stilt house cottage and mausoleum.
Hilltribe Sapa & Mai Chau trekking
Located west of Hanoi close to the border with Laos, Mai Chau is a beautiful area of lush green valleys filled with rice paddies that give way to impressive limestone mountains. We stay in typical bamboo stilt houses and make day treks to more remote villages and learn local customs and culture. An overnight train from Hanoi and mountain bus ride brings us to Sapa - our second trekking base. There is the chance to visit a colourful hilltribe market before we enjoy a 2-day trek through wonderful scenery and remote villages sleeping one night in a typical Red Zao village house. Chance for more trekking before taking the public bus to Lao Cai and overnight train back to Hanoi.
These are often small, family run establishments or campsites which provide a no-frills experience with adequate amenities and service standards. Sleeping arrangements are simple, typically with en suite facilities.
Tour Type: Small Groups
Tour Pace: Moderate
Accomodation: 18 nights
Arrive Bangkok and check-in at the hotel. The rest of the day is free. You may choose to take an optional cruise along the city's Klongs (canals) in a traditional longtail boat. This is the ideal way to explore Bangkok's network of meandering waterways that branch off from the main channel of the Chao Phraya River. The excursion will also include visits to the Royal Barge Museum and the iconic Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, which was built to represent the towering slopes of Mount Meru, the home to the gods of Khmer mythology.
Accommodation: Royal Hotel
This morning we will have an early start and take a train and bus to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap. Operated as a cross-border through service, travellers will nevertheless change vehicles once across the Cambodian border. Your Thai leader will accompany you on this journey travelling by local bus to Siem Reap and our hotel.
Accommodation: Golden Angkor Hotel
The next two days have been left free to explore the incredible jungle temple complex of Angkor period, whose history covers some 600 years, from the 9th through to the 15th centuries. No activities or excursions have been included in Siem Reap and your time here is very much your own, although your tour leader will be more than happy to help organise any visits that you wish. Two of the best ways to explore are by bicycle or striking a deal with one of the many tuk tuks that ply their trade here. Obvious choices are the magnificent complex of Angkor Wat, without doubt one of the most breath-taking of the jungle sites, the fortified city of Angkor Thom (home to the Bayon, with its mysterious giant faces) and the wonderfully overgrown and atmospheric Ta Phrom, set amidst tangled tree roots and lush jungle and famous as the setting for some of the Laura Croft film"Tomb Raider". Other possibilities include taking to the waters of the Roluos River, to visit the floating villages and local wat at Kompong Phluk and explore the flooded forest and great lake of Tonle Sap (the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia, covering nearly a seventh of Cambodia's entire landmass). Those wishing to gain a little understanding of Cambodia's more recent past might like to seek out the fascinating Landmine Museum just to the south of Banteay Srei Temple. Set up in 1997 by a former Khmer Rouge soldier, the museum offers support for countless victims of landmines, as well as providing visitors with a poignant reminder of one of the country's most violent and tragic periods.
Accommodation: Golden Angkor Hotel
Today is left free to explore the incredible jungle temple complex of Angkor.
Accommodation: Golden Angkor Hotel
Transferring to the pier this morning we join a scheduled boat service across the great Lake Tonle Sap, past numerous small fishing settlements and up the Sangker river to the town of Battambong. Depending upon the river levels the journey could take anything from 5-7 hours and on arrival we will transfer to our hotel. During the dry season (Feb-Apr) the water level is too low to travel by boat so we take a bus (3hrs). Battambong lies along a route that has seen countless Thai and the Khmer Rouge soldiers wind their way north and south, either in the pursuit of conquest, or in the case of the Khmer Rouge to escape the invading Vietnamese in 1979. The town is surprisingly, Cambodia's second largest, a factor that has done little to detract from its laid-back feel, enhanced by a wealth of colonial villas and leafy streets. Depending upon our arrival time there may be an opportunity to explore this afternoon, taking in its traditional temples and French-colonial architecture.
Accommodation: Omega hotel
A public bus takes us on to the Cambodian capital this morning, the 5-hour journey getting us to the city in time for an afternoon's orientation tour. Phnom Penh sits at the confluence of the Sap, Mekong and Bassac Rivers, a charming testament to the country's ancient and colonial past, with tree lined boulevards and colonial villas dotted amongst the reminders of its turbulent history. The Cambodian capital since the mid 15th century, Phnom Penh's origins lie in the legend of 4 statues of Buddha, washed on the shores of the Mekong and discovered by a woman named Penh, which were later housed in the 14th century Wat Phnom, located on a small hill at the northern end of the city. On arrival there should be time to freshen up, after which you may join your tour leader on a short walking tour of the city.
Accommodation: Townview 2 hotel
Today has been left free for you to continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Options include the National Museum, with its impressive collection of Angkor statues and the impressive French built Royal Palace, whose spectacular pagoda style structure is without doubt one of Phnom Penh's most impressive sights. A replica of King Norodom's old wooden palace, the building presents an ostentatious display of elaborate Khmer architecture, with golden nagas, orange, sapphire and green tiles and scenes from the Ramayana painted on the ceiling. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the 'Killing Fields' of Choeung Ek provide gruesome testaments to life under the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, the skull filled glass tower a vivid memorial to the 17,000 men, women and children who were murdered there between 1975-1978. You should be aware that by their very nature Tuol Sleng and the 'Killing Fields' can be a distressing experience for some people. You might like to take a trip along the Mekong, or perhaps visit some of the capital's numerous markets, such as the old Russian Market of Psar Toul Tom Poung, renowned for its textiles, jewellery and antiques. Of course you may just prefer to wander Phnom Penh's vibrant streets, soaking up the atmosphere and perhaps enjoying a drink in one of the city's old colonial riverfront bars.
Accommodation: Townview 2 hotel
Transferring to the bus station this morning, we catch the non-stop public bus to Ho Chi Minh City, an unescorted journey of some 6.5 hours that gets into the city in time to meet up with our Vietnamese tour leader. We cross the border at Bouret (Cambodia) and Moc Bai (Vietnam). Lying to the north of the Mekong Delta, on the banks of the Saigon River and still unofficially referred to as 'Saigon', the city today is the largest in Vietnam, an eclectic mix of the traditional and the new, where pagodas and markets compete alongside the trappings of Vietnam's newly discovered entrepreneurial spirit. Depending upon our arrival time we plan to make a short orientation tour on foot around the city, taking in some of its more obvious highlights, including the prominent Hotel de Ville, whose ornate grandeur is today the home of the city's People's Committee, as well as the Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the impressive French style edifice that is the GPO building. The tour will end near the Reunification Palace and the War Remnant Museum which you can choose to visit at your own expense (should our arrival time render this option impossible, then we will do the tour tomorrow morning instead).
Accommodation: Liberty 3 Hotel
No visit to Saigon would be complete without exploring something of its tragic recent history and the poignant reminders of what the Vietnamese refer to as the American War can still be seen amongst the buildings and artefacts of the old US Embassy, as well as the remarkable Reunification Palace and thee motive War Crimes Museum, which contain some fascinating, and at times chilling, reminder of the cost of the Vietnam War on the people themselves. Another option is to join an excursion out to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Originally started during the French occupation of the country, the tunnels went on to achieve notoriety during the Vietnam War, when they formed an amazing underground command base for 10,000 Viet Cong troops and were a major part of the Tet Offensive. This area was the centre of intense fighting during the war, much of it falling prey to the incessant carpet bombing, napalm and defoliants utilised by the Americans in an attempt to dislodge the Viet Cong from their underground shelters. There is little evidence of any of that now and the landscape has returned to something of its pre-war beauty, but exploring the tunnels of Ben Dinh and Ben Bihn gives some idea as to the conditions that the Vietnamese and their American adversaries had to endure. Be warned, the tunnels are low and narrow and can be claustrophobic.
Accommodation: Liberty 3 Hotel
This morning you'll meet with the rest of the tour passengers for our Good Morning Vietnam Tour and continue the trip with them. Today sees an opportunity to journey down into the Mekong Delta and explore the fertile hinterlands that lie sandwiched between the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Heading down towards the town of My Tho takes you into a region where the orchids, lychees and coconut palms that are grown in the delta are bartered at breakneck speed and taking to the waters you have a chance to enjoy the timeless tableau of river life that has continued pretty much unchanged for generations, visiting local villages and floating along the narrow tree-lined canals of the Mekong. There will be an opportunity to take lunch on one of the islands, before returning to My Tho by boat to make the return journey back to Ho Chi Minh City. This evening the group transfers to the city's train station by taxi, in order to catch the overnight train to Nha Trang.
Accommodation: Overnight train Saigon to Nha Trang
Early this morning we arrive in Nha Trang and transfer to the hotel. Given the early hour of our arrival, dayrooms are provided to freshen up prior to our own rooms becoming available. The day has been left free to explore Nha Trang at your own leisure and the town's picturesque location, amidst a golden landscape of white beaches and blue waters, makes it an ideal spot to enjoy some quality beach time. Other options include a relaxing mud bath, or perhaps a boat trip out to the islands that lie offshore with the chance for snorkelling. Those looking for something a little more active might like to consider a trip by bicycle to explore the nearby Cham Towers and the old part of the town. Probably Nha Trang's most iconic attraction, the Po Nagar Cham Towers span a period of some 500 years and present a haunting reminder of the long forgotten kingdom that once ruled these lands through their divine kings. Only 4 of the original 10 towers remain (many were destroyed during the intense fighting of the Vietnam War), but nonetheless they conjure up an impressive feeling of power and mystery and, along with the remnants of Nha Trang's past and the captivating sights of its fishing villages present an enthralling introduction to the town.
Accommodation: Vien Dong Hotel
Another full day in Nha Trang offers the chance to continue with some personal sightseeing, or perhaps enjoy a little more of the beach, before we transfer to the railway station for an overnight train to Danang.
Accommodation: Overnight Train from Nha Trang to Danang (Shared)
On arrival in Danang we will continue our journey by charter bus to Hoi An. On our way we pass the popular beach resort of My Khe, better known as China Beach, an area that during the Vietnam War was popular with the American GIs on RnR. Given the early hour of our arrival at the hotel we might not be able to check-in so we plan to store our bags, have breakfast (not included) then embark on a walking tour of Hoi An. First colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, by the 17th and 18th centuries Hoi An had become one of the busiest international trading posts in southeast Asia and, even today, it still retains the engaging charm of a medieval port, with many of its old buildings superbly preserved. Highlights include the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, a pagoda dedicated to the worship of Buddha originally built by the Vietnamese people in the 16th century and the 400 year old Japanese covered bridge. We end at the colourful riverside market, a perfect setting for exploring, the rest of the day is free to enjoy as you wish.
Accommodation: Golf Hoi An
Today is free to wander through the historic heart of this World Heritage Site at your leisure. An early morning visit to the fish market presents a riot of noise and colour that is perfect for some great photo opportunities and some choice local interaction. You might also like to pay a visit to the Japanese Bridge, Hoi An's emblematic symbol, believed to have been constructed to quell the violent rumblings of a restless monster, or perhaps explore the traditional wooden houses and Chinese temples that line the streets. There are numerous tailors shops in Hoi An providing an incredibly cheap and quick service and almost all visitors have at least one item made before they depart. Hoi An is also a great place to hire a bicycle as the roads are relatively quiet. There's a good beach just a few kilometres from the town or alternatively why not set out to explore nearby villages. Cooking classes are yet another option available in this popular travellers hangout.
Accommodation: Golf Hoi An
This morning sees us heading along the coastal road towards the historic setting of Hué, crossing part of the Truong Son Mountains and travelling via the Hai Van (Sea Cloud) Pass. This stunningly scenic region once marked the boundary between Vietnam and the Champa Kingdom to the south and the journey should get us into the old imperial city around lunchtime, after which the rest of the day is free for personal exploration. Once the capital of Vietnam and an inspiration for poets and artists alike for centuries, Hué is divided by the waters of the Perfume River, which separate the city's 19th century citadel from the suburbs that radiate from the eastern shore and, even today, its easy air of leisurely ambience makes it one of the most engaging cities in the country to explore.
Accommodation: Thanh Lich Hotel
With the better part of the day to enjoy the city, Hué offers a wealth of options to make the most of your time here. You could pay a visit to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21m high tower has become something of a symbol for Hué. Dedicated to the Manushi- Buddha, the existing temple was constructed in the middle years of the 19th century, under the auspices of the Emperor Thieu Tri, and within its confines you can find a number of superb Buddhist statues, as well as an enormous cast bell that weighs in at over 2000kg and is reputed to be audible over 10km away. Another alternative is to spend some time exploring the Old Citadel that dominates the left bank of the Perfumed River. Built by the Nguyen dynasty (Vietnam's ruling emperors from the early 1800s to1945), the Citadel has formal moats and impressive ramparts that were constructed to be an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing. During the bloody conflicts of the Vietnam War, Hué was the site of some of the most destructive fighting of the Tet Offensive, most of the Inner City being totally destroyed during the month-long battle in 1968. The vast outer walls and the West Wing remain though and provide an eloquent reminder of the palace's former glory. Farther afield, amongst the forested landscapes of the Perfume Valley, you can find the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, the unique mausoleums of the emperors that provide an ideal destination to explore by bicycle. Later this afternoon we will then head for the railway station to board the overnight train north to Hanoi, Vietnam's vibrant and historic capital.
Accommodation: Overnight Train from Hue to Hanoi
Arriving in Hanoi in the early hours of this morning we disembark the train and transfer by road towards the Bay of Tonkin on Vietnam's northeast coast. Our destination is the breathtaking setting of Halong Bay one of Vietnam's, and indeed Southeast Asia's, most spectacular natural attractions, whose staggering beauty has seen it listed as one of the eight natural wonders of the world. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay presents a quite extraordinary vista of hundreds of limestone islands (over 1600 at last count) that rise from the jade green waters of the bay like the scales of some great submerged dragon. Indeed Halong means 'where the dragon descends to the sea' and local legends tells of a time when this rugged landscape was created by the pounding tail of a mighty dragon as he ran from the mountains into the glittering waters of the bay below. On arrival we will board our junk and set sail, threading our way through a flotilla of boats, junks and wooden sampans as they ply their way across the gentle waters of the bay. The plan for today is to sail through this stunning seascape, stopping off to swim and visit some of the limestone caverns that pepper the landscape. We will overnight on board the junk in comfortable en suite air-conditioned cabins with all bedding provided. Please be aware that the boat will not be exclusive to Explore and we will be sharing it with other travellers.
Accommodation: Ha Long Bay Junk
Returning back to Hanoi your tour leader will then take those that wish on a short orientation tour of the city, wandering the streets of the city's Old Quarter, whose narrow streets are named after the various crafts and specialities of the city's artisans: Paper Street, Silk Street, Basket Street etc. This practice dates back to the 13th century, when the city's original 36 guilds established themselves here, adopting a street each to differentiate them from their neighbours. The maze of alleys and streets present a fascinating venue to explore on foot and the area is known for its interesting 'tube' houses, where the narrow frontages give way to long rooms that stretch back from streets, whose pavements are littered with food sellers tempting passers-by with all manner of noodles, snacks and stir-fried delights from shoulder panniers. Later today there may be a chance to witness a remarkable performance of traditional water puppetry, a practice that dates back to the 15th century and is deeply ingrained into the cultural lives of the peoples of the Red River Delta. Set on a flooded stage, the stories tell tales of legendary heroes and everyday life, with dragons and unicorns sharing the stage with ducks and frogs, and even fireworks and naval battles.
Accommodation: Anh Hotel
Architecturally styled like a French provincial town, with tree-lined boulevards and substantial low-built houses, Hanoi is a wonderfully nostalgic city to enjoy and amongst its more interesting sights are the charming One-Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature and the Presidential Palace. Ho Chi Minh was a spartan-living and scholarly man, who chose not to live in the Presidential Palace itself, but instead preferred a simple teak 2-storied stilt-house specially built for him in the grounds. You can visit his museum and this austere mausoleum, said to resemble that of Lenin in Moscow, or perhaps taking another walk through the engaging streets of its Old Quarter. The city's French Quarter is a great place to explore by bicycle, its grandiose colonial architecture offering up a rich contrast to the more frenetic pace of the old city, whilst those looking to discover something more of the colonial wars might like to pay a visit to the Museum of Vietnamese Revolution or the Military History Museum.
Accommodation: Anh Hotel
This morning we will be joined on our drive (4hrs) and the remainder of the holiday by fellow Explore travellers who have combined another trip (QBV or QVN) with the Hilltribes of the North tour. The fertile landscapes of Mai Chau are home to the minority White Thai people, who live in stilt-housed villages surrounded by rice paddies. Arriving into Pam Coong village after midday we will have lunch before exploring our rural surroundings on an afternoon walk in the company of a local guide. The White Thai constitute one of the largest minority groups in the region and our time here will give us a chance to get to learn a little more about the traditions and customs of our hosts. Our walk this afternoon takes us on a circuit from our host village through a patchwork of paddy fields surrounded by lush green hills. We make our way along tracks that pass through a number of friendly village communities. There may also be the opportunity to enjoy traditional music and dancing by the White Thai villagers this evening. We will be staying in a simple, traditional, thatched, stilted house, enjoying the rustic charm of the setting, as well as the local food. Up to 20 guests can be accommodated in our house and will be used exclusively by our group for the evening. You will be sharing the room and facilities with the rest of our group. There may be the possibility of organising and paying for a private bedroom locally, it is only possible to arrange this locally and you should consult upon check in. A sleeping mat, blanket,hand towel and mosquito net are provided.
Accommodation: Ban Lac Homestay
Today we spend our time hiking through the villages of the Mai Chau tribal heartlands. After breakfast we will begin with a short drive, passing along part of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail to the village of Van Mai, the start of our day's trek. From here we then head along a trail that leads us through a patchwork of rice terraces, vegetable gardens and rural villages towards the village of Buoc. Here we break and take our picnic lunch amid palm tree plantations and surrounded by distinctive limestone karst scenery. The White Thai have occupied these landscapes for some 1200 years. Related to the Thai of Laos and Thailand, they came here originally from the Yunnan Province in southern China and today number nearly 400,000. Practising a mix of animism, ancestor belief and Buddhism, the White Thai are renowned for their hospitality and their beautifully intricate weaving and, as we follow the trail through the mountain foothills, doubtless we will see examples of both this morning. After lunch we continue through spectacular rice paddies and bamboo forests on to Van village where we rendezvous with our transport for a short drive back to Pom Coong. The rest of the day is then free to relax. Please note: those who do not wish to walk the whole route today will be able to utilise our support vehicle for some parts of the journey, please consult the tour leader for more details. Approx walking: 15kms/ 4-5 hours.
Accommodation: Ban Lac Homestay
With free time until the middle of the afternoon, you can choose to relax in the village, walk to the nearby cave of Hang Boi or to take a half day bike ride through the Mai Chau countryside. This option negotiates an easy 12km loop taking in more of the local villages and the natural beauty of this specatcular region. The cycle route takes you alongside rice paddies and through pretty villages that lie in the shadow of the surrounding mountains. There will be plenty of opportunity to dismount and wander amongst the friendly villagers. Later this afternoon we transfer (4hrs) back to Hanoi to catch the overnight train to Lao Cai, on the border with China's Yunnan Province to the north-west. We will be making the journey in soft sleeper compartments, with 4 people sharing each air-conditioned berth and shared toilet facilities for each carriage.
Accommodation: Overnight Train from Hanoi to Sapa (Shared)
Arriving into Lao Cai early this morning we then take a beautifully scenic drive to Sapa town by public bus. Depending upon the interests of the group, it maybe possible to visit the colourful ethnic market at lung Khau Nhim, which is held every thursday before continuing to Sapa. The regions minority groups descend upon this remote village to meet and trade. The stunningly located mountain town of Sapa sits deep in the Hoang Lien Son range, close to Fan Si Pan mountain which is Vietnam's highest peak at a height of 3142m. The region is home to a rich diversity of ethnic minorities, including Black H'mong, Zao, Tay, Zay and Xa Pho for whom Sapa is the chief market town. On arrival in Sapa your tour leader will run through your options for today and lead a short orientation tour. Due to early arrival it may not be possible to check in to our hotel until later in the day. This afternoon you may wish to visit the town's small ethnic museum to learn a little about the regions minority groups pr walk out to some of nearby villages that lie scattered across the valley. Alternatively you may just choose to relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air around town. In the evening the Black H'mong and Red Zao people set up a small market in the town centre.
Accommodation: Chao Long Hotel
Today we begin our 2-day trek through the wonderful landscapes of the Hoang Lien Mountains and the Muong Hoa and Suoi Thau Valleys. These rural panoramas are steeped in the local colour and traditions of the Tay and the Red Zao and over the next two days we will have an ideal opportunity to learn more of the customs and simplicity of life amongst these remote villages. Depending on the season we may see tropical butterflies, wildflowers and orchids. The valleys come alive with colourful rhododendrons and fruit blossom during spring time. We will trek through bamboo forests and rustic vegetable gardens encountering plenty of water buffalo or other domestic animals along the route. We depart Sapa this morning and transfer the short distance to the village of Ban Lech Dao in Thanh Kim Commune, from where we begin our trek along a narrow, winding trail that leads downhill through terraced rice paddies to the Muong Bo River. Crossing the river by bridge, we then trek to the Tay village of Muong Bo, where we stop for lunch and spend a little time wandering amongst its spacious stilted house. The afternoon then sees us embarking on a fascinating journey into the remote heartlands of the Red Zao, passing through the village of Nam Cum and along the Suoi Thau Valley to our night stop in the village of Sin Chai. The Red Zao people build large wooden houses where it is not uncommon for several generations to be housed under the same roof. After dropping off our gear and settling in to our overnight accomodation, the rest of the afternoon is free to take a wander through this charming village. It may also be possible to arrange a traditional herbal bath at the house. If you wish to shorten the distance of today's walk it is possible to ride on the support vehicle at the beginning of the day until Thanh Phu Bridge, thus avoiding about 2 hours of walking. We will be staying in a simple, traditional, local houses, enjoying the rustic charm of the setting. You will be sleeping in a communal area with mosquito nets, sleeping bags, mattresses, pillows and towels provided.
Accommodation: Homestay - Sapa
Our second day sees us departing Sin Chai after breakfast, following a downhill track into the Nam Sai Valley, where we visit another Tay village, before continuing on to the Xa Pho village of My Son. The Xa Pho people are believed to have migrated here from Malaysia and Indonesia some three centuries ago and seem to differ from the other minority groups in both their dress and their language. Semi-nomadic and steeped in strong traditions of community spirit, the Xa Pho are a rather timid people who keep very much to themselves and whose language has been described by other groups as sounding like birdsong. Taking the opportunity for a short tour around the village we then cross the river and continue along a gradually ascending track stopping enroute for our picnic lunch. After lunch we will reach the village of Nam Toong. Another community of the Red Zao, this village affords us a final chance to take in something of the traditional rural life in these valleys, before we make our final descent to the Thanh Phu Bridge, where we rejoin our vehicle for the journey back to Sapa.
Accommodation: Chao Long Hotel
The day is left free for you to enjoy the charming mountainside town of Sapa and its surroundings. It maybe possible to arrange a half day visit to the traditional local minority market in Bac Ha or a guided mountain bike trek to the Black H'mong villages in the Ma Tra valley. On the edge of town is Ham Rong, a scenic landscaped area with flower and orchid gardens and spectacular views amongst the stone forest. Or you may choose to relax, take a massage or enjoy the friendly banter with the traditionally dressed girls who wander the towns trading their wares. Later this afternoon we will transfer back to Lao Cao to catch our overnight train to Hanoi.
Accommodation: Overnight Train from Sapa to Hanoi (Shared)
Arriving in Hanoi early this morning we will transfer to our hotel and check-in, after which the rest of the day is free to enjoy the city at your leisure.
Accommodation: Anh Hotel
Tour ends after breakfast. If you have time you may wish to take another wander through the fascinating Old Quarter or stroll along the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake.