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(Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Lao Cai)
Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture on this adventurous tour of the mountainous North. Visit remote minority villages in Sapa, cruise amongst karst mountains, and enjoy the atmosphere of historic Hanoi.
Welcome to Vietnam! Please be sure that your visa has been pre-arranged, or that your visa-on-arrival letter is in your carry-on luggage. These documents will be presented to customs at your first point of entry into the country.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
The Silk Path is located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi, which has countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions, as well as proximity to the business district of the city. With the hotel's 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, it is no surprise that Silk Hotel is a preference choice of a traveler. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, and a fitness center and sauna. Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all luxury amenities within reach.
You will be picked up at your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and his former residence, One pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. For lunch, enjoy a lovely meal at a local restaurant. After lunch, continue your city tour to your choice of one of Hanoi's many museums, including Fine Art, History, Revolutionary, War, Ethnology , then head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple and experience a 1 hour cyclo tour. Finish your day off at the Thang Long Opera Theatre for a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show.
Transfer this morning from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The drive is roughly 3 hours.
Your heavenly journey across Halong Bay starts around noon on Tuan Chau Island at the doorstep of Vietnam's most fascinating wonder. As the vessel sets sails, you will be greeted by Paradise Crew and Cruise Manager who will aim throughout your stay at providing you with the highest standards of service for a pure pleasure and utmost comfort onboard the ship’s luxury facilities in stunning surroundings.
Discover some of the treasures disseminated across the Bay of the Descending Dragon during the afternoon like fascinating caves, pristine beaches, picturesque floating villages, fantastic rock formations rising up out of the emerald water.
While onboard, at your leisure you can take advantage of the Spa, Beauty and the Massage services provided. You will also have the opportunity to attend the chef's cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking. Defined to be one of the highlights of your Paradise stay, a highly refined, innovative and varied cuisine will be presented for lunch and dinner in the elegant dining-room, accompanied by a wide selection of wines and beverages from around the world.
Paradise Luxury I, II, III & IV were built according to the traditional Vietnamese junk design and present a lavish outfit blending in subtle harmony with the natural environment. The 4 Paradise Luxury Cruises offer 68 luxurious cabins and suites as well as an exciting array of activities to be enjoyed while experiencing the spectacular scenery of the "Bay of Descending Dragons". Each vessel features a stylish restaurant and bar for an exclusive dining experience on the third deck. The top deck serves as a perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and discover the splendid beauty of Halong bay with a 360° view while benefiting from the presence of the Moonlight Bar. Celebrated for being the only cruisers in Halong Bay to provide complete spa facilities with dry sauna, Jacuzzi, massages, and beauty treatments, Paradise luxury boats dispose of spa facilities aiming at reviving the senses and nurturing well-being. The Paradise Luxury fleet is committed to granting guests a genuine yet prestigious experience in Halong Bay.
In the morning, early risers can attend a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck at the break of dawn. Start the day enjoying some Paradise delights with a colourful buffet breakfast. Continue exploring Halong Bay sailing across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights.
The Paradise Luxury Cruise will come to an end on Tuan Chau Island between 10.30am and 11.00am. From here you will drive back to Hanoi.
Today, you will take a walking tour that explores the French Quarter through the ideas of its architects and the shape of its stones with your own English speaking guide. It is set in the time from the unraveling of all the threads of civilization, which have left their mark on the area, beginning with recent reminders of Soviet style. Just around the corner, discover a different world altogether as we visit the Buddhist pagoda of Quan Su, the centre of Vietnamese Buddhism and Tran Hung Dao streets. You will learn about the French approach to justice and punishment and hear tales of daring Vietnamese resistance to the repressive regime. Enjoy the end of your tour with a nice cup of Vietnamese coffee.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Travel in style on board the Victoria Express Train. The Victoria Express Train features one dining carriage and two sleeping carriages to make your traveling experience a comfortable one. With its elegant carriages, the Victoria Express Train recalls a more romantic era. Passing through the exotic landscapes of North Vietnam, between the charming cities of Hanoi and Lao Cai it offers every visitor a wonderful traveling experience. Watch the beautiful scenery in front of you, from the luxury of your seat, or take a nap in the comfort of your cozy sleeping carriage. If you prefer, you can indulge yourself in the dining carriage, “Le Tonkin”, where you can savour the delights of traditional Vietnamese and Western cuisine. *Please note the dining car is not always available, it is only part of some departures.
Transfer from Lao Cai to Sapa with a private vehicle and driver.
Experience the fantastic scenery of mountains and rice paddy fields as you cycle from Sapa into the surrounding valleys, the villages of Sin Chai and Ta Van village. You will have stops in the villages and have a chance to talk with the Black Hmong or Giay who are working in their fields Eat lunch in the Black Hmong village of Su Pan then continue cycling downhill to Ban Ho, inhabited by the Tay people. In Ban Ho you can observe in daily life of villagers who live in their traditional stilt houses surrounded by rice terraces and vegetable gardens. Walk to the nearby Lavie waterfall, where you can enjoy a swim; or trek uphill to visit to Red Dao village of Nam Toong. Your private vehicle will then pick you at Ban Ho village and transfer you back to Sapa. You will be biking about 30 km.
The Victoria Sapa Resort is the only luxury hotel in North-Western Vietnam, and was built as a traditional mountain chalet with accented wooden décor and a welcoming stone hearth fireplace. The Victoria Sapa Resort overhangs the village, blending in perfectly with the natural surroundings. The resort features 77 stylishly designed rooms, each with private terrace, wood flooring and a warm touch of local decoration. Enjoy fine dining at Ta Van Restaurant and enjoy a glass of red wine by the fireplace at Ta Fin Bar. After a day of sightseeing in the Sapa region, unwind at the spa center before turning in.
Depart from Sapa and enjoy the magnificent view from your private car on the way to Lao Chai village. Along the road, stop at stalls that serve tea, fruits and sweets. Arrive at the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai, where you will experience the daily life of the community. Afterwards, walk from Lao Chai to Ta Van village, where the Zay hill tribes live. Here you will rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your local guide (included). After lunch enjoy an afternoon of trekking through bamboo forests, followed by relaxation beside a waterfall. Continue and explore the Red Dao village of Giang Ta Chai. The tour ends with a return by private car to Sapa
Leaving Sapa early in the morning, travel by private car to Bac Ha Market (2.5hours). Visit the large outdoor market where various Hilltribe peoples come to buy and sell handicraft goods. After exploring the market, enjoy a complimentary lunch at a local restaurant. Leave Bac Ha Market for Trung Do Village, and enjoy a scenic water buffalo cart ride traveling through countryside of the Tay people. From the village, travel by boat down the Chay River and experience the picturesque scenery and magnificent sights along the way. After the boat trip, enjoy a refreshing cup of tea before transport back to Sapa.
Transfer between Sapa and Lao Cai train station in a private vehicle with guide and driver.
In the morning, you will be met by your English speaking guide and transferred by private car to Ninh Binh province, located 110km from Hanoi to the South, Tam Coc cave may be one of the most spectacular sights in Vietnam. Along the Hoang Long River, vast limestone cliffs rise out of the rice paddies making Tam Coc somehow similar to Halong Bay, thus Tam Coc is also called Halong Bay on land. A river trip to Tam Coc and through three caves of Tam Coc is wonderful for photo hunters, especially when local residents come to harvest the rice planted along the river or when they transplant seeding for the next crop. Next to Tam Coc is Hoa Lu, the relics of the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th century. What remains are temples dedicated to the two heroes, King Dinh and King Le who had chosen Hoa Lu to build the citadel of the capital city. Though the temples are not wholly maintained, some precious antiques are still well preserved such as the whole-stone dragon thrones; wooden has-relieves and lacquered statues of King Dinh, Kinh Le and Queen Duong Van Nga who in turn got married to both of the Kings. Entrance fees and mineral water is included in this tour. Lunch will be prepared for you at a local restaurant.
Depart from Hanoi International airport - end of itinerary.
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
highlights of our traveling careers!
July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
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