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8 Days Culture and Food Tour with Halong Bay Cruise Trip in Northern Vietnam

Oriental Suites Hotel & Spa, 58 Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam

Northern of Vietnam Culture and Food Tour

On this trip, you will visit the highlights of northern Vietnam, such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa. Northern Vietnam is blessed with many beautiful places. Halong Bay is one of the new seven wonders in the world. Sapa is one of the most breathtaking hill stations in Vietnam, which reflects the signature of French architecture and colorful hill tribal cultures. This is home to stunning mountain landscapes, verdant rice terraces, unique stilt villages and Indochina peak, the Fansipan.

Highlights

  • Taste local food in Sapa town
  • Attend a Vietnamese cooking demonstration on boat
  • A cooking class in Hanoi to prepare some old Hanoian favorites
  • Join a Hanoi street food walking tour and interact with local people
  • Visit iconic highlights of Hanoi - Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda
  • Walk along scenic rice field and mountains of Sapa to visit hill tribal villages
  • 7 nights accommodation, and meals including meals on boat
  • Enjoy Halong Bay cruise trip with a guide

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


8 days with instruction
Group size: Minimum of 2 participants
Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

Your overnight stays during this tour will be as follow:

  • Night 1, 2, and 7: Oriental Suite Hotel in Hanoi
  • Night 3 and 5: King Express Train (sharing four-berth cabin)
  • Night 4: Sapa Relax Hotel in Sapa
  • Night 6: Swan Cruise (three-star boutique cruise) on Halong Bay

Program

Day 1: Hanoi arrival - street food tour

  • Meals included: Dinner

The guide and driver will pick you up at the airport then transfer you to your hotel to check in. You will have the rest of the day free to explore the city and enjoy street food tour in the evening.

From 6 to 9 p.m., you will start the walking part of this tour early. You will first visit the colorful local markets where you will meet stall holders and talk about their food. Your walk then continues along both high streets and back streets exploring beaten corners in Hanoi Old Quarter that you never known by walking yourself, enjoying elegance Hanoi through tranquility French quarter with birds singing.

You will taste food, drink endless local beverage while chatting with street vendors.

The purpose of this tour is to provide you with a unique opportunity to experience and learn about exciting history, exceptional culture, as well as distinctive architecture of Hanoi following its unique cuisine trail. Indochina Best Travel will ensure that the food is hygienically handled and provide a comfortable venue for the tastings. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Trang An

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Then, your guide and driver will come to pick you up to visit Trang An Nature Reserve and Mua Cave. Ninh Binh is considered as Halong Bay on land with beautiful landscape and pristine sightseeing.

After two hours, you will arrive in Trang An Landscape Complex Wharf - the most exciting boating trip by sampan boat rows along Hoang Long river and through caves. The boat trip brings you to admire the stunning scenery from the rivers and Limestone Karsts with rich fauna and flora.

After lunch, you will visit Mua Cave, where you hike up 500 steps to conquer the Ngoa Long mountain’s peak. Here, you observe the stunning rice fields, Tam Coc, and Ngo Dong River. Finishing tour, you will transfer back to your Hanoi hotel.

Day 3: Hanoi City - cooking class - night train to Sapa

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

You will have a full-day tour of Hanoi city, where you will visit some of the iconic highlights of the city such as the Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda.

In the afternoon, you will join a cooking class. The Chinese culinary influence remains in the capital and the Northern Highlands, but the dishes are truly Vietnamese. In this class, you will not only prepare some old Hanoian favorites like caramel pork, but will also explore some lesser known dishes from the highlands.

Ending tour, your guide will take you to the train station to take an overnight train ride to Sapa.

Day 4: Sapa sightseeing tour

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Arrive at Laocai station at around 6 a.m. There will be a transfer to Sapa, situated at an altitude of 1,600 meters and 33 kilometers from Lao Cai. It is a beautiful, scenic drive as you wind your way towards Sapa.

Today, you will have pleasant trek into the scenic rice field and mountains of Sapa. There will be ample opportunity to meet with local friendly people. You will then embark on a lovely hikes through the verdant rice terraces to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat and Sinchai village, Ham Rong home to the H'mong hill tribes minority peoples.

As you walk to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, you will meet some of the local minority people on their way to and from Sapa. Here, you will have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families that live in the area. Overnight at a hotel in Sapa.

Day 5: Sapa - cooking class - night train back to Hanoi

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then, you will join a cooking class this morning. You will visit the market to purchase some necessary foods, combined with visiting and discovering the regional culture of dishes of ethnic minorities, etc.

Participate in a cooking class, which is led and taught by a talented chef. You will learn to master dishes by yourself, under their guidance. You will enjoy lunch with the foods you cooked.

In the afternoon, take a visit to Ta Van Village. The people here, they have become very adept at rice cultivation and, in marked contrast to the H’mong, they have a higher living standard as a result. Return to Sapa by jeep. Transfer to train station for a night train ride to Hanoi.

Day 6: Arrival Hanoi - Halong

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Arrive in Hanoi in early morning, move to hotel near station to have shower and breakfast before a shuttle bus comes to pick you up to Halong.

  • 08:00 The Swan shutter bus will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi and head to northeast of Vietnam. At the middle of the way, you will have a quick stop to stretch your leg and refresh, then continue your way to Halong Bay.
  • 12.00 Arrive at Swan office in Ha Long, have a bit time to relax, and then you will transfer to Swan Cruises by tender.
  • 12.45 Enjoy welcome drink, have a briefing about safety on boat and activities included, then check in your cabin.
  • 13.30 Have lunch while leisurely cruising to the core of Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • 15.30 Arrive to Cap La Island - the beautiful area in Bai Tu Long Bay. Enjoy kayaking through the karsts and breathtaking nature, and relaxing. (According to Halong Bay Board Management, all cruises in Halong Bay are not allowed to organize swimming activities)
  • 17.30 Get back to the boat and enjoy sunset party while your cruise is sailing to the overnight anchorage
  • 19.00 Have dinner in the dining room on board
  • 20.30 Free time for joining games

Day 7: Halong Bay - cooking class - Hanoi

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
  • 06.30 Start your day with Tai Chi on the sundeck, enjoy early morning landscape of the bay
  • 07.00 Have breakfast on board (tea and coffee are free)
  • 08.00 Explore Thien Canh Son cave. Your tour guide will explain the history of Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and this cave, made by Mother Nature
  • 09.30 Finish packing and check out your cabin, prepare to join in a traditional cooking demonstration
  • 10.30 Attend a Vietnamese cooking demonstration
  • 11.00 Enjoy lunch while your cruise is returning to Hon Gai harbor
  • 12.00 Back to the harbor and disembark in Hon Gai pier
  • 12.30 Farewell to Halong Bay, the bus will take you back to Hanoi
  • 17.00 End of the two-day-one-night trip on the Swan Cruises, overnight at a hotel in Hanoi

Day 8: Hanoi departure

  • Meals included: Breakfast

Take breakfast at the hotel. You are free until the driver comes to pick you up to the airport for flight departure. End of services.

Location

Vietnam is located in the South East Asia with many beautiful sightseeing and great local food. During this tour, you will have chance to taste and cook local food and learn how Vietnamese people prepare for their meals.

You will get to know the thousand-year history of Hanoi through the beautiful attractions such as the ancient university, the Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda, while sampling some of the best food in the city before taking the night train to Sapa.

In Sapa, you will visit the villages and markets of this mountainous region, taking in the misty valleys and getting to know more about the ethnic tribes of Sapa. You will take a night train back to Hanoi and have some time to refresh before you reach the true highlight of the north, Ha Long Bay, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Food

The purpose of this tour is to provide you with a unique opportunity to experience and learn about exciting history, exceptional culture, as well as distinctive architecture of Hanoi following its unique cuisine trail. Indochina Best Travel ensure the food is hygienically handled and provide a comfortable venue for the tastings.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Whole food
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Meals as mentioned and meals on boat as per itinerary
  • English-speaking guide on tour
  • Entrance fees to indicated sights
  • Halong Bay cruise with kayaking
  • Cooking class on tour
  • Welcome drink
  • Bottle of mineral water on tour
  • Tea or coffee at hotel

What's not included

  • Other drinks and meals not mentioned
  • Tip for guide and driver
  • Drinks on meals
  • Airport tax
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel Insurance
  • International flights

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Transfer from and to this airport is included. Indochina Best Travel will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Noi Bai International Airport Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 15 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
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Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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