Spectra of Southern Vietnam
Life on the Mekong River

Senses of north Vietnam


The Senses of North Vietnam is a Vietnam holiday for families to experience of the Red River Delta and the mountains of Sapa in 9 days/ 8 nights. The pace of the tour is easy with tour activities including walking, hiking, boat cruising and culture exploring. We’ll experience the culinary delights, the culture of the Red River, the culture of the mountain ethnic minorities and of the fresh natural beauty of northern Vietnam.

The tour highlights include the stunning karst formations of Ha Long Bay and the wild mountains of Sapa. Some meals are included to introduce the fresh seafood in the wild of Ha Long Bay and the fine-dining experience of Ha Noi.

The tour accommodation may range from standard tourist class to luxurious hotels upon the traveller’s request. The Senses of North Vietnam Tour is an efficient way to engage into the authentic Vietnamese life, both in the Red River Delta and the mountains of North Vietnam; the tour is designed to enrich our travellers’ senses of the rich culture of Vietnam!

Day1 Arrive in Ha Noi (D)
Day2 Hanoi City Tour (B/L)
Day3 Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay Junk Cruise (B/L/D)
Day4 Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi/ Overnight Train for Lao Cai (B/L)
Day5 Arrive in Lao Cai/ Lao Cai - Sa Pa
Day6 Sa Pa (B)
Day7 Sa Pa/ Overnight Train for Ha Noi (B)
Day8 Arrive in Ha Noi/ Free at leisure
Day9 Depart Ha Noi (B)

The tour price includes

  • English-speaking guide;
  • Private transportation as indicated in the tour program;
  • Private cabin on the local train for Ha Noi – Lao Cai – Ha Noi;
  • Private cabin on a shared junk cruise on Ha long Bay as in the tour program;
  • Meals as indicated in the tour program (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner);
  • All admission fees in the tour program;
The tour price doesn’t include
  • Insurance of any types;
  • Drinks or personal expenses;
  • Others not specified in the included services above;


Day1 Arrive in Ha Noi (D)
Arriving at Ha Noi Airport, welcomed by our tour guide and transferred to the city. Our welcomed dinner is at a local restaurant with fine Ha Noi cuisine
Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day2 Ha Noi (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we’ll tour the 1000 year old city of Ha Noi. We’ll will visit different highlights of Ha Noi including: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, the Temple of Literature (the Temple of Knowledge) - 1st University of Vietnam. The king ordered the construction of the Temple since we wanted the people to appreciate knowledge and encouraged the study of Confucianism. After that the First University was built just to the back of the Temple of Literature to educate the talented students of the kingdom. The kings of Vietnam that time would choose the bests that passed the royal exams to serve the kingdom. Those passed the royal exams would be called PhD. This noble title for sure was not awarded easily: conscientious study combined with talent was required. Visiting the Temple of Literature you’ll adore the learning tradition of Vietnam started by their visionary kings thousands of years ago.

In the afternoon, we’ll continue our tour to the Tran Quoc Pagoda - Nation founding pagoda, the Quan Thanh temple. In late afternoon, we'll have 1 hour rickshaw ride around the old quarter and a traditional water puppet show.
Overnight in Ha Noi.

Hanoi was chosen to be the capital city of Vietnam from the 1010 A.D. The ruling king Ly Cong Uan that time knew that choosing the capital site would be vital to the kingdom’s prosperity. After coming into power he patrolled the kingdom looking for a suitable site for building the capital city. It’s said that he arrived at the bank of the Red River a five-colored dragon appeared soaring into the sky. He researched the whole area and found out that it was perfect in terms of Feng Shui. The construction of the capital city was started right after that. That time it was called Thang Long which in Vietnamese means the “City of Ascending Dragons”. With the arrival of the French in the 19th century, new colonial styled architecture was added to the charming traditional architecture of Hanoi.

Nowadays the travelers to Hanoi know the city as 3 main areas: The Former Citadel Area, the Old Quarter and the French Quarter. Of course the city has more areas to the north, to the south and to the west of central Hanoi now where high-rise buildings are found to accommodate the growing economy. With much development going on in the fast growing economy of Vietnam, the old areas of Hanoi are specially protected by the authority and still Hanoi retains the charm like no others.

Day3 Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay Junk Cruise (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We start at 9.00 A.M for the 3 hour drive (170 km) through the Red River Delta, which offers plenty of chances for taking photos of Vietnamese farmers tilling the vast green paddy fields. At half way, we'll have a visit to a handicraft workshop with fine clothes, embroidered paintings, stone statuettes and all kinds of gems mined in Vietnam such as star rubies or sapphires... Our destination is the World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. The bay offers some 3000 mountain islands and islets towering in the Gulf of Tonkin in the East Vietnam Sea.

Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed on board our luxurious junk and treated with wine and fresh local seafood. As our junk gliding further into the tranquility of Ha Long Bay amid the towering mountain cliffs and on the emerald green water, you'll have relaxing time combining the fine tastes of the wine and the freshness of Ha Long Bay. During the cruise, we'll stop some times for visiting the amazing Sung Sot cave and the Ti Tov white sand beach before anchoring for the night.
Overnight on board the junk in the wild of Halong Bay.

Day4 Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi/ Overnight Train for Lao Cai (B/L)
After breakfast, we'll take a little sampan to visit a secret lagoon of Ha Long Bay while the surrounding mountains are just waking up. After that our cruise takes us further into the Bay of Bai Tu Long traveling past the Human Head Island, the Turtle Island, and the Duck Islet... to the studio site where the famous Indochine film was shot.

After the last feast on board for lunch, our junk travels back to the harbor for disembarkation at 12.00 A.M. We rejoin our car and travel our way back to Ha Noi. We enjoy free time at leisure until our tour guide comes back and transfers you to train station for the overnight train for Lao Cai. Overnight on board the train.

Day5 Arrive in Lao Cai/ Lao Cai – Sapa
The journey by train stops at Lao Cai train station early in the morning. Lao Cai border town is where you can gaze across the Red River to China which is just on the other side. From Lao Cai the road winds up the terraced hillsides to Sapa, which offers the stunning mountain views of the North West of Vietnam. We arrive in Sapa and enjoy the rest of the morning free at leisure. Alternatively we can have a walking tour of Sapa colorful market.

Sapa is a town in cloud. This hill station is 1500 m above the sea. Sapa is home to 7 groups of peoples including The Kinh (Viet), The Black H’Mong, The Red Zao, The Giay, The Tay, The Xa Pho. Sapa offers the travelers relaxing holidays, adventure tours with home staying or mountain trekking and hiking. For the travelers who love conquering challenges, there’s the Fan Si Pan Peak which is over 3000 m elevation. This is the summit of Indochina and it can easily be adored from Sapa Town.

In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy the walking tour to the breathtaking valley of Sapa to visit Cat Cat village (of the Black H’Mong people) and Cat Cat waterfall. We’ll enjoy a soft adventure trekking our way on the terraces in the Muong Hoa Valley.
Overnight in Sapa.

Day6 Sapa (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Our morning tour is first by jeep to Lao Chai village (Black H'Mong). From Lao Chai, we have a short trekking trip amid the green or golden terraces to Ta Van village (the Black H'Mong and the Giay people). We rejoin our jeep at Ta Van and travel back to town for a break.

In the afternoon, we continue with our tour to Ta Phin village visiting the Red Zao people. In Ta Phin we’ll enjoy the stunning nature settings and learn how the Zao live their life. After the tour, we’ll travel back to town and you enjoy free time at leisure.
Overnight in Sapa.

Day7 Sapa
Breakfast at the hotel.
We enjoy our morning tour to the wild orchids of Ham Rong Mountain. The mountain is just close to Sapa Town. Climbing the mountain is not a real adventure, but it requires a bit of effort. Once here we’ll be rewarded with the beautiful orchid flowers, the panoramic view of Sapa surroundings and the traditional ethnic minority music performed by the local boys and girls.

Late in the morning, we check out of the hotel and journey to the Gate Way to Heaven and the Silver Waterfall. On Tram Ton Pass, we’ll feel small by the 360 degrees view of the fresh surrounding nature: the ranges of high mountains above, the green valleys with terraces below, dotted in the nature are hill tribe villages and the hill tribe colorful costumes. On a clear day with the sun shining across, we are quite sure that it’s no different from heaven. We cherish the nature beauty for a moment and tour back to Lao Cai Train Station. From Lao Cai, we’ll board the night train bound for Ha Noi.
Overnight on board the train.
(Local train, air-con soft sleeper)

Day8 Arrive in Ha Noi/ Free Day at Leisure
Arriving in Ha Noi early in the morning, met by our driver and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day9 Depart Ha Noi
Breakfast at the hotel.
You have free time until our tour guide and driver come back and transfer you back to the airport for your departure flight. We trust your family had a nice holiday in North Vietnam with Private Vietnam Tours.