• Scenic Northern Vietnam

    Code: VCT06 - Duration: 11 Days
    Start: Hanoi | Finish: Hanoi
  • This tour displays the amazing natural beauty that is Northern Vietnam. Our classic tour will take you through the most impressive destinations of this mesmerising region.

    You will enjoy peaceful Mai Chau, listen to traditional music and try Vietnamese rice wine, known as ‘Can’. All this whilst meeting local people who are happy to introduce you to their own unique culture. From here we head to Tam Coc in Ninh Binh. Here sailing along the river you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery of rice paddies, limestone peaks and animals grazing aimlessly through the grass. Next, we go by night train to Sapa otherwise known as ‘Hidden city in the clouds’. Savour the fresh mountain air. Finally, we end the tour with a night on a classic wooden junk (boat) to relax and refresh your spirits.


    • Discover the graceful and exotic Hanoi capital - representing a thousand years of culture
    • Discover local life, traditions and customs of ethnic minorities in the Northwestern region
    • Wander the trails and explore the caves of Trang An
    • Savour Sapa and breathe some fresh mountain air
    • Take a cruise on Halong Bay to explore the breathtaking beauty of this World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO
    • Charming hotel in great locations
    • Comfortable & spacious vehicle for transfers

    Itinerary in brief:

    Day 1: Hanoi arrival (-/-/-)
    Day 2: Hanoi City (B/L/-)
    Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau / Home-stay (B/L/D)
    Day 4: Mai Chau - Ninh Binh  (B/L/-)
    Day 5: Ninh Binh - Hanoi - Night train to Lao Cai (B/L/-)
    Day 6: Lao Cai - Sapa - Cat Cat Village  (B/L/-)
    Day 7: Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van / Homestay (B/L/D)
    Day 8: Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Sapa - Lao Cai (B/L/-)
    Day 9: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)
    Day 10: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B/-/-)
    Day 11: Hanoi - Departure (B/-/-)

    • Ability to change the direction of the program
    • Posibility of an extension in Laos or Cambodia 


    + We specialize in “tailor-made” tours for groups of two or more. We carefully inspect each step of your journey from the accommodation to the perfect guide to suit your needs
    + The itinerary is open to modification to fit your personal travel needs
    + Modifications to the itinerary may increase the price of the package
    + For the price of this trip, just ask for a quote by clicking on "TOUR PRICE"

    + If you are looking for a trip modified to your requirements, please send us your needs by filling out the form in Customize your trip” 
    + We will contact and send you a quote, excluding holiday period, within 48 hours of receiving your request .

  • Day 1: Hanoi arrival (-/-/-)

    Hanoi - Airport: 30km, ~40min drive
    hanoi daily tours, tonkin-travel

    Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will meet your guide and driver who will then escort you to the city centre. After making sure of a breezy hotel check-in, you will be left for some free time to have some lunch and relax after your flight. A good chance to explore exciting Hanoi by night!

    Meals Included: None
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

    Day 2: Hanoi City (B/L/-)

    hanoi tours, tonkin travel

    After a wholesome breakfast at the hotel, we start the day with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, named for the beloved father of modern Vietnam. This famous complex is home to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (closed on Mondays & Fridays), Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House, the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh Museum. Following this, we head to the Temple of Literature constructed in 1070 to worship Confucius. Otherwise known as the first university of Vietnam, the site also honours the eighty-two Vietnamese doctorates that each passed a number of rigid exams in the medieval ages. Their names, birthdays and birthplaces are each engraved in headstones perched on stone tortoises. It is widely believed that touching the heads of these tortoises will bring luck. Its peaceful green compound with its neatly maintained lawns, gardens and lotus ponds make it a tranquil hideaway from the city’s bustle and heat. Next stop, lunch!-which will be served at a popular local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, we visit the Museum of Ethnology dedicated to Vietnam's fifty-four officially recognised ethnic groups with both indoor and outdoor sections. While the in-house exhibition is particularly informative, the outdoor display continues in the museum’s garden with fascinating examples of traditional houses of numerous minority groups, from the Kinhs to the ethnic groups of the Central Highlands. We then enjoy a 45 minute-cyclo tour (similar to a rickshaw) to the Old Quarter where you can see streets with century-aged trees and French Colonial buildings. We then head to Ngoc Son Temple set on a tiny islet in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple dates back to the 13th century and the lake itself is the picturesque heart of Hanoi, frequented by tourists and locals alike.

    In the evening, we will enjoy a water puppet show, illustrating the unique Vietnamese traditional art. This art is originated from rural festivals in Vietnam. The artists, men and women, stand waist-deep in the water to manipulate the puppets, making them move, talk and laugh and even dance on the surface of the water.

    Meals Inluded: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

    Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau /Home-stay (B/L/D)

    Hanoi - Mai Chau: 160km, ~4h drive

    mai chau tours, tonkin travel

    After breakfast at hotel, we depart for Mai Chau, a picturesque valley, home to many hill tribes including the Dzao, Muong and Thai. Stop on the way to visit a Muong village in Thung Khe. Arrive in Mai Chau around noon, we check-in the ethnic homestay (a house on stilts!). After lunch with the locals, we spend time walking tour and cycling around the villages of Mai Chau and local crafts. It’s a serene life complemented by verdant landscapes, friendly and hospitable people who live here will leave you unforgettable memories.

    In late afternoon, we invite you to participate in a game of volleyball/soccer with the villagers. Dinner will be prepared by the local family.

    In the evening, you have chance to enjoy the friendliness of the people by participating in a traditional dance show of the ethnic Thais.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Accommodation: Homestay in Mai Chau

    Day 4: Mai Chau - Ninh Binh (B/L/-)

    Mai Chau - Ninh Binh: 180km, ~4h30min drive

    ninh binh tours, tonkin travel

    After breakfast at homestay, we will drive 170km to Tam Coc also known as “Halong Bay on land”. On the way, you will pass some of the most picturesque scenery Vietnam has to offer. Arrival in Tam Coc, we check-into hotel and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, we will embark a small rowing boat to discover the vast karst waterscape on Ngo Dong River. Tam Coc literally translates to “three caves” and is adorned with striking limestone boulders. Continuing the cruise along the river, you will see spectacular scenery of rice paddies and a real glimpse of local life. We row back to the harbor from where you will be brought to the hotel. The rest of day, we will cycle along winding roads passing lotus ponds, temples and cottages, typical of Vietnamese countryside to visit Bich Dong Pagoda situated on a hillside.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel in Ninh Binh

    Day 5: Ninh Binh - Hanoi - Night train to Lao Cai (B/L/-)

    Ninh Binh - Hanoi: 106km, ~1h50min drive

    ninh binh tours, tonkin travelAfter breakfast at hotel, we drive to Trang An Eco tourism complex. Upon arrival, we get on a sampan for a 2.5-hour rowing boat trip through remarkable waterways, densely forested mountains with rich fauna and flora; many species are registered in Vietnam’s Red Book. It’s time for us to enjoy the fresh air, the sound of birds and the serenity. Numerous white goats will be grazing on the mountain. On the way back to Hanoi, we will stop to visit Hoa Lu - the former capital of Vietnam built in the 10th century where the ancient temples of Dinh & Le kings still remain intact. Upon arrival in Hanoi, we will head to Hanoi Railway Station for an overnight train to Lao Cai, destination Sapa.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Overnight on train

    Day 6: Lao Cai - Sapa - Cat Cat Village (B/L/-)

    Lao Cai - Sapa: 40km, 1h drive
    sapa tours, tonkin travel

    Arrival Lao Cai Train Station at around 6:00a.m, our guide and driver will meet and transfer you to Sapa, situated just 40km from Lao Cai. After breakfast, we will explore Sapa town, founded by the French as a holiday resort. 

    In the afternoon, we will visit Cat Cat village, home to H’Mong ethnic people. They are excellent “tho cam” weavers, a kind of brocade fabric. The “tho cam” of Cat Cat village is of especially high quality, as it is dyed with natural colors, polished with beeswax and embroidered with unique designs. Cat Cat silver jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings are known for their sophisticated production techniques. A walk through this old village offers a glimpse into traditional customs and practices of the ethnic Black Hmong. We will stop at a beautiful waterfall and the remains of a hydroelectric plant built by the French during their colonisation of Vietnam.

    If time permits, visit Ma Tra Village. Located only about 5km to the south-east of Sapa town, Ma Tra Village was added recently into Sapa’s growing list of stunning destinations. The village is a new must-see for visitors when coming to the mountain town of Sapa and preferring a less commercial track. The Village is home to H’mong ethnic people and only boasts around 50 homes. They survive using their craft such as weaving brocade, silk, forging farming tools and carving silver. They generally only make such items to meet their own needs, but since the growth of tourism in Sapa, many H’mong women make decorated cloth to sell on the town’s main streets.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Sapa

    Day 7: Sapa - Lao Chai & Ta Van/Home-stay (B/L/D)

    sapa tours, tonkin travel 2After breakfast at the hotel, we start our trek through the beautiful Muong Hoa valley in Sapa. Following the road of just around 2km, we reach Y Linh Ho village home to Black H'mong ethnic people. We continue our walk to Lao Chai village and enjoy beautiful views of terraced rice fields along the way. The guide will prepare a simple picnic style lunch for you. After lunch, we will visit a Catholic church and explore local traditions and customs. In the afternoon, we reach the heart of the Sapa valley, the Ta Van village home to Dzay ethnic people. Dinner and overnight at a Dzay ethnic house.
    (Note: During May (rice planting month) and September (rice ripening month), the golden terraced fields are especially spectacular and you can learn about methods of harvesting or planting)

    • Distance : 8km
    • Duration : 3h trekking
    • Speed : Average

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Accommodation: Home-stay in Ta Van

    Day 8: Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Sapa - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B/L/-)

    Giang Ta Chai - Sapa 12km, 40min drive; Lao Cai - Hanoi: 330km, ~9h on train

    sapa tour, tonkin travel

    After breakfast at the homestay, we take a scenic hike through rice paddies, passing waterfalls and bamboo forests to Giang Ta Chai village, home to the Red Dzao ethnic group. After visiting this village, we return to a location near the waterfall for lunch.

    In the afternoon, we hike to the main road where our vehicle is waiting to take us back to Sapa Lao Cai. Along the way, we will visit Ma Tra village inhabited by the welcoming Black Hmong minority. We then transfer to station for overnight train back to Hanoi.

    • Distance : 3km
    • Duration : 2h trekking
    • Speed : Average

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Overnight on train

    Day 9: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)

    Hanoi - Halong: 180km, ~3h30min drive

    halong bay

    We will arrive at Hanoi train station at 5:30 am where you will be picked up brought to a small hotel to freshen up and have some breakfast. We then start our three-hour drive through the Red River Delta to Halong, situated 180km south-east of Hanoi.

    We then transfer to a refurbished wooden sailing junk for a cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Halong Bay. Revel in the fantastic views of this UNESCO Heritage listed site. While on board, we will be served a fresh seafood lunch followed by swimming and we will have the chance to explore some of the limestone caves in the area. At dusk, witness the sunset of a life time followed by dinner.  The captain then will anchor for the night nearby a remote island.  In the evening, there is the option for some night fishing or just sit out on the deck and relax under the stars. We promise that this is a truly unforgettable experience.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Accommodation: Overnight on boat

    Day 10: Halong Bay - Hanoi (Br/-/-)

    halong boatAfter waking up surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the bay, we have time for an early morning dip. Then it’s time for breakfast whilst you watch the sun rise over Ha Long bay. The cruise continues to move around the bay for in order for us to discover more secluded areas; we then go kayaking and continue swimming around the bay. The boat will be near us at all times for those who prefer to relax on board. Around midday, we will return to the main harbour before transferring to our awaiting vehicle for the three and a half journey back to Hanoi.

    Meals Included: Brunch
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

    Day 11: Hanoi - Departure (B/-/-)

    After breakfast at the hotel, your time is free until our driver transfers you to Noi Bai airport for your flight to your next destination or back home. Safe trip wherever you head!

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Price

    This trip is private and therefore can be altered to suit your needs, date of commencement and budget requirements.

    Prices vary due to a number of specifics:

    • Seasonal: during high season (October-April), the prices of services are generally higher when compared to the low season (May-September).
    • The number of participants: the more of you that travel together the less you will pay!
    • The choice of hotels: Fairly obvious one here; a 5-star hotel can cost ten times as much as a 2 star hotel.
    • The activities during the trip: Two trips on the same itinerary and of the same length can have two different prices depending on the number and nature of activities included.
    • The booking date: In some cases, booking your trip late can drastically affect prices due to their low availability.


    • Accommodation as recommended or similar category according to availability.
    • Transfers according to program by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver except free day
    • English-speaking guide’s assistance at every stage
    • Meals as indicated in program (B: Breakfast /L: Lunch / D: Dinner)
    • Entrance fees for attractions included in the program
    • All activities and cruises clearly mentioned in the program
    • Train tickets: Hanoi – Sapa – Hanoi (sharing 4-berth-cabin)
    • Home-stay in Mai Chau, Sapa
    • Halong Bay 2 Days 1 Night (sharing boat)
    • Water and cool tissues
    • Government taxes & service charge


    • Other drinks and meals not clearly mentioned
    • Early check-in, late check-out
    • Personal expenditures, tips
    • Personal insurance (compulsory)
    • Any service not clearly mentioned in the program
    • International air transfers associated with airport taxes
    • Visa and visa arrangement (available upon request)


    Here are 2 steps to book your trip with Tonkin-Travel:

    Step 1. Focus on your travel program:

    You can choose this trip as is or customize it to your specific desires. Just click on the “Customize this trip” tab and fill in the form. One of our travel consultants will contact you within 48 hours to develop the travel program based on your specifications.

    Step 2. Booking:

    • Following the first step, tour program is selected and we access the rates.
    • Upon confirmation of the trip, the registration must be accompanied by a deposit up to 25% of the total estimate.
    • For programs with private junk (cruise) and/or 5 star hotels, the deposit is represented by 30% of the total estimate.
    • Tonkin-Travel carries out the booking process upon receipt of the deposit. Confirmation of these reservations is sent to customer within 10 days via email

    Nature of travel

    This trip is private. That implies:

    • You will be escorted by a private guide and driver. This approach guarantees a smooth trip with fewer organizational constraints.
    • You will be the master of your trip. We guarantee flexibility in organizing visits at your request.
    • Our services will be personalized according to your desires. Thus the proposals in this package are not fixed and you can bring suggest all the desired changes.
    • You receive individualized care: ample food, organizing small events (anniversary, honeymoon, etc.), targeted information, followed necessary modifications, etc.


    • Accommodation is an important expenditure of your trip. When you choose a luxury trip for example, the accommodation can represent three quarters of the price. Thus, your choice of hotels is closely related to your budget.
    • Tonkin-Travel has negotiated rates with a wide range of hotels from 2 to 5 stars.
    • In some places you will have the option to choose ‘home-stay’. Although this provides less comfort that a hotel it is a truly authentic experience and highly recommended for at least one night of your journey.


    All transfers during your trip are covered by private vehicle with driver, unless otherwise indicated in our offer. We ensure that our vehicles are new and comfortable. Fuel, tolls, accommodation, compensation and the driver are included in our offer. Only gratuities are not included and are at your discretion.

    The size of the selected vehicle is based on the number of tour participants according to the following quality standards:

    No. of participants

    2 pax

    3 pax

    From 4 to 7 pax

    From 8 to 14 pax

    From 15 to 20 pax

    Vehicle size

    Car 4-7 seats

    Car 7 or minivan 
    16 seats

    Minivan 16 seats

    Bus 24 seats

    Bus 35 or 45 seats

    Domestic flights

    If your trip includes domestic flights if any, they will be operated by Vietnam Airlines, the largest airline in Vietnam. The fleet consists mainly of Airbus and Boeing. On some short trips, the company operates 72 ATR and some Fokker.

    Rail transport

    Train travel can be offered (particularly between Hanoi-Lao Cai and Hanoi-Hue). Travelling at a speed of 60km/h on average it is not necessarily the fastest but an interesting experience nonetheless.

  • This form allows us to establish a tour proposal suitable for your needs. It is free and without obligation

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      Your message (Ex: The desired steps and activities, what you like, what you do not,
      the health condition of the participants, your questions on this trip...)

    • This form allows us to establish a tour proposal suitable for your needs. It is free and without obligation

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        Which country would you like to discover? *
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        Describe your trip
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        • Your desire to travel (culture, adventure, beach extension, local meetings, nature, etc.)
        • The desired pace of your trip (moderate, free and easy, etc.)
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        • The opportunity of your trip (vacation, wedding anniversary, cultural group, etc.)
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