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DAY 1: HANOI ARRIVAL Pick up at arrival in Noi Bai airport by our driver, transfer to hotel. Check in hotel in Hanoi. Our Customer Care Executive will meet you at the hotel at 18 00 pm for a trip briefing, answering your questions, as well as giving you some travelling tips in Vietnam. O/N in Hanoi. (Welcome Dinner is included) DAY 2: HOA LU – TAM COC We leave Hanoi at 08.00 and head south for a 2-hour drive along Highway One. We spend one hour visiting the Dinh and Le sanctuaries and then move on to Tam Coc for a 2 hours and a half boat trip along Boi river. Along the way we will visit caves and ancient temples. After lunch we can visit Bich Dong Pagoda. Stay overnight in Tam Coc, Ninh Binh. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included) DAY 3: TAM COC – MAI CHAU 8:00AM: after having breakfast, we drive toward one-side of Bai Dinh Pagoda by Hoang Long River to visit Cuc Phuong National Park. Trekking route approximately 3 hours to visit the Tro Chi one thousand year’s old tree. Having lunch in the head quarter of the park after visit Ancient People cave to learn about a part of life of original Viet people.

After lunch we leave for Mai Chau – Lac village a White Thai ethnic minority village. Arrive in picturesque Mai Chau valley which it surrounded by spectacular Karst rock formations and picturesque rice paddies. Free for personal exploration of this beautiful little village of White Thai minority or some of the prettiest greenery we’ve ever seen seems to stretch out endlessly across in all directions. This evening following dinner, we will have the opportunity for more cultural interaction, before retiring for overnight in a house on stilts. Enjoy our local style Dinner in a Thai traditional stilt house. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included) DAY 4: MAI CHAU TREKKING TO XO VILLAGE AND RETURN TO MAI CHAU After breakfast, we drive for a short distance to Xam Khoe village and start five hour trek from Xo village to Na Meo village. Have lunch at Xo (pronounce is Soh) after 2 first hours walk (8km). On the way we will have plenty of wonderful pictures and learn much about culture of White Thai minority. Our diver will pick us up at Na Meo village and take us back to Lac village for dinner. Spend second night in this village. Overnight in Mai Chau. Trekking distance ~ 15 km. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

DAY 5: MAI CHAU – XA LINH – PA CO – SON LA Depart Hanoi at 07 00 am for a an hour heading north-west to visit Sa Linh market. From here we start a walk up hill to Pa Co village where have Green H’Mong who dress in green indigo clothes which make a special typical of one between others four ethnic H’Mong group. Roam around village then return to the bus, drive to Moc Chau green tea and milk farm town for lunch. You will have opportunity to enjoy the famous Moc Chau green tea and Moc Chau milk. After lunch we drive to Son La town. Overnight in Son La. (Breakfast, Lunch, Tea and Fresh milk in Moc Chau & Dinner are included) DAY 6: SON LA – DIEN BIEN PHU Following breakfast we will visit Son La prison, the remains of a former French prison where is exhibited how French Colony treat the political prisoners under the horrific conditions. We then drive to Dien Bien Phu with stop for lunch at Tuan Giao town before enter in to the longest pass of Vietnam, Pha Din Pass, the sinuous road to Dien Bien Phu city . On the way, we visit the General Vo Nguyen Giap Bunker which was used in the war against the French. Overnight at hotel in Dien Bien. Driving section: ~ 180km (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 7: DIEN BIEN PHU – MUONG TE – MUONG LAY OR PHONG THO TOWN An early morning, we leave for visiting bunker of General De Castries before head toward Muong Te boarder town or Phong Tho town. This upstream area of the Da River is settled by many ethnic minority groups including the Thai, Ha Nhi, Cong , Si La and La Hu, just some of Vietnam’s most colourful ethnic groups. The roads conditions are very poor; however the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes the hardship all worthwhile. Along the way we stop at seldom visited villages, a great chance for photographers. Overnight at a hotel in Muong Lay town. Please take note: visiting Mường Tè boarder town will be cancelled if the road is broken or might not be allowed by local police after several sensitive political troubles have just happened sometimes. In case of skipping Muong Te, mean we will not stay in Lan Anh I hotel in Muong Lay town and we drive straight to Phong Tho Townville to stay overnight in Lan Anh II hotel, the best hotel of Lai Chau. Of course going to Muong Te is the first choice. Driving distance: Option 1: Dien Bien – Muong Lay – Muong Te – Muong Lay ~300km. Arriving hotel very late. Option 2: Dien Bien – Phong Tho ~200km (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

DAY 8: MUONG LAY – PHONG THO – THAC BAC – SAPA We start to visit the nice valley of Lai Chau will be underwater in a construction plan of the biggest hydropower station in Southeast Asia. On the way we stop to visit Nam Dam village, a village of Lào Lự people (other names as Lào, Lu, Nhuôn, Duôn) to see a typical people come to Binh Lu District from Lao 300 years ago. Via Tam Duong market, even it is not on market day but it is still the center market of many inhabitant minorities from around. Continue to drive to the Silver Waterfall and the Gateway to Heaven: these 02 sites located about 15 km from Sapa Town on the road from Sapa to Lai Chau province, we also stop at the highest traffic pass of Vietnam in Hoang Lien mountain ranges (or Tram Ton pass 2047m above sea level), between Sapa and Binh Lu town which offers stunning panoramic view of the roof of Indochina, the Fansipan mountain (3143m above sea level) and the deep valley below. Then we drive to Sapa and overnight in Sapa. There are some markets might be seen along the way as: - Muong Hum market, Tam Duong market, Binh Lu market on route Phong Tho to Sapa Driving distance: Muong Lay – Sapa ~200km or Phong Tho – Sapa 120km (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 9: SAPA – CAT CAT – Y LINH HO – TA VAN DAY TREK We weak up in the fresh and pure morning in wild nature, where you can take deep breath before you start the tough day. We descend through well protected forest and after a couple of hours of hiking; we stop for a picnic lunch. We will then continue descending toward the valley. On the way you will be able to enjoy valley views and beautiful surrounding. We arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority. Continuing in the late afternoon, we spend the night at a local house of Ta Van village with the inhabitant Zay ethnic minority nearby Muong Hoa River. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included) DAY 10: TA VAN – GIANG TA CHAI – SU PAN – SAPA HALF DAY TREK After the breakfast we continue to visit Red Dao people at Giang Ta Chai where we also see a waterfall. The Red Dao women have very colorful red embroideries and coins on their clothing. On their head they wear a red scarf. Some of the women have shaved off their eyebrows because of a nice Red Zao’ Legend. We continue along small paths in the rice fields, cross the Muong Hoa River and trek up to Su pan where you will meet our driver to transfer back to Sapa for late Lunch. In the afternoon, we are stay at leisure to do our own activities without tour guide for a romantic night. It is quite easy to find a lovely place to charm the romantic town. (Breakfast, Lunch are included)

DAY 13: BAC HA SUNDAY MARKET – XIN MAN – HOANG SU PHI – HA GIANG In the early morning, wake up and set our camera for taking photos of market setting by thousand minorities from hundreds villages surrounding Bac Ha head town. Return hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, we start to drive to visit Simacai Sunday Market then drive back to place where we turn right for going out Lao Cai province to Ha Giang province, for un-touch Xin Man town, town Hoang Su Phi, where is being the most beautiful area for step-paddy fields beyond Northern loop. Stop at different villages for sightseeing and lunch halfway en route the worst road condition for the best experience route and see the lovely livelihood of the inhabitant here. It is worth-while since you will enjoy the spectacular sceneries and great views along the Chay river. O/N at home-stay in the suburb of Ha Giang town. Hoang Su Phi has 4 cultural and tourism villages as Nam Hong, Giang Thuong, Phin Ho và Lung Giang. Depends on time permit, you can visit one of them like Nam Hong village. O/n in Tien Thang village of Tay ethnic minority in Ha Giang. Please take note: we might be transfers by Russian Jeep 40km from Bac Ha to Xin Man where is considered is the most spectacular remote and un-touch area, because the bad road condition (at least 20km), please prepare separate luggage for 1 day without our van. During July – Sep sometime cannot do this part. The local authorities are going to renovate this one in 2012. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 14: HA GIANG – LUNG CU FLAG POLE – KING PALACE – DONG VAN After breakfast, we start the mountain sinuous route into the remote areas which are such a real life experience exploration of many ethnic minorities’ villages and markets. Sometime we stop to see the markets, driving up Heaven Gate Quan Ba pass (Cong Troi Quan Ba) and local people on the way for taking pictures. After lunch in a small town, we drive to boarder Lung Cu to visit the Flag tower where is determined as the top point of Vietnam country. Before the night fall we go to visit the palace of the king Vuong Chi Sinh and his family tree exhibited inside the place. It is a great relic of strong- hold under many Kings self- control for hundred years. O/N in a mini hotel which is considered is the best one in the town Dong Van. Vương Chí Sình (Vaj Txhiaj Lwm/Vương Chí Thành) was in charge of all the responsibilities, before and after Vương Chính Đức(Vaj Zoov Looj) passed away. Later on, during Hồ Chí Minh era, Vương Chí Sình (Vaj Txhiaj Lwm/Vương Chí Thành) continued to be a Hmong leader and still inherit the nick name/title “Vua Mèo/means Hmong King” from his father. Upon Hồ Chí Minh strategy of recruiting and using all the original leaders of minorities, in order to settle down and have their own leaders to calm and to help the new government on minority’s issues; Vaj Txhiaj Lwm, along with other minority’s leaders, voted a member of the first(1946-1960) and second term(1960-1964) of the National Assembly of Vietnam. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 15: DONG VAN – MEO VAC – LY BON BRIDGE – BAO LAC – HA HIEU – BA BE Both of Dong Van and Meo Vac markets are Sundays markets. If we are on this day, we should wake up early to charm and taking photos of those colorful people on route to the market Dong Van. Having breakfast and continue to Meo Vac market at 20km drive, stop at the marvelous historic Ma Pi Leng pass, taking photos at this charming pass then go to Meo Vac market. Having lunch on the way and keep going for another half day driving straight to Ba Be lake. Arriving Ba Be National Park center in the late afternoon and check in the guest house. O/N in Ba Be lake National Park Center guest house. Please take note: today is long driving day ~ 300km therefore we arriving Ba Be very late. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included) DAY 16: BA BE – BOAT TRIP – PAC NGOI VILLAGE – BO LU VILLAGE After breakfast we drive the short distance to the jetty where we board our private boat for a cruise on Nang river, a very strong river. We visit the Puong cave and the Dau Dang waterfall. Following lunch we continue cruising in to the lake, before docking at the village of Pac Ngoi, we can dive in the crystal water if weather permitted. We will spend the night in Bo Lu ethnic village of the Tay People. Enjoy daily meals of ethnic minorities. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included)

DAY 17: BO LU VILLAGE – NA PHAC – CAO BANG – BAC BO – CAO BANG We will arrive at Cao Bang slightly before lunch time and spend a little exploring this little town, and visiting the local market. After lunch we will drive 60km to visit Pac Po, the hideout used by Ho Chi Minh when he came back to Vietnam after 30 years of self-imposed exile. It was here that he organized his resistance army against the French. Late this afternoon we drive back to Cao Bang for our overnight stay at the local hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included) DAY 18: CAO BANG – BAN GIOC – NGUOM NGAO CAVE – CAO BANG After breakfast, we will transfer to Ban Gioc Water Fall which is the Vietnam biggestwater fall and the natural border between Vietnam and China. You will have some activities such as swimming or renting a bamboo raft float around or visit a cave on top of the water fall where you can have some chance for taking photo. Afterward, drive back and arrive in Cao Bang town late afternoon. Overnight in Cao Bang. Optional activity: Nguom Ngao cave 3km long inside the mountain is one of the most beautiful cave in Viet Nam is very close the waterfall. It is included in the trip as if we want to visit it. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

DAY 19: CAO BANG – LANG SON – HA LONG (HOTEL) Bidding our hosts farewell, we drive down hill to Lang Son town and via Lang Son for visiting Tam Thanh Pagoda cave, a pagoda with literally ‘triple religion’. Have lunch in the main town. After lunch, we meet up with our vehicle and transfer to Halong. Overnight in Halong Hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

DAY 20: HA LONG OVERNIGHT BOAT Boat is not included in the price of this itinerary and it is add separately after you choose the boat level you want. Boat name below is only an example. •12h00 – 12h30: Embark on Calypso Cruiser followed by cruise briefing •13h00 – 15h30: Savor a sumptuous lunch as Calypso Cruiser cruise further along the limestone islands of Fighting Rooster, Dog Rock and Incense Burner… •15h30 – 17h30: Visit Amazing Cave •17h30 – 19h00: Enjoy drinks on Sundeck, snap photos the overview of Halong Bay, swimming or just relax as the sun set. A brief Vietnamese cooking course is held on board while having some free wine for those who interested in Vietnamese traditional culinary. •19h00 Dinner is served. Socialize with other guests or just laze around. Overnight on board in a tranquil area. (Evening activities available: night squid fishing, karaoke, dancing…) (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

DAY 21: HA LONG – HANOI •06h00 – 07h00 Start your day with swimming, exercise or photo hunt •07h00 – 11h00 Have breakfast at sunrise. Do some kayaking, visiting Luon cave or swimming. Option: A visit to Titop Island to enjoy the panorama view of Halong Bay or just relax, swim at the beach is the substitution for those who do not like kayaking Head back to the Harbor. Disembark Calypso Cruiser at around 11h00 •12h00 – 16h30 Transfer back to Hanoi and trip finishes at the hotel around 16h30 (Breakfast, Lunch included on boat and Farewell Dinner is included in Hanoi City) DAY 22: HANOI – DEPARTURE You will be picked up and transfer to the airport for the flight back home

DAY 11: SAPA – VIA A MARKET – BAC HA Our driver picks us up at our hotel in Sapa, then we drive us to a Market for a magnificent view to valleys still covered by jungle, making the drive unforgettable. Visit the market on the accidently day on your arrive date. Then we go to Bac Ha and stay overnight there. Visit a market day trip: Market Day, named as Cho Phien is a specific culture of minorities in northern of Vietnam. Depend on a specific day, they will grouped together and exchange things or agriculture products, animals etc… and almost untouched by the modern life, where not only you have great opportunity to visit Nung, Flower H’mong, Black Dzao, Dzay minorities, but also you can experience the daily life of those local people. The markets day on route from Sapa to Bac Ha is settle as the following list: • Tuesday is Coc Ly market, • Wednesday is Cao Son market • Thursday is Lung Khau Nhin market, • Friday is Ta Thang market • Saturday is Can Cau market, Pha Long market, • Sun day are most popular are Muong Khuong market, Bac Ha market. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

DAY 12: BAC HA HMONG KING’S PALACE AND TREK AROUND Located around 100 km far away from Sapa town, Bac Ha may be the most popular market. There’s no dancing or singing, but this Market in Lao Cai Province always turns colorful and festive on Sundays, when ethnic people gather there to buy and sell goods, dine and drink, or just wander to enjoy the ambience of the Montagnard’s market. Many ethnic traders from all around and other parts of Lao Cai Province bring horses, chickens, buffaloes, vegetables or whatever they can sell to the festive market in the wee hours, and will not return home until 1pm. After late breakfast, we have a leisure morning activity to walk to King H’Mong palace. H’mong King palace or Hoang A Tuong Castle is located in Na Hoi Tho Hamlet. It is a unique construction work, which harmonizes the Oriental and Western architectural styles. The castle was built at the beginning of the 20th century (between 1914 and 1921). Its owner was Hoang Yen Chao of Tay origin. He was the father of Hoang A Tuong, a tribal mandarin under the domination of the French colonialists. The castle covers an area of 4,000m² in which the main building occupies 420m². In front of its arched doors are earthen banks. Occupying a pivotal position overlooking the Bac Ha valley, the castle serves both as the residence of Hoang Yen Chao, then Hoang A Tuong and as a fortress. Its network of walls, bunkers, and battlements were reinforced by a mortar mixed with sugar molasses. In a distance, the white castle jutting out from the valley looks imposing and majestic. Free to roam around for a leisure afternoon till dinner time. Overnight in Bac Ha. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

INCLUDED: •Air-conditioned transportation by private vehicle •English/French speaking guide •Boat trip in Ba Be National Park •Meals as indicated in itinerary •All accommodation as stated in itinerary: Hotel 2, 3, 4 stars, home-stay •Entrance fees EXCLUDED: •Drinks •Boat or Cruise package in Ha Long Bay. Please contact our Sales for boat option and price. •Personal expenses •Tips and gratuities TRAVEL CARE CENTER Hanoi: +84-4 3926 3370 Saigon: +84-8 3825 0615 Monday - Sunday from 8AM to 9PM (GMT+7)

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Viet Nam Northern Loop  
Viet Nam Northern Loop