Day 1: Welcome to Hanoi & Afternoon City Tour (L)
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International airport, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in the downtown. The remainder of the morning will be your own.
Afternoon city tour including The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070; Tran Quoc pagoda, Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake - the Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dating back to the 13th century; a cyclo ride for 1 hour touring through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi! The day finishes with a traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets in the city centre. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi – Mai Chau (B, L, D)
After breakfast, your guide will meet and take you on 2,5 hours journey to Hoa Binh. Your first visit will be Giang Mo, the village of the Muong minority and stroll through the rice fields. You will also visit Muong Cultural Space nearby to have an overview of Muong people and its culture. After lunch, your route takes you to Mai Chau Valley. Once you arrive, you will 'check-in' your stilt-house where you spend the night. After a short break, stroll the interesting surroundings and ethnic minority tribes with a relaxing walk to Thái villages of Pom Coong and Lac. In the evening, be mesmerized by the traditional dances performed by the local villagers (at additional cost). A brief explanation of each dance is given before the start which states what the dance symbolizes in their culture. Listen quietly and watch the magic. The dances are performed around 8:30pm and are a perfect evening entertainment to experience local culture. Overnight in a stilt - house in Mai Chau
Day 3: Mai Chau – Hanoi (B, L)
After a simple breakfast, you'll start a two-hour hiking tour of the various White Thai villages is very flexible to your energy and preference. A most relaxing way to learn the life of the White Thai tribe, interact with them in the warm and authentic setting of their traditional house or just simply engage in a social chat on the rice fields. You then will understand more about their culture, traditions and the way they lead a simple life. After lunch, you will drive back Hanoi for overnight stay, arriving in the late afternoon. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 4: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi (B, L)
At 8.00 am, you will be picked up at your hotel for ~3.5 hours bus ride through the country side of the Red River Delta to Halong City. Water buffaloes, paddy fields (rice transplanting time: February and June) and daily Vietnamese farmer life are on both sides of the way. Once you arrive in Halong City around noon, you board a traditional wooden junk and start cruising to the centre of the bay. Fresh seafood lunch (vegetable menu available) is served while the boat is gliding out. Get ready for exotic photos and absorbing the most magnificent natural splendors, limestone bedrocks and sheer cliffs of tiny islands highlighted with fanciful names: Fighting Cocks (symbol of Halong Bay), Duck (quick swim is an optional choice), Finger, Incense Burner, and Stone Dogs. Stop for a rowing boat trip around Ba Hang Floating village then keep cruising to the most beautiful cave named Thien Cung (Heaven Palace Grotto) and explore huge chambers adorned with stalactites and stalagmites of all kinds. Continue to enjoy this relaxing cruise on the way back to Ha Long harbor where your vehicle will transfer you back to Hanoi, arriving in the evening. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi - Departure (B)
Your time will be free at leisure until being picked up and transferred to Noi Bai airport for your departure flight. Trip ends.