Detailed Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Hanoi - Mai Chau(L, D)
Picked up at the hotel in Hanoi, take a drive to Mai Chau. Soon after you get out of Hanoi, Lime stone mountains rise up drifting away from outside of your car windows leaving the hustle and bustle capital behind. After some stopovers for sightseeing, and taking photos, you arrive in Mai Chau at noon. Have lunch in Mai Chau-the little beautiful valley belonging to Thai ethnic people. You may want to go for a walk around the villages to see how people live here and buy some handicrafts. Dinner and overnight in a house-on-stilt in Mai Chau.
Day 2: Mai Chau - Moc Chau - Son La - Tuan Giao - Dien Bien Phu(B, L, D)
It is a long day driving today coz the raw roads running around on top the mountains do not let the car reach its highest speed possible. In return, you have more time to enjoy the sublime beauty of the mountains and valleys, forests alongside the road. It would be very breathtaking. Mountain ranges in North Vietnam share the same direction : Northwest-Southeast so it is hard to travel from the East to the West as you are doing today. To travel from Mai Chau to Dien Bien Phu we encounter so many big and small passes including Pha Din pass-a French war historical site. This soaring pass is 1,300 meter high and offers a really spectacular view. There will be a stopover at the French former Son La Prison where they detained Vietnamese patriots during the time they dominated Vietnam. You arrive in Dien Bien late in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Dien Bien.
Day 3: Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau - Tam Duong - Sapa(B, L, D)
This morning is the time to tour around the former battlefield of Dien Bien Phu with visit to sites such as Dien Bien Museum, A1 Hill, the shelter of the French General De Castries and the memorials of the Vietnamese and French soldiers were killed during the fierce Dien Bien Phu battle in 1954. After Dien Bien Phu, you take a northward drive to Tam Duong-the former metropolis of Lai Chau Province. By 2010, this nice valley of Lai Chau will disappear giving way to largest hydropower station in Southeast Asia. Leaving Tam Duong, you head toward Sapa with a stopover at Quy Ho Pass for another great mountain view. Dinner and overnight in Sapa.
Day 4: Sapa(B, L, D)
Climb up the Ham Rong Mount to have a panorama view over the Town. The Ham Rong Mount is worth a visit coz there is much to see on it including Orchid Garden, Pine tree Garden, stone garden, etc. A perfect Fansipan view on top Ham Rong Mount is also available if there's no fog. Go shopping at Sapa Market, visiting the Town central church before heading to Taphin where there live H’mong and Red Dzao people, who are skilled in indigo dying and making clothes and embroidery by traditional, old silk thread. Move on with Lao Chai then trek to Tavan with stops at the villages of H’mong, Tay and Dzay en route. Back to Sapa for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Sapa - Hill Tribe Market - Bac Ha(B, L, D)
Today is dedicated to one of the 3 remarkable hill tribe markets of the region(Can Cau, Coc Ly, Bac Ha) where the Flower H'mong ethnic minority people is the major! The Flower H'mong girls dressing like colorful like butterflies filling up all the markets making a really really impressive scenery. Beside the Flower H'mong people, the markets are also attended by a dozen of other tribes namely Chinese, Nhang, Dzao, Nung, Phu La, Thai and King (or Viet). The markets which take place once a week are really a cross culture communication of ethnic minority groups. They are really worth visiting. After lunch time at the markets, you can follow the hill tribes to their villages or take a drive to the further villages. Back to Bac Ha in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Bac Ha.
Day 6: Bac Ha - Hanoi(B, L)
Have breakfast at the hotel then start to drive back to Hanoi. Stop for lunch on the way. Arrive in Hanoi late in the afternoon. End of the tour.
Note: Can Cau market takes place every Saturday morning while Bac Ha market is available in the Sunday morning only. Please make arrangements so that day 5 falls on either Saturday or Sunday otherwise it should be Tuesday-the day of Coc Ly Market.
• English-speaking tour guide
• All transportation by Land Cruiser or Russian Jeep with A/C
• Twin-shared hotel room
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary
• Admission fees
• Airfare (international and domestic) and airport tax
• Visa to Vietnam
• Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
• Other meals, drink
• Personal expenses (phone call, laundry, tipping etc.)
• Any services not mentioned