The 12-day Vietnam Family Holiday tour will not only include some easy cycling tour in Mai Chau, Tam Coc area. The trip also offers families the opportunity to have some trekking experience in Mai Chau, Sapa and visiting Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), Cu Chi tunnels…
Vietnam Family Holiday Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Hanoi.
Arrival at Noi Bai airport via flight ???. You’ll be greeted at the airport by Lotussia local guide and driver then escorted to your hotel in town. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour. Hanoi – Mai Chau.
Breakfast at hotel. We will have a half day city tour of Vietnam’s capital. Hanoi is a unique city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and oriental temples. The city tour includes such sights as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature – The first National University of Vietnam and the Ethlology museum where you can find the biggest object collection of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. Free lunch in town. In the afternoon, we will leave Hanoi for Hoa Binh province and up then to Mai Chau valley. This scenic drive takes around four hours. Along the way we pass fields of tapioca and sugar cane as well as rice paddies. Upon arriving in Mai Chau valley, we take a short walk around Lac & Poom Coong villages to have the first experience of the White Thai community local life and their culture. In the evening, assist to the traditional music and dance show which is performed by the Thai young girls and boys who all come from the village. We will try some rice wine made of traditional plants and local sticky rice. Overnight at stilt-house.
Day 3: Mai Chau Trekking.
Breakfast at the Thai stilt house then we leave the village for a full day hiking around. We will pass many different Thai hamlets, through rice fields, hill sides…Stop sometimes to visit local houses and talk with local people. And one of the highlight on this walk is to experience the everyday life and the culture of the Thai people. We will arrive back to the village in the late afternoon. Overnight on stilt-house
Day 4: Mai Chau – Ninh Binh. Cycling Tam Coc.
After breakfast, we will say good bye to the warm-hearted Thai people. We depart for Ninhbinh which is around 150 km from Mai Chau. We will arrive at Kenh Ga around noon. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant with specialties of the region. After lunch, we will take the car to go to Kenh Ga floating village where we will take the boat trip along the beautiful “Chicken River”. Set on the banks of the Hoang Long River, Kenh Ga is a remarkable place, not only because it is surrounded by the same massive rocks that dominate Hoa Lu, but also because for most of the year the entire community lives on the water itself. The floating village of Kenh Ga receives relatively few visitors compared to nearby Hoa Lu and the peoples’ aquatic way of life has changed little over the centuries. After the boat trip, we take a bicycle to cycle to Tam Coc – “Halong Bay on-land”.
Overnight at local guest-house.
Day 5: Cycling Tam Coc, Bich Dong. Tam Coc – Hanoi. Overnight train to Laocai.
Early in the morning, we will take a bike to cycle to Bich Dong pagoda. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the road. Then we will take a boat trip to cruise rigzaging through many limonestome mountains of Tam Coc. The river trip in Tam coc is wonderful for photo hunters, especially when local people come to harvest the water rice planted along the river, or when they transplant some seedling for the next crops. The tourists often compare the place with Guilin – China, or more closely, to the limestone islets of Halong Bay in the Tonkin Gulf for their similar geological structures and shapes. Thus Tam Coc is also called Halong-Bay-On-Land. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Hanoi. Enjoy one hour foot massage in one of well-known spa in town to experience the leisure life of the Hanoi people. In the evening, our car will transfer us to Hanoi railway station for the night train to Laocai. Overnight on the train.
Day 6: Laocai – Sapa. Sapa Trekking.
The train arrive Laocai station early morning. You will be met by another Lotussia local guide and driver and transferred uphill to Sapa. After breakfast in local restaurant in town, we will take a jeep to go to Ban Ho. This is a village of Tay ethnic minority. The Tay preserve a traditional and fairly developed agriculture with cultivation of all kinds of plants including rice, maize and sweet potato as well as seasonable fruit and vegetables. Upon our arrival in Ban Ho village, we will begin our trek through the scenic valley of “Ban Ho”. Then we continue walking to Thanh Phu village where your lunch will be provided in a local house. After lunchtime, we will head to Sin Chai village. This is a village of of Red Dao people. Dinner and overnight at the village.
Day 7: Sapa Trekking. Sapa – Laocai. Overnight train Hanoi.
After breakfast, we will start our day with a long trek towards Lao Cai. The route from Sin Chai, one of the most remote area in Sapa offers beautiful scenery and landscape. The trek will take us through rice paddy fields, bamboo forest, old trees jungle. Your lunch will be provided at Nam Ket. After lunch, we will trek downhill. Upon arriving in Ta Thang village, a Tay village we will be greeted again by our driver who transfer us then to Laocai station for our journey back to Hanoi. Overnight on the train.
Day 8: Hanoi – Halong bay. Halong Bay Cruise. Halong Bay Kayaking.
We will arrive in Hanoi in the early morning. Met up again by Lotussia local guide and driver and transferred to a local restaurant for early breakfast then depart to Halong. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong around noon and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Take a kayaking trip to explore the Bay. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.
Day 9: Halong – Hanoi.
Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City. En route the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons. After another wonderful fresh seafood lunch (early) on board disembark at the dock at Halong City. Transfer back to Hanoi.
Enjoy a short cyclo excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sales at these places. In the evening, attend to the water puppet show, one of famous Vietnamese traditional art. Overnight in Ha Noi.
Day 10: Fly to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon). Saigon city tour.
After breakfast, transfer to Hanoi airport for the morning flight to Saigon. Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh city airport, you will be met by another Lotussia local guide and driver and transferred to your hotel in the city center. After your free lunch in town, start the tour with Ho Chi Minh City highlights including the Post Office, cathedral, Reunification palace, centre town, then continuation towards Cholon, visit Thien Hau temple and Binh Tay market. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 11: Saigon – Tay Ninh, Cu Chi Tunnels – Saigon.
Breakfast at hotel. Enjoy a morning drive through typical southern Vietnamese countryside to Tay Ninh Province in the west of Vietnam. In Tay Ninh visit the incredible Cao Dai Great Temple, with architecture that could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy and where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious cocktail. After lunch in a local restaurant visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. Overnight in Saigon
Day 12: Departure.
Breakfast at hotel. Free time till transfer to the airport for your onward flight at 21.10 back home. End.