Northern Vietnam Family Explorer

TRIP TYPE
Relaxed
PRICE
From 24,400,000 VNĐ
DURATION
9 DAYS

Trip Overview

Fun for the whole family awaits on this 9-day exploration through the best of northern Vietnam. Find Hanoi’s hidden highlights by bike and vintage Vespa and trek through Sapa’s famous scenes of rice terraces and mountains visiting remote ethnic minorities. Spend a night at the renowned Topas Ecolodge before ending your travels relaxing aboard a three-day cruise through Lan Ha Bay’s exotic landscape.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trekking through terraced rice fields, mountains and valleys deep in northern Vietnam
  • Meeting ethnic minorities in remote villages rarely seen by tourists
  • Sailing Lan Ha Bay on a charming overnight cruise
  • Zipping through the crooked streets of Hanoi on the back of a vintage Vespa
  • Experiencing the warm hospitality of Vietnamese families

THIS TOUR IS PERFECT FOR

  • First- or second-time visitors to Vietnam
  • Seeing the best and most quintessential landscapes of the country
  • An active twist without being too strenuous
  • Experiencing the world-class Topas Ecolodge overnight
  • Families with children of all ages, however, some activities listed are recommended for active children at least 9 years old. Please speak with your travel designer about potential modifications to this proposed itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Topas Travel creates tailor-made tours for our guests according to their specific requests. This itinerary has been designed to show you just one of many options.

Day 1:    Hanoi arrival
Day 2:  Hanoi – Banana Island
Day 3:    Hanoi – Nam Cang Village
Day 4:    Nam Cang Village  – Nam Nhiu Village –  Topas Ecolodge
Day 5: Topas Ecolodge – Hanoi
Day 6: Hanoi
Day 7:  Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay
Day 8: Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island
Day 9: Lan Ha Bay – Hanoi

Xin Chao and welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International airport, a Topas representative will welcome you to the land of the ascending dragon before heading straight to your hotel in the heart of the city. The day is at leisure to discover Hanoi on your own, wandering the crooked alleys of the iconic Old Quarter and the promenade around Hoan Kiem Lake.

Included meals: N/A
Transfer and Activities:45’ drive

Most visitors to Hanoi stay within the city, navigating the hustle and bustle of thousands of motorbikes weaving through the streets. However, what most don’t know or get to experience is Hanoi’s close proximity to an idyllic countryside. Banana island, found beneath the legendary Long Bien Bridge, is a pocket of vibrant nature hidden right in the middle of the city center. Explore the network of paths on a bicycle before heading back to the city to enjoy an afternoon at leisure until your family’s evening dinner date.

When you want to get to know a culture, there’s nothing quite like breaking bread (or spooning rice) with a local family. In this experience you’ll be picked up from your hotel at around 6pm and invited to feast with a traditional Hanoian family. Expect spring rolls, hearty soups, light stir fries and plenty of hot white rice. Get to know the family without worrying about the language barrier, as English-speaking students from the local university will accompany you throughout, teaching you about local etiquette and making sure you avoid making any social faux pas.

Included meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Transfer and Activities: 30’ drive – 15 to 25km cycling

After an early morning breakfast, sit back and relax aboard the Topas Mountain Express, a plush minivan outfitted with snacks, water, and Wi-Fi that covers the five-hour journey from Hanoi to Topas Riverside Lodge. Arrive just in time to enjoy a local lunch prepared by the resident family.
In the afternoon, visit the attached village of the Dzao, famous for their exquisite embroidery and botanical knowledge. Peer in on silver jewelers and families creating paper from rice for spiritual reasons and if you’re brave enough, jump into the refreshing waters of the river running next to Topas Riverside Lodge.
Dinner is served in the communal style associated with Vietnamese families, all at once and among friends. If you’re a bit sore from the activities of the day, sample a traditional herbal bath made by a local Dzao specialist, famous for its medicinal and therapeutic qualities.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Distance and Activities: 5.5h drive – 3km village walk

Wake up to the sounds of nature and enjoy a final breakfast cooked by the Topas Riverside Lodge staff before setting off a day trek through the stunning landscapes of Hoang Lien National Park. Stroll on the quiet road winding through Nam Cang Village and watch as the town becomes a spacious rice valley. A small trail leads you through rice terraces, corn fields, and babbling streams, and maybe even a few locals tending to their crops during the planting and harvest seasons. Slowly, the hike grows steeper until your arrival at Nam Nhiu Village, inhabited by another Red Dzao ethnic minority tribe, with their beautiful traditionally embroidered outfits and practice of shaving their hair and eyebrows as a sign of respect. Stop for a picnic lunch here and catch your breath. Continuing on to Sin Chai, you’ll see mountains in the distance and the valley below before stopping at Thanh Phu for your 45-minute transfer by car to the world-renowned Topas Ecolodge, a certified lodge by National Geographic. Check-in to your bungalow with a warm cup of lemongrass and ginger tea, taking in the out-of-this-world views.

Included meals: Breakfast and Lunch Distance and Activities: 13km rice terrace and village hike

The day is yours at leisure until a mid-afternoon departure for Hanoi via the Topas Mountain Express. Sunbathe and splash in the pool, sample delicious cuisine at the restaurant, breathe in the fresh mountain air from your bungalow’s patio, or indulge in some locally-inspired treatments at the wonderful spa on site.
Check-in to your Hanoi hotel in the early evening, free to discover Hanoi on your own.

Included meals: Breakfast
Transfer Distance and Activities: 5.5h drive

Get to know the off-beat and quirky side of Hanoi today, experiencing the city as a local by riding on the back of a vintage Vespa! Join the local café culture next to Hanoi’s oldest church, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, built in a French-colonial style. Whiz through the Old Quarter’s narrow streets to ‘Art Street’ to earn about the local art scene and to see local murals showcasing a mix of traditional Vietnamese culture and modern ‘social’ influences.
Circumvent gorgeous West Lake on the way to Ngoc Ha Market, strolling through the busy marketplace to catch a glimpse of everyday life for millions of Hanoians. You’ll also see the 1972 crash site of an American B52 in Huu Tiep Lake, near the market, a poignant reminder of Vietnam’s recent dark history.
End the ride along the ancient dyke wall, beautifully decorated with mosaic artwork to our final destination—the home of a Vietnamese Tea Master who will teach you about the ancient tradition of making tea.

Included meals: Breakfast
Transfer Distance and Activities: 3h motorbike ride

Depart Hanoi after a leisurely breakfast for a 2-hour drive east to the port city of Hai Phong. From Hai Phong, board your cruise for an epic voyage through Lan Ha Bay, the pristine little sister of the popular (and crowded) tourist destination, Halong Bay. 

Check in to your cabin and get accustomed with your cruise ship. Tuck into an onboard lunch while sailing between the limestone karst formations the region is known for. Spend the afternoon deep within Cat Ba National Park, hiking through Trung Trang Valley to Trung Trang cave, a 2000-year-old cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites.

Return to the ship for some downtime, enjoying a traditional Vietnamese cooking class and a delicious dinner onboard before retiring for the night in your comfy cabin.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Distance and Activities: 2h drive – Sightseeing walk 

As the sun rises over the bay, join the ancient practice of Tai Chi on the sundeck, a martial art known for its health benefits and meditational use. After working up an appetite, sit down for a delectable breakfast as the boat docks at Viet Hai pier, the only way to reach Viet Hai Village as there are no roads connecting it to the rest of Cat Ba Island.

Cycle along well-made paths for 3.5 km (there’s an electric buggy available if you would rather survey the jungle landscape at a comfortable pace) to reach the village. Spend time getting to know the history and traditions of the Vietnamese people who live there, enjoying a lunch before setting off for Van Boi, a secluded beach area where you have time to swim, sunbathe, and kayak.

After dinner in the ship’s restaurant, retire to your cabin or stay for a showing of Top Gear: Vietnam Edition, to see a familiar site at the episode’s finale.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Distance and Activities: Full-day swimming and kayaking 

Savor your last morning in Vietnam with a final bowl of pho and an excursion via bamboo boat to the Dark and Bright Cave, one of Halong Bay’s most atmospheric water caves. Look out for monkeys on the tree-lined shores, sometimes visible on the rock faces or swinging from the branches before returning to the cruise ship for last-minute photos. Disembark for a transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for your onward flight. 

Included meals: Brunch

Transfer and activities: 2h airport transfer

Tour Price

From: 24,400,000 VNĐ

(equivalent of 1,060 USD)

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation indicated as twin-shared room
  • All meals as indicated in the program
  • All entrance tickets to local villages, Hoang Lien National Park, and Cat Ba Island
  • Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
  • Refillable water in vans (Please check with your guide or driver)
  • 1 x English speaking local tour guide on days with activities (except for Lan Ha Bay)
  • Government VAT

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

  • Drinks and alcohol
  • Vietnam visa (On request with additional charge)
  • Travel insurance (Compulsory with Topas Travel programs)
  • Upgrades to higher standard rooms or single supplements
  • Personal travel items (Please visit our Vietnam weather page for more information)

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Prices are quoted in Vietnamese Dong and valid until 31st October 2020
  • Exchange rate applied at VND 23,200. to USD 1
  • Prices calculated with Value Added Tax
  • Surcharge may be applicable during peak season and public holidays

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

This program utilizes comfortable accommodation in the form of carefully curated hotels, lodges, and homestays. Hotels and lodges have been selected with the active traveler in mind, offering standard services and located as close to nature and local engagement as possible. Homestays are simple and equipped with western toilets and amenities such as fans and mattresses. If you have a specific property in mind you wish to stay at, please let your travel designer know so they can work it into your program.

All bookings are made with and through Topas Travel. By booking a trip with Topas Travel, you agree
to the terms and conditions set forth here.

Plan Your Adventure…

Get in touch with our travel designers now to begin planning your trip of a lifetime
phuongPhung2
“I love the simple things when I travel, like sitting outside a local coffee shop soaking up an amazing sunset over the Thu Bon River in Hoi An, or a steaming bowl of Hu Tieu with all the toppings on a Saigon sidewalk. I can’t wait to share with you our beautiful landscapes, friendly people, stunning cuisine and more in Vietnam.”
 – Phuong Phung, Trip Designer

Contact our Local Trip Planners

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