Topas Ecolodge and Lan Ha Bay Retreat

TRIP TYPE
Relaxed
PRICE
From 19,500,000 VNĐ
DURATION
7 DAYS

Trip Overview

Combine the mountains of Sapa and the sea of Lan Ha Bay on this iconic itinerary filled with the raw and powerful natural beauty of northern Vietnam. Leave the chaos of Hanoi behind and breathe in the fresh air of Hoang Lien National Park’s mountains and valleys, staying at a boutique homestay and the luxurious Topas Ecolodge. End your journey sailing through the impressive limestone mountains and waters of Lan Ha Bay.

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
  • Experiencing the warm hospitality of Vietnamese families
  • Spending a night at the famous Topas Ecolodge, a certified unique lodge by National Geographic

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
  • 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 – Nam Cang Village – Topas Riverside Lodge
Day 3:    Nam Cang Village – Nham Nhiu Village – Topas Ecolodge
Day 4:    Topas Ecolodge – Hanoi
Day 5:    Hanoi – Hai Phong – Lan Ha Bay
Day 6:    Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island
Day 7:    Lan Ha Bay – Hai Phong – Hanoi departure

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 Distance and Activities: 45’ drive

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
Distance and Activities: 5h drive

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
Distance and Activities: 2h drive

Tour Price

From: 19,500,000 VNĐ

(equivalent of 848 USD)

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • 2-way private A/C airport transfer
  • Join-in Mountain Express Limousine between Hanoi, Topas Riverside Lodge, and Topas Ecolodge
  • Join-in Limousine Hanoi and Hai Phong (Lan Ha Bay)
  • 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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