17 Days

Home > Active Adventurer’s Vietnam

Trip Overview

Take 17 days to venture through northern, central and south Vietnam’s most jaw-dropping landscapes, with the nation’s two main cities thrown in for good measure. Discover the ancient capital of Hanoi, trek the mountains and rice terraces of Sapa, and experience the world-class hospitality of Topas Ecolodge. Further south takes on a caving expedition in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, before enjoying the UNESCO world heritage site of Hoi An by bicycle. Finish the adventure with ‘Crocodile Trekking’ in Cat Tien National Park – Northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.


  • Trekking the mountains and rice terraces of Sapa 
  • A night at Topas Ecolodge  
  • Cycling in Hoi An 
  • Caving in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park  
  • Biking around Talai village and Crocodile trekking 

This Tour is Perfect for

  • Those seeking to enjoy Vietnam in an active way    
  • Diving into the local culture of the Vietnamese as well as ethnic minorities  
  • Families with children of all ages, however, some activities listed are recommended for children at least 12 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 Full Day City Classic – overnight train to Lao Cai

Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa – Hang Da – Hau Chu Ngai – My Son – Nam Cang

Day 4: Hiking Nam Than – Nam Nhiu

Day 5: Nam Pa – BBQ lunch – Topas Ecolodge

Day 6: Topas Ecolodge – Hanoi

Day 7: Fly to Dong Hoi

Day 8: Hang Tien trekking

Day 9: Hang Tien – Chay Lap Farmstay

Day 10: Train to Hoi An

Day 11: Hoi An Biking

Day 12: Hoi An Free Day

Day 13: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

Day 14: Talai Biking

Day 15: Crocodile trekking

Day 16: Back to Ho Chi Minh City – Free Day

Day 17: Ho Chi Minh City Departure

Xin Chao and welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport, your Topas guide will welcome you to the capital before heading straight to your hotel in the heart of the city. The day is yours to spend at your leisure to discover Hanoi on your own, perhaps wandering the streets and alleys of the iconic Old Quarter and enjoying the evening promenade around Hoan Kiem Lake. You can of course speak to your guide for some tips for what to do.

Included meals: None
Distance and Activities: 45’ transfer

Experience the morning like a true Hanoian at Hang Be Market, one of the Old Quarter’s liveliest “wet” markets. Wet means fresh, so expect picture-perfect mountains of vegetables, a rainbow of exotic, tropical fruits, and fish that couldn’t be fresher (because it’s still alive and kicking). Then, head into an alley and pull up a tiny plastic stool for a breakfast bowl of bun ca or pho – your guide will explain the options and help you choose.

Once you’ve had enough to eat, head to the Citadel, a true testament of Vietnam’s strength, resilience, and beauty. Marvel at the ancient architecture while strolling past leafy gardens and learning about the Citadel’s central position of power. Then, head over to the superb Vietnamese Women’s Museum, an essential stop on any visit to Hanoi. Explore the heroines of Vietnamese society, before heading back to the Old Quarter for a tasty lunch on one of the best food streets in Southeast Asia.

Finally, spend some time at a local café soaking up the atmosphere of a favorite Vietnamese hobby: drinking coffee with friends. Surrounded by businessmen and giggling teenagers, take your pick of local drinks, although we suggest trying the quintessential Hanoi specialty, egg coffee, a decadent drink brewed with robusta beans and whisked together with chocolate powder and egg whites.

The rest of your day is yours until your evening train departure to the valleys and mountains of Sapa. Settle in to your bed and let the clickety-clack of the railroad tracks lull you to sleep.

Included meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Distance and activities: 4km street walk

Your train arrives to Lao Cai Station in the early morning hours, around 5am. From here, a car will transfer you the remaining 30 minutes up the mountain to the hill-station of Sapa, where you will have breakfast.

Then, the fun really begins! Trek downhill from Hang Da, a Black Hmong Village, taking in the beautiful mountain vistas on the way to Hau Chu Ngai, another Black Hmong Village. Browse their hand-embroidered textiles and visit their homes before moving on to Thanh Phu of the Tay minority group in the valley. The trek continues to My Son, where the Xa Pho, one of the most isolated groups in Sapa, live. The trek ends in Nam Cang, a Red Dzao Village, which is also where the accommodation for the night is, the boutique Topas Riverside Lodge.

The Red Dzao are noted as great healers, so this is a great opportunity to try traditional methods such as herbal baths made with herbs plucked from the mountainside, either before or after dinner.

Note: Due to the high altitude, the morning walk may shift to the lower valley of Lao Chai and Ta Van if the weather is too foggy to see anything.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance and Activities: 13 km trek – 45’ transfer

Enjoy your breakfast before you start the trek which begins with an ascent to a small Blue H’mong village. The Blue H’mong mostly live in the other side of Hoang Lien Mountain Range and only in the deepest part of Sapa Valley, where they are found inhabiting in two small villages. You then descend to the Red Dzao village of Nam Nhiu with beautiful views of high mountains. Enjoy your lunch at a nice break place.

In the afternoon, you will turn onto a small dirt trail and soon be inspired by the marvelous view of the rice valley dotted with bamboo huts, which are used by local farmers as overnight stays in harvesting days. Passing the rice terraces and a pretty river you will walk on a quiet road for a while before arriving back at Nam Cang village. Relax and enjoy the tranquility of the lodge.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance and Activities: 13 km trek – 45’ transfer

Discover the jungle on a gentle hike this morning. See where the villagers plant cardamom along with other herbs and spices that can fetch a good price in the local markets, and make your way to the local stream, dipping your toes in or going for a final swim.

Enjoy the scenery, which is notably wilder than yesterday’s, before heading back to the lodge through the forest for lunch. Then, say good-bye to your host family and depart for Topas Ecolodge by private transfer. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure at this National Geographic lodge.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 8km jungle hike – 30’ transfer

The day is yours at leisure until a mid-afternoon departure for Hanoi via the Topas Mountain Express. Relax, enjoy the pools, sample delicious cuisine at the restaurant, breathe in the fresh mountain air from your bungalow balcony, or indulge in some locally inspired treatments at the wonderful spa on site.

After you check in to your Hanoi hotel in the evening, the rest of the night is your own.

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

Spend your day at leisure until a late afternoon flight to central Vietnam’s Dong Hoi. You will then be taken to a unique resort on a river where you can enjoy some downtime.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and Activities: 45’ transfer – 1h20’ flight

Today you will discover the amazing caves of Phong Nha. After a tour briefing, you will trek into the jungle. A steep descent leads into a valley where your camp-site for the night will be, next to a natural swimming pool.

Spend the evening enjoying the dinner prepared by your porter team, playing cards, chatting, or listening to the jungle.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance and activities: 1h drive – 4km trekking

Wake up to the sounds of the jungle before taking to the trail again with the help and direction of the guide and safety team.

The huge entrance to the cave is at the head of the valley. As you enter the cave, you will see many unusual cave features such as a ceiling dome and multiple layers of rock, giving the walls a striped appearance. Climb up a 10m ladder and a short distance later you will see the end of the cave, and an opening into the jungle. Continue into the jungle valley and trek for around 30 minutes to the second cave. A small opening with swirling striped patterns on the walls drops into a much larger passageway filled with calcite formations.

Turn around and retrace the journey back to the entrance, across the jungle through the first cave down the rocky valley and enjoy a picnic lunch. Refreshed, it’s then time for a last big climb before your car picks up up and takes you back to your resort for a well-earned rest.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and activities: 3km caving – 10m ladder climb – 4km trekking – 1h drive

Enjoy your last morning in Quang Binh before catching the train to Da Nang. Upon arrival, our driver will pick you up and transfer to Hoi An. The rest of your day is at your leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and Activities: 20’ transfer

Hop onto a bicycle and explore the countryside surrounding Hoi An, crisscrossing rice paddies before reaching the traditional village of Cam Kim. Here locals make handicrafts from wood and sleeping mats from rattan.

Continue on to Cam Thanh village, another picturesque village that is home to lots of rice farming. Feeling brave? Hop onto a water buffalo and walk through the paddies. Then stop for lunch at the beach to the sounds of the sea.

After lunch you can enjoy a quick fishing trip with a local fisherman before heading to an organic vegetable garden in Tra Que village and returning to your hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 10 km cycling

Free day at your leisure in beautiful Hoi An.

Included meals: Breakfast

A mid-morning flight transports you to Ho Chi Minh City. Time to explore Vietnam’s southern metropolis. Start by exploring the heart of Ho Chi Minh City by visiting the striking Reunification Palace. This is the former presidential palace and is one of Vietnam’s most storied pieces of architecture. Then head to the Post Office, a colonial-era masterpiece, before seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral. Visiting the War Remnants Museum is an important activity when visiting Ho Chi Minh City, as it details the atrocities of war and then the human spirit needed to rebuild in the aftermath.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and activities: 3h sightseeing city tour

After breakfast, we will head up to Cat Tien National Park and spend half a day mountain biking. We have chance to visit local villages, plantations, rice fields and cycle dirt roads cutting through the jungle. This biking challenge will take you 3-4 hours before getting back to the lodge.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Distance and activities: 3,5 hour drive and 20km biking

Starting from the traditional longhouse, you will trek with your guide deep into Cat Tien national park to see the diverse flora and fauna of this jungle, then end up at the crocodile lake where you will take a rest for lunch.

Next get in a canoe for a paddle around the lake where you can see the various bird species, crocodiles and a lot of other wildlife.

End your day by taking a jeep ride to the long house.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Distance and activities: trek 20km

Enjoy free time at the park until our driver takes you back the metropolis. Upon checking in, you can explore the city on your own.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and activities: 3,5h drive

Savor your last moments in Ho Chi Minh City until your transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for onward booked travel.

Included meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions

  • Private A/C airport transfer as indicated in the program (4) 
  • Join-in Mountain Express Limousine between Topas Ecolodge and Hanoi  
  • 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, Phong Nha National Park and Cat Tien National Park. 
  • Refillable water in vans (Please check with your guide or driver) 
  • 1 x English speaking local tour guide on days with activities  
  • 1-way domestic flight ticket between Hanoi – Quang Binh; Danang – Ho Chi Minh 
  • Government VAT 

Important Notes

  • Prices are quoted in Vietnamese Dong and valid until Oct 2022
  • Exchange rate applied at VND 23,200. to USD 1 
  • Prices calculated with VAT  
  • Surcharge may be applicable during peak season and public holidays 

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) 

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.

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