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halong tour, hanoi sapa ninh binh binh lieu halong tour

Unique North Vietnam Travel Itinerary

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Trip length: 10 days | Trip code: HLVNT05

Trip Style: Comfort | Physical Rating: 3/5Trip Price: Upon request

Places visited: Hanoi, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Binh Lieu, Halong Bay


Day 01: Hanoi arrival – Oriental tours 

Day 02: Hanoi sightseeing - Bat Trang ceramic village 

Day 03: Hanoi – Transfer to Sapa - Village walk

Day 04: Fansipan Peak – by cable car  

Day 05: Sapa sightseeing – Silver waterfall - Hanoi

Day 06: Hanoi – Ninh Binh boat row– bird watching in the Red river delta 

Day 07: Red River delta – Binh Lieu 

Day 08: Binh Lieu – Halong Bay cruise 

Day 09: Halong Bay 

Day 10: Halong Bay – Hanoi


map showing the itinerary of North Vietnam Travel Itinerary


Day 01: Hanoi arrival – Oriental walking

Hanoi train street
long bien bridge in hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi, the vibrant capital of Vietnam! Our friendly guide awaits your arrival at the airport to escort you to your downtown hotel. Upon reaching the hotel, complete the check-in process and take a well-deserved break to conquer any lingering jetlag.

Enjoy a comfortable overnight stay in the heart of Hanoi, immersing yourself in the city's unique charm and energy.

Inclusions: Private airport transfer & driver, Hanoi oriental walk, Private English speaking tour guide, hotel in Hanoi

Day 02: Hanoi sightseeing - Try your hands at Bat Trang pottery making

hanoi old quarter
bat trang ceremic village

After breakfast at the hotel, at 9:00, kick off with a captivating visit to the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex, encompassing the mausoleum, presidential palace, and his historic house on stilts. Explore the nearby One Pillar Pagoda, a charming structure that has stood witness to Hanoi's millennia of changes.


Continue your journey with a visit to the Temple of Literature, the nation's first university established in 1076. Admire the monumental stone steles on turtle backs, chronicling the names of laureates from royal examinations.


Savor a delightful lunch at a local restaurant with the iconic Vietnamese dish "Bún Chả" at one of the region's most renowned establishments.


In the afternoon, venture to Bat Trang ceramic village, a historical center for ceramic production since the 15th century. Experience the time-honored techniques still in use today and try to craft your unique pieces at local workshops.


Return to the city center and take in the sights around Hoan Kiem Lake, exploring the monuments and statues of Kings Le Thai To and Ly Thai To at the Ngoc Son Temple, where a legendary turtle is honored.


Take a leisurely walking tour through the enchanting Hanoi Old Quarter, a labyrinth of streets offering countless photo opportunities. Retreat to the hotel in Hanoi for a comfortable overnight stay.

Inclusions: Private vehicle, Hanoi highlights sightseeing, Private English-speaking tour guide, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast, Lunch, hotel in Hanoi

Day 03: Hanoi – Transfer to Sapa - Muong Hoa valley & villages trekking

sapa rice terrace

​At 7:00 AM, after breakfast at the hotel, embark on a 5.5-hour scenic journey to Sa Pa town, nestled in the captivating landscapes of the Hoang Lien Mountain Range. Sapa town is well known for its breathtaking natural vistas, terraced landscapes, and the rich culture of its hill tribes.


Upon arrival, check in at the hotel in Sapa and savor lunch with Sapa's specialties (at your own cost).


After lunch, take part in a light trek downhill to explore the Black H'mong villages of Cat Cat and Sin Chai. Alternatively, you can visit the mesmerizing silver waterfall and then take a short drive to explore Suoi Ho and Ma Tra villages of the H'mong people.


Back to your hotel, rest, and spend the remainder of the day is yours at your own pace.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver in Lao Cai, Joined Limousine Van for the ride from Hanoi to Sapa, Sapa trekking/walking, Private English-speaking guide, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast, hotel in Sapa

Day 04: Fansipan Mountain peak

fansipan, sapa
fansipan in sapa

Get to the center of Sapa town and take an exhilarating cable car ride to the summit of Fansipan Mountain, the loftiest peak in Indochina at an elevation of 4143m above sea level.


At the mountain's peak, if weather conditions are favorable and the sky is clear, take the opportunity to marvel at the panoramic views of Sapa and its surroundings. Take a moment to explore the pagoda situated at the peak.


Fansipan, standing as the pinnacle of three countries in former Indochina (Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia), is situated in the northern part of Vietnam within the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, reaching an impressive height of 3143m above sea level. Traditionally, it would take 2-3 days to complete the journey to the Mount, but with the modern convenience of a cable car, you can reach the base point in just 20 minutes. From there, a climb of a few hundred steps (approximately 30 minutes) will lead you to the summit, offering the best panoramic views in Vietnam.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver, Fansipan mountain peak visit, Private English-speaking guide, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast, Hotel in Sapa

Day 05: Sapa walk – Return Hanoi

trekking sapa
ethnic kid

Enjoy a delightful breakfast at your hotel, and check out of your room.


At 9:00 AM, get on an exciting trekking adventure to explore the picturesque Muong Hoa Valley and the captivating hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van. This trek promises breathtaking scenery with mountains, forests, and terraced fields adorning the hill slopes. Encounter the diverse and colorful hill tribe communities as they go about their daily activities, providing an opportunity for engaging in local interactions and capturing beautiful photos for your album.


You have the option to choose between an easy trek along the river or a more challenging path through bamboo forests and hidden villages, offering a trekking distance of approximately 3 to 7km and a duration of about 2 to 4 hours. The physical level is rated at approximately 2.5 out of 5.

(Note: The trekking route is flexible and can be adjusted to meet your expectations. Feel free to inform us or discuss with your local guide for more personalized suggestions.)

Return to town for lunch (at your own cost).


At 3:00 PM, traverse the highway back to Hanoi by a shared limousine van and enjoy a scenic drive downhill. The driving distance is approximately 5.5 hours, with a break included three-quarters of the way.

Inclusions: Private van in Sapa - Joined limousine van to return Hanoi, Sapa sightseeing, Private English-speaking guide, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast, Hotel in Hanoi

Day 06: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Stork Island village in the middle of Red River delta

Tam Coc, Ninh Binh
Mua Cave, Ninh Binh

Begin your day with a delicious breakfast, and at 8:30 AM, set out from Hanoi on a scenic 1 ½-hour drive through the captivating countryside of the Red River Delta to Ninh Binh province. This region is renowned for its breathtaking karst landscapes and charming rustic countryside.

Upon arrival, explore the historic Hoa Lu ancient capital, home to temples dedicated to national heroes and Kings of the Dinh and Early Le Dynasties dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries.


Savor a delightful lunch at a local restaurant, and get to the boat dock for an enchanting rowboat excursion through the picturesque landscapes of Tam Coc, surrounded by towering mountains. The gentle rowing journey is truly captivating and stands as the highlight of the day's activities.


Return to the shore and head back to the Red River Delta, where you'll check into a homestay with the welcoming Viet people, a major group in Vietnamese culture.


In the evening, enjoy a dinner featuring local specialties, and a tea party and conversation with your gracious hosts to gain insights into their life and culture.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver, boat, Tour activities: boating, walking, Private English-speaking tour guide, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast & dinner, Hotel in Ninh Binh

Day 07: Stork Island village – Binh Lieu

Binh Lieu trekking
Binh Lieu mountain

Kickstart your morning with a brief cycling expedition to explore the noodle-making village, followed by a visit to a local pagoda to partake in a morning chanting ceremony. Take a serene rowboat journey to a bird sanctuary situated on an island in the midst of a picturesque lake. Say goodbye to your hospitable hosts and proceed to Binh Lieu, a journey taking approximately 2 ½ hours. This mountainous region in Quang Ninh province boasts awe-inspiring natural landscapes, including mountains, pristine tropical jungles, waterfalls, and a rich tapestry of ethnic cultures such as the high hat Dzao, Tay, San Chi, and more.


In the afternoon, engage in a captivating walking tour to explore the village of the high hat Dzao people. Interact with the locals to gain insights into their life, customs, and culture, trekking through the jungle of anise and terraced fields. Later in the day, marvel at one of the spectacular waterfalls in Binh Lieu.


Conclude your day with a delightful dinner featuring traditional foods. Enjoy an overnight stay in glamping tents amidst a flower garden or in a traditional rammed earth house of the Dzao people.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver, boat, Tour activities: walking, light trek, Private English-speaking tour guide, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast, lunch, dinner, Homestay in Binh Lieu

Day 08: Binh Lieu – Halong Bay cruise (joined cruise)

Binh Lieu
halong bay floating village

Begin your morning by leisurely strolling through the captivating flower garden, where hundreds of blossoming flowers await your exploration. After a delightful breakfast, take a scenic wander through local villages and the awe-inspiring natural surroundings.


In the mid-afternoon, launch a journey of over an hour to reach Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site and acclaimed as one of the most enchanting places on the planet.


At 11:30 AM, arrive at the Orchid Cruises check-in area located at Tuan Chau International Port.


By 12:15 PM: Transfer to the Orchid Classic via a feeder boat. Upon boarding, you are welcomed with a special homemade drink. Head to the restaurant for a cruise briefing and safety instructions.


At 1:00 PM, savor lunch while cruising and exploring Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay, recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.


By 3:00 PM, venture to the Dark and Bright Caves, an ideal location for an up-close encounter with Ha Long Bay via a bamboo boat or kayak.


By 5:00 PM, Orchid Classic navigates to the less populated area at Tra Bau - Lan Ha Bay, inviting you to enjoy a refreshing swim in the emerald-green water.


At 6:00 PM, partake in a cooking demonstration onboard, indulge in the Happy Hour (buy 1 get 1) at the bar, and admire the sunset view of the bay.


At 7:15 PM, enjoy a deluxe dinner crafted with the freshest ingredients in a refined space featuring elegant French neoclassical style and traditional oriental touches.


By 9:00 PM, relax on the sundeck with a drink during Happy Hour. Take in the serene nighttime landscape of the bay, try your hand at squid fishing, or opt to watch a movie in the restaurant.


At 11:00 PM, settle in for an overnight stay on board.

Please note that the cruise itinerary may vary based on tide conditions, the assigned boat, and the designated route.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver, Joined cruise (guide on board only), Tour activities: Cruising, Cave visiting, Kayaking, Swimming, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board, Orchid Classic Cruise 

Day 09: Halong Bay – Cruise off the beaten track

halong bay
halong bay karst

Start the day at 6:30 AM with an invigorating Tai Chi session on the sundeck as the morning unfolds.


At 7:00 AM, savor a delightful breakfast in the restaurant while soaking in the morning vistas of the bay's landscape, marking the continuation of the journey.


By 8:45 AM, set off on the Orchid Day boat for a visit to the Viet Hai fishing village. Engage in a scenic cycling tour (with an optional electric car service) through the village, immersing yourself in the stunning Cat Ba rainforest, exploring dark tunnels, admiring rice fields, visiting an ancient house, and getting closer to local life.


Return to the boat at 11:00 AM and enjoy a scrumptious lunch.


At 2:00 PM, explore Bao Trai Dao (Three Peach Islets), a serene body of water offering beautiful scenery. Take part in scenic kayaking or unwind on a sandy beach.


By 5:00 PM, return to the Orchid Classic and treat yourself to some Tapas prepared by the chef. Witness the splendid sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin during Happy Hour on the top deck.


At 7:15 PM, appreciate a deluxe dinner in an intimate and romantic setting with the delicious local cuisine meticulously prepared and served by delightful caterers.


At 9:30 PM, take in the beauty of the night on the bay. Our bar on the sundeck and in the restaurant welcomes you. Try squid fishing, watch a movie in the restaurant, or join games like chess and cards.


At 11:00 PM, settle in for an overnight stay on board.

Inclusions: Joined cruise, Kayaking, Cruising, Guide provided by cruise on board, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (all meals on board), Orchid Classic Cruise

Day 10: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi

beautiful halong bay
hanoi city

At 6:30 AM, immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the bay with a revitalizing Tai Chi session on the sundeck. For those seeking the allure of dawn, consider rising between 5:30 to 6:00 AM, depending on the season.


By 7:00 AM, have breakfast in the restaurant as the cruise gracefully continues.


At 7:45 AM, partake in kayaking activities at Ao Ech area, unveiling the hidden charm of Ha Long - Lan Ha Bay.


By 8:30 AM, Orchid Cruises extends a warm welcome back on board, signaling the time for check-out.


Between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM, taste an outstanding brunch on board before disembarking at Tuan Chau Marina.


At 11:30 AM, bid farewell to the cruise as our crew wishes you well. Your driver awaits to transport you back to Hanoi.

The evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

Overnight in a hotel in Hanoi.

Inclusions: Joined van of the cruise, Guide provided by cruise on board, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Light Breakfast, Brunch, Hotel in Hanoi

Trip advisor review page
Amy O review.jpg

Amy O

Jun 30, 2024

halong bay tour rating

Fantastic Travel Company

Dream trip that came true!!! Thomas helped me design a 24 day adventure thru Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand...

Vickys V review.jpg


Jun 21, 2024

halong bay tour rating

Great company to book with

We booked with travel authentic Asia for a couple ports during our celebrity cruise to Thailand and Vietnam...



May 25, 2024

halong bay tour rating

A well spent Vietnam holiday with Travel Authentic Asia

I decided to book a family tour in Vietnam with Travel Authentic Asia and were absolutely thrilled as it turned out to be an excellent decision...

James review.jpg


May 30, 2024

halong bay tour rating

A gem of a company.

Everything about the trip was 5 star, from the service levels, value for money, communication, response times and personal attention to detail.

Halong Bay Travel Guides

Ha Long Bay Cruises Categories

Superior Cruises

Deluxe Cruises

Our Halong Bay Tours

tam coc tour

Duration: 6 days/5 nights

Places visited: Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay

Halong bay tour

Duration: 5 days/4 nights

Places visited: Halong Bay, Sapa


Duration: 8 days7 nights

Places visited: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Ninh Binh


Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Places visited: Hanoi, Pu Luong, Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay tours, tailor made tours
Ms Ngoan Le


Our popular tour packages

Sapa rice terraces

Duration: 15 days/14 nights

Places visited: Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Ha Long Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hoi An, Mekong Delta, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat

Uncover the unique charm of Southeast Asia with a 15-day tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, exploring the best sights from vibrant Hanoi to the magnificent Angkor. This journey unveils a trove of treasures, inviting you to step into a world where intriguing legends and stories eagerly await ...

Vietnam Thailand tour

Duration: 19 days/18 nights

Places visited: Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnel, Hoi An, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Bangkok

Embark on a captivating 19-day journey through the highlights of Vietnam and Thailand, exploring Southeast Asia in comfort and style. Experience breathtaking landscapes, gain insights into local life and culture, indulge in exotic flavors, and unwind on beautiful beaches ...

Angkor Wat

Duration: 26 days/25 nights

Places visited: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siam Reap, Luang Prabang, Chiang Mai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya

Explore the best of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand on a 26-day tour from Hanoi to Bangkok. Uncover diverse landscapes, unique features, and vibrant tastes for an amazing discovery.

Vietnam Myanmar Thailand tour

Duration: 25 days/24 nights

Places visited: Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Ha Long Bay, Yangon, Bagan - Mandalay, Inle Lake, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Bangkok

Experience the magic of Southeast Asia on a 25-day tour through Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand. Our well-designed itinerary ensures a wonderful exploration of each country's highlights, promising an unforgettable journey in this captivating region.

Halong Bay Travel FAQs

How Halong Bay was formed?

Halong Bay was formed over millions of years through geological processes, primarily due to the erosion of limestone karsts by the sea. The bay features thousands of limestone islands and islets, each sculpted by the natural forces of wind and water.

How many days in Hanoi and Halong Bay?

The ideal duration for exploring both Hanoi and Halong Bay can vary based on individual preferences and interests. Typically, travelers spend around 2-3 days in Hanoi to explore its rich history, culture, and cuisine. For Halong Bay, a cruise experience usually lasts for 1-2 nights, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the breathtaking scenery and activities offered in the bay.

Why is Halong Bay famous?

Halong Bay is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, featuring thousands of limestone karsts and islets rising dramatically from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic destinations in Vietnam, attracting millions of visitors each year for its scenic cruises, kayaking opportunities, and serene atmosphere.

Which Halong Bay cruise to choose?

There are numerous cruise options available in Halong Bay, ranging from luxury to budget-friendly. The choice depends on individual preferences, budget, and desired level of comfort and amenities. Researching and reading reviews from other travelers can help in selecting a cruise that best suits your needs.

Is Halong Bay worth it?

Absolutely! Halong Bay is considered one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Its mesmerizing landscapes, serene waters, and unique limestone formations make it a must-visit destination in Vietnam. Whether you choose to explore it on a cruise, kayak through its caves, or simply admire its beauty from the shore, Halong Bay offers an unforgettable experience for travelers.

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