Wild Vietnam

specialDiscover northern Vietnam in depth from its nature preserve to its hill country. Wild Vietnam begins by exploring the capital city, Hanoi, and continues on to the national park, Cuc Phuong. Visit the Primate Rescue Center to see rare species and hear what is being done to protect them. Explore a prehistoric cave, boat to the Three Grottos and see the world Heritage site, Halong Bay. Take the Victoria Express through the beautiful north and trek the hill country of Sapa meeting the Hmong, Dzay and Dzao tribes. Wild Vietnam is an adventure into Vietnam’s north region discovering its terrain, wildlife and tribal inhabitants.

Day 1 – Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi where you will be met and driven to your hotel. Get acquainted with this charming town with a stroll through the city center.

Day 2 – Hanoi
Embark on a full day tour of Hanoi beginning with a visit to the Museum of Ethnology which houses a display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples. Continue onward to Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake. The Ngoc Son temple dating back to the 13th century, is set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake is a picturesque place frequented by tourists and locals alike. Visit the Temple of Literature, originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. After lunch, take a relaxing one-hour cyclo ride through the Old Quarter, a bustling area of narrow streets which is home to thousands of small shops. End your evening by seeing Hanoi’s traditional water puppet show.

Day 3 – Hanoi/Cuc Phuong National Park
After breakfast drive 2 and a half hours to Cuc Phuong National Park. Check in to your lodge. (A homestay in a traditional stilt house can also be arranged.) Afternoon visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center established in 1993. This center is dedicated to the rehabilitation, breeding, research, and conservation of endangered primates, and to the protection of their habitats. Here you can see rescued Gibbons, Languars and Snub Nosed Monkeys and learn about their plight in the Vietnam hills.

Day 4 – Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong is the oldest national park in Vietnam. Located only 120km southwest of Hanoi and nestled between the provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, Cuc Phuong boasts cultural and enchanting scenery besides being a wildlife reserve. Limestone mountains rise up majestically from the green rice-terraces and traditional stilt houses of hilltribes. Today drive to the parks center and trek through the lush rainforest of unique flora and fauna and to a cave, “Nguoi Xua” (Cave of Early Man), where two ancient tombs have been discovered, along with Neolithic remains and evidence of stone implements once inhabited by prehistoric humans.

Day 5 – Cuc Phuong National Park/Tam Coc/Halong Bay
Visit Tam Coc (Three Caves) en route to Halong Bay. Take a leisurely boat trip through the quiet and peaceful landscape of rice fields surrounded by towering limestone cliffs to the grottoes of Tam Coc. Continue to Halong Bay.

Day 6 – Halong Bay/Hanoi
Early breakfast at the hotel before beginning a four-hour cruise around magnificent Halong Bay. Enjoy the stunning scenery of this World Heritage Site. While on board you will be served a sumptuous fresh, local seafood lunch. After lunch you can swim and exploring some of the limestone caves in this area. Disembark and drive back to Ha Noi.

Day 7 – Hanoi
Your day is free to relax or explore as you wish.

Day 8 – Hanoi/Lao Cai
Transfer to the train station. Board the Victoria Express for your 9 hour overnight ride from Hanoi to Lao Cai. The victoria Express is a stylish train with one restaurant and two air conditioned luxury sleeping carriages. Vietnamese and European food is served with a selection of wines. The ride is reminiscent of romantic, charming Vietnam as you roll through the hills of north Vietnam to Lao Cai.

Day 9 – Lao Cai/Sapa
Transfer to a shuttle bus for the 21 mile ride to Sapa. Check in to your lovely accommodations. After lunch, explore around the village.

Day 10 – Sapa/Cat Cat/Sin Chai/Sapa
Trek to the villages of the Black H’mong, Cat Cat and Sin Chai (14 km). The Black Hmong people are very skilled at handicrafts, such as embroidering, weaving, and jewelry casting. The embroidery and silver jewelry are delicate and quite beautiful. The patterns on their clothes are extremely colorful. Enjoy a picnic lunch at a waterfall. Return to Sapa by jeep.

Day 11 –Sapa/Giang Ta Chai/Sapa
Early morning jeep excursion through the valley to visit the village of the hilltribe, Dzay. Eat lunch with a local family. Continue on to the home of the Red Dzao tribe in Giang Ta Chai village. Return to Sapa.

Day 12 – Sapa/ Hanoi
Enjoy a relaxing day in Sapa town and take a hike up to Dragon Peak for a panoramic view of the town and surrounding area. Transfer to the train station for your overnight train back to Hanoi..

Day 13 – Hanoi
Your day is free to explore or shop as you wish.

Day 14 – Depart Hanoi
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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