"Thank you for organising our holiday (to China).

We had a great time.

All of the guides were on time, very well informed and easy people to be with.

We have seen so many things and eaten in local places where we would never have gone by ourselves.

We wouldn't hesitate to recommend you and if you would like more details of our adventures or a statement of recommendation let us know."

Nicola, Michael and Family

"Arrived home safe and well and had a wonderful holiday in Nepal and Bhutan"

Michael and Eileen

"Just wanted to thank you for booking our holiday to Koh Lanta.

Everything was perfect and I can thoroughly recommend the Layana Resort and the island of Koh Lanta to any one who wants a laid back, peaceful, non commercialised holiday."

Jane and Andy

"I just wanted to let you know what a great time I had in the Philippines and Borneo.

Everything went without a problem. Great time, great pics, etc.

Thanks for all of your help with this trip"



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North Vietnam Exclusive - 7 Days

This North Vietnam Exclusive is designed for the discerning traveler who wishes to experience the rich culture and diversity of the north with a touch of style.

After an ‘insiders tour’ of Hanoi, travel on the elegant Victoria Express train to Sapa.

Discover the colorful hilltribes and fascinating markets with a local guide, dine on a gourmet picnic overlooking spectacular scenery and relax at the stylish Victoria Sapa lodge.

Continue to Halong Bay for an overnight cruise through the limestone islands, dining on fresh seafood and spend a night among the hidden grottos.

Day 1 - Hanoi Arrival

On arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport an Exotissimo guide will greet you and transfer by private car through the city to your hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Distance & journey times:

Noi Bai airport - Hanoi (38km): 1 hour

Day 2 - Hanoi - Lao Cai (B)

0830 depart your hotel for the Temple of Literature. In 1076 Quoc Tu Giam - Vietnam's first university, also referred to as Van Mieu, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.

The One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049 will be visited next. This structure is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov) and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969, his former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary.

Continue to picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh which is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism

In the afternoon visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, which is both a research Centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam.

At the end of the afternoon visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.

Mid-evening proceed to Hanoi Train Station for the night train to Lao Cai.

Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment.

Distance & journey times:

Hanoi – Lao Cai (300km): 9 hours by train

Day 3 - Lao Cai - Sapa (B,L)

North Vietnam Exclusive - 7 Days / 6 Nights - itinerary

On arrival in the border town of Lao Cai transfer to the former hill station of Sapa.

In the terraced hills and mountains of this area, the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the colors of its hill tribe population - flashes of shining silver jewelry from the necks and wrists of indigo-clad H'mong and the scarlet hues of the turbans worn by the Red Dao can be seen. It is here you will find hands stained with color from fabric dyes and shades of blue, red and green intricately embroidered and stitched into jackets, waistcoats, pants, skirts, caps, purses and leggings. Take a morning walking tour of Sapa for a visit to the busy market where Red Dao, Black H’Mong, Tay and other ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding countryside to sell their silverware and handicrafts, and to buy provisions. Following take a light trek to discover Sapa's quaint hill tribe villages set against the stunning Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range and Indochina's highest peak, Mt. Fansipan, a picnic lunch will be had en-route.

Rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.

Appropriate footwear must be worn on treks in Sapa. Note that if conditions are wet, programs may be diverted.

Overnight in Sapa.

Distance & journey times:

Lao Cai – Sapa (40km): 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 4 - Sapa - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B,L)

North Vietnam Exclusive - 7 Days / 6 Nights - itinerary

Have breakfast before driving to visit a local market (Ban Cam on Tuesday/ Cao Son on Wednesday/ Lung Khau Nhin on Thursday / Can Cau on Saturday/ Bac Ha on Sunday. Note: The market visit may be on your arrival day depending on the market day). Here you’ll see mostly Flower Hmong however Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, Nung hill tribe groups also gather here. The market offers a variety of local products, which could not be found in others areas such as an interesting animal market where pot-bellied pigs, cows and buffalos can be seen.

Continue your tour to have a short walk a hill-tribe village. Here you’ll have the opportunity to visit some local homes to understand more on the daily life of these tribes as well as their culture and traditions. Following head back to Lao Cai.

In the late afternoon transfer back to Lao Cai before the night train back to Hanoi. In Lao Cai you’ll have day use of a hotel room so you can freshen up before the overnight train trip.

Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment.

Distance & journey times:

Sapa - Lao Cai (40km): 1 hour 30 minutes

Lao Cai - Hanoi (300km): 9 hours by train

Day 5 - Hanoi - Halong Bay (B,L,D)

North Vietnam Exclusive - 7 Days / 6 Nights - itinerary

Early morning arrival in Hanoi followed by breakfast at a local restaurant before heading to Halong Bay by road with 3.5-hours drive to Halong Bay. Journey there through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta, observe everyday life of Vietnamese villagers as they work the rice fields, take pigs to the market on motorbikes and plough the fields with their water buffaloes. Arrive from Hanoi late morning and welcome at the pier of your boat.

Check-in and transfer to your boat for the overnight journey into the Bay. Lunch is served on board as you cruise into Halong Bay. Cruise by rock formations with such names as Sail, Dog and Dinh Huong (incense pot). Towards the end of the day set anchor for the night as the sun sets followed by dinner.

Overnight on Halong Bay.

Distance & journey times:

Hanoi – Halong (200km):3.5 minutes

Day 6 - Halong Bay - Hanoi (B)

North Vietnam Exclusive - 7 Days / 6 Nights - itinerary

On your return to Halong City enjoy a wholesome brunch as your boat weaves through strange-shaped limestone rock formations. Upon disembarkation your driver will meet you for the transfer back to Hanoi.

This afternoon your guide and driver will be at your disposal. Enjoy the many charms that this city has to offer from the many stunning tree lined boulevards to simply taking a coffee at one of the charming street side coffee shop and watching the world go by.

Tonight finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.

(*As an option for the afternoon visit one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam ‘But Thap’ on the way back to Hanoi)

Overnight in Hanoi.

Distance & journey times:

Halong - Hanoi (200km):3.5 minutes

Day 7 - Hanoi - Departure (B)

Free at leisure until your transfer by private car to Hanoi Airport for international flight or domestic extension.

Distance & journey times:

Hanoi - Noi Bai airport (38km): 1 hour

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