Immersion in the Unknown Lands of Vietnam

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Cat Ba - Hanoi - Sapa - Hanoi - Perfume Pagoda - Ninh Binh - Hanoi

A trip to immersion, participative, solidary, and centered on the sharing of the daily life of the local populations. A journey that passes through exotic and secret regions, because they are not well known.


10 days / 9 nigths


North Vietnam

Average budget

From $910

You will obviously embark on a junk to appreciate Halong Bay and sleep on Cat Ba Island for three days and two nights, admire the mountains of Sapa by venturing into the heart of the rice terraces and certainly sleep at the inhabitant’s house, visit the ancient Vietnamese capital as well as the caves and mountains of Ninh Binh, go on a pilgrimage to the Perfume Pagoda, a place of worship and prayer that is a must for the Vietnamese population, and finally appreciate the authentic old quarter of Hanoi and all its riches.

Whether you land at the airport, enter the city by train or bus, you will be picked up at any time and accompanied to our hotel by private vehicle or cab.

We individually adapt your program to your mode and time of arrival in Hanoi.

Thus, we can, in consultation with you, shift the beginning of your program according to your arrival time, to give you time to acclimatize!

During this Immersion in the Unknown Lands of Vietnam tour you will enjoy

Contemplate various landscapes

  • Halong Bay, with night on board a junk
  • Cat Ba Island, the largest island of the bay archipelago
  • The mountains and rice terraces of the Sapa region
  • The limestone peaks over rice fields of the terrestrial Halong Bay
  • The pagodas and Buddhist temples in Perfume Mountain

Experience special moments

  • The authentic atmosphere of a popular district of Hanoi
  • The colorful markets of ethnic minorities
  • Activities with the locals

The PLUS of the Pilgrim

  • A small group during the excursions
  • A permanent link with the hotel if necessary
  • Nights in the homes of local people in comfort mode
  • Accompaniment by experienced guides

Make the experience last

  • A longer stay in one or more villages mentioned in the program
  • An extension to the North East of Vietnam
  • An extension to the region of Bac Ha and Sapa
  • Tour idea to customize

A tour according to your desires

This tour proposal is 100% customizable according to your desires.

You will be able to modify your trip (duration, accommodations, activities, and services) during our exchanges.

Day 1 Welcome to Hanoi

Arrival at Hanoi airport or train station. Welcome by your English speaking guide and transfer to the hotel located in the center of the city (30 km – 45 minutes). Installation at the hotel, then free time.


The end of the afternoon is devoted to a walk in the 36 streets and corporations district, historical and commercial center of the capital, circumscribed between the old citadel and the Red River dam.


Return to your hotel after a stop at the restored Sword Lake, the heart of Hanoi.


Airport transfer: 1h.
Free meals.

Steps :
Accommodation :
The Pilgrim Hotel (Hanoi)

Day 2 Magnificent cruise in Halong Bay

After breakfast, transfer to the 8th wonder of the world: Halong Bay.


The bus will pick you up directly at your hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi, then departure for the south-east of the Red River delta: crossing rice-growing plains and arriving at the marina of Tuan Chau around noon.


Lunch will be served on board by the crew while the boat makes its way to the most beautiful islets of the bay. The cruise begins!


During this cruise, you will have the opportunity to:

  • discover this multitude of karst peaks emerging from the waters. Riddled with numerous caves, these islands, and islets with various shapes (sail, dog, rooster, incense…) also hide unexpected lagoons,
  • visit the splendid Sung Sot (Surprising) Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Ha Long Bay, with stalagmites and stalactites dating back thousands of years,
  • go for a canoeing or bamboo rowing trip in the Luon Cave area, a more remote landscape of the bay,
  • go to Ti Top (Titov) Island to swim in the beautiful waters of the bay or climb the highest mountain to admire the panorama of Halong.


Dinner, served by the crew, will be followed by a free evening in your cabin, in the restaurant, or on the upper deck of the junk: card games, night fishing, … for your personal rest and relaxation!


Travel by mini-bus: 2h30.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Steps :
Hanoi, Halong Bay
Accommodation :
On a junk (Halong Bay)

Day 3 Meeting the fishermen of Cat Ba Island

Waking up at dawn is a must in the bay, which offers an unparalleled tranquility in the early hours of the day. It is a privileged moment to do a Tai Chi discovery session at dawn, on the upper deck of the junk, to fill up with energy at the beginning of the day.


While you have breakfast, your cruise continues to Cat Ba Island which is the largest island in Halong Bay.


Once moored, you will visit the fishing village of Viet Hai which is located between the blue sea, high mountain and old jungle of Cat Ba National Park. Lunch will be served on board the junk in the late morning.


In the afternoon, you will cycle along its beautiful curves, all in relief, which prove to be an extraordinary playground for adventurers.
A large part of the island, occupied by an intact tropical forest, is classified as a national park. The waterfront promenade of Cat Ba has a multitude of floating restaurants, to satisfy small and big hungers!


Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Steps :
Halong Bay, Cat Ba
Accommodation :
At the hotel (Cat Ba)
Halong Bay

Day 4 Walk in the bay

After breakfast, you can enjoy your free time in the morning to walk around Halong Bay, to sunbathe on the beach or to do some shopping.


Lunch will be served at the hotel in the late morning. You will then take a bus to Hanoi by mid-afternoon.


Once you arrive at your destination, you can enjoy free time until early evening. You will then board a sleeper train to Sapa.


Travel by mini-bus: 2h30.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Steps :
Cat Ba, Halong Bay, Hanoi
By sleeper train

Day 5 Trekking in the mountains of Sapa

Arrival at the train station of Lao Cai, capital of the province of the same name and border town on the Red River at 400 m above sea level. Transfer to Sapa, a town at 1600 m altitude dominated by the Phan Si Pan peak (3143 m), with a one-hour shared bus ride. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and have breakfast in our restaurant.


Start the day by walking down to the southeast of Sapa along the Muong Hoa Valley with many beautiful sceneries along the river to Y Linh Ho village, home of the Black H’mong minority. Continue walking to Lao Chai village.


Lunch at a local restaurant before reaching Ta Van village of Tay minority.


Pick up by bus to return to Sapa for hotel check-in. The rest of the day will be at your convenience to discover the city (Dragon Mountain, Orchid Garden, the market, the Church…).


Travel by train : 7h.
Travel by mini-bus : less than 1h.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

At the hotel or in homestay

Day 6 Sapa and its beautiful villages

Free time at your convenience in the city or the surrounding villages. Sapa is a very popular destination for travelers, where it is very easy to find an occupation. Lunch in town. Return by bus to Hanoi in the late evening.


Travel by bus : 7h.
Free meals.

Sapa, Hanoi
The Pilgrim Hotel (Hanoi)
Sa Pa

Day 7 Guided tour of Hanoi

Discovery of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum on Ba Dinh Square where Vietnam’s independence was declared on September 2, 1945, followed by a walk in the park behind the former Indochina Governor’s Palace and now Presidential Palace. Discover the house on stilts of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of modern Vietnam, and the single-pillar pagoda, built in 1049 and recognized as having the most original architecture in Vietnam.


You will also visit the Pagoda of the Defense of the Country, built in 1615 at the edge of the large Western Lake, then the Museum of Ethnography, which presents you the ways of life, the habits and customs of the 54 ethnic minorities populating Vietnam.


At the end of the day, visit the Temple of Literature, the first national university with original architecture built in the XIᵉ century and dedicated henceforth to the cult of Confucius and the literati. This temple has become today the emblem of Hanoi city and Vietnamese culture.


The evening is devoted to a show of puppets on water, folk art of the peoples of the Red River Delta.


Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Steps :
Accommodation :
The Pilgrim Hotel (Hanoi)

Day 8 Pilgrimage to the Perfume Pagoda

You leave on an excursion to the Perfume Pagoda which is actually a group of Buddhist pagodas and temples in the Perfume Mountain.


At Ben Duc, you will board a small rowing boat for a trip on the Yen River before climbing to the main pagoda located inside a cave.


Return by cable car to the foot of the mountain to enjoy the impressive panorama.


Travel by mini-bus : 2 x 2h.
Travel by rowing boat : 2 x 45 min.
Meals included : Breakfast, Lunch.

The Pilgrim Hotel (Hanoi)

Day 9 Free day

Free day or, according to your wishes, a day of guided tour of the city with its main points of interest.


Free meals.

Steps :
Accommodation :
The Pilgrim Hotel (Hanoi)

Day 10 Excursion to Halong Bay

Departure to the south of Hanoi to Ninh Binh province. For example, you can go to Tam Coc to ride a traditional sampan along the Ngo Dong River and visit three different caves (Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba). You can also go to the Buddha’s prayer place in Bai Dinh pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Vietnam with 500 La Han statues.


At noon, you will enjoy a buffet lunch of Vietnamese dishes at a local restaurant.


You can enjoy the afternoon to go to Hoa Lu the ancient capital of Vietnam and visit Dinh King and Le King temples. You can also continue to Trang An pier, and start a boat ride to visit the Trang An cave complex and the scene of the King Kong movie.


At the end of the day, you will return to Hanoi by bus where you will be dropped off at the hotel.


Travel by mini-bus : 2 x 2h.
Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch.

Steps :
Hanoi, Ninh Binh
Ba Be lake
  • Price Estimate

A tour according to your desires

Our tours are tailor-made (with private guides and drivers), so the price is never fixed for each Pilgrim traveler.

The price varies according to the number of travelers, the level of services, the seasonality, and the booking delays.

Count on this trip starting at $910 per person*. The only exact price will be the one that appears on your personalized and finalized quote.

* International flights are not included in this estimate.

This price includes :

  • All travel on site
  • Lodging at the hotel, at the inhabitant’s house or on the junk
  • Breakfasts and meals during the excursions
  • Night train Hanoi – Lao Cai in couchette
  • Bilingual English-speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to the sites to visit and activities
  • Application fees and taxes
  • All logistic services necessary for the organization of the program

This price does not include :

  • Domestic and international flights and airport taxes to/from Hanoi
  • Entry visa fees
  • Drinks and other meals not mentioned in the program
  • Water bottle (can be purchased on site)
  • Telephone, personal expenses
  • Any other service not mentioned in the “Price includes” section.

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