Day 1 Departure from London for Hanoi via Bangkok.
Day 2 Arrival in Hanoi and check-in to a downtown hotel. Afternoon free to relax or explore the city before an evening performance of the highly original water-puppets.
Day 3 Day tour of some of the city’s sites, including Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the 11th century University, Hoan Kiem Lake and a walking tour of the narrow streets of Hanoi’s bustling old commercial quarter. Evening departure by sleeper train for Lao Cai in the far north.
Day 4 Morning arrival and drive to nearby Bac Ha to visit the colourful local market. After lunch we’ll continue to Sapa; a picturesque old French hill-station overlooking a spectacular valley, lying in the shadow of the mist shrouded Fansipan Mountain, at over 9,500 ft the highest summit in mainland Southeast Asia.
Day 5 Morning at leisure to explore the town or roam the town’s bustling market, with an afternoon hike through the area’s incredible scenery, known to the French as the Tonkinese Alps, including Hmong and Dzao minority villages, picturesque rice terraces, bamboo forest and towering peaks.
Day 6 Crossing the Chinese border into Yunnan Province at the town of Hekou, we’ll follow the scenic Red River Valley northwest into the Ailao Ranges and the small mountain top town of Yuanyang. Afternoon visit to the region’s famous, and now UNESCO World Heritage, rice terraces - carved out of the mountain sides over thousands of years by the local Hani and Yi minorities - a truly spectacular site.
Day 7 Early drive to catch some different, morning, vistas of the fabulous landscapes before returning to town for a visit to Yuanyang’s lively market, a trading centre for the myriad local minority peoples. Afternoon drive to historic Jianshui and a visit to some of the Town’s famous sites including, time permitting, the 14th Century Chaoyang Tower and Confucian Temple, the second largest in China, and the amazing ‘Zhu Family Garden’ mansion, a complex of 42 courtyards and 250 rooms. Overnight in a small, family run hotel in the heart of the old town.
Day 8 Morning visit to the fascinating village of Tuanshan, one of the very few remaining fortified villages in Southwest China. This village, originally founded during the Ming Dynasty, receives very few visitors despite being recently added to the UNESCO Protected List. Leaving Jianshui district we’ll continue north, via the picturesque Fuxian Lake, to the Province’s capital, Kunming.
Day 9 Morning trip to the spectacular karst formations known as the Stone Forest – another site added to Yunnan’s UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2006, before an afternoon transfer to Kunming Airport for your return flight to London, via Bangkok.
Day 10 Arrival in London.
Notes: this tour is offered inclusive of return flights from London. Those persons not wishing to take up the flight option would join the tour in Hanoi on day 2 and finish in Kunming on day 9
Visa requirements: Vietnam – A visa MUST be obtained in advance. They are available from your nearest Vietnamese embassy at a cost of about £40 (c. $60). Further information, as well as e-visas on arrival are available on the internet, for example www.vietnam-visa.com or www.vietnam-immigration.org
China - A visa must be obtained before arrival in China. Your entry point in Hekou on day 6 of the itinerary. You will be arriving by road from Vietnam. Your address in China is c/o China Kunming Overseas Tours Co Ltd, Kunming.
Please note these are photos of sample hotels and resorts; accommodation options may vary and are subject to availability
Not sure about the name but the hotel’s great and its location in the heart of Hanoi’s bustling and picturesque old town is perfect. Convenient for exploring or just sitting in their street-side cafe/bar watching the action go by.
Unbeatable location in the heart of Hanoi’s bustling old city make Tirant Hotel a favourite in Vietnam’s capital.
Hmong chic at our favourite Sapa hotel, the Sunny Mountain. Friendly staff, comfy rooms and great views make this an excellent spot to spend a couple of nights in the old French hill-station of Sapa.
The superb Lin An Hotel in Jianshui. Beautifully decorated, huge well appointed rooms and extremely friendly service make this a favourite for exploring the rarely visited yet picturesque old town.
Freshly renovated rooms at the Jinhua International Hotel, Kunming with a view over the City’s modern skyline.
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Please find below a list of suggested extensions for this tour. For reservations please use the tour booking form on the same page
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