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Northern Vietnam Discoverer

Trip Length

Trip Code

10 days PAND

Minimum Passengers

4 people

Maximum Passengers

12 people

Countries Visited

Vietnam

Start City

End City

Hanoi, Vietnam Hanoi, Vietnam
Northern Vietnam Discoverer

This is the perfect short tour covering the highlights of northern Vietnam. Stroll along Hanoi's tree-lined boulevards and be enchanted by the French colonial architecture and old world vibe. We then make our journey to Sapa and on to the most untouched and remote part of Vietnam, Ha Giang, where we trek past terraced rice fields and forested mountains and stay in a traditional longhouse as guests of the White Thai people.

Why we love it:

Northern Vietnam Discoverer


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Hanoi - overnight train

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Lan Vien Hotel or similar, Hanoi

Activities:

Day 3-4: Sapa

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Bamboo Sapa Hotel or similar

Activities:

Day 5: Ha Giang

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Truong Xuan Resort or similar

Activities:

Day 6-7: Dong Van

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Accommodation: Hoang Ngoc hotel or similar

Activities:

Day 8-9: Ba Be Lake

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Activities:

Day 10: Hanoi

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Lan Vien Hotel or similar, Hanoi

Activities:


Your Trip

What's Included

Transport

Non-included Meals

Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.

Not Included


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

Vietnam
You will need to obtain your Vietnam visa in advance. When obtaining your visa for Vietnam you should allow 3 weeks for processing, the cost is approx USD$60 to USD$100.00 (subject to change). Some nationalities are exempt from requiring a visa if their stay is less than 15 days, but if you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance.

Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure.

If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: PEAK Vietnam 57A Nguyen Khac Hieu St, Hanoi, Vietnam Ph +84 4 3715 0996.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

Vietnam

There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: The Quiet American- Graham Greene The Sacred Willow-Duong Van Mai Elliot Paradise of the Blind-Duong Thu Huong Vietnam: Yesterday & Today -Ellen Hammer One Crowded Hour- Tim Bowden Catfish and Mandala-Andrew X Pham Hitchhiking Vietnam-Karin Muller Vietnam- Lonely Planet A Bright Shining Lie-Neil Sheehan (on the Vietnam-American War)


Important Information

Your fellow travellers
On this trip you may link up with passengers on other Peregrine tours and you may also be accompanied by like-minded travellers from our sister company Intrepid.

Final Day of this Tour
Please note that this tour ends on arrival back in Hanoi on Day 10 at approximately 1 pm. If you are flying out of Hanoi on this day, please do not book a flight to depart before 4 pm.

Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.

Mrs Mai's Project
As with all our trips, our goal is to run sustainable tours that bring benefit to a wide range of local people and businesses. Ha Giang is one of the poorest provinces in the country and as we are operating this tour in the region (we are the first international company to do so), there can potentially be numerous benefits to the local community.

The local authorities in Ha Giang province have recently begun to develop community-based tourism projects in order to help improve the living conditions of the local population. Combining cultural tourism with new rural development in a number of hamlets has helped in the preservation of the cultural identities of the various ethnic minority groups and raised awareness of hygiene issues and environmental protection. Additionally it has helped in improving conditions in the villages, in particular the housing in the communities and also the local roads. Increasingly, locals are now being trained in hospitality skills.

We inspected one such community based tourism project and liked what we saw, witnessing first-hand how tourism benefits some of the poorer members of the community. A fantastic project that we discovered was at Lung Tam village, en route from Ha Giang to Dong Van. This small initiative, founded by Mrs Vang Thi Mai, provides employment and opportunities for the female population of the village. Mrs Mai has created a workshop where the ladies make bags, wallets and purses in the local ethnic minority style for tourists. It has proven to be a very successful enterprise with 120 ladies in employment. The project was originally set up in order to help out the victims of human trafficking, a common problem in this part of Vietnam where women are often sold into prostitution or forced to marry just across the border in China. When these women are rescued and returned to their villages, they are seen as tainted and not immediately accepted back into the community. The inspirational Mrs Mai, whom we met, has successfully trained and helped many of these women and currently twenty-five victims of trafficking are working for her. Visiting her workshop represents a fantastic responsible tourism project that we are proud to be involved with in that we get to support her small business through our travellers purchasing the locally-produced goods and thus providing financial assistance.

More information about this project is available here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/world/asia/17vietnam.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&.

Infrastructure and Tet Holiday Period
Please note that Vietnam is a developing country whose infrastructure may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences due to such things as restaurants or tourist sites being closed and our regular transport services not always being available, especially so during the Tet holiday period (Vietnamese New Year).

During Tet most businesses will be closed as Vietnamese people usually spend this period returning to their homes and celebrating with their families. This will involve a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. Even if bookings are obtained, transport services during this period will be overcrowded and heavy delays are to be expected, so you will need to make sure that you pack your sense of humour. In order to facilitate your travels during the Tet period, we may need to substitute your train/plane journey with a private bus trip, if required.

Single Supplements
Due to the style of accommodation on our tours it might not always be possible to book you in a single room throughout the trip. If you book a single supplement for this trip, please note it does not apply on the following nights:
Day 2 (overnight train)
Day 8 & 9 (Ba Be lake)
To enquire about booking a single supplement for this trip, please consult your sales agent.

Local Emergency Contacts
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Peregrine Vietnam office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

15 April 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: +61 3 8601 4444
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine