Hello guys, my name is Tony Trung and I’m travel blogger of A21 Tours. This blog will give you all the insight you need to know while planning your trip to Vietnam.
Vietnam is the right place for you if you are seeking for epic adventures, unique experiences, mouth watering foods and ancient historical sights. Vietnam has fast become one of Asia’s top travel destinations due to its well established tour circuit, friendly people and chilled out visa situation.
Vietnam is generally split into two regions, the north and south. You could focus on one region if you only have less than one weeks. In this post, I’ve put together an itinerary that is perfect for a first-time trip to the North of Vietnam. By following it, you would experience the chaotic cities and sleepy rural villages, mountains and beaches, palm trees and pines. For those of you who have more time, please refer to our 1-week or 10-day schedule at the following link.
A note about this itinerary: While travelling, I prefer to have a little wiggle room in the itineraries so I can stay longer in places that I really like. If you're not strict on your travel time in Vietnam, you can adjust the times you stay in one place as you see fit.
5 Days in the North of Vietnam at a glance
> First thing to do at the airport
Starting at Noi Bai airport, after receiving your luggage, the first thing you should do is to get a prepaid micro SIM with data. Connecting to the internet in a country where not many people speak your language is very important. Get the SIM while you still in the airport is wise, since buying SIMs in the city could be much harder due to complicated traffic. There are shops that selling these SIMs in the airport. FYI, Vinaphone and Viettel are the two biggest brand provide telecom service in Vietnam, it would be reliable to purchase the SIMs from those brands.
> Getting to your hotel
There are 3 ways for moving from the airport to Hanoi: Shuttle bus no. 86 for tourists (see here), call a Grab taxi or use the Airport Transfer Service by A21's private car services, which is suitable for group traveling.
Note: Pay attention to the bus hours as they don’t operate during the night time.
> What to eat for lunch in Hanoi
The best dish to try for lunch in Hanoi is Bun Cha. Originating from Hanoi, this dish consists of grilled pork patties and noodles served with lettuce, herbs and a dipping sauce. We several delicious meals of Bun Cha in Hanoi and it was too hard to choose a winner so I'm sharing our 2 favorites! One was in a small shop on the northeast corner of St. Joseph's Cathedral and the other was at a restaurant called Bun Cha Ta at 21 Nguyễn Hữu Huân.
Hoan Kiem lake - center of Hanoi city
After having lunch and checking in the hotel room, you will have an entire afternoon to explore Hanoi. Here are some places you should visit:
Khue Van pavilion - the temple of literature
Evidences in Hanoi museum of ethnology
What to eat for dinner: For those who are in love with local cuisine, join the Hanoi Food Tour to discover some delicious dishes in Hanoi with a local guide. Hanoi attracts visitors not only for its natural landscapes, historical relics but also by a rich and diversified cuisine that makes visitors remember it forever. If you are a fan of street food, Hang Sach, Ta Hien, Ly Quoc Su, Dong Xuan Market, Nha Tho Street are famous dining areas.
After you have enjoyed the Hanoi street food, it's time to depart to Sapa. You can take than night train or the sleeper bus to get to Sapa. Pre-book the train or sleeper bus now to get the best price offer.
|Hanoi - Sapa / Lao Cai transport|
|Type of transport||Price||Deparute time||How long?|
|Sleeping bus||$11||7 AM, 2 PM & 10 PM||5.5 hours of transfer|
|Cabin Bus||$22||7 AM & 10 PM||5.5 hours of transfer|
|Sleep Train||from $27||9:40 PM & 10 PM||8 hours of transfer|
If you want to go to Sapa directly once touch down at the airport, no worry, we offer this kind of service at the price just from USD 12 / person, please check this link for more detail: Hanoi Airport Sapa transfer
> What to do when you arrived
Arriving in the early morning at Sapa, you should have a breakfast, Good Morning View Restaurant is a fine place to stop by. Then, check in at your hotel, leave your luggage here and take a cable car (about 700,000VND or $30/pax) to reach Fansipan peak. The cable car taken in the morning will take you to the top at about 10 am when the sky is clear and the view is beautiful.
Visiting Cat Cat in the afternoon
Cat Cat village waterfall
Cat Cat village not only attracts tourists by its wild natural poetry scenery but also by the traditional cultural characteristics of the H’Mong people here. You will really enjoy the harmony of the gentle dance of the beautiful H’Mong boys and girls or even dance with them.
Coming to Cat Cat in the beginning of the year, visitors also have the opportunity to participate in the “Gau Tao”, a traditional festival with the intention to seek happiness for the residents. Moreover, local people still preserve a lot of time-honored customs and unique practices. One of those practices is "wife pulling". When a boy falls in love with a girl, he will organize a party to invite his friends to make plans to "pull" the girl home and keep her for three days. Then, if the girl agrees to be his wife, the official wedding ceremony will be conducted. If the girl disagrees, they drink wine together and become friends.
> Freely explore Sapa town at night
Night in Sapa is quite cold, you should prepare warm clothes. For youngsters who up for challenge their biggest limits, outdoor camping is a great option: set up camps, sit back together for great barbecues, drink warm wine, watch stars and chill out. Also, you can explore the nightlife in the city of Sapa. Enjoy the quiet, tranquil of this mountain town before returning to rest and prepare for trekking on rice field terrace the next day.
Trekking in Sapa is a must try for tourists in Sapa. This trip will take you to the H'Mong village and the Day (the name of drewerl ethnic) village. You should book a day trekking tour or rent a local person (like the H'Mong women you met in the town) as a guide. They will introduce the customs, culture, and people here. Moreover, the scene in Lao Chai valley - Ta Van is beautiful. Have lunch at Lao Chai village, then go to Ta Van village.
In the afternoon, return to Sapa and explore the central market with plenty shops of the local ethnic minority. Then, have dinner at Sapa then back to Hanoi by night bus or train. Aira Sapa Restaurant might be the spot to try out.
Sapa trekking tours
In case you want to return to Hanoi sooner, you can take the bus at 3 pm from Sapa, to Hanoi at 9 pm. Still have enough time for a lavish night in Hanoi.
To choose the right transport between Hanoi & Sapa read more at https://a21tours.com/from-hanoi-to-sapa-train-or-bus/
Sapa tour package tours
A21 Tours also offer Sapa trekking tour with 3 main options as
When you’ve done exploring Hanoi, and the spectacular mountainous Sapa, head for Ha Long Bay and enjoy a one-day boat tour.
A Halong bay cruise one day tour (6-hour cruise on a wooden boat) on Halong Bay gives you an interesting experience of observing thousands charming limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. This one-day option can be considered as a convenient shortened version of the 2 day trip to Ha Long for those who do not have much time.
Halong bay cruise day tour kayaking
On this trip, you will be picked up at your hotel, transferred to Halong, get on a wooden boat and form here the journey begin. The boat will take you to some outstanding destinations of Ha Long: enjoy Tuan Chau Island; discover Surprise Cave - the longest and most beautiful cave of Halong Bay; go kayak at Luon cave in the afternoon, go trekking to conquer the summit of Titop. The cruise will end at around 6pm.
Package option for the day:
On the last day of this journey, explore Hanoi freely through the streets of the old quarter before going to Noi Bai Airport.
Hanoi old quarter
There are some shopping venues:
To go from Hanoi to the airport, you have 3 choices as public bus, Grab car, and book a Private car to the Airport at the price of $12 for 4-seat car.
With this 5-day schedule, we provide you with the 3 must-see destinations in the North of Vietnam. Hope you this trip fit you well.
Also, if you're keen on Halong Bay and want to spent for one more day, we have a 4-day Halong and Ninh Binh Tour that featured 2 days 1 night cruise on Halong. For more information, try this: Halong and Ninh Binh 4-day tour
5 days Package tour
So, whats A21 Tours offer for 5 days tour in the north of Vietnam:
Pre-book your Northern Vietnam 5-day tour now and receive the best offers.