From home stays in Sapa to squid fishing in Ha Long Bay, this program is the ultimate Vietnam family adventure! Staying in northern Vietnam means less internal travel and more immersion with local communities. With cities, villages, highlands, and beaches, our Heritage of Vietnam tour includes activities for all ages!
This program is best suited for children ages 6 - 17. All travelers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival in Hanoi, meet our representative and transfer to your hotel. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and an important center of historical and cultural significance. The city has been inhabited since at least 3000 BC. Evening at leisure and overnight.
In the morning, enjoy a special cooking class with a local renowned instructor. Start with a “La Han” welcome tea as you are introduced to the contents and traditions of Vietnamese cuisine. Take a short walk to the Chau Long market and learn about the ingredients. Return to the kitchen for the cooking class and then enjoy the selection of dishes. You will also have printed recipes to take with samples of local fruits, green bean cake, and quail eggs.
In the afternoon, attend a traditional Water Puppet show. The art originates from rural festivals in Vietnam. The artists stand waist deep in the water to manipulate the puppets, making them move about, talk, laugh, and even dance. The audience is meant to experience the atmosphere of a village festival. Then visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple, located on an island in the northern part of the lake.
Continue on a Cyclo tour along the narrow streets of the Old Quarter of Hanoi. The Old Quarter includes 36 old streets with each name representative of the type of merchandise sold in it. Evening at leisure and overnight.
Hanoi / Duong Lam
After breakfast, drive one hour north of Hanoi to the ancient village of Duong Lam. Duong Lam was one of the first villages in the country to be recognized as a national relic. Some of its houses are said to be 400 years old and the villagers claim that two kings of Vietnam were born here.
Stroll around and enjoy the ambiance that is becoming very rare in the fast developing and modern Vietnam, the authentic country scene dotted with ancient houses and temples. Lunch will be served in a house of a local family. Return to Hanoi for an afternoon at leisure. Overnight.
Hanoi - Sapa
In the morning, drive to Sapa (5 hours). Established as a hill station by the French in 1922, Sapa has dramatic scenery and overlooks the terraced rice fields of the Muong Hoa Valley. Upon arrival, enjoy gentle hikes to Lao Chai and Ta Van, the Black H’Mong and Dzay ethnic villages. You will visit the people in their homes, children at schools, and observe how they work the terraced rice fields surrounding the villages.
The evening will be at leisure so you can explore Sapa – the local market, shops, and church. Overnight at your homestay in Ta Van.
ST's Hotel Recommendation
33 rustic bungalows are nestled in the mountains of Hoang Lien National Park. The lodge makes a perfect base for exploring the surrounding area by foot or bike or simply relaxing away from the busy urban areas.
After breakfast, enjoy the stunning views of Muong Hoa Valley as the trek approaches Hang Da Village. After a short rest, continue walking to Hau Thao village. Arrive at Hau Thao Commune and discover the daily life of the Black Hmong minority and their traditional customs and costume.
Continue to Pho Village and then down the hill to Giang Ta Chai Village for your overnight in a homestay of Giay people.
Sapa - Hanoi
After breakfast, drive through the countryside along the Chay River to Coc Ly which offers beautiful scenery of high mountains, narrow valleys, and terraced rice paddies. Enjoy several photo stops along the way, especially of the beautiful tear farms near Phong Hai. Arrive at the market and join local ethnic communities to enjoy the exciting atmosphere as well as activities of this weekly market. Walk the stalls and relish in the smells of local products, spices, vegetables, farming tools, handicrafts, and even medicinal herbs. Coc Ly is also a famous cattle market where local farmers from villages in the region sell cows, horses, water buffaloes, and pigs.
Leaving the market at noon, board a motor boat and cruise downstream the Chay River for 1.5 hour to Trung Do Village of the Tay which is beautifully set on the bank of the river. Spend about an hour walking to explore this charming village before continuing the boat trip briefly to Bao Nhai.
Disembark and meet your driver for the return trip to Hanoi (5 hours). Evening at leisure and overnight.
Hanoi - Ninh Binh
After breakfast, drive to Ninh Binh province on the Red River Delta. The scenery is stunning and diverse. Start with Hoa Lu, the ancient royal capital of Vietnam. Visit Dinh King Temple and Le King temple before a boat cruise to the cave complex: Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, and Nau Ruou.
Evening at leisure and overnight.
Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay
After breakfast, drive to Ha Long (3 hours) and board your overnight cruise. During lunch, cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay to visit Cua Van Fishing Village. At the village, which has a population of about 600 residents living in 150 floating houses, guests can choose between kayaking through the village or visiting on small bamboo boats (sampans) rowed by the villagers.
Back on board, there will be free time before a Vietnamese cooking class. Dinner is a sumptuous buffet featuring an array of salads, seafood, meat dishes, seasonal fresh fruits, and desserts. After dinner, relax in the dining room and lounge or on the upper deck and enjoy the second happy hour. Also, experience squid fishing from the boat with help from the crew. Overnight.
Ha Long Bay
Enjoy coffee, tea, and breakfast pastries before a morning walking tour of Titov Beach Island. About one hour is spent on the island allowing time for a climb to the peak for a spectacular view of the Bay. There will also be an opportunity to visit the beach for a swim. Back on board it’s time for a full breakfast buffet, including traditional Vietnamese Noodles (Pho).
On Dau Be Island of Lan Ha Bay, Ho Ba Ham is completely enclosed by vertical cliffs and is only accessible by a narrow, meandering tunnel. With its colorful stalactites dangling overhead, the access tunnel is a fascinating scene, and upon reaching the lake you can view orchids, Benjamin figs, banyans and cycads which can blossom throughout the year. Shrimp and fish are in abundance just under the water surface, while bats, flying squirrels, yellow-haired monkeys, and numerous bird species keep things lively above the surface.
Evening at leisure and overnight.
Ha Long Bay - Hanoi and Departure
After breakfast, disembark your houseboat and return to Hanoi (3 hours). Upon arrival, transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Bon Voyage!
9 nights of hotel accommodations
Daily breakfast / All meals in Ha Long
Private air-conditioned vehicle with driver for touring and transport
Comprehensive touring as listed in the itinerary, including a private English-speaking guide and entrance fees to the monuments
2-night all-inclusive cruise in Ha Long
Hiking in Sapa with visits to ethnic villages
Private airport transfers with representative
Road/Interstate taxes, fuel surcharges, and parking fees