Sapa & the North West
Discover the colourful tribes of Sapa and the Northwest. Developed as a hill station by the French in the early 1900s, Sapa sits at 1,600m, and so boasts a cool climate and some spectacular scenery. Visit a bustling ethnic market in a nearby village, and walk through picturesque paddy fields dotted with the conical hats of the local villagers. This region also affords spectacular treks in the Tonkinese Alps, and the lovely valleys around Sapa as well as the opportunity to climb Mount Fansipan, Indochina's highest peak.
North of Hanoi there are some interesting but little-visited regions with lovely scenery and unspoiled culture. Ba Be Lake, home to the ethnic Tay people, makes for good hiking, and boat trips. Further North, bordering onto China's Yunnan province is the spectacular mountainous terrain of Ha Giang, boasting grand massifs, rocky plateaus, rolling valleys and deep canyons. Thac Ba boasts a beautiful lake, numerous small islands, and superb hiking. Accommodation in this region is in basic homestays.
Easily accessible from Hanoi and with a vibrant ethnic market on Sundays, Mai Chau makes for a less touristy alternative to the Sapa region. It is also an excellent base for light trekking or cycling in Pu Luong Nature Reserve and the surrounding area.
Located south west of Vietnam in the gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is a relatively undeveloped island with beautiful white sand beaches and lush forested hills offering an untouched natural environment, relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals, and fantastic scuba-diving and snorkelling.
Active & Beach
Vietnam boasts a varied geography with vast mountains, dense forests and over 3,200 kilometres of coastline making it an excellent destination for hiking, cycling and watersports including kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkelling as well as offering a huge variety of relaxing beach options.
Why not add a little colour to your trip by timing it to coincide with a festival. Hanoi is a great place to be for Tet, the lunar New Year (Jan/Feb). Soon after Tet comes the Lim festival, in a village near Hanoi, the perfect place to hear traditional Vietnamese singing and music. It also hosts a weaving competition, wrestling and human chess (Jan/Feb)! February sees the Perfume Pagoda festival, a massive Buddhist pilgrimage to the Perfume Pagoda, 70km South of Hanoi where people pray for happiness and prosperity, and the cow racing festival in the Mekong Delta. In April you can witness the stunning Elephant Race Festival in Dak Lak in the Central Highlands.
Train & Boat
Sit back and enjoy mile-after-mile of uninterrupted coastline as you travel between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by train, a famous route known as the Reunification Express. Hanoi to Hue and Danang to Nha Trang are amongst the most popular and picturesque sections of the trip, and a great way to meet locals. Mekong River cruises are a relaxing way to discover the lonely Mekong Delta.
Enjoy lobster and champagne on a private restored junk boat as you cruise through Halong Bay's spectacular landscape and pamper yourself with a traditional massage and herb bath in a luxurious heritage property in rural Vietnam. Enjoy spa treatments in a quite beach resort or take a heritage cruise ship through the living tapestry of the Mekong Delta - from Ho Chi Minh all the way to the Angkor temples in Cambodia - and enjoy the best accommodation and dining Vietnam has to offer.
Vietnam is an excellent destination for families as the Vietnamese are warm and friendly and there is a wide range of things to do. Take a boat through the majestic landscapes of Halong Bay, experience the bustle of Ho Chi Minh and go walking through the hills of North Vietnam. Take bikes to explore rural villages, learn to cook Vietnamese classics, take a cruise through the Mekong Delta and finally relax on its beautiful beaches.
History, Archaeology and Art
Take a tour with one of our specialist guides - explore Hanoi’s history, discover ancient Cham palaces and Hindu temples, delve into Vietnam’s war history at the Cu Chi tunnels or unravel the depth and richness of Vietnamese art and sculpture or attend a private water puppet show in the artist’s own home, learn about the history of laquer, visit a ceramic village, learn to make a lantern or the techniques of traditional painting.
Meet the Locals
Take a walking tour to discover less traditional sights and comtemporary life of locals in Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Hoi An or Hué. Visit traditional villages around Hanoi and learn about ancient yet enduring traditions. Discover rural agricultural practices, have a handson net fishing experience from a boat and meet people who live as their ancestors have for centuries.