The spectacular valleys and mountains of Vietnam were simply made for exploration.
Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for this immersive journey that gets away from the bright lights of Hanoi and under the skin of Vietnam’s bucolic countryside.
In between trekking and cycling past lush landscapes, stop in at local villages and learn about traditional life with memorable homestay experiences. It’s not all mountains and trails either, with an opportunity to kayak across the majestic waters of Lan Ha Bay and spend a night in a waterside resort. Prepare to be led off the beaten track.
Why you'll love this adventure
- Gain a greater insight into life in northern Vietnam with an itinerary that explores not just Hanoi but also heads out into the countryside
- Hike through the picturesque valleys surrounding Sapa and visit local communities
- Cycle out to Mai Chau and on through the stunning karst landscapes to Ninh Binh
- Kayak around karsts and explore the secluded lagoons and caves of Lan Ha Bay - the lesser visited but just as beautiful sister of Halong Bay
9 May 2021
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22 August 2021
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26 September 2021
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3 November 2021
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1 December 2021
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5 January 2022
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13 March 2022
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27 March 2022
6 April 2022
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1 June 2022
5 June 2022
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31 August 2022
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25 September 2022
5 October 2022
9 October 2022
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23 October 2022
2 November 2022
6 November 2022
16 November 2022
20 November 2022
30 November 2022
4 December 2022
14 December 2022
18 December 2022
28 December 2022
25 December 2022
4 January 2023
This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.
This trip includes an action packed itinerary! Please make an enquiry and we'll send you the full itinerary for each day including meals, activities, travel and accommodation.
- 10 breakfasts, 2 dinners and 4 lunches
- Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (6 nights), Lodge (2 nights)
- Private minibus , Bike , Boat
- Sapa – Cat Cat Village trek
- Sapa – Lao Chai to Ta Van trek
- Sapa – Ta Van to Su Pan trek
- Hanoi – Old Quarter Walking Tour
- Hanoi – West Lake bike ride
- Mai Chau – Pom Coong Village visit & traditional lunch
- Mai Chau – Cycling
- Mai Chau to Ninh Binh cycling
Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (6 nights), Lodge (2 nights)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we’re arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn’t always possible which means we won’t be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you’ve purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Some hotels in South East Asia have windowless rooms, or windows that don’t necessarily have a view. This is often due to high population density in large cities, however local building standards also do not require rooms to have windows. We do request rooms with windows, however they aren’t always available.
10 breakfasts, 2 dinners and 4 lunches
Food and dietary requirements
While travelling with us you’ll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company.
At hotels you’ll often have a buffet with choices of Vietnamese and Western food. At homestays you will have more basic breakfasts of local foods, eggs, bread, jam, tea and coffee. Take away breakfasts for early starts may be very simple such as a piece of fruit and a bread roll.
Check out this guide to eating in Vietnam for vegan, vegetarian, gluten & peanut free travellers: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/vegan-vegetarian-gluten-free-vietnam/
Travelling in South East Asia with a food allergy? We have some advice for you here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/travelling-food-allergies-south-east-asia/
Who is this trip for?
Is this trip right for you
This trip has a number of activities to get your pulse going. Whilst prior training for each activity is not necessary, a moderate level of fitness will help you to get the most out of the included activities
The hike in the hills of Sapa is approximately 10 kilometres (6.2miles) in total, on sometimes steep and uneven terrain
You will spend 2 days on your bike, riding to Mai Chau and Ninh Binh, with approximately 60-70 kilometres of cycling each day. The cycling in these areas is relatively flat and you will have time to get used to your bike in Hanoi before departing
There are 2 nights of homestay on this trip in Sapa and Mai Chau. Accommodation will be multishare rooms, with simple bedding and shared bathroom facilities. While accommodation is simple, the warm welcome and home-cooked meals will be comforting after a day of exercise
Kayak around secluded islands in Lan Ha Bay to explore this world renowned scenery. While this bay is generally sheltered, this is sea kayaking so you will need to be confident on and in water for this activity
LONG TRAVEL DAYS
There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.
OUR BIKES – VIETNAM
We use Giant Rincon Disc bikes on this trip. These bikes are mountain bike-style with flat bars, front suspension and 24 gears. For more specific information please see https://www.giant-bicycles.com/int/rincon-disc-2016
On the cycling section of this trip there will be a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others.
Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle.
Health related to Covid-19. This operator has a policy in place for COVID-19 and their adventures. Please request full details so we can share the most up to date information with you and be aware that the note below was relevant at the time of writing but may have changed. Thanks!
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people.
As a solo traveller, you will be paired up with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport information. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis.
If you’re not comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same gender, you also have the choice to pay for a single supplement (available on the majority of our trips).
If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly.
Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.
We love this operator for the freedom and flexibility they give travellers to get off the tourist trails and really experience local cultures. Their style of small group travel is perfect for solo travellers, couples or small groups of friends and their grassroots style of travel seeks to have a positive impact on the communities they visit.
They use local leaders, local accommodation & transport and support local community projects, ensuring sustainability is at the centre of everything they do.
In addition, they expect their staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel – respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.
A most helpful, friendly and knowledgeable travel company!Very helpful and provided lots of research material and excellent personal perspectives on the tall ship sailing trip I was interested in taking.
Excellent thoughtful service.They were prompt and friendly, and so thorough and helpful in connecting me with my adventure.
One of a Kind Service!From the very beginning of reaching out to AWA, they were super helpful, enthusiastic and informative.
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