This is Longitude 80's North Vietnam, a place of rippling mountains, cascading rice terraces, limestone islands in the sunset and one of our favorite cities in Asia: Hanoi.
This Dream Journey is aimed at giving you memories that last a lifetime forged in less than 10 days. We start in Hanoi, a city famous for its street food, where motorbikes whiz throughout the city streets (and sidewalks!), where locals lounge on street corners for hours drinking coffee, eating street food or playing a friendly game of checkers or in local parks at dawn. Explore old Hanoi with a chef who has written several Vietnamese cookbooks, have lunch with an art gallery owner and bike along the Red River.
Then we take a night train and go further north to Lao Cai and Sapa to hike amongst hill tribes with exotic names like the Red Dzao and the Black Hmong's and visit villages often shrouded in mist. Photograph sunset amongst the hundreds of rice paddies terraced along steep valleys and meet water buffaloes on the way to exotic morning markets.
We travel back to Hanoi, get on a seaplane and fly to Ha Long Bay, the Bay of Descending Dragons, with its seascape of limestone towers and 3000 islands. A perfect way to finish our expeditions, we sail for a few days on a luxurious junk complete with spa and butler as we hike amongst the bay’s islands, kayak and explore huge caves. Learn a bit of tai’chi on the main deck at sunrise and try a bit of snake wine, that can allegedly cure any sickness.
Our hotels are gorgeous, from the legendary French colonial Metropole Hotel in Hanoi where Charlie Chaplin honeymooned and Graham Greene wrote parts of the Quiet American to an amazing wilderness eco-lodge built on top of a mountain overlooking rice paddies and your very own suite on board the latest luxury junk to cruise the bay with floating spa.
Don’t visit the Descending Dragons of North Vietnam. Experience them.
We start and finish our trip in Hanoi with it's brand new international airport.
Nine days spread over Hanoi and the rice terraces of Sapa, plus a two - three night cruise in Ha Long Bay.
Spring and Fall seasons, so March/April or September/October.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ha Long Bay covers over 1500 square kilometres (600 square miles) and includes over 1946 limestone islands of all shapes and sizes.