7 days, 6 nights


The 7 Day Northern Exposure Tour is perfect if you are wanting to take in the big four tourist sites in northern Vietnam – Hanoi, Sapa, Ninh Binh and Halong Bay! Start off exploring the capital, then trek through the terraced rice fields of Sapa, visit the gorgeous Trang An and take a cruise through Halong Bay. You’ll be doing something different everyday, giving you the best experiences and making the most of your time.


Stunning scenery


Local homestay




Day 1: Hanoi – Lao Cai (Night train)

The tour commences at 8AM with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, his museum and the wooden ethnic minority house where he lived from 1958 till 1969. You’ll learn about this important political figure and how he shaped modern Vietnam. Next to the Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. The structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi and a great photo opportunity. We’ll then visit the must-see Temple of Literature, built in the 11th century as an homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius.

In the afternoon, our guide will take you to the Museum of Ethnology where you will learn about the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. Here you’ll be able to gain a greater insight into the diverse cultures within Vietnam. Next we’ll visit the Ngoc Son Temple set on a tiny island on the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Next we’ll hit the streets by cyclo, exploring the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, each named after the products that are, or once were, sold there. You’ll then attend a traditional water puppet and then have dinner. From here you’ll be taken to the train station, for your overnight journey to Lao Cai.

Day 2: Lao Cai - Ta Van - Sapa

You’ll arrive early in the morning and be greeted by your friendly guide who will take your hotel so you can freshen up and have breakfast. We’ll pop into the local market for a quick look and then begin our trek towards Muong Hoa Valley and the Hoang Lien mountain ranges. Then, we’ll walk along the Muong Hoa River, cross a suspension bridge, and if you like you can take a dip in the river. We’ll arrive in Ta Van and you’ll have time to explore the village before being driven back to your hotel in Sapa.

Day 3: Sapa - Ta Phin - Sapa - Hanoi (Night train)

After breakfast we’ll begin trekking to Ta Phin, passing through Black H’mong and Red Zao minority villages. Both of these minority groups are for famous for producing unique handicrafts. We’ll also visit a local school and you can meet the students. After lunch you’ll be driven back your hotel in Sa Pa to shower and have a quick dinner before catching the night train back to Hanoi.

Day 4: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu

On arrival in our Hanoi we’ll have breakfast and then a private car will drive you to Ninh Binh (2.5 hours). On arrival we’ll go to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of the Dinh and Le dynasties. We’ll then visit the Bich Dong Pagoda, located on top of a mountain with stunning views. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. You’ll then hop aboard a boat to explore Trang An, a Unesco World Heritage Natural Site. The boat ride is approximately two hours long, taking you through rice fields, limestone mountains and caves. You’ll then check-in to your hotel and enjoy dinner.

Day 5: Ninh Binh - Halong Bay

After breakfast we’ll drive to Halong Bay and you’ll board a traditional junk boat and set sail. You’ll enjoy the view of the endless islands and jungle-clad limestone cliffs as you sit down to a delicious lunch. The boat will take you past the distinctive formations of Chicken Rock and Titop Island. In the afternoon you’ll head out in a bamboo boat to explore the Dark and Bright Lagoon in Bai Tu Long Bay. There is plenty of time to relax on the junk’s sun-deck, taking advantage of the spa services and sip a cocktail or two if you like, before dinner. Later, take the opportunity to try your hand at squid fishing before retreating to your room for peaceful sleep.

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Wake early to start your day with Tai Chi on the sun-deck, as the sun rises over the bay. After a light breakfast, discover one of Halong Bay’s biggest and most beautiful caves, the Surprise Cave. You’ll then return to the boat and enjoy a final meal before sailing back to the Tuan Chau Marina and be taken back to your hotel in Hanoi.

Day 7: Hanoi

Depending on your flight time, you’ll have free time today and we’ll transfer you to the airport.

Itinerary subject to change or cancellation due to weather conditions.

Included: Ground transport, English-speaking guide, accommodation, activities & meals mentioned above. Not included: Airfares, visa fees, travel insurance, gratuities, personal expenses & all other services not clearly mentioned above.



We give local people employment, income and learning opportunities so they are directly involved in your tourism experience. Our guides and hosts will give you a special insight into culture and life in Vietnam.


We aim to minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and the local community while contributing positively to local economies. We don’t just talk responsible tourism, we act!

Tours that translate

10% of all profits from our tours go towards a community fund. This money allows us to make infrastructure improvements and provide other important resources to those in need.


Select your preferred start date, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to you soon with up-to-date prices and availability.


“We had YESD organise a trip to Ninh Binh last March and it was beyond what we had expected. Above all, the guys from YESD were really helpful and supportive, making our trip wonderfully smooth and memorable.” See more.

Bich Phuong / Trip Advisor