Best Hanoi Sapa Halong Bay Vietnam Itinerary 6 days

February 26, 2022 - 369 views

Vietnam is a scenic country with more than a thousand miles of coastline to the east, rugged mountains to the west, the coastal plains, wonderful beaches, green rice paddies, the Delta regions…No matter where you go, you’ll find something beautiful, interesting than anything you’ve ever seen before. Follow the below itinerary for 6 days Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Sapa in the North, and you will find the most spectacular sights in this country.

Hanoi Sapa Halong Bay itinerary 6 days

Hanoi Sapa Halong Bay itinerary 6 days  maps

Day 1, 2: Hanoi & Transfer to Sapa

Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You will be able to reach Hanoi Old Quarter from the nearest international airport, Noi Bai after 40 mins by car. Some of you may get jet lag and need some time to recover from the long flight, but some are eager to explore Hanoi.

There are a lot of things you can do in your free time in Hanoi such as watching cultural shows in Hanoi Opera House, or Water puppet show, signing up for Hanoi street food tour or Cooking Class, strolling at night market during weekends, or just relaxing with Spa and massage at your hotel.


Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi


There are numerous historical and cultural sites in Hanoi, you may need at least 2 days to visit most of them. However, on a half-day tour with a knowledgeable tour guide, you will have a brief understanding of the history and culture of this city. The below are recommended places to visit for your short time in Hanoi.

Temple of Literature: It is the first university in Vietnam, which was established in 1070 to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins, and members of the elite. Unlike another religious temple, the Temple of Literature is a historical attraction, which witnessed the thousand years of Hanoi capital. It is a place where many candidates, students coming to pray for their studying career; and the first place for foreign visitors to come for their first time to Hanoi.

Temple of Literature

Hanoi Temple of Literature

Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex: Ho Chi Minh complex includes Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & Museum, and his modest house on stilts. The mausoleum is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, while the museum is the place to know more about Uncle Ho’s life and his revolutionary cause, as well as Vietnam history.

Not far away from Ho Chi Minh Museum is One Pillar Pagoda, resembling a lotus blossoming from the pond. One Pillar Pagoda is considered Asia’s most unique piece of architecture, so do not miss seeing this pillar when in the complex.

Picturesque West Lake and Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda: with a serene and tranquil beauty would definitely be a proper stop for those who were on a city tour. West Lake Hanoi is also a place where Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest Pagoda in the capital of Vietnam located.

The pagoda is respectfully considered a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. If you have been there for the first time, you will be highly likely to be surprised by a number of intricate statues, each of which has a unique facial feature.


The next place I would recommend visiting in north Vietnam is Sapa, a picturesque mountain town located in Lao Cai Province on a hilltop at 1650 meters above sea level.

The 2 most common ways to travel from Hanoi to Sapa are taking a 9-hour overnight train and a 6-hour limousine bus. The overnight train is a good way to save travel time and money as you do not need to pay for a night accommodation as it starts around 9 P.M, and arrives at Lao Cai train station in the morning the next day. 

Another option to travel from Hanoi to Sapa is by bus. There are more than 60 buses departing from Hanoi each day including Sapa Limousine VIP, Eco Sapa, Fansipan Express, Queen Cafe, Inter Bus Lines, Sao Viet, Green Bus, Sapa Express… 


Day 3, 4: Sapa trekking to the village

Welcome to Sapa which is home to the eight distinct ethnic groups including Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa, and Xa Pho. You may need more than 2 days to visit all the villages, so pick up some villages with the best trekking routes

Trekking route: Y Dinh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van and Cat Cat - Sin Chai

Y Linh Ho is small with about 200 households, but an interesting village, where Black Mong people live. The path from the main road to the village is winding, tortuous, and sloping, so the village is not as so noisy as it is in the center, but peaceful and quiet. People here live mainly on growing rice and corn. Local people usually wear dark clothes like black and navy. The main attractions of the trekking route are the Muong Hoa stream, rice terraces, images of wood-made houses, weaving and dyeing methods, winding paths along hillsides.

Lao Chai Village is not far away from Y Dinh Ho village, which is home to Black Mong and Giay people. Unlike Black Mong people, the Giay wear relatively simple clothing that boasts splashy, vibrant colors but less ornamentation than Hmong textiles. Coming to this village, tourists often feel welcomed by the hospitable Giay people. You can join them in some activities such as weaving fabric and textiles. It is great if you can buy their product such as brocade scarves, embroidering cuíhions, or ethnic instruments for souvenirs.

Trekking to Village in Sapa

Trekking to Village in Sapa


From Lao Chai, you now continue to trek to Tan Van village. Residents in this village are mainly the H’Mong ethnic, Giay, and Red Dao… with approximately 1000 people. The road leading to Ta Van village is small, narrow, full of corn and rice terraced fields along the two sides. Coming here, tourists will be amazed at the simple beauty of the houses in the village: stilted houses and common houses. Ethnic Giay is well known for some special dishes such as roast fish of Muong Hum, horse meat of Muong Khuong, sticky rice of Van Ban…

Cat Cat Village: only 3 km from Sapa town, you need about 30 mins to trek there. The road to Cat Cat is quite beautiful, you will go through the winding curves of the road, the two sides are terraced rice fields and houses. The village is attractive with a wonderful waterfall at the entrance of the village, the giant water wheels. When coming inside the village, you will be delighted to witness the daily activities of the locals: women sitting and weaving in front of a loom making eye-catching brocades with beautiful patterns of flowers, leaves, animals, other people carving, making farm tools and crafts.

Sin Chai Village: home to the Red Dao people, where the women wear beautifully embroidered garments with silver jewelry and a huge turban. The village is situated on the roof of Fansipan Mountain, and has many wonderful sceneries such as wonderful rice paddies, waterfalls, and leisurely grazing buffaloes… Walking through the village, tourists are mostly accompanied by the local children, who are probably not well-educated but still being extremely hospitable and enthusiastic to make you happy, speak fluent English.

After visiting Sapa you may need to use the car to get back to Sapa town for the bus back to Hanoi.


Day 5, 6: Halong Bay cruise

Say goodbye to Sapa, we now head to Halong Bay, one of the Seven Natural Wonders in the world. Some may need 3 days to explore the bay, but 2 days is enough for those who are short in time. Depending on each cruise you book, Halong itineraries are different in some activities, times, but most of the Halong Bay Cruise from Hanoi is start in the morning between 8:00 - 9:00 AM

Our cruise already included transferring Hanoi to Halong Bay by bus or private car depending on your tour type booked. It will take you from 2.5 - 3 hours to transfer to Halong Cruise port.

Overnight on Halong Cruise

Overnight on Halong Cruise

From here you will be transferred by tender to the cruise, welcomed by the boat cruise. Then, it’s time to learn about the cruise briefing and safety instructions while sipping a welcome drink. Delicious local seafood will be served on board. The cruise passes amazing limestone karst formations rise up out of the sea in an impressive manner, and you can also behold thousands of limestone islands and grottoes rising from the clear, emerald water. 

All meals and activities on a boat like visiting a cave, doing kayaking, or enjoying swimming are included. Besides you can join a cooking class, or a fruit and vegetable carving lesson to understand Vietnamese food culture.

Amazing Kayaking in Halong Bay

Amazing Kayaking in Halong Bay

After ending 2 days in Halong bay you will transfer back to Hanoi for your next trip or back home.

It is the end of 6 days tour in the north of Vietnam. That would be great if you can extend your holiday in the north, or travel down south to the center or south area of Vietnam. There are many things waiting for you to explore. 

Or find out more Halong Bay Sapa package tours here.

Jenny Tran

(Images source: Internet)

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