Vietnam Soft Adventure Tour 12 Days

Embark on the “Vietnam Soft Adventure Tour: 12 Days,” a journey designed for those who seek a blend of cultural immersion and outdoor activities across Vietnam’s most stunning landscapes. From the historical depths of Hanoi to the mystical expanses of Ha Long Bay and the remote ethnic villages nestled in the mountainous terrains of Sapa, this tour offers an in-depth exploration of Vietnam’s diverse heritage and natural beauty.
Your adventure begins in the bustling capital city of Hanoi, where ancient history and modernity fuse into a vibrant urban tapestry. Experience the traditional art of Water Puppetry and navigate through the Colonial and Old Quarters on a cyclo. The journey takes a rugged turn as you trek through the picturesque terraced fields of Sapa, engage with local ethnic communities, and revel in the serene beauty of Vietnam’s countryside.
The tour continues with the exploration of the world-renowned Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, home to some of the most spectacular caves and karst formations on the planet. Adventure deep into the jungles, swim through caves, and camp under the stars. Transition from the tranquility of nature to the majestic waters of Ha Long Bay aboard a traditional junk boat, cruising through emerald waters dotted with limestone islands.
Concluding in the dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, your journey through Vietnam offers not only a glimpse into the country’s rich tapestry of history and nature but also an active engagement with its peaceful and picturesque landscapes. This 12-day tour is perfect for those looking to experience Vietnam’s culture, adventure, and natural wonders in one comprehensive package.


Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (G)

Start your adventure as soon as you land at Noi Bai airport where you’ll be greeted and taken to your hotel to settle in. Spend your first day soaking in the vibrant energy of Hanoi with a cyclo tour through the Colonial and Old Quarters, showcasing a unique blend of architectural styles.

In the afternoon, enjoy the quintessential Vietnamese cultural experience with a Water Puppetry performance, offering insights into the agricultural roots of northern Vietnam.

The evening will be free to explore at your leisure.

Day 2: Exploring Artisan Villages around Hanoi (B, L, G)

In the morning, you’ll be picked up and driven to Bat Trang, a village located approximately 15km downriver from Hanoi, renowned for its fine ceramics. Your guide will lead you through the bustling tourist area to the quieter, old part of the village along the riverside. Here, you can wander the narrow streets, observe the manufacturing process, and meet the craftspeople. If you like, you can even try your hand at making a ceramic product to take home as a souvenir.

Next, you’ll head to Lung Khe village, where you’ll enjoy a lunch prepared by a local family. Afterward, you’ll experience traditional Quan Ho music performed by villagers in the commune house. These singers have recently been officially recognized as part of Vietnam’s ‘living heritage.’ In the late afternoon, you’ll return to Hanoi for a brief rest.

In the evening, our car will pick you up and take you to Hanoi railway station, where you’ll board the overnight sleeper train to Lao Cai.

Despite being called a ‘village,’ Bat Trang is more like a small town. The upper area is highly commercialized, focusing on glazed ceramic artifacts, while the riverside ‘ancient’ village specializes in earthenware and pottery products. Additionally, there is a large ceramics market with many small businesses offering a wide variety of items.

Day 3: Sapa Exploration (B, L, D, G)

You’ll arrive in the early morning and be driven to Sapa. After checking into your hotel and taking a short break, you’ll transfer to a trekking point near Thanh Kim. From there, you’ll walk downhill on a small trail towards the Thanh Phu suspension bridge over the picturesque Muong Bo River. The trail takes you through rice paddy terraces and hillsides, offering magnificent valley views and opportunities to see animals like water buffalos, goats, and mountain pigs, which belong to the local Tay and Red Dao minorities but roam freely.

You’ll then head up to Thanh Phu village for lunch in a local house. After lunch, you’ll trek to Sin Chai village via Nam Cum village, both inhabited by the Red Dao minority. You will stay overnight in a local house in Sin Chai village, enjoying the warm hospitality of the Red Dao.

Approx: Grade 3 of 5 with 45 minutes driving & 6 hours walking.

Day 4: Immersive Trek from Sin Chai to Nam Cang (B, L, D, G)

After breakfast in a peaceful setting, you will begin your second day of trekking with an easy walk to Nam Nhiu village, inhabited by the Red Dao minority. From there, you’ll visit Nam Than village, the only village in the area inhabited by the White H’mong minority. Next, you’ll descend to Nam Cang village for lunch in a local Red Dao house.

In the afternoon, you’ll walk to Nam Sai village along a small road with stunning views of mountains and a waterfall. After leaving the village, you’ll return to Thanh Phu village, home to the Tay minority. Here, you’ll enjoy a well-prepared dinner and stay overnight in a local family’s stilt house.

Approx: Grade 2 of 5 with 6 hours of walking.

Day 5: Thanh Phu to Hanoi via Sapa (B, L, G)

On the last day of the trek you will cross several suspension bridges and trek through lush rice paddy fields and stunning scenery. You have a unique opportunity to meet Xa Pho minority in My Son village, one of the smallest ethnic group living in Northern Viet Nam. They always maintain their unique costume and nomadic life. You trek uphill to Nam Toong village of Red Dao minority, where you have lunch in a local school.

In the afternoon, your trek will be mostly downhill to Ban Ho village. You then arrive at Ban Ho village, the area’s largest village, spreads along the two banks of Muong Bo Rivers. Here the Tay minority still live their ancestor life on traditional stilt house. Your vehicle will then pick you up at Ban Ho village and transfer you back to Lao Cai station for your night train back to Hanoi.

Approx: Grade 2 of 5/ 1 hour driving/ 5 hours walking

Note: The difficult level of this trek depends on the condition of weather. Therefore, the itinerary is subjected to changes.

Day 6: Arrival in Hanoi and Flight to Dong Hoi (B, D, DP)

Early in the morning, you’ll arrive back in Hanoi. A short break at a hotel allows you to refresh and have breakfast before you’re transferred to the airport for your flight to Dong Hoi. Upon arrival in Dong Hoi, the rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the local area or relax at your hotel. This provides a gentle pause in your adventure, preparing you for the next leg of your journey in the stunning landscapes of central Vietnam. In the evening you will dropped off at your hotel in Phong Nha Town with dinner included and a free evening to enjoy your new surroundings.

Day 7: Discovering Phong Nha’s Caves (B, L, D, G)

Your adventure begins when your guide and driver pick you up from your hotel in Phong Nha, whisking you away to the Oxalis office in Tan Hoa Village, about 70 km away. Here, you’ll get a quick briefing on your trekking itinerary and safety regulations, pack your bag, sign the release form, and gear up with essential safety equipment.

The journey kicks off with a scenic 2.5 km hike through lush corn and peanut fields leading to the Rao Nan River. After crossing the river and scaling a small rocky hill, you’ll descend into the tranquil Hung Ton Valley. This is where you’ll take a well-deserved break and enjoy lunch at the entrance of Hung Ton Cave.

After lunch, the trek gets a bit more exciting with some steep hills that lead to the picturesque Tu Lan Valley campsite by the waterfall. In the afternoon, dive into some fun with swimming and exploring Ken Cave, which is conveniently close to the campsite.

As the day winds down, you’ll return to the campsite for a delightful dinner prepared by our talented chefs. With the serene mountains, forests, and the soothing sounds of the waterfall around you, you’ll drift off to a peaceful night’s sleep, amongst the wonderful nature of this area in Vietnam.

Day 8: Exploring Tu Lan Cave System (B, L, D, G)

Today’s adventure takes you through the stunning Hang Tu Lan and Hang Kim caves, leading to the picturesque To Mo Valley. You’ll trek, explore, and swim through these spectacular caves, stopping for lunch at the serene To Mo campsite. Afterward, swim into Hung Ton Cave beside a beautiful waterfall, where you’ll climb a 10-meter ladder with safety harnesses for an added thrill. A short hike brings you to the cave entrance, offering breathtaking views of Hung Ton Valley, perfect for photos.

After enjoying the scenery, you’ll trek back to the Oxalis Tan Hoa office through Hung Ton Valley, crossing the Rao Nan River and lush peanut and corn fields. At the office, relax, shower, and enjoy a drink while saying goodbye to your team before heading back to Phong Nha for your overnight stay.

Located in Tan Hoa Village, Minh Hoa District, Quang Binh, about 70 km northwest of Phong Nha, the Tu Lan cave system (including Hang La Ken) is a treasure trove for adventure seekers. The trek involves 12 km of easy to moderate hiking, including up to 2 km of caving, with a 300-meter elevation gain and 1 km of swimming inside the caves. You’ll also descend a 15-meter ladder inside one of the caves. This area features a valley and limestone mountain range with four caves adorned with stunning stalagmites and stalactites, a small waterfall, and an underground river.

Day 9: National Park Exploration and Return to Hanoi (B, L, G)

After breakfast, embark on a journey to the mesmerizing Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, known for its impressive limestone formations, grottoes, and caves, all surrounded by Vietnam’s largest primeval forest.

The main cave, Phong Nha, shares its name with the entire network of caves and sinkholes. It’s the most accessible and captivating, featuring formations with whimsical names like the Fairy Caves, Royal Court, and Buddha. For speleologists, the cave’s intricate network of underground rivers and passageways offers a deeper fascination, although access to the larger complex is restricted for research purposes.

After exploring the park, return to Dong Hoi for your overnight train journey to Hanoi, carrying unforgettable memories of Phong Nha-Ke Bang’s natural splendour.

Day 10: Ha Long Bay Adventure Begins (B, L, D, G)

Arrive at Hanoi Station in the early morning, where your driver and guide will take you to your hotel for breakfast and refreshment. Then, head to Ha Long Bay, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s largest marine limestone karst landscape. You’ll board a wooden junk to cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay, visiting a less frequented cave. Continue toward Cong Do for swimming or kayaking through a hidden lagoon. The route avoids busy areas, ensuring a peaceful overnight stay.

For your two-day Ha Long excursion, you’ll board the Dragon’s Pearl Junk, a newly designed wooden boat modeled after old Chinese court vessels. With eleven air-conditioned cabins, the boat offers ample space. Each cabin, about 9 m², features windows overlooking the bay, hardwood interiors, and en-suite bathrooms. Cabins are furnished with twin or double queen beds, wardrobes, pillows, cotton sheets, and toiletries. All meals, mainly fresh seafood, are provided on board, and kayaking is included.

Day 11: More of Ha Long Bay and Return to Hanoi (B, L, G)

Wake up to the fresh air of the bay and enjoy a swim or relax on the sundeck. After breakfast, continue your cruise to visit a fishing village and explore a hidden lagoon in a rustic rowing boat. The route ends at a Pearl Farm, where you can see the process of making high-quality pearls.

Then, cruise back to dock around noon and head back to Hanoi. Arrive at your hotel in the mid-afternoon, with the rest of the day free for your own activities. Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi.

Day 12: Departure from Hanoi (B, GP)

Your final day is free for last-minute shopping or sightseeing in Hanoi. Depending on your flight schedule, explore more of the city’s cultural sights or simply relax at a café. Later, you will be transferred to Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight, marking the end of your memorable 12-day adventure through Vietnam.


B = Breakfast

L = Lunch

D = Dinner

G = Guide

GP = Guide pick-up

DP = Driver pick-up


The prices for this private tour are per person in US dollars

These prices are valid until November 30, 2024.

Please note that bank transfer fees are not included.

Number in group 2 3 – 4 5 – 7 8 – 10 11 – 15 16 pax up *Supplement for single occupancy
Mid-range 2,239 1,978 1,687 1,632 1,589 1,744 274
Superior 2,334 2,073 1,782 1,727 1,684 1,757 370

* ‘Single room occupancy’ refers to the accommodation element of the programme only, and applies to someone who is travelling with others but requires an additional room for him or herself. Single traveller prices are available on request.’

Price is not valid for the Peak season, please contact us again for price checking and availability

Peak season: Dec 20th, 2024- Jan 07, 2025, and TET (Feb 05 – 18, 2025)


  • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
  • Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above
  • Domestic flight tickets: Hanoi – Dong Hoi, including domestic airport taxes.
  • Return train tickets: Hanoi – Lao Cai (sharing air-conditioned soft four-berth cabin, good local standard in Chapa Train carriage)
  • Train tickets: Dong Hoi – Hanoi (sharing air-conditioned soft four-berth cabin, good local standard in Lotus Train carriage),
  • Boat cruise as programme. For Ha Long Bay, you’ll join other passengers on a high quality wooden boat with comfortable accommodation, good facilities and an experienced crew. The boat will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
  • Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
  • Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
  • Lunches and dinners, as specified, in the best local restaurants, picnics where suitable restaurants are not available, and full board on the boat in Ha Long Bay.
  • Trekking gear for trekking in Phong Nha: Helmet, trekking boots (wet and dry trek), trekking pole, headlight, hammock, sleeping bag, porter (3 Pax share 1 porter)
  • VAT and other taxes


  • International flight tickets and airport taxes.
  • Regional flight tickets and airport taxes (some of our guests prefer to book international flights themselves – if you would like us to book the Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh City flights, please let us know and we’ll send you a quotation)
  • Visa stamping fees
  • Visas
  • Dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Insurance
  • Alternatives in blue

Hotel List

Hotel list for Mid-range standard:

  • Hanoi: Golden Silk Boutique Hotel (**** Good location in the Old Quarter, 5-minute walk to the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake – Luxury room)
  • Sapa: Homestay
  • Phong Nha: Phong Nha Farmstay (new French Colonial style, in the idyllic surroundings of rice paddy fields on the edge of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park – Suite room)
  • Tu Lan cave: Tent or hammock
  • Ha Long Bay: Dragon’s Pearl Junk (Traditional junk, Superior quality wooden junks modelled on Imperial Court vessels)

Hotel list for Superior standard:

  • Hanoi: Hanoi La Siesta Classic Hotel (**** an exclusive oasis in the Hanoi Old Quarter, just a short walk to the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake – Deluxe room)
  • Sapa: Homestay
  • Phong Nha: Phong Nha Farmstay (new French Colonial style, in the idyllic surroundings of rice paddy fields on the edge of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park – Suite room)
  • Tu Lan cave: Tent or hammock
  • Ha Long Bay: Dragon Legend Cruise (Traditional style, Deluxe quality boat modelled on Imperial Court vessels)
Please note that Vietnam hotels do not recognise provisional reservations, so specific hotels cannot be guaranteed until you have booked your chosen tour. As many of the better hotels are often full during the October to April peak season, early booking is advisable

Tour FAQ's

Here are some frequently asked questions for the “Vietnam Soft Adventure Tour 12 Days” that might help you plan your trip:

1. What is the physical activity level required for this tour?

  • This tour requires a moderate level of physical fitness due to daily walking and trekking in rural and sometimes uneven terrains. Some activities include long walks, swimming, and kayaking.

2. What should I pack for the trekking and caving parts of the tour?

  • Comfortable trekking shoes, light and breathable clothing, a hat, sunscreen, a durable water bottle, and a small backpack for carrying personal items. Also, bring swimwear and a change of clothes for water activities.

3. Is there an age limit for participants on this tour?

  • There is no strict age limit, but due to the physical demands of trekking and other outdoor activities, the tour may not be suitable for very young children or elderly travelers. It’s recommended for participants aged between 12 and 65 years who are in good health.

4. Are meals included throughout the tour?

  • Yes, most meals are included as specified in the itinerary (B for breakfast, L for lunch, D for dinner). Meals will feature local Vietnamese cuisine, and dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice.

5. What type of accommodation can I expect?

  • Accommodations vary from comfortable hotels in cities to guesthouses or homestays in rural areas. All accommodations are chosen for their cleanliness, safety, and local flavor.

6. What kind of transportation is used?

  • Transportation includes private vehicles, overnight sleeper trains, traditional junk boats, and domestic flights as detailed in the itinerary.

7. Are there any additional fees I should be aware of?

  • Entrance fees for all included activities and attractions are covered. However, personal expenses, optional activities, and tips are not included.

8. How large are the tour groups?

  • Group sizes vary but typically range from 6 to 15 people, fostering a more personalized and enjoyable experience.

9. What is the best time of year to take this tour?

  • The best time to visit Vietnam for this tour is during the spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October) months when the weather is more temperate and rainfall is minimal.

10. What are the emergency medical procedures? – Guides are trained to handle minor medical issues, and all tours are equipped with a basic first aid kit. For serious emergencies, local medical services will be contacted immediately, and assistance will be provided to reach the nearest medical facility.

These FAQs are designed to help you prepare for an adventurous and culturally rich experience in Vietnam.

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