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Kunming to Hanoi Yunnan Vietnam Overland Tour - 17 Days

Destination: Yunnan,Vietnam
Duration: Seventeen Day
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Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:All Year
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This Yunnan Vietnam Tour takes you on a fascinating journey from one of China's most mystical provinces to the scenic north of Vietnam. Along the way visit the ancient towns of Dali and Lijiang and witness stunning natural wonders at Tiger Leaping Gorge, the surreal Stone Forest, and the breath-taking Yuanyang Rice Terraces. Crossing the border into Vietnam you reach the mountainous beauty, and hill tribes, of Sapa. Continue down to the sublime karst landscapes of rural Ninh Binh, before spending a night in Halong Bay drifting on a junk through one of the world's most outstanding natural beauty spot. Finish with a thorough exploration of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, with its narrow streets, outstanding food, and vibrant atmosphere.
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$4200/persons 4200USD/Person

Day 1  Kunming
Upon arrival at Kunming International Airport you will be welcomed to China by your private English speaking guide, and then transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night at the Green Lake Hotel (Lake View Room).

Day 2 Kunming - Dali
Private transfer: After an early breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for the short flight to Dali with China Southern.
Flight: CZ3481 Kunming - Dali 10.45 - 11.30
Private transfer: On arrival in Dali you will be met and transferred to your hotel to check in.
Afternoon guided tour of Dali: This afternoon you will visit the ancient Temple of the Three Pagodas, which stands testament to the outstanding architectural skill and wisdom of the ancient people as well as a symbol of Dali's grand tradition of culture. Afterwards take the chairlift up Cangshan Mountain for some spectacular views (weather permitting) of Dali Old Town and Erhai Lake. Walk along the trail half way up for some good photo opportunities and later there is a fishing boat tour across Erhai Lake, taking in the scenic villages around the lake, after which you will return to your hotel to relax.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night at the Landscape Hotel (Standard Room).

Day 3 Dali - Lijiang
Morning trip to Xizhou Market: After breakfast set off North towards Lijiang. Shortly after leaving your hotel you will pass through the small village of Xizhou. Stop and pay an early morning visit to the daily market, busy with local commerce. The market is an important trading centre for locals, particular those of the Bai minority who will be here in abundance.
Road journey from Dali to Lijiang: After your visit to the market head on to Lijiang. The journey will take around 3 hours and on arrival you will be transferred to your hotel on the edge of the old town to check in.
Guided tour of Lijiang: After checking in you will visit the main sights of Lijiang. Start at Lion Hill which overlooks the Old Town and then take a stroll around the picturesque Black Dragon Pool. Later you will visit Mu Palace which is in the centre of the old town and the town's colourful market. Tonight you will enjoy a performance of traditional local music given by the elderly musicians of the Naxi Orchestra who achieved international fame on Michael Palin's TV series ¡®Himalaya'.
Accommodation: Stay 2 nights at the Zen Garden Wuyi Yard (Standard Room).

Day 4 Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang
Full day guided tour to Tiger Leaping Gorge: After breakfast set off on the drive to Tiger Leaping Gorge which is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Wedged tightly between titanic cliffs, the Yangtze River is so narrow here, so legend tells us, that a hunted tiger made his escape to the other side of the river in a single bound. In the afternoon you will stop at the village of the Stone Drum where you can see the first great bend of the Yangtze River. The approach of Stone Drum offers a dramatic view of the Yangtze's near 180 degree turn where the water performs a grand about face. For nearly 13 miles the river, first flowing south, then north, runs parallel to itself. Locals say that if it were not for their village standing guard at the bend, China would lose the water of the Yangtze to Southeast Asia, as happens with the nearby Mekong and Salween rivers. Return to Lijiang early evening.

Day 5 Lijiang - Kunming
Private transfer: After an early breakfast you will be transferred to Lijiang's airport for the China Eastern flight to Kunming.
Flight: MU5805 Lijiang - Kunming 08.40 - 09.30
Private transfer: On arrival back in Kunming you will be transferred to your hotel to check in.
Guided tour of Kunming: After checking in you will set out to explore Kunming. Start at the fascinating Zhuang Tong food market and then visit the Yuan Tong Temple which is the largest Buddhist complex in Kunming. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and afterwards visit Kunming's famous Golden Temple which is a unique Taoist temple. This afternoon you will also discover the Bamboo Temple with its famous, finely crafted, 500 Luohan statues and later you can take a stroll in the flower & bird market before returning to your hotel.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night at the Green Lake Hotel (Lake View Room).

Day 6 Kunming - Stone Forest - Jianshui
Guided visit to the Stone Forest: After breakfast set off on the drive to the Stone Forest which is around a 2 hour drive from Kunming. The Stone Forest is one of China's most remarkable phenomena and consists of innumerable bizarre shaped ancient limestone cliffs and peaks created by wind and water erosion some 200 million years ago. Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant.
Private transfer to Jianshui with sightseeing: After lunch you will leave the Stone Forest and drive to Jianshui. On arrival you will visit the Confucius Temple which is the biggest temple in Yunnan Province, located near the north Gate of Jiangshui, and one of the most important historical relics as it was built in 1285. Afterwards you will check into your hotel and then set out to visit the Zhu Family Garden which is an enormous residential complex built by Zhu Chaoying and his brother in the late Qing Dynasty. Dinner will be taken in a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Stay 1 night at the Lin An Inn (Standard Room).

Day 7 Jianshui - Yuanyang
Private transfer from Jianshui to Yuangyang: Enjoy a leisurely morning in Jianshui exploring the picturesque ancient streets and the peaceful grounds of your hotel. After lunch, set off for Yuanyang and the famous rice terraces. Head south for around 2 hours (depending on local traffic), before arriving in the late afternoon.
 First visit to the Yuanyang rice terraces: Before checking in to your hotel, visit the 'Tiger's Mouth' section of the rice terraces in time for a spectacular sunset photography opportunity. Continue on to the Yunti Hotel, the best in the area, where you will be staying while you explore the region.
Accommodation: Stay 2 nights at the Yunti Hotel (Standard Room).

Day 8 Yuanyang
Full day exploring the Yuanyang rice terraces and villages: Make an early start this morning to catch the sunrise at Duoyishu, departing the hotel around 5am. Duoyishu is the sight for arguably the most spectacular photographic opportunities, and keen photographers will wish to visit a couple of times to guarantee a great shot. Later in the day, continue on to Shengcun village, in between Duoyishu and nearby Bada. The best time to visit Shengcun is on market days, when the streets are filled with Yi and Hani minority villagers dressed top to toe in traditional clothing. Villagers come from many miles around to buy and sell food, produce, livestock, clothing, and many other kinds of merchandise. While a memorable sightseeing opportunity, this market does remain an intrinsically local affair. We urge visitors to be respectful of local life, and perhaps to consider buying local handmade produce - thus contributing to the rural economy and the upkeep of traditional crafts and skills. Continue on to Bada rice terraces in time for sunset, and more breathtaking photo opportunities. Return to your hotel in the early evening, taking dinner either here or in a local restaurant of your guide's recommendation.

Day 9 Yuanyang - Hekou (China) - Lao Cai (Vietnam) - Sapa
Private transfer to Hekou: After breakfast you will set out on the drive to Hekou on the Vietnamese border. The drive will take around 3 hours and you will have lunch at a local restaurant on the way.
 Meet & greet: After saying good bye to your Chinese guide you will pass through Customs & Immigration and then walk across the bridge into Lao Cai on the Vietnamese side of the border. Please note you must have obtained your Vietnamese visa before arriving in Vietnam. As you arrive in Lao Cai you will be met by your Vietnamese guide and driver.
 Private transfer to Sapa: After meeting your guide you will be transferred to your hotel in Sapa, around 45 minutes away. The journey there is a stunning trip up a winding road surrounded by steep mountains and terraced rice fields. On arrival in Sapa you will check into your hotel.
Afternoon at leisure: After checking in the rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the rural hill tribe villages of the Hmong, Dzao and Dzay minorities in the spectacular landscape around Sapa.
Accommodation: Stay 2 nights at the Chau Long Sapa Hotel (Standard Room).

Day 10 Sapa
Full day guided tour of Sapa: After breakfast enjoy a full day's tour of the region. Drive around 5 miles along the rim of a deep valley, along the road you will see Hmong, Dzay and Dzao minority people dressed in their traditional costumes, and then a 30 minute walk takes you over a rattan bridge to the picturesque Ta Van village, home to all three minorities, where you can see the daily lives of the hill tribes and get a feel for their culture and customs. This afternoon you will explore the region some more before return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 11 Sapa - Lao Cai - Hanoi
Guided tour of Sapa: Breakfast at the hotel and visit the colourful Can Cau market which is full of montagnards from surrounding villages. They dress in their most colourful costumes and head to the market to exchange goods or sell self-made souvenirs. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant. This afternoon enjoy a walking tour of Ban Pho village and then heas towards Lao Cai.
Private transfer: Late afternoon you will be transferred back to Lao Cai in time to catch the overnight train back to Hanoi.
Train journey to Hanoi: You will be booked on the Victoria Express Train in a private cabin. The train will depart from Lao Cai this evening around 19.30.

Day 12 Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh
Arrival in Hanoi and private transfer to Ninh Binh: The train arrives early in Hanoi, around 4.20am, but you can keep your cabin until 7am. At which point you will be met by your guide who will take you for breakfast in a local restaurant. After breakfast you will set off on the 2 hour drive to Ninh Binh.
 Guided tour of Tam Coc & Hoa Lu: On arrival in Ninh Binh you will take a sampan ride to Tam Coc which is called "Halong on land" as it has the same limestone rock formations but is surrounded by paddy fields and streams rather than the sea. Afterwards you will visit the Bich Dong Pagoda, which dates from the 17th century, and later the Temples of Dinh and Le dynasties at Hoa Lu. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. This afternoon you will be transferred to Vinh with a stopover at the Cuong Temple, near Dien Chau town, which is famous for the legendary love story of Trong Thuy and My Chau. After the sightseeing return to Ninh Binh to check in to your hotel.
Accommodation: Stay 2 nights at the Tam Coc Garden (Bungalow).

Day 13 Ninh Binh
Guided tour of Ninh Binh: After breakfast at the hotel you will explore Ninh Binh and the surrounding area. Visit the stone church at Phat Diem. This is the centre of Catholicism in north Vietnam. Nearby are some unique houses which combine architectural influences from Catholic and Vietnamese traditions.
Afternoon exploration in Cuc Phuong National Park: Continue on to nearby Cuc Phuong National Park. This forest reserve has been protected from development since 1960, consecrated in 1962 by Ho Chi Minh himself. The park is home to vast array of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, insects, and tree and plant life. There are a number of walking trails sprawling throughout the 22,000 hectare site, some leading to a fascinating network of caves. Included amongst these is the Cave of Prehistoric Man - one of the earliest known sites of human existence in Vietnam, relics excavated from the site can be dated back over 7,500 years. There are also a number of dedicated conservation centres (for primates, turtles, and pangolins respectively) within the grounds, as well as a small, peaceful botanical garden.

Day 14 Hanoi - Halong Bay
Overnight Halong Bay Cruise on the Halong Ginger Junk: This morning you will be transferred to the quay to board the Halong Ginger Junk in time for lunch, and set sail across the bay. All activities arranged by the cruise are on a shared basis. After lunch take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay. There will also be the opportunity for swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck of the Halong Ginger. In the late afternoon there will be an excursion to a local fishing village, and a water tunnel. Return to the boat in time for a pre-dinner drink as the sun is setting.

Day 15 Halong Bay - Hanoi
Morning's Cruise: Enjoy an early breakfast and then visit Luon Cave on a small bamboo boat. Afterwards return to the junk and this morning's cruise takes you to Man's Head Island and Tortoise Island. After seeing these amazing rock formations return to the quay in Halong City around midday.
Private transfer: On arrival at the quay you will be met by your guide and transferred back to Hanoi. On arrival in Hanoi you will be transferred to your hotel to check in and relax for the rest of the day.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights at the La Dolce Vita Hotel (Superior Room).

Day 16 Hanoi
Full day guided tour of Hanoi: This morning you will head for the Soviet style Ba Dinh Square where Ho Chi Minh read out the declaration of the nation's independence in 1945. Here you will visit his mausoleum (you will be asked to remove hats if entering, and no shorts or vests are allowed) escorted by a soldier in full regalia. As you leave you will be able to walk through the gardens of the Presidential Palace before seeing Ho Chi Minh's house, the modest dwelling he built based on a rural Vietnamese stilt house and where "Uncle Ho" lived for the last years of his life. You will also see the One Pillar Pagoda which is nearby. Afterwards you will visit the ancient Temple of Literature which was built in the 11th century and was the first university established in Vietnam. Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant. This afternoon you will visit the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Ethnology, where you can get a greater understanding of Vietnam's diverse populace, and later the Quan Thanh Temple.


Day 17 Hanoi
Private transfer: Rlax on your own. Enjoy the last few hours at your hotel.Late afternoon transfer to the airport to check in. Depart Hanoi.


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