Fred Bowen

    The overall trip was excellent. Especially pleased by the hotel in Hoian- SUPER! Thank you so much-


    W F Bowen




    "Thanks to you, we enjoyed our trip very much.

    Vangvieng has splendid view and is like an Utopia for us, and the hotel we stayed is very good, too.

    We also enjoyed two days' Mekong cruise in Luang Prabang.

    Anyway, Thank you very much for everything !!"



    N. Tsukahara

    Osaka, Japan




    "We are delighted to recommend Lai Phuong and Vietnam Explorer Travel. She has assisted us with dozens of travel details and travel itineraries for nearly a decade to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, USA, and all around Asia. Phuong provides truly first class service from A to Z. She is also a true expert on travel routes and accommodations throughout Vietnam. We give her our highest recommendation, 5 + stars!"


    Roger H. Ford, Ph. D.

    South China Sea Development Company, Limited (BVI)



    Ann Smith

    Dear Ms Phuong,

    Thank you. 

    We had a wonderful time in Myanmar.

    The hotels were all very good, especially the Governor's residence in Yangon.

    The guides were excellent and had good language skills and very good local knowledge.

    There was so much to see our heads were spinning!!

    We had many flights and airport connections and they all went without a single problem.

    We also had a great time in Vietnam as usual! It almost feels like home. 

    Kind regards,

    Anne & Ian Smith


    Ann Smith
    Sydney, Australia
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      Viet Nam

    [ 16 days] Northern Vietnam Highlights

    From $2,029 -

      From VND 40,125,000 / per person (group of 2 privately)

      Price can be adjusted without prior notice.

      In Vietnam, be immersed in history and amazed by the daily lives of the local people. Be enchanted by Halong Bay where the limestone islets rising out of the emerald waters are truly spectacular. The sacred Huong pagoda is the perfect visit for nature lovers. It is one of the most important Buddhists site in Vietnam.  Mai Chau is a relatively untouched part of the Northern land with beautiful scenery & idyllic villages surrounded by the mountains. The North west  of Vietnam combines remote Son La, Lai Chau then arrives  Sapa is worth to visit thanks to its rich cultural diversity & breathtaking mountainous landscapes. Ba Be & Tam Dao are great stops for nature enthusiasts to enjoy light treks, boat trips, hill tribe village visits whist admire the nature as much as they can. The little charming historic Hanoi will peace your minds and bodies during your leisure day. Why not try a gentle cyclo, or electric car ride to have a glimpse.


    Rest and Relax.


    08h00: Shuttle bus pick up at your hotel. Hanoi to Halong bay: arrive at noon, have lunch. In the afternoon, visit the bay & its caves, go kayaking, stay over night on boat. Overnight in Halong.


    Visit an island, check out, get back Hanoi at afternoon. On the return, you will have a short break at YenDucVillage – a typical Vietnamese agricultural village which is rich in culture and traditions. This is a great chance to visit the charming fields while wandering narrow alleyways in the odorous fresh air and enjoying the water puppet show there. Overnight in Hanoi.


    Hidden 70 km Southwest of Hanoi among lush paddy fields, limestone Karst and picturesque villages, the Perfume Pagoda (locally known as Chua Huong) is the highlight of the Hanoi surroundings and the perfect one-day trip. Enjoy the leisurely 3-hour sampan boat cruise through rice fields and 'Halong Bay' style rock formations. Trek up to the 'temple leading to heaven' and enjoy thepeaceful surroundings.


    Enjoy the morning 3 hours and a half ride  to Mai Chau. Check in .Rest & Relax then time for lunch which local food will be served by your host. In the afternoon, your guide will escort you for a light trek through beautiful hill side villages, magnificent rice paddies, seeing hand crafted bamboo water wheels whilst taking photos. Return your place in late afternoon.


    Enjoy breakfast. Visiting other ethnic villages & taking photos. 


    After breakfast head for Son La. Stop over on the half way in Moc Chau town ( a town that all is about tea). Try the special Sweeten Milk Cake served with Moc Chau tea. Arrive in Son La at the afternoon. Visit the Prison Museum in Son La which remains as a poignant reminder of the inequities of the former French colonial rule. The prison at Son La is in ruins and features a small museum that celebrates the great achievements of its former prisoners and remembers those who never made it out. 


    After breakfast, we head towards Dien Bien Phu. An en route break is at Pa Khoang lake which sets amidst Thai minority villages. It is also famous for the nearby bunker from which General Vo Nguyen Giap coordinated his Viet Minh forces in their historic victory against the French in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu.
    From Muong Phang, another 17 kilometre ride to Dien Bien Phu town. Check in Muong Thanh Dien Bien Phu hotel for an overnight.


    Today we visit, visit to Dien Bien Phu museum, A1 Hill, Dien Bien cemetery, Muong Thanh valley & bridge & local Ban Phu market. Lunch served at local restaurant.


    After breakfast, journey towards Sapa. The ride passes snaking roads and offers broader view to see how beautiful the landscape along the way. Chance to meet some ethnic minorities before arriving Sapa town- the former French hill station since 1903s.

    DAY 11: SAPA

    Today you can visit Lao Chai- Tavan village at 12km distance from town. A light trek will take you to experience more of local custom & culture within their community. Old ladies with basket on their backs or kids welcoming guests into the village or people working on the field are common sights. A picnic lunch is served en route. Back to Sapa before 14h00pm. ( Afternoon yourself activities:  we suggest  HamRong mountain for town panorama view, the Church, Sapa market) for the remaining time.

    DAY 12: SAPA- BA BE 

    Ba Be Lake is the highlight of the Northwestern mountain of Vietnam. Being surrounded by limestone mountains and situated at a height of 500 – 600m over sea level, Ba Be Lake consists of Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng lakes. Nature fans will certainty find this trip interesting. Overnight rest in a home stay accommodation in Pac Ngoi village of Tay ethnic minority people.

    DAY 13: BA BE

    Ba Be Lake is really a great destination for those who love adventure and want to explore the beauty of nature. Take 3 hours boat ride on Nang river to Dau Dang water fall, then a light trek into the village of Tay minority people & discover their traditional life. Finish the day with a visit to Ba  Be National Park. 

    DAY 14: BA BE- TAM DAO

    Leave Ba Be for Tam Dao- a former French summer retreat station since 1907. Many Hanoi people refer Tam Dao as “ Dalat of the North” thanks to similar climate & the greenery. Rest & relax.


    Morning visit to TamDao National Park’s Bear Rescue Centre. It is designed to qualify for life care for approximately 200-250 bears. As of today, more than 100 bears are living at the rescue center. Most bears are the center of the rescue horses bears, black bears neck cavity lemon yellow semicircle. Gua Bears can weigh up to 200kg, the average life expectancy of about 25 years. Bears are good climbers, like swimming, have a good sense of smell, and especially like eating honey and ripe fruit. In addition, the center also has a number of sun bears, bear is much smaller type, with round neck cavity are many similes as a symbol of the sun. After lunch, car ride returns Hanoi.  


    Hanoi Free Leisure. Trip Ends.

    Book now


    -         Accommodation in twin sharing room with daily breakfast at hotels mentioned

    -         Overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay / twin sharing cabin with Shuttle bus & Water Puppet Show

    -         Transfer with Private  air conditioned vehicle as itinerary

    -         English speaking local guide as itinerary

    -         Entrance fees where mentioned

    -         Set menu meals where mentioned


    -         Any personal expenses

    -         Tips for guide

    -         All air ticket ( if any)

    -         Vietnam entry visa

    -         Personal Travel Insurance

    Travel Info


    To ensure about the customers’ safety during their stay on board, we would like to give some pre-boarding warnings to the customers who are not suitable with our itineraries as below:

    1                 Customers who have diseases such as: sleepwalking, hallucinations, epilepsy, syndrome detention, sickness which must be treated with drugs stored under special conditions, if not will cause danger to life.

    2                 Disabled customers: who are not able to walk by their-selves or blind

    3                 Customers who are over 80 years old

    4                 Customers who are over 100kg

    5                 Customers who are higher than 2 meter.

    Country Info

    Viet Nam
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  • Country Info

    Vietnam stretches south from the Chinese border along the east coast of the Indochina Peninsula. The country has a complex geography with soaring mountains, fertile delta plains, winding rivers and long sandy tropical beaches. In reality Vietnam is a country of outstanding natural beauty; some of the best beaches in Southeast Asia can be found along the coastline of Vietnam.

    Area:331,210 km2 
            128,565 sq mi

    Capital: Hanoi

    Official language: Vietnamese

    Calling code: +84

    National Airlines: Vietnam Airlines ( wwww.vietnamairlines.com)

    National Flowers: Lotus

    National Dress: " Áo Dài"  

    National Flag: red background with yellow star at the center

    National (Main) Religion: Buddhism 

    National Day: 2nd September 

    Ethnic minority Groups: 54

    Country Population: 91,949,482 citizents ( statistic 2014)

    Biggest City: Ho Chi Minh City ( formerly known as Saigon)

    Three biggest telephone service providers: MOBIFONE, VINAPHONE,VIETEL

    International Airports:  TanSonNhatAirport (Ho Chi Minh City), NoiBaiAirport (Hanoi) and DanangAirport( Danang)


    To enter Vietnam you will require a passport (with at least 7 months remaining validity after trip completion) and a tourist visa for most foreigners arrival the country except certain visa exemption cases thanks to state agreements. Obtaining a single entry or multiple entries visa for 30-day validity is easy. (Please inform us at the start if you wish a longer stay and multiple entries.)
    Visa extensions can usually be obtained once in Vietnam. Please scan or show us your original visa page. Rates vary, as does the official policy regarding extensions. Before you travel, check your passport to ensure that there is room for a visa and entry/exit stamps (at least three pages). Please check Service section for visa information.


    It makes sense that the healthier you are, the more you will enjoy your holiday in general. A reasonably good level of fitness is required for almost of our classic packages and you should be in good health. Any physical preparation will always be to your advantage. Please seek advice from a travel clinic at least 6 weeks before departure on your holiday regarding the relevant vaccinations and jabs required.  Anyone with respiratory or cardiac problems, or over the age of 70, should fully consult their medical adviser prior to booking and we may require full medical clearance/insurance plan. There is a sufficient standard of health care in the cities for treating minor injuries but more complicated treatment may require evacuation to another, nearby countries like Thailand or Singapore. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance  and accessible funds to over the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. 

    It is also important to note that brand names of various medicines vary from country to country and some products, which may be readily available back home, may not be in Vietnam. Please include the basic first aid kit pack: plasters, dressings or bandages, calamine or after-sun lotion, oral dehydration treatment (in case of bouts of diarrhea and dehydration), insect repellent and sting relief, antiseptic cream and antiseptic wet-wipes. Better safe than nothing!


    The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND) which is in notes. Currently, about 21,000 VND is equal to 1 USD. All foreigners can exchange foreign currency into Dong, but not vice versa. Credit cards ( visa, master, amex, JCB…) are accepted in most three star hotels up and some restaurants. Please bear in mind that a surcharge usually applies for credit card purchases. Visa/Master and JCB have same 3% as bank center charge but a higher fee for holders of American Express. Banks are open Monday to Friday and some open on Saturday morning. Most ATMs have an English language version.

    Vietnam can be visited year-round. Average temperatures year round range from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius. In southern Vietnam tropical conditions prevail, and there are two seasons – the wet season lasts from May to November and the dry season from December to April. Central Vietnam is usually dry from May to October and wet from December to February. October and November may experience unstable weather conditions and flooding. Northern Vietnam also experiences two seasons though conditions can change dramatically throughout the day. The winter months from November to April are usually cold and humid. The months of December and January can be particularly cool with temperatures as low as 8 degrees Celsius. Temperatures can drop to 0 degrees Celsius in Sapa (in the highlands near the Chinese border) in winter. Summer, from May to October, can be quite hot and wet with regular downpours and occasional typhoons. The hottest months are June and July in Hanoi. 


    Vietnam is still quite a conservative country. In rural areas and especially temples, overly-revealing clothing may be considered offensive. You should make an effort to dress more conservatively in these situations. Walking around a village in bike shorts is not appropriate so if you wish to cycle in just bike shorts you should have something with you on the bike to put on over the top (long loose shorts or a skirt/sarong). When visiting temples, shorts are acceptable providing they cover the knees. Singlet or sleeveless shirts are not acceptable in temples.


    Vietnam’s network is GSM compatible and will work with most carriers. In the cities, you will be able to access email, phone, fax and post offices. In big cities, most hotels from 2 star category can offer Internet cable service. Elsewhere out in the countryside, there may have Internet limitation access and the main communication will be phone. Cheap sim cards of local mobile  service providers ( Viettel, Vinafone, Mobilefone ) are readily available in the cities and pay-as-you-go recharge cards and call rates are cheap. Plus 3G service is easily available in the metropolitan centers and prepaid data package rates are affordable and reasonable. Ask our staff about getting a local phone card and number. 






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