Been In Asia blog

New tours Northern Vietnam

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Date: December 12th 2014
Traveller: Carla Rijnders
As we want to keep track on the latest developments, BeenInAsia travels to its destinations, to see the newest hotels and the latest interesting tours. We now went to Northern Vietnam, as this area is developing fast !

We started in Hanoi, buzzling city, cyclo riders all around, bikes with baskets of flowers. Early in the morning people start the day with traditional tai chi and the delicious pho along the Hoan Kiem Lake. We checked several hotels, as we want to know if they are good, in the right area and if it is 'BeenInAsia proof'.

Time for the night train to Sapa. This is always quite an experience. In the evening you go to the railway station of Hanoi, look for the right train and off you go. The train is very simple and it goes slow, but it brings you where you want to be. Our guide is waiting for us, after breakfast we take off to the Bac Ha market. On the way we go by boat on a peaceful river, before we get to the weekly local market, which is very colorfull and the social event of the week for local people of the tribes. Buffalo's are being sold, chickens and birds. Fantastic !

Tired but satisfied we drive to Sapa, where we will stay in the hilltop Topas Ecolodge with it's stunning views over the valley and rice terrases. Topas Ecolodge is located 18 km from Sapa, deep in the Hoang Lien Mountains. Here you will experience the comfort of quality accommodation whilst enjoying pure nature, peace and unique views over the mountains. After a tasteful dinner we sleep well.

The morning after we want to go to see a new lodge. We drive a fantastic road down in the valley, along the river, passing so many paddy fields, where crops have just been harvested. Nam Cang Riverside Lodge is located deep in the remote Sapa Valley with a beautiful river running in front of the lodge and green forest just behind. You don’t find a better location for staying overnight in an old traditional minority village, in the heart of the Vietnamese mountains. This simple lodge with comfortable beds is built and owned by a Red Dao minority family and operated in partnership with Topas and opened in the end of 2013. After inspection of the lodge we discovered the little village. We brought some warm blankets and winter cloths for the local people and they were very happy to receive our presents ! We would see how they cook and make their daily living. Then we did few hours of trekking through the mountenous area, before heading to Sapa. 

Sapa has become much more crowded then a few years ago. More tourists, more souvenirs. That's why we are always looking for new places, off the beaten track, away from the crowds. And I'm sure we found it ! With our partner we could make some fantastic new tours in this area - I promise use: our tours are unique in what you see, without losing the quality of accommodation and the authenticity of activities we are looking for.

We are happy that we can offer now:
- 5 days Victoria Sapa & Topas Ecolodge package: explore the luxury Victoria hotel and the unique Topas Ecolodge and enjoy the colorful markets and trekking
- 5 days Best of Sapa Tour: a combination of hilltop Topas Ecolodge with Nam Cang Riverside Lodge down in the valley. Discover an even more authentic area of Sapa
- 10 days North Vietnam Highlights: discover North Vietnam: Hanoi, Sapa, Red River Delta and Halong Bay. We promise you 10 amazing days !

If you have any questions and want to make a combination with others areas, kindly let us know. We can tailor your holiday !



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