MAY 19th: (MONDAY) Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi at 10:35am. Transfer to hotel and day of leisure.
MAY 20th: (TUESDAY) Handicraft Villages
One day drive to flute-kite making village. Meet village's kite club members and learn skills to make special flute kites at temple of Kite Deity. Enjoy some village rice cakes with flute/kite craftsmen.: Tro, Troi, and Chay at Nguyen Huu Do's home. Spend two hours making Vietnam traditional toys: a paper scholar, stick fighter, fish-shaped lantern guided by Master Tho. Overnight in Hanoi.
MAY 21: (WEDNESDAY) Hanoi
JUDY'S COOKING TOUR:
Half day cooking tour starts by walking to the food market in Hanoi's Old Quarter, led by Ms. Anh Tuyet - the well known artisan who loves to preserve the essence of "native Hanoians" culture. Judy will be guided to select the ingredients for authentic Hanoi food. Back at the ancient house, Judy will learn to cook three typical dishes of Hanoi. Our host will have special deserts to sample from each season. Overnight in Hanoi.
MIKE'S BIKING TOUR: Hanoi
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Duong river bank for biking. Bike along the dyke, through ancient villages and picturesque rice paddies. Lunch at local cafe. Afternoon biking trip continues in Thuan Thanh, Ha Bac in the Buddhist pagodas area, visiting ancient pagodas: But Thap, Dau, Keo and the old wooden block painting village, Dong Ho with the Master Artist, Nguyen Dang Che. Transfer by bus back to Hanoi.
MAY 22nd: (THURSDAY) Hanoi
Explore life in Hanoi and its suburbes, visiting a family, the Old Quarter; and Tay Tuu, the biggest flower and vegetable village. Overnight in Hanoi.
MAY 23rd: (FRIDAY) Ha Giang
Drive to Hagiang by car, lunch en route. See Pathen ethnic group famous for barefoot walking on fire. Trek through village of Black Lachi. Soak in hot water stream, followed by homestay with a local dinner. Overnight in home at Viet Lam village.
MAY 24th: (SATURDAY) Ha Giang
Bike a 10k loop along the scenic road. Stop at many ethnic villages for chatting with the local people and taking photos. Visit the Museum of Ethnology. Overnight at Ha Giang mini hotel.
MAY 25th: (SUNDAY) Dong Van
Morning drive to the peak of Nui Con Tien mountain to take photos of Hagaing. Visit Quyet Tien market, home of the Hmong, Po Y Dao, and Tay ethnic minority peoples. Visit Cao village, and enjoy the architecture of a 1924 castle built by a local Lord. Overnight at a guest house.
MAY 26th: (MONDAY) Ha Giang
Visit Meo Vac market en route from Dong Van to the Lung Phin market. Then on to Yen Minh villages of the Day and Nung minority peoples. Overnight in Ha Giang mini hotel.
MAY 27th: (TUESDAY) Hoang Su Phi
Trekking 40k away from Hoang Su Phi. Overnight at Hoang Su Phi hotel.
MAY 28th: (WEDNESDAY) Sinman - Bac Ha
Jeep drive to Bac Ha. Overnight at Bac Ha hotel.
MAY 29th: (THURSDAY) Lung Khang Nhin - Cao Son
Morning car transfer to Lung Khau Nhin market. This must-see place is untouched for centuries. The Tay, Tuzi, Pazi, Hmong tribal peoples can be seen here. Transfer to Cao Son. Overnight in the Can Son Ecolodge.
MAY 30th: (FRIDAY) Ta Thang Market
Morning drive to Ta Thang market. With stunning views of mountains, and rivers, Ta Thang is said to be the rendevous for the Tay, Zao and Green Hmong tribes' cultural activities: folk music and dance performances. Walk to visit the Check Hmong's village Sicala. Overnight in Cao Son Ecolodge.
MAY 31st: (SATURDAY) Pha Long Market
Two hour scenic drive to Pha Long Market, one of two mountain markets in Northwest Vietnam, which have just been discovered in 2007, primarily populated by Black Zao and Tay tribal people. Drive to Lao Cai for night train back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
JUNE 1st: (SUNDAY) Hanoi
Arrive by overnight train in Hanoi in the early morning. Check into hotel, and day of leisure.
JUNE 2nd: (MONDAY) Departure
Leave on China Airlines from Hanoi at 11:34am.