Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Private

Tribes & Traditions: Ancient Vietnam and China (18 days)

Remote Lands, Inc

Hanoi, Vietnam To Kunming, China

Valid for Departures Now Through: 18 Mar 2019


Day 1
Hanoi, Vietnam
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Dinner

Arrive in the exciting ancient city and capital of Vietnam-- Hanoi. Settle in to your new surroundings and relax after a long flight. We recommend the charming and luxurious Sofitel Legend Metropole, located in close proximity to the charming Old Quarter.

Day 2
Hanoi, Vietnam
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a full-day tour of Hanoi. Stroll through the Old Quarter’s narrow tree-lined streets. Visit the eerie Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and then continue on to the One Pillar Pagoda, the National Fine Arts Museum, the Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda on West Lake, and finish up your day at the Museum of Ethnology.

Day 3
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Private Junk Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depart Hanoi this morning for Halong Bay. The 3.5-hour journey takes you across the fertile farmlands of the Red River Delta. After you arrive in Halong, board an authentic Vietnamese junk. This is the perfect way to see the stunning sites of Dinh Huong Island, Ga Choi Island, Dog Island and Binh Phong Mountain. Fall asleep to the lull of the waves from your cabin on the junk.

Day 4
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Private Junk Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rise early this morning to watch the stunning tangerine sunrise with the backdrop of Halong Bay’s mountainous landscape. Cruise along the gorgeous Bai Tu Long Bay in your traditional wooden vessel. Enjoy dinner and cocktails aboard the ship’s top deck this evening and spend one more night floating along in Halong Bay.

Day 5
Hanoi, Vietnam
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depart Halong this morning for the drive back to Hanoi. This afternoon, go for a leisurely bicycle tour along some of Hanoi’s quieter streets. In the evening, enjoy a traditional water puppet show depicting scenes of rural life in Vietnam. Rest tonight back at the Sofitel Metropole.

Day 6
Sa Pa, Vietnam
Topas Ecolodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive east out of Hanoi and across the lush countryside into the Bat Trang Ceramic Village. Here you can observe how local artisans have crafted ceramics and pottery for centuries. If you would like, try for yourself to craft a vase to take back home. Continue on to visit the But Thap Pagoda and the surrounding quiet rural villages. This evening, board an overnight train to Lao Cai, one of the mountainous northern provinces that border China.

Day 7
Sa Pa, Vietnam
Topas Ecolodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Meet with your local guide over breakfast at your hotel - we recommend the Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa or Topas Ecolodge. Sapa is world renowned for its stunning landscape of vibrant tiered rice paddies and mountainous landscape. Travel through the Black Hmong ethnic minority village of Matra. Visit a local school and learn about the rare, quiet-kept culture. Stretch your legs with a hike through the area’s other fascinating local villages.

Day 8
Sa Pa, Vietnam
Topas Ecolodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stroll through the town of Sapa and see all of the local handicrafts on display at the Ethnic Market. Residents of the tiny villages that dot the province come here to display and sell their handicrafts. This is a good place to select a variety of authentic keepsakes as well as support a number of different villages. Shop and bargain your way through the authentic goods before relaxing back at your hotel this evening.

Day 9
Yuanyang, China
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cross the Chinese border at Hekou and journey to the Yuanyang stunning rice terraces. These particular rice terraces are considered to be the most beautiful in China. Head to Laohui, or “The Tiger’s Mouth,” to witness one of the most stunning sunsets in existence. Check in to your hotel in Yuanyang come evening time.

Day 10
Yuanyang, China
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rise early this morning to watch the sunrise at Duoyishu. Mornings here are brisk, so you can enjoy a hot cup of tea as you take in the scenery. After breakfast, visit a local market in the Hani Minority Village. This is a weekly stop for the Yi and Hani people. Next, enjoy a scenic trek from Duoyishu that finishes at Bada. Set amidst the rice paddies, grazing buffaloes and field workers, this is an incredible sight.

Day 11
Jianshui, China
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you travel to the historic garrison town of Jianshui, a small city that has retained the atmosphere of an ancient feudal village. Visit the Zhu Estate in the heart of the old town. The labyrinth of a house covers two hectares of bamboo groves. This is a fantastic example of traditional housing during the times of imperial China. Visit the Twin Dragon Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in China before returning to Jianshui.

Day 12
Lijiang, China
Banyan Tree Lijiang Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today takes you through the stunning natural landscape of Lunan. Here you will discover Shilin or “The Stone Forest.” Next visit the Black Stone Forests to wander through the maze of jagged peaks. Travel to the Kunming Airport, where you will fly to Lijiang and gain an incredible aerial view of the area, while also reaching your final destination of the day.

Day 13
Lijiang, China
Banyan Tree Lijiang Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rise early to fully enjoy the city known as the “Big Inkpot,” since the canals weaving through the village are reminiscent of a knocked-over inkpot. Visit the Mu Palace, named for the Chinese Empire warlords who reigned during the Mongol Dynasty in the 13th century.

Day 14
Shaxi, China
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Climb the majestic Jade Dragon Mountain and enjoy the view from the top. You can climb to the very top peak, Ganzidou, for the highest view possible. Next, pause at the Yak Prairie and enjoy even more stunning views. Continue on to Shaxi, an important stop on the ancient Silk Road. Here, you will check into your hotel to rest up for the night. We recommend either the Laomadian Lodge or the Old Theatre Inn.

Day 15
Shaxi, China
Laomadian Lodge, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning exploring the area at your own leisure. The paved avenues create a maze through the quaint old town. The exquisite Three Terraced Pavillion is a highly obscure building near the town’s Buddhist Temple. Spend the afternoon exploring Shibaoshan – “Stone Treasure Mountain.” This collection of temples, caves and boulders never fails to amaze visitors. The famous “Stone Treasure” that is shaped like female genitalia is believed to provide fertility to those who touch the stone.

Day 16
Dali, China
Linden Centre Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sit back and watch as the countryside rolls by as you are driven the four-to-five hour journey to the Bai minority’s home of Dali. Stay at a famous local artists’ house in the village. The area is renowned for its unique, fantastic art. There’s an incredible market that runs five days a month that you may be lucky enough to experience. The lakeside province is said to have everything but the sea.

Day 17
Kunming, China
Green Lake Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin the day by traveling to the Three Pagodas at the Chongsheng Temple. The mystical temple sits at the foot of the Changshan Mountains. Reach Kunming this evening, and check in to a hotel and relax.

Day 18
Kunming, China
None Breakfast

You’ve reached the end of your adventure. Enjoy your morning in Kunming before being transferred by private vehicle to the airport to catch your departing flight.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

VIP Arrival

The following VIP services are complimentary for all Virtuoso guests upon arrival at participating airports.

  • Meet and greet as you disembark the aircraft
  • Luggage assistance
  • Escort through immigration and customs formalities
  • Escort to your private guide

Further services may be available, contingent upon individual airport regulations. Please enquire for further details.

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time


This cultural experience of a lifetime will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse cultures of both Vietnam and China. Travel through small villages, minority quarters, and bustling cities as you embark on this 19-day itinerary full of adventure. The trip will first take you through Hanoi, Halong Bay, Lao Cai, Sapa, Matra, Hekou and several small villages in Vietnam. For the second half of your adventure, travel through Yuanyang, Jianshui, Shilin, Kunming, Lijiang, Shaxi, Shuanglang, Dali and Kunming in China. Go where few travelers have been able to go, and discover a whole new world for yourself.


  • Sleep aboard a traditional Vietnamese junk as you tour the bay in Halong

  • Visit a Black Hmong village in remote Matra

  • Explore traditional houses such as the Zhu Estate in rural China

  • Sleep at a local artists’ house in Shuanglang

About Us

Remote Lands creates highly personalized itineraries with extraordinary experiences for discerning travelers, based on their own passions, interests and needs. The world’s most elite travel advisors rely on us for our deep knowledge of Asia and entrust us with their highly discerning clients, from celebrities to CEO’s, Wall Street titans to professional athletes. We are available to travel advisors 24/7 from the initial consultation to the day your clients return from Asia.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Payment Notes
  • Payment by wire transfer or by cheque; American Express, Visa and MasterCard also accepted.
  • 25%

Refund Policy
  • Fully refundable, less a 15% of total trip price cancellation fee, if cancelled 91 days or more before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • 50% of total trip price refundable if cancelled 30-90 days before departure, subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline and other vendor
  • No refund less than 30 days before departure

  • Please note that some vendors have onerous cancellation policies with substantial penalties for changes where funds paid are non-refundable

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

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highly recommended

By: Squash1

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2013

excellent at making sure everything is taken care of...personal cell phone contact appreciated and very customized orientation...also very nice
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

Excellent package

By: Mike53-Birmingham

Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2013

Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu was fantastic as was the Kinabatangan River Resort. Raimie our guide was first-rate!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth


By: Dustin and Eli

Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2018

Remote Lands coordinated our trip and made the experience worry-free. All of our transfers and guides were on time, professional, kind and even went above and beyond when a couple of unexpected needs arose. Thank you!
Travel Advisor:  Geraldine Hasting

Taiwan 2018 trip

By: Cindi

Reviewed on: 29 Mar 2018

Wonderful experience! This was my daughter’s senior trip prior to going away to college and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. Great guide, driver, travel agent, etc. Overall a very positive experience!!
Travel Advisor:  Deanna Byrd

far east

By: Mike

Reviewed on: 18 May 2018

we had to different tour guides, both were just excellent and well worth the money definitely made the trip more memorable
Travel Advisor:  Jason Swaye


By: Joel and Kathy

Reviewed on: 17 Jun 2018

The Remote Lands Guides were excellent. The cars used for transportation were roomy and clean. The hotels were 5 star and their attention to detail was over the top. There was only perfection from the people we met and it was also comforting to know that our trip was being carefully monitored by Remote Lands supervisors every step of the way. We would recommend Remote Lands to anyone needing exceptional service in Asia.
Travel Advisor:  Kate Winslow

Remote Lands Rocks

By: Morty

Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2018

Terrific professionals! Looked out for us the entire time we were on the road!! Many thanks!
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Elias