$8150pp twin/double | solo traveller please add $1900
The Sino French Railway was constructed by the French from Kunming in China to Haiphong in Vietnam from 1904 to 1910. The French were eager to expand their colonial empire and having already secured Vietnam, southern China was well in their sights. Stretching almost 800 kilometers with some 600 bridges and tunnels, the railway was hailed as an engineering feat comparable at the time with the Suez Canal. The railway flourished from 1910 until the early 1930s when war and revolution cut short its lofty ambitions.
This 16 days holiday begins in Kunming where we visit the world renowned Stone Forest before heading south to the town of Jianshui with its ancient bridges and Confucian temple. We travel by private bus; however the railway is always close by, meandering towards the Red River where old French stations remain. We divert to the mountain top town of Yuanyang and the World Cultural Heritage Hani rice terraces which must be seen to be believed.
We cross into Vietnam to the hill top town of Sapa where ethnic groups of Red Zhao and Black Hmong will greet us then finally we board the train and travel on the railway to Hanoi in our comfortable first class sleepers. Our journey continues by train to Haiphong, a rarely visited Vietnamese city that has a fascinating history before we take the ferry to Cat Ba National Park for a few days to reflect and relax.
Our journey concludes in Hanoi where we will lodge at the Metropole Hotel – the grand lady of Hanoi.
*Flights with Vietnam Airlines
*Quality accommodation for 15 nights
*Private vehicles (always a ratio of two seats to one)
*All entrance fees
*Private transfers airport/hotel/airport
*Tour Director - Ross Goddard
Our favorite things on this journey - the remarkable Stone Forest and the even more remarkable World Heritage Hani Rice Terraces. The Sino French railway with its 400 bridges and 300 tunnels. The diverse ethnic groups of southern China and northern Vietnam. Boarding the train from Lao Cai to Hanoi then onto Hai Phong. A few days at Cat Ba National Park.