An in-depth journey that covers almost all the sites in North of Vietnam, offering you truly experiences of local life and Vietnam’s most outstanding features during 11-day adventure. Explore from the dreamy to acient atmosphere in Mai Chau and Ninh Binh while mingling with local people there to learn about a country of long history and rich culture. Get indulged in top of the world landscape of Ha Long Bay on a cruise before heading exotic Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang and peaceful Ba Be National Park – the rural paradises which are home to Tay and Nung ethnic minority since very long.
Tour Code : GED13
Travel Style : Experience & Discovery
Duration : 11 Days - 10 Nights
Route : Hanoi – Mai Chau – Ninh Binh – Ha Long Bay – Ban Gioc Waterfall – Ba Be National Park – Hanoi
Upon arrival in Hanoi you will be greeted by your guide and taken to your hotel to relax for the rest of the day. Your guide will pick you up at 4 PM and take you to waterpuppet show theater to dig deep into Vietnamese culture and tradition through wooden puppets and their stories.
17h00 – 17h30: Meet your guide again, start your 3 hour walk around Hanoi old quarter to taste flavoring food and drink. Chance for you to witness real life of Hanoians and enjoy the evening atmosphere of this 1000 year old city. If weekend (from Friday night to Sunday night), join a night market or some traditional street performances.
After your tourguide pick you up at your hotel at 8 AM, begin your day trip around Hanoi with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and hear about the man who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from French colonial rule. Then wander the grounds to see the One Pillar pagoda and the Presidential palace. Next, visit an 11th century relic, the Temple of Literature, which was built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to Museum of Ethnology to understand about 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam and their culture. After 1.5 hours there, return Ngoc Son temple set on a tiny island in the middle of picturesque Hoan Kiem lake. You’ll hear how it got its name from a legend of an emperor, a magic sword and a giant turtle!
Spend the last 1 hours on a funny cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets named after the products that were sold from their shops.
Start your day with a short transfer from Hanoi to Bac Bien village where you will be welcomed by a local family and have some snack and tea before starting your cycling day in the suburban countryside of Hanoi. You will pedal through small alleys of Bac Bien village to the Duong river’s bank. Take a local boat ferry to cross the river to its left bank. You will then discover a different atmosphere, far away from the busy Hanoi. You will cycle along the quite dike, from villages to villages, see the buffalos, the traditional typical houses; pagodas, temples, local market and be caught in the beautiful rice paddy fields, gardens of vegetables and corns. You will have the chance to meet local people, and learn about their lives, traditional custom, changes from old days to present, and the bonsai trees tradition in Vietnam. Continue cycling on the quiet roads with rice fields up to the beautiful dike, then head back to the first village by boat again or cross a new bridge. Lunch at a local restaurant with Bun cha (grilled pork with noodles ) or Pho ( noodle soup ). Then stop by a local temple, which is located by the Red river, where you will perhaps have the chance to see a unique ceremony of Vietnamese people –“ Len Dong” or “ Going into a trance”. At the end of the trip, meet your driver and drive back to Hanoi.
Day start with our pick-up at your hotel at 8 AM. Transfer to Mai Chau on a 4 hour drive. Short break half way at the local market of the Muong ethnic minority to learn about their daily life and customs or enjoy the panoramic scenery at top of Thung Khe pass known as one of the 10 most beautiful passes in Vietnam. Reach Mai Chau valley at lunchtime.
After lunch, chance for you to visit the real local Thai traditional stilt house before cycling to villages of the Thai ethnic minority to learn about their daily lives and culture. Stop by a local village to learn about cloth weaving as a traditional handicraft. Get picked up by car and move to hidden Buoc village. After check-in the local lodge there, enjoy your sunset by the swimming pool, or cycle and walk around the village. Dinner at the lodge with the local people
After breakfast, enjoy the last moment in this rural wonderland before transfer to Cuc Phuong national park, known as wildlife center of Northern Vietnam with a huge system of flora and fauna. Arrive Cuc Phuong after a 2.5 hour drive. Visit the Endangered Primate rescue centre.
After lunch in a local restaurant, hike through the jungle to Cave of Prehistoric Man which contains track of human dating back to 7000 years ago. Chance for you to admire the primary forest with 1000 year Old Tree and awesome jungle life.
Back to Ninh Binh after 1-hour drive. Night at bungalow or hotel.
Start the day with a drive to Trang An, considered as “Inland Halong Bay” featured with karst formations. On arrival, take 3-hour sampan boat ride on a small river and through many tunnel-like caves. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, spend time to visit Hoa Lu - the historical capital of Vietnam and the famous ancient temples of Le and Dinh Dynasties. Here you can learn more about a historical period of Vietnam dating back to 10th century.
Transfer to Tam Coc to start a fun 10-km ride on a quiet biking route with a very nice scenery of mountains & local villages. Head to Thung Nham where you can find a lot of birds, storks gathering here especially in the late afternoon. What a sense of adventure you will be adwarded in this countryside.
08.00 – 12.00: Transfer to Ha Long Bay on a 4-hour drive from Ninh Binh.
12.00 – 12.30: Embark at Hon Gai International harbor.
12.30 – 13.00: Check-in, enjoy welcome drink & cruise briefing.
13.30 – 15.00: Have lunch while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long bay. Admire the fascinating formations on the way.
15.15 – 15.40: Explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son cave.
15.45 – 18:00: Enjoy relaxing on a white sandy beach at Hon Co island, swimming or kayaking.
18:00 – 19.00: Back to junk for refreshing before having dinner on board.
20.00 – 21.00: Relax, enjoy fresh air & overnight on board.
07.30 – 08.00: Morning view of bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Breakfast in the middle of exotic landscape.
08.30 – 09.30: Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat.
10.00: Check out of the cabin. Start cruising towards the harbor while lunch is served.
11.45 – 12.00: Disembark. Transfer to Lang Son city on a 4-hour drive.
Hit the road again to Ban Gioc waterfall, the fourth biggest border waterfall in the world between Vietnam and China. Time to relax by a wonder of nature after a boat ride close to the waterfall. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Pay a visit to magnificent Nguom Ngao limestone cave, formerly known a Tiger cave before returning your homestay in a local village of Nung people in Quang Uyen. Chance to discover life in the village and the way they make a living. If you are hungry for more amazing landscape, it is recommended you have 1-hour hike up the mountain behind the village to get the whole exotic view and enjoy a sunset break at the peak.
Take a morning exercise after a long sleep to enjoy the fresh air before your served local breakfast. Transfer to Ba Be national park on a 3.5 hour drive. Arrive your homestay in a local village of Tay people by the lake. After a short rest, get on bike and ride to Hua Ma cave, considered the most beautiful limestone cave in Northeast Vietnam. Spend 1 hour hiking up to see the cave and admire the beauty of stalactites and staglamites.
Enjoy last breakfast in this rural paradise before 3-hour boating around the lake. Short walk to see Cam village of Tay minoritiy by Nang river. Continue to Puong cave, a tunnel cave with millions of bats. Continue to Buoc Lom wharf where you say goodbye to Ba Be and return Hanoi.
Please note that accommodations mentioned in this list are for reference only. Depending on availability and your preference, they can be changed.