NORTHERN VIETNAM – Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Mai Chau – Pu Luong – Ha Long Bay.
Maybe take to the back of a Vespa for a morning tour of bustling Hanoi and savour it’s tasty treats on an evening food tour as you walk and explore the old quarter of Hanoi. Marvel at the acrobatic cultural AO (Ahh Ohh) show before you head away from the city to explore rural life.
Enjoy a homestay lunch in a secluded, rarely visited village before being enchanted by the rice fields and tranquility of the Mai Chau valley. Travel a little further and uncover the Pu Luong retreat awaiting you with views down over the terraced rice fields, where tourists are out numbered by the locals. A change of scenery has you being rowed along the rivers amongst the cast mountains of Ninh Binh before spending two nights cruising the Heritage listed Halong Bay on your choice of cruiser. Your exploration of Northern Vietnam concludes as you journey back in Vietnam’s capital – Hanoi.
All of our independent journeys are custom made allowing you chose your standard of accommodation, inclusions and duration. We can mix and match Gold and Silver hotels with sightseeing options and alter the time in each destination to allow you to see Vietnam your way. Contact Glenn to help you construct your Vietnam.
CATEGORY: Gold or Silver
3 nights Hanoi – Apricot Hotel Hanoi.
2 nights Mai Chau Ecolodge Deluxe room
1 night Pu Long Retreat Valley View Bungalow suite.
2 nights Ninh Binh Emerelda Resort Deluxe room.
2 nights Halong Bay cruise aboard Auco.
3 nights Hanoi – La Siesta Trendy Hanoi.
2 nights Mai Chau Sol Bungalows.
1 night Pu Long Retreat Valley View Bungalow
2 nights Ninh Binh Emerelda Resort Superior.
2 nights Halong Bay cruise aboard Bahaya.
10 night Northern Vietnam – Inclusions:
- Private Hanoi Airport to Hotel transfer.
- Breakfast Daily
- Exclusive Hanoi by Vespa Adventure. (especially prepared for our clients) Alternative touring will be arrange if you do not wish to see Hanoi by Vespa (Ask Glenn for details on the options available)
- Hanoi evening street food tour.
- AO (Ahh Ohh) show – Hanoi
- Hang Kai Village tour with homestay lunch.
- Cycling or walking tour of the villages and rice fields in the Mai Chau Valley.
- Walking in Ph Luong rice fields.
- Tam Coc sampan.
- Van Long water reserve sampan.
- 2 nights Halong Bay Cruise With all meals.
- All touring in air-conditioned vehicle.
- Local English-speaking guides.
- All Entrance fees
- Private transfer from your Hanoi hotel to the airport.
COST: Per Person Twin Share
- 01 February – 30 April / 01 October – 24 December $ 2452
- 01 May – 30 September $ 2397
- 01 February – 30 April / 01 October – 24 December $ 3071
- 01 May – 30 September $ 2923
Itinerary in details
Day 1: Hanoi arrival (-/-/-) Xin chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam. You are greeted by your guide and driver at Noi Bai International airport for your transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Ha Noi
Day 2: Ha Noi – The Travellers Hut Private Vespa tour – evening food tour (B/snacks at designated stops/D) In the morning: Starts off sampling the local Café culture in the heart of the old quarter. We then set off for a ride through the city’s iconic narrow streets and head into the heart of the historic Old Quarter. Alighting at the railway tracks, we can see how the locals live & work, just centimetres from the train tracks in tall narrow houses. We then go to a bustling & vibrant open market to shop with the local people from Hanoi. After zooming through narrow alleyways, we reach the crash site of an American B-52 bomber in a city lake and learn of the city’s more recent history before visiting a peaceful Buddhist temple set in the most beautiful gardens. Our adventure will continue visiting the iconic Long Bien bridge. Following by a tasting of Hanoi’s delicacy, Banh Cuon. We will finalize the adventure, experiencing a traditional Vietnamese dessert or local coffee. (Alternative tour can be arranged if you do not wish to see Hanoi by Vespa).
In the afternoon: free time for relax.
In the evening, you will take a walking tour of the City to discover the unique flavors of the Vietnamese cuisine. This will give you the chance to encounter Hanoi’s local specialties such as Bun Cha & Cha Ca. Begin your tour at a local Hanoian Market to see the wide range of beautiful produce available. You then will proceed into the old quarters to sample the different types of cuisine then enjoy draught beer at the centra area of the Old Quarter to see the local life before concluding the tour into the nightlife.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi – Hang Kia -Mai Chau (B/L/D) Departure from your hotel at 8am. We exit the city and head west towards Laos border. This is a 4-hour drive including a break en-route to the mountainous plateau of Hang Kia. Hang Kia is on H’mong ethnic lands, a remote village known for its plum trees and the beauty of their flowers.
We are welcomed by a friendly family in their simple guesthouse on stilts. Lunch at the village. In the afternoon we go for a nice walk around exploring the region and learn batik dyeing technique from H’mong artisans.
Overnight in Mai Chau
Day 4: Mai Chau and its sub-valley (B/L/D) Today, we will take you to a hidden less travelled sub-valley located just few kilometers from our hotel. We drive deeper into this valley until we reach a small hamlet called Ban Buoc. We meet a super nice family there; we join them to go pick up various veggies and herbs in the forest and vegetable garden around then start making something out of these supplies.
Enjoy a lunch of local ethnic cuisine with our celebrity chef’s twist. After lunch, we hop on bicycles for a ride across the lush nature and plantations of various crops around the village. We come back to the ecolodges later in the day, evening at leisure.
Overnight in Mai Chau
Day 5: Mai Chau – Pu Luong (B/L/-) Waken up in the early morning by “Cocky Roosters”, this is the best time of day to go for a walk and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of countryside by yourself. After lunch, we make our way back to Hanoi. About 4-hour driving to the capital and our hotel.
A full day to enjoy the rice field cascades, Take a stroll through the farmlands or relas and take it easy, options are numerous and the guide is available to arrange what would please you the most.
Overnight in Pu Luong
Day 6: Pu Luong – Ninh Binh (B/L/-) Depart at 8.00A.M from your hotel and heading toward Mai Chau, a beautiful valley with a patchwork quilt pattern of rice terraces and villages which are home to the White Thai people. Mai Chau is known for its stunning scenery of palms, green mountains, paddy fields and picturesque stilt houses. On arrival, take some time to refresh, relax and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, take an easy stroll around the nearby Thai villages and learn more about local lifestyle and as well their culture while enjoying views of the surrounding rice paddies and mountains.
After breakfast we walk back to the road where our vehicle is parked. We exit the reserve, take the historical Ho Chi Minh road on a short stretch and reach Ninh Binh region, the so-called inland Halong bay. Have lunch.
In the afternoon we start a nice scenic rowed sampan cruise through Tam Coc river, the most renowned valley of the region for its towering limestone rocks and beautiful rice fields. We visit the Bich Dong pagoda that offers a climb up on its three levels to admire a breathtaking view of the area once at the top. Possibility to get there on a bicycle, walking or simply by car. We end the day at a nice lodge. Evening at leisure.
Overnight in Ninh Binh
Day 7: Ninh Binh – Van Long sampan (B/-/-) Van Long Nature Reserve is a flooded field surrounded by limestone mountains. This is home to a number of bird species which can be observed by taking a sampan trip through the area (depend on each day and weather).
Hop on a bike for a trip around the countryside of Van Long nature reserve. Then we board a bamboo rowboat for 1 hours boat ride along this beautiful wetland of Van Long, enjoying spectacular and peaceful scenery surrounded by rice paddies and towering limestone mountain peaks.
Then transfer back hotel. Have lunch and dinner by yourself and free time at leisure.
Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Day 8: Ninh Binh – Ha Long Bay (B/L/D) Heading out to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bhaya Option.
Arrive at Bhaya Group Cruise Centre at Tuan Chau International Passenger Port. Embark your cruise onboard Bhaya Cruises. Enjoy welcome drinks while our Cruise Manager does the itinerary and safety briefing.
Let the vacation begin with a tasty lunch while the boat cruises towards the southwest of Halong Bay. Later in the afternoon discover the mysterious Tien Ong Cave which is not only a beauty spot but also an archaeological site. Covering an area of 1,000 m2 with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, the cave is one of the finest caves in Halong Bay.
At 17:00 the bar opens for the Happy Hour “Buy one get one free”. Take the chance to get more drinks and fun. Maybe join exciting “Master-Chef Competition” and fruit carving demonstration, learn and try your hands with authentic Vietnamese food. The winner or the Master-Chef of Bhaya Cruise would be awarded surprising gifts. It’s also time to admire the sunset over enchanting Halong Bay while the boat anchors for an overnight stay.
Enjoy set-menu dinner on board while your Cruise Manager introduces the following day program. Retire to your cabin or join our staffs for squid fishing. Overnight on board.
Note: – Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be cancelled due to poor weather. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
– Our private English speaking guide will not escort clients on board.
Day 9: Halong bay (B/L/D) At around 6.30 Begin your day with a Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck with complimentary tea and coffee being served. Rejuvenate your body and mind with the slow movement of Tai Chi and enjoy the dawn on the bay.
Full breakfast is served onboard. The vessel weighs anchor to sail to Hang Trai Island. Then transfer to Bhaya Spirit day cruise. Get ready for the second day’s activities.
The Bhaya Spirit will pass by Ang Du area, Hang Du, Kong Skull Island filming area to reach Coc Cheo Islet area. Kayaking and swimming freely in Coc Cheo Islet area – a less touristic and more private area.
Late morning it’s time to visit Halong’s only floating Pearl Farm and learn about pearl cultivating and handicraft process. Discover the local life of people in Halong Bay while having a special local lunch experience.
Lunch is served onboard in authentic Vietnamese seafood menu in local style. Comeback Bhaya Classic and relax.
At 5.00 pm the bar opens for the Happy Hour “Buy one get one free”, enjoy relaxing time on the sundeck.
Enjoy set-menu dinner onboard while Cruise Manager introduces itineraries for next day. Retire to your cabin or join with our staffs for squid fishing. Overnight on board.
Day 10: Halong bay – Hanoi – My village show (B/-/-) At 06:15 Take part in Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck with complimentary tea and coffee. Followed at 7 am when a light breakfast is served onboard. The boat weighs anchor to sail to Cua Van floating fishing village.
Take your time to visit the village which is voted as one of the 11 insanely beautiful small towns around the world by huffingtonpost.com. You can choose either kayak or traditional rowing boat to go around discovering local life on the waters. Return to your boat and relax. Brunch will be served in the restaurant as we make our way back to port.
At around 10:30 Disembark at Tuan Chau International Passenger Port where you will be picked up and transfered back to Hanoi by private Vehicle.
Arrival Hanoi, check in hotel.
In the evening, our guide pick up you at your hotel for th AO (AHH OHH) My Village show. Discover the intricacies of Vietnam’s quaint village life through the cultural show, Lang Toi at Vietnam Tuong Theater. Witness thrilling stunts, live music and awe-inspiring set pieces in this world-class production.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 11: Hanoi Departure. The day is free at your leisure until transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight.
This individual travel itinerary has been especially hand created and is a sample of the choices on offer at each destination in Vietnam. Durations, locations, hotels and touring can be altered to suit your individual requirements and needs. When you speak with us we will tailor and book your travel arrangements to your exact tastes and budget to ensure your individual experience is perfect for you. We aim in providing you your ultimate holiday to amazingly interesting destinations.
As we are in an era of dynamic flight pricing we will add the best available airfare to your travel at the time of booking. Ask about the Premium Economy and Business class combination options available for your Northern Vietnam Journey.
All prices in AUD per person, twin share and conditions apply. Subject to availability at the time of booking and currency fluctuations. Amendments to duration and inclusions are permitted.
Important: A visa is required for travel to Vietnam.
At Destination Journeys we personally book your holiday for you to ensure the best attention during your stay.
For details to book your journey, call 02 43 841 118 or 02 43 63 1699
or complete the information below and we will get back to you.
We hope you enjoy our personal service and over 30 years of travel industry experience .to Indochina
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