DISCOVER THE BEST OF NORTHERN VIETNAM – 10 NIGHTS
For the first time travellers will be able to explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.
Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam we will discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. We will go as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. Note this is a new river expedition and itineraries and schedules very much subject to change due to uncertain local conditions.
Note that departures from December to March have an alternative itinerary covering a larger inland water cruising area on the coastal plain area. We cruise in beautiful rural areas as well as some interesting more industrial sections. Note the daily temperature range at this time of year can be from 7C to 21C and there is a higher chance of mists.
For details contact Glenn at The Travellers Hut on 43 63 1699.
DAY 1 HALONG BAY
Transfer from Hanoi International Airport or meeting point to Halong Bay to embark your Pandaw ship with a stop for lunch en route. Cast off late afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.
DAY 2 HALONG BAY
Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years.
Stop at Viet Hai Village and explore on mountain bike or electric buggy, visiting the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breath-taking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.
DAY 3 HALONG BAY
Exploration of Halong Bay continues with a visit to the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling.
DAY 4 THE KINH THAY RIVER
Observe the lively and interesting life of the KinhThay river, a key commercial waterway.
Meet your guide in the dining room for a lecture on Vietnam, its history, geography and the boat people.
DAY 5 BAT TRANG VILLAGE
The day is spent cruising towards Hanoi. Enroute, stop at Bat Trang in the afternoon, a ceramic village. On the way back to the ship watch a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty.
This dance originated in China and spread over Southeast Asia.
DAY 6 HANOI
Drop anchor in the capital and bustling city of Hanoi to visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis. Must-sees include the notorious Vietnam War prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
DAY 7 THE LOWER RED RIVER
Morning sail through the day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri – not the most picturesque of towns, but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam.
Go ashore to visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by limestone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas.
DAY 8 LO RIVER
In the morning cruising to Tien Du ferry station to the village of Gia Thanh, makers of the conical hats (known as ‘non la’). Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity.
DAY 9 THE DA RIVER
Day sailing downstream while admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. Pass through the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Hoa Binh then visit the UNESCO-praised village of Duong Lam.
DAY 10 HOA BINH
Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle with the French in 1951 & 1952 and is home to the Muong ethnic group.
The Hoa Binh Dam at the Black River is the largest hydroelectric dam in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Take a morning boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh power station and visit a local village. A traditional performance by local hill tribe people is given in the evening.
DAY 11 HOA BINH
Disembark after breakfast (08.30am) and visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dress.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.
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