Trip’s length: 9 days
Trip Themes: Heritages, Local life & Culture, Community, Explorer
Transport: bus/ boat/ bike
Places visited: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Ninh Binh – Pu Luong Nature Reserve
Tour operates: all year around
Start / End cities: Hanoi / Hanoi
Accommodation: hotel: 4nt, boat: 1nt, home-stay: 2nt
Price from: Available on request
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi, picked up and transfer to the down town for hotel check-in. The remainder of the day is yours for getting used to the capital city of Vietnam. Dinner and Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Lan Ha Bay (B, L, D)
At 8:00am, our guide and driver will come and pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi for the 3.5-hour drive to Ha Long Bay. Journey there through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta, observe everyday life of Vietnamese villagers as they work the rice fields, take pigs to the market on motorbikes and plough the fields with their water buffaloes.
Embark your private junk around noon, check in and enjoy fresh seafood lunch on boat. Spend the whole afternoon cruising between hundreds of beautiful karst formations towards the middle of Halong Bay and to Lan Ha Bay. Late afternoon, the crew drops anchor at a peaceful scenic area for the night. After dinner, you and try your luck with fishing from the boat’s edge. Overnight on boat.
Day 3: Lan Ha Bay Explore (B,L,D)
Enjoy your breakfast after admiring the beauty of the bay at dawn. Start the day with the gentle cruise towards Ba Trai Dao Beaches. If the weather permits, take your time to swim and relax on these wonderful beaches. Lunch on the way back to Cat Ba Island. Reach the pier by noon and transfer to Cat ba town for a short visit to a local market. Get onto your hydrofoil for the return journey to Hai Phong city where your private transport is ready to pick you up and drive to Ninh Binh province for dinner and overnight at a hotel.
Day 5: Ninh Binh (B, L, D)
After breakfast at hotel, you will take two hour boat row along a little river and get through three caves. Admire the beauty of the karst formations. Back to the dock for 2-hour gentle cycling tour around the area, visiting villages, temples and climbing to a high summit for a panorama over the karst landscape. Spend the second night in Ninh Binh.
Day 6: Ninh Binh – Mai Chau – Hang village (B, L, D)
Check out early in the morning, we will depart to Mai Chau. It takes about 5 hours and the road is bumpy but the scenery is nice. Arrive in Mai Chau, have lunch at a local home-stay then drive to Sai village. From Sai you will be entering the Nature reserve proper, and the scenery becomes more breathtaking and wild. Pu Luong at this end is a narrow and steep valley with a river running through it. There are beautiful views of valley, forest and terraces. Overnight in ecotourism home-stay – a Thai stilt house in Hang small village. Overnight on stilt house.
Approx: 2 – 3 hours trek,
Day 7: Hang Village – Kho Muong village (B,L,D)
A harder full day hiking, 50% on village paths 50% on an old disused unpaved French road. There are some steep climbs and yet more stream crossings. The trekking becomes more remote yet one is never far from a villager tending fields or walking back from early morning market. Relax from the heat of the day in a local home at Pak Kha village while lunch is cooked before continuing on along the old jeep road to a village nestled between steep karts mountains. Arrive early with energy to spare to hike a two hour round trip to a newly discovered and incredibly large cave, hidden on high ground surrounded by thickets and hanging vegetation. It is now protected by the Forest rangers, due to the delicate ecosystem and bat species inside.Overnight in ecotourism home-stay, Kho Muong village.
Approx: 6 hours trek
Day 8: Kho Muong village – Pho Doan market – Hanoi (B,L)
After having breakfast, start for an easy day trek. We will continue on through beautiful valley, unspoiled villages with nice view, sure with much impression. Relax from the heat of the day before continuing on to a village nestled between steep karts mountains and nice terraces. Arrive in a small town in Pho Doan market after 3-4 hrs trekking. Have lunch and meet the driver and drive back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi around 6:00pm.
Day 9: Hanoi Departure (B)
Today, you are free to do some last shopping or relax untill transfer to the air port for your flight onward.
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