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VIETNAM: THE RED RIVER DELTA DISCOVERY 

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9 days / 8 nights

Tour Details

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Departure & Return Location

John F.K. International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Air fares
  • 3 Nights Hotel Accomodation
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • Guide Service Fee
  • Driver Service Fee
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
What to Expect

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  • Condimentum Sollicitudin Fusce Vestibulum Ultricies
  • Sollicitudin Consectetur Quam Ligula Vehicula
  • Cursus Pharetra Purus Porta Parturient
  • Risus Malesuada Tellus Porta Commodo
Itinerary

CUSTOMIZABLE ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
  • Day 2: Hanoi – Experience Off the Beaten Path by Russian Minsk Motorcycle
  • Day 3: Hanoi – Hai Duong – Being a Farmer for One Day
  • Day 4: Hai Duong – Ninh Binh: Karst, Caves and Ancient Capital
  • Day 5: Ninh Binh – Nam Dinh – Discover the National Park
  • Day 6: Nam Dinh – Thai Binh – Hai Phong – Lan Ha Bay
  • Day 7: Lan Ha Bay – Further Discovery
  • Day 8: Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island – Hanoi
  • Day 9: Hanoi – Departure

DAY 1ARRIVAL IN HANOI

Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.

Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.

After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Hanoi. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.

Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.

Overnight in Hanoi

Meals: (_/_/D)

DAY 2HANOI – EXPERIENCE OFF THE BEATEN PATH BY RUSSIAN MINSK MOTORCYCLE

Today you will experience Hanoi Off the Beaten Path in the back of the Russian Minsk Motorcycle. This one-of-the-kind tour will bring you into the true livings museum of Hanoi life, give you a rich insight into how the locals live. With your experienced guides (also your drivers), you will explore Hanoi’s different neighborhoods, a few key attractions, local markets and beautiful urban agricultural land on an island. They will show you some hidden gems of Hanoi and special places where you can taste amazing street food. Motorbike tour? It sounds a little scary but you will be safe with your courteous, friendly and very professional drivers.

Note: If you are not keen on the motorcycle, there is an alternative option for your family to take an open-air war-time Jeep car.

Your family is met in the hotel at the appointed time by your guides (also drivers) and after some safety briefing, set off as pillion riders on Russian built 1952 150cc motorcycles heading out of the city. While riding you will be shown some sights and your guides knowledgeably and proudly explain their city.

The first stop is at the black market where you will get through tiny zigzag alleyways. Meet and interact with the friendly local people. Pause at a food court in the back of the market and try some delicious street food.

Continue your ride zipping in and out of the backstreets. You will arrive at a local home where you are introduced to an old woman at her apartment to hear about her life stories.

Proceed to a narrow stretch of housing where the only space between both sides of the street is the railroad track. Here your guides have timed it so you can get to see a Reunification Express train passing through! It’s your Kodak moment.

Return to the City you are driven through the French colonial architecture of the precinct known as the French Quater. You will pass the French-style villas, the Vietnam History Museum, the heritage Metropole Legend Hotel, and the Opera House, name to a few.

Proceed to Hanoi’s Old Quarter (in contrast to the French Quarter) to explore the maze of small alleyways and narrow streets. You are safely skirted through traffic amongst the thousands of scooters as you marvel at the composition of the city. Stop at different AUTHENTIC eateries and food stalls to savor the tastiest of the tasty dishes of Hanoi including family heirloom & secret recipe dishes, local delicacies and specialties.

Ride out of the city toward the historic Long Bien Bridge, a magnificent structure built by the French over a hundred years ago which spans the Red River. 

From the bridge, you will get to Bai Giua, more commonly known as Banana Island, a 24ha stretch of land in the middle of the Red River. Running down from the centre of the bridge is a steel staircase leading to an island covered by a green canopy of banana, papaya and guava trees, interspersed with the cloudy-white flowers of the wild reeds. Thanks to the abundance of the Red River’s water, the island has been formed by warp providing shelters for many fishermen. The area is vast with no roads, just beaten paths zigzagging behind gardens and trees. It’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city you left behind.

After meeting some locals and having a leisurely experience in getting to know them you will get back to the City. The final stop will be made at a hidden Cafe for an unmissable egg coffee. Then your guides will drop you back at your hotel where you will bid them a fond farewell.

Overnight in Hanoi

Meals: (B/L/_)

DAY 3HANOI – HAI DUONG – BEING A FARMER FOR ONE DAY

Morning

  • After breakfast, you will be picked up by your private guide and transferred in a private vehicle for two hours to the picturesque village of Ngoc Hoa in Hai Duong, another province in the Red River Delta.
  • Upon arrival, you will be warmly welcomed by the host family with a cup of tea. Soon after that you will change into the traditional Vietnamese farmer outfits, take your working tools, including scoop plow and rake, and walk with the water buffalos to the rice field. Here you will learn how to do some farming practices.
  • Next, return to the local home to prepare your lunch. You will pick your own fresh vegetables from the garden, prepare all the ingredients, and cook your lunch following the instructions of the hosts. You will be amazed by how well you did once you enjoy the food that you’ve prepared for lunch.

Afternoon

  • Embark on a leisurely bicycle ride down the village lanes to see the village up close and interact with the friendly villagers. You will fall in love with this beautiful village and its warm-hearted people. You will also pay a visit to the Ca Temple, the old temple which represents the history and spirit of the Ngoc Hoa Village.

Note: if you are not keen on the bicycle, we can replace it by the motorbike which you can sit in the back. The ride is within the village so there will be no traffic at all.

  • Back to the local home. You will take your bamboo rowing boat to meet and see how local fishermen make their living on the water. Learn how to fish using the fishing net in the unique local way. The breath-taking river, with its banks shaded by lychee trees, will give you an awesome photo opportunity.
  • Take a short drive to Stork Island, in Thanh Mien commune. The island is in the middle of a large natural lake and home to about ten thousand storks and herons and various species of birds such as pelicans and teals. Take a rowing boat to approach the island to see the birds closer but not walk on.
  • Finish the tour and return to the homestay for your leisure time. Take a nice and hot shower and get ready to join the meal with the family.

Evening

  • Enjoy a delightful barbecue dinner while getting to know your family hosts, and experience their lifestyle and culture.  You will have a private room with air-conditioning for your night.

Overnight at the local homestay

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 4HAI DUONG – NINH BINH: KARST, CAVES AND ANCIENT CAPITAL

Morning

  • Rise early for a visit to the local market and return to the homestay for your breakfast. After that, you will bid a fond farewell to the family and head to Ninh Binh to explore the third province of the Red River Delta.
  • Upon arrival, you will set out to explore the Trang An eco-tourism complex (a Unesco World Heritage site), and its staggering karst landscapes, replete with secret grottoes, towering peaks, and tranquil streams. Board a sampan for a journey through Trang An’s spectacular network of caves, archways, and grottoes, including Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, and Sinh Cave.

Afternoon

  • After lunch, you will continue to visit Hoa Lu, the location of the Ancient Capital of Vietnam dating back to the 11th century. Having been eroded over the millennia, the dilapidated ruins have nearly been absorbed by the spectacular scenery creating a mystical atmosphere that will be sure to titillate your imagination.
  • On arrival, dive into the history at the remaining two temples of Dinh and Le Emperors. Restored in the 17th century but the temples are believed to be built on the original foundations of the old palaces from the 11th and 12th centuries.
  • Hop on a bike for a leisurely ride through the area, limestone karsts towering above you as you ride along backroads and beautiful scenery. Arrive at Mua Cave Mountain where you enjoy a short hike which leads you to an incredible viewpoint with a spectacular sight of the Ngo Dong River below that cuts its way around the towering mountains.
  • Transfer to Tam Coc Garden boutique resort for your overnight stay. Surrounded by stunning rice paddies and limestone formations Tam Coc resort is an oasis that lets you escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in the middle of the most incredible landscapes.

Overnight in Ninh Binh

Meals: (B/L/_)

DAY 5NINH BINH – NAM DINH – DISCOVER THE NATIONAL PARK

Morning

  • After breakfast, you will depart Ninh Binh and drive 3 hours to Xuan Thuy National Park in Nam Dinh Province, lying in the southern coastal zone of the Red River Delta. On the way, you will pay a visit to the Ancient Co Le Pagoda dating back to the 10th century.
  • The next stop is Vi Khe Village, one of the largest bonsai villages in Vietnam. You can see the bonsai in various shapes, such as a phoenix, dragon, horses, unicorn… or the symbol of the Temple of Literature.
  • Continue on to Xuan Thuy National Park, formally known as a Nature Reserve of the area and later became Vietnam’s first Ramsar site, for the conservation of wetlands. Xuan Thuy National Park is located in the Giao Thuy district forming part of the UNESCO Red River Biosphere Reserve. It is a rich, bio-diverse, coastal wetland that houses about 220 species of birds, 110 aquatic plants and 500 other aquatic organisms.
  • Around mid-day, you will arrive at the Xuan Giao Commune near the National Park. Here you will embark on a boat trip to discover the wetland. After a one-hour boat trip through the National Park, you will arrive at a Clam Hut where you will be served a delicious seafood lunch. Rest and relax in the Hut for a while before transferring back to the mainland.

Afternoon

  • After a short rest, you will commence a leisure sightseeing tour around the Giao Xuan Commune and through the villages. Walk along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pause to see farmers toiling in their rice fields using centuries of farming practices. You will also visit the ancient houses, Catholic churches, and the Agriculture Museum. If it is a sunny day you can visit the salt fields to watch the locals making salt. You can try to become a salt-farmer!
  • Proceed to the bird station (applied for the wintertime from Nov – Mar) to watch various species of birds of East Asia – Australia flyways such as Black-faced Spoonbill, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Spotted Greenshank, Saunders’s Gull and Asian Dowitcher…etc.

Evening

  • Transfer to a local home in Xuan Giao Communie where you will enjoy a delicious home-hosted dinner and spend the night with the family. Clean and comfortable bedding is provided for your stay.

Overnight in Xuan Giao Nam Dinh

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 6NAM DINH – THAI BINH – HAI PHONG – LAN HA BAY

Morning

  • Start your day with a leisurely bicycle ride (or by car) around the commune, enjoy the beautiful sunrise over the ocean and then visit the local Fishmarket. Here you can watch fishermen bring in their overnight catch. Hundreds of people from the surrounding villages rush to this wholesale market for the best buys of the day.
  • Return to the local home. Along the way, you will pause to visit a local fish-sauce making family where you can see the traditional methods of making this delicious sauce.
  • After breakfast and check out of the homestay your private guide and driver will take you to Thai Binh Province where you will visit the 400-year-old Keo Pagoda, a peaceful spot overlooking the Red River Delta. This religious site is famous for its unique wooden structure, which represents Vietnam’s ancient architectural style.
  • Continue your road drive to Hai Phong city (the final province of the Red River Delta) and then catch a local ferry to reach Cai Ba Island where you board a private wooden Junk Boat that is your home for two lovely nights.
  • On arrival around midday, you’ll be welcomed aboard your Junk boat and begin your cruise toward Lan Ha Bay. Lying south and east of Cat Ba Island, the 300-or-so karst islands and limestone outcrops of Lan Ha are just as beautiful as those of Halong Bay but more isolated and untouched. The special thing about Lan Ha is that the karst formations are close to each other which makes it become the best place for kayaking and swimming activities.
  • Around midday, the anchor is dropped in the middle of the bay for lunchtime. Enjoy the delightful Vietnamese cuisine along with fantastic panoramic views of the scenery.

Afternoon

Continue the journey to Ba Trai Dao beaches past the floating fish farms. Later your boat will stop to launch the kayaks into the bay for a leisurely paddle the limestone karsts before swimming and sunbathing on the tiny beach.

Return to your Junk boat for a cooking demonstration with the chef. Learn about local ingredients as well as the preparation of classic Vietnamese dishes.

Evening

  • As the sun sets, you will arrive at a remote spot where you get the anchor dropped. Take more swim off the boat if you wish.
  • After a scrumptious dinner, enjoy some more drinks on the top deck or have some fun fishing for squid with the boat crew before retiring to your cabin for a good night sleep.

Overnight on board in Lan Ha Bay

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 7LAN HA BAY – FURTHER DISCOVERY

Morning

  • Get up early to enjoy the sunrise and it’s followed by breakfast. Then get ready to start your second day of adventure. The boat lifts her anchor and cruise to other parts of the bay include the Coconut beach area and Vung Kiem Lam area. You are escorted to discover a hidden lake that can be accessed by only one tunnel-like cave (Hang Sang). Take out the kayaks again and paddle around the lake to enjoy the quietness at this beautiful spot.

Afternoon

  • You will continue on your cruise toward Viet Hai Village. Once you reach the Viet Hai Pier you will enjoy close-up views of pristine natural surrounds on a leisurely bicycle ride of approximately 5 total km along the quiet, paved paths to the remote village of Viet Hai. Little has changed in Viet Hai since the ancestors of the 80 households settled here centuries ago. Situated in a valley within Cat Ba National Park and surrounded on all sides by forest and mountains, the locals are isolated from the island’s other villages and towns.
  • You will explore the village school and organic gardens meeting the local people. If you want to be more active you can take a hike up to the summit of Hai Quan Mountain for a wonderful view over the park and a part of Halong Bay.
  • End the tour and ride back to your boat then cruise to a hidden spot in Lan Ha for your second night.
  • Enjoy a set-menu dinner. After that try your luck again with the squid fishing before retiring in your cozy cabin.

Overnight on board in Lan Ha Bay

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 8LAN HA BAY – CAT BA ISLAND – HANOI

Morning 

  • After breakfast, start your day with a gentle cruise, meandering around the sheer cliffs of Lan Ha Bay toward Monkey Island where the beautiful sandy beach is ideal for the last swim. Spend time to relax at the beach or take a short hike up to a viewpoint on the mountain for a wonderful bird.
  • Return to the boat to check out of the cabin. Then enjoy a set-menu lunch as you cruise back to the shore.

Afternoon

  • Disembark at the pier where your private driver will take you back to Hanoi.
  • After checking into your hotel, spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. Stroll around the town or visit Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple, a short walk from your hotel. It’s beautifully lit up at night.

Overnight in Hanoi

Meals: (B/L/_)

DAY 9HANOI – DEPARTURE

Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Hanoi International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.

Meals: (B/_/_)

Map
Photos