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Northern Vietnam Secret Escape - 7 days

The perfect way to discover the Northern Vietnam is to start from the Northern Mountain and go all the way down to Halong Bay. If you are a nature, culture or photography lover, this journey is the right path to travel on.

In this tour you will have the chance to meet age-old hill tribes and experience their lifestyle. Explore the magical ancient capital of Hoa Lu and discover natural caves boating on a river in Trang An and end up with 2 days leisurely cruising the beautiful Halong Bay.

The journey embraces in itself a secret loop of the senses from warm welcome of vibrant Hanoi, to the authenticity of Ngoc Son Ngo Luong nature reserve area, traveling back in time at historical Ninh Binh and finally relaxing in style on a traditional junk on Halong Bay.

Highlights

  • Wake up like a local in Hanoi to see a very original sight of the capital
  • Try the yummiest local cuisine
  • Having tea and travel back in time in a home host afternoon tea in the heart of Hanoi Old quarter
  • Back to simple and nature lifestyle at a mountain village
  • Explore the magical ancient capital Hoa Lu
  • Enjoy a scenic boat trip through the Never-land in Trang An
  • Cruise through the unique Karst mountains in the iconic Halong Bay

Tour Price Includes:

  • 04 nights’ accommodation in twin/double room (check-in and check-out around noon)
  • 4 lunches, 2 dinners and daily breakfast
  • 01 night at Muong traditional house in Ngoc Son Ngo Luong

Note:

In Superior category you will experience real homestay as sharing the house with local host ( contact us to discuss in detail)

In Deluxe category: you will stay in a private house converted to be Eco lodge

  • 2 Days/ 1 Night cruise in Halong Bay (twin/double cabin on shared boat)
  • All transfers with air-conditioned vehicles
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees as mentioned on tour
  • 02 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing only

Tour Price Excludes:

  • Airfares (international and domestic) & Visa to Vietnam
  • Meals (other than mentioned in the program)
  • Mineral water beyond that supplied
  • Insurances
  • Additional transfer required due to any emergency situation
  • Personal expenses (Phone calls, laundry, beverages…)
  • All other services not clearly indicated as ‘Included’

Itinerary

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day 1
HANOI ARRIVAL

Xin chào! Welcome to Vietnam.

Upon arrival at Hanoi airport and after immigration clearance, you will be greeted by local guide who will take you to downtown.

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and one of the hidden gems of Southeast Asia, retains an elegance and charm which makes it stand out from other cities. The winding narrow streets of the bustling Old Quarter contrast with wafting incense in the Temple of Literature and the serenity of the many small lakes. The city’s French influence is well present in fine old colonial buildings and tree-lined boulevards.

Check in your hotel and enjoy the rest of day free at leisure.

Meals: Nils

Accommodation: There are 2 hotel ranges for your selection, please scroll down

day 2
HANOI, SENSES AND THE CITY

Early wake up and do a walking tour around Hoan Kiem Lake to see a quiet, fresh and peaceful Hanoi before the city wake up to its busy life.

Hanoi once has been known as the most peaceful city of the country before the invasion of those noisy motorbikes and autos. Nowadays, only in the early morning can you live again the once-upon-a-time Hanoi with old people practicing Tai – Chi and the young doing exercises around the lake, and some vehicles bringing goods from outskirts to local retail markets within the city. Time seems to be standing still at that moment.

We will join an open-air Laughing Yoga club next to the lake, take some morning physical exercises and laugh out loud with everybody. Not only SEE and HEAR people laughing, you will actually be one of them when holding hands with the friendly Hanoians and laugh out loud together. You might think you already know this city for your whole life.

It’s time to activate your SCENT and TASTE with one of the most yummy breakfast in the world – “Phở” ( Vietnamese noodle) ! Hop in a local Phở restaurant in the Old Quarter and take a big bowl with beef or chicken, herbs and lemon.

Explore the Old Quarter, a place you must see to experience Hanoi, where you will find shopping/ economical/commercial and cultural/historical sites all wrapped into one. The final stop for the morning tour is an ancient house hidden in the middle of the Old Quarter. Hardly anybody can find it, except few those who truly understand Hanoi. The host will introduce you to their cozy home as everyone chatting and enjoying local Lotus tea. Surely you would never expect such a morning to end in any other way.

Mid-morning, free time to lay down and recharge your energy or chill in a tea shop before heading to another side of the city in the afternoon.

This afternoon, enjoy a visit to the Temple of Literature dedicated to Confucius which was built in the 11th century. Being the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature now is still the place for students to visit and burn incense to wish for success in their study. You will find here a peaceful atmosphere tinged with incense smoke, and sunken lotus ponds populated by fish and turtles.

Head out to Ba Dinh Square and visit President Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum (outside) and house-on-stilt and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda.

Transferred back to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: There are 2 hotel ranges for your selection, please scroll down

day 3
HANOI – HOA BINH – GORGEOUS WATERFALL & WONDERFUL MOUNTAINOUS FLAVORS

Today you will leave the hustle and bustle of Hanoi to head out to Hoa Binh. Surrounded by limestone karsts and a primary tropical forest and not widely introduced to tourists, this hideout in the southwest of Hanoi seems to be isolated from the surrounding area and remains its untouched beauty. The Muong people inhabited there will surely be happy to share with you about their generation-to-generation customs and culture which is well preserved until these days.

On arrival, take some time to refresh yourself, relax and enjoy lunch with a local family. Your food is prepared by a woman of the Muong people, a minority ethnic group with many curious legends; her spices and herbs will create a booming of flavors and aromas in your mouth. Enjoy the traditional tea after lunch and transfer down to the second village where you stay the night. You are welcomed by a charming family of the Muong ethnic group, who cultivates the sense of true welcome, in their beautiful traditional wooden house on stilts posed by the waterfalls.

Settle down and take your time to refresh. Later in the afternoon, you will hike through the picturesque landscapes of rice fields and mountains. Stop at a beautiful waterfall, have some free time to swim in the clear azure water and enjoy the refreshing nature. On the way back, you, with the help of local guide, will collect several kinds of vegetable and herb to make the traditional dish for dinner.

Have dinner with the local family and taste the local whiskey for a good sleep!

Overnight in the charming home of the Muong.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: There are 2 hotel ranges for your selection, please scroll down

Note:

Sustainability guidelines: Several mountain villages in Vietnam have been endangered by the upsurge of tourism, meanwhile we have searched and developed products such as Ngoc Son Ngo Luong to introduce you to the original culture of really authentic villages. Our mission is to promote but maintain and we cannot do this without your good and active collaboration. So please kindly follow the guidelines below to maintain the beauty of the area untouched during your trip there:

  • Please respect the local culture by observing it and taking the different gently.
  • Please do not give kids candy/ toys/money directly, especially on the road. Stationary and book are preferred. Please leave gifts to local schools or to the leader of the community.
  • No direct tipping, although you can buy local products to support the community. Do not pay more than you are asked for.
  • Please respect the environment and do not litter on the way.
  • Purchasing products from wild animal is not recommended.
day 4
HOA BINH TRAVEL DOWN TO NINH BINH

Wake up early in the morning and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the countryside, everything will lead you back to what is the most basic and simplest.

Take your time to relax and swim in the infinite water spring right next to your kitchen. They say the spring has never been known to go dry! As you take a walk around the village, the beautiful green valley offers an ideal stroll, passing through rice fields, seeing local do farm works, visiting some small villages hidden behind mountains in a very relaxing way. You may stop on the way to talk to friendly people here, they always invite you to get in their houses for a cup of nice tea freshly brew.

After lunch and farewell to our local host, you continue toward Ninh Binh for around 3.5 hours driving. Then, check-in and the rest of the day is free leisure time for you to explore a different style of Vietnamese countryside.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: There are 2 hotel ranges for your selection, please scroll down

day 5
THE ANCIENT BEAUTY OF HOA LU – TRANG AN THE NEVERLAND

Hoa Lu was Vietnam’s capital under the Dinh and Early Le dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries. Its palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions, built by different dynasties, still carry the features of an ancient imperial capital. Moving on to Trang An nearby. You will take a boat ride through a remarkable cave system along a winding river lined with trees and limestone mountains. The clear river water, fresh air, magical caves and dramatic mountains will charm you from first glance.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: There are 2 hotel ranges for your selection, please scroll down

day 6
NINH BINH – HALONG BAY

After breakfast, depart for Halong Bay, one of the most stunning natural wonders of Vietnam, a picturesque blend of harmonious transition between the mountains and the sea.

Embark on the cruise and enjoy a welcome drink. Savor a delicious fusion lunch as you cruise around more than 3,000 limestone islands and rocks rising majestically out of the turquoise bay. Enjoy sightseeing and activities on board such as visiting Surprise Cave, boat rowing or kayaking, or simply relaxing on sundeck.

Later, enjoy dinner under starlit sky before retiring to your cabin.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: There are 2 hotel ranges for your selection, please scroll down

day 7
HALONG BAY – HANOI

Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of the bay. There is an early Tai Chi class and tea and coffee for the early risers to be followed by breakfast in the restaurant.

Today, cruise further through the bay and visit Dark and Bright Lagoon for exploring by kayak. As you are back on board, enjoy your buffet brunch as the ship leisurely cruises back to harbor. Back at Halong Harbor around noon, your vehicle will be waiting to transfer you back to Hanoi.

Optional activities with surcharge: Along the way, we will stop at an authentic countryside village; enjoy the water puppet show, a traditional art form springing from rural society of the Red River Delta. Performed in a pool of water, the water surface is the stage, while the puppeteers stand behind a screen and manipulate the lacquered wooden puppets using bamboo rods and strings beneath the water surface. A traditional Vietnamese orchestra provides musical accompaniment.

Meals: Brunch

Note:

Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions without prior notice. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be cancelled due to poor weather. Unused services are not subject to a refund.

note
HOTELS IN TOUR

Cities

Comfort

Deluxe

Hanoi

MK Premier Boutique

Balcony Deluxe Room

Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi

L’Opera Deluxe Room

Suoi Mu ( Hoa Binh )

Suoi Mu Homestay

Shared Accommodation Room

Private Suoi Mu Lodge

Private House

Ninh Binh

La Belle Vie Tam Coc

Deluxe Room

Emeralda Ninh Binh

Superior Room

Halong

Bhaya Classic

Deluxe Cabin

Violet Junk

Junior Suite Cabin