Arrive in Hanoi, water puppet performance, welcome dinner
Your guide will meet you are Hanoi's airport, then transfer downtown to our hotel. The day is free at your leisure until evening. We'll gather for a bit of toru orientation then head out for dinner at a local restaurant, your first taste of our guide curated menus, plus enjoy a water puppet show, where the puppeteers are actually standing in the water.
Hanoi sightseeing by Vespa and street food tour
Start the day local style, exploring the city on an antique vespa scooter. You'll ride pillion while our experience local drivers pilot you through the hidden charms of Hanoi Old quarter and West Lake areas. Experience the magical moments of Hanoi waking up ! Let us take you on a unique, early morning adventure riding pillion on one of our vintage Vespas. Experience the magical moments of Hanoi waking up ! Of course breakfast is on tap with some freshly made, Banh Cuon, a mouth-watering healthy steamed rice rolls and a non-missable egg coffee. Later in the afternoon, we head back out on foot to experience the incredible variety of street foods that Hanoi has to offer. Not only will your taste buds be jumping with joy but this pastime is archetypal of the cities culture and the daily lives of the people. Sit down at any of the countless street food stalls and you will be met with delicious food and friendly smiles. And don't worry, you will be burning off the calories from all this eating in the days to come as we bike.
Mai Chau by Bicycle
After breakfast we will shuttle out of Hanoi to quiet Bai Lang, where we will get you set up on the bikes and embark on the cycling portion of the tour. We will be pedaling to Thung Nai, a slow gradual climb into the hills. Reaching Thung Nai we will join a local family for lunch. Letting everyone digest a bit while shuttling to Cao Phong, we resume riding to our lodge in Mai Chau surrounded by lush landscapes.
Mai Chau cycling to Don Village ( Pu Luong Nature Reserve )
This morning you will embark by bike and continue cycling west to Pu Luong Nature Reserve. The route gets a bit more challenging after the first 20km from Mai Chau as we will tackle the hills on small roads. But the beautiful views on the valleys and terraced rice fields, stops at the villages and interact with friendly locals, help keep the minds off the challenge. Arrive at the Pu Luong Retreat in the afternoon, a lovely spot nested between two streams at the foot of a limestone mountain. Spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying the cascades and natural pools all around your private bungalow.
Pu Luong Nature Reserve by bicycle
No need to pack this morning as you will enjoy a morning ride to nearby beautiful villages. You will stop in Ban Hieu, a remote village in Pu Luong Nature Reserve. This beautiful village is named after the stream running through it- Hieu stream which is originated from Pu Luong Peak. Unlike the above one, this village is famous for the giant waterwheels standing on the running water, surrounded by peaceful rice fields that turn yellow right in the harvest season. Breathtaking scenes in this village also include 5 waterfalls called Hieu waterfall that cool down the temperate in the whole area, especially in the summer. Visit to the waterfall before we cycle back to Don village, where we spend our second night.
Pu Luong to Hoa Lư ancient capital of Vietnam
The towering karst cliffs line your route this morning, cycling to Hoa Lư, the 10th century capital of Đại Cồ Việt ( as Vietnam was know as back then ). Tour around the many palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions that were built by different dynasties. One of the most popular pieces of architecture is the Bao Thien Tue Palace, which was plated with gold and silver. After visiting, we keep cycling on the beautiful country lane to the scenic Tam Coc. Enjoy lunch in local restaurant in Tam Coc, then take a sampan on a river through the rice paddies to the grottoes of the sacred Tam Coc Caves. Enormous limestone karsts jut out from the green rice fields giving rise to this places other name, Halong on Land. We will stop at Hang Mua ( Dancing cave ), enjoy climbing up over 500 steps to the summit. From the top of mountain, we can enjoy the dramatic panorama of Tem Coc rivers, canals and mountains. Overnight in Tam Coc.
cruise Halong Bay by junk
You have a leisurely morning before we leave for our drive to Hai Phong & enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. In Hai Phong, embark for two nights onboard a junk in Ha Long Bay. Today sail to Ao Ech area where we break out the sea kayaks for a bit of exploring, then on to the lesser visited areas of Tra Bau and Lan Ha Bay. After enjoying sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin, join the ship's chef for short cooking class before dinner.
Halong Bay Cruise and bike to Viet Hai Village
Arise early if you wish for some Tai Chi on the deck before breakfast. Hop the shuttle craft to Viet Hai village on the nearby island, where we enjoy some cycling through the rainforest and tree tunnel to visit some local villages and discover island life. Enjoy lunch on the shuttle boat as we explore some areas out of reach of the junk, before returning for afternoon swims or a bit more sea kayaking. Perhaps the chef might show you how to prepare a few more Vietnamese dishes before dinner. Perhaps round out your day by trying your hand at night squid fishing.
Halong Bay back to Hanoi
More Tai Chi perhaps ? After breakfast disembark to visit a limestone grotto, before sailing back to Hai Phong. We'll shuttle back to Hanoi, where you have the afternoon free to explore, relax, shop for gifts. Enjoy farewell dinner in one of the most popular local restaurants.
Drive to Hanoi airport for your onward flight. Tạm biệt