let the fun begin!
Arrive Hanoi, welcome dinner.
Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to our hotel in the old French Quarter. The rest day at your leisure. In the evening, we dine at Seasons of Hanoi restaurant.
Explore old French Quarter by pedicab & foot, enjoy Water Puppet Show.
We explore Hanoi by van, foot and cyclo (a pedal powered taxi). Among our stops is the Museum of Ethnology, with its informative displays about Vietnam's history, culture and ethnic minorities. You will roll through the historic streets of the French Quarter via cyclo and enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show at dinner.
Cycle through the lush countryside to picturesque Mai Chau, explore small ethnic villages & vast green rice paddies.
This morning we will bypass Ha Noi's hectic traffic, shuttling to the quiet town of Man Duc. We will mount our bikes and pedal off into the lush hill country. The landscapes are magnificent and our cycling takes the easiest route through the mountains, not over them. A short climb at ride's end takes us into the Mai Chau valley and our lodge sitting at the edge of bright green rice paddies.
Explore local villages before shuttling to Ninh Binh, afternoon cycling through dramatic karst cliffs and outcroppings.
After breakfast, we will cycle around the valley a bit exploring quaint little villages with their traditional houses, perhaps visiting the local market where the ethnic Tai sells their handmade cloth. We will do another shuttle, as our next destination is too far for a day's ride, then enjoy an late afternoon spin through the karst scenery surrounding Ninh Binh.
Visit Hoa Lu, Vietnam's 8th century capital, bike past green rices paddies and towering cliffs to Tam Coc.
Bike from the hotel to Hoa Lu, the first capital of Vietnam date back from 8th century. Visit the temples and climb some hundred steps to the top of a mountain for a great view over the "Halong Bay on the rice field" After here we bike through an amazing area of Limestone Mountains uprising on rice paddies. After 1hr riding we reach Tam Coc. Lunch in local restaurant and then enjoy an interesting rowing boat trip on river to explore the Halong Bay on the rice paddies. Drive back to Ha Noi.
Fly to Hue, cycle through the surrounding countryside, visit old Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda.
We take a morning flight to Hue. In the afternoon, cycle a 'back roads' loop of Hue through lush countryside on a mix of footpaths and quiet country lanes. Visit the Imperial Citadel at your leisure. After exploring the ruins of this grand monument to the emperors, ride the backstreets, along the banks of the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda. Continue to the Ming Manh mausoleum and loop back across the river to Hue via the funerary monument to Khai Dinh.
Bike the peninsula to Vinh Loc, then onto Lang Co Beach, enjoy seafood, then cross the Pass of Ocean Clouds, overnight in Hoi An.
Begin riding off the beaten track for 40km along a picturesque, narrow peninsular road from Thuan An Beach to Vinh Loc. Hop on a local ferry to cross the estuary of the Perfume River before joining Highway 1. From here, transfer or cycle the first of the day's three hill climbs. After the first two (moderate) climbs of 2-3km each, cruise down to balmy Lang Co Beach for a rest/swim and lunch before tackling the final hill of the day - the Hai Van Pass, or 'Pass of Ocean Clouds'. With a new tunnel through the mountain diverting highway traffic, the 11km of this leg will be natural and quiet. The gradient is moderately challenging and the views breathtaking! Transfer the rest of the way to Hoi An, a delightful old trading town and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cycle the surroundings of Hoi An. Lunch with a Vietnamese family in their home, discover local fishing styles.
This exceptional tour is a mix of culture and relaxation. The morning is dedicated to the discovery of rural Vietnam. We will cycle from Hoi An and set out to meet the locals and discover daily life in the Vietnamese countryside. After a meal with a local Vietnamese family, we will set out for a 5km cycle ride on an unspoiled beach. We will cycle along the water's edge on the hard sand*, where we might come across local fishermen setting out to sea in their traditional “basket boats” or bringing in their nets. After some time to relax and enjoy a swim, we will set out to cycle the few remaining kilometers to join the mouth of the Thu Bon River where a boat will be waiting to bring us back to Hoi An. Free time in the afternoon for relaxing in Hoi An. In the evening dine in Ancient Faifo Restaurant.
Fly from Danang back to Hanoi, enjoy the afternoon free to explore.
We say good bye to Hue and proceed with a short flight to Hanoi. From Noi Bai airport, transfer to hotel and the rest day is free at leisure. Relax and shopping if you wish.
Set sail through Ha Long Bay on our private junk, enjoy sea kayaking amongst the islands of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After breakfast, depart for Halong Bay. A natural wonder of the world and one of Vietnam's five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Over three thousand jagged limestone islands emerge from the emerald green waters of Halong Bay. Upon arrival at Halong city, we transfer to a traditional deluxe junk for a cruise among the karst islands. The boat is one of the more traditional varieties that sail through the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch on board while the captain heads out for the horizon. Cruise to discover Halong bay with breathtaking scenery and thousands of limestone outcrops. There will be time to enjoy kayaking in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight on junk.
Explore more of Ha Long Bay by junk and sea kayak.
After breakfast, we transfer to taxi boat and enjoy a whole day cruise and kayak. Following the boat to cruise to Man's Head Island and Tortoise Island. Paddling to explore Luon Cave ( Tunnel cave), a beautiful crater like lagoon encircled by towering cliff which is only accessed via half submerged 30m tunnel cave. Paddle to visit Cua Van fishing village. Enjoy scrumptious lunch then cruise to unusual Ba Ham Lake, another crater like lagoon in two sections. The afternoon will be spent at Three Peach Beach, a stunning swimming spot. Return to mother junk for dinner and overnight.
Morning in ha Long Bay, return to Hanoi
After breakfast, continue kayaking to explore the wonder of Halong bay. Paddle to Duck Islet and Ba Hang area. Cruise back to Halong city passing Bai Tho Mountain and Chopstick Islet. Enjoy the last delicious lunch on board. Arrive Halong around 12 p.m then transfer back to Hanoi. The balance of the day is free for your leisure in Hanoi.
Say farewell to Vietnam as we head back to Hanoi Airport.
Depart Hanoi, several shuttles will be available back to the airport.