9 days The Spirit of North Vietnam
Hanoi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, Bai Tu Long Bay, Hanoi
The Red River Delta combined with the picturesque mountain scenery of Mai Chau and Bai Tu Long Bay makes this an unforgettable adventure.
It is an excellent way to experience the best that Northern Vietnam has to offer – beautiful scenery, traditions and culture, hiking, cycling and friendly Vietnamese people. Come with us on this colourful expedition to see why!
Day 1 Hanoi / Mai Chau
Departing Hanoi between 7:45am to 8:00am, we journey along Highway No.6 to Hoa Binh province, there is plenty of incredible mountain scenery.
We arrive in the remote region of Mai Chau, a magical valley full of rice fields and serene villages which are excellent for exploring.
Afternoon finds us hiking about two hours and descend to Xom Moi village, situated by the scenic Black River and home to Muong people. Here we get to know a Muong family and interact with them.
Tonight our host offers us a toast before we stay overnight in their traditional house. (Lunch and dinner are included).
Day 2 Mai Chau / Black River
We explore the Black River by morning river boat ride and a hike. We hike about 8 km along tracks and paths used by the locals, across spectacular mountain scenery spotting peaceful villages. We are rewarded with beautiful views from the river.
On the way we visit a Tay village, nestled beneath a picturesque valley and have lunch there. We head over hills and hike through rainforest to the Nanh village, home to the Dao people.
Here, we stay overnight as guests of a Dao family. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 3 Hilltribe Hike
The day begins by crossing hills and hiking through rice terraces, passing White Thai villages and going down into the Mai Chau valley.
En route we meet local villagers going about their daily life and visit a typical White Thai village, eating lunch in their house.
After lunch we take a hike to our destination around late afternoon. We settle in with a local Thai family in a traditional wooden stilt-house. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 4 Mai Chau / Cuc Phuong National Park
After breakfast we wander around corn fields, rice terraces. Later in the morning we hike to our waiting vehicle and make our way to Cuc Phuong National Park, which is located in Ninh Binh Province and covers over 200 sq km.
This is Vietnam’s most famous park, we take a short hike in the rainforest for approximately 3 km, which offers some wildlife viewing.
The night is spent at a comfortable guest house in the park’s headquarters, which are surrounded by spectacular mountains and lush rainforest. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 5 Cuc Phuong National Park / The Red River Delta
This morning we visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre in the park to witness the conservation efforts being made to save the endangered Langur, a primate species. We call in the Turtle Conservation Centre to see how they preserve threatened tortoises and freshwater turtles.
After this, we boat along the Hoang Long then on to the floating village of Kenh Ga, set amongst stunning limestone scenery and a network of peaceful waterways.
From there we take a hike through scenic outcrops and open rice fields. We stay overnight in a local lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 6 The Red River Delta
A morning bicycle ride takes us into rock formations and past pretty villages to Truong Yen district. Here we get to know some local families, learn about their way of life.
The rest of the time we explore the delta, strolling around villages, meeting local people and having tea in their homes.
We visit a very ancient pagoda dating back over 1000 years. The night is spent in the same lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 7 The Red River Delta / Bai Tu Long Bay
Departing from Ninh Binh we drive through Thai Binh and Hai Phong provinces, onwards to Ha Long City, where we embark on a boat trip among the 3000 spectacular limestone peaks, whilst enjoying lunch on the boat.
Weather permitting, there is an opportunity to swim in the clear waters and enjoy a kayak ride around the bay.
Arriving on Quan Lan Island, we settle in a local lodge for the night. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 8 Bai Tu Long Bay
After breakfast we spend time cycling across the island and relaxing on a pristine beach. A few hours of enjoying a boat trip and kayaking follows – time to appreciate the beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay as we discover its towering cliffs and fascinating limestone islets.
Arriving on the island of Cai Rong. Here, we spend the night in a hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 9 Bai Tu Long Bay / Hanoi
We continue journeying among Bai Tu Long Bay's breathtaking limestone scenery.
Time is spent meeting the local fishermen and seeing their way of life, before we board our waiting vehicle for our return journey to Hanoi, arriving there at about 5pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included).
Our itinerary includes easy bicycle rides, walks, hikes and kayaks with:
- a 10 km hike on Day 1.
- a 7-11 km hike on Day 2.
- an 8-12 km hike on Day 3.
- a 5-7 km hike on Day 4.
- a 3-4 km hike on Day 5.
- a 12-14 km bicycle ride on Day 6.
- a 1-2 hour kayak ride on Day 7.
- an 8-9 km bicycle ride on Day 8.
- a 1-2 hour kayak ride on Day 8.
From May to September, the climate is usually humid and hot. From October to April brings cooler and more pleasant weather.
All of our experienced and friendly tour guides speak fluent English.
They are knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.
- homestays (3 nights).
- lodges (3 nights).
- hotel (1 night).
- guest house (1 night).
Clean and comfortable homestays with mosquito nets provided.
- 8 breakfasts.
- 9 lunches.
- 8 dinners.
We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, markets or homes.
We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking.
- $638USD per person for a group of 2 to 7 people.
- $567USD per person for a group of 8 to 12 people.
The cost of the trip includes:
- all accommodation.
- meals listed on the itinerary.
- Tour Guides.
- all entrance fees.
- permits during guided excursions.
The cost of the trip does not include:
- travel insurance.
- drinks (soft drinks, alcohol, bottled water).
- personal expenses.
What to take:
Pack essentials for 9 days, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, jacket for cool evenings, comfortable hiking shoes.
Take a small day pack for cycling, walking, hiking and trekking.
It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.
We also recommend packing: swimsuit, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...
Have a great journey!!!