4 days Pu Luong Nature Reserve, The Red River Delta & Bai Tu Long Bay


Hanoi, Pu Luong Nature Reserve, the Red River Delta, Bai Tu Long, Hanoi

Journey through Pu Luong Nature Reserve, the Red River Delta and Bai Tu Long Bay is the ideal trip for those who want to experience the timeless rural life of  Pu Luong Nature Reserve, the delta in Ninh Binh province and enjoy the sheer beauty of the bay, which is geographically close to Ha Long Bay. This trip offers a fantastic mix of villages, food, islands, and the warm hospitality of a family homestay.


Day 1 Hanoi - Pu Luong Nature Reserve

We depart Hanoi between 7:45 and 8:00 AM, heading south west to Lu Luong Nature Reserve, about 160 kilometers away. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a protected area located in the Thanh Hoa Province of northern Vietnam. Known for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes, Pu Luong features terraced rice fields, lush green mountains, and primitive forests.

The reserve is also home to various ethnic minority communities, including the Thai and Muong people, who maintain traditional lifestyles and customs. Pu Luong offers a perfect place for trekking, exploring traditional villages, and experiencing local culture and hospitality.


Upon arrival at the reserve, we embark on a hiking adventure along a footpath surrounded by terraced fields and dense forests, leading to Hang Village, home to a Black Thai community. The Thai people are an ethnic minority group originally from southern China and ethnically linked to the Thai in Thailand. We enjoy their warm hospitality over a dinner with the host and an overnight stay in a traditional stilt-house. (Lunch and dinner are included)


Day 2 Pu Luong Nature Reserve - The Red River Delta (Ninh Binh)

After breakfast, we board our vehicle for our journey to Ninh Binh, then continue on to the Bich Dong Pagoda. Located in Ninh Binh, the Bich Dong Pagoda is a scenic site with its serene beauty and historical significance. Perched amidst stunning natural surroundings, this ancient pagoda complex comprises three levels: Lower, Middle, and Upper.

As we ascend the stone steps leading to the pagoda, they are greeted by lush greenery and scenic views of the surrounding landscape. The Lower Pagoda, nestled at the base of a limestone cliff, features intricately carved statues and altars dedicated to Buddha and other deities.

Continuing upward, visitors reach the Middle Pagoda, which offers panoramic views of the picturesque countryside below. Here, they can admire ancient Buddhist sculptures and architectural details dating back centuries.

Finally, at the Upper Pagoda, visitors are rewarded with breathtaking views of the entire area, including nearby karst formations and winding rivers. The tranquil atmosphere and spiritual ambiance make it a perfect place for hikers.

Leaving Bich Dong behind we embark on a serene rowing boat ride along the Nang River, surrounded by lush greenery and towering limestone cliffs. The two-hour boat excursion weaves along this enchanting river and through the Thung Nang cave system, featuring several caverns adorned with stalactites.

We also devote time to a scenic bicycle ride in Trang An. Trang An is renowned for its intricate network of rivers and caves, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rugged limestone cliffs and emerald waters. The surrounding areas are dotted with tiny villages, picturesque paddy fields, temples, and hiking trails, adding to the charm of this UNESCO World Centre.

During our bicycling excursion we weave between towering limestone mountains, serene waterways, peaceful villages, verdant rice paddies, and enchanting historical sites. This presents a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves in the rhythms of everyday rural life.

Our journey continues as we make our way to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam, holds a special place in the country's history and heritage. Situated in the picturesque Ninh Binh province, Hoa Lu was the political and economic center of the country during the Dinh and early Le dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries.

We explore the remnants of this once-thriving capital, including the remains of royal palaces, temples, and citadels. One of the most notable sites is the Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, dedicated to the first emperor of the Dinh Dynasty. The temple's architecture and ornate decorations offer insight into the grandeur of the era.

Nearby, the Le Dai Hanh Temple honors the founder of the early Le Dynasty and provides a glimpse into the cultural and religious practices of the time. Aside from its historical significance, Hoa Lu is also renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, with limestone karsts and lush greenery surrounding the ancient ruins. Following a leisurely stroll through nearby villages and along the banks of the tranquil Sao Khe River, we make our way to our host. Here we join a local family for a cooking lesson.

Our culinary journey begins with a visit to a vibrant local market for fresh ingredients. Additionally, we gather vegetables from our host's lush garden before learning the art of making traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, zesty dipping sauces, and sticky rice.
We enjoy the family's gracious hospitality as they share dinner with us, showcasing their wonderful cuisine. The night is spent in a cosy lodge. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included)

Day 3 The Red River Delta (Ninh Binh) - Bai Tu Long Bay

Departing from our lodge between 7:30 to 8:00, we reach Bai Chay, the gateway to Bai Tu Long Bay. Upon arrival, we embark on a boating adventure, gliding through the serene waters of Bai Tu Long Bay. Discover hidden coves and towering karst formations as we explore this pristine marine landscape. Our journey continues to Cap La, where we have the opportunity to embark on a kayaking excursion. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, marveling at the beauty of the surrounding limestone cliffs.


As the sun begins to set, we make our way to Cong Do, where we will spend the night aboard our comfortable boat. Relax on the deck and soak in the tranquil atmosphere as you enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by our onboard chef. Fall asleep to the gentle lapping of the waves, surrounded by the beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 4  Bai Tu Long Bay - Hanoi

After a serene night spent on the boat in Cong Do, we wake up to the stunning vistas of Bai Tu Long Bay. Our journey continues as we make our way to Vung Vieng floating village, a captivating community built on the waters of the bay. Explore the village and learn about their traditional way of life. Next, we head to Halong Bay before our boat returns to Bai Chay, where our adventure in Bai Tu Long Bay comes to an end. From there, we embark on our journey to Hanoi, arriving there by 4 pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included)
 

The facts…

Physical activities: Easy cycling, hiking and kayaking with:
 

  • A 6-8 km hike on Day 1
  • A 2-3 km hike and a 5-6 km bicycle ride on Day 2
     
  • A 1-2 hour kayaking ride on Day 3
  • A 1-hour bamboo boat ride on Day 4


Transport: 
 

  • Boat
  • Kayak
  • Bicycle
  • Air-conditioned vehicle (Car or Bus)


Tour Guide: Our experienced, friendly and professional tour guide speaks good English. He is knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.

Accommodation:
 

  • Homestay (1 night)
  • Family lodge (1 night)
  • Overnight boat (1 night)


Meals: 
 

  • 3 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 3 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.


Trip cost: 
 

  • $465USD per person for a group of 2 to 10 people
  • $396USSD per person for a group of 11 to 16 people


The cost of the trip includes: 
 

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
     
  • Meals
  • Purified drinking water
     
  • Tour guide
  • Entrance fees
  • VAT and other taxes


The cost of the trip does not include: 
 

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (soft drinks, alcohol)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities


What to Bring: Pack essentials for 4 days away from Hanoi, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable hiking shoes. Take a small day pack for cycling and hiking.

It is essential to bring your passport on this trip. We also recommend packing: swim suit, first-aid kit, personal articles, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...


Have a great journey!!!