5 days Pu Luong Nature Reserve & Ninh Binh

Hanoi, Na Mo, Hang, Kho Muong, Yen Mo, Trang An, Hanoi
 

Experience the nature and culture of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Yen Mo and Trang An. Head into the depths of scuplted rice terraces by foot and bicycle. Take the opportunity to explore the spectacular limestone mountains and we are also guests of traditional wooden stilt-houses of White Thai and Muong people. A truly enriching experience!


Day 1 Hanoi - Na Mo

We depart from Hanoi and drive to Muong Khen, a region set among limestone formations, rice fields, and tiny villages perfect for hiking and interacting with the local people. In the afternoon, we hike along a footpath surrounded by terraces and picturesque hills until we reach Na Mo, a White Thai minority village.

The next 2 km are rather steep but rewarding, as we hike along a trail used by local people. The view on both sides of the trail becomes increasingly impressive. After finishing our hike, we arrive at Te village, another White Thai village. Here, we settle in for the night in a traditional wooden house, experiencing the way of life of the White Thai people. (Lunch and dinner are included)

Day 2 Na Mo - Hang Village

The Pu Luong Nature Reserve is an area of outstanding beauty, cultural interest, and high biodiversity, stretching from Mai Chau in the northwest to Cuc Phuong National Park in the southeast. The region boasts rich forests, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces, and breathtaking scenery.

We depart from Te village and hike along paths amid verdant hills and picturesque villages. Upon arriving at the reserve, we begin our hike to the Thai village of Hang. Here, we relax in the cool climate and enjoy the hospitality and culture of the local Thai family over dinner. We spend the night with them, experiencing their way of life. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)


Day 3 Hang Village - Kho Muong Village

The day begins with a beautiful hike through splendid rice terraces, passing idyllic villages, verdant hillocks, lush farmlands, stunning mountains, and a picturesque valley. We eventually arrive at Kho Muong, a remote and picturesque village located in the Pu Luong Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam.

Kho Muong is known for its stunning natural beauty, characterized by lush rice terraces, verdant hills, primitive forests, and tranquil valleys. The village is primarily inhabited by the Black Thai ethnic minority, who have preserved their traditional way of life, customs, and wooden stilt houses.


While in Kho Muong, we hike into the valley to experience the serene rural landscape, meet the local people in their daily lives, and learn about Black Thai culture. Tonight, we will stay with a Black Thai family in a traditional wooden house, experiencing their lifestyle. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.)


Day 4 Kho Muong Village - Yen Mo 

Departing Kho Muong Village we'll make our way to Ninh Binh before continuing on to Van Long Nature Reserve. Van Long Nature Reserve is renowned for its largest nature reserve in Vietnam. Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery as you enjoy a rowing boat ride along the nature reserve, amidst towering limestone peaks and serene backwaters.

Then, we journey to Cuc Phuong National Park, situated in Ninh Binh Province. Spanning over 200 square kilometers, Cuc Phuong is renowned as Vietnam's most celebrated national park, boasting a rich tapestry of biodiversity. As we venture into the park's verdant expanse, following scenic hiking trails we see diverse flora and fauna. Admire ancient and towering trees, vibrant flowers, and lush foliage or listen to the calls of exotic birds.

Continuing our exploration of Cuc Phuong National Park, we visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and the Turtle Conservation Centre. These vital facilities provide invaluable insight into the ongoing conservation efforts dedicated to safeguarding endangered primate species and freshwater turtles.

At the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, we have the opportunity to observe and learn about the various primate species native to Vietnam, many of which are critically endangered. Through educational programs and guided tours, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges these primates face and the conservation initiatives aimed at their protection and rehabilitation.


Similarly, at the Turtle Conservation Centre, we witness firsthand the dedicated efforts to conserve and protect Vietnam's vulnerable freshwater turtle populations. Through educational exhibits, informative presentations, and interactive experiences, we gain insight into the threats facing these endangered creatures and the measures being taken to ensure their survival.

After our visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and the Turtle Conservation Centre, we transition into a delightful culinary experience by joining 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 mastering the art of making traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, zesty dipping sauces, and sticky rice. We share in the warmth of the family's hospitality as we eat a delicious dinner together. The night is spent in a cosy lodge owned by a local family. (Breakfasat, lunch and dinner are included)


Day 5 Yen Mo - Trang An - Hanoi 

After breakfast, we head 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 Hanoi, arriving around 6 pm.
(Breakfast and lunch are included)

The facts….

Physical activities: 

Our itinerary includes walks, hikes and bicycle rides with:
 

  • A 10-12 km hike on Day 1
  • A 9-11 km hike on Day 2
     
  • A 15-16 km hike on Day 3
  • A 2-5 km hike on Day 4
     
  • A 2-4 km hike and a 6-7 bicycle ride on Day 5


Meals: 
 

  • 4 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 4 dinners


A wide variety of food is commonly available in local restaurants, markets and family homes, using fresh local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area. We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking. 

Transport: 
 

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


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


Accommodation: 
 

  • Homestay (4 nights)


Clean and comfortable homestays with mosquito nets provided.


Trip cost: 
 

  • $497USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people. 
  • $428USD per person for a group of 7 to 10 people.


The cost of the trip includes: 
 

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
     
  • Meals listed on the itinerary
  • Tour guide
     
  • Purified drinking water
  • Entrance fees
  • VAT and other taxes


The cost of the trip does not include: 
 

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (soft drinks, alcohol)
     
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Other personal expenses such as shopping; telephone, laundry and bar bills


What to Bring:

Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities. It is essential to bring your passport on this trip. We also recommend packing: small day pack, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat…


Have a great journey!!! 

 

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