7 days A Taste of North Vietnam

Hanoi, Black River, Red River Delta, Bai Tu Long Bay, Hanoi

This adventure is centred on the village life of the Black River, the Red River Delta and the islands of Bai Tu Long Bay.

We enjoy a range of activities including hiking through hill tribe villages, learning the secrets of hand-made rice noodles and spring rolls in the cosy atmosphere of Vietnamese families. 

This, combined with the adventure of boating amongst the fascinating limestone peaks and cycling through peaceful countryside, offers a unique way to appreciate the warmth of local people and the picturesque areas of North Vietnam. Join us for the best this region has to offer.

Day 1 Hanoi / Mai Chau / Te Village
Departing from Hanoi we drive west on the first day to the remote region of Mai Chau – a picturesque valley. Here, White Thai, Dao, H’mong and Tay people all live in harmony.

On arrival we hike along footpath through corn fields, sculpted rice terraces, hills and tiny villages in spectacular and easy terrain. 

Later, we descend to the village of Tong Dau, nestled beneath the valley and home to White Thai people.

We settle in with a local family in a traditional stilt-house to experience their way of life. (Lunch and dinner are included).

Day 2 Te Village / Black River
We continue our adventure by hiking along a footpath surrounded by rice terraces and picturesque hills, till we reach Na Mo – a White Thai minority village. Here, we have lunch in a local home.

The next 2 km are rather steep but rewarding as we hike along the trail used by local people. The view below sides becomes more and more impressive.

Following a delightful bicycle ride, we then transfer to the Black river for a leisurely two-hour boat ride along this beautiful river. We then land at a Muong village, situated by the river.

Tonight our hosts offer us a traditional dinner and a toast, before an overnight stay with them in a traditional wooden stilt-house. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 3 Black River / Ninh Binh
After leaving our host, we appreciate the magnificent view as we take a hike along the bank of the river, through picturesque villages, verdant hills and sculpted rice terraces.

Next, it is our journey to Ninh Binh province. From here, we discover the floating village of Kenh Ga. 

We hike around and look at the amazing folds of the cliff face caused by earth movement some hundred million years ago.

Arriving in Trang An, an area which features rock formations and tiny villages, we spend the night in a local lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 4 Ninh Binh / Ninh Xuan
A short transfer brings us to Ninh Xuan with its dramatic limestone mountains, our base for a day trip out into the Red River Delta. We take a bamboo boat on the peaceful canal which winds its way through amazing limestone outcrops. 

We cycle past the Inland Ha Long Bay. Beautiful landscapes meet us on arrival in the Bich Dong area – a firm favourite with walkers.

Here, we stroll around open rice fields with stunning rock formations rising up from rice paddies. There is plenty of time for our hands-on cooking demonstration, which gets us out in the market buying fresh ingredients.

We settle in with a local family making fresh rice noodles and other dishes that typify Northern Vietnamese cooking – a superb way to gain a first hand experience of rural life in the delta.

The night is spent in the same lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 5 Ninh Binh / Halong Bay
Departing Ninh Binh we journey to Halong City. Upon our arrival we embark on a boat trip among some of the spectacular limestone peaks – time to relax and appreciate the sublime beauty of the bay.

Those are feeling energetic and wish to get a close view of the scenic floating village of Cua Van and towering rock formations can take a kayaking ride before we anchor our boat in the uniquely fascinating nature as we stay overnight on boat. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 6 Halong Bay / Bai Tu Long Bay 
A morning boat ride brings us to some of the bay’s truly awesome scenery – vertical and unusual rocks and islets emerge from the sea. Weather permitting, there will be an opportunity to swim in the clear waters and take a kayaking ride.

Leaving Halong Bay, we drive due north to Cai Rong Island. In Bai Tu Long Bay we enjoy a beautiful boat trip among the spectacular limestone peaks. Weather permitting, we take a kayaking ride around stunning rock formations and fishing villages.

Arriving on Quan Lan Island, a serene and beautiful island in Bai Tu Long Bay, we head to our lodge. Our lodge is tastefully designed with textile and bamboo accents on the bedding, adorned with traditional furnishing, the room is peaceful and exotic.

At our warm and friendly lodge we have the opportunity to learn to
make Squid dish and other dishes. Tonight we stay overnight in our comfortable lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 7 Bai Tu Long Bay / Hanoi 
We spend the morning cycling across the island of Quan Lan, visiting other friendly families in their homes. There is also time to relax on beautiful secluded beaches.

A boat trip coupled with a delightful kayak ride takes us through the majestic rocks of Bai Tu Long Bay then on to Cai Rong Island.

This is followed by our return journey to Hanoi, arriving there at around 6pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included).

The facts…

Physical activities: 

Easy walking, hiking, cycling and kayaking with:

- a 7-9 km hike on Day 1.

- a 9-12 km hike on Day 2.

- a 1-2 hour bicycle ride on Day 2.

- a 6-8 km hike on Day 3.

- a 9-10 km bicycle ride on Day 4.

- a 1-hour bicycle ride on Day 7.

- a 1-hour kayaking ride on Day 7.

From July to September, the climate is usually humid and hot. From October to June brings cooler and more pleasant weather.


- bicycle.

- kayak.

- boat.

- vehicle.

Tour Guides:

Our experienced and friendly tour guides speak fluent English. 

They are knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.


- homestays (2 nights).

- lodges (3 nights).

- boat (1 night). 

Clean and comfortable homestays with mosquito nets provided.


- 6 breakfasts.

- 7 lunches.

- 6 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: 

- $566USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people.

- $498USD per person for a group of 7 to 12 people.

The cost of the trip includes: 

- accommodation.

- transportation.

- meals.

- tour guides.

- entrance fees.

- two bottles of mineral water.

- permits during guided excursions.

The cost of the trip does not include: 

- travel insurance.

- drinks (soft drinks, alcohol).

- personal expenses.

What to take:

Pack essentials for 7 days away from Hanoi, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable hiking shoes.

Take a small day pack for cycling, walking and hiking. 

It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.

We also recommend packing: swimsuit, personal articles, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...

Have a great journey!!!