Across the Red River Delta to Halong’s edge

5 days
VIETNAM, PHU QUOC, LONG BEACH//Vietnam, Phu Quoc, Beach

This tour takes you to the “inland Halong Bay” and to the bay of Cat Ba national park. Its particularity is its pace. We take the time all along to explore hidden spots of the region, while traveling on its back roads. This program is for people who are not in a rush and seeking in-depth immersion.

Experiences

  • Take a sampan ride around the karts formations of the less known Van Long nature reserve
  • Cycle nice rural paths and roads around Tam Coc
  • Cruise on a local boat throughout Lan Ha bay (Halong)
  • Kayak to inner rocks lagoons and cycle through the jungle of Cat Ba Island
  • Be the guest of a charming couple at their beautiful ancient house

Day 1. Hanoi – Phu Ly – Tam Coc
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Family guesthouse

Off we go, from your hotel to the heart of the Red River Delta. We recommend departing early (about 6am). First stop on the way, breakfast in Phu Ly, they serve there a kind of local ravioli, a dish famous all across North Vietnam.
We keep driving on the less travelled roads of the region, passing by well preserved ancient villages and scenic landscapes of Ha Nam province. We will have opportunities to learn more about how Vietnamese culture approaches spirituality by visiting temple, communal house, pagoda, etc.
Lunch on the way in a local restaurant or maybe at a local home if we can find a hospitable family around.
We reach the wide region of Ninh Binh in the afternoon through Van Long nature reserve. Van Long is the largest wetland nature reserve of North Vietnam. It features a rich fauna and flora including some specimen of the endemic Delacour’s Langur and some other endangered species of birds. The spot is beautiful, pristine and gives its full sense to the “inland Halong bay” designation. We will explore the area by sampan and bicycle before heading to our guesthouse in Tam Coc.

Day 2. Tam Coc – Trang An
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Family guesthouse

We have a full day dedicated to the regions of Tam Coc and Trang An. The program is pretty flexible and the guide can easily adapt and re-arrange according to your preferences. What we suggest initially goes like that.
We start after breakfast with a gentle bike ride on the byways of Tam Coc and its surroundings. Many stops along the way to check out a market, a temple or simply a daily life scene. We pass by Hang Mua, 400 stairs to a breathtaking panoramic view of Tam Coc mountainous circus. Photographers, raise your hand!
The way finally leads us to Trang An nature reserve, where we start a scenic sampan trip through waterways in beautiful decors made of rice fields and limestone rocks.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we propose you to either combine some more leisure cycling with the visit of the temples of Hoa Lu ancient capital; or to dedicate more time to one of those activities.
We get back to the guesthouse later in the afternoon.

Day 3. Tam Coc – Cat Ba
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Homestay

We depart in the morning, drive across the Red River delta to reach the coast in Haiphong. We should be there for lunch. Early afternoon, we board a speedboat for a 45-minute transfer to Cat Ba Island. We have some time to explore a bit around, get an introduction of the national park and visit a huge cave that served as an hospital during the war. Later in the afternoon, we head to the homestay, an ancient house set in a beautiful lush garden. You may want to participate in the dinner preparation with our host or just unwind and enjoy the serenity of the place. Dinner and overnight at the homestay.

Day 4. Cat Ba – Lan Ha bay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: On board

We get to the pier about 10.00am and board a private re-fitted fishing boat. The cruise starts across a large floating village and continues throughout the mythic sceneries of Halong. We take the kayak along for some hidden spots explorations, we may stop to swim and enjoy remote sandy beaches. The program goes at your pace and upon your preferences.
Around 11.30am we arrive at Viet Hai pier. We hop on bicycles and get some 2-wheel fun on a small concrete path across the jungle of the National Park. Our destination is Viet Hai village, a peaceful place tucked away in a valley of the island. We’ll have lunch there and take a walk around before cycling back to the boat.
End of the day on the boat cruising or at a small beach. Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 5. Cat Ba – Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: N/A

We go visit the seafood market, soak up the seaside atmosphere and walk up to the top of Canon Fort for a panoramic view over the bay. The chance to say farewell before lunch in a floating restaurant. We then transfer to Haiphong by speedboat and then drive back to Hanoi. We should arrive about 6pm.

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This tour takes you to the “inland Halong Bay” and to the bay of Cat Ba national park. We take the time all along to explore hidden spots of the region, while traveling on its back roads.

Prices and conditions

Prices from 444 US Dollars per person

Included:

  • Accommodation during the tour
  • Meals as indicated in the program
  • All overland transfers in private vehicle with AC
  • A private fishing boat from Cat Ba
  • Kayaks and gears
  • Bicycles
  • English speaking tour guide
  • All tickets and entry fees
  • VAT

Not included:

  • Beverages
  • Gratuities and donations
  • Personal expenses and individual insurance
  • All services not mentioned above in the “included” list