This little (but extendable) loop takes you along a limestone mountain range stretching from the western boundaries of the country to the legendary seascape of Halong. Sceneries change every day, from green paddies of Mai Chau valley, through the forest of Pu Luong nature reserve and the towering limestone peaks of Ninh Binh, to Halong and Bai Tu Long bays. If you want the pleasure to last longer, contact our travel consultants to add an extra day at any of those destinations.
Meal: lunch, dinner | Accommodation: homestay at a traditional house-on-silts
8:00 AM – pick up from your hotel. On the morning drive to Mai Chau, we'll leave the city behind and pass through craggy, mountainous landscape. We drive up a massive pass and end in the mountainous circus of Mai Chau around noon time. Lunch will be served in a local Thai house.
In the afternoon, we’ll have a small walk around Mai Chau valley before getting a quick transfer the remoted Mai Hich village. Weather permits there’s a chance for a small cycling around the green community. Afterwards, we return for dinner and overnight in the stilt house with our friendly Thai hosts.
With ‘Homestay’ experience, your overnight accommodation is provided by a local family in their traditional house-on-silts. There’s no private room and you’ll sleep on the floor in a large communal area. The sleeping corner is set up with a single mattress (thin, but adequate), blankets (ditto), pillow and mosquito net. The restroom is at international standard and a few steps from the main house.
Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Pu Luong retreat – shared-house
We leave our hosts after breakfast and drive East for about 15 km before entering the Pu Luong nature reserve. You’ll then get down the car for 2-hours trekking on single trail through Thai villages and rice terrace, with opportunity to take a break at local houses en-route.
Meet your car again for a quick transfer to Pu Luong retreat lodge, where you’ll check-in its’ traditional house-on-silts (sharing) and enjoy lunch break.
In the afternoon, we take another hiked on trails to Kho Muong village. The trek is not too hard and lasts about 2.5 hours at intermediate level. Plan to bring along good shoes and batteries for your camera. You’ll back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Chez Loan Tam Coc hotel - bungalow
After breakfast, we say goodbye to Pu Luong and head to Tam Coc. We arrive at destination just the time to drop the luggage and there we go for our little exploration. We propose you to hop on bicycles for an easy cycling around the Halong-like sceneries of Tam Coc and have lunch at a local house.
Later in the afternoon, when most tourists are gone and the sun is blowing orange light, we get on a local rowed sampan and discover the scenic waterways of the area. We come back to our cozy bungalow and get ready for dinner.
Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Treasure Junk – Superior cabin
We depart early for an approximate 4-hour drive to Halong City through the Red River Delta. Upon arrival, say goodbye to your guide and driver, they handle you to the joined-group cruise guide as you get on board of the Treasure Junk. Start cruising from Hon Gai pier to the boundaries of Halong bay while lunch with fresh seafood is served (vegetarian and kids menus available).
After lunch, just make yourself at ease and relax. We are slowly getting off the classic cruising routes, far from the usual clichés of this busy tourism spot. Limestone rock formations will parade all around us for about 2 hours before our first stop.
We reach the perfect spot, remote and scenic, where the waters of Halong and Bai Tu Long hit and wave together. Let's get ready for serious things. Swimming suits, ok. Kayaks and tender boat, ok. Paddles and gears, ok. Let's get closer to the water and explore the bay in depth.
After one/one and a half hour kayaking, we get back on board to refresh and start the aperitif on the sundeck. The boat cruises to its overnight anchorage area. Dinner is served either inside or outside depending on weather conditions. Overnight on board in a cozy air-conditioned cabin with en-suite bathroom facilities.
Meals: brunch | Accommodation: not included
We will be back at the pier about 11am, and driven to Hanoi with an expected arrival time about 4pm. The day will be short so let’s wake up early to take the maximum of it.
Coffee, tea and cakes will be served from 6.30am. Wake up smoothly while witnessing the silence of beautiful misty bay. A 30-minute Tai Chi session will be organized, energize your body and soul or just allow yourself some farniente time on a sunbath with a cup of coffee.
About 7.45am, we hop on bamboo boats to go visiting a secluded floating village surrounded by the mountains. We trace our way between numerous floating houses and small rowing boats that serve the everyday life as vehicle, itinerant shops, fishing utility, sometimes overnight shelter.
Back on treasure before 9am, we start cruising back to the pier. From 9.30am, a brunch will be served. Take a last glance at the rocks, standing still as the eternal guardians of a kingdom, we are about to reach the pier.
Once on land, we sit in a small café to wait for our overland vehicle.
The drive back from Halong to Hanoi is on the Handspan shuttle bus with other passengers of the cruise.
PRICE PER PERSON in US dollar based on group size
|Validity||Price per person
based on group of 2
|1 Jan - 31 Mar 17||USD 570
[vnd 12825 000]
|1 Apr - 31 Dec 17||USD 577
[vnd 12983 000]
* Single supplement: applies for those who travelling with others but requires an single room for him/herself
* Discount for larger group is available, please contact our travel consultants at firstname.lastname@example.org
* For accommodation upgrade and/or itinerary extension, please contact our travel consultants at email@example.com