A Handspan-exclusive trip is to discover some very pristine areas of the North. We’re taking you on strolls through the 1000 year-old history of Hanoi, scenic trails through an untouched secret valley inhabited by the Muong people, and cruising through the globe’s largest and loveliest karst formations in the World Heritage Halong Bay. Get ready for a very special and unforgettable journey
|1||Hanoi arrival||Hotel in Hanoi||-|
|2||Hanoi city tour on local trails||Hotel in Hanoi||B|
|3||Hanoi - Mai Chau||Homestay in Mai Chau||B,L,D|
|4||Mai Chau - Pu Luong Nature Reserve||Traditional house in Pu Luong||B,L,D|
|5||Pu Luong - Tam Coc||Hotel in Tam Coc||B,L,D|
|6||Tam Coc - Halong||Traditional Junk||B,L,D|
|7||Halong - Hanoi & departure||Not included||Brunch|
Meal: not any | Accommodation: hotel in Hanoi
Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. Time for relaxing after the journey. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.
Meal: breakfast | Accommodation: hotel in Hanoi
8:00 AM - Your guide meets you at your hotel. We start by a gentle walk across the old quarter to its biggest covered market. In case your hotel is located outside the old quarter, we will take a taxi for a short transfer. We take the time to walk around the bustling market, where about anything and everything can be bought. Exit the bazaar and hop on small electric carts for a leisure ride around to the boundaries of central Hoan Kiem district. We start there a short walk along the railway and you'll see how closed to the rail it is possible to live, simply impressive. We stop there, right next to the rail, in a small restaurant for a refreshing drink or a sip or rice wine if you'd like to. We then keep walking a short distance to the temple of literature. Our half day journey ends as the guide shows you this historical gem of architecture.
As you'll visit a religious architecture; it’s advisory to wear long trousers/blouse (enough to cover your shoulders/knees)
Meal: breakfast lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Mai Hich village – homestay
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).
7:45 – Tour check-in procedure
8:00 - Depart from Hanoi for a 3.5 hours drive to Halong City through the Red River Delta. Upon arrival, get on board of the Treasure Junk, we 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 stop at Hon Co island, where we’ll take a few steps up to explore the Thien Canh Son cave. Inside the cave, stalactites and stalagmite in various shapes and sizes will tell you more about geographic history of Halong bay and surrounding area.
Late in the afternoon, the boat cruises to its 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
Meal: 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 our shuttle bus with other passengers of the cruise.
Back to Hanoi around 16.30, time then will be on your own until our driver arrives and takes you to Hanoi airport/train station, in a good time for boarding your departure flight/train. End of our services.
The transfer from Halong to Hanoi, you’d join with other customers in a shuttle bus. On the way, we will stop at a place with food, beverages and souvenirs for sale. This is not to trick you and that will be the only times of the whole trip you may feel in the tourism mass. But that is the only place on the way, where you, your driver and your guide can use clean toilets without being forced to buy anything. Thanks for your understanding
PRICE PER PERSON based on group of 2
|Validity||Price per person||Single sup.|
|1 Apr – 31 Dec 2017||US$ 694||US$ 168|
Single supplement applies for those who travels with others but requires single room for her/himself