Overview

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.

Highlights

•    Leisure cycling across Mai Chau valley
•    Trekking to remote ethnic village for homestay overnight
•    Fantastic, changing sceneries
•    A comfortable cruise on the less travelled routes of Halong and Bai Tu Long bays

Briefing

Day Itinerary Accommodation Meal plan
1 Hanoi arrival Hotel in Hanoi -
2 Hanoi Orientation Hotel in Hanoi B
3 Hanoi - Mai Chau Traditional house 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 cruise in Halong B, L, D
7 Halong – Hanoi & departure Not included Brunch

 

Hanoi arrival

Day 1 Hanoi arrival

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.

Hanoi Orientation

Day 2 Hanoi Orientation

Meal: not any | 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. 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 – a historical gem of architecture.
Your morning walk would be ended with a massage service at the Sen Garden Hanoi, which provides a unique experience of professional Vietnamese massage by combining a lot of traditional and effective methods.

As we’re visiting an religious architecture (temple), you’re advised to wear long trousers/blouse (enough to cover your shoulders/knees)

 

 

 

Hanoi - Mai Chau

Day 3 Hanoi - Mai Chau

Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Mai Hich village - Traditional house-on-silts

8.00 am - departure 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. On arrival in the small remote village of Mai Hich, we'll check in to the traditional guesthouse of a Thai ethnic minority family, wooden and on stilts, like we love them.

In the afternoon, you take a warm up cycling ride around the green hills letting your guide point out and explain the wonders along the way. If the weather is good, we can also go check out the nice cascades hidden somewhere, few kilometers behind the village. Afterwards, we return for dinner and overnight in the stilt house with our friendly Thai hosts.

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

 

 

 

 

Mai Chau - Pu Luong

Day 4 Mai Chau - Pu Luong

Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Pu Luong Retreat - Traditional house-on-silts

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.

 

 

 

 

Pu Luong - Tam Coc

Day 5 Pu Luong - Tam Coc

Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner  | Accommodation: Hotel in Tam Coc

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

 

 

 

 

 

Tam Coc - Halong

Day 6 Tam Coc - Halong

Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner  | Accommodation: Treasure Junk in Halong

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. We ‘ll then reach the perfect spot, remote and scenic, where the waters of Halong and Bai Tu Long hit and wave together. Let's get ready to have a closer look to the bay formation with your own paddles.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halong - Hanoi and departure

Day 7 Halong - Hanoi and departure

Meal: breakfast, lunch | 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

Good deal

When booking online this 7-day trip, our travellers will count on a ½ day Hanoi walking tour for free, plus a tasting of delicious seasonal fruit.
You can find all our current promotions at Our Last good deals.

PRICE PER PERSON based on group tour

Validity

Price per person

based on group of 2

Single supplement
1 Jan - 31 Dec 2019

USD 700

[vnd 16 163 000]

USD 155

[vnd 3582 000]

 

* Fixed prices in USD. Prices in VND are subject to currency fluctuations upon making the trip reservation.

* Single supplement: to be applied for those who travel with others but require a single room for her/himself.

* Prices valid till 31 December 2019 for the ready-to-book adventure outlined on this detailed program which has been handcrafted by our production team and that includes the best of the destination (highlights and some lesser known assets as well!). Our travel consultants will also be glad to customize this journey to suit your specific interests and travel-style. 

* Would you like to adapt the itinerary, accommodation, length of the trip or any activity as per your needs and preferences? Then just forward us your comments at info@handspan.com.

* Special prices for larger groups children and the possibility to connect the tour with other stages of your trip around Indochina by contacting us. 

Included

  • Accommodation based on twin-shared room/cabin as listed:
    • Hanoi: Gondola hotel - Deluxe
    • Mai Chau: Mai Hich village – Traditional house-on-silts
    • Pu Luong: Pu Luong retreat – shared-traditional house
    • Tam Coc: Chez Loan hotel – Bungalow
    • Halong: Treasure Junk – Superior cabin
  • Meals as specified on the program.
  • Transportation in air-conditioned vehicle with experienced driver.
  • Off the beaten track overnight cruise in Halong Bay.
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides.
  • All entrance fees and activities as mentioned on the program.
  • VAT and other taxes.

Not included

  • Accommodation in Hanoi.
  • Flight tickets or visas.
  • Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Supplements on peak season.
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