Explore the north of Vietnam on this overland trip through Mai Chau, Pu luong, Ninh Binh and Hai Phong. Trek through local villages of the Mai Chau Valley, discover traditional stilt houses of the Uoi and Lan villages in Pu luong and cruise through Lan Ha Bay.
Mai Chau – Pu luong – Ninh Binh – Hai Phong – 6 days 5 nights
Hanoi to Mai Chau (150km): 4hrs
Depart Hanoi early morning for approximately 4-hour drive to Mai Chau located about 150 km southwest of Hanoi. Just an hour beyond Hanoi, after Hoa Binh Town, the road weaves through mountains, fertile valleys and traditional villages.
Arrive in the picturesque Mai Chau Valley surrounded by spectacular karst rock formations and rice paddies. After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the idyllic natural surroundings. Start the tour walking around 2- 4 hours through some villages in the Mai Chau Valley.
This evening enjoy a traditional Thai performance of music and dance. The Thai ethnic group has inhabited this area for centuries and much of their lifestyle and traditions have remained unchanged over the years.
Overnight in Mai Chau.
Mai Chau to Pu luong (54km): 2hrs Water wheels walk and rafting |3 km easy walk – 1.5 hours | 1 km rafting – 1 hours
Wake up among the peaceful and beautiful mountainous setting and enjoy breakfast.
Transfer to Pu luong by road via a breathtaking mountain pass with panoramic views of the valley. Spend some free time to explore the beautiful retreat. Lunch will be served at Pu luong Retreat.
Then, transfer to a suspension bridge over the Cham River and begin an easy trekking from 3 to 5km in search of stunning water wheels. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes.
Transferred back to Pu luong Retreat for dinner.
Overnight at Pu luong.
Depart Pu Luong this morning at 08.00 for a 3.5-hour drive to Ninh Binh province, one of the most beautiful parts of Vietnam with its dramatic scenery and historical temples. The rice fields here are beautiful and the mountains have earned the area the nickname ‘Dry Halong Bay’, a moniker borne out by the limestone karsts which dominate the landscape.
Upon arrival, begin a relaxing 5-15km biking trip around Dong Tam hamlet. (The length of the bike ride depends on personal choice) Pass by peaceful villages and enjoy the rustic countryside landscapes. Enjoy a late lunch before hopping aboard for a 2-hour boat trip through small canals among the paddy fields (rice fields seen between March and early June), then strolling along the curling rocky path of the foot for 200m and going up 20 steps to reach the Galaxy cave gate. Get inside the cave and admire the spectacular stalactites above the cave ceiling. Continue to discover But Hien cave, where there are many natural sparkling stalactites with shapes and figures. Then, return to the pier and for a transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Overnight in Ninh Binh
This morning, be transferred for a 3.5-hour journey by road from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong.
Arrive at the Got pier in Hai Phong towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities for the overnight cruise on Lan Ha bay. After the welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on-board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
Overnight on cruise at Lan Ha Bay.
Enjoy a fresh morning in the middle of the bay, the sun rises on Lan Ha bay in the morning and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi
NOTE: This tour may be subject to change depending on weather conditions.