Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong (L, D)
We depart Hanoi for Pu Luong Natural Reserve via Mai Chau. This scenic drive will take around 4 hours. Along the way, we will pass tapioca and sugar cane fields as well as rice paddies.
We will reach Mai Chau valley by lunch time.
After our lunch in Lac Village, we will drive 22 km further into the reserve, the starting point for our trek. We will walk for approximately 3 hours before reaching Hang Village, which is home to Thai ethnic minority. We spend the night with a local Thai family – they will welcome us in their traditional house built on stilts. Before dinner, we can stroll around the village to observe the daily life of the locals.
Dinner and overnight at the homestay.
Day 2: Trek to Kho Muong Village (B, L, D)
We will start our big trek after having a good breakfast at the homestay.
Today, we will walk for around 6 hours on a rocky path through the jungle.
We will take a break to have lunch in a village along the way.
After a good meal, we will go through several Thai Villages before arriving to Kho Muong Village. As its name suggests, this is a Muong minority village and we will be their guests for the night.
Dinner and overnight at a homestay.
Day 3: Trek to Cao Hoong Village (B, L, D)
Today, we have a full day trek as we climb to the Pu Luong Mountain Range. While on route, we pass through a number of small hamlets and minority villages.
After 3 hours of light ascent, we will start to descend to Cao Hoong Village, inhabited by the Thai ethnic minority.
Dinner and overnight in a homestay at Cao Hoong Village.
Day 4: Trek to Cao Village (B, L, D)
A 6-hour trek awaits us, as we will go through the verdant countryside. The trek path runs uphill and downhill through forests, rice terraces, and scenic villages. On our trek, we will see farmers working on rice paddies and children going to school.
Lunch break will be in a local village.
We will spend the night in a homestay at Cao Village (also inhabited by Thai people).
Day 5: Cao Village – Pho Doan – Canh Nang – Thanh Hoa (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will trek towards Ma River. Our hike will be quite easy since we will descend a wide-open valley. After 2 hours, we will reach Pho Doan, where we will visit the local market.
Lunch at a local restaurant in Canh Nang.
Our driver will pick us up and take us to Thanh Hoa City.
Overnight in Thanh Hoa City (optional: overnight in Sam Son, a famous beach located 25 km away from Thanh Hoa).
Day 6: Thanh Hoa – Ninh Binh (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will drive to Ninh Binh, only 60 km away. Ninh Binh region is famous for its amazing landscapes filled with limestone peaks emerging from the middle of green rice fields. As a result, this area is often called as “Ha Long Bay on land”.
Upon arriving in Ninh Binh, we will board a small bamboo boat to visit Trang An Grottoes. This 1,500-ha area, located 4 km southwest of Hoa Lu – the ancient capital of Vietnam – is classified as a World Natural Heritage by the UNESCO. This place is made of limestone formations, valleys, caves, and rivers – all these factors participate in bringing a fascinating and romantic atmosphere to this site.
We will go through the grottoes complex, which include the caves of Ba Giot, Dia Linh, Toi (“Dark Cave”), Sang (“Bright Cave”), Ao Trai Cave, and Seo. There is also a series of wonderful valleys that include Tran Temple Valley, May Valley, Khong Valley, and Nau Ruou Valley.
Lunch at a local restaurant, before driving to Bai Dinh pagoda in the afternoon.
This pagoda is known for being the biggest in Vietnam and for its architectural similarity to the Forbidden City in Beijing. After our visit, we will head back to Ninh Binh City and have free time for the rest of the day.
Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Ninh Binh – Nam Dinh – Thai Binh – Ha Long Bay (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will continue our trip across the Red River Delta – we will go through Nam Dinh province, Thai Binh province, and Hai Phong province until reaching Ha Long City. This drive will enable you to catch a glimpse of the life in the Red River Delta.
We will get to the Ha Long Bay dock around noon and board a Deluxe junk. Welcome drink and lunch onboard. The vessel will cruise by exotic islets of unique shapes – the Dog, Incense Urn, Fighting Cocks, and Finger islets. We will also explore Sung Sot Cave (“Surprise Cave”). Afterwards, we will enjoy a good time and relax or swim at Titov beach.
Dinner and overnight on our junk boat.
Day 8: Ha Long Bay – Dong Trieu Pottery Village – Hanoi (B, L)
Wake up in the early morning to admire the sunrise while enjoying a tasty breakfast. Then, paddle by a small bamboo boat to visit Luon Cave. We will then cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay and enjoy sightseeing on Fire Island, Man Head Island, and at a fishing village.
We will have lunch on our junk boat before disembarking at Ha Long dock around noon.
We will hop on our bus and start our drive back to Hanoi, with a stop scheduled in our program to visit Dong Trieu Pottery Village.
We will reach Hanoi around 4pm. Check-in at the hotel and free time in the evening.
Day 9: Hanoi – Departure (B)
Enjoy your free time in Hanoi until our driver picks you up and transports you to the airport for your departure flight.
End of tour.