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Overview

Explore the north of Vietnam on this overland trip through Mai Chau, Puluong, 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 Puluong and cruise through Lan Ha Bay.

Trip Highlights

Mai Chau – Puluong – Ninh Binh – Hai Phong

Picturesque Mai Chau Valley

Trek through local villages surrounded by spectacular karst rock formations and rice paddies.

Puluong trekking discovery

Discover the traditional stilt houses of ethnic minorities such as the Uoi and Lan villages and admire the peaceful life of its inhabitants.

Overnight cruise through Lan Ha Bay

Fall asleep under the stars and wake up to a spectacular sun rise in the middle of Lan Ha Bay.

Itinerary

1

Hanoi – Mai Chau

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 waking 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.

2

Mai Chau – Pu Luong

Mai Chau to Puluong (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 Puluong 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 Puluong Retreat.

Then, transfer to a suspension bridge over the Cham River and begin a 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 Puluong Retreat for dinner.

Overnight at Puluong.

3

Pu Luong – Half-day trekking

Enthralling trekking routes | 6 km easy walking – almost 3.5 hours

Wake up to the sounds of nature and enjoy a simple yet tasty breakfast among the tranquil setting of fields and mountains.

After breakfast, go on a 3.5 hr hike up and down narrow trails. Observe many traditional stilt houses of minorities and the lush canopies of greenery. Walk pass Uoi Village and Lan Village and admire the peaceful life of the villagers. Depending on the season, get to see the various farming activities and learn how colourful textiles are weaved together.

Then, transfer back to Puluong Retreat for lunch. Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight at Pu Luong.

4

Pu Luong – Ninh Binh

Depart Pu Luong this morning at 08.00 for 3.5 hours 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 is dependent 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

5

Ninh Binh – Hai Phong

This morning, be transferred for a 3.5hr 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.

6

Hai Phong – Hanoi

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.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a traditional stilt house (private sleeping area per group) or hotel accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room at the Mai Chau Lodge/ Mai Chau valley view/ Puluong Retreat  with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • English or French speaking guide (for other languages and a national guide supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals than mentioned
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic Flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance

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