7 days / 6 nights – Easy Delta & Halong Bay 7 Days On Bike.
Booking code of this tour: BN704
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Day 1: Hanoi – Vu Linh. ~100 km, ~4 h.
Today is the first day of this easy Delta & Halong Bay 7 days on bike. Before starting to ride, we will have a short briefing to let you know about the rules. In addition, the guide will show you how to understand him by his body language. We start around 9.30am after the rush hours.
Depart at 8 am, following the sealed road to Vu Linh. Vu Linh is a Dzao village near Thac Ba reservoir. In general, the welcome is exceptional.
Day 2: Vu Linh – Song Thao. ~210 km, ~10 h.
A boat is waiting to take us and our bikes to cross Thac Ba Lake in the morning to Yen Binh (1.5 hours). After lunch in Yen Binh, ride to Song Thao.
In fact, Song Thao is a very small village lost in the hills on west bank of Black river. The particular thing is that this is the place where we grow lacquer trees to collect the precious substance called lacquer.
We are welcome in the house of our friends. You meet Kinh (ethnic Vietnamese). We propose to stay in the house of the two “uncles”, direct descendant of the ancestor who discovered the property of this tree and the way to use it, about four hundreds years ago (quite recently compared to China who knew about lacquer few thousands years ago).
Day 3: Song Thao – Mai Chau. ~180 km, ~7 h.
Beautiful landscape. Valley of wax-tree, native land of lacquer makers in Vietnam. Once out of the Red River Delta, which brims with traditional farming activity, we pass through limestone monoliths and into foothills populated by Muong people. We head straight at the main range before breaching a high and beautiful forested pass, which descends into the hidden valley of Mai Chau where we spend the night with friends in a traditional Thai stilt house in Pom Coong village.
Day 4: Mai Chau – Ninh Binh. ~140 km, ~5 h.
Short drive but on wavy road from Mai Chau to Man Duc, then turn right following the bumpy road to Ninh Binh with a stop in Hoa Lu. In fact, Hoa Lu was the ancient capital city of Vietnam over 1,000 years ago with rebuilt temples of Dinh & Le King. The tomb of Dinh King is at the top of Yen Ngua Mount (30-minute climb). The site was a suitable choice for a capital city due to its proximity to China and the natural protection afforded by the region’s bizarre landscape. From Hoa Lu, we drive on narrow road to Ninh Binh (12 km) through myriads of limestone, which gives it the name “Dry Halong Bay”.
Day 5: Ninh Binh – Hai Phong – Cat Ba. ~140 km, ~5 h.
We have breakfast early and ride from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong on the secondary road in 5 hours to be in time for the ferry at 1 pm from Hai Phong to Cat Ba. We park the bikes at the station before getting on the ferry since we do not need them in Cat Ba. Arrive in Cat Ba around 4 pm. Check in Princes Hotel. Walk along the coast and take sampan to have a seafood dinner on the floating restaurant in Cat Ba Bay.
Day 6: Cat Ba. Full Day Boating.
What we propose on Cat Ba is not so touristy.
Firstly, because it is in Cat Ba Bay, the far end of Halong Bay.
Secondly, we created this itinerary – the floating village. They are our personal friends and the relation with them is intimate, even knowing that some companies now also pass through there.
Finally yet importantly, Monkey Island (Cat Dua Islet) was totally ignored by mass tourism when we propose to stop there. It has nothing special beside the fact that there is nobody except monkeys and one family who takes care of their security.
Breakfast at the hotel. The guide and the captain of the boat will go to market to buy food; you can go with them if you find it interesting. Boating starts at 10 am. Lunch with seafood on boat. Fishing and swimming. Visit local people in the floating village of Van Gia. Boating to Monkey Island. Dinner and sleep overnight on boat.
Day 7: Cat Ba – Hai Phong – Hanoi. ~120 km, ~3 h.
Breakfast on boat. Return to Cat Ba town. Have a shower and lunch in the hotel before taking the ferry back to Hanoi. Ferry at 1 pm. Finally, pick up the bikes and ride back to Hanoi in 3 hours.
We try to arrive in Hanoi before 5pm to avoid rush hours. Otherwise, you should be good with city traffic from the experience you got over the last days.
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