Red River Delta & Halong 6 days / 5 nights.
Booking code of this tour: NWHL601
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. ~160 km, ~6 h.
Today is the first day of this Red River Delta & Halong 6 days. 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.
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.
The valley of Mai Chau lies between two rivers: the Da River and the Ma River. Therefore, Mai Chau is very fertile and rich in varied landscapes, medium mountains, forest, lake, rivers, and infinitude of small footpaths and offer many possibilities of a trek. In the valley of Mai Chau and its surroundings are Muong, White Thai, H’mong (in the height), and the Dao who we meet at the markets or in their villages.
Day 2: Mai Chau. ~50 km, ~2 h.
Excursion by boat on the lake of Black river. In reality, this is a very calm and wild cruise. Then go up to the village of Man people. Mini trek to the waterfall. Picnic meal. Finally, come back to Mai Chau to have dinner and sleep in the stilt-house of Thai people.
This option is boating along Ma River. We ride for about 45 minutes to take the boat (all day). Then enjoy our picnic meal. Finally, come back to Mai Chau to have dinner and sleep in the stilt-house of Thai people.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Hoa Lu. ~180 km, ~8 h.
In general, you take in the beautiful landscape. Some parts are bumpy but the traffic is very quiet and peaceful. We bypass the scenic Perfume Pagoda and spend the night in 2-star Van Xuan Inter-hotel Complex.
Time permitting, we propose a short ride to Hoa Lu to visit the temples of Dinh and Le King, and then hike up Yen Ngua mountain where we could get a panoramic view of the whole region.
Day 4: Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh – Hai Phong – Cat Ba. ~165 km, ~6 h.
The road between Ninh Binh and Hai Phong is under construction in some parts and early departure is recommended. Then we take a ferry to Cat Ba at 1.30 pm from Binh station and arrive in Cat Ba at 4 pm. Finally, promenade along the coast and take a sampan to have dinner with seafood at a floating restaurant for dinner.
Day 5: Cat Ba – Ha Long Bay. Boating.
Breakfast at the hotel. The guide and the captain of the boat will go to a market to buy food. You can go with them if you find it interesting. Boating starts at 10 am. Then have lunch with seafood on the boat. Fishing and swimming. Visit local people in the floating village of Van Gia. Boating to Monkey Island. Dinner and sleep overnight on boat.
In fact, Cat Ba is the far end of Halong Bay. In general, Cat Ba still live from the resource that the sea offers. However, the tourism is developed and of high quality. The Cat Ba Bay is a condensed of Halong Bay, its labyrinth of limestone so dense that it is difficult to imagine we are in the sea.
We created this itinerary – the floating village Van Gia. They are our personal friends and the relationship with them is intimate, even knowing that some companies now also pass through there.
Last but not least, Monkey Island (Cat Dua Islet) was totally ignored by mass tourism when we propose to stop there. It has got nothing special besides the fact that there is nobody except monkeys and one family who takes care of their security.
Day 6: Cat Ba – Ha Long – Bai Chay – Hanoi. ~165 km, ~5 h.
Cruise through myriads of limestone to Halong Bay where the labyrinth of limestone so dense that it is difficult to imagine we are in the sea. We arrive at Hai Ninh restaurant to have lunch before riding back to Hanoi.
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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