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07 Days - A Taste of Tonkin ( North Vietnam )

This adventure is centred on the village life of the Black River, the Red River Delta and the islands of Bai Tu Long Bay. We enjoy a range of activities including hiking through hill tribe villages, learning the secrets of hand-made rice noodles and spring rolls in the cosy atmosphere of Vietnamese families. This, combined with the adventure of boating amongst the fascinating limestone peaks and cycling through peaceful countryside, offers a unique way to appreciate the warmth of local people and the picturesque areas of North Vietnam. Join us for the best this region has to offer.

Day 01: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Mai Hich Village (Lunch and dinnerincluded)
Leaving Hanoi we drive west on the first day to the remote region of Mai Chau – a picturesque valley. Here, White Thai, Dao, H’mong and Tay people all live in harmony.

We hike along footpath through corn fields, sculpted rice terraes, hills and tiny villages in spectacular and easy terrain. Later, we descend to the village of Mai Hich, nestled beneath the valley and home to White Thai people. We settle in with a local family in a traditional stilt-house to experience their way of life.

Day 02: Mai Hich Village - Black River (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
We continue our adventure by hiking along a footpath surrounded by rice terraces and picturesque hills, till we reach Na Mo – a White Thai minority village. Here, we have lunch in a local home.

The next 2 km are rather steep but rewarding as we hike along the trail used by local people. The view below sides becomes more and more impressive.

Following a delightful bicycle ride, we then transfer to the Black river for a leisurely two-hour boat ride along this beautiful river. We then land at a Muong village, situated by the river. Tonight our hosts offer us a traditional dinner and a toast, before an overnight stay with them in a traditional wooden stilt-house.

Day 03: Black River - Ninh Binh (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
After leaving our host, we appreciate the magnificent view as we walk along the bank of the river, through picturesque villages, verdant hills and rice sculpted rice terraces.

Next, it is our journey to Ninh Binh province. From here, we discover the floating village of Kenh Ga. We hike around and look at the amazing folds of the cliff face caused by earth movement some hundred million years ago. Arriving in Trang An, an area which features rock formations and tiny villages, we spend the night in a local catholic family to experience their way of life.

Day 04-05-  Ninh Binh - Nho Quan (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
A short transfer brings us to Nho Quan with its dramatic limestone mountains, our base for a two-day trip out into the Red River delta. We take a bamboo boat on the peaceful canal which winds its way through amazing limestone outcrops.

We cycle past the Inland Ha Long Bay. Beautiful landscapes meet us on arrival in the Bich Dong area – a firm favourite with walkers.

Here, we stroll around open rice fields with stunning rock formations rising up from rice paddies. There is plenty of time for our hands-on cooking demonstration, which gets us out in the market buying fresh ingredients.

We settle in with a local family making fresh rice noodles and other dishes that typify Northern Vietnamese cooking – a superb way to gain a first hand experience of rural life in the delta. The night is spent in a local family to exprience their way of life.
Day 06 - Ninh Binh - Lan Ha Bay (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Departing from Ninh Binh province we drive to Haiphong City. Soon after arriving at Catba  island, we embark on a junk trip in the heart of Lan Ha Bay and discover its towering cliffs and fascinating limestone islets. We spend the night in the wonder of Nature aboard Indochine Junk

Day 07: Lan Ha - Catba island 0  Hanoi  (Breakfast and Lunch included)
We spend the morning cycling across the the village of Viet Hai, visiting other friendly families in their homes. There is also time to relax on beautiful secluded beaches. A two-hour junk ride coupled with a delightful kayak ride takes us through the majestic rocks of Lan Ha Bay then back to Catba island. This is followed by our journey back to Haiphong and then Hanoi, arriving there at around 6pm

What to take:
Pack essentials for 7 days away from Hanoi, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable walking shoes. Take a small day pack for cycling, walking and hiking. It is essential to bring your passport on this trip. We also recommend packing: swimsuit, personal articles, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat.

Private Holidays off beaten paths in Vietnam

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