Myths & Mountains of North Vietnam

Myths & Mountains of North Vietnam
+ 3
Hanoi → Mai Chau → Ninh Binh → Halong Bay


  • Visit Vietnam’s colonial charm city – Hanoi
  • Get away to the tribe villages with nice trekking routes in Mai Chau
  • Visit Ninh Binh where Hollywood "Kong: Skull Island" was filmed.
  • Cast away on a cruising through hundreds of limestone karsts that rise dramatically from the emerald waters of Halong Bay.
Age range
< 18 year olds +4 more
3 / 4 / 5

Wherever you travel in Vietnam, complex legends and myths are commonplace. The 6 day trip to Hanoi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh and Halong will introduce you to some of the best of North Vietnam – its diverse ethnic groups, a variety of different crafts, the traditional medicines of the land, and some of the best scenery in the country.

Arriving in Hanoi, you will tour the city and its shops as well as visit the Ethnic Museum. Then, you will head west to the area around Mai Chau to tour the hill tribe areas, spending the night in local homes be acquaint with the friendly Thai tribe. Continue to Ninh Binh, Tam Coc passing Cuc Phuong National Park, you will then head up to Halong Bay for a night on the cruise.



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  1. Day 1: Hanoi Arrival.
    Day 1: Hanoi Arrival.
    Day 1: Hanoi Arrival.

    Welcome to Hanoi: Vietnam’s bustling colonial capital. Your driver and guide will meet you outside the baggage claim of Noi Bai Airport and take you to your hotel in the city center. In the afternoon enjoy a cyclo tour through the Old Quarter’s narrow streets lined with French colonial buildings – followed by a traditional Water Puppet Performance – a unique Vietnamese art form hailing from Southeast Asia’s wet-rice culture. Savor a welcome dinner at one of Hanoi’s finest restaurants.
    Meals: Dinner.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  2. Day 2: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 2: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 2: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 2: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 2: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 2: Hanoi City Tour.

    Today you have a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, Hanoi is an eclectic mix that offers something for everyone. Your city tour will take you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and stilt house), the Presidential Palace, the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Temple of Literature; West Lake including the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda & Quan Thanh Temple; and one of the city's museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum).
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  3. Day 3: Hanoi – Mai Chau.
    Day 3: Hanoi – Mai Chau.
    Day 3: Hanoi – Mai Chau.

    Wake early and enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before setting off on your drive to Mai Chau
    – a yawning valley, cradling picturesque rice paddies and boarded by looming karst rock formations. Enjoy picturesque views of the scenic landscape, sown with pagodas and rural villages. Stop along the way to visit the Muong tribe and then at Thung Khe Pass for a spectacular view of Mai Chau Valley. After lunch, spend the afternoon trekking off the typical tourist track, along the Song Ma River.
    Trek through terraced rice paddies and small villages, discovering the natural beauty of the valley and encountering the culture of the White Thai people, living in the region. Stop at a Thai village for the night, having dinner with a local family and enjoying a homestay in their long house.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
    Accommodation: Homestay in Mai Chau.

  4. Day 4 : Mai Chau – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu & Trang An).
    Day 4 : Mai Chau – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu & Trang An).
    Day 4 : Mai Chau – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu & Trang An).
    Day 4 : Mai Chau – Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu & Trang An).

    Enjoy breakfast at homestay before journeying to Hoa Lu, Vietnam's first capital. Visit to temples and walk hundred steps up to top of a mountain for a panorama view of the old capital. After lunch, enjoy a leisure cruise to visit Trang An, a nature reserve similar to Tam Coc however less visited. Limestone hills surround a peaceful river which passes through a series of caves (one which takes 15-minutes to pass through in darkness). It is an “eco-tourism” area, the only interruptions here are the sound of birds and the gentle paddle of the oar upon the crystal clear river. Overnight at a local hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Ninh Binh.

  5. Day 5: Ninh Binh – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise.
    Day 5: Ninh Binh – Halong  Bay – Overnight on cruise.
    Day 5: Ninh Binh – Halong  Bay – Overnight on cruise.

    (The below itinerary is a sample and it will be different between cruises. Our travel consultants will provide the exact schedule and program if you book a specific cruise such as Hera Cruise, Halong President Cruise, Emperor Cruise, Halong Violet, Halong Jasmine, Paradise Luxury Cruises, Indochina Sails, Au Co Cruise, Starlight Cruise, Oriental Sails etc.) Discovery of Halong Bay’s best of different formulas on a junk will take you to a ride amidst the magic archipelago; and depending on the length of the cruise, you’ll enjoy a global overview of different wonders that this UNESCO World Heritage site has to offer. According to legend, an enormous dragon sent to earth to help defend the country from invaders descended into the sea at Halong, cutting the bay from the rocks and scattering giant emeralds which became the isles and karsts and earning the bay its name – Halong means ‘descending dragon’. After breakfast at hotel, your driver will take you on a 4-hour drive passing the countryside of the Red River Delta to Halong Bay: A journey into the dragon's jaws. Welcome onboard! Sail to the calm waters and enjoy lunch on board as you cruise past dramatic karst formations. In the afternoon, enjoy some sightseeing, on-board activities (depends on specific boat) or just spend your time relaxing on the cruise. As the sun sets, you’ll anchor among impressive limestone islets and sit down to a delicious dinner before drifting off to sleep onboard.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    Accommodation: on cruise.

  6. Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure.
    Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure.

    Rise early this morning to watch the sunrise over the stunning islets of Halong Bay. Your boat crew will serve breakfast or brunch (depends on your boat’s itinerary) while cruising slowly through the magnificent scenery towards the port. You’ll return to the shore by mid-morning. At the jetty, your driver will transfer you to Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight. Good bye & Safe travels!
    Meals: Brunch.
    Accommodation: N/A.

Detailed services

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers

      All the hotels/ cruise are subject to availability and can be changed. In case any of the listed hotels are fully booked, alternatives of equivalence will be taken.
    1. Guide

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      English Speaking Tour Guide (other language on request)

    2. Meals

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Meals as mentioned in the itinerary: Daily breakfasts at hotels / homestay, 3 lunches + 1 brunch, 3 dinners

    3. Transport

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Private Car/Van with Air-Conditioning.

    • Flights

      There is no domestic flight included in this package

      Please note that airfares are subject to availability and to change without notice

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    Price Includes

    • 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 1 dinner.
    • 5 nights 4 star and special class hotels, 1 night deluxe junk boat (Junk boat: private cabin).
    • Halong Bay Junk boat cruise - opt to swim, kayak and explore caves.
    • Airport arrival transfer day 1 and departure transfer day 8.
    • Guided sightseeing as in Hanoi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh and Halong.
    • Escorted by an English speaking Vietnamese tour guide.
    • All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles.

    Price Excludes

    • Tipping Kitty: USD$25-35pp, paid in USD or VND.
    • Entrance Fees: USD$30-40pp, paid in USD or VND.
    • International flights and visa.
    • Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller.
    • Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
    • Travel insurance.


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