Ninh Binh to the Bay


Cycle through the beautiful countryside of Ninh Binh province, learn how locals live, from farming to feasting, and enjoy a cruise through Vietnam’s largest wetland, Van Long Nature Reserve. After overnight in Ninh Binh, set sail to the "Bay of Descending Dragons" - Halong Bay, and cruise to Dao Tung Lam Bay where you will enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the world's most iconic landscapes.
Destinations included:
Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay
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JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS   
    Enjoying the spectacular natural beauty and karst mountains of Ninh Binh - the "Halong Bay on Land"
    Cycling through verdant rice paddies in remote rural areas surrounded by stunning mountains
    Rowing through caverns that cut their way through mountains along the river
    Exploring the endless jade-green waters of Halong Bay by private junk boat
TOUR INCLUSIONS  
    Carefully selected accommodation with breakfast
    Other meals listed in the itinerary
    Expert English-speaking local guide
    Tours as mentioned and air-conditioned transfers
    Sightseeing and permit fees during guided times
    Boat cruises and rides while on tour
    Service charges and government VAT tax
TOUR MAP
ITINERARY BY DAY

Day 1: Hanoi - Ninh Binh

Meet your guide and driver in the morning and depart Hanoi bound to Ninh Binh Province. Known lovingly as "Halong Bay on land", this stunning province boasts similar limestone karst topography that rises from emerald rice paddy fields and winding rivers. After a two and a half hour drive, arrive in Gia Van District and swap your car for a bicycle - embark on a short cycling journey through paddy fields en route to the nearby Van Long reservoir area. Along the way, stop at Mai Trung hamlet for an in-depth experience learning how locals here farm and tend to their rice. Follow the lead of your local host for seeding, putting down fertilizer, scooping water or harvesting, depending on the time of year.

Afterwards, cycle onward to a local family home, and get an up-close demonstration of traditional cooking using rice crackers or fried crab dishes. Then sit down with your local family hosts and enjoy these local specialties along with another Vietnamese favourite - rice wine! After lunch, challenge your hosts to a game of chess or kick back for a chat to learn about their lives here.

In the afternoon, reach Van Long wharf and set off on a short boat trip into the reservoir at Van Long Nature Reserve - the largest wetland in northern Vietnam. Float past poetic landscapes and rolling jungle hills that are perfect for photos.

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Ninh Binh - Van Long

Please note:
* In the Northern Vietnam there are only two rice growing seasons: Feb - Jun and Jul - Sep. There will be other farming activities during Oct to Feb.
* Please bring hat/ umbrella and be prepared for rainy season or high temperatures during summer season. Drinking water is highly encouraged during summer months.

Day 2: Ninh Binh - Halong Bay - Hanoi

It’s an early start to the day as you will leave Ninh Binh to drive to the coastal port of Halong. The journey takes around four hours with a break to stretch your legs. Upon arrival, board your boat and set off on your cruise. Called “Bay of Descending Dragons” in Vietnamese, the archipelago of Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site composed of almost 2,000 islands and jungle-clad limestone pillars.

Halong Bay

Set sail and cruise to Dao Tung Lam Bay where you will enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the world's most iconic landscapes. Feast on a range of traditional Vietnamese dishes before sailing on to Ga Choi Island - said to resemble two fighting cocks! Take time to marvel at the huge limestone karts rising from the calm waters, before arriving at Paradise Cave - a huge grotto of stalactites and stalagmites.

There is plenty of time to relax on the junk's sun deck and sip a cocktail or two before you return to Tuan Chau Marina and your transfer back to Hanoi, arriving in the early evening.

Please note:
* Itinerary subject to change or cancellation due to weather conditions.
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