Mix it up on this Hanoi tour that includes a 12 km cycle session and a sneaky rowboat ride through caves, and past rice paddies, villages, and limestone karsts. In between all the sightseeing and biking, enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch at the home of a local family.
Our Hanoi tour begins with a two hour drive from the hectic capital of Hanoi to the province of Ninh Binh, approximately 100 kilometres away. Our first destination is Hoa Lu, the location of the capital of Vietnam during the Dinh Dynasty (968-980) and early Le Dynasty (980-1009). The ancient citadel once covered 300 hectares of land, however the passage of time has left few remains of this once glorious capital of Vietnam.
On arrival, dive into history at the Dinh & Le Temple. Restored in the 17th century, the temples are dedicated to the Dinh and Le emperors and believed to be built on the original foundations of the old palaces from the 11th and 12th centuries.
Next it's time for the biking part of the tour, Hop on a bike for a 12 kilometre bike ride through the area, limestone karsts towering above you as you ride along backroads and beautiful scenery, experiences you just don't get on other Hanoi tours. On the way we also stop for a drink to cool off from the heat.
Following our bike ride, we'll stop and visit a local family for a home cooked lunch. This is a great opportunity to meet some locals and learn about daily life in the regions. After lunch we will visit Trang An, a new addition to UNESCO's list of heritage sites. Honoured as of June 2014, the 10,000-hectare Trang An complex comprises three areas: the Trang An Tam Coc Bich Dong ecological site, the Hoa Lu imperial capital, and the Hoa Lu primitive forests. It is often referred to as the Halong Bay of the land due to its spectacular scenery: limestone karsts rise up of the ground to tower over the region, and is a truly wonderful sight to see.
Here, we’ll board row boats for a 3 to 3.5-hour journey through caves, passing local villages along the river system of the Red River Delta. The scenery comprises of lush green rice paddies during the rice growing seasons and the surrounding limestone karsts make for a stunning backdrop, presenting many photo opportunities for the keen photographers amongst the group. At the end of the boat trip, we’ll return to the city and finish our Hanoi tour.
- Surround yourself in the rich history and breathtaking scenery of Vietnam
- Step back in time at the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu, Vietnam's first capital
- Cycle through villages, rice fields and amongst the limestone karsts and surrounding scenery
- Take a row boat through the UNESCO site of Trang An to explore magnificent caves and get up close to the region's spectacular karst country
- Enjoy a traditional lunch at the home of a local family
Tour Start Time: 08:00hrs
What You Get
- Local English speaking guide
- Hoa Lu entrance fees as indicated
- Return transportation
- Bike and helmet
- Boat trip
- Meals: Home cooked lunch, green tea, local drink
- What to wear: As we will be visiting temples, clothing must cover your shoulders and knees. Also loose, lightweight clothing with comfortable shoes for a 12 km cycle is recommended.
- What to bring: We highly recommend you bring a resuable bottle of water on the tour as we are on the way to reducing single-use plastic. A local drink or water is provided at one stop during the cycling route and at a local family home at lunch time.
- Closure of sites: A Tam Coc boat trip will be offered as an alternative to Trang An on selected days when the place is too crowded or during peak season.
- Children under age 12 are not permitted to join this tour.
- Pick-Up/Drop-Off at centrally located hotels in Hanoi.
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