Our Hanoi tour begins with a two-hour drive from the hectic capital of Hanoi to the province of Ninh Binh, approximately 100 kilometers 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 Temples. 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 about 12-kilometer ride through the area, limestone karsts towering above you as you ride along backroads and beautiful scenery with 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 visit a local family for a homecooked lunch. This is a great opportunity to meet some locals and learn about daily life in the region.
After lunch, make your way to Trang An, a new addition to UNESCO’s list of heritage sites. Honored 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 with limestone karsts rise up of the ground to tower over the region, and is a truly wonderful sight to see.
Here, we’ll board rowboats for about 3-hour journey through caves, passing local villages along with 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 transfer back to Hanoi city, arriving late in the afternoon. Return back to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your evening.
Inclusions: Local English speaking guide, Hoa Lu entrance fees as indicated, return transportation, bike and helmet, boat trip, homecooked lunch, green tea, local drink.
Exclusions: Items of a personal nature, tips / gratuities for driver or guide.
Dress standard: As we will visiting temples, clothing must cover your shoulders and knees. Also loose, lightweight clothing with comfortable shoes for a 12 km cycle is recommended.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at your hotel for pick up. Please check your hotel details are correct on the voucher.
If your details are not correct, it is very important to please email us to confirm your correct pick up hotel using the contact details on the voucher. If you prefer you may also phone the change through to us during business hours.
Additional Information: We highly recommend you to bring a reusable water bottle to re-fill on the tour as we are on the way to reduce single-use plastic bottles. Opportunities to fill your reusable water bottle are provided on the way of cycling and at a local family at lunchtime.
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.
Child Policy: Children under age 12 are not permitted to join this tour.