SPLENDIDE MAI CHAU - PU LUONG & THE NORTH -

A wonderful week to discover all the main beauties in the north of Vietnam, from the first destination of country Ha Long Bay to authentic villages far from the noisy cities. All will be choosen to create an un forgettable trip in 8 days for the travellers who don't have too much time for a long trip through the whole country.



 SHORT ITINERARY 



DAY 1: HA NOI ARRIVAL


DAY 2:HA NOI CITY TOUR (B, L)

DAY 3: HA NOI – MAI CHAU VALLEY ( B,L,D)

DAY 4: MAI CHAU – PU LUONG ( B, L )

DAY 5: PU LUONG – NINH BINH ( B, L )

DAY 6:NINH BINH - HALONG BAY (B, L, D) 

DAY 7:HALONG BAY – HANOI (B, BR)

DAY 8: DEPARTURE ( B)



Highlights:
 
- Visit most famous destinations in the North of Vietnam
- Over night on a luxury cruise on Ha Long Bay
- Visit terraces in Pu Luong
- Discovery daily life of Thai & Muong ethnic minorities with time for walking or cycling inside beautiful nature.
 

 

 

 TOUR ITINERARY DETAIL

 
Day 1: Hanoi arrival
(guide, private car, dinner, accommodation, visits)
 
Welcome by Zen Vietnam Travel guide and driver. Transfer to downtown Ha Noi.
 
An orientation walk on foot or by pedicab in the old town district, otherwise known as the 36 trades streets of Ha Noi because most of the shops on the same street sold the same thing: Rue des bambous, Rue de silk, Traditional medicine street, Bronze street, etc. A truly typical and charming district, with its shops on the sidewalks, small narrow houses, scooters everywhere.
 
Installation at the hotel for the shower and rest. Attention ! hotel rooms are only available from 2 p.m
.
Gourmet dinner at the famous ¨Cha Ca¨ dish in a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter.
 
 
Day 2: Hanoi - Visits
(guide, private car, lunch, accommodation, visits)
 
 
Today you will start the visit of the capital Hà Nội with a very old Buddhist pagoda, the 6th century Trấn Quốc pagoda, located in a beautiful setting by the large West Lake. Then, you will visit the Quán Thánh temple at 300m.
 
Then, visit the Ethnographic Museum, which gives you a panoramic view of the life of 54 ethnic groups with 54 different cultures in the territory of Vietnam.
Time for lunch at the restaurant.
 
In the afternoon, visit of the political district with the mausoleum of Hồ Chí Minh, the founding father of modern Vietnam, the presidential palace, the house on stilts of Hồ Chí Minh, the pagoda with the one pillar. Visit of the Temple of Literature, the first university in the history of the country.
At the end of the day, you will witness the spectacle of the Water Puppet Theater, a unique culture that you will never find in any other country in the world.
 
Vietnam is the only country that practices this art.
 
Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
 
Day 3: Ha Noi-Mai Chau Valley
(guide, private car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)
 
 
Breakfast at hotel.
 
Road towards Mai Chau. On the road you will visit a very beautiful village with stilt houses with thatched roofs, inhabited by the inhabitants of the Muong ethnic group, Gia Mo village. Discover their life and their typical working tools.
 
On the way, you will have chance to try some oranges and sugar cannes in Cao Phong.
 
Arrive in Mai Chau, a beautiful peaceful valley surrounded by mountains. Tonight, you sleep in the stilt house of Mr. Cuong's family, a white Thai ethnic group. The opportunity to truly live with the locals like a local.
 
Lunch time in a local house on stilts.
 
In the afternoon, time for cycling around valley and visit local life in some villages of Thai People: Lac, Van, Pom Coong. Great opportunity to see and participate in agricultural activities with local farmers, sowing corn, transplanting or harvesting rice, vegetables, plowing the fields ... Live a short day like a local peasant, it will be a beautiful memory.
 
 
Dinner with typical local dishes.
 
You will attend and participate in the musical evening with traditional dances performed by the young people of the village.
Night in hotel.
 
Day 4: Mai Chau-Pu Luong Natural Reserve
(guide, private car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)
 
 
Time for breakfast. 
 
Depart to Pu Luong, a beautiful and peaceful place in the land of Muong and Thai People where you will have opportunity to admire wonderful terraces and lanscapes.
 
Visit Kho Muong Village, an authentic village of Muong People with traditional house on stilts. ( Attention: the village is located in a very deep valley where you have to go up hardly or try experience with motobike. If not, we can visit another village).
 
On the road, you can take your time to take photos and enjoy a beautiful nature.
 
Arrival in Pu Luong. Lunch time in hotel.
 
In the afternoon, a walking tour in 3 hours around villages will be the best moment to enjoy all the beautiful things of Pu Luong.
 
Pick up by driver and back to hotel for relaxing on pool.
 
Dinner and overnight at Pu Luong Retreat Hotel.
 
 
Day 5: Pu Luong – Ninh Binh
(guide, private car, lunch, dinner, accommodation, visits)
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
Depart to Ninh Binh, nicknamed Ha Long Bay on land because of the similarity between the landscapes and the geological formation with thousands of rocks covered by beautiful vegetation, a succession of natural cirques linked together by caves dug by erosion.
 
Arrive in Hoa Lu, ancient capital of Vietnam from 968-1009. Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest Buddhist pagoda in Southeast Asia, a pharaonic building equipped with thousands of small Buddha statues, hundreds of marble Buddhist Saints statues , bronze statues of Buddha weighing around a hundred tons. It is a building to be seen in life.
Lunch time.
 
In the afternoon, cycling to the World Natural Heritage of Trang An, the center of Halong Bay on land with stunning landscapes for another ride but in a rowing boat. It will be a very ¨zen¨ moment to contemplate the beauty of the terrestrial Halong Bay with rocks, rice fields, caves ....
 
Dinner and overnight at Huan's Lodge.
 
 
Day 6: Ninh Binh – Ha Long Bay
(guide, private car, lunch, dinner, cruise, visits)
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel.
At 7:30 am, departure for Hai Phong 150 km away to embark on a shuttle that takes you to Cat Ba Island. 30 minutes more bus and you arrive at the Ben Beo pier where you will board our beautiful private junk (or collective boat) and start the 24 hours on board for the discovery of one of the natural wonders of the world, the Halong Bay.
 
From our ¨zen¨ criteria for trips, we have chosen the part of the south of the bay where the large mass tourism boats do not pass yet, just a few small traditional junks in this area. A part of the bay that is still very authentic with thousands of rocks, wild beaches and huge floating villages that you cannot find in the other part of Ha Long Bay.
Lunch on board with seafood. Time for swimming or simply resting on the deck to admire this miracle that nature offers us. After 3 hours of navigation, we arrive at Hang Ca, a beautiful place for the kayak ride, another way to see the bay up close.
Around 5:30 p.m., we anchor in a magnificent circus in the middle of the bay where you will be alone. A hell of a time to watch the sunset over the bay.
Dinner on board and a test of squid fishing in the evening will be great memories.
Overnight on board.
 
Note: The order of visits during the cruise may be changed, depending on the weather conditions on site.
 
 
Day 7: Ha Long – Ha Noi
(guide, private car, lunch, accommodation, visits)
 
 
An early morning awakening in a magical setting around 5 am to admire the sunrise over the bay, why not?
 
After a good breakfast, the junk continues to sail in the bay and takes you to Viet Hai village for a nice bike ride or visit the fish farm or just enjoy the tranquility on a beach. You choose !
 
An early lunch on board  around 10h30 and disembarkation around 11:30 am. The guide and driver takes you back to Ha Noi around 17 p.m.
 
Dinner on your own and free time for the last night in Ha Noi.
 
Night in hotel.
 
 
 
Day 8: Departure
( B, Transfer to airport )
 
 
Enjoy your lazy last morning, and have breakfast at hotel's restaurant. 
 
You are free until picking up time with driver and transfer to airport for your flight back home. We say goodbye after arriving at the airport, and we hope to see you on your other vacation in Vietnam.
 
Note: Hotel check-out time is 12:00 noon. However subjected to room's availability, late check-out can be settled with a surcharge.
 
 
 
 
End of the trip!
 

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