Cruising through Rice Paddies
Arrive in Hanoi, where you'll be met by a guide and transferred to the Lapis Hotel. The afternoon can be spent at your leisure - just remember to get enough rest for tomorrow, where you'll be doing plenty of exploring.
Rise and shine! You'll set off from Hanoi to Ninh Binh today, with plenty of adventure along the way.
Begin the day with a two-hour road trip to Hoa Lu, where you'll explore the ruins of Vietnam's first capital and learn about the Dinh and Le dynasties. There's also the option to climb up the limestone hill karsts on a half-hour hike, which rewards you with far-reaching views over Hoa Lu.
After lunch, you'll board a private sampan and sail off to Thung Nham. Enjoy a cycling tour through the rural scenery of the rice fields, karst formations and the villages which occupy the area; there are more opportunities for the adventurous, such as climbing to see the Bich Dong Pagoda.
Finally, you'll head to Ninh Binh for a night at the Tam Coc Garden Resort.
On day 4, you'll transfer to Hai Phong, where you'll be boarding a cruise ship to the wondrous Halong Bay.
Arrive at noon and enjoy lunch on the deck, where you can admire the natural surroundings as you set sail. The afternoon is then yours, whether you fancy being active or just want to relax on board. As evening draws in, the ship will drop anchor, allowing you to fall asleep to the sound of gently lapping waters.
Early birds can begin day 5 with a Tai Chi class on deck as the ship sets sail to Bai Tu Long. There are a couple of stops along the way, and you'll also have the chance to visit Viet Hai Village.
Your cruise will end back in Hanoi on day 6.
Welcome back to Hanoi! After breakfast, you'll embark on a guided tour of the city's highlights. Begin with a visit to the Temple of Literature, an ancient complex that has an intriguing history, before moving onto the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, an impressive stilted structure. Afterwards, it's off to learn about the famous Ho Chi Minh (the man, not the city). You’ll visit the Mausoleum before taking a short walk to his house on stilts, unchanged since he lived there in the 1960s. Finally, visit the beautiful Tan Quoc Pagoda on West Lake before the tour concludes and the afternoon is yours to explore Hanoi further.
In the evening, you'll be hopping on a Vespa for a street food tour of the city - it's the perfect way to experience Hanoi and the perfect way to end your trip to Vietnam!