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halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

Hanoi - Pu Luong - Ninh Binh - Halong Bay - Yen Tu

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Trip length: 9 days | Trip code: HLVNT06

Trip Style: Comfort | Physical Rating: 3/5Trip Price: Upon request

Places visited: Hanoi, Mai Chau, Pu Luong, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay, Yen Tu


Day 01: Hanoi arrival  

Day 02: Hanoi City tour & backstreet ride

Day 03: Hanoi – Mai Chau - Pu Luong nature discovery – bamboo rafting

Day 04: Pu Luong Authentic hiking   

Day 05: Pu Luong - The Stream of “Holy Fish” – Ninh Binh – Tam Coc boat trip

Day 06: Ninh Binh - Halong Bay cruising, boat row (joined tour)  

Day 07: Halong Bay – Sunworld  Complex -  Yen Tu Mountain

Day 08: Sacred Yen Tu Mountain by cable car 

Day 09: Yen Tu morning relaxing, Check out at noon and drive back to Hanoi 

Day 10: Hanoi departure


map showing the itinerary of hanoi pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour


Day 01: Hanoi arrival

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

Xin chao Hanoi...
Tour guide will pick you up at the airport and escort you to your hotel in Hanoi.
The journey to downtown Hanoi will span approximately 40 minutes.
Rest for the night in a hotel in Hanoi.

Inclusions: Private airport transfer & driver, hotel in Hanoi

Day 02: Hanoi City – highlights and backstreets

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

Commence your day with a delightful breakfast at the hotel. Then start a tour of Hanoi's prominent landmarks.


At 08:30 AM, explore Hanoi's featured sights, including the memorial complex dedicated to the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. Visit the Presidential palace, Uncle Ho's house on stilts, One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (Vietnam's first university built in 1076), and the Hoa Lo prison museum.

Have lunch at a local restaurant.

Post-lunch, return to the hotel for some relaxation and a change into comfortable clothes in preparation for the afternoon motorcycling tour.


From 3:00 PM until the evening, continue the Hanoi City tour on a vintage Minsk Motorcycle.
Explore the REAL HANOI with day-in-the-life experiences, delving into the unknown parts of the city. Navigate through backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, random markets, and the black market, immersing yourself in where and how locals live, work, and play. While other travel companies showcase only the beauty and advise you to avoid the less savory aspects of your destinations, our backstreet journeys reveal the authentic, including the good, the bad, and the quirky. For us, the typical tourist sites are merely the tip of the iceberg; the majority of your destinations remain concealed in the unknown.

Overnight in the hotel in Hanoi.

Inclusions: Private Van & vintage Minsk Motorcycle, Hanoi sightseeing, walking, riding motorcycle (sit at the back of your guide), Breakfast, hotel in Hanoi

Day 03: Hanoi – Mai Chau valley - Pu Luong water wheels 

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

​At 8:30 AM, after breakfast at the hotel, launch a journey to Mai Chau. The scenic drive takes you through the enchanting Hoa Binh Province, nestled in the mountainous southeast region of Hanoi. The landscape is adorned with limestone karsts, and the area is inhabited by Thai, Hmong, and Dao hill tribes. Along the way, you'll pass through ancient villages, each offering a glimpse into the diverse local cultures.


Descend the final 14 kilometers along a steep mountain road, revealing the breathtaking valley of Mai Chau. Start a walk from Poom Coong village to Lac village, where a delectable hot lunch awaits in one of the charming villages.


After lunch, transfer to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, marking the starting point of your walk to discover captivating water wheels. Explore each wheel closely, unraveling the ingenious mechanisms that transport water from the river to handmade bamboo aqueducts through a variety of simple constructions.


Upon reaching a local fisherman's house, take a brief rest before gearing up for a bamboo river rafting adventure with a local team. Drift along the serene river, soaking in the picturesque views, and acquire the skills to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts. A driver will pick you up for a short ride to the hotel.


Conclude your day with dinner and an overnight stay at the hotel.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver in Lao Cai, Joined Limousine Van for the ride from Hanoi to Sapa, Sapa trekking/walking, Private English-speaking guide, Entrance fees: To all sites listed in the itinerary, Breakfast, hotel in Sapa

Day 04: Pu Luong Authentic hiking

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

Commence your day with a delightful breakfast at your hotel. At 9:00 AM, set out the enchanting valley overlooking the village, where the local market of Pho Doan takes place only on Thursday and Sunday mornings. Wander through the market and traverse the cascading rice terraces. Hike along narrow paths enveloped in greenery, gradually revealing a picturesque village (Bản Hiêu) nestled at the foothills of a majestic mountain. Explore Hieu waterfall and partake in a delicious lunch at a local house in Hiêu village.


After that, take a leisurely stroll around the village to witness unique customs and traditions, such as the art of making rice wine, and textiles.


Get back to the hotel, offering an opportunity to relax by the pool. For your second dinner, feel free to choose from the hotel's dining options (tonight's dinner is at your own cost).

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver (Diving time, total 50 minutes), Pu Luong villages walk, Breakfast & Lunch, Hotel in Pu Luong

Day 05: Pu Luong - The Stream of “Holy Fish” – Ninh Binh

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

At 08:00, transfer to Ninh Binh, covering a distance of 130 km over a pleasant 3.5-hour drive. Along the way, make a stop at the sacred fish stream in Cam Luong. This stream originates from the cooling Bo Um mountainous cave and meanders through the village, hosting a variety of unique fishes adorned with a red ring at the gill, golden glimmers, and red tails. The fish, resembling carp, exhibit distinctive characteristics, creating a captivating sight.


Continue the scenic ride to Ninh Binh and enjoy a delightful lunch at a local restaurant. Post-lunch, engage in a 2-hour boat rowing adventure amid the imposing mountains of Tam Coc. Traverse through limestone caves adorned with mesmerizing stalactites, creating a visually stunning experience that stands out as the highlight of the day.


Return to the shore and prepare for a cycling excursion through the verdant fields of Ninh Binh, passing by untouched villages devoid of tourist influence. Your destination is the Bich Dong Pagoda, known as the second most beautiful grotto in Vietnam during the 17th century.


In the late afternoon, arrive at the hotel, take advantage of the pool, and relax. At 19:00, savor a delightful dinner experience at a village restaurant (at your own cost), or you can opt to dine at the hotel restaurant.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver, boat, boating, biking, Breakfast, lunch, hotel in Ninh Binh

Day 06: Ninh Binh – Halong Bay – Lan Ha bay by Orchid cruise (joined cruise)

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

At 8:30 AM, set out from Hanoi on a scenic 1 ½-hour drive through the captivating countryside of the Red River Delta to Ninh Binh province. This region is renowned for its breathtaking karst landscapes and charming rustic countryside.

Upon arrival, explore the historic Hoa Lu ancient capital, home to temples dedicated to national heroes and Kings of the Dinh and Early Le Dynasties dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries.


Savor a delightful lunch at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to the boat dock for an enchanting rowboat excursion through the picturesque landscapes of Tam Coc, surrounded by towering mountains. The gentle rowing journey is truly captivating and stands as the highlight of the day's activities.


Return to the shore and head back to the Red River Delta, where you'll check into a homestay with the welcoming Viet people, a major group in Vietnamese culture.


In the evening, enjoy a dinner featuring local specialties with a tea party, and conversation with your gracious hosts to gain insights into their life and culture.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver, Joined cruise (guide on board only), Cruising, cave visiting, Kayaking, Swimming, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board, Orchid Cruises -5*

Day 07: Halong Bay –Yen Tu Mountain

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

At 06:30 AM, refresh yourself in the serene beauty of the bay with a tai chi session on the sundeck. Early risers aiming to catch the dawn can consider waking up between 5:30 to 6:00, depending on the season.


At 07:45 AM, after enjoying breakfast, engage in kayaking activities at the Ao Ech area to uncover the hidden charm of Ha Long - Lan Ha Bay.


08:30 AM: Orchid Cruises welcomes you back on board for the check-out process.


10:30 AM: Savor a delightful brunch at the restaurant while cruising back.​

Say good bye to the Cruise Team and guide to head to Halong City for an Amusement Park visit - Sun World Halong Complex. The Coastal Amusement Park on scenic Bai Chay Beach spans up to 169 hectares and features various enticing facilities, including the Dragon Park - an extreme game zone with Vietnam's most spectacular roller coaster; the exhilarating Typhoon Water Park, known as the Tornado Bay; and the relaxing coast of Ha Long, surrounded by sapphire waters and silky white sandy beaches. A 2km sea-crossing cable car system carries passengers to Ba Deo Amusement Park, a complex with exciting games and delightful amusement facilities. Notable attractions on Ba Deo Hill include the Zen Garden, the indoor game zone The Mysterious Castle, and the Sun Wheel, one of the world's tallest Ferris wheels.


For more information, visit: Sun World Halong Complex. Purchase tickets on-site and stay as long as you wish. Alternatively, you can explore Halong market and Halong museum.


Once finished, you'll be transferred to a hotel in Yen Tu Mountain for an overnight stay. Check into your hotel, enjoy the swimming pool, and have free time at your own pace.

Inclusions: Cruise/ Private vehicle – 70 kms – 1.5 hrs, driving, Halong bay sightseeing – free time to enjoy Halong city/Sun world Amusement Park, Light breakfast, brunch on board & dinner at Yen Tu, Hotel in Yen Tu

Day 08: Sacred Yen Tu Mountain & Truc Lam Buddhist Zen Monastery 

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

Nestled in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, Yen Tu Mountain stands as Vietnam's most renowned religious attraction. Its fame is attributed to the breathtaking landscapes, ancient pagodas, and the establishment of the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen Sect. Revered as the spiritual capital of Buddhism in Vietnam for over 700 years, Yen Tu boasts an extensive network of pagodas, temples, and precious relics.

Embarking on the journey to Yen Tu evokes a sense of pilgrimage toward a sanctuary where inner peace can be discovered.


At 09:30 AM, commence the expedition by traversing the foothill in an electric car, followed by a short walk to the cable car station for a scenic ascent to Yen Tu Mountain. Revel in the panoramic vistas unfolding during the cable car ride, revealing ancient pagodas, temples, and towers nestled in the vast expanse of pristine forests. Explore one of Yen Tu's pagodas, temples, and towers, spread across nearly 2,800 hectares within the Yen Tu Forest Natural Reserve, showcasing a diverse tropical ecosystem. Capture the picturesque Limestone Mountains in a camera-ready moment.


Embark on a further journey by hiking up/down on concrete paths for 500m (approximately 250 steps), strolling along a tree-shaded path adorned with vibrant green pine trees, culminating at Hue Quang Tower Garden. This site houses a tower featuring the statue of Buddhist King Tran Nhan Tong, a 62cm marble sculpture depicting a meditating monk. Ascend an additional set of steps (150 steps) to reach Hoa Yen Pagoda, a small 11th-century pagoda from the Ly Dynasty. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the pagoda.


At this juncture, choose to either continue the expedition by cable car to Mot Mai Pagoda for a trek to the mountain's summit or return to the foothill to visit Truc Lam Monastery, considered the central hub of the Truc Lam Zen Buddhism Sect in Vietnam.

Inclusions: Cable car/electric cart, to YenTu pagoda complex by cable car & hiking, Breakfast at hotel, Hotel in Yen Tu

Day 09: Yen Tu Mountain - Hanoi

halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour
halong tour, halong pu luong ninh binh halong bay yen tu tour

Indulge in a delightful breakfast at the hotel, savoring the morning in the refreshing atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque surroundings of the hotel.


At 12:00, complete the check-out process from your resort. The journey back to Hanoi awaits, offering scenic views and a comfortable transfer. Anticipate arrival in Hanoi around 15:00, concluding your retreat.

Inclusions: Private vehicle & driver – 140 km – 2.45 hrs. driving, Breakfast, Hotel in Hanoi

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Oct 2023

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We spent 3 weeks in 3 different countries and our guides were knowledgeable and had expert knowledgeof our surroundings

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Dec 2022

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Nov 2023

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Trang and her team at Travel Authentic Asia helped us make our dream a reality. Our group of 6adults contacted Travel Authentic Asia in March with a rough idea of what we wanted to do and see and thanks to their expertise and local knowledge

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Halong Bay Travel FAQs

Are Halong Bay cruises worth it?

Absolutely, a Halong Bay cruise is a must for its stunning scenery, cultural immersion in floating villages, tranquil ambiance, diverse activities like kayaking, luxurious accommodations with sunrise views, magical sunsets, delectable local cuisine, and endless photographic opportunities. It's a perfect blend of nature, culture, and relaxation, making it a truly worthwhile experience.

What is special about Halong Bay?

Halong Bay is special for its: - Limestone Karsts: Thousands of towering formations create a picturesque seascape. - Emerald Waters: The bay's waters boast a mesmerizing emerald-green color. - Cave Systems: Numerous caves with stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Floating Villages: Explore traditional fishing villages on the water. - UNESCO World Heritage Site: Recognized for its global cultural and natural significance. - Unique Flora and Fauna: Diverse marine life and ecosystems contribute to its ecological importance. Scenic Sunrises and Sunsets: Spectacular views during both sunrise and sunset. - Cruise Experiences: Unique boat journeys offer diverse activities and exploration. - Cultural Experiences: Interact with local communities and witness traditional performances. In essence, Halong Bay's beauty, cultural richness, and diverse activities make it a truly special destination.

How long does it take to see Halong Bay?

Typically, individuals often find it necessary to spend around 2 to 3 days in Halong Bay, either aboard a cruise or in a land-based hotel.

What is the best month to visit Halong Bay?

If your primary consideration is weather, then the time frames of September to November and March to May stand out as optimal for a Halong Bay excursion. During these periods, the dry climate and agreeable temperatures create an ideal environment, allowing you to fully partake in on-board activities and ensuring that sightseeing is as flawless as possible.

How long is the journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

The journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay typically takes about 3 to 4 hours by road, depending on the mode of transportation and traffic conditions. Many tours and transportation services offer comfortable buses or private cars for the journey, making it a convenient and scenic route. The distance between Hanoi and Halong Bay is approximately 170 kilometers (105 miles), and the travel time may vary based on the specific starting and ending points within the two locations.

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