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11 days

Halong Bay and Red River up stream 11 days

For the first-time travelers will be able to explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.

This 10-night river cruise allows you to pursue the Red River system in Vietnam that flows down from Tonkinese Alps to the countries capital, Hanoi and on to the monumental Halong Bay. This small ship river cruise provides an illuminative insight into North Vietnamese life and culture. You will enjoy three nights cruising in the beautiful Halong Bay where you will visit vegetable farms, floating fishing houses and explore the wondrous caves by basket boat. You will enjoy a day in the bustling city of Hanoi before getting off the beaten track and sailing deep into Highland Vietnam where you will be astounded by the scenery and mesmerized by the locals in the mountain villages.

Tour Included

  • Pick-up & drop-off services
  • Accommodation in twin sharing room with daily breakfast at overnight cruise
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner)
  • All transfers and transportation during tour
  • Boat trips for sightseeing as mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fees for all visits as mentioned in the itinerary  
  • English speaking experienced and licensed tour guide (your other preferred languages are available upon request)
  • Tissues and water on vehicle    
  • Service charges and government taxes    
  • 24/7 hotline support guaranteed

Tour Excluded

  • Meals, if not specified in the itinerary    
  • International flight tickets     
  • Travel insurance (we highly recommend that you purchase adequate insurance).   
  • Visa stamping fee at the airport (US$ 25.00 for Vietnam, paid by cash at the airport)
  • Tipping gratuity for guides, drivers, hotel & restaurant staffs, boat riders, etc.   
  •  Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.  
  • All other services which are not specified in the itinerary    
  • Surcharge for peak season, New Year holidays (Vietnamese Tet & Calendar New Year), and compulsory dinners on Xmas and New Year’s Eve as per regulation of the hotels and cruises.

Tour Plan

DAY 1: HALONG BAY

Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay to embark your Pandaw ship followed by lunch on board. Cast off in the afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years.

Stop at Viet Hai Village and explore on mountain bike or electric buggy, visiting the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breath-taking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.

Exploration of Halong Bay continues with a visit to the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling.

Observe the lively and interesting life of the KinhThay river, a key commercial waterway. Meet your guide in the dining room for a lecture on Vietnam, its history, geography and the boat people.

The day is spent cruising towards Hanoi. Enroute, stop at Bat Trang in the afternoon, a ceramic village. On the way back to the ship watch a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty. This dance originated in China and spread over Southeast Asia.

Drop anchor in the capital and bustling city of Hanoi to visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis. Must-sees include the notorious Vietnam War prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Morning sail through the day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri - not the most picturesque of towns, but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam.

Go ashore to visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by limestone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas.

In the morning cruising to Tien Du ferry station to the village of Gia Thanh, makers of the conical hats (known as ‘non la’). Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity.

Day sailing upstream while admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. We stop to visit K9 Ho Chi Minh Memorial House, a small museum newly opened to international visitors introducing the life of President Ho Chi Minh and his contributions to the country’s revolution. We moor overnight mid-river alongside Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna.

Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle with the French in 1951 & 1952 and is home to the Muong ethnic group.

The Hoa Binh Dam at the Black River is the largest hydroelectric dam in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Take a morning boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh and explore the inner workings of the power station. In the afternoon, visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dress before being treated to a traditional performance by local hill tribe people.

Disembark after breakfast (08.30am) and transfer to Hanoi. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport or your central Hanoi hotel.

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