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Thousands upon thousands of limestone mountain peaks lay scattered across the horizon as far as the eye can see. Witness this natural phenomenon both on the land in Ninh Binh and over the sea in Ha Long Bay. You’ll also have two great opportunities to delve deeper into Vietnamese traditions by taking a cooking class because food is culture! In less than a week, you’ll have some of the most beautiful photos you’ve ever seen.
You will be staying for four nights in a hotel accommodation based on twin / double sharing with daily breakfast in Hanoi and one night on a Ha Long cruise.
Arriving at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), Viland Travel will greet you at the airport with a welcome signboard and then your guide will transfer you to the hotel in Hanoi - the capital city of Vietnam. It is an elegant city located on the banks of the Red River, with the tranquil "Lake of the Restored Sword" at its heart. You will overnight in Hanoi.
This morning, you will experience Hanoi cooking class. Your guide will collect you from your hotel by taxi or motorbike to the class where you will then be taken to the market. You will meet the chef and experience a day in his life as you wander through the fresh food market. You will also learn some tips and tricks to ensure that only the finest quality ingredients are selected. You will then select all the ingredients needed for your class. The chef will then accompany you as you make your way back to your place. You will stop along the way and get to sample a selection of street foods.
During the lesson, the chef will teach you the secrets to creating decorations, to enhance the presentation of your dished, as well as some of the basic skills needed to master the knife skills required to be a chef. Then you will enjoy your food after cooking. You will walk back to your hotel. You will overnight in Hanoi.
You will explore the ancient capital Hoa Lu, ruled by the Dinh and Le dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries. While it remained the active capital and fortress, during a time of much civil unrest and many conflicts with China’s south Han dynasty, it was never breached by any enemy army. After lunch, set up high with a bird's eye view of the winding and twisting Tam Coc river, you’ll get into a small two to three passenger boat with a local navigator.
Your boatman / woman will paddle your boat up and back down the riverway that snakes along, in between the sheer limestone karsts jutting straight out of the rice field flatlands. Paddling you along with both their legs and arms, you’ll pass through three low-ceiling caves, with wonderful stalactites looming just overhead. If you visit during the spring and summer months, you will witness the lush and vibrantly green thatched rice paddies on either side of the riverbanks.
Between 08:00 and 08:30, your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in the Old Quarter to depart for Ninh Binh city. Between 10:30 and 11:00, you will reach Hoa Lu, the ancient capital. In 968, Dinh Bo Linh declared himself as the king. Since then, Hoa Lu existed as the capital for the next 41 years (968-1009), of which 12 years were under the Dinh dynasty (King Dinh Tien Hoang named the country Dai Co Viet) and 29 years later was under the Le dynasty (King Le Dai Hanh). In 1010, King Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long, present-day Hanoi.
Hoa Lu then became the old citadel. In Hoa Lu, there are now two temples that have been built on the ground of the old royal palace. One is dedicated to King Dinh Tien Hoang, the other is to King Le Dai Hanh. The visit offers a chance to learn more about the feudal dynasties and historical periods in Vietnamese history.
At 12:00, today you will enjoy a buffet lunch at a local restaurant in Tam Coc, named Duc Tuan restaurant. The food is served in an Asian style of local dishes with organic vegetables. The Duc Tuan has a bird's eye view over the Tam Coc river so you can marvel at the amazing aerial views, while you enjoy lunch.
At 13:30 after finishing your lunch, you will be taking a rowboat from Tam Coc Harbour. Arranged by the local people, the boat is rowed by both hand or legs. The boat will take you through three specular caves with hundreds of limestone karsts along the way. If you travel during harvest season, you will see many terraced rice fields in golden bloom.
The row boat will navigate along up the river for approximately two hours. Not only you can see the peaceful scenery of mountains, rice paddy fields, and temples, you also have chances to learn about local people's cultures and their daily life. You can also enjoy an optional activities, enjoying a bicycle ride through the countryside after the boat trip. At 16:00, you will leave Tam Coc and drive back to Hanoi. You will arrive in Hanoi around 18:30 and overnight in Hanoi.
With over 1600 islets, countless towering limestone karsts and hidden jungle caves, Vietnam’s “Bay of Descending Dragons” is a must-see destination for every traveler to Southeast Asia. You will stay for one night in the bay aboard a Ha Long Bay cruise to experience all that this magical landscape has to offer.
At 08:00, Viland Travel will fetch you from your hotel to head to Ha Long Bay. You will arrive slightly before noon at the Ha Long Bay Pier where you will be transferred to the cruise ship. Once on board the ship, you will be provided a welcome drink, followed by cruise briefing and safety instructions, conducted by the host of the boat. After that, you will check in your cabin.
Lunch will be served on board while cruising and passing by Dog islet, Fighting Cock islet (symbol of Ha Long Bay), Hoa Cuong fishing village, and Swan islet. After lunch, the ship will continue exploring the wonders of Ha Long Bay, passing by countless islands including Soi Sim beach and Coconut Tree Island.
Viland Travel will anchor the vessel at Frog Pond area where you can take time to explore this beautiful scenery by kayaking through the majestic scenery and swimming in the emerald colored water. You can relax on the sundeck with some cocktails, complemented by a variety of tropical fruits and best local wines. Then you will attend a cooking demonstration with the chef to learn one of the most popular cuisines in Vietnam, spring rolls. For dinner, Vinland Travel specially prepares a meal to reward your taste buds and stomach. After that, you can engage in various evening activities such as relaxing at leisure, squid fishing, etc.
You will wake up to a refreshing morning with an organized Tai Chi class scheduled at 06:30. Once you have revived your body with smooth, deliberate, flowing movements, you may enjoy a light breakfast with the assorted homemade pastries, along with coffee, tea, or fresh fruit juices.
You will move next on to Sung Sot Cave where you will have the option to climb up and down 600 steps to the magnificent limestone formations of the most beautiful and biggest cave in Ha Long Bay. After the visit to the cave, you will check out of the cabin and settle your bill if you have incurred any additional expenses like drinks or snacks in the bar. A beautiful lunch will be served as the ship cruises back to the Ha Long Bay harbor. Your coach will pick you up and you will return back to Hanoi. The estimated time of arrival is at 17:00 if the traffic is cooperative. You will overnight in Hanoi
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your onward flight home. End of services!
This tour will take place in several places in Vietnam such as Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu, and many more.
Vietnam is an exotic and exciting country, chalked full of variety in every aspect. A nation believed to have been established over 4,000 years ago, it is one of the oldest civilizations in existence and the region is thought to be one of the "cradles of civilization". Geological formations of mountains, caves, karst, valleys, and deltas define much of the countries landscape, while a rich history in agriculture occupies the rest. Vietnam was one of the first to develop agriculture and most importantly rice farming.
All of this means you’ll have a huge array of outdoor activities to experience, maybe even experience one while you are in one of the "Natural Wonders of the World", Ha Long Bay, or one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam. Needless to say, this country has some of the most amazing views and sceneries.
But let's not forget the people. Most often your experiences in a foreign country are defined by the locals and these are the most welcoming and curious people there are. From the busiest of streets to the most remote areas, there is always a Vietnamese smiling happily at their foreign guests, glad that the traveling world is now visiting and exploring their beautiful culture.
With any culture comes a wealth of food, and Vietnam is known worldwide for their cuisine, with so many more dishes still waiting to be discovered by the western world. Given the chance, the Vietnamese people will be more than happy and proud to show you their wonderful culinary delights. This is one special country that you’ll never forget, for all the right reasons.
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese, and French influences. At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples including Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse, plus Đồng Xuân Market, selling household goods and street food.
Other landmarks include One Pillar Pagoda, a tiny temple atop a stone pillar, and the 11th century Temple of Literature, once home to a Confucian academy. French colonial buildings dot the city from the neoclassical Opera House to the Gothic Revival St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The mausoleum of the Communist leader Ho Chi Minh and a museum at Hoa Lo Prison (also known as the Hanoi Hilton, which held prisoners of war) recall the Vietnam War. Cultural activities range from Tai Chi martial arts around Hoàn Kiếm Lake to traditional chamber music and water puppetry.
Hạ Long, a city on Vietnam’s northern coast, is a jumping-off point for Hạ Long Bay, a broad inlet of dramatic, often mist-covered limestone islands. Replicas of traditional junk boats tour the bay and depart from the city’s Bai Chay district. Bai Chay also has an artificial beach, a casino, cafes, and dozens of hotels from resort-style complexes to hostels.
Bai Chay connects by bridge to Hon Gai, the more industrial part of town, and together the two districts make up Hạ Long City proper. Still, the most popular destinations are offshore. Many of Hạ Long Bay's islands are peppered with scenic lakes, caves, and grottoes. The largest island, Cát Bà, is home to Cát Bà National Park, a habitat for rare endangered langurs; Hospital Cave, a secret 1960s wartime hospital carved into a cavern; and several beaches at Cát Cò Cove.
Ninh Binh has the oldest national park of Vietnam, Cuc Phuong National Park, located 100 kilometers from Hanoi, with a very wide range of species, both flowers and animals. Moreover, it is one of the best places for hiking in Vietnam, granting guests fresh air and natural scenes that city life can never offer.
Bai Dinh pagoda area is another treasure of the province. With a complex of pagoda, park, car parking area, and lake system; it is so much easier for visitors to go here. But the most famous place here is Phat Diem stone church, which is the only stone church in the North of Vietnam, built by French in the past, merely by stones placed on each other, without any stick material.
Noi Bai International Airport
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