This Hanoi tour is perfect for all kinds of travelers. It excites the fitness freak and delights the adventure lover in you, while making sure that keeps the explorer stays interested. The tour includes a mysterious rowboat ride through hidden caves and a 12 km cycling session that sounds weary, but is actually a breeze. It takes you through ancient villages, beautiful rice paddies and majestic limestone karsts and introduces you to the Hanoi of yesterday, a far cry from the chaotic scenes that you usually associate with the capital of Vietnam.
Our Hanoi tour begins with a two-hour drive from the hectic capital of Hanoi to the province of Ninh Binh, approximately 100 kilometres away. Our first destination is Hao Lu, the location of the capital of Vietnam during the Dinh Dynasty (968-980) and early Le Dynasty (980-1009). The ancient citadel once covered 300 hectares of land, however the passage of time has left few remains of this once glorious capital of the Vietnam.
On arrival, dive into history at the Dinh & Le Temple. Restored in the 17th century, the temples are dedicated Dinh and Le emperors and believed to be built on the original foundations of the old palaces from the 11th and 12th centuries.
Next, it is time for the biking part of the tour, as you hop on a bike for a 12-kilometre bike ride through the area, lime karsts towering above you as you ride along back roads and beautiful scenery... experiences you just don't get on other Hanoi tours!
Following our bike ride, we'll stop for lunch at a local restaurant before visiting Trang An, a new addition to UNESCO’s list of heritage sites. Honoured as of June 2014, the 10,000-hectare Trang An complex comprises three areas: the Trang An – Tam Coc – Bich Dong ecological site, the Hoa Lu imperial capital, and the Hoa Lu primitive forests. It is often referred to as the Halong Bay of the land due to its spectacular scenery: lime karsts rise up of the ground to tower over the region, and is a truly wonderful sight to see.
Here, we’ll board row boats for a 3 to 3.5-hour journey through caves, passing local villages along the river system of the Red River Delta. The scenery comprises of lush green rice paddies during the rice growing seasons and the surrounding limestone karsts make for a stunning backdrop, presenting many photo opportunities for the keen photographers amongst the group.
At the end of the boat trip, we’ll return to the city and finish our Hanoi tour.
Note: A Tam Coc boat trip will be offered as an alternative to Trang An on selected days when the place is too crowded or during peak season.