Lonely Planet Experiences Private Hanoi Tour: Citadels, Karsts & Cycles in Ninh Binh

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • COVID-19protected
  • Bicycle tour
  • Cultural, religious and historic sites
See Itinerary
  • duration 11 hours
  • tour type Group
  • minimum participants 2
  • age requirement 12+ yrs
  • max group size 12
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Ends Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Surround yourself in the rich history and breathtaking scenery of Vietnam
  • Step back in time at the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu, Vietnam’s first capital
  • Cycle through villages, rice fields, and amongst the limestone karsts and surrounding scenery
  • Take a row boat through the UNESCO site of Trang An to explore magnificent caves and get up close to the region’s spectacular karst country
The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Hanoi Tour: Citadels, Karsts & Cycles in Ninh Binh tour starts and ends in Hanoi. The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Hanoi Tour: Citadels, Karsts & Cycles in Ninh Binh is a bicycle tour that takes 11 hours.

Mix it up on this Hanoi tour that includes a 12 km cycle session and a sneaky rowboat ride through caves, and past rice paddies, villages, and limestone karsts. In between all that sightseeing and biking, enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch at the home of a local family. 
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.

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5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
  • Mrs. Miri
  • On Aug 10 2016
5 - Excellent
Mrs. Miri's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“Yennie was amazing and we all enjoyed our Havana walking tour very much. So much so that we booked a Classic Car tour for the next night. I was impressed with her knowledge and optimism for the future of Cuba. She made some great recommendations for us and also explained some issues, ie the currency, better restaurants etc.”
  • Mrs. Laura
  • On Apr 25 2016
5 - Excellent
Mrs. Laura's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“Three friends and I had a delightful tour along with two gals from Scotland and Sweden. Mike was a wonderful, enthusiastic guide without being overwhelming. Thoroughly enjoyed our morning.”
  • Ms. Martha
  • On Jun 14 2016
5 - Excellent
Ms. Martha's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“Highlight of our time in Venice”

Our Hanoi tour begins with a two-hour drive from the hectic capital of Hanoi to the province of Ninh Binh, approximately 100 kilometers away. Our first destination is Hoa 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 Vietnam.

On arrival, dive into history at the Dinh & Le Temples. Restored in the 17th century, the temples are dedicated to the 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's time for the biking part of the tour. Hop on a bike for about 12-kilometer ride through the area, limestone karsts towering above you as you ride along backroads and beautiful scenery with experiences you just don't get on other Hanoi tours! On the way, we also stop for a drink to cool off from the heat.

Following our bike ride, we'll visit a local family for a homecooked lunch. This is a great opportunity to meet some locals and learn about daily life in the region.

After lunch, make your way to Trang An, a new addition to UNESCO’s list of heritage sites. Honored 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 with limestone karsts rise up of the ground to tower over the region, and is a truly wonderful sight to see.

Here, we’ll board rowboats for about 3-hour journey through caves, passing local villages along with 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 transfer back to Hanoi city, arriving late in the afternoon. Return back to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your evening.

  • Homecooked lunch
  • Return transportation
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Bike and helmet
  • Boat trip
  • Green tea
  • Local drink.&Nbsp; 
  • Hoa Lu entrance fees as indicated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • tips / gratuities for driver or guide.
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Cancellation for this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Hanoi Tour: Citadels, Karsts & Cycles in Ninh Binh tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


For any tour departures within 16 June 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 16 June 2021, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Lonely Planet Experiences Private Hanoi Tour: Citadels, Karsts & Cycles in Ninh Binh tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Hanoi Tour: Citadels, Karsts & Cycles in Ninh Binh tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

Pick up at centrally located hotels in Hanoi.

Meeting end point :

Drop off at centrally located hotels in Hanoi.

Lonely Planet extras
  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop
COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
  • This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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