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6-Day Red River Delta & Ha Long Bay Cruise Essential

Ha Noi, Ninh Binh and Ha Long are the most interesting and beautiful places which you would not miss when travel to the North of Vietnam. While Hanoi is the country’s center of historical and cultural heritage, Ninh Binh is extraordinary landscape of karst foundation and ancient capital. Halong is undoubted one of the world’s best seascapes. The never-fading culture & amazing nature experience are waiting for your exploration.

HIGHLIGHTS

Various activities on sites

  • City tour of Hanoi exploring the most exciting site of the charming capital
  • Cyclo tour to experience up close to the real city life
  • Cruise tour explore the countryside of Hoa Lu – Tam Coc & the amazing Ha Long Bay
  • Local experience with a Hanoian family

Unforgettable moments

  • Riding the cycle around small streets of Hanoi whilst the sea of motorbike running around.
  • Admiring the puppet show that dates back to the 11th century. 
  • Cruising along the Ha Long Bay on land and the real Ha Long Bay.
  • Admiring the sunrise and sunset on Ha Long Bay
  • Sharing the local experience whilst sharing the dinner tradition with a Hanoian family

Nature exploration

  • The nature of the countryside of Ninh Binh
  • The pure sunset and sunrise of Ha Long Bay

Culture experience

  • Learn about Hanoi culture with a real Hanoian family, who will teach you the way of a Hanoian.
  • Learn about the history & culture of Vietnam in the past at Tam Coc, the ancient kingdom of Vietnam during the reign of Dinh & Le King
  • The peasant life of Vietnamese people in Ninh Binh

Map

Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Welcome to Hanoi

Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, Sonasia’s guide & driver will pick you up and transfer directly to the hotel in the old quarter of Hanoi.

Vietnam's capital races to make up for time lost to the ravages of war and a government that as recently as the 1990s kept the outside world at bay. Its streets surge with scooters vying for right of way amid the din of constantly blaring horns, and all-around layers of history reveal periods of French and Chinese occupation – offering a glimpse into the resilience of ambitious, proud Hanoians.

Late afternoon, you will enjoy 1-hour cyclo ride through Hanoi ancient alleys of the old quarter and enjoy a tasty dinner at a nice restaurant, followed by a Traditional Water Puppet show (1 hour) in the theater.

Ride back to hotel after the show. Overnight in Hanoi.

Notes

Check out the Hanoi travel guide

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Day 2 - Hanoi - Exploration

This morning at 08:30 depart the hotel for the Temple of Literature. In 1076, Vietnam's first university Quoc Tu Giam, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.

Continue to picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism.

Then visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum (closed Mondays), which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. 

As an alternative to the Ethnology Museum, visit the highly acclaimed Vietnam Women’s Museum. The museum is located near Hoan Kiem Lake and offers wonderful insight into the lives of Vietnamese women.  Displays highlight Vietnam’s vast cultural diversity and educate on the significant role Vietnamese women play in Vietnamese society.  Learn historic and modern-day traditions centered around births, weddings, motherhood, spirituality and more.

Next, visit the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary.  (Viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Jun - Aug)

At the end of the afternoon visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the “36 streets”. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It is a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities.

Early evening, discover the culinary culture of Vietnam and enjoy food with the locals in Hanoi. During this experience with your own private guide, you are taken to a family home for green tea and dinner. Feast on a meal prepared by your host as you learn about traditional dishes and customs. Share your experience during the day in Hanoi as your host will be happy to listen and share some more local experience with you too.

Transfer back to your hotel after the dinner.

Overnight in Hanoi.

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Day 3 - Hanoi - Hoa Lu - Tam Coc

8.00: Today you start with 2 and a half hours drive to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th century under Dinh and Le Dynasty. Hoa Lu has been the political center of the country until 1010, when Ly Cong Uan founded the Ly dynasty and moved the capital to Thang Long (present-day Hanoi). During the 43 years of existence under the two dynasties, Hoa Lu became one of Vietnam’s ancient capitals with distinctive stone architecture decorated with famous stone carvings.

After visiting the Temples of Dinh and Le King, you will get on the bikes and start the 1 and haft hour cycling trip to Tam Coc. The ride is following a hidden small paved road running through the beautiful landscapes made of rice fields and limestone Islets, called “Halong Bay on Land”, surely make your ride shorter.

13.00: You will check in your homestay and enjoy lunch at your homestay restaurant.

14.30: In the afternoon, you will get on the rowing boat and start a 1 and half hour cruise into Tam Coc’s peaceful and beautiful landscape. The cruise gives you a perfect time to enjoy the fresh feeling of the countryside of Vietnam when your boat goes along green rice paddy, set between the limestone islets.

16.00: Your boat gets back the pier and then you spend your a little time for wandering around this nice area before heading to your homestay in 5 minutes. 
Overnight in Tam Coc, Ninh Binh

Notes
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Day 4 - Tam Coc - Thai Binh - Hai Phong - Ha Long Bay

7.30: You will rise early today for the drive to Halong Bay on No 10 Road, which run through the Red River Delta. On the way, the scenery is so stunning with romantic rivers and huge rice fields. So, you have great opportunity to take timeless pictures.

12.00: Upon arrival, you will get aboard a Traditional Style Junk and enjoying a well-prepared lunch with the local fresh seafood, while the junk cruises among thousands of strange shaped limestone islands. You will have opportunity to visit Thien Canh Son Grotto and have a swim either at the deserted clean beach and follow the steps all the way out to the viewpoint for a view over green bay below, or at a nearby tranquil site. You will then have dinner on board while watching sunset. Should you like to take another swim, there will be plenty of chance to do it at the anchoring site. You stay overnight on board.

Notes
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Day 5 - Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - AO Show

Today, you may wish to wake up early for Tai Chi or the fresh air of sunrise on the deck before the light breakfast severed.  The junk will continue its weaving around the Bay, among thousands of islets. You will then cruise through several beautiful views of Teapot Island, Chopstick Island, Horse Saddle and fishing villages. You may wish for hand spa or body massage on the deck before your lunch is served. The Junk will disembark at Halong wharf at noon, where your bus is waiting to transfer you back to Hanoi.

Check in your hotel and enjoy the free afternoon to enjoy the pool or walk along the street for your own exploration.

In the evening, we will transfer you to the Hanoi Opera House to join the AO Show – Lang Toi. 

Lang Toi (My Village) is a delicate merge of tradition and innovation, where poetic beauty of Northern Vietnam’s village life is presented under Vietnamese Bamboo Circus approach. Farming, building activities, traditional games, lifestyle of Northern villagers are recreated by ancestral bamboo props, breath-taking circus and acrobatics, rhythmic dance, to distinct folk music from more than 20 musical instruments.

Transfer back to your hotel after the show.

Overnight in Hanoi

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Day 6 - Hanoi - Departure

You are free to stroll around the town before transferring back to Noi Bai international airport to take the departure flight

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NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Vietnam, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Vietnam
Hanoi
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Ha Long Bay
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Sapa
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Hoi An
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Hue
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Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
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Vietnam PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury Holiday
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Honeymoon Vacation
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Cruise
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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

Family Vacation
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Cycling & Biking
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Vietnam PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Vietnam TRAVEL TIPS & GUIDE

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Vietnam BLOG ARTICLES

"Should I visit Thailand or Vietnam?" is some of the most frequently asked questions that we have from our travelers

Well, Vietnam and Thailand are the most popular holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. They are similar in climate and food, though obviously different in culture, lifestyle and travel experience.

Below we list 13 major differences between the two countries, to give you a quick overview and help you decide which to visit first. These are based on our own travel experiences, investigations, and partnerships with local operators.

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How long to spend in Vietnam may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out.

You can find here and there that you should spend 10 days, 2 weeks, 20 days, or 1 month to best explore Vietnam. So what is the best Vietnam tour duration for you?

Well, as long as you like! From 10 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Vietnam and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Vietnam is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Vietnam with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Vietnam.

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Vietnam would scrap the Covid-19 testing requirement for all arrivals starting Sunday, May 15th 2022, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed.

In a document issued Friday, the Prime Minister requested the Ministry of Health to closely follow the coronavirus situation and provide proper guidance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should direct Vietnamese authorities outside the country to inform people who wish to enter Vietnam to follow appropriate disease prevention measures, he said.

The latest decision has been made as the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths drops both in Vietnam and around the world. Several countries have been taking steps to relax coronavirus restrictions, including scrapping testing before entry.

Current policies issued by the health ministry require entrants to have negative results from PCR tests done within the previous 72 hours, or a negative result from a rapid test done within the last 24 hours.

Those who don’t have a negative test result must refrain from making contact with others during the first 24 hours after entry. They will be able to move freely once they test negative after arrival.

Children under two don’t need to be tested.

Vietnam stopped requiring medical declarations from those arriving from abroad starting April 27, and for domestic travel starting April 30.

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The “Colorful Hanoi” hot air balloon festival is one of the attractive activities within the framework of the program “Hanoi tourism welcomes 2022” taking place from March 25-27, 2022.

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The Ministry of Health said on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, foreigners entering Vietnam only need to furnish a negative Covid-19 test certificate and are not required to quarantine.

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Vietnam is determined to fully reopen its tourism industry and will adopt measures to treat foreign and domestic tourists alike, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

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