RURAL NORTHERN VIETNAM
HANOI – MAI CHAU – PU LUONG – NINH BINH
4 DAYS & 3 NIGHTS
DAY 1: HANOI TO MAI CHAU
“Located in Hoa Binh province, about 150 kilometers west of Hanoi, Mai Chau district has about 50,000 inhabitants, including seven ethnic minority groups – the White Thai, Hmong, Zao, Muong, Tay, Hoa a Viet. The stunning mountainous scenery and tribal culture of Mai Châu attract many visitors every year. The Mai Châu area is well known for its stilt house, they are called Thai stilt houses and are made of bamboo and timber, elevated 10–12 feet off the ground they avoid water damage and shelter animals from the elements.”
Your journey will start at 8am from the lobby of your hotel, from where you will be transported to Mai Chau valley in Hoa Binh province approximately a 3 ½ hour drive through the stunning views of mountains & valleys. En-route you will stop to visit the Muong hill tribe village at Giang Mo or Toan Son.
Arrival at your accommodation will be about midday when you can check in enjoy lunch and relax until 3pm, when you will set off for a guided cycling tour of the surrounding villages and countryside to learn about local living, house styles & daily farming activities.
Enjoy dinner at your resort followed by a special show of dances & songs performed by locals. It is a great chance for an open cultural exchange with locals. You can dance, sing & drink local pipe wine (called ‘Can’ in Vietnamese) with them. Overnight in Mai Chau。
Accommodation: Mai Chau Ecolodge
DAY 2: MAI CHAU TO PU LUONG RESERVE
After breakfast, the morning is yours to either take a hike or another cycle ride to visit the surrounding countryside before we depart at Midday for the 2hour drive to Pu Luong Nature Reserve.
“Pu Luong Nature Reserve has a total area of 17,662 ha and ¾ of the nature reserve is primarily tropical forest. At the same time, this is the living place of ethnic Muong and Thai people. The region is quite unknown among most tourists, but that does not make it less worth to visit, it may attract you due to its stunning rice terrace fields, beautiful nature or breath-taking mountain passes and traditional villages of ethnic minorities who still retain their unique cultural heritage and way of living.”
On arrival at Pu Luong Retreat, you can check in and enjoy lunch before setting off for an exciting afternoon…
You will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of the stunning water wheels. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from the river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes. Take your camera for a brilliant photo opportunity…Arriving at a local fisherman’s house, you have a short rest to gear up for the rafting adventure.
Float along the calm river and enjoy the views, in between learning how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts.
Arrive at the scenic Tan Lap bridge for more photos, where you disembark to be transferred back to Pu Luong Retreat for dinner.
Accommodation: Pu Luong Retreat
DAY 3: PU LUONG RESERVE
After breakfast, you will start your trek by descending into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you will walk around tumbling rice terraces.
Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation to slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Your camera will not be able to sit still! Continue to the base of the valley, you weave between roads and farmland, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open land. Savour the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot to enjoy a simple picnic lunch. After enjoying delicious food, you have free time to explore the surrounding area or take a dip in the water at a nearby river, before moving to the pick-up point to be transferred back to the Retreat to enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Pu Luong Retreat
DAY 4: PU LUONG – NINH BINH – HANOI
After breakfast, it’s an early start as you head off to Hoa Lu, approximately 3 hours from Pu Luong. Arrival at this ancient Capital will be at about 11am. In Hoa Lu, there are 2 temples which have been built on the grounds of the old Royal Palace, one is dedicated to King Dinh Tien Hoang, the other is to King Le Dai Hanh. This visit offers a chance to learn more about the feudal dynasties in Vietnamese history, as well as the old feudal architecture of Vietnam Temples.
Onward then to Tam Coc where you will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, after which you will take a short walk to the boat station and start the 2hour- sampan boat trip with a local rower, to visit Tam Coc, known as “Halong Bay on land”. You will visit the three limestone caves stretching along Ngo Dong river, Hang Ca (first cave), Hang Hai (second cave) and Hang Ba (third cave), passing peaceful scenery of limestone mountains, rice paddy fields and the site of some temples along the way. An optional cycle ride is available at your own cost on arrival back at the jetty. Your return to Hanoi will see you arrive at approximately 6pm.
Note: As an option, you may choose to overnight in Ninh Binh and head to Halong bay the following morning. please contact us for a quote.
Accommodation: As selected
We Hope To See You Again Soon