6 days, 5 nights
CODE: MC6D

6 DAY CITY TO THE BAY

The ‘City to Bay’ is perfect for visitors who want to see Hanoi and Halong Bay, and everything in-between. This multi-city tour kicks off exploring Hanoi and taking in many different sites around Ninh Binh. You’ll then arrive on Cat Ba and Halong Bay, giving you time to relax on the beach and cruise the bay in style. If you are after a mix of sightseeing and and ‘R & R’, the City to the Bay is for you!

Stunning scenery

Local homestay

Wildlife

TRIP ITINERARY

Day 1: Hanoi

Your first day commences at 8AM with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, his museum and the wooden ethnic minority house where he lived from 1958 till 1969. You’ll learn about this important political figure and how he shaped modern Vietnam. Next to the Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. The structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi and a great photo opportunity. We’ll then visit the must-see Temple of Literature, built in the 11th century as an homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius.

In the afternoon, our guide will take you to the Museum of Ethnology where you will learn about the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. Here you’ll be able to gain a greater insight into the diverse cultures within Vietnam. Next we’ll visit the Ngoc Son Temple, set on a tiny island on the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Next we’ll hit the streets by cyclo, exploring the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, each named after the products that are, or once were, sold there. End your day with a traditional water puppet show and then dinner.

Day 2: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu - Trang An

Our private car and guide will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi at 8AM, and then we’ll drive two and half hours to take you to the rural and peaceful town of Ninh Binh. Here you’ll experience fascinating landscapes, historical and important religious pilgrimage sites and endangered animal sanctuaries. Our first destination will be Hoa Lu, the ancient capital, home to the ruling Dinh and Le dynasties between 968 and 1009 AD. Its two remaining temples, each one over a thousand years old, are surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.

We’ll then drive to Bich Dong pagoda, for even more great photo opportunities, visiting a complex of three or pagodas carved into the limestone mountain cliffs. A hundred steps and a short, but steep walk, will take you through the lower, middle and finally to the upper cave pagoda. Here you’ll be rewarded with stunning views. Lunch is served in a local restaurant, before we move onto Trang An, recognised by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site. A two-hour rowing boat trip will take you through Trang An caves and through rice paddy fields. After a busy day of activities, it is time to relax and have dinner and a peaceful sleep at the hotel.

Day 3: Trang An - Cuc Phuong National Park - Tam Coc

Leaving Ninh Binh behind, we head to Cuc Phuong National Park where you will visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. You will see rare species of monkeys, snakes, squirrels and other animals in their natural environment. A guide will take you through the park, teaching you about the local fauna. After a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll be taken to the Van Long Nature Reserve, the location for the Kong: Skull Island. if you are lucky enough, you will see thousands of birds flying over the rice paddies, so have your camera ready. We’ll then have dinner and stay overnight in a hotel in Tam Coc.

Day 4: Tam Coc - Cat Ba

Today we’ll head to Cat Ba Island, but first you’ll visit Thien Truong district, Tran Temple and Pho Minh Tower in Nam Dinh province. Lunch will then be served in a local restaurant before arriving in Hai Phong City and transferring onto a ferry to Cat Ba Island – translated to ‘Women’s Island’. It is the largest of the 367 islands that make up the Cat Ba Archipelago. After checking into the hotel you’ll take another boat to visit Lan Ha Bay and have free time to swim and relax on the beach for the afternoon before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Day 5: Cat Ba - Halong Bay

AfterAfter breakfast it’s time to aboard the refurbished wooden sailing boat for a cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay, one of the natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO heritage site. Halong Bay is a truly remarkable destination and the highlight of many tourists visit to Vietnam. Lan Ha Bay is known for its unspoiled and magnificent natural beauty. Aboard the boat you’ll be given a cruise briefing and check-in to your traditionally styled cabin. Vietnamese lunch is served while passing Trong Mai Islet – ‘Fighting Cock Rocks’.

In the afternoon, you’ll visit Sung Sot, ‘Amazing Cave’ with its stalactite formations. There will be plenty of time for kayaking, swimming and sunbathing (weather permitting). As night falls you’ll be served a seafood dinner and if you like, be given an opportunity to go squid fishing before retreating to your cabin for the night.

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi

As the dawn breaks the boat will set sail to Bai Tu Long Bay and you’ll arise for a breakfast on board. You’ll have the opportunity relax and take in the scenery. For lunch, you’ll enjoy more local seafood and then visit the secluded Dau Be Island. Take advantage of the ‘Happy Hour Floating Bar’ and try the grape wine. The boat will then take you to Halong Bay Harbour for your trip back to your hotel in Hanoi, arriving at around 4PM.

Itinerary subject to change or cancellation due to weather conditions.

Included: Ground transport, English-speaking guide, accommodation, activities & meals mentioned above. Not included: Airfares, visa fees, travel insurance, gratuities, personal expenses & all other services not clearly mentioned above.

WHY TRAVEL WITH YESD?

Authentic

We give local people employment, income and learning opportunities so they are directly involved in your tourism experience. Our guides and hosts will give you a special insight into culture and life in Vietnam.

Responsible

We aim to minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and the local community while contributing positively to local economies. We don’t just talk responsible tourism, we act!

Tours that translate

10% of all profits from our tours go towards a community fund. This money allows us to make infrastructure improvements and provide other important resources to those in need.

READY TO EXPLORE FROM THE CITY TO THE BAY?

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“We had YESD organise a trip to Ninh Binh last March and it was beyond what we had expected. Above all, the guys from YESD were really helpful and supportive, making our trip wonderfully smooth and memorable.”

Bich Phuong / Trip Advisor