Hanoi’s surrounding countryside is filled with captivating natural beauty and images of tranquil village life. Take this opportunity to explore the forgotten village of Cuu, once the North’s premier tailoring village during the French colonial period. Many traces of its illustrious past are still visible today through the ancient architecture. Stroll around the village to appreciate the old charm. Stop at a local house to engage in a casual chat with the host over a cup of tea before driving back to Hanoi.
After lunch on your own, continue to explore a range of different art galleries and creative spaces with your guide including Art Salon Natasha, Mai Hien’s (a lacquer artist who works with the traditional medium, but in her own abstract style) and Green Palm.
Return to central Hanoi for an afternoon cyclo ride through the Hanoi Old Quarter, also known as the 36 streets, this bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities.
Early evening, enjoy a performance of the uniquely Vietnamese art form of water puppetry, which enacts episodes from history and scenes from rural life in Vietnam, followed by dinner at one of Hanoi’s great restaurants.
Overnight in Ha Noi, Meals: Breakfast
After breakfast, depart for a 3.5 hour drive to Halong Bay with a quick rest stop at Dai Viet Center – the best place to stop and stretch your legs en route.
On arrival in Halong Bay, board your deluxe junk, settle into your cabin and prepare your appetite for an enjoyable lunch on deck. In mid-afternoon visit the mysterious Tien Ong cave, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and then continue to the Cua Van fishing village, the largest fishing community on the bay. Head back to the boat, participate in a cooking class with the chef or enjoy Sunset on the top deck before dinner.
Overnight on board, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 05 Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue (PM Flight)
Rise early and greet the day with a Tai Chi class on the upper deck. Transfer from the main boat to a small beach on Ti Top Island. Those wanting a bit of exercise can climb to the top of the island (20 minutes). Later, board the main boat and enjoy a delicious buffet brunch while cruising back to shore. Arrive at the jetty late morning then transfer back to Hanoi with a light snack provided en route.
You can stop at a small pottery workshop en-route before transferring directly to Hanoi airport OR drive back to Hanoi downtown for shopping opportunities inside Old Quarter or relax with a cup of coffee with amazing views over Hoan Kiem Lake. Please don’t miss one of Hanoi’s famous dishes, PHO, a steaming noodle broth that can be snacked on at any time of day. Board the evening flight to Hue.
Hue served as an imperial capital to the Nguyen Lords, a feudal dynasty which reigned from the 17th to 19th century. With splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel, the city retains its Royal charm.
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to hotel.
Overnight in Hue, Meals: Breakfast, Brunch