Discover a slice of Vietnamese paradise on this active adventure.

The spectacular valleys and mountains of Vietnam were simply made for exploration. Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for this immersive journey that gets away from the bright lights of Hanoi and under the skin of Vietnam's bucolic countryside. In between trekking and cycling past lush landscapes, stop in at local villages and learn about traditional life with memorable homestay experiences. It’s not all mountains and trails either, with an opportunity to kayak across the majestic waters of Lan Ha Bay and spend a night in a waterside resort. Prepare to be led off the beaten track.


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Destination
Vietnam
Style
Original
Theme
Active Adventures
Code
TVXA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Gain a greater insight into life in northern Vietnam with an itinerary that explores not just Hanoi but also heads out into the countryside

  • Hike through the picturesque valleys surrounding Sapa and visit local communities

  • Cycle out to Mai Chau and on through the stunning karst landscapes to Ninh Binh

  • Kayak around karsts and explore the secluded lagoons and caves of Lan Ha Bay - the lesser visited but just as beautiful sister of Halong Bay

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip has a number of activities to get your pulse going. Whilst prior training for each activity is not necessary, a moderate level of fitness will help you to get the most out of the included activities.

  • The hike in the hills of Sapa is approximately 10 kilometres (6.2miles) in total, on sometimes steep and uneven terrain.

  • You will spend 2 days on your bike, riding to Mai Chau and Ninh Binh, with approximately 60-70 kilometres of cycling each day. The cycling in these areas is relatively flat and you will have time to get used to your bike in Hanoi before departing.

  • There are 2 nights of homestay on this trip in Sapa and Mai Chau. Accommodation will be multishare rooms, with simple bedding and shared bathroom facilities. While accommodation is simple, the warm welcome and home-cooked meals will be comforting after a day of exercise.

  • Kayak around secluded islands in Lan Ha Bay to explore this world renowned scenery. While this bay is generally sheltered, this is sea kayaking so you will need to be confident on and in water for this activity.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Xin chao. Welcome to Vietnam! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. The meeting is generally followed by an optional group meal out at one of Hanoi's fantastic eating spots. If you have time before the meeting, head out and discover Hanoi. It's a good idea to take a hotel business card so you can find your way back.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Village Discovery by Bike Urban Adventure - USD33
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Highlights Urban Adventure - USD40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast climb board a private bus to Sapa, a town in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of northwest Vietnam. This journey will take approximately 5 hours. From the Sapa market, venture out on a short trek (approximately 2.5 hours) through the surrounding valleys to visit a hill-tribe village called Cat Cat. This is home to the H’mong people, who emigrated from China 300 years ago. In the evening, settle into your hotel in Sapa for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sapa - Cat Cat Village trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Savour the dramatic landscapes and panoramic views of rural Vietnam on a trek from Lao Chai to Ta Van. You'll pass by terraced farms ripe with corn and rice, over bubbling brooks and through bucolic villages. Stop for a picnic lunch before heading on to our home stay with a local family in the evening. The total trek today is around 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sapa - Lao Chai to Ta Van trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning trek to Su Pan before taking some time to rest your feet on a bus ride back to Sapa. In the afternoon the group returns to Hanoi (approximately 5 hours). Maybe get a bird's eye view of the city from a rooftop bar and unwind with an iced coffee.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sapa - Ta Van to Su Pan trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Vietnam's capital is best explored on foot, which is why the group will head out on a city walking tour. See the final resting place of Vietnam's revered revolutionary at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum before stopping by the Temple of Literature. Although the shrine was originally built in the 11th century, and is therefore considered to be the city's oldest temple, the current structure and shrine to Confucius actually dates from the 18th century. In the afternoon, have a practice on your bike with a warm up cycling trip around Hanoi's West Lake.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - West Lake bike ride
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave behind the Hanoi hustle first by vehicle, then jump on your bike and and journey to the clean air of the Mai Chau valley (approximately 60km / 37mi). There are great photo opportunities along the way – stop at a vantage point to take in the view of Mai Chau, home to a variety of minority groups with their own unique culture and languages. Along the way, there's also the opportunity to help local farmers plant rice seeds into the fields. Arrive in Mai Chau and head to the village of Pom Coong, where your local guide will introduce you to your hosts for lunch, and provide information on the region's people, their lifestyles, customs and culture. Lunch is a traditional affair with examples of local cuisine on offer. This is a great opportunity to experience the local area, chat with your hosts, and gain a real insight into life in this fascinating and picturesque region. After lunch, take some time to relax before saddling up for a cycle trip to nearby villages. Back at the homestay, relax with a cold drink while watching the sun set over the peaceful mountains. Alternatively, for the food lovers, why not help your host cook dinner!
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mai Chau - Pom Coong Village visit & traditional lunch
  • Mai Chau - Cycling
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
At the homestay you’ll sleep on mattresses in a communal room. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities are basic.
After breakfast set out again on your bike on a cycle from Mai Chau to Ninh Binh, a region well known for its green valleys, karst mountains and conservation areas. Today's ride will cover approximately 70 kilometres in total.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mai Chau to Ninh Binh cycling
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Catch a bus this morning from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong then jump on a ferry to Cat Ba Island, which sits at the southeastern edge of Halong Bay. Lan Ha Bay, where Cat Ba can be found, is a part of Halong Bay with the additional attraction of numerous white-sand beaches. The total travelling time today is approximately five hours. Check in to your hotel in town then enjoy a free afternoon taking it easy. Hit the beach, jump in the sea, check out Cat Ba town or go walking around the island before a grabbing a sunset drink.
Accommodation
  • Resort (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Explore the waters and limestone karsts of Lan Ha Bay on a full-day boat trip. Get up close and personal kayaking beside the tree-clad outcrops, with lunch onboard also included. Halong Bay's World Heritage designation was extended to the Cat Ba Archipelago thanks to its similar aesthetic value, and the scenes of turquoise water and junk boats are quintessential Vietnam. No-one will judge you for taking a selfie here. Spend a second night on Cat Ba, with the evening free to visit the local restaurants and bars.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Say goodbye to Cat Ba Island and head back to Hanoi (approximately five hours). Arrive in the late afternoon, and perhaps head down to the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping or to pay a visit to one of the city's many museums. Both the Fine Art Museum and Museum of Ethnology are great choices. In the evening, why not organise an farewell dinner with your group and toast the end of this active adventure.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your active adventure comes to an end today and there are no activities planned, but there's plenty to see if you'd like to continue exploring Hanoi or further afield, including an Urban Adventure discovering Hanoi's street food by night.
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
  • Hanoi - Village Discovery by Bike Urban Adventure - USD33
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Highlights Urban Adventure - USD40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private Vehicle, Bike, Boat

Accommodation

Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (7 nights), Resort (1 night)

Included activities

  • Sapa - Cat Cat Village trek
  • Sapa - Lao Chai to Ta Van trek
  • Sapa - Ta Van to Su Pan trek
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - West Lake bike ride
  • Mai Chau - Pom Coong Village visit & traditional lunch
  • Mai Chau - Cycling
  • Mai Chau to Ninh Binh cycling

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for local transport tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. Please note the single supplement excludes day 2 (Sapa homestay) and day 6 (Mai Chau homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation.
3. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please bring your own bike helmet from home.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak trips score an average of 4.93 out of 5 based on 71 reviews in the last year.

Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak, July 2018

Heather MacBride

Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak, July 2018

Miriam Comeskey