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Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak

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Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Was From $ 2,245 AUD
Now From $ 1,796 AUD
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Description

The spectacular valleys and mountains of Vietnam were simply made for active exploration. On this 11-day adventure, you’ll put on your hiking shoes and get ready for an 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 through lush landscapes, you’ll stop in at local villages and learn about traditional life, spending the night in rural homestays. After cycling through the valleys of Mai Chau and Ninh Binh and getting your heart rate up on Sapa’s hiking trails, you’ll head to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cat Ba Island and kayak across the turquoise waters of Lan Ha Bay. Spend a night in a waterside resort in the bay and make the most of every sunset, before heading back to Hanoi and indulging in street food.

Trip Name
Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak
Last Updated
2024-06-15
Days
11
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Kayak around limestone karsts and explore the secluded lagoons and caves of Lan Ha Bay – the lesser visited but just as beautiful sister of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ha Long Bay.
  • Hike through the picturesque valleys surrounding Sapa and visit local communities on a full-day active adventure – the best way to get to know a place is on two feet, after all!
  • Cycle out to Mai Chau and on through the world-renowned karst landscapes to Ninh Binh. This area is known for its lush valleys and natural beauty.
  • Explore Hanoi with ample free time to indulge in street food, get to know the locals at streetside eateries and hunt down one of the famed Vietnamese iced coffees.
  • Spend some time in homestays, relaxing after full day cycling and hiking trips with traditional home-cooked meals and time to soak up the sunset form a hammock – this is the best chance to get to know the locals!
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Hanoi
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins in Hanoi with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, why not head out and discover Hanoi at your own pace. Take a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple, start sampling the delicious street food or visit the Museum of Ethnology to find out more about the homes and lives of Vietnam’s ethnic communities. After the welcome meeting, you might like to join your group for an optional dinner at one of Hanoi's fantastic restaurants or streetside eateries.
Day 2 - Khau Pha Community Stay
After breakfast this morning, escape the city and board a private minibus to the small village of Khau Pha – a community-based tourism project designed to empower and bring positive impact for Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. Located just below the spectacular Khau Phạ Pass in an area of natural beauty, this area has all of the best features of Northern Vietnam – think green terraced rice paddies, clear streams, towering hills and few tourists. After lunch, go on a relaxed walk around the village to see the rich cultural heritage of Khau Pha, like how the locals create traditional Thai fabric and cloth. After the walk, you’ll head to dinner and then settle in for the night in one of the four stilt houses that have been redesigned by local families.
Day 3 - Hiking in Sapa/Lao Chai
Start the day early and drive to the town of Sapa, the starting point for today’s trek. You’ll stop for lunch and photo ops along the way before arriving in Lao Chai. From here, join your local guide and start your hike into the heart of the Vuon Quoc via Hoang Lien State Park, trekking through the dramatic landscapes of rural Vietnam on a trek to Ta Van. Along the way, you'll pass by terraced farms ripe with corn and rice, over brooks and through villages. When you arrive in the small village, sit down for a well-earned home-cooked dinner and settle into your local family homestay.
Day 4 - Hiking in Su Pan
This morning you’ll 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, giving you a chance to rest, take a nap or play some road trip games with your fellow travellers. When you arrive back in Hanoi, maybe seek a bird's eye view of the city from one of the popular rooftop bars or stop street side for dinner and unwind with one of the famed iced coffees.
Day 5 - Cycling in Hanoi
Vietnam's capital is best explored on foot, so this morning your 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 date back to the 18th century. This afternoon, jump on a bike for a leisurely cycling trip around Hanoi's West Lake. Tonight you’ll have free time to grab some Bahn Mi or Bun Cha (noodles with grilled meat) for dinner.
Day 6 - Cycling in Mai Chau
Leave Hanoi behind this morning and jump on your bike for a cycling trip to the Mai Chau Valley. There are some great photo opportunities along the way, including the viewpoint of Mai Chau – home to a variety of minority groups with their own unique cultures and languages. You’ll also have 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, lifestyles, customs and culture. This is a great opportunity to experience the local area, chat with your hosts and gain a real insight into life in this region. After lunch, you’ll have some free time before saddling up for another cycling trip to the nearby villages. Back at the homestay tonight, relax with a cold drink while watching the sun set over the mountains.
Day 7 - Cycling in Ninh Binh
After breakfast this morning, you’ll set out again on your bike on a cycling trip from Mai Chau to Ninh Binh – a region well known for its lush green valleys, karst mountains and conservation areas. Ride through more paddy fields, testing your riding skills (or suspension) with shallow potholes and passing farmers drawn by water buffalo. After a day riding through green fields, small villages and waterways, you’ll have a free evening to recharge.
Day 8 - Cat Ba Island
Catch a bus this morning from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong, then jump on a ferry to Cat Ba Island. This island sits at the southeastern edge of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ha Long Bay. Lan Ha Bay, where Cat Ba can be found, is part of Ha Long Bay but with the additional attraction of white-sand beaches. When you arrive, check in to your peaceful hilltop accommodation and soak up a free afternoon by taking it easy in a hammock. Alternatively, you can opt to keep your heart rate up with a hike or a trip to the beach.
Day 9 - Kayaking around Cat Ba Island
Explore the waters and limestone karsts of Lan Ha Bay on a full-day boat trip today. Get up close to the karsts on a short kayak paddle in the still waters beside the tree-clad outcrops – Ha Long Bay's World Heritage designation was extended to the Cat Ba archipelago due to its similar aesthetic of turquoise water and junk boats that are a quintessential picture of Vietnam – and, there are less tourists here, too! You’ll have lunch aboard the boat, with plenty of opportunities for a cheeky selfie. Spend a second night on Cat Ba Island tonight, with the evening free to visit the local restaurants and bars.
Day 10 - Hanoi
Say goodbye to Cat Ba Island this morning and head back to Hanoi. Arrive in the late afternoon and make the most of your free time – maybe head down to the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping or visit one of the city's many museums or historical sites. The Fine Arts Museum and Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison are good options. In the evening, why not head out for a farewell dinner with your group and toast the end of this amazing active adventure.
Day 11 - Hanoi
There are no activities planned after breakfast today and your adventure comes to an end. You're free to leave at any time after check out. If you'd like to extend your stay, just get in touch with your booking agent ahead of time to organise additional accommodation. There's plenty to see if you'd like to continue exploring Hanoi or further afield – maybe hop onto an Urban Adventure tonight and discover more of Hanoi's street food scene.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
14-07-202424-07-2024AUD $ 1,796-
01-09-202411-09-2024AUD $ 2,245-
15-09-202425-09-2024AUD $ 2,355-
20-10-202430-10-2024AUD $ 2,450-
03-11-202413-11-2024AUD $ 2,425-
17-11-202427-11-2024AUD $ 2,475-
01-12-202411-12-2024AUD $ 2,425-
15-12-202425-12-2024AUD $ 2,425-
29-12-202408-01-2025AUD $ 2,450-
05-01-202515-01-2025AUD $ 2,545-
19-01-202529-01-2025AUD $ 2,545-
09-02-202519-02-2025AUD $ 2,545-
23-02-202505-03-2025AUD $ 2,545-
09-03-202519-03-2025AUD $ 2,450-
23-03-202502-04-2025AUD $ 2,450-
06-04-202516-04-2025AUD $ 2,450-
20-04-202530-04-2025AUD $ 2,450-
18-05-202528-05-2025AUD $ 2,355-
15-06-202525-06-2025AUD $ 2,355-
06-07-202516-07-2025AUD $ 2,355-
20-07-202530-07-2025AUD $ 2,355-
10-08-202520-08-2025AUD $ 2,355-
24-08-202503-09-2025AUD $ 2,355-
14-09-202524-09-2025AUD $ 2,355-
28-09-202508-10-2025AUD $ 2,355-
12-10-202522-10-2025AUD $ 2,450-
26-10-202505-11-2025AUD $ 2,450-
02-11-202512-11-2025AUD $ 2,450-
16-11-202526-11-2025AUD $ 2,450-
30-11-202510-12-2025AUD $ 2,545-
14-12-202524-12-2025AUD $ 2,545-
28-12-202507-01-2026AUD $ 2,545-
04-01-202614-01-2026AUD $ 2,235-
18-01-202628-01-2026AUD $ 2,235-
08-02-202618-02-2026AUD $ 2,235-
22-02-202604-03-2026AUD $ 2,235-
08-03-202618-03-2026AUD $ 2,235-
22-03-202601-04-2026AUD $ 2,235-
05-04-202615-04-2026AUD $ 2,235-
19-04-202629-04-2026AUD $ 2,235-
17-05-202627-05-2026AUD $ 2,235-
14-06-202624-06-2026AUD $ 2,235-
05-07-202615-07-2026AUD $ 2,235-
19-07-202629-07-2026AUD $ 2,235-
09-08-202619-08-2026AUD $ 2,235-
23-08-202602-09-2026AUD $ 2,235-
13-09-202623-09-2026AUD $ 2,235-
27-09-202607-10-2026AUD $ 2,235-
11-10-202621-10-2026AUD $ 2,235-
25-10-202604-11-2026AUD $ 2,235-
01-11-202611-11-2026AUD $ 2,235-
15-11-202625-11-2026AUD $ 2,235-
29-11-202609-12-2026AUD $ 2,235-
13-12-202623-12-2026AUD $ 2,235-
27-12-202606-01-2027AUD $ 2,235-

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights),Homestay (3 nights),Lodge (2 nights)

Transport

Private minibus,Bicycle,Boat

Map