Essence of Ninh Binh: Waterways and Karsts

Cycle through the beautiful countryside of Ninh Binh province, learn how locals live, from farming to feasting, and enjoy a cruise through Vietnam’s largest wetland, Van Long Nature Reserve. Escape the chaos of Hanoi on this refreshing day tour that highlights local rural culture in Vietnam.

Destinations included:
Ninh Binh

We pride ourselves in creating personalised travel experiences that suit all your preferences and needs.

With this tour you can:

  • Choose your own departure date
  • Select the comfort level of accommodation
  • Adjust activities to cater to special interests
  • Modify any aspect of the tour as needed
JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Enjoying the spectacular natural beauty and karst mountains of Ninh Binh - the "Halong Bay on Land"
  • Cycling through verdant rice paddies in remote rural areas surrounded by stunning mountains
  • Trying your hand at rice farming while following the lead of a local
  • Getting a up-close demonstration of traditional cooking and tasting the food after
  • Rowing through caverns that cut their way through mountains along the river
TOUR INCLUSIONS
  • Tours as mentioned and air-conditioned transfers
  • Sightseeing and permit fees during guided times
  • Meals listed in the itinerary
  • Expert English-speaking local guide
  • Boat cruises and rides while on tour
  • Service charges and government VAT tax
TOUR MAP
ITINERARY BY DAY

Meet your guide and driver in the morning and depart Hanoi bound to Ninh Binh Province. Known lovingly as "Halong Bay on land", this stunning province boasts similar limestone karst topography that rises from emerald rice paddy fields and winding rivers. After a two and a half hour drive, arrive in Gia Vien District and swap your car for a bicycle - embark on a short cycling journey through paddy fields en route to the nearby Van Long reservoir area. Along the way, stop at Mai Trung hamlet for an in-depth experience learning how locals here farm and tend to their rice. Follow the lead of your local host for seeding, putting down fertilizer, scooping water or harvesting, depending on the time of year. 

Afterwards, cycle onward to a local family home, and get an up-close demonstration of traditional cooking using rice crackers or fried crab dishes. Then sit down with your family hosts and enjoy these local specialties along with another Vietnamese favourite - rice wine! After lunch, challenge your hosts to a game of chess or kick back for a chat to learn about their lives here.

In the afternoon, reach Van Long wharf and set off on a short boat trip into the reservoir at Van Long Nature Reserve - the largest wetland in northern Vietnam. Float past poetic landscapes and rolling jungle hills that are perfect for photos, before heading back to Hanoi for arrival in the early evening.

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