Day 1: Van Long area
Depart Hanoi for a scenic 2.5 hour drive to Van Long nature reserve. From here enjoy a leisurely cycle through idyllic countryside to visit a market and temple, before visiting a local family in their stilted house where you can help prepare your lunch.
Later explore the fascinating Van Long nature reserve by sampan boat which is one of the most bio-diverse wetlands in Vietnam with a rich variety of flora and fauna. Your luxury hotel tonight is located in the countryside close by and blends Vietnamese style with excellent modern facilities.
Hotel: Emeralda Resort
Day 2: Hoa Lu, Bai Dinh and rowing boat trip
The next day visit the citadel of Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of the Dinh and Le dynasties dating back to the 11th century. Explore some of the remaining temples and then the energetic may like to climb the 200 steps for a stunning view of the countryside. Later visit Bai Dinh pagoda which covers an area of 2000ha making it the largest complex of Buddhist temples in south east Asia.
Afterwards, sit back and relax as you are rowed through spectacular scenery of rice paddies framed by abrupt mountains in an area likened to ‘Halong Bay on land’. Visit the remarkable caves and pagodas of Tam Coc and Bich Dong, before transferring back to Hanoi.