Hanoi – Arrival
Arrive at Noi Bai International Airport, meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The driving distance is approximately 45 minutes.
Hanoi City Tour – Halong Bay
Morning, we visit Ho Chi Minh Complex which features the life of Ho Chi Minh, the nation’s founder. At the complex, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where the nation’s founder’s body is preserved (closed on Monday, Friday and through October - November) and the rural style house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked. Stop by one of Hanoi’s icons, the One Pillar Pagoda, built in the 11th Century in dedication to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara or Buddha of Compassion and reminiscent of a lotus blossom rising from a pond. Continue to the Temple of Literature, known as the first university of Vietnam built in 1070 by the Ly Dynasty to honor Confucius, sages and outstanding Vietnamese scholars.
Afternoon, we transfer to Ha Long Bay, which is about 160 km or 3.5-hour drive away. On the way, you will see some rural areas of the Red River Delta with plenty of chances to take photos of Vietnamese farmers working in paddy fields. Stop half way to visit a handicraft workshop of fine clothes and embroidered paintings. Arrive in Ha Long City check in hotel for refresh.
Halong – Hanoi
Morning, boarding a cruise boat to explore the legendary Ha Long Bay. Ha Long means Descending Dragon in Vietnamese as legend has it that a holly dragon landed down here from sky. The bay, famous as one of the world’s wonders and heritage sites whose formation dates back 500 million years, consists of around 2,000 karst islands and islets scattered over an area of 1,553 km2. The boat will stop at Dau Go Island for you to visit Thien Cung Cave (Heaven Palace) and Dau Go Cave (Wooden Stakes). Dau Go Cave in 13th Century was a depot to store pointed wooden stakes, which later were used by Vietnamese great military commander Tran Hung Dao to trap and puncture Mongolian naval boats in famous battles of Bach Dang. Continue cruising while fresh seafood lunch is served on board. Return to the dock, disembark and transfer back to Hanoi
Hanoi Dong Ngac Village - Shopping
8:30: You will arrive in Dong Ngac, an ancient village recognized as a Cultural Heritage Site in honor of the unusual number of well-educated and accomplished people from here who rose to high ranks in the mandarin system under the kings of Vietnam.
Here, you will first visit the bustling local market which is bursting with the scents and colors of local life. With the help of your guide, you can chat with the vendors and purchase some items appropriate as offerings for the ancestral houses you will visit in the village.
From Dong Ngac Market it is a short walk to your host family’s house, where you’ll enjoy a welcome drink and prepare to explore the village by bicycle.
09:30: On your bike, you will meander through winding village lanes to reach Dong Ngac Communal House, the ceremonial center of village life. The carefully designed grounds and traditional architecture of the communal house give it a truly special atmosphere.
From here you will visit the oldest house in the village, preserved for more than 300 years, which belongs to the Do family, or stop by the Nguyen family home which was given to the family by the king. You will also pass by the village gate and its oldest school, built in 1921.
10:30: Returning to your host family’s home, you’ll be treated to a private Vietnamese cooking demonstration. After watching your host you can try your own hand at the dish of the DAY and then, best of all, enjoy the results with your lunch! After lunch you’ll have some time to sit back and relax in the peaceful, lush garden atmosphere of this village home. All too soon it is time to say goodbye to your new friends and catch your van for the short drive back to Hanoi center.
13:00: Arrive back to Hanoi, end of services
Afternoon, free at leisure for shopping in the old Quarter, Dong Xuan market (local product), Trang Tien Plaza (brand name product), Royal City (shopping mall & entertainment, Kid city) or you also can visit Bat Trang (pottery village – 20km from city), Ha Dong silk village (15km from city). Dinner at local restaurant & Overnight at hotel in Hanoi
Hanoi – Departure
Leisure time until transfer to the airport for departure flight