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CHARTING CONCEALED CORNERS OF VIETNAM

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Hanoi
  • Ninh Binh
  • Hoa Binh
  • Da River
  • Tien Du
  • Gia Thanh
  • Red River
  • Hai Phong
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Rang Dua
  • Hanoi

16 Days Exploration
  • Departing:
  • 29 Oct 2023 Less than 5 places remain

Authentic Hanoi is revealed through its rich cuisine, culture and history. Hidden rivers reveal rural village scenes during our private charter aboard RV Angkor Pandaw, during which we also discover the verdant countryside of little-known Ninh Binh. Join our group of just 26 guests as we unearth these treasures, which remain largely unknown to most travellers.

Map
Angkor Pandaw
Angkor Pandaw

Private Charter of the RV Angkor Pandaw

Over 10 nights, enjoy the remote river scenes of northern Vietnam from aboard the RV Angkor Pandaw. Just 26 guests will savour the all-inclusive lifestyle, featuring the culinary creations of our onboard chef, and stay in comfortable air-conditioned staterooms. 

Hanoi
Hanoi

Hanoi Revealed

Choose your own discovery of Hanoi. Familiarise yourself with local art during a visit to the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, or the home of a local artist. Or travel by jeep to Huu Tiep Lake and visit the Vietnam Military History and Hoa Lo Prison museums.

Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh

The Riches of Ninh Binh

Towering limestone karsts dot the waters around seldom-visited Ninh Binh. Here, we visit the ancient lake-bound Hoa Lu Citadel. We also see the Bai Dinh Pagoda complex, enclosed by the forested area along Hoang Long River.

 

Rural Life
Rural Life

Secrets of Northern Rivers

Become acquainted with life along the rivers of northern Vietnam. In-between the tiny villages and rice paddies of everyday rural life, we discover signposts of Vietnam’s history, both ancient and ongoing, in its pagodas, temples and citadels.

 

Halong Bay
Halong Bay

The Many Aspects of Ha Long Bay

Explore Ha Long Bay from every angle, while aboard our river ship, as well as by kayak and mountain bike. Our perspective gradually shifts, from admiration for the bay’s sheer beauty, to an appreciation of each intricate corner within the stunning Dark and Bright Cave. 

 

Itinerary

Tour Manager - Dee Greenhill

Tour Doctor - Dr Guy Greenhill

As Your Tour Manager, Dee Greenhill Welcomes You On This Journey

Your Accompanying Tour Doctor For This Journey is Dr Guy Greenhill


Arrive in Hanoi, where we check into the Sofitel Metropole Legend, staying in Premium Rooms.

Get to know Hanoi today with one of the following Your World experiences: 

— Pay a visit to the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum and see how art, culture and history merge in the telling of Vietnam’s stories.
— Discuss the work of a local artist while enjoying a meal at her home. Then view some of her work and learn about ‘Spring Flowers’, a silk painting chosen as a gift for the Swedish embassy.  
— Travel by jeep with a guide to see some of Hanoi’s military landmarks, including the Vietnam Military History and Hoa Lo Prison museums, as well as Huu Tiep Lake.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Afterwards, we adjourn to a local restaurant, where you’ll become acquainted with your fellow travellers during a Welcome Dinner.

Travel south to the little-known area of Ninh Binh and admire the lake-bound Hoa Lu citadel, surrounded by sharply rising, rocky peaks. The imposing Bai Dinh pagoda then bids us welcome. The country’s largest Buddhist temple complex, it comprises several temples and hundreds of individual statues of the Buddha. Our exploration of the Thien Ha cave begins aboard row boats. As we float our way through the water section of the cave, light streams through openings in the rock above. Disembarking our vessels, we set out on foot through the remaining part of the cave, admiring its many stalactites. We then make our way to the Emeralda Resort, Ninh Binh, where we stay, and also dine, this evening.

Discover Ninh Binh’s well-kept secrets further today with a Your World experience:

— From Van Long Nature Reserve, set out on a seven-kilometre bicycle ride to a small village. Here, friendly local farmers impart their knowledge of rural life and teach you their crabbing, fishing and rice-picking methods. 
— Explore the lush forest of Cuc Phuong National Park. Hike with your guide, glimpsing mammals, reptiles and birdlife, and stand before the park’s massive Sequoia tree.

Take this morning on your own schedule before we return to Hanoi. Check into our hotel, then enjoy the tantalising flavours of authentic Vietnamese cuisine at a local restaurant. Retire to your Luxury Room within the Sofitel Metropole Legend this evening.

We depart our hotel today and transfer to Hoa Binh to embark our cruise on the RV Angkor Pandaw. Pull up a deck chair and relax as we set sail late this afternoon. Heading upstream, rocky cliffs concealed beneath flourishing vegetation adorn the shore, and before too long we find ourselves enjoying a magnificent sunset as we cruise further up the Da River and on into the night.

As we journey further along the Da River, several villages of the Muong people appear along the water’s edge. Reaching a large reservoir, we observe the Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant, the largest hydroelectric dam in South-East Asia. This evening, local hill tribe people put on a traditional performance just for us.

This morning, a visit to a local museum enhances our understanding of the region. Our newly acquired knowledge is then placed into context while admiring the traditional dress and customs of the nearby villagers. As we continue sailing downstream along the Da River, we pass through the richly tropical Ba Vi National Park, before arriving at the village of Trung Hà. Afterwards, watch as our chef imparts his fruit-carving skills and demonstrates how to create authentic Vietnamese spring rolls.

The humble structures and easy pace of Duong Lam reflect a time before French colonisation. As we follow the road, charming countryside gives way once more to bustling activity along the river as we make our approach to Viet Tri. This evening, rendezvous in the dining room, where our guide presents a lecture on Vietnam’s history, geography and its people.

Our river ship docks at Tien Du ferry station this morning, and we leave it behind for our visit to the historic Hung Lo Temple. Our journey then continues to Gia Thanh, where the conical hats Vietnam is renowned for are made. Constructed entirely by hand, and known locally as ‘non la’, they are comprised of palm leaves and bamboo. A carpenter’s village, famous for its exquisite carvings and woodworking techniques, further showcases the skills of Vietnam’s artisans during our afternoon outing there.

Today, we step ashore to idyllic views of emerald-green rice paddies punctuated by limestone rock formations. Our travels also take us to the remarkable structures of the Thay and Tay Phuong pagodas. Returning to our ship, a traditional unicorn and lion dance captivates us. Having originated in China, these theatrical street performances have spread widely throughout South-East Asia.

Returning to Hanoi, this time by the river, we visit the notorious former prison known by American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton. Uncover more of Hanoi’s past at the Temple of Literature, then stand before the imposing marble edifice of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This afternoon, learn about Vietnam’s coffee industry during a visit to the Old Quarter.

At Thanh Hà Commune, by a pond of lotus flowers and lilies, we claim our positions beneath the shade and settle in to enjoy the unique stagecraft of a water puppet show, presented exclusively for us. Incorporating rich folklore, the tradition dates back to the 11th century and has its origins in the villages of the Red River Delta. 

Our river voyage now makes its passage into dramatic Ha Long Bay; spectacular limestone islands are scattered exquisitely throughout this vision of utopia. Aboard kayaks, we make our entrance into the sublime Dark and Bright Cave. Here, our upward gaze meets giant stalactites, and we discern the squeaking of bats. Our afternoon is spent cruising Ha Long Bay before we drop anchor in Rang Dua. 

Ha Long Bay’s viridescent islets beg further exploration this morning before we climb aboard mountain bikes or electric buggies and turn our attention to the flourishing hillside scenery surrounding the village of Viet Hai. As the narrow road curves around colossal limestone rock formations, and past small farms, we gain a sense of daily village life here. This afternoon, we cruise toward Lan Ha Bay, where we visit a floating fishing house. 

We sail toward Tuan Chau jetty, where we disembark our ship. From here, we drive to Hanoi, where our journey concludes.

Brochure

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