North Vietnam and Halong Bay: Meet the Locals


Many people travel to a country, but few people travel in a country, meeting the locals, learning how they live their lives, plow their fields or raise their families. This trip takes you from the very northern areas of Vietnam, bordering on China, down through the central coast and into the Mekong Delta, along the way, you stay with families, learn cooking, watch how people make fishing nets, bike along fields, take boats along narrow canals, kayak in Halong Bay, and truly get to know the Vietnamese people on their level.

Lodging on this trip varies widely from simple homestays to, if you wish, the luxurious Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi. In Halong Bay, you have a private cruise on one of the lovely Bhaya boats. Thus, you can stagger the simple with the beautiful as you travel the country.

This is truly a trip for those who want to delve inside a culture and come home with many new friends.

**Note: you want to arrive in Hanoi on a Tuesday, in order to catch the Sunday Market in Dong Van


Land Cost

Starting at



Based on 4-6 People
(excluding international air)

Custom Dates and Prices Available1.800.670.6984 OR 775.832.5454

ITINERARY at a Glance

Day 1

Arrive in Hanoi; Welcome dinner with a local family.

Day 2

Flower Market, pho breakfast with locals, visit key city sites, private water puppet show, Old Quarter Walk, and late afternoon at Hoan Kiem Lake.

Day 3

Drive Ha Giang stopping along the way. From Ha Giang, drive to Tien Thang Village.

Day 4

Walk around villages in the area, visiting homes and talking with people.

Day 5

Drive Dong Van via Meo Vac.

Day 6

Visit Dong Van Sunday Market and return to Ha Giang via Sa Phin. Visit the Hmong King’s Palace.

Day 7

Drive to Pac Ngoi village in Ba Be Lake area.

Day 8

Cycle around Ba Be and visit cave and waterfalls. Afternoon boat ride on the lake.

Day 9

Drive Back to Hanoi.

Day 10

Visit Hoa Lu, take a sampan through Trang An Caves, and continue on to Ninh Binh.

Day 11

Drive Halong for a Sea Canoe Trip.

Day 12

Sea Canoe Trip in Halong Bay.

Day 13

Return to Haiphong. Fly Danang on VN 1673 (1700/1845). Upon arrival met and drive to Hoi An.

Day 14

Bike through rice paddies, join farmers in their work, boat to fishing village, wander Hoi An.

Day 15

Fly Saigon on VN 107 (0905/1020). Visit Cu Chi via a rice paper making village.

Day 16

Drive Ben Tre. Take boat in the Delta. Bike along village roads and lunch at a local home. Continue to river and then drive a bit to gardens and orchards to meet locals. Return to Saigon. Farewell dinner.

Day 17

Free to wander until transfer to airport for flight home.