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Dinh and Le Temple

Dinh Temple was built in the shape of a Chinese character. Through the first entrance called Ngo Mon, there is a stone royal bed with Nghe (imaginary animals of the old times) standing on both sides. Inside the temple is Khai Thanh in worship of Emperor Dinh’s parents.

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The temple consists of three parts: Bai Duong for the community, Thien Huong in honour of mandarins, and Chinh Cung where Dinh Tien Hoang’s statue is located. On his left is the statue of his eldest son Dinh Lien, and on his right are those of Dinh Hang Lang and Dinh Toan. On each side of the altar, there is one stone dragon similar to the ones placed near the royal bed.

Le Temple is almost the same as Dinh Temple in term of architectural design, except for some details. Le Temple also consists of three parts: Bai Duong used for the community, Thien Huong, in memory of the royal mandarins of King Le, and finally, the altar in memory of the King. The Le Hoan Statue is at the centre, on the left is the statue of Queen Duong Van Nga and on his right is that of Le Ngoa Trieu, his fifth son and the third King of the Pre Le Dynasty.

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Bich Dong Pagoda

Not far from Tam Coc sits Bich Dong Pagoda. In 1773, Mr. Nguyen Nghiem (the father of the great writer Nguyen Du) visited this cave. After viewing the whole scenery of the mountains, waterways, fields, and sky covered in green mist, he gave the cave a very beautiful and romantic name, Bich Dong (which literally means “Green Pearl Grotto”). Bich Grotto is said to be the second most beautiful cave in Vietnam.

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Bich Dong Pagoda, built on Ngu Nhac Mountain, is divided into three levels: Ha Pagoda (lower pagoda), Trung Pagoda (middle pagoda), and Thuong Pagoda (upper pagoda). On the mountain peak stands the statue of a scholar Mandarin looking at the horizon in hope of viewing the spectacular landscapes of Hoa Lu.

From the upper pagoda, visitors shall enjoy the most magnificent view of Bich Dong, which is romantically charming in terms of architecture and history. The location for this pagoda was chosen in 1428 after two monks were charmed by the view of the river and the mountains. Later, King Le Canh Hung wrote a poem in honor of the beautiful pagoda and landscape. He was the one who said that Bich Dong Pagoda was the second nicest pagoda in Vietnam, just after Perfume Pagoda in Hanoi (old Ha Tay Province).

Source: Vietnam Discovery

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Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is the tourist destination which will bring you to a few imperial capitals of the country in the ancient and medieval eras. Visiting Hoa Lu, you will not only have a fun and exciting time, but can learn more about culture and history as well.

Hoa Lu covers 300ha with the inner citadel, the outer citadel and the southern citadel. It lies in a flat valley surrounded by Trang An limestone mountains, which form a natural wall protecting the old citadel. The sides of the mountains are linked by sand and brick and the citadel’s foundation is 10m high.

The East has the Cot Co Mountain, which has the national flag of Dai Co Viet. The temple area, to worship kings Dinh and Le, was built there in the 17th century and sculpted of stones.

Entering the main yard, tourists can view the king’s bed made from a carved stone and two statues of lions made from enormous monolithic stones. The two areas to worship the two kings are 50m from one another. They lie in a quiet atmosphere of the ancient capital with many green trees. About 200m farther from King Le Dai Hanh’s temple is Nhat Tru Pagoda, which was built in the reign of King Le Dai Hanh. In front of the pagoda there is a 4.16m high stone pillar of eight sides having the Lang Nghiem prayers inscribed on them by the king. Phat Kim Temple, worshiping the third princess of King Dinh Tien Hoang, is also worth visiting.

Source: Vietnam Discovery

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Trang An Grottoes, Ninh Binh

Trang An Grottoes, Ninh Binh

Coming to Ninh Binh, tourists cannot miss the chance to visit Trang An – an amazing grottoes complex located just 4 km Southwest of Hoa Lu ancient capital. The Trang An Grottoes covers an area of 1,500 hectares including limestone ranges, valleys, caves and rivers. All these factors make Trang An a fanciful and romantic atmosphere.

There is a system of unique grottoes like Ba Giot, Dia Linh, Toi (Dark Cave), Sang (Bright Cave), Ao Trai Cave and Seo Cave. There are many valleys like Tran Temple valley, May valley, Khong Valley, Nau Ruou Valley (Wine brewing valley).

In archeological excavations, people discovered valuable relics like bows, dishes, pots, bricks, tiles and ancient money. Moreover, Trang An Grottoes Area also has old architectural constructions like Vuc Vong temple, Khong residence. The Beauty of new long trans-water grottoes will surprise tourists.

Trang An Grottoes Area is considered as a great rock – garden locating in a vast lake. It is said that, this is the place where Dinh Bo Linh trained his navy soldiers. All the scenes seem to be mingled with which create a particular and interesting space awaking a wide range of mythical imagination.

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Bai Dinh Pagoda

 Bai Dinh Pagoda

Location: Bai Dinh Pagoda is located in Gia Sinh Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province, 12 km from Ninh Binh City, 5 km from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, close to Trang An Tourism Area and 95 km south of Hanoi.

Characteristics: Covering a large area of 700ha, it is the largest pagoda complex in Vietnam with many records.
From the main entrance, the pagoda’s magnificent three-door gate is the biggest of its kind in Vietnam, built with 550 tonnes of iron wood. The gate is flanked by two 5.5m-high solid bronze guard statues (Ho Phap), weighing 12 tonnes each and four pillars tower over the entrance is 13.85m in height and 0.5m in diameter each. Around the gate are eight smaller bronze statues of Kim Cuong angels, each weighing 8 tonnes.

After walking along the corridor of about 1 kilometer where 500 white-stone Arhat statues are placed two sides, there will be the bell tower with the largest bronze 36-ton bell that is hanging here. Each Arhat statue, 2-2.5m in high, 2-2.5 tonnes in weight, is carved from monolithic stone, need one month for completion and different from each other.

Going up is the 800sq.m Kwan Yin Sanctum – a wooden one-layer-roof building with five main chambers and two side chambers. In the centre of the sanctum is the stunning 10m-high bronze statue of Kwan Yin with a thousand eyes and hands. This 40-tonne statue is considered as the biggest Kwan Yin statue in Vietnam.

The Phap Chu Sanctum – an imposing imitation wooden two-layer-curve-roof building – where a 10m-high bronze statue of Lord Buddha sits on his lotus throne situated. This 100-tonne statue has been recognized as the tallest and heaviest bronze depiction of Lord Buddha in the country in 2006 by the Vietnam Guinness Book of Records (Vietbook).

The Tam The Sanctum is located on a high hill at 76m above sea level. This is a majestic, grandiose building with three-layer-curve-roof style and an area of 3000 square meter where three bronze statues represent the past, present and future weighing 50 tonnes each placed.

Far from the large site about 2km is the place where the old Bai Dinh Pagoda located. Almost of all pilgrims and travelers want to reach there. Even this is not short way for walking, it is really a good time for people refresh while strolling. After a long way walk and contemplate around beautiful view, travelers will see a modest three-door gate locates next the roadside. Through the three-door gate, turn to the small path rather slope, go up about more than 200 steps to the top of mountain, an old pagoda appears in ancient and tranquil.

Bai Dinh Pagoda has been attracting a large number of pilgrims, domestic and international tourists. It is one of biggest works which is build to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi in 2010. This impressive complex is waiting for your discovery.

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Cuc Phuong National Park

Located 120 kilometres south of Hanoi, Cuc Phuong national park was established in 1962 and is the oldest national park in Vietnam. Consisting of more than 200 square kilometres of tropical forest and many grottoes, the reserve is rich in wildlife and natural beauty and also possesses historical significance, as prehistoric tools and ancient tombs have been discovered in some of the caves.

The best way to explore the park is by a combination of motorbike or bicycle and foot. The park centre lies 20 kilometres from HQ and reception and is along a paved road, meaning it’s not much fun to walk. It’s not a great deal of fun to cycle either — it’s a hilly road with plenty of 10% inclines to get those legs working – but anyone with a relative degree of fitness will be fine. Both motorbikes and bicycles are available to rent at reception.

You’ll see some sights en route to the centre: Mac Lake is less than two kilometres from reception and so reachable on foot. The lake itself is pretty enough and there is accommodation and a restaurant along its banks. Around five kilometres further on is the cave of prehistoric man, now apparently a refuge for bats. It’s a short but steep walk up to the cave and you will need a torch inside; they are available to rent from the hut next to the car park.

The park centre itself houses a restaurant, a cafe, a shop and more accommodation, and is the start point for a six kilometre walk to the thousand year old tree. The walk is a great way to stretch your legs if you’ve travelled by motorbike, and for those interested in botany there’s plenty to study on the way. You can also take a short detour to visit the Palace Cave. The tree itself is impressive but not worth more than a few minutes, although there’s space to sit and rest ready for the return journey.

There are two options for the return journey: head back the way you came or continue on the loop. Few people take the latter so it provides an opportunity to get away from the crowds and is a more adventurous walk. For adventurous read more hills, unmade paths and trees to clamber over.

For those seeking a longer walk, it is 16 kilometres from the park centre to a Hmong village. This needs to be visited through an organised trip – Cuc Phuong runs a number of tours including overnights in the village. Other walks, such as the fossil and ancient tree loop trail, also require a guide. Check on the Cuc Phuong website or at reception for further details.As well as the natural environment, Cuc Phuong is home to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. This houses around 150 primates from endangered species in large enclosures. The aim of the centre is to release the animals back into the wild, but it often proves difficult to rehabilitate them and they have only released a small number since the centre opened in 1995. It’s open 09:00-11:00 and 13:15-16:00 with guided tours every 30 minutes. Entry is 30,000 VND and tickets should be bought in advance at reception. They are valid for entry to any session.

Over the road from the EPRC is the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), a rescue facility for turtles confiscated from the wildlife trade. The entry hall has some well presented displays detailing the problem and up to 19 species can be seen inside. The TCC is open 09:00-11:00 and 14:00-16:00 daily and is free to enter, with no need for a guide. You might consider making a donation — there’s a box inside.

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Ninh Binh Bicycle Tours

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Lotussia Travel is a Hanoi based tour operator offering a wide selection of bicycle tours Ninh Binh province in the northern Vietnam. There are such tours as day bicycle tours, two-day bicycle tours, three day bike tours which take you to different Ninh Binh travel highlights – Tam Coc, Hoa Lu Dinh and Le temples, Phat Diem Cathedral, Cuc Phuong National Park, Kenh Ga village, Van Long, Trang An, Bai Dinh padoda…

There are two bicycle tour options which are available at Lotussia Travel including easy and fun bicycle tours and active bicycle tours.

Ninh Binh Easy Bicycle Tours.

We call these bicycle tours are “easy and fun bicycle tours” since there are only about two or three hours cycling per day and the bikes we use are classic push bikes.

Customers will be picked up from their hotel in Hanoi and transferred by car to Ninh Binh province. Depending on the biking trail they book, they can be dropped off in Tam Coc, Hoa Lu or Kenh Ga village. Upon their arrival in one of the above places, they take the bikes on the spot and start pedaling  on flat, paved roads, through rural villages and rice fields.

The most popular biking trail Lotussia Travel provides in Ninh Binh province is the cycling trail from Hoa Lu to Tam Coc or vice versa. This biking trail takes about two hours and take you through the rural village of Ninh Binh province.

Another biking trail which also offers great scenery of rural villages are the cycle from Tam Coc to Kenh Ga village or vice versa. There are about 30km to cycle along the Hoang Long rive dyke.

Some other short biking trails are also available in and around Tam Coc.

The bikes we use for this bicycle tours are classic push bikes, Ashama or made in Vietnam Thong Nhat. You take the bikes in our bike store in either Tam Coc or Van Long and enjoy your bicycle in and around these areas. After the bicycle ride, you can either leave your bikes in Tam Coc, Hoa Lu or Kenh Ga village where our local team will take these back to the bike store. After the cycling tour, you will be picked up again and transferred back to Hanoi.

These easy bicycle tours are customized for group tours, family with children and those who just need some fun and easy bike ride, see the rural villages and experience the life of a farmer.

Ninh Binh Active Bicycle Tours.

We also provide lots of active bicycle tours in Ninh Binh province. These can be one day, two day or three day cycling tours. The difference of this option is the use of professional mountain bikes such as trek bikes or giant bikes at 24 speed drive train. These bikes, more reliable for long ride are recommended for individuals, small group size and active adventure travelers, those who would like to keep their trip as active as possible.

Taking these bike tours, you will have the opportunity to cycle for about four – six hours per day. You bike on paved roads, village lanes and also on the back roads.

The most typical tour of this option is the two-day tour which takes you to Cuc Phuong National Park, Hoa Lu and Tam Coc. You are also transferred by car from Hanoi to Ninh Binh province. We take the bikes from our bike store in Hanoi and bring these along with us during the journey. You enjoy the bike ride whenever you like, even before you arrive Tam Coc or Cuc Phuong National park.

A more experienced biking guide is required for these active bicycle tours. The guide must know all the biking trails very well.

Please note Lotussia Travel is specialized in private customized trips. The above Ninh Binh bicycle tours are only some sample itineraries which can be further customized to exactly meet your needs and budget. If you have any question or comment, please do not hesitate to write our team at travel at lotussia.com or visit our official site at www.lotussiatravel.com

Tam Coc Bicycle Tours

Lotussia Travel is a Hanoi based tour operator offering different bicycle tours to Tam Coc, Ninh Binh province in the northern Vietnam. There are such tours as day bicycle tours, two-day bicycle tours, three day bike tours which are arranged in and around Tam Coc. These bicycle are easy and fun since they are customized for group tours and family travel. These cycling tours can be divided into two categories as follows.

Tam Coc Easy Bicycle Tours.

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We call these bicycle tours are “easy” since there are about two hours cycling in Tam Coc and the bikes we use are classic push bikes. Customers will be transferred from Hanoi to Tam Coc by Lotussia Travel car. The drive takes about three hours. Upon their arrival in Tam Coc, they have a two-hour boat trip before starting their cycling adventure. The most popular biking trail in Tam Coc is the ride from Tam Coc to Dinh and Le temples, in Hoa Lu. This bicycle ride takes about two hours and you mostly cycle on flat, paved roads and through rural villages and rice fields.

Another biking trail you can do in Tam Coc is the ride from Tam Coc to Thai Vy temple, Bich Dong pagoda and the rural village is located next to the boat pier. This biking trail is shorter as it only takes one hour and a half.

The bikes we use for this bicycle tours are classic push bikes, Ashama or Thong Nhat. You take the bikes in Tam Coc, enjoy your bicycle tours. After the bicycle ride, you can either leave your bikes in Tam Coc or Hoa Lu. Our local team will take these back to our bike store in Tam Coc. Then you are transferred to Hanoi by the same car.

These easy bicycle tours are customized for group tours, family with children.

Tam Coc Active Bicycle Tours.

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The active bicycle tours are also provided in Tam Coc area. These can be one day, two day or three day cycling tours. Therefore, the difference of this option is the use of professional mountain bikes such as trek bikes at 24 speed drive train. There are about four to six hours cycling per day.

We need to bring these bikes from our bike store in Hanoi. Can enjoy the bicycle ride whenever you like while traveling from Hanoi to Tam Coc and vice versa. An more experienced biking guide is also required for these active bicycle tours. The guide need to know all the biking trails as well as the optional rest stops.

Please note the above Tam Coc bicycle tours are only some sample itineraries which can be further customized to exactly meet your needs and budget. If you have any question or comment, please do not hesitate to write our team at travel at lotussia.com or visit our official site at www.lotussiatravel.com

Cuc Phuong National Park hiking tours (2 days)

The overnight tour is arranged in the northern Vietnam, taking to Cuc Phuong national park and Tam Coc, Ninh Binh province. The highlights of the trip are a 5-hour jungle trek and a sampan cruise tour in Tam Coc. Discover the park’s biodiversity and variety of endangered species and spend a night at local home in a Muong village (homestay). This 2-day tour is a easy/medium difficulty and ideal for small group tours, holidays with kids, active travelers and nature lovers. The Tam Coc boat trip is also fun and interesting as it offers the wild nature, beauty of the rock formations. This tour can also be combined with an easy countryside cycling tour in Tam Coc or other short excursions to Van Long, Trang An, Phat Diem… Contact Lotussia Travel for more details.

Cuc Phuong National Park hiking tours (2 days)

Itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi – Cuc Phuong National Park.

At 7:00 am, you will be picked up by Lotussia local guide and driver and transferred then to Ninh Binh. We will arrive at Cuc Phuong National Park after about 2.5 hours (120 km) then we visit the Rescue Center where we will see and learn about the park’s biodiversity and variety of endangered species.

Our long trek (18km) begins here and takes us through the life and songs of the local rain forests. A picnic lunch is served on the way. After 5 hours of hiking, learning about fauna and flora, and picturesque sightseeing en route, we arrive at a village of the Muong minority people where we will spend the night. Overnight in the stilt-house.

Day 2: Cuc Phuong – Tam Coc – Hanoi.

After breakfast, we will goodbye to the warm-hearted villagers and we take our short walk of 4 kilometers to the main road where we will get picked up again by our car and transferred to Tam Coc, Vietnam’s Inland Halong.

Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will take a boat for a couple of hours down a small stream passing rice paddies and on through the three caves of Tam Coc. Off of the boat, we will take our car for our drive back to Hanoi. We will arrive in Hanoi late in the afternoon. End tour.

Lotussia Travel is a Hanoi based tour operator offering a wide selection of trekking tours in all over Vietnam. The above trekking tour is only a sample we list on this site for your reference. That can be flexible, customizable and subject to weather conditions and other circumstances. We have lots of other itineraries we don’t put all here since there are some dishonest individuals have copied, without our agreement our contents and pasted on their site for commercial purpose. If you need further information or have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to seeing you soon in Vietnam!

Vietnam bike tours: Cycling Hanoi Mai Chau Pu Luong Nature Reserve Tam Coc (5 days)

The 5-day bicycle tour, provided by Lotussia Travel to the Vietnam north-western area includes such travel highlights as Hanoi city tour by bike, cycling Mai Chau village, biking Pu Luong Nature Reserve and bike riding in Tam Coc or “Halong bay inland”. We us private A/c vehicle for transfers and support and professional trek bikes. English-speaking tour guide is also provided for the 5-day cycling tour. Begin the tour with an easy bicycle in Hanoi city and continue your cycling adventures with riding through local Thai, Muong hamlets, rice paddy and pop corn fields. Spending the night at local homes (homestay) and eating local simple foof also offers a real life experience. The biking tour is available all year round but the best period are May and October. Contact Lotussia Travel for more details.

Vietnam bike tours: Cycling Hanoi Mai Chau Pu Luong Nature Reserve Tam Coc (5 days)

Itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi city tour by bike (B,L).

After breakfast, enjoy a half day tour of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. The tour includes such highlights as the Ho Chi Minh complex, the Temple of Literature, Ngoc Son temple. Walking around the Old Quarter.

In the afternoon, our biking guide will take you to our bike store, where you will test the bike with your selected frame size. You can also put your gear on the bike for your convenience. Please arrange stuff for 4 night trip in your backpacks/bags, the rest of your stuff can be stored in hotel.

Day 2: Drive Hanoi – Mai Chau. Start cycling Mai Chau valley (B,L,D).

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Hoa Binh province (to our biking start point) where you start cycling on the back road. It s nice and peaceful countryside view.

Arriving in Cun hill, you will be picked up by your vehicle and transferred to a local restaurant for lunch.

After lunch, you will be taken to Ba Kan village for second bike ride of the day. The afternoon ride is through the village of the Muong people in the vallage floor and along the Da river reservoir, it s back road with view of the village and water.

Late of the day, we arrive in Village of the Thai People, where we have dinner prepared by local Thai family and overnight on the stilt house and explore the local culture.

Day 3: Continue cycling Mai Chau – Pu Luong Nature Reserve (B,L,D)

Pu Luong Nature Reserve is situated in Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc districts of Thanh Hoa Province, North Central Coast region of Vietnam. The reserve is located along two parallel mountain ridges, that run from north-west to south-east, and are divided by a central valley, which contains several human settlements and a large agricultural land area, therefore, is not included within the nature reserve. Pu Luong is endowed with great biodiversity, its flora and fauna is closely associsted with the Cuc Phuong National Park 25 km south-east.

After Breakfast and farewel to the host, we cycle to Pu Luong Nature Reserve. We cycle on a dirt road through local Thai and Muong villges. Stops may be made en route for you to take picture and to visit local homes. Then Go on cycling on the Road 15 C untill we will get to a Thai village where we have lunch.

Afternoon is free for walking around this village. Diner and overnight in a local stilt house.

Day 4: Continue biking Pu Luong Nature Reserve –  Tam Coc (B,L,D)

After breakfast, we leave the village biking on a dirt roads with fews up and downhill rides. We then pedal on the Ho Chi Minh trails. It s an easy ride today with scenic highway. When we get to the left turn, we will get the transfer to Tam Coc.

Dinner and overnight in Tam Coc at hotel.

Day 5: Tam Coc boat trip. Return Hanoi (B,L)

After breakfast, we get on board for a 2hr boat ride on the Ngo Dong river, Tam Coc to enjoy the “ Halong bay on land” and go through 3 caves. The boat row finish after 1,5hrs then we continue to cycle through countryside villages, rice fields to Hoa Lu ancient capital, Van Long and back road til we readh the Highway 1 where we finish cycling and get transferred to Hanoi. Upon arrival, you will be dropped off at your hotel in Hanoi (own arrangements). The end of Lotussia Travel service.

Need more information? Contact us

Biking to Tam Coc and Cuc Phuong National Park (2 days)

The overnight bicycle tour is customized for small groups and family tours. Begin the two-day tour with a car transfer out of Hanoi to Hoa Lu, first Vietnam capital where you starting cycling on quiet back roads to Tam Coc, “Halong bay in-land”. Enjoy a sampan cruise tour in Tam Coc before you continue cycling through agricultural villages, rice fields to Cuc Phuong national park. You mostly cycle on paved roads where there is little traffic. We use support vehicle and imported mountain bikes, trek bikes to make sure that you have a safe and pleasant biking trip. Contact Lotussia travel for more details.

Biking to Tam Coc and Cuc Phuong National Park (2 days)

Itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc (L,D).

8:00: You will be met up by Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi (Please advise your hotel name upon your confirmation).

Depart for Ninh Binh enjoying beautiful landscape of the Red River Delta and firstly visit Hoa Lu old capital (968-1009) with two temples of two Kings. After that we start cycling to Tam Coc through the beautiful villages and landscapes.

We will arrive in Tam Coc around noon. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in Tam Coc.

After lunch we take the boat trip to see Tam Coc that means ”three lakes” and is called ” Halong Bay on land ”, really amazing with the rocky mountains, and you will be completely dazzle when paddling through the green paddy fields on two sides of the lakes and more interesting to go through three caves. It takes about 2 and a half hour to discover the beauty of the nature here before getting off boat to visit an old temple (Thaivi Temples), That is located on a nice scenery and more interesting to know about its history.

Check in hotel. Take the rest before cycling through the rice fields and beautiful rocky mountains to visit Bich Dong pagoda and a cave.

Overnight in Tam Coc in a hotel.

Day 2: Cycling to Cuc Phuong National Park. Travel back to Hanoi (B,L).

Today we cycle about 30 km on the panoramic road to Cuc Phuong National Park. We will go through the pineapple plantations, valleys, villages, meeting friendly locals along the way.

Arrive in Cuc Phuong national park about at noontime, we enjoy our lunch at the local restaurant here.
Afterwards we cycle about 2 hours through the National Park and make a couple of stops to visit Cave of Ancient Men, and take a walk (optional) before travelling back to Hanoi.

Arrive Hanoi around late afternoon. You will be dropped off at your hotel in Hanoi. End of Lotussia Travel service.

Need more information? Contact us

North Vietnam cycling tour: Biking Hanoi Hoa Lu Tam Coc Kenh Ga village (2 days)

The two-day bicycle tour customized small group tours, family travel, holidays with kids and active travelers, those looking a medium bicycle tour to the northern Vietnam. Begin the overnight cycling tour with a car transfer from Hanoi to Hoa Lu, Vietnam ancient capital in Ninh Binh province. You then cycle on paved roads, passing through agricultural villages and rice fields. You mostly bike on flat roads with little traffic, meeting up with local friendly farmers and seeing beautiful rock formations along the ride. Contact Lotussia Travel for more details.

North Vietnam cycling tour: Biking Hanoi Hoa Lu Tam Coc Kenh Ga village (2 days)

Itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc (L,D).

8:00: You will be met up by Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi (Please advise your hotel name upon your confirmation).

Depart for Ninh Binh enjoying beautiful landscape of the Red River Delta and firstly visit Hoa Lu old capital (968-1009) with two temples of two Kings. After that we start cycling to Tam Coc through the beautiful villages and landscapes.

We will arrive in Tam Coc around noon. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in Tam Coc.

After lunch we take the boat trip to see Tam Coc that means ”three lakes” and is called ” Halong Bay on land ”, really amazing with the rocky mountains, and you will be completely dazzle when paddling through the green paddy fields on two sides of the lakes and more interesting to go through three caves. It takes about 2 and a half hour to discover the beauty of the nature here before getting off boat to visit an old temple (Thaivi Temples), That is located on a nice scenery and more interesting to know about its history.

Check in hotel. Take the rest before cycling through the rice fields and beautiful rocky mountains to visit Bich Dong pagoda and a cave.

Overnight in Tam Coc in a hotel.

Day 2: Cycling to Kenh Ga village. Travel back to Hanoi (B,L,D).

After breakfast, we continue our tour by cycling about 30km through many villages, enjoying beautiful scenery of the countryside, with the rice fields, rocky mountains near and far, water buffalos and see people daily life.

We arrive Kenh Ga floating village where we have lunch and do an interesting boat trip to witness people daily life on water, and activities on the banks of the river and car back to Hanoi .

Need more information? Contact us for more details.

Hoa Lu and Tam Coc cycling tour (one day)

The one day cycling tour, provided by the Hanoi based tour operator Lotussia Travel takes you to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc, Ninh Binh province. You travel by car from Hanoi to Hoa Lu where you will make a stop visiting the Dinh and Le temples before embarking on a push-bike and start your fun bicycle ride from Hoa Lu to Tam Coc. You cycle on paved roads, through rice fields and local agricultural villages. Most of the bicycle ride is on a peaceful inter-communal routes where the traffic is not two busy. After the bicycle ride from Hoa Lu to Tam Coc, you can either enjoy a sampan cruise tour or another cycling trip around Tam Coc before getting on your car again for the journey back to Hanoi. Contact Lotussia Travel for more details.

Hoa Lu and Tam Coc cycling tour (one day)

Itinerary:

8:00 am: You will be met up with Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi (please advise your hotel name).

Head south for the three-hour drive along Highway One.

Upon your arrival in Hoa Lu around 11:00, visit the Dinh and Le sanctuaries. These are the two remaining temples of the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu. The first is dedicated to Dinh Tien Hoang (also known as Dinh Bo Linh), an Emperor from the Dinh Dynasty. The second commemorates the rulers of the Le Dynasty.

Then, we move on to Hoa Lu enjoying one hour cycling through peaceful countryside villages.

Arrive in Tam Coc and have lunch in a local restaurant.

After lunch, take a three-hour boat trip along the Boi River. This area is rightly often referred to as the “Ha Long Bay on land” due to the similar topography.

Return back to Hanoi at 18:00. End trip.

Need more information? Contact us

About Dinh & Le temples in Hoa Lu:

Dinh Temple was built in the shape of a Chinese character. Through the first entrance called Ngo Mon, there is a stone royal bed with Nghe (imaginary animals of the old times) standing on both sides. Inside the temple is Khai Thanh in worship of Emperor Dinh’s parents.

The temple consists of three parts: Bai Duong for the community, Thien Huong in honour of mandarins, and Chinh Cung where Dinh Tien Hoang’s statue is located. On his left is the statue of his eldest son Dinh Lien, and on his right are those of Dinh Hang Lang and Dinh Toan. On each side of the altar, there is one stone dragon similar to the ones placed near the royal bed.

Le Temple is almost the same as Dinh Temple in term of architectural design, except for some details. Le Temple also consists of three parts: Bai Duong used for the community, Thien Huong, in memory of the royal mandarins of King Le, and finally, the altar in memory of the King. The Le Hoan Statue is at the centre, on the left is the statue of Queen Duong Van Nga and on his right is that of Le Ngoa Trieu, his fifth son and the third King of the Pre Le Dynasty.

About Tam Coc:

Tam Coc means three tunnel caves, entailing Ca Cave, Hai Cave and Ba Cave. Tam Coc can also be called Tam Thuy Dong as the Ngo Dong River wends through all three tunnel caves that have bored through the limestone hills.

The enchanting world of Tam Coc can only entered from the Van Lam Wharf. Here, visi-tors travel by rowboat on the Ngo Dong River about 3km to visit all three caves. The first is Ca Cave which is 127m long and 20m wide. The next is Hai Cave of 60m long and 18m wide which is reached by traveling about 1km from Ca Cave. And the last is Ba Cave with 50m long and 18m wide located near Hai Cave These caves are adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and colors that sparkle like gemstones.

This is very peaceful and scenic trip while admiring a magnificent view of the river, mountain, and caves. Worth visiting Tam Coc takes place in March, or the end May and early June. In March, the Ngo Dong River peacefully blends with green rice fields and cotton trees having red flowers in the spring. At the end of May and early June, the Ngo Dong River goes together with fields of ripe rice covered the yellow color. During the time, boats carrying tourists in and out of Tam Coc are mingled with the locals transporting harvested rice.

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Trekking Sapa hilltribe villages and Kayaking Halong bay (7 days)

The 7-day tour is a combination of Sapa villages trek and Halong bay cruise tour. You meet up with different ethnic groups as you hike from village to village. Spending the night at local home (homestay) also offers a real life experience. The trek is a medium difficulty that is recommended to parents, children travelling in dry season. The overnight cruise tour to Halong bay is most beautiful in summer time when it is hot and sunny. The multi activity tour can be extended with other breaks such as spa package, homestay, Tam Coc sampan cruise tour, cooking class, hanoi countryside cycle or rock climbing vacations…Contact your Lotussia Travel consultant for more details.

Trekking Sapa hilltribe villages and Kayaking Halong bay (7 days)

Day 1: Overnight train to Lao Cai.

In the evening, transfer to Hanoi Railways Station to take the night train to Laocai. Departure at???. Overnight on the train.

Day 2: Arrive Lao Cai. Travel to Sapa. Trekking Sapa hilltribe villages (Tram Ton – Sin Chai).

Arrive Lao Cai Railway Station early this morning. You will be picked up by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to Sapa.

Breaffast will be provided in a local restaurant in town.

Transfer to Silver Waterfall where you will be able to take a short walk to the waterfall. You will then drive further to Heaven Gate, the highest peak of roads in Vietnam. From there you can see Fansipan, the highest peak of Indochina mountains as well as enjoy stunning views. We start descending nearby the waterfall. The trail takes you all the way downhill through bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park.

Your lunch will be served at a nice spot nearby a river.

After lunch, you continue the trek to Sin Chai village of Black Hmong minority, where Community Based Tourism in Sapa takes place. You will have opportunity to explore daily life of one of the largest group ethnic minorities in Sapa area.

Homestay in a local house.

Day 3: Continue hiking Sapa (Sin Chai – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho)

After having breakfast, you start heading up the mountain. Once you get to the top, you will trek on a small trail with spectacular view and then gradually descend to Cat Cat village, where you will have lunch nearby a waterfall.

In the afternoon, you take a trail sneaking through mountain. You also will enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. Eventually you will arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest in a nice spot nearby the beautiful river.

The night will be spent in a local house in Y Linh Ho village.

Day 4: Continue Sapa valley trek (Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van)

Today’s trek will continue along Hoang Lien mountain range, which offers you many opportunities to enjoy view over huge rice paddy terraces in Muong Hoa valley, the largest one in the area.

After lunch at a nice spot, you descend into the bottom of the valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route.

You spend the night in a traditional house of Giay minority. You will be able to take a walk to enjoy the valley view as well as swim in the river nearby.

Day 5: Trekking Ta Van – Su Pan. Return Sapa town. Travel to Lao Cai. Overnight train back to Hanoi.

Today’s trek is short, but still the landscape is beautiful. Once you get energy for your last day trek after having breakfast, you leave for Giang Ta Chai village where you can take a rest nearby a waterfall for lunch.

After passing trough the bamboo forest we will find a nice place to enjoy lunch. After lunch we continue towards Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. After taking a rest nearby a waterfall to refresh, you start climbing uphill to a road where the car is ready for your journey back to Sapa, then down to Lao Cai Railways Station.

Take the night train back to Hanoi. Departure ??? Overnight on the train.

Day 6: Arrive Hanoi. Travel to Halong bay. Boat junk cruise and sea kayaking tour.

Arrive early this morning in Hanoi. You will be picked up again by Lotussia Travel guide, driver and transferred to a local restaurant in town for breakfast.

At 8:30, depart to Halong Bay. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Halong Bay at any spot that you wish to visit (if weather permits). Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner.

Overnight on board junk.

Day 7: Halong bay – Hanoi.

Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City.

At 11:00, disembark at the dock at Halong City. Transfer back to Hanoi.

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North Vietnam Remote Villages Trek and Overland Tour: Travel Hanoi Lao Cai Bac Ha Ha Giang Cao Bang (11 days)

The 11-day tour is a combination of a challenging trek to Bac Ha and Ha Giang remote hill tribe villages with an overland tour to the less travelled places of the northern Vietnam including Thong Nguyen, Ha Giang, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Bao Lac, Cao Bang. The holiday adventure begins in Hanoi with an overnight train to Lao Cai. From Lao Cai, you travel to Bac Ha and then Ha Giang province. The tour can be extended with a tour to Cao Bang, Ba Be National park or Lai Chau, Dien Bien Phu. Contact your Lotussia Travel consultant for more details.

North Vietnam Remote Villages Trek and Overland Tour: Travel Hanoi Lao Cai Bac Ha Ha Giang Cao Bang (11 days)

Day 1: Overnight train to Lao Cai.

You come to Hanoi train station and take the night train for Laocai. Train???. Departure at ???. Overnight on board train.

Day 2: Arrive Laocai. Travel to Bac Ha.

Arrive at Lao Cai Railway station early this morning at ??? (to be confirmed). You will be greeted by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to a local restaurant for early breakfast.

After a short rest, travel to Bac Ha. If today falls into Sunday, you will have the opportunity to visit the Bac Ha market, the biggest market in the area.

Every Sunday, different ethnic groups come to the market  to sell their homemade products or buy something for the family. They are Hmong, Phu La, Back Dzao, Tay or Nung minorities. Some of these ethnic minorities can’t be met in any other areas.

Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in town.

In the afternoon, enjoy a short easy walk to a H’mong village near Bac Ha town.

Dinner and overnight in Bac Ha.

Day 3: Bac Ha – Ha Giang. Start trekking Ha Giang villages.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Lung Phin commune where you will begin your Ha Giang trek along a narrow trail on steep hillsides.

Keep trekking until you arrive Lu Suoi Tung village where you will make a stop to have lunch (lunch can be either picnicked or prepared on the spot in a local house).

After lunch, continue trekking through the forest to the top of Ta Cu Ty mountain range (hard trek) and then downhill to a Red Dzao village.

Dinner and homestay in a stilt house.

Day 4: Continue trekking through remote hill tribe villages.

After breakfast, you will leaving the Ta Cu Ty village spending the whole morning trekking along a large path (medium trek). The trek offers great view over a Nung village.

Lunch will be provided en route.

After lunch, you will follow a narrow footpath trekking for about three more hours up and downhill through the thick forest (hard trek). Visit the rock-field with scripts carved by ancient peoples. Arrive the village around late afternoon.

Dinner and homestay in a local house.

Day 5: Continue trekking Ha Giang remote villages.

Breakfast and then leaving Nam Chien Village at 08.30am. Transfer along the paved road for 14 km over the Gio mountain pass through thick rain forest to the southern side. From here, enjoy a leisure walk for 3 hours through Nam Nhung and Khau Rom village of the Tay and Zao peoples along the narrow valley of the Nam Li River.

Lunch break near a suspension bridge.

Cross the Nam Li River to the southern bank, trekking uphill to Quang Thuong Village and then downhill to Nam Choong Village of the Zao peoples which is beautifully set on the southern bank of Nam Li River and endowed by nature with a mineral hot spring.

Day 6: Continue trekking Ha Giang remote villages.

Today is probably the most interesting day of the whole trip for the superb scenery and wild nature which changes after every quarter trekking. But is also the greatest challenge so far.

After enjoying easy walk the the Nam Ly Valley, the trail gets tougher uphill for over an hour to Cao Son Village of the Hmong and Zao. Then, leaving the large path for a narrow trail which winds through tea farm and later thick forest aprrox.1,5 hour. Great challenging amidst wild nature! Lunch break at the top of a
mountain before getting downhill to Trung Son Village of the Nung.

Afternoon trek become easier along a narrow valley for nearly 2 hour to Tan Minh village of the Red Zao, then onto the center of Ho Thau Commune. Take an easy walk in late afternoon for 20 minutes to home stay.

Day 7: Continue trekking. Travel to Thong Nguyen.

It is an easy day today.

Leaving home stay after breakfast and trekking for the whole morning along a narrow but rather good trail through Ho Thau Valley passing charming villages of the Zao and Nung ethnic peoples scattering on hill sides.

Long lunch break near Nam Son Bridge with swimming possibility in the clear water of the Nam Dich River.
Picked up and transfer by road to Panhou ecolodge at Thong Nguyen Commune.

The rest of the afternoon is set at leisure for freshen up or walking to explore the surrounding of Panhou.

Day 8: Thong Nguyen – Bac Me.

After breakfast, you continue your trip driving to the top of the mountain where you make a short stop for great view of the region. Then descend to the lowland.

After about one hour drive, you will arrive Nam An, used to be a narrow and deep valley, built into a lake for water storage to run a hydraulic power plant and now has become spectacular lake with a peninsular for eco-tourist sport.

Spend an hour walking around the lake visiting a local Red Zao village.

Lunch will be provided in a local silt house.

Continue your road trip to Ha Giang town, and then on to Bac Me.

Arriving in Bac Me town around late afternoon, check into a local guesthouse for overnight.

Day 9: Bac Me – Meo Vac – Dong Van.

Check out hotel at 08.00 and depart for Meo Vac.

The first portion of the road weaves its way along the the Gam river amongst high mountains and thick forests. Crossing the Gam river and following the newly built road, you will arrive Niem Son commune where we will spend almost an hour visiting the local market (if any) and a small village of the H’mong ethnic peoples.
Drive uphill through the remote and deserted region to Meo Vac. Getting close to Meo Vac, there appeared some small hamlets of the H’mong built on the immense limestone hill sides. Stop for visiting one of these hamlets for the first impression of the very hard life on this mysterious limestone highland.

Arriving in Meo Vac at noon, take a quick look at the market (if Sunday)and lunch break.

After Lunch, visit a small village of the Lolo, an ethnic group with only about 4,700 peoples near the town before leaving Meo Vac . Then continue driving to Dong Van.

Check into a local hotel for overnight.

Day 10: Dong Van – Lung Cu – Vuong Palace – Pho Bang – Yen Minh – Quan Ba.

Check out hotel at 08.00 and drive to Lung Cu. Visit a village of the H’mong ethnic and a village of the Red Lolo in Lung Cu then move on to the Vuong Family Palace once ruled over the H’mong in the region and popularly known as King of the H’mong.

Then travel to Pho Bang ancient town. Walking for about an hour to explore this town which is featured with two storey wooden houses, clay walled, Yin and Yang tiled roofs and leisure atmosphere.

Leaving Pho Bang, you travel downhill to Yen Minh town where your lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in town.

After lunch, drive uphill of a long and high mountain pass. Take a break at the foot of the pass and visit a village of the La Chi, another small ethnic group with only over 3,000 individuals in Vietnam whose culture is really unique and strong.

Arrive in Quan Ba around late afternoon. Check in hotel for freshen up and relax. Overnight in Quan Ba.

Day 11: Quan Ba – Ha Giang – Ha Noi.

Breakfast and check out hotel.

Driving uphill to the top of Quan Ba mountain pass, stop for admiring the great view of Quan Ba valley. Then driving few kilometers further for visiting two more hill tribe villages – one village of the H’mong with traditional living style of the highlander ethnics and the other, a village of the Kinh peoples immigrated to the region in 1980s.

Driving for another hour and take a coffee stop at Ha Giang town before continue your journey back to Hanoi.

Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant en route.

Arrive in Hanoi in late afternoon. End trip.

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