Embark on the ultimate trekking adventure in Pu Luong and discover the ancient history of Vietnam in Ninh Binh!
Calling all nature lovers and adventure seekers to discover the hidden charms of Pu Luong and Ninh Binh! We will trek through the unspoiled nature of Pu Luong and discover the natural beauty of the area. Moreover, we will also visit the home of ethnic minority groups and learn about the local culture. While in Ninh Binh, we will uncover the ancient history of Vietnam and enjoy the beautiful Ha Long Bay of the land in Trang An. Come and join us on this amazing trekking adventure!
Day 1 – Hanoi / Pu Luong
Let’s escape from the bustling Hanoi and head down to the beautiful Pu Luong Nature Reserve! After we pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi, we will drive towards our destination on our limousine bus. Located just around 160 kilometres south of Hanoi, we need to ride for around 4.5 hours with several interesting stops along the way. We will have a short break at Luong Son where you can take in the serene countryside vibe and admire the extensive green valleys. We will continue our drive along the scenic Thung Khe Pass and enjoy the verdant mountain landscapes before we arrive at the local market of Muong ethnic minority. You can observe how the locals go about their daily activities and shop around for local goods here. At noon, we will head towards our accommodation at Pu Luong Nature Reserve after a short transfer into a van in Mai Chau.
We will check in to our respective room and enjoy our lunch at the Pu Luong Eco Garden – The Mountain Retreat hotel. In the afternoon, we will board our van to reach the trailhead of our trekking route to the rural area where the Thai ethnic minority groups reside. We will visit the villages of Chieng Lau, Yen and Ba where we can learn more about the local traditions. We will trek through the small country roads along the rice terraces and sugarcane plantations as well as traverse the suspension bridges to reach these remote villages. Once we have completed this trekking course, we will unwind onboard the bamboo raft and cruise down the Cham River. We will return to the hotel and indulge in a delicious barbecue dinner before retreating for the night.
Day 2 – Pu Luong / Hieu Waterfall / Ban Hieu
Today, we will embark on the ultimate trekking adventure as we trek through tougher terrains and cover a longer distance than our previous route. However, you can rest assured as we are going to be rewarded with more spectacular scenery! After fueling up with a hearty breakfast, we will head towards Pho Doan where our trek route begins. If your visit coincides with Thursday or Sunday morning, we will visit the local market and experience the local lifestyle here. On other days, we will commence our trekking once we arrive at Pho Doan.
The route for the day is quite challenging as we need to hike up and down the hilly roads through the paddy fields and lush jungles for around 10 kilometres to reach the magnificent Hieu Waterfall. We will recharge with scrumptious lunch and enjoy it by the waterfall once we arrive here. You are free to spend the entire afternoon on your own to explore the waterfall and its surroundings. Feel free to dip in the refreshing pool or wander around the nearby jungle. While doing so, don’t forget to admire the Hieu Waterfall which has been dubbed as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam! At 5 pm, we will head to the rustic Ban Hieu Nature Homestay where we will spend the night with the local family. We are going to have home cooked dinner and taste the local rice wine while interacting with the family and learning about the local traditions. Return to your bamboo bungalow and experience peaceful night amidst the jungle.
Day 3 – Ban Hieu / Ninh Binh
Wake up early in the morning and enjoy the warm Vietnamese hospitality while having your breakfast at the homestay! After bidding our host goodbye, we will board the van to Pu Luong and continue our trekking for the day. We will visit the Black Thai ethnic minority village of Kho Muong which is located deep inside the mountain and forest. As the village is isolated from other villages in the area, you can expect some climbing on the hilly off beaten paths for around 6 kilometres and we have to cross the stream before we arrive at the Kho Muong Village.
Besides discovering the local culture, we will also visit the largest cave in Pu Luong located near the village. We will explore the Doi Cave (Bat Cave) and marvel at its spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites. Let’s observe the rich biodiversity inside the cave as 5 different species of bats reside here! By noon, we will return to Pu Luong and have our lunch. You will have some free time to enjoy the countryside scenery around the area before we leave for Ninh Binh at 2.30 pm. After driving for around 3 hours, we will reach the Ninh Binh Retreat and check in to our rooms for the night before we gather for dinner. Have an early night and prepare for our final adventure!
Day 4 – Ninh Binh / Trang An / Hanoi
Rise and shine! Our final day on this tour will show you a different side of Ninh Binh as we trace back the ancient history of Vietnam. Once we finish our breakfast, we will start cycling towards the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu along the limestone mountains and lush vegetation. We will visit two temples dedicated to the Emperors of Hoa Lu which were established in the 10th century. To have a better understanding of the Vietnamese history, we will also visit the tomb of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang who was the first emperor of unified Vietnam. Situated at the summit, we need to hike up the Ma Yen Mountain where you can also enjoy the picturesque scenery of the vicinity.
On our way back to Ninh Binh, we will stop by a local family’s house and enjoy a cup of tea while exchanging stories about the rural lifestyle and local culture. We will return to the hotel to check out and have our lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit Trang An which is also famous for being the Ha Long Bay of the land. Get ready to be mesmerized by the amazing limestone karsts and peaceful atmosphere in Trang An! We will board the boat down the river and appreciate the stunning scenery here. After we are satisfied with our exploration, we will return to Hanoi with your choice of transportation (train or bus). Our fun and exciting tour ends as we drop you off at your hotel in the city.
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