Hiking, sea kayaking, & cultural adventures
This incredible cross-cultural adventure combines our love of sea kayaking with enriching encounters with tribal ethnic minorities in the region of Ba Be National Park, one of Vietnam's undiscovered jewels. Surrounded by precipitous limestone mountains and rich tangled forests, Ba Be ("three lakes") has not yet been discovered by the crowds, so now is the time to see this area! Besides enjoying the rich natural heritage of the park-thunderous waterfalls, rivers, and serene lakes (where you'll paddle inflatable kayaks and go for a swim)-you'll hike to Tay and Dao hill tribe villages, visit markets where tourists have rarely been seen, and experience a village home stay where you'll have a chance to interact with these warm and hospitable people.
Then you'll head to legend-bound Halong Bay, where strange and fanciful legends abound. Strewn about its sheltered waters are some 2,000 rocky islets, created by dragons that descended from heaven to scatter gems across the water and save the people from invasion (or so the legend goes). Even today, the local fishermen claim to encounter sea creatures and attempt to placate them with offerings. The bay has the surreal quality of ancient Chinese and Vietnamese paintings-sheer limestone islets rise from aqua depths, dwarfing sampans and junks gliding silently past. Here sea and land come together to form one of the natural wonders of the world. Despite the threat of "here be dragons," the waters of Halong Bay are ideally suited for sea kayaking, the best way to explore this World Heritage Site. This is also a wonderful place for beginners to be introduced to this easy sport (expert guides will teach you all the requisite skills-it's easier than you think!). Silently and unobtrusively, you'll thread the maze of jagged isles to discover secret passages to hidden lagoons and magnificent sea caves (dragons' lairs?), some only accessible by kayak.
Sea kayakers of all skill levels, including beginners, are welcome, but bring along an expeditionary spirit and flexible attitude. A support boat accompanies us with a friendly crew (our Vietnamese cook is blessed with the ability to conjure up the most exquisite seafood meals) so you'll be well taken care of.
5 days moderate hiking; 2 days easy sea kayaking (no previous experience required); Moderate road travel
- Explore hill tribe villages, hike, and kayak in undiscovered Ba Be National Park - far from the crowds!
- 4 days sea kayaking in the far reaches of Halong Bay that tourists don't see
- Fantastic mix of culture, activity, interactions with locals, and overall immersion in Vietnam
Duration: 12 days Start Location: Hanoi End Location: HanoiDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi in the afternoon.
Day 2 : Hanoi
Hanoi city tour.
Day 3 : Hanoi - Vu Linh
Drive to Thac Ba Lake and Lavievulinh. Take an afternoon walk through villages and rice fields.
Day 4 : Vu Linh Trekking to Cau Buc Waterfalls
Full day's trekking in a remote jungle area.
Day 5 : Vu Linh - Ba Be National Park
Travel to Ba Be National Park and begin your exploration of this unique eco-system and local ethnic groups.
Day 6 : Ba Be - Dau Dang Waterfall
Take a boat trip to Dau Dang Waterfall and Puong Cave, then trek in a scenic valley.
Day 7 : Ba Be - Hanoi
Further explore the lake, villages and surrounding area before your transfer back to Hanoi.
Day 8 : Hanoi - Halong Bay
Drive to Halong Bay and overnight aboard a traditional wooden boat near Ba Men Temple.
Days 9 - 10 : Halong Bay
Kayak in Halong Bay.
Day 11 : Halong Bay - Hanoi
Return to Hanoi.
Day 12 : Depart for home
Depart for home.
DATES: Best time to go: March - April, October - November Departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.
$3,295 per person (4 or more passengers)
Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double accommodations (except "solo traveler" cost).
If you prefer single accommodations, you must pay the Single Supplement Fee.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.