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Halong Bay boat

Hanoi & Ha Long Bay

Example 7 Day Tour
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Experience the city of Hanoi combined with a two-night cruise on Ha Long Bay on this seven-day trip in Northern Vietnam. Get a taste of Hanoi city life including a water puppet show, local cuisine, and visits to architectural gems on this short Vietnam tour. Spend two nights cruising Ha Long Bay enjoying kayaking and visits to local villages. Continue on to Luang Prabang in Laos or Siam Reap in Cambodia for a longer tour in Southeast Asia.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Hanoi
Day 2 : Explore Hanoi
Day 3 : Thanh Chuong Viet Palace
Day 4 : Embark Cruise in Ha Long Bay
Day 5 : Ha Long Bay
Day 6 : Disembark | Hanoi
Day 7 : Return Home


  • Visit Huu Tiep Lake, the site of a US B-5 bomber wreckage
  • Tour Thanh Chuong Viet Palace, former residence of Thanh Chuong
  • Sail through caves, beaches, floating villages, & limestone rock formations
  • Bicycle along the coastline, past rice fields and dense jungle

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Vietnam
  • Cat Ba Island
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Hanoi
  • Thanh Chuong Viet Palace


Trip Type

  • Independent
  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Halong Bay boat Floating fishing village in Halong Bay Vietnamese street vendors Variety of Vietnamese food offered by a vendor in Hoi An Beautiful Entrance at The Temple Of Literature Hanoi Halong Bay Vietnam Cat Ba Island Hanoi Huc bridge

Day 1 Arrive Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi and meet your driver, who takes you to your hotel. Settle in and rest up for the remainder of the day.

Day 2 Explore Hanoi

After breakfast, meet up with your guide and driver set out towards Hoan Kiem Lake to see Hanoi's morning rituals. Many Vietnamese, mostly women of varying ages, wake up early and start the morning with some exercise. Typically they do group Tai Chi or aerobics in the park surrounding the lake. It is very interesting to see how the local people start their busy day routine with mindful exercise. Feel free to join them!

Marvel at the French architecture of the buildings and community houses which have been carefully restored by UNESCO. Along the way, stop to taste the local cuisine, including springs rolls and other snacks common in Hanoi. To finish the morning, pay a visit to the Huu Tiep Lake, better known as ‘B-52 lake’, where US B-5 bomber wreckage can be seen.

In the afternoon, head to the Old Quarter to enjoy a local lunch and visit the Temple of Literature. Built in 1076 as Vietnam's first university, this temple was used to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins, and other members of the elite class. The university operated for 700 years, and now its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam's past.

Finish your day with a walk along the Hanoi railway tracks, which at times are located just meters away from houses. End the day tasting local draft beers at the typical and well known Bia Hoi. Return to your hotel and enjoy a free evening on your own.

Day 3 Thanh Chuong Viet Palace

Set out early in the morning to visit the Thanh Chuong Viet Palace, the former residence of the studio of Thanh Chuong, one of the most celebrated painters in contemporary Vietnamese art. In 2002, the palace became famous as a unique preservation resort and spiritual legacy of Vietnamese art and culture that attracts many local and foreign visitors. This palace house became part of his own personal art collection: displaying statues, paintings and various historical artifacts from the Dinh, Ly, and Tran dynasties. Here you get an interesting look at the culture and architecture of Vietnam.

Head back to Hanoi and enjoy a free afternoon and evening.

Day 4 Embark Cruise in Ha Long Bay

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning set out for your 3.5 hour journey to Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone Karst landscape. On the way, visit Yen Duc Village to enjoying water puppets show. Continue onto Ha Long Bay, and embark your cruise at Hon Gai Harbor.

After check-in, enjoy welcome drinkl, cruise briefing, and set out to the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay.  Once in the area of Cap La and Tra San, enjoy a chance to paddle around by kayaking or swim near the ship.  In the evening, the ship will cruise back through the bay to its overnight anchorage in Cong Do. Relax and enjoy your evening on the bay.

Day 5 Ha Long Bay

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms. On to Hon Co Island for swimming or relaxing, and explore the well-hidden Thien Canh Son cave. Return to the ship for lunch and a bit of a rest. In the afternoon, arrive Hon Co Island for swimming and exploring the well-hidden Thien Canh Son cave then back to the ship for a relaxing dinner.

Day 6 Disembark | Hanoi

Enjoy the view of the bay while you have breakfast on board. In the morning, you will have some free time for swimming and relaxing as the ship slowly cruises back to the harbor for disembarkation.
Arrive back to the Hon Gai Harbor in the early afternoon where your shuttle bus will be waiting you to take you back to your hotel in Hanoi. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to explore Hanoi on your own.

Day 7 Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy a free morning before transferring back to the airport for your continued journeys.

Ha Long Bay - Hotels

Hanoi - Hotels

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  • 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 2 Dinners
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
    • 4 Nights Hotel
    • 2 Nights Ship
  • 2 Days Private Guide Service
  • 3 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.


  • International Flights
  • Tourist Visa
    • US citizens must obtain visa prior to arrival

Recommended Budgeting

  • $80 Meals not Included
  • $40 Optional Excursions
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Jenna F

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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