Halong Bay and Red River

Traverse a land of breathtaking beauty and diversity on this groundbreaking expedition along the Red River, travelling from the cosmopolitan capital Hanoi to spectacular Halong Bay, via the mountain villages and tribal communities of Vietnam’s highlands

tour duration 15 Days from
tour price 4,340pp
tour type Private Tour

Places Visited

UK - Hanoi (1N) - Red River and Halong Bay Cruise (10N) - Hanoi (1N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Cruise by scenes of rice paddy farmers and water buffalo as you cruise on the Red River
Visit the minority villages of the Black Thai and White Thai people
Cruise down the Red River tributary Black River to see the diverse Ba Vi National Park
Admire the iconic structure of Ho Chi Minh looking out over the Hao Binh Valley
Watch a traditional Water Puppet Show, famous to the region
Stay overnight on a traditional junk boat amongst the karst peaks of Halong Bay

Days 1-2 Fly to Hanoi
Fly overnight to Vietnam’s cosmopolitan capital, Hanoi. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Days 1-2 Fly to Hanoi
Day 3: Hanoi
Transfer to Hoa Binh to embark your ship on the Red River. Set sail downstream where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset. Spend the night on the Da River. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Hanoi
Day 4: Hoa Binh
Explore the area that is home to the Muong ethnic group, visiting a museum and a local village where you’ll find that the local people still dress in traditional clothing. Hop on a local boat for a ride on Hoa Binh’s reservoir or take a coach journey to Mai Chau, home to the Black Thai and White Thai minorities. Tonight, enjoy a traditional performance of local hill tribe people. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Hoa Binh
Day 5: The Da River
Voyage down the Da River, admiring the unspoilt beauty as you go. We float past the Ba Vi National Park where the flora and fauna is particularly rich and diverse. Arrive at Trung Ha. There will also be plenty of activities onboard to keep you entertained – enjoy cooking demonstrations and a talk on Northern Vietnam, the region that you are passing through. (B,L,D)
Day 5: The Da River
Day 6: Viet Tri
Back on dry land, head to the UNESCO-honoured village of Duong Lam where you can delve into old Vietnamese culture and explore traditional buildings. Back on the ship, continue cruising downstream to Viet Tri. Take in the sights and sounds of this bustling section of river. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Viet Tri
Day 7: The Lo and Red Rivers
This morning, cruise to Tien Du ferry station, from where you can visit Gia Thanh which is best known for the production of Vietnam’s famous conical hats. This area is off the normal tourist trail, so wonderfully quiet and authentic. Travel on to Hung Lo Temple, where you can enjoy a traditional dance performance from the local villagers. Back on the ship, sit back and admire the passing scenery of the picturesque Lo River. (B,L,D)
Day 7: The Lo and Red Rivers
Day 8: The Lower Red River
Clamber ashore and into a timeless Vietnamese landscape of emerald green rice paddies punctuated by limestone rock formations. Here you’ll find the rarely visited but exquisite Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, dating from the 8th and 11th centuries. The beautiful Buddhist statues you’ll see are carved from the wood of jackfruit trees. This afternoon stop off at Bat Trang ceramic village – a handicraft village that specialises in traditional porcelain and pottery, that has been producing wares since the 15th century. Sail on along the Lower Red River to Hanoi, where we’ll arrive in the evening. (B,L,D)
Day 8: The Lower Red River
Day 9: Explore Hanoi
Dock in Vietnam’s fascinating capital city to explore. You’ll visit highlights such as the Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum before taking an afternoon walking tour of the vibrant streets. There’ll be a stop at a local coffee shop to learn more about Vietnam’s coffee culture and coffee making industry. Heading back to the ship, enjoy a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Explore Hanoi
Day 10: Luoc-Thai Binh Rivers
In small local boats, cruise over the Stork’s Island to visit its bird sanctuary and take a walking tour of Ninh Giang commune and its market. Later, voyage to Thanh Ha Commune where you can enjoy a water puppet show and a walk around the village. Life on the river here is fascinating to observe, as it is a key commercial waterway. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Luoc-Thai Binh Rivers
Day 11: River life
Sail on the Duong River this morning, stopping at Duc Tai Village for a walking tour and a visit to a local family who make bamboo baskets to sell. After lunch we cruise through more incredible scenery to reach Halong Bay, arriving at 4pm, in time for a sunset cruise. Tonight dinner will be a special barbeque in one of Halong’s secluded bays. (B,L,D)
Day 11: River life
Day 12: Halong Bay
Spend the morning sailing through the magnificent karst formations of Halong Bay. Climb aboard a local boat to visit a floating home, stop on a beach, try kayaking or jumping in a rowing boat to explore limestone caves. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Halong Bay
Day 13: Return to Hanoi
Sail back to the jetty and disembark your cruise vessel, transferring back to Hanoi. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day 13: Return to Hanoi
Day 14: Fly Hanoi to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Day 14: Fly Hanoi to UK

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

15-Jan > 28-Jan - £4,340 BOOK NOW
04-Feb > 17-Feb - £4,340 BOOK NOW
24-Feb > 09-Mar - £4,340 BOOK NOW
16-Mar > 29-Mar - £4,340 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Single Supplement from £490
Sole Person from £540
Land only from £3,530pp (Hanoi - Hanoi)
Includes international flights and current taxes, domestic transportation, accommodation, meals as stated, touring with guides and entrance fees and visa fees for UK passport holders
Includes crew gratuities
Excludes tips to tour guides & drivers

UK citizens will not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a single entry stay of up to 15 days. Entry visas for Vietnam are required for stays longer than 15 days or for multiple entries into Vietnam within a 30 day period. To allow for unforeseen circumstances if your tour includes a stay of 15 days or more in Vietnam the standard visa processing service is included in your tour cost. Currently the visa exemption rule applies until 30th June 2017. Should the visa requirements for UK citizens travelling to Vietnam change after 30th June 2017 you will be contacted by Wendy Wu Tours regarding your visa requirements.
If you do require a visa Wendy Wu Tours Visa Department can assist you with the process of obtaining one. We will supply you with all paperwork and submit the visa application on your behalf. Visas for Vietnam are issued with specific start and expiry dates which are based on the dates stated on the visa application form. Travel must be completed within those dates. Please be advised that your passport must have at least 6-months validity left on it when you arrive back into UK. Visa application forms and all relevant documentation are due in our office 8 weeks prior to departure; if received after this, urgent visa processing fees will apply. Please note we do not accept passports and visa applications within 30 days prior to departure. Passports will usually be returned within 4 weeks of your tour’s scheduled departure.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find good coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Vietnam is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.

What's Included

all international airfares
all domestic transportation, departure taxes and current fuel surcharges
all accommodation
meals as stated
entrance fees, guides and daily tours
visa fees for UK passport holders

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those who are interested in exploring the northern section of Hanoi. This tour incorporates the most scenic and exciting destinations in northern Vietnam. This tour uses a luxurious Pandaw River cruise boat, ideal for the more discerning traveller.

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