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Citadels, Karsts & Cycle - Small Group Tour

Surround yourself in the rich history and breathtaking scenery of Vietnam. Step back in time as you explore the fascinating ancient citadel of Hoa Lu and then journey by row boat along Tam Coc – the perfect way to explore the region’s magnificent caves and spectacular karst country.

The journey begins with a 2 hour drive from the hectic capital of Hanoi to the province of Ninh Binh - approximately 100kms.

Your first destination is Hao Lu, the location of the capital of Vietnam during the Dinh Dynasty (968-980) and early Le Dynasty (980-1009), the ancient citadel once covered 300 hectares of land, however the passage of time has left few remains of this once glorious capital of the Vietnam.

On arrival, your local guide will take you through the Dinh (closed until approx 31st Mar) & Le Temple, restored in the 17th century the temples are dedicated Dinh and Le emperors and believed to be built on the original foundations of the old palaces from the 11th and 12th centuries.

Next, jump on a bike for a 12 km bike ride through the area, lime karsts towering above you as you ride along backroads and beautiful scenery.

Following the bike visit, there's a stop for lunch at a local restaurant before visiting Trang An, a new addition to UNESCOs list of heritage sites. Honoured as of June 2014, the 10,000-hectare Trang An complex comprises three areas: the Trang An ¬ Tam Coc Bich Dong ecological site, the Hoa Lu imperial capital, and the Hoa Lu primitive forests. It is often referred to as the Halong Bay of the land due to its spectacular scenery: lime karsts rise up of the ground to tower over the region, and is a truly wonderful sight to see.

There, youll board row boats for a 3 to 3.5-hour journey through caves, passing local villages along the river system of the Red River Delta. The scenery comprises of lush green rice paddies during the rice growing seasons and the surrounding limestone karsts make for a stunning backdrop, presenting many photo opportunities for the keen photographers amongst the group.

At the end of the boat trip, return to the city.

Note: A Tam Coc boat trip will be offered as an alternative to Trang An on selected days when the place is too crowded or during peak season.

Experience Includes

  • Guided visit to the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu
  • Chance to explore Tam Coc and the regions spectacular karst country by traditional rowing boat
  • Cycle amongst the lime karsts and surrounding scenery
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off from centrally located Hanoi hotels, however from 1st April the new meeting point is the front entrance of the Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. There will no longer be a hotel pick up.
  • English speaking guide
  • Air-conditioned transportation from Hanoi

Experience Excludes

  • Optional gratuities
  • Additional snacks and refreshments


Daily, year round.

Departure location

The front entrance of the Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. There will no longer be a hotel pick up.

Start times



10-11 hours.

Terms & Conditions

  • To ensure a more personal experience, the group sizes are limited to 12 passengers.
  • There is a minimum age requirement of 12 years.
  • You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
  • Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate.