Located in Thanh Hoa Province, Pu Luong Nature Reserve lives up to travelers’ imagination of a peaceful, unspoiled landscape filled with indigenous rural life. Jagged limestone mountains enclose the fertile river valley and dotted with settlements of small wooden stilt houses. Luminous-green rice fields extend from the waters’ edge to the dense forested slopes, which are streaked with waterfalls.
It’s not difficult to encounter women in conical hats tending the fields, men herding their cattles from one pasture to another and children playing with domestic animals in earthy courtyards or take turns jumping into rivers from bamboo bridges. The landscape and the people, the climate and the ecosystem of Pu Luong combines together as a whole deliver a stunning, breathtaking experience that drops you right in the middle of nature, giving you a priceless opportunity to once again admire the poetic, timeless charm of North Vietnam’s nature.
Trang An Complex in Ninh Binh Province, on the other hand, possesses a more mellow and delicate vibe to it. On your last day you will be sitting on a rowed sampan, gently passing through numerous beautiful karst formations while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere created by the balmy and smooth river flow.
If what you are looking for is a chance to submerge yourself in green mountainous landscape and admire the true beauty of nature, this is the tour for you.
07:00 – 07:30: Pick-up at Hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter to go to Pu Luong Nature Reserve by Limousine Bus.
09:00: Short break at Luong Son.
11:00: Second comfort break at the local market of the Muong Ethnic Minority; enjoy the beautiful scenery of Thung Khe Pass (One of the 10 most beautiful passes in Vietnam).
12:00: Arrival in Mai Chau and transfer to a van to go to Pu Luong Nature Reserve.
13:00: Check in and lunch at Pu Luong Eco Garden – The Mountain Retreat.
14:30 – 17:30: Board the van to the starting point. Following the small road through the terrace rice and sugar cane fields, cross the Hanging Bridges to visit other remote rural villages of Thai Ethnic. Stop at the giant waterwheels, ducks farm to learn about the agriculture before getting on the Bamboo Raft for a relaxing cruise on Cham stream (cruise depending on weather conditions).
17:30: Pick up the van to go to the Eco Garden – Mountain Retreat. Enjoy swimming in the Infinity Pool.
19:00: BBQ Dinner at the lodge, enjoy some local rice wine. Have a quiet night in the middle of the Reserve.
07:00 – 08:00: Breakfast in the lodge. Enjoying the breathtaking view from Pu Luong Eco Garden – The Mountain Retreat.
08:30 – 12:00: Trekking: Following the small roads through the rice field terrace and cross the stream to visit the hidden village of Kho Muong to learn about the local people in Pu Luong.
Explore Doi Cave (Bat cave), this is the largest cave in Pu Luong.
12:00: Back to the Eco Garden – The Mountain Retreat, check-out.
13:00: Have lunch and have free time to relax in the Infinity pool or walking around the village before boarding the car to go to Ninh Binh at 14:30.
17:30: Arrive in Ninh Binh Retreat, check-in and have free time.
19:00: Have dinner at the retreat.
7:30 – 8:30: Breakfast at hotel.
8:30 to 12:00: Cycling through the limestone karsts to arrive at 2 temples of the first 2 Emperors in the 10 th Century in Hoa Lu Ancient Capital hike up the Ma Yen Mountain to visit the King’s tomb in 10th century and enjoy the panorama view from the mountain. On the way back, stop in a local family to discover daily life and culture and share a tea with them.
12:00 -13:30: Check out and have lunch at the Retreat
13:30 -16:00: Go to Trang An for a boat ride in between the karst pics and enjoy the beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere.
16:00: Drop you off at Ninh Binh Railway station or bus station or board the bus to go to Hanoi.
19:00: Drop off in Hanoi old quarter. Tour ends.