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Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak


Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Start: Hanoi
End: Hanoi

In between trekking and cycling past lush landscapes, stop in at local villages...

Duration11 days
Start / EndHanoi / Hanoi
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel


Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak

11 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Hanoi
End: Hanoi


The spectacular valleys and mountains of Vietnam were simply made for exploration. Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for this immersive journey that gets away from the bright lights of Hanoi and under the skin of Vietnam's bucolic countryside. In between trekking and cycling past lush landscapes, stop in at local villages and learn about traditional life with memorable homestay experiences...

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Day 1Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early into the capital of Hanoi, there’s plenty to see and do. Consider booking one of our active Urban Adventures available too if you want to warm up for the rest of your trip! Or take it at your own pace and wander the Old Quarter and admire the city’s French-colonial architecture, relax in a park, or enjoy some street food.
Day 2Sapa trek
After breakfast climb board a private bus to Sapa (approx. 5 hours), a town in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of northwest Vietnam. After exploring the Sapa market, venture out on a short trek (approximately 2.5 hours) through the surrounding verdant valleys and past grazing water buffalo to visit a hill-tribe village called Cat Cat. This is home to the H’mong people, who emigrated from China 300 years ago. In the evening, settle into your hotel in Sapa for the night.
Day 3Lao Chai to Ta Van trek
Savour the dramatic landscapes and panoramic views of rural Vietnam on another trek today, this time from Lao Chai to Ta Van. Our trek supports a local social enterprise that invests back into the villages it visits and benefits ethnic minorities. You'll pass by terraced farms ripe with corn and rice, cross bubbling brooks and through bucolic H'mong and Giay minority villages. Stop for a picnic lunch before heading on to our home stay with a local family in the evening where we will enjoy a home-cooked meal. The total trekking distance today is around 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).
Day 4Ta Van to Su Pan trek - Hanoi
This morning trek enjoy another scenic trek to Su Pan via Giang Ta Chai, through bamboo forests, past a waterfall and over a rattan suspension bridge, meeting Red Zao minority villagers along the way (approx 8 km). Rest your legs on the bus ride back to Sapa (approx 12 km). Return to Hanoi by private vehicle this afternoon (approximately 5 hours). Check into our hotel and maybe get a bird's eye view of the city from a rooftop bar or unwind with an iced coffee.
Day 5Hanoi
Much of Vietnam's capital is best explored on foot, which is exactly what we will do today on our walking tour. See the final resting place of Vietnam's revered revolutionary at Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum before stopping by the Temple of Literature. Although the shrine was originally built in the 11th century, and is therefore considered to be the city's oldest temple, the current structure and shrine to Confucius actually dates from the 18th century. In the afternoon, there's a chance to practice on your bike with a warm up cycle around West Lake.
Day 6Hanoi - Mai Chau cycling
Leave behind the Hanoi hustle first by vehicle to escape the traffic, then jump on your bike and and journey to the clean air of the Mai Chau valley (approximately 60km / 37mi). There are plenty of great photo opportunities along the way. We may also have the chance to try our hand at planting in fields depending on the season. Stop at a vantage point to take in the view of Mai Chau, which like Sapa is home to a variety of minority groups each with their own unique culture and languages. Arrive in Mai Chau and head to the village of Pom Coong where we have a home cooked lunch. After lunch, take some time to relax before saddling up for a bike trip to some nearby villages. Return to our home stay to relax and for dinner. 
Day 7Ninh Binh
After breakfast set out again on your bike, riding from from Mai Chau to Ninh Binh, a region well-known for its green valleys, karst mountains and conservation areas. Today's ride will cover approximately 70 kilometres in total. Stop for lunch along the way to break up the trip and check in to our hotel for the night on arrival in Ninh Binh.
Day 8Lan Ha Bay kayaking
In the morning catch a bus from Ninh Binh to Cat Hai, where you'll take a ferry to Cat Ba Island which sits at the southeastern edge of Halong Bay. Lan Ha Bay is a part of Ha Long Bay with the additional attraction of numerous white-sand beaches. Dock on the island and drive to Cat Ba town then to hop on another boat and ride from Ben Beo to Lan Ha Bay while enjoying your lunch on the boat. Total travel time including driving and ferries is around 5 hours today.  After lunch, grab a kayak and spend some time surrounded by towering limestone islands dotted with green foliage, paddling away from other tourists across the turquoise water and through the caves of Lan Ha Bays. Following our kayaking activity, take a short boat trip to Monkey Island Resort where you'll stay the night in a secluded property right on the water's edge. If you would like to explore there is a walking trail for a short walk around the island. Just be aware that this island is named as it is for a reason! 
Day 9Lan Ha Bay kayaking - Hanoi
Another chance to kayak this morning before we catch the bus back to Ben Beo for lunch and then head back to Hanoi (approximately 5 hours travel time), arriving in the afternoon. Perhaps head down to the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping or pay a visit to one of the city's many fascinating museums, such as the Fine Art Museum, Women's Museum or Museum of Ethnology. Toast the end of this active adventure with an optional farewell group dinner.
Day 10Hanoi
This active adventure comes to an end today. You are free to depart at any time. Perhaps consider exploring further on one of our Urban Adventures.

More info

Last modified (date)

27 Nov 2018

Trip title

Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Trip code



Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018


The spectacular valleys and mountains of Vietnam were simply made for exploration. Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for this immersive journey that gets away from the bright lights of Hanoi and under the skin of Vietnam's bucolic countryside. In between trekking and cycling past lush landscapes, stop in at local villages and learn about traditional life with memorable homestay experiences. I... Read more




Active Adventures


Private Vehicle,Bike,Boat

Physical Rating


Joining point

May de ville City Centre 2 Hotel

Joining point description

May de ville City Centre 2 Hotel is located adjacent to Hanoi's old quarter, close to shops, bars, restaurants, museums and theatres. The rooms are well appointed with LCD TVs, tea and coffee facilities, mini-bar, hairdryer, air-conditioning and safety boxes. There is Wifi available in the lobby and business centre.

Joining point instructions

We are happy to arrange an arrival transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer you will be met on arrival by your driver who will be waiting outside the customs hall holding an Intrepid sign. If you cannot find you... Read more

Finish point

May de ville City Centre 2 Hotel

Finish point description

May de ville City Centre 2 Hotel is located adjacent to Hanoi's old quarter, close to shops, bars, restaurants, museums and theatres. The rooms are well appointed with LCD TVs, tea and coffee facilities, mini-bar, hairdryer, air-conditioning and safety boxes. There is Wifi available in the lobby and business centre.

Finish point instructions

A metered taxi to the airport costs approx. US$10 (VND213,000) and takes approx. 30 minutes depending on traffic A departure transfer is available - enquire with your agent. If you have booked a post trip airport transfer, ask your leader to confirm the time of departure and meeting place. If you have any problems please call our hotline at +84 903 117 770. Check-out time from the hotel is 12 noo... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more


Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more


As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and l... Read more

Why we love it

Get active while exploring the very best that Vietnam has to offer, in true Intrepid style.

Is this trip right for you

This is an active and varied tour with a number of activities to get your pulse going. While specific prior training isn't necessary, some travellers have found parts of the itinerary quite challenging and a reasonably high level of fitness is needed to get the best out of the experience. The hike in Sapa is approximately 10 kilometres (6.2miles) in total, on sometimes steep and uneven terrain. ... Read more


All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themsel... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat to... Read more

Money matters

SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so ... Read more

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes). Many travellers carry their luggage in a bac... Read more

Climate and seasonal

TET (6-9 February 2019): Tet is Vietnam’s New Year festival which takes place in late January/early February based on the lunar calendar and is the most important celebration of the year. While this can be a fascinating time to be in Vietnam, you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many Vietnamese are travelling a... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more


After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multisha... Read more

Transport notes

LONG TRAVEL DAYS There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning. CYCLOS & TAXIS On this trip we may use a local style of transport called a cyclo. These small, motorised three wheeled vehicles are a common form of transport across Vietnam and do not have seatbelts. Regular metered taxis are also common in Vietnam and readily available i... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes th... Read more


Homestay (2 nights),Hotel (6 nights),Resort (1 night)
€920per person
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