Escape the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and enjoy a relaxing day with your private local tour guide in Ninh Binh, home to “Kong: Skull Island.” This area not only has breathtaking scenery with limestone mountains and sprawling rivers, but also rich with ancient history and local cuisines, making it a top day trip destination from Hanoi.
We’ll start our adventure to Ninh Binh at 7:00 AM when we pick you up at your hotel by air conditioned car. Of course, a hearty breakfast comes first - a delicious Hanoian delicacy called “Bún Chả” made popular when celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain treated American President Barack Obama during his state visit to Vietnam. A bún chả with a cà phê sữa đá (ice coffee with condensed milk) is what we call the breakfast of champions and it’s sure to make your two-hour drive to Ninh Binh an adventure.
Upon arrival in Ninh Binh, you’ll first visit Hoa Lu ancient Town. This picturesque little fort surrounded by mountains and rivers was once the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries, during the reign of the Đinh and the Lê dynasties. After a history brief and plenty of stunning photo opportunities, we’ll continue towards the grottoes of Tam Coc.
These caves formed inside the limestone monoliths can only be seen by boat. We’ll be boarding a traditional wooden sampan to cruise through these mountain caves and floating paddy fields. What makes this experience extra special is that the boat rower pedals the oars (paddles) with her feet, a special technique used to ease the pressure on her upper body - it makes you want to try!
And then it gets even better! For lunch, we will enjoy a home-cooked meal with a local family. It will be a big traditional Vietnamese meal with a large spread of local dishes, so make sure you try everything.
After lunch we will cycle through the villages and rice fields that surround Tam Coc, enjoying the peaceful countryside. Once all those calories are pedaled off, we will head back to Hanoi, reaching your hotel around 6:00 PM.
Note: We’ve picked out the most local experiences for you while avoiding the tourist traps. However, we would be happy to accommodate if you have specific requests since Ninh Binh does have a lot to offer.
Transport, guide, breakfast, drinks, entrance fee, and a delicious family-style Vietnamese local lunch are included.
Please note that there is a 30% cancellation fee for any cancellation made less than 24 hours prior to the tour date since we have to book many services in advance. Otherwise, there is a 5% transaction fee for bookings that are canceled 24 hours prior to the departure in order to cover for transaction processing costs.