Walking Trails of Vietnam

Hanoi
Mai Chau
Pu Luong Retreat
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Mercury Holidays

Wander through terraced rice paddies and palm-clad hills as you follow northern Vietnam's scenic rural walking trails, visiting the majestic Hieu Waterfall, remote village settlements, Pu Luong Nature Reserve and spectacular Ninh Binh.

Highlights
  • Enjoy a guided walking tour of Hanoi's cultural sites, visiting the Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda and Old Quarter
  • Delve into local life and customs as you explore rural, Vietnamese villages
  • Soak in rolling rice fields and lush rainforests in the Pu Luong Nature Reserve & Mai Chau Valley, an area of outstanding beauty
  • Walk amongst the limestone karsts of Ninh Binh, 'Halong Bay on Land'
  • Enjoy a lunch in a traditional Thai stilt house
Destinations
Departure Points
  • London Heathrow
Day 1 - UK to Hanoi
Depart the UK on your scheduled, overnight flight to Hanoi.

Day 2 - Hanoi
On arrival in Hanoi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After lunch, a walking tour of this vibrant city begins at the Ho Chi Minh Complex where the father of modern-day Vietnam declared the nation's independence in 1945. Visit sites including the Presidential Palace built by French colonialists in the early 20th century, Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House and the One Pillar Pagoda. Explore the courtyards and pavilions of the Confucian Temple of Literature then return to the lively Old Quarter to explore this bustling commercial centre on a cyclo, a three-wheel bicycle taxi. In the evening, experience the Vietnamese arts at the thousand-year-old Water Puppet Show.

Day 3 - Hanoi to Mai Chau - Average 2 - 2.5 hours of walking including breaks
After breakfast, take a scenic drive through the Vietnamese countryside to the rural city of Mai Chau, passing rice paddies and sugar cane fields. Enjoy lunch in a traditional Thai stilt house then begin your walk to Pom Coong village where you'll have the chance to explore the village. Follow gravel tracks and small paths used by the locals and soak in the verdant, rugged mountain scenery as you observe daily village life. In the afternoon, check into your lodge and enjoy dinner later this evening.

Day 4 - Mai Chau - Average 4 hours of walking including breaks
Follow flat, local roads on today's walk to Xo Village, passing tropical rainforests and rippling corn fields as you journey through the Mai Chau Valley. Gain fascinating insight into local life as you encounter villagers herding buffalo, tilling the fields and logging. Arrive in Xo Village for lunch then continue on for another hour, taking in incredible scenery and lush greenery before arriving at your endpoint where your bus will carry you back to Mai Chau. Arrive in Mai Chau in the early afternoon, with the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 5 - Mai Chau to Don Village - Average 1.5 hours of walking including breaks
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Pu Luong Nature Reserve via a breath-taking mountain pass which offers panoramic views of the valley. Pu Luong, meaning 'highest peak of the village', is an area of outstanding beauty boasting palm-clad hills, terraced rice paddies and small, sleepy settlements. On arrival at your retreat nestled in the middle of the reserve, check in and enjoy lunch and free time for you to enjoy your tranquil setting. In the afternoon, travel by bus to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of the mighty water wheels dotted along the river's length. Get an up-close look at the handmade bamboo water wheels and discover how water is moved from the river to these skilfully crafted aqueducts. Continue on to a local fisherman's house and board a river raft for a guided trip along the Cham River. Sail at a leisurely pace down the river before arriving at the Tan Lap Bridge, where towering trees rise from the river to form a tunnel of greenery. Transfer back to your hotel for dinner.

Day 6 - Don Village - Average 4.5 hours of walking including breaks
This morning, descend into the beautiful valley facing the retreat. Walk past cascading rice terraces and along small paths shrouded in vegetation as a picturesque village reveals itself at the base of a towering mountain. Continue to the base of the valley, weaving between roads, farmland, wild fields and ponds until you reach a scenic spot where you'll enjoy a picnic lunch. After your meal, enjoy some free time to explore the village and observe local daily life and customs. Journey onward to your pick-up point for your transfer back to the retreat.

Day 7 - Don Village - Average 4 hours of walking including breaks
Transfer to Bang Village, the starting point of your walk to Kho Muong Village. Set out on your walk, reaching an excellent vantage point which provides magnificent views. Carry onward into the village which surrounded by a huge mountain range and visit a local family to learn more about their lifestyle and culture. After a picnic lunch and a stroll around the village, visit the nearby bat cave where you'll have the chance to explore its depths and encounter its resident bats if you choose (proper shoes and torch are required). Journey onward through a picturesque natural reserve as you head to Dong Dieng village where you will be picked up and transfer back to your hotel.

Day 8 - Don Village to Ninh Binh
After breakfast, a coach carries you to the province of Ninh Binh, home to some of Vietnam's most impressive limestone scenery. En route, stop to take photographs of local villages and spectacular rural landscapes before lunch at a local restaurant and check-in at your hotel. This afternoon, board a traditional 'sampan' wooden boat and glide through the water, admiring the enormous limestone karsts jutting out from the green rice fields on the water's edge, giving rise to the area's other name - 'Halong on Land'. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the area around your hotel or relax before tonight's farewell dinner marks the end of your Vietnamese adventure.

Day 9 - Ninh Binh to the UK
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK, or continue on to your extension.

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights
  • All airport taxes and security charges

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
06-Oct-2019 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
10-Nov-2019 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
01-Dec-2019 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
12-Jan-2020 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
16-Feb-2020 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
22-Mar-2020 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
03-May-2020 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
04-Oct-2020 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
08-Nov-2020 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
06-Dec-2020 for 9 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website

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This respected tour operator also offers escorted walking tours, designed with the walking enthusiast in mind and cleverly combining walking experiences with the chance to see iconic sites and cultural landmarks. All of the available walking tours are unique to Mercury Holidays and include comfortable accommodation, all meals and local English speaking guides. But if you prefer the freedom of the open road, Mercury Holidays has fly-drive tours to the stunning islands of New Zealand to enable you to tour glacial lakes, volcanic hot springs, vineyards, botanical gardens and some of the most spectacular cities on the planet.   

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