Hanoi, Mai Chau & Ha Long Bay
our destination expert
Hanoi, Mai Chau & Ha Long Bay
The old capital of Vietnam is full of excitement and intrigue. It is a city that has managed to preserve much of its history and colonial character, while still offering the dynamic hustle and bustle of an Asian metropolis.
The old town quarter in the heart of the city and where to get a true taste of how Hanoi must have felt years ago. To get lost in the magical (and confusing) labyrinth of narrow, busy streets is a memorable experience and you always stumble upon something special.
There are silk shops selling traditional Aou Dai dresses, scrumptious street food, a cozy café to sip Vietnamese coffee, or little bars serving bia-hoi (beer unique to Vietnam). This is also where some of Hanoi’s most attractive French architecture is located, just watch out for motorcyclists!
If fresh air and nature is what you seek, the city is renowned for its many lakes and small parks. The West Lake is the largest and a popular spot for lunch, view ornate neighbouring temples or to take a boat out on the water.
The city has many outstanding cultural attractions. The Vietnam Museum of Ethonology is a fascinating place to learn about the many ethnic tribes living in the country. Equally interesting is the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 is the country’s first university dedicated to Confucius and is home to the archives of the ancient mandarins.
Nearby Mai Chau is the ideal antidote for the action and fast pace of Hanoi. A serene and picturesque valley, it’s home to the friendly and colourfully-clothed White Thai tribe. Hiking and bike rides are popular activities as nature and tranquility are all here in abundance.
If you’re tempted to see this city from an insiders perspective in luxurious fashion, trust that Lightfoot’s team have the expert knowledge to provide a trip which gives you a well rounded escape to this tantalizing destination.
To lay your eyes on these wondrous green mountains emerging from the ocean’s depths is something you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Ha Long Bay is the jade jewel in the crown of Vietnam’s considerable natural attractions and highlight of most itineraries.
Ha Long Bay is an archipelago of 1969 limestone karsts varying in size and stature, clustered close to the shores of northeast Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. Descending Dragon is the translation of this captivating geographical phenomenon and it is steeped in ancient myth and legend. Although, the name is variously attributed to a 19th century French sailor who believe he had come across a giant sea monster.
Undoubtedly the finest way to explore this World Heritage seascape is on the deck of a luxury junk boat. Each is designed in a traditional wooden style, and comes with luxurious amenities including a restaurant, bar, panoramic deck and well-appointed rooms. Certainly it’s a very relaxing way to explore the hidden beaches and coves, and otherworldly rock formations of the bay.
The exquisite Ha Long Bay experience is not just limited to staying onboard. Lightfoot Travel luxury tours can include activities like swimming in emerald lagoons, open water kayaking trips and exploring the hidden caves. By night one can enjoy dinner on top deck with cocktail party to follow.
Lightfoot Travel will transport you in style to this incredible destination and ensure that you catch these striking limestone giants in all their glory.