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 Quarter in the heart of the city is where to get a true taste of how Hanoi must have felt years ago. Geeting 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 and scrumptious street food, cosy cafés serving Vietnamese coffee, and little bars serving bia-hoi (beer unique to Vietnam). This is also where some of Hanoi’s most attractive French architecture is located.

If fresh air and nature are 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, viewing ornate neighbouring temples or taking a boat out on the water. The city has many outstanding cultural attractions. The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology 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 tranquillity is all here in abundance. If you’re tempted to see this city from an insider's perspective in a luxurious fashion, trust that Lightfoot’s team have the expert knowledge to provide a trip which gives you a well-rounded escape to this tantalising destination.

Ha Long Bay is the jade jewel in the crown of Vietnam’s considerable natural attractions and the highlight of most itineraries. Undoubtedly the finest way to explore this World Heritage seascape is on the deck of a luxury junk boat. Each one is designed in a traditional wooden style and comes with luxurious amenities including a restaurant, bar, panoramic deck and well-appointed rooms.

The exquisite Ha Long Bay experience is not just limited to staying on board. Lightfoot Travel luxury tours can include activities like swimming in emerald lagoons, open water kayaking trips and exploring the hidden caves. At night, guests can enjoy dinner on the top deck with a cocktail party to follow.

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