North Vietnam Tours
Traveling in Vietnam can bring you some amazing experiences. A tour in north Vietnam can bring you even closer to the heart of the country. Either if you prefer to have a day tour here or there or a complete organized tour, both ways you can get the best out of this amazingly beautiful and surprising country. Here is a selection of tours (day and multiple) in Vietnam. (for bike tours in Vietnam, see this page).
My experience is that you can easily book tours in Hanoi itself. The problem is however, you never know which tour is good, which is good organized, have good guides, proper hotels, accommodation etc.
That, plus most of the tours offered in the capital do the main tourist areas and do not leave the beaten tracks. The tours offered below DO leave the beaten track! It's why I recommend the following tours as I have myself excellent experience with the organizers.
Please keep in mind many of the tours in this page are day trips and can easily be done while leaving your bicycle for a day in the hotel.
No visit to Vietnam is complete with a visit to Hanoi. It's also an excellent base to explore the northern areas from Sapa to Dien Bien Phu, from the vicinity of Hanoi to Ninh Binh and Ha Long Bay.
Or you spend a great half day in the Thanh Chuong Palace and Giong Temple, a hard to beat experience.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay deserves at least a couple of days. That is exactly what the Hanoi and Halong Discovery Tour does in 4 days. I feel you need at least spend a night in the bay, either on an island (Cat Ba) or on a boat/junk. There are few more beautiful experiences to get in Vietnam than being on a boat in Ha Long Bay.
However, if you have no time, do it in 2 Days with one night on the boat. It's still a nice experience.
Best option is to spend a few more days in Ha Long Bay in Style & Luxury.
The Northern areas
The tours mentioned are all in and around Hanoi but there is, of course much more to experience in north Vietnam. Our section of north Vietnam tours brings you also to the far north west with Sapa as obvious center. Interesting enough there are several other places to visit.
For example, think of a loop: Hanoi - Ha Giang - Meo Vac - Dong Van - Lung Cu - Tam Son (Yen Minh) which brings you to the north west but skips the popular tourist traps as Sapa. You will see some of the most spectacular mountainous areas of Vietnam. Travel the Roof of Vietnam in 5 days, you won't regret this.
Sapa and Lao Cai are, as said, obvious choices. They are covered in several different tours, the best, imo is Sapa to the Sea (9D/8N) which includes both Sapa and Lao Cai plus Hanoi and Ha Long Bay.
North Vietnam Exclusive, does the same though skips a few things in Ha Long Bay in 7 days.
The south west of Hanoi
Going south and east leads to the Hoa Binh karst mountains. The Mai Chau Village To Village Walking Tour (4D/3N) shows you the back roads in this area and let you meet hill tribes in a land where time seems to have made a standstill. No time (or desire) for 4 days, check the same area, limited tour, of course in 2 days.
Another option is the Sacred Perfume Pagoda day trip in the same area. A Day the Sacred Perfume Pagoda is certainly worth your attention although I wouldn't go there during the Vietnamese New Year (Tet) as the pagoda is crowded with pilgrims.
Other south west journeys can include a visit to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc or Thung Nang, which again means you are far off the beaten track. Tam Coc might be less beautiful than Thung Nang but it's even more remote and away from the main trails.
The north east and Lang Son
The north east is seldom visited and that's a shame. I cycled it in November 2011 and was pleasantly surprised by both the people and what I saw. At the time I came from Lang Son.
The tour here covers some of that area and goes from Hanoi first to Lang Son and follows to Cao Bang, Pac Po Cave and back to Hanoi. The tour is only 3 days but I promise, this tour is spectacular": Discover Northeastern Vietnam in 3 Days - 2 Nights
Multiple days tours all over Vietnam
No interest in doing it all yourself? Not a problem. Check on of the tours below and find out your own completely organized Vietnam tour.
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More tours in Vietnam
My Son Ruins
The My Son ruins nearby Hoi An are a beautiful example of the long gone Champa culture. Although many ruins could be better restored, it is worth the effort going there.
Ha Long Bay on land, that's what Ninh Binh is called. The beautiful limestone mountains with caves and pagoda's is worth a visit.
Bicycle tours in Vietnam
Lang Son is mostly overlooked by travelers but I spend a night here and enjoyed the town very much
More photos of north west Vietnam