Land of the Rising Dragon

Ha Long Bay Emerald Waters Cruise

Private Tour

Starting from $598 pp


Ha Long Bay

No trip to Vietnam is complete without taking a Junk boat to explore the incredible limestone islands amongst the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and the stunning waterways in Ninh Binh, both sites being on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. So if you’re looking for a short but extremely varied break then this is the perfect getaway.

During this tour you will get an insight into Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and enjoy all the good food and culture that this incredible city holds. From exploring the old quarter by cyclo, taking a walk around the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend and Ngoc Son Temple. In Ninh Binh you will take a boat trip and traverse the tranquil waterways as you can sit, relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings. If you can stay another day, then biking around the area is a must; the same goes with your Ha Long bay trip.


Day 1: Arrive Hanoi & Cyclo Tour

On arrival at Noi Bay International Airport in Hanoi, you will be met by an Asia for Expats representative who will then transfer you to your hotel. Later in the day, you will take a cyclo ride around the fascinating Old Quarter streets, named after specific goods once sold there. Next you stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend and visit Ngoc Son Temple, followed by a Water Puppet Show.

Day 2: Ninh Binh and Tam Coc

Today you travel to the province of Ninh Binh, stopping off along the way to see Hoa Lu (Vietnam’s former capital). After lunch you will embark on a cruise along the canals of Tam Coc, amid rice fields and towering limestone pillars that are sure to take your breath away, it is often referred to as the ‘Ha Long Bay on land’. To end the day, you climb up to Ngu Nhac Son to be charmed by the awe-inspiring scenery offered by the mountains, rivers and pagodas.

Day 3: Ninh Binh to Ha Long Bay & Junk Cruise

This morning continue to the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay, a world Heritage site of outstanding beauty. Once there, you climb aboard a junk cruise to enjoy a delicious seafood lunch served as you set sail. In the afternoon you get to explore Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave) and enjoy a swim off Titov Island, before ending the day relaxing on deck and dinner.

Day 4: Ha Long Bay to Hanoi

This morning you retrace your steps through the beautiful dotted island before returning back to dry land. Your driver will then transfer you back to your hotel in Hanoi arriving in the afternoon. You are then free to enjoy this incredible city under your own steam. Take a walk around the lake before dinner or go back and explore the old quarter and do a spot of shopping.

Day 5: Depart Hanoi

Today you are free to enjoy your last morning in Hanoi before being transferred to Noi Bai International Airport with plenty of time before your departure flight.

*Please see our list of activities that can be added to your getaway.


 Activities in Hanoi

Afternoon Half Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet ShowAfternoon Half Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: Half Day (4 hours)
Visit the Temple of Literature & Vietnam’s first university, the Vietnam History Museum, Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend, before watching a uniquely Northern Vietnamese Water Puppet show in one of the oldest theaters in town.

Full Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show (2)Full Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: Half Day (8 hours)
Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the House on Stilts, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Tran Quoc Pagoda.  After stopping for lunch you will then follow the ‘Afternoon Half Day City Tour’ program, finishing with a uniquely Northern Vietnamese Water Puppet show in one of the oldest theaters in town.

Good Morning Hanoi

Good Morning Hanoi
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: 3 hours
See a completely different side of Hanoi during the early hours of the morning, between 5am and 8am.  Walk the empty streets as the city wakes up and see morning food shops and people exercising.  Pop into the Long Bien Night Market and Morning Dye Flower Market, as well as taking a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hanoi Foodie Tour (1)Hanoi Foodie Tour
Minimum Number: 1 Person
Duration: 3 hours
Starting in the Old Quarter you’ll visit the markets of Cho Hang Be and Dong Xuan. Enjoy the tastes and smells as you pass by the food stalls, sit down and try as many different delicacies as you want.  A glass of Bia Hoi, local draught beer, is the perfect accompaniment.

Dinner at home with a Local Family

Dinner at home with a Local Family
Minimum Number: 2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy the atmosphere of a Vietnamese traditional home, try traditional Vietnamese food and get to know the culture of Hanoian people.  You will observe the cooking process, eat, talk and even look through a few photo albums if you wish.  This Hanoi home visit is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of Hanoi culture.

Ancient Pagoda and Handicraft Village TourAncient Pagoda and Handicraft Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Chang Son is a village located 30 km from Hanoi city center. It is Famous for its wooden handicraft products that include rattan, bamboo, printing, paper fans and chopsticks.  Nearby is the 11th century Thay Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s oldest Pagodas.

Duong Lam Ancient Village TourDuong Lam Ancient Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 8 hours
Duong Lam is a rural village in the Northern Red River Delta.  This picturesque village with its traditional pagodas and houses, surrounded by rice paddy fields, is perfect to discover on bike.  Visit the temples of Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen, and enjoy lunch with a local family.

Tho Ha Traditional Village TourTho Ha Traditional Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 5 hours
Located in the Bac Giang Province north of Hanoi, Tho Ha Village was famous for its pottery production. Nowadays the villager is known for rice wine or cassava wine and rice paper cakes. During the tour you will visit the main family in the village and try your hand at rolling the perfect spring roll.

Love Songs and Traditional Folk Music TourLove Songs and Traditional Folk Music Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy exploring Vietnam’s beautiful countryside and folklore music in the Red River Delta.  After visiting the village of Dinh Bang, you’ll get to know the locals and enjoy some Quan Ho folk songs (duo of love songs), a music style recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2009,

Perfume Pagoda Tour

Perfume Pagoda Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy a boat cruise on Yen Stream, passing by spectacular landscape of flooded rice fields and undulating mountains.  Upon disembarking at Duc Quay, take a short walk to Thien Tru Pagoda, before travelling uphill by electric cable car to visit the sacred Huong Tich Grotto, where pilgrims used to pray for health and luck.

Hanoi Cooking ClassHanoi Cooking Class
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Visit the local market and get a hands-on culinary experience in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  In this class you will prepare some of Hanoi’s favorite dishes while learning about the culture through your taste buds.

Half and Full Day Cultural Bike ToursHalf and Full Day Cultural Bike Tours
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: 4 hours
Our tours visit three different villages and offer three slightly varying programs, from Dong Ngac’s traditional Cultural Village to the Bat Rang Pottery Village, an ancient traditional craft village situated on the banks of the red river, and the Co Lota Citadel, the first ancient citadel of Vietnam.

Expat Tips

Top Expat Tips:

  • Get yourself on two wheels and explore Ninh Binh by bike
  • Pick up an original propaganda poster at the poster shop at ‘5 Hang Bac’ in the old French quarter


  • Swap places with your oars woman on the canals of Tam Coc and take a picture of you working hard and her relaxing (Prizes awarded for the funniest picture at the end of each season)
  • Catch a squid after dinner from the back of the boat on the Ha Long bay cruise

For Families:

  • Take the bikes out and explore the area around Ninh Binh on two wheels
  • Ti Top Island in Ha Long Bay is the most family friendly beach with good sand and restaurants along the beach

Tour Includes:

  • Land transportation within Vietnam by private vehicles.
  • English speaking guide
  • Accommodation listed
  • Breakfasts each morning on the tour
  • Excursions as mentioned
  • All admission fees at activities mentioned in the itinerary, temples and attractions.
  • All taxes

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights to/from Asia. (Our team can help you arrange flights if requested)
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Visa fees
  • Meals, unless otherwise mentioned
  • Beverages and personal expenses
  • Other excursions and entrance fees
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation and evacuation in the event of accident of illness).
  • All other services not listed in “Tour Includes”.


We will arrange all flights and transportation within Asia as mentioned in the itinerary. Our team can arrange bonded ATOL flights to/from Asia upon request. Please complete the enquiry form with the necessary information to issue a quote for your international flights.


A visa is required to enter Vietnam. Our team will happily advise you on visa requirements.


Please ensure your passport has a validity of at least six months beyond stay. Also at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting and 4 passport-size photos are needed.


Please make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance adequate for your holidays and the activities you want to undertake. Your insurance must cover medical costs related to hospitalisation, repatriation and emergency travel.


Please consult your doctor, clinic or your national Department of Health for recommended vaccinations and medication when travelling to Southeast Asia. It is important to arrange the necessary appointments well in advance of your trip.


US Dollars (USD) are accepted in some places in Vietnam. You can exchange US Dollars for the local currency Vietnamese Dong (VND) once you arrive. For currency conversion please click here.

How to Book

Only once you are fully happy with your tailor-made itinerary you will receive an invoice. In order to secure availability for your booking, tour, activities and accommodation we require a 20% deposit.

Responsible Travel

Asia for Expats is committed to promote tourism that creates better places to live in and better places to visit. As expatriates living in Asia we care about the people and regions where we travel. Please read our Responsible Travel section to find more.

Please note: 

Our prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are subject to changes and can only be confirmed after receiving an enquiry.

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Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay

We can tailor this experience to suit your needs. Please complete the enquiry form specifying any requirements or alterations to the itinerary.