Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey.
In the morning, you’ll visit Hanoi’s Fine Art Museum for an overview and historical perspective of Vietnamese art. Then you’ll call in on two or three of the better commercial galleries in the city. If there are any good exhibitions running at the time, we could replace one or more of the gallery visits according to your preference.
Then you will be driven to Ba Pho Music House, you will be impressed by a collection of more than 200 types of folk instruments of ethnic minority groups nationwide, many of which look extremely strange such as the “Dan luu” of from northern plains, the “Dan co ke” and “flute of Mong” of the northwestern region, the stone instruments of the Mo Nong group and the stone instruments of the Ede group. After lunch here, you can tune yourself in with some traditional Vietnamese music. A local musician, Mr. Ba Pho, will guide you through his music studio displaying many rare and unique Vietnamese musical instruments. Ba Pho’s enthusiastic insight into the origins of these instruments is extraordinary: he's also well-schooled in the geography and history of the Vietnamese ethnic minorities.
The best way to experience his vast collection is by listening to the Ba Pho artist family in concert. An exclusive 1.5 hour-long performance by Ba Pho, Mai Lien and their son Ba Nha is included. You are back at your hotel around 15.30.
In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of Cheo in Vietnam Cheo Theater. Cheo is a popular art form of the Vietnamese people for many generations and has fostered the national spirit through its lyrical content. This performance gathers the most famous artist of Vietnam and it is special in that it does not only include Cheo songs but also a mixture of different traditional music types as Chau Van, Dan Nhi instrument (a Vietnamese bowed string instrument with two strings), T’rưng instrument. Professional but cozy performance space here will definitely bring you unforgettable impression. After the show, you will have chance to meet and talk with the artist for some minutes. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.
After breakfast, your driver will arrive to take you to Tam Tao Village about 30km north of Hanoi. On the way, you’ll visit Bat Trang village, which is famous for producing fine ceramics. Your guide will take you through the busy tourist area to the much quieter old part of the village right on the river. There you can stroll the narrow streets to observe the time-honoured manufacturing processes still in use and meet the ceramic artisans.
You’ll then drive to Tam Tao village, where you will be welcomed to a lunch by local family at a traditional house. After lunch, you will enjoy traditional Quan Ho music performed by villagers in the commune house. The singers have been officially designated part of Vietnam’s ‘living heritage’ by UNESCO. Here you can interact with the singers and one of them will teach you to sing some simple Quan Ho folk song. In the late afternoon, you’ll return to Hanoi for overnight accommodation.
After breakfast, you’ll leave for Bai Tu Long Bay, which is every bit as beautiful as its famous neighbour, Halong Bay; or actually more stunning as many traveller’s feedbacks. There you’ll board a private wooden junk that takes you through Bai Tu Long Bay area. You’ll then continue your cruise to the bay’s most deserted areas with opportunities to swim at quiet sandy beaches at Hon Co island [weather permits] or kayaking after visiting one of the least visited caves, Thien Canh Son. The route is designed to avoid the busy areas and includes a very quiet location for your overnight stay.
You’ll wake in the fresh air of the bay with a swim or you can relax on the sundeck. After breakfast, you’ll continue your cruise to visit Vung Vieng fishing village where you’ll have an opportunity to explore the village and the hidden lagoon in a rustic rowing boat. You will check out of the cabin and cruise towards the harbor while an A la carte lunch is served.
You’ll arrive back the dock around noon whereupon you’ll be picked up to return to Hanoi. You can stop at Yen Duc village in Dong Trieu province to enjoy a water puppet show performed by local artists (inclusive). After that you will be driven to Hanoi. You will be arriving at your hotel in the late-afternoon. Your overnight accommodation will be in Hanoi.
In the evening, you will have tickets of Tu Phu show. The brilliant colours and ornate, sparkling decorations of the costumes offer a powerful visual spectacle and this show is engaging and well-paced. With the theme of the traditional Vietnamese practice of spirit incarnation, the energy and passion of this performance overflow the stage. Translating such deeply-held beliefs and mystical practices into a successful stage show is no small feat, and these stage artists deserve every accolade for delivering a memorable show.
Your time will be your own until a car and drive arrives to pick up to the airport for your departure flight. Tour ends!
Tam Tao village, Phu Lam Commune, Tien Du district is an ancient village with number of religious cultural and art works deeply imbued Kinh Bac – Bac Ninh’s homeland and Tam Tao Communal House is recognized as a typical historical and cultural relic. Tam Tao Communal House is the place for local cultural and spiritual activities and is also the center of village’s festival.
Bai Tu Long Bay, located a little further east of Halong Bay, is the most remote area of your voyage. The exceptional scale and variety of the geological rock formations in this area are sure to make this a future destination for cruising in the Gulf of Tonkin.