Orient Skyline Travel‘s Red River to Halong Bay discovery tour includes the key sites in northern Vietnam including three UNESCO World Heritage sites. This tour is specially designed for those who have limited time but like to discover the essentials from ancient historical sites to natural beauty of the North.



Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay



  • Discover charming and ancient Hanoi
  • Explore Ninh Binh limestone towers and ancient pagoda on mountain cliff
  • Take a sampan cruise through limestone formations in Trang An UNESCO Heritage
  • Indulge on a boat cruising across romantic Halong Bay



  • Accommodation in a double/twin room with breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • English peaking local guide
  • Transfer by air-conditioned vehicle as mentioned
  • Boat trip mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for guided visits
  • Excursions as mentioned
  • Service charge


Day 1: Arrive Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi airport, Orient Skyline Travel’s guide will welcome you and transfer you by private car through the city to your hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B, L)

Your Hanoi discovery journey will begin with visiting the Temple of Literature or Scholar Temple, built in 1070, the temple at first was dedicated to worshiping Confucius then converted into the first university of Vietnam where several thousand of mandarins and elites were educated from here. Walk through the well kept garden with lotus ponds and ancient banyan trees, passing 82 marble turtles by the Thien Quang lake as the “pool ablution” to the most sacred monument to have a fascinating glimpse of Vietnam’s past education.

Following, transfer to Thang Long UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a walk through the imposing Doan Mon Gate to visit the imperial inner quarter. The founding history of this citadel began from the 7th century and the site reflects the influences fusion of the Chinese and Champa.

Nearby is Ho Chi Minh complex with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (view from the outside), walk pass through the botanic garden pass the Presidential Palace to Ho Chi Minh House on stilts where he lived 9 years from 1958 to 1969. At the end of the circuit, visit the One Pillar Pagoda founded from 1049, the wooden pagoda sits on a pillar erected from the lotus pond. The structure does look like a lotus flower, the symbolic flower in Buddhism.

Continue to the picturesque the West Lake (Foggy Lake for former name) to visit the 11th century Quan Thanh Temple which dedicated to the Chinese Northern Sky God. Walk along the breezy lakeshore to the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist pagoda which has been nominated, by some foreign travel magazines, as one of the most beautiful pagodas in Asia.

Discover the old quarter of Hanoi on a walk through narrow streets and Hoan Kiem lake, a lively destination with thousands of pop up shops and small businesses. The final highlight of the day is the well known water puppet show where you will enjoy this unique performance art of the Northern Vietnamese before returning to the hotel for the night.

Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (B, L)

Depart from the hotel in Hanoi for the 2.5 hour car drive through the rural countryside to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Spend time to visit the two temples of Dinh and Le. Not much of the ancient citadel and royal palace left after the millennium but the spectacular limestone mountains. Drive to the town of Tam Coc for a Vietnamese styled lunch. After lunch, the adventurous ones can climb to the Bich Dong Mountain and visit the complex of Pagoda on the limestone cliff. Dating back to 1407, the complex comprises three levels: Ha Pagoda (below), Trung Pagoda (middle), Thuong Pagoda (top).

In the afternoon, visit Trang An, the site that was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2014. Trang An has a spectacular landscape of towering limestone ridges. Take a relaxing boat trip on the peaceful river through a series of caves. The boat glides leisurely on the river that flows winding around the limestone mountains that a new name “Halong Bay Land” arisen.

Transfer to the hotel and overnight in Ninh Binh.

Day 4: Ninh Binh – Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Enjoy an early breakfast, you leave Ninh Binh on a 3 hour journey to Halong Bay, the first and most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vietnam! The name “Halong” means dragons descending. There are almost 2000 rock formations of limestone and strange islets, scattered in the bay.

Arrive at Halong Bay and check in to board the boat for the unforgettable cruise in Halong Bay. Enjoy a welcome drink with a journey briefing on board and savor your buffet lunch while your boat sails towards the bay. After lunch, join in some onboard activities (depends on the different boats) or just spend time relaxing on board. Dinner will be served on board after the Happy Hour in the evening.

Overnight in Halong Bay.

Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure (B, L)

Early risers can join the Tai Chi class on the sundeck of the boat. Enjoy the tranquility in the bay while the sun shines over the Halong Mountains. Savor a light breakfast while the boat keeps moving slowly across the bay through the jungle clad of towering formations, followed by a brunch. As the boat arrives at the harbor, wave goodbye to your crews and take the transfer the airport in Hanoi or Hai Phong for your departure flight.

You might be interested in our Explore Phong Nha cave, otherwise look for other interesting options in our Vietnam excursions travel style!


Red River to Halong Bay
Red River to Halong Bay
Red River to Halong Bay
Red River to Halong Bay
Red River to Halong Bay
Red River to Halong Bay
Red River to Halong Bay
Red River to Halong Bay