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Citadels and Temples of the Dry Halong Bay – Tour from Hanoi

Fabulous, 5.0

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Duration: Approx. 10 hours
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  • Enjoy a relaxing boat ride through lush green paddy fields against the stunning background of limestone cliffs
  • See the ancient Dinh and Le Temples
  • Visit Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam
  • Enjoy an inclusive lunch at the "three caves" restaurant

See a slice of rural Vietnam as you take a relaxing boat ride through the incredibly beautiful 'Dry Halong Bay' or Tam Coc, and visit the Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam.

Ninh Binh Province is known for its scenic rice fields that are surrounded by jutting limestone crags. Tam Coc in Ninh Binh got its name as ‘Dry Halong Bay’ because of the huge limestone edifices that jut out of paddy fields and canals, creating an unusual and dramatic landscape.

A relaxing boat ride through lush green paddy fields of this region is a unique experience that combines the stunning backdrop of the limestone cliffs with Vietnamese floating villages.

Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Vietnam under the Dinh dynasty. The city used to be a huge citadel with temples shrines and smaller royal citadels.

With picturesque landscapes and interesting historical relics this is one tour of Vietnam that is a must-do.

Customer reviews

Had a great day overall, but the best bit for me was the cycling. Gorgeous scenery, with a tranquil bike ride meandering through the countryside. I also enjoyed the boat ride....

Jodi Marie Breen Australia
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You will be picked up from your hotel in Hanoi in a minivan and taken for a sightseeing excursion to the citadels and temples in the Dry Halong Bay area. An English-speaking guide will accompany you on this tour.

Your journey begins with a two-hour drive from the hectic capital of Hanoi to the province of Ninh Binh, approximately 100kms.

The first destination is Hao Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam during the Dinh and early Le dynasties. This ancient citadel once covered 300 hectares of land.

On arrival your local guide will take you through the Dinh and Le Temples. Restored in the 17th century, the temples are dedicated Dinh and Le emperors and believed to be built on the original foundations of the old palaces from the 11th and 12th centuries.

Following your temple visit you will stop for lunch at a local restaurant before visiting Tam Coc (which translates as "Three Caves").

The area is often referred to as Dry Halong Bay due to its spectacular scenery in which lime karsts rise up from the ground to tower over the region.

Here you will board rowing boats for a 2 to 2 ½ hour journey through caves, passing many local villages along the river system of the Red River Delta. The scenery comprises of lush green rice paddies during the rice growing seasons and surrounding limestone karsts making for a stunning backdrop to the journey and presents many photo opportunities.

At the end of the boat trip you will once again board your vehicle and return to Hanoi.

The tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel in Hanoi.

Please note
If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at your hotel for pick up. Please check your hotel details are correct on the voucher.

If your details are not correct It is very important to please email us to confirm your correct pick up hotel using the contact details on the voucher, If you prefer you may also phone the change through to us during business hours.
Voucher information: No need to print! If you are travelling with a smartphone or tablet you can present your voucher on your device for this activity.
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Transportation in a minivan
  • Boat ride
  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fee
  • Lunch
What happens after I book?
  • A booking voucher will be sent to you by email
  • Print all pages of the voucher
  • Present the voucher at the tour start point or attraction entrance
Activity schedule
When does it run?
Approx. 10 hours
Start time
Between 0800h (08:00am) – 0830h (08:30am) (Depending on the traffic)
Meeting point
Your hotel in Hanoi. (Please mention your hotel details at the time of booking. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 24 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details)
Ending point
Your hotel in Hanoi
Sale price
Check Availability
Additional information
The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have
Dos & Don'ts
Please ensure your knees and shoulders are covered as this trip visits rural areas

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No cancellation fees

On most bookings

We will never charge you any administrative fees for cancellations. For most tours and activities, there is no penalty for bookings cancelled a week in advance.

See the cancellation policy for this product