The best of Vietnam, plus Halong Bay; one of the natural wonders of the world, and one of Vietnam’s “must see” destinations. Halong Bay is situated a few hours East of Hanoi, off the East coast of Vietnam and is a large expanse of ocean, filled with floating islands and towering karst limestone mountains. It’s awe-inspiring beauty means it attracts many tourists and as a result, it can lead so some poor quality and scam trips! But with Castaways you are promised a top class experience and that’s a guarantee. When you tour with us you will be away from all the tourist traps, surrounded by nothing but sand, ocean, limestone cliffs and fellow backpackers out for a good time, and as with all of our trips you’ll enjoy a fun, chilled environment for you to make life long mates – We’ll warned ya though, they throw a hell of a party on Castaways!
A Hà NộiB Hạ Long BayC HanoiD Ninh BìnhE Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park HeadquarterF HuếG Hội An
DAY 1-2 – HANOI & HALONG BAY
We’ll pick you up and get you to your hostel because today’s all about getting settled and prepped for this epic adventure. If you arrive early head out to explore or kick back at the Hostel with a few drinks before the fun gets started. Day two we travel by bus to Halong Bay and take a boat to Castaway Island taking in the sights of Cat Ba National Park as we go. Arriving in time for lunch so you can fuel up get ready for some activities. The most popular is high-speed tubing or you can try your hand at some wake boarding. This is one of the coolest places to do it. Climbing is another excellent activity and we provide all equipment and instructions you need to experience the beauty from up high, safely! Not an adrenaline junkie? Lie on the beach, kayak, play volleyball or grab a beer at the bar.
DAY 3-4 – CASTAWAY ISLAND AND BACK TO HANOI
Heading out on a traditional junk boat we cruise, through magnificent, unspoilt mountain range of Lan Ha Bay, taking in the sights of the famous floating villages. Kayak through ancient caves and lagoons, and witness the endangered Langur monkeys. Then it’s a bite to eat and kick back on the boat with your Castaway buddies as we cruise back to the island for more fun. Enjoy a morning swim, some tanning or even a well deserved lie in before we start the journey back to the mainland! If you wanna carry on the party in Hanoi then join the Hostel pub crawl with all your new pals.
DAY 5-6 – FREE DAY HANOI & TRANG NA aka HALONG BAY ON LAND
Today there’s the walking tour if you’re up for it; you’ll experience a bit of the awesome capital city of Vietnam and sample some street food. Tonight try and get an early one, as we’ll be leaving early tomorrow. Today is starts with a bus ride to Trang An, AKA “Ha Long Bay on Land”. We’ll grab some food, before taking a traditional rowing boat paddling through limestone karst mountains and caves to visit an Ancient 10th Century pagoda and temple. Then it’s dinner and showers in Ninh Binh town before jumping on the overnight bus to Phong Nha National Park.
DAY 7-8 – DARK CAVE AND PHONG NHA NATIONAL PARK
Home to wildlife, crystal clear rivers and immense cave systems Phong NGA National Parks in Vietnams largest. Our first stop is Eight Lady Cave. The site where eight women who were working on Route 20 highway, died from a bomb attack that caused a massive rock to seal off the exit trapping them inside. After lunch we visit the Dark Cave by zip line, or for the slightly less adventurous kayaks. With only a head torch for light, we navigate our way in the darkness to the mud baths. Soak up in the goodness and leave with baby-smooth skin. Afterwards take a refreshing dip in the lake and wash all the mud away. Tomorrow is free for you to cycle around and explore the town of Phong Nha – check out the local life by the river or just chill out and watch the world go by. Later on we will take a short but very bumpy ride through the villages to make our way to the Pub with Cold Beer!
DAY 9-10 – VINH MOC TUNNEL, THIEN MU PAGODA & BEACH DAY
In the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in the centre of Vietnam are the Vinh Moc tunnels. Built by families seeking shelter from the American war, 600 people lived here and 17 babies were born in the tunnels between 1965 and 1972. We then visit the site as well as The Mine Action Visitors Centre in Dong Ha to get an insight into how the war still impacts the country and if you’re lucky you might get to witness a controlled explosion. We’ll then head to the hostel in Hue for some dinner and drinks as tomorrow we explore the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, Thien Mu before some food, cocktails and a sunset swim.
DAY 11-13 – HUE TO HOI AN ALONG THE HAI VAN PASS
Day 11 is the must do ‘Top Gear Experience’! Riding motorbikes along the coast from Hue to Hoi An, taking in the beautiful beaches, coastline views and the breathtaking Elephant Springs. Bring your swimming gear so you can relax and enjoy the springs before we feast on a well earned lunch. After we’ve eaten we head further South along the the famous Hai Van Pass. Tomorrow we take an easy bike ride through the bamboo groves, then a basket boat ride to try a our luck at crab fishing. The rest of the afternoon is free for exploring the Old Town, but tonight get ready to party! Day 13 is yours to do as you please; so whether you head to the beach, go sightseeing around the Old Town, get your tailor made clothes adjusted or simply relax by the pool, it’s all about you! If you’re a budding chef and want to try your hand at some local cooking enquire about our cooking class tour!