Hanoi and Halong Bay

Our ultimate first-time Hanoi and Halong Bay for gay visitors includes your choice of intriguing day trips to villages and pagodas outside the city!

Northern Viet Nam is among the most beautiful and unspoiled destinations beckoning savvy visitors. Hanoi is the intriguing gateway to this surviving bit of Eden. Vietnam's bewitching capital city stands as testament to thousands of years of conquering suitors who have sought to possess her. Today, Hanoi is a vibrant, paradoxical place - a living museum filled with historic treasures, contemporary achievements, nightlife, and astounding shopping opportunities that will thrill thrifty treasure-hunters. Our guests will also be treated to the geologic wonders in nearby Halong Bay, with panoramic vistas shrouded in mist, like fairytale landscapes from a Chinese watercolor. You do not have to be gay to enjoy this package. Our mainstream guests choose us because they know they will get something better from a gay tour company.

Day One: The Most Beautiful City in Indochina

Our guide meets you on arrival at Noi Bai airport and takes you into the city on a drive that is practically a tour in itself. The one-hour trip takes you past cornfields, a flood plain of rice paddies, and modern factories, then through Hanoi's narrow, winding lanes. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the Ancient Quarter, take a twilight cyclo (pedicab) ride around Hoan Kiem Lake, or the local Hanoi's gay scene.

Day Two: Experience the Best of Hanoi

Your Vietnamese guide escorts you to Hanoi's most important sites: Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum (if open) and Museum, the One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Pagoda, and the meandering streets of the Ancient Quarter. For lunch you sample Hanoi's famous "pho," (Hanoi's iconic noodle soup). Tonight you have tickets to the Water Puppet Theatre- a uniquely Vietnamese art form combining puppetry, water ballet, and folk music.

Day Three: Your Choice of Side Trip

Hanoi is surrounded by lush landscapes, historic villages, and fascinating religious treasures. Today you can choose your own direction for the day. Choose one of the following:

Perfume Pagoda, one of Buddhism's most significant spiritual sites, where pilgrims burn offerings for the spirit world in huge limestone grottoes, reached by boat, and then by cable car (unless you prefer to hike).

Tam Coc and Phat Diem."Halong On Land" plus the spiritual ground zero for Vietnamese Catholics.

Traditional Villages and Pagodas. Visit hamlets that specialize in making one thing (pottery, paper, furniture, bricks, toothpicks and even bird cages) as well as centuries-old pagodas. You cannot see them all, pick a direction and you are bound to see interesting things. You will also visit one or more very old Chinese-style pagodas.

Tam Dao Hill Station.Beat the heat during warm months and enjoy nature in a French Colonial "hill station."

Want to see more than one? You can add one or more extra nights to make your exploration of Northern Vietnam even more memorable.

Day Four: Cruise Halong Bay

Even at dawn, Hanoi vibrates with life. As you drive into the countryside you catch glimpses of handsome young athletes exercising around Hoan Kiem Lake. Heading eastward, the morning is filled with the remarkable contrasts of the northern Vietnamese countryside where there is always something spectacular off in the distance. Arrive in Halong City in time for lunch. Local legends of giant dragons crashing to earth come to life as you cruise among thousands of dramatic islands sprinkled across awesome Halong Bay. After dinner you are free to explore local scene. You can choose between sleeping in a hotel in Halong City or taking an overnight cruise. (More information about cruise options appears below.)

Day Five: Morning Halong Cruising

Early morning finds you cruising Halong Bay once again. Explore magnificent caves or head to a secluded bay for a swim. Return to shore in time for lunch , then return to Hanoi by cocktail hour. Tonight you are free to bid farewell to heavenly Hanoi.

Day Six: Where Next?

The morning is free for last-minute shopping along colorful Hang Bong, or to sip coffee in a shady cafe overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. Later, you are driven to Noi Bai Airport in time for your flight. Why not spend an extra night and expand your private Halong Bay cruise to two nights? Or continue your Vietnam vacation with some of our great side trips in North Vietnam, including the legendary Perfume Pagoda, or a short flight to sizzling Saigon, historic Hue and Hoi An, or breathtaking Sapa?

Tet Holiday 2019:We regret that we can not accept Vietnam reservations during the period 04 through 09 February due to the TET (Vietnamese New Year) Holiday. Since it is considered unlucky to work during this period, practically everything closes, everyone takes a vacation, and some prices double. We do not recommend visiting during this time because there are no public festivities and visitors are left with almost nothing to do.

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Prices and Hotels
Prices depend on your choice of hotel and when you want to travel.

We offer several different hotels in Hanoi, ranging from basic to five stars. If you have a specific hotel in mind, please let us know. All of the hotels we use are carefully chosen for location, amenities, quality of service, security and value. We use only hotels that are LGBT-friendly.
We inspect most hotels at least once a year.

To see prices and compare hotels please click on the "$" button on the left. If you have questions or suggestions about the hotels we use, please Contact us

Club Sanook Discounts

Great Value

LGBT-friendly hotel accommodation, tax, service, daily breakfast beginning on day 2, private airport transportation, personal guides, two days Hanoi sightseeing with admissions, pho lunch, and water puppet performance, round trip transportation to Halong Bay, and two half days private Halong Bay cruise. Overnight accommodation in Halong City is very basic, so consider one of our  "sleep-aboard" options using group cruises or private boats. Not included: airfare, local transportation, beverages, other meals, other admissions, gratuities, features not specifically mentioned in the itinerary, or items of a purely personal nature.

Why Purple Dragon is Better
Where We Shine: Our guides in Hanoi work for us — not for a local tour company, so we know you are getting the best guide available. They love to show our guests things that most group tours never have a chance to see. All of our hotels are in safe, central locations. Unlike most other tours to Halong Bay and Perfume Pagoda, you travel in comfort in a private car with a personal guide. We promise never to put you in an ancient bus full of backpackers or in a hotel that is not gay-friendly.