Gay Hanoi and Halong Bay Travel, the Ultimate First-Time Hanoi Visit
Here is the classic journey for anyone who wants to see the best of Northern Vietnam. Explore Hanoi, enjoy a performance of "water puppets," spend the night in spectacular Halong Bay, enjoy gay and lesbian-friendly hotels, and travel to ancient villages with one of our legendary private guides. Custom tours are our specialty! This program is the perfect first-time Hanoi and Halong Bay tour that also includes rural villages and historic religious places like the Perfume Pagoda. Choose from budget to five star hotels and enjoy Northern Vietnam with your own personal guide!
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.
Vietnam's bewitching capital city stands as testament to thousands of years of conquering suitors who have sought to possess her. Conquer her yourself and rest later in Halong Bay! This is our most comprehensive trip through Northern Vietnam. Experience the vibrance of the city, the beauty and tranquility of Halong Bay, and a day trip into the countryside to your favorite from among a selection of different itineraries. You get a private guide throughout, hotel, admission costs, an overnight cruise, and even an amazing evening at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. This is gay travel to Vietnam at its best.
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. Set sail after lunch and sleep aboard.
Day Five: Morning Halong Cruising
Awake to an incomparable sunrise. 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 how about a private cooking class? 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?