Hanoi off the beaten track | Itinerary and suggested day trips

This is David from Hanoi Eco Tour team, who has been working 10 years as an English speaking guide in the  Hanoi area. I know that lots of you are looking for traveling Hanoi off the beaten track but other articles don’t provide enough information or it isn’t up to date.

For example, train street has been closed since Oct 12, 2019 and it used to be a very touristy place with tons of cafes. In order to become the top article which provides down to earth information about traveling off the beaten path n Hanoi, written by a local Hanoian who has been living in the city for years and write from personal travel experiences by visiting tons of places near Hanoi 

Hanoi walking tour off the beaten track

narrow alley way hanoi
Walking in the narrow alley only know by locals

This walking tour of Hanoi hidden gem is to take you to city best kept secret spots with all local experience and be away from tourist trail like any others tour companies in Hanoi. Starts with a less well-known markets where locals sell bonsai, flowers and plants. Navigate in small alleys to reach B52 lake where US Air Craft had been shot down during Vietnam war.

Then experience chaotic local food market with tons of fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and seafood. Then head to green lung of the city called Hanoi Botanical garden where locals go for morning exercise, children hanging out with their parents and so on.

Have authentic Vietnamese lunch at Pho Cuon restaurant and have local beer called Truc Bach. This trip is perfect for couples and photographers with scenic view and local life. For example, old Long Bien bridge built in the late 19th century, Cua Bac church, West lake of Hanoi, Bonsai market, Phan Dinh Phung street with tree-lined along the sidewalk

Join a day trip of Culture wet rice tour in rural Hanoi

rice transpranting hanoi eco tour
Planting rice with locals is great way to educate your kids about rice farmers’lives

The best way to learn a deeper understanding of local living is to travel in rural Hanoi and get involved in their daily life activities, how they work, cook, eat and play and learn practical farming experience like plowing the field with cow, a fun things to do, especially family with kids; transplanting baby rice by hand to understand how hard lives of Vietnamese rice farmers is.

Back home to cook with the host family and learn secret recipes how to cook yummy local foods. Then head for a bike ride along village path and see what’s going on everyday in the village. We recommend this farm tour for family with kids, couples and group of friends

Read more : Hanoi Wet rice farm day tour

Bac Son valley tour

bac son valley
Amazing view of Bac Son valley

Bac Son valley is now a new rising destination with amazing landscapes, friendly hill tribe Tay ethnic group, off the beaten track with very few tourists. If travelling in rice harvest season either June or Oct, you can’t believe how beautiful it is. Photographers should miss the chance to shoot amazing photos of endless rice paddies fields, mountains and villages. 

On the other hand, don’t forget to check out local primary school and brick factory where you can meet and interact with locals

We recommend taking an overnight stay in a home-stay in Bac Son valley. 

If you have more than two days, trek through hidden villages untouched by tourism with a local guide 

What makes Bac Son valley famous for

  • Friendly locals
  • Amazing landscape with magnificent natural beauty
  • Off the beaten path
  • Fascinating culture of Tay Ethnic group
  • Local living experience

Cuc Phuong national park day tour : A place for nature and wildlife lover

hiking at cuc phuong national park
Hiking at cuc phuong national park

Just 3.5 hours drive from Hanoi, Cuc Phuong national park is renowned as Vietnam largest national park with over 22.000 hectares of rain forest and the diversity of fauna and fauna in Vietnam. 

Best things to do in the national park

  • Check out Early man cave with 03 tombs from ancient men who had been living in the region from 7000 to 12000 years old. 
  • Visit Endanger Primate Center and Turtle conservation center
  • Trek along the dirt trails through the forest to see 1000 years old tree
  • Do volunteer works at the park headquarter 

Taking a day tour to Xuan Thuy national park from Hanoi – Vietnam first Ramsar site

panoramic view xuan thuy national park
Great view from the view point where the Red river meets the sea

3.5 hours drive from Hanoi, located in Nam Dinh province, Xuan Thuy national park known as a great escape day trip from bustling Hanoi. It it home to 200 bird spices, 500 species of benthos and zooplankton, 10 aquatic plant species. 

What is like for a day trip to the Xuan Thuy national park 

seafood lunch in a clam hut xuan thuy
Seafood lunch on a clam hut in Xuan Thuy, what you only see in Discovery Channel

During 3.5 hours drive from Hanoi, check out Cho Rong (Dragon market), the most well-known whole sale market in Nam Dinh town and Vi Khe bonsai village with various shapes

Taking a boat ride among mangroves trees along the side, have lunch in a clam hut with fresh seafood and enjoy cool breeze , rustic beauty of river, clam field, rowing local boat makes you feel like traveling in a place in only in Discovery channel. 

After boat ride, check out a great point where you can see the Red river meets the sea. 

Read more : Xuan Thuy national park day tour

Taking a day tour to see untouched area of Bai Tu Long bay 

bai tu long cruise
Bai Tu Long Bay off the tourist trail

If you get rid of mass tourism, Bai Tu Long will be the choice for overnight cruise stay. The bay itself offer great view from limestone karst mountain with less tourist. There is an unique route departs from Van Don port is truly off the beaten track with a few tour companies operating. 

You take part in fun activities like kayaking, caving, swimming and so on. It is worth for a day trip. Overnight stay in Quan Lan island 

Read more : Bai Tu Long day tour from Hanoi

Explore Duong Lam village – A trace back to origin of Vietnam

lunch in duong lam village
Homecooked lunch in an old house in Duong Lam village

It is located on the outskirts of Hanoi, about 60 km west of Hanoi and also known as a museum of laterite, home to many houses dating back up to 400 years. One special thing about the village is that most of the buildings here are made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area. The village has also been described as the last stronghold of wet rice farming culture in northern Vietnam.

You’ll explore local temples, ancient houses over 400 years old, Catholic church and enjoy yummy local foods, all makes it unique experience to a rural village of Vietnam

Read more : Duong Lam ancient village day tour from Hanoi

Is Hanoi Off beaten path guide helpful?

We hope this article to find a good Hanoi day trip off the beaten track, away from the tourist trail. Please share your thoughts in the comment box below or email us at info@hanoiecotour.com . We would love to hear from you. 

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davidcoi

David Nguyen : Freelancer tour guide as well as a passionate writer for Hanoi Eco Tour, who has been working over 10 years in the tourism industry. All articles are written by him from his REAL travel experiences, down to earth and unique.

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