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Seven legendary days from Hanoi to Hoi An. Immerse yourself in the local culture, culinary delights and scenic landscapes on a journey through rural Vietnam. The Buffalo Run has been designed by travellers for travellers. It showcases some of the most spectacular "off the beaten track" destinations while keeping a fun and relaxed atmosphere, all being enjoyed with a bunch of like minded souls.
DAY 1 – CUC PHUONG NATIONAL PARK (L,D)
You won't believe how gorgeous this National Park is! It's packed full of butterflies, wildlife, ancient trees and dense tropical rainforest.
Visiting the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre at Cuc Phuong, you will see some of the world’s rarest Langurs and Gibbons. One of the park rangers will tell you about their plight and what you can do to help.
There is the option of riding a motorbike or a mountain bike to the park centre where we will stay for the night. For those that are up for it, will get the chance of joining an after dark jungle hike. Bring a flashlight as the jungle comes alive at night! Shoes, long pants and shirt are recommended.
DAY 2 - TRANG AN – HALONG BAY ON LAND (B,L,D)
Waking up bright and early in the amazing Cuc Phuong National Park, get some breakfast in before departing on a very scenic, yet mildly challenging trek through the jungle to view the very impressive thousand year old tree. This is a great way to start the day and sweat out the beers from the night before!
The afternoon will be spent in Trang An, the area known as "Ha Long Bay on Land". After enjoying a delicoius lunch, we will take a boat up a beautiful river fed by natural springs through up to nine caves, that cut their way through amazing limstone karst mountains to visit a Ancient 10th Century pagoda and temple.
We’ll have a chance to have dinner and a shower in central Ninh Binh town before boarding the overnight bus to Phong Nha National Park.
DAY 3 – PARADISE CAVE – ONE OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST & BEAUTIFUL CAVES (B,L)
One of the largest National Parks in Vietnam, it's home to a huge amount of wildlife, breathtaking scenery, crystal clear rivers, and immense cave systems.
A recent documentary by National Geographic has given this area much attention. One of the biggest and most beautiful caves in this National Park is the Paradise Cave, which we will visit before having a swim in a river in the middle of the National Park which rumour has it, springs from Laos.
DAY 4 – VINH MOC TUNNEL (B,L)
Vinh Moc is a tunnel complex in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). The tunnels were built to shelter families from the intense bombings of the area during the American war. Over 600 people lived and 17 babies were born in these tunnels between 1965 and 1972. After lunch we will visit the Mine Action Visitors Centre in Dong Ha. This centre looks at the effects of the war that still happens today, even after hostilities ended in 1975. What happens to all the bombs that do not explode? The NPA (Norwegian Peoples Aid) team will take us through what they are doing about this massive problem. After this you will arrive at Vietnam Backpacker Hostels in Hue for some cold beers and depending what you’re up for, a relaxing night in or hitting the town! :)
DAY 5 – THIEN MU PAGODA & BEACH DAY (B,L):
Standing seven storeys high, Thien Mu is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam. Built in 1601, this pagoda is rich in history and is a very important Buddhist site. Pat the stone turtle on his head for good luck. Hop back on the bus and we head to the local beach to enjoy some lunch and some cocktails as we swim and enjoy the sunset... This spot is a real hidden gem!!
DAY 6 – HAI VAN PASS (B,L)
Depart Hue in the morning as part of the ‘Top Gear Expereince’ and ride motorbikes all the way to Hoi An. With many stops along the way, taking in beautiful beaches, coastline and the breathtaking Elephant Springs. Make sure you have packed your swimming gear as this is a great place to relax, swim and enjoy lunch for a couple of hours. The journey then heads South to take in some breathtaking views as we ascend the famous Hai Van Pass where we will stop at the top to see some French and American bunkers, the remnants of war times past. This road, made famous by the Top Gear motoring programme is a site not to be missed.
*If you do not have the expereince to ride a motorbike then riding pillion or a relaxing bus journey will both be made avaialble to you.
DAY 7 – HOI AN: BASKET BOAT TRIP, UNESCO OLD TOWN & ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN ASIA (B):
Here you will take a leisurely bicycle ride through the picturesque bamboo groves and take a tradational basket boat ride that includes some crab fishing. Finish up with a fresh coconut by the side of the river. Finish the trip with some free time to explore the Old Town’s thousands of tailor shops, art galleries and riverside market or simply kick back on the beach.
What should I bring?
What do I need to bring? Your Passport, swimming gear and a towel, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen (at least SPF15), a reliable insect repellent, toiletries, a camera and lots of batteries, warm clothing for the cooler months of November to March. Also bring your appetite and a sense of humour!
How much luggage can I take? Your vehicle has limited space so please keep your luggage to a maximum of 15kgs in a backpack or soft overnight bag and include a small day pack to hand carry for easy access to camera, sunscreen, water etc.
What days do you go? The Trip departs twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays.
Where do I meet the tour? The trip departs from Vietnam Backpackers’ Downtown Hostel at 9 Ma May Street, Hanoi at 6:30am. Make sure to double check with our crew at the travel desks for departure time for your tour particularly if you are staying at our Original Hostel
Do I have to reconfirm my place on the tour? Yes, you must reconfirm your place on the tour 24 hours before the tour departs either at the Travel Desk in the foyer of the hostel or via email. If you are arriving to the hostel less than 24 hours before the departure time of the tour full payment must be made to confirm your booking.
What do I eat? Our emphasis is on fresh food wherever possible and our meals are nutritious and varied. If you are vegetarian or do not eat seafood we can cater for you, but if you have very specific dietary needs you may need to provide your own food, please discuss this at time of booking.
How fit do I have to be? Ours are active tours so a reasonable level of fitness and swimming ability is needed. If you enjoy kayaking through caves, swimming in sheltered bays or rock climbing in pristine national parks and directly experiencing the environment then our tours are perfect for you. If you have any doubts about your suitability for our tours, please check with our Reservations Department before making a booking. NOTE: Activities vary in duration and grade depending on the trip chosen.
Do I have to participate? Part of the enjoyment of our tours is bonding with a group of like-minded adventurers so we make them active and hands on. Full involvement is normally one of the highlights of the trip but no one can force you to do something you don't want to do.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellation Policy Fees will be charged in event of booking cancellations:
48 Hours - 30 Days 20% of Fare
24 Hours - 48 Hours 50% of Fare
Within 24 Hours 100% of Fare