A world away from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam's cities and busy coastal regions are the lush northern regions of Mai Chau & Ninh Binh. For a quintessentially Vietnamese experience which allows you to interact with the locals surrounded by breathtaking scenery, step off the beaten track and add one of these undiscovered gems to your Vietnam trip. Mai Chau, just south of Da River, borders the beautiful Hoa Binh Lake. You could dedicate several days here to explore, from trekking through local villages to cycling along the peaceful green paths that surround the rice fields, and maybe even trying
to master a traditional dance with the locals. Most memorable though is a day spent trekking and boating around Hoa Binh Lake - actually a very beautiful man made reservoir - in the mountains. On your Mai Chau holidays you could also enjoy lunch at a traditional homestay and take a dip in Go Lao waterfall. For an alternative to the far better-known (and consequently much busier) Halong Bay - particularly in typhoon season - Ninh Binh is every bit as beautiful. Cultural experiences are a must on a Ninh Binh holiday and range from bamboo basket weaving to fishing and cooking classes, all taught by welcoming locals. The highlight of a stay here has to be a visit to Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of dramatic limestone karst peaks covered in lush green foliage. Take a small boat with a guide and explore the area from the water, navigating through caves and valleys as you gaze up on the towering peaks around you.

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In our opinion, Original Travel is an outstanding travel company. This was our fourth big trip with you and all have been brilliantly organised, with imaginative and interesting activities, as well as diversions which we would never have discovered or experienced without your expertise, local knowledge and contacts. Thank you!

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