Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. We are going to be immersed in the culture for 9 days/ 8 nights. We will experience the beautiful Vietnam landscapes and be up close and personal with the locals.
When planning these retreats I find inspiration from countries that are full of culture and offer a beautiful awakening... What I mean by that is that I seek out cultures that are rich in community, religion, or a way of life that is extremely different than how we live in the US. It's an opportunity to be curious and tap into parts of ourselves that feel new and alive as we embark on something so new that are all of our senses are awakened. Travel is a beautiful teacher on so many levels and I want more than anything for the attendees on these trips to feel the deep and meaningful experience of being a traveler, not a tourist.
Day 1: Hanoi arrival - Airport pick up - Transfer to hotel (Dinner)
Upon your arrival, our tour guide and driver pick you up then transfer you to Hanoi. We then enjoy dinner in the Old town then spend time to explore the Old town Hanoi by night.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour - Overnight in Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch)
9am we pick you up to begin our city tour today. Visiting Tran Quoc Pagoda and West lake. Later we head to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the resting place of Ho Chi Minh president and One Pillar Pagoda – modeled after a lotus flower, a symbol of Hanoi.
After that, we visit Temple of Literature, which is considered as the first university of Vietnam built in 11th century. Having lunch in a Vietnamese restaurant.
It is time to take a cup of coffee at Train Street, a very unique place in Hanoi where you can see the house and people living next to the railway. Finally we watch a Water puppet show in Old quarter to learn more about the traditional entertainment of ancient Vietnamese people. Transfer you to your hotel for relaxing.
Day 3: Hanoi - Pu Luong - Overnight in Pu Luong (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
You will start PuLuong Adventure trip and ready with 4 hours driving journey follow Ho Chi Minh Trails (1B – National Higway). One stop on the haft way for a short break.
12.30 You will enter Pu Luong Nature Reserve by road via a breath-taking mountain pass giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley. You arrive at your accommodation in time for a delicious lunch, followed by free time to explore the beautiful retreat, with its captivating panoramic views and tranquil setting.
14.30 You will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk passing the rice field to stunning water wheels area. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes. Arriving at a local fisherman’s house, you have a short rest to gear up for the rafting adventure. Float along the calm river and enjoy the views, in between learning how to paddle and steer your handcrafted bamboo rafts. Arriving at scenic Tan Lap bridge, you disembark to be transferred back to retreat for dinner.
Day 4: Pu Luong - Overnight in Pu Luong (Breakfast, Lunch)
07.30 – 08.00 Breakfast
08.30 Start early to descend into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you walk around tumbling rice terraces. Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation to slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Your camera will not be able to sit still!
Continuing to the base of the valley, you weave between roads and farm land, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open land. Savour the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot to enjoy a simple picnic lunch. After enjoying delicious food, you have free time to explore the refreshing water to the nearby river.
15.30 Moving to pick up point to be transferred back to the Retreat.
Day 5: Pu Luong - Ninh Binh - Overnight in Ninh Binh (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Welcome new day with a heathy breakfast, admire the sunrise at the tranquil village. This morning we check out the reatreat then starting our journey to Ninh Binh.
You will have lunch at the local restaurant. After lunch continue going to visit Mua Peak in Ninh Binh. We hike up 500 steps to Mua Peak then enjoy the stunning panoramic view of Tam Coc area and Ngo Dong river as well as countryside.
16:30 – 17:00: Check in your accommodation, leisure time. Dinner is service and free time to explore Tam Coc town. Stay overnight in Tam Coc area.
Day 6: Ninh Binh - Overnight in Ninh Binh (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast, we are going to Trang An wharf for taking the sampan in Trang An eco complex and temples. Enjoy the boat ride by locals, going through many caves on river, it is time to connect with nature.
Later we head to a local restaurant for having lunch.
The afternoon finds us in a tranquil road of rural village by cycling around. We then visit Bich Dong pagoda – the oldest pagoda in the area which is located on a limestone mountain. Finally going back to hotel for relaxing. The dinner tonight in free on your own.
Day 7: Ninh Binh - HaLong - Overnight on a cruise (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast we drive from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay (3,5 hours), you have a stop en-route.
11:30 - 12:00PM you will be taken on our tender from the wharf and make your way out onto the bay to board our luxurious cruise. You will be welcome aboard and greeted with a complimentary drink. Our Crew will conduct a compulsory safety procedures session and then you are free to check into your cabin and freshen up. Take some time to have a look around the vessel or watch the magical landscape go by.
13:15 A special lunch of fresh seafood and an assortment of appetizing favorites will be served. We set sail to Lan Ha Bay passing to Da Chong islet where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago.
15:00 When lunch is about to finish, it is just nice that the Cruise completes its entry through Cua Van area to Lan Ha Bay (as part of Halong Bay). The area is surrounding of a lot of extraordinary limestone karst landscapes. Guests can start their journey to explore the Lan Ha Bay by Kayaking and swimming in the crystal clear waters of the bay.
17:00 Back to the main boat, and cruising to a place for staying overnight
17:30 Join the sunset party on the sundeck in a warm and romantic atmosphere, making friends with other members in the group, enjoy fresh local fruit, listening soft, light music.
19:15 Enjoy dinner in restaurant.
20:45 Your free time to relax with an exotic cocktail or whatever takes your fancy. Our bar has a wide range of wines, beers, and liquors and is always a welcome sight for guests after a day on Bay. Order a Spa service or take any activities on boat cruise such as watching documentary movies, squid ﬁshing or simply relax on our rooftop deck under the cover of a star ﬁlled sky. Overnight in Ha Long bay cruise.
Day 8: Halong Bay – Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch)
06:30 The nicest time of the day on Lan Ha Bay is the morning. Head to the upper deck to participate in our daily Tai Chi sessions. Relax with an early morning cup of tea, coffee or juice anywhere you wish on the boat and watch the never-ending miraculous scenery unfold before you.
07:00 Light breakfast will be served in our restaurant (pastries, tea, coffee)
7:45 - 9:00 Enjoy the last stage of your trip to Dark & Bright cave and islets by local rowing boats which is a wild and mysterious beauty in the middle of the World Heritage. Back to our main board afterward.
09:30 Check out of your cabin as we draw closer to the mainland.
10:15 Cooking class opened right on the Cruise, you will be guided how to prepare and make spring rolls.
10:45 Enjoy your lunch on the boat.
11:45 You will board our tender and head back to the wharf where you will be met by your return trip vehicle to transfer you to Hanoi.
12:10 Our driver pick you up then driving back to your hotel in Hanoi.
Arriving time is about 15:00. Staying overnight in a hotel Ha noi.
Day 9: Ha Noi Departure (Breakfast)
Enjoy breakfast at hotel.
Depending on your flight time, we bring you to Hanoi airport for boarding your preferred flight. Tour finishes
FULL COST is: $3295 (deposit is $1295 and remainder will be due 12 weeks prior to the retreat). If you would like to pay in full, please reach out and arrange payment with Angie Monson.
*If you would like your own room it will be an additional $895- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange.
Meals as mentioned in itinerary
Accommodations: 5* hotels in Hanoi, a retreat in Pu Luong, 5* cruise in Halong Bay
Transfers by private bus
English speaking guide
Cruise services as mentioned: 5* cruise, a private luxury cabin with balcony.
Mineral water in car
- Leather journal
- Flights from the US
- VISA expenses
- Photo session with Angie (optional)
Angie will be your host. She is the owner and operator of Dérive Retreats. She is incredibly passionate about helping women see their light, make time for themselves, and to help them realize they aren't stuck in their lives. She will lead meditations and journaling on most mornings with the hope that each attendee can see that this habit every morning can truly change your life.
***DEPOSITS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE, but they are TRANSFERABLE. If you decide that you cannot make the trip happen, you can transfer your trip to another with at least 45 days notice. If you cancel last minute, you will lose the deposit unless you can fill your spot.
***ALL activities are optional! If we have something planned and you want time to yourself, please do!