How to Plan an Incredible Family Trip to Japan in 2024/2025. Learn more.

The Top 7 Day Trips from Hanoi: How to Choose (Expert Guide)

By CindyUpdated Jan. 29, 2023

Hanoi is the hub of Northern Vietnam. It is convenient to take day trips from Hanoi to explore the north of Vietnam.

In the east, Halong Bay is a world-renowned natural beauty spot, while to the south are the idyllic countryside of Ninh Binh and the dense green forests of Cuc Phuong National Park.

In this article, you can not only find out what day trip options are available, but also read our expert advice to help you choose trips that match your interests and situation.

top days trips from hanoi

1. Ninh Binh — for idyllic countryside scenery

Ninh Binh Ninh Binh
  • Distance: about 100 km (60 miles) from Hanoi, a 2-hour drive

Ninh Binh is well-known for its stunning landscape, limestone karst, mysterious caves, and lush paddy fields.

It is an incredible experience to take a boat trip at Tam Coc or Trang An, which is promoted as "Halong Bay on Land" (if you'd like some help choosing between the two, contact us for an insider's suggestion). A 2–3-hour journey along a winding river and canals will allow you to enjoy views of mountain cliffs, paddy fields, and hidden caves.

It is also popular to take a bike trip around the countryside in Trang An and Tam Coc. En route, climb up to the Hang Múa viewpoint to enjoy a bird's-eye view of Ninh Binh.

2. Halong Bay — for UNESCO heritage seascape cruises

Halong Bay Halong Bay
  • Distance: about 160 km (100 miles) from Hanoi, a 3½-hour drive

Halong Bay is a must-see attraction in Vietnam. It is a UNESCO Heritage site celebrated for its rugged limestone islets, karst caves, and turquoise water.

A one-day trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay is possible, but not a nice choice. It is not worth a journey of about 4 hours (each way) just to stay a few hours on the bay. A 4–6-hour cruise trip would give you a quick tour around the famous landmarks of the Bay.

A 2-day cruise with one night on the boat is recommended for a more relaxing trip. You will have a chance to experience activities like cycling on an islet, swimming, and kayaking.

See our private Hanoi and Halong Bay tour for inspiration or contact us to solve any puzzles you may have, such as how to choose a suitable cruise, and how to choose between Halong Bay and nearby Bai Tu Bay and Lan Ha Bay.

3. Mai Chau Valley — for hiking or cycling through remote villages

Mai Chau Valley
  • Distance: about 140 km (87 miles) southwest of Hanoi, a 3½-hour drive

Mai Chau, located in an idyllic river valley, is an escape from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.

Surrounded by a lush landscape and dotted with green rice paddies and small villages, this breathtaking valley is exactly what you might imagine if you picture the Vietnamese countryside.

If you're looking for an exciting adventure, Mai Chau might not a great option, but it's perfect for relaxing cycling or hiking.

It is possible to take a day trip, but many travelers spend a night there to experience the traditional stilted houses, which are home to the White Thai ethnic group.

Check out our sample itinerary including Mai Chau for inspiration.

4. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital — for a glimpse into Vietnam's history

  • Distance: about 90 km (55 miles) south of Hanoi, a 2-hour drive

If you are interested in the history of Vietnam, you could spend a day in Hoa Lu, which was once the capital of Vietnam during the 10th and 11th centuries.

Besides exploring historical relics, you can also hike up one of the small mountains surrounding the citadel to enjoy breathtaking views of the ancient capital.

5. Cuc Phuong National Park — for a green paradise

  • Distance: about 130 km (80 miles) from Hanoi, a 3-hour drive

If you are a nature lover, you can consider a day trip to Cuc Phuong National Park, which is one of Vietnam's largest parks and home to incredible biodiversity.

You can visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Central where rare primates of Vietnam are reared and rescued, discover the "Cave of Prehistoric Man", a place preserving archaeological sites of prehistoric people thousands of years ago, and enjoy a wilderness trek through the dense, verdant jungle valley to a giant ancient tree, where you can enjoy the beauty of fauna and flora.

One of the best times to visit is from April to May, which is butterfly season.

It is easily accessible from Ninh Pinh. Many travelers combine it with a Ninh Pinh trip.

6. Perfume Pagoda — for a mix of culture and scenery

  • Distance: about 50 km (30 miles) from Hanoi, 1-hour drive

If you want to have a cultural experience, you could take a day trip to Perfume Pagoda, which is one of the most sacred places in Northern Vietnam.

Beyond its complex of around 30 Buddhist shrines, it offers spectacular scenery of limestone cliffs and captivating caves with stunning stalactites and stalagmites.

You can travel by boat to the base of a mountain and then climb the steps or opt to ride the cable car up to Huong Tich Cave.

Try to avoid weekends as it is busy with local people then.

7. Bat Trang Village — for local pottery

hanoi day trip
  • Distance: about 15 km (10 miles) from Hanoi, a ½-hour drive

Bat Trang Village is just a 30-minute drive away from Hanoi Old Quarter. It is a good day trip option if you don't want to spend too much time on the way.

Bat Trang Village is famous for being a ceramic and pottery center. It is a place often enjoyed by parents and children. You can walk around the village to immerse yourself in rural life, admire a wide selection of ceramics, and learn about Vietnam's traditional crafts. You could join in a pottery class to experience Vietnamese pottery making.

Let Us Help You Make the Most of Your Time

The easiest way to have a high-quality day trip from Hanoi is to travel with a customized guided tour that makes the most of your time. Our private transfers help you save time on the way and our experienced guides help you to avoid crowds and see the highlights in the best ways for you.

Why Asia Highlights (10,000+ reviews & 98.8% 5-star rating)

  • Save Your Time:
  • Less research, more enjoyment!
  • Real-time 1V1 expert planning
  • Maximize Your Flexibility:
  • Personal local guide and ride
  • Explore at your own pace
  • Celebrate Your Journeys:
  • Specially-crafted family adventures
  • Celebrate milestones with style!

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create My Trip
4.9 ExcellentTrustPilot rating TrustPilot Logo

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

Click to sign up

Why Asia Highlights

Customize Your Tour

Customize Your Tour

  • Travel Advisors Rooted in Asia
  • Instant Response, No More Waits!
  • Direct Connections, Supreme Values
Maximize Your Flexibility

Maximize Your Flexibility

  • Your own personal guide and ride.
  • Explore at your own pace.
  • Unparalleled flexibility, impossible on a group tour.
Ensure Your Satisfactory

Ensure Your Satisfactory

  • The Top 20% nationwide guides at your service.
  • 20% more space on your group's transportation.
  • 24/7 emergency support.
Celebrate Your Journey

Celebrate Your Journey

  • Family adventures
  • Celebrate milestones with style!
  • Photographer service for special moments

Where Can We Take You Today?

Rated 4.9 out of 5 | 98.8% Excellence
China Highlights International
Travel Service Co., LTD
Featured on
China Highlights was featured on these medias.

Address: Building 6, Chuangyi Business Park, 70 Qilidian Road, Guilin, Guangxi, 541004, China