Explore the natural sights and engineering marvels outside of Hanoi on this 2-day adventure to Hoa Binh and Cuc Phuong National Park. Head inside a hydroelectric dam, get up-close looks at rescued primates and turtles, and enjoy a homestay complete with tasty meals showcasing authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
Day 1: Hoa Binh Hydroelectric Plant & Thac Bo Temple
Get an early start as you're picked up from your hotel and settle into your seat for the comfortable ride to Hoa Binh. When you arrive, take a tour of the area's hydroelectric plant and hear how this engineering marvel is helping to lower pollution and assist farmers with irrigation. Before lunch, visit a 59-foot (18-m) statue of Ho Chi Minh, go for a boat ride along the Da River, and drop your things off at your homestay in Muong Village.
Grab lunch in the village and then spend a few hours at the Thac Bo temple, whose sweeping architecture lies at the top of a 100-stair climb. Make the journey to the top to get up-close looks at this sacred Buddhist site before returning to your homestay for dinner and time to relax.
Day 2: Cuc Phuong National Park
After a hearty breakfast, head into the jungles and forests of Cuc Phuong National Park. Check out the rehabilitated turtles at the Turtle Conservation Center, and find out how langurs, gibbons, and lorises are rescued before they're taken to a nearby primate refuge, established with the help of the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
Chat about Vietnam's rich ecology over lunch, take a side trip to the artifact filled caverns of a cave known to have been used by prehistoric man, and then head back to Hanoi, getting dropped off at your hotel.