But if you want to get out into the peaceful countryside or find a nice escape from the city’s hustle on a day trip, just do it before every traveler does. Here are our top recommended day trips out of Hanoi.
1. Halong Bay - An incredible slice of paradise to delight your holiday
A visit to this World Natural Heritage Site is a must for any trip to the north of Vietnam. Blessed with thousands of islands with jungle-clad limestone mountains raising from crystal clear waters, this jewel is no less than a heaven on earth. Just three-hour drive from the capital city of Hanoi, you can take your step on this otherworldly landscapes, find yourself floating on a cruise to go further into the heart of the bay.
The best way to enjoy Halong Bay on a day trip is taking a cruise amongst the picturesque islands scattered around the bay. Get lost in some of the magical hidden caves, relax by the secluded beaches and treat yourself to the sumptuous seafood, you’ll forget the time.
Recommended tours: Hanoi to Saigon 7 Days. Book Now: https://vietnamtour.co.za/tour/hanoi-to-saigon-tour-7-days
2. Ninh Binh – Halong Bay on land
Just go further around 100 kilometers to the south of Hanoi, you’ll reach the little gem of Ninh Binh Province – a less-known and untouched destination. Its peaceful atmosphere, rustic yet charming landscape will allure you from the first sight and make it an enticing, off-beaten-track day trip from Hanoi.
This pristine land is home to a maze of rivers and waterways, a tropical national park, picturesque natural landscapes and intriguing historic sites which keep you busy for days. To name a few, you can head out to Hoa Lu ancient capital, enjoy a boat tour of Trang An Complex or pay a visit to its massive Bai Dinh Pagoda.
>> Recommended tours: Discover the North of Vietnam 8 Days 7 Nights
3. Tam Coc
As a part of Trang An Complex in Ninh Binh Province, the mystical and watery beauty of Tam Coc is definitely worth a day trip from Hanoi. With soaring limestone karts amid serene rice fields, Tam Coc is a miniature landlocked version of Halong Bay.
There is no better way to appreciate the charming vista of Tam Coc than a languorous rowing boat ride along the exotic river banks. If you’re traveling to Tam Coc in the harvest season, you will be allured by the unreal views which are impossible to beat.
>> Suggested Read: The Best Things to Do in Ninh Binh
4. Cat Ba Island
As an entry point to the famous Halong Bay, Cat Ba is the largest island of its kind off the coast of Vietnam. If you’re tired of crazy crowds in popular spots of the bay, then travel your way to this secluded part which is an interesting destination itself with a green national park, mysterious caves, sleepy villages and thrilling activities to enjoy.
Its wild and untouched landscapes and sparsely inhabited islands make it a great getaway from touristy attractions. Make sure to engage in some of the best enthralling activities that the island has to offer from exploring hidden lagoons, kayaking around the mysterious caves, climbing up to the mountain top or lounging around on its white-sand beaches.
Suggested Read: The 8 Coolest Things to Buy in Hanoi
5. Cuc Phuong National Park
If you’re an adventure seeker and a nature lover, Cuc Phuong National Park is the place for you. Just 40 kilometers from Ninh Binh City, this is in the top largest national parks in Vietnam, covering 200 square kilometers of rainforest.
As the biggest nature reserve of the country with a wide range of flora and fauna, the park offers some of the best outdoor activities in the country. You can choose to trek through the verdant jungle forest in a beautiful trail, watch wild animal along the way, hop on your bike and paddle in the forest or pay a visit to some biodiversity sites.
6. Mai Chau Valley
If you consider yourself a culture and nature lover and fancy the natural beauty and intriguing culture of Vietnamese hill tribes, a day trip to Mai Chau valley will be a great choice. Located 150 kilometers to the southwest of Hanoi, this picture-perfect mountainous area offers plenty of pristine landscapes, towering mountains and verdant valleys dotted with small villages.
Terraced rice field on mountains in Mai Chau Township, Northern Vietnam.
Not to mention to breathtaking treks around the green valley and quaint villages, this hidden gem is a perfect place to delve into the unique culture and lifestyle of different ethnic minorities.
Local woman diligently working at a loom, weaving colourful brocade fabric
7. Duong Lam Ancient Village
Not too far from Hanoi, around 60 kilometers to the west of Hanoi, Duong Lam Ancient Village is a nice place for a day trip. Sit peacefully along the banks of the Red River, this is an incredible cultural and traditional place to soak up the nostalgic vibe of rural Vietnam.
Dating back thousands of years ago, this authentic rural village offers you a great glimpse of what the local’s life like in the past when you visit its traditional, centuries-old homes and communities and ancient temples and pagodas.
Further Read: Hanoi Weather: Best Time to Visit Hanoi
8. The misty town of Tam Dao
Just 75 kilometers from Hanoi, Tam Dao is a perfect day trip if you want to enjoy gorgeous scenery, exotic food and unique experiences, just out of tourist traps.
Its pleasantly cool climate all year round with exquisite and surreal mountain views makes it one of the great places to visit at any time of the year. Stroll around the town in the sea of white clouds and fogs, follow a hiking trail to a natural waterfall, you couldn’t ask for a more instagrammable destination.
9. Perfume Pagoda - A True Spiritual Escape
With proximity to Hanoi and stunning beauty and rich cultural heritage, Huong Pagoda, also known as Perfume Pagoda is a great place for day trips from Hanoi. Found in the dramatic mountains of Huong Tich, Huong Pagoda is a complex of limestone rocks, hidden caves and incredible pagodas and shrines set right into the sides of the mountain. The journey is an adventure itself as you will take a car ride, a boat ride and a short hike up to the main pagoda.
Note: Try to avoid to visit pagoda during national holidays, from February to April as it’s the busiest time of the year when the crowds flock to the pagoda and you can’t appreciate its beauty to the fullest
10. Bat Trang Village - The Kingdom of Ceramic
Another impressive day trip from Hanoi you don’t want to miss is a visit to the traditional Bat Trang village – the most ancient and famous pottery village in Vietnam. Found on the other side of the Red River, this beautiful village boasts a long and rich history dating back thousands of years ago. Not only a great place to delve into the traditional and tranquil vibe, Bat Trang village also offers you a stunning glimpse of the ceramic production process and hands-on experiences.
Watch the ceramic master at work and make your own one. For those who love shopping, the village is the ultimate place to shop for some lovely and authentic handcrafted souvenirs. Just leave the hustle and bustle of the big city behind and make your way out of the city with one of these wonderful day trips from Hanoi. Even when you travel on a budget, you can definitely enjoy a day out of the city with a selection of our cheap day trips from Hanoi with incredible experiences. For more useful tips and travel guide for your own benefits, please feel free to find out more on our website.