08 Days - Home of Kong 2017: Discover Skull Island in Vietnam

(Updated: 3/25/2017 1:10:56 AM)

Explore the remarkable landscapes which form the backdrop for the 2017 rendition of King Kong: “Kong: Skull Island”. Find out what makes the unique settings of Vietnam so captivating while living out your own wild adventures. Known in Vietnamese as “The Bay of Descending Dragons”, the magnificent Karst islands of Halong Bay create the perfect atmosphere for adventure and mystery, while the majestic forests of Phong Nha National Park are home to the largest caves in the world, which is also the home of Kong in the movie. Discover the secrets of lesser known but equally stunning Ninh Binh known as inland Halong bay

Highlights:

  • Journey through time, discovering the history of Hanoi through its ancient temples, colonial-era buildings, and exciting market streets with winding alleyways.
  • Witness the breath-taking scenery of Ninh Binh, with its limestone karsts rising from emerald rice paddy fields beside winding rivers.
  • Take a leisurely tour of Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay on a traditional classic sailing junk, visiting Cat Ba Island and the Tunnels Cave.
  • Travel to the heart of tropical Tu Lan and experience the epic natural majesty of Phong Nha National Park - home to the largest cave in the world – and see the real home of King Kong!

ITINERARY BY DAY

Day 01: Arrive in Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam, where the movie Kong: Skull Island was filmed! Upon arrival, a driver and guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Hanoi.

Day 02: Story of Hanoi
Begin your Story of Hanoi with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Here, you will hear about the man who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from French colonial rule. Next, visit the imperial citadel, the apex of regional political power for more than a millennium where research and excavation is still underway. After a Vietnamese lunch, head to another 11th century relic, the Temple of Literature, which was built as an homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. You will then see the iconic Long Bien Bridge. Constructed across Red River between 1899 and 1902, when Vietnam was still ruled by the French, it is now jammed with whizzing motorbikes and an occasional passenger train chugging into nearby Long Bien Station.

The tour continues with a 30-minute cyclo tour through Hanoi’s bustling Old Quarter, a place where Hanoians buy everything from noodles to light fixtures to Buddha statues. The quarter’s 36 streets were named for the products that were sold from their shops. Today, vendors on Tin and Bamboo Streets still sell the same wares. After exploring the old quarter’s shady alleyways, sip a strong Vietnamese coffee in a café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake - an important symbol in Vietnamese folklore. Snap a photograph of the downtown skyline before returning to your hotel at around 4.30pm.

Day 03: Land of King in Ninh Binh – waterways and karsts
Meet your guide and driver in the morning and depart Hanoi bound to Ninh Binh Province. Known lovingly as "Halong Bay on land", this stunning province boasts similar limestone karst topography that rises from emerald rice paddy fields and winding rivers. After a two and a half hour drive, arrive in Gia Vien District and swap your car for a bicycle - embark on a short cycling journey through paddy fields en route to the nearby Van Long reservoir area. Along the way, stop at Mai Trung hamlet for an in-depth experience learning how locals here farm and tend to their rice. Follow the lead of your local host for seeding, putting down fertilizer, scooping water or harvesting, depending on the time of year.

Afterwards, cycle onward to a local family home, and get an up-close demonstration of traditional cooking using rice crackers or fried crab dishes. Then sit down with your local family hosts and enjoy these local specialties along with another Vietnamese favourite - rice wine! After lunch, challenge your hosts to a game of chess or kick back for a chat to learn about their lives here.

In the afternoon, reach Van Long wharf and set off on a short boat trip into the reservoir at Van Long Nature Reserve - the largest wetland in northern Vietnam. This is also where many of the scenes from Kong: Skull Island took place.

Float past poetic landscapes and rolling jungle hills that are perfect for photos, before heading back to Hanoi for arrival in the early evening.

Day 04: Halong Bay Cruise - Land of Kong
Depart from Hanoi and travel by shuttle bus to the seaside port of Halong Bay. Transfer to Catba island to board the Indochine Classic Sailing Junk, a beautifully restored traditional wooden junk. Settle in and enjoy the view from the water.

Lunch is served as you leisurely cruise between Cat Ba Island and Ha Long Bay, before dropping anchor for a tour through Dark and Bright cave. Cruise on through to the Lom Bo Canal area to visit a local Pearl Farm and have the opportunity to purchase a unique Halong Bay gift. If you’re feeling adventurous, disembark for a spot of kayaking in the floating village.

Back on board, head on to your mooring for the evening and take part in a Vietnamese cooking demonstration from the on board chefs! Enjoy dinner on the deck and wrap up your day with a drink or try your hand at squid fishing.

Day 05: Lan Ha Bay - Transfer back to Hanoi – Overnight train to Dong Hoi, Quang Binh
Rise early to catch the sunrise over Bai Tu Long Bay. Enjoy breakfast on the sundeck before cruising onward to Monkey Island. Your final stop is to visit floating villages and fish farms. On the final leg of your cruise pass by well-known karsts of Thumb Island, Fighting Cocks, the Incense Karst which is featured on the 200,000 dong note. If you have watched the movie, you will recognize many of these iconic karsts which appeared several times throughout Kong: Skull Island.

Say goodbye to the crew at the main harbour and take the private transfer about 4 hours back to Hanoi arriving late in the afternoon.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the train station to catch the train at 19:30. Your train arrives in Dong Hoi, Quang Binh at 05.30 the next day

Day 06: Phong Nha – Tu Lan – explore the Home of Kong
Upon arrival, a driver will be waiting to transfer you for breakfast.

On a whirlwind, one-day trek into the heart of tropical Tu Lan, experience the epic natural majesty of Phong Nha National Park - home to the largest cave in the world, also known to be the home of Kong in the movie.

Set off on a challenging excursion visiting Hang Chuot, Hung Ton Caves and To Mo Valley. Explore karsts, jungles, waterfalls and river caves in a journey into the heart of central Vietnam’s natural phenomena. With your English-speaking guide and local jungle men from the nearby ethnic village of Tan Hoa, you will trek up to 8km through buffalo fields, dense jungle and have an opportunity to swim through an unbelievable river cave. See the immense formations of Hang Chuot (Rat Cave) before trekking to impressive Hung Ton Cave and To Mo Valley. You’ll get wet, you’ll get dirty and you’ll enjoy an awesome BBQ beside a stunning waterfall! This is a full day of adventure so be prepared!

Day 07: Dong Hoi - Flight to Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight from Dong Hoi to Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi.

Day 08: Depart Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight. End of our serviceSails of Indochina Kong

Sails of Indochina - Lan Ha Bay

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