Start with 8am pickup from your Hanoi hotel, then begin a scenic, 2-hour drive into the Vietnamese countryside, where you’ll pass a landscape of bright green farms and slow-moving rivers. Transfer to a boat for a 1.5-hour cruise down the Yen River, which flows past the base of the Perfume Pagoda, a complex of Buddhist shines carved into limestone cliffs.
Continue to Thien Tru Harbor in another boat, a 1-hour trip, then board a cable car that runs to Huong Tich Cave, the heart of the cave complex. You’ll have time to explore Huogn Tich, where stalactites and stalagmites are believed to confer special blessings—especially the “golden tree” and “silver tree” stalactites, which are considered to be especially lucky.
On the return trip, visit Tuyet Son Pagoda and Giai Oan Spring, or “Justifying Spring”; according to legend, this is where an ancient king gave up his power to become a monk, and a historic temple and bridge mark the site. Pause for lunch at a local restaurant before starting the return trip to Hanoi, where this 9-hour tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel.