Reach Ninh Binh. A hundred kms from Hanoi.
Beauty personified for the nature lovers. The townships along the river, viz. Tam Coc, Ninh Binh and Hoa Lu offer great places for homestays, literally on the river bed. With village huts and wooden boats and modern amenities for good accomodation, the hotels provide a fitting mix of nature and synthetics.
For an even engaging atmosphere, do plan a stay at the Mua Caves Eco resort. You not only get free entrance to the caves uphill, which is one of the attractions in Ninh Binh, you also observe the unmistakable visual delight of witnessing the juncture of hills and plains, with the river meandering the layout and paddy fields painting everything green. It is one sight to behold.
The afternoon is all yours to explore. Engage in hiking trails at the Mua Caves. Walk / cycle along the shoplets streaming the roads on both sides.
Plan your dinner beforehand as the day closes out earlier than usual in this place.