Yen Duc village – a FREE stopover from Hanoi to Halong bay

Yen Duc village is really a hidden gem on the way from Hanoi to Halong bay where you can spend 2 hours to 2 nights ! This post will show you How to get there, typical Activities, How it’s free, and Why it’s worthy visiting.

How to get there

It’s a “hidden” gem. Yes, it’s hiding from your sights. Though the village management put 1 signboard on the road then you can see it on your right if driving from Hanoi to Halong bay, it’s very difficult to find the next signboards. We just turned right, then rather frustrated to get around to find “where is Yen Duc village”. Even when you ask some local people from the turning point, noone knows that it is a tourism village where holds 4 water puppet shows daily.

map to Yen Duc village

Map – how you can find the right way to Yen Duc village.

Follow our instruction:

  • If you’re transferred from Halong bay to Hanoi, be slow down when you see the panel of Yen Lang bridge, some 60km from Halong city.
  • Turn left, and turn back about 50 meters. Once you see the Yen Tho primary school, pass by. There’s 1 narrow concrete path next to the school, then you turn right.
  • Continue driving about 600 meters through rice fields, then you will see signboards “Welcome to Yen Duc village” and the direction arrow. Follow the arrow, you will see a T-junction about 200 meters from the signboards. That’s the reception house, also the outdoor water puppet theatre.

Actitivies in Yen Duc village

There are lots of things to do you can try, even in 1 hour stopover.

In 1 hour: Photo shooting and drinks. From the reception house, take a short walk to the Viet Village house, where the village hosts tourists for overnight options. You can see the bamboo trees, walk among rice fields, the fishing ponds, know more about the typical architecture of a countryside house, and of course, enjoy some drinks before heading to Hanoi/Halong bay.

In 2 hours: Including 1 hour activities plus joining a water puppet show in about 40 minutes. There are 4 shows daily: 3 shows with fixed schedules at 9:00, 11:00, 13:30 and another one with flexible schedule (normally from 15:00 – 16:00 to suit the arrival time of many tourist groups on the way back from Halong bay).

water puppet show in Yen Duc village

Outdoor water puppet show in Yen Duc village.


Water puppet show in Yen Duc village

In 5 hours: Including 2 hour activities plus Cycling around the village to Canh Huong pagoda and an ancient house of 133 years. You can book lunch/dinner in advance. Experience the farming activities such as: harvesting and planting vegetables, fishing with the traditional method, milling and pounding rice…

In 1 night: Staying 1 night in Yen Duc village is a really good idea. There are 4 traditional-style rooms in the Viet Village house for your stay. You’re sure to love it. The rooms are surrounded by botanical gardens. A fishing pond is placed in the middle. The roof is made by Yen Lang red bricks, also made in this district. Viet Village is in Yen Duc village, but the location is quite isolated to assure your privacy. Staff speaks English well enough, which surprised us much.

Overnight in the village means more time for you to communicate with villagers. You can participate in the farmer’s daily life or make traditional “Banh Troi” cakes with the host. Meals are delicious, and you will enjoy dining out on the ground of Viet Village under the starlet sky.

Yen Duc village Viet Village house

Viet Village of 4 rooms are the overnight place in Yen Duc village. Click here to see more about the room facilities of Viet Village.

In 2 nights: We call this “a rural landscape”. Yen Duc village is typical for a North Vietnam rural village with symbols as the village gate, old wells, bamboo trees, lush rice fields and smiling people. Our suggestion for your Day 2 is just renting a bike for full day, then you will cycle around at anytime to any where inside the village. Some lazy travelers can read books under the canopy of a jackfruit tree in Viet Village. Forget the buslting world and enjoy the sound of serenity.

Why it’s free ?

If you have 1 – 2 hours stop on the way from Hanoi to Halong bay (or vice versa), we’re sure it’s free. Just stop there for a drink, and even for independent travelers, the hosts will invite you to join the water puppet show for free. If you can wait till the show starts, you should because the show is really fantastic. Walking in the village is free, too. For longer stops, meals, bike rental, farming activities, and overnight stay will cost your budget.

See more photos of Yen Duc village here.

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