Northern Vietnam

  • The northern Vietnam is absolutely interesting to discovery. Halong Bay is an awesome place for luxury cruises, Tam Coc is consider to be a “Halong bay on land” and Sapa, Mai Chau, Cao Bang, Ha Giang … are specific with ethnic minorities.

Option
Sapa

Night 1: Ha Noi - Lao Cai

Depart at 20.00 pm from your hotel. Overnight on AC Soft Sleeper Hanoi - Lao Cai train.

Day 1: Lao Cai - Sapa - Cat Cat Village
Arrive at Lao Cai Train station at about 6.30. Take a transfer to Sapa. Having breakfast and relax before explore Sapa Town. In the afternoon, take a 2km short trekking to Cat Cat Village, the home of H'mong Ethic. Meeting & talking with locals to learn more about their daily life. Overnight in hotel.

Night 2: Overnight at your hotel in Sapa

Day 2: Sapa Village - Lao Cai
Breakfast in the hotel. Free time until check out the hotel and start taking the car to drive to Tafin village (12km from Sapa) of Red Dzao ethic. Touring to the village to visit Tafin handicraft shop and explore the daily life of Red Dzao. Here you have a good choices to buy woven and textile brocades, which is made by ethic people. Visit Tafin Cave and small hamlet of Black H'mong people. Return to Sapa and take a transfer to Lao Cai station for night train to Hanoi.

Night 3: Overnight at an AC 4 berth soft sleeper train to Hanoi

Day 3: Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi early morning. Finish  our tour.

Including:  Train Tickets (return)- soft sleeper with A/C, sharing cabin, transfers, Tour guide in Sapa, Meals as mentioned, Entrance fee, Hotel

Not including: Drinks, Insurance, Personal expenses

Option
Mai Chau

Day1 : Hanoi -Hoa Binh - Maichau (L,D)

We depart Hanoi and head west towards Hoa Binh city where we stop for refreshments and visit Hoa Binh hydro station built in the 1980s. Leaving Hoa Binh, we drive towards Mai Chau valley, about another two hours away to White Thai village of Poomcong. Enjoy the stunning views while lunching on tasty local dishes cooked by the White Thai girls of the village. Afternoon we walk to the surrounding village. Our hosts for this evening will be the White Thai minority people. In sampling these peoples hospitality, we find out a little more of their lives and cultures with a cultural exchange following the evening meal. Tonight’s accommodation will probably be a little more rustic than you would be used to (house on the stilts)

Day 2 : MaiChau - Hanoi
Following breakfast we embark on a lovely walk to Lac village and Van village. As we walk we will encounter the local villagers going about their daily business tilling the fields, logging or herding the buffalo. We enjoy lunch in Mai Chau before we drive back to Hanoi. Visit Muong village in Hoa Binh before tour finish at your hotel in Hanoi.

Including: All meals indicated in the itinerary , Transport, Entrance fees & permits, Local guide

Not including: Drinks and other services not indicated in including services, Personal expenses

Notes: Please be advised that the local home stay is not the hotel and the home stay is exactly in the condition how the local people live. The home stay has a squad toilet and no shower. It is very basic. We always try to choose the clean enough home stay to offer our clients. But please do not expect too much at a local home stay. This is a part of experience when you take this trip.

Option
Halong Bay, over night aboard

Day 1: Hanoi - Halong

Pick up at the hotel and start going to Halong bay. Upon arrival in Halong Bay we will check-in the boat. After settle down our room we will enjoy our lunch on boat while the boat keeps moving to the Islets and Vung Vieng fishing village. We will visit the fishing village and then return to the vessel for free time at our leisure and enjoy swimming, snorkeling, etc.
In the evening, the dinner will be served onboard. Free time to relax in our cabin or join the fishing program. Overnight aboard.

Day 2: Halong – Hanoi

Starting early morning withTai Chi on the Sundeck while complimentary tea & coffee are served. The boat starts to cruise through the Bay passing beautiful islands and islets like Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet, etc. We will explore one of the largest and also the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay: the Surprise Cave (Sung Sot). The cave has three part with thousand of stalactites and stalagmites with different colors and shapes that definitely will stir your imagination. We willhave lunch before the boat coming back to the harbour and get on the car to return to Hanoi. Finish our excursion in the hotel. 

Including:  Transport,  Meals detailed in the itinerary,  Sleeping cabin on boat, Entry tickets, Local guide

Not including: Drinks, Other personal expenses

Option
North East 15 days

Itinerary: Ha Noi- Mai Chau - Son La - Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau - Tam Duong - Sa Pa - Lao Cai - Bac Ha - Ha Giang - Dong Van - Meo Vac - Ba Be - Ha Noi

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau valley

This morning we enjoy a half day city tour starting with the Ho Chi Minh Complex. This famous site contains the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace , the Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts  and the One Pillar Pagoda. The following sights are the Temple of Literature and the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple. We also make stop at  the impressive Ethnologic Museum, dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities, some of which we will see on our forthcoming days. Heading out of the town, we travel by road to Mai Chau, an idyllic valley populated by the many White Thai people. There are some opportunities en route to visit the Dao Son Dau and the Muong hill tribe groups. O/N in Mai Chau.

Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La.

Upon leaving Mai Chau the roads begins to deteriorate; however many villages dot the hillsides and undulating terrain make for an interesting journey. Along the way we stop in Xa Linh for a two hour trek past many timeless hill villages which are home of the Hmong hill tribe people. Travelling across the Moc Chau Plateau  we catch a glimpse of the many tea plantations and see the Black Thai hill tribe people. They belong to the same Thai ethnic group, but are  different from the White Thai in Mai Chau by their tradition and habits. O/N in Son La.

Day 3: Son La – Dien Bien Phu.

The provincial museum and the nearby old prison are some of this hill town’s major sights. We have a chance to visit these before we leave for our next destination. The winding roads cross over the Pha Din Pass before reaching Dien Bien Phu, the site of the decisive battle in Vietnam’s struggle for independence in 1954. After checking into our central located hotel we  enjoy a walk around to see this fast growing town. Our  main stop  is Dien Bien Phu’s Museum which details the event in place. We also pay a visit to the old battle field where the lush vegetation grows behind many war relics including old French tanks and artillery pieces. O/N in Dien Bien Phu .

Day 4: Dien Bien Phu – Lai Chau.

The journey north continues on to Lai Chau Town, our base for exploring the surrounding areas These back roads are a great way to explore the real Vietnam. We see very few other travellers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. After checking into hotel, we embark on a boat for a two hour trip along the Da River, passing through the stunning mountain landscapes. The pace is very relaxed, a perfect way to observe the local lifestyle close up. O/N in Lai Chau.

Day 5: Lai Chau – Sin Ho – Tam Duong.

Today we continue venturing into northern Vietnam with the next stop being Sin Ho which is home land of  the Red Hmong, Kho Mu, Mang and Dao ethnic minorities. They are settled there longtime ago and still retain their traditional culture and habits. The trip to Sin Ho is occasionally suspended due to the restriction of the local authority. Departing Sin Ho we make our way past the hilly region to Tam Duong. This timeless town is surrounded by  stunning mountain backdrops and lush tea plantations. O/N in Tam Duong.

Day 6: Tam Duong – Sapa.

The scenery of the north is unequalled although the conditions are very simple. After breakfast we drive following the main artery of trade in northwestern region. This bumpy road links to many hill towns and villages. At an elevation of 1,500 meters, Sapa was founded in the early years of the last century as a hill resort for French administrators when the heat on the plain became unbearable. After checking into hotel we can soak up the fresh climate as much as we want by spending our time wandering around this charming town and some legacies of the French period. O/N in Sa Pa.

Day 7: Sapa.

The huge range of Phan Si Pan boasts Vietnam’s highest mountain and lends an alpine feel to the area surrounding this hill station. Today we have enough time to visit the bustling Sa Pa Market where the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay and Xa Pho ethnic minorities converge from the nearby mountainsides and valleys to trade their goods and buy provisions. We get well off the beaten track as we embark on a walk to discover this beautiful mountain region. Along the way we traverse several rustic villages and see many mountaineers doing their daily works such as logging, herding buffalo and tilling the field. O/N in Sa Pa.

Day 8: Sapa – Bat Xat – Laocai.

Heading out of town, we make our way through the breathtaking mountain landscape to Bat Xat. The weather  in this region is cool due to the high altitude. On arrival, we embark on a short walk, passing through several villages which is populated by the Phu La, Dao and Giay ethnic minorities. They are very poor, but have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. A part of the pleasure of travelling in this region is the simple joy of seeing hill tribe people. We continue our  trip to Lao Cai border town, our final destination. O/N in Lao Cai.

Day 9: Lao Cai – Bac Ha.

The weekend market of Muong Khuong also attracts a wide variety of ethnic minority groups such as Hmong, Dao, Thu Lao, Pa Di, Tu Di and  Phu La. After breakfast, we embark on a  two hour drive delivering  to Muong Khuong Town. There is a wonderful experience to wander around this colorful  congregation. In the early afternoon, we travel by roads  to Bac Ha. This is basically an overnight stop to break our long journey. After checking into hotel we can enjoy walk to visit the Hmong King’s former residence and Ban Pho where  villagers make the potent local maize alcohol. O/N in Bac Ha.

Day 10: Bac Ha – Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang.

Upon leaving Bac Ha we set off on a full day journey through Sin Man and Hoang Su Phi to  Ha Giang Town. The rough but scenic route traverse a dense jungle before crossing over a pass and dropping down to Sin Man. This day is a real challenge for our driver as we travel by winding roads with many uphill and down hill drives. Along the way we may encounter the Nung Ing, Tay, Red Dao, Dao Ao Dai, La Chi and Co Lao, just some of the many hill tribe groups who have settled there. O/N in Ha Giang.

Day 11: Ha Giang – Sa Phin – Dong Van.

The remote region of Dong Van and Meo Vac is a land of rugged mountains and beautiful hill villages  which are unchanged for centuries.  Today we head north west out of Ha Giang Town towards this northernmost tip of Vietnam. The former H’mong royal house at Sa Phin is a primary attraction of the region but the blend of hill tribe people’s colorful costumes and the majestic mountainous scenery make this long and  bumpy trip an unforgettable experience. O/N in Dong Van.

Day 12: Dong Van – Meo Vac.

The ethnic minority people are frequently seen in this hill town and small vendors along the street sell local textiles and handicraft. We have time to visit Dong Van Town  before continuing to Meo Vac which is conquered by the Lo Lo and Pu Peo ethnic minority people. They still retain their age old cultural traditions and are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress. The remoteness and the simple lifestyle of local people are a highlight of Meo Vac although conditions are very basic. We return to Ha Giang via Yen Minh, using a shortcut way.  O/N in Ha Giang.

Day 13: Meo Vac – Bao Lac – Ba Be Lakes.

An early morning start to drive through the rolling hills and the picturesque scenery to Ba Be National Park. The roads are very bumpy and zigzagging however we will have a  chance to meet the Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung ethnic minorities who make for the main population of this region. We are sure to attract their attention as this part of the country receive very few visitors. Depending on road and traffic conditions we arrive in Ba Be by  late afternoon or early evening, but it is till an interesting day. O/N in Cho Ra.

Day 14: Ba Be Lakes.

The legendary lake of Ba Be is just one continuous water body although the name means” three lakes”. Today we embark on a  boat cruising down the Nang River which is the main water source of the lake. This exciting river trip  will give us a taste of the tranquil countryside and an enjoyable exploration of the Ba Be National Park. We traverse  en route the Poong Grotto before stopping at some nearby hill tribe villages and getting off the beaten track to the scenic Dau Dang Waterfalls. O/N in Cha Ra.

Day 15: Ba Be lakes – Hanoi.

Enjoy a full day drive from Ba Be lakes to Hanoi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option
North East 10 days

Itinerary:  Ha Noi-Yen Bai - Mu Cang Chai - Sa Pa - Bac Ha - Pho Rang - Ha Giang - Dong Van - Meo Vac -Cao Bang - Ba Be - Ha Noi

Day 1: Ha Noi – Yen Bai (200km)

After breakfast, we take a taxi to get to the starting point at the outskirt of Hanoi, from here you take the bikes and start your firt day ride to Yen Bai,

Leaving Hanoi and breaking out of the delta plains, we pass through endless limestone karst scenery as we travel south through “Thay Pagoda”, country and extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads. Arrive in Yen Bai in late afternoon, overnight at hotel Song Hong, 2 stars standard. Dinner in town.

Day 2: Yen Bai – Nghia Lo – Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai (200km)

We head up today into a forested and high mountain region populated by H’mong people, We will hike up a very high moutain pass before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Hmong and Thai’s villages all the way to Mu Cang Chai. Overnight in Suoi Mo Hotel, a standard Hotel, Dinner in town.

 Day 3: Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Sa Pa (80km)

Today we head straight towards the main Fansipan Mountain range. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally we must make a splendid climb up from Binh Lu and up to the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass). Crossing into Lao Cai Province at over 2000m the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous Sa Pa valley. Sleep in Hoang Long Hotel, a standard hotel.

Day 4: Sa Pa – Bac Ha – Pho Rang (150km)

We start from Sapa and ride to Lao Cai, a short stop to visit the Chiness border. Lunch on route  then continue to Pho Rang, Sleep in Guest House, dinner in town.

Day 5: Pho Rang – Ha Giang (150km)

Beautiful ride today by taking a small road, during your way, you will have chances to visit many roadside ethnic villages and markets. Lunch in Viet Quang. Continue to Ha Giang for overnight. Huy Hoan Hotel, 2 stars standard, good dinner in town.

Day 6: Ha Giang – Dong Van (150km)

Today ride must be highlights of the trip as we will visit one of the most remote land in Vietnam where are special with many ethnic groups with their unique cultures and imposing mountains – the “Heaven Gate” in Quan Ba, Rock Plateau and the Vuong palace in Dong Van. Tonight, we stay in Cao Nguyen Da hotel, 2 stars standard.

Day 7: Dong Van – Meo Vac (120km including side trips)

After breakfast, We leave to Meo Vac. The scenic route climbs over a pass, and then we descend down to Meo Vac valley, a beautiful valley situated very close to Chinese border. We take time to climb over the Ma Pi Leng Pass where we can enjoy beautiful mountain ranges and the the Nho Que river – Just an amazing place to be – the heaven on earth while passing on the Happy road.  Night at 2* hotel. Dinner in town.

Day 8: Meo Vac – Cao Bang (200km )

Continue your trip to CaoBang with many stop over on the way: visit village and meet Tay and Dzao people, taking photos, rural market.

Arrive at CaoBang. Free time.Overnight at Thanh Loan Hotel, 3 stars standard, dinner in town.

Day 9: Cao Bang – Ba Be Lake (150km ) (Boat trip on Ba Be Lake)

Today we continue to Babe lake & national park where the landscape is amazing and the homestay is another unique experience. Upon your arrival, you are free at leisure to do the boat trip (own expense) or walk to explore the village of the Tay people. Overnight in homestay of a Tay family.

Day 10: Ba Be – Thai Nguyen – Hanoi (250km)

Staying off the main road for as long as possible we head back towards the Red River Delta, passing through areas inhabited by Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung minority peoples. A mixture of both challenging track and glorious sealed road all the way back to Hanoi.Tour ends.

 

 

 

 

 

Option
Northwest Vietnam

 

Itinerary: Hanoi - Maichau - Sonla - Dien Bien Phu - Laichau - Sapa - Bac Ha - Hanoi

 

Day 1: Ha Noi - Mai Chau - Son La

 

Pick up from your hotel in Hanoi. Departure drive to Son La, stop in Mai Chau for a short walk and have lunch, after lunch, keep going to Son La. Accommodation in the hotel/guesthose in Son La.

Day 2: Son La - Dien Bien Phu

Son La has an old French prison and museum, perfect for a small walk to visit in the morning before your departure to Dien Bien Phu . You'll enjoy the picturesque scenery as you pass the villages of Black Thai, White Thai, Meo and Muong peoples. Accommodation in the hotel/guesthose in Dien Bien Phu.

Day 3: Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau

From Muong Lay, the drive is stunning with tiered tea plantations and verdant rice terraces carved into the landscape. Continue to Lai Chau (formerly Tam Duong) for the night. If you happen to be in Lai Chau on a Sunday morning, the town is bustling with activity as the local hill tribes gather for their weekly market day. Accommodation in the hotel/guesthose in Lai Chau.

Day 4 : Lai Chau - Sa Pa

From Lai Chau to Sa Pa you pass through Tam Duong (formerly Binh Lu), and over the 1900 meter Tram Ton pass, Viet Nam's highest mountain pass and considered the most beautiful stretch of road in the country. Sa Pa is nestled at over 1600 meters in the breathtaking Hoang Lien Son Mountains. After lunch, take a short 3-hour trek down this stunning valley sculpted with steep rice terraces to Ta Van village for a home stay. Enjoy the savoury food and the hospitality of your Dzay hosts.

Day 5: Sapa - Hill Tribe Market - Bac Ha

Today is dedicated to one of the 3 remarkable hill tribe markets of the region(Can Cau, Coc Ly, Bac Ha) where the Flower H'mong ethnic minority people is the major! The Flower H'mong girls dressing like colorful like butterflies filling up all the markets making a really really impressive scenery. Beside the Flower H'mong people, the markets are also attended by a dozen of other tribes namely Chinese, Nhang, Dzao, Nung, Phu La, Thai and King (or Viet). The markets which take place once a week are really a cross culture communication of ethnic minority groups. They are really worth visiting. After lunch time at the markets, you can follow the hill tribes to their villages or take a drive to the further villages. Back to Bac Ha in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Bac Ha.

Day 6: Bac Ha - Hanoi

Have breakfast at the hotel then start to drive back to Hanoi. Stop for lunch on the way. Arrive in Hanoi late in the afternoon. End of the tour.

Including:

- Accommodations.
- All meals indicated in the itinerary
- A/C transfers & transport by private car, van or coaches, with a reasonable supply of drinking water
- Water during trek
- Entrance fees & permits
- Local guide

Not including
- Meals and beverage not mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Personal travel insurance (Compulsory)
- Tips and gratuities
- Others not mentioned in the itinerary

 

 

Option
Ha Giang

Itinerary: Ha Giang - Dong Van - Lung Cu - Meo Vac

Day 1: Ha Noi – Ha Giang

Pick up at the hotel and almost whole day car ride from Hanoi to Northern Province – Ha Giang with stops for taking a rest on the way. Arrive to Ha Giang in the late afternoon, check in hotel in Ha Giang and start visiting Dao village. Dinner in the hotel and accommodation in the hotel in Ha Giang

Day 2: Ha Giang – Dong Van – Lung Cu

Breakfast in the hotel. Depart on 4C national highway for Dong Van. Lunch in Yen Minh. Stop on the way to visit Lung Cu Flag post on the peak of Rong Mountain, the highest mountainous peak in Vietnam. Continue to Dong Van. Dinner and accommodation in Dong Van.

Day3: Dong Van – Quan Ba – Meo Vac – Ha Giang

After breakfast, free time to visit Dong Van market, where you will see the ethnic cultures of Mong Hoa, Lo Hoa, Lolo, Choang…, and go to see Dong Van old town. Check out and move to Meo Vac and stop at Ma Pi Leng mountainous top and Nho Que river. Return to Ha Giang and visit Quang Ba, the town in the clouds where is consider Hong Kong of Vietnam and visit the Microwave Emission, Heavenly gate, Vuong’s house where Meo ethnic’s King Vuong Chi Sinh lived in. Lunch on the  way and arrive to Ha Giang. Dinner and accommodation in Ha Giang.

Day 4: Ha Giang – Hanoi

After breaking, depart Ha Giang for Ha Noi. Arrive to Hanoi. End of the trip.

Including: Transport, Hotel /guest house,  Local guide, Meal detailed in the itinerary, Entry tickets

Not including: Drinks, Other personal expenses

Notes: Ha Giang is remote mountainous area, where ethnic people living in the poor standard, the hospitality is quite basic, but you can see the authentic natural beauty and living style. It’s advised to bring some sweet for ethnic children on the way.