Highlights and hidden trails of North Vietnam 6 days 5 nights

Explore the most splendid area of limestone mountain ranges and incredible terraced paddy fields. This six-day tour is ideal for those who love to get away from the crowds and find themselves surrounded by nature. As you journey through these untouched areas, you will have the chance to discover the unique customs of different hill tribes whilst taking in the dramatic landscapes of northern Vietnam.
Tour code: GPT03E
Departure date: Everyday Wednesday
Destination: Ba Be lake, Ban Gioc waterfall, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Northeast, Vietnam.
Duration:  6 days
Booking: Minimum 2 people
Price USD: $ 529

Day 1: Hanoi - Ba Be Lake (L, D)
In the morning, you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Ba Be National Park. Ba Be Lake is a famous Natural World Heritage Site bursting with incredible scenery and diverse species of fauna and flora.  You will stop for refreshment in Thai Nguyen with a quick visit to the Thai Nguyen Museum of Ethnology to learn about different ethnic minorities in northern Vietnam. After, you will continue to Bac Kan for lunch. After lunch, you will continue to Ba Be. Upon arrival in the national park, there will be time for you to take a rest or to walk around the lake shore to the Tay villages. You will spend the night in the Tay village.

Day 2: Ba Be Lake - Cao Bang (B, L, D)
The best way to see appreciate the beauty of Ba Be National Park is by boat on Ba Be Lake. You will board the boat which will take you through the entire length of the 3 connected lakes (Ba Be translates as Three Bays). The boat will then take you upriver to the small village of Hua Tang. From here, a short walk through the jungle takes you to the very scenic Thac Dau Dang Waterfalls, a series of spectacular cascades between sheer rock walls. You will then continue up the Nang River, to the astonishing Dong Puong, an enormous tunnel (300m long by 30m high) which has been etched out by the river. After lunch at Cho Ra Town, you will continue to drive towards Cao Bang. Here the ethnic people of H’Mong, Dzao, Tho and Nung live together in harmony. You will arrive in Cao Bang Town at about 17:00. After you check in to your hotel for the night, you can take a stroll around the town.

Day 3: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc - Bao Lac (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will drive north of Cao Bang to the beautiful Ban Gioc waterfall which sits on the Chinese border. This picturesque, cascading waterfall is 53 metres high and has an impressive span of 300 metres. The drive there offers unique landscapes, limestone karst formations which soar above the verdant rice paddies of the surrounding farms belonging to local ethnic minorities. Along the way, you will see Tay, Hmong and Dzao ethnic minority villages. You will have lunch in a restaurant near Ban Gioc waterfall before heading back to Cao Bang. On the way, you will visit the enormous 2,144-meter Nguom Ngao Cave to discover its brilliant stalactites. After you return to Cao Bang, you will transfer to Bao Lac Town where you will stay overnight in the Song Gam River Hotel.

Day 4: Bao Lac - Meo Vac - Dong Van (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will leave Bao Lac for Dong Van. Remember to prepare your camera with spare batteries today since you will be viewing some of the most incredible mountainscapes in the whole of Vietnam. The scenery is quite spectacular, and you will have the chance to visit the traditional houses of the hill tribes here. The scenic route climbs over a mountain pass before descending down to Meo Vac valley, a beautiful valley situated very close to the Chinese border. You will have lunch at a local restaurant, and then we climb over the Ma Pi Leng Pass where you can enjoy beautiful mountain ranges and the Nho Que River. You will then zigzag through the dizzying hairpin bends to Dong Van. Visiting these remote areas, you will witness how hard the locals struggle in this harsh environment for survival and development. You get the chance to visit the ancient streets with old houses of the H’mong made of clay bricks and tile roofs, built centuries ago. You will spend the night in a hotel in Dong Van.

Day 5: Dong Van - Yen Minh - Quan Ba - Ha Giang (B, L, D)
Before you leave Dong Van, you will visit Dong Van old quarter, and if it is a Sunday, Dong Van Market. Today, you will climb a pass up to the French Fortress of Pu Lo, built in 1890 and evacuated in 1945, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of the entire region. Then you will take a leisurely drive from Dong Van to Yen Minh & Quan Ba, another opportunity to appreciate the wild beauty of the region. You will also visit the famous Vuong Palace, which belonged to an H'mong family of high rank during French colonial rule. This palace attracts keen interest from architecturally minded visitors due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture. You will then hit the road and head back to Quan Ba and then downhill to Ha Giang for the night. You will stay overnight in a Thai ethnic village.

Day 6: Ha Giang - Hanoi (B, L)
Today is the last day of your adventure in the north of Vietnam. You will check-out of your accommodation and say goodbye your host. You will head back to Hanoi via Tuyen Quang where you will have lunch and stop to take some last photos. You will be ped off in Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Please note that the hotels mentioned in this list are for reference only. Depending on availability and your preference, they can be changed. If we are unable to book any hotel, it will be replaced by another hotel at least of equivalent standard and value.

Destination Accommodation Star Night
Ba Be
Mr Linh's Homestay 1
Cao Bang Thanh Loan Hotel
Bao Lac
Thuy Duong Hotel
Dong Van
Lam Tung Hotel 1
Ha Giang Homestay 1

Services included
•    English speaking tour guides as mentioned
•    Land transfer by air-con vehicles
•    Accommodation at hotels, resorts as stated
•    All Meals as mentioned in the program (no drinks) 
•    Boat trip as mentioned
•    All admission fees and permission.
•    Support 24/24h
•    No extra charge after confirmation.

Services not included
•    All airfare (international and domestic) and airport tax
•    Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
•    Personal expenses (phone call, laundry, tipping etc.)
•    Any services not mentioned in the program.
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