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Hidden trails of north Vietnam 16 days 15 nights

A great routine to the most mountainous region in the North of Vietnam will show you how imposing of nature. You can meet and understand many differences in culture & living of ethnic people in Sapa, Ba Be, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Lang Son. Perfect idea for a relaxing time at the end in Ha Long Bay.
Hidden trails of north Vietnam 16 days 15 nights
Tour code: NA01E
Duration: 16 days 15 nights
Route: Hanoi - Sapa - Hagiang - Ba Be Lake - Cao Bang - Coc Pai - Bac Ha.

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (B/L/D)
    • You are met at the airport and transferred to hotel. Hanoi , Vietnam's capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia's most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere.
      (If time permit ) we enjoy a short cyclo excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Overnight  in Hanoi.
      The Old Quarter
      cyclo in Hanoi
  • Day 2: Hanoi - Lao Cai (B/L)
    • Your tour will start with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, stilt house and the One Pillar Pagoda. After that, you will continue to the Temple of Literature – the first University of Vietnam constructed in the 17th century. The morning will end with a visit to the Vietnam Ethnology Museum to learn about the culture and ethnic groups of Vietnam. After lunch in a restaurant, you will take in the attractions of Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. You will enjoy a 1-hour cycle tour to explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of speciality shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more, followed by a Puppet Show. You will be taken to Hanoi Railway Station for the night train to Lao Cai.
      The Old Quarter
      One Pillar Pagoda
  • Day 3: Sapa Trek (B/L/D)
    • Arrive at Lao Cai Railway Station around 05:30 where you be welcomed and picked up by our guide and driver who will take you to Sapa. After having breakfast at a local restaurant, you will begin the trek down to Lao Chai village to visit the Black H'mong. The trek will take you through stunning mountains and past iconic scenes of tumbling rice paddies. After a picnic lunch on the way, you will continue through the valley to Ta Van Village to visit Dzay people, who are supposed to be some of the friendliest in this mountainous area. The next village is Giang Ta Chai which belongs to the Red Dzao tribe where you will see the amazing scenery. Tonight you will stay overnight in a local house of Dzay ethnic people.
      Lao Chai village
      Black H'mong
  • Day 4: Giang Ta Chai (B/L)
    • After enjoying breakfast with your hosts, you will begin the trek from Giang Ta Chai to Su Pan taking in more incredible views along the way. This really is an unbeatable way to start the day, surrounded by wild and beautiful natural landscapes and clean, fresh air. In Su Pan, you will be able to meet the local people who belong to the Red Dao and Black Hmong ethnic groups. After having time to meet the local people and explore the village, you will begin the trek back to Sapa. This gives you one last chance to take in the breathtaking views of the mountain ranges and rice paddies before finishing the tour back in Sapa Town. Dinner on your own and overnight in Sapa town.
      Su Pan
  • Day 5: Sapa - Batxat - Lao Cai (B/L)
    • Today is the most challenging in terms of trekking but also the most rewarding. After 2 hours of following a flat path, you will begin the dizzying climb up the mountain.You will follow a small track through a thick primary rain forest. This track can be quite challenging if it has been raining, but this is the only route for local villagers going to Xin Man. You will have the opportunity to see many wild giant butterflies in a rainbow of colours, flitting through the fresh mountain air. At the altitude of about 2000m, an incredible highland of terraced paddies appears, decorating the rolling mountainsides. Weather permitting you will stop for a picnic lunch next to a waterfall. You will arrive mid afternoon at Coc Dong Village which belongs to the Nung hill tribe. You will stay overnight in the stilt house of a local family.
      Xi Man
      Xi Man
  • Day 6: Muong Khuong - Bac Ha (B/L/D)
    • 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. Dinner on your own, overinght  in Bac Ha.
      Muong Khuong
      Ban Pho
  • Day 7:  Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang (B/L/D)
    • 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 ping 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. Dinner on your own, overnight  in Ha Giang.
      Hoang Su Phi
  • Day 8: Ha Giang - Dong Van (B/L)
    • 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. Dinner on your own, overnight  in Dong Van.
      Ha Giang Dong Van
      former H'mong royal house
  • Day 9: Dong Van -  Meo Vac - Ha Giang (B/L)
    • 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. Dinner on your own, overnight in Ha Giang.
  • Day 10: Ha Giang - Ba Be lakes (B/L/D)
    • 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. Dinner with a family of Tay at homestay in Coc Toc village.
      Ba Be National Park
      Ba Be National Park
  • Day 11: Ba Be Lake (B/L/D)
    • 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 Puong Grotto before stopping at some nearby hill tribe villages and getting off the beaten track to the scenic Dau Dang Waterfalls. Dinner with a family of Tay at homestay in Coc Toc village.
      Puong Cave
      Nang River
  • Day 12: Ba Be Lake - Cao Bang (B/L)
    • The following destination of our trip is Cao Bang Town. After breakfast we set off on our half day journey past the spectacular mountainous landscapes, with a mixture of steep terraced rice field and hill villages. Along the way, we can made stops at our pleasure, to stretch our legs and shoot some wonderful photographs. The remainder of the day will be free to explore the town or simply to relax. Dinner on your own, overnight  in Cao Bang.
      Ba Be Lake - Cao Bang
      Ba Be Lake - Cao Bang
  • Day 13: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall - Lang Son (B/L)
    • Today will take you to one of the most incredible natural wonders in the north of Vietnam, Ban Gioc Waterfall. The breathtaking 300-meter wide cascade sits on the border between China and Vietnam in amongst the mountainous landscape of the northern regions. Here you can relax in bask in the wonder of nature with plenty of time to take some photos. You will also have the chance to board a bamboo boat which will take to the very edge of Vietnam, so close that you can actually touch China! After enjoying the waterfall, you will venture underground the magical Nguom Ngao Cave to discover the rock formations which been carved out by erosion.
      Next, you will visit a local market where you can experience the amazing culture of this frontier region. Here local people travel from the surrounding towns to trade, sell and socialise. You will then hike to Phat Tich Temple which as well as giving a great insight into the local beliefs, offers unrivalled views of Ban Gioc Waterfall with China in the background. After seeing this vestige site we continue our journey past the  many hill villages and the tranquil town of Dong Khe and That Khe. The drive will deliver us into Lang Son by late afternoon. This border town had been all destroyed during the recent Sino - Vietnamese war, but was rebuilt to become an important trade center in north eastern region. Dinner on your own and overnight in Lang Son.
      Ban Gioc Waterfall
      Nguom Ngao Cave
  • Day 14: Lang Son – Halong Bay (B/L)
    • The lively central market of Lang Son and the legendary Tam Thanh Cave are visited this morning before we depart for Halong, truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. The drive is difficult at times as we travel  through many mountain areas.
      Their breathtaking scenery is some of the best in Asia. We have some opportunities en route to visit the Tay, Nung and San Diu hill tribe people.
      On arrival in Halong city we spend the remainder of the day for a well- earned rest on a Beach. Dinner on your own, overnight  in Halong.
      Lang Son Vietnam
      Tam Thanh Cave
  • Day 15: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B/L)
    • Today we embark on a sailing boat for an exploration of Halong Bay. This exciting five hour cruise provides a fantastic view of the  bay which is dotted with some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves.
      Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. After a seafood lunch on board we return to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi and check in hotel. Dinner on your own, overnight  in Hanoi.
      Ha Long Bay
      Ha Long bay
  • Day 16: Hanoi Departure (B/L)
    • There is a free time to relax and further explore Hanoi until  your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure.
      Hoan Kiem Lake

RATE: This rate is quoted in USD per person, based on Double/Twin occupancy. Applied for the – Private Tour. Valid from 01 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018
Group size
Single Supp’
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
Quoc Hoa hotel
Sapa Trek
Giang Ta Chai
Pao's Sapa Leisure hotel
Bat xat - Lao Cai
Bac Ha
Cong Fu hotel
Ha Giang
Doan Homestay
Dong Van
Hoa Cuong hotel
Ba Be lake
Mr Linh's homestay
Cao Bang
Thanh Loan hotel
Lang Son
Vi's Boutique hotel
Halong Bay
Calypso cruise

Tour price includes:

•    Private door-to-door pick-up & -off services.
•    All private transfer and transportation
•    Home stay and hotel as stated in program
•    Experienced English speaking tour guide.
•    Train tickets: Lao Cai -> Ha Noi
•    Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast ; L: Lunch ; D: Dinner)
•    All sightseeing tickets.
•    No extra charge after confirmation
•    24/7 hotline support guaranteed

Tour price excludes:

•    All airfare (international and domestic) and airport tax
•    Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
•    Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
•    Travel insurance and other beverages
•    Other services not mentioned above.

What to take:
•    Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable walking shoes.
•    We also recommend packing insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...
•    Take a small day pack for hiking and trekking.
•    It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.

Have a good journey!
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