Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights

Tour code: GDT06E
Duration: 8 days 7 nights
  • Day 1: Hanoi - Sapa (L/D)
    • Our guide and driver will pick you up around 7:30am for your 5 hour drive to Sapa. Simply sit back, relax, and enjoy as the scenery transforms from bustling metropolis to rolling hills and endless rice paddies.

      Around midday you will arrive in Sapa, at which time you’ll get to enjoy a local lunch. Then for your first trip use the longest cable car system in Asia, departing from Sapa Town to the highest mountain top of Southeast Asia, Fansipan, once known as the ‘Roof of Indochina’. The highest point of the mountain culminates at 3,143m above sea level.
      The ascension by cable car takes about 30 minutes offering you on the way a stunning view of terraced rice fields as far as the eye can see. Once arrived, you will be able to visit the temples and finish the climb by foot, just 600 stairs, or by funicular before you head back to Sapa Town by car for an overnight stay in a hotel.

      It is recommended to bring a jacket as the temperature drops and the wind blows at this altitude.

      More infos on Trekking in Sapa
      Lao Chai to Ta Van Village
      Lao Chai to Ta Van Village
  • Day 2: Sapa Trekking (B/L/D)
    • Today this best off the beaten track vietnam invites you trek to rice paddy fields Ý Linh Hồ, flower valleys and Black Hmong villages, located in the mountains with amazing panoramic views. You will visit a local house to meet the villagers and discover their daily life. After lunch in a local restaurant, you will continue through the rice terrace fields to Lao Chai and Ta Van Village of Zay people to discover their culture. This is the biggest valley and features most impressive rice terrace fields in the whole of Sapa. You will have dinner and spend the night in a homestay in Ta Van Village.
      - A 15-17 km trek.
      Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam
      Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam
  • Day 3: Sapa - Ha Giang (B/L/D)
    • Today we’ll leave Sapa in favour of Vietnam’s final frontier, Ha Giang. On the way we’ll make a stop at Pho Rang for lunch before we have a walking tour to Vinh Yen inhabited by Tay communities.
      We continue our drive deeper into Ha Giang, enjoying the spectacular scenery along the way, before finally reaching the Tay village for another walk where we will spend the night around 6pm, just in time for a home-cooked dinner. You’ll overnight in this traditional Tay stilt house.
      - A 6-8 km walk.
      Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam
      Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam
  • Day 4: Ha Giang - Dong Van (B/L/D)
    • Once we have purchased the mandatory permit at the Immigration Office, you will begin the journey to Dong Van following a spectacular series of passes which wind through the mountains and valleys. En route you enjoy exceptional views of the rolling landscape and interesting flora and fauna. After that, we will have Lunch in the small mountain town of Tam Son visiting the villages of the H’mong Lung Cam B. You will have the chance to see the former palace of the H’mong King, Vuong Chinh Duc who was an ally of the French. You will arrive in Dong Van around 18:00 where you will have dinner at a local restaurant and spend the night in a hotel.

      Experience the Ha Giang Loop !
      Ha Giang Dong Van
      Hmong King Palace
  • Day 5: Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang (B/L/D)
    • You’ll start the day off with breakfast and a visit to the Dong Van Market, where locals come from all the surrounding villages to purchase and trade for essentials they cannot produce themselves.

      Then you will be making the trek up to Pu Lo fortress which was built in 1890 and evacuated in 1945. From here you can enjoy spectacular views of the entire region, before climbing 8 km to the top of Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a gigantic maze of limestone peaks, stone forests, and canyons (the Sky Path at the Nho Qué River Viewpoint) before descending into the valley of Meo Vac. Winding our way through the valley, we’ll eventually reach Bao Lac village, where we’ll rest for a bit and have lunch before being driven to Cao Bang where you’ll spend the night in a hotel.
      - A 8-10 km trek.
      Dong Van Market
      Ma Pi Leng Pass
  • Day 6: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall (B/L/D)
    • This day is likely to be your highlight of this north vietnam off the beaten track tour, as we take you to one of the most incredible natural wonders in Northern Vietnam; Ban Gioc Waterfall. The drive here from Cao Bang is roughly two hours, and this breath-taking 300-metre wide cascade sits right on the border between China and Vietnam, amidst a beautiful mountainous landscape.

      While you’re here you can spend your time relaxing in the glow of the natural beauty, take some amazing photos, and board a bamboo boat that will take you so close to the falls you’ll feel the spray on your face, practically sitting at the very edge of Vietnam, so close to China that you can actually touch it.

      After enjoying the waterfall, you will venture deep underground into the magical Nguom Ngao Cave to discover the rock formations which have been carved by erosion over millennia.

      After visiting the waterfall and cave, you will travel down a beautiful road which is unknown to many, which winds through the mountains before reaching the Nung village of Quang Uyen.

      You will be welcomed by Mr. Hung Dao, an amazingly friendly blacksmith, before having dinner at his house and settling in for the night in this cosy traditional Nung house.
      Ban Gioc Waterfalls
      Nguom Ngao Cave Cao Bang
  • Day 7: Cao Bang - Ba Be Lake (B/L/D)
    • Today we leave Quang Yen behind and drive through Ma Phuc pass on our way to Ba Be National Park. Once in the park, you’ll have time to explore the many wonders located here, such as the lake itself, the caves of Puong Grotto, the rapids of Dau Dang Waterfall and finally the tiny Widow Island located on the lake.

      We’ll be staying in a traditional Tay stilt house overnight, staying with a local host family.
      Ba Be National Park
      Dau Dang Waterfall
  • Day 8: Ba Be Lake - Hanoi (B/L)
    • After breakfast, we’ll take you on a stroll along the riverfront to visit some surrounding villages, followed by a hike up one of the higher points around the lake, providing you with some impressive views surrounded by limestone formations and mountain peaks.

      Following this we enter Hua Ma Cave, famous for its thousands of stalactites and stalagmites, and also known for being the biggest dry cave in Northeastern Vietnam. After lunch in a local restaurant, it’s sadly time to head back to Hanoi and say our goodbyes, arriving at your hotel around 5pm.

      Where to stay in Ba Be National Park ?
      Hua Ma Cave
      Ba Be lake

Accommodation List
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.
Ta Van Homestay
Address: Ta Van, Hau Thao, Sapa, Lao Cai
Located by the beautiful Hoa stream, surrounded by green terraced fields, visitors to this Ta Van homestay will experience the feeling of staying in the poetic stilt houses of the Northwest ethnic group.
Chapa Dew Hotel
Address: 34 Cau May, Sa Pa town, Lao Cai province
Located in northwestern Vietnam, Chapa Dew Boutique Hotel offers cosy accommodation with views of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Free internet and parking are provided.
Thanh Loan Hotel
Address: V131 Vuon Cam, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang Province
Located in the center of Cao Bang city, Thanh Loan Hotel is ideal place for both tourists and businessmen. The hotel has two branches, which is only 1km away from each other. The system of over 50 rooms is suitable for diverse needs of customers. The system of comfortable rooms, modern, cozy space, gives guests the perfect resting space. Each room is fully equipped with: cable TV, wifi, telephone, 2-way air-conditioner and hot shower.
Hoa Cuong Hotel Dong Van
Address: Dong Van Town, Ha Giang Province
Hoa Cuong Hotel is located in the center of the ancient town of Dong Van district - Ha Giang, where the center of the Highland area of ​​stone was recognized by UNESCO. The hotel opened in early 2015 is the most modern hotel in Ha Giang province
Mr Doan's Homestay
Address: Ha Thanh village, Phuong Do, Ha Giang City, Ha Giang Province
Visit Mr Doan, his wife and his two sons in a traditional stilts house of Tay ethnic minority group in North of Vietnam. He is a good chef and kind owner
Mr Kim's Homestay
Address: Phia Thap Village, Quoc Dan, Quang Uyen, Cao Bang province
Mr Kim’s Homestay stands out in green rice paddy fields of Phia Thắp Village, home to 50 families from the Nùng ethnic minority in Cao Bằng Province.
The traditional structure of Kim’s stilt house is still preserved. The house’s first floor, which used to be a cattle holding area, has been extended to make a cozy living room with wooden tables and chairs. The well-organised second floor is where tourists can sleep, providing more than 20 mattresses and eco-friendly decoration. Each mattress is well prepared with a pillow, a mosquito net, a lamp and an electricity socket.
Ba Be Jungle Houses
Address: Coc Toc village, Nam Mau commune, Ba Be district, Bac Kan province
A step up in amenities to Ba Be's homestays, this lakeside place in Coc Toc village takes the form of six small, spic-and-span, wood-panelled private rooms, and a dorm. Visitors are well looked after by friendly English-speaking staff.

5 average based on 13 reviews.

Traveler rating

Very Good

Wrote a review 10 - 2023
wonderful days in North Vietnam
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We booked a tour for us & our 3 grown up children & partners for 8 days in North Vietnam.Together with Mr. Linh we set up a plan. Except some unclarity about the price after paying the advance payment, we were very satisfied. Our driver and especially our wonderful guide Mr. Long did a great job. Mr. Long was most attentive to all our desires and needs, and answered patiently our 1000 questions. We appreciate the long hours they spent with us in good humor and kindness. They dese...Read Morerve our warm recommendation Read Less
Date of experience: 10 2016
Mr Linh's Adventure
Thank you for your review and feedback, we appreciate you taking the time to write a review. It was a pleasure meeting you and we are happy that we could provide you and your family with the trip you desired. Here at Mr Linh’s Adventures we aim to create the perfect tour for everyone. We are glad that you enjoyed your trip and we will endeavour to minimise any confusion in the future. We are pleased to hear such positive comments about members of our team. We agree whole heartedly ...Read Moreand value to the passion and expert knowledge of all our team members. We will make sure to relay your kind words and gratitude. We hope to see you and your friends in Vietnam in the future and will always be on hand to ensure another unforgettable trip! Best Regards, Linh Read Less
Written 0/0/0

Wrote a review 4 - 2023
Fantastic North Vietnam Tour
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We chose the 7 night "Off the beaten track" tour of North Vietnam and had a great trip. We saw and experienced so much, and the whole experience was simply amazing.
We had a really good guide, Mr Long, his english skills, local knowledge, humour and kindness made our tour the absolute highlight of our trip to Vietnam.
There is a lot of driving on this trip, but the views make it worthwhile, and there's no other way to get to these places. Our driver Mr Thang w
...Read Moreas really safe and pleasant company (always smiling tho little english) and we always felt safe even on the windy mountain roads with vertiginous s!
The only change we would make if booking this trip again is that we would have two nights at Ba Be which was so gorgeous, and miss out Sapa (we found it too touristy). Read Less
Date of experience: 4 2023

Wrote a review 12 - 2023
Trip of a Lifetime!
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We did an 8 Day / 7 Night off the Beaten Track in North Vietnam Tour. We were disappointed that the cable car to Fansipan Mountain was closed for maintenance, but instead did Silver Waterfalls, Heaven Gate and Love Waterfall. We understand that this is out of their control and they are refunding us the difference in price. This was a private tour with Mr. Hai as our tour guide and Mr. Long as our driver. They were both amazing! We always felt safe with the driving and well cared for - go...Read Moreod explanations on the countryside and the local traditions. The scenery was beautiful - mountains, valleys, terraces and waterfalls. It was a good balance for the long drive with lots of walking tours in the mountains and the local villages. Dong Van, Ma Pi Leng Pass, the Sky Path, Ban Gioc Waterfalls and Ba Be Lake were all spectacular. The tour was well organized - thanks to Van Anh. Read Less
Date of experience: 11 2023

Wrote a review 5 - 2023
Amazing experience
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
My husband and I wanted to explore the far North of Vietnam, immerse ourselves in the local culture and visit places where not many tourists would venture. That was certainly the case. We travelled many kilometres and saw the most stunning scenery along the way. Our guide Mr Long taught us so much about the Vietnamese culture and made sure we were looked after in the best way possible. Our driver Mr Bao made us feel like we were in the safest hands as he navigated up and down the steep m...Read Moreountain roads. We were privileged to go into and stay at local ethnic villages. .. 4 homestays in total. Two of them we had our separate rooms, and the other two were dormitory style with a curtain around. The rest of the stays were in hotels. Being older, I could not have stayed in homestays the whole time, as I do like my creature comforts!. We did lots of trekking through the villages and met the most beautiful people and the children were delightful. Mr Long always had an answer to any questions we asked. It is definitely one of the most memorable tours we have done and such a unique experience. Read Less
Date of experience: 5 2019
Mr Linh's Adventure
Dear Carol and Stephen, Thank you very much for your kind review, we are delighted to read you had a memorable experience in our beautiful Vietnam. Mr Long and Bao are both experts in their fields, you had an amazing team to look after you! The beauty of this country also lies with its people, so welcoming and endearing. Overnight in homestays is very beneficial for everyone, the locals get to share experiences with travelers, and the guests are offered a true insight of the Vietnamese w...Read Moreay of life. We hope to see you again someday! Kind regards, Mr Linh's Adventures Team Read Less
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Wrote a review 7 - 2023
Off the beaten track - Indeed
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights

Mr Linh’s excursion “Off the beaten tracks” is a trip appropriately named. Our summary of the excursion was excellent and as all life’s adventures, it did have some pros and cons.

The good stuff:
- A true deep and rich experience. Discover who the peoples of northern Vietnam are, how they live and work.
-Incredible topography and the opportunity to see it close up by hiking, boating, spelunking, and kayaking.
-A great gu
...Read Moreide ( Loi ) with flexibility to change the day instantly based on what our wishes and what was available to see that day. He adapted well with every change up request. He started everyday with a good plan and a smile.
-Our driver ( Lon ) who was safe, fun and always watching out for what he could do. He and Lon are a great team.
-Comfortable vehicle
-Homestay at Heavenly Homestay was five star. A unique cottage with opportunity to walk around the village and eat with the family. The balance was just right.
-Mr. Linh’s Homestay was very good for both location and comfort.
-Cathy at Mr Linh’s. She is a valuable resource for setting up excursions and even helping us with the visa application. Always timely in her communications. A star.

The misses
- Several long days in the vehicle. Although the actual distances between stops were not huge, it takes nearly the entire day to accomplish the travel on rough and serpentine roads. Two days were unbalanced as to time in the car vs activities.
- The hotel in Sapa missed the marked. It was a bit eerie - a 7 story hotel nearly empty.
- One of the three Homestays, the second Homestay of the trip was barely friendly in my opinion, It was authentic and primitive, for sure.
Overall we would conclude the excursion as a great experience and definitively met our goal of discovering northern Vietnam. Read Less
Date of experience: 7 2019
Mr Linh's Adventure
Dear BTrek5, Thank you very much for taking the time to send us a review. We are delighted to hear that your life adventure exceeded your expectations! You had a great team watching over you between Cathy, Loi and Lon, three true experts in this area. We have well-noted all your remarks, always useful for us to improve and help keep an eye on every detail. We're hoping to see you again someday, we may have new surprises by your next visit! Thank you, Mr Linh's Adventures
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Mariet E
Wrote a review 4 - 2023
Perfect match when visiting Vietnam
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
The trip was amazing. Visited Ba Be National Park, Zuza National Park, Sapa and climbed Fansipan mountain. Every detail of this trip was perfect - always on time, reliable transport, experienced driver, knowledgeable guide Mr Long and supportive staff, clean homestays, warm food and a lot of cold beer!
Date of experience: 4 2023

Wrote a review 9 - 2023
Unforgettable experience in North Vietnam
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We are a family of 4 (kids 12 & 10) and took a private tour back in July 2022 (sorry it took me so long to submit the review!!). Our itinerary was bespoke and took us on a 7 day loop around the North, starting and ending in Hanoi. We visited Sa Pa, Lao Cai (incl Fansipan cable car which was spectacular) as well as trekking through valleys and villages, Ban Gioc falls and caves, finishing in Ba Be national park. We stayed in a mixture of hotels and homestays and from start to finish t...Read Morehe experience was unforgettable. Our guide Hai and driver Duy were amazing and looked after us throughout the trip, covering some significant distances on the road and always sharing interesting information about the local people and geography. An amazing experience for the whole family - Thank-you!! Read Less
Date of experience: 9 2023

Wrote a review 9 - 2023
Northern Vietnam 8 day holiday- the best holiday with Long and Long as our guide and driver. Would highly recommend it.
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We had a fantastic guide and driver , Long and Long, for our holiday and we couldn’t have asked for more. Great scenery from Sapa to Hanoi through the mountains and valleys of the northern Vietnam region.
Date of experience: 9 2023

Ella Bowler
Wrote a review 5 - 2023
Fantastic people and scenery
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
I had a wonderful time on a bespoke tour with Mr Linh's Adventures. The driver and guide were very knowledgeable, friendly and warm. I enjoyed learning a lot about the culture of the ethnic minorities and trekking through beautiful and diverse landscapes.
Date of experience: 5 2022

Wrote a review 12 - 2023
8 days north Vietnam off the beaten tracks
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We have traveled with mr Linh’s adventure following a recommendation that we have found for this specific trip on the lonely planet

On the plus side : the trip was truly amazing , landscapes were magnificent and we had very nice interactions when staying at homestays. The one at mr Kim’s home stay was a one of a kind experience and the village is vey cute
The ban Gioc waterfall spectacle and boat tour in ba be lake we’re also highlights of the trip
...Read More
Mr Bao , our driver is very experienced and professional, it is needed when driving the particularly tricky roads in the north

On the minus side : the company changed the accommodation in sapa for a lower quality hotel after we paid which was not really a good starting point. They however suggested to re book us the next day on a better hotel but we preferred the home stay
the first day and night in sapa I found useless. The small trek around the village is a bit annoying and rather than getting to now the local communities as advertisers , we got chased to buy stuff for more than 30mn...

The hotel in cao bang is a bit creepy and would deserve to be changed

Lastly , and this is more on the mixed feeling side , our guide was very nice and helpful, very friendly. she did her best to make our trip better. it would have been perfect if her English level was better as I do believe it would have improved our Communication. Read Less
Date of experience: 12 2019

Wrote a review 3 - 2023
Adventure along North West Hanoi
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
Our 8 days off beat trekking from village of valleys and mountains is truly fascinating and accompanied by Loi, the humorous, caring and attentive guide accompanied by safe driving driver Swee. .they have such patience too
Our trek and homestays are basis but very comfortable and always well fed with good meals especially efforts for the deliciously hotpot dinner and birthday treat celebration by entertainer Loi
We will and plan to organise a coming year for the golden harv
...Read Moreest on October for the golden harvest to North East Hanoi with Linh Adventure
Much interesting are interacting with the tribes and their custom and lifestyle which we learns much to treasure especially the classroom of happy children and teachers in local school
Yes, we recommend Mr Linh's Adventures and Guide Loi,who is expert on sweet potato dish Read Less
Date of experience: 3 2019

Wrote a review 12 - 2023
A trip to remember
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We were a group of 3 adults and a 13 year old. Our guide was Loi and our driver Long. We had an incredible experience on this trip. The sights, the people, the food were all awesome. There is a lot of driving on steep winding mountain roads but it is an off the beaten track tour and we were not disappointed because each day brought a new experience. We loved visiting Mrs Mai in the village where hemp is woven into material then dyed and used to make beautiful bags and other items. The tr...Read Moreek through the National Park was stunning and meeting the children at the school so special. There were so many highlights. We loved the homestays. Each different but the people were so welcoming. The food was just delicious and we felt very spoilt every day with what we were given. You need to be a bit adventurous for this tour but it is so very worth it. Read Less
Date of experience: 12 2018

Wrote a review 11 - 2023
Amazing journey of 8 days through the mountains of North-East Vietnam
Review of: Off the beaten tracks North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights
We started our journey with our guide Minh and our driver Long to the Ba Be lake where we stayed for two days. We did one fabulous trekking of 17 km through the mountaineous region around the lake. The second day we did some tough cycling and afterwards easy kayaking down the river. We also visited the amazing Dong Phuong cave. The next days was tiresome because of the many miles through North Vietnam. But it was worthwile due to the incredible scenery and the excellent driver Long in th...Read Moree comfortable car. We visited the waterfalls at the sino-vietnamese border and a cave on our way back to Cao Bang.
The trip to Dong Van was beautiful with the highlight of the Ma Pi Leng Pass. In the neighbourhood od Ha Giang we stayed at a Tay family. The people were very kind but we endured a hard night there. The next day we reached Bac Ha, where we visited the Night market. A nice folkloric performance on stage with singing ans dancing.
The last day started at the colourful morning market in Bac Ha and ended in Sa Pa where we also visited the Hmong village. That was to our opinion a bit too touristic, but maybe we were already a bit spoilt because of the many more authentic villages we saw earlier that week. During the whole trip Minh was our fantastic guide who provided very relevant information on all the aspects of the journey and furthermore he was very kind and helpful.
As a summary we can only cocnclude that if was e pleasure travelling with Mr. Linh Adventures. We recommend this 8 day- trip to anyone who wants to discover this unique part of Vietnam. Read Less
Date of experience: 11 2017
Mr Linh's Adventure
Dear Masambasin, I can feel that you’re fairly satisfied about this trip. We’re happy about that and really want to say thank to you anyway. I also appreciate your constructive feedback, concretely about the hard night in Tay family (in Ha Giang). However, we want take you to try a real local experence, this is a chance to learn more ethnic culture Vietnam. I must affirm that kayaking on Ba be Lake is a wonderful experience, so I hope that you love this activity, 17 km trekki...Read Moreng and cycling as well. Another destination in your journey is Ha Giang Province. Ha Giang is an unique place, for now still untouched by mass tourism. I’m sure that you saw a lot of fantastic mountain scenery over the whole area, a series of hills, valleys and villages and with the ethnic minorities (Hmong, Tay, Dao, Nung, Lo Lo, Giay, Pu Peo). Ma Pi Leng Pass is also very attractive, right? It’s probably one of the most beautiful roads you can experience in Vietnam. And do you know the majestic scenery and the wild beauty in Ma Pi Leng pass inspired several famous Vietnamese writers and poets to compose their writings. I’m imagining the scene like you’re singing and dancing with locals in the night market in Bac Ha. Let’s say to me that you did. That’s so wonderful because locals there are very very friendly and you’re welcomed as their close friends. This chance will help you to understand more about our colorful culture and our hospitality. About Sapa destination, that’s right when you say it’s too touristy, however compared to several the good points of Sapa, in my opinion, you still had the nice memories there, specially the authentic beauty preserved by the ethnic groups there. Right now, I must say that your review makes me impatient to come back Ha Giang left many unforgettable memories in my heart. Once again, thanks a lot Masambasin for your journey with Mr Linh’s Adventures. Best wishes, Mr Linh’s Adventures Team Read Less
Written 0/0/0

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