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Dien Bien Phu
Ba Be lake
Ha Long bay
Phong Nha - Ke Bang
Ho Chi Minh city
More than 17 Days
Hiking & Trekking
Trekking the hidden trails of Vietnam 13 days 12 nights
A great route of the most mountainous region in the North of Vietnam will show you how imposing the nature of the country can be. You will meet with local people and get to understand the many differences in culture & way of life of the ethnic minorities living in Sapa, Ba Be, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, and Lang Son. We’ll then round it all out in the best way imaginable; a relaxing cruise in the gorgeous Ha Long Bay.
Ba Be National Park
- A wild treasure home to one of the biggest natural freshwater lakes in Asia
- Home of colourful markets rich of several ethnic minority groups
- Cao Bang is an immensely beautiful, sparsely populated frontier region of North Vietnam
Ha Giang Province
- Vietnam's final frontier rich of a multitude of ethnic cultures and stunning landscapes
- A scatter of islands in emerald waters designated UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Bustling capital city of Northern Vietnam
- Northwestern Vietnam's first trekking base through terraced rice fields
: 13 days 12 nights
Hanoi - Lao Cai - Sapa - Bac Ha - Ha Giang - Ba Be - Cao Bang - Lang Son - Halong Bay
Day 1: Sapa Trek (B/L/D)
You’ll arrive early in the morning (roughly 5:30am) at the railway station in Lao Cai, a border town between Vietnam and Yunnan, China. From here we set out on a 38km drive along the winding roads through the mountains of Sapa, located at 1500m above sea level. If you’re lucky enough to be here on a clear day, you may even see the highest mountain in Vietnam, the
, while driving this route.
We’ll reach our hotel in Sapa in time for breakfast at 8am, before we start walking to Lao Chai village.
Views of Muong Hoa Valley
and its magnificent surroundings are great here, featuring stunning mountains and sprawling rice terraces.
After a picnic lunch on the way, you will continue through the valley to Ta Van Village to visit Dzay people, who are known to be some of the friendliest people in the region. The next village is Giang Ta Chai which belongs to the
Red Dzao tribe
where you will see some amazing scenery. Tonight you will stay overnight in a local house of a Dzay family.
Day 2: 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 local people who belong to the
Red Dao and Black Hmong ethnic groups
. After having time to meet with them and explore their village, you will begin the trek back to Sapa. This gives you one last chance to take in the breath-taking views of the mountain ranges and rice paddies. Dinner on your own and overnight in Sapa town.
Day 3: Sapa - Batxat - Lao Cai (B/L)
(Note, title change for day 5, old one didn’t fit the content of the day)
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 which can be quite challenging if it has been raining, but this is the only route for local villagers going to
. You will have the opportunity to see many wild giant butterflies in a rainbow of colours, flitting through the fresh mountain air.
Once we reach an altitude of about 2000m, an incredible vista of terraced paddies appears, decorating the rolling mountainsides. Weather permitting you will stop for a picnic lunch next to a waterfall and then continue on to Coc Dong Village, belonging to the Nung hill tribe, arriving in the mid-afternoon. You will stay overnight in the stilt house of a local family.
Day 4: Muong Khuong - Bac Ha (B/L/D)
We set out for the weekend
market of Muong Khuong
in the morning, which attracts a wide variety of minority groups such as the H’mong, Dao, Thu Lao, Pa Di, Tu Di and Phu La. The drive to Muong Khuong is about 2 hours, and then in the early afternoon we continue on to
. Here we’ll stop for an overnight break, and we’ll enjoy a walk to visit the H’mong Kings Palace after checking in. Dinner on your own and overnight in Bac Ha.
Day 5: 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 traverses a dense jungle before crossing over a pass and descending 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 sections. Along the way we may encounter the Nung Ing, Tay, Red Dao, Dao Ao Dai, La Chi and Co Lao, which are just some of the many hill tribe groups who have settled here. Dinner on your own, then overnight in Ha Giang.
Day 6: 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 have stood 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 colourful costumes and the majestic mountainous scenery make this long and bumpy trip an unforgettable experience. Dinner on your own, then overnight in Dong Van.
Day 7: Dong Van - Meo Vac - Ha Giang (B/L)
We have time to visit Dong Van Town before continuing to Meo Vac which is inhabited 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 can be very basic. We return to
Ha Giang via Yen Minh
using a shortcut, then dinner on your own, and an overnight stay in Ha Giang.
Day 8: Ha Giang - Ba Be National Park (B/L/D)
An early morning start with a drive through the rolling hills and the picturesque scenery to
Ba Be National Park
. The roads are very bumpy and windy, however we will get a chance to meet the Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung ethnic minorities who make up the main population of this region. We are sure to attract their attention as this part of the country receives very few visitors.
Depending on road and traffic conditions we arrive in Ba Be by late afternoon or early evening for dinner with a Tay family at their homestay in Coc Toc village.
Day 9: Ba Be Lake (B/L/D)
Today we embark on a boat cruising down the
which is the main water source of Ba Be Lake. This exciting river trip will give us a taste of the tranquil countryside and offers an enjoyable exploration of
Ba Be National Park
. We traverse the
before stopping at some nearby hill tribe villages and getting off the beaten track to the scenic
Dau Dang Waterfalls
. Again we’ll have dinner with a Tay family at their homestay in Coc Toc village.
Day 10: Ba Be Lake - Cao Bang (B/L)
The next destination on our trip is
Cao Bang Town
. After breakfast we set off on our half day journey past spectacular mountainous landscapes, with a mixture of steep terraced rice field and hill villages. Along the way, we can make stops at our leisure, to stretch our legs and take some wonderful photographs. The remainder of the day will be free to explore the town or simply relax. Dinner on your own, then overnight in Cao Bang.
Day 11: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall - Lang Son (B/L)
Today we set out for one of Northern Vietnam’s most incredible natural wonders;
Ban Gioc Waterfall.
This breath-taking 300-meter wide cascade forms part of the
, and here you can relax in this natural wonder with plenty of time to snap some photos. You’ll also get to board a bamboo boat and get right up close to the raging waterfall.
Next we’ll visit a local market where you get to experience the diverse cultures of the area, before hiking to
Phat Tich Temple
which aside from being a great cultural experience, offers some of the best views of Ban Gioc with China in the background. Next up with pass through several hill tribe villages before reaching the tranquil town of Dong Khe and That Khe. By late afternoon we’ll arrive in Lang Son, a border town all but destroyed in the recent Sino-Vietnamese war, but rebuilt into a thriving trade hub in the years since. Dinner on your own then an overnight stay in Lang Son.
Day 12: Lang Son – Halong Bay (B/L)
The lively central market of Lang Son, we depart for Halong, truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. The drive is difficult at times as we travel through many mountainous areas.
The breath-taking scenery here is some of the best in Asia, and we’ll have some opportunities en route to visit the
Tay, Nung and San Diu hill tribe people
On arrival in Halong, the cruise leaves the harbor, you will enjoy lunch and be impressed by the beauty of the hundreds of karst islands on your way passing
Light and Dark Water Cave
, where you can do kayaking or bamboo boat rowed by local people. Dinner on your own, then overnight on cruises.
Day 13: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B/L)
Today we embark on a sailing boat for an exploration of Lanha Bay to Cat Ba Island. 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, and using our small boat cruising through the multiple islands & islets, hidden beaches… also a short visit on bicycles to Viet Hai village, an isolated village in the very heart of Cat Ba National Park.
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.
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.
Giang Ta Chai
Pao's Sapa Leisure hotel
Bat Xat - Lao Cai
Lap Xuan Homestay
Hoa Cuong Hotel
Ba Be lake
Mr Linh's Homestay
Thanh Loan Hotel
New Century Hotel
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.
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Personalised Tour - Outstanding
We recently travelled from the North to South Vietnam over 13 days with a private tour guide throughout. We had booked our flights and had some idea of what we wanted to see but contacted Mr LInh Adventures who came up with an itinerary to suit and it was all brilliant. We had a local tour guide at each area we traveled starting with Billy who met us at Hanoi airport and whose knowledge and friendliness was great and a perfect start to our welcome in to Vietnam. We had the highlights of
Hanoi in 1 day and then followed on to Lan Ha Bay for an overnight cruise with Calypso then met the following day and drove to Ninh Binh for an overnight stay and then a day in the Tam Coc countryside before boarding an overnight train (met by next guide Hoa, to Phong Nha and spending a day at the national park (zip wire, dark cave, mud bath and paradise cave) over night at the lake house and then a day travelling to Hue via the Vinh Moc tunnel and crossing North to South. Next day greeted by Long and a day around Imperial Citadel, tombs, local market overnight in Hue and then on to Elephant Springs, Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills and on to Hoi An. Next day met by Miss Phuong with a day round the local Tra Que Village on bikes (stunning local area) and then she accompanied us the next morning to DaNang airport. Met in Ho Chi Minh by Chin who accompanied us around Ho Chi Minh City, the following day to Mekong Delta and last day to Cu Chi Tunnels. The itinerary was action packed each day but with very informative local guides giving you the best out of your limited travel time and lunch was included where they booked you in to the local restaurants that they recommend and had some lovely local specialty foods. Don't feel we would have been able to see anywhere near as much had we tried to arrange things ourselves individually and also had the knowledge that they were their to assist with any problems that may occur. We had a fantastic trip and wouldnt hesitate to use again if and when we return to visit Vietnam as there is still so much to see. Ideally 3 weeks would be good to include Sapa, 2 nights on cruise at Halong Bay, more time in Hoi An for leisure time and beach (such a pretty area).
Date of experience:
Ba Be National Park trekking & kayaking 3 days 2 nights
Trekking The Northern Trails of Vietnam 9 days 8 nights
Mai Chau - Pu Luong trekking 3 days 2 nights
Trekking around Ha Giang 5 days 4 nights
Ha Giang loop trekking 4 days 3 nights
Trekking the secret trails on Vietnam's frontier 14 days 13 nights
Fansipan Mountain Trekking 2 days 1 night
Mu Cang Chai trekking 4 days 3 nights
Hoang Su Phi trekking tour 3 days 2 nights
Bac Ha trekking 2 days 1 night
Cat Ba Trekking & Kayaking 3 days 2 nights
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