As the oldest geographical region out of the three in the country, Northern Vietnam is the cradle of the Viet civilization, laden with diverse geographical and cultural value. Not only is it a trekking mecca amongst indoor ethuasists, it’s also perfect for culture vultures seeking exposure to the indigenous culture of the Kinh that dates back thousands of years ago as well the kaleidoscopic cultures of ethnic minority groups. Stray from the city with our North Vietnam tours to experience all the different lights of Northern Vietnam and maximize your cultural exposure. You will also be rewarded with some of the most divine scenery, from the dreamy and mysterious Sapa with some of the most breathtaking trekking trails, to Ha Giang – the Plateau of Rock with a grandeur of mountainous vistas and immense carpets of pinkish white buckwheat flowers, to the masterpiece of nature of Ba Be National Park – the Jade of the northern corner of Vietnam.
Day 1: Hanoi – Lao Cai – Sapa
Meal: N/A, Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.
You will be welcomed by our guide and driver upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport. Set out on a 4-hour drive along the highway to Sapa. Relax and stay overnight in Sapa Town.
Day 2: Sapa – Y Linh Ho – Cat Cat villages – Sapa.
Meal: Breakfast, lunch/ Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.
When it comes to the most classic North Vietnam tours for serious walkers, Sapa has rightfully secured its number 1 spot. After breakfast, start a 4-hour trek along mountain trails or main roads (at your request) to Y Linh Ho and Cat Cat Villages, inhabited by the Black Hmong. As you traverse the undeniably spectacular scenery, you will catch sight of gleaming rice terraces, as well as the heavenly Fairy Waterfall or Love Waterfall and the shimmering Golden Stream – both associated with an anecdote about a fairy and a human.
While visiting local people, make an effort to reach out to and mingle with them, studying their heritage and feeling the beat of their culture. Have a fun-filled picnic and lunch al fresco by the river before having a short walk to the center of Cat Cat Village, where you will gain further insights into local culture and history through interesting performances. Go back to Sapa Town in the late afternoon to check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure, seize this chance to roam around its vibrant neighborhoods or market.
Day 3: Sapa – Suoi Ho – Matra villages – Cao son – Coc Ly – Bac Ha town.
Meal: Breakfast, lunch/ Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Ha.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will head off for a 2-hour walk across Suoi Ho Village to visit Matra Village – home to Red Dzao and Hmong people. Unlike other Hmong villages, Matra Village remains unspoilt by mass tourism, everything seems to be preserved in aspic here. Meet with your driver at the end of the village and you will be transferred to Cao Son through Lao Cai Town – located on the border with China, and have lunch there. Follow the mountain roads through amazing scenery and hill tribes such as the Nung, Ha Nhi, and Blue Hmong. As you arrive in Coc Ly, you can take a boat ride along the Chay River to Trung Do Village, where you will start to trek about 3 km along the village of Tay people. Your driver will be waiting for you at the end of village and transferring you to Bac Ha Town.
Day 4: Bac Ha – Market (Sunday) – Ban Pho village – Hagiang.
Meal: Breakfast, lunch/ Accommodation: Hotel in Ha Giang
If your visit falls on Sunday morning, you will have a chance to attend Bac Ha Market – which attracts a wide variety of ethnic minority groups included the Flower Hmong, Phu La, La Chi, and Tay, who sill retain their age-old cultural traditions and are highly distinguishable from each other by their unique attires. Then, you will walk to Ban Pho Village to visit the Flower Hmong Tribe. You will return to Bac Ha Town at noon to have lunch before getting transferred to Ha Giang City – the next destination on our North Vietnam tours, located about 140km from Bac Ha. Stay overnight at a resort in Ha Giang.
Day 5: Ha Giang – Dong Van Highland.
Meal: Breakfast, lunch/ Accommodation: Hotel in Dong Van
Depart early in the morning to visit the wonderful world of ethnic minority people. You will go uphill through tranquil scenery to visit many ethnic villages and colorful weekend markets including Quyet Tien Market. Have lunch at a local restaurant in Quang Ba Town. Keep driving for about 2 more hours to arrive at Dong Van Highland, located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters above sea level to soak up its fresh air, wild scenery, and majestic nature with endlessly range of limestone mountains – its barren landscape resembles that of the moon.
Check in to your hotel and relax for an hour before veering off the beaten path and climbing huphill to visit Tai Chai Village – belonging to Lo Lo People. The inhabitants here are unaffected by modern civilization and you will be surprised at how local people manage to survive their hard life and maintain their traditional way of life for centuries. You will be transferred back to your hotel by car and spend the night there.
Day 6: Dong Van – Meo Vac – Ba Be National Park.
Meal: Breakfast, lunch/ Accommodation: Home stay in Ba Be
Have breakfast at the hotel before getting transferred to Meo Vac. Today, our North Vietnam tours will offer a visual feast for the wandering eyes with a panoramic view from the majestic Ma Phi Leng Pass – notoriously known for its staggering switchbacks carved into the face of the cliff edge that get Adrenaline pumping in your veins. Then, walk to some untouched villages along the way to see Pu Peo, Lo Lo, or White Hmong tribes. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Bao Lac Town, and then you will follow a small trail through a jungle, across many streams and rivers. Proceed southeast to Ba Be National Park and see the whole wonder of nature – with vast mountain ranges, serene lakes, enigmatic caves, and ravishing waterfalls, unfurl right before your eyes. Have dinner and stay there for the night at a homestay in a village inhabited by the Tay.
Day 7: Trekking and traveling by boat into the three lakes of Babe.
Meal: Breakfast, lunch/ Accommodation: Home stay in Ba Be.
Take a three hour boat ride cruising the emerald waters of Ba Be Lake surrounded by rugged limestone mountains and lush forests. Then, take a short walk to visit a Tay minority village, where we can enjoy lunch with the local people here. After lunch, you will have short walk along this national park to visit Puong Grotto and Dau Dang Waterfall. In the afternoon, you will continue to walk and observe the daily life of the locals through their activities such as fishing at the lake or working on the farm. Go back to Bac Ngoi Village for another night at the local’s house or hotel at your request.
Day 8. Be Ba National Park – Ha noi.
Meal: Breakfast, lunch/ Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.
After breakfast, bid adieu to the friendly villagers and set out on a 6-hour drive back to Hanoi.
Day 9: Hanoi – Departure.
Meal: Breakfast/ Accommodation: NA
After breakfast, you will be free until getting transferred to the airport for your departure flight. Your North Vietnam tours in 6 days end here. We hope you enjoy every moment of it and have a safe flight!
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