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Northern Mountains of Vietnam 7 days 7 nights

Explore the spectacular landscapes of the northern mountainous region Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang and Ba Be with the limestone formations and the Chay River Massif.  Observe the fascinating culture, customs and way of life of different ethnic minority groups living in Vietnam's far north.
 

Type of tour: Private
Tour code: PRT 24E
Departure date: Daily
Destination: Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Ba Be National Park.
Duration: 7 days

Tour itinerary:

Night 1: Hanoi - Night Train To Lao Cai
Day 1: Lao Cai - Sa Pa - Muong Hoa Village
Day 2: Sa Pa - Lao Cai - Bac Ha - Can Cau
Day 3: Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang
Day 4: Ha Giang - Sa Phin - Dong Van
Day 5: Dong Van - Meo Vac - Bao Lac - Nguyen Binh - Ba Be Lake
Day 6: Ba Be Lake
Day 7: Ba Be - Hanoi

Night 1
Hanoi - Night Train To Lao Cai
the markets of North Vietnam, flower H'mong ethnic
You will be collected from your hotel in Hanoi at around 20:00 and taken to Hanoi Train Station where you will board the 21:15 overnight train to Lao Cai. You will be in a shared sleeping compartment (sharing with other passengers in 2 lower & 2 upper berths per compartment).
Notes: The train schedule is subject to change. Private compartments are available on request and are subject to a surcharge. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless private cabin is requested and all berths paid for - with supplement). There are restrooms at either end of the carriages.

Highlights and activities: Hanoi. Lao Cai
Accommodation:  Night train to Lao Cai
Meals: Not included
Day 1
Sa Pa Trekking (B, L, D)
the markets of North Vietnam, Sapa, Vietnam
You will arrive in Lao Cai at around 06:30, the border town to Yunnan, China. The journey starts with a 38 km drive on winding roads up the mountains to Sapa. After breakfast, you will drive from Sapa town down to Lao Chai Village. Soon after turning off the main road and taking a local path, we will arrive in the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai, where you will experience the daily life of the villagers. From here you will continue on foot Ta Van Village, where the Zay hill tribes live. Here you can take a rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your guide in a local house. After lunch, you will continue your trek through a bamboo forest and then relax at a waterfall. You will have time to explore the Red Dzao village of Giang Ta Chai and meet the local people before returning to Sapa for dinner and an overnight stay in a hotel.

Highlights and activities: Sapa a 10 -12 km trek
Accommodation: Sapa Horizon Hotel ***
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 2
Sa Pa - Bac Ha (B, L, D)
the markets of North Vietnam, Bac Ha market
Starting from Sapa, you will first visit Bac Ha Town and Vua Meo' Palace “Cat King’ House”, the outlandish palace, built in 1921 by the French.
Next, you can visit Can Cau Market on Saturday or Bac Ha Market on Sunday morning, both located in the mountains near the Chinese border. You will then proceed to Bac Ha for lunch. In the afternoon, you can enjoy an easy trek to Ban Pho Village and visit the old castle of the former H’mong King. Tonight you will have dinner and stay overnight in a homestay.

Highlights and activities: Bac Ha a 5 -7 km trek
Accommodation: Lap Xuan's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3
Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang (B, L, D)
the markets of North Vietnam, Hagiang
You will set off on a full-day journey through Sin Man and Hoang Su Phi. The cascading paddies of this remote land are some of the most dramatic in the whole of Vietnam. Then you will take the rough but scenic route through a dense jungle before crossing over a pass and descending to Sin Man. 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 in the area. You will continue the journey arriving in Ha Giang at 18:00. On arrival, you will visit a nearby Tay village, where you will have dinner and spend the night in a family owned stilt house.

Highlights and activities: Hagiang, Hoang Su Phi a 5 -7 km trek
Accommodation: Mr Doan's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4
Ha Giang - Sa Phin - Dong Van (B, L, D)
the markets of North Vietnam, black H'mong in Dong Van
The remote region of Dong Van Plateau Karst Geopark rock and Meo Vac is a land of rugged mountains and beautiful hill tribe villages which have remained unchanged for centuries. Today you will head north-west out of Ha Giang towards this northernmost tip of Vietnam. The first stop is a twin mountain range of Quan Ba and Heaven's Gate, then walking on until you reach the Green H’mong villages of Pho Cao and Pho Bang. The former H’mong royal house at Sa Phin is a primary attraction of the region, but the blend of the hill tribe people's colourful costumes and the majestic mountainous scenery make this long and sometimes bumpy trip an unforgettable experience.

Highlights and activities: Hagiang, Dong Van, Lung Cu a 5 -7 km trek
Accommodation: Hoa Cuong's Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5
Dong Van - Meo Vac - Ba Be Lake (B, L, D)
the markets of North Vietnam, Ma Pi Leng pass, Meo Vac
Today, the journey takes you through the rolling hills and the picturesque scenery to Ba Be National Park. We will visit Dong Van town before crossing a stunning mountain pass Ma Pi Leng to Meo Vac which is inhabited mostly by the Lo Lo and Pu Peo ethnic minority communities. They still retain their centuries old cultural traditions and are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress and traditions. Living conditions are very basic here. Roads are bumpy and zigzagging through the mountains, but the journey is more than rewarding. Meet the locals and learn more about the life and culture of the Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung ethnic minorities who make for the main population in this region. Surely, your presence will attract the locals’ attention as this part of the country that still receives very few visitors. Depending on road and traffic conditions, you will arrive in Ba Be lake by late afternoon. You will have dinner and stay overnight in a Tay house.

Highlights and activities: Hagiang, Ma Pi Leng pass. Ba Be National Park a 5 -7 km trek
Accommodation: Mr Linh's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6
Ba Be Lake (B, L, D)
the markets of North Vietnam, Ba Be lake
After breakfast with a local family, you will board our boat for a trip on Ba Be Lake. Cruising on Ba Be lake's green waters, you will visit the fishermen who work from their dug-out canoes. Passing Peleng corner, you will cruise further to Puong Cave, home to thousands of bats. We will continue to Cam Ha Village where you can observe the peaceful life of the Tay people amongst the green rice fields. You will have a lunch at a local restaurant near the Dau Dang Waterfall. Coming back to Ba Be lake you will visit An Ma Temple where Mac, commander in chief, is commemorated. You can trek through Ba Be rain forests and climb a tower to get the best photos of the Ba Be area. You will return to Coc Toc Village by for dinner and an overnight stay.

Highlights and activities: Ba Be Lake, boat tour, a 3-5 km trek
Accommodation: Mr Linh's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7
Ba Be - Hanoi (B, L)
the markets of North Vietnam, discover Puong cave
After breakfast, you will take a stroll along the riverfront, visit Pac Ngoi Village where most Tay people still live in traditional houses. You will then hike to the upper reaches of the lake in an area marked by massive limestone cliffs and mountains. Later, you will visit Hua Ma Cave, this is a dry cave system which stretches 2000 meters underground. You will stop for lunch before you continue your journey back to Hanoi, arriving there at around 17:00.

Highlights and activities: Ba Be National Park, Hua Ma cave, a 3-5 km trek
Accommodation: No
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
 

The fact…
We take you to the parts others can't reach!

Climate
From July to September, the climate is usually humid and hot.
From October to June, the weather is cooler and more pleasant.

Transport
Train, boat, vehicle.

Tour Guides
Our experienced and friendly Tour Guide(s) speak excellent English.
They are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.
 
Tour price includes
Private door-to-door pick-up & -off services.
All private transfer and transportation
Home-stay with daily breakfast
Experienced English or French speaking guide.
Boat trip & kayaking
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
Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
Travel insurance
Beverage
Other services not mentioned above.

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