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Trails of North Vietnam - Halong Bay 7 days 6 nights

Take the time to delve deeper into Northern Vietnam and get off the beaten path to reveal the hidden treasures of this beguiling destination. Unforgettable holiday moments happen where and when you least expect them. This journey explores highlights such as a tropical forest in Ba Be National Park, the magical Ba Be Lake, must-see Ban Gioc waterfall and hiking trails through the remote Bac Son valley, and finally the natural wonders of Halong Bay on a luxury cruise.

 

Type of tour: Private
Tour code: PRT 16E
Departure dates: Everyday
Destination: Ba Be lake, Ban Gioc waterfall, Lang Son,  Halong Bay
Duration: 7 days

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi - Ba Be Lake
Day 2: Trekking in Ba Be national park
Day 3: Ba Be lake - Cao Bang - Quang Yuen
Day 4: Ban Gioc Waterfall - Nguom Ngao Cave - Bac Son
Day 5: Bac Son trekking - Lang Son
Day 6: Lang Son - Halong Bay
Day 7: Halong Bay - Hanoi 

Day 1
Hanoi - Ba Be Lake (L, D)
Fast track discovery of North Vietnam , Ba Be lake
Your tour guide will pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi in the early morning, starting your journey to Ba Be National Park. We’ll drive along Highway 3 passing through Thai Nguyen City (where we stop for local lunch) for about 5 hours in a comfortable car.
Once you reach Ba Be, you will continue on foot along the Nang River until you reach Puong Cave, located in a Dao ethnic village. From here you continue your hike through thick rainforest while keeping an eye out for local wildlife. Eventually you’ll reach the summit which offers amazing panoramic views of the countryside below, before visiting some Hmong villages followed by our destination for the day, a Dao ethnic minority village.
Here you are invited by your host family to participate in preparing your traditional dinner, cooked on an open fire and served with local corn wine. If you’re not much of a chef, don’t worry, this activity is entirely optional. After dinner you will stay overnight in the traditional Dzao house.

Highlights and activities: Ba Be Lake, Boat trip, Puong Cave, H'mong village, 3 - 5km trek
Accommodation: Mr Hung's Homestay
Meals: Lunch, dinner
Day 2
Trekking in Ba Be National Park  (B, L, D)
Fast track discovery of North Vietnam, discover bat cave
Start by enjoying a traditional local breakfast, which may consist of noodles, pancakes or an omelette, with a banana on the side, considered a luxury in this remote area far from where they’re grown.
Then we’ll set out on our 10km hike to a H’mong village, where we’ll spend some time in a local school, interacting and playing with the children. Often our guide will bring some sweets, pens and notebooks to give out as gifts to the kids, something that always greatly excites them and brings a giant smile to their little faces. Our guide will also pack a basic but tasty picnic lunch that we’ll enjoy here.
After lunch we set out for another 10km of trekking to reach Coc Toc village. This last leg of the trek can be somewhat challenging and will present a great workout for anyone who’s not in perfect shape. We’ll cross Coc Toc Stream, where you’ll see local fishermen plying their craft, and this is a great place for a quick rest and refreshing swim before continuing on.
Once we arrive in Coc Toc, we’ll check in at our guesthouse run by Mr Linh and his family, who specialize in cooking the most delicious and authentic local dishes, which you’ll get to enjoy for dinner before overnighting in this traditional Tay stilt house.

Highlights and activities: H'mong village, Coc Toc village, 15 - 20km trek
Accommodation: Mr Linh's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3
Ba Be - Cao Bang - Quang Uyen (B, L, D)
Fast track discovery of North Vietnam, Ma Puc pass, Cao Bang
After breakfast with your host family, your journey today will start with a visit to Hua Ma, a dry cave with thousands of amazing stalactites, followed by a drive around Ba Be Lake. Then as you cross through rainforest leaving Ba Be, you will stop for lunch in Cho Ra Town, before continuing on to Quang Uyen, a district inhabited primarily by Nung ethnic minority communities. Due to their isolation and the remote nature of the district, their centuries old traditions and culture remains recognizably distinct from other minorities in Vietnam.
This remoteness and traditional simplicity is what makes Quang Uyen so appealing, and you will be able to experience this first-hand as you overnight in the village.

Highlights and activities: Ba Be National Park, Hua Ma cave, 2 - 3km trek
Accommodation: Mr Kim's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4
Ban Gioc Waterfall - Nguom Ngao Cave - Bac Son Valley (B, L, D)
Fast track discovery of North Vietnam, border waterfall in Vietnam
The third day is likely to be your highlight of the tour, as we take you to one of the most incredible natural wonders in Northern Vietnam; Ban Gioc Waterfall. 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, before heading to a local market where local people from across the region come to buy and sell locally produced products, as well as socialize with people from other communities. Rounding out the day, you’ll be travelling to Bac Son Valley where you will stay overnight in a homestay.

Highlights and activities: Ban Gioc waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave, 2 - 3km trek
Accommodation: Homestay in Bac Son
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5
Trekking In Bac Son Valley - Lang Son (B, L, D)
Fast track discovery of North Vietnam, border waterfall in Vietnam
After a traditional breakfast, this morning we will embark on a 3.5-hour hike on a rural back road. Along the hike, you can have a close look at the local farming and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in a good harmony of mountains, forests and local life. At the end of the hike we get picked up by our private transport back to the home of our host-family. After lunch, we then drive to Lang Son city where we will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay in a boutique hotel.

Highlights and activities: Bac Son valley, Lang Son, 5 - 7km trek
Accommodation: Vi's Boutique Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6
Lang Son - Halong Bay (B, L)
Fast track discovery of North Vietnam, Khy Khung river
We depart Lang Son early in the morning for a four hour drive to Ha Long Bay. Upon arrival we embark on Glory Legend Cruise.
Here we’ll enjoy a welcome drink as we receive the cruise briefing and get checked in, before a Vietnamese buffet lunch is served. During lunch we’ll pass by some stunning islets, like Incense Burner, Dog Stone Islet, Fighting Cocks, Soi Sim Beach and Coconut Three Island.
Eventually we reach Tung Sau, where we disembark to visit a floating pearl farm.  If you like you can also do some kayaking while here. Then we head to Tip Top beach for some swimming, and those who can make the climb can go to the top for the best panoramic view of Ha Long found anywhere in the bay.
Following this we return to the boat for some relaxation, and an optional massage service is now available. In the early evening we attend a cooking class on the sundeck, learning how to make Vietnamese spring rolls, before being served BBQ dinner at 19:30. The rest of the evening is free to spend relaxing, having fun with your fellow guests, or even trying your hand at squid fishing before settling in for a night on the quiet waters.

Highlights and activities: Lang Son, Halong Bay
Accommodation: Glory Legend Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7
Halong Bay - Hanoi (B, L)
Fast track discovery of North Vietnam, Khy Khung river
Early risers can greet the day with a Tai Chi lesson during sunrise around 6am, before enjoying breakfast in the dining room. At 8am we disembark to visit Sung Sot Cave, which takes about 45 minutes. Then we gently cruise back to the dock, arriving at around noon, and say our farewells to the crew. We will then transport you back to Hanoi, arriving around 16:30.

Highlights and activities: Tai Chi lesson, Sung Sot cave, Hanoi
Accommodation: Not included
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 brings cooler and more pleasant weather. 

Transport
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.


Rate
This rate is quoted in USD per person, based on Double/Twin occupancy. Valid until December 2019
 
Group size
Price/pp
1p
1562
2p
964
3-4p
921
5-6p
859
7-8p
745
9-10p
691
Single Supp’
N/A
 
Tour price includes
Private door-to-door pick-up & -off services.
All private transfer and transportation
Accommodation homestays, hotels
Experienced English speaking guide.
Private boat trip on Ba Be Lake
Luxury 3* cruise trip in Halong Bay
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 Bring
Passport, towels, toiletries, change of clothes (loose & lightweight), walking boots, sun block, sunglasses & hat with shade, insect repellent, flash lights, raincoat in wet season.
 
Have a great journey!