Off the beaten track in North Vietnam 8 days 7 nights

This eight-day adventure veers off the beaten path and into the wild and unspoilt beauty of Northern Vietnam. During the trip, you will trek through mountains, valleys and villages to discover the landscapes and cultures of Sapa and the frontier region of Ha Giang before winding up in the sublime setting of Ba Be National Park.


Type of tour: Private
Tour code: PRT 20E
Departure dates: Daily
Destination: Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Ban Gioc waterfall, Ba Be lake
Duration: 8 days

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi -Sapa
Day 2: Sapa Trekking
Day 3: Sapa - Ha Giang
Day 4: Ha Giang - Dong Van
Day 5: Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang
Day 6: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall
Day 7: Cao Bang  - Ba Be lake
Day 8: Ba Be lake - Hanoi

Day 1
Hanoi - Sapa (L, D)
Off the beaten track Vietnam, Sapa
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 trek we will head through the rice terraces from Lao Chai to Ta Van village, which is inhabited by a H’mong community. Here you’ll get the chance to meet local people and share stories and information about your respective cultures with each other before you head back to Sapa Town by car for an overnight stay in a hotel.

Highlights and activities: Sapa, Lao Chai, Ta Van, a 5 - 7 km trek
Accommodation: Sapa Horizon Hotel
Meals: Lunch, Dinner at local restaurant
Day 2
Sapa Trekking (B, L, D)
Off the beaten track in North Vietnam, rice valley in Sapa
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we start our trek by heading to the Red Dzao village of Ma Tra, followed by the village of Ta Phin. On the way here there will be stunning scenery of rice paddies and small villages everywhere you look, and we’ll end the day by staying in a local homestay in Ta Phin, allowing you to really get up close and personal with the culture and traditions here.
Highlights and activities: Ma Tra, Ta Phin, a 12 - 15 km trek
Accommodation: Homestay in Ta Phin
Meals: Breakfast at hotel. Lunch, Dinner at local restaurant.
Day 3
Sapa - Ha Giang (B, L, D)
Off the beaten track in North Vietnam, trekking in sapa
Today we’ll leave Sapa in favour of Vietnam’s final frontier, Ha Giang. On the way we’ll make a stop at Hoang A Tuong (or the “Cat King’s House”) in Bac Ha Town and have lunch in Chang Village, both inhabited by Tay communities. After lunch we continue our drive deeper into Ha Giang, enjoying the spectacular scenery along the way, before finally reaching the Tay village 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.

Highlights and activities: Bac Ha town, Ha Giang
Accommodation: Mr Doan's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast at homestay. Lunch, Dinner at local restaurant
Day 4
Ha Giang - Dong Van (B, L, D)
Off the beaten track in North Vietnam, twin mountain, Hagiang
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, Pho Bang, Pho Cao. 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.

Highlights and activities: H'mong King, Dong Van
Accommodation: Hoa Cuong Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at homestay. Lunch, Dinner at local restaurant.
Day 5
Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang (B, L, D)
Off the beaten track in North Vietnam, Black H'mong, Dong Van
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 15 km to the top of Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a gigantic maze of limestone peaks, stone forests, and canyons 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.
Highlights and activities: Dong Van market, Pu Lo fortress, Ma Pi Leng, a 12 - 15 km trek
Accommodation: Thanh Loan Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at hotel. Lunch, Dinner at local restaurant.
Day 6
Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall (B, L, D)
Off the beaten track in North Vietnam, Ban Gioc waterfall
This 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. 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.

Highlights and activities: Ban Gioc waterfall, Nguom Ngao cave, a 2 - 3 km trek
Accommodation: Mr Kim's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast at hotel. Lunch, Dinner at local restaurant
Day 7
Cao Bang - Ba Be lake(B, L, D)
Off the beaten track in North Vietnam, Ba Be lake
Today we leave Cao Bang 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.

Highlights and activities: Ba Be National Park, Dau Dang waterfall, a 2 - 3 km trek
Accommodation: Mr Linh's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast at homestay. Lunch, Dinner at local restaurant.
Day 8
Ba Be lake - Hanoi (B, L)
Off the beaten track in North Vietnam, Hua Ma cave
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.

Highlights and activities: Hua Ma cave, a 3-5 km trek
: Not included
Meal: Breakfast at homestay. Lunch at local restaurant


The fact...

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

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


Tour Guides
Our experienced and friendly Tour Guide(s) speak excellent English or French.
They are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.

This rate is quoted in USD per person, based on Double/Twin occupancy. Valid until December 2019

Group size
Single Supp’

Tour price includes
Private door-to-door pick-up & -off services.
All private transfer and transportation
Homestay and hotel
Experienced English speaking guide.
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
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 good Journey!