Ethnic markets in the northeast of Vietnam 8 days 8 nights

This tour takes you into the heart of northern culture, travelling across vast landscapes to lively and colourful ethnic markets. The north of Vietnam is famed for its sweeping panoramas of limestone mountain ranges and cascades of terraced rice paddies. This tour is perfect for those who love to get off the beaten track to discover unspoilt nature and culture.

Type of tour: Private
Tour code: BB41E
Departure date: 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 - Ba Be Lake
Day 2: Ba Be Lake Boat Trip
Day 3: Ba Be - Tinh Tuc - Bao Lac
Day 4: Bao Lac - Meo Vac - Dong Van
Day 5: Dong Van - Yen Minh - Quan Ba - Ha Giang
Day 6: Ha Giang - Hoang Su Phi - Bac Ha
Day 7: Bac Ha - Sapa
Day 8: Sapa - Laochai - TaVan - Hanoi

Day 1
Hanoi - Ba Be Lake (L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Ba Be Lake
At 7:30, you will leave Hanoi to drive north into the mountains. En route, you will visit Duom Temple which is a majestic temple built during the Ly dynasty to celebrate the national hero Duong Tu Minh. After this stop, you will continue onwards to Ba Be National Park, one of the largest natural lakes in Vietnam, and home to many different species of birds, scenic valleys, towering rocky outcrops, underground river tributaries, a gigantic cave and many local ethnic minorities, including the Tay, Red Dao and Hmong.
Following an exploration of the spectacular cave, you will visit some small villages along the lakeshore. The night is spent in Coc Toc village in a traditional house of a Tay family to experience their way of life. You will have time to shower, relax and enjoy an evening meal consisting of home cooked dishes.

Highlights and activities: Ba Be National Park
Accommodation: Mr Linh's Homestay
Meals: Lunch, dinner
Day 2
Ba Be Lake Boat Trip (B, L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Boat trip
After breakfast with your host-family, you will board a private boat for a trip around Ba Be Lake. This is the perfect way to take in the views and look for local wildlife. You will then trek through the rain forests to a tower which offers unrivalled views from the top.  After stopping to take in the views and take some photos, you will descend back into the jungle to An Ma Temple
After there will be time to swim in the cool refreshing waters before having lunch in the local restaurant near Dau Dang Waterfall. Following lunch, you can work off your feast with a trek to a Tay ethnic minority village. This small hamlet is a perfect illustration of how the traditional way of life has been almost perfectly preserved in these rural areas. You will take the boat a little further to Puong Cave where you can explore part of the cavern. You will then return to Bo Lu Village where you will spend the night.

Highlights and activities: An Ma temple, Dau Dang waterfall
Accommodation: Mr Linh's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3
Ba Be - Tinh Tuc - Bao Lac (B, L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Cave adventure
Today you will journey to the town of Bao Lac in Cao Bang Province. On the journey, you will be able to soak up the wonderful mountainous landscapes. You will stop for lunch at a local restaurant and then on to Bao Lac where you will arrive in the late afternoon with enough time to shower and relax before dinner. You will spend the night here at a hotel.

Highlights and activities: Bao Lac town
Accommodation: Duc Tai hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4
Bao Lac - Meo Vac - Dong Van (B, L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Dong Van
After breakfast in your hotel, you will depart for Dong Van, a rugged and rocky mountainscape that has an otherworldly feel to it. In Dong Van, you will be surrounded by fascinating geology, and have the chance to see and visit the traditional houses of the hill tribes here. The scenic route climbs up over a pass, before descending to the beautiful Meo Vac Valley, which lies close to the Chinese border.
You will have lunch in Meo Vac before taking some time to climb over Ma Pi Leng Pass to enjoy the beautiful mountain ranges and the Nho Que River below. You will then hit the winding roads to Dong Van, and as you snake through the harsh but stunning landscape, it will become evident how difficult life is here for the locals. You will spend the night in Dong Van Town so that you have the chance to visit the ancient streets with its H’mong houses made of centuries-old clay brick and tiled roofs.

Highlights and activities: Dong Van plateau, Meo Vac valley, Ma Pi Leng Pass
Accommodation: Hoa Cuong Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5
Dong Van – Cho Lui Market - Yen Minh - Quan Ba - Ha Giang (B, L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Ha Giang market
Before leaving Dong Van, you will visit Lung Phìn, Sà Phìn, Phó Bảng, Ma Lé and, depending on the day, the Cho Lui Market. You will then drive at a leisurely pace from Dong Van back to Yen Minh & Quan Ba. Your itinerary will include a visit to the infamous Vuong Palace which once belonged to a prestigious H'mong family during the French colonial rule and as such the architecture is a blended style of European and Chinese design. You will then head back to Quan Ba and onwards to Ha Giang for the night.
Note: Quan Ba market Market day falls on a Sunday so it is a good idea to try and arrange your trip accordingly.
Highlights and activities:  Vuong Palace, Cho Lui market, Quan Ba
Accommodation: Mr Dat's homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6
Ha Giang - Hoang Su Phi - Bac Ha (B, L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Bac Ha
An early start today for the journey from Ha Giang to Bac Ha. This is a long but exciting journey along some of the most scenic roads you will encounter on your trip. You will need to make an early departure from Ha Giang to make sure you reach Bac Ha before it gets dark, where you will have dinner and stay overnight.
Note: Road from Ha Giang to Hoang Su Phi then Bac Quang - Pho Giang - Bac Ha can be bad and impossible to ride during the rainy season, therefore a backup route to travel to Bac Ha is already planned.

Highlights and activities: Bac Ha town
Accommodation: Lap Xuan's homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7
Bac Ha - Sapa 3 Optional (B, L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Sapa
Option 1: Can Cau Market - Sapa (Saturday only)
Make a visit to the lively weekly market which attracts people from the surrounding villages. Here you can blend with the locals, strolling amongst the H'mong ladies dressed in their colourful traditional outfits, selling and trading for the week ahead. As well as perusing the stalls which overflow with handmade goods, beautiful fabrics and fresh produce, you can also try some of the local speciality dishes.

Option 2: Bac Ha Market - Sapa (Sunday only)
This amazing weekly market is a flurry of activity from early in the morning when people are setting up their stalls and getting ready for the busiest day of the week. Here the stalls are stocked with every possible commodity including hardware, clothing, fresh produce, chop chop tobacco and dried natural medicines and anything else you can imagine. This is also the place where people come to trade livestock, and the market is often crowded with water buffalo, pigs and chickens.

Option 3: Bac Ha - Sapa
You will visit the H'mong King's house (King Hoang A Tuong) built by French colonists and Chinese in 1920 and then return to the town for lunch. In the afternoon, you can spend some time visiting Ban Pho Village before leaving Bac Ha for the journey to Sapa. On the way, you stop to see the Vietnamese and Chinese trading town of Lao Cai. You will reach Sapa late in the afternoon where you can check in hotel for the night.

Highlights and activities: Bac Ha
Accommodation: Sapa Horizon Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 8
Sapa Trekking - Night Train To Hanoi (B, L, D)
Special Tour: Market of ethnic people in the northeast of Vietnam-Lao Chai village
Today you will visit a H'mong village where you can see the skilfully crafted bamboo houses. You will travel first by jeep and then on foot, trekking to Ta Van Village to visit a Dzay community. From here, you will take the road to Giang Ta Chai Village of the Red Dzao minority via paths between terraces and through bamboo forests.
After, you can visit the Silver Waterfall and Rattan Suspension Bridge. You will then cross the Muong Hoa River and follow the path up the mountain to visit the last village of the trek - Supan Village of the H'mong. The jeep will collect you to take you back to Sapa. On the way back, you can enjoy visiting the ancient stone circle to see the stones which are decorated with ancient carvings. Back in Sapa, the car will pick you up to take you to Lao Cai Train Station. From here you will take the night train back to Hanoi.

Highlights and activities: a 10-13km trek in Ta Van village
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

The facts...
We take you to the parts others can't reach!
Clean and comfortable homestays/ hotels with air-conditioning provided.

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.
They are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.

Tour price
will be calculated by private group and depending on the day of the markets, please contact us to book this trip

Tour price includes
Private door-to-door pick-up & -off services.
All private transfer and transportation
Home-stay with daily breakfast
Experienced English speaking guide.
Boat trip on Ba Be lake
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!