North East Vietnam Discovery
Itinerary: Day 1: Arrival Hanoi Day 2: Hanoi - Countryside Tour - Overnight train to Sapa Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa Day 4: Sapa – Bac Ha Day 5: Bac Ha – Ha Giang Day 6: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Ninh Day 7: Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van Day 8: Dong Van - Meo Vac Day 9: Meo Vac – Cao Bang Day 10: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall Day 11: Cao Bang – Ba Be Lake Day 12: Ba Be Lake Discovery - Hanoi Day 13: Departure Hanoi
Day 1: Arrival Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi - Countryside Tour - Overnight train to Sapa
Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa
Day 4: Sapa – Bac Ha
Day 5: Bac Ha – Ha Giang
Day 6: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Ninh
Day 7: Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van
Day 8: Dong Van - Meo Vac
Day 9: Meo Vac – Cao Bang
Day 10: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall
Day 11: Cao Bang – Ba Be Lake
Day 12: Ba Be Lake Discovery - Hanoi
Day 13: Departure Hanoi
- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL HANOI
Arrive at Noi Bai International Airport where you will be met and welcomed by your Vietnamese guide. Transfer by road to your hotel for checking-in and briefing of the tour. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 2: HANOI - COUNTRYSIDE TOUR - OVERNIGHT TRAIN TO SAPA
Depart the capital for the surrounding countryside. Arriving at the village of Van Giang we meet a local family who give us a cooking demonstration followed by lunch.
After lunch we embark on a cycling tour of the village and the local area where we can observe how rural Vietnam functions. This is a great opportunity to learn about the traditional professions and way of life in a typical North Vietnamese community. On our way back to Hanoi we stop at Bat Trang – a village renowned for its ceramic making, whose origins date back a thousand years.
Transfer to Hanoi train station for the overnight train to Lao Cai on the Chinese border.
Overnight on A/C train
DAY 3: LAO CAI – SAPA
Arrive in Lao Cai in the early morning your private guide and driver will collect you from the train station and transfer you by road to Sapa, situated at an altitude of 1,600 meters. In the early 20th century the French took advantage of Sapa’s cool climate, developing it into a summer retreat from the heat and humidity of Hanoi. Today, Sapa town still retains its European feel, largely due to the French architecture and gardens and today is a popular destination due to its beautiful scenery and colourful ethnic people. After breakfast at your hotel you have a short orientation tour of Sapa town.
Explore some Sapa’s neibouring hill tribe villages nestled in the Muong Hoa valley. Your first stop is at the Hmong hamlet of Lao Chai. From here you walk along local tracks and terraces to Ta Van, a Giay village before returning to Sapa by road.
Overnight in Sapa
DAY 4: SAPA – BAC HA
After breakfast you will depart Sapa and drive to Bac Ha Market – a fascinating weekend market frequented by a variety of ethnic tribes people. Here local villagers come from miles around to buy and sell local products and livestock.
Finish the market tour transfer to a local hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
Overnight in Bac Ha
DAY 5: BAC HA – HA GIANG
Today you venture in to one of the most remote parts of northern Vietnam. Ha Giang boasts an amazing landscape of limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops and has some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. In addition over 90% of the population belong to one of the various ethnic minority hill tribes.
Around 12 pm, you will have lunch at Xin Man before continuing to Ha Giang. Along the way, you will have the chance to see beautiful rice terraces, waterfalls and the Heaven’s Gate as well as various ethnic minorities.
You will arrive in Ha Giang where you will spend the night at a Resort Hotel situated 3 km from Ha Giang.
Overnight in Ha Giang
DAY 6: HA GIANG – QUAN BA – YEN NINH
After breakfast you will depart Ha Giang for Quan Ba Valley – an area of stunning natural beauty with green hills and abundant limestone caves. Travel through Quan Ba Pass – known as Heaven’s Gate with its panoramic views of the terraced rice fields below.
Following lunch at a local restaurant in Quang Ba you will visit Lung Tam where you will learn about Hmong handicraft. The craftswomen will demonstrate the techniques of hemp weaving and other traditional handicraft.
After this educational segment, you will continue your scenic drive towards Yen Minh. Arrive and check in to your mini hotel. The rest of the day will be free at your leisure.
Overnight in Yen Ninh
DAY 7: YEN MINH – LUNG CU – DONG VAN
After breakfast you will leave Yen Ninh for for Lung Cu. Along the way you will get to visit the local market if it is the day of the week it is open. Alternatively, you can admire the scenery of the Landscape and the corn fields. You also visit the small remote village where you can mingle with the Hoa people.
Continue to drive until you reach Dong Van, a Geopark littered with an array of ancient karst formations. In Dong Van you will visit the former residence of the Vuong family, still called “Palace of Hmong King”. Then check in to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Dong Van
DAY 8: DONG VAN - MEO VAC
After breakfast you will embark on a moderate hike to the rocky mountains on backroads which leads us to some hill tribe villages which is situated in between the grey rocks. After the morning hike, you get back to Dong Van town for lunch.
You will leave Dong Van and drive over the massive Me Pi Leng Pass to Meo Vac. Have a break on the pass to admire the panorama over the huge abyss which is bottomed by the Nho Que River. Arrive at Meo Vac town and check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
Overnight in Meo Vac
DAY 9: MEO VAC – CAO BANG
You have a long drive today to Cao Bang but it will be broken up with numerous photo stops and more dramatic scenery. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant on the way.
In the late afternoon you will arrive Cao Bang and check in to your hotel.
Overnight in Cao Bang
DAY 10: CAO BANG - BAN GIOC WATERFALL
An early start today as you pay a visit to Ban Gioc Waterfall. The falls, fed by the Quay Son River that marks the border with China, are an impressive sight and in a highly scenic location. At 30 metres high and 300 metres across Ban Gioc is the widest – but not the highest – waterfall in the country. From here you have a short walk to nearby Nguom Ngao Cave. This immense cave holds a series of majestic, jaw-dropping caverns, filled with delicate, intricate formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
After having lunch at a local restaurant you will return to Cao Bang and free time at leisure.
Overnight in Cao Bang
DAY 11: CAO BANG – BA BE LAKE
You have an excursion to Pac Bo Cave driving through a scenic landscape of green rice paddies and water wheels. Pac Bo Cave is revered in Vietnam as the place where Ho Chi Minh stayed briefly upon his return from China in 1941. It was here that the Vietnamese Independence League or Viet Minh was established.
After lunch in Cam Bang you will depart for Ba Be Lake. Again the roads are bumpy but the views more than make up for this.
In the late afternoon you will arrive at Cho Ra Town, from here you will be transferred to the Center of the National Park. Tonight you will spend the night in the village of Tay People in a home stay.
Overnight at a local home stay
DAY 12: BA BE LAKE DISCOVERY - HANOI
After breakfast you will take a boat trip down the Nag River to discover Ba Be Lake. Ba Be is Vietnam’s largest natural lake and is now the centrepiece of an extensive National Park. The park and the surrounding area is limestone country, so lakes, waterfalls, caves and unusual rock formations abound. The whole area is richly forested and is home to many ethnic minority communities. Ba Be National Park has been recognized as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
After one hour and a half boat trip and the visits to Dau Dang Waterfall and Puong Cave you will get back to the homestay for lunch and then check out.
Depart Ba Be Lake you will drive back to Hanoi. En route we stop at the Museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen.
Arrive in Hanoi and check in to our hotel. Enjoy your last night in Hanoi before going home.
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 13: DEPARTURE HANOI
Free time at leisure until the private transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for your onward flight.
Inclusions & Options
- WHAT’S INCLUDED?
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Domestic Flights within Vietnam
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Your International Flights to and from Vietnam
- Vietnam entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
- From 30 to 7 days prior to check-in: 10% of total rates
- From 6 to 3 days prior to check in: 50% of total rates.
- Less than 3 days prior to check-in: 100% of total rates.
- No-Show: 100% of total rates.
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