Hanoi arrival – Vu Linh – Nghia Lo – Sapa – Bac Ha – Ha Giang – Dong Van – Bao Lac – boat on Ba Be lake – Cao Bang - Ban Gioc waterfall - Cao Bang – Lang Son – Halong Bay – Departure
Charming Vietnam 16 days will bring you a total experience about people and the nature of the Northwest, Northeast and Midland area. Challenge your power and patience with the trekking trip to meet the friendly local people and the peaceful daily life at the horizon of the country. During your trip, a visit to Yen Bai and Mu Cang Chai will satisfy your curiosity with many old houses made of laterite stones, or the terraced rice paddies and ethnic villages. Also, discover the countryside life of Vietnam's ethnic minorities such as the Hmong, Thais, the Muong, the Zao, the Nung, along with having a glimpse of paddy terraces. After that, cruise on Ba Be Lake which has been known as the most beautiful freshwater lake in Vietnam to discover the most breathtaking and taciturn corners here. Also, visit Dau Dang waterfall and Ban Gioc which located at the national borders with China. Finish your travel by cruising on Halong Bay – one of the seven natural wonders of the world with its enchanting beauty and over 600 small and big islets as well as hundreds different mountains.
Day 1: Hanoi arrival (D)
Day 2: Hanoi – Cooking class – Hanoi (B, L)
Day 3: Hanoi – Duong Lam – Vu Linh (B, L, D)
Day 4: Vu Linh – Nghia Lo (B, L, D)
Day 5 : Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai (B, L, D)
Day 6: Mu Cang Chai – Sapa (B, L, D)
Day 7: Sapa – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Bac Ha (B, L, D)
Day 8: Bac Ha – Bac Ha market – Ha Giang (B, L, D)
Day 9: Ha Giang – Yen Minh – Dong Van (B, L, D)
Day 10: Dong Van – Meo Vac – Bao Lac (B, L)
Day 11: Bao Lac – Ba Be lake (B, L, D)
Day 12: Ba Be – Ba Be cruise – Cao Bang (B, L, D)
Day 13: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Nguom Ngao (B, L, D)
Day 14: Cao Bang – Lang Son (B, L, D)
Day 15: Lang Son – Halong (B, L, D)
Day 16: Halong – Phu Lang – Departure (B, L)
Day 1: Hanoi arrival
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, you will be welcomed by our local tour guide before transferring to hotel for checking in and resting. Have a welcome dinner at local restaurant and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi – Cooking class – Hanoi
Breakfast is served at hotel in the morning. After that, explore the Vietnam cuisine with your first cooking class in Hanoi by going to the market with the instructing chef to buy the necessary ingredients. Then, visit a local family where the chef will instruct you how to prepare and cook the Vietnamese traditional dishes. Have lunch with your self-prepare dishes from the cooking session. In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, and the Ethnographic Museum (closed on every Monday). Right after visiting, enjoy an hour rickshaw trip around Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi Old Quarters, or visit Ngoc Son temple. At eventide, enjoy a special Water Puppet Performance Show before having your own dinner. Stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi – Duong Lam ancient village – Yen Bai – Vu Linh
Have breakfast at hotel, then drive to Yen Bai through Duong Lam ancient village. Have a visit to Duong Lam village through the old houses built with laterite stones and Mia Pagoda – the most beautiful pagoda in the region, then enjoy lunch with the locals. After that, continue the trip to Yen Bai via beautiful countryside and fabulous sceneries. Upon arrival at Vu Linh village at the end of the day; check in at the traditional house on stilts with some welcome traditional tea. Have dinner and stay overnight at a white Dao’s homestay.
Day 4: Vu Linh – Nghia Lo
After having breakfast, it is time for your first trekking in Yen Bai to discover the daily life of smiling, friendly and hospitable ethnic minorities; as well as exploring the horizon in here. Then have lunch with the locals before you depart for Nghia Lo through its fabulous sceneries. After checking in at a traditional house on stilts of the white Thai ethnic homestay, have a welcome cup of tea before cycling or walking around An Nghia and its surrounding villages – the home of the Thais and the Muong ethnic people to discover their daily lives. Have dinner and stay overnight at homestay.
Day 5 : Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai
Enjoy breakfast at homestay before your next trekking in Pa Lau village, the home of Black H’mong people to discover their daily lives and their culture, then return to your homestay for lunch. After that, depart for Mu Cang Chai – the most remote and secluded region in Vietnam which is left intact for most of it. Have a stop at Khau Pha on the way to take beautiful pictures and visit ethnic villages at your leisure before your arrival in Mu Cang Chai, then check in your homestay and walk around Kim Noi village for a rare glimpse of its vast rice fields, vegetables and potatoes. Have dinner and stay overnight in Mu Cang Chai.
Day 6: Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Binh Lu – Sapa
In the morning, have breakfast at your hometay before departing for Sapa via Than Uyen and Binh Lu – two of the most beautiful areas in Vietnam. During transition, have a few visits on the way to observe many terraced rice fields, green tea hills and many ethnic minorities: the Tay, the red Hmong, the Daos, the Lu… Lunch is served whie transferring. Continue the trip to Sapa via Fanxipan Mountain which is known as the highest mountain peak in the country, and Tram Ton pass, the highest pass in North as well. Upon arrival at Sapa, check in a local hotel and take a walk through small and charming streets of Sapa colonial town. Have dinner at local restaurant and stay overnight at hotel in Sapa.
Day 7 : Sapa – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Bac Ha
Have breakfast at hotel, then start hiking through many breathtaking sceneries in the most beautiful valley of Sapa, through Lao Chai and Ta Van villages where you may observe the terraced rice paddies and ethnic villages in the early morning. After that, enjoy lunch at local restaurant before departing for Bac Ha through the mountain road. Upon arrival, check in a local homestay and continue hiking in ethnic villages around Bac Ha to explore the lives of the Hmong, the Tay and the Phu La… Have dinner and stay overnight in Bac Ha.
Day 8: Bac Ha – Bac Ha market – Ha Giang
Have breakfast at homestay in the morning, then visit Bac Ha – a typical and colorful market where you will meet many different ethnic people coming from both Vietnam and China to trade. After the visit, depart for Ha Giang via the mountain road and have lunch at local restaurant. Continue to Ha Giang through its fabulous landscapes and have several stops on the way to take pictures or have some visits. Have dinner and stay overnight in Ha Giang.
Day 9: Ha Giang – Yen Minh – Quan Ba – Pho Bang – Dong Van
After having breakfast, depart for Dong Van – a unique stone plateau and geopark in Vietnam. Upon arrival, visit the renowned Gate of Heaven, Quan Ba Mountain and Fairy Mountain. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant, then visit Pho Bang village as blocks of traditional houses with thatched roofs appear along the way. After that, continue to visit the Summer Palace of Vuong Chi Sinh – the King of Hmong ethnic people during the colonial period. Continue to Dong Van – the ancient city and its colonial market before having dinner and staying overnight in Dong Van.
Day 10: Dong Van – Meo Vac – Bao Lac
Have breakfast at hotel, then depart for Bao Lac from Dong Van via Ma Phi Leng pass. While travelling, you may stop at the pass for a panoramic view at Nho Que river to take photos at your leisure. Continue to Bao Lac and upon arrival in the early afternoon, take a walk around its surrounding villages to discover the daily life and activities of the Black Lo Lo, the Phu La, the Tay ethnic people… This is the location of the French documentary film “Rendez-vous en terre inconnue”. Have dinner and stay overnight in Bao Lac.
Day 11: Bao Lac – Ba Be lake
In the morning, have breakfast at hotel before departing for Ba Be through many beautiful sceneries, which you may have a stop during transition to visit. After going through Na Ban and Na Phac, along with having lunch at local restaurant, you will arrive in Ba Be in early afternoon. Check in the traditional house on stilts for a welcome cup of tea and walk around the village to discover the daily life of the Tays people. Have dinner and stay overnight at homestay.
Day 12: Ba Be – Ba Be boat cruise – Cao Bang
Have breakfast at hotel, then cruise on Ba Be Lake – known as the most beautiful freshwater lake in Vietnam. Take your time to discover the most beautiful and taciturn sceneries from here while cruising on the Nang River through the beautiful grotto named Poung to visit Dau Dang waterfall – the most beautiful waterfall in this area. After having lunch at local restaurant, say goodbye to your homestay and return to Cao Bang through many forests landscapes and ethnic villages. Upon arrival at Cao Bang, check in a local hotel and discover the central market before having dinner at local restaurant. Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc waterfall – Nguom Ngao cave – Cao Bang
After breakfast, travel to Ban Gioc waterfall where you can take a walk or swim in. Enjoy local lunch beside the waterfall, then return to Cao Bang. During transition, visit Nguom Ngao Cave – an enormous cave with two main entrances and a tunnel that follows all the way to the waterfalls. where maintain a “secret” entrance. Have dinner at local restaurant and stay overnight at hotel in Cao Bang.
Day 14: Cao Bang – Lang Son
Have breakfast at hotel before departing for Lang Son through the colonial Highway No. 4 (the famous RC 4) built by the French. Visit Dong Khe and That Khe location – some of the historical remarks in Vietnam during its war in 1950s, then have lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Coc Xa – a historic place where the French army had a major defeat during the Indochina War (Battle of RC 4, October 1950) before your arrival in Lang Son, to visit Tam Thanh cave and Ky Lua market. Have dinner and stay overnight in Lang Son.
Day 15: Lang Son – Halong
After breakfast, depart for Halong via Bac Giang and arrive in Halong at noon.
12h00 – 12h30: Embark on boat, followed by a short cruising brief.
13h00 – 15h30: Savor a delicious lunch while cruising among the limestone islands.
15h30 – 16h30: Kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, which located around the Bo Nau Cave area, then return to the boat
16h30 – 17h30: Cruise to Soi Sim Island for swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim, or climbing up to the peak of the island for a panoramaic view of Halong Bay.
17h30: Return to the main boat for a shower. You may also relax or take photos as the sun starts to set.
19h00: Enjoy dinner on the boat while you meet and greet with other guests, fish for squid or just laze around. Stay overnight on board…
Day 16: Halong – Phu Lang village – Departure
06h30 – 07h00: Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunting challenge.
07h30 – 08h30: Have breakfast.
08h30 – 09h30: Explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the nicest cave in Halong Bay.
09h30: Return to the boat. Freshen up and check out of your cabin.
09h30 – 10h30: Continue cruising to explore the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more.
10h30 – 11h30: On the way back to the harbor, take part in a cooking class before enjoying traditional Vietnamese lunch.
12h00 – 12h30: Disembark and return to Hanoi through Phu Lang pottery village for a glimpse of the making processes of manufacturing pottery, ceramics and earthenware’s. After that, transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for the departure flight. Tour ends
Found this trip organiser on forums/websites and thank to some very good reviews, my friend and I were looking to discover the Vietnamese's
I was referred by a friend to Mr. Ha Nguyen at Vietnam Original Travel - Hanoi Branch and I’m so very very pleased that I was
We pre-booked a short trip around Northern Vietnam with Vietnam Original tours. They responded very quickly to email and were very helpful