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Remote far North Vietnam

Hanoi - Yen Bai - Sapa - Ha Giang - Cao Bang - Hanoi
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Overview

Overview

Remote far north Vietnam
This tour is for those who are adventurous but who maybe are not up to long treks. It explores the remote far north of Vietnam, often close to the Chinese border. This is the land of the ethnic minorities, and it is one of the few places left in this global world where one’s family and locality can be identified by dress alone. Prepare yourself for a riot of colour, from the ethnic clothes to the rice paddies. You will have a chance to interrelate with the locals by staying in Homestays, in a variety of villages and mountainous regions.

Highlights

  • Exploring the unique cultures and customs of rural Vietnam.
  • Trek to see the well-known ethnic communities of Giang Ta Chai in Sapa
  • Enjoying tour with unique itinerary through rural villages, rice paddy fields and history landscapes in Mu Cang Chai
  • Enjoy the vast lakes and chalky karsts of Ba Be National Park
  • Visiting the spectacular Ban Gioc waterfall is one of the biggest waterfall in the world
  • Spend the night with local people to see their culture

Tour Itinerary

We leave Hanoi Old Quarter and travel for about 2 hours to Duong Lam, which is an ancient village with UNESCO protection as of 2006. The houses date back 100-400 years, and the temples and gardens are edged with laterite walls. This is an important historical site with temples in honour of two kings, national heroes, who defended the land against the Chinese about 1200 years ago.

Remote far North Vietnam
Duong Lam village

We will have lunch in a local house here, before continuing our drive through the rural countryside, first surrounded by flat paddy fields, then, as we gain altitude we will begin to see tea plantations, and then finally corn or maize amongst the karst limestone outcrops. We will overnight with a delightful White Thai family in a traditional stilt house in Nghia Lo.

Meal: Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Nghia Lo

We will rise early and take an early morning bike ride around the paddy and corn fields, enjoying the peaceful sight of ducks, chickens, pigs and buffalos, and observing the quiet manual labour of the villagers. Breakfast will be enjoyed in the open air, looking over the fields, before we check out and set out over the dramatic Khau Pha mountain pass.

Remote far North Vietnam
Khau Pha pass

The rice fields of Tu Le are spectacular and we stop at a local restaurant for lunch. We continue the drive to Nam Co village where we’ll see the flower H’mong ethnic minorities in their lovely traditional costume, as well as the local market if it’s the right day. We drive to La Pan Tan and the Mam Soi terraced rice fields and take a short walk up the hill to a viewpoint. Then finally dinner and overnight at Mrs Chon’s Homestay in Kim Noi village, another White Thai family home.

Remote far North Vietnam
Sunset in Mu Cang Chai

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Mu Cang Chai

After breakfast we will drive from Mu Cang Chai through Tan Uyen and then to Sapa. The road is very dramatic with many hairpins, each opening up a new vista of the mountains, and also crosses the Sin Ho pass. You will have lunch in Sapa and a chance to look around, before we trek to Giang Ta Chai village, where you will have dinner and overnight in a Dao’s ethnic house.

Remote far North Vietnam
Trekking to Giang Ta Chai village

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Sapa

We set off bright and early with a drive to Bac Ha. If it is a Sunday we will make for the market, one of the most colourful markets in the north, where you can become expert in spotting the different ethnic costumes, and enjoy the antics of the livestock market. There are marvellous photo opportunities at these markets, and after lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit the palace of Hoang A Tuong, a curious mixture of baroque and oriental, built in 1920 with the aid of the French.

Remote far North VietnamThe palace of Hoang A Tuong

Then we will drive up a small mountain road with views of the most amazing rice terraces, with villages dotted here and there. We reach Ban Phung village and have a chance to see the La Chi ethnic people, their ladies in black knee length skirts and jackets, with a little delicate coloured embroidery, and their heads wrapped in a strip of cloth knotted about their hair. They have a truly hard life up in these mountains often carrying a heavy load in a bag from a band on their heads. We will descend to Hoang Sun Phi for dinner and overnight at a hotel.

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel in Ha Giang

Hoang Su Phi is also a very famous area for rice terraces which curl around the hills like contour lines. There are also beautiful tea plantations, some of which have been there for a hundred years. We continue via Tan Su Phin pass and Cong Troi pass, which are incredibly dramatic and the whole area is full of magnificent views with plenty of photo opportunities.

Remote far North Vietnam
Rice terraces in Hoang Su Phi

We will have lunch on the way at a local restaurant, then continue north again to Ha Giang. We will overnight at a stilt house of a Tay family.

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Ha Giang

We set out in the morning for Dong Van, passing through Cong Troi heaven gate and then continuing on to Yen Minh.

Remote far North Vietnam
Cong Troi heaven gate

On the way we will also visit the King’s Palace in the H’mong village of Sa Phin, built in the early 20th century. The area is also notable for its many corn plantations, where the harvest is collected by hand.

Remote far North Vietnam
The palace of H’mong King

As we pass reach Dong Van we disembark for a lunch break in the colourful old market. Here you can admire the Ancient houses and the local people in their traditional garments. After lunch we set off again and pass through the spectacular Ma Pi Leng Pass, on the way to Meo Vac

Remote far North Vietnam
Ma Pi Leng pass

This road is justly considered one of the most beautiful in the country, and the views are appropriately stunning. Once we reach Meo Vac we settle in for an overnight stay.

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Ha Giang

Meo Vac is a small town, home to the ethnic groups Tay, Dao, H’mong and Lo Lo. If we are here on a Sunday we will visit the market, another fantastic riot of colour. There is a lot of clothing and fabric sold here, and sometimes men making the men’s indigo dyed jackets on old sewing machines can be seen among the stalls. There is a livestock section which is a frenzy of squealing pigs, screeching birds as well as cows and horses.

Remote far North Vietnam
The traditional market

We drive to Bao Lac for lunch with some stops in ethnic villages along the way. The road is again pretty mountainous with several passes. Then we visit the Nung ethnic village of Pac Rang, a traditional farming village which is known for its blacksmiths and their work in making farm tools. We’ll have dinner and overnight at a Nung house.

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Cao Bang

After breakfast we continue from Cao Bang and journey to the Ban Gioc waterfalls, a photo of which must be in every hostel and tour agent’s office in Hanoi! The falls mark the border with China, so this is truly the frontier.

Remote far North Vietnam
Ban Gioc waterfall

There will be time to appreciate the breath-taking sight of these falls before making our way to Nguom Ngao “Tiger Cave”, with its amazing limestone formations, and stalactites of various shapes and sizes.

Remote far North Vietnam
Nguom Ngao cave

This is the most famous limestone grotto in the province of Cao Bang, and you will be awestruck by its sheer size! We then drive to Ba Be National Park and feel the peace and serenity of the lake, before dinner and an overnight stay at Mr Linh’s Homestay.

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay in Cao Bang

After a breakfast on the terrace, we will walk a short distance between rice fields, through the village of Bo Lu to the boat station to embark on a 3 hour boat trip across the lakes of Ba Be. If you need to cool down, it’s a great time to jump into the peaceful water. The boat takes you along a river with time to gaze up at the dramatic karst limestone outcrops which will have become quite familiar to you by this point.

Remote far North Vietnam
Ba Be lake

The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna so you are likely to catch sight of birds and butterflies, and you’ll definitely be aware of the thousands of bats in Puong Cave which tunnels its way through the mountain and through which the river flows. We return by boat to Bolu and then you will have a chance to relax on the drive back to Hanoi, stopping on the way for lunch. We should arrive back in Hanoi about 5.30PM and you will be ped off at your hotel.

Meal: Breakfast/Lunch

Accommodation: n/a

Important Note*

  • PROGRAMS & SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE
  • The itinerary can be customized basing on your interests (you can extend your stay at each location, add/remove activities)

Price & Inclusion

Hotel categoryPrivate Tour
(US$/person)
2 – 4 pax5-8 pax9+ pax
3* Hotels US$US$US$
4* Hotels US$US$US$
5* Hotels US$US$US$
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Note*:

  • The tour price would vary much depending on your group size, tourtype (group/private), grade of accommodation, and date of departure. Please book the tour or contact us for a free quotation.
  • Small group tour – daily departure with max 12 pax (for Halong bay cruise, you will join bus by boat companies
  • In some major cities in Vietnam, hotel rooms may not have windows.
  • Similar hotels are selected if any of above are booked
  • Surcharge will be applied for single traveler or single room request

Booking Policy

Price Includes

  • Overnights in selected hotels or similar
  • All in-tour stationed local English speaking guide.
  • Transfers as mentioned by air-conditioned vehicles (including airport pick up & see off)
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Price excludes

  • Meals and services other than those noted in the itinerary
  • Visa stamping fee
  • International flights pre/post tour
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures
  • Gratuities for guides, drivers, porters, boat crew, and personal, non-itinerary services

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation received 60 days or more before arrival date: 10% of total rate
  • Cancellation received from 30 days to 59 days prior arrival date: 20% of total rate
  • Cancellation received from 15 days to 29 days prior arrival date: 30% of total rate
  • Cancellation received from 7 days to 14 days prior arrival date: 50% of total rate
  • Cancellation received less than 7 days prior arrival date or No show: 100% of total rate

Children Policy

  • For infant (<02 years old): FOC except domestic ticket cost
  • 02 – 10 years old without bed: 50% adult rate
  • 02 – 10 years old with extra bed: 75% adult rate
  • 02 – 10 years old in twin share: 90% adult rate
  • from 11 years old: 100% adult rate

Note*: The rate for children applicable for one child sharing a twin or double cabin with two adults

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from $756

Our selected Hotels

Cities4* hotels5* Hotels
HanoiHanoi Tirant HotelOriental Jade
SapaSapa Amazing HotelVictoria Resort
Halong Bay CruiseLa Regina CruiseSealife Legend
Ninh BinhHidden Charm Resort
HueHue EldoraImperial Hotel
HoianVinh Hung RiversideVictoria Hoian Resort
SaigonAlagon D'Antique hotel & SpaRenaissance Riverside
Phnom PenhHarmony Phnom Penh HotelShokha Phnom Penh
Siem ReapSomadevi AngkorShokha Angkor

Note*:

  • Depending on your budget, you can choose a suitable hotel category

  • Early checking/late checkout are not included and you can change the to any other hotels  and room type if required. Additional charge/discount will be made accordingly

  • The list of hotels are used for our all tour itineraries which may includes Cambodia

  • We would use similar hotels in case any of above are fully booked.