Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
The Vietnam North East Loop 5 days starts either in Sapa or Lao Cai, ends up in Hanoi. Enjoy spectacular landscapes of the northern mountainous region with famous highlights such as: Hoang Lien Mountain range, Chay river massif, Dong Van Limestone Plateau and Ba Be Lake & national park. Discover the unique discovery of culture, custom and way of life of different tribal ethnic peoples living in remote far north of Vietnam.
Vietnam North East Loop Map
Vietnam North East Loop Itinerary
Day 1: Sapa or Lao Cai – Trung Do – Hoang Su Phi Ha Giang.
Departure at 07.30am from Sapa or early picked up at Lao Cai station for those who take the night train from Hanoi.
Take the road transfer for 70km through the lush lowland of Lao Cai via green tea plantation as well as a series of stunning valleys where the Tay and Zay ethnic peoples grow rice on large terraces. Then turn to road 279 for half an hour to Trung Do valley. Enjoy an hour walking through this valley for marvelous landscapes as well as to explore the interesting way of life of the Tay peoples. Lunch break in a local house on stilts. Continue the road trip after lunch along the 279 road to make a cut through the prosperous lowland of Ha Giang province to Bac Quang town let. Enjoy another hour walk in My Bac commune for a discovery of the unique culture of the Pa Then ethnic whose population is only 5,500 living mainly in Ha Giang province whose culture is unique and interesting. Follow national road 2 for 15km in mid afternoon from Bac Quang town let to Tan Quang and then turn to narrow mountain road for 32km to Thong Nguyen commune. This portion of the trip offers magnificent landscapes of the Hoang Su Phi mountain pass as well as breathtaking scenery of impressive terraced fields. Paying visiting to a hamlet of the Red Zao before arrival to the Panhou Ecolodge for staying overnight.
Day 2: Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh.
Breakfast and leave the Hotel at 08.00, driving the same way for 32km back to national road 2 and then heading for Ha Giang city. Take a coffee break while your tour guide gets local security permission for traveling along the bordering region. Leaving Ha Giang and follow road 4C 46km uphill the spectacular Quan Ba mountain pass for about 3 hours including some stops along the way paying visiting to villages of the Tay and Hmong as well as taking photo of the stunning landscape. From the top of Quan Ba pass which is called Heaven Gate, the panorama of Tam Son valley opens wide below which is highlighted with green rice fields and colorful flower farms, especially the TWIN HILLS beautifully set amongst immense and walled-up lime stone mountain. Process gradually downhill shortly to Tam Son town let at noon for lunch break. Afternoon trip begins with an hour walking to explore Nam Dam village of the Zao Ao Dai(Zao with long dress) who live their most traditional way in a beautiful village at the foot of Quan Ba mountain range. Then back to the road again for 42km road ride first downhill and then passing over Yen Minh pass. This portion of the road trip offers breathtaking scenery of the terraced fields, probably among the most beautiful ones in Vietnam. Arrival at the Thao Nguyen Hotel in Yen Minh town let at about 4.30 to 5.00pm, check in hotel and spend the rest hours on your own to relax or explore this charming town let.
Day 3: Yen Minh – Pho Bang – Vuong Palace – Dong Van – Meo Vac.
Leaving Yen Minh after breakfast for a road transfer uphill heading to Dong Van and then onto Meo Vac town let. The road of this part gets winds its way up and down steep mountains with many sharp bends but the scenery is amazingly beautiful. Customers will enjoy many stops along the way for magnificent and beautiful landscapes as well as paying visit to some highlights of the region such as the ancient town let of Pho Bang featured with clay walled, yin & yang roofed houses built centuries ago; the Sung Muoi village with typical & traditional way of life of the Hmong peoples; the historical relics of the Vuong Palace to learn about the past when the Vuong family ruled over the region and control opium production and trading. Arriving in Dong Van in late noon, lunch break and customers may choose to enjoy an easy walk for two hours afterwards to explore the Quyet Tien valley and the ancient street of Dong Van town let. Continue the road trip downhill 28km passing over the Ma Pi Leng pass which is famous for its magnificence and beauty, composed by walled-up mountains, deep valley and the 800m high canyon and the Nho Que River running in between. Arriving in Meo Vac at about 5.00pm. Check in the Hoa Cuong hotel and relax.
Day 4: Meo Vac – Ly Bon – Bao Lac – Ba Be National Park.
Today the trip will processes from the high mountainous region of Meo Vac downhill to the Gam river massif, getting through Bao Lac district of Cao Bang and then onto Ba Be National Park. The 55km road trip downhill from Meo Vac to Ly Bon which takes about 1.5 hour will be highlighted with several stops along the way to visit a hamlet of the Zao and a village of the Nung peoples near the center of Niem Son commune. Then driving for over 2 hours along road 34 before turning to road 212 to Cho Ra and Ba Be. The trip will be highlighted with short visiting to villages of the San Chay and Zao Tien(Zao with coins) along the way. Arriving to the center of Ba Be National Park in the afternoon at about 06.00pm. Check in hotel, dinner and relax.
Day 5: Ba Be boat trip – Thai Nguyen – Hanoi.
Breakfast, check out hotel at 08.00am, then take 30 minutes walk through the thick rain forest to the boat pier. Boarding a boat for 3 hours cruising on the clear water of Ba Be, the largest natural lake in the mountainous region of Indochina which is surrounded by high mountains covered by thick forest, getting through the stunning Puong Cave before the end of the boat trip. Meet the car and river again for a short transfer to Cho Ra to have lunch. Transfer 237km by road for the whole afternoon via Bac Can, Thai Nguyen to Hanoi.