Off The Beaten Track Northern Vietnam Trekking 8 Days

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The Northern Vietnam Trekking 8 days tour starts from Hanoi, taking you to such provinces o north Vietnam as Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Dien Bien.

Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary

The Northern Vietnam Trekking 8 days tour starts from Hanoi, taking you to such provinces o north Vietnam as Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Dien Bien. Enjoy visiting magnificent, marvelous landscapes as well as wild nature of the far north region of Vietnam highlighted with the beauty of Tay Con Linh and Hoang Lien Son mountain ranges, the two highest ones in Vietnam. Trekking through the untouched region, meeting different tribal peoples in remote and isolated villages for a unique discovery of local cultures, customs and way of life.

Map

Itinerary

DAY 1: HANOI -> VIET QUANG

Full day transfer from Hanoi to Viet Quang town let, Ha Giang Province along national road 2 via Phuc Yen, Viet Tri, Tuyen Quang with several breaks along the way for resting and sightseeing. Lunch at a popular restaurant in Tuyen Quang and arrive in Viet Quang in mid afternoon. The rest hours is set free to relax and have preparation for 3 days trekking afterwards.

DAY 2: VIET QUANG -> CAO BANH

Leave Viet Quang at 08.00 for a road ride for 1,5 hour along national road 2 to Vi Xuyen Town Let(35 km) and then turn left to a narrow paved road 15 km and arrive at Vang Luong Village(Thuong Son Commune) at 09.30. This 15 km portion of the road trip offers stunning landscapes. The trek begins from here(338m) for about 6 hours along a stream which runs between 2 high mountain ranges, through Thuong Son Commune uphill to Cao Banh village of the Zao ao dai , passing several small villages of the Tay peoples on lower land and of the Zao peoples on the steep hillsides. Arriving to home stay at Cao Banh(at 833m) in late afternoon, settle down at home stay, freshen up and relax.

DAY 3: CAO BANH -> HOP NHAT

Breakfast and leave Cao Banh Village at 08.30. The trail winds its way uphill for about 4 hours via several small villages of the Zao peoples in Dan Khao commune to the top of the pass(Heaven Gate) at the height of 1,216m. As the trails gets to higher elevation, the stunning view of the region opens wider and the population gets thinner. The clients will enjoy magnificent landscapes of the terraced fields below the trails and thick forest covering the higher land and mountains. Long lunch break at the Heaven Gate and from here great view of the two side of the Tay Con Linh opens as wide as one’s sight. The trail downhill is about 6 km and little bit steep and narrow for the first 2 km and then getting easier as the trails comes down to the lower land, passing a small hamlet of the Co Lao ethnic peoples before arriving to Hop Nhat Village(879m) of Tung San Commune. Walking around this village of the Zao peoples which sits on a earthen hill and over looking down a stunning valley.

DAY 4: HOP NHAT -> HOANG SU PHI -> XIN MAN -> BAC HA

Leaving Hop Nhat Village at 08.30 and follow a narrow trails along a magnificent valley downhill for about 2 hours through Hop Nhat village to Che village of the Nung and Zao people located at 804m on steep mountain side, over looking down the Tung San valley. Explore this small and isolated village before continue trekking for 1,5 hour long the same trail to Tan Tien Bridge(435m) which is 5 km east of Hoang Su Phi Town let, picked up transfer to Hoang Su Phi Town Let for Lunch. Leaving Hoang Su Phi for a road trip for the whole afternoon to Bac Ha via Xin Man Town Let including some stops and short walk for visiting several small hamlets of the Flower Hmong along the way. Arrive in Bac Ha Town let before it gets dark, check in Sao Mai hotel and relax

DAY 5: BAC HA -> LAO CAI -> SAPA

Breakfast and leaving Bac Ha for a road ride downhill to Lao Cai(72 km) with stops along the way to visit a small hamlet of the Phu La ethnic people, taking a short walk uphill to see tea plantation near Phong Hai. Enjoy a coffee break at Lao Cai City before driving uphill for an hour to Sapa. Arriving in Sapa at noon, lunch break in a restaurant and then spend half an hour walking around this charming town. Leaving Sapa town at 13.30 and drive southwards for 12 km to Ta Van village. Enjoy a 2 hours walk along Muong Hoa river from Ta Van to Giang Ta Chai village of the Red Zao through terraced rice paddies and bamboo forest. Pay visiting local homes at Giang Ta Chai, then cross Muong Hoa river, trekking uphill to Hoa Su Pan village of the Hmong. Pick up and transfer for half an hour to Topas ecolodge, check in and relax.

DAY 6: SAPA -> BINH LU -> LAI CHAU

Breakfast and check out Topas Ecolodge at 08.00. Picked up and transfer 32 km via to Sapa and Tram Ton Pass. Enjoy a short break at the Silver Waterfall for a miring this nature wonder and then 20 minutes at Tram Ton Pass(Heaven Gate) for stunning scenery of Fasipan Mount and Sapa Valley as well as great view of the west side of Hoang Lien range. Continue driving 27 km downhill to Chu Va village of the Red Hmong. Walk for an hour to visit this village which beautifully sits near the food of the pass by the side of a river before continue 8 km to Binh Lu Town let, lunch break here. After lunch, take a short drive 2 km through the lush Binh Lu Valley to Pa Pe village of the Lu ethnic peoples who where beautiful traditional costumes and still dye their teeth black. Walk for half an hour to visit this village before continue the road trip to Lai Chau Town(Old Tam Duong). Arriving in Tam Duong at about 16.00, check in hotel. The rest of the afternoon is for exploring villages, enjoying a peaceful walk to see tea farm in the suburb of Lai Chau.

DAY 7: LAI CHAU -> SIN HO -> MUONG LAY -> DIEN BIEN PHU

Leaving Lai Chau at 08.00 for a drive through the beautiful region along the back road for nearly 3 hours to Muong Lay(Old Lai Chau Town) via Sin Ho district. The road trip offers stunning landscapes of large valley, fabulous forest and the group will take some short stops along the way to pay visit to villages of the Red H’mong and Thai peoples before arriving to Muong Lay town let. Spend half an hour walking around Muong Lay valley before having lunch. Arriving in Dien Bien Phu at about 15.00 and spend the rest hours in the afternoon for historical sightseeing around Dien Bien Phu former battle fields famous for the last campaign of the Viet Minh( Vietnamese communist forces) against the French colonial army. The sights for visiting include the A1 hill, Dien Bien Phu Museum, the head quarter of the French army and the beautiful Muong Thanh valley. Check in hotel and at 17.30 and free to explore Dien Bien Phu city in the evening.

DAY 8: DIEN BIEN PHU -> HANOI (OR LAOS)

Breakfast, check out hotel and transfer 42 km to Tay Trang border gate for the next portion of the trip for Laos.

Additional Information

Primary Activity

Duration

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Tour Ends

Dien Bien

Adventure Level

Itinerary Disclaimer

Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

Inclusions

Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind LOTUSSIA Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.

  • Car transfers.
  • Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
  • Local porter(s).
  • Accommodation.
  • Meals.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.

Exclusions

Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.

  • Visa
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation pre/post trip.
  • International travel insurance.
  • Tips.
  • Personal expenses.

Tour Guide

Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.

Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.

Trip Routes

Principally, LOTUSSIA Travel requires all the trip associates to know the destinations well by any means of traveling or enquiry to the local suppliers to figure out all the relative details of any trip. For adventure tours such as jungle trekking, mountain hiking, sea kayaking, river rafting or biking, cycling tours, LOTUSSIA Travel will never add any new routes into available schedule until survey or pre-view it.

Accommodation

LOTUSSIA Travel carefully choose all the hotels, guest-houses or homestays based on service quality, location, and characteristics, doing best to make the accommodations in the remote small places as comfortable as possible. Please bear in mind that hotels in Vietnam might not be in the same standard in other country. Generally hotels in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hoian, Hue…are much better than hotels and guest-houses in mountainous areas.

Meals

LOTUSSIA Travel take dinning as an indispensable experience to clients since it is an important part in Vietnamese culture. Therefore, LOTUSSIA Travel will not intend take clients to the most expensive restaurants but non-touristy local ones which offer delicious, local food, with nice or interesting atmosphere. The restaurants might be simple in the country but LOTUSSIA Travel guarantee is sanitary and cleanliness. Or even on our trek, we encourage our cook offer client food with new tastes from day to day. During adventure itineraries to mountainous or remote areas, there is sometimes no choice for hotel and restaurants. We will try our best to bring you the best taste of local food.

Drinks

As the tap water in Vietnam is undrinkable, LOTUSSIA Travel recommend clients to drink bottled water throughout your trip, or boiled water on treks. LOTUSSIA Travel offers bottle water all the day, and soft drinks like Cola, Sprite or Vietnamese Tea or if possible juice in restaurants (if mentionned in itinerary). This is not automatically included in the packages. In simple restaurant or on camping, LOTUSSIA Travel offers boiled water, instant coffee or juice, wrapped milk (Details are confirmed in bottom of your itinerary).

Vehicle

In most destinations of Vietnam, all the roads are well paved though the traffic is quite messed up like in Hanoi, Hai Phong… We use proper vehicles, car, minibus or coach in good condition based on the size of the groups. We use 4WD only on the rough road where the other vehicles could not pass through or based on clients requirement on overland journeys or treks. For cycling itineraries, we usually use our support minibus or minibus with support truck. For sea kayaking, river rafting trips, diving packages we use standard boat as support. Detailed information is provided on our service proposal.

We use drivers who are native or local of each travel destination and maintain good safety records for all trips. Most of our drivers can speak English but a little bit. This is just enough to understand basic words such as “time of departure”, “stop”, “restaurants”, “hotels”…If you want to learn more about Vietnamese culture and information about sightseeing sites, booking a tour guide is highly recommended.

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  1. Deborah

    5 out of 5

    The guide Tan was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable of the area and looked after us very well It was a trip of a lifetime. The organisation was fantastic & never believed we could be looked after so well. This will be my first of many Lotussia trips.

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