NORTH EAST VIETNAM TOUR

Length

12 DAYS

Type of tour

NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

   North East Vietnam Tour is an exciting journey carefully designed to appreciate the incredible scenery of the northern regions.A unique opportunity for photography lovers but undoubtedly also for those who want a less conventional experience, away from the beaten track. The best season for this path is from April to October.

This example itinerary begin and ends in Hanoi and does not include the visit of the capital, which however can be added if desired. The journey extends to the Chinese border at Long Cu in the north and to the magnificent Cao Bang waterfalls, and is considered among the most extreme and authentic routes in North Vietnam for its geologically unique landscapes.  

Experience the astonishing landscapes in the northern regions passing by several local villages surrounded by picturesque sceneries, home to many hill tribes, rice terraces and lush vegetation.

Immerse yourself in the beautiful nature of Ha Long Bay while sailing surrounded by the incredible karst peaks.

This example itinerary can be customised according to actual travel needs and can be combined with other routes.

North East Vietnam tour map © In Asia Travel

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Length : 12D 11N
From : HANOI
To : HANOI
Destinations  : Hanoi, Lao Cai, Ba Ha, Ha Giang, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, Lung Cu, Meo Vac, Bao Lac, Cao Bang, Ban Gioc, Nguom Gao, Ba Be, Thay Nguyen, Halong Bay

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN HANOI

Arrive in Hanoi city, the charming capital of Vietnam. 

Welcome by our staff and transfer to the hotel.

Included : Tour guide, private transportation and hotel 

02. LAO CAI – BAC HA

Bac Ha market - Vietnam © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelBac Ha market

We begin this wonderful journey with the transfer to Lao Cai, on the Chinese border, and continue to Bac Ha,the small town in North East Vietnam particularly known for the tribal market, “Bac Ha Sunday Market“, which takes place only on Sunday mornings. The bazaar is undoubtedly one of the most exciting part of the trip to North Vietnam as it will allow us to immerse ourselves in the colourful traditions of the ethnic minorities Nung, Mong Flower and Black Dzao, who meet in the market to exchange their goods.

Settle into the local homestay on stilts, an authentic house where we will spend the night. The accommodation is very simple, with shared bathrooms and a large shared room with floor mattresses and mosquito nets. There are no private rooms, however the sleeping areas are separated by curtains.

In the afternoon we explore the surroundings of Bac Ha on foot to visit the ethnic villages of the area.

Included : Homestay, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide and private transportation 

03. HA GIANG – XIN MAN – QUAN BA

Best private tailor made tours in Southeast Asia and Central Asia - In Asia TravelXin Man district

After breakfast transfer to Ha Giang, the remote province that boasts the wealth of a unique geological heritage and surreal landscapes. It is divided into 10 districts inhabited by multiple ethnic minorities, each with its own culture and tradition, including H’mong, Thay, Dao, Nung, Lo Lo, Giay and Pu Peo, distinguishable by their colourful dress. The only viable road that connects Bac Ha to Ha Giang is extremely exciting, very winding and one of the most beautiful and adventurous in North Vietnam.

During the transfer we stop at the Xin Man village, surrounded by forests and mountains. On a Sunday morning is worth a visit the tribal market at Coc Pai town. Later we reach Hoang Su Phi village where we stop to admire some traditional ethnic processes such as tea drying and H’Mong weaving.

Afterwards we proceed to Quan Ba ​​”Heaven Gate located at the highest point of the pass that connects Ha Giang and Quan Ba ​​district. It is the entrance to the Dong Van Geological Park. The surrounding landscape is simply sublime.

In the late afternoon we reach Quan Ba, the district known for the hills with a singular “dome” shape, in particular the “Co Tien Mountain”.

Accommodation in the Quan Ba ​​homestay, an authentic house on stilts belonging to the Tay ethnic group.

Included : Homestay, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide, private transportation

04. YEN MINH – LUNG CU – DONG VAN

Tea plantation at Moc ChauYen Minh

After breakfast we begin a short trek in the surroundings before starting one of the most exciting parts of our journey that will take us to the northernmost point of Vietnam passing through the Dong Van Karst Geopark, at 1600 meters altitude, the only stone plateau in Vietnam, included by UNESCO in the conservation project of the World Geoparks. On the way we visit some villages inhabited by the White H’Mong ethnic group and the Pho Cao village.

In the afternoon we visit a Red Lolo tribe village before the transfer to Lung Cu, the northernmost tip of Vietnam. Here we find the ancient royal palace of the ruler Hmong Vuong Chi Sinh and the tower on Dragon Mountain, built in the 11th century, on which flies a huge national flag. Return to Dong Van for overnight at the hotel.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide and private transportation 

05. MA PHI LENG PASS – MEO VAC

Meo Vac - VietnamMeo Vac

In the morning we continue south east along the Chinese border towards Meo Vac. The transfer crosses Ma Phi Leng, the mountain pass at 2000 meters, the highest in all of Vietnam and is considered the most beautiful viewpoint. The pass features sediments that date back hundreds of millions of years. We will make some stops to admire the incredible view of the valley and the Nho Que river.

In the afternoon we visit a Lolo Flower tribe village, the ethnic minority present only in this area. The tribe is know for the particular costumes worn by women with coloured inserts and sometimes silver jewelery which, in accordance with the animist belief of the ethnic group, serve to ward off negative spirits. Transfer to the homestay at Meo Vac.

Included : Homestay, breakfast, lunch, dinner tour guide and private transportation 

06. CAO BANG

Best private tailor made tours in Southeast Asia and Central Asia - In Asia Travel

After breakfast transfer to Cao Bang, capital of the homonymous province. The route crosses an authentic area off the beaten track with a rich history dating back to the Bronze Age.

During the journey we pass by Bao Lac town inhabited by about 1000 people of Black Lolo ethnic group, experts in making bronze drums.

We reach the hotel at Cao Bang in the afternoon.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide and private transportation

07. BAN GIOC WATERFALLS

Best private tailor made tours in Southeast Asia and Central Asia - In Asia TravelBan Gioc waterfall

We spend the day exploring Cao Bang area and in particular to visiting the wonderful and impressive Ban Gioc waterfalls on the Quay Son river that crosses the Vietnam – China international border. The falls are located in an area of ​​karst formations. Numerous streams arise from underground fissures along the lower levels of the area. The multiple jumps on the various layers determine the sediments of different hardness that over millions of years have geologically modified the ground.

The sight of this natural spectacle simply leaves you speechless. The waterfalls, although they do not excel in height, about 30 meters, certainly make an impression for the width that extends for about 300 meters. We can take advantage of a refreshing bath in the crystal clear water basin.

A couple of Km from the falls we visit Nguom Ngao cave, which in the language of the Tay ethnic group translates as “the cave of the tiger”. It exceeds 2 km in length and some rooms reach about 60 meters in height. It is divided into several sections and it seems that there is a passage leading to the falls, which however is not yet open to the public. Undoubtedly, the huge and colourful stalactites and stalagmites are surprising. At the end we return to Cao Bang for the night.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide and private transportation 

08. BA BE LAKE – DAU DANG WATERFALLS

After breakfast transfer to Ba Be National Park and embark for a boat trip on Ba Be Lake, surrounded by limestone mountains and evergreen forests. From the Vietnamese the name translates into “Three Lakes” as it is in fact divided into three parts connected, Pe Leng, Pe Lu and Pe Lam. It extends for about 8 km and the surface fluctuates seasonally from 3 to 5 sq km, with a maximum depth of about 35 meters. The ecosystem boasts 65 mammal species and over 200 bird species.

A short distance from the lake we visit the Dau Dang waterfalls generated by the Nang River. They extend vigorously through the forest for about 1 km forming numerous rapids.

We continue with a boat excursion on the placid Nang river crossing the rural landscape that leads us to a primitive scenario of cliffs, where we admire the local fishermen busy with nets and pots, until we slip into the Puong cave formed over the millennia by erosion of the limestone rock. The cave extends for about 300 meters and reaches 30 meters in height and offers the incredible spectacle of beautiful stalactites.

Later transfer to the homestay.

Included : Homestay, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide and private transportation 

09. TAN TRAO – DINH HAO – HANOI

Museum of Ethnology © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelMuseum of Ethnology

After breakfast we begin the journey back to the capital. Along the way we pass the Tan Trao and Dinh Hao,  locations of considerable importance in the history of Vietnam. In 1945 Tan Trao was the provisional capital and the leader Ho Chi Minh established a refuge in this place at the beginning of the campaign to liberate the nation from the French occupation. We stop at Thay Nguyen, a place of equal historical importance, the protagonist of numerous uprisings against the local government of French Indochina.

After the long journey in the remote provinces and after having met many local ethnic groups, the Museum of Ethnology is definitely worth a visit to have an overall and summary view of all the ethnic minorities of Vietnam, which we will certainly have the opportunity to understand with greater awareness after the direct experience.

In the afternoon we reach the hotel in Hanoi.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

10. HALONG BAY CRUISE

Halong Bay © Gabriele StoiaHalong Bay

In the morning transfer the port in Ha Long (about 4h). Upon arrival we embark on the junk to begin the wonderful cruise in Ha Long Bay

Extending over an area greater than 1500 sq km and includes thousands of small monolithic limestone islands and fantastic karst caves. Since 1994 it has become part of the world heritage of humanity and since 2008 it has been one of the seven wonders of the world.

The cruise follows the program established by the shipping company considered for your trip. At your discretion you can simply relax surrounded by the beautiful scenery or join optional excursions including kayaking, snorkelling and a visit to a limestone cave.

Lunch and dinner are served on board with seafood tasting. Overnight in a private cabin with air conditioning.

Included : Junk in Halong, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide 

11. HALONG BAY CRUISE - HANOI

Halong Bay - Vietnam © Gabriele StoiaHalong Bay

The cruise experience definitely has the unique opportunity to watch the sunrise in Halong BayIf you wish you can take part in the course of Tai Chi on deck at 6 am.

After breakfast, the cruise proceeds towards the pier in Ha Long, giving you the latest images of this fantastic experience. Lunch will be served to be followed by the disembark.

Return to the hotel in Hanoi.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, tour guide and private transportation 

12. HANOI - DEPARTURE

Transfer to Hanoi airport in time for your departure flight.

Included : Breakfast and private transfer to the airport

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