NORTH WEST VIETNAM TOUR

Length

12 DAYS

Type of tour

NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

   North West 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 May to September.

Explore the charming and vibrant capital Hanoi by bicycle to immerse yourselves in the local lifestyle, visiting the most hidden spot between narrow alleys to capture the authentic Vietnamese spirit.

Admire the splendour of Hong Ha flower village, considered the traditional beauty of Hanoi, and enjoy the delicious street food.

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

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.

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

North West Vietnam tour map © In Asia Travel

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 12D 11N
From : HANOI
To : HANOI
Destinations  : Hanoi, Mai Chau, Mai Hich, Nghia Lo, Tu Le, La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha, Mu Cang Chai, Than Uyen, Tram Ton, Sapa, Lao Chai, Ta Van, 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. HANOI

Hoan Kiem lake - HanoiHoan Kiem lake – Hanoi

We begin this wonderful journey by exploring the millenary capital Hanoi in a completely authentic and non-touristy way to discover the most hidden part and to grasp the authentic Vietnamese spirit.

We cycle through the narrow alleys immersing ourselves in the everyday life of the town. A unique opportunity to meet the inhabitants engaged in daily activities. Later we continue to Hong Ha flower village, considered the traditional beauty of Hanoi. A riot of colours that reaches its maximum splendour during spring season.

We proceed to West Lake, the largest natural lake in Hanoi which extends over an area of 4 square km, and take a short break in a particular café, with characteristic and perhaps bizarre for us, very low tables, where we taste the famous Vietnamese coffee and the delicious variations with yogurt and egg yolk.

In the afternoon we continue with a very special and unusual culinary experience. Hanoi cuisine is notoriously renowned in Southeast Asia, and street-food, or street food, is undoubtedly the most authentic expression. Entering the Old Quarter of the capital we stroll through the 36 main streets and taste the 5 most succulent dishes in Hanoi.

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

03. MAI CHAU - MAI HICH

Best private tailor made tours in Southeast Asia and Central Asia - In Asia TravelLandscape north Vietnam

After breakfast transfer to  Hoa Binh, among the oldest areas of Vietnam inhabited by seven ethnic minorities, dominated by high mountains, green terraced rice fields, tea plantations, primitive forests with hundreds of rare and volatile plants.

Continue to Mai Chau Valley, known for its incredible and picturesque landscape where. We visit some houses of the local tribes, in particular of the Thai minority, extremely hospitable and ready to improvise a meal to welcome passing visitors. In fact, we will have lunch in a typical tribal house to taste the local dishes. According to traditional rules, lunch will be served on the floor. An authentic cultural experience to immerse yourself in the local reality.

Later we continue to the Mai Hich village. Few visitors go this far and it is still one of the most exclusive destinations in the area, outside the classic tourist circuits. The authenticity of the place allows us to learn about local traditions and the way of life in tribal communities.

In the afternoon we visit the surroundings to admire the flourishing rice fields. Once at the Xia stream, those who wish can try to navigate a traditional bamboo log raft. Afterwards we reach Mai Hich’s home stay, an authentic house on stilts belonging to a local family, 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. In the evening we relax with the folk dance show performed by amateur artists in colourful costumes.

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

04. NGHIA LO – PHU YEN – TU LE

Tea plantation at Moc ChauTea plantation at Moc Chau

In the morning we continue to explore the area and the villages Poom Cong and Ban Lac. The communities are still inhabited by genuine ethnic minorities proud to show their ancient traditions. We reach Moc Chau, the rural district in Son La province. At an altitude of about 1050 meters the plateu is known for the idyllic landscape of tea plantations, orchards, mountains, waterfalls and for the different ethnic groups including Thai, Hmong, Dao, Kho Mu, La Ha Tay. On the way we stop to visit some of them.

We cross Pa Uon bridge on Da river, the highest in Southeast Asia built on pillars of about 100 meters in height, to reach Phu Yen, an unspoiled location at 1000 meters a.s.l., a gigantic painting masterpiece of nature.

In the afternoon we continue to Nghia Lo, the vibrant town nestled in the Muang Lo valley, in Yen Bai province. Historically one of the largest trade crossroads in the North Vietnamese regions, in the 1950s it was the scene of battles between the Vietnamese and the French army during the First Indochina War.

Later we reach Tu Le, a picturesque and fascinating mountain resort, typical wooden houses and ethnic groups with colourful traditional costumes, where we spend the night in a simple and authentic accommodation that adds authenticity to our trip.

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

05. KHAU PHA PASS – LOCAL VILLAGES

Tu Le - VietnamTu Le

We spend the day in Tu Le area to grasp the local everyday life in depth. It is also an opportunity to slow down the pace of the journey which might otherwise be a little more elusive.

At dawn we go up to the Khau Pha pass, in Mu Cang Chai district, also known as “The horn of paradise“, to admire the wonderful Tu Le valley from above in the morning. The pass winds through the mountains for 30 km reaching a maximum altitude of 1500 meters above sea level, framed by beautiful views, rice fields and pristine forests and surrounded by mountain ranges that seem to extend into infinity.

Following a path we descend to the Lim Mong village inhabited by the Hmong and White Thai ethnic groups for centuries. The landscape is simply incredible: the colourful terraces of the rice fields are an unmissable natural spectacle.

To enrich the cultural experience in the afternoon we return to the Khau Pha pass at the exact time when the H’mong farmers return to the villages after a long and hard day of work in the rice fields. 

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

06. LA PAN TAN – CHE CU NHA – MU CANG CHAI

Rice terrace north VietnamRice terrace north Vietnam

After breakfast we continue to La Pan Tan, the mountain village inhabited by H’mong ethnic group, one of the most beautiful places in North Vietnam to admire and photograph the terraced rice fields. The area was dedicated to the cultivation of opium until 1990s when local government initiated a policy of converting opium crops to rice fields.

In the afternoon we proceed to Che Cu Nha, another place that stands out among the most scenic spots, recognised as a national heritage by the Vietnamese Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

We stops at Che Cu Nha village and at Cau Ba Nha bridge before continue another 2 hours to the top of the mountain for an unforgettable view. Afterwards we drive to Mu Cang Chai, in Yen Bai province, where we will spend the night in a local home stay inhabited by a Thai ethnic minority family.

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

07. THAN UYEN – TRAM TON – SA PA

Rice terrace north VietnamRice terrace north Vietnam

The day begin with the exciting experience at the highest pass in Vietnam, the Tram Ton Pass : at an altitude of 1900 meters is often referred to as “The gateway to Paradise”. The route connects Mu Cang Chai to Sa Pa and along the way the views and photographic opportunities are simply endless. We will then make several stops to admire and photograph the rice fields and tea plantations.

We stop at Than Uyen for lunch, at the foot of Mount Fansipan inhabited by ethnic Thai, Dao, H’mong and Khmu.

From the top of Tram Ton Pass the view on the mountains and the lush forests is simply incredible. Given the altitude, the pass acts as a dividing line between two major meteorological fronts, the basically cool temperatures of Sa Pa and the milder Lai Chau.

Arrival in Sa Pa in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel.

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

08. Y LINH HO – LAO CHAI – TA VAN

Muong ValleyMuong Valley

In the morning we continue to Muong Valley towards Muong Hoa River, one of the most scenic in the region. On the way we pass through the photogenic Y Linh Ho village. It is worth it to visit some local houses to learn about the authentic life style of the local tribes, known for their great hospitality. Later we reach Lao Chai, inhabited by the H’Mong Neri minority.

From here we continue on foot by an easy trekking that will lead us to the H’Mong and Zday villages. We visit Ta Van, the picturesque village of about 1000 inhabitants populated by different ethnic groups including Zday and Red Dao. All around green expanses of rice and corn fields.

In the afternoon we proceed to Muong Hoa Valley where we will have chance to meet different ethnic groups with distinctive colourful costumes. At the end we proceed to the homestay at Ta Van.

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

09. BAC HA TRIBAL MARKET– HANOI

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

After breakfast we 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.

In the afternoon we embark on an excursion on Chay River in the most scenic stretch surrounded by an incredible scenery of sheer mountains.

Continue with a short trek to Ban Pho village to admire the astonishing rice terraces from above and to meet the welcome H’Mong tribe.

Transfer to Hanoi.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, 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

Itinerary quotation request

Request of information for the itinerary

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