North West Hill Tribes & Halong 13 days
North West Hill Tribes & Halong 13 days will bring you the most exciting and spectacular adventure in North of Vietnam. The northwest is a captivating blend of dramatic landscapes and colorful hill tribes. Starting your trip from Hanoi, via Mai Chau, Son La Dien Bien Phu and Sapa, is a gruelling but definitive road trip to discover the secrets of the region. The stretch from Lai Chau into Sapa offers some of the best mountain vistas in Southeast Asia, Sapa is the northwest, an atmospheric old hill station set amid stunning scenes of near-vertical rice terraces and towering peaks. From Sapa, drive to Bac Ha, one of the most interesting ethnic markets in Vietnam. Sunday is market day in Bac Ha, which is the occasion for the various local ethnics to gather in huge crowds to exchange the last news, gossip, shop. And before take road to drive back to Hanoi, visit Thac Ba Lake, the biggest man-made lake in Vietnam and captivates travelers with its incredible authentic beauty and more than 300 islands under lush vegetation. At the end of Vietnam tour, you will mix with the amazing scenery of Halong Bay, the leisurely cruise by the traditional wooden junk.
- Enjoy a traditional dance and a drink called Ruou Can, the local rice wine and stay overnight in house on stilt in Poom Koong, the village of the Thai people in Mai Chau.
- Visit Dien Bien Phu, famous sites of Indochina War between Vietnamese and the French.
- Trekking through the mountainous region of Tam Duong which is home to many tribes, including Hmong, Man Tien, Lu and Cu Chu.
- Get experience during the trek to the ethnic hill tribes village in the area of Sapa
- Trekking around Bac Ha and visit the market, one of the most colorful markets in Asia
- Take boat cruise in Tha Bac lake between 300 islands.
- Boarding the wooden traditional junk for a stunning cruise amongst towering limestone backdrop of Halong Bay
Itinerary in brief :
Day 1 : Arrival in Hanoi
Day 1 : Arrival in Hanoi
Arrival in Hanoi airport, pick up and transfer to hotel. Time is scheduled to take some rest after your long flight. You have the opportunity to get some first impressions of the city by yourself. Overnight at the hotel in Hanoi.
Day 2 : Hanoi – Mai Chau (L,D)
Departure from Hanoi to Mai Chau in Hoa Binh province. This scenic area is home to many hill tribes, including the Dzao, Muong and Thai. We arrive in Pom Koong, a village of the ‘White Thai’, who predominantly inhabit the area. In the evening you can enjoy a traditional dance and a drink called Ruou Can, the local rice wine. We have dinner and spend the night in the houses of the local people in Pom Koong village.
Day 3 : Mai Chau – Son La (B,L)
The chickens and roasters in the village will wake you up in the early morning. After breakfast, prepared by the host, we walk around town to experience the true essence of daily life of the tribe. We continue our trip by car towards Son La. On the way you will see many more traditional settlements on the slopes of different hillsides. A stop is scheduled at the tea plantation of Moc Chau, to sip tea with members of the Hmong tribe. On arrival in Son La we visit the old Son La Prison, where the French used to imprison Vietnamese revolutionaries in the latter part of the colonial era. Ovenight at the hotel in Son La
Day 4 : Son la – Dien Bien Phu (B,L )
Today we travel to Dien Bien Phu, crossing over the Phan Din Pass, known as the highest and longest pass in Viet Nam with an altitude of 1,500m. At the middle of the pass, we visit a multi-ethnic primary school and a village of White Hmong hill tribe where children in colorful traditional clothing welcome us with warm smiles. We continue to Dien Bien Phu, the site of decisive battle in Viet Nam’s struggle for independence from the French in 1954. On arrival we visit famous sites of Indochina War, the Ellianne Hill and the War museum which detail the events that took place. The relics from the battle including old French tanks and artillery pieces are displayed. Of special interest is the reconstruction of the bunker where the French commander, Colonel de Castries, surrendered to Viet Minh forces. We spend the night in Dien Bien Phu, which has developed into a fast-growing frontier town. The Lao border is not very far away from here. Overnight at the hotel in Dien Bien
Day 5 : Dien Bien Phu – Tam Duong ( B,L )
The picturesque road from Lai Chau to Tam Duong goes along the Chinese border and the Nam Na River. We visit some Black Thai villages, famous for their wooden houses on stilts. On the way we cross a beautiful footbridge leading us to a Khmu village, an important hill tribe similar to the Laotians in terms of language and tradition. Overnight at the hotel in Tam Duong.
Day 6 : Tam Duong (B,L )
Tam Duong is a frontier town, situated in a beautiful valley between limestone formations. This mountainous region is home to many tribes, including HMong, Man Tien, Lu and Cu Chu. A full day of trekking allows you to learn how self-sufficient life is in this area. We make a picnic stop and visit one of the tea plantations. Overnight at the hotel in Tam Duong
Day 7 : Tam Duong – Sapa – Ta Van (B,L,D)
Morning leave for Sapa. We make a stop on the way to visit the Lu tribe village of ‘Ban Hon’. The people here have a bizarre custom, they dye their teeth black! Having black teeth here is considered as a symbol of beauty. During a hike we will again be exposed to local life and the daily activities. We cross magnificent bridges, cornfields and terraced rice fields on the way to Sapa. In the late afternoon we arrive in Ta Van, a village of the Dzay tribe, where we spend the night in a traditional house of a local family.
Day 8 : Ta Van – Bac Ha ( B,L )
After breakfast, we continue our walk to the village of Giang Ta Chai. Upon arrival the driver transfers you to Bac Ha. During the ride we pass the Chinese border (Lao Cai) where you can get a glimpse of the Chinese town Hekou, just on the other side of the Red River. Bac Ha is situated in the highlands and is mostly populated by the beautifully dressed ‘Flower Hmong’ tribe. We spend the night at hotel in Bac Ha.
Day 9 : Bac Ha (B,L)
After breakfast we will take a full day of trekking is planned in this breathtaking area. Visit of Phu La' village, rare ethnic live only in Bac Ha. The region is still mostly populated by the beautifully dressed ‘Flower Hmong’ tribe. Overnight at the hotel in Bac Ha
Day 10 : Bac Ha - Thac Ba Lake (B,L,D)
Today we visit the lively Sunday market of Bac Ha, one of the most colorful markets in Asia! Again a wonderful opportunity to meet the locals. The Flower Hmong predominantly live in the area. The Sunday market is a social gathering for all groups living in the high remote villages, here they meet, drink alcohol and trade goods. We continue our trip to Thac Ba Lake. The night in a beautifully constructed stilt house down by the lakeside.
Day 11 : Thac Ba – Hanoi (B)
Thac Ba is the biggest man-made lake in Vietnam and captivates travelers with its incredible authentic beauty and more than 300 islands under lush vegetation. We participate in a boat trip and visit some Dzao and Tay villages. After lunch in a local restaurant our expedition North West comes to the end. In the afternoon we arrive back in Hanoi. Overnight at the hotel in Hanoi
Day 12 : Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Breakfast at hotel and then start a 3-hour drive through the Red River Delta to Ha Long City. Comfort stop en route for photos and coffee before arriving to Ha Long City. We then transfer to a traditional wooden junk for a cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Ha Long Bay, giving us the chance to take in the stunning scenery of this World Heritage Site. While on board we will be served a sumptuous fresh, local seafood lunch followed by a swim and exploring some of the limestone caves in this area, Visit the surprise cave. When the sun comes down we drop anchor for the night nearby a remote island. Dinner & Overnight on Junk.
Day 13 : Hanoi – Halong Bay – Departure (B)
Rising to the tranquil beauty of the bay we have time for an early morning dip with joys and emotions for watching sunrise on sea. This morning we continue to move around the bay to find more secluded areas. Brunch will be served onboard. The junk will be near us at all times serving as a back up vessel for those that require it. At around midday we will return to the main harbor before transferring to our awaiting vehicle for a 3-hour journey to Hanoi airport (around 16pm) for flight departure. End of the service.
- Private English speaking guide.
- All accommodation on twin share basis with daily breakfasts
- Meals as indicated by Vietnamese foods at the restaurant (B= breakfast; L=Lunch; D = Dinner)
- All transfers in private car (4WD)
- Boat cruise in Thac Ba lake
- Traditional dancing show and Ruoi Can wine in Mai Chau
- Halong Bay cruise 2 days/ 1 night
- Entrance fees and permits during guided time.
- Service charge & Government taxes
- International Airfares.
- Meals not indicated
- Drinks & beverage ..
- Early check in / late check out
- Vietnam visa stamp fee : ( 25 USD/ per person)
- Personal travel insurance (Compulsory).
- Personal expenses such as Telephone and Laundry bills.
- Tips and gratuities
|Departure from : Hanoi||Style: Private||Code : OBTV8|
|Departure from : Hanoi||Style: Private||Code : OBTV7|
|Departure from : Hanoi||Style: Private||Code : OBTV5|
|Departure from : Hanoi||Style: Private||Code : OBTV4|
|Departure from : Hanoi||Style: Private||Code : OBTV3|
|Departure from : Hanoi||Style: Private||Code : OBTV2|
|Departure from : Hanoi||Style: Private||Code : OBTV1|