This tour will take you to some of the most incredible sites in the north of Vietnam. This is a wild and beautiful region of limestone peaks, black granite needles (the locals call them “stone forests”), vertiginous canyons and limitless panoramas. You will also discover the culture of the local Black H’mong. The men are remarkably elegant, dressed in black, with a beret, a souvenir of their great allies the French. Also on the itinerary is the sprawling Ba Be Lake in Ba Be National Park where you can enjoy the rich natural surroundings and meet the local Tay communities.
Departure dates: Everyday
Destination: Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Ba Be lake, Northeast, Vietnam.
Duration: 5 days
Day 1 Ha Noi - Ha Giang (L, D)
Discover Ha Giang, terraced rice field
Your guide will collect you from your hotel at 08:00 to begin your journey to stunning mountains of Ha Giang via the richly historical Duong Lam Ancient Village. You will travel along Road No.2 from the busy city into the rolling countryside. Not far out of Hanoi, you will stop in Duong Lam Ancient Town, an agricultural village which also has many historical sites such as Mong Phu Temple, Mia Pagoda with its 287 statues and a ion of houses, some of which are 200-300 years old. Here you can get a taste of rural life as you meet the people who live there and enjoy a home-cooked local meal.
After lunch, you will then follow the winding river from Duong Lam to the mountains of Ha Giang, enjoying incredible views along the way. You will have dinner and stay overnight in Ha Giang.
Day 2 Ha Giang - Dong Van (B, L, D)
Discovery Hagiang, Hmong ethnic minority
Today you will encounter some spectacular landscapes. After acquiring a mandatory permit at the Immigration Office, you will begin your journey to Dong Van across a series of long passes. You will have lunch en route in the small but beautiful mountain town of Tam Son. Then, you will head to the majestic King of the H’mong’s Palace, a fortress built by a local chief, Vuong Chin Duc, who was allied with the French against the Viet Minh. The palace, built in the early 1900s was designed in the ancient Chinese architectural style of the Man Qing era. It was made from materials such as solid stone, wood and terracotta tiles. After continuing your journey, you will arrive at Hoa Cuong Hotel around 17:00 in time for dinner and an overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 3 Dong Van - Ma Pi Leng Pass - Meo Vac - Ba Be Lake (B, L, D)
Discovery Hagiang, Nho Que river
Your morning will start with a visit to the market of Dong Van (Sunday morning), where the locals shop before returning to their mountain hamlets. You will then climb a pass up to the French Fortress of Pu Lo, built in 1890 and evacuated in 1945, from which you enjoy a spectacular view of the entire region.
The road climbs 15 km up to the top of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a unique landscape of craggy limestone peaks and gaping valleys. You will descend into Meo Vac Valley to the village of Bao Lac, where you will have lunch. You will then take the mountain road from Bao Lac to Cao Bang. En route to Cao Bang, we will share our secret route with you, a gorgeous small road snaking through the mountains to the Tay village of Cho Ra and then down to the Tay village of Coc Toc, where you will be welcomed by Mr Linh and his amazingly friendly Tay family in their traditional stilt house. If it’s hot, you can copy the local kids and jump into the inviting waters of Ba Be lake. You will enjoy a superb dinner (Mrs Linh specialises in local dishes) on the river terrace.
Day 4 Ba Be Lake - Puong Cave (B, L, D)
Discovery Hagiang, Ba Be lake
You can enjoy breakfast on the lakeside and then take a short walk to the house owner’s boat which will take you through the entire length of the three connected lakes (Ba Be translates as three bays) and up the Nang River. After floating up the river, you will reach the astonishing Puong cave, a 300-meter tunnel through the karst which was created by the flow of the river.
The boat will then go downriver to the small village of Hua Tang, the epitome of a simple and authentic rural village. You will have lunch in a local house alongside the river. After lunch, you will take a short walk through the jungle to the picturesque Dau Dang Waterfalls, a series of spectacular cascades between sheer rock walls. You will return by boat for another delightful evening in your Tay house.
Day 5 Ba Be Lake - Ha Noi (B, L)
Discovery Hagiang, Hua Ma cave, Ba Be NP
You can relax in Coc Toc and then depart on another a secret road of ours, first following the river and then snaking from pass to pass through the hills of Central North Vietnam. You may find the locals are fascinated by you for few tourists ever venture down this spectacular road. You will then visit Hua Ma cave after joining the main road to Ha Noi, with a short stop for lunch in local restaurant. You will return to your hotel in Hanoi before dark.
- We take you to the parts other can't reach!
From July to September, the climate is usually humid and hot.
From October to June brings cooler and more pleasant weather.
- Vehicle or Motorbike
Our experienced and friendly Tour Guide(s) speak excellent English.
They are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.
- 4 breakfasts.
- 5 lunches.
- 4 dinners.
We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, markets or homes.
We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking.
- Homestay (3 nights)
- Hotel (1 night)
Clean and comfortable homestays/ hotels with air-conditioning provided.
Tour price includes:
+ Private door-to-door pick-up & -off services.
+ All private transfer and transportation
+ Experienced English speaking guide.
+ Private boat trip
+ Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast ; L: Lunch ; D: Dinner)
+ All sightseeing tickets.
+ No extra charge after confirmation
+ 24/7 hotline support guaranteed
Tour price excludes:
+ Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
+ Travel insurance
+ Other services not mentioned above.
What to take:
+ Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable walking shoes.
+ We also recommend packing insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...
+ Take a small day pack for hiking and trekking.
+ It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.