northwest Vietnam tours

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Son La tours
Moc Chau tours
Yen Bai tours
Mu Cang Chai tours
Dien Bien Phu tours
Lai Chau tours
Sapa tours
Bac Ha tours
Ha Giang tours
Ba Be lake tours
Lang Son tours
Cao Bang tours
Tuyen Quang tours

Northwest Loop 9 days

Northwest Loop 9 days
The remote northwest is one of the most beautiful, unaffected and untouristed areas of Vietnam. Travellers who come up this way often hire a jeep and driver or do it by motorbike. Regardless of which method you select, you are guaranteed to pass through spectacular ravines and over breathtaking passes.
Best known centre is Sapa, there is a lot more worth investigating in this hill resort town. The remote French firebase of Dien Bien Phu remains a drawcard, other popular destinations include Mai Chau, Yen Bai and Son La. The interesting culture of many hill tribe groups and the wonderful mountain scenery of the north are all on this adventure. The journey is pretty hard, especially in the wet season. But it is a great chance to explore the remote area and many colorful markets. A combination of some visits to a wide variety of ethnic minority groups generally retaining their lifestyle, traditional costume with high mountains and terraced fields of Vietnam will excite your spirit of adventure.

Day 1 - Hanoi - Thac Ba lake - Mu Cang Chai
Heading out of Hanoi city, we follow the Red River to avoid the city traffic jams. This windy river road will give a taste of things to come. Our journey takes you along the river to discover the agriculture civilization of Viet and Muong people in the Red River Delta. We will stop to visit their traditional houses and villages on the way. The car stops in Yen Bai Town where you will take a two hour cruise across the lake, a dugout canoe is provided for an excursion to Thac Ba Lake containing crystal clear water where there is an opportunity for a refreshing swim.
We continue to drive along the mountainous road with spectacular scenery along the way. Stop at Nga Ba Kim for a short break. Stunning landscapes full of terraced rice fields, mountains, clouds and wooden stilt houses, make up a heaven of peace and simple happiness. Be warmly welcomed by locals in their traditional costumes, see the H'mong women working their looms and say hello to the passing children and you will find yourself drawn in by the land and the people here.
We spend the night in Mu Cang Chai

Day 2 Mu Cang Chai - Bac Ha
Have breakfast and continue trekking a half day to explore more the ethnic village around Mu Cang Chai, the amazingly beautiful land with magnificent terraced fields such as Che Cu Nha, La Pan Tan and De Xu Phinh.
Bidding farewell to Mu Cang Chai, we continue further north to Bac Ha - a small town built on a desolated highland plain west of Lao Cai. Well-known for the century-old colorful market of the real mountainous people including the Dzao and the Flower H’Mong. They and the mountains seem to fall in a sleep and time stands still until Sunday mornings when the Bac Ha market occurs. After checking into hotel we can enjoy a walk to visit the Hmong King’ former residence and Ban Pho where villagers make the potent local maize alcohol.
Overnight in Bac Ha

Day 3 Bac Ha - Can Cau market - Sapa
Early this morning we catch our jeep for a 20km drive to Can Cau market, a basic one but full of the hill tribes with colorful customs. The morning CanCau Market is close to China border and home to many ethnic minorities such as Flower H’Mong, Nung, Dzao, they all come down from mountainous, isolated villages taking along with horses, buffaloes, cats, dogs, chickens for sales, at the market place you will be surprised and impressed by what they trade and their colorful clothes. You will have a real discovery on the cultures and lifestyles of the hill tribes here because they live in a remote and isolated region and far away from the modern life.
We continue our trip to Sapa through Lao Cai border town, after having lunch and take a brief look at Ha Khau border gate, we drive up a 30km spectacular pass to Sapa, arrival in Sapa in the afternoon. At an elevation of 1,600 meters, Sapa was founded in the early years of the last century as a hill resort for French administrators when the heat on the plain became unbearable. After checking into hotel we can soak up the fresh climate as much as we want by spending our time wandering around this charming town and some legacies of the French period.
Overnight in Sapa

Day 4 Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van villages - Cat Cat valley
After breakfast our guide will pick you up for a short walk along buffalo paths and trails through several hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van, home to H'mong, and Dzay people. This is a absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet…
In the afternoon we take a walk to Cat Cat Village, set in a beautiful valley just outside Sapa. Cat Cat is home to the H'mong people who originated from China about 3,000 years ago. The H'mong people are easily recognisable by their dark blue or black clothing, dyed using the juice of indigo plants, which are native to the area. H'mong women wear long aprons with embroidered waistcoats and have their hair rolled up into a turban-like hat, while the men wear black skullcaps, long waistcoats and loose trousers.
We spend the night in Sapa

Day 5 Sapa – Phong Tho – Sin Ho – Lai Chau
Our first stop today is Silver waterfalls and Heaven Gate on the way to Phong Tho. From Sapa to Phong Tho you pass through Binh Lu, up over the 1900 meter Tram Ton Pass , considered the most beautiful stretch of road in Vietnam . If you happen to be in Tam Duong on a Sunday morning, the town is bustling with activity as the local hill tribes gather for their weekly market day here. After lunch in Phong Tho, we keep driving to Lai Chau via Sin Ho. The drive to Lai Chau is stunning with tiered tea plantations and verdant rice terraces carved into the landscape. We spend the night in Lai Chau.

Day 6 Lai Chau - Muong Lay - Dien Bien
The loop continues on to Dien Bien Phu - the site of the decisive battle in Vietnam ’s struggle for independence in 1954. On the way we see very few other travellers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs.
After checking into our centrally located hotel we enjoy a walk around to see this fast growing town. Dien Bien is only 35km from the border with Laos . Being the last battlefield of the French during their war with the Vietnamese, which ended with the fall of the French colonial control in Indochina and the replacement of the US Army not so long, Dien Bien Phu now returned to be a green valley inhabited by dozens of the ethnic groups. Visiting the historical sites in Dien Bien will also make your trip more memorable. To name a few, they are Dien Bien Museum, A1 Hill, the shelter of the French general De Castries and the cemetery and memorial of the Vietnamese and French soldiers died during the fierce fighting. The main stop is Dien Bien Phu Museum which details the event in place. We also pay a visit to the old battle field where the lush vegetation grows behind many war relics including old French tanks and artillery pieces.

Day 7 Dien Bien Phu - Pha Din pass - Son La
Today we leave Dien Bien Phu for Son La via Tuan Giao. On the way we visit villages, suspension bridges, take photos and stop over at Pha Din Pass. The most picturesque scenery is that of Pha Din Pass , which is well-known as a historical site during the French War in 1954, a high and dangerous pass at elevation 1,300, and a breathtaking view.
After checking in hotel in Son La, we pay a visit to the provincial museum, the nearby old prison and the Ta Toong cave which are some of this hill town's major sights. Have dinner and free time for relax.

Day 8 Son La - Moc Chau - Mai Chau homestay
Depart to Mai Chau, a beautiful valley inhabited by the Thai people in Hoa Binh province. On the way we visit Black Thai village and take photos, explore the hill of tea at the Moc Chau Plateau. After lunch in Moc Chau, continue on the way. Arrive in Mai Chau around late noon, check in house on stilts of White Thai at Lac village, and hike around the villages full of house-on-stilts and textile products of local people to learn about the routine life of Thai tribal people, who are believed to be homogenous with the Thai people in Thailand and Southern China . Amongst the 53 ethnic groups of Vietnam, they are considered one of the most civilized for the delicate dress, for beauty and elegance of women, and for nice, wide, spacious houses-on-stilts, and above all, for hospitality.
We have a beautiful dinner and enjoy folk songs performed by Thai girls.

Day 9 Mai Chau- Hanoi
After breakfast in Lac village, trekking around valley Mai Chau, visit Nhot village and Na Pho (White Thai), return to Hanoi, on the way stop to visit Hoa Binh hydro power plant, lunch en route. Arrive in Hanoi in the late afternoon.


Tour includes
  • Accommodation with daily breakfasts
  • Other meals as the itinerary
  • Private transfer round trip by 7 seater
  • Tours and excursions as described in the program
  • Local English speaking tour guide
  • Entrance fees and permits where applicable during guided time
Tour does not include
  • Pre & post trip arrangements
  • Entrance fees and permits during free time
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Food & drinks not mentioned within the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Other services not clearly described in the program

Northwest Vietnam tours - Northeast Vietnam loops

Vietnam Adventure Tours - Northwest Vietnam Travel

Mai Chau hotels
Son La hotels
Moc Chau hotels
Yen Bai hotels
Lai Chau hotels
Dien Bien hotels
Bac Ha hotels
Ha Giang hotels
Ban Gioc hotels
Lang Son hotels
Ba Be lake hotels
Tuyen Quang hotels
Mu Cang Chai hotels
Sapa hotels

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