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Off the beaten Northwest 9 days

Off the beaten Northwest 9 days
Northern Vietnam mountain 9 day adventure offers you off the beaten track journeys through Vietnam's stunning north. In 9 days you will trek through the mountains and valleys surrounding northwest encountering local ethnic minorities, drive through the breathtaking landscapes and visit the magnificent heaven gates, the trip will take you to Thac Ba lake, Mu Cang Chai rice terraces, Sapa villages, Bac Ha markets and Ha Giang. It is considered the mountain paradise that is home to many ethnic minorities. This is the chance to explore many minority ethnic groups of H'mong, Dzay, Nung.

Day 1: Hanoi - Yen Bai - Thac Ba lake (L,D)
Start the tour at 8:30 AM. We will head up to the northeast of Hanoi on the dike road along the Red river, the 60 km winding dike road offers a safe and interesting motorbike ride because it runs through some rustic villages on the river bank with rice fields around, after around 2 hour motorbike ride from Hanoi, we will have a interesting motorcycle ride on the mountain roads through some bustling town and then we will finish the ride at around 4:00 PM in Vu Linh village – the village of the Dzao people who stay closely to the Thac Ba lake. Leave the bikes and have boat trip touring on the lake if time and weather permits. ThacBa lakecovers an area of 23,400 hectare, comprising 1,331 islands and hills with a diverse eco-system, our boat trip to discover the lake. Jump into the clear water to wake yourself up. We spend the night at Vu Linh eco resort.

Day 2: Thac Ba - Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai (B,L,D)
Say good-bye to your host, then drive to Muong Lo, and the town of Nghia Lo, the second largest rice field inNorthwest Vietnamand the homeland of the Thai ethnic people. Thai people first came here to grow rice and build their traditional wooden houses of iron and bamboo around 700 years ago. Take a short 2-hour walk around the village to discover Thai ethnic culture and the daily life. We have lunch and Nghia Lo and follow the mountains of Hoang Lien Son and winds through the rice terraces. Stop to start your hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Don't forget to take photos on the way before reaching the village of the Thai and H'mong ethnic minorities. People here are dressed in traditional costumes and will welcome you with open arms. The locals here still retain their traditional lifestyle, customs and habits so this is a good chance to learn more about the culture. 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.
Night and dinner at Mu Cang Chai home stay.

Day 3: Mu Cang Chai - Than Uyen - Sapa (B,L,D)
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.
We continue our trip to Sapa via Than Uyen. We will go through Lai Chau province blessed with mystical mountain, beautiful rivers and streams. Visit minority villages en route, we have lunch in Than Uyen. Enjoy the landscape on O Quy Ho pass - the highest pass in Vietnam (2070 m). Stop for photos opportunities and enjoy the fresh air. From here, you can see Fanxipan Mountain, "the Roof of Indochina" with ist 3143m peak soaked in clouds. Arrive in Sapa at noon and visit colorful ethnic markets and Sapa old town with its remnants of the French colonial era.

Day 4: Sapa trekking (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, we set out on a trek down to Lao Chai village to visit a settlement of the Black H'mong ethnic people, with a picnic lunch along the way. Moving on from here through the valley, the next stop will be at Ta Van village, home to Dzay ethnic minority people, which is said to be the most friendly one in this mountainous area. Pressing on again to Giang Ta Chai village of Red Dzao tribe, you will get a chance to see amazing scenery and a beautiful waterfall as you go. In the afternoon, you will return to Sapa Town, to have time to discover Sapa Market.

Day 5: Sapa - Lao Cai - Bac Ha (B,L,D)
After breakfast in Sapa, you leave Sapa Town for Bac Ha to join the Sunday Market with local people (if Sunday). Bac Ha is very photogenic, and is considered one of the most wonderful and colourful markets in the far north of Vietnam where thousands of local people in their traditional attire buy and sell products from the area, including a live animal section. In the afternoon, we will take a pleasant walk to Ban Pho village, home to the Flower H'mong people. This is a great opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and have a pleasant walk amongst tribal villages.

Day 6: Bac Ha - Xin Man - Hoang Su Phi (B,L,D)
Leaving Bac Ha we set off on a full day journey through Xin Man to Hoang Su Phi. Have your camera at the ready, because the road between Bac ha and Xin Man features a unique and beautiful landscape, plus a fantastic market in Can Cau located right in the heart of mountains. After Can Cau, we proceed along the Chinese border to the remote and seldom-visited province of Ha Giang. The rough but scenic route traverse a dense jungle before crossing over a pass and dropping down to Xin Man. This day is a real challenge for our driver as we travel by winding roads with many uphill and down hill drives. Along the way we may encounter the Nung, Tay, Red Dzao, Dzao Ao Dzai, La Chi and Co Lao, just some of the many hill tribe groups who have settled there. We pass by Xin Man with many villages of H'mong, Nung along the way and 100-km up and down mountain passes with amazing landscape of mountainous rice paddies. Then we continue along the Lo river to Hoang Su Phi.

Day 7: Hoang Su Phi - Quan Ba - Dong Van (B,L,D)
After breakfast, you will take a drive to Dong Van Karst Plateau. On the way, you will have a chance to see a beauty of Pac Sum pass, Heaven Gate, Fairy Mountain in Quan Ba, looking down the Tam Son town from above. Stop at Yen Minh for lunch then continue driving to an old famous house Pao’s House. Then visit the residence of the Vuong family (Palace of Hmong King). And continue taking a drive to Dong Van town. Visit ancient houses, depart for Lo Lo minority village, trekking to Flag tower on the top of Lung Cu Mountain about 1km, view ancient valley from the top.
Arriving in Dong Van in the early afternoon, we visit the Dong Van Old quarter, lined with houses of one or two hundred years old, enjoy more of the ancient atmosphere of Dong Van. The rest of the day is through remote and beautiful countryside of Dong Van where we pass through several villages along tracks used by the local people.
We are rewarded with a brilliant back of picturesque valleys covered in rice paddies. The H’mong and Hoa people, who are the local ethnic minorities, exhibit their friendliness through their colourful clothing and warm hospitality. We spend the night in Dong Van.

Day 8: Dong Van - Ma Pi Leng pass - Meo Vac - Bac Me (B,L,D)
This will be an unforgettable day! Starting with a visit to the market in Dong Van (Sunday morning), where the locals shop for all their home cooking supplies, clothes and homewares. We then climb a pass up to the French Fortress of Pu Lo, which was built in 1890 and vacated in 1945, The views from here of the entire region are truly spectacular. We then continue onward on a climb of 15 km up to the top of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a maze of lime huge peaks, which look almost like ‘stone forests’, and canyons the like of which you will not see anywhere else in the world. We then head down into the valley of Meo Vac before winding through the mountains and across the river to arrive in the village of Bac Me. We will have lunch on the way then take the rugged mountain road through Lung Ho - Mau Due and Du Gia. At this point you will have some free time to relax, rest and unwind. Arrive in Bac Me in the late afternoon we check in the guesthouse and have dinner.

Day 9: Bac  Me - Ha Giang - Hanoi (B,L)
After breakfast we pack our bags and say "goodbye" to the hosts, we take a walk in the morning around the village to observe the local lifestyle and immerse yourself in the tranquil mountainous scenery. We jump on our car for an 1 hour drive to Ha Giang where we spend 1,5 hour trekking to Truc Son village, you will visit the ancient house of over 200 years old that is the only one surviving through the large fires and remains intact until today, you can learn more about the traditional architectural character of the Dao house and make our way to the main road. On the way, you can relish the peace and tranquility of the mountainous region. Return to Hanoi via Tuyen Quang, lunch en route. Arrive in Hanoi around 18:00 and drop off at hotel.


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

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