Destinations: Hanoi – Sapa – Bac Ha ethnic market - Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang – Dong Van – Ban Gioc waterfall
Highlights: A trip to the north of Vietnam through very little tourist areas, to get a glimpse of deep Vietnam, rich in surprises. The tourist interest of the province also comes from the presence of many ethnic minorities (Tày, H'mông, Dao, Nùng, Cao Lan, Hoa, Lô Lô) with their villages nestled on the slopes of the hills or lost in the valleys. The best time to visit Ha Giang Vietnam is between May, June, October and November. The roads, sometimes long and difficult are offset by the beauties of the landscapes.
Brief Sapa, Ha Giang & Ban Gioc waterfall
Day 1: Hanoi – Drive to Sapa - Ta Giang phinh village
Day 2: Sapa Tour (Trekking to Muong Hoa Valley)
Day 3: Sapa – Bac Ha Market (Sunday only)
Day 4: Bac Ha – Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang
Day 5: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Dong Van
Day 6: Dong Van – Nho Que river - Trekking - Dong Van
Day 7: Dong Van - Lung Cu Flagpole - Bao Lac
Day 8: Bao Lac - Ban Gioc waterfall
Day 9: Ban Gioc - Hanoi
Description: One of the most wonderful Vietnam tour to explore the northwest and northeast of Vietnam. Highlights of the trip are impressive terraced rice fields in Sa Pa, colorful market in Bac Ha, rock plateau in Dong Van, picturesque Ban Gioc waterfall and so many other things to discover during the way. The trip is especially highlighted with learning about diversified culture of local ethnic minorities and discovering their unique daily life activities.
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07:30am: Pick up at your hotel and take a smooth drive on new national highway to Sapa, passing beautiful sceneries on both sides of the road including countryside areas, rice fields and mountains.
12:00 Reach to the end of the highway where you will have lunch at local restaurant.
13:00 Continue your trip to Sapa with a first stop at Ta Giang Phinh that takes around 55Km (2 hours).
15:00 Take a walk around the village for 2 hours. Ta Giang Phinh village is located on the foot of majestic Ngu Chi Son mountain (also known as Buddha’s fingers mountain), 28km far from Sapa town. On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of thick rained forest on high mountains, dotted with rolling valleys & local villages. The village is down on the valley of terraced rice fields, surrounded by high mountains and including scattered local hamlets setting along peaceful stream. Most of local tribes living here are white Hmong with their unique dresses and house styles.
17:00 Get on car and drive for 1 hour back to Sapa Town.
18:00 Check-in your hotel and take a rest.
19:30 Have dinner at local restaurant by your own. Overnight in Sapa.
Sapa, in the terraced hills and mountains of this area, the monotony of the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the colours of its hill tribe population. It is here you will find hands stained with colour from fabric dyes and shades of blue, red and green intricately embroidered and stitched into jackets, waistcoats, pants, skirts, caps, purses and leggings.
After breakfast, we will do one of the most beautiful Sapa Trekking Tours with the drive to visit Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai and Ta Van village of the Black H'mong and the Day people where you can enjoy fresh air, amazing scenery of the imposing mountain range, trek down the world's most beautiful terraced rice fields, visit some local family on the way and learn unique culture and life of these ethnic groups.
Back to Sapa for overnight.
Hightlight of all Sapa tours, Bac Ha market is a trading centre and meeting place where many different ethnic groups such as Flower H'mong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities gather to buy and sell local products that cannot be found elsewhere. The market was very crowded, local products for sale or barter are carried on horseback. Free to explore the market.
In the afternoon, take a walk to visit Ban Pho village of the Nung minority. Take great photos and experience the daily life of the locals. Overnight in Bac Ha.
Note: If it is not on Sunday, we will visit one of the below villages:
Can Cau - Saturdays
Cao Son - Wednesdays
Lung Khau Nhin - Thursdays
Coc Ly - Tuesdays
After breakfast, We set off on a full day journey through Sin Man and Hoang Su Phi to Ha Giang town (180km, 6 hours). The rough but scenic route traverses a dense jungle before crossing over a pass and dropping down to Sin Man. Along the way we may encounter the Nung Ing, Tay, Red Dao, Dao Ao Dai, La Chi and Co Lao, just some of the many hill tribe groups who have settled in the area.
We will visit Ban Phung Village in Hoang Su Phi to see the beauty of rice terraces on the way.
Overnight at Ha Giang resort .
After breakfast, we will say goodbye Ha Giang then continue our trip to Quan Ba (50km, 1.5 hours to drive).
Arrive Quan Ba, you will have a great chance to walk up the top on hill to enjoy the stunning view of Quan Ba town, take the photo of Co Tien Double mountain and continue to drive to beautiful route to Dong Van.
We will stop to visit Nam Dam village of Dao People on the way if time permitted. Continue to Yen Minh pass where you enjoy and fall in love with fabulous view of limestone mountain and valley. Have lunch in Yen Minh before continue to Pho Cao pass (Tham Ma pass) to take the photo of Happiness road.
We then continue to Dong Van and stop on the way to visit The King Palace of Hmong people.
Overnight in Dong Van.
After having breakfast at hotel, we start our trip at 7:30am today to visit Nho Que River by boat trip.
From Dong Van, we drive 10 minutes to get Ta Lang village, stop there then take “xeom” to get the pier of Nho Que River (20 minutes).
Nestled between the mountain of northeast of Vietnam, Nho Que River winding like green thread shimmering north from heaven. The length of 192 km, the river engraved name on 46 km across the strip of land in Vietnam, and flows through the rocky sloping limestone mountain of the global geological park system Dong Van stone. The Nho Que river carries a beautiful turquoise blue color. That shines through the bright green patches of the forest almost all seasons of the year (except the rain season from Apr till Sep).
The best time to see the river is from October till March the next year, especially Feb and March when the Bombaxceiba flowers in full bloom.
After 1 hour boat trip along the river and visit Tu San alley, we will take “xeom” to get back the car.
Optional: if you prefer to do kayaking, it is also a good idea.
Have lunch at local restaurant in Dong Van.
After lunch, we will drive to Ma Pi Leng for trekking in 1-2 hours. We will stop at Ma Pi Leng museum then start to trek through a small road. The trekking route is fabulous for anyone who loves nature and taking photos. Climb up to the nice view point on the top of mountain to see the sunset and take beautiful photos of Nho Que river. You will have the opportunity to meet ethnic children playing along the way, the hardworking women growing maize in the fields or grazing buffaloes and goats. After more than 1 hour for trekking, we will meet the car on the main road. Get on the car and back hotel for overnight in Dong Van.
This morning, take a short drive to visit the Northernmost - Lung Cu Flagpole. Located about 24km from the centre of Dong Van district, Lung Cu Flagpole is meaningful for domestic visitors where marks the extreme North of our country. From its top, visitors can see the whole of beautiful and spectacular landscape.
Back to Dong Van around noon for having lunch before heading to Bao Lac, via Meo Vac.
Overnight in Bao Lac.
7:30am: we will say good bye Ba Be then Continue your trip to Ban Gioc waterfall (about 210km and 5 hours to drive).
Have lunch at local restaurant in Cao Bang city at around 11:30am.
This afternoon, we will discover Nguom Ngao cave which was formed about 300 million years ago. According to Tay language, Nguom Ngao means the cave of tigers. Legend has it that, the sound of the stream inside the cave likes the growl of tigers, so the local people named the cave as Nguom Ngao.
Then continue to visit the famous Ban Gioc Waterfall, the biggest waterfall in Vietnam. Take your time to enjoy the waterfall by a boat trip which you have more and more beautiful photos.
You will then check in Saigon Ban Gioc hotel.
Have dinner by your own. Overnight in Ban Gioc.
8:00am: This morning, after breakfast and check-out hotel, we will drive back to Quang Uyen – to visit some villages of minorities before transferring back to Hanoi.
In Quang Uyen, you will visit Pac Rang forging village (Pác Rằng) where have a very long tradition of forging. It is said the village was estimated in the 11 century. Currently, more than haft of the nearly 400 families in Pac Rang village forge making it the largest forging factory in the Northern Vietnam.
Continue visit Phia Thap Incense village. It has a long history, although no one know the founder of this traditional craft, incense making has been inherited from generation to generation, creating work that is well known for every villager.
Have lunch at local restaurant.
The tour ends at hotel in Hanoi at around 16:00.
We hope that you have enjoyed your Vietnam tour package and look forward to welcoming you back for your next Indochina Tours, goodbye and see you again!!!
* What about Cancellation policy?
In case of cancellation, we will not impose any charges if we are not being charged and possible to get refund from our suppliers but if our suppliers apply charges for cancellation, you will have to pay those charges that apply. Cancellation policies vary, depending upon the type of service, the time of year, and the reason for cancellation. We will pass on to you all details of any cancellation policy with our transparent reply upon demand.
General cancellation charges that applied by travel services in Vietnam and Indochina.
- Domestic flights: 25% of the fares
- 3 star hotels, no charge if you cancel 5 -7 days before your arrival. (FIT)
- 4 star hotels, no charge if you cancel 10 - 15 days before your arrival (FIT)
- 5 stars hotels, no charge if you cancel 15 - 20 days before your arrival (FIT)
However, in peak season, we may have to pay the hotels one month before your arrival to secure the booking, and in this case, the cancellation policy will be based on the hotels' cancellation plolicies.
* Can we get refund?
For the unused services, Vivutravel will refund you the money.
Question 1: Best time for Northeast and Northwest Vietnam tour
The Northwest are very famous for their endless beautiful rice fields that look really like a picturesque landscape. And you can fully enjoy that beauty while traveling to those areas from May to Sep. In May & June, it is called the water falling season by the local people as it is the time they fill in the terraced rice fields with water. Everywhere is like a giant mirror reflecting the natural beauty and the sunlight. In Jul & Aug, the rice fields are being colored green and arising as a charming green picture. The most beautiful time to enjoy terraced rice fields in Sapa and the Northwest is at the end of August and in the beginning of September when they turns yellow – a perfect color of a masterpiece created by nature and human.
How about the other months? In fact, the other months are also a good time to travel to those areas as you can see many other amazing things like peach and plum trees & flowers in Spring time from January to March or snow sometimes covering everywhere in Winter time from December to February.
Just be aware that many days in Winter can be sunk deep in fog and frost with short views and make your trip out of our expectation. However, discovering the daily life of local people during Winter gives you memorable experience, for sure, as their hard conditions are really shown on those days.
Northeast region includes mountainous provinces in the far North of Vietnam where the weather is cool/cold all year round. It will be severely cold from December to February with average temperature of 8 degree C and cool in the rest of year with average temperature of 25 degree C.
Be aware that it will be wet and foggy in cold season and you can't enjoy the spectacular and beautiful sceneries. However, there will be drizzly weather during cold season only, not typhoon. Furthermore, visiting local ethnic people during cold days will be different experiences as you can see and entirely understand their life of deprivation and misery.
Rainiest months in those areas are July and August, however, those 2 months are also best time for traveling to the Northeast as you can enjoy yellow rice fields in other areas in general and in Bac Son Valley in particular. Ban Gioc Waterfall is also more beautiful during rainy season.
Question 2: Trekking routes and trekking distances
Trekking is a must-do activity while traveling in those remote areas, then it plays an important role in that trip, of course. So you should clear all information with your travel consultant or tour guide about your trekking tours as some of them are very hard and dangerous that are just suitable for young and energetic people only. A suitable trekking distance will help you fully enjoy the trip, the culture, the local people as well as the nature, otherwise, tiredness of a hard and long trekking distance will surely make you have many negative thoughts.
The trekking routes are also important as it should really be arranged based on your traveling time. In beautiful time, it is advised to do popular trekking routes even though they can be crowded with tourists as those routes pass amazing terraced rice fields that you have never seen. However, when the harvest season is over, you should consider the trekking routes that are not crowded and passing remote villages.
Question 3: What should be prepared for Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour
Clothes: Traveling in cool season, you should prepare summer clothes with some light jackets as it will be pretty cold in the early morning and evening. Whereas warm coats are highly recommended for traveling in cold season as it can be even dropped to 5 degrees under zero.
Rain gear: Weather in the Northeast is not stable that can be changed continuously. It can be rain in the early morning but sunny at noon and rain again in the late afternoon. Then rain gear should be well prepared.
Personal drugs: The far north is really lack of medical infrastructure as well as pharmacy. Then it is advised to bring your personal drugs as well as popular medicines like paracetamol, thermometer, anti-itching lotion, oral rehydration preparation and bandaids.
Mosquito and insect repellent: Those stuff are necessary as you may trek through the wet jungle or stay at local houses near the forest.
Question 4: Traveling to the Northeast in cold season
Hotel with heat: It is better to stay at a hotel with heater (of course, air-conditioner with heat is not available in those areas) if you are planning to travel to the Northeast in cold season. Homestay is not a good idea during that period as you can’t sleep well for sure due to low temperature and privation of warming facilities.
Question 5: Traveling in rainy season
You should consider traveling to those areas in rainy season as it can be dangerous sometimes. When it rains a lot in those areas for many days, erosion is pretty popular and may much affect to your trip.
Question 6: Traveling to the Northeast and Northwest with kids
Traveling to the Northeast with infants and small kids under 6 yrs old is not advised because of the simple life condition and poor infrastructure in those areas, but older kids and teenagers are really fine as they can bear a pretty hard trip and more important, a lot of life-time experiences are waiting for them.
Question 7: Is it safe for traveling to untouched areas
It is safe, for sure, while traveling to the Northwest Mountains or even border regions as those areas are highly controlled and protected by local government. That’s why you have to apply for permission before visiting to the border regions and it will be arranged by your local travel agent. The local ethnic groups are also friendly and hospitality even they can’t speak both Vietnamese and English.
Question 8: Interact with local people
Local people are not familiar with tourists but you are surely warmly welcomed by them as Vietnamese in general and ethnic people in particular are very open and kind and so love to see you as well as to help you in case you need. Then, you should show your good attitudes all the time if you want to visit their houses as well as make a short chat with them. Remember to ask for acceptance when you wish to take their photos.
Question 9: Road condition
Road condition is not a big problem when traveling in the Northeast and Northwest as they are mostly big and smooth roads
Question 10: Donation
Donation is highly recommended and it can be money or not. Normally, you can bring along warm clothes for both adults and kids as it is cold there all year round. Quilted Blanket is another great idea. Or at least, you should prepare some small gifts for local kids like cakes, notebooks, pencils, etc.
Accommodation in Sapa
Thanks to the investment of local government, hotel accommodations during your trip in Sapa are quiet pleasant. You have different choices of both choosing homestay to really experience the daily life of local ethnic monirities and staying at nice hotels and resorts. And your best hotel options in Sapa are as below:
1/ Amazing Sapa Hotel: Modern 4 star hotel
2/ U Sapa Hotel: Boutique 4 star hotel
3/ Victoria Sapa Resort: Charming and boutique 5 star resort
Accommodation in the Northeast
Unlike other popular tourisit destinations in Vietnam, tourism in the Northeast areas haven't been developed and so luxury and modern hotels are not available there. The available accommodation in those provinces are homestay, guest-house and mini-hotel with basic facilities. As below, we provide you with all necessary information of hotel accommodation in our Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour:
Guest-house & mini-hotel: They are quiet similar in architecture and facilities. All guest-houses & mini-hotels are small building less than 5 storeys with basic facilities of bed, mattress, pillow, mosquito-net, private bath room, hot shower, western toilet and air-conditioner mostly.
Homestay: As revealed through its name, Homestay means that you will stay at local houses with local ethnic minorities that are mostly stilt-houses. Private rooms are not available and you will have a small mattress with a pillow and a mosquito-net. The bathroom is sharing with hot shower and western toilet available.
And below is a list of accommodation's images in the Northeast areas:
Room at a mini-hotel
Room at a guest-house
Toilet at a mini-hotel/guest-house
Sleeping space at homestay
Toilet at homestay
Tour guide and driver are Vivutravel's representatives and your travel companions during your travel in Sapa & Northwest Loop Tour who take care of our travel services and make your holiday a memorable time. Understanding this, Vivutravel always selects the best tour guides and drivers for such amazing trips to the far North.
We do understand that a good tour guide will make your holiday a beautiful time and tour guides who work with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our culture, lifestyle, knowledge...with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch.
Then we always use experienced tour guides who are expert in guiding trips to those Northeast areas and will show you the most beautiful view-points, introduce to you unique cultures and lifestyles of local ethnic people as well as guide you to amazing trekking routes.
Vivutravel guarantees to offer the best means of transport during your Sapa & Northwest Loop tour. The safety, comfort and security of our customers come first. Furthermore, as all tourist sites are mostly far from towns and city centers, vehicle must be the latest modern one or it will be very difficult to manage in case it is broken on the way. Furthermore, checking the vehicle carefully before the trip is a must-do procedure in order that it will work well and stays away from all rising troubles. Our drivers must be very experienced and careful too as it is not easy to go around those untouched areas. They are all full time workers, government licensed in the tourism industry with at least 5 years driving experience.
Luxury restaurants are not available in the far North of Vietnam. Standard restaurants can hardly find. Then our meals are mostly at basic local restaurants with simple dishes. It is not expensive for having lunch/dinner there and it costs around 5-7 usd per meal only. Breakfasts are mostly not included at hotel and you will have breakfasts outside with Vietnamese popular dishes like noodle soup, sticky rice, bread, etc.
NOTE: Acceptable restaurants are all located at towns which are sometimes far away from our visiting destinations. So lunch can be arranged quite late at around 1pm or 2pm.
We had 8 beautiful days in Sapa, Ha Giang and Ba Be organized by Vivutravel. Sublime scenery, exciting and passionate English speaking guide, great experience of an evening and night at homestay, visits to minority villages, colorful market … Perfect!!! Thank you.