Destintions: Hanoi - Sapa - Bac Ha - Xin Man - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang - Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang - Ban Gioc - Ba Be - Hanoi
1/ Sapa town and trekking routes to surrounding hill tribe villages: Sapa is a beautiful mountainous town discovered and interested by French thanks to its fresh and cool atmosphere as well as dozens of ethnic groups who live here and create a special culture combined from diversity and distinctness. Sapa is a great option for trekking to nearby hill tribe villages as you can easily make friends with local people, enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about new cultural features.
2/ Bac Ha Ethnic Market: 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.
3/ Xin Man & Hoang Su Phi: The second half of this drive is much easier but one will have to be careful not to get lost in the dense woods. We drive via Xin Man and the area's tortuous roadways.
4/ Dong Van & Meo Vac: Ha Giang is the final frontier in Northern Vietnam with spectacular landscapes of limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops, especially the driving between Dong Van and Meo Vac acrossing Ma Pi Leng Pass. You will be surprised by the snaking roads hidden on the slopes of mountains, the stilt-houses on nearly top of the mountains, corn-fields on rock mountains...
5/ Ban Gioc Waterfall: Ban Gioc is the largest waterfall in Vitenam near Sino-Vietnamese border. It is seperated into three falls by rocks and trees and the thundering effect of the water hitting the cliffs. From the high of thirty meter, it fall down on the stones and a large river at the food creating an amazing landscape.
6/ Nguom Ngao Cave: Nguom Ngao is an astonishing cave with stalactites of various shapes which is the most famous limestone grotto in the northern mountain. Its wild beauty makes it too much different from Thien Cung Cave or Sung Sot Cave in Halong bay. Getting inside the cave, you can feel the fresh, cool air from the natural mist inside. Nature has endowed the cave with stone formations that look like human beings, trees, plants and mythical animals.
7/ Ba Be Lake: Ba Be Lake is the biggest natural water lake in Vietnam, covering an area of 500ha and spreading over 8Km. It situated in Cho Ra - Ba Be - Cho Don carste terrain pertaining to low-lying lands of Vietnam North raising mass which was formed from the destruction of South East Asia continental mass at the end of Cambri era, around 200 million years ago. Visiting to Ba Ba Lake, you have chance to stay at stilt-house of Tay ethnic minority and discover their daily life. Especially, 5-hour boat trip on Ba Ba Lake will give you memorable experience with visiting to Dau Dang Fall, Puong Cave and Tien Pond.
Brief Sapa and Northeast Loop Tour
Day 1: Hanoi - Lao Cai - Ta Giang Phing Village - Sapa
Day 2: Sapa trekking tour
Day 3: Sapa - Bac Ha ethnic market (Sunday only)
Day 4: Bac Ha - Xin Man - Hoang Su Phi
Day 5: Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang
Day 6: Ha Giang - Quan Ba - Dong Van
Day 7: Dong Van - Nho Que river boat trip - Meo Vac - Bao Lac
Day 8: Bao Lac - Ba Be boat trip
Day 9: Ba Be - Ban Gioc waterfall - Cao Bang
Day 10: Cao Bang - Hanoi
An unforgettable Vietnam adventure tour to discover the hidden beauty of Sapa and the untouched mountainous areas in the Northeast. Start your trip in Hanoi and take a long but beautiful drive to Sapa where you will see a lot of colorful ethnic people showing their unique culture and distinctive lifestyles. Sapa is now pretty touristic but still well preserves its traditional and cultural features. Your next stop is Bac Ha ethnic market - the biggest and most interesting one in Sapa and the surrounding areas providing a busy trading scene where is not only for business but also for making friends. Leave Bac Ha, we step into a totally different part of the trip as those areas of Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Cao Bang, Ba Be are intact and unaffected by tourism impacts as well as modern society. The daily life activities of local people are so easy basing on nature. Their houses are just charming and simple but mostly situated on the top of mountains or at least on the mountain slopes. Especially, they are like a living museum providing with many traditional customs that are mysterious are interesting.
NOTE: The above tour prices are estimated per person & applied for group of 2 persons! Depending on your favorite hotels, traveling dates & group sizes, the tour prices will be updated! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information!
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.
Tonight, you will stay at the charming Sapa Clay House – a kind of luxury homestay with private bungalows.
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. You will have 2 - 3 hours to explore the markets before having lunch in a local restaurant.
After lunch, have a quick visit to the palace of the H'Mong King then drive to Thac Ba Lake, a beautiful artificial lake with its surrounding region home to variety of ethnic minorities like White Dao, Red Dao, Tay, Nung and Hmong. Among them, the White Dao with their white pants are the most beautifully dressed.
Upon arrival, check in the homestay where you will stay overnight. Start a light trek around the village to enjoy the fresh air and experience local untouched nature. Back to the homestay for dinner. You may join hands to prepare dinner with the host. Time for sharing and chatting. Overnight in the homestay.
After breakfast, we continue the trip to Hoang Su Phi via Xin Man. Here the landscape morphs with the seasons as the balconies of rice paddies change dramatically in colour throughout the year. You will feel the true power of nature as mountains tower all around you. You will trek along the mountain path, through remote villages, basking in the fresh mountain air to Hoang Su Phi. The rice paddies etch patterns into the dramatic hills with the sun rays dancing across their surface. You will have the chance to meet the people living in the valley and learn about their fascinating traditions and agricultural lifestyle.
Then late afternoon, back to homestay and Refresh yourself with herbal bath of the Red Dao.
We then have dinner with the host’s family and overnight at homestay in Ban Luoc village, Hoang Su Phi.
This morning, we have more time to take the photo then continue the trip to Ha Giang where you will have the chance to meet the people living in the valley and learn about their fascinating traditions and agricultural lifestyle.
Have lunch at local restaurant in Ha Giang city.
After lunch time, we continue to drive to Phuong Do commune.
Arrive Phuong Do at afternoon, We will visit Thon Tha village and Ha Thanh village of the Tay minoriry, take a walk to see their everyday life.
Dinner with the local host.
After dinner, enjoy a traditional dance & music of the Tay people in their black traditional clothes.
Overnight at homestay in Ha Thanh village, Phuong Do commune.
After breakfast, we will say goodbye Phuong Do 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 “xe om” 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 Bombax ceiba flowers in full bloom.
After 1 hour for boat trip along the river and visit Tu San alley, we will take “xe om” to get back the car.
Optional: if you prefer to do kayaking, it is also a good idea.
After visit Ma Pi Leng, we continue to drive to Meo Vac. The ride down from the Ma Pi Leng view point to Meo Vac is just lovely. You may encounter various minorities along the ride. Besides stunning mountain scenery, the minorities dressed in colorful and unique costumes make the trip more interesting.
Have lunch at local restaurant in Meo Vac.
After lunch, we will drive in 3 hours to get Bao Lac town. If we have time, we will visit the Na Van village of Lo Lo people. Check in guest house and overnight in Bao Lac.
8:00am: After breakfast and check-out hotel, we will drive to Ba Be lake (130km) and have lunch at local restaurant.
Arrive Ba Be lake at around 13:00.
This afternoon, we enjoy the boat trip in 3 hours (or 5 hours if you request). This is a spectacular boat trip on the lake. We stroll along the riverfront, visit some lovely villages and hike the upper reaches of the lake, in an area marked by massive limestone cliffs and mountains. The boat will come to Puong Cave where you can explore the stalactites and stalagmites which are a result of the erosion of the river on the karst as well as looking out for the bat colony several thousand strong.
After boat trip, check in homestay and have dinner at homestay.
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.
10 days in Northern Vietnam My mum and I spent 10 days in Northern Vietnam, organised by Vivu. They were a delight to deal with from start to finish, making everything easy and relaxed. Kim was exceptionally responsive and accommodating in organising the trip (and reorganising mid-trip following cancellation of our Halong Bay trip due to weather!), and our guide - Nam - was absolutely brilliant. He was knowledgeable, friendly, had perfect English and really added to our experience. Vivu were also great value for money and I would highly recommend them.
What we liked most in the north of Vietnam was the cultural tours, historical sites, stunning scenery and friendliness of the local people What we like least? Nothing i can think of. Vivutravel have been excellent. We have only seen a small part of Vietnam and will return to see the central and south.
For my second experience with Vivutravel, I can only congratulate this agency and especially the team that welcomed us in Hanoi. The organization was perfect and the people we met showed extraordinary professionalism and kindness (guides, drivers, agency). The choice of visit and the stay at homestay were perfect. We have had great encounters, discovered a thousand facets of gastronomy and learned so much about the rich history of these countries. We highly recommend Vivutravel for all your tour in Indochina