Destinations: Hanoi – Ba Be – Cao Bang – Bac Son – Hanoi
Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour in brief:
Day 1: Hanoi – Ba Be Lake
Day 2: Ba Be Lake – Cao Bang
Day 3: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall – Cao Bang
Day 4: Cao Bang – Bac Son Valley
Day 5: Bac Son – Hanoi
Map of Northeast loop tour:
Highlights of Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour:
1/ Ba Be Lake (In Bac Kan): 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.
2/ Ban Gioc Waterfall (In Cao Bang): 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.
3/ Nguom Ngao Cave (In Cao Bang): 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.
4/ Bac Son Valley (In Lang Son): Bac Son Valley is known as a green paradise on Earth with incredible high mountain of 500-1200 meters. These mountains together with the valley's paddy fields create that great scenic landscape that you can only see after climbing 500 steps to the peak of mountains. The valley is inhabited by Tay Ethnic group and their traditional stilt-houses which make its beauty special and unique.
This Vietnam Northeast loop tour is a best proposal for those who want to discover spectacular tourisit sites on off the beaten paths. During your Vietnam adventure trip, you seem to be the only person there with sky, mountains and wild nature that definitely give you memorable time. Highlights of the trip include Ba Be Lake, Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave and Bac Son Valley which are well-known for their unique beauty that you couldn't not find in any part of the country. Especially, you have chance to stay in remote hill-tribe villages, discover their unique lifestyle and interact with local people to understand more about their tradition and culture.
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!
After breakfast, begin this exotic Vietnam adventure tour (North-East) from your hotel in Hanoi, we drive up and pass through the undulating terrain of tea plantation. On the way, we will make a break and visit at the museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen town; then we keep moving through many other timeless villages near the road. This is the first glimpse of rural Vietnam and sets the tone for the days ahead.
Today we will have lunch in a local restaurant in Bac Can before reaching Ba Be area. Arrival in Ba Be National Park in the early afternoon, we check into the homestay in Pac Ngoi Village of the Tay minority then it is our free time for strolling around the village relaxing in the National Park Area. Tonight, we will have dinner and homestay with the Tay minority.
Today, we will spend the morning exploring the beauty of Ba Be lakes on the local canoes; we get transfer to a boat dock and then glide along the lake into Nang River and through the pretty cave. We will enjoy lunch and interact with the Tay minority in Cam village near the beautiful waterfall.
After lunch, we canoe into the tranquil Ba Be lakes for its majesty. The followings are swimming and trekking sometimes to visit the ethnic minorities. We will come back to the village around 02:00 PM for the transfer to Cao bang, here the ethnic people of H’Mong, Dzao, Tho and Nung live together in harmony. Overnight in Cao Bang.
Heading out of Cao Bang town, we start venturing into the most remote northern region of Cao Bang Province. The scenic roads traverse Trung Khanh before arriving at the famous Ban Gioc Waterfall, the biggest waterfall in Vietnam (may not have full of water in the dry season). This enormous cave has two main entrances and one branch reaching almost all the way to the waterfalls where is a ‘secret’ entrance.
We will be back to Cao Bang in the afternoon then it is free time relaxing and exploring Cao Bang Town.
We get the drive to That Khe throught Dong Khe then heading for Lang Son (the border town had been all destroyed during the recent Sino – Vietnamese war, but was rebuilt to become an important trade center in north-eastern region). We can make some breaks en routes as you wish to visit hill tribe villages and take pictures. Finally, stop at Bac Son town for overnight.
In the late afternoon, take a short walk around the town for discovering the daily life of local people.
Take a whole morning to climb up 500 steps to reach to the top of moutnain and enjoy the panorama view of Bac Son valley. Its unique beauty is harmoniously combined from mountains, rice fiels and stilt-house.
After having lunch, driver back to Hanoi and we arrive in Hanoi around 5 p.m. Our adventure ends at your hotel in Hanoi. We hope that you have enjoyed your Vietnam Tours with us and look forward to welcoming your next Vietnam Tours. Vivutravel says 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.
Unlike other popular tourisit destinations in Vietnam, tourism in the Northeast areas hasn'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.
This is the second time I have booked travel with Vivu Travel. The first experience, with friends, covered 3 weeks and was so good, I had no hesitation to use this company when travelling on my own. Not only are the booking team experienced and efficient in answering any queries you may have, they willingly offer suggestions. The drivers are very capable, the guides are professional, speak good English and keen to make sure you have a great time. On this occasion I travelled to North East Vietnam, an area where few tourists go. In August the weather is starting to cool down. It was not too hot and I only experienced one heavy shower of rain. The mountain scenery is spectacular with valleys, rivers and villages. The trip to Cao Bang/Ba Be Lake gives you the opportunity to see how rural Vietnamese live, work and play. You can go to the markets, see the cottage industries, eat in local restaurants and experience things you will not find in the bustling cities of Vietnam. Travelling up to the Chinese border to view the spectacular Ban Gioc waterfall was a highlight. One side of the river is Vietnam, the other China. Have fun and ride the boat close to the falls. Don't worry about getting wet, you will dry out!. At Ba Be Lake we stayed in a Tay stilt house. Wander around the village and watch the inhabitants go about their daily chores. The hosts were very welcoming with dinner served the traditional way - on the floor, in a circle. Not only was it delicious, but fun. If you want, you can also join the karaoke entertainment after the meal. A boat ride on the lake allows you to see rock formations, a cave, villages, farmers, fishermen and beautiful scenery. Whether you are travelling solo, with friends or as a family, Vivu Travel's team will look after your every need, quick to respond to requests and price competitive. This tour option is far better than trying to book a series of organised one or two day trips. It is fuss free, allows you to stop when you want to and makes the holiday far more enjoyable. Once you decide where you wish to visit in Vietnam, don't hesitate to get a quotation. After the serenity of the mountains, valleys and lakes, it was back to Hanoi and the chaotic city lifestyle.
It was by chance that we booked our trip with Vivutravel. We have not been disappointed. Hoai has concocted a super 5 days tour to the North of Vietnam. Eveything was perfect by meeting all our expectations. The organization is top, drivers and guides took care of us and we could contact with Hoai during our trip and she always answered our questions quickly. We recommend Vivutravel to all those who want to discover these beautiful country.