HS11: Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour - 11 days / 10 nights

Destination: Hanoi – Ba Be lake – Ha Giang – Dong Van – Bao Lac – Cao Bang – Lang Son – Halong bay


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/ Ha Giang: 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...

3/ 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. 

4/ 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.

5/ 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.

6/ Halong Bay: Is a "must-see" destination for any Vietnam tour which is famous all over the world because of its permanent beauty created by stone, sky and see. There are thousands of islands and islets dotted on the sea surface in different sizes and shapes that you can inmagine. Especially, Halong Bay will bring you memorable experience and makes your Vietnam adventure tour ended in a perfect way as you have only passed mountains, rice terraces, rice fields, country-side villages... on the first parts.

Brief Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi – Visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen – Ba Be Lake
Day 3: Boat trip in Ba Be Lake
Day 4: Ba Be Lake – Ha Giang – Visit the minority and Ho Chi Minh museum
Day 5: Ha Giang – Dong Van – Visit to the Vuong Palace – Meo Vac - Bao Lac
Day 6: Bao Lac  – Cao Bang
Day 7: Cao bang – Ban Gioc – Quang Uyen (Ngu Phia thap)
Day 8: Quang Uyen – Bac Son
Day 9: Bac Son – Halong bay (overnight on cruise)
Day 10: Halong – Hanoi
Day 11: Hanoi Departure

This Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour must be the best Vietnam adventure tour as it combines all the most fantastic and amazing destinations of Northeast Vietnam including Ba Be Lake - a beautiful, emerald and pristine lake that is even praised as Halong Bay on land, the remote and untouched areas of Ha Giang Province, Uncle Ho’s base along the border of China, a magnificent Ban Gioc waterfall, the rustic life in villages in Cao Bang Province, Bac Son valley where you can catch the panoramic view from a mountain peak and Ha Long Bay - the perfect ending of your Vietnam Northeast Loop Tour as you have relaxed time after hard but memorable days. During your trip to the Northeast, you will stay away from touristic places, hustle and bustle cities as well as noises coming from numerous means of transportation. And the things that will come to your mind are enjoying spectacular sceneries and fresh atmosphere as well as experiencing unique cultures and lifestyles. Read more about the northeast of Vietnam.



Please contact us at info@vivutravel.com for booking and more information

  • Tour Class

  • 3 Star Hotel 
  • High Season


    (Jan 1 - Apr 30 & Oct 1 - Dec 31)

  • From $1235
  • Low season


    (May 1 - Sep 9)

  • From $1210

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 info@vivutravel.com for further information!

Hanoi Arrival (None)

Upon arrival, our private Vietnam Tour guide and driver will welcome your Vietnam Holiday to Hanoi, a city where the exotic chic of old Asia blends with the dynamic face of new Asia. Where the medieval and modern co-exist. A city with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace, an architectural museum piece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than bulldozing through like many of the region’s capitals.Hanoi is where imagination becomes reality.

Free at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 01

Hanoi – Vietnam Museum of Ethnology – Ba Be Lake (250Km / 6 hours) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

We depart Hanoi early and are on the way north to Bac Kan Province, home to Ba Be Lakes. We stop in Thai Nguyen for a short visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology for a little background on the minorities of northern Vietnam.

We continue on stopping for lunch along the way in Cho Ra town and then the final short drive to the lake. Upon arrival at the lake, we meet our host family for the night and enjoy a short walk around the lakeside, possibly a swim.

In the evening, we have dinner with our host family and learn about the daily life of the family. We sleep in a traditional stilt home this evening, far from the hectic pace of Hanoi and the sounds of crickets, frogs and fish jumping from the water lull us to sleep.

Day 02

Boat trip in Ba Be Lake (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

We spend the whole day exploring the lake. The boat trip is combined with trekking to a Tay village. The boat takes us to Dau Dang Waterfall, a series of spectacular cascades between sheer rock walls. Puong Cave is also visited and we enter the cave on one side of a small mountain and exit on the other side, making an interesting cruise. We journey by Widow Island and hear about the legend of this tiny islet in the middle of the lake.

The day trip is very pleasant. Enjoy yourself!

Day 03

Ba Be Lake – Ha Giang – Ho Chi Minh museum (130Km / 4 hours) (Breakfast, Lunch)

We enjoy the fresh morning air lakeside while having breakfast and then depart for Ha Giang. The journey is along Highway 279 and we’ll pass many villages and photo stops are at your request but our goal today is to arrive in Ha Giang before 13:30 to get a permit to Meo Vac. Lunch today is along the way, most likely in Viet Quang.

Upon arrival at the hotel, your guide will apply for the permits and you can visit the minority/Ho Chi Minh museum located on the banks of the Lo River. Ha Giang is located at kilometer marker 0 on Highway 1 and this is Vietnam’s longest road traversing the country over 2000 km to the deep south of the country.

Day 04

Ha Giang – Dong Van – Meo Vac - Bao Lac (140Km / 4 hours) (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, we head toward the most remote part of the north. Northern Ha Giang Province has some of the most picturesque and varied scenery. Our drive will take us over high passes and we can view deep valleys along the entire journey. We’ll stop along the way at The Vuong Palace, the beauty of Chinese-style architecture. This was the seat of government for the Hmong during the first Indochina war. After the market visit, transfer to Meo Vac (28km) - in the heart of a mountainous region with moderate climate, crossing Mount Ma phi Leng. Contemplate a beautiful panorama of the valley dotted with hilly terraced fields, karst hills, houses on stilts of the Hmong, Dzaos and the Nho Que River. This romantic and calm river has its source in China to extend on the Vietnamese territory like a band of white silk. Arrival in Meo Vac, hikes to visit the village with Chinese houses. Then drive to Bao Lac. Overnight in homestay in Bao Lac.
Day 05

Bao Lac – Cao Bang (100Km / 3 hours) (Breakfast, Lunch)

Morning, visit the Bao Lac market where you can meet Hmôngs, Lo Lo, Tays and San Chi. Then, visit the villages of the Black Lolos (you can choose one of the 2 ways: Transfer by car about 4 km, then beginning of hikes by passing colins to the village of Lolos ~ 2h of hiking, taking the motorcycle with driver to visit two villages Coc Xa and Na Van). Hiking to the villages. You will have the chance to communicate, follow Lo Lo, women and children, shepherds and their buffaloes returning from the fields and will immerse you in their daily lives. Then, drive to Cao Bang. Arrival to Cao Bang. Overnight in homestay.
Day 06

Cao bang – Ban Gioc – Quang Uyen (100Km / 3 hours) (Breakfast)

Today, we drive to Ban Gioc Waterfall, a very scenic spot directly on the border with China. Half the pleasure of the visit to Vietnam’s largest waterfall is walking across rice paddy fields to reach the base of the falls. On the way back, we may have time to stop at several giant irrigation water - wheels that lies along the road overlooking villages. We also visit to Nguom Ngao Cave which is so natural and spectacular. We return Cao Bang and stretch your legs with a walk to the market nearby. We make a climb to the War Memorial with an overview of the town.You will get the chance to stop at a village known for its tobacco production (depend on growing season). This is the road less-travelled offering you the enjoy the views in peace. Tonight, you have dinner and stay overnight in the homestay of a Nung's family in Quang Uyen.
Day 07

Quang Uyen - Bac Son (180Km - 6 hours) (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, drive to Bac Son. Arrival to Bac Son, take a rest and embark on a 3,5-hour hike on a rural back road. Along the hike, you can have a close look at the local farming, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in a good harmony of mountains, forests and local life. At the end of the hike we get picked up by our private transport back to the family. After lunch, we then drive to Lang Son city. Dinner and overnight in boutique hotel.
Day 08

Bac Son – Halong bay – overnight on cruise (130Km - 4 hours) (Breakfast, Lunch)

After a four hour drive from Lang Son to Halong Bay. Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed on board our luxury junk and treated with wine and fresh local seafood. As our junk gliding further into the tranquility of Ha Long Bay amid the towering mountain cliffs and on the emerald green water, you'll have relaxing time combining the fine tastes of the wine and the freshness of Ha Long Bay. During the cruise, we'll stop some times for visiting the amazing Sung Sot cave and the Ti Top white sand beach before anchoring for the night. Overnight on board the junk in the wild of Halong Bay.
Day 09

Ha Long Bay - Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

It is said that your Vietnam Tours will not be complete without a tour to Halong Bay and spending one night on romantic Halong Cruise. People describe Halong Bay as majestic and mysterious, inspiring and imperious and words alone cannot do justice to the natural wonder that is Halong Bay, a priceless collection of unfinished sculptures hewn from the hand of nature. After breakfast, we'll take a little sampan to visit a secret lagoon of Ha Long Bay while the surrounding mountains are just waking up. After that our cruise takes us further into the Bay of Bai Tu Long traveling past the Human Head Island, the Turtle Island, and the Duck Islet... to the studio site where the famous Indochine film was shot. Around noon, our junk travels back to the harbor, pick up and drive back to Hanoi. Stop on the way to visit But Thap Pagoda – the most beautiful and ancient pagoda in the North of Vietnam. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 10

Hanoi Departure (Breakfast)

Free day until we take you back to the airport for your departure flight.

We hope that you have enjoyed your Vietnam Tours with us and look forward to your next Vietnam Tours. Vivutravel says goodbye and see you again!!!

Day 11


  • Hotel accommodation (Check-in time: 14h00, Check-out time: 12h00)
  • Private car/mini van
  • All entrance fees
  • Boat Trip in Ba Be, Halong bay
  • English speaking guides (Except for free days)
  • Meals as per program
  • Visa approval letter to Vietnam (Except for $25 usd per person as stamping fee at the airport)


  • Early check-in & late check-out
  • International flight in/ out Vietnam
  • Tips
  • Drinks
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance

* 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

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. 

northwest vietnam tour

The Northeast

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.  

northeas vietnam tour

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. 

north tour vietnam

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.

northeast vietnam

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.

northwest vietnam

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

trip to ha giang

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. 

mu cang chai

Unlike other popular tourisit destinations in Vietnam, tourism in the Northeast areas hasven'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

guest house northeast

Room at a guest-house

mini hotel in northeast

Toilet at a mini-hotel/guest-house

 toilet mini hotel


homestay northeast

Sleeping space at homestay

sleeping space homestay

Toilet at homestay

toilet 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.

Tour Guide:

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 tour guide


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.

vivutravel transportation

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.  

meals at restaurantmeals in the northeast

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.

Your rate:
Recent Reviews

Suresh Kumar

          ( Excellent )

We wanted to do a 13 days visiting Northeast of Vietnam and requested Vivutravel (without knowing this agency before). It was fantastic. Our trip was very well organized and thanks Hoai. We got the great experience with quality hotels, guides and drivers always available (again a big thanks to Thong- our tour guide). We recommend Vivutravel and many more thanks for these times and we will keep excellent memories.

Start with $1210 $
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This is private tour with a flexible schedule. There is no other traveler on the tour. You will have a private English speaking tour guide and a private air-conditioned vehicle in each destination. This is sample tour and can always be personalized to meet your personal needs and travel budget.

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