Destinations: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai – Sapa – Y Ty – Hanoi
1/ Mai Chau Valley: Mai Chau is the heart of a beautiful valley that is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. The modern village is an unappealing sprawl, but as you emerge on the rice fields and rural living it is transformed into a real paradise. It’s a stunning area.
2/ Mu Cang Chai: Mu Cang Chai is considered as the most beautiful destination in Vietnam adventure tour because when visiting this place, you will not only have a great chance to enjoy the beautiful terraced fields but also have chance to explore the unique of hill tribe .
3/ Sapa: The Queen of the Mountains, Sapa sits regally overlooking a beautiful valley, lofty mountains towering over the town on all sides. Welcome to the destination in northwest Vietnam, gateway to another world of mysterious minority cultures and luscious landscapes. The spectacular scenery that surrounds Sapa includes cascading rice terraces that spill down the mountains like a patchwork quilt. The mountains are often shrouded in mist that rolls back and forth along the peaks, offering tantalising glimpses of what lies in wait on a clear day. The valleys and villages around Sapa are home to a host of hill-tribe people.
4/ Y Ty: 70km driving from Sapa YTy now is considered as a new attractive destination in Lao Cai due to its natural beauty. On the way to this beautiful place, you can see the zigzag roads, clouds cover the villages and people in somewhere. All looks like a colorful picture and you will be attracted from the first sight.
5/ Bac Ha Market: Bac Ha has one of the most interesting ethnic markets in Vietnam and possibly everywhere in South East Asia: "Sunday is market day in Bac Ha, which is the occasion for the various local ethnies to gather in huge crowds to exchange the last news, gossip, shop, and eat a copious lunch. It was visibly a festive event. I was surrounded in a sea of color, and had the feeling to be on a movie set
Brief Vietnam Northwest loop tour:
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi – Mai Chau
Day 3: Mai Chau – Nghia Lo
Day 4: Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai
Day 5: Mu Cang Chai – Sapa
Day 6: Sapa Trekking
Day 7: Sapa – Y Ty
Day 8: Y Ty – Muong Hum – Bac Ha
Day 9: Bac Ha market – drive to Hanoi
Day 10: Hanoi Departure
If you are looking for untouristic destinations with off the beaten paths, Vietnam Northest loop tour is a good choice for you. The Northwest - the roof of Vietnam is where the mountains of the Tonkinese Alps located with spectacular scenery and electic mix of hill tribes. This Vietnam adventure tour will give you abundant chances to come face to face with the amazing landscapes and colorful inhabitants of remote hill tribe villages including Mai Chau, Nghia Lo, Mu Cang Chai, Sapa, and Y Ty. Especially, the driving from Mu Cang Chai to Sapa offers some of the best mountain and terraced rice fields vistas in Southeast Asia as the roads climb more than 1000m over the Tram Ton Pass.Let's join this Vietnam adventure trip to discover the secrets of the region.
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Upon arrival, our private Vietnam Tours guide and driver will welcome your Vietnam Holiday, pick up and transfer 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.
08:00 Pick up at your hotel and transfer to visit one of the most beautiful place in the North – Mai Chau Valley which takes around 160Km (4 hours).
On the way, we make a first stop at Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant which was built from 1979 to 1994. It is not only an important industrial construction but also an attractive sightseeing for visitors. Many valuable items such as: Ho Chi Minh statue on Tuong hill with 18 meters height, the traditional area keeping letters, memorial Vietnamese and Soviet experts sacrifice to built hydropower projects.
Our next stop will be Giang Mo ethnic village which is set in a valley at the foot of Mo Mountain in Cao Phong District, 85km northwest of Ha Noi and 10km from Hoa Binh City. Visiting Giang Mo Village where you have a chance to see houses on stilts rested under the shadow of big trees and surrounded by paddy fields, discover the daily life of local Muong Minority and interact with them.
From there, we take a short drive to reach to one of the most beautiful roads in Vietnam which is steep mountains in one side and amazing Hoa Binh Lake in the other side and called Halong bay on land with thousands of islands dotted on the lake. If you are lucky, you can see the fishermen working on the lake to catch fish, shrimp… Especially, we will stop at a stilt-house located on the bank of the lake for having a picnic lunch which will be prepared by our tour guide. Then take a short boat trip (1 hours) on the beautiful lake and immerge yourself in the pure nature of fresh.
Overnight in Mai Chau.
After breakfast, we depart for Nghia Lo via Son La. We will have stops on the way to take the wonderful photos from stunning mountains and landscape and visit Muong minority in Yen Chau and Moc Chau.
Arrival Nghia Lo, if time permits, we will invite you to visit the tea farm in Suoi Giang town. Check in hotel and overnight in Nghi Lo city centre.
After breakfast , we are ready for Lu Le Visiting & take photograph from Lim Mong, Lim Thai on the way.
Having lunch on the way in local restaurant.
After lunch, continue driving to Mu Cang Chai. You will be stop at La Pan Tan and Che Cu Nha Villages which having the best scenery about terrace fields.
Arrive Mu Cang Chai, check in guest house and overnight in Mu Cang Chai
In the morning, we have a chance to visit the different and very colorful hill tribes in Muong Hoa, Muong Kim and Na Kim villages before keep driving to Tram Ton pass where you have a great chance to enjoy the fresh, cool air and stunning landscapes.
Continuing down road to visit Silver waterfall in O Quy Ho before arrival Sapa town centre. Check in and free at leisure to discover Sapa by night.
Overnight in Sapa
09:00: The local tour guide will come to meet you at your hotel, she will introduce about the trip via the map and then we start doing one day trek to Sa Seng, Hang Da and Hau Thao villages where will give you a special atmosphere of peaceful villages in the mountain, those are visited by fewer tourists than the other villages.
Our driver and tour guide will lead you from Sapa centre to the new road to discover Sapa market and meet the different hill tribes are trading here. After one hour visiting market, we continue our trip by driving to Sa Seng where we start trekking up hill. Along the way, you will have a great chance to view and enjoy the amazing scenery of Chapa vallay with its mountain side, river, terraced rice fields and villages located close together.
Keep walking to Hang Da, a small but very beautiful village of Black Hmong people where you can stop to visit and hear your tour guide introduce more about their traditional culture and custom. Then you will be better understanding the culture of different minorities in Sapa.
Have picnic lunch in a small port where you can view the wonderful rice paddy . After lunch time, we continue walking to Hau Thao, from this place you have a chance to see the panorama view of Muong Hoa valley and Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Our private van is ready to transfer you back to Sapa
Overnight in Sapa
On this day, we continue our amazing trip to Y Ty, one of the most beautiful destinations in Lao Cai province. From Sapa, we transfer you to Y Ty where you have a chance to see the starting point of Red river running to Vietnam from China and see the conjunction of Lung Po Stream joining to Red river.
After lunch in Y Ty, we start trekking tour to visit Lao Chai 1 village of Ha Nhi minority, in this village, you will have a chance to explore the traditional culture and custom of hill tribe living in the house with the mushroom shape.
Continue our trek to discover Phin Ho plateau with the height of over 2.000 m , enjoy the fresh and pure air and discover the diversity of plants.
Get back to Y Ty centre for check in homestay.
Overnight in Y Ty
After breakfast with the host we say goodbye and drive to Muong Hum. Stop at Y Ty jungle where you can see a lot of ancient trees and in this jungle, the weather is always fogy and cool in all year round.
Several stops on the way to take the beautiful photos then have lunch on the way before driving ahead to Bac Ha.
Check in and overnight in Bac Ha town.
The markets in the Northern Vietnam are always the colorful meeting places for the hill tribes, spotlight for any Sapa Tours and of course, your unique Vietnam Tours experience. Minority people come down from the mountains to sell their products, or just for catching up on the latest news, gossip, drinking away troubles or seeking for lover.
From your hotel, you also can see the people is coming to market from everywhere.
After that, you will have time to take a walk around the market to see how local people business and enjoy the special atmosphere and you may try out your trading skills with the friendly local people.
Have lunch in the local restaurant before drive back to Hanoi.
Arrival Hanoi around 19:00. Check in hotel and overnight in Hanoi
Fee time at leisure until our tour guide and driver transfer you to airport where you can continue your next destination. End of the trip!
Question 1: Best time for Northwest Loop Tour
Northwest is 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 Northwest is at the end of August and in the beginning of September when they turn 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.
Question 2: Trekking routes and trekking distances
Trekking is a must-do activity while traveling in the Northwest, 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 Northwest Loop Tour
Clothes: Traveling in a 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 the 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 stuffs are necessary as you may trek through the wet jungle or stay at local houses near the forest.
Question 4: 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 5: Traveling to the Northwest with kids
Traveling with kids to those areas is really fine as the trip is not hard, the road conditions are pretty good and the accommodations are also in high quality. However, you should choose a good trekking route that can suite your kids in distance and level.
Question 6: 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 7: 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 particulars 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 8: Road condition
Road condition is not a big problem when traveling in Sapa & the Northwest as they are mostly big and smooth roads
Question 9: Donation
The 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
Vivutravel believes that a good choice of accommodation will be the key factor for a successful holiday, and for many years of experience in tourism, we have created a list of the best hotels and resorts each destination that offer us both more benefits of competitive rates, early birds, guaranteed promotion and discounts with availability.
We pick the selected hotels for you as below:
Location: The hotels must be centrally – located, close to the main attractions and most convenient for you to enjoy your holiday.
Facility & Service Quality: Vivutravel only uses the hotels that are regularly and strictly inspected. The hotel must provide international standards and your every need is cared for by the hotel staff.
Variety in Choice: As Vivutravel offers different styles of tour such as honeymoon,, family, adventure, discovery, homestay,... so we will offer many styles and grades of hotels which are available for different budgets, tastes and culture backgrounds.
Hotel Information for planning your holiday and stay.
2 Stars - From US$35 - US$40:
We hardly use 2 star hotels for our clients but sometimes we have no choice if your trip is in the mountainous or remote areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms
3 Stars - From US$40 - US$80:
Offering basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.
4 Stars - From from US$80 - US$130:
Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.
5 Stars - from US$130 - US$200 – US$ 300:
Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site and a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.
Tour guide and driver are Vivutravel's representatives and your travel companions during your travel in Vietnam and Indochina 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 tours.
Private Guide & Transfer
Vivutravel's tour packages are private and tailor made so during your travel with us, you will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel to. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.
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.
Note: In Sapa or some mountainous areas, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic groups like H'Mong, or Red Dao as they know better than anyone else about their land, culture, customs and habits... and this is also the way that Vivutravel helps the local people a better life.
Vivutravel's requirements for a tour guide:
1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with working experience.
2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
6 - Clear speech and good hearing.
7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer
9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
12 - If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.
Vivutravel guarantees to offer the best means of transport during your holiday in Vietnam and Indochina. The safety, comfort and security of our customers come first. We use only the latest modern cars, vans, coaches and all our drivers are full time workers, government licensed in the tourism industry with at least 5 years driving experience. We are fully in control of our quality and service as we own our vehicles.
Vivutravel's requirements for a tour driver.
- Our drivers must be good drivers with at least 5 years of experience
- Our drivers must keep the vehicles clean,
- Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
- Our drivers must be friendly, helpful.
- Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
- Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained.
Tipping is not compulsory, but expected by your tour guide and driver. We advise you to tip as below:
- US$10 - $15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 - US$10 per day for driver
- Tipping can be more or less or nothing that depends on how big is the group? And how do you enjoy our services?
- Other tipping for tuktuk, sampan boat, cyclo,... please check with your tour guide during the tour.
Indochina holiday to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand offers you some of the world's best food and it is really the highlight of your travel. Vivutravel tends to include meals where necessary and when special. Other meals are at your own choices.
Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.
If allergic to some food
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our reservation's team and tour guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay, overnight on cruise in Halong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but Vivutravel's tour guide will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.
Hi Ngoc Just wanted to let you know that once again we really have loved our trip to Vietnam. Everything that you planned has been wonderful. So until the next time thank you once more Love and best wishes Lyn Have a great Independence holiday Xxxxxxxxxxx
This is the third time that we travel with Vivutravel. Whether for a 3 week tour or a 3 days tour, the satisfaction is always there. To prepare our trip to northwest of Vietnam, Hoai was listening. Only one contact is appreciable. A good reactivity during the exchanges of mail, a phone call for more information, Hoai has always responded our request. Thanks Hoai. We have not yet visited all of South East Asia and we will not hesitate to contact Vivutravel for future trip. We have recommended Vivutravel for our family and our friends. Do not hesitate, go with Vivutravel.