Destinations: Hanoi – Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang – Dong Van – Meo Vac – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Ba Be – Hanoi
Highlights: In recent years, Mu Cang Chai has become one of the favorite destions of Vietnamese young adventurers, as well as foreign tourists. You will certainly be surprised by the natural beauty of the "Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai - Sapa" road, as well as by the diversity of minority ethnic groups that you will come across along the way. This 9 day tour visiting Mu Cang Chai - Sapa - Ha Giang - Cao Bang - Ba Be is a best choice for those who loves adventure and nature.
Brief Beautiful Northest and Northwest Vietnam tour:
Day 1: Hanoi – Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai (200Km – 5 hours)
Day 2: Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Sapa (130Km – 4 hours)
Day 3: Sapa – Bac Ha (170Km – 4.5 hours)
Day 4: Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang (170Km – 5 hours)
Day 5: Ha Giang – Dong Van (150Km – 4.5 hours)
Day 6: Dong Van – Meo Vac – Cao Bang (195Km – 5 hours)
Day 7: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall – Cao Bang (180Km – 5 hours)
Day 8: Cao Bang – Ba Be (130Km – 3.5 hours)
Day 9: Ba Be – Hanoi (225Km – 6 hours)
This trip is really a great option for those who love visiting to entirely untouched and intact areas where you can enjoy only the spectacular landscapes of amazing rice terrace fields and rolling steep mountains, the diversified cultures of many different ethnic cultures who has been lived in those areas for thousands of years, the fresh and cool atmosphere, and ethnic colorful markets where selling local agricultural products or even dog, pig, chicken, duck, goat, cow, etc. Your Vietnam adventure tour is featured with paradise rice fields in Mu Cang Chai, Dong Van Stone Plateau, Ban Gioc Watefall & Ba Be Artificial Lake.
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Leave Sapa, we head to Bac Ha town where you will see one of the biggest and most interesting markets in those remote areas named Bac Ha market. 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.
After market tour, take a short trekking to Ban Pho Village that belongs to Flower H’Mong with unique lifestyles and cultures.
Overnight in Bac Ha.
This morning, we drive to Ha Giang mountainous province which the Vietnam-China border extends more than 275Km long. During the way, there are many grandiose mountains with unique formation of peaky rocks. Ha Giang is the location of 4 major ethnic minorities with Hmong, Tay, Dao & Nung that make the ethnical diversity and nowhere we can see more fusing traditions than Ha Giang. Especially, we will drive through Xin Man & Hoang Su Phi which is the best route to discover.
Upon your arrival at Ha Giang city, check-in the Ha An Hotel.
Have dinner and overnight in Ha Giang.
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.
Overnight in Dong Van and take a walk around the town to the old streets.
After having breakfast, we continue on to the town of Meo Vac, a small outpost, but won’t be disappointing as it the starting point to a wildly scenic road, one of the top 5 of Vietnam. Below, the Nho Quy river flows and above, the towering cliff rises to the clouds, a truly beautiful gorge below is completes one of the most spectacular natural sights in the country. Take your time and soak it up, as this is one journey to savor!
Then we drive on one of the most remote roads in Vietnam from Meo Vac to Bao Lac via Bac Me. 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. Our simple lunch will be served along the road and we continue drive to Cao Bang town for overnight.
Have dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Cao Bang.
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.
Have dinner at and overnight in Cao Bang.
Starting from hotel in Cao Bang for transferring to Ba Be Lake, famous for its immense crystal water.
Arrive at Ba Be Lake. The atmosphere here was something magical and fantastic, perfect retreat for the soul.
We spend the whole afternoon exploring the lake. 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.
Have diner and overnight at homestay in Ba Be.
Take a walk around the nearby villages of Tay ethnic group before transferring back to Hanoi.
Check-in your hotel and overnight in Hanoi.
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 Sapa & the 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.
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- Mosquito and insect repellent: Those stuff are necessary as you may trek through the wet jungle or stay at local houses near the forest.
Unlike other popular tourisit destinations in Vietnam, tourism in those 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 the Northeast & 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 Northeast & Northwest Loop tour. The safety, comfort and security of our customers come first. Furthermore, as all tourist sites are mostly far from towns and city centers, vehicle must be the latest modern one or it will be very difficult to manage in case it is broken on the way. Furthermore, checking the vehicle carefully before the trip is a must-do procedure in order that it will work well and stays away from all rising troubles. Our drivers must be very experienced and careful too as it is not easy to go around those untouched areas. They are all full time workers, government licensed in the tourism industry with at least 5 years driving experience.
Luxury restaurants are not available in the far North of Vietnam. Standard restaurants can hardly find. Then our meals are mostly at basic local restaurants with simple dishes. It is not expensive for having lunch/dinner there and it costs around 5-7 usd per meal only. Breakfasts are mostly not included at hotel and you will have breakfasts outside with Vietnamese popular dishes like noodle soup, sticky rice, bread, etc.
NOTE: Acceptable restaurants are all located at towns which are sometimes far away from our visiting destinations. So lunch can be arranged quite late at around 1pm or 2pm.
We request Vivutravel for a tour in Northest and Northwest in Vietnam in 9 days after seeing all the positive reviews on TripAdvisor. We just only say “ Excellent” about all the organization of Vivutravel. Everything was perfect and thanks to Vivutravel, we had an unforgettable trip. We recommend Vivutravel without hesitation. A big thank you again to all the team and the guides.