Destintions: Hanoi - Ha Giang - Dong Van - Nho Que River - Meo Vac - Bao Lac - Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall - Ba Be - Hanoi
1/ 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...
2/ 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.
3/ Nho Que River is the charming symbol of Ha Giang Province that has become legendary into poetry. Nestled in the mountainous area between Dong Van & Meo Vac, the river looks really like an endless green silk strip, flows through the rocky sloping limestone mountain of Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark. With a beautiful turquoise blue color, it shines through the bright green patches of the forest almost all seasons of the year.
4/ 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.
5/ 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 - Ha Giang - Phuong Do Village (280Km - 6 Hours)
Day 2: Phuong Do - Quan Ba - Dong Van Town (160Km - 5 Hours)
Day 3: Dong Van - Nho Que River Boat Trip - Trekking - Dong Van
Day 4: Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang City (200Km - 7 Hours)
Day 5: Cao Bang City - Phia Thap Village - Ban Gioc Waterfall Homestay (90Km - 2 Hours)
Day 6: Ban Gioc Waterfall - Ba Be National Park (200Km - 5 Hours)
Day 7: Ba Be Boat Trip - Hanoi (230Km - 5 Hours)
An amazing tour to visit the less-visited places in the northeast of Vietnam including Dong Van karst plateau geopark, Ban Gioc waterfall, Ba Be lake. This north Vietnam tour is also a gateway to a world of unique culture and life of several ethnic groups.
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!
This morning, we drive to Ha Giang, the most stunning and less-visited province of Vietnam.
Upon you arrival at Phuong Do village of the Tay minoriry, take a walk to see their everyday life. Dinner and enjoy the music show performed by the old ladies. Overnight at homestay.
After breakfast, we head to Dong Van karst plateau geopark. Our drive will take us over high passes and we can view deep valleys along the entire journey. We’ll stop along the way to visit Pho Bang old town, Lung Cam culture village of the H'Mong minority, the Vuong Palace which 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 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 “xeom” 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 Bombaxceiba flowers in full bloom.
After 1 hour boat trip along the river and visit Tu San alley, we will take “xeom” to get back the car.
Optional: if you prefer to do kayaking, it is also a good idea.
Have lunch at local restaurant in Dong Van.
After lunch, we will drive to Ma Pi Leng for trekking in 1-2 hours. We will stop at Ma Pi Leng museum then start to trek through a small road. The trekking route is fabulous for anyone who loves nature and taking photos. Climb up to the nice view point on the top of mountain to see the sunset and take beautiful photos of Nho Que river. You will have the opportunity to meet ethnic children playing along the way, the hardworking women growing maize in the fields or grazing buffaloes and goats. After more than 1 hour for trekking, we will meet the car on the main road. Get on the car and back hotel for overnight in Dong Van.
This morning, we drive to Cao Bang City via Bao Lac town. 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 will arrive in Cao Bang city at around 16:00.
Have dinner in Cao Bang city and overnight in Cao Bang!
Today, we drive to Ban Gioc Waterfall, a very scenic spot on the border with China. Ban Gioc also ranked as one of world's largest waterfalls on the border line; On the way, we stop to visit Phia Thap Village, home to 50 families from the Nung ethnic minority in Cao Bang Province that is surrounded by green rice paddy fields and mountains. The village offers you a fresh living environment with Nung ethnic culture including food, living lifestyle, and experience a traditional handcraft which is insense making. There, you can also see how locals make knifves.
Arrive in Ban Gioc in the late afternoon, check-in your hotel/homestay and overnight in Ban Gioc.
This morning, take a walk around the village to see the daily life of local ethnic people. Then, it takes short distance to Nguom Ngao Cave, one of the most untouched caves in Vietnam that is not too affected by tourism. Inside you can admire many jaw-dropping caverns filled with delicate formations of stalactites and stalagmites and the occasional bat flying around. In the language of Tay ethnic minority «Nguom Ngao» means cave of tigers. Their legend tells that the cave was inhabited by ferocious tigers in the past but locals have set up traps to kill them.
After that, we will visit Ban Gioc Waterfall, a very scenic spot on the border with China. Ban Gioc also ranked as one of world's largest waterfalls on the border line.
Leave Ban Gioc Waterfall 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.
We spend the whole morning 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.
After lunch, we take a drive back to Hanoi passing 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.
Arrive in Hanoi, check-in your hotel and overnight in Hanoi.
* 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.
Since my first email via Google search, I received very quick and helpful response from Kim at Vivu travel. From the great vehicle, excellent driver Wah and our first class guide Qwong, who's english was great, made our trip one to remember. From being very informative with all of his knowledge on history and locations visited. Always willing to provide us with the most authentic and thoroughly enjoyable experience. Would highly recommend using this tour company again
Fantastic tour of north Vietnam My mom and I recently visited north Vietnam and had a fantastic trip thanks to Ms. Kim Dung and the team at Vivutravel. From the very beginning Kim worked with us to find a trip that would show us the variety that Vietnam has to offer for landscape and people, while also taking into consideration limited mobility needs of my mom (she can’t walk long distances). All of our hotels were great! They really made sure we would stay in nice, affordable places. Additionally Kim was available when we had questions about different aspects of our trip and I really felt taken care of as a client! Can’t recommend Vivutravel enough!
Great organisation and great english speaking guide Review of: The Best of Northeast Vietnam Tour (6 days, 5 nights) For our honeymoon we booked a 6 day trip to north east Vietnam. Our contact person from Vivutravel was Lan. From the beginning we had a very good feeling. She gave us a detailed price and route. We asked to change it because we wanted to sleep in homestays instead of hotels. Two days later she changed the itinerary without a problem. We had questions about the tyfoon Mankut, that passed North Vietnam two days before, and she kept us informed very well. They picked us up in a very comfortable car with a guide called Sunny and a driver called Tuan. Sunny was a very very good guide. He knew alot about the different minoritiy groups and how to recognise them. He could answer all of our questions. Once in a while it was hard to understand him. But if we asked him to repeat something it was not a problem. They pronounce words differently but hey, my english isn't perfect either! Everyday he made sure we had fresh fruit in the car if we got hungry. He helped looking for nice views to take pictures. Our very first night we had alot of rice wine together with the host and family of our homestay and we ended up totally drunk in a Vietnamese Karaoke! One of our best nights in Vietnam. Our driver was a very skilled driver. You really need it on the mountain routes. He spoke very little english but was very friendly and respectful. I would rate this trip 6 stars if it was possible. I added a picture of our guide Sunny doing extra work to get the perfect shot.
Hi Lan, We want to let you know that we had an amazing trip with Sunny and Tuan. Sunny made sure we had everything we needed and always ordered special dishes for us since we don't eat alot of meat. He also knows alot of the vietnamese culture and he answered any question we had. The changes he made to the iternary were very good and he was very flexible. Tuan is a great responsible driver. In the north the road conditions are bad and he had to drive 5-6 houres everyday. He drove very very good. Thank you for the honeymoon gift and the warm welcome. And say hi to all the girls in the office.
Very attentive and flexible service throughout I had a private tour for my son and I organised over a long period of time with many changes and communications over months. I never received anything but a helpful response no matter how difficult I was, and even last minute changes were not a problem. The tour itself lived to expectation with a driver and tour guide both doing their best to accommodate our wishes. It took only once to say what kind of things we like and what we dont like, and it never had to be said again. I would full heartedly recommend them with a special mention for the agent Hoai Nguyen. God is she patient. Well done.