Destintions: Hanoi - Ha Giang - Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang - Ban Gioc - 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/ 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.
4/ 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
Day 2: Ha Giang - Dong Van
Day 3: Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang
Day 4: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall - Cao Bang
Day 5: Cao Bang - Ba Be - Boat trip
Day 6: Ba Be - Hanoi
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.
Please contact us at email@example.com for booking and more 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, 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 Que 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. 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 on the border with China. Ban Gioc also ranked as one of world's largest waterfalls on the border line; 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 and a village of a Nung minority to learn about their life and culture
We return Cao Bang for overnight.
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.
After breakfast, 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.
All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
Accommodation as indicated
English speaking guide (other languages on request)
Meals as indicated
Question 1: Best time for Sapa, Ha Giang & Ba Be Lake tour
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.
Sapa is very famous for its endless beautiful rice fields that looks 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.
Question 2: Traveling to Sapa & the Northeast areas 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 3: What should be prepared for tour to Sapa & the Northeast
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 Sapa and the Northeast of Vietnam with kids
Traveling to Sapa & the Northeast with infants and small kids under 6 yrs old is not advised because of the simple life condition and poor infrastructure in the Northeast 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. In fact, Sapa is really fine for kids, however, the Northeast is not.
Question 5: Is it safe for traveling to untouched areas
It is safe, for sure, while traveling to the Northeast 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 6: 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 7: Road condition
Roads in those mountainous areas are narrow, zigzag and rugged but keeping speed slowly by the driver will surely help you be comfortable and not too tired. However, you must be careful while standing on the road and taking pictures as the other drivers can’t see you due to zigzag roads.
Question 8: 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.
- Mosquito and insect repellent: Those stuff are necessary as you may trek through the wet jungle or stay at local houses near the forest.
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 & the Northeast of Vietnam 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 tour to Sapa & the Northeast. 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.
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.