19 - 28 September 2024

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Description

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the untamed beauty of North Vietnam’s highlands. Begin your adventure with an arrival in the vibrant city of Hanoi before venturing into the misty mountains of Sapa. Explore the rugged terrain of Muong Bo Valley, trekking to hilltop vistas that offer breathtaking panoramas. 

Immerse yourself in the traditional way of life as you hike through remote villages and verdant valleys to reach Nam Cang village. Follow ancient paths along the rivers and hillsides of Nam Ngan, encountering the raw beauty of Vietnam’s countryside. Journey onward to Ha Giang and Pan Hou Retreat, where rugged landscapes and tranquil retreats await. Hike to the charming village of Yen Son, where authentic experiences and warm hospitality await. 

Conclude your trekking odyssey amidst the pristine wilderness of Ba Be National Park, before returning to Hanoi with memories of a lifetime etched into your soul

Summary

Day 1

Hanoi

Day 2

Hanoi

Day 3

Lan Ha Bay

Day 4

Lan Ha Bay

Day 5

Hue

Day 6

Hue

Day 7

Hue

Day 8

Hoi An

Day 9

Hoi An

Day 10

Hoi An

Day 11

Saigon

Day 12

Saigon

Itenerary

Day 1

Hanoi Arrival

Transfer Hanoi Airport – Hotel with guide

Welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will be met by a representative with your name on a welcome sign at the end of the Skywalk who will assist you with the visa procedure (note visa letter fee & stamp fee are not included) and with your luggage. 

You will be accompanied to the exit gate to meet your guide. 

Transfer to your hotel. Check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Official check-in time is at 14:00 pm

Day 2

Hanoi – Sapa

Transfer Hanoi – Sapa by non-scheduled private charter limousine

After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to the northern mountains via a new main road known for its surprising diverse landscapes. 

Valley walk through rice fields

This gentle walk takes you through rice paddies where you will learn more about the entire process of rice production, from when the rice seedling is transplanted until it is served in a bowl of steamed rice. You will also have the opportunity to experience a little of the daily life of the Black H’mong and Giay minority groups.

A short drive south will bring you to Muong Hoa valley. Here you will start your descent into the valley, which is the largest rice terrace area in Sapa. Your guide will explain about the process of growing rice. Those visiting between May and October will be able to observe how the local people plant and harvest the rice, one of the most important activities in their daily life. 

The walk will take you from Lao Chai village, home to the Black H’mong minority group, to Ta Van village where the Giay minority people live. This is the only place in Sapa where you can meet the Giay minority people. Here you can visit a local school. After visiting Ta Van, you will transfer back to Sapa.

Grade: Easy

Approx: 16 km driving/ 45 minutes; 6.2 km walking/2 hours.

Day 3

Explore from Muong Bo valley to the hilltop mountain

 

This trek offers the perfect opportunity to explore the remote valley of Muong Bo, located deep in the south valley of Sapa. This area comprises beautiful landscapes, almost untouched by tourists and the chance to get off the beaten track between the mountainsides and rice paddies. You’ll cross a river and visit different villages of the Tay, Red Dao and Xa Pho ethnic groups.

Hiking to the remote area of the Sapa valley

The trip starts with a drive through beautiful landscape, from Muong Hoa valley to Thanh Kim village. Starting the hike, you’ll descend down the mountain via a small track with a spectacular view of the mountainside and rice terraces. The area is home to the Red Dao ethnic minority people, who are known for their beautiful, embroidered clothes and for shaving their hair and eyebrows. Along the way, you’re likely to meet local people working in the fields with their buffalo, which they use for ploughing or cutting rice during the harvest season. 

A steep descending track will lead you to the river where you’ll cross the bridge before ascending once more towards Thanh Phu village. You will spend some time here, visiting the Tay ethnic group in their traditional stilt houses. Nowadays the village is becoming more developed, for example with shops starting to open selling supplies to people in the surrounding area. 

Your lunch will be prepared by a Tay family, and you can dine out looking over the rice terraces below. The afternoon trip will be on a small hidden trail through the rice valley to Sin Chai village. You will then arrive at a homestay of the Red Dao family, located in the hillside of Sin Chai. For the remainder of the day you will have some free time to explore the village. 

Grade: Hard trek

Approx: 11 km trekking/ 5.5 hours; 1 hour driving; 1 hour for lunch

Day 4

Trekking through villages and valleys to Nam Cang Village

 

Wake up to the sounds of nature and enjoy your breakfast with a cup of refreshing tea. Your trek will begin with a short descent down the hill before turning onto a dirt track, which leads uphill to the Red Dao village of Nam Nhiu. You will be treated to breathtaking views of mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. 

Just before noon, you will arrive in Nam Nhiu village, and if it is a school day, have the chance to visit the small village school. You may receive a lot of attention from the children here as they’re not used to foreign visitors. Next, leaving the village behind, you will turn into a small dirt trail and journey through a valley dotted with bamboo huts, which are used by local farmers as overnight lodges during harvest season. After passing the rice terraces and a river, you’ll continue walking on a quiet road for a while before arriving at the charming Nam Cang village.

In the afternoon, your guide will take you to explore the village and learn how the locals make writing paper with rice, silver jewellery, and colourful embroidery.

Grade: Moderate trek

Approx: 10 km trekking/ 3.5 hours; 1 hour for lunch

Day 5

Trekking along the rivers and remote hillsides of Nam Ngan

 

Wake up to the sound of the village. After your breakfast, you will begin your hike, which will take you higher up in the mountains along trails only used by local farmers. You will need to cross a few rivers before visiting the very remote Red Dao village of Nam Ngan. Your small group can enter a house and see how the Red Dao people live deep in the mountains. You will be served a cup of tea or rice wine if you prefer, as hospitality is important to the Red Dao people. 

After a short break here, you’ll continue trekking, and the trail will descend onto a bigger path. Soon you’ll come to My Son, the village of one of the smallest ethnic groups in this area, the Xa Pho minority. After enjoying a local lunch, you will end your remote hike near the beautiful Muong Bo River, where a car will be waiting for your transfer to Sapa.

Grade: Hard trek

Approx: 11 km hiking/ 5 hours; 1 hour for lunch;

Day 6

Sapa – Ha Giang – Pan Hou Retreat

 

Breakfast at the hotel and a visit to Sapa’s local market. Taking the road to Hoang Su Phi, enjoy the astonishing sceneries with its beautiful terrace rice fields, the streams, its imposing mountains and valleys, and also the plum trees. We will have a few stops along the way so you can enjoy the spectacular view. Stop in Thong Nguyen village to walk around and meet the locals.

Day 7

Pan Hou Retreat

Hike to the village of  Yen Son

Your hike day starts at 9am after your breakfast . At the beginning of the walk, you pass through a village of Yao, with long tunics who have settled their house on pillars on the mountainside. You will go through the rice fields in terraces and bamboo forests.

The group stops at a Red Dao House. The family welcomed you with a cup of local tea. You can either rest while waiting for lunch or join your local guide to assist him in the preparation of the meal. The walk will continue in the afternoon to a Tay village in the valley. The group will then follow the river to return to Panhou Village.

Walking duration: 4h30-5h

Topography:+300m/-300m

Day 8

Pan Hou Retreat / Ba Be National Park

 

Breakfast at the lodge. Back on the road to Ba Be following a narrow mountain road. Many stops along the way to discover some local markets and enjoy the scenic mountain view. Upon arrival at Ba Be, we visit the Pac Ngoi village, home of the Tay ethnic minority living on fishing and agriculture. Make yourself comfortable in a house on stilts and enjoy the view of the river flowing into Ba Be Lake. 

Lunch with the local family. Walking around the village to discover the traditional way of life of the Tay’s, you can help them with the daily tasks and get in touch with people (depending on season). If there is still time, take a bike to Hua Ma cave.

Day 9

Ba Be National Park – Hanoi

 

Breakfast in the village and transfer to Buoc Luom jetty where we start a boat trip on the Ba Be Lake surrounded by the karstic mountains. The scenery is extraordinary, off the beaten track and the landscapes are very diverse, mountains, fields and jungle surrounding the entire area. 

The boat follows the Nang River and passes through the Puong cave before arriving at Dau Dang waterfall. After the Boat ride, we will take the road back towards Hanoi, taking a path out of the main touristic roads, the scenery will slowly change from mountain to the valley filled with rice fields. 

Arrival in Hanoi and check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is free leisure on your own.

Overnight at Sofitel Legend Metropole Ha Noi Hotel – Premium room – Opera Wing

Day 10

Hanoi – Depart

Transfer hotel in Hanoi – Hanoi airport with guide

Enjoy free time until your driver picks you up and transfers around 2.5-3 hours before your departure flight. Fast track services at the airport are included.

Pickup Point

Noi Bai International Airport

Drop-off Point

Noi Bai International Airport

Inclusions

    • All transfers and transport as per program
    • All accommodation as per program (based on double/twin sharing room)
    • Service of English speaking station guides
    • All meals as mentioned in the Itinerary
    • All entrance fees on tour

 

Non Inclusions

    • International Flights
    • Insurance
    • Personal expenses
    • All drinks
    • Tips
    • Visa fees and/or visa authorization
    • Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary

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