Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
This 14 Day Off The Beaten Track North Vietnam Trekking Tour is our longest trekking tour we customize for adventure travelers, those who like to explore remote hilltribe villages, to hike several hours a day, to spend the night in a simple house of local people…
DAY 1: HANOI -> NGHIA LO
8:00am: You will be met up with Lotussia Travel team at your hotel in Hanoi. Travel uphill and downhill, passing by rice fields and villages. Stops may be made en route for you to take picture of the daily life or to visit local hilltribe villages, offering the opportunity to experience the Vietnamese’s real life. Lunch is provided in a local restaurant en route. After lunch, continue your road trip as you travel through the lush Muong Lo valley is featured with large rice fields and villages of the Thai peoples. Enjoy a short walk amongst rice fields before continue your road trip to Nghia Lo. Check into a local guesthouse for overnight.
DAY 2: NGHIA LO -> THAN UYEN
Today is the highlight of the trip since the drive takes you through the area where there are the most beautiful terraced rice fields in Vietnam. After breakfast, you leave Nghia Lo travelling towards Tu Le. You may leave the main road taking a small hiking trail that leads uphill to the Khau Pha mountain pass! Enjoy breathtaking landscapes of the two sides of the pass. Then gradually driving downhill to famous Mu Cang Chai valley. Enjoy a short hike (about two hours) walking around the valley. Visit a village is inhabited by the H’mong before trek back to the main road where you get on your vehicle again for two more hours drive. Arriving in Than Uyen about 17:30, check into a local guesthouse for overnight.
DAY 3: THAN UYEN -> SAPA
After breakfast, you leave Than Uyen for the morning road ride to Sapa. The road trip takes about two hours as you travel along the west side of Hoang Lien Son mountain range which offers stunning scenery of the fabulous Muong Khoa valley. This is well known as the rice basket of Lai Chau province. Enjoy a coffee break at Chu Va before driving over the Sapa Mountain pass. A stop is made when you arrive at Tram Ton, the “Heaven Gate”. Enjoy magnificent view of the Fansipan Mount, the highest one in Vietnam. Arriving in Sapa town around noon, check in hotel. Then have lunch in a local restaurant in town. The whole afternoon is for walking around the town to explore this old French hill station. Visit Sapa market and enjoy the panorama view of the surrounding mountain/valley. Overnight in Sapa at hotel.
DAY 4: SAPA -> COC LY -> BAC HA
Check out and travel to Coc Ly. Stop en route for visit the Coc Ly market is open only on Tuesday. You will meet up with different ethnic groups attending this weekly market including the Flower H’mong, the Phu La, the Black Dao, the Tay, the Nung. The market offers a variety of local products, which could not be found in other areas. After visiting the market, continue your trip with a short walk to a hill-tribe village where you may visit some local home. This helps to understand more the daily life of these tribes as well as their culture and traditions. Then transfer towards Bac Ha where you will spend the night.
DAY 5: BAC HA -> HOANG SU PHI
After breakfast, embark on a 5 hour drive up into the High Song Chai Mountains of Ha Giang province. This drive has breathtaking views of jagged mountains, limestone cliffs, and virgin rainforests. Upon arrival in Hoang Su Phi, transfer to your hotel and remainder of the day is free at leisure.
DAY 6: HOANG SU PHI -> HA GIANG
Today you will take a 5-hour drive from Hoang Su Phi to the town of Bac Quang, and then to Vi Xuyen. The journey takes you past many villages inhabited by different hill tribe groups. This area, like most of Ha Giang, is inhabited by the H’Mong people. The H’mong ethnic group is believed to have migrated from southern China into Vietnam only over the last 300 years and today they live in villages throughout the north of the country. Stop en route to take picture of the wild nature. Lunch is provided in a local restaurant. After lunch, enjoy a light trek to Cao Banh villages of the Tay and Dao hill tribe groups.
DAY 7: HA GIANG -> QUAN BA -> YEN MINH
Leaving Ha Giang, you follow the road 4C. Driving the 46km uphill to the spectacular Quan Ba mountain pass takes about 3 hours including some stops along the way for visiting villages of the Tay and Hmong as well as taking photo of the stunning landscape. From the top of Quan Ba pass which is called the “Heaven Gate”, the panorama of Tam Son valley opens wide below which is highlighted with green rice fields and colorful flower farms, especially the TWIN HILLS beautifully set amongst immense and walled-up lime stone mountain. Process gradually downhill shortly to Tam Son town let at noon for lunch break. Afternoon trip begins with an hour walking to explore Nam Dam village of the Zao Ao Dai (Zao with long dress) who live their most traditional way in a beautiful village at the foot of Quan Ba mountain range. Then back to the road again for 42km road ride first downhill and then passing over Yen Minh pass. This portion of the road trip offers breathtaking scenery of the terraced fields, probably among the most beautiful ones in Vietnam. Arrival at the Thao Nguyen Hotel in Yen Minh town at about 4.30 to 5.00pm, check in hotel and spend the rest hours on your own to relax or explore this charming townlet.
DAY 8: YEN MINH -> DONG VAN
Leaving Yen Minh for a road transfer uphill heading to Dong Van and then onto Meo Vac town. The road of this part gets winds its way up and down steep mountains with many sharp bends but the scenery is amazingly beautiful. Enjoy many stops along the way for magnificent and beautiful landscapes as well as paying visit to some highlights of the region such as: The ancient town of Pho Bang featured with clay walled, yin & yang roofed houses built centuries ago; Sung Muoi village with typical & traditional way of life of the Hmong peoples; Historical relics of the Vuong Palace to learn about the past when the Vuong family ruled over the region and control opium production and trading. Arriving in Dong Van at noon, lunch break and you may choose to enjoy an easy walk for two hours afterwards to explore the Quyet Tien valley and the ancient street of Dong Van town. Check into a local hotel for overnight.
DAY 9: DONG VAN -> MEO VAC -> BAO LAC
The road trip up and down hills 28km passing over the Ma Pi Leng pass which is famous for its magnificence and beauty, composed by walled-up mountains, deep valley and the 800m high canyon and the Nho Que River running in between. Enjoy an hour visiting the Ma Pi Leng village which is set amongst the immense rock, where fresh water and cultivating land has its highest value. Arriving to Meo Vac at noon, have lunch in Meo Vac then continue 55km road trip downhill from Meo Vac to Ly Bon which takes about 1.5 hour will be highlighted with several stops along the way to visit a hamlet of the Zao and a village of the Nung peoples near the center of Niem Son commune. Take an hour walk to visit Tay village in Niem Son commune. Arrive to Bao Lac in the afternoon, check in your hotel for overnight.
DAY 10: BAO LAC -> CAO BANG
Breakfast and then leave Bao Lac at 08.00 am. The road trip from Bao Lac to Cao Bang takes you through the magnificent mountainous region of the far north which offers fascinating scenery for all the way. Enjoy some photo stops along the way before arriving to Tinh Tuc town, in time for lunch. After lunch, you can enjoy some walking along the way to explore tribal villages of the Nung, Zao and San Chay peoples. Arrive hotel at about 05.00 pm.
DAY 11: CAO BANG -> BAN GIOC WATERFALLS -> CAO BANG
Today’s excursion is for visiting the fascinating Ban Gioc Waterfall which lies right at the border line.
Leave the hotel at 07.00 am for about 3 hours road transfer to Ban Gioc via Tra Linh and Trung Khanh. There are probably some local markets along the way which offers the opportunity to meet up with tribal peoples in their beautiful traditional costumes. Arriving to Ban Gioc almost at noon, admiring the famous wonder of nature: Ban Gioc Waterfall and marvelous scenery of the surrounding region. Lunch break before continuing the trip to Nguon Ngao Cave which is well-known not only for its beauty but also for its historical significance in the war of resistance against the French colonial. Take the same road back to Cao Bang in the afternoon with several stops along the way for paying visit to tribal villages.
DAY 12: CAO BANG -> PAC BO -> CAO BANG
The following stop of our 14-day trip is Pac Po Cave. This famous history site was once the resistance base for the August Vietnamese Revolution in 1945. We visit this spectacular setting of stream and cave before we set off on a half day drive back to Cao Bang. They are some historical vestiges of the war time. The verdant and rugged mountain landscape with a mixture of terraced rice fields and hill villages is all interesting along the way. We arrive in Cao Bang by late afternoon. Check into your hotel for overnight.
DAY 13: CAO BANG -> LANG SON
This morning, the road trip runs along the Chinese border offering stunning scenery of the high mountains, deep valleys as well as villages of the Tay, Nung and Zao ethnic peoples. Enjoy several stops and taking short walks to visit tribal villages along the way. Arrive in Lang Son at noon, check in hotel and lunch break. Start afternoon excursion at 02.00 pm time for exploring this charming city, paying visiting the town’s highlights including Tam Thanh and Nhi Thanh caves the Ky Lua Bridge and market. Overnight in Lang Son at hotel.
DAY 14: LANG SON -> HANOI
Leave the hotel at 08.00 am for HaNoi. The road trip along highway 1A takes about 3 hours through Bac Gianh and Bac Ninh Provinces which is famous for wet rice production and Quan Ho folk songs, and then gradually downhill to HaNoi, lunch stop along the ways. Arriving back in HaNoi around early afternoon, you will be dropped off at your hotel (own arrangements). Trip ends.