Trekking Rice Terraces and Minority Villages of Hoang Su Phi
About this experience
Hoang Su Phi is a district located on the west side of Ha Giang province, close to the border with China. Hoang Su Phi is famous for its wonderful rice field terraces, especially on the road between Hoang Su Phi and Xin Man, where they are classified as a National Heritage site. Trekking through this untouched area is such an authentic experience by venturing in the middle of these outstanding landscapes and meeting local ethnic groups like the Tay, Red Dao and Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao).
You will be inspired at every curve as you trek through the rice terraces and experience local lifestyle, friendly ethnic minorities and unique homestay with excellent hospitality. Additionally, the true essence of this tour program lies at your direct interaction with locals by participating in highly interactive farming experiences at CBT villages where your travelling contributes to community development within the poor villages.
- Local interaction through CBT programs
- Fishing experience – to be cooked for one of your dinners
- Enjoy traditional Herbal bath
- Experience tea making from tea leaf pickings to tea processing
- Experience making special cakes and enjoy it for breakfast
- Be able to participate in community service work that will help improve community’s life
- Experience wine-making
- Learn about Dao clothing and embroidery
- Be able to teach ethnic minority basic ESL
- Visit to the famous Bach Ha Market
Your positive contribution
Environmental and Cultural Protection
By booking this activity, you are contributing to responsible travel.
Environmental: Measures are put in place to make sure water and energy is not wasted and that wildlife are protected.
Cultural: This tour makes sure that money is invested back to the locals and that community-based tourism is in place.
Day 1: Hanoi – Thong Nguyen – Nam Hong (-/L/D)
7:30 – Your guide will pick you up from Hanoi and travel to Hoang Su Phi.
You will then have lunch at Ham Yen before continuing on to Thong Nguyen.
15:00 – reach Thong Nguyen.
You will start exploring the area by an one hour trek to Nam Hong community-based tourism village to enjoy the poetic beauty of the natural landscape, rice terraces and inhale fresh air. On the way to the homestay, you will obtain more knowledge of Red Dao people by visiting their local museum.
After arriving at the homestay you can participate in a fish catching (you heard it right, not fishing but fish catching – an experience where you can attempt to catch fish with your bare hands!) for your dinner. If travelling in August and September, you will have chance to practice your fishing catching skills in the rice fields. If interested, you can prepare and cook dinner with your homestay owner or enjoy a traditional herbal bath that will relax you after a long day of travelling.
Day 2: Nam Hong- Khoa Thuong- Nam Ai – Nam Son (B/L/D)
7:00 – Participate in the farming work with local people and learn about the tea cultivation, tea picking technique and then pick tea leaves yourself.
8:00 – you will carry tea leaf baskets back to the village.
Back in the village take a rest and have breakfast in the open-air terrace before participating in tea processing for one hour. You will end this activity by testing the green tea you made. The tea season is from April to August and the best tea is made in April.
You will be escorted by moto-taxi up to the end of Nam Hong village pass before trekking along the charming path to Khoa Thuong (about 7.5 km) to enjoy the marvelous landscape.
Have lunch and a short break at Khoa Thuong.
In the afternoon, the trek continues to Nam Ai village to where you can see beautiful rice paddies and explore the lifestyle and culture of Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao) minority people.
You will enjoy a night in a peaceful homestay at Nam Ai village after a long day of trekking and dining with homestay owners.
Day 3: Nam Ai community work development – Ho Thau (B/L/D)
You will be woken up at dawn by Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao) people to see the sunrise from their village at 1400m above sea level. After watching the sunrise the villagers will teach you how to make special cakes that you can enjoy for your breakfast (all year round).
You will spend the whole morning to do community service work such as building a concrete road or cleaning water tanks (depending on your choice) for the village with local people. This kind of work not only gives you a more interactive time with local people but is also helping villagers to have a better road to access the village. Nam Ai is one of the poorest CBT villages, and it needs your sponsorship to buy material for road construction. We recommend an amount of 50 USD per visitor to help buying construction material and finishing the road, which is an important lifeline for the community. If this community work is not your preference, then you can participate in other farming work such as cultivating trees or harvesting vegetables and fruits (depending on season). After community work, you will return to homestay to take a break and shower before having lunch.
In the afternoon you will venture downhill to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of green hills, deep valleys and endless rice terraces until you reach a sealed road. From there a car will pick you up to Tan Phong CBT village or if you are not tired you can keep trekking to the village. At the homestay in Tan Phong you can relax your exhausted feet by taking an herbal bath with massage. You will enjoy dinner with the homestay owners and then witness cultural performances such as traditional Fire Dance of Red Dao minority, spiritual traditional games and singing.
Overnight at homestay with Red Dao family in peaceful Tan Phong CBT village.
Day 4: Delightful trekking Ho Thau- Suoi Thau (B/L/D)
7:00 – Breakfast before heading out to trek through one of the most beautiful rice terraces in Hoang Su Phi.
11:30 – You will have lunch at a Tay ethnic family before heading to Suoi Thau CBT site.
You will be inspired by the amazing panoramic view of the valley with countless terraced rice fields and Suoi Thau village from the top of the mountain. If you are lucky, you can experience a local blacksmith at work. Take a break at a beautiful waterfall and then continue trekking to your homestay at Suoi Thau village where you will stay with a Dao Ao Dai (long-dressed Dao) family.
Explore the Dao Temple, lifestyle and socio-economic activities of the village in the late afternoon. You can take part in daily activities such as wine making, learn how to make Dao clothes with simple embroidery patterns or farming activities.
After dinner with the homestay family, you will participate in teaching English for local people. Use creative teaching methodology to teach them some simple words or sentences. Night spent at lovely homestay in Suoi Thau.
Day 5: Ban Luoc – Bac Ha – Hanoi (B/L/-)
After breakfast, say goodbye to the homestay owners and local guide. A moto-taxi will pick you up to the Ban Luoc commune center to take a car transfer to Bac Ha, Lao Cai province.
You have enough time to explore the bustling Bac Ha market on Sunday morning and the Hmong King Palace Hoang A Tuong, which is a unique mix of French-colonial and Asian architecture. Have lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to Hanoi.
17:30 – Arrival in Hanoi.
✓ Tours and transfers as mentioned in the itinerary (air conditioned vehicle)
✓ Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
✓ Drinking water
✓ English speaking guide; local guide
✓ Entrance fees for all visits and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
✓ Community fund (10% of your homestay fee) will contribute to the
community development fund)
✘ Beverages and personal expenditures
✘ Local cultural performance/show
✘ Other transfers than mentioned
✘ Other meals than mentioned
✘ Other services than mentioned
✘ Travel insurance for the trip Hanoi – Hoang Su Phi – Hanoi
- Starting time: Car pick-up at 7.30 a.m (1st day)
- Meeting point: Your hotel
- What to bring: Good walking shoes, raincoat, jacket, insect repellent, long sleeved clothes, hat or umbrella, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Who can join the tour: this tour is suitable for adults aged 18 and above with medium health conditions.
What's the weather like?
- Depending on the altitude, climate will change. The province is good to visit throughout the year. September to November and March to May are when the temperature is most pleasurable, in their mid 20’s.
- December and a bit into February the temperature falls, especially in the mountains so carry some good clothing.
- October and November is peak season for local Vietnamese tourists.
Where does the tour occur?