Vietnam's Northern Mountains: From North to West
About this experience
The northeast region of Vietnam is well known among adventurous travelers for its magnificent landscape and vibrant cultural mix of different ethnic groups. This tour is designed to give you a complete sense of landscape and cultures in the northern mountainous Vietnam through two famous representatives: Ha Giang and Lao Cai. Lao Cai, with the highlight being Sa Pa where the famous Fansipan peak is located, is the traditional must-see in your trip. Though affected by the mass tourism, Sa Pa still remains its beautiful features of nature and people if you know where to look.
On the other hand, Ha Giang is the new alternative to Lao Cai in recent years with spectacular limestone highlands and winding roads cutting through mountains that will bring joy to any explorative souls. You will have opportunities to climb mountains, ride along breathtaking mountain passes, take part in exciting trekkings, visit ancient temples, caves and local markets, travel along the Chinese border, and spend time with local families to experience ethnic life. Be amazed by the spectacular Dong Van karst plateau in Ha Giang
- Visit the renowned Sa Pa – the town hidden in the clouds of Lao Cai province
- Trek through the magnificent landscape of mountainous Lao Cai to ethnic villages of H’Mong and Red Dzao
- Be amazed by the spectacular Dong Van karst plateau in Ha Giang
- Visit the famous destinations of Ha Giang such as Palace of H’Mong Lord Vuong Chinh Duc and French Fortress of Pu Lo.
- Get lost in Bac Ha Market with its vibrant colors from different ethnic groups: Flower H’mong, Phu La, Black Dzao, Tay, Nung, etc.
- Enjoy local food with your warm-hearted local hosts. Each stay will give you a unique experience of different ethnic cultures.
Your positive contribution
This tour connects community-based tourism destinations into one program that partly contributes to improving the quality of life for local residences. The aim is to provide most authentic experiences possible for visitors while on the other hand, local people benefit from it. This is directly achieved through offering of homestay accommodations and other tourism-related services.
Day 1: Hanoi – Sa Pa (L/D)
Morning: Hotel pick-up at 7 a.m. You can relax and enjoy the transformation of the scenery on the journey. You will arrive in Sapa around midday where you will stop for lunch.
Afternoon: Trek through terraced rice fields from Lao Chai to Ta Van Village which belongs the H’mong community. In the village, you will have the opportunity to meet the local people and share stories and information before you travel back to Sapa Town by car.
Evening: Spend an overnight stay in a hotel
Day 2: Sa Pa Trekking (B/L/D)
Morning – Afternoon: At around 08:30, after a delicious breakfast, you will begin the trek to the Red Dao village, Ma Tra followed by Ta Phin Village, passing through the incredible scenery of rice paddies and small villages along the way.
Evening: You will spend the night in a local homestay where you will share a hearty dinner with hosts and spend the night in their home. This experience brings you right into the heart of local culture.
Day 3: Sa Pa – Ha Giang (B/L/D)
Morning – afternoon: After breakfast, you get into the wild landscapes of Ha Giang stopping over at the Hmong Lord’s Palace, Hoang A Tuong, in Bac Ha town and Chang Village, inhabited by a Tay community. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountainous area covered with greenery of forests. You will continue the journey to Ha Giang, arriving at around 6 p.m.
Evening: Take a rest at Tay village, where you will have dinner and spend the night in a family owned-stilt-house.
Day 4: Ha Giang – Dong Van (B/L/D)
Morning – afternoon: Begin the journey of the day to Dong Van following a spectacular series of passes which wind through the mountains and valleys. You will get to enjoy exceptional views of the rolling landscape and interesting flora and fauna.
Afternoon: After lunch in the small mountain town of Tam Son, we will visit the villages of the H’mong, Pho Bang, Pho Cao. We visit an old palace of another former H’Mong Lord Vuong Chinh Duc and learn more about H’mong history in Vietnam.
Evening: You will arrive in Dong Van around 18:00 where you will have dinner at a local restaurant and spend the night in a homestay.
Day 5: Dong Van – Meo Vac (B/L/D)
Morning – afternoon: This will be an unforgettable day! Starting with a visit to the market in Dong Van (if it’s Sunday morning), where the locals shop for all their home cooking supplies, clothes and housewares. We then climb a pass up to the French Fortress of Pu Lo, which was built in 1890 and vacated in 1945. The views from here of the entire region are truly spectacular. We then continue onward on a climb of 15 km up to the top of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a maze of lime huge peaks, which look almost like ‘stone forests’, and canyons the like of which you will not see anywhere else in the world. We then head down into the valley of Meo Vac.
Evening: Enjoy local dinner and overnight at homestay in Meo Vac town.
Day 6: Meo Vac – Ha Giang – Ha Noi (B/L)
Morning: After having breakfast, we will make the drive back to Ha Noi, returning by the same route. You will arrive at your your hotel in Hanoi at around 6p.m. End of tour.
✓ Private car
✓ Meals as mentioned
✓ Professional and enthusiastic English-speaking guide
✓ Entrance fees
✓ Travel insurance
✓ Fresh water on the car: 01 bottle / person/ day
✓ Border fee for foreigners
✓ 5 night-stay in homestay (shared space)
✘ Personal expense
✘ Tips for driver and tour guide 2 USD/ person/ day
✘ VAT Tax (10%)
✘ Other activities that are not mentioned in the tour
✘ Facilitator in other languages available upon request with extra cost
- Starting time: Car pick-up at 7.00 a.m (1st day)
- Meeting point: Your hotel
- What to bring: warm coat, umbrella/hat, raincoat, comfortable shoes personal hygiene kit, some essential medicine, passport.
- Who can join the tour: this tour is suitable for adults. Children accompanied by their parents should have good 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?