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Secret paths in North Vietnam 10 days 9 nights

On this 10-day walking tour of northern Vietnam, you will visit the mountainous regions near the Chinese border. You will sweep along mountain passes and descend into beautiful valleys, visiting local markets and ethnic minority communities along the way. This tour is bound to fill you with a new found wonder of northern Vietnam and it's unique landscapes and cultures.
 

Tyoe of tour: Private
Tour code: PRT 26E
Departure dates: Daily
Destination: Nghia Lo, Mu Cang Chai, Bac Ha, Ha Giang, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Ba Be lake, Northern, Vietnam.
Duration: 10 days

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Ha Noi - Nghia Lo
Day 2: Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai
Day 3: Trekking in Mu Cang Chai
Day 4: Mu Cang Chai - Bac Ha
Day 5: Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi
Day 6: Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang
Day 7: Ha Giang - Dong Van

Day 8: Dong Van trekking to Meo Vac - Bao Lac
Day 9: Bao Lac - Ba Be Lake
Day 10: Ba Be National Park - Hanoi

Day 1
Hanoi - Nghia Lo (L, D)
Duong lam
You will leave Hanoi from the Old Quarter and travel for about 2 hours to Duong Lam, an ancient village which has been under UNESCO protection since 2006. The houses date back 100-400 years and are surrounded by temples and gardens. This is an important historical site which is home to temples in honour of two kings, national heroes, who defended the land against the Chinese about 1200 years ago. After looking around the village, you will also stop for lunch.
You will continue to drive through the rural countryside, through flat paddy fields and then, as you gain height, you see tea plantations corn or maize dotted amongst the karst limestone outcrops. You will stay overnight with a delightful White Thai family in a traditional stilt house in Nghia Lo.

Highlights and activities: Duong Lam ancient, Nghia Lo, a 2 - 3 hour flat walk
Accommodation: Homestay in Nghia Lo
Meals: Lunch, dinner
 
Day 2
Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam,Mu Cang Chai
You will rise early and take a bike ride around the paddy fields, basking in the peaceful morning ambience. The mornings begin early for the villagers who can be seen quietly working in the fields surrounded by ducks, chickens, pigs and buffalos.
Breakfast is taken in the open air overlooking the fields before you check out and set off over the dramatic Khau Pha Mountain Pass. The rice fields of Tu Le along the way are spectacular and will fill you with wonder.
After lunch in a local restaurant, you will continue to drive to Nam Co Village where you will see the flower H'mong ethnic minority in their colourful traditional costume. If your trip falls on the correct day, you will also be able to visit the fascinating local market.
You will then drive to La Pan Tan and Mam Soi terraced rice fields and take a short walk up the hill to a viewpoint to take in the incredible views. You will have dinner and stay overnight at Mrs Chon's Homestay in Kim Noi Village, a Thai family run business.
 
Highlights and activities: Khau Pha mountain Pass, La Pan Tan, a 5 - 7 km trek
Accommodation: Mrs Chon's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3
Trekking in Mu Cang Chai (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Trekking Ma Cang Chai
After breakfast in the homestay, a local guide will collect you for the longest trek of the tour, from Kim Noi Village to Hang Dang De then to Che Cu Nha. You will enjoy a picnic lunch on the rice terraces and then continue to La Pan Tan where you will be picked up and driven back for a second night at Mrs Chon's homestay.
 
Highlights and activities: Kim Noi village, Hang Dang De, a 15 - 17 km trek
Accommodation: Mrs Chon's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4
Mu Cang Chai - Bac Ha (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Meo Vac market
After breakfast, you will drive from Mu Cang Chai through Tan Uyen to Bac Ha town. Just forget Sapa with plenty of tourist. The road is very dramatic with many winding hairpin bends each opening up a new vista of the mountains. You will cross the Hoang Lien Son mountains before arriving in Bao Ha where you will have lunch at the chance to explore the town.
Then you will walk around and throught ethnic villages to Bac Ha, where you will have dinner and stay overnight in a Tay ethnic house.
 
Highlights and activities: Mu Cang Chai, Bac Ha town, a 4 - 6 km walk
Accommodation: Lap Xuan's homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5
Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Meo Vac
If it is a Sunday, you can visit Bac Ha and Coc Pai markets, or if it is a Saturday, Can Cau market. You will have lunch in Coc Pai before an adventurous trip along a narrow road full of hairpin bends leading towards the Ban May terraced rice fields. Each twist and turn will bring more gasps of amazement at the intricacy of the narrow, vertiginous rice terraces. Here you will see the La Chi people who are distinguishable by their traditional outfits. The girls clothing is mainly black with delicate coloured embroidery on a front panel and belt. A long strip is knotted around the hair makes up the headdress. As they spin, weave and dye all the fabric used for these clothes, it's common to see skeins of hemp and hand-woven strips of indigo dyed fabric drying on a line outside of the houses. You will spend the night in a homestay in the village.

Highlights and activities: Ban May terraced fields, a 3 - 5 km trek
Accommodation: Local Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6
Trekking in Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Ha Giang
Today, you will trek from the village of Dong Loi to Suoi Thau via the terraced rice fields, meeting the La Chi ethnic communities and seeing how they live. Life for the La Chi can be very tough as often their houses can only be approached through the rice fields, so all food, equipment and building materials must be carried by hand. You will stop for a picnic lunch in Thang Loi Village. You will then visit the site of many ancient tombs, disguising the single treasured and protected tomb of Hoang Van Thung who was a national hero and king of the La Chi ethnic people. After lunch, you will drive to Ha Giang to the homestay for dinner and a hard earned rest.
 
Highlights and activities: Thang Loi village, Ha Giang, a 10 km trek
Accommodation: Mr Doan's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7
Ha Giang - Dong Van (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Meo Vac market
Today you will encounter some spectacular landscapes. After acquiring a mandatory permit at the Immigration Office, you will begin your journey to Dong Van across a series of long passes. You will have lunch en route in the small but beautiful mountain town of Tam Son. Then, you will head to the majestic King of the H’mong’s Palace, a fortress built by a local chief, Vuong Chin Duc, who was allied with the French against the Viet Minh. The palace, built in the early 1900s was designed in the ancient Chinese architectural style of the Man Qing era. It was made from materials such as solid stone, wood and terracotta tiles. After continuing your journey, you will arrive at Hoa Cuong Hotel around 17:00 in time for dinner and an overnight stay in a hotel.

Highlights and activities: Tam Son mountain, King Palace, a 2 - 3 km trek
Accommodation: Hoa Cuong Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 8
Dong Van - Meo Vac - Bao Lac (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Ma Pi Leng
Your morning will start with a visit to the market of Dong Van (Sunday morning), where the locals shop before returning to their mountain hamlets. You will then climb a pass up to the French Fortress of Pu Lo, built in 1890 and evacuated in 1945, from which you enjoy a spectacular view of the entire region.
The trek 7 km to Thien Huong village, this is a small village located in the valley adjacent to the border with China. It is also inhabited by Tay tribal, we then geting back to Dong Van for lunch and the road climbs 5 km up to the top of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a unique landscape of craggy limestone peaks and gaping valleys. You will descend into Meo Vac Valley to the village of Bao Lac, where we have diner and spend the night.

Highlights and activities: Pu Lo fortress, Thien Huong village, Ma Pi Leng, a 7 - 9 km trek
Accommodation: Local Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 9
Bao Lac - Ba Be Lake (B, L, D)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Meo Vac market
You will then take the mountain road from Bao Lac to Cao Bang. En route to Cao Bang, we will share our secret route with you, a gorgeous small road snaking through the mountains to the Tay village of Cho Ra and then down to Ba Be National Park. After have lunch in local restaurant we will then visit Hua Ma cave before continue travel to Tay village of Coc Toc, where you will be welcomed by Mr Linh and his amazingly friendly Tay family in their traditional stilt house. If it’s hot, you can copy the local kids and jump into the inviting waters of Ba Be lake. You will enjoy a superb dinner (Mrs Linh specialises in local dishes) on the river terrace.

Highlights and activities: Bao Lac, Ba Be NP, Hua Ma cave, a 2 - 3 km trek
Accommodation: Mr Linh's Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 10
Ba Be Lake - Hanoi (B, L)
Multi-day package tours in Vietnam, Ba Be
After breakfast at the homestay, you will go on foot to Bo Lu Quay where you will board a boat trip around Ba Be Lake. You can relax on board, do some wildlife spotting or if you need to cool off, you can jump into the cool, clean waters for a refreshing swim! As you float down the Nang River, you can take in the scenery of the surrounding karsts decorated with patches of wild vegetation and inhabited by all sorts of interesting creatures. Look out for the rainbow of butterflies that flit across the sky or listen to the gentle song of the many species of birds in the park. The boat will come to Puong Cave where you can explore the stalactites and stalagmites which are a result of the erosion of the river on the karst as well as looking out for the bat colony several thousand strong. After your, exploration of the lake, you can rest on the drive back to Hanoi, taking in the beautiful scenery on the way. You will stop for lunch at a local restaurant on the way before arriving back in Hanoi at about 17:30.

Highlights and activities: Ba Be Lake, Boat trip, Puong Cave, a 2 - 3 km trek
Accommodation: Not included
Meals: Breakfast, lunch



The fact…
We take you to the parts others can't reach!

Climate
From July to September, the climate is usually humid and hot.
From October to June brings cooler and more pleasant weather.

Transport
Boat.
Vehicle

Tour Guides
Our experienced and friendly Tour Guide(s) speak excellent English or French.
They are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.

Rate
This rate is quoted in USD per person, based on Double/Twin occupancy. Valid until December 2019
 
Group size
Price/pp
1p
1952
2p
1194
3-4p
1098
5-6p
1034
7-8p
945
9-10p
856
Single Supp’
N/A
 
Tour price includes
Private door-to-door pick-up & -off services.
All private transfer and transportation
Home-stay with daily breakfast
Experienced English or French speaking guide.
Boat trip & kayaking
Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast ; L: Lunch ; D: Dinner)
All sightseeing tickets.
No extra charge after confirmation
24/7 hotline support guaranteed

Tour price excludes
Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
Travel insurance
Beverage
Other services not mentioned above.

What to take
Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable walking shoes. Take a small day pack for hiking and trekking.
It is essential to bring your passport on this trip. We also recommend packing: insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...
 
Have a great journey!