Discover north Vietnam’s treasure trove of wonders with an exciting adventure through the north. Spend six days trekking through hilltribe villages and pristine landscapes, encountering unique cultures and spectacular views at every turn. Then kick back and relax on a well-deserved Halong Bay cruise.
Trek through Pu Luong National Park’s limestone karsts, hidden caves and lush fields, one of Vietnam’s most spectacular regions.
Hike through villages inhabited by various ethnic groups and stay in homestays for a true immersion into their culture.
The adventure concludes with a relaxing overnight cruise, seeing the tranquil waters and limestone formations of Halong Bay.
Trek and Cruise, Pu Luong National Park and Halong Bay - 10 Days / 9 Nights
Upon arrival to Noi Bai Airport, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the city and hotel for check in.
This evening, enjoy a delicious welcome dinner as well as a trip briefing from the guides.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Depart early this morning for the Mau Chai area, southwest of Hanoi. Shortly after leaving the city behind, the scenery starts to take on an altogether different look with endless stretches of farmland and hills and mountains looming in the distance.
Arrive in Mai Chau and fuel up with lunch at a local restaurant before beginning the first trek. Depart on foot for Pom Coong, a village inhabited by the White Thai minority people. Enjoy a warm welcome by the hospitable locals and get a taste for their culture with a local bbq meal and traditional dance performance. Spend the night in a local home of the White Thai people.
Overnight at homestay, Pom Cong.
After breakfast, transfer by car a short way to the day’s starting point: Xa Linh village. The trekking route follows a mixture of paths, streambeds, and steep jungle hillsides. Reach the flat trains of “Elephant Valley” leading to Hang Kia (the only H’mong village of the trip), to relax and enjoy a late lunch.
This afternoon’s trek is mainly downhill, following tracks which wind through hamlets and cultivated fields with beautiful views of the Mai Chau Valley below. Trek with a stunning backdrop of rice paddies and the karst rock formations in the distance. There are several stream crossings, suspension bridges, and good descents along the way.
Finally arrive at Cun Pheo, a village of the White Thai minority, for a night in a local homestay.
Overnight in Cun Pheo.
Today is one of the longest trekking days, but with fabulous rewards. The route passes through many indigenous villages and offers a wonderful opportunity to experience rural Vietnam village life.
Stop in Van Me for lunch and transfer by road to Sai village to embark on a 7.5km trek to Hang Village, an oasis in the middle of Pu Luong Nature reserve. From here, cross into a new and exciting district, once used as part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, where very few westerners have traveled. Arrive late this afternoon to Hang Village for an overnight stay in the local stilt houses.
Overnight homestay, Hang Village.
A harder day of hiking, 50% on village paths 50% on an old, disused, unpaved French road. There are some steep climbs followed by more stream crossings. Though the trekking becomes more remote, one is never far from a villager tending fields or walking back from the market.
Relax from the heat of the day in a local home at Pak Kha village while lunch is cooked. After lunch, continue on along the old jeep road to a village nestled between steep karst mountains. Arrive early (with energy to spare) to hike a two-hour round trip to a newly discovered and incredibly large cave. Hidden on high ground surrounded by thickets and hanging vegetation, the cave is now protected by Forest rangers, due to the delicate ecosystem and bat species inside.
Overnight in ecotourism homestay, Kho Muong village.
Begin the day with a challenging but glorious downhill hike (starting at 6 AM), leading to the Nature Reserve’s only market. Appreciate the previous night’s dinner upon the realization that all produce is brought to the village two hours uphill on foot! Enjoy wandering the region’s bustling market before having lunch in a local house.
The trail after lunch begins on the valley floor for about an hour, climbing over a small mountain to Hin village; here will be the final homestay of the trip. The village is perfectly positioned close to a small river with opportunities to cool off with a swim after a long day. Explore the fascinating architecture and numerous hamlets that dot the valley or just relax in a hammock, enjoying the serenity of this gorgeous region.
Overnight in ecotourism home-stay
After an early breakfast, enjoy the final hike of the trip, which leads out of the valley and back up into the mountains. The first hour is relatively flat, passing through small hamlets where farmers work their rice paddies, before crossing the river and heading up into the hills. Trek uphill for 2 hours on a well-trodden trail, enjoying magnificent views of the valley below and a patchwork of rice fields and forest-covered mountains. The trail then levels out and passes along the ridge through thick forest and emerges in the village of Ban Son, where lunch will be had. After lunch, hike for an hour on a dirt road to the village of Ban Ba, where a bus will be waiting to provide transport back to Hanoi.
Arrive in Hanoi late that afternoon and check in to the hotel.
Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast, leave Hanoi for an overnight boat trip on Halong Bay. The journey out runs through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta, where it’s possible to observe the everyday life of Vietnamese villagers as they work the rice fields. Arrive in Halong City late in the morning and board the traditional wooden junk for the overnight journey into the Bay (with lunch served enroute.)
After sailing along the idyllic rock formations, end the day by setting anchor in the middle of the Bay. As the sun sets over the water, dinner is served on board, consisting of fresh seafood, salads, and fruits.
Overnight on Halong Bay
Spend the morning returning to Halong City, enjoy a wholesome brunch as the boat weaves through strange-shaped limestone rock formations. Upon reaching the port, our driver will be waiting to provide transport back to Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Spend the day at leisure until transport (provided) to the airport for the departing flight.
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