Head to the hills for a challenging, yet rewarding, trekking adventure. In the far northeast of Vietnam discover a land of immense beauty and intriguing hilltribe villages. Spend the days hiking up mountains and through rice paddies and the evenings in homestays, getting a true taste of traditional local life.
Get an introduction to Vietnam’s diverse hilltribes at ethnology museums in Hanoi and Thai Nguyen.
Trek through villages inhabited by the Zao, Thai, White Hmong and other ethnic groups and learn about their unique customs.
See Vietnam’s diverse landscapes, hiking through bamboo forests, terraced rice paddies, beautiful rivers, mountain passes and much more.
Trekking Vietnam’s Northeast Mountains Ha Giang - 11 Days / 10 Night
Upon arrival at the airport, our guide and local driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in.
“Standard check-in time is from 14:00 and check-out time is at 12:00”.
If time permits take a walk through the old quarter & around Hoan Kiem Lake before heading to a restaurant for a welcome dinner & trip orientation.
Overnight in Hanoi.
The first day sets out around 8:30 AM for a visit to the Temple of Literature. Constructed in 1070, this was Vietnam’s first university and is one of the country's most significant historic sites, with relics recognized by UNESCO. The university was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins, and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years; its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
Next pay a visit to the landmark One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. Close by is the mausoleum where the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, lies in state. Nearby is the former president’s house on stilts, where “Uncle Ho” lived from 1958 to 1969. Visit this home, which illustrates the modesty of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary.
Continue to the picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda.
Lunch will be held in one of the city’s finest restaurants.
In the afternoon, visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum (closed on Mondays), dedicated to the different ethnic groups of Vietnam. As an alternative to the Ethnology Museum, it’s also possible to visit the highly acclaimed Vietnam Women’s Museum (closed on Mondays). Displays highlight Vietnam’s vast cultural diversity and educate visitors on the significant role Vietnamese women play in Vietnamese society. Learn historic and modern-day traditions centered on births, weddings, motherhood and spirituality.
We finish the day with an iconic Water Puppet show.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Start this northeastern journey with a departure from Hanoi. During the northern cruise, pass through the undulating terrain of tea plantations in Thai Nguyen city. Make a short stop for a visit and break at the Museum of Ethnology in Thai Nguyen town.
Keep moving through many other timeless villages linked to the road, which is the main artery of trade between the Northeast region and the Hanoi Capital.
After lunch in Tuyen Quang, continue to Quang Binh with several stops to visit the villages of Tay tribes.
Depending on traffic conditions, arrive to the guest house around 5-6pm and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Quang Binh
After breakfast, take a 15 minute transfer to the starting point of the trekking trail. It’s an easy walk through valleys and terraced rice paddies for about 2 hours to the village of Pa Then ethnic people. Spend some time exploring the village, wiht a chance to discover more about the daily life of the local people.
In the afternoon, continue the trek for around 4 hours through rolling hills, plantations, rice paddies, and the palm forest of the Tan Nam Communes. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance while passing through hamlets of the hospitable Black Zao and Nung ethnic peoples.
Arrive to the center of Tan Nam at end of the afternoon.
Dinner & overnight at a homestay of the Nung people
Departing around 8:30 AM, the trek heads along a wide path connecting many villages from Dzao Ao Dai to Tay and Nung ethnic villages, all lying along the beautiful Nam Ly River. As villagers are very hospitable in this region, there will be ample opportunity to visit many local homes along the way.
The trek in the afternoon goes uphill slightly to Phieng Lang. This region is inhabited mostly by the Zao Ao Dai people and several Flower Hmong who traditionally (and practically) build their homes on hill tops. Arrive to Phieng Lang in the mid afternoon and take a leisurely walk to explore the surrounding countryside.
Dinner & overnight at homestay of Dzao people
Enjoy another day trekking along the beautiful Nam Ly Valley. The morning runs along an interesting trail, which gradually winds uphill via Pa Duc village to Quang Thuong (home to the Hmong and Zao Ao Dai people.)
These two minorities differ in the fact that they occupy higher lands and build houses on hill-tops. This part of the trek offers some of the most beautiful views in the far north.
Break for lunch and then descend along a narrow trail passing through tea farms and steep terraced paddies for 2 hours to Nam Chong Village, home of the Zao Ao Dai.
Explore the village and settle down in a local home near hot springs for dinner and an overnight stay.
Overnight at homestay in Nam Chong
Begin the day by hiking on a narrow trail along the river for an hour to the centre of Quang Nguyen Commune. Pass more villages and rice terraces whilst continuing to enjoy the magnificent views.
The most challenging aspect of the trek awaits this afternoon, traversing the Nhin Co San Mountain. The uphill trail is very tough at stages, running through thick rainforest and bamboo forests to Coc Cang Village of the Che La Commune. Though difficult, the end of the journey is highly rewarding.
Throughout the afternoon, pass a number of hamlets of the White Hmong and Nung people.
Dinner and overnight at the homestay with the White Hmong tribe.
Begin Day 8 departing for Coc Dong on an uphill trek along a high mountain trail, passing along more hamlets of the Flower Hmong. Arrive to Coc Re at noon and enjoy a lunch break in a local restaurant. There will also be a brief opportunity to wander around the Coc Re market
The entire afternoon consists of a descent, passing through narrow valleys with terraced paddies and a newly planted forest; eventually arrive at Coc Pai in the Xin Man District.
Check in to Gia Long Hotel and enjoy some free time to explore the town before dinner.
Overnight in Coc Pai.
After breakfast, enjoy a leisurely walk around Coc Pai to observe busy morning life before transferring by road for 2-3 hours to Bac Ha Town. Arriving around noon, check-in to the Sao Mai Hotel followed by lunch.
The highlight of the afternoon is the 2 hour walk exploring the famous Ban Pho Valley, home to the Flower Hmong and Tay ethnic minorities. Visit local homes and enjoy learning how they make the local fire water (alcohol) from corn. There may also be a chance to catch a traditional dance accompanied by a Khen - a traditional musical instrument composed by 6 bamboo pipes.
Overnight in Bac Ha
Today is the last day in the mountains and is much easier on the legs!
Begin with a transfer of 9kms to Nam Mon Commune and trek along an uphill trail for 30 minutes, before coming down to the valley’s bottom. Continue with a trek running parallel to a stream until reaching Trung Do village (home of the Tay people), which consists of about 40 houses built on stilts on the bank of the Chay River. Enjoy a leisurely walk to explore the village before having lunch in a local home.
Depart Trung Do and walk along the Chay River for over an hour to visit some of the hamlets of the Black Zao and Hmong of the Cac Cop Village. Afterwards, take a boat trip downstream to Bao Nhai Commune.
The final transfer is to Lao Cai, where there will be a chance to freshen up and have dinner before boarding the night train to Hanoi.
Arrive back in Hanoi early in the morning (a room is available for day use until 12.00pm.) Spend the day free at leisure until transport (provided) for the departing flight.
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