This 14-day tour through Vietnam’s northern mountains brings you to an array of colourful ethnic minority communities. Stay in local villages and visit lively tribal markets, while travelling through dramatic mountain and forest landscapes. With a two full days in Hanoi, this tour offers a wealth of insight into the contrasting lifestyles of Vietnam’s minorities and city dwellers.
|Sample travel plan only: for a 'no obligation' comprehensive itinerary within 24 hours, click here.
Day 1: Arrival at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi: chauffeured transfer to your hotel, water puppet performance, welcome dinner in restored French villa.
Day 2: Visit Hanoi’s Temple of Literature, Ethnology Museum or Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Dong Xuan Market or Hom Market, and stroll the bustling Old Quarter.
Day 3: Leave early for 320km drive north to Ha Giang Province, stopping to view Mac Dynasty Citadel remains, overnight in ethnic Dao house in Nam Dan Village.
Day 4: Explore Nam Dan Village, walk to viewpoint over karst formations of Dong Van Geopark, visit ‘karst twin towers’ and Nam Dan Lake.
Day 5: Join locals at markets in Tam Son, Yen Minh and Dong Van, gathering points for local ethnic minorities, visit Vuong Palace, overnight in Dong Van.
Day 6: Drive north to Lung Cu, visiting the flag tower at Vietnam’s northernmost point, cross scenic Ma Pi Leng Pass with views of Nho Que River, overnight in Meo Vac.
Day 7: Visit Meo Vac Market, continue on scenic route to Lung Phin and visit ethnic minority home, overnight in Ha Giang with time to explore the town.
Bac Ha / Sapa
Day 8: Drive through dramatic mountain scenery, stop for lunch in Bac Ha, then continue to Muong Khuong, overnight at Cao Son Eco Lodge.
Day 9: Drive to visit Lung Khau Nhin Market and nearby minority villages, then drive on through Lao Cai to reach in Sapa, check in to your hotel and free time to explore town.
Day 10: From Sapa drive to Ta Phin Village, home to Red Dao and Black Hmong, explore Ta Phin Valley and stay overnight in Ta Phin with a Red Dao family.
Day 11: Drive to visit the colourful Can Cau Market, dominated by Flower Hmong, return to Bac Ha for lunch, walk to visit vegetable gardens and fruit orchards of nearby Ban Pho Village and try out the local corn wine, overnight in Bac Ha.
Day 12: Join the locals flocking to Bac Ha’s market and explore this maze of colour, lunch in Bac Ha, after a short drive, walk to visit Tay village of Trung Do, take a boat on Chay River to meet your car downriver for transfer to Lao Cai, where you’ll have a room to freshen up before boarding the sleeper train for Hanoi.
Day 13: Arriving early in Hanoi, you’ll be transferred to your hotel and have the day free to further explore the capital city, overnight in Hanoi.
Day 14: Free time until transfer to airport to catch your departure flight.
The prices for this sample tour are per person in US dollars
These prices are valid until 31 October, 2015. Please note that bank transfer fees are not included.
|Number in group
Supplement for single hotel room occupancy*
* ‘Single room occupancy’ refers to the accommodation element of the programme only, and applies to someone who is travelling with others but requires an additional room for him or herself. Single traveller prices are available on request.
Inclusions in brief:
- Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
- Eleven lunches and six dinners
- Experienced English-speaking guides
- Private chauffeur-driven air conditioned cars as appropriate
- Domestic rail ticket
Exclusions in brief
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
- Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel (**** conveniently located in Hanoi's 'Old Quarter', about a ten-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake - Silk Deluxe room)
- Quan Ba: homestay in Nam Dam (private room without ensuite toilet in Nam Dam village, community-based tourism site, local standard)
- Dong Van: Hoang Ngoc or Hai Hoan hotel (small hotel, local standard, ensuite toilet room)
- Meo Vac: Hoa Cuong hotel (the best available in town, local standard, ensuite toilet room)
- Ha Giang: Huy Hoan or Cao Nguyen Hotel (** local standard, in the town centre – VIP room)
- Cao Son: Cao Son Lodge (eco-lodge overlooking mountain range, a short walking distance to ethnic minority villages, local standard)
- Bac Ha: Congfu Hotel [Basic accommodation] (small hotel in the centre of Bac Ha town - Standard room)
- Sapa: Chau Long Hotel [New Wing] (****standing on terraces on the side of the mountain, the stone and wooden construction of the hotel blends perfectly with the surrounding valley features of terraces rice paddies and blazing green fields and overlooking Vietnam’s highest peak – Mount Fan Si Pan (3,143meter) – Deluxe room)
Please note that Vietnam hotels do not recognise provisional reservations, so specific hotels cannot be guaranteed until you have booked your chosen tour. As many of the better hotels are often full during the October to April peak season, early booking is advisable.