Far North Vietnam Adventure 7 Days

Far North Vietnam Adventure
Highlights: Off the beaten track route with stunning landscapes of the northern mountainous areas of Vietnam. A unique discovery of culture, custom and way of life of different tribal ethnic peoples living in remote far north of Vietnam. A combination of multi activities for thrill seekers: trekking, boating, driving on winding mountain roads.

Night 1: Overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai.
Day 1: Lao Cai Arrival – Weekly ethnic market – Bac Ha
Day 2: Bac Ha – Hoang Su Phi – Pan Hou Village
Day 3: Pan Hou – Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh
Day 4: Yen Minh – Pho Bang – Vuong Palace – Dong Van – Meo Vac
Day 5: Meo Vac –Bao Lac – Ba Be
Day 6: Ba Be Boat Tour – Hanoi
Day 7: Hanoi Departure

Itinerary

Night 1: Hanoi – Overnight train to Lao Cai
You will depart from Hanoi in the evening by night train leaving at 21.10 to Lao Cai near the Chinese border.

Meals: None
Overnight on the train

Day 1: Lao Cai Arrival – Weekly ethnic market – Bac Ha

Upon your arrival at Lao Cai Station, pick up to a local restaurant for breakfast before a scenic drive to one of the regional markets (Sunday – Bac Ha; Tuesday – Coc Ly; Wednesday – Cao Son; Thursday – Lung Khau Nhin; Saturday – Can Cau). Spend the morning visiting ethnic market activities and festive atmosphere.

After lunch at a local restaurant, drive to Bac Ha to check in your hotel and enjoy a short break. Then enjoy gentle hike to explore Ban Pho valley inhabited by Flower Hmong, Tay and Nung peoples. There various hiking routes from 1.5 hours to nearly 3 hours so please discuss with your guide to decide on spot which one suit you best.

Summary: Road transfer from 75km to 125km depending on market to visit/ Market visiting, walk and sightseeing 4 to 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Bac Ha

Day 2: Bac Ha – Hoang Su Phi – Pan Hou Village
This morning, drive through the remote region of Bac Ha district which is famous for the spectacular landscapes as well as unique way of life of the Flower Hmong and Phu La peoples. Enjoy 2 hours walking in the morning from Pa Chu Ty 1 to Pa Chu Ty 2 villages. Lunch break in small town of Xin Man, followed by 3 hour drive to Pan Hou Village in Thong Nguyen Commune where you stay the night. The remainder of the day will be at leisure or stroll around the nearby village. You might wish to enjoy a herbal bath at Pan Hou (at additional cost).

Summary: Road transfer 145km, approx. 5 hours/ Walk and sightseeing 2 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Pan Hou Village

Day 3: Pan Hou – Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh

Leave for Ha Giang after breakfast and follow road 4C 46km uphill the spectacular Quan Ba mountain pass for about 3 hours including some stops en-route  to visit villages of the Tay and Hmong as well as taking photo of the stunning landscapes. From the top of Quan Ba pass which is called Heaven Gate, the panorama of Tam Son valley opens wide below which is highlighted with green rice fields and colorful flower farms, especially the Twin Hills beautifully set amongst immense and walled-up lime stone mountain.

After lunch, your afternoon begins with an hour walking to explore Nam Dam village of the Zao Ao Dai (Zao with long dress) who live their most traditional way in a beautiful village at the foot of Quan Ba mountain range. Continue driving for 42km to Yen Minh while enjoying breathtaking scenery of the terraced fields, probably among the most beautiful sections in the northeast Vietnam. Arriving at Yen Minh at around 17.00, check in your local guesthouse with free time to explore this remote charming town.

Summary: Road transfer 165 km, approx.5 hours/ Walk and sightseeing 3 to 4 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Yen Minh

Day 4: Yen Minh – Pho Bang – Vuong Palace – Dong Van – Meo Vac

Drive uphill heading to Dong Van and then onto Meo Vac. The road of this part gets winds its way up and down steep mountains with many sharp bends but the amazingly spectacular scenery compensates. Prepare your camera ready to capture magnificent and beautiful landscapes en-route as well as to visit some highlights of the region including: The ancient townlet of Pho Bang featured with clay walled, yin & yang roofed houses built centuries ago; Sung Muoi village with typical & traditional way of life of the Hmong peoples; Historical relics of the Vuong Palace to learn about the past when the Vuong family ruled over the region and control opium production and trading.

After lunch at Dong Van town, wander around to explore the ancient town and the surroundings before the road trip downhill 28km passing over the Ma Pi Leng pass which is famous for its magnificence and beauty, composed by walled-up mountains, deep valley and the 800m high canyon and the Nho Que River running in the between.

If on Sunday: Spend about 1 hour early in the morning to visit the market where tribal peoples such as Hmong, Zao…in their colorful traditional costumes gather not only for shopping but also for socializing, a feature of social life in the mountainous region.

Summary: Road transfer 82km, approx.3 hours / Walk, sightseeing, village visiting 2 to 3 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Meo Vac

Day 5: Meo Vac –Bao Lac – Ba Be

Today you will drive the mountain road to Ba Be National Park passing by Bao Lac. The trip will be highlighted with brief visits to villages of the San Chay and Zao Tien (Zao with coins) en-route. You will arrive the center of Ba Be National Park in the afternoon at about 17.00. Stay the night in a Tay family by Ba Be Lake.

If on Sunday: Spend an hour early in the morning joining the weekly market in Meo Vac town let before leaving.
• If on the date of the Tiger and Monkey: Early breakfast and then transfer 17km to Lung Phin to visit the famous weekly market where customers have chance to meet Hmong and Zao peoples from remotest villages who come and create festive atmosphere at the market place.
• If on 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 of the lunar months, spend an hour joining the tribal peoples at Niem Son Market (25km from Meo Vac) or even earlier for 2 hours driving to Bao Lac Market where the Black Lo Lo and San Chay peoples can be met.

Summary: Road transfer 197km, approx.5 hours/ Walking and sightseeing 4 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Ba Be

Day 6: Ba Be – Hanoi

After a simple breakfast at homestay, the day begins with a 20 minute walk to the boat pier where you will embark on a 3 hours boat cruise on the emerald water of Ba Be Lake, the largest natural lake in the mountainous region of Indochina which is surrounded by high mountains covered by thick forest, getting through the stunning Puong Cave. Pick up and drive to Cho Ra for lunch. An afternoon drive will take you back to Hanoi.

Summary: Road transfer 217km, approx.5 hours/ Boat trip 3 hours.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi

Day 7: Depart Hanoi 
Your time is at leisure till being picked up to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi for your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices & Inclusions

Price is from~US$ 382 per person
All prices are per person, valid till December 31, 2017
Prices Include:
- All pick-ups and transfers by private vehicles with experienced drivers.
- Accommodation in local guesthouse, Pan Hou village and home-stay in Ba Be National Park
- Experienced local English speaking guide
- One-way train ticket: Hanoi - Lao Cai (sharing 4-berth cabin on Fanxipan Express Carriage)
- 3 hour boat cruise at Ba Be National Park
- All breakfast and lunches at local restaurants as indicated in the programme
- All entrance fees and permission fees as mentioned in the programme
- All government taxes

Prices Exclude:
- Entry visa to Vietnam
- International flights and airport taxes
- Travel Insurances
- Drinks, tips and other personal expenses or services not mentioned on the program.
- Option for upgrade to better hotels in Hanoi and Sapa, upgrade to use a full cabin of 4 berth on Hanoi - Lao Cai train.

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