North Vietnam Explorer 10 Days

North Vietnam Explorer  10 Days

Absorb the culture in remote villages of the north amidst spectacular landscapes.

Hanoi  •  Ha Giang  •  Dong Van  •  Bao Lac • Ba Be  •  Cao Bang  •  Lang Son  •  Halong 
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 – Hanoi – Ha Giang
    (We suggest beginning this tour on a Friday to include the Sunday Market on Day 3.)
    Begin early for the guided transfer from Hanoi to Ha Giang. The journey takes around seven hours and has some of the most breath-taking scenery in Vietnam. Along the way stop in small villages to mingle with the locals, take photos and stretch your legs. On arrival at Ha Giang you need to register at the local immigration office (with passports and before 1600 hrs) to obtain the permits required to visit the region. That done, take a short walk around Ha Giang and to a Tay village set in a picturesque valley nearby.
    Stay overnight at the Truong Xuan Resort (river view bungalow with en suite).
    Day 2 – Ha Giang – Dong Van
    This morning travel up into the mountains which form the border between the northern most region of Vietnam and southern China. This is a frontier area and as it is rarely visited by tourists there is little in the way of infrastructure. However, the remoteness of the region and the refreshingly untouched lifestyle of the local people are the rewards. On top of the first mountain pass stop to admire the incredible views from ‘Heaven’s Gate”. The lands in this region used to be under the control of the Hmong people until Ho Chi Minh unified them as part of the Viet Minh force which eventually ousted the French from Vietnam in 1954. Visit the former residence of the last Hmong King, the Vuong Palace, a large two storey residence which was built by the French, and learn more about the customs of the Hmong people. Late this afternoon arrive in the small town of Dong Van and check into your hotel. Try one of the few restaurants in town for a chance to eat with the locals – just watch out for the rice wine!
    Stay overnight at the Hoang Ngoc 2 Hotel (standard room with en suite). (B)
    Day 3 – Dong Van – Sunday Market – Bao Lac
    Sunday is often market day in Dong Van and nearby Meo Vac. The 22km drive from Dong Van to Meo Vac is most spectacular as the road climbs up the side of a massive canyon to the Ma Phi Len pass at 1500m, and the views down the Nho Que River below are dizzying. The markets are also incredible and are arguably two of the most remote and colourful markets in South East Asia. Here we see ethnic minority groups with the dominant being the aptly named Flower Hmong, whose women wear intricately designed clothing and carry bags with bright floral patterns. All these ethnic minority tribes wear their distinct costumes and come into town to trade on this one day a week. You will be able to witness a wide array of goods being traded from fresh vegetables and livestock to locally produced handicrafts such as scarves, wooden carvings and incense. After lunch continue by road to Bao Lac town through the mountain side villages where you can witness the people farming and living as they have done for centuries.
    Stay overnight at the Thuy Duong Hotel (standard room with en suite) in Bao Lac. (B)
    Day 4 – Bao Lac – Ba Be
    This morning, you will be driven from Bao Lac to the Ba Be National Park. Upon arrival check into your accommodation, followed by a short trek in the National Park.
    Stay overnight at Mr Linh’s Homestay (private room with shared facilities). (B,L,D)
    Day 5 – Ba Be – Cao Bang
    After breakfast, enjoy a boat cruise around Ba Be Lake, which has been ranked as one of the most beautiful freshwater lakes in the world. After reaching the end of the lake take a short walk to the Dau Dang Waterfall before meeting the jeep to begin the drive to Cao Bang.
    Stay two nights at the Thanh Loan Hotel (standard room with en suite). (B)
    Day 6 – Cao Bang
    This morning, you will be driven north to the beautiful Ban Gioc Waterfall. This picturesque, cascading waterfall is 53 metres high and has an impressive span of 300 metres. The drive itself is extremely interesting with unique landscapes including limestone karst formations soaring from verdant rice paddies and local colourful ethnic people on their way to market. After visiting the waterfall return to Cao Bang, stopping at the 2144 metre Nguom Ngao Cavern on the way. (B)
    Day 7 – Cao Bang – Lang Son
    Depart Cao Bang for Lang Son, enjoying Vietnamese rural life along the way. In the afternoon visit Tam Thanh grotto and have some free time to explore the Lang Son Border Town.
    Stay overnight at the Muong Thanh Hotel (deluxe room with en suite). (B)
    Day 8 – Lang Son – Halong
    This morning you will need to be up early for a transfer from Lang Son to Halong to board your cruise boat around midday. Spend the remainder of the day cruising around the endless number of limestone islands which rise out of the emerald waters of Halong Bay.
    Stay two nights on the Glory Legend cruise boat (air-conditioned suite cabin with private balcony). (B,L,D)
    Day 9 – Halong Bay
    Further cruising on Halong Bay. Enjoy sea kayaking in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
    Day 10 – Halong – Hanoi
    Return to Halong port in the morning before being transferred by private car, with your guide, to Hanoi. (B)

  • Make a Booking

    • Tour Prices

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      Depart Friday to include the Sunday Market in Dong Van. Tour prices valid to 31 Oct 2017. Prices are per person, in Australian dollars.  Please confirm prices when booking.

    • Price Includes:
      • Basic tourist class hotel accommodation with en suite
      • Local home accommodation in Ba Be
      • Two night Halong Bay cruise
      • Meals as listed (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
      • Transfers and transportation
      • Sightseeing tours as listed, by private vehicle with driver and English speaking guide, inclusive of entrance fees.

      Sole traveller prices apply for one person travelling on their own and staying in a single room.  The Single room price applies when two or more people travel together and a single room is required.
      Surcharges apply for travel 20Dec15-15Jan16, 6Feb16-14Feb16, 20Apr16-02May16 and 31Aug16-03Sep16, 20Dec16-15Jan17, 26Jan17-2Feb17, 20Apr17-02May17 and 31Aug17-03Sep17.


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    North Vietnam Explorer  10 Days


    • Exploring remote regions and seeing the refreshingly untouched lifestyles of the locals
    • The limestone karst formations soaring from verdant rice paddies at Cao Bang
    • Idling around beautiful Halong Bay on a two night cruise
    • Sea kayaking
    Or perhaps you would prefer . .