This Vietnam West and East discovery tour is specially designed for those wish to capture the real essence of Vietnam. This tour will bring you a fascinating introduction to famous destinations with spectacular views such as Mai Chau, Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Ha, Dong Van,….The trip will be the best chance for you to dip into unique culture and traditions as well as gain a deeper insight into the real life of various ethnic groups of Vietnam.
 

Tour route: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai – Sapa – Fansipan Peak – Bac Ha – Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van – Ma Pi Leng Pass – Ba Be Lake
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Date: No fixed departure dates. You may go whenever you wish.
Start/End: Hanoi/Hanoi
Tour type: Adventure
Tour Customizable: Absolutely! (Tell us your specific requirements in the inquiry form)
Active level: Moderate

BRIEF ITINERARY

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Mai Hich (L, D)
Day 2: Mai Hich – Xa Linh – Hang Kia – Moc Chau (B, L, D)
Day 3: Moc Chau – Phu Yen – Nghia Lo (B, L, D)
Day 4: Nghia Lo –Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai (B, L, D)
Day 5: Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Sapa – Cat Cat village (B, L)
Day 6: Sapa – Tram Ton – 2800m (B, L, D)
Day 7: 2800m – the top of Fansipan – Tram Ton – Sapa (B, L)
Day 8: Sapa- Bac Ha visit – Ha Giang (B, L)
Day 9: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van (B, L)
Day 10: Dong Van – Ma Pi Leng Pass – Meo Vac – Ba Be Lake (B, L)
Day 11: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi (B, L)

 
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Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Mai Hich (L, D)
Pick up at hotel in Hanoi, we will drive to Mai Chau Valley which is in Hoa Binh province, 110 Km away from Hanoi. Along the way, we stops to visit the tea fields, the market Luong Son, ethnic villages with their houses on stilts. Arriving in early afternoon at Mai Chau, we have lunch in a thai family in the village of Ban Lac.

The rustic beauty of Mai Chau

The rustic beauty of Mai Chau

In the afternoon, visit Ban Lake and then transfer 8km drive from Ban Lac to Ban Cum. From Ban Cum, a short trekking through villages inhabited by Thai and at the foot of the mountains. After two hours of easy walking, arrived in the village Mai Hich, endorsed on a great mountain and open cultivated valley of rice and vegetables. Check in a wooden stilt for your stay. Prepare dinner with the host and afterward having dinner with all members of family with chatting.
Overnight home-stay
FYI: Home- stay is equipped with mattresses, mosquito net and hot water shower

Day 2: Mai Hich – Xa Linh – Hang Kia – Moc Chau (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we start to get Hmong village of Xa Linh Rouge where you will hike in 3 hours Hang Kia village in a valley populated by the Hmong. Then you cross the Moc Chau plateau that specializes in the cultivation of green tea dairy farming and bee honey.
Have dinner at restaurant and stay overnight at hotel.

Hmong children in Xa Linh Village

Hmong children in Xa Linh Village

Day 3: Moc Chau – Phu Yen – Nghia Lo (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will continue our trip to Phu Yen which is a charming little town inhabited by many ethnic villages goshawks. Then, keep driving to Nghia Lo, check in the hotel near the valley of Muong Lo.
We will walk in the surrounding villages, mainly populated by black Thai to explore their environment and their daily lives. Return to the hotel in Nghia Lo for dinner and overnight.

Muong Lo Valley

Muong Lo Valley

Day 4: Nghia Lo –Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will departure for Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai, one of the most spectacular roads in Vietnam. Along the way, we stop at Tu Le Village, home to H’mong people for a short walk in the rice fields. The car takes us to the beautiful follows Khau Pha Pass surrounded by peaks over 2000 m and overlooking a large rice field terraces and then switch the H’mong village of Nga Ba Khin. We continue the 7km road through beautiful landscapes to reach the Black H’mong village of La Pan Tan and driving more 20km before arriving Mu Cang Chai.

Khau Pha Pass

Khau Pha Pass

On arrival, we check in a Thai family. After lunch in the family, we will have a short trek to Kim Noi village. Back to the family late in the afternoon for enjoy a cooking class with the host. Have dinner and overnight at homestay.

Day 5: Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Sapa – Cat Cat village (B, L)
After breakfast, drive to Sapa passing through beautiful tea fields in Than Uyen. Before arriving in Than Uyen, we can stop and visit a Thai Village with a short hiking of 2 – 3Km and get closer to the daily life of the locals. Lunch will be in a local restaurant in Than Uyen.
After lunch, we continue to Sapa road, we can touch the highest pass in Vietnam (2047m). Stop at the pass to see Mount Fanxipan (3143m), the roof of Indochina.
Arrive in Sapa, we stroll in the village of Cat Cat (01heure walk) which saw the Black H’mong ethnic minority. We will discover their original customs, traditional houses surrounded by rice terraces in which we will discover the manufacture of traditional indigo outfits.

Cat Cat Village

Cat Cat Village

Visit a hydroelectric center built by the French in the early 20th century, and a waterfall. Stunning views to the Fansipan (3143m), named “Tonkinese Alps”. This line includes the highest point in the country, whose sometimes snow covered and frequently hidden by the fog dominates Sapa. Back at the hotel in Sapa for check in. Free dinner. Overnight at hotel in Sapa.
Approx: 5 driving hours/ 1-hour lunch

Day 6: Sapa – Tram Ton – 2800m (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we are having a couple of interesting days waiting ahead. We travel by car toward the Silver Waterfall where we will be able to take a short walk to the waterfall. We will then drive further to Heaven Gate, the highest peak of roads in Vietnam. From there we can see Fansipan, the highest peak of Indochina mountains as well as enjoy stunning views. The trek will be relatively soft until lunchtime. After a couple of hours of hiking, we will have a break at a nice spot in the forest and enjoy a good lunch.

View from Tram Ton pass - the highest peak of roads in Vietnam

View from Tram Ton pass – the highest peak of roads in Vietnam

After lunch, we continue trekking to the campsite with many opportunities to enjoy the scenery and magnificent views of Sapa area and beautiful landscape of Lai Chau province. We will arrive to the campsite at 2800m ASL in the late afternoon. Now it is time to relax and enjoy a well prepared dinner.
Approx: 0,5 hour driving/ 6 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch.

Day 7: 2800m – Fansipan Peak – Tram Ton – Sapa (B, L)
After breakfast, we climb to the top, where we can celebrate your victory. From there, we can enjoy the best view to beautiful sceneries. We will then trek through rainforest to go back to the campsite for lunch.
After lunch, we start your journey back. We follow the trail as well as stone steeps built by Hoang Lien National Park until we meet our car, which is there to take us back to Sapa. In the afternoon we will arrive back in Sapa, where we can celebrate your achievement and relax.

Fansipan trekking

Fansipan trekking

Approx: 0,5 hour driving/ 7,5 hours walking/ 1 hour lunch.

Day 8: Sapa- Bac Ha visit – Ha Giang (B, L)
It depends on the schedule; we will merge to add one ethnic fabulous market. Can Cau market is available on Saturday morning only and Bac Ha is available on Sunday morning.
After breakfast, we drive to Bac Ha town. The road is relatively flat from Lao Cai to Bao Nhai Bridge. After crossing the bridge, we begin our journey uphill offering beautiful views over the valleys. Visit Bac Ha or Can Cau market on the morning and in the afternoon, we will take a walk to Ban Pho, a small village of Nung and Flower Hmong. The villagers grow vegetables and fruit trees. One of the most famous fruit of the area is plum. Visit a local house and try some local alcohol which is called corn-alcohol. Then go back to hotel late in the afternoon.

Hmong girl in Bac Ha Village

Hmong women in Bac Ha Village

Approx: 3-hour driving/ 1.5 hours walking.

Day 9: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van (B, L)
After breakfast, we depart for Dong Van – the largest karst plateau of Vietnam. On the way we will visit Lung Cu flagpole and also enjoy the heaven gate Quan Ba for a panoramic view of the villages, we continue to climb the chain of limestone peaks.
Several stops to visit Mong villages that have old mud houses, some built in a colonial style. Three times a month at night, all the houses around the market light lanterns.

Ethnic women with straws on their backs, Dong Van plateau

Ethnic women with straws on their backs, Dong Van plateau

Visit the ancient Vuong Chi Sinh residence (12 km from Dong Van), King of the Hmong on Dong Van trays – Meo Vac. It is a sumptuous palace with Chinese architecture in stone and wood of the Qing Dynasty. The “king” in question was the biggest region’s opium trader in the early twentieth century. Arrive in Dong Van for Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Dong Van – Ma Pi Leng Pass – Meo Vac – Ba Be Lake (B, L)
If today falls on Sunday we will have chance to visit Dong Van ethnic market, where all kinds of goods and multi-colored clothes can be purchased. The people here still remain their traditional life of remote minority tribes.

Dong Van ethnic market in Ha Giang province

Dong Van ethnic market in Ha Giang province

After hang around the Sunday market we will drive from Dong Van along the Nho Que River and go through Ma Pi Leng pass which is considered as the most beautiful pass in Vietnam. We will arrive in Meo Vac after two hours later. Have a short rest before drives to Ba Be Lake. Tonight we will have dinner and enjoy beer time in home stay, enjoy the nice river view and overnight at home stay in Pac Ngoi village.

Ma Pi Leng Pass

Ma Pi Leng Pass

Day 11: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi (B, L)
This morning after breakfast and take rest for 30 minutes then we will take a boat trip on Ba Be Lake, the largest lake in Vietnam which has a water area around 500ha, spreading over 8km. We will visit Puong Cave – one of the most beautiful caves in Ba Be national park, and then take boat to Dau Dang waterfall, while waiting for the lunch serve in Minority restaurant, we will take a short walk to visit Dau Dang waterfall. After lunch we will take a boat back to Pac Ngoi village, take rest for few minutes then we will drive back to Hanoi (240 km), Arrive in Hanoi at noon time. Tour ends.

Boat trip in Ba Be Lake

Boat trip in Ba Be Lake

What’s included?

  • Transfers between hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing 
  • English speaking tour guide, who will remain with you throughout your time in that city. He or she will provide you with the best local knowledge available
  • Accommodation bases on double or twin sharing room
  • Entrance fees & permits
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary with authentic local food. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Boat excursions 
  • Bottle of drinking water on the car

What’s excluded?

  • International flights and airport taxes
  • Vietnam Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Hotel in Hanoi
  • Other meals which are not indicated above
  • Beverages in the restaurants where meals are included
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers 
  • Personal and other expenses such as porterage, bar bills and laundry not stated in the itinerary

Recommended Hotel List:

Location

Hotels & Ratings

Room Category

Nghia Lo Nghia Lo hotel Superior room
Mu Cang Chai Home-stay Local standard
Sapa Sapa Boutique hotel Superior room
Bac Ha Ngan Nga hotel *** Superior room
Ha Giang Cao Nguyen hotel Superior room
Dong Van Hoang Ngoc hotel Superior room
Ba Be Home-stay Local standard

Notes:

  • Room type bases on twin/double sharing
  • All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily Western or Local breakfast
  • All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specifie
 
 

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