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The Hidden Gems of North Vietnam | 8-Day Adventure from Hanoi

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Overview

Venture off the beaten track and discover the true beauty of northern Vietnam on an 8-day adventure tour of one of the country's most beautiful regions. Trek the rice terraces of Sapa, see the stunning landscapes of Ha Giang, explore Ba Be National Park, and visit Ban Gioc Waterfall, Vietnam's most spectacular cascade. This one of a kind tour is perfectly tailored to adventurous travelers seeking to intimately explore some of Southeast Asia's most stunning natural and cultural marvels. 

Quick Facts

  • Trek the rice terraces of Sapa
  • Immerse yourself in the beautiful landscapes of Cao Bang
  • Navigate the mysterious Nguom Ngao Cave
  • Included
  • 8 days
  • All year long
  • English
  • 10+

Activities

  • Adventure
  • Caves
  • Countryside
  • Culture
  • Nature
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking
  • Sapa
  • Ha Giang

Highlights

  • Sapa
  • Ba Be National Park
  • Ban Gioc Waterfall
  • Cao Bang
  • Ha Giang
  • Nguom Ngao Cave
  • Dong Van
  • Hua Ma Cave

Itinerary

Day 1
Day 1: Hanoi- Sapa

The tour starts with your guide and driver picking you at 7:30 AM at your hotel for a 5-hour drive to Sapa. 

As the scenery transforms from a bustling metropolis to beautiful rolling hills and endless rice paddies, your guide will tell you about the culture and history of the areas you pass.

You will arrive in Sapa midday and enjoy an excellent local lunch before heading out on the first trek of the tour. The hike will take you through the breathtaking rice terraces of Lao Chai to Ta Van village, home to the Hmong ethnic community.

In Ta Van village, you'll meet locals, share stories, and learn about the history of the hill tribes before heading back to Sapa town. 

Once in Sapa, you'll check into your hotel before having a delicious dinner in a nearby restaurant.

Day 2
Day 2: Trekking in Sapa

The second day of the tour starts with a delicious breakfast at your hotel.

When your belly is full, you'll have just the right energy to start the trek from the Red Dzao tribe village of Ma Tra to Ta Phin. 

The journey takes you past stunning rice paddies and small villages, local farms, and incredible stretches of wild nature. 

Upon arrival in Ta Phin, you'll check into a local homestay where you'll have dinner.

Later, you have the opportunity of meeting the locals and getting to know the culture and traditions of this beautiful region that is kept protected from mass tourism by limited accessibility. 

Day 3
Day 3: Sapa - Ha Giang

After enjoying breakfast at the homestay, you head from Sapa to Vietnam's final frontier, Ha Giang.

On the way, you stop at Hoang A Tuong, Cat King's House, in Bac Ha, followed by a fantastic lunch in Chang Village, which is home to the Tay ethnic group.

After lunch, you'll continue your drive deeper into Ha Giang, enjoying the spectacular scenery along the way.

You will reach Tay Village at around 6 PM. Once there, you'll be served a traditional home-cooked dinner before you check into your homestay in a beautiful classic Tay stilt house.

Day 4
Day 4: Ha Giang - Dong Van

On the morning of the fourth day, you'll purchase a mandatory travel permit that allows you to travel to the spectacular Dong Van. 

The route takes you through a series of breathtaking passes that wind through the mountains and valleys close to the Chinese border.

You will stop for lunch in the small mountain town of Tam Son and enjoy an exceptional view of the rolling landscapes and the magnificent flora of Ha Giang. 

Next, you'll explore the small villages of the Hmong, Pho Bang, and Pho Cao ethnic tribes, before visiting the Palace of King Vuong Chinh Duc, who ruled over a century ago.

You will arrive in Dong Van at about 6 PM and have dinner at a local restaurant before checking into your hotel. 

After dinner, you'll be free to explore this beautiful area.

Day 5
Day 5: Dong Van - Meo Vac - Cao Bang

After the hotel breakfast, your journey takes you to Dong Van Market, where locals from the neighboring villages come to shop and trade.

From Dong Van, you'll trek up to Pu Lo fortress, where you'll have a panoramic view over the entire region. 

From there, you'll trek 10 miles (16 km) to the top of Ma Pi Leng Pass, navigating through a gigantic maze of limestone peaks, stone forests, and canyons before descending into the valley of Meo Vac. 

Trekking through the valley, you'll eventually reach Bao Lac Village, where you'll rest and have lunch. 

From Bao Lac Village, the driver will pick you up and take you to Cao Bang, where you'll check into your hotel and enjoy a local dinner.

Day 6
Day 6: Cao Bang - Ban Gioc Waterfall

Your day starts with a breakfast before you make a 2-hour drive to Vietnam's most spectacular waterfall, Ban Gioc. 

This breathtaking 900 ft (300 m) wide cascade is nestled right on the border between China and Vietnam, surrounded by a beautiful mountainous landscape.

At the waterfall, you'll have a chance to relax and appreciate the beautiful view, take photos, and board a bamboo boat that will take you right up to the cascade itself. Be careful, because you'll be close enough to get wet by the spray of water.

From Ban Gioc Waterfall, you'll venture deep underground into the mysterious Nguom Ngao Cave to discover the rock formations which have been carved by erosion over millennia.

Next, you'll travel to one of the region's most stunning hidden gems, a beautiful backroad that snakes through vast expanses of untouched nature and limestone mountains. 

Once in Quang Uyen Village, you'll be welcomed by Mr. Hung, a friendly local blacksmith who will invite you to his house for a traditional dinner.

 You'll spend the night in his cozy traditional Nung homestay.

Day 7
Day 7: Cao Bang - Ba Be Lake

After being treated to a delicious breakfast at Mr. Hung's homestay, you'll head towards Ba Be National Park via the magnificent Ma Phuc pass. 

At Ba Be National Park, you'll have an opportunity to explore its many wonders, including Ba Be Lake, the caves of Puong Grotto, the rapids of Dau Dang Waterfall, and the beautiful Widow Island, which sits on the lake.

You will then head to a traditional Tay stilt house where you'll have dinner and spend the night with a local Tay family.

Day 8
Day 8: Ba Be Lake- Hanoi

After a traditional Tay breakfast, you'll have an opportunity to stroll along the riverfront and visit the neighboring villages.

Later in the morning, you'll trek to one of the highest points around Ba Be Lake, where you'll have a fantastic view of surrounding limestone cliffs and peaks.

Next, you'll enter Hua Ma Cave, famous for its thousands of stalactites and stalagmites, and known for being the biggest dry cave in northeast Vietnam.

After lunch at a local restaurant, its time to head back to Hanoi, where you'll be dropped off at your hotel after an amazing 8-day adventure.

Good to know

What's included?

  • Accommodation in shared double room
  • Breakfast lunch and dinner
  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Transfer by private vehicle
  • Gratuity
  • Personal expenses