9 days North West and East Loop
Hanoi, Mai Chau, Phu Yen, Than Uyen, Sapa, Ba Be Lake, Hanoi.
The overland journey takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in North Vietnam. Including a hike around Mai Chau, a drive along Hoang Lien Son Range, a trek in Sapa and a boat trip on the majestic Ba Be Lake.
Day 1 Hanoi / Mai Chau / Te Village
Departing from Hanoi we set out on a journey around 150 km away to the remote region of Mai Chau district in Hoa Binh province, a picturesque valley, home to White Thai, Dao and H’mong people.
Here, we hike around scenic villages and observe and observe the daily life of White Thai people.
In the evening, we are shown the hospitality of villagers and spend the night in a traditional wooden house of a White Thai family to experience their way of life. (Lunch and dinner are included).
Day 2 Te Village / Black River
We have breakfast with a local family and continue our adventure. We take a hike along narrow paths surrounded by hill tribe villages, sculpted rice paddies and picturesque hills.
En route we meet the local people going about their daily life, break for tea and eat lunch in their homes.
Afternoon finds us cycling around picturesque villages, along beautiful mountains and hills, then onto the Black River.
Following a short boat trip along this river we reach the village of Xom Moi, home to a Muong community, tonight our host offer us a traditional dinner and a toast, before an overnight stay with them. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 3 Black River / Phu Yen
This morning we wander along a track, enjoying the stunning visual surroundings as we descend towards our waiting vehicle and journey to Moc Chau around 60 km away, where we have lunch in a local restaurant.
This is followed by our drive to Phu Yen town for the night in a hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 4 Phu Yen / Hoang Lien Son Range
Our destination for today is Than Uyen. It is a journey along the Hoang Lien Son Range, the scenery more than makes up for this. Along the way we stop to head out for some exploration of H’mong and Thai villages.
Arriving in the town of Than Uyen, which is located in a scenic valley we check into our hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 5 Hoang Lien Son Range / Sapa
A morning drive finds us on the road for the 120 km to the hill top town of Sapa.
Home to some of Vietnam’s most colourful hill tribe minorities and overlooking a valley shared by Vietnam’s highest peak, Fansipan.
We relax in the township and set off to explore its neighbourhood - the villages of Sin Chai and O Qui Ho await us.
Here, the local tribesmen are Black H’mong and Red Dao who speak their own languages, terraced fields fill the hilly cultivated land.
The trails are narrow winding through small villages, lush hills and open rice paddy fields. We return to Sapa town for an overnight stay in a hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 6 Sapa hiking
This morning we set off to discover Sapa and its nearby villages of Y Linh Ho and Giang Ta Chai, set in a spectacularly beautiful valley and home to Black H'mong people. We have ample opportunities to see how they live and give wonderful insights into their way of life.
Along the way we stop at one of the friendly villages and enjoy a picnic lunch. Finally, we arrive in the village of Giang Ta Chai, nestled in a spectacular region. Tonight we spend a memorable night in the traditional stilt-house of a Zay family.
Zay people are adept at rice cultivation and are responsible for tending to the manicured terraces that stretch as far as the eye can see. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 7 Sapa / Tuyen Quang
The beautiful Giang Ta Chai is surrounded by verdant hills and rice terraces. We enjoy a hike through lush rice terraces and along hills to the villages of Ban Den, situated in a region of sculpted rice terraces and home to Black Hmong people.
From here we trek around peaceful villages and farmlands before we board our vehicle for our journey through beautiful mountain scenery that takes us to Tuyen Quang province, the base for our relaxing schedule as we spend the morning around Tan Trao.
This area is historically important for having been the former guerrilla base in the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France and Japan.
We visit the remains of Ho Chi Minh‘s temporary home where he completed the declaration of Vietnamese independence in 1945. The night is spent in a hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 8 Tuyen Quang / Ba Be Lake
The day begins with a morning drive to Ba Be Lake. Upon our arrival we hike in the park, we descend into the scenic valley, home of the Tay minority people.
We cross the rolling hills and pass a handful of Hmong and Red Dao villages. The scenery is extraordinary, with rural farmland and rugged mountains jutting out of the tangled jungle growth.
We end our day in a hospitable Tay family who lives by the lake. The night is spent in a traditional stilt-house to experience their way of life. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).
Day 9 Ba Be Lake / Hanoi
Today we have a spectacular boat trip on the lake. We stroll along the riverfront, visit some lovely villages and hike to the upper reaches of the lake, in an area marked by massive limestone cliffs and mountains.
Following lunch in a local restaurant, it is our journey back to Hanoi, arriving there at around 5pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included).
Our itinerary includes walks, hiks and treks which are mainly on gentle terrain with:
- a 5-6 km hike on Day 1.
- a 9-10 km hike on Day 2.
- a 1-2 hour bicycle ride on Day 2.
- a 7-9 km hik on Day 3.
- a 3-4 km hike on Day 4.
- a 9-11 km trek on Day 5.
- a 5-8 km hike on Day 6.
- a 6-9 km hike on Day 8.
- a 2-3 km hike on Day 9.
We need to be reasonably fit as the walk can be challenging sometimes, depending on the weather conditions.
From July to September, the climate is usually humid and hot. From October to June brings cooler and more pleasant weather.
Our experienced and friendly Tour Guides speak fluent English.
They are picked for their physical fitness and great knowledge about local cultures, history and the environment.
- hotels (3 nights).
- guest house (1 night).
- homestays (4 nights).
Clean and comfortable homestays with mosquito nets provided.
- 8 breakfasts.
- 9 lunches.
- 8 dinners.
We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, local restaurants, market or homes.
We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking.
- $638USD per person in group of 2 to 4 people.
- $595USD per person in group of 5 to 8 people.
The cost of the trip includes:
- meals listed on the itinerary.
- Tour Guides.
- entrance fees.
- permits during guided excursions.
The cost of the trip does not include:
- travel insurance.
- expenditure of a personal nature, such as drinks and gratuity etc.
What to take:
Pack essentials for 9 days away from Hanoi, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable hiking shoes.
Take a small day pack for cycling, hiking and trekking.
It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.
We also recommend packing: insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...
Have a great journey!!!