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The Northern Loops

9 days Northern Explorer
9 days North West and East Loop
8 days North East Expedition
8 days North West Expedition
7 days North West Adventure
5 days Ha Giang Adventure
 




















































































 
 
 
 


8 days North East Expedition

Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Giang, Quan Ba, Bao Lac, Cao Bang, Ba Be, Hanoi.

This expedition takes us to Sapa and through some of the remote regions in the northeast of Vietnam. Colourful markets, cultural diversity and the unique sceneries make this an unforgettable adventure.

Day 0: Hanoi / Overnight train to Lao Cai
We have a pick-up from Ethnic Travel's office from 19:00 to 19:30 for a short transfer to Hanoi railway station for boarding an overnight train bound for Lao Cai.

Day 1 Lao Cai / Sapa hiking
Upon our arrival in Lao Cai railway station in the early morning, we drive to Sapa town, which is 35 km away by car. After shower and breakfast in our hotel we set off to discover Sapa and its nearby villages of Sa Seng and Hau Thao, 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 2 Sapa / Hagiang
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, we trek around peaceful villages and farmlands.

This is followed by our journey to Hagiang. At night we stay over in a friendly Tay family. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 3 Ha Giang / Quan Ba / Dong Van
Ha Giang is one of the most remote provinces in North East Vietnam. The area is home to some of Vietnam’s most colourful hill tribe minorities.

We take a hike through peaceful villages and lush rice terraces, along verdant hills and mountains. Next, we board our vehicle and head north of Ha Giang to Quan Ba District.

The area is populated by Dao ethnic people and encircled by truly awesome remote forested mountains. We combine a long, but gentle hike with an opportunity to meet the local people going about their daily life.

We then make our journey to Dong Van for the night in a hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 4 Dong Van / Meo Vac
The beauty of the surroundings tempts us to follow the rugged trail setting off through verdant hills and tangled jungle growth. Eventually, the trail arrives at a tiny village perched nearby the township of Dong Van.

From there we board our vehicle and make our way to Meo Vac for an overnight stay in a hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 5 Meo Vac / Bao Lac
The hike for today is through remote and beautiful countryside of Meo Vac where we pass through several villages along tracks used by the local people.

We are rewarded with a brilliant backdrop of picturesque valleys covered in rice paddies. The H’mong and Hoa people, who are the local ethnic minorities, exhibit their friendliness through their colorful clothing and warm hospitality.

Later we drive the scenic journey up through rugged outcrops to some local Lo Lo ethnic minority villages. From here we take a short hike up and around the villages and meet the local people.

This is followed by a drive we due to the township of Bao Lac for the night in the hotel. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 6 Bao Lac / Ba Be
We depart Bao Lac at 8 a.m and embark on a route up into mountain areas onwards to Ba Be Lake National Park which is blessed with unique landscapes featuring vast mountain complexes and spectacular valleys.

This is one of the largest natural lakes in Vietnam, home to many kinds of birds, scenic valleys, towering rocky outcrops, underground river tributaries, and a gigantic cave.

All of the villages in the park are not necessarily ethnic Tay. Those located high up on the slopes are inhabited by Green H’mong and Red Dao hilltribal people.

Following a short hike along the riverfront, we stay overnight with a Tay family in a traditional house. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 7 Ba Be Lake
The day begins with a morning hike in the park. Later, we descend into the scenic valley, home to the Tay minority people and encircled by rock formations. We cross the rolling hills and pass H’mong and Red Dao villages.

The scenery is extraordinary, with rural farmland and rugged mountains jutting out of the tangled jungle growth.

After a short boat trip along the lake, we end our day in the same local family for the night. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

Day 8 Ba Be Lake / Hanoi
Morning finds us taking a spectacular boat trip along the lake. En route we disembark our boat to stroll along the riverfront, visit some lovely villages and hike the upper reaches of the lake, in an area marked by massive limestone cliffs and mountains.

After lunch in a local family, it is our journey back to Hanoi, arriving there at around 6pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included).

The facts…

Physical activities:

Our itinerary includes walks and hikes, which are mainly on gentle terrains with:

- a 9-11 km hike on Day 1.

- a 5-7 km hike on Day 2.

- a 9-12 km on Day 3.

- a 6-8 km hike on Day 4.

- a 5-7 km hike on Day 5.

- a 4-6 km hike on Day 6.

- a 9-15 km hike on Day 7.

- a 4-5 km hike on Day 8.

We need to be reasonably fit as the hikes and the treks can be challenging sometimes, depending on the weather conditions.

From June to September, the climate is usually humid and hot. From October to July brings cooler and more pleasant weather.

Transport:

- vehicle.

- boat.

Tour Guides:

Our experienced and friendly Tour Guides speak excellent English.

They are extremely knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.

Meals:

- 7 breakfasts.

- 8 lunches.

- 7 dinners.

We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, homes or markets.

We cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking..

Accommodation:

- overnight train (1 night).

- hotels (3 nights).

- homestays (4 nights).

Clean and comfortable homestays with mosquito nets provided.

Trip cost:

- $625USD per person for a group of 2 to 5 people.

- $568USD per person for a group of 6 to 8 people.

The cost of the trip includes:

- transportation.

- accommodation.

- meals.

- Tour Guides.

- entrance fees.

- permits where applicable.

The cost of the trip does not include:

- travel insurance.

- drinks (soft drinks, alcohol, bottled water).

- personal expenses.

What to take:

Pack essentials for 8 days, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable hiking shoes. Take a small day pack for walking and hiking.

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!!!

 
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