Feb 2020
We booked the "7 days Hagiang and Ba Be Lake" tour with Ethnic Travel. It was the high point of our month long visit to Vietnam. We enjoyed our hikes through the breathtaking scenery, ate a lot of delicious local food, and got to know fellow travelers at the homestays. However, it was our guide, Pham, and our driver, Alex, that really set this tour apart. Pham spoke English beautifully, and gave us insight into the life, religion, and customs of the areas we visited. He patiently answered all of our many (and sometimes silly) questions. Pham also modified the itinerary for us, giving us more opportunity to hike and spend time in the different areas, and less time in the car. Our driver Alex was warm and friendly. We had a couple very rainy and foggy days, and I always felt safe with him behind the wheel, navigating twisting mountain roads with water buffalo coming toward you and motorbikes passing on the right. Our meals with them were fun (and filling!), as they ordered local favorites and encouraged us to try things we wouldn't have even known to order on our own. The trip exceeded our expectations thanks to their hospitality.