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THE BEST RICE TERRACED FIELDS OF

Vietnam

North-eastern Vietnam Loop Trip

HG07| 15 Days| Private Tour | All Year Around | Can be tailored to suite your requirements


OVERVIEW
This is a big loop trip in Northern Vietnam but really diversified. You will have many different interesting activities and experiences during the trip. Those who love traveling off the beaten track and would like to enjoy the authentic cultures and admire amazing landscapes, this is the one that offers you the insight.

FYI, The average speed of driving on the mountain roads is about 35 km to 40km per hour (This doesn't include the stops for photo opportunities). The distances between the destinations are roughly viewed as follows:

Hanoi - 110km - Ninh Binh - 150km - Duong Lam Village - 270km - Bac Ha - 80km - Vinh Quang (HSP) - 30km - Thong Nguyen (HSP) - 180km - Yen Minh - 75km - Meo Vac - 165km - Ba Be Lake - 130km - Cao Bang City - 85km - Ban Gioc Waterfall - 85km - Cao Bang City - 130km - Bac Son Valley - 200km - Halong Bay - 165km - Hanoi

Accommodation is expected to be basic but the top of the areas will be used for your best confort possible. Food is very local, too. There is no western food to expect except bread, fried eggs for breakfast at some places. Meals are at local food stores but we always choose the most acceptable one.


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experiencing the local daily life of Vietnamese rustics with homestays from the plain to the highlands. 
  • Admire incredible landscapes of the limestone country and the amazing rice terraced fields. 
  • Active activities include boating, bicycling, trekking, cruising... 
  • Visiting UNESCO's world heritages in Vietnam. 
  • Tasting variety of local food

ITINERARY IN BRIEF

DAY 1: Hanoi - Ninh Binh
Day 2: Ninh Binh - Duong Lam Village 
Day 3: Duong Lam Village - Bac Ha
Day 4: Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi
Day 5: Hoang Su Phi (Trek)
Day 6: Hoang Su Phi (Trek)
DAY 7: Hoang Su Phi - Quang Ba - Yen Minh
Day 8: Yen Minh - Dong Van - Meo Vac
Day 9: Meo Vac - Nho Que Boat Ride - Bao Lac
Day 10: Bao Lac - Ba Be National Park
Day 11: Ba Be Lake - Tra Linh - Quang Uyen
Day 12: Ban Gioc Waterfall & Nguom Ngao Cave
Day 13: Cao Bang - Bac Son Valley
Day 14: Bac Son Valley - Halong Bay
Day 15: Halong Bay - Hanoi

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1: HANOI - NINH BINH

Get picked up at your hotel in Hanoi and take 2,5 hour drive through the fertile land of the Red River Delta, you will arrive at Tam Coc boat operation place in Ninh Binh. On arrival, take 2-hour sampan boat ride on a small river and through 3 tunnel-like caves. (This area is considered as “Inland Halong Bay” featured with karst formations.). An easy walk in between the limestone mountains to visit Thai Vi temple (which dedicated to a Vietnamese heroic dynasty.)
A Vietnamese lunch is served at a local restaurant.
Afternoon, 1.5-hour bicycle ride along the back roads through beautiful scenery of towering karsts on the ground of ponds, rice paddies and rural villages. (On the bike, we will have as many stops as you want to take photographs.). Visit Bich Dong Pagoda, an important religious place for the locals in the region.
Later in the afternoon, check in your hotel and take it easy before dinner.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 2: NINH BINH - DUONG LAM VILLAGE

After the breakfast at the hotel, we will transfer to Hang Mua Mountain for another hike to the highest summit in this so-call "Inland Halong Bay" to admire the stunning landscape of the karst formations (The 500-step hike is optional). After Hang Mua summit, we will continue on hikking on the flat ground through a village and to rice fields, along the feet of the mountains. The second hike takes about 2 hours. This is also a great time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of a beautiful part of Trang An UNESCO's heritage. After lunch, we will drive to Duong Lam ancient village. Check in a homestay, dinner and stay overnight.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 3: DUONg lam village - BAC HA town

Breakfast at the homestay, then your guide will lead the way for a gentle bicycling tour around the village. It is worth for the bike ride as Duong Lam is known for its 300-year-old houses, grand communal halls and pagodas, original fishbone brick roads and ancient banyan trees. It’s advertised as a place where tourists can ‘step back in time’ and observe village life as it was before French colonisation. While riding the bikes, the guide will take you to visit some typical ancient houses and old pagoda. Great time to learn about Vietnamese rural life. Return the bikes, then get back on your private transport to set off for Bac Ha town. Lunch is on the way. Arrive in Bac Ha town, check in the hotel and rest.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 4: BAC HA - HOANG SU PHI (LUOC VILLAGE)

Today, you will spend most of the morning stroll around Bac Ha Market to hunt some good pictures. This is the biggest hill tribe market in the Northwest of Vietnam. Alive with the bright colours and extravagant costumes of the local people, specially the Flower H'mong. Together with other minorities, they come from different villages in the surroundings to buy and sell a wide variety of goods and livestock. It is more common to see buffalo, cows, goats, horses and other livestock being traded. After the market, we make our way to Xi Man town for lunch at a local food store. In the afternoon, continue on driving to Hoang Su Phi. Take about 1,5-hour hike to Ban Luoc, a Tay ethic village for a homestay night on a stilt house. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 5: HOANG SU PHI (LUOC VILLAGE TREK)

This morning, after the breakfast at the family. We trek the scenic dirt trail up and down the rice terraces in Ban Luoc area. This is one of the national rice terrace heritage cores in Hoang Su Phi. The beauty of the landscape is at its best at the yellow season (in the early half of October). Get picked up by our car and transfer to Vinh Quang town for lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy the beautiful drive to Thong Nguyen commune for another homestay. Dinner and overnight at a local house. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 6: MORE TREK IN HOAG SU PHI (NAM KHOA)

We spend most of the day trekking Nam Khoa commune on small trails up and down the mountains, enjoy the scenic landscape of rice terraced fields and peaceful villages. The rice terraces in this area are not less impressive than the ones of the previous day. 

Lunch is taken care of by our local way leader and dinner at an other local house of the Red Yao people in the region. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 7: HOANG SU PHI - QUAN BA - YEN MINH

You may be woken up early by the domestic animals again. Inhale the fresh air from the mountains and sip a cup of hot tea or coffee. After the breakfast, trek over an hour downhill to the paved road where we say good-bye to our local men and move on to our next destination by car. Lunch is at a restaurant in Ha Giang city. 

The afternoon drive takes you higher to the Northernmost region of the country. Some of the interesting stops for taking photographs includes Quan Ba Pass, Quan Ba's twin mountains. 

Arrive at Yen Minh town, check in and overnight in Yen Minh. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 8: YEN MINH - DONG VAN - MEO VAC

The drive today is amazing, the driver will do his best for you to stop as often as possible so that you are able to admire the limestone mountain scenery and taking photographs on the way as you are traveling thru' the Karst Geo-park. Dong Van Karst Plateau is unique combination between Geoheritage and cultural heritages. Up to 80% of the karst formations of Dong Van Plateau are limestone formed by environment conditions and different development stages of nature. The scenery is amazing and the local life and the culture of the hill tribes such as the H'mong is something that will be very memorable for your trip. Some of the typical stops are Pho Cao and Pho Bang ancient towns and the residence of the Vuong family, still called “Palace of Hmong King”. Lunch is on the way.
In the afternoon, heading to Meo Vac. The distance between Dong Van and Meo Vac is just 25 km but this leg of the trip is spectacular! The drive on Happy Road is incredible with the scenery to the left as it is where the pretty Nho Que River lies at the bottom of Tu San Abyss. We make a stop on Ma Pi Leng Pass and spend the morning trekking along the sky-road. This scenic trek will definitely one of the highlights of your trip. Overnight in Meo Vac.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 9: MEO VAC - nho que boat ride - bao lac

After breakfast, take a short drive to Nho Que River. From the ticket checking point, the guide will lead the way walking down to the water where you will hop on a motorized boat. The ride on Nho Que River is amazing as you are able to enjoy the stunning scenery of the august mountains, especially when the boat is moving through Tu San Abyss Alley. This is known as one of the most magnificent canyons in Southeast Asia.
Get back to Meo Vac for the lunch. The afternoon drive takes you downhill to Bao Lac little town. Check in a local hotel, relax and stay for the night. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 10: Bao lac - BA BE LAKE

Today you spend the morning driving  to Ba Be National Park. The topography is changing from the rocky plateau to soil mountain with green vegetation and forests. 

Lunch is at Cho Ra town.
In the afternoon, heading toward Be Be National Park. Get dropped at Buoc Lom boat dock where you will take a down-stream boat ride into the park on Nang River. The evergreen scenery will please your eyes. After about an hour, the boat will take you inside Ba Be Lake, 
considered as the biggest natural fresh water lake in Vietnam. Enjoying the view of the rain forest. If time and weather permit, you can take a jump and enjoy swimming in the lake. Get on land and check in a homestay at a lakeside village. Dinner and overnight.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 11: BA BE LAKE - Tra Linh - QuanG Uyen 

Bid farewell to the host family after breakfast. Set off for the morning drive to Cao Bang. Arrive at Hung Quoc town (Tra Linh) for the lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, take a short transfer to a trekking point where you will spend the rest of the afternoon explore an incredible valley where a famous so-call Nui Thung located. In recent years Nui Thung mountain, also known as Mountain Angel Eye, has developed into a must-see location due to the area’s spectacular landscapes. The trek also lead you to a small waterfall called "Nam Tra", trek pass the falls to the other side of a winding river. Get picked up and drive to the homestay of a Nung family. Dinner and stay overnight at the village.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 12: BAN GIOC WATERFALL & NGUOM NGAO CAVE

After breakfast at the homestay, your guide will take you out for the morning hike to the summit of Phia Thap Village Mountain. It is not very high one, but the scenery that you get from the peak is worth it! Get downhill and bid farewell to the family for the drive toward Ban Gioc Waterfall. Upon arrival at the waterfall, we take a walk to the base of the falls. If the water is not so violent, we will take a raft to get closer to the falls and enjoy the cool temperature, due to the water mist in the air. The fall is located right on the border line between China and Vietnam.

A Vietnamese lunch will be served at a local restaurant afterward.
In the afternoon, continue on the day with a visit to Nguom Ngao limestone Cave, which is about 2 km from Ban Gioc Fall. Thousands of colorful stalactites and stalagmites will amaze you. Back to the car and make your way back to Cao Bang town. Dinner and overnight in Cao Bang.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 13: CAO BANG - BAC SON VALLEY

Check out of the hotel after your breakfast and get ready for the morning drive to Bac Son Valley in Lang Son province. The drive includes some stops on the way for you to take photographs whenever you want. Arrive at Quynh Son village of the ethnic Tay people and have lunch on a stilt house. This afternoon you will walk to visit the village and hike up to the top of the telephone-station mountain for a stunning scenery over the valley. This is a great point for those who love photographing. Dinner and chat chit with the host of our homestay tonight. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 14: BAC SON VALLEY - HALONG BAY

As the drive this morning is quite long to the bay, we will have the breakfast a bit early before bidding farewell to the host family for 5-hour drive to Halong City. Arrive in Halong Bay's pier around noon, get aboard for lunch and easy on the boat to enjoy the stunning scenery of the UNESCO's heritage while it is winding in between the limestone islands. Swimming and kayaking in the late afternoon if the weather permits. Dinner and overnight on boat in Halong Bay. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

DAY 15: HALONG BAY - HANOI

Get up early for the fresh air on the top deck with a cup of warm coffee/tea if you wish or you can stay longer in your cabin until breakfast time. After the breakfast, you will have further cruise to other parts of Halong Bay. 

Enjoy a wholesome brunch before getting back to harbor at noon. Thence, get back on to your private vehicle for the afternoon drive back to Hanoi. Finish your adventure at the door of your hotel in Hanoi. 

  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Tour Inclusions

  • Private A/c transportation per itinerary 
  • English or French speaking tour guide (other languages on request) 
  • Local way leader  
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary 
  • Accommodation during the trip 
  • Boat ride in Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Ba Be Lake Raft ride in Ban Gioc Waterfall. 
  • Boat cruise in Halong Bay 
  • Sightseeing tickets and permits per itinerary 
  • Bottled water on the vehicle.



Tour Exclusions

  • Travel insurance 
  • Drinks and other meals 
  • Hotel in Hanoi 
  • International flights and visas 
  • Tips and gratuities 
  • Personal expenses and others are not mentioned clearly above.






Inquire a free quote for this tour

This is a sample itinerary that has been enjoyed by many of our past travelers to the region. It can be custom-made to meet your expectation. The prices very much depend on your group size and type of accommodation. Please send us a quote request and we will get back to you with the detail.