Active Adventure in the Epic North

14 Days, 13 Nights

Experience the lesser seen side of Vietnam by Mt bike, hiking, and kayak. Get to know the cultural history of Hanoi before heading to the mountains for unforgettable treks with stunning landscape scenes. Cycle through tiny villages and spend time with the locals. You’ll then kayak through the mystical limestone stacks of Halong Bay, discovering hidden caves and staring in awe at the incredible, towering karsts. This adventure is the perfect combination of physical activity, local experiences, and relaxing moments with amazing views.

Trip Highlights

  • Hike and Mt. bike through bamboo forests and cardamom fields on your way to a small local village, where you will meet natives of the Black H’Mong
  • Summit Silver Stone Mountain and experience incredible views of the Muong Hoa and Ban Ho valleys
  • Kayak through Cua Van - a floating village in Halong Bay
Price
$2785 USD per person
Trip Activities
Cycling, trekking, kayaking
Trip Length
14 Days, 13 Nights
Physical Level
Enthusiast
Start/End
Hanoi, Vietnam
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nights)
Homestay (1 night)
Guesthouse (1 night)
Camping (1 night)
Adventure Lodge (2 nights)
Live Aboard Boat (2 nights)
Age
Minimum 16 years of age
Meals not included
Lunch, Breakfast Day 1
Dinner Day 2
Dinner Day 5
Lunch Day 8
Lunch Day 9
Lunch, Dinner Day 13
Flights Included
None

Day-by-day Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive in Hanoi, First Impressions
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, we’ll pick you up and drive you just a few minutes to your hotel. You’ll stay in a charming, family run hotel in the center of Hanoi, where the narrow streets are teeming with life. The shops spill out onto the pavement during the day, while the cycle rickshaws and street vendors dodge traffic to compete for your attention. You’ll have the day to explore at leisure, until the evening when you’ll enjoy your first Vietnamese meal with a local family.

Meals
  • Dinner
Accommodation
Day 2
Hanoi City Tour, Night Train to Lao Cai
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

Today after breakfast, we’ll adventure through the hidden alleys of Hanoi. We’ll explore the city, while absorbing the fast past atmosphere of the east. You’ll see how Hanoi retains it’s charm and deep rooted history while developing quickly to keep up with the modern world. Next, we’ll visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Literature Temple, or a few of the many other cultural attractions. Later this evening, we will board the night train to Lao Cai, a busy town on the Chinese border. You’ll have plenty of local options to choose from for dinner.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation
None
Day 3
Lao Cai to Trung Do
Activities
  • Cycling: 56 km
Transfers
  • Van: 1.5
Description

We will arrive to Lao Cai railway station in the early morning, where we will have a local breakfast in a nearby restaurant. You’ll then have some time for refreshing before testing out your bike for some adventurous cycling days ahead. We will first cycle to Pho Moi bridge before taking a daring turn onto a hidden road full of mountain scenery and views of the Red River. You’ll continue onto paths surrounded by rice and corn fields and green tea plantations. We will stop for a boxed lunch at a local house, or opt to take it outside and eat among the rolling hills. After lunch, we’ll ride through the small villages of Flower H’Mong, Black Dao, where we will have time to explore before taking the winding road to Coc Ly. From here, we will hop off the bikes for a refreshing cruise downstream on Chay River. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to anchor on the river bank and explore some more of the Flower H’Mong villages before finishing the boat ride at Trung Do village. Here, you’ll interact with the Tay locals and spend the night in a traditional Trung Do stilt house.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Day 4
Cycle to Nam Mon, Cao Son, Lung Khau Nhin, Muong Khuong
Activities
  • Cycling: 48 km
Transfers
  • Van: 1.5
Description

After breakfast and parting ways with the family, we’ll cycle out of the village to the stunning rice paddy fields. The dirt road will lead you to another village of the Flower H’Mong minority, where you will have some time to visit and explore. Just a short distance away is a paved road, where your transfer vehicle will pick you up and take you to Na Hoi. From here, we will take our bikes downhill off-roading through the stunning scenery. The small village of Nao Hom, which we will cycle through, can grant a truly authentic experience if you are willing to stop and explore. We will cross Chay River by bridge and then hop on a bus for transfer to Cao Son, where we will lunch at the Cao Son Ecolodge.

After lunch, we will take a smooth ride with some light climbs to Lung Khau Nhin. There will be a few chances to take breaks in the small local villages if you’d like to explore a bit more. Our ride will end for the day at Muong Khuong, where you’ll dine in a local restaurant and spend the night in a cozy guest house.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse
Day 5
Muong Khuong to Ban Phiet to Sapa
Activities
  • Cycling: 45 km
Transfers
  • Van: 1.5
Description

If we are in Muong Khuong on a Sunday, we will follow the locals to Muong Khuong market, one of the most untouched markets by tourists in the area. Here you’ll see a diverse variety of locals, from Flower H’Mong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, Nung to Ha Nhi, who gather at the market as much for socializing as trading.

We will continue the ride today on an easy, winding road to Ban Khuong Bridge, before ascending to Ta Then village for a visit to the Flower H’Mong. Our next destination is Ban Lau village, where you can mingle with the Nung minority and visit the Napao waterfall if the trip is not during the dry season. Lunch will be served in a small local village. Following lunch, the ride will continue on winding roads filled with low mountains and green tea plantations, to Ban Phiet. Once you reach Ban Phiet, you’ll meet a transfer vehicle which will take you to Sapa.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6
Trek to San Sa Ho
Activities
  • Trekking: 15 km
Transfers
None
Description

In the early morning, we will leave the town of Sapa by foot and continue into the Muong Hoa valley, where you will encounter a new variety of natives. After crossing the Muong Hoa river, we will hike through the bamboo forest and cardamom farms along the foot of Hoang Lien Mountain range, home to the peak Fansipan, 3,143 m als. You will see amazing views of the Muong Hoa valley before passing through the villages of the Black H’Mong, who are dressed in their traditional indigo costumes. This is a wonderful chance to see how the people have retained their culture and still live their ancestors way of life. We will end the day near a stream close to a Black H’Mong village.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Camping
Day 7
Crossing Muong Hoa Valley to Topas Ecolodge
Activities
  • Trekking: 19 km
Transfers
None
Description

You’ll wake up this morning to sounds of nature. After breakfast, we’ll be ready for a long trek. The trails run up and down through the landscapes of Muong Hoa valley, passing through a Red Doa ethnic village. The Red Doa minority is the second largest group in Sapa, and are well known for their colorful costumes. After passing through the endless terraced fields of the Muong Hoa valley, you’ll hike along the Can Thang mountain range to the Silver Stone Mountain. From the summit, you’ll have spectacular views of the Muong Hoa valley and Ban Ho valley. After descending to the other side of the mountain, you’ll reach Topas Ecolodge at the end of the day. Here you will have time to relax and enjoy the scenery as the sun descends among the surrounding mountains.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
Day 8
Leisure Day at Topas Ecolodge
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

Today you will have a chance to relax after your exertions in the last few days. From the lodge, you will have breathtaking views of the valleys below, which are home to the Tay and Red Doa minorities.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation
Day 9
Leisure day in Sapa
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

After breakfast, you will have a transfer from Topas Ecolodge to Sapa. Today is at your leisure to visit the local Sapa market and do some more sightseeing around town. In the afternoon, you will have a transfer to Lao Cai for boarding the night train to Hanoi. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant near the Lao Cai Railways Station.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation
None
Day 10
Hanoi to Halong
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

You’ll arrive to Hanoi with time to take a stroll around Hoan Kiem lake to witness the local population preparing for their day’s work by doing gymnastics (Tai Chi) and playing badminton in the cool morning air. After a delicious breakfast, you’ll leave Hanoi by bus for Halong Bay. The bay has become Vietnam’s most famous natural phenomenon, with a maze of over 1500 limestone stacks that rise from the water in all shapes and sizes. Aboard your boat, you’ll be served a delicious lunch of savory fresh local seafood, while your guide gives instructions on kayaking gear and safety. You’ll learn basic paddle strokes and be given your paddling route. You’ll have the opportunity to kayak through Hang Sang, Hang Toi, and Cua Van - floating village, for about 2 hours. After an afternoon of exploration, a freshwater shower and hearty dinner await you on the boat. Relax under the stars before retiring for the night.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Live Aboard Boat
Day 11
Full Day Kayaking Adventure in Halong Bay
Activities
  • Kayaking: 5 hours
Transfers
None
Description

After breakfast, we will cruise deeper into the Bay, where you can kayak through the mystical waters, visit beaches or a lagoon cave (depending on tidal conditions), and go swimming. Come back to the boat for lunch, before spending the afternoon paddling through the clear blue water. When you’ve exhausted your arms, come back to the boat for another relaxing night.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Live Aboard Boat
Day 12
Kayaking and Return to Hanoi
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 5
Description

After breakfast, we will cruise for a bit before the last leg of kayaking to explore the karsts formation. We will have a relaxing lunch on the boat before disembarking at noon, where we’ll transfer back to Hanoi, to arrive at 5 PM. We will enjoy our farewell at a nice restaurant. You will retire for the night at Hong Ngoc Dynastie Hotel.

Meals
  • Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation
Day 13
Departure from Hanoi
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

Today we will say goodbye to Hanoi. You will return home with a rich variety of adventure and experience behind you.

Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
None

Trip Information

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Inclusions

* Plenty of water, snacks, and local fruit

* Rove Certified Guide

* An assistant guide for 11-15 pax, 2 assistant guides for 16+ pax

* Vehicles: (varies based on local conditions and vehicle sizes available)

* A first aid kit per guide

* Entrance fees

* Meals as mentioned in the itinerary, including two non alcoholic beverages per person per meal

* Accommodation as listed above.

Exclusions

* Visa arrangements

* International and domestic flights.

* Alcoholic drinks

* Meals other than mentioned above

* Guide(s) Tips

* Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatorade, Powerbars, Gu, Isostar, etc)

* Personal Travel Insurance

* Personal expenditure (laundry, telephone etc.)