Remote Encounters in the Northeast

12 Days, 11 Nights

From the historical city of Hanoi, explore the scenic Ba Be Lake; discover a landscape of waterfalls and nature reserves. Then heading to Thong Nong range, the scenery becomes more mountainous with series of limestone peaks and remote valleys scattered in a wild manner. Finally emerge at the stunning seascape of Bai Tu Long Bay, a magnificent less crowded part of Halong Bay. Along the way meet various ethnic minorities such as the Tays, the Hmôngs and the Nungs; whose way of life has remained unchanged for centuries.

Trip Highlights

  • Trek through secluded jungles, over rugged passes with epic views, and remote villages in Thong Nong
  • Experience life like a local in the remote villages of rural Vietnam, complete with cooking classes and local homestays
  • Enjoy a three day, two night cruise throughout the lesser seen side of Vietnams epic bays
Price
$2260 USD per person
Trip Activities
Trekking
Trip Length
12 Days, 11 Nights
Physical Level
Casual
Start/End
Hanoi, Vietnam
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nights)
Homestay (5 nights)
Live Aboard Boat (2 nights)
Age
Minimum 16 years of age
Meals not included
Lunch, Breakfast Day 1
Lunch, Dinner Day 12
Flights Included
None

Day-by-day Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1
Arrival in Hanoi
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 0.75
Description

Upon arrival in Hanoi at Noibai Airport, you will be welcomed by a local tour guide for transfer to your hotel. Mid-afternoon, we will have an orientation tour in Hanoi’s Old Quarter by bike. Discover a city of poetry and markets, which is enchantingly balanced between tradition and modernity. Stop at the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake, which is called Lake of the Restored Sword. We will also visit Ngoc Son Pagoda, which is located on the shores of the lake.

In the evening, a welcome dinner will be served at Cau Go, a restaurant featuring contemporary Vietnamese cuisine with an incredible view.

Meals
  • Dinner
Day 2
Hanoi to Ba Be
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 6
Description

In the morning, we depart for Ba Be, passing through exceptional landscapes. On the way, we will see various exotic tea plantations. We will have the opportunity to stop and visit the Ethnological Museum in Thai Nguyen province.

Mid-afternoon, we arrive in Ba Be, a region of karsts and land of various ethnic minorities, also known as “Halong Bay in the mountain”. Board a boat along Ba Be Lake to Coc Toc, a Tay hamlet nestled at the foot of a wooded mountain on the lake southern arm. Then we will settle in with a Tay family and get to know the locals. You'll have the chance to discover the village and its surroundings. Late afternoon, we will have an introduction of local fishing techniques with our local host and prepare dinner.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Day 3
Ba Be
Activities
  • Trekking: 6.5 hours
Transfers
None
Description

This morning, embark on a boat for an hour navigating across Ba Be Lake. Reach the hike departure and start the trek through hamlets inhabited by Tay and Hmông ethnic minorities. We will continue the trek on a flat trail and arrive in Ban Tau village. Visit the village and hike up to a Hmông village. Continue on the trail and descend in to the village of Cam Ha.

In the afternoon, we will return to the boat and navigate to Dau Dang waterfalls. We will have a chance to experience the stunning waterfalls before our return to Coc Toc.

The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Day 4
Ba Be to Khuoi Khon
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 5
Description

This morning we will transfer toward Bao Lac on a scenic road, passing through Ban Na and Na Phac villages and the Pia Oac range. On the way, we will stop to visit an ancient house. The road follows Thong Nong and its karst peaks on the southern side. Around six miles before Khuoi Khon, we'll leave the car and take a short hike up on a dirt trail to Khuoi Khon, a village inhabited by Black Lolo.

Mid-afternoon, settle in to a local home and meet your new host. We will have a short hike to a pass overlooking the village before we meet its inhabitants, and gain insight into local traditions and customs. Share the Lolo daily life by participating in various activities depending on the season.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Day 5
Khuoi Khon – Va Tai
Activities
  • Trekking: 7 hours
Transfers
None
Description

This morning, drive an hour away to the start of the next trekking trail, on the edge of Thong Nong mountain range. The trail follows Nguom Nan mountain range western arm, where we will have a long ascent toward Thong Nong heart. Hike across a scenic lunar landscape made of limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops, where you will see various remote Dao hamlets. We will stop for lunch in a village inhabited by the Dao.

In the afternoon, traverse Mi Loun, a Hmông hamlet. We will encounter various ascents and descents to traverse Lung Peng valley, a long and narrow valley populated by Dao minority. Late afternoon, we arrive in Va Tai, a Red Dao village surrounded by about ten limestone pitons which have been recovered by secondary forest. We will settle in to a local house and learn more about local customs and traditions.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Day 6
Va Tai – Nam Ngu
Activities
  • Trekking: 7 hours
Transfers
None
Description

In the morning, we depart at dawn, traversing to narrow Va Tai Pen valley inhabited by some Hmôngs. Inside the valley, ascend toward Hmông hamlet, Lo Lung Xitung, before descending into a trail inside the impressive jungle. A narrow footpath makes a passage through a thick forest formation. Here we will enjoy a picnic lunch.

This afternoon, we arrive in Co Phat, a small Hmông village where the French created a military post in 1950. Continue the descent toward Thong Nong southern arm, in front of a massive limestone range. Mid-afternoon, we arrive in Nam Ngu, an ethnic Nung hamlet of seven families surrounded by rice fields and limestone peaks. During the rainy season, the village has a clear view of the Na River, a mountain stream above a series of smaller cataracts.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Day 7
Nam Ngu – Cao Bang
Activities
  • Trekking: 4 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 2.5
Description

This morning, we depart for a diverse trek inside a limestone range, on a trail following Na River to Na Meo, an ethnic Tay village situated in a valley surrounded by rugged limestone peaks. We will continue to Sat Tai, a splendid Dao village. Continue on a narrow path snaking through corn fields, then descend to a deep valley. Later in the afternoon, we will return to the car and transfer to Thong Nong City for a local lunch. Then, further drive to Cao Bang City.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
Day 8
Cao Bang – Lang Son
Activities
  • Trekking: 5 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 4
Description

This morning, we will go for a drive along the National Road 4, heading to the Northern Dong Khe village. From here, we depart for a trek along the Quang Liet valley, a historical valley used by French to evacuate Cao Bang city. Enjoy a trek dominated by high cliffs. We will stop for lunch in Coc Xa. After lunch, we will continue our hike along the valley, passing over the Southern ridge line, leading to the foot of Lung Phai. Reach the car and drive toward Lang Son via Na Phac.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
Day 9
Lang Son to Bai Tu Long Bay
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 4.5
Description

This morning, we drive to Halong, including a twenty-minute stop on the way. Arrive at the pier at noon, where we will be welcomed on board and cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay, a less visited area than Halong Bay. Lunch will be served while cruising through the bay.

In the afternoon, we will enjoy a cruise surrounded by unique and awe-inspiring scenery. You'll have the chance to visit a cave or floating house. Enjoy kayaking and/or swimming, or simply relax and enjoy your time on board. In the evening, savor a local cooking demonstration, dinner on board, and squid fishing, if weather permits.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Live Aboard Boat
Day 10
Bai Tu Long Bay
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

Spend a second day on board the boat, cruising through the impressive bay. Various activities are possible depending on the weather and cruise's schedule: a visit to a cave, climb to a limestone mount for a panoramic view of the bay, kayak, or go for a swim. Morning mists and evening sunsets are a perfect time to capture the awe-inspiring scenery of this spectacular region.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Live Aboard Boat
Day 11
Bai Tu Long Bay to Hanoi
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 4
Description

In the morning, enjoy breakfast while cruising further into Halong Bay. The vessel cruises slowly through majestic karst peaks and back toward the pier. Depending on the boat’s itinerary, visit an additional site. Disembark around noon and drive back to Hanoi, arriving mid-afternoon. Take a short tour discovering some of the most impressive attractions in Hanoi. Visit the Temple of Literature, the first national university of Vietnam in the original architecture. We will walk around the exquisite grounds of the old Indochinese governor’s palace (now a Presidential Palace) and then stop for a visit of the unique One Pillar Pagoda and the stilt house of Ho Chi Minh. This evening, a farewell dinner will be served at Nineteen11 Restaurant & Bar, located at the basement of the historic Hanoi Opera House.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12
Hanoi Departure
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

Today will be yours to enjoy how you wish until your departure from Hanoi.

Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
None

Trip Information

Expand All
Inclusions

Rove certified Guide

Plenty of water, snacks, and local fruits

Additional local 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 (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)

Accommodation as listed above

Exclusions

Visa arrangement

International and domestic flights.

Alcoholic drinks

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.