Clients will take the night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai which arrives at about 05.30 the next morning.
Day 1: Lao Cai – One of the regional minority markets – Bac Ha
- Early arrival to Lao Cai station at 05.30, welcomed by tour guide and driver. Freshen up and breakfast in local restaurant near the station.
- 07.30: Leave Lao Cai for one of the following regional minority markets which play an important role in spiritual and social life of the ethnic peoples in the far north region of Vietnam: Bac Ha Market on Sun Day; Ban Cam Market on Tuesday; Lung Khau Nhin Market on Wednesday; Cao Son Market on Thursday; Can Cau Market on Saturday.
- 09.30: Arriving at one of these markets, the clients will spend about 2 hours attending the local ethnic peoples such as Flower H’mong, Zao, Tay, Zay… who always wear best traditional costumes, unique of each group to the market not only for shopping but also for socializing.
- Transfer to Bac Ha town let after lunch break and check in the hotel upon arrival to Bac Ha.
- In the afternoon, the group will enjoy a leisure walk for about one and a half hour to explore the stunning valley nearby Bac Ha, paying visit to Ban Pho, a large village of the Flower H’mong and Tay peoples.
- Back to Hotel in late afternoon and time is set for free walk to explore Bac Ha town let.
• Driving about 120 km. Walking about two and a half hours.
• Staying overnight at Sao Mai Hotel: Air-coned and clean room, private bathroom with hot shower, western toilet.
• Lunch & Dinner: Vietnamese set menu
Day 2: Wednesday: Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi – Thung Nguyen commune (B,L,D)
- Breakfast, check out hotel at 08.00. Driving uphill for 12 km and stop for a short walk to visit Pa Chu Ty 2 village of the Phu La ethnic, located at the bottom of a stunning valley.
- Continue driving 9 km further to Gia village, take a short walk to visit Nam Ma and Gia village of the H’mong. Then continue the road trip 17 km to Xin Man town let. Lunch break in Xin Man.
- 13.00 leaving Xin Man for Hoang Su Phi along the road 176. For 32 km the road weaves its way on steep side of mountains and offers stunning view of a long and narrow valley created by high mountain ranges and the Chay river winding at the bottom. There are several photo stops along the way and a coffee break at Hoang Su Phi.
- Leaving Hoang Su Phi and driving downhill for 18 km to Nam Ty commune. Here the group will walk for about 30 minutes to visit a small village of the Red Zao peoples. (For those who love walking can take a 2 hours walk along the village path, mostly downhill, along the side of a mountain range with spectacular landscapes and paying visiting to some small villages of the Red Zao nearby the path until arriving to Thuong Nong commune where the group will stay overnight at the Penhouse)
- Continue by road to the top of the mountain pass and enjoy a long break here for spectacular landscapes of the surrounding mountains and valleys before driving 18 km downhill from the mountain pass through a lush valley to Thung Nguyen commune. Check in the Penhouse Eco-lodge here and relax for an hour.
- Enjoy late afternoon walk along the small river to explore the Giang village of the Tay ethnic peoples.
• Total driving is 128 km. Walking about 3 hours for sightseeing and visiting villages.
• Staying overnight at Penhouse Ecolodge: Clean room, private bathroom with hot shower, western toilet.
• Dinner: Vietnamese set menu
Day 3: Thung Nguyen – Nam An – Me village – Ha Giang – Bac Me (B,L,D)
- Breakfast and leaving the Penhous Ecolodge at 08.00 and driving 18 km to the top of the mountain, short stop for great view of the region in the morning sunlight before descending to the lowland and then continue for nearly an hour to Nam An. This is a special tip of the day! At the top of the mountain pass about 3 km for the main road, great view of the below valleys, the Lo river… opens wide and far. Nam An used to be a narrow and deep valley, built into a lake for water storage to run a hydraulic power plant and now has become spectacular lake with a peninsular for eco-tourist sport. The group will spend an hour walking around the lake to pay visit to a Red Zao village whose culture and living style is remaining as its was for hundreds of years. Lunch in a house built by the water and relax. Clients may swim in the emerald clear water or moving around the lake on bamboo rafts or boats.
- Leaving Nam An at about 13.00 driving 45 km to Ha Giang. Clients will enjoy stunning landscapes along the Lo river. Paying visit to a beautiful valley located 3 km from Ha Giang township. Walk about 3 km around Me village of the Tay ethnic peoples, visiting local homes for discovery of the Tay’s way of life.
- Continue the road trip through Ha Giang, along national road 34 for an hour and arrive to the upstream region of the Na Hang reservoir. Stop for visiting the village of the immigrants who have given their land for the construction of the Na Hang hydraulic power plant and some other small hamlets of the Tay and Zao scattering around a stunning valley, surrounded by high mountains and lush forest.
- Drive the last portion of the road to Bac Me town let, arriving in Bac Me at about 17.00. Check in hotel and free walk to explore this charming town let, which is beautifully set on the bank of the Gam river.
• Total driving is 154 km. walking about two and a half hours for sightseeing and visiting villages.
• Staying overnight at Song Gam hotel: Air-coned and clean room, private bathroom with hot shower, western toilet.
• Lunch & Dinner: Vietnamese set menu
Day 4: Bac Me – Meo Vac – Dong Van( B,L,D)
- Breakfast, check out hotel at 08.00 and departure for Meo Vac. The first portion 47 km of the road weaves its way along the the Gam River amongst high mountains and thick forest offers beautiful scenery with several photo stops.
- Crossing the Gam River and following the newly built road uphill for about 27 km, the group will arrive to Niem Son commune and spend almost an hour here for visiting the local market and paying visit to a small village of the H’mong ethnic peoples.
- Driving 25 km uphill through the remote and deserted region to Meo Vac. From here visitors will see the contrast between the tough topography and climate of this remote highland and what they have seen in two days before while traveling through the lower land. Getting close to Meo Vac, there appeared some small hamlets of the H’mong built on the immense limestone hill sides. Stop for visiting one of these hamlets for the first impression of the very hard life on this mysterious limestone highland.
- Arriving in Meo Vac at noon, take a quick look at the market and lunch break.
- After Lunch, the group will pay visit to a small village of the Lolo, an ethnic group with only about 3,700 peoples near the town before leaving Meo Vac for the real discovery of the limestone highland. The narrow road winds its way on the wall-up and deserted limestone mountain side with the view of a valley deep down where the Nho Que river sneaking, bending…amidst mountain feet. This is Ma Pi Leng, one of the most famous mountain passes in Vietnam for its magnificent beauty and danger! After several stops for spectacular landscapes, the group will take a walk for half an hour to visit Ma Pi Leng village of the H’mong which is consisted of only about 20 houses built on the rocky land. Here visitor will see unimaginable and hard life of the H’mong living on this highland for hundreds of years. Also here the true value of cultivated land and water can be seen!
- Continue along the road for 16 km to Dong Van. Check in hotel upon arrival and having a short rest.
- At about 17.00, the group gathers again for a leisure walk around the market place and the old street of Dong Van. It is really a good chance to see one of the uniqueness of local minority life If on Saturday. This part will be crowded and lively for many H’mong and Zao peoples come from remote and isolated villages to attend the week-end market which took place from early Sunday.
• Total driving is 160 km. walking about 2 hour for sightseeing visiting to villages
• Staying overnight at Rocky Highland Hotel: Air-coned and clean room, private bathroom with hot shower, western toilet.
• Lunch & Dinner: Vietnamese set menu
Day 5: Dong Van – Lung Cu - Vuong Palace – Pho Bang – Yen Minh – Quan Ba (B,L,D)
- Breakfast, check out hotel at 08.00 and drive 26 km to Lung Cu commune located on the northernmost tip of Dong Van highland and Vietnam as well. Here clients will pay visiting to two villages: One of the H’mong ethnic – majority of Dong Van district - and one of the Red Lolo – A very small ethnic group.
• If on Friday: The group will leave Dong Van earlier for having about an hour more to attend the communal market of Lung Cu, which is colorful and interesting.
• If on Sunday: Spend 2 hours in the morning for attending the famous Dong Van market and leave for Lung Cu at 09.30. In this case arriving in Quan Ba late at about 19.00.
- Leaving Lung Cu down hill for about 25 km, the group will enjoy sightseeing at the famous historical and cultural site: The Vuong Family Palace once ruled over the H’mong in the region and popularly known as King of the H’mong.
- Continue by road for 17 km to Sung La commune beautifully set at the foot of Pho Cao mountain pass. Here the group will walk around the Lung Cam village, paying visiting to H’mong families, especially the very old typical and beautiful house here.
- Driving uphill a stunning mountain pass, enjoy viewing stop before turning right for 5 km to Pho Bang ancient town let. This town let was built hundreds of years ago as a regional trading center between the local and Chinese traders. Walking for about an hour to explore this charming town let which is featured with two storey wooden houses, clay walled, Yin and Yang tiled roofs and leisure atmosphere.
- Leaving Pho Bang for a driving down hill to a lush valley where Yen Minh town let located for late lunch break.
- Leaving Yen Minh for a drive uphill of a long and high mountain pass, enjoying marvelous scenery the lush forest and stop at the top of the pass for great view of the surrounding region.
- Take a break at the foot of the pass far walking to visit a village of the La Chi, another small ethnic group with only over 3,000 individuals in Vietnam whose culture is really unique and strong.
- Continue by road 4C along the Mtem river for an hour, walking to visit Nam Dam village of the Zao ao dai (Zao with long dress) located at the center of a large and stunning valley before arriving in Tam Son town let of Quan Ba district. Check in hotel for freshen up and relax. Evening is at leisure.
• Total driving is 132 km. Walking about 8 km for sightseeing visiting to villages
• Staying overnight at Tam Son Hotel: Air-coned and clean room, private bathroom with hot shower, western toilet.
• Lunch & Dinner: Vietnamese set menu
Day 6: Quan Ba – Ha Giang – Ha Noi (B,L,D)
- Breakfast and check out hotel for a long driving day back to Hanoi today.
- Driving uphill 5 km to the top of Quan Ba mountain pass, stop for admiring the magnificent scenery and great view of Quan Ba valley. Then driving few kilometers further for visiting the Quyet Tien Commune locating near the top of Quan Ba pass at 1000 m above sea level. Hear the group will spend an hour enjoying marvel of nature and paying visit to 2 villages: One is Lung Muoi village of the H’mong with traditional living style of the highlander ethnics and the other, Vinh Tien village of the Kinh peoples immigrated to the region in 1980s in a government project attempting to give local minority ethnic peoples an example about intensive farming so that they can learn better farming technique from these immigrants.
- Driving downhill for another hour and take a coffee stop at Ha Giang before continue along national road 2 to Bac Quang. Lunch break.
- The whole afternoon is for traveling along national road 2 for Hanoi with several stops along the way.
- Arrive in Hanoi in late afternoon at about 19.00 to end up the trip
• Total driving is 360 km. Walking about 4 km for sightseeing visiting to villages
• Lunch: Vietnamese set menu