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Explore Vietnam’s Miraculous Far North
Highlight: Classic, nature & culture discovery

Summary


Adventure Tours in Vietnam

There are numerous Adventure Tours in Vietnam conducted by various tour adventure and private. One can take part in a number of activities right from canoeing to cycling, trekking and cross country trails, etc. The Adventure Tours in Vietnam are some of the most exciting expeditions in Vietnam.

There are quite a number of adventure activities which are recommended in various Vietnam travel guides. The popular ones include trekking, cycling, kayaking, canyoning, rock climbing, motor biking and other 4WD adventures. Vietnam has a diverse landscape and is ideal for these activities. Canoeing in Vietnam is one of the popular adventure activities which has become increasingly well liked by the tourists.

If you explore this country you will see quite a number of venues which are ideal for embarking on these adventure trails. The mountainous areas of Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang, Sapa and Ha Giang .etc...offer breathtaking views of diverse landscapes. These places attract a lot of international travelers where they can get a glimpse of some of the ethnic people of the region.

Among the popular locations Dalat is most alluring to the international travelers. It is located in the south central highlands of Vietnam and has a diversified landscape. Here you will find various lakes, valleys and hills covered with vast stretches of pine forests. This ever popular hill station was established by the French. This city is set at an altitude of 2000 meters and is ideal for mountain biking, kayaking, rappelling and rock climbing. There are a number of tour operators who offer adventure itineraries for the international travelers. The mountain treks will take you through the amazing ecosystem and mountain terrains.

One can go through the forest regions over the Lang Biang River to reach the remote Chil village. You will be mesmerized by the picturesque view of the farmlands and the forests. This is infact one of the most demanding physical treks which comprises of fast paced action all throughout.

Besides, you can also stroll through the vast stretches of pine forests hike to the Pinhat Mountain top from where you can get the picturesque view of the Tuyen Lam Lake. Just take a boat ride to visit one of most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam.

Adventure Tours in Vietnam will be quite enthralling which would enhance your touring experience.

Ha Giang The northern highlands.
On a chilly winter day in December, we were climbing all morning, up and over rocky slopes in Dong Van Highlands that seemed to stretch for an eternity. When we finally made it to the top, we were rewarded with a literally breath-taking view of the valleys below.
Dong Van highland lies over 100km north-east of Ha Giang Town in Ha Giang Province, in northern Vietnam, which is more than 300 kilometres from Hanoi. It has an average height of 1,000 – 1,600m above sea level and is home to many ethnic groups such as the Tay, Nung, Mong and Hoa.

The highlands cover four districts; Dong Van, Meo Vac, Yen Minh and Quan Ba. Not only are they they the highest land in Ha Giang, Dong Van Highland is also the most popular site-seeing place in this mountainous province. Well-known for the stunning natural scenery and rich culture, the highland is also one of the most difficult destinations to reach in Vietnam due to its geographical location. This adds only more inspiration for adventure-lovers to visit. Thousands of visitors are attracted to this highland year-round.

There are six “heritage” sites that should be seen here. One of these is Vuong’s House in Sa Phin Commune, Dong Van District; a national heritage featuring unique architecture. The remaining five sites are Lung Cu Flag Tower, Dong Van Ancient Street (in Dong Van District), Ma Pi Leng Historical Relic, Khau Vai Love Market (in Meo Vac District) and Nui Doi (in Quan Ba District).

Dong Van highland is also known as the Sa Pa of Ha Giang because of its cool climate. Indeed, it has to be one of the few places in Vietnam where you can walk during midday in the middle of the summer sunshine comfortably! However, we came here to experience the winter which is freezing to the bone. I thought of the terrible winter three years ago when thousands of cows and buffalos in this region were reported to have died because of the cold snap. A local guide told us that this winter was much more pleasant. He also advised us to return here in the spring or summer to see a different Ha Giang. “Spring is really a joy, with all the tri-coloured peach blossoms,” he described, “And in summer, the highlands are full of different colours of green cabbage and golden terraced rice fields nestling under the mountains."

More or less, we can also imagine that scene. It is untainted by modern life.

Along with the natural sites, local people also play a big part in the popularity of this area among tourists. We were lucky to get the chance to see a Sunday market in Dong Van. The markets are the perfect place to people-watch.

Carrying heavy vegetable baskets on their backs, young girls and old women in their best and brightest dresses flock to the market to sell their goods and socialize. They contrast sharply with the men who only wear black or dark-coloured clothes.

To get to the market on time, many sellers have to start their journey at midnight. However, there were no sign of tiredness on the cheerful faces. We could only see the long dresses soaked through with dew.

“I rarely miss any market gathering because it is a chance for me to meet my friends,” a young Mong girl told us.

The girl went with her father who sold wine made from corn. She said he liked eating Thang co (a kind of soup cooked from horse meat). Life looks easy for Mong men at the stalls, who are most often seen getting drunk and lying on road sides while their wives take care of them until they can walk home.

Leaving the market, we drove to Lung Cu Flag Tower, the northernmost point in Vietnam. On the only road winding through the mountains to the tower, we were able to admire the scenery and touch the clouds. There are 286 steps to the foot of the tower and then another climb the top. It’s a long hike but worth the pain in your calves to see the view.

To preserve the natural beauty and develop tourism in this region, the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism has held an international conference o­n building Dong Van Highland into a global geological park. So, just like our journey, it’s onwards and upwards for Ha Giang Province.


Detailed Itinerary

Explore Vietnam’s Miraculous Far North

 

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
Explore Vietnam’s Miraculous Far North
- 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

Departure & Price

This is a sample itinerary so the cost really depends on your hotel choice, number of people in your group and time of travel. An indication of the cost for this itinerary is between US$525 -US$878 per person based on four people travelling in high season.


We act responsibility by contributing to local communities, ensuring we work with reliable suppliers and paying our staff and guides a fair wage, so that you, the traveler, can sit back and enjoy your holiday in the knowledge that you have booked through a well established, professional, reputable and responsible tour operator. For more information about us please click here.


Our teams are well trained, bursting with information and eager to help put together a customized quote for you so please send us your enquire.

Inclusive
• English or French speaking guide
• All needed transport
• All indicated meals, plus snacks (B as breakfast; L as lunch; D as dinner)
• All needed Equipments
• Water and Snack on the whole trip
• Train Ticket from Hanoi - Lao Cai
• Tents if needed
• All entrance fees and permit
• Overnight in local house or hotel as mention
• Local Insurance

Exclusive
• Personal Pocket Money
• Soft drink (beer, coca cola…)
• All other services not indicated above

Creating Unique Touring Experiences

All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Vietnam tour to your individual specifications.


Package 1 pax 2 - 3 pax 4 - 6 pax Over 7
Explore Vietnam’s Miraculous Far North $881 $688 $564 $519 Book now !

Travel facts

Green Trail Tours - Traveller Tips for Vietnam

GEOGRAPHY: Vietnam stretches over 1600 km.along the eastern coast of the Indochina Peninsula. The S-shaped country is broad in the north and south and very narrow in the centre. Almost 80% of Vietnam consists of mountains and hills. The Truong Son Mountains extend almost the length of Vietnam along the borders with Laos and Cambodia.

VISAS: All visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one-month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors though it is possible to arrange 3-month and 6-month multiple entry visas for regular visitors. All visitors must obtain visa approval from the Vietnamese Immigration Department before a visa is issued.

MONEY: The currency issued by the Vietnam State Bank is the dong (abbreviated "d" or VND) which is used informally throughout the country. Bank notes in denominations of 200d to 100,000d are presently in circulation. The exchange rate is approximately 18,000d = US$1. Australia Dollars are accepted in many hotels, restaurants. Banks are open Monday to Friday and some are open Saturday morning. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at banks, some international hotel and some exchange bureaux but can be difficult to change outside of the major cities. Visa Card and MasterCard are now accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.

ELECTRICITY: Electric current in Vietnam is 220 volts and will operate all Australian appliances. Always carry a torch with fresh batteries. Recharge photographic batteries regularly.

CLOTHING: Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors to Buddhist countries should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings and shoes should be removed before entering a private home

CLIMATE / WEATHER: Vietnam’s weather conditions are pleasant for visitors throughout the year. The WINTER monsoon comes from the northeast between October and March with wet chilly conditions in the north, but dry warm temperatures to the south. From April to October the southwest monsoons bring warm, humid weather to the whole country.

LANGUAGE: Because Vietnamese has six different tones, it is a difficult language for most foreigners to speak despite the fact that the Roman alphabet is used in modern Vietnamese. The same word can have six different meanings depending on the tone used to pronounce it. In the cities and larger towns English is becoming popular and is now spoken by many younger people while some of the older generation still speak fluent French. Russian and Chinese are also spoken by some people

ACCOMMODATION: All group tour hotels have been especially selected. All have private western bathroom facilities. Laundry service can launder clothing within 24 hours. It is not customary for all hotels to have refrigerator and tea/coffee facilities.

FOOD / DRINK: The cuisine of Vietnam comes as a pleasant surprise to many visitors and is definitely a part of the Vietnam experience not to be missed. One of the characteristics of Vietnamese food is that it is always fresh being bought the same morning straight from the market. Food is usually prepared with a minimum of oil and served with the ubiquitous fish sauce called nuoc mam. Typical Vietnamese dishes you can expect to try include pho, a type of rice noodle soup eaten for breakfast, cha gio, deep-fried spring rolls and goi ngo sen, a delicious salad made with lotus stems, shrimps and peanuts. Due to the strong Buddhist influence in Vietnam, vegetarian food is widely available.

SHOPPING: Souvenirs to look out for in Vietnam include lacquerware, silk, conical hats, woodcarvings, hill tribe fabrics and handicrafts, embroidery, marble, ceramics, silver jewellery, antique watches and paintings. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have the best choice when it comes to shopping but Hoi An in the centre of Vietnam is also a very good place to hunt for bargains.

TOILETS: Public toilets can sometimes be difficult to find. Take every opportunity you can to use clean toilets in hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit on your stay.

HEALTH: Consult your medico or visit the Traveller Medical and Vaccination Centre for professional medical advice well in advance of your departure, Wash hands before and after eating. Carry ‘wet-ones’,anti bacterial handwash, insect repellant, band aids and emergency medicines eg. Diarrhoea. Drink plenty of water and have adequate rest. Seek medical care, if needed. Don’t take risks with health and personal hygiene.

SAFETY / SECURITY: Always maintain a high level of personal security. Cash or wallets in pockets, obvious jewellery and open bags attract unwanted attention. Beware of pickpockets in crowded places. Lock your case, Carry a hotel card so that taxis know where to take you.

LUGGAGE: All passengers are limited to TWO items of luggage each. One case with maximum weight weight of 20 kg. and maximum size of 70 litres. It is essential to lock this case. One piece of hand luggage with maximum weight of 5 kg. It is advisable that hand luggage consist of a ‘daypack’ to carry camera, water, toilet paper, umbrella, hat etc.

TIPPING: Tipping for good service is not expected but is always appreciated in these developing nations. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All group tour passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with Asian Trail Tours if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.