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Vietnam’s Far Mysterious Northern Exposure
Highlight: Classic, nature & culture discovery


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

Vietnam’s Far Mysterious Northern Exposure


Set Departures Vietnam’s Far Mysterious Northern Exposure

Vietnam’s Far Mysterious Northern Exposure
- Picked up at hotel in Hanoi at 07.30 for a road trip northwards of Hanoi along national road 3.
- Stop at Thai Nguyen City after about 2 hours driving for paying visit to the Museum of Ethnology.
- Leaving Thai Nguyen and continue the road ride to Cho Moi townlet for lunch break and then continue the road ride to Na Phac junction.
- Turn right to the road 279 for about 6 km and leaving the main road for an hour walking around a lush valley to explore a village of the Yao Tien.
- Back to the road and heading to the center of Ba Be National Park, check in hotel and spend the rest of the day walking to explore the surrounding nature.
- Driving 255 km in about 6 hours, walking for 2 hours.
- Accommodation: Standard hotel at the Park’s quarter

- Breakfast, check out and then leave the Park’s head quarter at 08.00.
- Take the morning short walk to the boat pier and then enjoy the whole morning mainly on boat for exploring the pure nature of Ba Be lake and national park with some highlights including visiting to Dau Dang Waterfall and Puong Cave.
- Lunch at Cho Ra Townlet and then spend the whole afternoon transferring uphill for 160 km to Bao Lac Townlet with several stops along the way for admiring spectacular scenery of the western part of Cao Bang Province and paying visit to villages of the Nung peoples.
- Arriving in Bao Lac in late afternoon, check in hotel, dinner and then free walk along the Gam River and explore this charming townlet.
- Boat trip for 4 hours. Driving 160 km in about 6 hours.
- Accommodation: basic local hotel in Bao Lac.

- Today, if falls on 5; 10; 15; 20; 25; 30 of the lunar month, clients will have chance to attend the market in this town which offers chances for meeting peoples from some local small ethnic groups such as Black Lolo, San Chay,…who always wear beautiful traditional costumes. If so, please get up early and be ready for the market at 07.00 am for the best time of the market.
- Leaving Bao Lac at about 09.00 for a drive along the Gam River for an hour before turning right and traveling uphill to the higher land, heading north to Meo Vac Townlet of Ha Giang Province.
- Stop along the way for visiting several small hamlets of the Nung, Tay and H’mong ethnic peoples at Niem Son Commune scaterring along the Nho Que River.
- Arriving in Meo Vac at about 13.00, having lunch and check in hotel for a short rest.
- The groups meets again at 14.00 and spend the rest hours of the afternoon walking along the stunning Nho Que River, admiring scenery of the spectacular Ma Pi Leng Pass, paying visit to villages of the H’mong, Zao and Red Lolo ethnic peoples as well as the Meo Vac market in late afternoon.
- Driving 83 km in about 4 hours, walking 2,5 hours.
- Accommodation: Standard  hotel in Meo Vac.

- If on Sunday, the clients will spend 2 hours in the early morning for joining the local ethnic peoples at the Meo Vac market including the H’mong, Zao and especially Red Lolo who always go to the market in their colorful traditional costumes.
- Leaving Meo Vac at about 09.00 am, the clients will enjoy one of the most stunning landscapes of the northern mountain: The Ma Pi Leng Pass. At the top of the pass, after admiring the magnificent scenery, clients will pay visiting to a small H’mong hamlet set amongst the rocks featuring the very tough life on this famous limestone highland.
- Continue along the road 4c which winds its way on steep sides of limestone mountains to Dong Van, the northernmost townlet of Vietnam. Spend an hour to visit Dong Van market place and walk along the ancient street of Dong Van before settle down for lunch.
- Leaving Dong Van for an hour drive to Lung Cu, the northernmost commune of Vietnam, walking to visit a Red Lolo village for half an hour and then driving downhill 24 km to Xa Phin Village to pay visiting to the famous historical site of the Vuong Family’s Palace famous for its mixture of H’mong architectural style.
- Leaving Vuong Palace and drivie 15 km through the rocky region to Sung La commune where clients will enjoy walking to visit a charming village of the H’mong before going uphill for half an hour to the ancient townlet of Pho Bang, featured with clay-walled houses roofted by Yin and Yang tiles.
- Driving the last portion of the road trip today to Yen Minh Townlet. Check in local guest house, dinner and relax.
- Driving 113 km in about 5 hours, total walking for about 3 hours.
- Accommodation: Basic local guest house in Yen Minh.

- Leaving Yen Minh at 08.00 for a drive up and downhill over the spectacular Yen Minh mountain pass with some stops for overviewing scenery and paying visit to a Red Zao village.
- Leaving the main road, crossing the Nho Que river by suspension bridge and walk along the bank of the river for an hours through the Can Ty commune of the H’mong before taking the road ride again to Quan Ba Townlet.
- Spending an hour paying visit to Nam Dam, another village of the Red Yao which beautifully set at the center of the valley at the foot of Quan Ba mountain pass before having lunch break.
- Driving uphill the beautiful Quan Ba pass, take a short walk around the Lung Muoi village of the H’mong and then driving downhill all the way to Ha Giang Township and onto Nam An eco spot. Here clients will enjoy themselves amongst the pure nature of the surrounding forest and lake for the rest hours of the day or walking for about 2 km to visit a Red Yao village.
- Driving 155 km in about 5 hours, total walking for about 3 hours.
- Accommodation: Local lodge in stilt house at Nam An.

- Full day road trip from Nam An to Ha Noi along national road 2 via Bac Quang, Tuyen Quang, Phu Tho, Viet Tri with several stops and break along the way.
Arriving back to Hanoi in the afternoon at about 05.00 PM, trip ends.
- Driving 315 km for about 7 hours. 1 hour for lunch.

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.

• 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
• Tents if needed
• All entrance fees and permit
• Overnight in local house or hotel as mention
• Local Insurance

• 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
Vietnam’s Far Mysterious Northern Exposure $899 $606 $586 $538 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 Green 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.