The 6 day off the beaten path Vietnam Bac Ha hiking starts from Lao Cai, or Hanoi takes you to less traveled places in northeast Vietnam, Bac Ha area. Visit non-touristy H’mong, Dao villages in Bac Ha district. This is a hard Bac Ha trekking tour is designed for experienced hikers, and those who are in good shape.
DAY 1: LAO CAI -> LUNG KHAU NHIN -> NA CAP VILLAGE
Upon your arrival at Lao Cai station, you will be greeted by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to a local restaurant for breakfast.
We will leave Lao Cai at about 08.30 for a 38 km road transfer to the Ban Khuong Bridge in Thanh Binh Commune. We start trekking on a large path uphill for 1,5 hours to Ta Thien village of the Flower H’mong. We will stopy by and visit some local houses and a village school.
We continue hiking for another hour uphill to Thai Giang Chai village of the Zao Tien peoples. We will have a short visit of the village then have lunch.
After lunch, we trek ascending for a half hour to the hilltop and gradually downhill to the center of Lung Khau Nhin commune. We follow the village path walking for two more hours to Na Cap village of the Nung.
Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2: NA CAP -> BAN ME VILLAGE
After breakfast, we will leave the Na Cap village at about 9.00 am. We continue the journey by trekking along a single dirt trail downhill for 2 hours via Na Vang village of the Nung. Then we hike through burnt-over land and terraced paddies to the Chay River. We cross the river by boat to the other bank. Enjoy a long break before walking downhill on a narrow dirt trail to Coc Re village of the Flower H’mong. Explore the village and then lunch break.
The trek in the afternoon is easier as the trail winds its way on high hill sides for over 1 hour offering great view of the magnificent valley along the Chay River. We will trek through Khuan Pung village of the Zao and Nung. We arrive the top at 671m in mid afternoon.
We then have a two-hour easy walk to Sin Chai Village, Ban Me commune.
We arrive the village at 5.00 pm. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 3: BAN ME -> QUAN THAN SAN VILLAGE
The whole morning will be spent in trekking uphill. The trail is narrow and steep. Some parts are really tough. But the surrounding nature and landscapes is wonderful.
We will hike through several tribal hamlets of the Flower H’mong ethnic group. We will stop by some local house and talk with local villagers who probably have ever met western visitors.
Lunch break near a hill-top.
In the afternoon, we will trek through the Man Than commune for 1,5 hour until we arrive a narrow valley. We then trek along a trail running on hill side for another one hour and a half. We walk through some small villages of the Nung and Flower H’mong.
We arrive the southern edge of Quan Than San commune around late afternoon. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: QUAN THAN SAN -> BAC HA TOWN
After beakfast, we leave the Quan Than San village at about 09.00 am. The first portion of the trek is easy. We hike for about 2 hours along the large and rocky path. We mostly walk downhill to the center of the neighboring commune – the Ta Van Chu commune.
If weather permits, we may leave the main path at some sections to make short cut through the thick rain forest. Then the trail goes uphill the Thang Sin mountain range. We trek through isolated hamlets of the Flower H’mong.
We arrive the top at noon.
Lunch will be provided en route.
In the afternoon, the trek is easier as the path gradually descend to the large valley of Lau Thi Ngai commune. Later we hike along a narrow stream through this stunning valley towards Bac Ha. We walk through several hamlets of the Folwer H’mong and later of the Tay villages.
We arrive in Bac Ha in late afternoon. Check into a local hotel or guesthouse for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: BAC HA -> NAM MON VILLAGE
Enjoy the full morning attending the famous Sunday Market in Bac Ha. You will have the opportunity to experience the spiritual life of the local tribal peoples who live in this remote land of the far north.
Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in town.
We check out hotel at 1.30 pm. The whole afternoon will be spent in trekking from Bac Ha through Na Hoi village of the Tay to Coc Cai Village of the Flower H’mong in Nam Mon Commune. We arrive to the Nam Mon village at about 5.00 pm.
Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 6: NAM MON -> LAO CAI -> HANOI
After breakfast, we will leave the village at about 08.30 am following a narrow trail. We trek uphill for half hour and then we hike downhill to the bottom of the valley.
We continue trekking along a narrow stream. After about 2 hour, we arrive the Trung Do Village of the Tay. This village has about 40 houses built on stilts on the bank of the Chay River. Enjoy a leisure walk to explore this prosperous village before having lunch in a local home.
We leave Trung Do village taking another walk along the Chay River. After one-hour walk, we arrive the Cac Cop village of the Black Zao and H’mong. From here we take the boat trip down stream the Chay River to Bao Nhai Commune where we will be picked up again by our vehicle ans transferred to Laocai for the overnight train trip back to Hanoi. Trip end.
Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Our trekking tours can be classified into three levels
There are about 8 – 10K to walk on flat roads. No previous experience is necessary. Anyone in good health and fit enough to perform an occasional hike can take an easy level trek. Vietnam easy walks are provided in Hanoi, Bac Giang, Mai Chau, Ngoc Son Ngo Luong…
There are about 10 – 15K to hike on flat and hilly roads. At this point too, no special background is required. Hikers accustomed to trekking in hilly areas of Mai Chau, Pu Luong or Lai Chau, Yen Bai successfully accomplish our treks “moderate”, provided they are in good health and to have a correct fit. These treks are moderate or easy hikes with an average duration or shorter but more difficult steps.
There are about 16 – 23K to trek on uphill/downhill dirty, rocky trails. Physical fitness is very important for these treks and you may have to lead you home before the trek. Most treks in this level are comparable with long rides in the Fansipan mountain or the the mountainous region of Ha Giang, Cao Bang, sometimes higher altitudes. The climate and isolation can also participate in difficulty. Prior trek experience is preferable but not vital if you have confidence in your fitness.
Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.
- Car transfers
- Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
- Local porter(s)
- Sightseeing entrance fees.
- Bottled water.
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
- Visa (required)
- Flight/Train tickets.
- Accommodation pre/post trip.
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses
Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.
Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.
When to hike
The north Vietnam experiences two distinct seasons; winter and summer. Winter is cool, dry and lasts from November to April. Temperatures range between 15 to 25°C during the day and 0 to 10°C during the night. With little rain, the winter season offers the most pleasant weather conditions for trekking in Vietnam. Read more about Vietnam weather.
During all trekking tours we may use local porters to carry your luggage as well as our trekking equipment, where required. To generate local income we employ local villagers for this task. Participants will have their own porter, carrying trekking equipment and luggage to a maximum of 15 kg per client. Travelers only have to carry their day packs. Read more how to pack
Depending on the nature of the tour, journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections.
Campsites and lodges are not common in Vietnam, instead we make use of homestays; staying the night in tribal villages along the way. Facilities are clean, but very basic. Travelers share a bamboo-slat floor, separated by curtains. Animals usually sleep under the house and restrooms and showers are often absent. Water sources are available outside. Mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets are taken care of.
Over the years Lotussia Travel has established a number of projects to upgrade home stay accommodation into a bit more comfort. Basic facilities aside, spending the night in a tribal village and enjoying a meal with the locals brings travellers unforgettable cross-cultural experiences. In the past 15 years of organizing trekking by this way, we never received a complaint.
During all treks meals will be arranged on the spot, in local restaurants and at home in local villages along the way. The meals are prepared by our cooks, the local guide or by the local host. Our cooks are well trained to prepare and serve food hygienically and they cook a variety of local delicacies. Sometimes this may include the slaughter of a chicken, duck or pig. We sometimes have the chance to bring western food, and snacks from Hanoi for breakfast and picnics along the way, and coffee and tea are available in abundance. Our cooks make a special effort to provide as much variety as possible. The porters give necessary assistance on the spot.
There are many shops and villages that have bottled water for sale. On remote trekking tours, we buy a sufficient supply of water for the next couple of days. We recommend bringing some water purifying tablets.
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 should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple, communal house and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.
What you take will naturally depend upon where you are travelling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.
- 1 medium-sized backpack.
- Comfortable walking shoes with good grip
- 1 long (easy to dry) pants and 1 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (easy to dry).
- 1 pair of flip flop (sandals).
- 1 pair of shorts and T-shirt to wear at camp site (2 if you do 4-day trek).
- 1 medium-sized towel.
- 1 medium-sized dry bag.
- Hiking poles/walking sticks
We strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes,positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect natural environment. We recognize that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.
We have been turning environmentally responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re – usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.
Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.
Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.