North Vietnam Trekking: Bac Ha, much less developed for tourism than Sapa offers a wide selection of trekking tours ranging from easy half day trek to multi-day challenging trekking tours.
Bac Ha is located at about two hour drive from Lao Cai town, Lao Cai province, in the northern part of Vietnam. Bac Ha is one of ideal locations for off-the-beaten-track treks to visit colourful weekly markets. The Can Cau and Bac Ha markets, in particular, feature local scenes that have been going on every week for generations, where cattle, horses, goats and dogs are bought and sold, as well as many traditional goods like saddles and plowshares, along with elaborate textiles, handbags and other trinkets made by the local tribes people, the Flower Hmong.
To reach Bac Ha, you can either take the night train like most of other people or hire a private car with driver. The train journey takes about 10 hours to arrive Lao Cai from Hanoi. The drive also takes a full day to get in Bac Ha from Hanoi, about 8 hour drive.
If you look for an easy trek which is combined with the market tour, we highly recommend the half day hike to Ban Pho village, inhabited by the H’mong people. Taking this option, you will have about three or four days trekking from Bac Ha town to this village and hike back to your hotel. Support vehicle is not necessary for this half day option.
If you would like to keep your vacations as much challenging as possible, we recommend the 5 day trekking tour which begins in Bac Ha town, taking you through different hamlets, local hilltribe villages to Thong Nguyen where you are picked up and transferred by car to Hanoi. Taking this option, you have the opportunity to trek through the most remote hill tribe villages of Xin Man district, Ha Giang province. You will meet up with different ethnic groups such as the H’mong, the Phu La, the Red Dzao, the Tay and the Nung.
At Hiking Vietnam we arrange another Bac Ha trekking tour which is more challenging than the first option but less hard than the second option. Begin your adventure trip with the overnight train trip from Hanoi to Laocai, then car transfer to Bac Ha where you start your 6-day trekking holiday. You hike through the less traveled Bac Ha villages including Lung Khau Nhin, Na Cap, Na Vang, Coc Re, Khuan Pung, Ban Me, Quan Than San, Ta Van Chu, Lau Thi Ngai, Nam Mon, Trung Do, Bao Nhai.
All the trekking tours are provided with English-speaking tour guide, support vehicle, accommodation, meals, food and trekking equipments. Most of the nights are spent at local homes in villages (homestay) offering a real, authentic life experience.