Last updated on November 16th, 2017 at 02:39 am
Tour trekking Ha Giang to experience the real life of the local H’mong, the Nung, the Dao “long dress”, the La Chi who live for decade among karst forest and terraced paddy fields. This 3 day tour is only customized for those who look for an off-the-beaten path trek to remote, non-touristic hilltribe villages where the local life conditions are simple and basic. The accommodation and the food are also local and simple. We try to localize the tour as much as possible using local guide, local porters…
NIGHT 1: HANOI -> HA GIANG
You take the overnight public bus at My Dinh bus station. Departure at about 20.00. There are more than one departure per day. The tickets can be bought on the spot or contact your Lotussia Travel consultant for pre-booking.
DAY 1: HA GIANG TREKKING
Arrival in Ha Giang early this morning, you will be met up with the local team of Lotussia Travel and brought to the trekking base. Depending on your group size, we will use motor-taxi or car for the transfer that takes around a half hour.
Arrival in the trekking base is a Tay village. The village has around 100 households, dominated by the Tay group. You start your trek by following a village path for about one hour before you make the first stop for visiting a house of the Tay. Spend a little time for exploring their traditional house, customs and traditions.
Keep trekking uphill for around two more hours through primitive forest, tea plantations and terraced paddy fields. You arrive then in a village of the Black Dzao, located by the hillside. There you make another break for lunch, provided at local home.
In the afternoon, you continue hiking uphill for another 3.5 hours before you arrive in a village of the Dzao “long dress”. The Ao Dai in their name is due to the similarity of their tunic to the Ao Dai of the Viet Kinh. However, it is usually hooked up at the front. A distinctive bonnet of black and red material embroidered at the edges and decorated with coloured tassels and small coins is also worn. There you have time for a short walk before having dinner at local home.
DAY 2: HA GIANG TREKKING
After breakfast, provided at local home, you trek downhill for about a half hour from the Dzao village to a Nung’s Dao village where both the Nung and the Dzao live together. With a total population of over 700,000 the Nung constitute the seventh largest ethnic minority group in Vietnam. Nung communities are found today mainly in Cao Bang and Lang Son provinces, but they are also settled in parts of Ha Giang province.
A stop is scheduled for visiting local houses or the local primary school (if possible). You keep trekking uphill for about three more hours until you reach a summit pass.
Arrival at the Top of the pass at about 12.30, you make a stop where your lunch is provided in the open air.
You spend the afternoon admiring the beauty of terraced rice fields, the tea plantations of the Dzao “long dress” and the La Chi. The hiking trail of the afternoon trek is larger, easier taking you to La Chi village at about 16.00.
Enjoy homes-hosted dinner and spend the night at local home.
DAY 3: HA GIANG -> HOANG SU PHI
Breakfast is provided at local home. Departure at 9.00 AM. You follow a dirt road which leads to another community of the La Chi. There is a stop is scheduled for your discovery of the Vietnam smallest ethnic group.
Follow a small trail that runs in zigzag through green forest and isolated villages of the H’mong, the Tay and the Nung, the trek last for about three hours before you make a short stop for lunch.
Keep trekking in the afternoon until you get into Hoang Su Phi town at around 16.00pm. Lying at the bottom of towelling Tay Con Linh mountains, Hoang Su Phi is famous not only for its most beautiful terraced fields but also its traditional market where people from the ethnic minority groups of Tay, Nung, Dao and H’Mong gather from early morning to mid-day every Sunday.
Check into a local hotel for overnight.
DAY 4: HOANG SU PHI -> HANOI
Hoang Su Phi Market is one of the more isolated markets in the north and multiple minorities come for the Sunday Market. This is a traditional market for local villagers to meet and barter their products with each other such as cassava, honey, bamboo shoots, eggs, fruits and poultry for a weekly stock of foods. Many have to walk a dozen kilometres from Ban Luoc, San Xa Ho and Nam Ty hamlets to join other ethnic minority people wearing colourful costumes on their way to the market.
We have breakfast at the guest-house and then walk to the market for a two hour visit and then travel back to the main road Ha Giang – Hanoi. Picked up again by the Ha Giang public open bus and brought to Hanoi.
Last updated on November 16th, 2017 at 02:39 am
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.