The 7-day Best hiking northern Vietnam Bac Ha Ha Giang is provided in the less travelled places in north eastern Vietnam. You begin your holidays with a visit to the Bac Ha market, open only on Sunday morning, then trek through some of the remotest hill tribe villages in Bac Ha and Ha Giang province, meeting up with H’mong, Phu La, Red Dzao, Tay and Nung people. Most of the nights are spent at local homes in villages (homestay) offering a real, authentic life experience. There are about 6 or 7 hours trek per day with up and downhill climbs. This is a very tough, challenging trekking tour is recommended for active travelers seeking an off-the-beaten path itinerary that takes them to remote, less traveled places in Vietnam. Enjoy magnificent and beautiful landscapes of the Bac Ha Highland, the Chay River Massif as well as fabulous land of the remote far north. Discovery of local tribal ethnics’ unique cultures and ways of life.
DAY 1: LAO CAI -> BAC HA
Arrive at Lao Cai Railway station early this morning. You will be greeted by Hiking Vietnam team and transferred to a local restaurant for early breakfast. After a short rest, travel to Bac Ha. Visit Bac Ha market, the biggest market in the area. Every Sunday, different ethnic groups come to the market to sell their homemade products or buy something for the family. They are Hmong, Phu La, Back Dzao, Tay or Nung minorities. Some of these ethnic minorities can’t be met in any other areas. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in town. In the afternoon, enjoy a short easy walk to a H’mong village near Bac Ha town. Dinner and overnight in Bac Ha.
DAY 2: BAC HA -> TA CU TY VILLAGE
Breakfast will be served in the village. Leaving the village at about 8:0, we will be transferred to the starting point of trekking trail in Lung Phin with several photo stops along the way. Upon our arrival in Ta Chai Village of the Phu La ethnic, we start trekking along a narrow valley through Quan Hoa Hamlet. The first portion of the hike last for about three hours. Lunch will be provided on the spot. After lunch, we continue trekking for about two hours until we arrive the Lu Suoi Tung village of the Flower H’mong. We will have a short walk visiting this isolated village. Stop by a local school and several H’mong family for a discovery of the local life. We will be picked up again by our vehicle at Lu Suoi Tung village and transferred to home stay near the center of Ta Cu Ty Commune. This portion of the road offers spectacular landscapes of the Ban Gia Valley and clients will enjoy many viewing stops before arriving to home stay.
DAY 3: TA CU TY -> NAM CHIEN VILLAGE
Breakfast will be provided in the village. We leave the village at 08.30am continuing our trekking adventure. We will trek for the whole morning on a large path. The three-hour trek will offer great views of the Ban Gia valley. A stop will be made en route for a visit of a Nung village. We will arrive Song Lam around noon. Lunch will be provided near a village-school. After lunch, we continue trekking for two hours and a half. This part is challenging. We trek through the thick bamboo and rain forest. After about two hours, we will arrive Nam Dan Commune is famous with the rock fields bearing cared massage from ancient peoples. Then we will have one more hour easy walk before we arrive Nam Chien village of the Nung. Check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: NAM CHIEN -> NAM CHONG VILLAGE
Transfer along a paved road to the southern side of the mountain. Enjoy 3 hours easy trekking through Tay and Dzao villages along the narrow valley of the Nam Ty River. Lunch will be provided in a local house (picnic). After lunch, continue our trek crossing the river to the southern bank, then uphill, downhill to a Dzao village, set on the bank of Nam Ty river, endowed with a mineral hot spring. Dinner and overnight in a house on stilt.
DAY 5: NAM CHONG -> TAN MINH
Today is the most interesting day of the whole trip. Because we will experience the superb natural scenery which changes after every quarter of trekking. Therefore this is also the greatest challenge so far. Leaving the village at about 08.30am, we will trek uphill the Chieu Lung Thi mountain range. We hike from the Nam Li valley to Cao Son village of the H’mong and Zao. We may have a short visit of this village before we continue walking through the thick forest to Trung Son village of the Nung peoples and then onto Tan Minh village of the Zao peoples. We check into a local house for dinner and overnight.
DAY 6: TAN MINH -> THONG NGUYEN
We will have an easy trek today. The trail gets mostly downhill which offers marvelous view of the Nam Dich valley. We will trek from Tan Minh village to the center of Ho Thau commune and then to Xin Chai village of the Zao and Nung peoples. Picnic lunch will be provided by the Nam Dich river. If weather permit it will be possible for us to swim in the clear water of the river. Then we cross the river taking a leisure walk to the southern bank of the river. We hike through the stunning valley of the Doan Ket village. After about three hour trek, we will be picked up by our vehicle and transferred to Panhou eco-site (Pan Hou village in Thong Nguyen. Check into the lodge for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: THONG NGUYEN -> HANOI
Full day transfer from Pan Hou lodge to Hanoi. The drive takes about 7 hours. We arrive Hanoi about late afternoon. Trip ends.
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.