Ha Giang Walking Tour 8 Days is a strenuous adventure trip we design for small group of travelers seeking to discover Ha Giang Vietnam’s off-the-beaten path destinations. This 8 day trek focuses on the beautiful landscapes of Hoang Su Phi which is well-known for its beautiful terraced fields, “Shan Tuyet” big tee tree, and the very rich ethnic culture. If trekking, homestay, hiking, ethnic culture, terraced fields, real life experience, off the beaten track place are something you try to find out for your upcoming trip to Vietnam, then this 8 day Ha Giang Walking Tour might be for you.
Map of Ha Giang walking tour
Ha Giang walking tour itinerary
Day 1: Hanoi – Thong Nguyen.
8.30am you will be picked up from your hotel in downtown Hanoi and transferred to Thong Nguyen commune, Hoang Su Phi district, Ha Giang province. Once getting out of Hanoi busy urban region, you follow the new high way for an hour to north of Viet Tri City. Then turn right to national road 2, to get through the midland of Phu Tho and Tuyen Quang provinces which are famous for lush plantations, evergreen tea farms, and palm forests. Lunch is provided at local restaurant on the way. After lunch, the road trip continues along the Lo River for about 3 hours. You might like to make stops along the way for taking picture or/and paying a visit to local homes. Leaving the main road at Viet Lam Junction, you will be on the narrow tarmac to get through a stunning valley to Thong Nguyen in mid-afternoon. Arrival at homestay (or Pan Hou ecolodge), you will have time to rest today before your Ha Giang Walking Tour that will start tomorrow morning.
Day 2: Thong Nguyen – Walking – Giang Ha.
After breakfast you begin the first walking day at about 9am to explore the nearby mountains. The hiking trail goes through tropical forests and rice terraces. After a three hours walk, you are taking a break in a village of the Red Dao for lunch. The Red Dao ethnic group have sculpted the mountainside and use its water courses to grow rice. These laborious adjustments who enable them to live in the heights, offer you some unique landscapes to contemplate. The cooler climate and fresh water in abundance also contribute to the growth of lush tea trees. You will reach another Red Dao village after a two hours walk that will allow you to discover the local vegetation, to meet with the local people and observe them in their daily activities. After lunch the hike keeps going uphill towards Giang Ha, a red Yao village. A family will wait for you for dinner and for hosting you for this 2nd night of Ha Giang Walking Tour.
Day 3: Giang Ha – Walking – Nam Ai
The second day of this Ha Giang Walking Tour takes you along the Nam suoi Valley passing by some farms on pillar built on the mountainside and always close to water, across a landscape of terraced rice fields. The Mountain where the Ti Ki Liu Song Chay rises is mostly populated with Hmong Hoa Man Ta Pan, Tays, Yao Tunic Long and Nung Inh. You will be lodged this evening by a Long tunic Yao family from Nam Ai.
Day 4: Nam Ai – Walking – Ho San.
You are leaving your hosts after breakfast to continue your 4th day of Ha Giang Walking Tour. You are following a stream before entering the hilly paths and passing a suspension bridge to reach the Nam Son Valley. You have lunch with a Red Dao family before resuming your walk to one of Ho san hamlets in the heart of Nung territory. Like most northern mountain populations, they arrived from China fleeing famine or persecution in the 18th century. Originating in Khuang Xi and Yunnan, they are part of the Thai nation and speak the language.
Day 5: Ho San – Walking – Banh Van.
From passes to valleys, you are entering into the least visited territory landlocked between mountain where ethnic groups live by harvesting the Shan tea, the cardamom and many medicinal plants. The people have divided the territory into a mosaic, based on the altitudes, Hmong very top, Dao on mountain slopes between 500 and 1000 m, the Tays in the valleys to the more fertile land. Strangers to each other, with different customs and languages, they are nonetheless neighbors. On this 5th day of Ha Giang Walking Tour, we meet Nung and Yao with long tunic. A family of that tribe is welcoming us tonight.
Day 6: Banh Van – Walking – Coc Coc.
You still in the middle of the Nung area. All the lands are exploited for commercial crops. You could easily recognize the Nung women, they are the most coquettish, decked amount of jewelry, necklaces, earrings and pins bun. Their clothing consists of a sampot gathered on the lower back, surmounted by a narrow black lustrous color vest. Tay and Nung are specialists in the cultivation of indigo dye used for these clothes.
Day 7: Coc Coc – Walking – Ban Cay.
This morning, appear only the peaks floating on a scum sea of clouds. Later the sun will arise and clean up the landscape so the slopes contour of the terraces fields and the network of bunds under us will appear. You are descending to the Song Chay valley. The river took its source on the slopes of the Kieu Lieu Ty mountain where we passed by two days ago. The river will serve as a border with the Chinese Yunnan in a few kilometers. We are in the blacks Tay Home for the evening and the night.
Day 8: Ban Cay – Hoang Su Phi Minority Market – Hanoi.
On this last day of the 8 day Ha Giang walking tour, you will be on the market Hoang Su Phi in thirty minutes. It is the gathering of all the people who hosted you or you met on the way, and even more. The Chi, Ha Nhi, Co Lao also frequent this market where you will discover the local products sold as the herbal remedies or the indigo. You will be picked up again by your car and brought back to Hanoi. The end of the 8 day Ha Giang walking tour.
Private-guided walking holidays
Hiking Vietnam specializes in tailor-making trekking and hiking vacations in Vietnam. We offer the widest selection of day walks, jungle trekking, mountain climb, hiking, trekking home-stay, camping and wild life discovery in the northern Vietnam. With a dedicated team of senior travel consultants, hiking tour specialists, experienced English-speaking tour leaders, local H’mong, Thai, Tay guides, cooks, porters we can design any trekking, hiking, walking option for any age and budget. This Ha Giang Walking Tour is only a sample that can be further customized to better fit your personal requirements. Just follow this itinerary or contact us for designing your own adventure.
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.