Hiking Northeast Vietnam 7 Day Itinerary is arranged in the north eastern Vietnam taking you to remote, isolated villages of Cao Bang province where you meet up with the Tay and Nung people. Begin your 7-day adventure tour with a car transfer from Hanoi to the north through Bac Giang and Bac Ninh province to Lang Son town and then That Khe where you spend the first night. The following days you will trek along hillside from village to village including Na Pang village, Pak Khoang village, Na Nieng village, La village, Ta Lung village. This is a medium hike as you spend about 5 – 6 hours on trekking with few up and downhill climbs. The tour is provided with an extension trip to Ba Be national park where you enjoy a boat trip on Ba Be lakes. A short hiking tour can also be made on the spot if you would like to spend more time around this area.
Map of hiking northeast Vietnam
Hiking northeast Vietnam itinerary
Day 1: Hanoi – Lang Son – That Khe.
7:00am: You will be met up with Hiking Vietnam team at your hotel in Hanoi. Depart for Lang Son, driving the national road 1A. After about three hours, you arrive in Lang Son. Visit to Tam Thanh Cave and walking around the busy trading town. We continue riding to That Khe, a small quiet town. The afternoon ride is very nice as we drive through beautiful area with forested mountains and peaceful tribal villages. Arrival in That Khe in afternoon free the rest of the day. We will check in a small family run hotel. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in That Khe.
Day 2: That Khe – Cao Bang Trekking.
Breakfast in That Khe. We will have a short drive to Na Pang Village, where we begin our trek to Pac Khoang. Today we will trek along valleys with on small paths that only used by the locals to go to their farms and surrounding villages. We will cross some small streams and tackle some easy hill slopes. Picnic lunch on the way. We would reach Pac Khoang around 5pm. Pac Khoang is a village of Dzao ethnic minority. Tonight we will have dinner and overnight with a local family.
Day 3: Cao Bang Trekking.
Breakfast and begin the trek around 8.30am. This morning we trek mainly downhill to Dong Khe where will have a lunch stop. The morning trek is on village road and jungle trails with nice view of rice and corn fields along valleys. We reach Dong Khe at noon. After lunch we continue trekking to Na Nieng Village which is home to Tay ethnic minority. The trek in the afternoon is a bit harder than the one in the morning since we have more uphill terrain to tackle. We reach Pac Khoang Village around 5pm. Today we will have dinner and stay overnight in a local house.
Day 4: Cao Bang Trekking.
Breakfast at the homestay before we start the adventure of the day. Today we trek up and down on some forested limestone mountains to reach La, a beautiful village of Tay ethnic minority. Today we have some stops for refreshment in remote tribal villages as we encounter during the trek. Dinner and overnight at homestay.
Day 5: Cao Bang City.
Breakfast at homestay and leave the village for Ta Lung, the border gate with China. We will trek through jungle and cross some small streams. Near Ta Lung we cross Bang Giang River on bamboo raft. Lunch in Ta Lung before we take a van transfer to Cao Bang Town. Check in hotel in Cao Bang and spend the rest of the day relaxing in local café or wander around the town. Dinner and overnight in Cao Bang.
Day 6: Cao Bang City – Ba Be National Park.
Breakfast in Cao Bang and take a transfer to Ba Be National Park. Upon arrival in Cho Ra Town, we will have lunch in local restaurant before taking a relaxing boat trip on Nang River and enter the beautiful Ba Be Lake. We will cruise through Puong Cave, a huge tunnel runs though mountain. After the boat trip we reach Pac Ngoi, a village of Tay ethnic minority. Dinner and overnight in local house.
Day 7: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi.
After breakfast we take a short boat ride to the NP Dock where we get on van for the ride back to Hanoi. Lunch on the way. Back to Hanoi around 5pm. Check in hotel and free at leisure. Farewell dinner and overnight in Hanoi.
Hiking Vietnam specializes in tailor-making trekking and hiking vacations in Vietnam. We offer the widest selection of day walks, jungle trekking, mountain 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 Hiking Northeast Vietnam 7 Day Itinerary 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.