Northeast Vietnam Hiking Tour 8 Day Itinerary is arranged from Hanoi, taking you to less traveled north east Vietnam, Bac Kan, Ba Be national park, Cao Bang province. Enjoy beautiful mountain scenery, Tay hill tribe villages with this tough Cao Bang trek.
Map of northeast Vietnam hiking
Northeast Vietnam hiking itinerary
Day 1: Hanoi – Ba Be National Park.
Departure for Ba Be, passing through the mountainous region of Tonkin. There are superb landscapes with the rice fields in terrace, the paddle wheels in bamboo on the two sides of the river. Upon arrival at Cho Ra, take a boat on Nang river that slips in a cultivated country before penetrating in a landscape of chalky cliffs whose flank are characterized by small wild gardens, where hang the lianas and its long roots in quest of earth. Then we enter into the Puong Cave . The river flows, making up a wonderful site where you can enjoy the stalactites on foot of this pothole. We continue going by boat to Pac Ngoi – a village of Tay ethnic situated no far from the lake on the flank of hills. The Tay lives on fishing, rice and corn cultivation. Their stilt houses with the thatched roofs disperse in the austere surrounding landscapes. Have dinner and overnight at the inhabitant.
Day 2: Ba Be National Park – Cao Bang.
We take another boat trip in the fairy decor of Ba Be lake ; “the lake of three seas” that stretches on 9 km long and from 100 to 1800 m large, at altitude of 145 m. It is located at the outlet of 3 valleys that join together in bow of circle. Ba Be is not only a site for the imaginative, but also for the nature lovers. About over forty pieces of mammal live there, as well as hundred pieces of bird and butterflies. You can visit Dau Dang cascade, a village of the Dao ethnic. Then, we leave for Cao Bang, a small city at the extremity northwest of the country. Arrive and dinner in city. Night at hotel
Day 3: Cao Bang Trekking.
Departure from city to the northwest. Following the itinerary, we turn left to go along the track of Thong Nong. A six hours trek to get to Mo Sat village of Tay , through the narrow small valleys, go round some skywards slim peaks. Here we have an opportunity to pass through the suspended bridge that was made of bamboo to make contact with the Tay villagers and see them working on their rice fields in terrace. At noon: Picnic. Dinner and night at the inhabitant
Day 4: Trekking Cao Bang.
A six hours trek from the Mo Sat village to the Na Chao village of the Tay . We go back up toward the frontier with China while running along the track edged by stream to the superb wild mountainous landscapes with the rice fields in terrace and the paddle wheels in bamboo on the two sides of river. Then the path abandon very quickly to the well organised world of Tay and to the dispersed isolated houses of the Dao. Their low houses are constructed in the land that they reclaim and cultivate on the burnt land. A short stops to visit a village of the Dao. At noon: Picnic. Dinner and overnight at the inhabitant
Day 5: Cao Bang Trekking.
A trek for one hour from Na Chao to Soc Giang. Visit a typical market, where the Tay and Nung women come with conical hats, black trousers and blue or red short tunics, the black Hmong in indigoes. This market takes place on every fifth day of the lunar calendar. Then walking in one hour to the Chinese frontier. Then, we take our minibus to the Pac Bo grotto, one of the most historical sites where the uncle Ho stayed over years. Return to Cao Bang. Dinner and night at hotel
Day 6: Cao Bang Trekking.
The run is characterized by its beauty. It is a continuation and combination of the mountains, the hills and the thick forests. This road is famous for its name RC4 – Colonial Road number 4 which implies the several fighting between French and Vietminh in the 1950s at the time of the frontier battle. After arriving in Dong Khe, we have lunch and continue to Pac Hoan village of Nung . Dinner and night at the inhabitant
Day 7: Cao Bang Trekking.
A six hours trek from Pac Hoan to Na Ban a village of the Tay . Following our itinerary, we will explore the tracers of the colonial attendance that now became rare. Outsides, in the small flap of the Dao – Coc Xa where 5 000 French legionnaires had been killed by the Viet Minh, during the time of the frontier war. We Continue going to Na Ban. Dinner and night at the inhabitant.
Day 8: Cao Bang – Lang Son – Hanoi.
A five hours trek from Na Ban to That Khe with the superb karst landscapes and the culture of corn, cassava, rice. After lunch, we leave for Lang Son by bus, then continuing our journey back to Hanoi.
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 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 Northeast Vietnam Hiking Tour 8 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.