Northern Vietnam 13 Days Itinerary

The Northern Vietnam 13 Days Itinerary is arranged in the northern Vietnam and includes such activities as jungle treks, overland tour, sampan cruise tour, hiking, homestay, highland market, boat junk cruise, se canoeing. Depart from Hanoi, travelling through Cuc Phuong National Park, Trang An, Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Lai Chau, Sin Ho, Sapa, Halong bay.

Description

The Northern Vietnam 13 Days Itinerary is arranged in the northern Vietnam and includes such activities as jungle treks, overland tour, sampan cruise tour, hiking, homestay, highland market, boat junk cruise, se canoeing. Depart from Hanoi, travelling through Cuc Phuong National Park, Trang An, Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Lai Chau, Sin Ho, Sapa, Halong bay. The tour focuses on the wild nature, the rich ethnic culture of the northern region. The itinerary is highly recommended for individuals, small group tours, family holidays and those who are interested in dmz, war sites.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi – Cuc Phuong National Park. Jungle treks.

Make a pleasant journey to Ninh Binh, about 120km in the south of Hanoi. Upon arriving in Cuc Phuong National park, we start visiting the Rescue Center where we will see and learn about the park’s biodiversity and variety of endangered species. Then, we begin our trekking holidays through the life and songs of the local rain forests. A picnic lunch will be served en route. In the late afternoon, we will arrive at a village of the Muong minority people where we will spend our night in a local house. Dinner, then free time to talk with the host family and learn about the Muong people’s life and culture. Overnight at the stilt house.

Day 2: Cuc Phuong – Trang An. Trang An sampan cruise tour. Travel to Mai Chau.

After breakfast, we will take a short walk of to get reach the main road where we will get picked up by our car and transferred to Thung Nang which can be called “Vietnam’s Inland Halong Bay”. Thung Nang is wonderful for photo hunters. The tourists often compare the place with Guilin – China, or more closely, to the limestone islets of Halong Bay in the Tonkin Gulf for their similar geological structures and shapes. Thus Thung Nang is also called Halong-Bay-On-Land. Along the way we will visit caves and ancient temples. After the pleasant boat trip, we disembark the sampan and take our car again for Mai Chau. Arrive in Mai chau late afternoon.

Day 3: Hiking Mai Chau.

Breakfast at the Thai stilt house then we leave the village for a full day hiking around. We will pass many different Thai hamlets, through rice fields, hill sides…Stop sometimes to visit local houses and talk with local people. And one of the highlight on this walk is to experience the everyday life and culture white Thai people and stay in their traditional house on stilts as honoured guests. We will return to the village around late afternoon. Have a short break before enjoying the Thai traditional Music and Dance show which is performed by the village young gilrs and boys. Althrough they are not professional artistes, they will give you an unique experience of their culture life.

Day 4: Mai Chau – Son La – Dien Bien Phu.

The road to Son La is lined with fruit orchards, tea plantations, towering mountains and the traffic of Black Thai, Muong and White Thai hill tribe people heading to markets. Upon arriving in Sonla, we visit the Sonla Prison Museum, which remains as a poignant reminder of the inequities of the former. Then we continue the journey to Dienbien. Impressive scenery, and hill tribe villages fill the journey to Dien Bien Phu, the last bastion of French power in Indochina. Monuments, museums and preserved bunkers tell the story of the final and victorious liberating battle of 1954. Overnight at hotel in Dien Bien.

Day 5: Visit Dien Bien Phu war sites. Travel to Muong Lay.

Half day touring around the battlefields. You see the museum of Dien Bien with exhibits collected during the fiercest war in Indochina during the 1950s, then we visit the vestiges of bunkers and fortified stations of over 16,000 French Expeditionary troops (including Elliane Hill and De Castries bunkers…). Free lunch in town. In the afternoon, we depart for Muong Lay. The road through Muong Lay valley is both breathtaking and dramatic. Hugging rice terraced mountainsides and fording turbulent rivers, our travels today are visually spectacular. Overnight in Muong lay.

Day 6: Muong Lay – Sin Ho – Lai Chau.

From Muong Lay, the drive to Sin Ho is stunning with tiered tea plantations and verdant rice terraces carved into the landscape. Sin Ho is the most authentic market in the North West region which takes place every Saturday morning. There are many ethnic groups coming from different villages to sell their home made agricultural products such as rice, corn, vegetable, chicken, pork…In the afternoon, continue our drive downhill to Lai Chau for the night. Overnight in Laichau.

Day 7: Trekking Lai Chau.

Breakfast at hotel. Then the car will drive us to Binh Lu market where we will have a short visit to the very big and colorful market which take place only on Sunday morning. The town is bustling with activity as the local hill tribes gather for their weekly market day here. Then we start our hiking day. The area you are walking in this morning is a wide valley, spotted with limestone hills wherever you look. You will pass through several villages of Flower Hmong and Giay minorities where you can stop for lunch in local house. After lunch you continue towards the village of Ban Giang, which is around 1.5 hours away. The Giay people also inhabit Ban Giang. You will then follow a small but good trail to the Lu village of Ban Hon, where you will stay overnight in a local house. You will enjoy dinner in the house, and taste, together with the family of the house, how rice wine tastes in this area of Vietnam. Our car will pick us up and get back to hotel for overnight.

Day 8: Lai Chau – Sapa. Visit Sapa town.

After breakfast, we will continue our drive uphill to Sapa passing Tram Ton Pass which offers beautifull views over the Hoang Lien mountain range. This route part is also considered the most beautiful stretch of road in Vietnam. Upon our arrival in Sapa, we will have a walk around Sapa town. Climb up to Ham Rong mountain to enjoy the wonderful views of Sapa town.

Day 9: Sapa villages trek.

After breakfast at hotel, we begin our hiking day by taking a jeep ride to Ban Ho village. This is a village of Tay ethnic minority. The Tay preserve a traditional and fairly developed agriculture with cultivation of all kinds of plants including rice, maize and sweet potato as well as seasonable fruit and vegetables. Then we continue walking to Thanh Phu village where your lunch will be provided in a local house. After lunchtime, heading to Sin Chai village. This is a village of of Red Dao people. Special dinner to celebrate the New Year Festival. Hiking Vietnam team is delighted to offer each guest 01 bottle of French wine to make the New year more special.

Day 10: Continue trekking Sapa. Travel to Lao Cai. Overnight train back to Hanoi.

After breakfast, we will continue our day with a long trek downhill to Lao Cai. The route from Sin Chai, one of the most remote area in Sapa offers beautiful scenery and landscape. The trek will take us through rice paddy fields, bamboo forest, old trees jungle. Your lunch will be provided at Nam Ket. After lunch, we will trek further downhill. Upon arriving in Ta Thang village, a Tay village we will be greeted again by our driver who transfer us then to Laocai station for our journey back to Hanoi.

Day 11: Arrive Hanoi. Travel to Halong bay. Boat cruise with kayaking tour.

Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning, transfer to a local restaurant for early breakfast then depart to Halong. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Halong Bay at any spot that you wish to visit or take a kayaking trip to explore the Bay. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.

Day 12: Halong bay – Hanoi. Water puppet show.

Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City. En route the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons. After another wonderful fresh seafood early lunch on board disembark at the dock at Halong City. Transfer back to Hanoi. In the evening, attend to the water puppet show, one of famous Vietnamese traditional art. Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day 13: Day trip to Duong Lam ancient village.

We travel west of Hanoi to visit Duong Lam village, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River delta where still preserve many hundred-year-old houses. It will be your unique experience as you walk along tiny ancient alleys; visit Mong Phu temple in Mong Phu hamlet – the only hamlet whose original village entrance gate remains intact, dedicated to national heroes. Then cycle to Cam Lam by village’s roads. Magnificent landscape with rice-fields and hills. The two Kings Phung Hung & Ngo Quyen were born there and the village people are very proud of this. That’s why it has the second name as “The village of 2 Kings”. At Cam Lam, we can visit the temple of Phung Hung – very beautiful temple and also the Mausoleum of Ngo Quyen in the countryside facing rice fields and nice landscape. Back to Hanoi in the late afternoon. Trip ends.

Hiking Vietnam specializes in tailor-making private guided trekking hiking tours in Vietnam. This Northern Vietnam 13 Days Itinerary is only a sample itinerary that can be further customized to better fit your personal requirements. Just follow this trip or contact us for designing your own itinerary.

Additional Information

Depart from

End at

Hanoi

Travel style

Trip duration

Itinerary disclaimer

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.

Difficulty levels

Our trekking tours can be classified into three levels

Easy

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…

Moderate

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.

Difficult

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.

Inclusions

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)
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Sightseeing entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.

Exclusions

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
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses

Tour Guide

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.

Porter

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

Vehicle

Depending on the nature of the tour, journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections.

Accommodation

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.

Food

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.

Drinking water

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.

Packing

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
  • GPS

Responsible Tourism

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.

Environment

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.

Community

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.

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Northern Vietnam 13 Days Itinerary”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Filter:AllOpenResolvedClosedUnanswered
AnsweredIreland asked 9 months ago • 
60 views1 answers1 votes
AnsweredCann asked 9 months ago • 
59 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredJohn TT asked 9 months ago • 
81 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredChristine asked 9 months ago • 
49 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredDiana asked 9 months ago • 
58 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredTimothy asked 9 months ago • 
59 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredMichelle asked 9 months ago • 
52 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredElizabeth asked 9 months ago • 
88 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredTommy asked 9 months ago • 
57 views1 answers0 votes
AnsweredBarbara asked 9 months ago • 
56 views1 answers0 votes