Northern Vietnam Itinerary 14 Days

Northern Vietnam Itinerary 14 Days is designed for family travel in Vietnam. This is an unique tour we run in the northwest Vietnam, taking you to both popular places (Sapa, Halong bay) and remote areas (Tam Duong, Quynh Nhai, Than Uyen…)


Northern Vietnam Itinerary 14 Days is designed for family travel in Vietnam. This is an unique tour we run in the northwest Vietnam, taking you to both popular places (Sapa, Halong bay) and remote areas (Tam Duong, Quynh Nhai…) where you have no chance to see other tourists.

Map of northern Vietnam itinerary 14 days

Northern Vietnam itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi.

On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met by Hiking Vietnam team and transferred to hotel for check in. Then, a tour by cyclo around the old quarter streets to discover the local people life. O/N in Ha Noi.

Day 2: Hanoi – Lao Cai.

The morning, we start the city tour to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. Then continue to visit the Temple of Literature well known as Vietnam’s first university. The afternoon is continued by the visit of the Ethnologic Museum and the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred Ngoc Son Temple. The reminder of the day is free for your own exploration of Ha Noi until we take the night train to Lao Cai. Evening: Water puppets show, the unique Vietnam traditional art. Overnight on board.

Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa.

On arrival at Lao Cai train station we take a drive to SaPa. At an elevation of 1,500 meters, Sa Pa is a former French hill resort and home to some of Vietnam’s most colorful ethnic minority groups. After a breakfast at a local restaurant, we depart the town for our trek into the mountainous region of Sa Pa. A seven-hour walk takes through Lao Chai San and Lao Chai villages where we have chance to meet the Black Hmong and Dzay hill-tribe peoples. Overnight in Ta Van village.

Day 4: Sapa Trekking.

Our trek through Gian Ta Chai village will give us the opportunity to experience the Red Dzao real life, enjoy scenic landscapes with waterfalls, terraced rice fields and hanging bridge. Arrive in Sa Pa at around 03h00 PM. Free time to stroll in Sa Pa. O/N in Sapa.

Day 5: Sapa – Tam Duong.

After a morning bumpy drive through the most beautiful hidden-north landscapes region, we arrive in Tam Duong. Today, we have a 4-hour trek to visit Lu, Dzay, Dzao Tien and Hmong ethnic minority villages. Overnight recommended in a Lu hill-tribe village will give you chance to experience their daily life. O/N in Tam Duong.

Day 6: Tam Duong – Lai Chau.

Upon leaving Tam Duong we spend a five-hour traveling through Vietnam’s most mountainous region. Along the way there are some opportunities to explore the spectacular scenery with a mixture of terraced rice fields and hill villages and trek to visit the Mang, White Thai and Blue Hmong hill-tribe people. Overnight in a Thai village.

Day 7: Lai Chau – Quynh Nhai.

Boat trip downstream Da River to explore the wild hidden north nature. Today, we have time to visit many hill-tribe villages along Da River, to meet Khang, Khu Mu and Cong ethnic peoples. Overnight at a Thai hill-tribe village nearby the riverbank.

Day 8: Quynh Nhai – Son La.

We arrive Pha Uan ferry landing after a nice morning boat trip. Then we proceed to Son La by car with a two-hour trek to visit Black Thai, White Xa and Xi Mun villages en route. O/N in Son La.

Day 9: Son La – Mai Chau.

The car brings us down to Moc Chau, which is famous for tea and surer-cane plantation. A 2-hour trek though Hmomg villages including Pa Co, Xa Ling will give you the best opportunity to contact people and experience their life. Proceed to Mai Chau. The last interest of the day is an evening traditional dance performance by Thai hill-tribe people. O/N at house on stilts in Pom Coong remote village.

Day 10: Mai Chau Trekking.

After breakfast, transfer by car to the valley center. We start t to trek mountainsides to Xam Khoe Village. The trekking is difficult at times with some steep uphill and downhill walking, but the views are incredible however some physical preparation will enable you to fully appreciate today’s trek. Picnic lunch in a family. Arrive back to Pom Coong Village in the afternoon. O/N at house on stilts in Pom Coong remote village.

Day 11: Mai Chau – Hanoi.

In the morning, we take a walk in Mai Chau Valley to visit brocade waving at Poom Cong , Lac and Van villages. Drive back to Ha Noi and arrive in the late afternoon. O/N in Ha Noi.

Day 12: Hanoi – Halong Bay.

Transfer to Halong Bay. Upon arrival, we have a 5-hour boat trip to visit Ha Long Bay, listed as a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. This picturesque “Dragon descending to the sea” Bay has 1,969 limestone islets rising from the sea, many of them containing beautiful grottoes. During the boat trip, we will have a fresh seafood lunch prepared and served on board. O/N in Ha Long.

Day 13: Halong Bay – Hanoi.

After breakfast at hotel, transfer back to Hanoi with stopover at Dong Trieu Ceramic village. Free afternoon. O/N in Ha Noi.

Day 14: Departure.

At leisure until transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure flight (check out hotel before 12h00).

Tailor-made trip

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 Northern Vietnam Itinerary 14 Days 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.

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Additional Information

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Places to visit

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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


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)
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 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
  • 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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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