Trek Pu Luong & Ngoc Son Ngo Luong 4 Day Itinerary is designed by the Hiking Vietnam team for you to discover several Vietnam off the beaten path places such as Ban Sai, Ban Hang, Suoi Pung, Ban Don, Ban Hieu, Tu Do, Ngoc Son, Ngo Luong Ngo Luong. The hiking trip can be extended with one more day in Tam Coc, Van Long, Ninh Binh or Halong Bay.
Map of Trek Pu Luong and Ngoc Son Ngo Luong
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Ban Don (Pu Luong Nature Reserve).
To start the 4 day trek near Hanoi, you will be picked up by the Hiking Vietnam team at your hotel in Hanoi and transferred via the Highway that goes southwest to Hoa Binh province. The province which is home to the Muong ethnic group covers a massif separating the Red River delta from the Ma River basin. From Hoa Binh city, the road begins to climb. We cross the Muong Khen pass and enter a mountainous slope towards Thung Nhuoi Pass where we make a stop to enjoy a panoramic view of the fertile valley of Mai Chau. Lunch at a Thai family in a beautiful village backed by mountains and open on a wide rice valley. After lunch, transfer about 45 minutes from Mai Chau to the Thai village of Ban Hang, on the edge of the Pu Luong Nature Reserve. From there we start the 2h30 hike along a flat path along the Suoi Pung stream and its narrow valley. We cross a river then climb progressively towards the top of the valley. Plunging view on the rice fields which are spread on both sides of the torrent. The nature reserve starts at mid-slope and covers the two massifs which overhang the valley. We are picked up again by our car and transferred to Ban Don Village where we will have dinner and overnight at homestay.
Day 2: Pu Luong Trekking (Ban Don – Ban Hieu).
After breakfast, we continue our trek near Hanoi trip with a 5 hour hike between limestone mountains, rice fields and authentic villages. We descend on small paths mired through rice terraces, cross several villages including Ban Uoi, Ban Lan, Ban Long inhabited mainly by the Muong who live in beautiful houses built on stilts with roofs covered with palm leaves. Visit these villages and meet with the local villagers. Picnic lunch. In the afternoon, walk about 1h30 then short transfer to the village of Ban Hieu, nestled in a small valley, in a green setting between the beautiful waterfalls, in the heart of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, and surrounded by high mountains generously covered with vegetation. Dinner and overnight at homestay.
Day 3: Ban Hieu – Ngoc Son Ngo Luong.
On the 3rd day of our trek near Hanoi we will walk for about 5-6 hours along a valley between the Pu Luong massif and Ngoc Son Ngo Luong nature reserve. From village to village, we are immersed in the heart of the country of Muong and White Thai. From Ban Hieu, we walk about 1 hour on a small path along a river lined with beautiful rice terraces to the village of Ban Quy. We discover their habitat, their way of life and their agricultural activities focused on rice growing and breeding. From this village, there are some fording sites to take before we reach a path that climbs slightly to a tropical forest covered with beautiful vegetation. An hour walk with several passages in the water upriver to the waterfall. Possibility of bathing. Leaving the forest, we follow a path that leads to the village of Ban Tren and then join a wide path with some sections are concreted. Another 2h30 walk through several hamlets of the Muong, rice fields, corn fields, cassava and peanuts, and we arrive at the end of the day to the village of Tu Do, where we will spend the night.
Walking sandals are recommended as we cross small streams today. We also advise you to bring a bathing suit and bath towel for swimming (summer). The hike is quite long but easy with very little elevation.
Day 4: Ngoc Son Ngo Luong – Hanoi (or Tam Coc).
After breakfast, we walk about 2 hours in the area before getting on the vehicle and take the road to the Red River Delta. Leaving Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Nature Reserve, we take a short drive on the old Ho Chi Minh Trail before turning east to travel back to Hanoi. The alternative option is to spend one more night in Ninh Binh, Tam Coc or Van Long where you will have a boat trip or a bike ride to enjoy the beautiful landscape of “Halong bay in land”. Trip ends.
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 Trek Pu Luong & Ngoc Son Ngo Luong 4 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.