Day 1: HA NOI - HA GIANG (L, D)
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi at around 8:00 am. We will set out towards Ha Giang via Tuyen Quang, passing countless tea plantations, mountains, and ethnic minority villages along the way.
You will have lunch at a local restaurant in Tuyen Quang, before arriving in Ha Giang in the late afternoon. Time permitting, you can explore the town and meet the local people before you’re served dinner and stay overnight in a local Tay house.
Day 2: HA GIANG - DONG VAN (B, L, D)
As we set out from Ha Giang after getting our permit from the immigration office, your journey to Dong Van will be filled with spectacular landscapes in the form of a series of long passes. En route, you will stop for lunch at the small and beautiful mountain village of Tam Son, before heading to the majestic “King of the H’ mong Palace”, a fortress built by a local chief, Vuong Chin Duc, who allied himself with French forces against the Viet Minh. Built-in the 1900s, this palace was designed in the style of ancient Chinese architecture dating to the Qing era, and it was made from materials such as solid stone blocks, wood, and terracotta tiles.
You will arrive in Dong Van at around 6:00 pm, at which time you will have dinner at a local restaurant and stay overnight in a hotel.
Day 2: DONG VAN - MA PI LENG - MEO VAC - CAO BANG (B, L, D)
You’ll start the day off with breakfast and a visit to the Dong Van Market, where locals come from all the surrounding villages to purchase and trade for essentials they cannot produce themselves.
Then you will be making the 2km-trek up to Pu Lo fortress which was built in 1890 and evacuated in 1945. From here you can enjoy spectacular views of the entire region, before climbing 5 to 7km to the top of Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a gigantic maze of limestone peaks, stone forests, and canyons before descending into the valley of Meo Vac.
You will then descend into the valley of Meo Vac, visiting Meo Vac Market before continuing on the snaking road through the mountains, crossing the river, and arriving in Cao Bang.
You will have dinner and spend the night in Cao Bang.
Day 4: CAO BANG - BAN GIOC WATERFALL (B, L, D)
This day is likely to be your highlight of the tour, as we take you to one of the most incredible natural wonders in Northern Vietnam; Ban Gioc Waterfall. The drive here from Cao Bang is roughly two hours, and this breath-taking 300-meter wide cascade sits right on the border between China and Vietnam, amidst a beautiful mountainous landscape.
While you’re here you can spend your time relaxing in the glow of the natural beauty, take some amazing photos, and board a bamboo boat that will take you so close to the falls you’ll feel the spray on your face, practically sitting at the very edge of Vietnam, so close to China that you can actually touch it.
After enjoying the waterfall, you will venture deep underground into the magical Nguom Ngao Cave to discover the rock formations which have been carved by erosion over millennia.
After visiting the waterfall and cave, you will travel down a beautiful road which is unknown to many, which winds through the mountains before reaching the Nung village of Quang Uyen.
You will be welcomed by Mr. Hung Dao, an amazingly friendly blacksmith, before having dinner at his house and settling in for the night in this cosy traditional Nung house.
Day 5: CAO BANG - BA BE LAKE (B, L, D)
Your day will start with breakfast at the hotel followed by a three-hour drive to Cho Ra where you will stop for lunch. From here you will board a boat and take a trip through the three lakes which make up Ba Be Lake and up the Nang River to Puong Cave, a 300-meter long tunnel through a mountain.
If it is hot, you can have a swim in the cool, refreshing water before you visit the stilt houses in Coc Toc, a Tay ethnic minority village, where you will spend the night in Mr. Linh’s Homestay, set in a traditional Tay house and letting you experience the amazing hospitality of the Tay community.
Day 6: BA BE LAKE - HA NOI (B, L)
by a hike up one of the higher points around the lake, providing you with some impressive views surrounded by limestone formations and mountain peaks.
On the way here you’ll pass through Pac Ngoi Village, an especially good example of the traditional stilt house architecture. Following this, we enter Hua Ma Cave, famous for its thousands of stalactites and stalagmites.
On the way back to Hanoi your driver will take you through a pass known as “Dog Flower Pass”, where we’ll stop and give you a chance to take some great photos of the terraced fields surrounding you.
After you’ve taken your photos and enjoyed lunch in a local restaurant, we’ll finish our journey back to Hanoi, dropping you off at your hotel around 6:00 pm.