Vietnam adventure tours route.
Hanoi – Mai Chau –Moc Chau – Son La – Dien Bien – Sin Ho – Sapa – Lao Cai Bac Ha – Haong Su Phi – Ha Giang – Yen Minh – Dong Van – Meo vac - Bao lac – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Thai Nguyen - Hanoi
This Northern Vietnam Photo Tour is conducted in the remote areas of Northeast and Northwest Vietnam –Mai Chau Valley, Hoa Binh province – Ha Giang province and Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province – Ban Gioc Water fall and Ba Be Lake, Bac Kan province.
This 15 days trip allows you to travel from Hanoi to remote hill tribe villages, inhabited by the Thai ethnic minorities; Muong, H’mong (Black Hmong, Blue Hmong and Flower Hmong), the Dzao (Red Dzao, Black Dzao and Dzao Tien), the Tay, Dzay, the Nung, Pho Xa, Lolo, Bo Y ethnic minorities. We will explore the colorful and authentic ethnic markets: Pha Long market, Bac Ha Market, Dong Van market and Meo Vac market.
All the the dates mentioned in the itinerary are designed to correspond with the days the markets are operational. This tour has all the key ingredients for an ideal shoot – Landscape, portrait photography and Nature
Day 1:Tuesday: Hanoi Arrival:
Welcome to Vietnam. Arriving at Noi Bai International Airport, Snail Adventure Tour guide and driver will greet and pick you up to the hotel at the heart of Hanoi capital. Hanoi, the antique and dynamic city of Vietnam, reserves a unique old world charm and several of the most striking colonial architecture of Asia. After the checking-in, Take relax by your own and do briefing itinerary with our guide for coming days. enjoy a cyclo ride through the bustling streets in the Old Quarter to discover the ancient and modern beauty of Hanoi. After the tour, you will be warmly welcome with a special welcoming dinner in a typical Vietnamese food restaurant. Stay overnight in The Lighthotel
Activities:Tranferring and briefing itinerary
Accommodation: The Light Hotel****
Transferring distance: 35 Km
Day 2: Wednesday: Hanoi – Mai Chau
Have breakfast in hotel, our team will meet you at lobby and depart to Hoa Binh – the gateway of Northwest Vietnam. You enjoy brilliant scenery and limestone panoramas through window. Take short break to take photo on summit the descent overlooking the superb valley of Mai Chau. Arrival in the White Thai village of Ban Lac, where you settle for the night in a delightful family’s traditional stilted house. After lunch in your family house, you spend the afternoon strolling or biking through the villages and the rice fields. Return to Pom Coong for diner and one night at your Thai homestay/ Mai Chau Lodge.
Activities: Transferring and Exploreing stunning scenic valley
Accommodation: Mai Chau Ecolodge***
Transferring distance: 180 Km
Day 3: Thursday: Mai Chau – Moc Chau – Son La
Get up early to capture pristine nature and enjoy extraordinary sightseeing. We wander around the village to learn about their life and culture. After breakfast in hotel, we commence driving on scenic road to Son La and climb several passes separated by the Plateau of Moc Chau, a large milk and milk product region. Lunch en route and arrival in Son La, where we visit the French Prison (excellent museum of the Colonial period, Archeology, and local minorities). Dinner and one night in a Son La city
Activities: Visiting and transferring through magnificent sightseeing of North west Vietnam
Accommodation: Muong Thanh Son La Hotel****
Transferring distance: 200 Km
Day 4: Friday: Son La – Dien Bien Phu
We take the road to Dien Bien Phu, which is the most breathtaking road in Vietnam. Before Dien Bien, we take a small mountain road – another of our little secrets – leading to the charming Thai village of Muong Phang, General Giap headquarters during the battle that you visit. We then continue the small road up to Dien Bien, where we have diner and spend one night at the Him Lam Ecolodge.
Activities: Transferring and visiting historical relic on way
Accommodation: Muong Thanh Dien Bien Hotel****
Transferring distance: 178 Km
Day 5: Saturday: Dien Bien Phu Muong Lay – Sin Ho
In the morning, visit of the battle site : the museum, the last stronghold hill, Eliane 2 trenches, the French stele, General de Castries’ bunker, etc. Lunch in Dien Bien and we then take the magnificent road going through the valley of Lai Chau. Drive to Muong Lay and then up to Sin Ho – the remote town of Vietnam. You will obtain the most magnificent landscapes and discover the unexplored areas and especially for the typical minority market on weekly Sunday. Dinner and overnight in the remote town of Sin Ho. Overnight at Thanh Binh hotel in Sin Ho.Accommodation: Thanh Binh Hotel
Activities: Visiting and transferring to Sin Ho
Accommodation: Thanh Binh Hotel***
Transferring distance: 186 Km
Day 6: Sunday: Sin Ho Market – Sapa Town
Full morning for Sin Ho market. Visit the market, meet and talk with the local people in their origin of friendly culture and traditional costumes, can say that all are still unexplored by tourist and commercialized.
Independently attend the market that known as the most remote ethnic market of all Northwest Vietnam. It is a fusion of many different hill tribes inhabiting in Sin Ho district but you can easily distinguish them by their different colorful costume dressing. Attend the market, you will find out not only typical traditional costume but also the way of bartering trade existing in daily life of the Tay, the Dzay, the Red Dzao, the Black H’mong…
After the market we continue our trip on the hidden loop to Tam Duong for lunch. After lunch, drive on the thread road up to the Heaven Gate for universal view of Lai Chau and Sapa and Hoang Lien Son mountain range with Fansipan summit of 1343m high. Afternoon arrive in Sapa, check in hotel then free time to relax and stroll around Sapa. Dinner and overnight in Sapa . Accommodation: BamBoo Hotel.
Activities: Visiting and exploring colorful hill tribes markets on sunday
Accommodation: Bamboo Hotel****
Transferring distance: 150 km
Day 7:Monday: Sapa – Y Linh Ho – Lao Chai – Ta Van
We will start our trip in the morning at our hotel, and then head down to Muong Hoa valley. Begining of the trip is the moment for admire the panorama view of the town and then the valley from the main road. After 4km on the main road, we start going down to the valley by the small trails through the terrace rice fields to get to Y Linh Ho hamlet, a small village of the Black Hmong people.
From Y Linh Ho village, we go along the river to go to Lao Chai village (means “old village” in the local dialect). It is time for you to visit the local families, listen to your guide’s explanation about the local culture: how they live, way of building the traditional house, techniques of making clothes… or listen about the way of treatment for a sick person. At 12h00, we will stop for lunch. The lunch is served in one of the local refreshment restaurants on the side of the river. In the afternoon, we leave Lao Chai to continue to Ta Van village, the Giay people’s residence. The guide to bring you into some family: listen about their life, enjoy some green tea, learn about the differences of their culture from the other hill tribes even they leave close to each other. Tonight we will stay overnight at homestay in Ta Van Village. Accommodation: Home-stay in Ta Van
Activities:Trekking and exploring Sapa valley
Accommodation: Ecohomestay/ Hotel
Hiking distance: 18 Km
Day 8:Tuesday: Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – Sapa – Bac Ha
Today we will take 4 – 5hrs trekking with surprises at what you have never seen before .In the early morning you will be sure to be woken up by the households but lucky to see how is their daily life for a new day coming!Enjoy some pancakes made by your tour guide’s skillful hands. Start a new trek into Hoang Lien Son National Park by more stunning landscapes and other ethnic minority villages dotted further your eyes sigh. Visit Giang Ta Chai village of the Red Dao minority and then continue that trail to Su Pan Village for lunch Enjoy magnificent view of Ba Ho valley or visit some local houses of the Tay. After lunch in Sapa town, we will drive forward Bac Ha town. Arrive Bac Ha in the afternoon. Free at your own leisure. Overnight inNgan Nga Hotel
Activities: Hiking and transferring to Bac Ha
Accommodation: Ngan Nga Hotel***
Transferring distance: 100 km
Day 9: Wednesday: Bac Ha – Sin Cheng Market – Bac Ha
We will start at 8.30am from Bac Ha to Sin Cheng market, it takes us about 1.30 hour. This market is opened one time per week from 9.00am to 1.30pm. This market which is in the border area is far 40km from Bac Ha town (in Si Ma Cai district) so just few people know this place. The market is almost untouched by the modern life. Where you will be surprised by the way of living of the people here that you can find nowhere in the modern world. After the market we come back to Bac Ha for lunch. And then we trek up to Ban Pho village, the villages belong to Mong and Tay ethnic minority. Overnight in Bam Boo hotel.
Activities: Transferring and joining in Wednesday hill tribe market
Accommodation: Ngan Nga Hotel***
Transferring distance: 180 km – Return
Day 10:Thursday: Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi
In the morning, we will drive forward Xin Man. This district is one of the poorest districts which has border with Lao Cai province and China. Lunch will be in a local restaurant. On the way to Hoang Su Phi, we will discover significant terraces of Hoang Su Phi area. Visit Ho Thau commune of Dao ethnic minority people. Keep continues to visit Ban May, Ban Phung and Ban Diu to see locals wearing traditional customs working on terrace fields. Dinner and overnight in Hoang Su Phi.. Accommodation: Pan hou Ecolodge.
Activities:Transferring and contemplating snenic beauty of Hoang Su Phi
Accommodation: Panhou Village ecolodge
Transferring distance: 150 km
Day 11:Friday: Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang – Yen Minh – Quan Ba –– Yen Minh
Today morning, we will drive from Hoang Su Phi to Ha Giang, stopover Yen Minh for lunch and surrounding, then head up to Quan Ba Double Mountain, visit the following communes: Lung Tam and Can Ty. In the late afternoon, we will drive back to Yen Minh. Dinner and overnight in Yen Minh. Phuong DongHotel.
Activities: Transferring and visiting on way
Accommodation: Phuong Dong Hotel***
Transferring distance: 180 km
Day 12:Saturday: Yen Minh – Pho Cao – Pho Bang – Sung La – Me Le– Dong Van
In the morning, we will drive to from Yen Minh to Pho Cao, trek to the village of Dao, Man and Ta Pan Dao, on this route, we will visit Lo Lo ethnic minority villages in Sung La commune, Hmong Hoa’s town of Pho Bang. After visiting these villages, we will keep drive to Pho cao, Sung La and Me Le. The area is populated by Dao ethnic people and encircled by truly awesome remote forested mountains. Arrive Dong Van in the late afternoon. Stay overnight in Dong Van, enjoy walking around the Old quarter of Dong Van.Accommodation: Hoa Cuong Dong Van hotel
Activities: Transfering and visiting
Accommodation: Hoa Cuong Dong Van Hotel
Transferring distance: 80 km
Day 13:Sunday:Dong van Market – Meo Vac – Bao Lac
Wake up early for Sunday market in Dong Van. Hunt the amazing shots in Dong Van Sunday market, then we will drive toward Meo Vac Sunday Market and Khau Vai commune.
The market is not only where the locals living in the karst plateau trade cattle, it is also a gathering place for the Mong ethnic minority. Market goers must start early in the morning. Those selling cattle have to wake up the earliest, usually around midnight, to walk their cows to market. Many walk dozens of miles, climb mountains and cross streams to get there, yet they never appear to be tired and are always smiling and cheerful.
In addition to cattle, there are also dogs, goats and pigs for sale at the market. Despite being tied up, a few chubby pigs are still able to run around while the goats lie near their owner’s feet and dogs wag their tails to greet passers-by. The first sellers start to arrive around 5 am. The echoes of the clop, clop, clop of cattle hooves can be heard throughout the forests and mountains as they make their way to the market. We can see the traditional costumes of the local Mong people at the market; the men wear long black dresses while the women dress in their best, most colourful costumes and their children run alongside them. There are food shops selling traditional Thang co (stewed meat soup) and fragrant maize wine near the area reserved for selling cattle. Most Mong men insist on sampling the wine before leaving at the end of the day. In the midafternoon, we will drive to Bao Lac, on the route we will visit some Hmong village. Overnight in Bao Lac.
Accommodation: Thuy Duong Hotel
Activities: Visiting and transferring to Bao Lac Hotel
Accommodation: Thuy Duong Hotel
Transferring distance: 100 km
Day 14:Monday: Bao Lac – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall
In the morning, after breakfast we will drive through three passes en-route. The scenery is spectacular and the road runs along the sides of the mountains. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will visit Ban Gioc waterfall. The Ban Gioc Waterfall is located om the China-Vietnam border, 85km from Cao Bang. This is one of the largest waterfalls in Asia. Keep continues exploring Cao bang, we will visit Nguom Ngao cave. It has many fascinating shapes and formations of stalactites. After visiting Nguom Ngao cave, we will arrive in Cao Bang town. Check-in hotel and stay overnight in Cao Bang.Accommodation: Sai Gon Ban Gioc Resort
Activities: Transferring and Visiting
Accommodation: Sai Gon Ban Gioc Waterfall Resort
Transferring distance: 220 km
Day 15:Tuesday: Ban Gioc Water Fall - Cao Bang – Ba Be Lake
In the morning, we will drive through Ma Phuc Pass and continue on to Ba Be National Park for a boat ride along the Nang River, with time to explore the huge Ba Be Lake, the caves of Puong Grotto, the rapids of the Dau Dang waterfall and Widow Island. You will also visit the stilt houses of the Tay community in Bo Lu Village, where you will spend the night in a homestay situation.
Accommodation: mr Toan Homestay
Activities: Exploring brilliant waterfall and transferring to Ba Be Lake
Accommodation: Sai Gon Ba Be Hotel/ Ecohomestay
Transferring distance: 190 km
Day 16: Wednesday: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi
We stroll along the riverfront, visiting some villages and hike the upper reaches of the lake, in an area off by massive limestone cliffs and mountains. We travel through a pass which we call “Dog Flower Pass” then stop to take amazing photos by some terraced fields. After lunch in a local restaurant we also visit the Thai Nguyen Minority and Culture Museum where we can learn something about the culture and traditions of the different minority groups in Vietnam, before we journey back to Hanoi, arriving there at around 5pm. End of services
Activities: Boat Trip and Transferring back to Hanoi
Accommodation: The Light Hotel****
Transferring distance: 269 km
- Entrance Fees: To scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
- Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary with authentic Vietnamese food.
- Private Transfers car 07 ~ 16 seats A/C during the trip with the excellent driver as the itinerary.
- An excellent English-speaking guide throughout the trip as the itinerary at each region.
- Hotels: Hotel fees are based on two people sharing with Double/ Twin Rooms. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily Western or Local breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified. Sin Ho Ethnic Market/ Dong Van Ethnic Market/ Meo Vac Ethnic Market / Sin Cheng Ethnic Market admissions and fees
- Admission fees in Ban Gioc Waterfalls
- Admission fees during the sharing border between Lao Cai, Cao Bang – China borders.
- Ethnic minorities and hill tribes villages admissions fees
- Boat trip in Ba Be Lake
- Daily bottle of mineral water
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
- Excess Baggage Charges. Passengers holding an adult fare or half fare ticket are entitled to a free baggage allowance of 20kg, for economy class. Total weight of carryon baggage each passenger may not exceed 5kg. The size may not exceed 20x40x 55cm.
- Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone calls, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the tour itinerary.
- Single Room Supplement
Please be aware that flight times, hotels and all other logistics, services and days of travel are subject to availability. Where flights are cancelled or delayed we will endeavor to secure alternative arrangements of similar value as noted in our booking conditions.
The traveling times mentioned within this dossier are approximations only. These times will vary according to weather, road, traffic or any other prevailing conditions.
This itinerary and supplementary information has been complied in good faith and was accurate at time of writing. However it DOES NOT form part of a contract between the client and Snail adventure Tours
Vietnam visa service
Visitors must obtain visa approval prior to entry. The procedure is as follows:
(1) Passport details and arrival and departure dates are sent to us not later than 14 days before passengers’ departure to Vietnam. (Customer can send through email or fax, we need: full name in passport, gender, date of birth, passport number, expiry date, nationality, occupation, the first international airport (Hanoi or HCMC) where customers arrive, flight detail)
(2) We submit details to the Immigration Department.
(3) The Immigration Department sends us the original visa approval document.
(4) We send customer a copy of the approval document via email (Note: All customers need this paper to get onboard for flight to Vietnam)
(5) Each customer needs passport + 2 passport-sized photos + USD25 (in cash USD) to get the visa stamp.