Travel Hanoi LaoCai Bac Ha Ha Giang Cao Bang (11 days)Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The 11-day tour is a combination of a challenging trek to Bac Ha and Ha Giang remote hill tribe villages with an overland tour to the less travelled places of the northern Vietnam including Thong Nguyen, Ha Giang, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Bao Lac, Cao Bang. The holiday adventure begins in Hanoi with an overnight train to Lao Cai. From Lao Cai, you travel to Bac Ha and then Ha Giang province. The tour can be extended with a tour to Cao Bang, Ba Be National park or Lai Chau, Dien Bien Phu.
Day 1: Overnight train to Lao Cai.
You come to Hanoi train station and take the night train for Laocai. Train???. Departure at ???. Overnight on board train.
Day 2: Arrive Laocai. Travel to Bac Ha.
Arrive at Lao Cai Railway station early this morning at ??? (to be confirmed). You will be greeted by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to a local restaurant for early breakfast.
After a short rest, travel to Bac Ha. If today falls into Sunday, you will have the opportunity to visit the Bac Ha market, the biggest market in the area.
Every Sunday, different ethnic groups come to the market to sell their homemade products or buy something for the family. They are Hmong, Phu La, Back Dzao, Tay or Nung minorities. Some of these ethnic minorities can’t be met in any other areas.
Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in town.
In the afternoon, enjoy a short easy walk to a H’mong village near Bac Ha town.
Dinner and overnight in Bac Ha.
Day 3: Bac Ha – Ha Giang. Start trekking Ha Giang villages.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Lung Phin commune where you will begin your Ha Giang trek along a narrow trail on steep hillsides.
Keep trekking until you arrive Lu Suoi Tung village where you will make a stop to have lunch (lunch can be either picnicked or prepared on the spot in a local house).
After lunch, continue trekking through the forest to the top of Ta Cu Ty mountain range (hard trek) and then downhill to a Red Dzao village.
Dinner and homestay in a stilt house.
Day 4: Continue trekking through remote hill tribe villages.
After breakfast, you will leaving the Ta Cu Ty village spending the whole morning trekking along a large path (medium trek). The trek offers great view over a Nung village.
Lunch will be provided en route.
After lunch, you will follow a narrow footpath trekking for about three more hours up and downhill through the thick forest (hard trek). Visit the rock-field with scripts carved by ancient peoples. Arrive the village around late afternoon.
Dinner and homestay in a local house.
Day 5: Continue trekking Ha Giang remote villages.
Breakfast and then leaving Nam Chien Village at 08.30am. Transfer along the paved road for 14 km over the Gio mountain pass through thick rain forest to the southern side. From here, enjoy a leisure walk for 3 hours through Nam Nhung and Khau Rom village of the Tay and Zao peoples along the narrow valley of the Nam Li River.
Lunch break near a suspension bridge.
Cross the Nam Li River to the southern bank, trekking uphill to Quang Thuong Village and then downhill to Nam Choong Village of the Zao peoples which is beautifully set on the southern bank of Nam Li River and endowed by nature with a mineral hot spring.
Day 6: Continue trekking Ha Giang remote villages.
Today is probably the most interesting day of the whole trip for the superb scenery and wild nature which changes after every quarter trekking. But is also the greatest challenge so far.
After enjoying easy walk the the Nam Ly Valley, the trail gets tougher uphill for over an hour to Cao Son Village of the Hmong and Zao. Then, leaving the large path for a narrow trail which winds through tea farm and later thick forest aprrox.1,5 hour. Great challenging amidst wild nature! Lunch break at the top of a
mountain before getting downhill to Trung Son Village of the Nung.
Afternoon trek become easier along a narrow valley for nearly 2 hour to Tan Minh village of the Red Zao, then onto the center of Ho Thau Commune. Take an easy walk in late afternoon for 20 minutes to home stay.
Day 7: Continue trekking. Travel to Thong Nguyen.
It is an easy day today.
Leaving home stay after breakfast and trekking for the whole morning along a narrow but rather good trail through Ho Thau Valley passing charming villages of the Zao and Nung ethnic peoples scattering on hill sides.
Long lunch break near Nam Son Bridge with swimming possibility in the clear water of the Nam Dich River.
Picked up and transfer by road to Panhou ecolodge at Thong Nguyen Commune.
The rest of the afternoon is set at leisure for freshen up or walking to explore the surrounding of Panhou.
Day 8: Thong Nguyen – Bac Me.
After breakfast, you continue your trip driving to the top of the mountain where you make a short stop for great view of the region. Then descend to the lowland.
After about one hour drive, you will arrive Nam An, used to be a narrow and deep valley, built into a lake for water storage to run a hydraulic power plant and now has become spectacular lake with a peninsular for eco-tourist sport.
Spend an hour walking around the lake visiting a local Red Zao village.
Lunch will be provided in a local silt house.
Continue your road trip to Ha Giang town, and then on to Bac Me.
Arriving in Bac Me town around late afternoon, check into a local guesthouse for overnight.
Day 9: Bac Me – Meo Vac – Dong Van.
Check out hotel at 08.00 and depart for Meo Vac.
The first portion of the road weaves its way along the the Gam river amongst high mountains and thick forests. Crossing the Gam river and following the newly built road, you will arrive Niem Son commune where we will spend almost an hour visiting the local market (if any) and a small village of the H’mong ethnic peoples.
Drive uphill through the remote and deserted region to Meo Vac. Getting close to Meo Vac, there appeared some small hamlets of the H’mong built on the immense limestone hill sides. Stop for visiting one of these hamlets for the first impression of the very hard life on this mysterious limestone highland.
Arriving in Meo Vac at noon, take a quick look at the market (if Sunday)and lunch break.
After Lunch, visit a small village of the Lolo, an ethnic group with only about 4,700 peoples near the town before leaving Meo Vac . Then continue driving to Dong Van.
Check into a local hotel for overnight.
Day 10: Dong Van – Lung Cu - Vuong Palace – Pho Bang – Yen Minh – Quan Ba.
Check out hotel at 08.00 and drive to Lung Cu. Visit a village of the H’mong ethnic and a village of the Red Lolo in Lung Cu then move on to the Vuong Family Palace once ruled over the H’mong in the region and popularly known as King of the H’mong.
Then travel to Pho Bang ancient town. Walking for about an hour to explore this town which is featured with two storey wooden houses, clay walled, Yin and Yang tiled roofs and leisure atmosphere.
Leaving Pho Bang, you travel downhill to Yen Minh town where your lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in town.
After lunch, drive uphill of a long and high mountain pass. Take a break at the foot of the pass and visit a village of the La Chi, another small ethnic group with only over 3,000 individuals in Vietnam whose culture is really unique and strong.
Arrive in Quan Ba around late afternoon. Check in hotel for freshen up and relax. Overnight in Quan Ba.
Day 11: Quan Ba – Ha Giang – Ha Noi.
Breakfast and check out hotel.
Driving uphill to the top of Quan Ba mountain pass, stop for admiring the great view of Quan Ba valley. Then driving few kilometers further for visiting two more hill tribe villages - one village of the H’mong with traditional living style of the highlander ethnics and the other, a village of the Kinh peoples immigrated to the region in 1980s.
Driving for another hour and take a coffee stop at Ha Giang town before continue your journey back to Hanoi.
Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant en route.
Arrive in Hanoi in late afternoon. End trip.