Colorful Minorities of Vietnam
Highlights of tour:
Explore many ethnic minorities, picturesque scenery of northern of Vietnam and focus on this region for an in depth-experience you would never forget. Landlocked Vietnam is one of those destinations that travelers never want to leave. Finish your colorful hill tribes by spending two overnights cruise on Halong bay to conclude your journey by sailing among limestone cliffs and mysterious cave.
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi (D)
Welcome to Vietnam, arrival at Hanoi airport, after immigration and customs formalities, you’ll be met by your personal guide and driver, then transfer into the city. On arrival, check-In to hotel.
A cyclo (rickshaw) trip around with 36 streets of Ha Noi ancient town gives you a chance to explore the different local way of life. You will visit a complex of the Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple (Jade mountain Temple), But Tower (Pen – shaped tower), Dai Nghien (Ink Stand), the Red – painted wooden The Huc Bridge… Enjoy the Water Puppet Show in the evening.
Welcome dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B,L,D)
All day city tour Hanoi to visit: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum, President Palace, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, West Lake, Quan Thanh Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda. After lunch at local restaurant, transfer to Vietnam museum of Ethnography where you’ll have a panoramic view about 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Dinner and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi – Ba Be (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, departure to Ba Be (around 7 hours), Vietnam’s largest natural lake, through the Red River Delta north along Highway 3 to Thai Nguyen. This important eco-system is well known for over 330 species of butterflies! Occasion for take the pictures along the way. Arrival in Ba Be, check in at the host family Tay and then, strolling around the village.
Stay overnight in the traditional house on stilts of Tay ethnic people.
Jour 4: Ba Be (B,L,D)
The day is reserved for a hiking in the national park, we descend into the scenic valley, home to the Tay minority people and encircled by rock formations. The scenery is extraordinary, with rurfal farmland, and rugged mountains jutting out of the tangled jungle growth. Overnight at homestay.
Day 5: Ba Be – Cao Bang (B,L,D)
Morning, we spend the time to cruise in the lake, discover the surrounding area with limestone country, waterfalls, caves and unusual rock formations abound. Lunch served on border of the lake near the waterfall Dau Dang. You have a chance of swimming in crystal clear waters. Little trek into a Tay village before cruising to Puong Cave.
Afternoon, we take the road again; drive (90kms 2.5 hours) to Cao Bang. Here the H’mong, Zao, Tho and Nung ethnic minority people live together in harmony. Stay overnight in a hotel in Cao Bang.
Day 6: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Cao Bang (B,L,D)
After breakfast, drive to Ban Gioc waterfall, the largest one in Vietnam. The waterfall falls thirty meters. It is separated into three falls by rocks and trees, and the thundering effect of the water hitting the cliffs can be heard kilometers away. Visit Nguom Ngao cave. Return to Cao Bang, along the way, you stop to visit an ethnic village. Overnight in Cao Bang.
Day 7: Cao Bang – Meo Vac – Dong Van (B,L,D)
Early morning, drive up to the plateau of “Stone Forest” Dong Van via Bac Lac, Meo Vac. This is the most spectacular scenery in South East Asia, and still very few tourists. Stop at Ma Phi Lenh pass, trek in the village Ma Phi Lenh. Lunch in Meo Vac then visit the Black Hmong ethnic minority village. We arrive lately in Dong Van. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Dong Van – Ha Giang (B,L,D)
In the morning, visit the palace of King of the H’mong, Vuong Chi Duc. If it’s Sunday, we can visit a local market. Leave Dong Van for driving to Ha Giang. Stop at Quan Ba, “Gate of paradise”, having a lush valley after the plateau’s desolation of stones. Arrival in Ha Giang, stay overnight in our eco-lodge.
Day 9: Day of trek (B,L,D) (5-6h of trek)
After breakfast, we start our trek to reach to the heart of Chay river massif through terrace rice fields and grove of bamboo; Stop at Nam Khoa in a Man Ta Pan house at noon. We go along Suoi Nam valley; Tribe’s stilt houses standing against the mountains appear in front of your eyes in the middle of terrace rice fields.
Discover the region of Ki Liou Ti Mountain where originates the Chay River, where live many tribes: Hmong Hoa, Man Ta Pan, Tay, Long Tunic Yao, Ninh Inh. Dinner and stay overnight in the house of Long tunic Yao ethnic in Nam Ai.
Day 10: Day of trek (B,L,D)/5-6hrs of trek
This morning, we say goodbye to the hosts, we continue our trek and go up to the Sky Gate then go back downstairs again to Phin Ho, famous village for its Shan tea. Have lunch in Phin Ho where the Red Yao or Man Ta Pan lives.
Meeting many tribe’s people on the road. Return to Eco-lodge for overnight.
Day 11: Ha Giang – Bac Ha (B,L,D)
Morning, preparing for a long but stunning scenery along the zigzag road from Ha Giang to Bac Ha. Many stop on road for photography. Arrive in the afternoon in Bac Ha. Check in at hotel. Walk to Ban Pho and take some photos of hill tribes at work or scenery. Overnight in Bac Ha.
Day 12: Bac Ha – Sa Pa (B,L,D)
Breakfast at hotel, visit of Sunday market, Bac Ha, the biggest trading center and meeting place of many ethnic minorities: Red H’mong, Tay, Nung, Dzao… near the mountainous highlands and the Chinese border.
After lunch, drive to Sa Pa, a quiet mountain town and home to a great diversity of ethnic minority peoples. Overnight in Sa Pa.
Day 13: Sa Pa (B,L,D)
This morning, we go to Ta Phin village where the Kinh, Red Dzao, and Black H’mong live. You have a little trekking through rice paddies and picturesque scenery where you can meet local people and discover their daily life. Drive back to Sa Pa. Climb up to Ham Rong Mountain and admire the stunning orchid gardens and rock gardens. On the top, you have a best view of Sa Pa and surrounding fresh nature.
Overnight in Sa Pa.
Day 14: Sa Pa – Than Yen – Nghia Lo (B,L,D)
Departure to Nghia Lo by passing a rugged terrain of dense vegetation which brings us into contact with the Black Hmong and the mysterious White Tay people. Stop to visit “Silver waterfall”.
You will continue to explore Vietnam Land of rice! This is Tule valley – Mu Cang Chai district in Yen bai province – open your eyes and enjoys Vietnam Timeless Charm! People are growing rice in the valley. We continue the road until Nghia Lo via the large white limestone mountains. Overnight in Nghia Lo.
Day 15: Nghia Lo – Mai Chau (B,L,D)
Drive through rural areas with beautiful rice field along the road for descends into the hidden valley of Mai Chau where we spend the night with friends in a traditional Thai stilt house. Enjoy dinner with the minority specialty dishes including rice cooked in bamboo and grilled meat and watching traditional dancing, music performances (bronze, drums, gongs), and Thai minority singing and dancing.
Overnight in Mai Chau.
Day 16: Mai Chau – Ninh Binh (B,L,D)
Journey of discovering the daily life of Thai ethnic: You will see women weaving on looms inside their houses in the village. Walking through the scenic and peaceful villages where we have the chance to get to learn about culture of the Thaï people. Enjoy the stunning scenery over mountain passes as you transfer to Ninh Binh, Halong with rice paddies. Visit of Dinh, Le temples, two kings who lived in 10th century and chose Hoa Lu as capital of country.
After lunch, bicycle to Thung Nang, with beautiful sightseeing and friendly local people. Get on small rowing boats to travel along the canals with local villagers, passing the green fields and enjoying the so called “Ha Long bay On Land”. Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Day 17: Ninh Binh-Ha Long (B,L,D)
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to famous and magnificent Ha Long Bay for a 2 days/1night. Here you’ll board a charming Junk where you’ll have lunch as you set sail for Titop Island. Spend the afternoon sailing through the 3,000 limestone pinnacles piercing the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most incredible natural wonders and was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You’ll anchor at Titop this evening before an on-deck candlelight dinner featuring gourmet cuisine. Overnight on a Junk.
Note: The cabins on board are simple, comfortable, clean, air-conditioned, and outfitted with their own and hot shower. This is a join-in cruise (possibility to book a private junk).
Day 18: Ha Long (B,L,D)
Early morning, you can do “Tai Chi” Exercise on the sundeck with an opportunity to admire the magnificent scenery of sunrise over the Bay. After a breakfast with tea, coffee, transfer by tender to the “Day Boat” and begin to cruise to some of Halong Bay’s most untouched destination: Cua Van floating village. Discover the floating village Cua Van, you have occasion to learn about the local life and their activities…
Escape in “Ho Ba Dam” area (3 lagoons) or “Doi Cave” or either “three peaches Beach”. Enjoy a leisurely day of kayaking and swimming. A multi-course lunch will be served mid-day. Cruise back to the junk around 4 pm. For whom which to stay on board, free time to breeze, refresh and swim them selves. Dinner and stay overnight on board.
Day 19: Ha Long – Hanoi (B,L,D)
You will begin this morning with a sunrise breakfast before your exploration of Hoa Cuong floating village. Visit Luon cave on small bamboo boat paddle by out crew staff and enjoy the quiet atmosphere enclosed by high islets and mountains.
Then continue to admire the Bay. Lunch on board. You will disembark the Junk and return to Hanoi. Dinner and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 20: Hanoi departure (B)
Free leisure (foot massage may be offered) until transferring to the airport, flight to departure.