Trekking the secret trails on Vietnam's frontier 14 days 13 nights

Tour code: NA02E
Duration: 14 days 13 nights
Route: Hanoi - Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai - Sapa - Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang - Quan Ba - Meo Vac
  • Day 1: Hanoi - Nghia Lo (L/D)
    • You will leave Hanoi from the Old Quarter and travel for about 2 hours to Duong Lam, an ancient village which has been recognized as a cultural and historical site in need of protection by UNESCO since 2006. The houses here date back 100-400 years and are surrounded by temples and gardens that were built in honour of two kings who became renowned national heroes by repelling a Chinese invasion roughly 1200 years ago. Here you will spend 2-4 hours exploring the village and taking in the sights before being served lunch at a local restaurant.
      Continuing with your tour, you will be driven through the rural countryside, slowly moving from flat landscapes littered with rice paddies to giant karst formations surrounded by tea and maize plantations as you gain altitude. Eventually you will reach the village of Nghia Lo, where you will stay the night in a traditional White Thai homestay built on stilts.
      - Includes a 2-4 hour flat walk in the ancient village.
      duong lam
      Duong Lam Village, Temple Scene
  • Day 2: Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai (B/L/D)
    • You will rise early and go on a bicycle ride amongst the paddy fields, basking in the peaceful morning ambience. The mornings begin early for the villagers who can be seen quietly working in the fields surrounded by ducks, chickens, pigs and buffalos.
      Breakfast will then be served in the open air overlooking the fields before you check out and set off over the dramatic Khau Pha Mountain Pass. The rice fields of Tu Le along the way are spectacular and will fill you with wonder.
      After lunch in a local restaurant, you will continue your drive to Nam Co Village where you will get to see the Flower H'mong ethnic minority wearing their colourful traditional costumes. If your trip falls on the correct day, we will also take you for a visit to the fascinating local market.
      Finally, we will drive you to La Pan Tan and Mam Soi where you can enjoy a short walk (roughly 3km each way) up the hill and be rewarded with beautiful views of the surrounding rice fields before heading back down to Kim Noi village and overnighting at a local Thai Homestay run by the lovely Mrs Chon.
      - Includes a 5-7 km trek.
      golden harvest
  • Day 3: Trekking in Mu Cang Chai (B/L/D)
    • After breakfast in the homestay, a local guide will collect you for the longest trek of the tour (but the best off the beaten track in Vietnam), from Kim Noi Village to Hang Dang De then to Che Cu Nha. You will enjoy a picnic lunch on the rice terraces and then continue to La Pan Tan where you will be picked up and driven back for a second night at Mrs Chon's homestay.
      - Includes a 15-17 km trek.
      Trekking in Mu Cang Chai
      Trekking in Mu Cang Chai
  • Day 4: Mu Cang Chai - Sapa (B/L/D)
    • After breakfast, you will drive from Mu Cang Chai through Tan Uyen and then on to Sapa.
      The road is very dramatic with many winding hairpin bends each opening up a new vista of the mountains. You will cross the Sin Ho Pass before arriving in Sapa where you will have lunch and the chance to explore the town.
      Then you will trek to Giang Ta Chai Village, where you will have dinner and stay overnight in a Dao ethnic house.
      - Includes a 4-6 Km trek.
      Giang Ta Chai
      Giang Ta Chai
  • Day 5: Trekking In Sapa (B/L/D)
    • You will begin the day with a 3km trek off the beaten path through the breath-taking landscape of Sapa to the village of Suoi Ho, home to a H’mong community. From here you can enjoy views over endless rice terraces, and as you walk through the homesteads, you will be surrounded by free-roaming piglets and chickens.
      Continuing on to Ma Tra Village you will stop to look around the town and take some photos, before trekking to the village of Ta Phin, where you will be able to meet both Black Hmong and Red Dao minorities. The Red Dao are known for their expertise in herbal medicine, and your guide will be able to introduce you to some Red Dao women who can tell you more about their many remedies. A Red Dao herbal bath is a real treat after trekking and can be arranged at your request. You will have dinner and stay overnight in a homestay in Ta Phin.
      - Includes 12-15 Km trek.

      Read more about trekking around Sa Pa
      Suoi Ho
      Red Dao women
  • Day 6: Sapa - La Pan Tan (B/L/D)
    • After breakfast, you will drive from Sapa, passing through Lao Cai which is the main border crossing to China. You will follow the border for a little way, trailing the river which sits between the road and the mountain ranges of China, before heading north to Muong Khuong.
      Along the way, you will see a number of dams under construction, and as you travel further along the twisting road, you will start to see the outcrops of black limestone and pine forests. After lunch in Muong Khuong Town, you will take an even more picturesque route south which rises high up through villages leaving the river Chay down below. You will take the high mountain pass to La Pan Tan where you will get a taste of local life with a stay in a basic homestay which has a certain rustic charm and the most beautiful views.
      La Pan Tan
      La Pan Tan Village
  • Day 7: La Pan Tan - Coc Ly - Bac Ha (B/L/D)
    • After breakfast, you will drive from La Pan Tan to Coc Ly on another small and dramatic road which overlooks the Chay river. If you are here on a Tuesday, you may get the chance to see the Coc Ly market.
      You will have time to relax as you take a boat trip on the Chai River (dependent on water levels). The boat will take you to Coc Dao where our driver will pick you up and drive you to Bac Ha. After lunch in a local restaurant, you will visit the palace of Hoang A Tuong which showcases a curious mixture of baroque and oriental architecture, built in 1920 with the aid of the French. You will have dinner and stay overnight in a homestay in Bac Ha.
      Coc Ly market
      Bac Ha market
  • Day 8: Bac Ha - Coc Pai - Phung village (B/L/D)
    • If it’s Sunday, we can visit the Bac Ha and Coc Pai markets, or if it’s Saturday, the Can Cau market. You will have lunch in Coc Pai before an adventurous trip along a narrow road full of hairpin bends leading towards the Ban May terraced rice fields. Each twist and turn will bring more gasps of amazement at the intricacy of the narrow, vertiginous rice terraces. Here you will see the La Chi people who are distinguishable by their traditional outfits.
      You will spend the night in a homestay in the village.
      Bac Ha valley
      Can Cau market
  • Day 9: Trekking in Hoang Su Phi (B/L/D)
    • Today, you will trek from the village of Dong Loi to Suoi Thau via the terraced rice fields, meeting the La Chi ethnic communities and seeing how they live. Life for the La Chi can be very tough as often their houses can only be approached through the rice fields, so all food, equipment and building materials must be carried by hand.
      You will stop for a picnic lunch in Thang Loi Village, and then visit the site of many ancient tombs, among them the tomb of Hoang Van Thung who was a national hero and king of the La Chi ethnic people. After a 20km trek, you will return to the homestay for dinner and a well earned rest.
      - Includes 17-20 Km trek.

      Learn more about Ha Giang Province and its wonders
      Hoang Su Phi
  • Day 10: Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang (B/L/D)
    • After breakfast, you will leave Phung village and drive down a steep winding road. As you descend through the rice terraced scenery, you will have plenty of stops for more photos, as well as taking in the beauty of the changing morning light on the rice paddies.
      You will drive back through Hoang Su Phi to Ha Giang via the Tan Su Phin Pass and the Cong Troi pass. These are very dramatic passes, and this whole area is full of magnificent views. You will stay overnight in a Tay stilt house.
  • Day 11: Ha Giang Trekking - Quan Ba (B/L/D)
    • You will set off and trek off the beaten track to the village of Lung Vai, (6-8 hours) and may meet people from the Man and Dao ethnic minority communities who live in the region. You will have a picnic lunch and continue to the remote village of Khuoi My. En route, you will see farmers working in the fields, and there may even be the opportunity to try out some of the farming methods yourself.
      You will continue to Ban Tha Village before being picked up by your driver and taken to Nam Dam. Dinner will be served by the host of the Dao house where you will stay overnight.
      - Includes 15-17km trek.
      village of Lung Vai
      village of Lung Vai
  • Day 12: Quan Ba - Meo Vac (B/L/D)
    • We set out in the morning for Dong Van, passing through Cong Troi Pass and then continuing on to Yen Minh. On the way we will also visit the King’s Palace in the H’mong village of Sa Phin, built in the early 20th century. The area is also notable for its many corn plantations, where the harvest is collected by hand.
      As we pass reach Dong Van we disembark for a lunch break in the colourful old market. Here you can admire the Ancient houses and the local people in their traditional garments. After lunch we set off again and pass through the spectacular Ma Pi Leng Pass, on the way to Meo Vac. This road is justly considered one of the most beautiful in the country, and the views are appropriately stunning. Once we reach Meo Vac we settle in for an overnight stay in a H’mong home.
      Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark
      Ma Pi Leng pass between Dong Van and Meo Vac
  • Day 13: Meo Vac - Bac Me - Ha Giang (B/L/D)
    • Today you will drive along a beautiful road to Bac Me and then on to Ha Giang. The journey winds through palm plantations where you will see Tay people living in stilt houses with roofs made of palm leaves. This is not a usual tourist area so you can really appreciate the unspoilt rural scene as you drive through. It is also a time to contemplate the traditional way of life of the local villagers and the hardships they face. In Ha Giang, you will stay in a riverside bungalow.
      Bac Me  Ha Giang
      Ha Giang
  • Day 14: Ha Giang - Hanoi (B/L)
    • We return to Hanoi, still travelling through magnificent scenery, mountainous at first but descending to the areas of tea plantations and then gradually flattening out to rice paddies. You may see the bamboo irrigation systems used in the fields. You will stop for lunch on the way and should arrive back in Hanoi in the early afternoon. Then you will have a few hours to enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life or relax and reflect on your amazing adventure.
      The Old Quarter
      Long Bien

Accommodation List
Please note that the hotels mentioned in this list are for reference only. Depending on availability and your preference, they can be changed. If we are unable to book any hotel, it will be replaced by another hotel at least of equivalent standard and value.

5 average based on 1 reviews.

Traveler rating

Very Good

Wrote a review 12 - 2023
An amazing trip made possible with an excellent tour operator
Review of: Trekking the secret trails on Vietnam's frontier 14 days 13 nights
We spent 2 weeks in Northern Vietnam in November and the trip itinerary was custom organized by Mr. Linh adventures. We were 11 in a family (including a 1-year-old baby!) traveling together and Mr. Linh adventures provided impeccable service in the entire trip. Our guides and driver were very hospitable and friendly, ensuring that all our needs and requirements during the trip were met. The bus that was allocated for our group was super comfortable.
The best part is if there is an
...Read Morey feedback they will take it positively and make a change as necessary. I highly recommend them for any group traveling to Vietnam, especially if your traveling as a family, since we really felt that we were well taken care of during our unforgettable 2 weeks exploring this amazing country with its delicious food, beautiful scenery and friendly people. Read Less
Date of experience: 12 2018
Mr Linh's Adventure
Hi Sidd! First let me thank you so much for your very detailed and generous review. We loved taking care of you for your trip through Northern Vietnam, and we’re glad to hear that you enjoyed it as much as our driver and guides. Best wishes to your whole family and we hope to serve you again in the future should you travel in Southeast Asia again in the future. Regards, Linh.
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